Monday, March 07, 2016

From Ian:

Report: Oxford students laughed at attacks on Parisian Jews
Members of a prominent Oxford University student group affiliated with the British Labor Party laughed at Jewish victims of terrorism and made fun of the Holocaust, the Sunday Times reported.
According to the British weekly, club members called Jewish students “Zios,” dubbed the Auschwitz death camp “a cash cow,” sang about rockets being fired at Tel Aviv and expressed approval for both attacks on Parisian synagogues in 2014 and the shooting of four Jews in a Paris supermarket the following year.
A number of students belonging to the club spoke to the newspaper following the failure of the group’s national leadership to publish the results of an internal investigation more than a week after its completion.
The Labor Club first came under fire last month due to the resignation of Oxford co-chairman Alex Chalmers, who alleged that “the attitudes of certain members of the club towards certain disadvantaged groups was becoming poisonous.”
“Whether it be members of the Executive throwing around the term ‘Zio’ (a term for Jews usually confined to websites run by the Ku Klux Klan) with casual abandon, senior members of the club expressing their ‘solidarity’ with Hamas and explicitly defending their tactics of indiscriminately murdering civilians, or a former co-chair claiming that ‘most accusations of anti-Semitism are just the Zionists crying wolf,’ a large proportion of both OULC and the student left in Oxford more generally have some kind of problem with Jews,” Chalmers lamented on Facebook.
UN Can be Curse for Refugees
For all the billions of dollars in donations it receives and for all its glossy brochures and self-congratulatory speeches its officials deliver, the United Nations might very well be the worst thing that ever happened to refugees. Certainly, the World Food Program and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) have done good and, indeed, life-saving work over the years but their accomplishments are increasingly overshadowed by the political, diplomatic, and bureaucratic compromises successive UN Secretaries-General have done.
In the wake of World War II, a conflict that generated tens of millions of refugees, the United Nations founded the UN Relief and Rehabilitation Administration which two years later became the International Refugee Organization (IRO). The IRO had a terminal mandate; it closed its doors in 1952. UNHCR, founded in 1951, had no such end date associated with it; perpetuation of its existence and bureaucratic empire-building became just as important to its leadership as relieving the difficulties faced by refugees. The UNHCR, however, is a bureaucratic saint next to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), founded in 1949 to assist Palestinian refugees. Initially, UNRWA was also supposed to be finite in its operations. In 1951, it outlined a plan to resettle Palestinian refugees within three years and then close its doors. Why it did not was a story of bureaucratic self-interest, diplomatic venality, and a broad desire by Arab states to use Palestinian refugees as a wedge. Long story short, six decades later UNRWA still exists and Arab states, with the exception of Jordan, continue to refuse their integration. The human potential — let alone the lives lost — in subsequent decades of conflict should be a permanent shame to UNRWA and the United Nations more broadly. If the United Nations were serious in its concern for refugees, it would end UNRWA, apply the same definition of refugee to all peoples regardless of their nationality, and fold the cases of those who remain refugees into the UNHCR framework.
Why the Jews Are Indigenous to Israel
Ryan Bellerose, indigenous rights activist, on what it means to be indigenous, as the Jews are to the land of Israel.

Combating a toxic message – ‘the occupation’
As UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon wrote in The New York Times to explain why Arabs murder Jews, “Occupation provokes anger and despair which are the major drivers of violence and extremism....”
It’s not Islamic Jihad, or Palestinian Authority/Hamas hate campaigns; it’s the “occupation of Palestinian territory,” “the settlements” – all of them.
It’s a demand that Israel withdraw unilaterally to the 1949 armistice line without any consideration of Israel’s claims or thought about the consequences.
It’s a call for Israel’s demise. In this case, therefore, the messenger is the message.
Instead of regurgitating lies, Ban could have told the truth: Arabs who try to kill Jews are not driven by political or economic concerns, but by hatred. They are willing to give up their lives in the process of murdering Jews because they believe that will bring them honor and public acclaim.
Arabs are not angry because they don’t have a state; they are angry because Jews have one. They do not hate because they lack political rights and economic benefits, but because they believe that Jews are infidels, and that martyrdom and jihad are supreme values.
