Tuesday, April 05, 2016

From Ian:

Massively inflating toll, Sanders suggests Israel killed ‘over 10,000 innocents’ in Gaza
Massively amplifying even Hamas’s own figures, Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders suggested Israel had killed “over 10,000 innocent” Palestinian civilians in Gaza during the war there in the summer of 2014, and said the high casualties were the result of an “indiscriminate” military offensive.
In an interview with the New York Daily News editorial board published on Monday, the Vermont senator acknowledged that he did not have the exact figures memorized, but twice said he believed that the Palestinian civilian death count surpassed 10,000, and excoriated Israel for what he deemed its disproportionate use of force.
“Anybody help me out here, because I don’t remember the figures, but my recollection is over 10,000 innocent people were killed in Gaza. Does that sound right?” he said first. Told that the number was “probably high,” Sanders responded: “I don’t have it in my number.. .but I think it’s over 10,000. My understanding is that a whole lot of apartment houses were leveled,” he went on. “Hospitals, I think, were bombed. So yeah, I do believe and I don’t think I’m alone in believing that Israel’s force was more indiscriminate than it should have been.”

Why Bernie Sanders Doesn’t Talk About Being Jewish
From its inception as a working political doctrine, socialism was bad for the Jews. Indeed, the long arm of the world’s first socialist state killed off its most prominent Jewish founder with an ice pick. Why, then, would Jews like Bernie Sanders be socialists? Well, with Sanders’s now-undeniable popularity on the left, the new spin is that he isn’t really a socialist at all.
Diane Rehm-aged doyenne of public radio and recipient of the Peabody, the National Humanities Medal, and sundry other status markers—had a question for Bernie Sanders. The date was June 10, 2015. The Vermont senator and self-identified socialist had just announced his candidacy for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination against Hillary Clinton. Sanders’s loyalties to the party he sought to lead but had only just officially joined had become a subject of some concern to Democrats. But Rehm wanted to talk about a different kind of loyalty.
Rehm: Senator, you have dual citizenship with Israel.
Sanders: No, I do not have dual citizenship with Israel, I’m an American. Don’t know where that question came from. I’m an American citizen. I have visited Israel on a couple of occasions. No, I’m an American citizen, period.
Rehm: I understand from a list we have gotten that you were on that list. Forgive me if that…
Sanders: No, that’s some of the nonsense that goes on in the Internet. But that is absolutely not true.
Rehm: Interesting. Are there members of Congress who do have dual citizenship, or is that part of the fable?
So: A Jewish public figure was simply assumed by NPR’s most celebrated chat-show host to have dual citizenship with Israel. After he corrected the host, the Jew was told that his name was on “a list.” When he denied it a second time, he was asked to fork over some names of those who do have suspect loyalties to America.
As Sanders suggested, the “list” she had cited was gleaned from an anti-Semitic Facebook page. Rehm later apologized. That was the end of that. But it was only the beginning for Sanders when it came to questions about his Jewishness.

Judea Pearl: Anti-Zionism is a hateful ideology. It has no place at UC
As a professor at UCLA since 1969 and a witness to the rapid deterioration of our campus climate, I believe the working group's statement is a genuine attempt to deal with a lingering problem that has caused Jewish students and their allies a great deal of agony, interfered with their studies and severely tarnished the reputation of our university system.
Some critics, including the Los Angeles Times editorial board, object to the statement because “it conflates anti-Semitism with anti-Zionism.”
That's not the case. A careful reading reveals that exactly the opposite is true; the statement explicitly separates the two issues, saying: “Anti-Semitism, anti-Zionism and other forms of discrimination have no place at the University of California.”
The statement, in other words, condemns anti-Zionism not because it closely mimics anti-Semitism, but on its own terms — and rightly so.
Anti-Semitism targets Jews as individuals; anti-Zionism targets Jews as a people. Anti-Semitism would deny Jews equal standing as human beings; anti-Zionism would ban Israel from equal membership in the family of nations.
