Friday, December 04, 2015

From Ian:

WT Editorial: Telling a distorted story
The Israeli-Palestinian confrontation is complicated, and would be even without the bad faith that is the region’s chief export. Many elements in the conflict go back to the 1930s, and are layered one atop the other, making peace impossible and even cease-fire difficult.
The European elites and the blind left in the United States argue that the mere Israeli presence on the West Bank and in East Jerusalem is a form of violence. No one can ignore the constant interplay between the Israeli military power, which maintains its presence there, and the Palestinian population. Many Palestinians, who dare not say so, welcome the security these Israeli forces offer. They can see the alternative, of descent into the chaos in nearby Muslim countries, close at hand.
The outbreak of knife attacks during the Jewish High Holidays this fall, often against civilians and sometimes against the wrong brand of Muslim, was clearly terrorism by the Palestinians. The fact that the knife fighters are often adolescents, schooled from infancy to hate Jews, in schools sponsored by the United Nations, is particularly reprehensible.
The Israelis are usually accused of using “excessive force.” The bare statistics are used as an argument that, since more Palestinians die than Israelis, it’s obvious that the Israelis are the aggressors. But self-defense often results in “collateral damage,” and whose fault is that?
Presenting these episodes by identifying the Palestinian dead as victims — as is done often in the international media — distorts reality. The London Guardian, which is reliably left-wing, reported the death of a Palestinian who stabbed an Israeli guard under a typical headline: “Palestinian shot dead at Damascus gate in Jerusalem after stabbing Israeli guard.” The severe wound the assailant inflicted on the guard was barely mentioned. A similar account in the London Daily Mail was only a little better: “Jerusalem’s streets run red with blood: Israeli police shoot dead man who stabbed border guard at Damascus Gate — the 99th Palestinian to die in latest wave of violence.” The attack on Pearl Harbor might have been headlined: “Americans slay two Jap pilots taking Sunday-morning flight over Pearl Harbor.”
Andrew Bolt: Bob Carr and the cleansing of Jews from the history of Jerusalem, “this great Arab city”
Labor’s campaign for Muslim votes in western Sydney is corrupting its values - and betraying our own:
Former foreign minister Bob Carr has lashed out at Israel, accusing the Jewish state of fabricating history and bribing Australian polit­icians, in an attack condemned by the Turnbull government.
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop hit back at Mr Carr’s tirade, describi­ng his remarks as deeply unhelpful and provocative.
The one-time titan of the Labor Right let loose at a dinner in Sydney late last month at an International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People function in a speech that has appeared online, accusing Israel of eliminating the Arab character of Jerusalem.
Mr Carr praised Greens senator Lee Rhiannon, the leader of the party’s so-called “water­melon” faction and an arch-foe of his old NSW Labor colleagues. “The people of Palestine are seeing street by street the character, the nomenclature, of Jerusalem being changed,” Mr Carr told the gathering. “The story of Jerusalem is now being fabricated. Juda­ising and eliminating the Arab character of this great Arab city is a shocking thing to take place.”
EXCLUSIVE: 13-Year-Old Israeli Girl Boycotted by British Professor: “I Was Speechless”
“I don’t want to be an icon,” says Shachar Rabinovitz. But in the space of a few days this week, the 13-year-old has already started to become a poster girl of sorts.
She’s siting on her sofa, shell-shocked at the international media frenzy that has taken place this week. On Sunday, she went to school, went to the dentist, returned to the northern Israel kibbutz Regavim where she lives, opened her emails, and then suddenly found herself propelled in to the news.
To many, her experience this week sums up the case against the BDS movement. Over the weekend, she became the youngest ever subject of the academic boycott of Israel. A former Cambridge University academic, Marsha Levine, had written to Shachar refusing her request for information on horses because she is Israeli. “I’ll answer your questions when there is peace and justice for Palestinians in Palestine,” Levine wrote, going on to add: “You might be a child, but if you are old enough to write to me, you are old enough to learn about Israeli history and how it has impacted on the lives of Palestinian people.” Shachar’s father posted the reply on Facebook, and it went viral.
“When I saw the response I was speechless,” Shachar recalls, glancing at the old desktop computer where she saw the message as if to relive the moment. “I got upset. I don’t think an old and wise person needs to put her political opinions in an email to a 13-year-old who asks her about horses.”
