Saturday, December 05, 2015

From Ian:

In wake of Paris attacks, Bernard-Henri Lévy calls Islamism the 'third fascism'
Bernard-Henri Lévy, French intellectual and author sat down in the i24news studios Monday night to discuss his new book, "The Genius of Judaism."
Lévy, the famous philosopher who has been named on a list of the world's 50 most influential Jews as well as "perhaps the most prominent intellectual in France today" will see his latest book published in France and the United States in February 2016.
He is in Israel to promote his latest book and will read excerpts of it this upcoming Wednesday December 2nd at the Tel Aviv Museum during which he will also pay tribute to the victims of the deadly terror attacks claimed by the Islamic State in the French capital of Paris where 130 people lost their lives.
Lévy told i24news that he decided to promote his book in Tel Aviv so shortly after the attacks because he was "revolted" by the way that the world treats similar attacks in Israel as if "it was basically normal."
While the entire world expressed their outrage following the "terrible attacks" which struck Paris, they have not done so for terror attacks in Israel, and that, he said, "revolted me. This is my way to express this revolt."
Lévy also spoke about IS, saying that Islamism is the "third fascism of our time. It obeys the same law. Now what do I mean by that? I mean that it is the third attack on civilization. First we had Nazism, then came communism, and now today we have Islamism which attacks all the values which we stand for."
Ben-Dror Yemini: Why do Palestinian refugees get so much more attention than others?
The day of remembrance for Jews expelled from Arab countries - the Jewish Nakba - passed with barely a whisper. On the other hand the Palestinian Nakba gets showered with attention. Why? The answer might have something to do with the Breaking the Silence organization, and the far left's tendency to distort history.
November 30, which was this week, was declared the day of remembrance for the banishment and expulsion of Jewish refugees from Arab countries. The Jewish Nakba. Aside from a conference at Bar-Ilan University, the subject echoed very faintly through Israel. Part of our elite is busy with another Nakba, which they celebrate again and again: the Palestinian one. They even organized another festival of Nakba films, produced by organizations or people who nurture the fantasy that is the right of return.
When someone attempts to wonder out loud about this injustice, the crocodile tears appear, along with complaints of silencing voices and other assorted goods. Silencing voices? The Palestinian Nakba receives the greatest marketing, in Israel and around the world. The first half of the 20th century saw between 52 and 60 million people go through the experience of forced relocation, most of them in the 1940s after World War Two, for the purpose of building nations. Because that was the norm in those days. It went well with the right of self-determination.
And of all of the dozens of cases of population switches, only the Arabs, who later became the Palestinians, receive this grand commemoration. There are thousands of publications in their name and in their honor. Entire shelves in every university. Departments and cathedrals in almost every university in the world, all to celebrate and glorify their suffering and victimhood. And Israeli film festivals as well.
Ilan Pappe's "Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine": A Hoax Revealed (h/t Daphne Anson)

Bret Stephens: Beyond Obama: Advice To The Next President
A year ago, I was about to come out with a book with the title: America in Retreat: The New Isolationism and the Coming Global Disorder. The short version of the argument: a foreign policy that seeks to downsize America’s global footprint for the sake of “nation-building at home” does not make for a safer or more prosperous world. Instead, it creates power vacuums that are filled by wilful, violent men. A world in which a dictator can flout an American president’s red line with impunity is a world in which our friends don’t trust us, and our enemies don’t fear us. That’s the essence of our foreign policy problem today.
My book also has a chapter which imagines the world in the year 2019, based on current trends. I wrote the chapter in March 2014, when the price of a barrel of oil was north of $100. The chapter begins by predicting a sharp and sudden decline in oil prices, starting in early 2015. (I was off by a few months.) It goes on to predict sharp contractions in the Russian and Chinese economies, leading increasingly to aggressive foreign policies as both countries seek to offset domestic turmoil with foreign adventures. Next it foresees an Iranian nuclear deal settled largely on Iran’s terms. Then we get a third intifada in Israel, beginning with protests by Arab residents in East Jerusalem, though I imagined it starting as a mostly peaceful intifada. I also predicted Saudi Arabia getting into a proxy war with Iran over Shia unrest in neighbouring Bahrain; as it turns out, the proxy war is taking place over Shia unrest in neighbouring Yemen.
