Monday, May 02, 2016

From Ian:

PMW: Vatican-funded sports club sponsors tournament named after mass murderer
The Jerusalem Clubs Association, which is funded by the Vatican, sponsored a football tournament for youth named after arch-terrorist Abu Jihad. On numerous occasions, the PA has glorified Abu Jihad because he planned terror attacks that killed 125 Israelis.
According to the official PA daily, the Abu Jihad Football Tournament was "held under the auspices of the Jerusalem Clubs Association, in the framework of its program that is funded by the Pontifical Mission."
The Pontifical Mission is "the Papal agency for Middle East relief and development," according to its website. "Pope Pius XII mobilized worldwide Catholic aid, establishing in 1949 a temporary agency - the Pontifical Mission for Palestine - to feed, clothe and educate Palestinian refugees." [Pontifical Mission-Jerusalem's website, accessed May 2, 2016]
Palestinian Media Watch has reported that Abu Jihad is routinely honored by the PA and Fatah, by having sports events, summer camps, and other events named after him. This is the first time Vatican funding has been involved in glorifying Abu Jihad.
Why Are There Still Palestinian Refugees?
It's been seven decades since the 1948 Arab-Israeli, and yet there are still an estimated 4 million Palestinian refugees...and zero Jewish refugees. With so many nearby Arab allies of the Palestinians, how did this happen? What does it say about Israel? What does it say about its Arab neighbors? Dumisani Washington, Diversity Outreach Coordinator for Christians United for Israel, explains

US authorities say one arrested in foiled bomb plot on Florida synagogue
US federal agents over the weekend arrested one suspect in what is said to be a thwarted bomb attack on a synagogue in Florida, local news reported Monday.
Miami-Fort Lauderdale's 7News cited law enforcement sources as saying the FBI had set up a sting operation Friday to foil the planned attack at the Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center.
According to the sources, authorities posed as terrorists and managed to detain the suspect, who was allegedly planning to hurl an explosive device at the Jewish house of worship in the Miami area.
Friday's arrest came as crowds filled the synagogue in observance of the second to last day of the Passover holiday.
The arrested suspect may have converted to Islam, according to the local news reports.
Douglas Murray - Mass Migration Irreversibly Changing Europe
Douglas Murray speaks on J-TV with Alan Mendoza on how mass migration is transforming Europe.

Danish ‘martyr’ exhibit to show Brussels, Paris bombers
A Copenhagen art exhibit planning to portray two of the Brussels suicide bombers and one of the Paris Bataclan attackers as “martyrs” was on Monday reported to police for encouraging terrorism.
In an exhibit partly inspired by Tehran’s Martyrs’ Museum, a Danish group of artists plans to include brothers Ibrahim and Khalid El-Bakraoui, who detonated bombs in the deadly Brussels attacks on March 22, and Foued Mohamed-Aggad, who blew himself up at Paris music venue Bataclan on November 14.
The installation will have the look of a museum, using images of the “martyrs,” replicas of their belongings and plaques to explain who they are.
The suicide bombers will be featured alongside historical figures considered to have died for their cause, such as French heroine Joan of Arc and Greek philosopher Socrates, said Ida Grarup Nielsen of artist collective The Other Eye of The Tiger.
Paris terror suspect Salah Abdeslam is BOOED by radicalised inmates at his prison - because he did not go through with his suicide bombing
The man accused of being the logistics chief behind the Paris terror attacks was booed by radical Muslim inmates after arriving in jail - because he failed to carry out his suicide bombing.
Salah Abdeslam spent his first night in Fleury-Mérogis prison on Wednesday after being extradited from Belgium.
He was arrested over last November's attacks in the French capital which claimed 130 lives.
Upon arriving behind bars, the 26-year-old was whistled and jeered by extremist lags enraged by his alleged failure to detonate his suicide vest during the Paris onslaught.
How Sweden’s Green party became tangled with Islamist groups
Do you support the green movement? In Sweden this question has gained something of a double meaning, as prominent members of the Green party have been associated with various Islamist movements. The result is a massive scandal which so far has led to the resignation of the Minister for Housing and Urban Development, and put the Deputy Prime Minister and the Education Minister’s positions in jeopardy.