Accusing Israel of “occupying Palestinian territory,” preventing “Palestinian self-determination” and violating human rights fuels boycott campaigns and anti-Israel protests and incitement. Here’s how to stop it: Change the narrative Jews are not “occupying another people.” Nearly all Arab Palestinians live under the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
Likud pushes bill to limit NGOs’ role in future elections
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is pushing a bill to limit the ability of right and left wing organizations to engage in or help political campaigns during elections.
The proposed legislation, put forward by Likud MK Yoav Kish, would ban any group conducting polls, registering voters or advertising on the Internet or in the media from accepting more than NIS 20,000 ($5,000) per month during the run-up to elections, Channel 2 reported.
The bill targets, among others, V15, a grassroots organization which, with foreign funding, unsuccessfully pushed to unseat Netanyahu during last year’s elections. It operated within a loophole in the law by not trying to get voters to vote for a specific party or candidate, but just against Netanyahu.
Since the elections, V15 has changed its name to Darkhenu (Our Way).
Likud charged ahead of the March 2105 elections that the V15 group “operates with aid from radical leftist groups such as OneVoice and Molad, which are supported by millions of dollars flowing in from Europe (and) the United States,” and protested the “intervention by international actors who are interested in deposing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.”
The H-word
Louis C.K. wrote what he did because it was simple and effective. But it was very far from true. It was intellectually lazy and dishonest and an insult to me as a Jew and to my entire people.
So, Louis C.K., do you know who is like Hitler? Hitler. Do you know who should be referred to as Hitler? Hitler. Using any other rule of thumb when it comes to dropping the H-word means minimizing the murder of 6 million Jews and the history, wounds and memories of an entire people. Unless Trump plans, organizes and executes the extinction of an entire people in an industrial manner, you should not compare the two. There are many brands of crazy in this world and many kinds of bad, but thank God so far no one has lived up to the atrocities of Hitler, and even drawing this parallel is a mind-boggling insult.
As Jews, we need to stop being the handy example, and instead make an example of those using us and our sorrows for sound bites and effect. There are not many steps between minimizing the Holocaust to denying it entirely, and we need to clamp down on those acting as if Hitler is just another word.
Trump is not Hitler, nor is he even "like" Hitler, because nothing on this earth is. Donald Trump is like Donald Trump, and in my opinion that is plenty bad enough.
Ex-ADL chief: Trump’s ‘raise your hand’ gambit was deliberate ‘fascist gesture’
Former Anti-Defamation League director Abe Foxman excoriated Donald Trump for urging his supporters at a weekend rally to raise their right hands and promise to support him, a gambit Foxman said evoked echoes of Hitler salutes from Nazi rallies in the 1930s and ’40s.
“Let’s do a pledge. Who likes me in this room?” the Republican presidential candidate asked a large crowd Saturday in Orlando, Florida. “Raise your right hand: ‘I do solemnly swear that I — no matter how I feel, no matter what the conditions, if there’s hurricanes or whatever — will vote, on or before the 12th for Donald J. Trump for president.'” (Trump misstated the date of the Florida primary, which will be held on March 15.)
As the audience enthusiastically complied with his request, the candidate told them: “Don’t forget you all raised your hands. You swore. Bad things happen if you don’t live up to what you just did.”
For Foxman, who was born in Poland in 1940 and was saved from the Nazis by his Catholic nanny, watching Trump whip up his supporters in this fashion was extremely disturbing.
“As a Jew who survived the Holocaust, to see an audience of thousands of people raising their hands in what looks like the ‘Heil Hitler’ salute is about as offensive, obnoxious and disgusting as anything I thought I would ever witness in the United States of America,” he told The Times of Israel.
Christians Who Demonize Israel - Part III
Sabeel: An Anti-Semitic Cult within the Church
The journalist Jeff Jacoby has stated that "Sabeel and Ateek's denunciations of Israel have included imagery explicitly linking the modern Jewish state to the terrible charge that for centuries fueled so much anti-Jewish hatred and bloodshed," and that "In Ateek's metaphorical telling, in other words, Israel is guilty of trying to murder Jesus as an infant, of killing Jesus on the cross, and of seeking to prevent his resurrection."
Jacoby quotes Adam Gregerman, Assistant Director of the Institute for Jewish-Christian Relations at Saint Joseph's University (a Jesuit institution in Philadelphia). Writing in the Journal of Ecumenical Studies in 2004, Gregerman observed that "liberation theologians" such as Ateek "perpetuate some of the most unsavory and vicious images of the Jews as malevolent, antisocial, hostile to non-Jews. ... As such, liberation theology impedes rather than fosters any serious attempt at understanding or ending the conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians."