Legal complaint made against pro-BDS prof. who snubbed Israeli schoolgirl
An anti-Semitism watchdog organization in the United Kingdom has filed a complaint with the police against Marsha Levine, the British-American former Cambridge University professor who rebuffed a request for information from an Israeli schoolgirl, citing Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians.
The Campaign Against Antisemitism filed the complaint with the Cambridgeshire Constabulary following the recent media storm that erupted when the mother of 13-year-old Shachar Rabinovitch posted a message on Facebook detailing Levine’s response to an email from her daughter.
Shachar, a horse enthusiast, had contacted Levine, an expert on the domestication and history of the animal, asking for information about breeding patterns and the use of horses by humans in ancient times.

Breitbart: Grades: The Republican Jewish Coalition Presidential Candidates Forum
The Republican Jewish Coalition hosted the GOP presidential contenders Thursday at the Ronald Reagan International Trade Building in Washington, D.C.
Each candidate had about 20 minutes or so to discuss their foreign policy vision for America. We offer our grades for each one:
Rubio takes on Trump in address to Republican Jews
“No nation wants peace more” than Israel or “has shown greater restraint toward its enemies,” GOP presidential hopeful Senator Marco Rubio told an enthusiastic crowd at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s candidates’ forum Thursday morning, while taking jabs at front-runner Donald Trump for comments seen as not sufficiently supportive of Israel.
At what RJC officials stressed was the only forum other than the debates at which all of the candidates appeared simultaneously, Rubio, who has risen steeply in the polls in recent weeks, received a warm welcome.
Rubio was the third speaker of the day, following fellow Senators Lindsay Graham and Ted Cruz – and of the three, the junior senator from Florida devoted the most time to discussing Israel.
“The threats facing both our country and Israel have grown dramatically in recent months, in large part because our president has placed his own legacy ahead of our mutual security,” he warned. “I think one thing that’s become obvious over this last year is the devastating cost of a foreign policy that lacks moral clarity.”
Trump courts Republican Jews with offensive stereotypes
Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump on Thursday invoked a series of stereotypes about Jews that are often deemed offensive and even anti-Semitic — in an address to Jewish Republicans.
“I’m a negotiator like you folks were negotiators,” the controversial candidate declared to his audience at the Republican Jewish Coalition, as he explained that he would broker a stronger nuclear deal with Iran than the one concluded earlier this year. At another point in his speech, he said: “Is there anyone in this room who doesn’t negotiate deals? Probably more than any room I’ve ever spoken.”
His speech came at the tail end of a morning of addresses in which the other Republican candidates boasted of their pro-Israel credentials and their close ties to the US Jewish community.
Although Trump did reiterate his tight ties with his “friend” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the audience wasn’t tolerant of the mogul’s attempts to duck a question on Jerusalem. Asked about his position on the unification of the Israeli capital, Trump refused to commit – as most Republican candidates have – to declaring the city to be the eternal capital of the Jewish state, and was greeted with boos.
ZOA to Trump: 'We’re disappointed and alarmed'
The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), the oldest pro-Israel organization in the United States, announced that it was "alarmed, outraged and disappointed" by Trump's "factually inaccurate and ludicrous claim that a successful peace deal between Israel and the Palestinian Arab dictators" depends on Israel and its willingness to make more sacrifices.
"In fact," the ZOA stated concisely, "peace depends on one thing: Whether Palestinian Arabs and their governing entities Hamas, the PLO and the Palestinian Authority, give up their decades-long goal of destroying Israel, murdering every Jew, and completely replacing Israel with a Palestinian Arab state 'from the river to the sea.'"
Among Israel's sacrifices over the years the ZOA counted giving away large swaths of historic Jewish land in Judea and Samaria and all of Gaza; offering generous "peace settlements" in 1937, 1947, 2000, and 2008; offering negotiations even as PA leader Mahmoud Abbas refuses to negotiate with Israel and honors terrorists; freezing settlement construction; and more.
The ZOA asks why Trump does not propose that America should make "sacrifices" to ISIS for peace, but rather calls for strengthening the U.S. military – and yet at the same time he proposes to weaken Israel with more "sacrifices [for peace] with the Palestinian Arab terrorist governments that incite Palestinian Arabs to murder, bomb, knife, and run over with their cars and trucks innocent Israeli civilians."
