Monday, February 08, 2016

From Ian:

Forward: The Israeli Settler Movement Isn't What You Think
Your cover story painted a distorted and unjust picture of the reality we live on a daily basis — especially as it relates to our young people and the focus of their lives and energies.
We are fully aware of the fact that there is a group of young people who are extreme. Those of us who live in the communities are pained by their actions and speak out against them. However, it is important to know that these youngsters represent a marginal group. Many of these extreme youngsters are dropouts who have been unable to integrate into the regular educational system. They are youth at risk who have no connection with their parents and, like children elsewhere in Israel whose circumstances are compromised, choose a negative path. These children don’t accept the rules, they violate our laws and, sadly, have acted violently against Arabs. These children do not have respect for any authority, including that of the rabbis.
The majority of residents in the communities condemn them, their actions and their ideology. The “price tag” violence has been conducted by a small group and we, in the communities, have begged the police to find them and arrest them.
In addition, we do not generalize and think that all the Arabs are terrorists. We, living in this hostile area, have Palestinian neighbors whom we talk with and from whom we hear their hopes to have a normal life. They are not involved in violence and they know that the situation ruins their lives, too.
We invite the editors, writers and readers to meet us, the average residents in Judea and Samaria. Come and see and hear for yourselves. And we will introduce you to some of our Palestinian neighbors. It will be a huge surprise to discover how the oft-repeated stories about the “settlers” and their children have turned into ingrained misconceptions. We should all have learned the lesson by now that a lie repeated often enough becomes the truth. Let’s work together to get the real story told.
Bernie Sanders’s Questionable Israel Advisers
Bernie Sanders gave a glimpse at his potential foreign policy on Sunday, and his choices of BDS supporter James Zogby and left-wing J Street raise serious questions.
Sanders, the Jewish Senator from Vermont, is infamous for his avowed socialism. On foreign policy, he is more or less a blank slate, making his choice of foreign policy advisers a valuable window into his mindsight and the least-worst predictor of a President Sanders’s policy.
On Sunday, two of the three advisers Sanders chose to identify were vehemently anti-Israel. Sanders told Meet The Press he met recently with Larry Korb, Jim Zogby and J Street.
Legal Insurrection readers will be well familiar with J Street – see one thorough discussion here. Self-described as “pro-Israel, pro-peace,” J Street nevertheless consistently promotes positions antithetical to Israel’s interests. It was founded with funding from George Soros and predictably pursues an agenda similar to his virulent anti-Israel views.
J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami distanced himself and the organization from Sanders’s comment.
This is really beside the point, though. The salient issue is that Sanders sees J Street as a legitimate and valuable source of advice, whether or not J Street claims or desires a formal relationship.
James Zogby is President of the Arab American Institute. In June, 2015, he wrote an article for Huffington Post titled “BDS: A Legitimate and Moral Response to Israeli Policy.” (h/t Yenta Press)
Jew-hatred ‘recurrent problem’ in Dutch schools
Anti-Semitism is a persistent problem in some Dutch schools and especially among Muslim pupils, according to a new government-commissioned report on discrimination in education.
The findings appeared in a 55-page report titled “Two Worlds, Two Realities – How Do You Deal with It as a Teacher,” which was published last week by Margalith Kleijwegt, a Dutch-Jewish journalist, at the request of the Dutch ministry of education.
The report, which is based on visits to schools and conversations with dozens of teachers since January 2015, say that teachers sometimes feel powerless to change the deep-seated biases and violent attitudes of some pupils, including on Jews.
One female teacher from Amsterdam of high school pupils following a vocational education program told Kleijwegt of a lesson about democratic values and against discrimination, in which a female pupil of Moroccan descent stood up and said: “If I had a Kalashnikov [assault rifle], I’d gun down all the Jews.” She then made shooting gestures and sounds.
Shocked, the teacher tried to make the pupil empathize with a Jew but felt she was not getting through to the pupil.
