Monday, January 11, 2016

From Ian:

Why Sanctions Are Pointless: Or, How Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs and Coca-Cola Broke the Arab Boycott
Everyone loves sanctions. But privileged Russians still enjoy imported French cheeses, and Iran’s Republican Guard is profiting handsomely from running a black market in sanction-busting imports. Even BDS may not be the dire threat that both its fevered proponents and its enemies like to imagine. Why? Because the truth is that sanctions are not really that hard to evade, and boycotts are not that hard to break. I know, because I helped to break the Arab boycott of Israel with the reluctant leverage of the Coca-Cola Corp. and the enthusiastic support of Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs.
I was trained as an economist, and in 1964 the government of Israel asked me to take a leave from the daily Maariv, then Israel’s largest-circulation newspaper, to serve at our consulate in New York City on finding ways around the refusal of any Arab country to trade with our new nation. It had been almost a quarter of a century since I had enjoyed “The pause that refreshes” while visiting Beirut with my parents, so a thirst for Coca-Cola was hardly a habit with me or my countrymen. We all lived on short rations. Supplies of imported food and other essentials were limited during the struggle to build our nation, defend ourselves, and absorb millions of immigrants. When Coke first applied to open a bottling plant only a year after we gained our independence in 1948, it was refused as an unnecessary luxury.
But our soft drink companies yearned for a local franchise to bottle and sell Coca-Cola. This was regarded worldwide as a license to print money and usually ended up in the hands of someone with a great deal of political pull—in Hebrew protexia, or in the vernacular “Vitamin P.” Thus I became aware of the taste for Coca-Cola only after I arrived in arrived in New York to join the Israeli Economic Mission with the rank of consul.
Our mission was to convince American businessmen to ignore the Arab threat to seal off their much larger market from any company that did business with us. We also tried to drum up foreign investment in Israel, another move that would trigger the boycott. We asked Jewish-American importers to pressure their foreign suppliers to sell to Israel by warning that they would offend their customers if they refused to do business with Israel.
Douglas Murray: Germany Just Can't Get It Right
The late Robert Conquest once laid out a set of three political rules, the last of which read, "The simplest way to explain the behavior of any bureaucratic organization is to assume that it is controlled by a cabal of its enemies." This rule comes in handy when trying to understand the otherwise clearly insane and suicidal policies of Chancellor Merkel's government in Germany. These policies only make sense if the German government has in fact been taken over by a cabal of people intent not on holding Germany together but on pulling it entirely apart. Consider the evidence.
There can be few other explanations for why Chancellor Merkel's government last year let in more than one million people (about 1.5% of the current German population) without having any idea of who they were, where they came from or what they think. No democratic leader could possibly push through such a startling measure. How else can you explain why a country that in the 20th century had such a gigantic anti-Semitism problem, would import so many people from those areas of the world which, in the 21st century, now have the same gigantic anti-Semitism problem?
A document that was leaked late last year from the German intelligence service warned that the country is "importing Islamic extremism, Arab anti-Semitism, national and ethnic conflicts of other peoples..." How to explain a government and security service policy which allowed this to happen? Or a Chancellor who, when asked a very lightly critical question about all of this by a concerned German citizen, responded with a long disquisition that failed to answer even one part of the pertinent point?
More up-to-date, it is worth considering events since New Year's Eve. As the world now knows, that was when around 100 women were subjected to rape, harassment and sexual molestation by a huge crowd of migrants in the centre of the city of Cologne. It has now emerged that the first response of the Cologne police to this major incident was to hold back information about the identity of the attackers. Whether the police thought they could get away with that or not, this lie has now poured fuel onto the flames of public anger by demonstrating that the police, like the government and much of the media, are intent on misinforming the public about what is going on in their country, rather than keeping them truthfully briefed about it.
David Collier: When human rights no longer matter to NGO’s
As soon as the program was broadcast, the backlash started. On the programme itself, Illana Dayan, the shows anchor, had invited Gideon Levy, a frequent commentator on human rights to respond, and rather surprisingly, Levy’s main concern seemed to be that the show had been broadcast at all. Levy has since written an article in Haaretz saying that the show ‘should be ashamed of the report it aired which depicted human rights activists as dangerous, while ignoring the occupation.’ Rather incredibly, Levy begins to suggest the entire piece is taken out of context and ending in rather dramatic and ironic fashion, he suggests that by highlighting these actions to the world, the show has done a disservice. Here is Gideon Levy publicly claiming that some people assisting human rights abuses should not be put on TV.