In the UK, the leading representative of Sabeel is the notorious Rev. Dr. Stephen Sizer, the incumbent of the Anglican parish of Christchurch, Virginia Water, in Surrey. I say "notorious" because of the trouble he has brought on himself within the church. On January 20, 2015, Sizer posted a link on his Facebook page to a lengthy 9/11 conspiracy theory article entitled "9/11 Israel did it." The article included claims which, among others, seek to connect wealthy American Jews to the attacks, through their ownership of buildings, political affiliations or links to Israel. Sizer asked: "Is this anti-Semitic? If so no doubt I'll be asked to remove it. It raises so many questions."
Later, he removed the post, not necessarily because he no longer thought it was true, but because Britain's leading Jewish organization, the Board of Deputies of British Jews, had asked for it to be taken down. In correspondence with Jewish News Online, he asked that evidence be provided to refute the conspiracy theory.
CatC, March 7-10, is an anti-Israel Crusade
Far from turning the other cheek, Christian Palestinianists are committed to a jihad for Jesus, a kind of Chrislamic crusade against Jews and the Jewish state, and the Palestinian Jesus myth is a core component of Palestinian replacement theology.
Every couple of years the city of Bethlehem, birthplace of Jesus, hosts the provocatively-titled Christ at the Checkpoint (CatC), an anti-Zionist convocation of Arab Christians, Western evangelicals and a handful of Messianic Jews. This year’s conference (March 7-10) is taking place at the Orient Palace hotel in Beit Jala, right outside Bethlehem. Ironically, the event is being safeguarded by the Israeli army because the conference organisers fear that the Palestinian Authority is either incapable or unwilling to protect their Christian guests from the perils of Islamist terrorism.
CatC claims to be conciliatory and pro-peace, but almost every speaker will use this year’s conference to blame Palestinian Arab "suffering" on Israel and they will do so in the harshest terms. CatC holds the belief that the Jewish state is an aberration and an occupying power. If previous years are anything to go by, the derogatory rhetoric about Israel will be vile.
When it is couched in the terminology of Christian replacement theology, it is horrifying. When you watch online clips of previous CatC conferences and you see people like Dr Manfred Kohl, a German Christian, referring to Jews as “dummkopfs” (“idiots”) and blaming the State of Israel for undermining the redemptive work of Jesus, you feel physically sick.
World Council of Churches Struggles with the Truth - Again
From this viewpoint, the WCC's open letter contains a plainly false statement. It says: "The information and statistics we employ in the campaign are derived from United Nations sources. None are from the Palestinian Water Authority."
Read the sermon from beginning to end and back, and you will find only one reference to a United Nations source: that the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends 100 liters of water per day per person (a target that is missed in many parts of the world). Regarding Palestinian water, Tveit's "information and statistics" are drawn, as the sermon explicitly says, from the "advocacy group of Palestine, EWASH" (that is, from the Palestinian website "Thirsting for justice"). So, contrary to what the open letter states, Tveit's sermon, which constituted the opening statement of the campaign and sets the tone for whatever follows, is based on a source openly engaged in pro-Palestinian agitation.
The criticism in my article was addressed to what Tveit unhesitatingly accepted from that source. So note, too, that the open letter makes no attempt to answer, or even to mention, what that criticism was. How could it, since it alleges that Tveit's sermon is part of a campaign that cites UN data alone?
Moreover, the web page of the campaign contains various "reflections" by Palestinian clerics and WCC employees in the same spirit as Tveit's sermon. The contribution of Bishop Younan, for instance, makes the same claims about water as Tveit does. It is absurd to claim that the campaign is based exclusively, or even mainly, on UN sources.
The WCC does, however, have good reason for not attempting to deal with my criticism. It is that my criticism is so evidently correct, and Tveit's claims are so lamentably wrong, that the WCC would make itself look absurd if it quoted the criticism and struggled to find any way around it.
Holding Disruptors Accountable
Earlier this week, when Electronic Intifada attacked StandWithUs in general and me personally, this indicated that the pro-Israel community is doing something right. The article incredulously highlighted StandWithUs’ recent request to Minneapolis prosecutors that anti-Israel agitators responsible for an illegal disruption of a pro-Israel event be brought to justice.