ADL: Trump’s comments misinterpreted, not anti-Semitic
Former Bush-era White House press secretary Ari Fleischer responded to the last comment via Twitter, asking “what the hell does that mean?” Conservative Jewish blogger Jennifer Rubin described the speech as “strewn with Jewish stereotypes.”
Although a number of prominent Jewish Republican commentators immediately derided Trump’s comments on social media, the ADL’s Greenblatt concluded that the maverick Republican outsider’s remarks were simply misunderstood.
“After having carefully reviewed the speech, we do not believe that it was Donald Trump’s intention to evoke anti-Semitic stereotypes,” Greenblatt wrote. “He has made similar comments about spending his own money on the campaign, and not asking for money from donors, to many other groups.”
“Here, context is everything,” Greenblatt added. “Mr. Trump’s presentation was completely supportive of Israel and the Jewish community, even if one might disagree with him on some of the other issues he raised.”
Huckabee formally rejects the 'two-state solution'
Former Arkansas governor and Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee formally rejected the idea of a Palestinian state on Thursday, stating at the Republican Jewish Coalition in Washington that he wants to go on record in rejecting the "two-state solution."
"I consider [the two-state solution] no solution whatsoever," Huckabee said. "There cannot be two states trying to own the same piece of real estate."
“The United States needs to finally make a definitive statement ... [that] we know who our peace partner in the Middle East is, and it is Israel," he added.
He also called Israel "God-given," stated that “Jerusalem can never be a divided city," and emphasized that Israel's borders include Judea and Samaria.
Terrorist organization or creamy chickpea dip? US Presidential candidate mispronounces Hamas
US Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson repeatedly mispronounced the name of the terrorist organization Hamas, pronouncing it as "Hummus" while speaking at the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) summit in Washington on Thursday.
During his speech before the affluent crowd of potential donors in attendance at the event, Carson said “Fatah and Hamas operate in a constant state of conflict,” adding “Fatah rules the West Bank. Hamas rules the Gaza Strip.”
But his pronunciation of Hamas sounded closer to the word Hummus.
Many people took offense to his mispronunciation of a US and EU designated terrorist group as a Middle Eastern chickpea dish. Social media was immediately bombarded with sarcastic comments regarding Carson's knowledge and understanding of the Middle East and basic foreign policy.

Netanyahu’s Former Top Aide Defends Ben Carson from ‘Hypocrisy of Media’
Several mainstream media reporters criticized GOP presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson for the way he pronounced “Hamas” during his speech at the Republican Jewish Coalition on Thursday in Washington, D.C.
But George Birnbaum, the former chief of staff to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, told Breitbart News he found it hypocritical for the mainstream media to focus on pronunciation instead of substance. He cited former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s failed “reset” button with Russia, and said:
I’m not sure why Hillary Clinton is deemed so qualified on foreign policy when as Secretary of State she handed the Russian foreign minister with a red “Restart” button but with the wrong word in Russian… if mispronouncing Hamas disqualifies Dr. Carson, shouldn’t such an egregious mistake by a sitting Secretary of State disqualify her? Complete hypocrisy by the media.
Is Trudeau's new Foreign Minister Secretary a Hamas backer?
Newly elected Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau raised eyebrows Wednesday, when he appointed Omar Alghabra as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Alghabra, a Liberal party MP representing Mississauga Centre, will get a $16,600 raise to his normal MP salary of $167,400 in his new role, according to CBC News.
Born in Saudi Arabia, Alghabra is the son of Syrian parents and arrived in Canada back in 1989, with at least some of his nuclear family still living in the Middle East.
The appointment of the new Parliamentary Secretary is particularly concerning to some, given that Alghabra previously was the head of the radical Canadian Arab Federation (CAF) between 2004 and 2005.
Backing Hamas, comparing Israelis to Nazis
CAF just this August lost an appeal to have its government funding reinstated, after then-Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney back in 2009 cut $1 million in annual funding to the group.
Kenney proved that the group's leadership repeatedly expressed support for the terrorist groups Hamas and Hezbollah. In cutting the funding Kenney's office noted a CAF executive took part in a Cairo conference together with Hamas and Hezbollah delegates, and likewise that the Hezbollah flag was flown at a CAF rally.