And Gideon Levy is far from alone. 972 Magazine, an online outlet that spends its entire existence knocking Israel and talking up human rights, suddenly becomes blind to actions that clearly contravene the UN’S Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Today (10/1) they ran a piece by Haggai Matar, attacking those who publicised the actions of the activists. Suddenly, when analysing the words of a man who seemed to be rejoicing at the violent fate that would befall the land seller, there is a ‘but’ and an ‘however’. Incredibly, the criticism is reserved for the source of the recording, rather than the men who conspired to perhaps have someone killed. It seems that for these left wing ‘moralist thinkers’ that when it comes to human rights, some people’s rights are more important than others.
These are not the only two examples. Ever since the broadcast, the show has been attacked endlessly from sources desperate to protect the image of the NGO’s, movements that propose their very raison d’être is to protect human rights. But it isn’t just those making noise that we should focus on, it is those remaining quiet. Groups who describe themselves as being on the far left of the political spectrum, those that frequently hide behind or use the material provided by these NGO’s have temporarily stopped posting and tweeting. They have nothing to say. Media outlets like the Guardian and Independent, who would have been banging down the doors if the situation was reversed, are ducking under cover until the furore dies down. They do not want to attack ‘their own’.
We have always known this hypocrisy existed. We are well aware that these groups, these media outlets, these individuals, work in unison and are driven by personal bias and hatred towards Israel rather than a true sympathy for the Palestinians. It would have been nice to see one, just one, stand up and give the unequivocal condemnation they always demand of others. Instead we are left with those attacking the messenger, weak attempts at diverting focus and an entire part of the political spectrum simply disappearing for a while. No, this is not a surprise, but it is solid evidence that the hatred we see directed towards Israel every day, is simply that, blind hatred. Hatred that emanates from a bunch of very vocal but equally morally deficient hypocrites. It is worth remembering that next time you see one of their reports.



Far-left activist at center of storm arrested trying to leave country
A key figure from a left-wing Israeli group was arrested at Ben-Gurion airport on Monday as he tried to leave the country, days after being filmed in a television investigation that has rocked the country’s halls of power.
Ezra Nawi, a Jewish far-left activist from the Ta’ayush group, was reportedly suspected of conspiracy to commit a crime.
Nawi, a prominent campaigner for Palestinian rights, featured in a television investigation last week in which he was recorded saying that he helps Palestinian authorities find and kill Palestinians who sell land to Jews.
Channel 2 reported Monday that during the afternoon police who were watching the suspect followed him to the airport. Although at first officers assumed he was going to meet incoming travelers, it soon became clear he was trying to leave the country as he tried to check in for a flight.
Police arrested Nawi and took him away for questioning.
JUST DO IT!
The EU doesn’t have the undemocratic “excuse” that the UN has. EU members are all democracies. Yet, the EU also spends an inordinate amount of time castigating Israel and treating it uniquely. The EU’s latest campaign is the labeling program aimed solely at Israeli products manufactured beyond the 1949 Armistice Lines, with no similar labeling requirements against other countries who are involved in territorial disputes. Here are just a few of the nearly 200 territorial disputes today: Crimea (Ukraine v Russia, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (Republic of Cyprus v Turkey), Ceuta and Melilla (Morocco v Spain), Falklands (Argentina v UK), and Gibraltar (Spain v UK).
Why are products from these and scores of other places involved in territorial disputes not similarly labeled? But then, what can you expect from the continent that brought us the Holocaust? If you ask me, it’s just anti-Semitism. If you don’t accept that, you may just chalk it up to anti-Zionism. And if you deny even that, you are not paying attention to current events.
Let’s not forget the NGOs (non-governmental organizations) which specialize in bashing Israel. According to the Jerusalem-based research institute NGO Monitor, foreign governments donated about $27 million to 24 nongovernmental organizations involved in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict between 2012 and 2014. The EU and Norway were the largest donors, contributing nearly $8 million, about one third of the total. Among the worst NGOs complying with the financial disclosure directives were B’Tselem, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, Yesh Din — Volunteers for Human Rights, MachsomWatch — Women against the Occupation and for Human Rights, the Adalah Legal Center, Breaking the Silence, Rabbis for Human Rights, and Physicians for Human Rights — Israel, and J Street. Some of these are supported by billionaire George Soros and the New Israel Fund, which purports to be a pro-Israel charity but funds many organizations which boycott Israel.