“I wasn’t getting there,” the report quotes that teacher as saying. “I asked her to imagine a 5-year-old Jewish girl who lives here. What would she have to do with Israel’s policies? Unfortunately, there was no place for empathy. The pupil didn’t care about that girl. She had only one message: The Jews should die.”

Andrew Pessin: A new way to respond to BDS, without resorting to Bullying, Deceiving, and Smearing: Part I
It’s nearly everywhere now. Barely a week goes by without the Boycott, Divest, Sanction (BDS) movement cropping up on yet another campus. In many institutions the movement is headed by local chapters of nationally organized and funded groups such as Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) or Jewish Voices for Peace (JVP). At other institutions it is driven locally, by individuals or other groups. But when you read through the many statements, posters, resolutions, you hear the same messages coming across repeatedly. In the name of human rights, in the name of social justice, Israel is to be punished and marginalized until ….
Until when?
Typically, until Israel withdraws from the “occupied territories.” But what does that mean? Some apply that phrase only to territories Israel captured in 1967, while others apply it to the entire State of Israel. But this is a distinction without a difference. Many who claim to apply it only to 1967 territories also openly admit that they support not a two-state solution to the conflict but a two-step solution: first recover the 1967 territories, then recover the rest. As for those who sincerely apply it only to the 1967 territories, they are, in my opinion, simply deluded in thinking that the conflict would stop there. Israel without the 1967 territories would be in an impossible security situation, and would not last long. If you have doubts about that, look at what happened to Gaza after Israel withdrew and then imagine the entire West Bank, and East Jerusalem, went the same way.
To support the BDS movement then is, de facto, to support the destruction of Israel as a Jewish state.
So what to do?
Rowan Dean: Don't worry, Israel, if Australian MP's are mates with Palestine (satire)
Dear Mr Fooley
Just got back from my Labor Parliamentary Excursion, dividing my time equally between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, as you requested. What a trip! My feet hardly touched the ground!
Monday: Arrived at Lod Airport, after circling around to avoid being blasted out of the sky by IS, Hamas, Hezbollah, and a bunch of other peace-loving friends of the Palestinian Arab People's Struggle to Wipe The Perfidious Jew Off The Face Off The Earth Praise Be To Allah. Grabbed some duty-frees and headed into downtown Tel Aviv. Looks just like Surfers Paradise meets Surry Hills. Cool hipsters and hot chicks everywhere. Grabbed a quick beer and a burger, bought some fab new apps and software and …
Oops! Time to go to Palestine Authority. Drove into downtown Ramallah. Looks like Mogadishu meets the Mudgee tip. Litter everywhere. Armed guards and machine gun-wielding Mafiosi types wandering around everywhere, too. Try to grab a quick beer, but, er …
Oops! Gotta get back to Israel. Meet some scientists who invented the smartphone industry, or all the cool stuff like Viber and Waze. Plus they invented all this bionic stuff that helps paraplegics and things that stop crib deaths and things that cure …
Yikes! Gotta get back to Palestine Authority. Meet a bunch of dudes who invented the grievance industry. They explain how Israel has been oppressing them for decades. I ask them in what way exactly and they explain, "by existing".
Is Jordan Legal?
The original partition of Palestine, into an Arab entity and a Jewish one, made the dividing line the Jordan River. This original partition was enshrined within international law and remains the only legal partition to this very day. Jordan has been, from the very start of the original mandate, an Arab state in eastern Palestine. The Jewish people have never given up their international legal right to the so-called West Bank. Furthermore, international legal bodies have never legitimately argued that the Arabs have a right to more than one state within the entirety of the territory named by the League of Nations as Palestine.
In 1947, the United Nations attempted a partition of western Palestine into a second Arab state and an extremely truncated Jewish one. The Jews accepted this second partition, and the Arabs (on both sides of the Jordan River) rejected it. Within months, the armies of numerous Arab states, including Palestinians and Jordanians, attempted to strangle the infant Jewish state and abort its sovereignty over any part of the mandated territory west of the Jordan River. In the process, the illegal occupation of the West Bank by Jordan became a de facto reality. To claim any territory west of the Jordan River as legitimate Arab territory is to reward this original aggression, and this claim has no basis in international law.