Memo to anti-Israel disruptors: an event’s audience or attendees have a constitutional right to hear a speaker. A speaker has a constitutional right to speak. These rights are not superseded by your right to disrupt. Disruptions are a violation of a fundamental right to learn, to engage in dialogue and to come together as a community. If you choose to disrupt in a way that is illegal, you can and likely will be arrested. You likely will have to do community service. Moreover, you probably will also have to pay a fine. And the sentence will go on your record for some period of time. At StandWithUs, we honor your right to have diverse viewpoints and make your voices heard when done legally and with the same respect you wish to receive. Otherwise, you will be held accountable for your actions when your extremist anti-Israel and anti-Jewish hate go from being morally reprehensible to legally punishable.
Anti-Israel demonstrators often break campus policies, state laws, and federally-protected rights. It is time for universities and others to work together to stop the disruptions proactively before they occur and fight back when they occur illegally. At StandWithUs, we already have begun to do so and are heartened by our successes.
StandWithUs first learned of the power of evidence and prosecution in February 2010, at UC Irvine, when then Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren was invited to speak. As Ambassador Oren began his presentation, anti-Israel disruptors succeeded in disrupting him intermittently for 45 minutes. The protesters purposely situated themselves throughout the room to make it appear unplanned as they disrupted the speech from various locations. They screamed at Ambassador Oren while other students within their group clapped raucously, and cheered each other on as police escorted disruptors from the room. Once they all finally left the room in a choreographed march, the disruptors proudly lauded their ability to disrupt the event successfully. The ring leader boasted, “We managed to shut them down!” What they did not know was that StandWithUs captured it all on video. After turning the evidence over to prosecutors, eleven of the disruptors were tried for violating California state law—disrupting a public event and conspiracy to disrupt. Ten of the eleven protesters were convicted; the UC Irvine Muslim Student Union faced a six month probation. From this experience, StandWithUs learned the importance of recording evidence of illegal disruptions. We also realized that violators of the law must be held accountable for their illegal and unjust actions just as much as perpetrators of any other crime.

Settlers to Germany: We won’t label our products
Settlers in the Jordan Valley have refused to obey the new EU guidelines that call for consumer labels to be placed on their products clarifying that they were not produced in Israel.
Its farmers were particularly taken aback over the last weeks by a request from a German company that they place the statement “Occupied territories by the Government of Israel” on the products, Jordan Valley Regional Council head Dudu Elhayani told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday.
Last week Elhayani penned an angry letter to the German Ambassador Clemens von Goetze in which he said that the request was “discriminatory” and “politically motivated.”
“I want to clearly inform you: we will not label our products. Such labeling is equivalent to the marking of Jews in Europe during dark and terrible times in the past. It is absolutely unacceptable,” Elhayani said.
He added that it bore no relation to the reality in Israel or in the Middle East.
Circling the Wagons at Vassar
It has now been about a month since Jasbir Puar gave her infamous talk at Vassar College, about which I wrote here. Thanks to a strong reaction by Fairness to Israel, a Vassar alumni group, and the Academic Engagement Network (AEN), a new group devoted to combating the propagandistic treatment of the Israel-Palestinian issue on college campuses, the College is facing criticism. That criticism culminated in this Wall St. Journal op-ed, written by Mark Yudof and Kenneth Waltzer, board chair and executive director respectively of AEN. The Wall Street Journal has a circulation of 2.3 million. So Vassar, whose response had been muted, recently held a webinar, listened in on by 930 alums and parents, and featuring, among others, board chair Bill Plapinger, President Catharine Hill, and Peter Antelyes, director of Jewish Studies. The gist of their message: look over there!
Consider Bill Plapinger’s remarks. Puar, recall, accused Israel of harvesting organs for scientific research and of maiming children in order to acquire body parts for the same purpose. Plapinger says: “I believe that speakers should not be censored, even when many, if not most of us find the speech disagreeable, deeply offensive, immoral or wrong-headed, as did many in considering Professor Puar’s recent lecture.” None of Vassar’s serious critics have called for censoring Puar. What they have called for is a clear administrative and faculty response to Puar’s remarks, which went unchallenged in a room well-stocked with Vassar faculty. Plapinger doesn’t even place himself among those who found Puar’s remarks troubling. Perhaps that is because he “[believes] that the college cannot take sides.” That’s absurd. College president Catharine Hill is already on record against academic boycotts of Israel. Why shouldn’t administrators also object when a speaker, sponsored by eight departments, regales a room full of students with anti-Semitic tropes?