Exclusive: Pollard set to appeal restrictive parole conditions in hearing next week
Freed Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard will ask a district court judge in New York next Wednesday morning to ease the conditions of his parole, a representative of Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP, Pollard's law firm, told The Jerusalem Post exclusively Thursday.
Pollard's parole conditions require him to wear an electronic ankle bracelet at all times for GPS tracking of his whereabouts and to be subjected to unfettered monitoring and inspection of his computers and those of his employer. Not only can he not move to Israel as he desires, he cannot leave his home in New York City before 7 a.m. or come home after 7 p.m.
The parole conditions have put in limbo an offer Pollard received to become a research analyst in the finance department of a respected investment firm. Pollard suffers from chronic leg and ankle swelling, which makes the ankle bracelet problematic to his health.
The hours of his curfew makes it difficult to travel to and from work, to attend prayer services, or to accept invitations to dinner on the Sabbath and holidays from friends and relatives.
Theater tightens security for American Jewish musician
These BDS protests come against a backdrop of violence directed at Jewish targets in Europe. Dozens of people were murdered at The Bataclan Theater in Paris. The Bataclan, which until recently was Jewish owned, had been a BDS target for years, though the connection between that BDS targeting and the decision of the Jihadis to target the Bataclan is not yet proven. The mass shooting by someone who appears to have been acting as a Jihadist in San Bernardino also heightens concerns for public events.
Legal Insurrection has learned that the State Theater plans to have security at the Matisyahu concert tonight both outside and inside the theater. The Ithaca Police also will be present. In addition, a metal detector is being used and all concert goers will be required to undergo that screening.
I reached out to the State Theater for comment, but have not received a response as of this writing.
The irony of these security precautions is that Matisyahu is known for his support of peace and understanding.
Western Feminists Have Become ‘Stalinized’ and ‘Palestinianized,’ Says Prominent US Women’s Movement Pioneer (INTERVIEW)
“The feminism I helped found was based on women’s rights,” leading American feminist Phyllis Chesler told The Algemeiner on Wednesday, a week after the National Women’s Studies Association (NWSA) voted to join the anti-Israel BDS movement. “The only activism members of the NWSA engage in aims for the destruction of the Jewish state.”
Chesler, professor emerita of psychology and women’s studies at the College of Staten Island (CUNY) and the author of 14 books – most recently An American Bride in Kabul: A Memoir (2013), about her 1961 marriage to an Afghani and her time spent in his harem – said that “Western feminists have become totally Stalinized and Palestinianized.”
Chesler was expanding on her recent article, “The Death Knell for Women’s Studies,” lambasting the NWSA for adopting a resolution to align with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel
CST condemns post on LSE Human Rights Blog
CST condemns a post on the LSE Human Rights Blog by Dr Sandra Nasr, titled "Delegitimising through Dehumanisation: Palestinian ‘human’ rights denied", for its false and offensive caricature of Jewish law and religious beliefs. With no attempt at balance or context, it claims to summarise Jewish ethics, law and behaviour, by reproducing antisemitic tropes about “notions of separateness, superiority and entitlement”. It is a complete misreading of the idea of the “chosen people”, the type of utterly discredited old anti-Judaism that should have no place in an academic work, especially not in a “Human Rights” setting.
The post attacks Israel by employing grotesque racist slanders against Judaism. To this end, the post even includes a link to a Holocaust Denial website called VHO and specifically to an article by Roger Garaudy, a Holocaust Denier who was convicted in France of denying the Holocaust and fined £20,000. The nature of the VHO website and Garaudy’s involvement in Holocaust denial should have been apparent to the author, as VHO’s introduction to Garaudy’s article says that Garaudy “had taken aim at the historical legends cited for decades to justify Zionism and the Jewish state, including the most sacred of Jewish-Zionist icons, the Holocaust extermination story.” VHO also states that Garaudy’s article was originally published in the Journal for Historical Review, which is a leading Holocaust Denial publication.
It is particularly concerning that posts on the LSE Human Rights Blog appear to go through an editorial process before being published, yet this post was still considered suitable for publication. We urge LSE and its Centre for the Study of Human Rights to consider whether this post meets their academic and ethical standards, both in its content and its use of antisemitic source material, and to review the process by which posts are published on their blog.
UPDATE: The post in question has now been taken down from the LSE Human Rights Blog. We welcome this move and urge LSE and its Centre for the Study of Human Rights to review the editorial process by which it was originally published.