Equally damaging to Israel, because of their universal name recognition, are NGOs such as Human Rights Watch, Doctors Without Borders, Amnesty International, Christian Aid, Save the Children and too many more.
JCPA: Haj Amin al-Husseini, the Nazis and the Holocaust: The Origins, Nature and Aftereffects of Collaboration
In the fall of 2015, when the Palestinian Authority claimed that the State of Israel posed threats to the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, public attention in Israel turned again to Haj Amin al-Husseini, the former Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, a collaborator with Nazi Germany and the leader of Palestinian nationalism before and immediately after World War II. Some historians and, briefly, Israel’s Prime Minister also attributed to Husseini a significant decision-making role in the Holocaust in Europe. The following essay draws on scholarship on Holocaust decision-making in order to demonstrate that Husseini did not have an impact on Hitler’s decisions to murder the Jews of Europe. Rather his historical importance may be found in the texts of his speeches and essays of the 1930s and 1940s. They offer abundant evidence of his impact on Nazi Germany’s Arabic language propaganda aimed at North Africa and the Middle East during World War II and the Holocaust. Before, during and after his presence in Berlin from 1941 to 1945, Husseini played a central role in shaping the political tradition of Islamism by offering an interpretation of the religion of Islam as intrinsically anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist and in connecting that version to the anti-Semitic conspiracy theories of modern European history.
JCPA: The Failures of the International Community in the Middle East since the Sykes-Picot Agreement, 1916-2016
This study is a recap of historical facts and aims to sheds new light on the many failures of the Sykes-Picot agreement and implementation during the past century. Along with the comments and observations, it is a reminder to avoid naiveté and mistakes of the past. Jerusalem Center experts also explain the reasons for the failure of Western countries in achieving sustainable peace.
A century after the Sykes-Picot Agreement signed in 1916 between France and Britain, the Middle-East remains a political powder keg and the location of successive armed conflicts. The boundaries drawn just a century ago by Western powers are evaporating. Suddenly, the whole character of the region is changing beyond all recognition.
After the signing of the Sykes-Picot Agreement in 1916 and the division of the Middle East between Britain and France, this region was marked by a series of treaties and international conferences, often contradictory and rarely strictly observed and respected. The rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union, the control of natural resources, gas and oil, the arms race, arms supplies and freedom of navigation in the Suez Canal, prompted a power battle, and this area became the region for all confrontations.
US Condemns Adding Legally Purchased 10 Acre Compound to Gush Etzion
State Dept. Spokesman John Kirby on Friday told a press conference in DC that the Administration is “deeply concerned about the [Israeli] Minister of Defense’s decision to expand the existing settlement boundary of the Gush Etzion Regional Council to include a former church compound, which effectively creates a new settlement on 10 acres in the West Bank.” Kirby noted that “some 70 percent of the West Bank’s Area C has already been unilaterally designated as Israeli state land, or within the boundaries of these regional settlement councils.”
The Oslo II Accord divided Judea and Samaria into three administrative divisions: the Areas A, B and C. The distinct areas were given a different status, according to the amount of self-government the local Arabs would have over it through the Palestinian Authority, until a final status accord would be established. Areas A and B were chosen in such a way as to contain only Arabs. Areas surrounding Areas A and B were defined as Area C. Fewer than 100,000 Arabs lived in Area C (PA sources inflate this number to 300,000 Arabs in Area C), in 532 residential locations. An estimated 420,000 Jews live in Area C in 235 Israeli towns, villages and outposts.
The compound in question includes 8 buildings at a strategic location on Route 60, connecting Hebron and Jerusalem, facing the al-Arroub refugee camp. The compound was built in the 1940s by an American missionary and served as a hospital for tuberculosis patients and later as a hostel for pilgrims, until the Presbyterian Church that owned it had run into financial difficulties and was forced to sell it.