So, so far, so good — or rather, so far, so bad. And while I don’t pretend to have a crystal ball, I do think we make our best predictions when we seek to uncover the mundane in the seemingly exotic, and not, as is so often the case, the exotic in the seemingly mundane.
I wrote the book with the subtitle The Coming Global Disorder. We are now living in a world characterised by the current global disorder. Now we get to the question of what to do about this disorder. Here are eight points for our next president to consider. (h/t Elder of Lobby)
In the Middle East, ‘The Tail Wags the Dog’ (BOOK REVIEW)
Blaming the West has become the most pervasive method of teaching for many Middle East studies departments, which are becoming the heart of pop-culture academia. Efraim Karsh, a distinguished professor of Middle Eastern studies at Bar-Ilan University and professor emeritus at King’s College London, in his latest book The Tail Wags the Dog: International Politics and the Middle East, dispels this myth.
“Britain’s ‘original sin,’ if such was indeed committed, lay not in the breaking up of Middle Eastern unity but in its attempted over-unification.” Overall, the blunders of the great powers were in trying to impose their own wishful thinking instead of obtaining a real understanding of the Middle East.
Unpopular truths abound. Karsh shows that descriptions of the Sykes-Picot agreement of 1916, the secret bargain between London and Paris to divide the Middle East into spheres of influence, “as the epitome of Western perfidy couldn’t be further from the truth.” In fact, rather than being aimed at suppression of the Arabs, the agreement “constituted the first-ever great-power recognition of an Arab right to self-determination.”
The UN General Assembly: Prejudice without pride
The UN General Assembly has the tiresome habit of almost always being wrong. No one expected the 193-member international organization to be the pinnacle of political wisdom, but few had thought it would become base clay.
It showed its habitual lack of balance and its persistent prejudice once again on November 19, 2015 when it passed six Resolutions on the Middle East, none of which addressed the real outstanding problems, Islamist terrorism, the continuing advance of ISIS, or the ongoing slaughter in the civil war in Syria.
It was left to the Russian delegate, Vladimir K. Safronkov, who spoke of the chaos in the Middle East, of ISIS and the terrorist group al-Nusra fighting for territory and expanding their terrorist activities.
Instead, there were the customary repetitive resolutions with only one objective, criticism or condemnation of Israel. Rather than forwarding the prospects for peace between Israel and the Palestinians, the resolutions make it virtually impossible because of the one sided hostility against Israel.
A few of the six can be considered. One resolution on Jerusalem was passed by a vote of 153 to 7 with 8 abstentions. It declared that any actions by Israel to impose its jurisdiction on Jerusalem were illegal, and called on Israel to stop all such measures.
It implicitly accepted the Palestinian falsehood, its Narrative of Victimhood, by indirectly indicting Israel and calling for respect for the historic status quo at Jerusalem’s Holy Places, especially the Haram al-Shariff or Temple Mount, as if Israel was harming it.
One in every five Jewish Israelis knows a terror victim, survey finds
One in every five Israelis knows someone who was harmed in the wave of terror that has swept through the country since the start October, according to two internet polls conducted by Panels Politics for The Jerusalem Post and its sister publication, Maariv.
Some 21 percent of the respondents said they knew someone injured in the attacks and 3% said they did not want to answer.
The survey also gave Yisrael Beitenu head Avigdor Lieberman higher marks than Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when it came to handling the new wave of terrorism.
When asked which politicians was handling it better, 23% said Liberman, 15% said Netanyahu, 9% said Bayit Yehud head Naftali Bennett, 5% said Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and 1% said Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan.
Opposition leader Issac Herzog of the Zionist Union and Yair Lapid who heads the Yesh Atid party each received a vote of confidence from only 3% of those surveyed.
Two terror attacks within hour in Binyamin region of West Bank
Two terror attacks took place in the Binyamin region of the West Bank within the hour Friday afternoon.
In the first incident, a Palestinian knife attacker stabbed an Israeli in the village of A'abud, in the Binyamin region of the West Bank.
The Israeli, 20, was injured in the incident, receiving wounds to the upper body. The victim is in moderate-to-severe condition, according to MDA.
The victim was treated at the scene by MDA paramedics and evacuated to Sheba Medical Center, near Tel Aviv.