The vast majority of Palestinian Arabs historically rejected the western partition of the originally mandated territory, and they remain adamant in their rejection to this very day. Most Palestinian Arabs today do not believe in a so-called West Bank state other than as a stepping stone to the eventual defeat of Israel and its removal as a nation-state from the Middle East. There is a sizable proportion of young Palestinians who want to create a bi-national state, with an Arab majority and a military force which would be Arab-controlled.
However, in no way do these so-called “proposals” constitute any semblance of international law. The partition of Palestine into two states, one Jewish and one Arab, within the original geographical framework of mandated Palestine in conjunction with UN Security Council Resolution 242, remains the basis of international law. It would be a total renunciation of justice for there to be a second Arab state within the territory of the original mandate. The Jewish people of Israel reject any concept other than two states for two peoples. They certainly reject the idea of a bi-national state where they would be a minority without self-defense or sovereignty.
Making anti-Semitism respectable: Unfair criticism of Israel
And what about Shapiro’s remarks concerning Israel’s attitude toward Israeli attacks on Palestinians? Even though Israel is in the midst of violent civil unrest in which Israelis are cruelly victimized by Palestinians, the Israeli government condemns Israeli vigilantism, the Israeli court system is attempting to deal with it and punish the few Israeli extremists, and the overwhelming popular response by the Israeli public to Israeli vigilantism is revulsion. The Obama Administration is not impressed, and insists that Israel is not doing enough. At the same time that the Israeli leadership and citizenry reject extremism, the Palestinian leaders, media, and population praise the stabbings, encourage the violence, and treat the murderers as heroes. About this, President Obama has said little.
The US Administration sets the tone for how other government leaders view and describe Israel’s actions, and unfair criticism of Israel from the Administration constitutes a demonization of Israel on a moral level that gives cover to anti-Israel and anti-Semitic sentiments in Europe and affects how Israel is viewed around the world.
The Secretary General of the United Nations, speaking before the Security Council, appeared to justify the epidemic of brutal stabbing attacks roiling Israel when he noted that, “it is human nature to react to occupation,” as though frustration is an excuse for murder. The Foreign Minister of Sweden, in a recent interview, managed to blame Israel for the murderous ISIS attack in Paris that claimed 129 victims when she stated that one of the root causes for the attack was that “Palestinians see no future,” an absurd assertion that not even ISIS itself claimed and which the Swedish government is now trying to sweep under the rug.. One-sided "moral" condemnation of Israel has become fashionable, a trend sadly encouraged by the attitude emanating from our own Administration.
Just last week, on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, President Obama made a stirring speech in which he pointed out the evils of anti-Semitism. We are sure he is sincere, but his policies, coming as they do from Israel’s closest ally, unintentionally endow anti-Semitic sentiment with a veneer of respectability that is quickly seized upon by all those who are eager to demonize Israel.
'There is no radical Islam - Islam is itself radical'
At the Jerusalem Conference on Monday, hosted by Arutz Sheva, a special panel was held under the title: "Conciliation or clashing - how to deal with the threat of radical Islam."
Taking part in the panel moderated by Danny Zaken was Reshet Bet Arab affairs journalist Eran Zinger, Middle East and Islam expert Prof. Rafi Yisraeli, Rabbi Uri Sherki of the Beit Yehuda congregation in Jerusalem, Yesha Council head Avi Roeh, and Deputy Minister Ayoub Kara (Likud).
Rabbi Sherki, who also serves as head of the Hebrew department at Machon Meir Yeshiva in Jerusalem and who lost his son Shalom Sherki in a terrorist car ramming attack last April, said that the problem is not Muslims but rather Islam.
"There is no radical Islam. Islam is radical," stated the rabbi. "It's true that there are Arabs who want to live in peace, but the moment that we give them something, we provide a tail wind for the radicals. Because Islam is a radical cultural movement that is not prepared to accept the fact that we exist."
"As long as Islam doesn't recognize the fact that it is a branch religion of Judaism, it will remain radical."
