Friday, May 13, 2016

From Ian:

Anti-Semitism Is Not Like Other Forms of Prejudice
Reviewing an exhibit on anti-Semitism between the world wars at the New-York Historical Society, and another at the Center for Jewish History on the Nazis’ despoliation of Jewish property in Berlin, Edward Rothstein considers what makes hatred of Jews different from other hatreds:
Nazi analogies are too regularly invoked to simplify argument; and anti-Semitism is too often generalized, treated as another variety of racism. [But] I am struck by how singular anti-Semitism is, how cunning the Nazi use of it was, and how different it is from racism, with which it is often confused.
Of course, the Nazis calculatedly turned Judaism into a racial matter. . . . But if race can be an element of anti-Semitism, it is not the main point. For the Nazis it was an indicator of connection and collusion. Is there any other form of group hatred so preoccupied with conspiracy? The Jew, in this view, has hidden powers. The Jew is capable of imposing the Versailles treaty, devaluing currency, and manipulating commerce. . . .
These beliefs might seem beyond contemporary imagining. Yet today similar assertions have attached themselves to Israel—a Jew among nations. Arab media regularly invoke Nazi caricatures and references. Recently, the former mayor of London Ken Livingstone also suggested that Zionism and Nazism shared support from Hitler—adding to a string of comments by Labor leaders caricaturing Israel as uniquely satanic.
But there is no need to look so far afield. At Oberlin College, . . . [a] professor . . . accused “Rothschild-led banksters” of “implementing the World War III option” by shooting down a Malaysian airliner over Ukraine; and she attacked Jews and the Mossad for funding Islamic State. Such accusations are taken from Der Stürmer’s play book. . . . The Oberlin professor, unrepentant, has treated accusations of anti-Semitism as attempts to silence her by the very conspiracy she was drawing attention to.
Clearly, the virus thrives. No exaggerated Nazi analogies are needed to reveal the similarities.
Why Political Prisoners Matter
Today, May 12, marks the 40th anniversary of the Moscow Helsinki Group, a human rights organization created to monitor the Soviet Union’s compliance with the Helsinki Accords. In marking this milestone we can do no better than to remind ourselves and the world of the group’s ongoing relevance to those fighting for human rights today.
At the time of their signing, the Helsinki Accords met with quite a bit of skepticism among Western politicians about their likely effect on Soviet behavior. For dissidents, on the other hand, the reaction went beyond skepticism: To us, the agreement represented a clear betrayal by Western powers, who had given Moscow everything it wanted in exchange for empty promises. Since the end of World War II, the Soviet Union had wanted the world to recognize the Baltic Republics, which it had obtained from Hitler, as its own; the Helsinki Accords made this a reality. For years the Soviet Union had wanted Eastern Europe to remain as its protectorate; the Helsinki signatories agreed. And despite these imperialistic policies, the Soviet Union wanted economic cooperation with the West; once again, its negotiating partners gave in.
The aim of the accords was to improve relations between the Communist bloc and Western countries, and to that end it established terms of cooperation between the signatories on various political and economic matters. Yet its provisions were non-binding, and the so-called “third basket” in particular—which obliged parties to respect their citizens’ basic rights—promised to become part of yet another never-ending debate between Soviets and the West about the relativity of their respective values.
It was clear to us dissidents that there was little point in trying to convince the Soviet Union to accept an international standard for human rights, let alone abide by one. Our goal was instead to press Western governments to take Soviet rights abuses seriously.
For this, what was needed most of all was a shared understanding among the agreement’s Western signatories of what constituted a violation.
Melanie Phillips: From zero to hero in Londonistan
Those wondering whether Britain now “gets it” about the threat from Islamic extremism or whether it is still a weak link in the West’s defense chain would do well to look at the election last week of Sadiq Khan as London’s mayor.
During the campaign, several people from the Prime Minister David Cameron downward expressed anxiety about Khan’s past associations with Islamists. Britain’s defense secretary, Michael Fallon, suggested that London would be in more danger from extremists if Khan was in charge (a claim he later softened under pressure).
A strange thing then happened. Khan’s election ricocheted the new mayor and former Labour MP from zero to hero. Those who expressed extremism concerns have been denounced as racists (their attackers appear to think Islam is a race, but let’s put that to one side).