The attacker, identified as Abed al-Rahman al-Barghouthi, 27, was shot and killed following the incident, according to Palestinian news agency Ma'an.
In the second incident, two IDF soldiers were lightly injured by a vehicle ramming attack near Ofra in the West Bank on Friday afternoon. Soldiers on the scene shot and killed the Palestinian driver who carried out the attack.
The incidents come less than 24 hours after an IDF soldier and an Israeli civilian were wounded in a terrorist shooting attack at the Hizma checkpoint outside the Jerusalem neighborhood of Pisgat Ze'ev.
Knife-wielding Palestinian woman arrested in Hebron
An 18-year-old Palestinian woman was arrested on Saturday afternoon in the West Bank city of Hebron after pulling out a knife in a suspected attempt to carry out a stabbing attack.
Members of the Israel Police and Border Police stationed at the entrance to the Tomb of the Patriarchs in the city were carrying out a routine security check when one of them noticed that the woman was gripping a knife in her hand. The officers drew their weapons, disarmed and arrested the woman. She was taken away for questioning.
The suspected stabbing attempt was the latest in a series of Palestinian attacks on Israeli targets that have claimed more than 20 lives and wounded hundreds of others in recent months.
On Friday, three IDF soldiers were wounded in two separate attacks in the West Bank.
Swedish FM accuses Israel of ‘extrajudicial executions’
Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom on Friday told the Swedish parliament that Israel was conducting extrajudicial executions of Palestinian stabbers, Hebrew language paper Haaretz reported.
Three MPs challenged the foreign minister with the claim that the government is biased toward the Palestinians and against Israel.
Wallstrom, in response, condemned stabbing attacks by Palestinians against Israelis but added that Israel’s response was “disproportionate,” Haaretz reported. She cited as ostensible proof the higher number of Palestinian than Israeli casualties.
Israel’s response involved “extrajudicial executions,” she was quoted saying, and was “disproportionate, so the number of dead on the other side is greater than the original death toll by several factors.” (h/t Yenta Press)
Israel slams Swedish FM’s ‘delusional’ extrajudicial executions claim
Israel has responded furiously to claims by Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom that it is carrying out extrajudicial executions of Palestinian attackers, calling her comments “delusional.”
“It’s an outrageous statement. Delusional, impudent and detached from reality,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement, Haaretz reported late Friday night. “The foreign minister of Sweden is proposing that Israeli citizens present their necks to the very murderers who want to stick their knives in.”
Wallstrom on Friday told the Swedish parliament that Israel was conducting extrajudicial executions of Palestinian stabbers, Haaretz said.
Israel’s Foreign Ministry stressed that its citizens and security forces have the right to defend themselves against terrorism, and said its legal system guaranteed a fair judicial process for everyone.
“In Israel, every criminal is brought to court, including terrorists,” the Foreign Ministry said. “Israeli citizens are dealing with terrorism, which gets a boost from such irresponsible and mendacious statements.”
The Foreign Ministry in Stockholm issued a clarification of Wallstrom’s remarks, arguing that they had been misinterpreted.
Islamic State: Our ‘supporters’ carried out San Bernardino shooting
Islamic State’s official radio station Al-Bayan aired a statement Saturday saying the December 2 mass shooting in California was carried out by two of its “supporters.”
While praising the attack, the group stopped short of claiming responsibility for it. Saturday’s claim echoes one carried Friday by the IS-affiliated Aamaq news agency.
Tashfeen Malik, 27, and her 29-year-old husband Syed Farook, killed 14 people at a social services center in San Bernardino on Wednesday before they were gunned down in an SUV a few miles away in a shootout with police.
The radio report did not refer to Farook and Malik as actual Islamic State members. Terrorists affiliated with IS who carry out attacks are commonly referred to in the group’s propaganda as “lions,” ”fighters” or “mujahedeen.”
A Facebook executive confirmed Friday that Malik had praised Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in a post on the social media site just minutes into the attack. Investigators had earlier revealed Malik pledged allegiance to IS and al-Baghdadi in the post.
Catholic San Bernardino Victim Fled Islamic Extremism in Iran
One of the victims of the San Bernardino massacre was an Iranian Roman Catholic who had fled Iran in 1987 to “escape Islamic extremism and the persecution of Christians that followed the Iranian Revolution,” according to a statement released by her family.