How Malaysia Became One of the Most Anti-Semitic Countries on Earth
Even assuming the money did come from the Saudi royal family, why would the prime minister be receiving such a princely sum from foreign royalty on the eve of an election campaign? It’s hard to imagine someone dispatching $700 million without expecting anything in return. (The Attorneys General Report did not explain why the Saudi royal family would be motivated to make such a generous donation.) But as Aziz Kaprawi, division head of the United Malay Party Leader and deputy head of the Transportation Ministry, explained, the prince did expect something in return. “If we had lost [the 2013 election], [rival political party] DAP would be in power. DAP with its Jewish funding would control this country. Based on that, our Muslim friends in the Middle East could see the Jewish threat through DAP.” According to this account, the mysterious Arab prince had sent $700 million to the prime minister’s bank account for a cause that any average Malaysian might be expected to understand, even sympathize with: to protect Malaysia from the Jews.
As this bit of Malaysian current events trivia suggests, blaming Jews for all manner of machinations, crimes, and failures is a normal part of Malaysian politics, even though very few of the country’s citizens have ever laid eyes on a Jew. While Malaysia, a Muslim-majority country of 30 million, nestled just south of Thailand, had a minuscule Jewish population that mostly emigrated decades ago, it still has a very active history of selecting leaders who make anti-Semitic remarks. Mahathir Mohamed, Malaysia’s prime minister from 1981 to 2003, gained international notoriety (as well as, in some circles, approbation) for his 2003 speech at the Organization of the Islamic Conference, where he suggested that while Jews and Muslims were natural enemies, “1.3 billion Muslims cannot be defeated by a few million Jews.” He also noted that, “The Europeans killed 6 million Jews out of 12 million. But today the Jews rule the world by proxy.”
Malaysian leaders’ anti-Semitism has trickled down. A 2014 ADL survey found that more than 60 percent of Malaysians exhibited anti-Semitic beliefs, making Malaysia the most anti-Semitic country surveyed in Asia outside of the Middle East. Michael Salberg, the Director of International Affairs at the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) said, “There is a decades long tradition of political leaders in Malaysia defaulting to anti-Semitic tropes to explain all kinds of social, political, and economic circumstances. It is classical scapegoating, deflecting responsibility to an unseen hand.”
Congressman: Why Is Obama Using Labeling of Israeli Goods to Pressure the Jewish State?
This trade directive was never enforced because it was seen for what it was: a ham-handed, job-killing mandate imposing a false designation upon Israeli goods produced in disputed areas. Then everyone loses. Businesses operating out of these areas should be able to designate their items as coming from “Israel” as well as — or instead of — “West Bank” or “Gaza” if they want.
Fast forward 20 years. There is now a global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. Antisemitism is on the rise. Israel does not have a peaceful partner to negotiate with. There is an Islamic State. Iran has been sanctioned, and de-sanctioned. The European Commission has gone along with the global BDS movement to utilize the labeling of Israeli goods as a way to delegitimize the nation of Israel.
The world is a strange and dangerous place. Yet, this administration wants to seemingly force Israel back to the negotiating table and to make unilateral and dangerous concessions to prove that Israel can be trusted. Israel, understandably, is not eager to do so until it has a negotiating partner that makes some effort to show its own good faith. Therefore, one can understand the skepticism as to the rationale behind “reissuing” these labeling guidelines at this time. I am writing to seek clarification from you as to whether there has indeed been a change in policy, and if so, why?
It seems to me that a labeling requirement drafted 20 years ago to promote Palestinian goods under entirely different circumstances but never enforced is now being dusted off and resurrected to coerce Israel out of spite.
I look forward to a response from you, and if not, will likely have to assume the worst — and I, for one, will not stand idly by while Israel is being thrown under the bus.
Most Sincerely,
Congressman Doug Lamborn
Vassar faculty-sponsored anti-Israel event erupts in controversy
Invited speaker accuses Israel of scientific experiment in “stunting” growth of Palestinian bodies
Once again, Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY, is mired in controversy regarding anti-Israel activities on campus involving Vassar faculty.