This strange affair started when Barbaros Leylani, the vice president of the Turkish Swedish association, held a speech about the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia. Speaking to a Turkish audience in Sweden he explained “Death to the Armenian dogs”. The general public were understandingly quite shocked by this exhibit of racial hatred, which lead to Leylani resigning from his post. This incident, which occurred in the beginning of April, might have been the end of the story.
But a Swedish journalist found that Mehmet Kaplan, a member of the Green party and the Minister for Housing and Urban Development, had in the summer of 2015 had dinner at an event at which not only Barbaros Leylani but also Ilhan Sentürk, the leader of the Swedish chapter of the Grey Wolves, had participated. The Grey Wolves is a Turkish organization which is described as deeply nationalist or even fascist. It has carried out a number of attacks on minority groups such as Armenians. As journalists started digging, they found numerous examples of Mehmet Kaplan, himself of Turkish origin, associating with Islamist and Turk-nationalist organizations. Amongst others, a previous interview with Kaplan surfaced in which he compared Israel’s treatment of Palestinians to Nazi Germany’s treatment of Jewish people.
Norway's polite and cautious funding of Palestinian Arab terror
In Norway, they're in the midst of a very welcome bout of self-criticism, looking critically at the morality and legality of their funding the PA whose appalling Rewards for Terror scheme we have discussed here often.
What makes this more than a mere small-town story is that Norway, exceptionally rich because of North Sea oil, has an outsize foreign aid budget amounting to 1.05% of its gross national income in 2015. That's the second-largest percentage among all countries.
Beyond that, Norway takes the leading role among European countries in funding the PA. (Note that Norway is not a member of the EU so its funding of Abbas is over and above what the PA gets from Brussels.)
The current state of play is that today's Norwegian government is essentially saying: Yes we know there are some bad things, and even terrorism, that are somehow funded by the foreign aid community. But rest assured, it's not our money, no way, because we are so careful and we make absolutely sure that Norwegian krone only go to pay for Lego sets for little Palestinian babies and never for terrorism. [Actual quote: "Foreign Minister Brende refers to assurances he has been given that the Norwegian money is not used to pay the terrorists."]
Time to liberate the world from international law
It is true that in the quest for independence, and the need to break up failed states, there will be human misery.
But the cage of what should be called Euronational law rather than international law plagues many conflicts and indigenous peoples. It stokes lingering hopes that areas such as the Golan, Nagorno-Karabakh, Northern Cyrprus and the Western Sahara will be returned to some 1950s or 1960s status. This is the 21st century – why are we living in the 19th or mid-20th century? The world changed greatly between 1815 and 1915, but we are told that the borders of 1915 must remain, whether it is Sykes-Picot or the Curzon Line.
We must liberate ourselves from the mental cage of Euronational Law. The borders created by the European colonial powers were and remain a disaster for many, many people. Given Europe’s own inability to solve its Schengen area borders arrangement in the face of the migrant crisis, it’s time for countries to ponder the value of leaving these archaic views behind. When someone tells you a country cannot have rights because of Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States (1933) or because of San Remo, it’s time to note that perhaps San Remo or Montevideo or any other convention that was appropriate for its time has less relevance now.
Euronational law has colonized our mindset for long enough. A new framework devoted to solving border disputes and demands for independence is needed, with a view toward the future.
German official denies report on foreign policy shift toward Israel
A German government official denied on Sunday a magazine report which said Berlin might end its unconditional support for Israel due to Chancellor Angela Merkel's increasing frustration with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's policies.
Germany has for decades felt duty bound to support Israel because of the murder of six million Jews by the Nazis in the Holocaust.
But Der Spiegel reported that senior government officials are concerned that Netanyahu is exploiting Germany's friendship for his own political ends and believe Berlin should adopt a more critical stance.
Asked to comment on the report, a government official told Reuters: "The guidelines of German Middle East policy have not changed."
David Singer: Trump targets Clinton and Obama betrayal of Israel agreements
Donald Trump’s foreign policy speech has created expectations that he will match Marco Rubio’s pledge to stand by the commitments made by President Bush to Israel’s Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in Bush’s letter dated 14 April 2004.