Daniel Gordis Rejecting Zionist Principles Is a Rejection of Jews
The chief mistake that many Jewish-American organizations make is to respond angrily to criticism of Israel, without acknowledging that there is any legitimate criticism. This inadvertently leaves the impression that they believe that no critique of Israel is legitimate. But that is absurd. Israel, like all countries, makes grievous mistakes, and can fairly be critiqued by Israelis and by non-Israelis, by Jews and by non-Jews.
Yet much of the criticism of Israel to which we are witness today goes far beyond the pale of legitimate critique. The United Nations is ground zero in this phenomenon. Last month, the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women condemned only one country for violating women’s rights. It was Israel, which it accused of violating the rights of Palestinian women. Coincidentally, on the very same day, as the U.N. Human Rights Council closed its session in Geneva, it condemned Israel five times more than any of the U.N.’s member states. Is Israel a greater violator of human rights than Syria? Than North Korea? Than Yemen? Any such suggestion is so patently laughable that one cannot escape asking what lies behind this cascade of opprobrium.
Why is it, as Larry Summers noted this week, that despite the hyper-sensitivity on American college campuses to micro-aggressions, venomous, hate-filled denunciation of Israel remains fair game? Clearly, something more basic than Israel’s policies is at play here.
What is at play is the fact that Israel represents the Jewish future. Jews are once again fleeing Europe. The Islamic State is at war with the entire West, but in Turkey, its latest plans are apparently attacks on Jewish institutions and Jewish children.
In New York Times ‘Debate’ on Anti-Zionism, No Room for Real Debate
Daniel Gordis, who teaches at Shalem College, offers a mostly reasonable contribution, denouncing as antisemitism opposition to Israel’s existence. Benjamin Gladstone, a sophomore at Brown, also offers a mostly reasonable essay, reaching the conclusion, “Not all anti-Zionism is necessarily anti-Semitism, but the obsession with attacking Israel often crosses the line into structural anti-Semitism.”
Installments from a student and a professor at two University of California campuses offer the predictable anti-Zionist case, dismissing concerns about antisemitism, and offering the appearance of “balance,” as if Israel’s existence were a topic on which the Times should strive for neutral, even-handed coverage.
The real head-slapper, though, is the fifth, tie-breaking contribution. It wasn’t enough for the Times to weigh two pro-Zionist pieces against two anti-Zionist ones. Instead, the newspaper had to stick its thumb on the scale by adding a contribution from one Lisa Goldman. The newspaper identifies her as a “journalist.” Her web site says, “She currently works with corporate clients interested in entering various Middle Eastern markets.” Ms. Goldman’s contribution appears under the headline, “Anti-Zionists Thrive In Israel, Why Not in The U.S?”
Irwin Cotler: Laundering Antisemitism Corrupts Our Common Humanity
Cotler said that the new antisemitism targets less the individual Jew than the collective Jew — the state of Israel — partly by ascribing to the Jewish state the various nefarious traits antisemites traditionally ascribed to individual Jews, but also by operating under a number of modern forms, including what he called “genocidal antisemitism” and “anti-Jewish terror antisemitism.”
“International law proscribes incitement to genocide,” Cotler said. “Yet such incitement is precisely what we regularly see from Israel’s enemies.” He cited remarks by Iranian leaders, and the charters of groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah, explicitly calling for the destruction of Israel and the murder not of “Zionists,” but of Jews. “These are clear violations of the international conventions against incitement, yet nobody acts to prosecute them.”
Nor is genocide merely a threat, he added. Not only have thousands of Jews around the world been wounded or killed in “anti-Jewish terror” attacks over the past decade or so, including hundreds in recent months alone, he said. But, again, the world pays almost no attention to them.
New Statesman: I grew up in South Africa, so believe me when I say: Israel is not an apartheid state
This week on university campuses across the UK, activists are preparing for “Israel Apartheid Week”. This term is not only misleading, but a grave insult to those who were subjugated in South Africa.
Words make a world of difference. Over time, they become charged with inference and allusion and, deployed effectively, they have the power to change the very fabric of our civilisation. For example, the phrase “civil rights” could reasonably be applied to any right of any citizen the world over, yet we instinctively associate it with the movement that for ever altered the political and social landscape of the United States in the 1950s and 1960s.