To a Labour Party utterly frantic over its calamitously inept, ultra-leftist leader Jeremy Corbyn, Khan became overnight the man of the moment for winning power and doing so by attacking Corbyn from the Right.
No matter that Khan did this in a ruthless maneuver to neutralize the fact that he had actually nominated Corbyn for Labour leader. There’s now even excited talk that Khan could become leader himself.
Journalist Ibrahim Issa: Londoners Elected a Muslim Mayor, But No Christian Governor in Egypt




Israel is Not Perfect. So What?
The same applies to the endless dirges heard on the left about the decline of Israeli values and the barbarous nature of its society that can be read on a daily basis in left-wing papers like Haaretz. The conflict with the Palestinians is complex and often leaves Israelis with no good choices. But the fact that they have to make those choices with an eye toward prioritizing their continued survival doesn’t make them bad or illegitimate. What its critics often forget is that the point of the conflict isn’t borders or settlements. If that were true there would have been peace before 1967 and would have ended when Israel offered the Palestinians statehood and a withdrawal from most of the West Bank and parts of Jerusalem in 2000, 2001 or in 2008. Though Israel is not weak the debate is still about whether it has a right to exist or to defend itself.
What everyone should remember as Israel celebrates its 68th birthday today is that the Jews have the same right to such a state and to self-defense as is granted to every other people on the planet. Neither Israel’s people nor their government has to be perfect to be accorded those rights. They have those rights irrespective of how amazing their achievements in virtually every field of human endeavor have been and for which all Jews are justly proud. Their right to live in peace and security in their ancient homeland is also not contingent on conforming to the policy prescriptions or the cultural standards set down by self-righteous American Jewish liberals.
The rebirth of Jewish sovereignty in the land of Israel two thousand years after the Romans sought to end the national existence of the Jewish people and after two millennia of persecution that culminated in the Holocaust is one of the most miraculous events in human history. Israel continues to survive and thrive against the odds and deserves the admiration of the world. That it is viewed so negatively by so many in spite of its efforts to achieve peace is a testament to the enduring power of anti-Semitism that has legitimized the double standards by which it is often unfairly judged.
On its 68th birthday, Israelis and their friends have much to celebrate. Just as important, its foes and critics should realize that focusing on its imperfections will never be enough to destroy it. Whether or not their state is perfect, the return of the Jews to their land will not be reversed by hate or by the betrayal of those who have forgotten what is at stake in the struggle to defend Zionism.
Haaretz's act of desperation
To my sorrow, among us there is a tiny but loud group of people who are unwilling to accept the fact that the State of Israel is no longer their own private property. The geographical and social periphery has reclaimed the state from them. From morning to night they try persuading us that IDF soldiers are immoral, that the State of Israel is falling apart, that our system of ethics has collapsed, and that we are at each other's throats.
Because this group has long had a grip on the media and culture, it has been able to seduce intelligent and wise people who took to preaching morals based on lies and falsehoods -- disseminated by a left that is disintegrating in Israel and across the globe. Israeli society does not need to be preached to about morals. It is ethical, moral, Zionist and confident in the righteousness of its path.
The Haaretz newspaper, described by some as being a proponent of the state only until 1948, has taken matters further. In contrast to others, Haaretz's pundits have been first to realize that the right is finally in power, both practically and in essence. Acting out of desperation and an uncontrollable urge, the newspaper calls for a revolution that in actuality means a coup. They understand that through democratic means they have no chance of returning to power. Their false peace has been exposed, and no one misses their brand of withered socialism. In every democratic country, those who call for toppling the government are brought to trial. I have no doubt that if these things were said by people from the right, they would be arrested immediately and held under administrative detention indefinitely.
The procession of redemption for the people of Israel will continue forward. The country will grow stronger. Hundreds of thousands of new immigrants are on their way. As we climb the mountain there are still things to fix, but the direction is correct and the path is paved.
Israel's moral compass is just fine
Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon has one of the most coveted portfolios in the government, but lately he seems to be vying for a different role -- that which involves the upholding of the country's morals.