Rubio made his unequivocal pledge on 3 December 2015 at the Republican Jewish Coalition Presidential Forum during his unsuccessful race to secure the Republican Party’s endorsement as its Presidential nominee:
“I will revive the common-sense understandings reached in the 2004 Bush-Sharon letter and build on them to help ensure Israel has defensible borders”
President Obama and his then former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did everything in their power to wriggle out of those Bush commitments – despite their having been overwhelmingly endorsed by the Senate 95-3 on 23 June 2004 and by the House of Representatives 407-9 on 24 June 2004.
Trump clearly had Obama and Clinton’s betrayal of Israel in his sights – when stating:
“… your friends need to know that you will stick by the agreements that you have with them. You’ve made that agreement, you have to stand by it and the world will be a better place.”
The Bush-Congress endorsed commitments made in that 2004 letter undoubtedly represent such an agreement.
Shaked revives bid to extend civil law to settlements
Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked announced her intention to revive controversial legislation that would force the army to extend Israeli civil law to settlements in the West Bank while maintaining martial rule over Palestinians there.
First introduced in 2014, the so-called “Civil Law” bill has been panned by critics who charge it would represent a de facto annexation of the territories beyond the Green Line.
“As justice minister I’m giving this matter priority and will dedicate resources to it so that we will have a genuinely equal legislative process,” Shaked told the right-wing group the Legal Forum for the Land of Israel on Sunday evening.
Under current Israeli law, the West Bank (excluding areas within the municipal boundaries of Jerusalem) is not part of Israeli territory to which Israeli civil law applies. The military governor of the West Bank, who also heads the IDF Central Command, is empowered to issue military directives related to civilian life in the area — including labor protection, regulation of commerce and the like.
Shaked, a member of the right-wing Jewish Home party, defended the bill on Monday, arguing the legislation would grant Israelis in the West Bank the protection of civil law and would ease the over-burdened justice system.
MKs outraged at Joint List’s Henin claim Israel is ethnically cleansing Palestinians
Lawmakers took offense at Joint List MK Dov Henin’s claim on Sunday that the government is ethnically cleansing Palestinians in Area C of the West Bank by destroying their homes, in order to pave the way for Israeli settlers to move in.
Henin described the recent demolitions by the government of illegally built Palestinian structures in Judea and Samaria as “ethnic cleansing in a very sophisticated way,” speaking to British media outlet Sky News.
Under the Oslo Accords, Area C is under full Israeli military and civilian control. The Palestinian population in the West Bank increased from 462,000 in 1949 to more than 2.5 million today.
Coalition lawmakers expressed outrage at Henin’s statements.
MK Amir Ohana (Likud) pointed out that both Israeli and Palestinian homes are razed in the West Bank, if they were illegally built, and only after approval from the High Court of Justice.
Palestinians Cite ‘I Called It First’ Rule To Establish Title To Land (satire)
Referring to a principle commonly invoked in settling certain types of disputes, Palestinian officials repeated their claim that all of historic Palestine is theirs based on the fact that they called it first.
Senior Fatah officials told a delegation of visitors from Europe and the Far East today that based on their yelling “First come!” or “Dibs!” in reference to the land, the Palestinian national claim to the place must take precedence over any other considerations, especially that of the Jews.
Speaking to a group of business and low-level political leaders exploring an expansion of commercial ties to Palestinian agriculture and an emerging corporate sector, Saeb Erekat took the opportunity to list the ways in which Palestinian attachment to the land and Palestinian national aspirations trump Israel’s sovereignty and territorial claims. “It has long been established that when professionals compete for possession of, for example, a ball, calling heads or tails serves to create an irreversible claim on that side of the coin,” he argued. “Thus, given our ancient pedigree and the fact that we are descended from whichever pre-Israelite civilization will convince the most people of our indigenous status, it should be indisputable that we called it first, and Israel must leave. We called it, and that’s that.”
How do international acts get to Israel? With a concerted effort
As performers book gigs in Tel Aviv and elsewhere, promoters explain what draws them here… and what really keeps some of them away
Concert promoter Hillel Wachs keeps a Word document open on his laptop with a running tally of the performers making their way to Israel each year. This year, there’s a total of 75 planned so far, with at least 17 performances taking place between May and October.