Although Plapinger acknowledges one failure on Vassar’s part, that it does not provide balanced programming on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he reserves all of his anger for one group, which Vassar evidently regards as the prime villain in this story, a “relatively small number of alumni who, in some cases, have distorted the facts and have been successful in enlisting concerned but not fully informed outsiders to amplify their views.” That is, while Plapinger is neutral between the “side” that characterizes the Jewish state as supernaturally evil and the “side” that objects, he is absolutely clear where he stands on alums and parents who, relying on first-hand knowledge and a recording of what Puar said, dare to go public: they are dishonest meddlers.
Vassar student gov’t passes anti-Israel BDS Resolution
In a vote tonight, the Vassar College Student Association (VSA) council passed by a vote of 15-7 an anti-Israel Resolution which adopts the full BDS movement list of demands and calls for divestment from certain companies. The BDS Resolution was a joint effort of Students for Justice in Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace.
A student representative of Jewish Voice for Peace stated opposition to the State of Israel, as tweeted by the student newspaper. I have confirmed with someone in the room that the statement actually was made, and that it was by a JVP student:
The Vassar administration has already stated it will not honor the student government BDS resolution.
Students can petition to send the BDS Resolution to the full student body for a vote, which could effectively veto the Resolution.
Connecticut College Antisemitism Continues; Some Faculty Speak Out
Hatred of Israel and overall hostility towards Jews at Vassar has been amply detailed. More generally, campus hate against Israel and Jews has become an increasingly frequent and widespread problem thanks to the “Boycott, Divest, Sanction” (BDS) movement. Even Palestinians who aren’t sufficiently critical of Israel are targeted by BDS. Bassem Eid, founder of the Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group, was directly threatened by anti-Israel protesters while lecturing at the University of Chicago on Feb. 18. More recently, the New York Post reported on the hateful harassment of Jews at four City University of New York campuses.
Connecticut College seems to be moving in the same direction. Last spring, Connecticut College Professor Andrew Pessin was libeled and silenced in a campaign led by Students for Justice in Palestine activist Lamiya Khandaker. That campaign included condemnation of Pessin by scores of Connecticut College departments and affiliates, including the Global Islamic Studies program. The administration nevertheless gave Khandaker the “Scholar Activist Award.” Then came the Birthright smear last December, the Puar invitation, and the scheduled talk by anti-Israel activist Kanazi, sponsored by the Islamic studies program.
These developments reinforce the perception that Connecticut College is hostile to pro-Israel voices. Meanwhile, discussion of the Pessin affair continues as questions mount over the role and nature of the school’s Islamic studies program. In a Jan. 26 email to fellow faculty members, Manuel Lizarralde, a professor of anthropology and botany, called the Pessin affair a “train wreck” and expressed regret at previously staying silent. “Why did we not have the Andrew defending his views?…We acted like vigilantes and found the perfect scapegoat,” he wrote.
In a Feb. 4, faculty-wide response to Lizarralde, Pack accused the Islamic studies program of organizing students to join the anti-Pessin campaign and then sponsoring “a new group on campus that [posted the anti-Birthright and anti-Israel] posters.” That’s when he called on the harassment to stop and indicated that he couldn’t recommend Jews join the Connecticut College community. In response, Pack received some private support but wrote that “many, (perhaps most?), of the faculty…are quite upset with me.”
Dreaded Zionist Spy Robots at Brown university
Dubbed by Howard Jacobson as the "offense-taking as lifestyle choice" folk, the same delicate flowers that recoil at giant Pinocchios have a new reason to be offended.
An event, "Suffocating Embrace? The Future of Palestinians in Israel," was part of the Middle East Studies' one-sided "Critical Conversations on Palestine/Israel" series at Brown University. Speaking were Haneen Zoabi, a member of the Knesset facing 6 months suspension for calling Israeli-Arab police officers "traitors," threatening them and directing a protesting crowd to spit in their faces. Other participants included Shira Robinson from George Washington University, Areej Sabbagh-Khoury from Columbia University, Gershon Shafir from University of California, San Diego, and Beshara Doumani, the Saudi born Palestinian-American chair of Middle East Studies at Brown.