This is pretty funny, considering that the Jewish state is under constant attack from regional enemies armed to the teeth and filled with hate, in addition to more geographically distant foes fighting a battle of delegitimization. But it is not the least bit amusing that he chose Memorial Day for fallen IDF soldiers and victims of Arab terrorism -- at the gravesite of dead Jewish soldiers and civilians, no less -- to reiterate his concern about the ethical character of the Israeli populace.
It was a peculiar eulogy, to say the least, particularly coming from the person in charge of the military.
"Over the past several months, Israel has been confronted with a wave of Palestinian terrorism, which indeed has been on a down-slide of late, but is liable to erupt anew," Ya'alon said to a massive crowd of mourners at the Kiryat Shaul Cemetery in Tel Aviv. "Even during the difficult moments, in which our blood boils and our rage is high, woe to us if we lose our way and our values, the compromising of which would likely bring Israel to the abyss."
Lose our way? Compromise our values? Was he joking?
US tourists visit the ‘total heaven’ of West Bank settlements
Arguing that settlements are underfunded by the Israeli government, a US-based charity takes American tourists on a day trip designed to show how they can help fill the gap and why they should
The tours are led by One Israel Fund, a US-based charity founded in 1994 and dedicated to supporting Jewish settlements in the West Bank — to “enrich and enhance the lives of Jews in Judea and Samaria.” From security to schools, hospitals and senior centers, the One Israel Fund provides support for every aspect of Jewish life in the West Bank.
Natalie Sopinsky, the fund’s director of community development, thinks of the organization as a “Jewish Federation for Judea and Samaria.”
In Karnei Shomron, the One Israel Fund has sponsored a new state-of-the-art security center, which, according to the town’s mayor Yigal Lahav, has been essential in ensuring his town’s safety. Lahav contends the Israeli government does not adequately provide for the settlement’s security and social services. Among Lahav’s list of needs is a more easily accessible medical center and radar detection technology. Thus, outside money from groups like the One Israel Fund is filling the gap, allowing settlements to thrive in relative stability.
Despite the need for advanced security precautions, Lahav describes life in Karnei Shomron as “total heaven.” He tells the tour group how he “fell in love with the land, the people, the smell in the air” and of how the settlement plans to build more, notwithstanding political obstacles.
Labour member suspended for claiming Jews commit ‘genocide’ in UK
The British Labour Party suspended yet another member for anti-Semitic comments after he posted an article online claiming that “Jews control Britain and are committing genocide on us.”
Musabbir Ali, a former campaign officer from East London, was suspended Thursday, London’s Jewish Chronicle reported. He is one of approximately 20 members to be suspended in recent months.
On Tuesday, Ali posted on Twitter a link to a blog post titled “Timeline of the Jewish Genocide of the British People.” The blog claims that Jews “financed Oliver Cromwell’s overthrowing and beheading of Stuart King Charles I after he refused them control of England’s finances” and accuses such British leaders as Neville Chamberlain, Winston Churchill and Tony Blair of being “jewish puppets.”
Chamberlain is best known for negotiating the Munich Pact with Adolf Hitler in 1938 following the Nazi leader’s annexation of the Sudetenland. The move is widely regarded as an act of appeasement that helped encourage the Nazi oppression of minorities.
In addition to disseminating the anti-Semitic blog post, Ali has claimed on Twitter that Israel was behind the Islamic State-claimed bombings in Ankara, Turkey, in October, the Jewish Chronicle reported.
The backlash against the NUS has begun
In a move that has left student union politicos across the country clinging to their therapy dogs, the University of Lincoln Students’ Union has voted to disaffiliate from the NUS. Springing from the new, anti-NUS sentiment that is brewing on campuses across the country, Lincoln students voted 881 to 804 to leave.
This was a big breakthrough, putting wind in the sails of disaffiliation campaigns currently being fought at York, Oxford, Exeter and Manchester. And though this was all sparked by the election of new NUS president Malia Bouattia – the overgrown student fond of waxing lyrical about the ‘zionist-led media’ – the gulf between NUS leadership and its members has been growing for years.
After Lincoln’s vote, outgoing NUS president Megan Dunn said she was ‘sorry this decision was made by such a small number of students’. Which was a bit rich, seeing as she was elected in 2015 by a whopping 413 NUS delegates, and turnout at campus NUS elections – which select those delegates – is notoriously low.