That’s assuming that there’s no war or uptick in terrorist attacks. Wachs — and every other Israeli concert promoter — is keeping his fingers crossed.
“2014 was also going to be a great summer,” he said. “And then Gaza happened.”
For now, however, things are looking good. Alternative acts like South Africa’s Die Antwoord and indie band Tame Impala are coming, teenie bopper favorite Jason Derulo just left, and nineties band Simply Red, guitarist extraordinaire Carlos Santana and icons Elton John and Brian Wilson are on tap for May, June and July. The word’s still out on whether superstar Beyoncé or the beloved Bruce Springsteen will answer promoters’ prayers and prove true the constant rumors of August shows.
Those who come, said Wachs, choose to perform here for a simple reason: They’re artists, and their job is to perform.
“They want to play for fans, they want to come,” he said. “Some people don’t want to come for political reasons, but for the most part agents will tell you that politics and political opinion is not at the top of a performing artist’s list.”
NGO Monitor: Uncovering the Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) Funding Network
Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) is a U.S.-based political organization, which refers to itself as the “Jewish wing” of the Palestinian solidarity movement. JVP provides the façade of significant Jewish support for BDS and other forms of demonization, including on university campuses and in churches, while also seeking to create “a wedge” within the American Jewish community and generate polarization over Israel.
As previously noted by NGO Monitor, JVP is not transparent about funding sources. Its website provides no information on its donors or its received donations. Limited financial information on JVP is available through public IRS documents (990s) and databases, which report a total budget of $1,407,148 for 2014.
In light of this lack of transparency on the part of JVP, and the importance of identifying its enablers, NGO Monitor undertook research into its funders and supporters. This information was not concentrated into one centralized document; to locate the grants, individual foundations and their tax forms were examined.
Roots of BDS
Schanzer points out that while members of the three organizations’ leadership were jailed, deported, or otherwise brought to justice, many high-level and mid-level figures remained in the United States. Schanzer demonstrates that many of them have gravitated to a new organization called American Muslims for Palestine (AMP). In his testimony Schanzer documents the involvement of seven former “key employees” of now-defunct Hamas-linked organizations who are now associated with AMP.
Schanzer testified that AMP is a Chicago-based organization and leading driver of the BDS campaign. According to Schanzer, AMP is arguably the most important sponsor and organizer for Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), which is the most visible arm of the BDS campaign on campuses in the United States. AMP provides speakers, training, printed materials, a so-called “Apartheid Wall,” and grants to SJP activists. AMP even has a campus coordinator on staff whose job is to work directly with SJP and other pro-BDS campus groups across the country. According to an email it sent to subscribers, AMP spent $100,000 on campus activities in 2014 alone. The subcommittee has posted Schanzer’s heavily footnoted written testimony here.
A Berkeley lecturer with the improbably Dickensian name of Hatem Bazian figures prominently in the BDS movement and in SJP. Bazian condemns Schanzer’s testimony here for McCarthyism and (surprise!) Islamophobia. Winfield Myers comments: “As usual, Bazian offers fact-free, cliche-ridden bluster in lieu of rigorous rebuttal. It’s all he’s got.” The video below begins with Schanzer’s brief statement to the subcommittee.
Quotable quote: “I should also note that AMP at their 2014 annual conference held a panel inviting guests to ‘come navigate the fine line between legal activism and material support for terrorism.’ It’s also noteworthy that a recent photograph from AMP’s suburban Chicago headquarters features a poster with the phrase ‘No Jew will live among them in Jerusalem.’ This sounds a lot like promoting Hamas’s agenda here in the United States if you ask me.”
University of Missouri Sponsors Antisemitism
Something has gone wrong when a major university permits an entire academic department to disseminate antisemitism. That the department in question is a “Peace Studies” department makes it even worse.