Glossary (Open Hillel to English translation)
"police academic discourse" = listen
"accosted" = addressed
'harassed' = asked
From a press release by Open Hillel, printed in its entirety at Jewschool
In a dystopian twist, the latest development in the attack on open discourse by right-wing pro-Israel groups appears to be the use of robots to police academic discourse. At a March 3, 2016 event about Palestinian citizens of Israel sponsored by Middle East Studies at Brown University, a robot attended and accosted students. The robot used an iPad to display a man from StandWithUs, which receives funding from Israel’s government.
JPost Editorial: Message in a bottle
Prospects for reaching a negotiated peace agreement with the Palestinians are next to nonexistent right now. This diagnosis is shared by a broad consensus spanning the political spectrum from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the Right to opposition leader Isaac Herzog on the Left.
There is, however, also a broad consensus supporting cooperation with Palestinians in the fields of business, environmental issues and technology.
Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon has taken a number of steps to foster cooperation, apparently with the endorsement of the prime minister. Initiatives include inviting Palestinian doctors to train in Israeli hospitals; study and internship opportunities for Palestinian entrepreneurs and engineers in Israel’s world-leading hi-tech industry; allowing Palestinian construction companies and contractors to operate inside the Green Line, expanding access to the Israeli market from the current situation in which only Palestinian day laborers are allowed into Israel to work.
Such initiatives could foster stronger ties between Israelis and Palestinians and help break down barriers.
But if economic cooperation is supported by the present government – even by ministers opposed to a two-state solution – how are we to explain the government’s decision this week regarding SodaStream? The government refused to renew work permits for 74 Palestinians employed by the Israeli carbonated beverages company. SodaStream’s CEO Daniel Birnbaum told The Jerusalem Post’s Economics Correspondent Niv Elis that he had approached the Prime Minister’s Office and the Economy, Finance, Public Security, Interior and Foreign ministries, as well as the police – to no avail.
Collaborators in the War against the Jews: Judith Butler
While she likes to beat on her drum about supposedly growing up in a Jewish home, there is no evidence that she knows the slightest thing about Judaism. She claims her “Jewish values” are what drive her to embrace Palestinian anti-Semites and barbarians. Here she sums up her own knowledge of Judaism: “As a Jew, I was taught that it was ethically imperative to speak up and to speak out against arbitrary state violence.” There is no such Jewish ethical imperative. She clarifies: “There were those who would and could speak out against state racism and state violence, and it was imperative that we be able to speak out. Not just for Jews, but for any number of people.” Needless to say, the only “state violence” she feels obliged to denounce is that supposedly practiced by Israel when it defends its civilians. She is not exactly outspoken when it comes to the state violence practiced by Iran or Syria.
As part of Butler’s campaign on behalf of Palestinian terrorism, she likes to wave about the fact that she herself grew up as a “Reform” Jew. There are very few things wrong with the world that she does not attribute to the unforgivable desire by Jews for self-determination. Her attitude towards the Jewish homeland was summed up by her thus: “The argument that all Jews have a heartfelt investment in the state of Israel is untrue. Some have a heartfelt investment in corned beef sandwiches.”
When it comes to academic streetwalking on behalf of anti-Semitism and Palestinian violence, that old adage is true: the Butler did it.
Culture minister booed, artist inserts flag in his backside at Haaretz conference
Met with protests over her efforts to cut funding to artists who "act against the state," Culture Minister Miri Regev tells Haaretz audience to "cut the bullshit" • After artist sparks outcry by inserting flag into rear end, she says: That is not art.
Culture Minister Miri Regev sparked a massive controversy at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art on Sunday when she opened her speech with three words that may have been construed as a declaration of war: "Cut the bullshit."
Speaking at the Haaretz newspaper culture conference titled "Culture Requires Independence," and facing overt protests over what artists perceive as her attempts to silence them, Regev did not spare the audience her criticism of certain artists and cultural figures whom she feels "act against the principles of the state."
Upon taking the stage, she was greeted by protesters who booed or placed masking tape over their mouths to symbolize being silenced and stifled.
"I was always told to start a speech with a quote," Regev said. "It makes for a cultured impression. So here goes. As the famed Chinese philosopher Sun Tzu once put it: 'Cut the bullshit.'"
Regev was immediately met with a swell of boos and criticism from the audience. As she continued her speech, Haaretz Editor-In-Chief Aluf Benn had to take the stage a number of times to ask the audience to quiet down and allow the minister to finish speaking.