Lincoln’s vote is significant. Not least because so many felt so detached from the NUS they didn’t even turn out to vote. And, in an interesting twist, Lincoln SU’s own president appeared to approve of the move, telling the Independent that ‘for some time… the NUS has been far removed from the issues our students tell us are important’.
Newcastle Votes to Leave NUS as Students Complain of Grindr Intimidation
The national campaign to disaffiliate from the NUS is picking up momentum, with Newcastle University announcing today that they will follow Lincoln in leaving the “Zionist-led media”-hating student bores. 67% of voters supported disaffiliation in Newcastle, after a campaign that mobilised nearly 1,000 votes against the NUS. And as control slips, the NUS are panicking…
In Exeter, co-conspirators report an NUS funded Project Fear-style campaign to stay, with the national student organisation sending 3,000 texts to students:
Leaked messages reveal paid up NUS employees such as the current president Malia Bouattia and a number of vice-presidents, as well as their apparatchiks from other universities, have been bussed in to Exeter en masse, even cajoling students in their own homes:
BDS Spreads Antisemitism Across US College Campuses
Antisemitic incidents seem to spring up each week on college campuses throughout the United States. According to a study, “The strongest predictor of anti-Jewish hostility on campus” is the presence of a Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel.
The greater the BDS activity, especially involving faculty members, the more likely antisemitic episodes become, said the study issued last month by the AMCHA Initiative, a non-profit organization dedicated to investigating, documenting, and combating antisemitism on US campuses.
One recent example occurred on April 15, when the City University of New York Doctoral Students’ Council passed a resolution calling for an academic boycott of Israel, 42-19. Weeks earlier, a CUNY professor and BDS advocate claimed that the killing of Palestinians in Gaza “reflects Jewish values.” On CUNY campuses, the New York Observer reports, Jewish students were harassed, with “Jews out of CUNY” uttered in at least one instance, and a professor who wears a yarmulke was called a “Zionist pig.”
Dozens of groups support plea for help from Vassar Jewish students
Late last month, Vassar College students narrowly rejected a proposed Israel-boycott.
Legal Insurrection led the way in exposing anti-Israel and anti-Semitic activity at Vassar over the past two years. Key parts of the problem were vocal faculty who were hostile to Israel and favorable towards the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. The Vassar administration, while opposed officially to BDS, seemed frozen by the aggressive tactics of student groups like Students for Justice in Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace.
Despite the repudiation of the boycott, reports of anti-Jewish hostility and administration inaction increased so much so that Jewish students solicited help from outside groups.
Thirty four Jewish and civil rights groups participated in the letter to Vassar College President. Thursday, the AMCHA Initiative issued a press release detailing Vassar student concerns and the response from outside groups:
Daphne Anson: "We Want To Point Out That Palestine Did Exist As A Complete Country ..." (video)
The things the PSC clowns on the High Street say! It would be laughable if it weren't so despicably ignorant.
Here, in this video by arch-BDSer Alex Seymour (whose rather pleasant tones can be heard off-camera) a woman from the Slough PSC spouts nonsense and holds those equally nonsensical maps.
That's right, the maps that the contemptible Jewish Voice for Peace have been challenged by David Singer over. No surprise that David (whose wise words regarding combatting lies against Israel including those mendacious maps can be read near the top of my sidebar) still awaits an answer from those demons.
BBC’s mantra on ‘international law’ becomes even less impartial
What followed was a repeat of the audio report by Jeremy Bowen broadcast two days earlier on BBC Radio 4 and, remarkably, Bennett Jones’ introduction included language identical to that used by the ‘Today’ presenter.
“…Israel continues to expand settlements for Jews in the occupied territories that contravene international law and there are no peace talks and really no attempt being made to revive them.”
In the past the BBC used a standard mantra whenever reporting on ‘settlements’ which went along the lines of:
“The settlements are considered illegal under international law, though Israel disputes this.”
As has been pointed out here on numerous occasions in the past, the promotion of that mantra is problematic as far as the BBC’s supposed commitment to impartial reporting is concerned because it does not inform audiences of the existence of expert legal opinions which dissent from the narrative adopted and amplified by the BBC.
Now we see – twice in two days – that the BBC has even abandoned the “Israel disputes this” part of that mantra and is promoting messaging which materially misleads audiences by blinkering them to the existence of debate around interpretation of Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.