The area in question is a church compound named Beit Beracha (Beit al Baraka), purchase by an American association supported by Jewish millionaire Irving Moskowitz, the benefactor of many Jewish settlement endeavors in eastern Jerusalem. According to Ha’aretz, the purchase was done through a pro-Israeli Norwegian Christian woman, who founded a front company in Sweden that presented itself as a religious entity looking to purchase the American church. The sale was made in 2010, then in 2012 the Swedish company was liquidated and the property was picked up by the Moskowitz association.
Agricultural Minister Uri Ariel calls for annexation of West Bank’s Area C
Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel called on the government to annex Area C of the West Bank during a tour of Judea and Samaria led by the Knesset Land for Israel Caucus.
As he spoke the Bayit Yehudi member stood on the hilltop of a controversial unbuilt area of the Ma’aleh Adumim settlement known as E1.
Ariel has long been a vocal proponent of building in E1 and of unilaterally extending Israeli law to include Area C where all the settlements are located. Areas A and B of the West Bank, where the bulk of the Palestinians live, are under the civil control of the Palestinian Authority.
“We should tell the prime minister, the government and the Knesset that the time has come to annex Area C,” Ariel said.
“If someone asks about Areas A and B, than their time will come. When, we will see. For now, lets agree on Area C. There is more than 60% of the [West Bank] territory, with 50,000 Arabs. They do not pose a problem to the state of Israel,” he said.
Land of Israel Caucus head: EU funding of illegal Palestinian building must be stopped
The European Union must stop funding illegal Palestinian building in the West Bank, Likud MK Yoav Kisch said on Sunday during a tour of Judea and Samaria sponsored by the Knesset’s Land of Israel Caucus.
“A war is being waged over Area C,” Kisch said.
He spoke after politicians, led by the non-governmental group Regavim, had visited a number of areas where the EU has funded one room modular homes for Palestinian Beduin around the Ma’aleh Adumim area.
Politicians could see that on each structure the EU had placed a sign with a logo, so it was clear that they had supported the new housing.
Regavim, which monitors illegal Palestinian building, showed the politicians maps to explain how the construction was strategically placed to help the PA increase its hold over Area C.
The group estimates that between 2012 and 2014 some 400 modular structures were built in Area C with the EU’s help.
UN Library’s most popular book worries Twitter
The first weeks of 2016 is a perfect time to look back at in 2015. So naturally, the Dag Hammarskjöld Library at the United Nations headquarters in New York wanted to see which book was most checked out last year.
The result is not very encouraging.
The most popular book lent out by the library in 2015 was one titled, “Immunity of Heads of State and State Officials for International Crimes.”
When the UN library announced this finding on Twitter, it was seemingly without any trace of irony, let alone concern. “What was our most popular book of 2015? Find it in our library catalogue!” it posted next to a photo of the tome’s cover.
Pretend to be Christians: ISIS urges UK jihadis to cut beards, shun mosques & wear crosses
It says: “Your beard should be shaved off at least two weeks before your travel so the skin under your beard can be exposed to the sun.
"If you don’t do that the fact that you removed your beard would be too easy to notice.
“If you can get a haircut in a professional hairdresser, try to do so.”
Eager jihadis are also instructed to avoid traditional Muslim greetings.
They are told: “No need to be using too much of the usual sentences that religious brothers use, like ‘salam alaykum’, ‘barakallah feek’ or ‘jazakallah khayr’ and so on.
And tips on where to plot a terror act are also given.
The author says: “A nightclub, because of the loud music, the drunk people and the crowd, could actually be a good location to secretly discuss the details of an operation.”
The booklet also highlights where to stash fake passports and even mocks the UK’s treatment of those with false identities.
Kissinger on ISIS: Nobody Was Confused on How to Deal with Hitler in WWII
Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger told Sky News that there was no question in anyone's mind on how to deal with Adolf Hitler during World War II and so it should be with ISIS.
"During the Second World War, nobody said, "What is the solution for dealing with Hitler?" Kissinger said. "And this is an organization that has engaged in mass murder on television in the killing of prisoners. So I do not think that the Islamic State as it exists is a group with which we can negotiate."
Speaking further on the matter, Kissinger said:
I don't see any possibility of meaningful negotiation with the Islamic State. I think the Islamic State in its present form has a caliphate to dominate the region and indeed any area where Muslims are living that's incompatible with the international order as we see it. But I can conceive and expect a negotiation taking place between many of the parties in the region to try to create an international order there, minus the Islamic State, that will be more compatible with peace than we've had.