The controversy surrounds the February 3, 2016, appearance of Rutgers Associate Professor Jasbir Puar at the invitation of several Vassar departments, including Jewish Studies.
At the outset of the appearance, according to the Vassar alumni/parent/friends group Fairness to Israel (FTI), a request was made by the Vassar professor introducing the speaker not to record the event, although it was acknowledged that it was legal to do so:

Requesting non-recording of an open, public event on the pretext that non-recording is “essential to the exchange of ideas” is odd.
When I make public appearances I almost always record them because I am not afraid that what I say will be used against me, but because I don’t want people claiming I said something I didn’t say. I have posted several of my appearances on YouTube precisely to facilitate the “exchange of ideas.”
If exchange of ideas was the goal, why would the Vassar faculty sponsors of the Puar event not want it recorded?
As you will read below, Puar’s appearance amounted to an anti-Israel propaganda event at which Israel was portrayed in a manner reminiscent of ancient blood libels. A major theme of the talk was that Israel treats Palestinians as part of a type of scientific experiment developed to “stunt” Palestinian bodies.
Anti-Semitism, not academic content, fuels university boycotts
In the aftermath of the American Studies Association’s (ASA) December 2013 vote to support the boycott/divestment/sanctions (BDS) movement against Israeli universities and scholars, the heads of 250 American universities voiced their opposition to both the ASA’s decision and to academic boycotts in general as violations of academic freedom.
Typifying their stance was that of Brown University president Christina Paxson, who said that such action “would be antithetical to open scholarly exchange and would inhibit the advancement of knowledge and discovery.”
Yet in failing to address the odiousness of singling out Israel for boycott, such reactions ignore the black heart of BDS: its profound anti-Semitism hiding under the guise of anti-Zionism, anti-colonialism or any cause de jour. A university president harboring intensely anti-Israel or anti-Semitic beliefs could still oppose BDS on academic freedom grounds while leaving unaddressed this key moral issue.
Former Harvard president Larry Summers made this point in a recent video interview with Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol in which he said he was “disappointed by the response of university presidents,” because they “framed the argument almost entirely in terms of their distaste for academic boycotts rather than anything about the specific substance.”

#CancelTelAviv: Twitter users call on Jennifer Lopez to cancel reported Israel show
American singer and actress Jennifer Lopez is facing boycott backlash on Twitter after a report surfaced last week claiming the star will perform in Israel for the first time this summer.
The hashtag #CancelTelAviv was gaining steam on Monday on Twitter as Palestinian and BDS activists posted bloodied photos of purported Gazan children and destroyed buildings to encourage Lopez to cancel her unconfirmed show.
Israeli advocacy group StandWithUs called the #CancelTelAviv campaign an effort by BDS activists "to flood social media with purposeful misinformation."
"In one example I saw, an activist was spamming Jennifer Lopez with pictures from conflicts in Africa, while claiming the horrific pictures were from Gaza," Emily Schrader, the social media director for StandWithUs told The Jerusalem Post.
"Their aim is to bombard celebrities and shock them into cancelling their concert," explained Schrader.
Did France cancel purchase of Israeli drones because of BDS?
Defense News reported that “Watchkeeper was widely expected to be selected,” but instead the French defense ministry chose the Patroller drone made by domestic conglomerate Sagem.
France's decision is apparently a capitulation to BDS France, who circulated a petition against the transaction garnering 8,000 signatures.
The anti-Israel group demanded France refrain from purchasing the Watchkeeper drones as they were used by the "Israeli army to kill civilians in Gaza."
“If the choice of Sagem does not represent total independence from Israel, dumping the Thales-Elbit drone is a success for the BDS campaign,” BDS France said.
Neither the French government nor either of the two arms companies responded to Defense News' requests for comment.
For media correspondents: A proposed tour of the Palestinian Authority
Below is the schedule for a proposed tour of the Palestinian Authority:
Day One: A day in the Palestinian Authority classroom, where the official new curriculum that inculcates a new generation of Arab youngsters to conquer all of Palestine would be explored.