That is clearly not consistent with the BBC’s supposed commitment to editorial impartiality.
In April, BBC Reports Less Than 1% of Terror Attacks in Israel
April marked the first month since September 2015 in which no deaths occurred as a result of Palestinian terror attacks. Eighteen people were injured: sixteen in the April 18th bus bombing in Jerusalem, one in a stabbing attack in Rosh HaAyin on April 3; also, on the same day, a policeman was injured by a firebomb in Issawiya.
The BBC News website covered the bus bombing on April 18 in Jerusalem — albeit with a notable absence of use of the word ‘terror’ — and also produced a follow-up article three days later.
Among the attacks that did not receive any coverage by BBC News at the time were a stabbing in Rosh HaAyin on April 3, a stone-throwing attack on a vehicle travelling near Huwara on April 5, an IED attack on the Gaza Strip border on April 8, an attempted stabbing at Qalandiya checkpoint on April 27, and an attempted stabbing near Beit Horon on April 28.
In conclusion, the BBC covered one terror attack against Israelis in April 2016: 0.86% of the total. Since the beginning of the year, the BBC News website has reported 4.8% of the terror attacks that have taken place. Further, none of the missile fire from the Gaza Strip has been reported in the English language.
Facebook’s List of Authorized News Sites Includes Communist State-Run Media, The Onion
Facebook’s list of trustworthy news sources it uses to determine trending topics includes Communist or Russian state-run media websites, The Onion, and a host of liberal outlets.
Facebook released a statement Thursday explaining how it selects what topics are trending after reports surfaced that the social media company repeatedly censored conservative news even though items should have been trending organically.
Along with the statement promising its “deep commitment to being a platform for people of all viewpoints,” Facebook provided the methodology of how its employees choose what trends. One test is that the topic must be corroborated by at least three outlets out of Facebook’s list of 1,000 reputable websites.
Facebook’s list includes a number of media outlets controlled by repressive regimes such as Russia and China.
RT, which receives more than $300 million per year from the Kremlin to defend Russian military adventurism and attack the United States, appears on the list, as does RIA Novosti, a state-owned domestic news agency.
White House Jewish liaison experienced in fighting anti-Semitism
The White House named as its new Jewish liaison a former State Department staffer who worked to combat anti-Semitism worldwide.
Chanan Weissman, formerly the spokesman for the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, worked there with Ira Forman, the envoy combating anti-Semitism.
Weissman, 32, replaces Matt Nosanchuk, who stepped down in March after nearly three years on the job.
Weissman, a graduate of the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, has also worked at the Pentagon on Middle East issues.
He is from Baltimore, where he attended Beth Tfiloh, a Jewish community day school.
70-year-old diary earns woman posthumous Righteous Among Nations award
Late on the night of October 17, 1944, shortly after her native Hungary had been invaded by the German army, Dr. Maria Kiss Madi answered a frantic knock on the door.
On her doorstep huddled Irene “Lacy” Lakos and her seven-year-old nephew, Alfred.
Half of Hungary’s Jewish population had disappeared in the previous six months, including a number of Madi’s neighbors. Now, Madi’s best friend and her nephew were begging for refuge.
A divorced Catholic radiologist living alone in Budapest, Madi hid Lacy and Alfred from the crumbling outside world for the next four months, risking their lives — and her own — in the name of friendship.
For saving Lacy and Alfred Lakos from certain death, Madi was posthumously honored as Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem at a ceremony in Denver, Colorado May 4.
However, Madi’s heroics were very nearly lost to history.
Study: Indian community has genetic evidence of Jewish roots
A scientific study has found genetic evidence of claims that the Bene Israel, a community in western India, has Jewish roots.
The study from Tel Aviv University, which was published in late March in the PLoS One scientific journal, analyzed the genomes of 18 Bene Israel community members. It found that the Bene Israel had significant Jewish and Indian ancestry.
According to Bene Israel tradition, the community descended from a handful of Jewish shipwreck survivors on the Indian coast up to 2,000 years ago.
The Bene Israel live in Konkan, a region on India’s west coast. Only a few thousand remain in India today from a community that once numbered as many as 20,000. Many community members have immigrated to Israel since its establishment in 1948.