Since 2014, the Peace Studies Department (PSD) at the University of Missouri (MU) has hosted four very disturbing events, one every semester. Just last week, for example, PSD teamed with a community group called “Mid-Missouri Fellowship of Reconciliation” (MMFR) to cosponsor the screening of the viciously anti-Israel film, “The Zionist Story.” The people who introduced the film explicitly called for the replacement of Israel as a Jewish state with a bi-national state, which everyone knows means an Arab-majority state. According to the widely publicized US State Department definition of antisemitism, of course, calling for the destruction of Israel qualifies as antisemitic.
PSD and MMFR, as well as MU itself, all know this full well, given other recent events at MU. In 2015, a swastika was drawn with human feces in a residence hall. The incident prompted a letter from 36 organizations calling on the university to acknowledge and address the problem of campus antisemitism. The letter-writers explicitly expressed their concern regarding “the departmental sponsorship and implicit ideological endorsement of virulently anti-Israel events,” mentioning both PSD and MMFR by name. Moreover, they urged the university to “formally adopt the U.S. State Department’s definition of antisemitism,” precisely because of the clause that deems calls for the destruction of Israel to be antisemitic.
Nobel Prize-worthy chutzpah
If world-renowned physicist Stephen Hawking finally wins a Nobel Prize, more than four decades after developing his theory of black holes, he will have Israel to thank for it. Yes, a professor at the Technion Institute of Technology in Haifa claims to have verified Hawking’s hypothesis. In a paper posted on the physics website, Jeff Steinhauer described how he had simulated a black hole in the laboratory and witnessed the process that Hawking’s equations predicted.
As someone who backs the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against the Jewish state, Hawking is probably just as perturbed as he is elated by Steinhauer’s revelation. On the one hand, there are few pleasures in life as sweet as vindication, particularly for a scientist considered ahead of his time. On the other, someone swayed by very unscientific theories presented as facts by anti-Israel activists necessarily would be hard pressed to feel grateful to the very entity he wishes to shun.
And shun is precisely what Hawking did to Israel in 2013, when he reneged on a commitment to attend and be a key speaker at the fifth annual Presidential Conference in Jerusalem. Though his office claimed ill health was at the root of his cancellation, a few weeks before the event it subsequently emerged that Palestinian professors had advised Hawking to respect their academic and cultural boycott of Israel by not showing up.
University of Chile law school approves boycott of Israel
The resolution approved a week ago prohibits any academic interaction with the State of Israel or its citizens.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center on Friday urged the University’s rector, Ennio Vivaldi Vejar, to nullify the resolution called “closer to the Inquisition than an institution that claims to oppose discrimination and encourage international dialogue.”
“A boycott falsely accusing the State of Israel of Apartheid, in fact, is practicing Apartheid against Israel and its Jewish and non-Jewish supporters,” said Dr. Ariel Gelblung, the Center’s Latin American representative. “Maintaining this resolution would presage a multiplier closing university ties at the whim of individual or group prejudices based upon nationality, race, religion or gender – an unthinkable fate for any campus, but especially for a law faculty.”
The students voted on two questions. When asked if the students agreed to ban “activities that involve the participation of functionaries of the State of Israel or with funding from the Israeli embassy in the law school,” 515 or 56.3 percent voted yes, and 399, or 43.6 percent, voted no.
Giant Austrian bank shuts down BDS account
One of Austria’s largest companies – the Erste Group – closed a bank account held by BDS Austria.
The Vienna-based BDS Austria announced on Friday on its website and Facebook pages: “bank account of BDS Austria closed by bank as a result of political pressure...
We therefore are obliged to cancel the account and until further notice will not have any bank account.”
The Jerusalem Post investigative series on the shadowy world of Israel-boycott funding and terrorism finance transactions revealed the Erste Group bank account with BDS Austria in late March.
NYU Graduate Student Union members appeal pro-BDS resolution
Members of the Graduate Student Union at New York University have filed an appeal to reverse the recent passing of a resolution to join the BDS movement.
The student union, which operates under the umbrella of its parent union, the United Auto Workers voted at 66.5 percent last week in favor of joining the BDS movement “until Israel complies with international law and ends the military occupation, dismantles the wall, recognizes the rights of Palestinian citizens to full equality, and respects the right of return of Palestinian refugees and exiles,” according to a post on its website. The resolution called on the UAW to divest from Israeli companies and also urged NYU to terminate its program at Tel Aviv University.