Bennetta Betbadal, 46, was among 14 people killed on Wednesday at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino by terrorists Syed Farook and his wife. The San Bernardino Sun reported that Betbadal (third from left, above) left Iran at the age of 18, first living in New York City and then relocating to California, where she married her husband, Arlen Verdehyou, in 1997. Verdehyou served as a police officer at Riverside Community College.
The couple moved to Rialto; at her death Betbadal left behind a daughter, 15, and two sons, 12 and 10.
Betbadal obtained a degree in chemistry from Cal Poly Pomona and also had a bachelor of science degree in biotechnology, later joining the San Bernardino County Health Department in 2006 as an inspector.
Germany 'draws up plans to prevent sharing intelligence' with Nato ally Turkey
Germany has reportedly drawn up plans to prevent sharing intelligence with its NATO ally Turkey as it prepares to support international air strikes against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil).
German Tornado aircraft are to commence reconnaissance flights over Syria and Iraq after the country’s parliament on Friday voted to deploy up to 1,200 military personnel.
Highly unsual measures have been ordered to prevent Turkey getting access to intelligence from the flights, according to Spiegel magazine.
The aircaft are expected to operate from Incirlik airbase in southern Turkey, and as Nato allies, the two countries would normally expect to share intelligence.
But German commanders are concerned Turkey may use surveillance information from the flights to direct attacks against Kurdish forces allied to the West.
Russia sends its most advanced tanks to Syria frontline
Russia is deploying its most advanced battlefield tanks in Syria, in the latest sign that the Kremlin is being forced to escalate its intervention from an air to a ground war.
A report by the Iranian Fars news agency, supported by photographs circulating on social media this week, suggest that newly delivered T-90 tanks have been sent to support the Syrian regime’s advance south of Aleppo.
Two months after Moscow intervened militarily to shore up a Syrian regime that was crumbling under the pressures of war, the deployment of T90s seems intended to combat a flood of anti-tank missiles with which rebel forces have been able to destroy less capable tanks.
Experts say the Russian intervention is prolonging a conflict that has already claimed the lives of more than a quarter of a million Syrians, causing millions to flee abroad as world world powers pile in to join an escalating civil war.
The T-90 tanks are swaddled in explosive armour, causing most weapons used against them to detonate on impact. Pro-regime media have said that they will be manned by hastily trained Syrian operators, though experts have questioned that claim due to the high value nature of the tanks.
Iraqi president says Turkish deployment inside Iraq violates international law
Iraqi President Fouad Massoum on Saturday called the deployment of several hundred Turkish troops inside Iraq near the northern city of Mosul "a violation of international norms and law".
But Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said the troop rotation was routine and the camp had originally been set up in coordination with Iraqi authorities.
A Turkish security source said on Friday the forces would provide training for Iraqi troops near Mosul, which is controlled by Islamic State.
Iraq's prime minister and foreign ministry have called for Turkey to withdraw its forces.
In an online statement, Massoum also called on Turkey to withdraw the troops and asked Iraq's Foreign Ministry to take the necessary measures "to preserve the country's sovereignty and independence".
Ya’alon: US is ceding leadership in Mideast to Russia, Iran
Israel’s Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon called upon the US to play a more influential role in combatting the Islamic State terror group and in the Middle East in general, and warned of increased Russian and Iranian influence in the region, during a Friday evening address at the Brooking Institution’s Saban Forum.
Speaking before an audience that included former peace negotiators Martin Indyk, Dennis Ross and David Makovsky, as well as a number of members of Congress, Ya’alon described the security ties between the US and Israel as “superb,” even stressing US President Barack Obama’s efforts to speed up the renewal of a key defense agreement between Jerusalem and Washington.
Ya’alon, who has occasionally touched nerves in Washington with his strident criticism of Secretary of State John Kerry, trod relatively carefully when asked if Obama was acting correctly in response to IS and the Syrian civil war.
“This is a global challenge [and] I believe the United States should be the leader of the Western world in order to meet this challenge,” Ya’alon said.