The word “apartheid” has similar historical resonance. Growing up in South Africa, I became aware of the different status conferred upon the black majority. I found myself confronted every day by a society that would routinely degrade and demean black South Africans, not just culturally or socially, but also in the eyes of the law. All societies wrestle with the scourge of prejudice, but validating that prejudice in statute makes a virtue of oppression.
I am eternally grateful that I grew up in a home in Cape Town where the existential immorality of apartheid never affected the way in which we understood the world. My father, who is a rabbi, preached against apartheid and visited political prisoners on Robben Island. My late mother was the principal of the Athlone teacher training college, which at the time was the only college for black pre-school teachers in the country. As with other similar institutions, it would later become known as a hotbed of activism. The students’ struggle was her struggle and my siblings and I would hear stories at the end of each day about the challenges they faced and the harsh reality of their lives. Those experiences remain among the most important of my early years.
Fighting Hate: Scholars of Anti-Semitism Target Anti-Zionism
Over the years, I’ve spoken at or attended a number of academic conferences on the subject of rising anti-Semitism. Parleys like these are essential for boosting our understanding of why, seven decades after the end of the World War II, the taboo around anti-Semitic invective—whether directed at Jews as Jews, or through code words like “Zionists”—has been broken. Historians, sociologists, and political scientists, along with scholars from similar disciplines, all play a decisive role in determining how the trajectory of anti-Semitism changes even as its core themes, like its implacable opposition to Jewish sovereignty and its dark warnings about powerful Jews working against the national interest, remain the same.
From April 2-6, all these topics are again coming under the spotlight at a major conference at the Indiana University Institute for the Study of Contemporary Anti-Semitism, under the able direction of Professor Alvin Rosenfeld. The papers being delivered suggest that the conference is digging deep into the weeds: Over four days, attendees are discussing why anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism exercise little attraction in countries like Japan, India, and China; examining the manipulation of the Holocaust in public debates around Israel and Zionism; and revisiting, through such subjects as Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry of 1946 on the future of the land of Israel, the historical foundations of anti-Semitism in our own time.
All very interesting and perhaps even a little obscure, you might think, but don’t make the mistake of believing that a conference like this one is a purely ivory tower affair. The very title of the conference—“Anti-Zionism, Anti-Semitism, and the Dynamics of Delegitimization”—makes clear what the conference organizers correctly regard as the heart of the current problem. “Our goal is to open more eyes toward what is happening,” Rosenfeld told The Algemeiner, “to get more people to start paying attention to contemporary anti-Semitism and the role that hostility to Israel plays in generating it.”
UN partially reverses decision to censor Israel exhibition
The United Nations reversed its decision to censor one of the three displays that it had originally disqualified from a special exhibition initiated by Israel’s permanent mission to the United Nations with the organization StandWithUs on Monday.
The display on Zionism, which defined the concept as “the liberation movement of the Jewish people”, was the one that was ultimately approved. The two other posters, on Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish People and on Israeli Arabs, remained censored by the UN.
Israel’s Ambassador to the international body Danny Danon had called on Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon on Sunday to reverse the decision and to “apologize to the Jewish people.”
“By disqualifying an exhibition about Zionism the UN is undermining the very existence of the State of Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people,” he said on Sunday.
Danon welcomed Monday’s decision to finally allow the panel on Zionism and said it is “a clear win for Israeli diplomacy and a victory for the truth about Israel” but that the UN must now reverse its decision to censor the other two elements and allow all the panels to be exhibited.
Jews Who Refused to Leave Yemen Have Second Thoughts
The 67 Yemeni Jews who refused to join the recent secret airlift to Israel organized by the Jewish Agency are now seeking to follow suit. Sources in Yemen report that the group, comprised mostly of children and the elderly and located in the capital Sana’a and in the neighboring province of Amran in the city of Raydah, has been subject to constant harassment because most of their friends, neighbors, and community elders have left for Israel.