Islamic Student Society Heckles Human Rights Activist During Blasphemy Lecture
Members of Goldsmiths University’s Islamic Society (ISOC) “heckled and aggressively disrupted” a lecture by Iranian secularist and feminist activist Maryam Namazie on Monday night, The Independent reported.
The disruptions began about 11 minutes into the talk, after Namazie, who was invited by the university’s Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Society (ASH), said “Islamism, as a political movement, is a global killing machine.” To support her point, she observed that a number of secular Bangladeshi bloggers had been hacked to death by the fundamentalists, while an Islamist group in Bangladesh had published a hit list against bloggers in other countries. As she made her argument, a student in the front row began laughing, prompting a rebuke from Namazi.
Soon, a second student began talking out loud. Namazie responded by repeatedly telling him to leave. When the student said that Namazie was intimidating him, she replied, “Oh, you’re intimidated? Go to your safe space.” A video showing these incidents is embedded below.
About 35 minutes into the talk, Namazie showed a ‘Jesus and Mo’ cartoon, which featured an image of the Prophet Muhammad. As Namazie spoke, one of the students got up and shut off her projector. He was swiftly escorted out by security.
Wearing yellow stars, Jewish vendors rally in Rome
Jewish souvenir vendors, some wearing yellow Stars of David pinned to their clothing, staged a protest against recent edicts barring street vendors from operating near the Vatican.
About 100 mainly Jewish vendors, known as urtisti, gathered in front of the Vatican on Thursday bearing signs with slogans such as “History is repeating itself” and “Pope Francis – Roman Jews ask help for the right to work,” according to local media reports.
Souvenir vending is a tradition among some Roman Jewish families going back to the 19th century, when a papal edict allowed Jews to sell rosaries to Catholic pilgrims.
The protest was the latest by urtisti against recent city rulings limiting the activities of various types of street vendors at major tourist sites.
A spokesman for the protesters told the ADNKronos news agency that the protesters donned yellow Stars of David, similar to those the Nazis required Jews to wear, “because the latest measures taken by the city seem to be aimed at Jews.”
EU’s Economic Hold over Israel Wanes
Taken as a whole, the EU is still Israel’s largest trading partner, but its lead has been shrinking rapidly as Israeli trade with other parts of the globe expands. Moreover, many of the European countries most hostile to Israel are among its least important trading partners. Norway, Sweden, and Ireland, for instance, would star in any list of the most hostile countries, yet each of them conducts less trade with Israel than Vietnam does. In other words, the countries that are most hostile to Israel tend to be those with relatively little ability to cause it economic harm.
Israel has long since ceased to count on Europe for diplomatic support. In international forums, many European countries reflexively back even the most outrageous anti-Israel resolutions, while even Israel’s best friends in Europe rarely do more than abstain. This past May, for instance, every EU country voted for a UN resolution declaring Israel the world’s worst violator of health rights (perhaps they think Israeli hospitals should stop treating Syrian war victims or cancer patients from Hamas-run Gaza?).
Nor does Israel depend on Europe militarily. As Haaretz reporter Anshel Pfeffer pointed out after Britain threatened to suspend arms exports to Israel during last summer’s Gaza war, such threats are so old hat that Israel long ago dropped Britain as a major military supplier. Ditto for most other European countries (the two exceptions being Germany and Italy). Today, Israeli defense imports from Britain consist mostly of spare parts that it could easily obtain elsewhere if necessary.
Thus, the one stick Europe still has with which to threaten Israel is economic. And as the recent decision to impose discriminatory labeling requirements on Israel show, the EU bureaucracy is increasingly seeking to wield this stick.
Responding to Hatred With IsrAction Day
What is IsrAction Day? You can find out more by visiting their page on Facebook, but in essence, it’s a day that combines action against the boycott with social activism. This being the season of goodwill, what you should do on Dec. 13 is this: purchase some Israeli food products, take them to a local homeless shelter or soup kitchen, drop them off with a message of support, snap a photo, and email it to the good people running IsrAction Day.
Launched in Britain last year, this year IsrAction Day is going global, with activists in France, South Africa, Canada, New Zealand, and other countries participating. As my friend Winston Pickett, who runs communications for IsrAction Day, pointed out to me, the beauty of this initiative is that you don’t have to belong to an organization or pay membership fees to get involved. Simply do what I outlined above and you’re a part of it.