Kissinger added that efforts against ISIS shouldn't fall just on America's shoulders, but, at the very least, should be an "Atlantic effort."
Why Is a Pro-Terrorist Islamic Group Allowed to Operate in the US?
Imagine an organization that is dedicated to replacing national governments with a single caliphate, that preaches an extreme version of Islam, and that actively engages in global outreach in order to bring about this new order (outreach that has led to some members joining jihadist groups in Syria and Iraq or attempting lone wolf attacks at home).
Stop imagining, because it already exists. It is not ISIS, but Hizb ut-Tahrir, the “Party of Liberation,” a transnational Islamist outreach group dedicated to uniting Muslims under an Islamic caliphate. And it’s in your backyard.
Hizb ut-Tahrir has chapters in at least 40 countries, including the United States, where it regularly holds “Khilafa” conferences advocating the creation of an Islamic caliphate. The most recent American events were held in May and June, including one just outside of Washington DC.
While Hizb ut-Tahrir is protected in the US under free speech laws, it has been called a “conveyor belt for terrorism” for indoctrinating apolitical or moderate Muslims toward an extremist interpretation of Islam. Radicalized Hizb ut-Tahrir members have joined militant groups such as the Nusra Front and ISIS.
World Sailing condemn Malaysia’s ‘unacceptable’ behavior
ISA Chairman Amir Gill said that Malaysia had placed unacceptable demands upon the competitors by forbidding the delegates to compete under the Israeli flag, to use any symbol identifiable with Israel on their clothes or surfboards, and would not play the Israeli national anthem should an Israeli win a gold medal.
In response, a member of World Sailing’s Executive Committee traveled to Malaysia to undertake a thorough investigation of the matter with the full cooperation of the International Olympic Committee.
World Sailing vice-president Gary Jobson released a statement last Friday on behalf of the Executive Committee promising changes in order to avoid a repeat of what happened in Malaysia, with sanctions a possibility for countries which do not follow suit.
“In future the organizers (MNAs, regional organizations, national organizations, international classes, etc.) of all international sailing competitions will be required to comply with specific conditions to ensure that all competitors from all countries can participate equally," said Jobson.
“If these conditions are not met, specific sanctions will be applied to any future international sailing competitions held in that country.”
Details of the conditions are to be published later this week.
Islamic Protester Booted from Trump Rally Is Anti-Israel Activist, Promotes Radical Imams
In a CNN article titled, “Silently protesting Muslim woman ejected from Trump rally,” Hamid, 56, is described as an innocent “flight attendant” who came to the rally in hopes that Trump supporters could better understand Muslims. When the Republican frontrunner started to discuss the refugee situation in Syria and President Obama’s policies in the region, a group of protesters alongside Hamid started a “commotion,” the Washington Post reports. Then, the group–who were sporting provocative yellow stars reminiscent to those that Jews were forced to wear under the Third Reich–was promptly ejected from the rally.
As President of the Muslim Women of the Carolinas, Hamid has consistently promoted anti-Israel propaganda and has excused Palestinian jihadi terrorism as “resistance” against “occupation.”
“For anyone who wonders why Palestinians are resisting the apartheid, oppressive occupation of Israel, here’s one of the MANY MANY reasons,” she wrote in September 2014 on her Facebook page, following the summer war between Israel and the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas:
On September 3, 2014, she commented on the Jewish state: “Israel does not want peace, they want land and they want to ethnically cleanse the Palestinians from that land they have lived on for generations.”
Two months earlier, she linked to a Palestinian propaganda film, writing: “For those asking why Palestinians are resisting the Israeli occupation,” again apologizing for acts of terror. “This video is a true representation of some of what I’ve seen and been through,” she claimed.
In July 2014, Hamid promoted a petition that described Zionism as a “racist apartheid movement.” The petition claims Jews in Israel are “ethnically cleansing” the Palestinians in the region.
A review of Hamid’s Facebook page shows that she did not once condemn Hamas, the militant Palestinian jihadi group that started the 2014 war, but demonized Israel dozens of times.
Uproar Over Trump, Silence On Abbas
A major uproar exploded across the political scene recently when Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump called for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.”