Speaking to The Media Line on condition of anonymity because of the fear of reprisals by Muslim Yemeni, one of those now trying to leave said the remaining Jews complain that in addition to increasing abuse by Muslims, there is no one to lead their religious rituals or to teach their children.
Those who remained behind have confirmed reports that the spate of publicity accompanying the mini-exodus and showcasing the 600-800 year old Torah scroll that the emigrants took with them has effectively drawn targets on the backs of those who opted out of the airlift. “The Jewish Agency’s decision to release the news about the manuscript arriving in Israel caused us even more seclusion.In Raydah, they treat us like strangers, even though we are Yemenis just like them. Our religion, which is different from theirs, has caused them to look at us with inferiority. They have fenced our houses in with stones and cut off the roads leading to our homes so that we do not escape or to make it difficult for us to get food or any other supplies we need into our homes,” he explained.
IsraellyCool: The Deliberate Extermination Of Judaism In Yemen
Yemeni Jews arriving in Israel Jewish AgencyA few days have passed since all the joyous headlines. So now I want to throw a little cold water over the orgy of happiness that accompanied a very sad event.
Nineteen of the last remaining Jews in Yemen have been airlifted to Israel in a covert operation to rescue members of a community dating back two millennia from a brutal civil war.
One of them, a rabbi, carried with him a 500-year-old sacred Torah scroll, the removal of which symbolised the end of Yemen’s Jewish community.
Most Yemeni Jews, who numbered about 50,000 in the middle of the last century, have been brought to Israel over almost seven decades of secret airlifts, which the state has now declared are at end.

So why was everyone else celebrating the “homecoming” of these Yemeni Jews? In Israel we do celebrate when Jews come home, that’s true.
But consider for a moment what right those Jews had to live in Yemen. The Jewish Virtual Library has this to say on the origins of Jews in Yemen:
We do not know exactly how Jews came to settle in Yemen. According to Yemenite tradition, a group of well-off Jews left Jerusalem after they heard Jeremiah predict the destruction of the Temple in 629 BCE, 42 years before the destruction of the city. Historians believe that King Solomon’s trading and naval networks brought Jews to Yemen from Judea around 900 BCE. The first evidence of Jewish presence in Yemen can be traced to the third century CE.
Israeli musician cancels his show in Jordan following anti-Israel outcry
An Israeli musician who was set to perform in Jordan this week canceled his show following a popular outcry against his visit to Jordan, where it was regarded as a step toward the normalization of the Kingdom’s relations with Israel.
The musician, Nadav Dagon, was scheduled to perform at Wadi Rum Desert, east of the Jordanian city of Aqaba, on Thursday, during a special three-day music festival.
Dagon created an “event” on his Facebook page for the occasion, with a relevant post in Arabic, Hebrew and English. However, Dagon soon came under fire from many anti-Israeli activists on Jordanian social media networks, who protested against the “Zionist” musician.
The popular outcry against Dagon’s show reached the Jordanian Parliament as well, with a petition signed by a group of parliament members urging the Israeli not to perform in Jordan.
“You are not welcomed in Jordan and your show is nothing but a dance over the corpses of the children in Gaza and the Palestinian steadfastness,” the petition read.
Shmuley Boteach: Another Hollywood Israel hater
Wallace Shawn is an actor and playwright best known for his character Vizzini in the movie The Princess Bride. Anyone who has seen the film will remember his famous catchphrase (“Inconceivable!”), that he says whenever something goes wrong. Shawn is also well known for voicing the dinosaur Rex in the Toy Story films, and he has acted and voiced characters in a number of television shows and films. Blue Dream studios and director Tony Bancroft are currently in production for the film Animal Crackers where Shawn is a member of the cast.
Unfortunately, most people are unaware of Shawn’s activism directed toward harming the State of Israel. He is on the advisory board of Jewish Voice for Peace, a rabidly anti-Israel group that tries to hide its agenda by labeling itself as a pro-Israel group that simply wants a peaceful resolution with the Palestinians. Shawn’s active participation with this organization as well as his past statements about the Jewish state are truly unsettling.