We do have to carry on combating the lies of people like Marsha Levine and Sandra Nasr. But that shouldn’t be the sole purpose of Israel advocacy. IsrAction Day is an opportunity to celebrate Israel and the Jewish tradition of social justice and tzedakah (charity) on our own terms. A welcome relief, I hope you will agree, from the bigotry that defames the Jewish state as the root of all the evil in the world.
The Common Thread of Jew Hatred
For Jew-haters, whether Western ideologues who happen to be Jewish or Palestinians, Israelis have no rights of any kind. The “resistance” they support is not to the “occupation” of the West Bank but to the Jewish presence in any part of the country, including Zichron Yaakov, which was settled by Jews in 1882. Any crime against them — whether rocket attacks from Gaza or shootings or stabbings — is considered legitimate. Nor are they interested in the fact that Israeli withdrawals, such as the one from Gaza, was answered with terror rather than peace, or that the Palestinians have refused several offers of independence and statehood with refusals and violence. Nothing matters to either the Jewish left or their Palestinian counterparts but the crime of Israel’s existence for which every Israeli Jew may be required to pay for with their lives.
It bears repeating that those who would deny Jews the same rights they would never think of refusing to any other people in the world are engaging in discriminatory behavior. That means those who single out the one Jewish state in the world and its people for such treatment are engaging in anti-Semitism. That the bias of these “critics” of Israel echoes the vile hate that is motivating Palestinians to treat the murder of Jews as their national sport only confirms that their purpose is not justice but hate.
That one aging academic behaves in a reprehensible manner to a child shouldn’t interest us much. But the fact that there is a common thread of hate for Jews that runs between her attitude — and that of the many anti-Zionists in Europe as well as here in the United States — and that of the political culture of the Palestinians is worthy of attention and condemnation.
UK Tabloid Amends Refence to Israeli Victims of Munich Massacre as ‘Terrorists’ Following Watchdog Complaint
Moments after being called to task for referring to the Israeli victims of the Munich Massacre as “terrorists,” the UK’s Daily Mirror amended its content, a British watchdog group reported on Wednesday.
UK Media Watch noted that an article in the British tabloid on the upcoming documentary film, “Munich 1972 & Beyond” – in which gruesome new details of the torture of the Jewish athletes competing in the 1972 Olympics in Germany — opened with a description of the victims as “terrorists,” and the Palestinians who murdered them in cold blood as belonging to the “militant group” Black September.
These references appeared twice – once in the sub-headline and again in the second paragraph of the piece.
UK Media Watch responded by exposing the egregious “editing error” — or purposeful statement — on social media and by sending a tweet to its author, Sam Webb. The piece was then corrected, leaving in the reference to the terrorists as “militants,” but calling the Israeli victims simply “athletes.”
Times of London adds new twist on how #Israel ruins Christmas in Bethlehem
It seems that every year around this time, the British media resurrects the desired Palestinian narrative about Israel’s putative role in ruining Christmas in Bethlehem. This year’s effort by Gregg Carlstrom at Times of London isn’t nearly as tendentious as we’re accustomed to, but nonetheless manages to convey the message that Israel – the only country in the Mid-East where the indigenous Christian population is growing – is responsible for the persecution of Christians in the city where Jesus Christ was born.
The article (Bethlehem warned to call off Christmas fun, Dec. 2) starts out by lamenting that Christmas “will not be a merry Christmas for 40,000 Palestinian Christians living in the occupied West Bank”, and explains:
The Palestinian Authority asked churches and towns to limit Christmas observances to religious rites. It said that festive celebrations would be unseemly during what some commentators have dubbed a third intifada, or religious uprising.
Carlstrom doesn’t acknowledge the obvious: that the very Palestinian Authority that has legitimized and encouraged the recent spate of terror attacks now appears to be cynically using this Palestinian-instigated violence as a pretext to limit Christmas celebrations in the holy city.
European Commission appoints German official to combat anti-Semitism
After years of lobbying for the creation of such a position, Jewish groups on Wednesday lauded the European Commission’s appointment of Katharina von Schnurbein as the body’s first coordinator on combating anti-Semitism.
Alongside von Schnurbein, a German national who had previously coordinated relations with religious organizations, the commission also appointed an official to combat anti-Muslim hatred.