The NYU administration spoke out against the decision saying that it is “antithetical to the free exchange of ideas.”
According to the members of the Graduate Student Union who filed the appeal, the resolution violates the codes of their parent union as well as the student union’s own union contract with NYU.
Under Fire for Bias, Haaretz Editor Aluf Benn Lashes Out, Errs on Facts
As reported last month, CAMERA's work exposing the distorted translations in Haaretz's English edition has become a topic of public concern in Israel. Haaretz editor Aluf Benn addressed the issue again in yet another media interview today, this time on Army Radio. CAMERA's translation of the relevant section of the broadcast follows:
Roey Idan: Haaretz has two entities. The paper here and the English version.
Benn: What is the difference?
Idan: The differences in the headlines are significant.
Benn: Really. Wait, wait. Did you check this? Or are you only quoting CAMERA's research which selectively cites headlines. It's not that they checked all the headlines.
Idan: Here, I am with you. I am not talking about that. . . .
. . . [Aluf signed off] . . . Segal: Too bad I didn't speak with him earlier. Hanan Amiur of Presspectiva writes to me that regarding Aluf Benn's statement that they found only five changes, Haaretz corrected 12 times because of our work in the last year alone. We found scores more disparities between the Hebrew and English. You are invited to follow on Twitter.
Idan: It's important to note we're not only talking about factual errors. We are talking also about tendentious headlines in English. In short, Haaretz in English is the fuel of BDS and antisemitism.
Freedom House’s Flawed Ranking of Israel’s ‘National Sport’
Is this a fair analysis of Israeli media?
Jonathan Tobin points out that owner-subsidized news outlets are practically a tradition in the United States, comparing Yisrael Hayom’s owner Sheldon Adelson to, “…press barons of an earlier era in the United States when newspapers were mission-oriented rather than profit machines to be milked. [Adelson] is determined to provide an alternative to most of the mainstream Israeli media that are as left wing as its American counterparts.” America’s ranking? Free.
The success of a newspaper that can afford to lose money does indeed limit the ability of other papers to compete in the market place. That happens to be the biggest argument against the UK’s mandatory license fee, which funds the BBC. Yet Freedom House did not downgrade the U.K.’s ranking on this basis.
In fact, in the United Kingdom, the free Evening Standard newspaper and the free Metro newspaper are among the top highest circulation newspapers in the country, while circulation has declined for pay newspapers: the Sun, the Daily Mirror and the Daily Telegraph. The U.K.’s ranking? Free.
Facebook Told Me Anti-Semitism Does Not Violate its 'Community Standards'
It didn't surprise me when I received that reply from the One World autobots at Facebook. After all, Mark Zuckerberg is the spineless wonder responsible for allowing countless "Intifada" pages to serve as recruitment vehicles for Islamic terrorists targeting Israel and the rest of the West. If those are not flagged for removal, there's little chance a single anti-Semitic slur will make it on anyone's radar.
Likewise, it didn't surprise me when I read today that a similar incident happened to another pro-Israel blogger, Elder of Ziyon. Last week the blogger lodged a complaint with Facebook about Egyptian media outlet Sout al-Omma for publishing something resembling an "actual news story" about Jews using the blood of young children to make their Passover matzah. The "article" was reportedly accompanied by the usual medieval Christian illustration of this "bloody ritual."
Needless to say, blood libel does not violate Facebook's "community standards." The blogger received the exact same reply I did months ago.
Nothing to see here. Move along.
No. Facebook is only concerned when the content in question appears to be "Islamophobic" or "anti-Palestinian."
A brilliant exposé by the Israel Law Center recently shamed Zuckerberg and his entire outfit when it posted two identical pages, with only one difference between them: one anti-Israel, the other anti-Palestinian. You can guess which page was officially found within violation of Facebook's community standards.
Iraq shuts Al Jazeera bureau for 'instigating violence'
The Iraqi authorities have shut down the Al Jazeera channel’s Baghdad office, accusing Qatar’s state-funded TV network of inciting violence and sectarianism.
Iraq’s Communications and Media Commission (CMC) sent the Al Jazeera Media Network a letter informing it of a March 24 decision to withdraw the bureau’s license and close its office for one year.