Jewish Voice for Peace’s ultimate goal is the destruction of the State of Israel. While the group claims to only work actively toward boycotting the West Bank, Rebecca Vilkomerson, executive director of Jewish Voice for Peace, has said, “We do feel connected to the global BDS [Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions] movement. We consider ourselves a part of it. We would defend the right of people to do a full boycott. This is what Palestinians are asking for, and we respect their call.” The JVP website also states: “We believe that the time-honored, non-violent tools proposed by the BDS call provide powerful opportunities to make that vision real.”
However, contrary to their assertions of non-violence, NGO Monitor wrote an investigative report on JVP showing the group “supports or has partnered with groups such as Sabeel, Electronic Intifada, Al-Awda, International ANSWER Coalition, the International Solidarity Movement, and Students for Justice in Palestine, all of which label Israel a racist apartheid state, support BDS and, in some cases, support violence against Israelis.”
During Israel visit, House speaker slams BDS movement

Ryan's visit to Israel marks his first trip abroad since becoming House speaker last fall.
"I'm proud that my first trip as speaker is a return to Israel," Ryan said in a statement posted on his website. "At this critical moment, it is essential that we reaffirm the historic alliance between our two nations and work together to address the mutual security threats that we face."
The delegation also visited the Knesset on Monday and met with Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein.
In an interview from Jerusalem with "The Hugh Hewitt Show" on Monday, Ryan spoke out against the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement. "Europe has been engaging in this ridiculous and counterproductive BDS shenanigan," Ryan said. "We in the Congress have been very forceful about that. By the way, when you try to boycott, divest or sanction Israel, you're hurting Palestinians as well."
Watch: 'Obama has been a tacit supporter of BDS'
Pro-Israel activist Dr. Joseph Frager spoke with Arutz Sheva on Sunday on the sidelines of a CHAZAQ annual event in Queens College, New York.
Frager spoke about the BDS boycott movement, and termed it "economic and cultural warfare against the state of Israel."
He also addressed US President Barack Obama's actions or lack thereof regarding the movement, and charged that Obama has been "a tacit supporter of BDS."
The activist added that Obama has allowed labeling moves targeting the Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria, and thereby has given a "carte blanche" for BDS to move ahead, in a great "injustice" to not only Israel but the entire world.
Ben-Dror Yemini: How to Fight the BDS
5 Parts

How ‘Breaking the Silence’ fails Israel
Breaking the Silence (BtS) is an Israeli organization founded by disgruntled Israeli army veterans who regularly take their protests to American and European audiences to generate external pressure on Israel. Critics say they are abetting anti-Israel activists in their efforts to delegitimize Israel in the movement to impose boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) on the Jewish state. Adding to the existing controversy are serious new allegations that BtS has been collecting information on classified IDF operations. If proven true, BtS leaders may have committed espionage and could face criminal charges, with far-reaching repercussions for BtS’s funders and partners, including the European Union, the New Israel Fund, and J Street. Currently BtS is touring US campuses, having just presented to audiences at Brown and Columbia.
BtS’s stated purpose is to bring to fellow Israelis the voices of soldiers who served in the West Bank and Gaza so as to “expose the Israeli public to the reality of everyday life” there. Its main tool is a collection of impossible to verify anonymous and anecdotal testimonies of soldiers.
BtS disseminates these allegations to general and campus audiences in the US, Europe and elsewhere. BtS refuses to cooperate with the IDF’s legal unit, the Military Advocate General Corps, which is tasked to investigate such claims.
There is an irony in the group’s name. In Israel there is no silence to break. Most Israelis serve in the IDF. Hundreds of thousands of other soldiers have, over the years, experienced firsthand military activity in the West Bank and Gaza. So BtS’s premise that Israelis are “ignorant” of the situation in these territories defies logic. Further, given the noisy debates that characterize Israeli society, substantiated allegations of IDF misbehavior would generate calls for investigations.
Alison Weir: One way or another, its the Jews fault
Alison Weir's March 30 talk at the Walnut Creek Library was apparently fraught with difficulty. And hyperbole. But mostly hyperbole.