In Washington, Ya'alon says Iran deal still the focus of Israel's concerns
After a productive, if mellow, meeting between US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last month largely avoided a reiteration of the debate over Iran’s nuclear program, a visit by Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon this week has occasioned the resurfacing of the issue.
In Washington for a series of meetings, Ya’alon on Wednesday noted the new set of challenges facing Israel now that the nuclear deal brokered last July is proceeding toward implementation.
“We are very worried about Iran’s presence in Syria,” Ya’alon said. “Iran’s Quds Force is currently the only source actively working in Syria to attack us, trying to smuggle weapons and run messengers.”
“The Iranian regime is perceived as one of the key sources of stability for the Middle East, but we would argue that it is the heart of the problem,” he continued. “ This regime generates terrorism and undermines many of the regimes in the Middle East, and this is not good news for the region, not only for Israel. The Iranian terror network is active across the world, including in the US.”
Iran detains poet over film knocking regime’s treatment of women
Iranian authorities have detained poet and songwriter Yaghma Golrouee because of a new video condemning Tehran’s treatment of women, according to media reports.
The Wednesday report by said Golrouee was detained on Monday. It said the reason for the detention is not clear. The Telegraph reported, however, that intelligence officers from the Revolutionary Guards arrested him because of his video on Iranian women’s struggle for equal rights and how they’re “happy and alive, despite being jailed.”
“The security agents came and searched all over our home and then arrested Yaghma Golrouee and took him away without telling us where they were taking him,” announced a message posted on his Instagram account by his wife. “We have not had any news about him since and are extremely worried about his health and safety.”
The music video of Golrouee’s song, “Shere Rahai” — Song of Freedom — shows an assemblage of images of Iranian women and repeats the refrain “We are covered in blood but we know that at the end of the story, We’re free,” according to an online translation.
British royals ‘won’t visit Israel till conflict solved’
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently invited Britain’s Prince Charles to make an official visit to Israel, the Telegraph reported Saturday, but such a visit is unlikely as long as the Palestinian-Israeli conflict remains unresolved.
The invitation was extended when the two met briefly on the sidelines of a climate change conference in Paris last week.
“Until there is a settlement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, the Royal family can’t really go there,” a British government source told the newspaper. “In Israel so much politics is caught up in the land itself that it’s best to avoid those complications altogether by not going there.”
Official visits by royals to foreign countries are sanctioned by the government. Despite numerous invitations over the years, no government has approved such a visit since the end of the British mandate and the establishment of Israel in 1948.
Royals have in fact visited Israel in the past, the paper reported, but such trips were termed personal visits, and the UK government was quick to stress they did not in any way represent the state.
Austrian minister cancels Israel visit over East Jerusalem meet
Austrian Vice Chancellor Reinhold Mitterlehner canceled an upcoming visit to Israel because Science, Technology and Space Minister Ofir Akunis insisted on hosting him at the ministry’s office in East Jerusalem.
Mitterlehner, who also serves as Austria’s science minister, was set to sign two memoranda of understanding on scientific cooperation between Israel and Austria with Akunis during the four-day trip. He was set to arrive Sunday and meet with Akunis as well as Energy Minister Silvan Shalom, and visit the Weizmann Institute and Yad Vashem.
The cancelation of the meeting on such short notice was initially attributed to scheduling conflicts, but it later emerged that Austria objected to the meeting taking place over the pre-1967 Green Line.
The Likud minister’s office is situated in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem, in a complex housing a number of government offices.
The Austrian Embassy in Israel told The Times of Israel on Friday that Austrian ministers “never go to meetings that are outside the 1967 borders.”
NGO Monitor: EU Funding to Political NGOs- Commission Discharge for 2014
Ahead of the 2014 Commission Discharge, we encourage members of the EP CONT committee, including rapporteurs and shadow rapporteurs, to consider the following findings, relevant to the year 2014.
The European Commission allocates sizable amounts annually to NGOs, ostensibly in order to support bolster EU values and policy. This includes aid to humanitarian, civil society, and advocacy organizations. The money is allocated through a variety of mechanisms in the Commission.