“Beyond vague oral history and speculations, there has been no independent support for Bene Israel claims of Jewish ancestry, claims that have remained shrouded in legend,” said Yedael Waldman, the study’s first author, according to a news release Tuesday. “We found that while Bene Israel individuals genetically resemble local Indian populations, they constitute a clearly separated and unique population in India.”
Michael Douglas to bring star power to NY ‘Post’ confab
Iconic American actor Michael Douglas, the 2015 Genesis Prize laureate, will be a special guest at the Jerusalem Post Conference in New York on May 22.
He will be interviewed live on stage by outgoing Jerusalem Post editor-in-chief Steve Linde.
Douglas recently joined Jewish Agency chairman Natan Sharansky on a three-campus speaking tour in the US – including visits to Douglas’s alma mater, the University of California at Santa Barbara, plus Stanford University and Brown University – as part of a campaign to counter anti-Semitism and the BDS movement against Israel and to promote inclusion among American Jewish students.
“At a time when the academic community and other forces are making sustained efforts to delegitimize Israel, the campus visits are particularly important and timely,” said Stan Polovets, co-founder and chairman of the Genesis Prize Foundation.
Israel’s Star performer makes it to Eurovision final
Israel on Thursday night secured a spot in the Grand Final of the Eurovision song contest for the second consecutive year, thanks to the talents of entrant Hovi Star, singing “Made of Stars.”
Star, whose real name is Hovev Sekulets, was one of 10 contestants who made it through to Saturday’s final in Stockholm.
“I have no idea where I am right now, what is going on. We have made a lot of friends here, I met so many amazing people. I cannot believe that right now I am sitting next to Sanja now, my best friend in Eurovision,” Star said at a post-semi final press conference, referring to Serbian entrant Sanja Vučić.
“I wrote on social media today that I would love to qualify for the second time in a row, to give it as a gift to my country Israel on our Independence Day.”
Australian Jew With Scottish Origins Loses Battle to Register ‘McKosher’ as Trademark for New Restaurant
An Australian Jew lost a legal battle against the fast-food chain McDonald’s after trying to register the trademark “McKosher” for a new restaurant, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) reported on Thursday.
Mark Glaser said at a hearing, organized by the Australian Trademark Office, that he was of Scottish-Jewish descent and his ancestors’ surnames included “McKosher,” which he had hoped to call a Scottish-Jewish restaurant he wanted to open.
The Maclean resident said that people in his town, which is on the north coast of New South Wales, take pride in the fact that it is known as the Scottish capital of Australia, ABC reported. It was noted at the hearing that over the years, Maclean residents have used the “Mc” and “Mac” prefixes in businesses, such as in the titles “McMarkets” and “MacConsultants.”
In its counterargument, McDonald’s referenced “negotiations” it is having with a group of rabbis in Jerusalem, who called on the chain to rebrand its kosher restaurants in Israel’s capital as “McKosher.”
Happy Birthday Israel: Pianist Mashes Up ‘Poker Face’ and ‘Hatikvah’
A classically-trained pianist, composer and piano teacher from Los Angeles has created a mash-up of Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face” and the Israeli national anthem, Hatikvah, in honor of the Jewish State’s 68th birthday on Wednesday, known as “Yom Ha’atzmaut” or Israeli Independence Day.
Morris Rahbar, 34, who is of Iranian descent, told Breitbart News that he came upon the idea for the mashup while teaching a piano lesson several years ago. He said he was reviewing both songs with his student when he noticed similarities in both tunes, which led to him mashing them up. “But I never really had a reason to put this mashup out there until I saw a meme on Facebook of Lady Gaga’s visit to Israel in 2014,” he said, where she put on a show for 20,000-plus people.
Rahbar recalled, “She told the crowd, ‘you are strong, you are brave, you are confident, and I f*cking love you, Israel,’ and the link finally came together.”
Poker Face Hatikva Mashup by Morris Rahbar


30,000 Jews immigrated to Israel since last Independence Day
Nearly half of the new arrivals hail from the former Soviet Union, and around a quarter from France
Nearly 30,000 immigrants from over 90 countries arrived in Israel since Independence Day 2015, according to Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption statistics cited in Haaretz.