Instead of speaking to her usual cadre of true believers, she found her audience peppered with people who actually knew the truth.
It wasn't pretty for her.
Now, her and her minions can not figure out who to blame.
Alison Weir, who sees StandWithUs in her tea leaves and in her cornflakes sent out a press release blaming the educational non-profit group, StandWithUs.
Can you say "Libel", Alison?
Are Alison Weir's difficulties StandWithUs's fault or are they JVP's fault?
Does it even matter, as long as you can blame it on the Jews?

The shameful anti-Semitism in the British Left
From Karl Marx on there has been a strain of anti-Semitism in leftist circles. Even Wilhelm Marr, the man who coined the word “anti-Semitism” was a German leftist. What is distressing, though it should not therefore come as a total surprise, is the number of leftists, especially too many in the British Labour Party, who have succumbed to the disease.
The carriers are gradually becoming known and they should be named to prevent others being infected. The irony is that these carriers always claim they oppose discrimination.
A few can be mentioned. We already know of Vicki Kirby, vice-chair of the Woking Labour Party who told us that Jews “slaughter the oppressed.” The former Lord Mayor of Bradford, Khadim Hussain, welcomed a cartoon complaining of the emphasis that schools were putting on teaching the Holocaust, on Anne Frank, and on the six million “Zionists [sic]” killed. On April 1, after he had been criticized, he resigned or was bidden farewell from the Labour Party.
A student named Rayhan Uddin, vice-chair of the London School of Economics Labour Society and member of the Labour Party is ambitious to become president of the student union at LSE. He did not win because he did not receive the necessary quota of votes. However, he knew that “leading Zionists” had taken over the union.
Beinazir Lasharie, a Labour councillor in Kensington, London, told us that many people knew that Jews were behind 9/11 and behind ISIS. Among the others who can be named are Gerry Downing (Zionists rule the world), Scott Nelson (the Israeli flag reveals a swastika), and Bob Campbell (the rat with the Star of David is the real plague).
Jeremy Corbyn gains very little from confronting Labour's anti-Semites
American comedian Jackie Mason once offered his own explanation for enduring anti-Semitism: "nobody ever crossed the street to avoid a group of Jewish accountants."
Does this explain why Jeremy Corbyn isn't doing enough to weed out anti-Jewish bigotry within his party, as MP Louise Ellman felt compelled to point out this week?
Well, it may be true that the Labour leader has little reason to fear being attacked by a marauding mob of Rabbis. We Jews are a peaceable bunch and culturally abhor violence. But Corbyn's lack of action in the face of relentless examples of anti-Semitism within the party has raised a toxic suspicion: could it be that doing nothing doesn't actually hurt his position that much?
It's a painful hypothesis. Yet one only has to look at the Labour leader's supporters.
Corbyn swept to the top opposition job thanks to a tsunami of support from the hard Left: socialists, Marxists, trade unionists, communists.
With this in mind, look at where anti-Semitic activity within the party has been fermenting.
Labour Presents: The Merchant of Venice! (satire)
Objections to a recent showing of “The Merchant of Venice” by Labour has left Party leadership surprised and confused. Sheakespeare’s famous play is known for painting Zios members of the Jewish faith in a not-so-nice-light, but Party leadership insist that this played no role in their decision of the “Labour Party Players” drama troupe’s decision to hold a showing as a fundraiser for the upcoming elections. The Daily Freier spoke with Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn for his take on recent events.
“Was this offensive? I really can’t see where we went wrong. I simply feel that Labour went to great lengths to ensure an event that was even-handed and free of controversy. We even put Khadim Hussain in charge of publicity in order to avoid any problems.”
“Labour Party Players” is an amateur troupe of thespians that includes past and present Party members who stage plays as fundraisers and for charity. Needless to say, staging a play that maintains good production value on a budget is not easy. Stage manager Gerry Downing explained. “We had trouble sourcing a Shylock who would be suitably true to the Bard’s vision, but our friends over in Neturei Karta really came through for us. We had 100 guys show up to audition… or you know, like all of Neturei Karta. Plus Vicki Kirby helped build a giant prosthetic nose that was just amazing.”