Day Two: A day of following the official news coverage of the PBC radio and TV. Follow those messages of Jihad, as they are conveyed to the Palestinian Arab people, and integrate tens of news clips from the years when CNN forgot to follow the PBC. Note how attacks on Beer Sheva, Hadera and Netanya are justified by the PBC, since these “illegal Jewish settlements” took the place of Arab villages in 1948.
Day Three: A day on the Fatah Social Media – With the most newsworthy praises forthcoming for the latest attacks on Jews. Note the fact that Fatah never recognizes any two state solution.
The Ugly 'SNL' Joke You Missed While Chuckling at 'Bernie Sanderswitzky'
This one went by so fast that most of us seem to have missed it. This past weekend’s Saturday Night Live had not one but two Jewish jokes. One was moderately funny, notable mainly for the fact that it came from the mouth of Senator Bernie Sanders, during a back-and-forth with his doppelganger Larry David. The other, delivered by Weekend Update fake news co-anchor Michael Che, was far more pointed and may just have crossed a line.
Here’s Che’s bit:
“On his first visit to a U.S. mosque, President Obama called on U.S. television producers to create characters that are not related to issues of national security. Although, Mr. President, if you really want to reach TV producers, say it at a synagogue.”
That last phrase was delivered in a coy stage whisper, as if to signal that he knows he’s being naughty.
IsraellyCool: “Am Israel Chai” Violates Facebook Community Standards
You are reading that correctly. Pages and pages of Jew-hate are still up (or simply hidden from Israelis), and they do not violate Facebook standards (as proven by Shurat Hadin).
But saying, “The Nation Of Israel Lives” is too much for Facebook’s shameful community “standards”.
Israel Law Center (Shurat HaDin) is currently taking this very issue to court. Facebook has claimed in their defense that “social media services, like themselves, are simply neutral bulletin boards and cannot be held liable under American law for the content of their user’s Facebook pages.”
When something like “Am Israel Chai” gets removed and endless pages glorifying Jew murder get the “we found it doesn’t violate our Community Standards” treatment, there’s clearly nothing neutral about it.
Hashtag #AmIsraelChai on Facebook and Twitter because they need to know we’re still here. (h/t Yenta Press)
BBC euphemisms hobble audience understanding of Iranian terror financing
The BBC News website’s coverage of the Iranian president’s visit to Europe late last month included two reports – “Rouhani in Europe: Italy covers nudes for Iran president“, January 26th and “Rouhani arrives in Paris as Iran drums up business with France“, January 27th – in which audiences were told that:
“Iran has been accused of funding militant groups, such as Hezbollah in Lebanon.”
Obviously that choice of minimalist phrasing does not clarify to readers who has accused Iran of funding “militant groups” (the BBC standard euphemism for terrorist organisations) or whether or not there is any basis to those accusations. It also obfuscates the fact that at least one Iranian official has acknowledged that Iran provides support to Hizballah.
A reader looking for more information might therefore have turned to the BBC’s profile of Iran which appears at the bottom of both reports. However, the only reference that topic to be found there is a no less coyly worded side box which fails to provide audiences with any relevant factual information.
The BBC’s profile of Hizballah is equally uninformative on the issue of the financial and material backing received by that organization from Iran.
The news the BBC has to omit in order to keep up its narrative
These two stories join the growing list of similar ones concerning the apprehension of cells connected to established terrorist groups which have been completely ignored by the BBC.
However, at the same time as it elects not to report such stories, the BBC does continue to promote the “DIY unrest” narrative on the topic of Palestinian terrorism which it adopted over four months ago, repeatedly telling audiences (in a manner eerily similar to the dictates of the PLO’s guidance for foreign journalists) that the ongoing wave of attacks against Israelis is the result of “frustration rooted in decades of Israeli occupation”.
The BBC’s framing of this topic leads to the failure to meet its obligation to enhance audiences’ “awareness and understanding of international issues” by serially avoiding compromising its adopted narrative with any mention of terrorism which is not ‘grassroots’ but organised by groups such as Hamas and Hizballah out of motivations which go far beyond “frustration”.