Despite the stated justifications for such funding, NGO Monitor research shows that, in the context of the Arab-Israeli conflict, EU funds are transferred to organizations and activists that promote agendas that are contrary to EU values and policy. This includes boycotts of Israel (support for BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions), anti-peace campaigning, support for a “one state” framework or the elimination of the Jewish character of Israel, encouraging violence, demonization, and even antisemitic rhetoric and blood libels. EU funding also strengthens the ability of these political advocacy NGOs to influence EU policy, through personal relationships, briefings, and consultations in Brussels and EU satellite offices.
Furthermore, EU funding to NGOs is often secretive and lacks transparency. Crucial information regarding projects and partners, such as evaluation reports and amounts redirected, is withheld from the public’s view and scrutiny.
Useful Idiots: Rockefeller Foundation, American Jewish Liberals Fund BDS
Founded in 1940 by the sons of John D. Rockefeller, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund claims to be a “private, family foundation helping to advance social change that contributes to a more just, sustainable and peaceful world.” This organization which wants “peace” gave $140,000 in June to the Jewish Voice for Peace, an organization that openly endorses BDS and supports a Palestinian “right of return.” They call Palestinian stabbings and shootings “popular resistance” and shared a statement on its Facebook account that praises “a new generation of Palestinians… rising up en-masse against Israel’s brutal, decades-old regime of occupation, settler colonialism and apartheid.”
Melissa Berman, the founding President and CEO of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, Inc., “an innovative nonprofit philanthropy service launched by the Rockefeller family in 2002,” sits on the International Advisory Council of the New Israel Fund, which openly boycotts Israel, and supports the labeling of Israeli products.
Also on the NIF Advisory Council is Kathleen Peratis, a partner at the New York law firm of Outten & Golden LLP who supports BDS. In an op-ed called “If you want two states, support BDS.” Peratis described BDS as a “non-violent tool” and wrote, “[N]ot buying Sodastream or Gush Etzion wine is a start.” Peratis has met with Hamas members, and as The Washington Post described, she recounts her experience with Hamas “as a fun-filled joy fest spent with friends." She quotes one smuggler as saying:?”Please tell your friends that Hamas people are ordinary people. We are not barbarians.”
These "useful idiots" for the Palestinian cause are joined on the International Advisory Council of NIF by the President of Hebrew Union College, Rabbi Aaron Panken, the largest Reform college in the United States, and the Senior Rabbi of Temple Israel of White Plains, one of America’s pre-eminent conservative synagogues.
Divest This: Academic Boycott Blues
Recent anti-Israel votes by academic associations (notably ones devoted to anthropology and women’s studies) were shocking, but not surprising.
Shock derives from the fact that academic boycotts have always been the most loathed of all boycott, divestment and sanctions activities, given how they collide with and threaten the very academic freedom upon which every scholar (and modern scholarship itself) relies.
But BDS is also an opportunistic virus. And just as we who fight it had to deal with a spate of boycott campaigns at food cooperatives before that community immunized itself from the BDS threat, recent pro-boycott votes by some US-based academic associations last year (notably the American Studies Association – ASA) – meant the BDSers had found a new host to infect.
Academic associations are particularly vulnerable to tactics favored by the Israel haters. For example, the vast bulk of the members of most such groups are focused on teaching and scholarship, rather than leading or managing an organization with which they might interact only once every few years. Within such a community, members who are political activists first, scholars and teachers second, can easily move into positions of leadership in order to drive their agenda. And the blast shield of tenure means their irresponsibility will only impact people who are not them.
At Park Slope Food Coop, BDS Fight Metastasizes
It’s back.
Or maybe BDS never left the Park Slope Food Coop, the member-run Brooklyn grocery store that in 2012 debated whether or not to join the BDS movement.
The membership voted not to pursue the possibility, and for a few years, BDS consisted mainly of letters in the Coop newspaper — albeit in such volume that they required their own special section.
But these days, activism around the issue has burst the confines of the straightforward product boycott to permeate unrelated aspects of the 42-year-old institution.
The Coop in Park Slope is one of the largest of its kind in the U.S. This reporter is one of 16,500-plus members who work for about three hours every 28 days, stocking shelves or answering phones or taking inventory, for the right to buy its groceries, often organic and heavily discounted. The Coop’s policies and practices are influential; its liberal excesses sometimes laughable. The 2012 BDS brouhaha was so acrimonious and self-serious that it merited a satirical pseudo-news story on “The Daily Show.”