Conversely, there has been a remarkable, deafening silence on the official position proclaimed by Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas: “If there is an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, we won’t agree to the presence of one Israeli in it.”
“Israeli,” of course, means “Jew.” Abbas has no problem with Arabs who hold Israeli citizenship living in a Palestinian state. This is purely a racist policy aimed at ensuring the absence of Jews because they are Jews. And Abbas is in power, while Trump is not, so Abbas’s statement has real meaning.
This Palestinian policy has been reiterated by senior Palestinian figures such as the PA’s top negotiator, Saeb Erakat (who recently refused to address a New York conference unless the flag of Israel, the country he claims to recognize and with which he asserts in English a desire to live in peace, was removed).
UK Muslim Activist Compares Britain to Pre-Nazi Germany in London College Lecture
A guest speaker at Kings College, London compared Muslim life in modern Britain to Jews living in Eastern Europe before the rise of the Nazis, the UK’s Daily Mail reported on Thursday.
“We [Muslims in the UK] as a community have felt – though there are many differences – like what happened to the Jewish community before the rise of the Nazis,’ Moazzam Begg told the audience of 150 students gathered at the university’s South Bank lecture theatre.
The former Guantanamo detainee is the director of CAGE – a London-based advocacy organization that has described Islamic State executioner Jihadi John as a “beautiful young man.” The group describes itself as “an independent advocacy organisation working to empower communities impacted by the War on Terror.”
Begg also said: “Anxiety amongst British (and European) Jews is at a record high. With thousands marching in the streets of Germany led by people who impersonate and idolize Hitler, I can see why. But this time it’s the Muslims they’re marching against.’
A Tale of Two LA Times Headlines: Attacks in West Bank, Paris
On Thursday, January 7, three Palestinians with knives attacked Israeli soldiers in the West Bank and were shot dead. The same day, a man brandishing a knife, wearing a fake explosives vest, and shouting "Allahu Akbar" attempted to enter a Paris police station and was shot dead.
Los Angeles Times headlines in the January 8 print edition about these two similar incidents were remarkably different. The headline about the Paris attack was:
Slaying on anniversary of Charlie Hebdo attack; French police shoot a man in a suspect vest with a knife who yells 'Allahu akbar!' as he tries to enter a station (Emphasis added.)
The headline makes clear that the man in Paris who was shot dead was the would-be perpetrator of an attack. In contrast, let's take a look at The Times' headline for a brief news item about three Palestinian attackers who were shot dead:
WEST BANK: 3 Palestinians in assaults slain
Unlike the Paris headline which made clear that the killed man was an attacker, this headline, with its bizarre syntax, wrongly depicts the three Palestinian assailants who perpetrated stabbing attacks as the victims of attacks.
Diaa Hadid, NY Times Respond to CAMERA, and CAMERA Responds Right Back
CAMERA criticized a recent New York Times report, In Israeli City of Haifa, a Liberal Arab Culture Blossoms, by reporter Diaa Hadid, for ignoring the fact that the liberal Arab culture she describes in Haifa could happen only in Israel, that there is nothing like it in any Arab country, nor has there ever been. Moreover, in the entire Middle East it is only in Israel, protected by the Israeli army and Israeli police and Israeli laws and Israeli courts, that Arabs can enjoy Western levels of tolerance, freedom and security.
CAMERA also criticized the article's claim that Israel had been created by the 1948 war, pointing out that Israel had been formed by a resolution of the United Nations, and that the Arabs then went to war to try to destroy Israel in defiance of that resolution and of the UN Charter.
Hadid's article was also criticized by some of the Arab Haifa residents she interviewed, for supposedly not reflecting that besides fun and singing in the clubs there is also political activity, part of the struggle against Israeli "repression," etc., etc.
The BBC’s response to complaints about antisemitic rant on Radio London
This is the second time that the BBC has claimed that the caller was “challenged on his views throughout the conversation” but as was noted here at the time; that is not actually the case.
“The repeated claim that “Zionist Jews” control and “own” the Bank of England, the Federal Reserve, corporate America and the media was not adequately challenged: at no point did the presenter inform listeners that those claims are simply untrue.
The inaccurate claim that “most of the Jews of the world” come from “an empire called Khazaria” was not challenged at all. That perhaps is a little less surprising when one considers that the BBC has previously given airtime to the main proponent of that myth.