IsraellyCool: Mohammad And Israel Cut From Tommy Robinson Interview On Al Jazeera
Can you criticise Islam or Mohammad in Qatar? No.
Tommy Robinson, one of the organisers of Pegida UK, appeared on Al Jazeera this evening in a panel discussion. But this 3 minute clip includes the part Al Jazeera cut out. You’ll see why when you hear it. And all that follows a pretty pathetic trick the presenter tries to pull by switching the Koran for the Hebrew bible!
Update 16:45: The show has not been re-broadcast. It was scheduled for this morning but it didn’t go out. Israellycool has some major link love from Breitbart here but I just have to quote the answer they got from Al Jazeera on why this was cut.
An Al Jazeera spokesman told Breitbart London: “Inside Story is a pre-recorded programme, and on many occasions our editorial staff make decisions on what to include or omit based on what is editorially relevant and acceptable to broadcasting standards to the particular debate being aired in the episode in question.”

Wiesenthal Center Urges Dismissal of Croatia’s Culture Minister
The Israel-based Simon Wiesenthal Center urged Croatia’s government to dismiss its culture minister, saying he took a disdainful attitude toward Croatian resistance to fascism during World War Two.
The Jewish human rights group expressed “shock and indignation at several actions taken and comments made” by minister Zlatko Hasanbegovic.
Hasanbegovic has previously dismissed similar criticism as unfounded. He could not immediately be reached for comment.
During World War Two, Croatia was under Nazi control and led by local collaborators called Ustashe. Many Croats fought as partisans within the communist-led resistance movement.
Croatia is now a member of the European Union.
“We urge the Croatian government to replace Hasanbegovic with a person suitable for the post of minister of culture who will bring honor and prestige to the post, rather than embarrass his country before the entire world,” the director of Wiesenthal Center, Efraim Zuroff, said in a statement on its website.
No comment was immediately available from the Croatian government or from Hasanbegovic.
Anthrax sued for $1M over Hanukkah sweatshirt
The 1980s heavy metal band Anthrax is being sued for copyright infringement over the Ugly Hanukkah Sweater.
A Detroit artist and businessman, Aaron Cummins, filed a $1-million lawsuit in the US District Court, claiming he made the original design in 2012 and registered it with the US Copyright Office in 2013, the Detroit Free Press reported Friday.
Anthrax, the Rockabilia website and the merchandising company Global Merchandising Services are named in the suit, according to the newspaper.
The blue-and-white sweatshirt features dreidels, menorahs and Stars of David, the words “Happy Hanukkah” and the Anthrax logo bracketed by Stars of David. They have been sold on Rockabilia since November of last year; the sweatshirts cost $28.99.
Top End Minerals acquires Anyvision for $6 million
Australia’s Top End Minerals has entered into an agreement to acquire Tel Aviv’s facial recognition company, Anyvision, for a reported $6 million.
In its mission statement, Anyvision says its solution is “the most advanced facial recognition technology engine in the world that works on millions of different identities without loss of performance.”
Apple, Facebook and Google have all recently bought facial recognition technology startups and are investing heavily in the artificial intelligence technology market as improving image recognition continues to be a hot high-tech niche.
Israel’s Anyvision analyses face recognition results with Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) Dashboard based on social networks’ database and reveal contacts, collaborators and insights about the given target.
VICE: The Future of Cybersecurity Is Being Written in the Israeli Desert
In its ambition to be the cybersecurity capital of the world, Israel is busy building a vast military-industrial security megacomplex in the working class city of Beersheba, improbably located in the southern Israeli desert.
The city of Beersheba, population 200,000, is Israel’s fourth largest, but its image is a far cry from that of Tel Aviv or Jerusalem. Historically, it’s better known for immigrants, Bedouins and the Bible than it is for innovation and high tech. The Negev desert region where the city is located makes up nearly two-thirds of Israel land mass, but contains only 10 percent of its population. But the Israelis are making the desert bloom.