Cambridge Horse Scholar Tells Eight-Year-Old American ‘I’ll Reply When Leo Has His Oscar’ (satire)
After refusing to answer questions from a 13-year-old Israeli student “until there is justice for Palestinians,” British horse expert Marsha Levine told an eight-year-old American boy she would not respond to him “until there’s justice for Leo [DiCaprio].”
“You might be a child, but if you’re old enough to write to me then you should stop worrying about f__king horses and think about why your country has again and again refused to give the greatest actor of our generation the Oscar he deserves,” Levine wrote in response to a question on the dietary habits of ancient horses. “To me, you and those Nazis at the Academy are one and the same.”
Levine first made headlines last month when she responded to an e-mail from a 13-year-old Israeli girl by calling Israeli Jews “monsters” and “Nazis” and saying she “didn’t want to further her ego.” Levine’s response to the eight-year-old American, however, was even harsher. Levine called the boy a “snot-nosed little prick too obsessed with horses to see the role he’s playing in trampling on Leonardo.”
CBC Ombud Upholds HRC Complaint: Interview with Anti-Israel NGO Not Adherrent to CBC Standards
Yesterday, CBC Ombudsman Esther Enkin released a review entitled “Breaking the Silence: A controversial report and the question of balance” which found that a May 4 CBC As It Happens interview with a representative from anti-Israel NGO Breaking the Silence, was not adherent to CBC’s Journalistic Standards and Practices.
Ms. Enkin wrote: “The Executive Director of Honest Reporting Canada wrote to complain about an interview with one of the founders of the Israeli organization Breaking the Silence. He was talking about soldiers’ testimony about their conduct in the 2014 Gaza conflict. CBC policy calls for balance over time. When the subject is highly contentious, it’s better to make that a short time.”
The true colours of a BBC quoted Hamas spokesman
Salah Bardawil is a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council as well as a senior Hamas official. Frequently acting as a spokesman for the terror group, he has been extensively quoted over the years by the Western media – including the BBC.
Bardawil recently appeared on Hamas’ Al Aqsa TV channel and sections of the interview have been translated by MEMRI.
"Senior Hamas Official Al-Bardawil: Jews Kill Palestinian Children in Order to Knead Their Blood into Passover Bread"

Not only is it remarkable that the BBC consistently refrains from telling its audiences about the not infrequent appearance of antisemitic content such as this on Hamas’ TV station, but it will also be worth remembering Bardawil’s words the next time the BBC bases news brought to its audiences on quotes from that particular “Hamas leader“.
Israeli Start-Up Develops Juice-Flavored Water Cups
An Israeli start-up company called The Right Cup has developed a fruit-scented cup that tricks the brain into thinking it is drinking juice instead of plain water.
The company said it has been able to take fruit flavors, which beverage companies use in their drinks, and safely insert them directly into the cup instead of the drink.
“Our unique design positions your nose right over the opening, so your nose fully picks up the fruit aroma while your tongue flirts with a hint of sweet taste,” a company promotion said.
The Right Cup recently launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo that sought to raise $50,000. But as of Dec. 2, the campaign has raised nearly $109,000.
Isaac Lavi, co-founder and CEO of The Right Cup, said he was inspired to create the product after being diagnosed with diabetes at age 30.
“My doctors advised me to stay away from sugary beverages and to drink only plain water. This was very hard because I hated the taste, or actually the lack of taste,” Lavi told Mashable.
New high-tech collar tracks the health of your pets
It’s not just humans who are benefiting from Israel’s numerous innovative healthcare solutions, pets are part of the picture, too.
PetPace, provider of a new IoT pet collar for remote real-time monitoring and analysis of vital signs and activity, says its product can give four-legged friends improved health and quality of life.
“Pets don’t tell us when they’re sick or they’re in pain. Their survival instinct is to hide their sickness or pain because in nature an animal that shows weakness becomes prey. So, they maintain that instinct and don’t tell us when they’re in pain,” Dr. Asaf Dagan, chief veterinary scientist at PetPace, tells ISRAEL21c.
The PetPace collar uses non-invasive sensors to monitor data including temperature, pulse, respiration, activity levels, positions and calories throughout the day. If the collar detects any abnormalities, an alert is sent in real-time to owners and veterinarians.