The Daily Freier spoke with members of the public as they departed last night’s showing for their opinions on this latest controversy. “Finally, a play that really has a message.” enthused musician Roger Waters. “I suppose that the usual suspects will demand a pound of flesh raise spirited objections, but ‘the show must go on’ as they say.”
The Guardian editor who tried to draw a line in the sand against antisemitism?
Though the Guardian hasn’t always fairly applied the broad standards outlined in Elliott’s columns on what constitutes anti-Jewish racism, his recognition of antisemitism as a “specific phenomenon” with a unique history and recognizable rhetorical and visual patterns was a welcome contrast to those commentators who denounce antisemitism in the abstract while failing to identify its most recent anti-Zionist mutations.
Though we often disagreed with Chris Elliott over what constituted a violation of the Editors’ Code in the context of their coverage of Israel, his commitment to basic journalistic ethics was never in doubt.
Given the dangerous resurgence of antisemitism in the UK and across Europe, we can only hope that Elliott’s replacement at the Guardian will at the very least continue in his tradition of taking the concerns of British Jews seriously.
BBC Arabic misleads on naval blockade of Gaza Strip
Despite the interest in the Gaza fishing industry shown by the BBC in the past, there was no reporting of this news on the English language BBC News website. The story did however get coverage on the BBC Arabic website.
In that report readers were told that Israel has imposed a naval blockade on the Gaza Strip since Hamas seized control of the territory – i.e. in June 2007. In fact, the naval blockade was announced in January 2009 – over a year and a half after the Hamas coup in the Gaza Strip.
As readers may recall, that inaccurate claim has been made on several prior occasions and has also been corrected by the BBC in the past. It is therefore all the more unfortunate to see the same error appearing in BBC content time after time.
Comparing BBC personalisation of victims of terror in Paris, Brussels and Israel
As we see the BBC clearly employs a markedly different approach to the victims of terror attacks in Europe and in Israel. Dedicated coverage of the victims of the attacks in Paris and Brussels has ensured appropriate personalisation and humanisation of those murdered in attacks the BBC is (for the most part) comfortable describing as terrorism.
However, for BBC audiences the vast majority of victims in Israel remain faceless and, in very many cases, even nameless victims of violence which the corporation refuses to describe as terrorism.
LISTEN: Breitbart’s Aaron Klein Owns Anti-Israel Radio Caller
Bill went on to argue that Israel should only act militarily if there is an international consensus and UN approval for any Israeli military mission.
Klein retorted, “Do you understand that by your logic, ISIS would have nuclear weapons now because Israel would have never been able to react?”
Bill replied that North Korea signed an international nuclear treaty and gave up its nuclear ambitions, and argued that the Syrians likely would have followed suit.
Klein explained to the caller that North Korea has since rejected the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and declared itself in possession of nuclear weapons.
“North Korea gave up what? They didn’t give up anything,” stated Klein. “They have nuclear weapons now.”
“Okay, Bill in Philly, I hope that the future that you are calling for never happens. Because if it does ISIS will have nuclear weapons. And I am so thankful that Israel took out the nukes of Syria. And I think that I destroyed you and every one of your claims, Bill. Thanks for the call.”
OpGal’s camera detects the little leaks responsible for big pollution
All over the world, air pollution is thought to be to blame for a host of diseases — cancer, birth defects, and much more. And despite efforts by authorities to reduce pollution in industrialized areas — such as Haifa — the problem persists and seems to get worse.
One reason for that, according to Israeli optics technology firm OpGal, is that authorities are looking in the wrong place: Instead of examining the towers that spew out smoke, what needs to be checked is the joints on the pipes that transport gas, oil, and chemicals.
“Effective gas-leak detection equipment is vital to keeping employees, products and the environment safe,” said Amit Mattatia, president & CEO of OpGal. “Over the last years, we have been very successful in developing specialized algorithms and sensors that are highly sensitive to the presence of gas traces in the invisible spectrum, and we have included this technology in our EyeCGas FX thermal camera system.”