The creation of the two positions had been announced by EC First Vice-President Frans Timmermans in October, following more than a year of appeals by Jewish communities feeling squeezed by rising anti-Semitism and terrorist threats.
Both the European Jewish Congress and the Belgian Jewish community, whose chief Rabbi Avraham Gigi recently announced that he sees no future for Jews on the continent, were at the forefront of pushing for the creation of a position analogous to that of the American State Department’s Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism.
The Conference of European Rabbis has been working with von Schnurbein for years, Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, the group’s president, told The Jerusalem Post, calling her “competent, efficient, and courageous.”
‘Middle Eastern’ Man Screaming ‘Kill the Jews’ Arrested Outside Brooklyn Synagogue
The NYPD arrested a man on Thursday morning who was spewing antisemitic slurs outside a Brooklyn synagogue, Yeshiva World News reported.
Members of Ahi Ezer Congregation heard the thus-far unidentified man, whom they described as “Middle Eastern,” banging on the synagogue’s locked doors while screaming antisemitic remarks on the steps of the congregation. A resident of the neighborhood told The Algemeiner that men praying inside the synagogue heard the man yell, “Kill the Jews!”
The NYPD and members of the Flatbush Shomrim Safety Patrol (FSSP) were called to the scene and arrived shortly thereafter. The man was arrested and transported to Coney Island Hospital.
A police source told Yeshiva World News that the man, who is approximately 20 years old, may be emotionally disturbed. The insider added that NYPD detectives are reviewing footage from security cameras to determine if the case should be turned over to the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force.
FBI busts teen buying machine guns to ‘execute’ Jews, blacks
An 18-year-old American man was indicted on weapons charges by a US federal court this week after an FBI anti-terrorism task force discovered he was seeking weapons in order to “execute” Jews and African Americans.
Shane Smith from Whitehall, New York, was arrested after buying automatic machine guns and ammunition from an undercover FBI agent on August 6.
According to the local Post Star, Smith told the undercover investigators that he wanted to preserve his “race and folk,” and needed the weapons to “execute kikes, coons and get money for the crew.” He explained that he was building “a hit squad” and would need “a sidearm or heavy weapon” in case he got cornered.
The 18-year-old purchased a Colt M16 and MAC-10 military-grade assault rifles, a Beretta handgun, and 120 rounds of armor-piercing ammunition from FBI agents posing as gun sellers that Smith met on a Russian social media site earlier this year.
German court opens way for trial of 95-year-old Auschwitz paramedic
Hubert Z. acted as one of the death camp's paramedics from Aug. 15 to Sept. 14, 1944, the indictment said.
A German court on Tuesday permitted the trial of a 95-year-old German man accused of being an accessory to the murder of at least 3,681 people at the Nazi death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau.
The higher court of Rostock in northern Germany deemed Hubert Z. fit for trial, overruling a previous decision by a lower court that considered him too fragile for a legal process.
Z., whose last name is confidential due to German privacy laws, was a sergeant in the Nazi SS at Auschwitz from October 1943 to January 1944 and acted as one of the death camp's paramedics from Aug. 15 to Sept. 14, 1944, the indictment said.
During that month, at least 14 deportation trains reached the extermination camp from places as far as Rhodes, Lyon, Vienna and Westerbork in the Netherlands, the local prosecutor's office in Schwerin said.
IsraellyCool: Pastor’s Stirring Words About Jews And Israel
I’m not a huge fan of the link bait title of the video – how can you be shocked when you clearly see it is a pro-Israel event? – but don’t let it put you off. You have to watch Pastor Victor Styrsky speaking.

Israel tech helps the deaf ‘hear’ and the blind ‘see’
PresenTense — along with partners Beit Issie Shapira, the Ruderman Foundation and the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles — celebrated last week at the accomplishments of members of an accelerator with a unique mission to help the disabled become more abled.
“Our A3i Venture Accelerator concentrates on developing ideas that can help improve the lives of individuals who are challenged in various ways, employing technology to develop solutions that can help them live better quality lives,” said Spigelman. In fact, added Spigelman, A3i is the first, and so far only, accelerator in the world that concentrates on “ability tech.”
Spigelman spoke to The Times of Israel at the launch of the second round of the accelerator at the Weizmann Institute last week. On the agenda were presentations by the 12 members of the accelerator, which included products to make it easier for the disabled to get around, tech to help individuals with hearing problems communicate more effectively, a novel system – invented in Israel – that uses sound waves to help control spasticity, and even a dating site and social network for people with disabilities and special needs.