Japan turns to Israeli tech to treat radiation disease
Four years after Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant disaster, the country is still not out of the woods, with the risk of mass radiation poisoning a continued risk. That is why the Fukushima Medical University’s Global Medical Science Center has signed a deal with Israel’s Pluristem Therapeutics to further develop the company’s PLX-R18 cells to treat acute radiation syndrome (ARS).
Under the deal, PLX-R18 cells will be studied primarily as a potential treatment for radiation-induced damage to the skin, lungs and gastrointestinal tract. The parties intend to develop pre-clinical models of radiation damage in these tissues, and then use them in trials; Pluristem will contribute PLX-R18 cells and scientific knowledge, while Fukushima Medical University will conduct the studies and provide the required resources.
Although out of the news, the Fukushima plant continues to pose major health risks. Four and a half years after the explosion and subsequent meltdown at the plant damaged in the earthquake and tsunami that hit northern Japan in March 2011, radiation continues to spread, both in Japan and abroad.
‘Good Morning, Vietnam’ for Netanyahu? PM Invited to Visit Asian Nation
During a meeting at the Knesset in Jerusalem on Wednesday, Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Hoàng Trung Hải invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to make an official visit to the southeast Asian nation, while Netanyahu invited Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyễn Tấn Dũng to visit the Jewish state.
At Wednesday’s meeting, the Israeli and Vietnamese foreign ministries signed a memorandum of understanding on diplomatic and political dialogue.
“I welcome this formal expansion of our dialogue,” Netanyahu said. “Our trade is already robust both ways, which I think is the healthiest. I think there are many opportunities between Vietnam and Israel in so many fields, in almost every field. And we look forward to doing this and we believe our countries can seize the future individually, but better together.”
Netanyahu proposed Israeli-Vietnamese collaboration in areas including R&D, water, biotechnology, and agriculture.
When the British captured the Holy Land
In the wee hours of December 9, 1917, two British army cooks from the 60th London Division left their Jerusalem base in search of fresh eggs. Less than six weeks had passed since Commonwealth troops had breached the Turkish lines in Israel for the first time and conquered Beersheba; earlier that very morning the British had captured Jerusalem from the Turks, as well.
Now, as the cooks walked through a deserted field, they were accosted by a number of residents anxious to surrender the city. Among them were four policemen, several youths, the Jerusalem mayor and a photographer from the American Colony.
According to one version of this historic event, two British army sergeants suddenly appeared and shouted at the entourage to halt. The Jerusalemites lifted up their arms, in which they were holding a white sheet that had been hastily torn off one of the beds at the American Colony’s hospital. The sheet, attached to a broom-handle, was the Jerusalemites’ makeshift flag of truce.
A decorative monument marks the spot at which Jerusalem was officially handed over to the British. It stands in the center of Allenby Square, part of the Romema neighborhood that grew up around this memorable site after World War I.
A number of historic sites related to Britain’s conquest of Israel are located in the Negev – where it all began, and others, including the memorial in Allenby Square, are in Jerusalem. Here are just a few, with the stories behind them:
JPost Editorial: Digging for ties
The City of David area is probably the most excavated site in Israel and yet after 150 years of digging the surprises keep coming. This week The Hebrew University of Jerusalem announced the discovery of yet more proof of the Jewish people’s unique and ancient ties to Jerusalem – a nearly 3,000-year-old seal that belonged to the biblical King Hezekiah.
The find also provides evidence that the Bible is not solely a religious document, but also contains scientifically verifiable historical fact, in this case, proof of the existence of a Jewish king named Hezekiah who ruled in Jerusalem three millennia ago.
“This is the first time that a seal impression of an Israelite or Judean king has ever come to light in a scientific archeological excavation,” said Dr. Eilat Mazar, who is directing the excavations for the Hebrew University.
The seal bearing the inscription “Belonging to Hezekiah [son of] Ahaz king of Judah,” is thought to date to 727-698 BCE. It was found inside what is believed to be a refuse dump that probably originated in the royal building that stood next to it.
This building was constructed in the second half of the 10th century BCE, the time of King Solomon, as part of the fortifications of the Ophel – the governmental quarter built in the area that connects the City of David with the Temple Mount.

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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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