Police investigate vulgar 'Haaretz' flag desecration
Israeli police have opened a criminal investigation into a vulgar performance at the Tel Aviv Museum this past Sunday, during which a far-left "artist" publicly desecrated the Israeli flag on stage.
The incident occurred at the Ha'aretz Israel Culture Conference, during which anti-Zionist activist and actor Ariel Bronz inserted an Israeli flag into his anus in full view of the audience. Bronz was then ushered off the stage as some members of the audience reacted angrily.
Several complaints were lodged with police as a result, and on Monday Israel Police announced they would be investigating Bronz for "desecrating a national symbol."
One of the complainants is Avi Farhan, a leading Israeli activist who became something of a nationalist symbol during the struggles to save the Jewish communities of Gush Katif and Sinai.
Twitter shuts down Anonymous accounts 'for harassing' ISIS jihadis
The social media site has come under fire from the hacktivists who recently told Express Online they are shutting down thousands of ISIS accounts every month.
While Twitter says it is making strong efforts to shut down terrorist accounts, said they do not see this happening, but they have been targeted themselves.
As quickly as ISIS sets up accounts and spreads propaganda, hackers from groups like Anonymous and Ctrl Sec are taking them down in their own online campaign #OpISIS.
The group updates followers, linking to the accounts they have spotted, while calling on other to join them and report Jihadi profiles.
But they have said the social media site is shutting them down.
Twitter has received severe criticism over its handling of the ISIS crisis in recent months.
Independent “reveals” Israel’s secret war on Palestinian clowns
CAMERA has a continually updated post on biased and inaccurate headlines accompanying articles on the latest round of Palestinian terror – words which often invert reality, blurring cause and effect or otherwise obfuscating clear evidence of Palestinian culpability.
These headlines – and often strap lines – sometimes mislead not merely by the words chosen, but by the words and facts which are omitted. Since many people often just glance at a headline – perhaps only skimming the text in the article – such omissions have the effect of conflating perpetrator and victim, and seriously misleading news consumers as to the actual sequence of events.
The following headline accompanying a story in the Independent, by contributor Matt Broomfield (whose personal views on Israel are clear in these tweets), represents another example of editorial choices which distort reality and recast a suspected Palestinian terrorist as the victim of Israeli oppression.

"Israel under pressure to release imprisoned Palestinian clown"
‘How could something like this happen in the 21st century?’
Yazidi and Kurdish delegation visits Yad Vashem and finds parallels with persecution by Islamic State.
The black-and-white images at one display at Yad Vashem’s Holocaust museum in Jerusalem show women survivors of the Volary death march who married and raised families.
The guide emphasized the desire to continue living that survivors had in the wake of the Nazi genocide, even as they lived crammed into displaced persons’ camps after the war.
For the Yazidi and Kurdish delegation touring the museum these were stories that rang true back home in Iraqi Kurdistan where some 300,000 Yazidis have become refugees from persecution by Islamic State.
For the six visitors, the traumatic experience on Sunday of walking through the cement-shrouded museum seeing displays of Nazi brutality was jarring. The group had come to take part in a multiday conference this week at the capital’s Mishkenot Sha’ananim hosted by the Spring of Hope Foundation and dedicated to providing a platform for the voices of persecuted religious and ethnic minorities. The delegation included Sherzad Mamsani, the director of Jewish affairs for the Kurdistan Regional Government, Saeed Khudeda Alo, a lecturer at the University of Duhok, and Khaleel al-Dakhi, a Yazidi lawyer and activist who has helped rescue people from ISIS slavery.
‘Shylock’ on stage in Venice Jewish ghetto
If you venture into the historic Jewish ghetto of Venice this year, you could very well encounter the ghost of Shylock, whose complicated persona has been at the center of lasting debate in the annals of Shakespearian theater.
The Merchant of Venice, with its central Shylock figure, a character both despised and pitied, is to appear July 26-29 and 31 in the very ghetto where Jews were first separated from the rest of Venice during the Passover of 1516.
The irony of staging this play for the first time in the Italian ghetto – a play in which the central character is a stereotypical Jewish moneylender demanding a pound of flesh at a trial – is hard to escape, given the fact that anti-Semitism is once more on the rise in contemporary Europe 70 years after the Holocaust.
Shakespeare’s play is part of planned activities marking the 500th anniversary of the ghetto’s beginnings.