The letter cited “your continuing violations and offences and persistent media discourse instigating violence and sectarianism.”
In a statement issued Wednesday, the Doha-based news network, one of the largest in the region, said that it had not violated regulations or deviated from professional and objective coverage.
Al Jazeera has repeatedly come under fire from the Iraqi authorities for coverage perceived as too friendly to ISIS and hostile to the country’s Shiite majority.
The network’s foreign staff were already unable to enter Iraq because the authorities had made it difficult for them to obtain visas, the network’s Iraqi bureau chief Walid Ibrahim told AFP.
The CMC’s decision contradicts the Iraqi government’s “commitment to guarantee freedom of expression”, Al Jazeera said.
Ex-SS Auschwitz guard tells court, ‘I am truly sorry’
A 94-year-old former SS guard on trial for complicity in 170,000 murders at Auschwitz broke his silence Friday for the first time since the war, telling victims: “I am truly sorry.”
“I have been silent all my life,” Reinhold Hanning told a court in the western town of Detmold, more than 70 years after the end of World War II.
“I want to tell you that I deeply regret having listened to a criminal organization that is responsible for the deaths of many innocent people, for the destruction of countless families, for the misery, distress and suffering on the part of victims and their relatives,” according to remarks carried by national news agency DPA.
“I am ashamed that I let this injustice happen and have done nothing to prevent it.
“I apologize formally for my behavior. I am truly sorry,” said the white-haired, bespectacled widower, who owned a dairy store after the war.
Soft on Nazis? WJC hits Youtube German office over hate videos
The World Jewish Congress on Monday accused the German unit of YouTube of failing to stop neo-Nazis from using the online video channel to distribute thousands of anti-Semitic tracks.
The WJC sent Philipp Justus, the managing director of the German unit of YouTube’s parent company, Google, a letter demanding more decisive action to take down illegal material praising the Holocaust and Adolf Hitler.
"Why is it that Google steadfastly refuses to take action against the proliferation of racist and anti-Semitic material on its platforms?" Executive Vice President Robert Singer of the New York-based WJC wrote in a letter made available to AFP.
"Do you really believe that songs glorifying, or inciting to, the mass murder of Jews fall under freedom of speech?"
Singer highlighted one song in particular, "In Belsen" by far-right group Kommando Freisler, which he said was "widely available" on YouTube despite the fact that it had been banned in Germany and the band members behind it given suspended jail terms in 2009 for inciting racial hatred.
Israeli Researchers Develop Anti-Bacterial Coating for Medical Devices to Prevent Infections
Bacterial adherence to medical implants and surgical equipment is a known cause of infections. Now, researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) have developed an innovative anti-biofilm coating, which has significant anti-adhesive potential for a variety of medical and industrial applications.
And that could mean far fewer infections following medical implants.
“Our solution addresses a pervasive need to design environmentally friendly materials to impede dangerous surface bacteria growth,” write the BGU researchers from the Avram and Stella Goldstein-Goren Department of Biotechnology Engineering. “This holds tremendous potential for averting biofilm formed by surface-anchored bacteria and could have a tremendous impact.”
According to the research published in Advanced Materials Interfaces, anti-adhesive patches that are developed from naturally occurring biomaterials can prevent destructive bacterial biofilm from forming on metal surfaces when they are immersed in water and other damp environments.
The BGU anti-adhesive nano coating could be used on medical implants, devices and surgical equipment thus stopping bacteria from contributing to chronic diseases or resisting antibiotic treatment.
It can also be used in preventing aquatic biofouling on ships and bridges.
MRI-Guided Israeli System Treats Fibroids, Tremors Without Surgery
In March, 200 participants in the 16th International Symposium on Therapeutic Ultrasound in Tel Aviv saw a livestreamed medical procedure to cure a woman’s essential tremor without incisions or anesthesia.
Neurology and radiology experts at Rambam Health Care Campus in Haifa used the Exablate Neuro system developed in Israel by Insightec. Guided by magnetic resonance (MR) imaging, they focused multiple ultrasonic beams of acoustic energy to heat and destroy target cells in the patient’s thalamus.