In a study released in February, University of Haifa researchers suggested a link between infant disorders and pollution caused by heavy industry. According to the research, babies born in certain neighborhoods of Haifa adjacent to heavy industry had heads with circumferences recorded at 20-30 percent less than elsewhere. In addition, there was a higher incidence of cancer and lung diseases among the population there.
The soccer ball that lights up when kicked, and other kinetic energy converters
The energy generated by walking, running, jumping, or kicking a ball is an unrealized source of power that could be used to charge cellphones, provide power to Internet of Things devices, or even light up whole villages in the developing world.
“Over the past year, we have sold some 50,000 of our soccer balls and jump ropes, which provide light and power using the energy stored up by kinetic energy – the energy generated when a person kicks the ball or jumps rope,” said Jessica O. Matthews, the inventor of the Soccket ball and the Pulse jump rope. “People who hear about the idea think it’s amazing, and they are even more amazed when they see it in action.”
But what amazes people even more is that Matthews invented the system nine years ago, when she was just 19 and an undergrad at Harvard. This makes her eligible for the Forbes 30 Under 30 List, a gathering of individuals who are likely to be the influencers of the future, innovators who are shaping the next iterations of technology, business, medicine, and society in general.
To celebrate that innovation, business magazine and information site Forbes is holding a gala event in Tel Aviv this week to celebrate those individuals and their accomplishments.
Israeli beach volleyball duo make history in Qatar
Beach volleyball duo Sean Faiga and Ariel Hilman racked up two historic achievements on Monday, becoming the first Israeli team in the sport to vie for an Olympic spot, and the first volleyball players to participate in a competition in an Arab country.
The pair won their first qualifying match against a Japanese team, beating their opponents by two sets to zero at the FIVB Qatar Open, which took place in the capital, Doha.
Faiga and Hilman are the first Israeli volleyball players to compete in an Arab country. Israel Volleyball Association CEO Yaniv Newman said the team members are being treated warmly by their hosts and have strict protection from local forces and Israeli security guards, Israel Radio reported.
Israeli athletes usually encounter difficulties when competing in Arab countries. Nevertheless, for Israelis to compete in international sports that have tournament circuits across the globe like tennis, judo, swimming and now beach volleyball, they cannot entirely avoid competitions in these states.
Special Second Temple-era tools discovered at ancient synagogue
Ancient implements dating back to the Second Temple period has been discovered at Magdala, a 2,000-year-old Jewish town in the Galilee region.
The implements - a decorated bronze incense shovel, used for transferring embers from place to place, and a bronze jug - were recently uncovered in archaeological excavations in Magdala, on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee in northern Israel.
The Israel Antiquities Authority is leading archaeological excavations slated for the construction of a guesthouse at Magdala. The land is owned by Arke New Gate.
The site is located near the modern-day Israeli town of Migdal along the western shore of Sea of Galilee. Migdal (its Greek name is Taricheae, meaning “place where fish are salted” – possibly alluding to the main source of income of the city’s inhabitants 2,000 years ago) was a large Jewish settlement in the Early Roman period. It is mentioned in Jewish sources, and at the time of the destruction of the Second Temple it served as Josephus’ main military base in his war against the Romans in the Galilee.
A flight attendant’s guide to the Passover seder
The Passover seder can seem a bit arcane even to the habitual observer. What’s the story with the Four Questions again?
For the uninitiated, the holiday meal must be downright mystifying. Hence the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation’s new video, which aims to welcome young, unengaged Jews and non-Jews to the seder table using a familiar format: An airline safety tutorial.
In “The Safer Seder,” posted online Sunday, a friendly female flight attendant (who looks vaguely like she works for El Al and speaks unaccented English with impressive Hebrew gutturals) oversees a stylized seder. A multi-ethnic group of millennials sit in airline seats along one side of Passover-appointed tables.
Only one participant wears a kippah, and Darth Vader makes a wine-induced appearance.
The Safer Seder

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