The Beersheba cybersecurity complex underway is said to be the biggest infrastructure project in Israeli history, a multibillion-dollar compound of army bases, academic research centers and high-tech startups finding innovative new ways to keep people safe from criminal hackers, foreign and domestic. In January, I took a tour of the complex with a group of journalists to learn how the new technology works.
Bahraini princess undergoes life-saving surgery in Israel
An Israeli hospital recently provided life-saving treatment to a Bahraini princess, Israel’s Deputy Minister for Regional Cooperation Ayoub Kara said Monday. However, the case to which he was apparently referring took place in 2010.
Kara refused to name the princess or disclose the nature of the surgery. Although he said she had the treatment at Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center, he also refused to specify when it took place. In its aftermath, he said, he will now meet with officials from the tiny Gulf nation, and intends to use the opportunity to strengthen Jerusalem’s unofficial alliance with Sunni Arab states in the region.
A spokeswoman for Rambam told The Times of Israel that the hospital did indeed treat a Bahraini princess — but that this was in 2010. No Bahraini princess had been treated there since, she said.
Kara said the decision to provide the princess with treatment in Israel was approved by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Solar power from Jerusalem for South Sudan hospital
Jerusalem-based Energiya Global is using the Israeli crowdfunding platform Crowdmii to raise $60,000 toward building a solar-powered generator for His House of Hope, a Christian ministry-run orphanage, school and hospital catering to women and children in Yei, South Sudan.
The Israeli solar and social development enterprise aims to provide clean electricity for 50 million people in underserved areas of the world. South Sudan, a country founded after a long civil war in Sudan, has many orphans and homeless children. The funding campaign is a partnership with the New York-based Renewable Light Fund.
“By providing a solar installation to His House of Hope Hospital we are increasing the facility’s ability to care for the ill, assist birthing mothers and prevent the spread of disease in the region while reducing the cost of electricity and augmenting its availability,” the company explains in its campaign. “We are currently planning the construction, financing and interconnection of a utility-scale solar field that will be connected to the national grid.”
If the campaign is successful, installation of the solar panels at His House of Hope Hospital will begin three months later, and is expected to take three additional months to complete.
Summer concert rumors: Beyoncé, Madonna and Britney?
It must be mid-February if local promoters are talking summer concerts.
Rumors started spreading last week about the possibility of a Bruce Springsteen concert in late July; now there’s talk of Madonna, Britney Spears and Beyoncé taking over Tel Aviv — separately — over the course of summer 2016.
Springsteen may just be wishful thinking, but Madonna is currently on a world tour and is in talks with several Israeli producers to perform this summer, reported Tourist Israel. Ditto for Britney Spears, who hasn’t yet performed in the land.
Madonna’s last Tel Aviv concert was in 2012, when she launched her world tour from Israel with 30,000 fans in attendance at the Ramat Gan stadium.
Israel Hayom reported that several Israeli producers are working together to bring superstar Beyoncé, the mega pop star they’ve wanted to host for years.
PHOTOS: The Beautiful, Blazing Southern Desert
Fully one half of Israel is composed of the extraordinary Negev desert. Steeped in ancient history and tradition, the Negev is home to the city of Beersheba, where the biblical Abraham made his first military pact, where Isaac built an altar, and which is seen in Jewish tradition as the inheritance and patrimony of all their descendants—the entire Jewish people.
In more modern times, Israel’s legendary first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, saw Israel’s future in the Negev, believing that the development of the region would be the great task of the reborn Jewish state, an endeavor he called “blooming the desert.” At one point, the prime minister went so far as to move to Kibbutz Sde Boker in the midst of the Negev, living the simple lifestyle of an agrarian socialist.
And in some places, the desert does indeed bloom, with kibbutzim and other communities living among the green of irrigated agriculture in the midst of a parched landscape. The region is also a place of science, with various institutions researching the possibilities of renewable energy; in particular, harnessing the region’s near constant sunshine for solar power. There is also Israel’s central nuclear research facility, located in the desert community of Dimona. And the clear and unpolluted air provides extraordinary opportunities for star gazing, drawing astronomers to the area in order to study the vast universe that reveals itself in the desert’s pure and unrelenting sky.

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