A perfect example of what A3i is all about, Spigelman boasted, is Sesame Enable, a graduate of the first round of the accelerator in 2014, which developed a specially rigged Nexus 5 smartphone that allows users to open up applications and make calls using their voice only. Designed for individuals who are almost totally paralyzed, the Sesame device is extremely sensitive: it can detect slight head gestures to trigger actions, for apps and activities where voice is inappropriate.
Sesame Enable was awarded $1 million – the top prize – in a worldwide contest sponsored by US telecom giant Verizon, in which the company searched out top technologies to help people live better lives.
Israeli engineering firm helps start-ups make new technologies for people with disabilities
In light of the International Day of People with Disabilities on Thursday, Dvir Brand, vice president of research and development at Ziv-Av Engineering (ZAE), says that Israeli innovation in medical devices is burgeoning as the country continues to make a significant impact on the growing worldwide industry.
Israel is recognized as the world leader per capita in start-ups and patents for medical devices.
The Jewish state has more than 700 companies in the field, comprising 53 percent of Israel’s total life sciences industry, according to the 2015 report by the Israel Advanced Technology Industries (IATI) umbrella organization for hi-tech and life sciences.
“It is challenging technology because you are dealing with customers and learning from each project about the difficulties and obstacles involved in their day-to-day lives,” Brand tells the Post.
However, he underlines that “these projects usually have an added value of helping society. It’s more rewarding designing wheelchairs than some kind of weapon.”
Brand notes that recent progress in the fields of electronic and motion control have made it possible to implement new medical technologies.
Sean Penn Does Jerusalem
After attending the IsraAid conference on rebuilding Haiti, followed by a visit to the Peres Center for Peace, actor and humanitarian Sean Penn visited Jerusalem.
Accompanied by Senior VP of J/P HRO, Mr. Philip Caputo and IsraAID staff, Penn began the day with a unique experience at Yad Vashem Holocaust History Museum. He then continued on to the Old City, and throughout his visit to its many holy sites, including the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Western wall, the Citadel of David and view of the Dome of the Rock, Penn commented on the city’s interesting and special history, and expressed hope for the future.
Later, accompanied by artist David Broza, Penn visited an inspiring Jewish-Arab school, and was visibly moved during talks with the kids, who also sang along with Broza.
Penn concluded the day with a night tour of Tzidkiyahu Cave in the Old City.
New Installation Exhibiting Israeli Life Embarks on World Tour (VIDEO)
A new, multi-sensory installation geared to introduce visitors to Israeli life will be launched on Monday, Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on Thursday.
“Open a Door to Israel” is an exhibit made up of nine giant screens, shaped as doors, which visitors open to learn about different aspects of Israel, including the country’s heritage, music scene, family life, education system and innovation. Audiences are then invited to watch a multimedia show, synchronized with robotic screening technology, which focuses on Israeli creativity.
The installation was created through a joint effort on the part of the Foreign and Strategic Affairs/Public Diplomacy Ministries.
Arthur Koll, Foreign Ministry Deputy Director General for Public Affairs, said the goal of the installation is to present Israeli society and values in a “personal and relatable way by hands-on experience.”

IsraelDailyPicture: 130-Year-Old Testimony of Jewish Life in Shiloah (Silwan), Jerusalem
The Shiloah (Silwan) village south of Jerusalem's Old City dates back to Biblical times. Water from its spring was used in the Jewish Temples. Jewish royalty was buried in its caves with Hebrew inscriptions naming the deceased. Over the centuries the hill was inhabited by Christian monks and Arab families.
Below is one of the first photographs taken in Palestine in 1844 showing Silwan's small size. It was taken by Girault de Prangey, a student of the inventor of photography, Louis Daguerre. View more of de Prangey's photographs here. Many of his photographs are now online at the French National Library.
The village of Shiloah (Silwan) in 1844 and the Kidron Valley (Smithsonian Magazine)
The 3,000 Maison Bonfils photographs from the Fouad Debbas Collection in Beirut digitized by the British Library have the barest of captions -- with the exception of one album with lengthy English annotations. The first photograph above provides an example. It describes the Yemenite Jewish community that moved into the Shiloah village in the 1880s.

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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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