The inaccurate assertion that “real” Judaism “has nothing to do with Zionism” was not challenged and neither were the inaccurate claims that “Balfour created essentially the State of Israel” and that “the British had a protectorate” in Palestine. Indeed the reaction from the presenter to those last two inaccuracies was to say “right”.”

Causing offence is just one aspect of this story; the other is the mainstreaming of falsehoods, antisemitic discourse and conspiracy theories on public radio. To that, the BBC has yet to provide an adequate and responsible response and, until it admits that the caller’s agenda was not “about Zionism” (which, notably, this BBC response classifies as a “controversial” topic) but about getting a platform for the spread of antisemitic tropes, it is doubtful that it will be capable of doing so.
‘No choice’ but to annotate ‘Mein Kampf,’ as screed a bestseller again
Co-editor Plöckinger, who published his first book on “Mein Kampf” in 2006, said he sympathizes with Holocaust survivors who worry about seeing Hitler’s book back on German bookshelves.
“In my opinion there is no alternative to the publication of the annotated edition,” he told The Times of Israel. “If I would have to choose between people reading an original issue of ‘Mein Kampf’ or our annotated edition, I’d vote for the second option,” he said.
Plöckinger, who together with three other historians wrote some 3,500 critical annotations to accompany Hitler’s text, is a veritable “Mein Kampf” expert. Besides his first book on the topic, entitled: “Mein Kampf: The Story of a Book,” he recently published a 700-page volume with historical sources dealing with the book, many of which have never been published before. For instance, it reproduces for the first time a letter from December 1931 in which famed German philosopher Martin Heidegger warmly recommends the “Hitler book,” arguing that its author has an “unusual and secure political instinct.”
In preparing for the task of publishing an edited version of one of world history’s best-known and incendiary works, Plöckinger also consulted with senior Israeli scholar Dan Michman, who heads Yad Vashem’s International Institute for Holocaust Research. Plöckinger was also in contact with Alon Kraus, an Israeli lawyer who recently toured Germany with a play about “Mein Kampf.”
Anti-Semitic letter sent to officials in New York towns
Police in Rockland County in New York State are investigating the origins of an anti-Semitic letter sent to mayors and other town officials.
The one-page letter was sent several times to at least three different towns by fax and reads: “Hassidic and Orthodox Jews are a severe danger to civilized society. They need to be placed on reservations under the supervision of the United Nations. They should be given physical work to keep them occupied.”
The letter further says that when Jews recite the Talmud, they “siphon away life from the Goyim and transfer it to themselves and their family.
“This causes tragedies and accidents to Christian families and to other righteous gentiles in America and Worldwide,” it continues. “The Talmud gives Jews satanic and demonic powers to snatch the souls out of the heads of boys and girls of all faiths.”
If tracked down, the author of the letter could face a harassment charge, but police would also weigh whether the act constitutes a hate crime.
Mexico approves prostate cancer drug developed at Weizmann
Mexico is the first country to approve an Israeli-developed groundbreaking therapy for the treatment of early-stage prostate cancer. Mexico’s health authority Cofepris approved the therapy that combines the novel drug, Tookad Soluble, and laser illumination.
The revolutionary technique was invented at the Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot. Steba Biotech (Luxembourg) jointly worked on clinical development with Weizmann. And Yeda Research and Development Company, the Weizmann Institute’s technology transfer arm, licensed the drug to Steba Biotech for manufacture.
“Our cooperation with Steba covers 20 years of fruitful collaboration. The commitment made by the shareholders of Steba and their personal relationship and effective collaboration with Weizmann Institute scientists and Yeda, have enabled this tremendous accomplishment,” says Amir Naiberg, CEO of Yeda.
Mexico gave its approval after completion of a second Phase III clinical trial in Europe. The study involved more than 400 patients at 43 hospitals in 11 European countries and is currently under evaluation by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
Gas finds may lead to Israeli alliance with Egypt, Greece
The discovery of huge reserves of natural gas in the eastern Mediterranean will likely give birth to new alliances in the region, possibly even leading regional powers to "bury old differences and develop unprecedented security, economic and strategic cooperation," according to Amr Emam, writing in The Arab Weekly.