Netanyahu eulogizes Nancy Reagan - 'A great friend of Israel'
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed condolences to the family of Nancy Reagan, the former first lady, who died at the age of 94 on Sunday.
“I remember Nancy as a noble woman who supported President [Ronald] Reagan and stood by his side,” the prime minister said. “She will be remembered as a great friend of the State of Israel.”
Reagan, the former actress who was fiercely protective of husband Ronald Reagan through a Hollywood career, eight years in the White House, an assassination attempt and her husband's Alzheimer's disease, died on Sunday at age 94, the Reagan library said.
Michael Reagan said on Twitter he was saddened by his stepmother's death. "She is once again with the man she loved," he wrote.
Reagan became one of the most influential first ladies in US history during her Republican husband's presidency from 1981 to 1989.
Drugmaker Perrigo expects $100 million boost from new Israeli plant
Generic drugmaker Perrigo Co (PRGO.N) said it expected a $100 million boost to annual sales from a new factory inaugurated in Israel on Wednesday.
The Irish-based pharmaceutical firm invested about $46 million to expand its facility in the remote desert town of Yeruham, which specialises in products more difficult to produce than oral medications, such as foams, creams and nasal sprays.
"As a company this (investment) is a big prescription drug growth platform for us, primarily for the U.S. market, but not solely," Perrigo's president, John Hendrickson, told Reuters in an interview.
"It allows us to stay on the cutting edge of being a leader of complex products."
Perrigo began operating in Israel and listed on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange when it bought pharmaceutical firm Agis Industries for $850 million in 2005.
Building a better pacemaker by training cardiac cells to beat
In a breakthrough that could change the future of pacemakers, Israeli researchers have used mechanical stimulation to “train” cardiac cells to beat at a given rate.
The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology team’s findings, published recently in Nature Physics, also demonstrate for the first time that direct physical contact with the cardiac cells is not required to synchronize their beating.
As long as the cardiac cells are in the tissue being mechanically stimulated, they are trained by the stimulation, with long-lasting effects that persist even after the stimulation is stopped.
“Cell-cell communication is essential for growth, development and function,” explained Assistant Professor Shelly Tzlil of the Technion Faculty of Mechanical Engineering.
Ancient Burial Site with 100 Tombs Unearthed Near Bethlehem
An ancient necropolis that held as many as 100 tombs from 4,000 years ago has been discovered near Bethlehem in Judea and Samaria, Live Science reported. The site was first spotted in the spring of 2013, during the construction of an industrial park. In 2014, a team from the PA Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities excavated some of the tombs, and in 2015 a joint Italian-PA team surveyed the necropolis and created a plan for future exploration. The archaeologists found that the necropolis covered more than 7 acres and originally contained more than 100 tombs between 2200 and 650 BCE — roughly the time of the first Israelite kingdom.
Located on the side of a hill, the archaeological site — now called Khalet al-Jam’a — was likely a burial ground for biblical Bethlehem. The site’s “long-lasting utilization, over a millennium and a half or more, and the large number of tombs, suggest that Khalet al-Jam’a was the necropolis of a major settlement in the area, possibly a town,” Lorenzo Nigro, professor at Rome’s Sapienza University, wrote in an article published recently in the journal Vicino Oriente.
Nigro said that finds from the necropolis indicate that the settlement was a wealthy place, with access to trade routes, citing biblical texts that refer to the town of Beit Lekhem in Judea, birthplace of King David.
‘Exceptional’ woman’s 2,500-year-old seal unearthed in Jerusalem
Two 2,500-year-old seals — one belonging to an “exceptional” woman — were found outside of Jerusalem’s Old City, the Israel Antiquities Authority announced on Monday in what it termed a rare discovery.
The first First Temple-era find, made of semiprecious stone and bearing the name “Elihana bat Gael,” indicated the woman who owned the seal was affluent. The second seal, found in the same area, belonged to “Sa‘aryahu ben Shabenyahu.”
“Finding seals that bear names from the time of the First Temple is hardly a commonplace occurrence, and finding a seal that belonged to a woman is an even rarer phenomenon,” the IAA said in a statement.
The “owner of the seal was exceptional compared to other women of the First Temple period: she had legal status which allowed her to conduct business and possess property,” it said.
Archaeologists believe the building where the two seals were located — in what is now the Givati parking lot — served as an administrative center. (h/t Yenta Press)

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