Looking on in amazement from Tel Aviv, the conference attendees saw the 65-year-old baker – who had suffered tremors for a decade despite medication – walk out of the three-hour procedure, sit down and slice a celebratory cake to share with the neurology team.
“I wanted to cry, because I could not remember when I was able to drink a glass of water, and for the first time in over 10 years, I can finally return to serving people in my bakery,” she said.
The first patient to get an Exablate Neuro treatment at the Haifa hospital is still without tremor two years later, said Rambam neurologist Ilana Schlesinger.
Israeli team takes second place in prestigious robotics contest
An Israeli high school team from Binyamina, near Haifa, came in second at the prestigious FIRST Robotics Competition in St. Louis, Missouri, held April 27-30.
The final match was a showdown between the Orbit team of students from Binyamina's Rothschild-Hashomron High School, and an American team. Although it ended in a 2:2 draw, the defending American champion came on top due to a technicality.
FIRST, which stands for For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, brings together students from around the world for a sports-like tournament in which they pit their robots against one another in completing set tasks. The competition aims to turn students into the next generation of trailblazers, honing their technological and engineering skills and encouraging innovation, bolstering self-confidence, and improving communications skills and leadership qualities.
FIRST brings together more than 20,000 students in 4,000 groups from 24 countries in a series of challenges that change every year. Each group has six weeks to prepare for the big event by assembling a robot that meets the requirements.
Breakthrough IDF Technology Keeping Israelis Safe
This new IDF technology keeps Israelis safe in their homes when under rocket attack.

Ex-Polish president Walesa ‘regrets’ he is not Jewish
Former Polish president Lech Walesa wrote on his Facebook page that he regrets he is not Jewish and that there are no Jewish members of his family.
He noted in the April 26 Facebook post that if he were younger he would “fix this mistake.”
Lech Walesa in Poland is known for his activity on the Internet, where he has a blog and where he publishes his own content on his social media accounts, something for which he has been criticized after oversharing vacation photos and other personal posts. A few months ago, he started a Facebook page.
Last week, one of the page’s followers asked Walesa whether he is Jewish, explaining that he understood that Walesa’s real name is Lejb Kohne.
Walesa denied that he is Jewish. “In my family there was no Jewish blood, which I accept with regret,” he wrote. “If I was single and younger I would fix this historic mistake.” He also assured those reading the post that he is not circumcised, which “can be checked.”
“I would like to be a part of the Chosen People but I am not,” the post said.
Epic tightrope feat at the Tower of David
Heather Larsen, one of the top female highliners in the world, crisscrossed her way over layers of history in an epic tightrope feat at the Tower of David this morning (May 2, 2016).
“Jerusalem is a place I never thought I would be visiting. I am excited to come to see and experience a culture so rich with history,” Larsen said. “When I think of crossing over the layers and layers of history, I feel very grateful. I have heard of these places growing up and it is an honor to be able to walk a line in the same locations I learned about as a child.”
Larsen rigged her own lines at the Jerusalem museum.
The slackline reaching from one tower — built by King Herod some 2000 years ago — to another tower — built by Suleiman the Magnificent close to 500 years ago — was 30 meters high and 20 meters long.
Another line crossing the courtyard of the Tower of David was 34 meters long and 20+ meters high.
The banned behind: Bar Refaeli's new commercial censored for inappropriate content
The broadcasting authority took issue with the up close shots of Refaeli's derriere and claimed that in one of the scenes, Refaeli appears to be completely nude.
Bar Refaeli's latest commercial was deemed inappropriate for prime time television, the financial publication TheMarker reported on Monday.
The commercial features the Israeli supermodel wearing different pieces from the new Hoodies summer swimwear line on the beach. The Second Broadcasting Authority, which regulates commercially operated television and radio radio broadcasts, considered the clip to be too racy and ordered the video to be censored.
The broadcasting authority took issue with the up close shots of Refaeli's derriere and claimed that in one of the scenes, Refaeli appears to be completely nude and it is therefore not appropriate for prime time.
Once the changes are made to the advertisement the broadcasting authority will allow the clip to be played only after 10 p.m. to avoid exposing children to the images.

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