The new regional natural gas players — Egypt, Israel, Greece and Cyprus — are working to develop secure systems to deliver natural gas from the eastern Mediterranean to Europe, making the continent less dependent on gas from Russia, the experts said.
“New finds in the region make cooperation among the new gas producers essential for delivering this gas to important markets, including Europe,” Hossam Farahat, an oil and gas analyst, told The Arab Weekly. “What makes this cooperation more possible is that most of the fields found in the region are so close to each other.”
VC-backed exits break 10-year record
Venture Capital-backed exit deals in 2015 brought in a total of $4.98 billion – the highest in 10 years, according to the new IVC-Meitar Israeli High-Tech Exits Report 2015. Last year’s 52 deal haul even surpassed 2013’s $4.04 billion, which included Waze’s $1.03 billion acquisition by Google.
“The increase in the size of the average VC-backed exit has a lot to do with the patience and perseverance with which VC funds have been managing their Israeli portfolios lately. The VCs, many of whom have been successfully raising new funds in the past two years, have enough breathing room to patiently wait for portfolio companies to realize their full potential.
“One of the things our analysis revealed was that the average time to exit in VC-backed deals keeps climbing, reaching 9.5 years in 2015 – narrowly within the VC model timeline. The funds’ willingness to sit and wait for a portfolio company to mature enough for a substantial exit, seems to pay off, as the average deal and return on equity are climbing as well,” said Koby Simana, CEO of IVC Research Center.
The size of the average VC-backed deal reached nearly $96 million, 47 percent above the 10-year average and second only to the record set in 2013 – of $106 million.
Holocaust film, 'Son of Saul' wins Golden Globe
Following numerous film festival wins including the jury's Grand Prix in Cannes, Holocaust drama "Son of Saul" took home best foreign language film at the Golden Globes on Sunday.
The film tells the tale of how a Jewish "Sonderkommando" death camp worker finds a corpse he thinks is his son's and decides to bury him.
Director Laszlo Nemes was on hand to accept the award at the Globes ceremony in Beverly Hills, reminding the audience that "the Holocaust has become over the years an abstraction. For me, it's more a face, a human face. Let us not forget this face. Thank you very much."
Also vying for best foreign language film were "The Brand New Testament," from Belgium, France and Luxembourg; "The Club," frrom Chile: "The Fencer," from Finland, Germany and Estonia and "Mustang," from France
Ambassador to Poland: 'I've never seen such a large demonstration of support for Israel'
On Sunday, Polish residents Marched through Warsaw's Grzybowski Square to the Embassy of Israel, carrying Polish and Israeli flags in an act of solidarity with Israel.
Anna Azari, Israel's Ambassador to Poland, told the Polish Jewish.pl website that this was the largest demonstration of support for Israel that she has seen to date.
The march was, according to Jewish.pl, in light of the "third intifada" that has been making waves in the country since early Fall. The demonstration was peaceful and calm; Participants could be found chanting slogans, dancing, and singing cries of support.
Christians and Jews participated in the march of support.
"We want to publicly show that as Poles and Christians support Israel and oppose anti-Semitism," a participant told Jewish.pl.
“When Polish and European media report on events in Israel it is often unreliable and negative for Israelis. I walked in the march, carrying the flag of the State of Israel, to demonstrate my support for the country and convey to Israelis that they are not alone,” Pawel Czyszek, editor of the Polish Jews Forum, told JTA.
Last Week, I Rediscovered Israeli Brotherhood
I have to be honest: when I got up last Wednesday, I did not imagine that my day would end with a funeral at the military cemetery.
On Tuesday of last week, during a training exercise at the Tze`ilim army base in the south of Israel, a group of soldiers mistakenly fired a mortar in the wrong direction, hitting another group training nearby. A 23 year-old soldier, Lieutenant Yishai Rosales, was killed, and another soldier was lightly wounded. (After his death, Lieutenant Rosales had his rank upgraded from Lieutenant to Captain, as per the IDF norm.)
On Wednesday evening, a number of news sources reported that Yishai Rosales` funeral had been scheduled for late on Wednesday night, and the family had called for Israelis—even if they did not know the fallen soldier personally—to come to the funeral and pay their respects. The late hour, the lack of public transport at that time, the cold Jerusalem weather and the short notice made me think that the response would be underwhelming.
Thankfully, the Jewish people proved me wrong.



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