Nearly half of the 29,715 new arrivals came from the former Soviet Union, mainly Russia and Ukraine, the figures show. Around 7,054 French Jews moved to Israel in the same period, a record number.
The most popular destinations for new immigrants were Tel Aviv (3,433), Netanya (3,402), Jerusalem (3,122), Haifa (2,216) and Ashdod (1,657). Only 768 — 2.5 percent — people elected to move over the Green Line into settlements.
Along religious lines, 37 percent of new immigrants from the West identified as Orthodox, while 41 percent identified as traditional. Only four percent belonged to the more liberal Reform Judaism stream.
The United States again provided the highest number of English-speaking immigrants, with 3,072 American Jews crossing the Atlantic. A further 692 Anglos moved from the UK, 466 from Canada and 236 from South Africa.
UN: Israel Independence Day Fireworks Noise ‘Collective Punishment’ (satire)
The United Nations Human Rights Council again weighted in against Israel today, calling Wednesday night’s fireworks in honor of the country’s Independence Day collective punishment of the Palestinians, some of whom had to hear the noise.
The Council convened an emergency session to address Palestinian allegations as soon as the fireworks began after 8 pm local time, and produced a condemnation of Israel for subjecting Palestinians to the sounds of the fireworks and scaring Palestinian dogs, if Palestinians kept dogs. Testimony before the Council included photographs of cowering children, which were originally taken in Aleppo, Syria, during an aerial bombardment by the Russian Air Force.
The Human Rights Council will convene at a later date to decide whether to appoint an investigator to report on this episode, and whether such an appointee’s mandate would include the 2016 Independence Day fireworks only, or would also examine the celebratory pyrotechnics of previous years, and their negative psychological impact on Palestinians.
“This body condemns in no uncertain terms the emotional pummeling of the Palestinians with ostentatious, noisy displays that rub salt in the collective wound inflicted by Israel when the latter refused to be pushed into the sea in 1948 and again in 1967,” read the UNHRC resolution. “We call on the international community to stand by the Palestinians in their struggle to survive in the aftermath of their failure to commit against the Jews the very genocide they accuse the Jews of committing for the last sixty-eight years.”
StandWithUs: ISRAELI
Home... Hope... Resilience... Love... Just a few of the words that capture the essence of what it means to be Israeli.
Today we celebrate Yom Haatzmaut - Israel's independence day - and reflect on the inspiring nation Israelis have built over the last 68 years.


Why Israelis Are so Happy, Despite the Challenges
Israelis rank among the happiest nations in the world, despite living in a hostile region, and the explanation why “probably lies in indicators not considered in standard surveys,” Avinoam Bar-Yosef wrote in The Wall Street Journal on Monday.
Bar-Yosef, a former chief diplomatic correspondent for the Israeli daily Ma’ariv, and currently founding director and president of the Jewish People Policy Institute, observed that the Jewish state only ranks “24th in GDP per capita, and comes in at No. 30 of the 36 OECD countries on security and personal safety. Israel has only the 17th-highest per capita income in the world.” It also operates in a state of “endless conflict with the Palestinians and under the threat of nuclear annihilation by Iran,” Bar-Yosef wrote.
After dismissing the possibility that Israelis simply “become stupid” when thinking about their life satisfaction, Bar-Yosef noted that measuring happiness by traditional indexes can lead to overlooking many critical factors.
For instance, a new study by my organization, the Jewish People Policy Institute, looked at pluralism in Israel and found that 83% of Israel’s Jewish citizens consider their nationality “significant” to their identity. Eighty percent mention that Jewish culture is also “significant.” More than two-thirds (69%) mention Jewish tradition as important. Strong families and long friendships stretching back to army service as young adults, or even to childhood, also foster a sense of well-being. All of these factors bolster the Jewish state’s raison d’être.
Postcard from Israel - Uncovering Israel




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The Israel Situation:The Elder manages to write so many great, investigative posts that I am often looking to him for important news on the PalArab (his term for Palestinian Arab) side of things."
Tikun Olam: "Either you are carelessly ignorant or a willful liar and distorter of the truth. Either way, it makes you one mean SOB."
Mondoweiss commenter: "For virulent pro-Zionism (and plain straightforward lies of course) there is nothing much to beat it."
Didi Remez: "Leading wingnut"

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