Monday, May 16, 2016

From Ian:

David Collier: Antisemitism and terrorism supported by the NUT
The first story to tell is that I had trouble getting in to an event and was eventually evicted. As someone who does nothing but *REPORT* on events, I find this truly disturbing. It is something that needs to be addressed urgently by both the PSC and the National Union of Teachers (NUT). I was a Jew who was simply thrown of the NUT HQ.
As anyone who attends functions on the Israel / Arab conflict knows, security measures are required in only one direction. Any event run by a pro-Israeli group needs to be concerned about safety, and the larger and more publicised the event, the more of a problem this becomes. Just as Jewish schools are patrolled and synagogues have heavy security details, taking pride in your Jewish identity places you at risk.
The same is not true the other way around. I have been to scores of anti-Israeli events and have never seen a single policeman, never been checked at the door and never seen any violence. It is worth remembering this fact when trying to understand the source of the violence in the conflict itself.
I made it until after lunch, when two of the PSC organisers asked me to leave. I did protest, as I couldn’t fathom why my presence was such an issue. I never cause trouble and they know it. I was told it was a private party. I was told I was not welcome. I reminded them it was a publicly advertised event that placed no condition on entry. I told them I had already paid and was accepted into the event. I asked what they want to hide, what is it that I am not allowed to see? It made no difference. My day at the event was done.
The event itself was organised by PSC, but according to the website, it was ‘supported by the NUT’ and the venue was Hamilton House, the Headquarters of the National Union of Teachers, near Euston in London.
The program involved a couple of panels, a few individual speakers and 4 workshops, on BDS, media, education and refugees. The workshop on education was my choice, given a clear PSC / NUT strategy to ‘poison the well’, and infest our curriculum with the antisemitic venom. The poison which remains the central pillar of the false Arab narrative. I was never to get to see that particular workshop, by the time it started I had been evicted.
Phyllis Chesler: "Anti-racists" and feminists demonize only Israel
Interview with Phyllis Chesler about those who demonize Israel. "Most Western thinkers do not know that Islam has a long history of slavery, anti-black racism, religious apartheid, gender apartheid, colonialism, and conversion via the sword. "
“It is important to understand that it is not only feminists who demonize Israel. They are merely part of a global phenomenon in which the world media, academics, government leaders and human rights organizations drive this madness.”
Prof. Phyllis Chesler is an Emerita Professor of Psychology and Women's Studies. She lives in New York City. She is the best-selling author of 16 books including "The New Anti-Semitism" (2003, 2015), "The Death of Feminism” (2005) and “American Bride in Kabul” (2013) which won a National Jewish Book Award. Her latest book is “Living History: On the Front Lines for Israel and the Jews, 2003-2015” (2016).
“In 2003, after a rather successful lecture about a feminist topic to an African-American feminist audience at a free-standing conference at Barnard, I was asked --completely off-topic-- where I stood on the issue of the women of ‘Palestine.’ I responded: ‘I think you are asking me where I stand on the issue of apartheid and I oppose it. Islam is the largest practitioner of gender and religious apartheid in the world.’
‘Jews invented the Temple Mount lie’
The Association of Palestinian Scholars and Preachers praised the controversial decision of UNESCO, which recently denied Jewish history at the Temple Mount and referred to the area only as the religious Islamic sites "Al-Haram Al-Sharif" and “Al-Aqsa Mosque."
The Association declared this decision a victory for the religious and historical legitimacy of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which is built on the Mount - the holiest site in Judaism.
The Association further declared that the term Temple Mount is an "historical lie" invented by Jews, and that history is not allowed to be established on “lies," in an ironic statement given that the First and Second Temples stood at the site, as has been repeatedly proven by archaeology.
Furthermore, according to the Association, the expression "Al-Aqsa" is the religiously, historically and politically correct word which points to the Muslims right from 1,500 years ago, indicating a period a full 1,000 years give or take after the destruction of the First Temple when Islam was created. (h/t Elder of Lobby)

Greens’ anti-Israel propaganda funded by taxpayers
THE [Australian] Greens have used their taxpayer-funded allowances to print inflammatory anti-Israeli propaganda posters for organisers of a protest rally in what could constitute a breach of Department of Finance rules.
The Daily Telegraph has learned NSW Greens senator Lee Rhiannon used her Senate printing allowance to print and authorise posters to promote a pro-Palestinian rally in Sydney yesterday.
The material, which contains an endorsement by Senator Rhiannon and a disclosure that she had printed them on behalf of the Palestine Action Group, controversially called on the government to officially break ties with Israel.
The poster also tries to compare Israel with the previous apartheid policies of South Africa.
Senator Rhiannon’s office ...admitted that the word “apartheid” was not consistent with Greens policy.
But Senator Rhiannon confirmed to The Daily Telegraph that she had personally printed the posters.
Senators are allowed $103,000 for taxpayer-funded printing and communications related to their parliamentary and electoral duties.
Senator Rhiannon said she had nothing to apologise for in using the word apartheid to describe Israeli policy, despite it contradicting the Greens’ official stance and being offensive to many people in the community.
Jerusalem Post Editorial: Sykes-Picot’s demise
Yet, among all the upheaval and bloodshed that we have witnessed in the region that has led to the breakdown of Sykes-Picot, there remains one oasis of stability: the State of Israel. And this is not a coincidence.
Part of the reason has to do with the national character of Israel. Unlike artificial national constructions such as Syria and Iraq that contain diverse populations, Israel was created for a specific people with a shared history, culture and religion. With all its internal conflicts – between religious and secular, Ashkenazi and Sephardi – there is nevertheless a common denominator that brings together the vast majority of Israelis.
But Israel’s relatively homogeneous population is only part of the explanation for its success. Much more significant is the fact that Israel remains the only democracy in the Middle East. The disintegration of the old order in the region is more about the failure of corrupt, inept and violent autocratic regimes than about contrived borders that ignored ethnic, sectarian and cultural differences.
Sykes-Picot is not to blame for the disintegration of Syria, Iraq, Libya and Yemen, rather it is the autocratic nature of these countries’ political leaderships.
The Syrian conflict began as an uprising by all Syrians – men and women, young and old, Sunni, Shi’ite, Kurdish and even Alawite – against an unfair, corrupt autocrat out of touch with or callous to his people’s aspirations. And this was true for Libyans, Egyptians, Tunisians, Yemenis, and Bahrainis as well in 2010 and 2011.
In the midst of this upheaval, Israel stands out as a beacon of stability, freedom and economic prosperity. An advanced military based on a people’s army that is committed to the highest level of ethical conduct is successful at incorporating a broad spectrum of diverse populations – including Beduin, Druse and Christians.
Amb. Alan Baker: Borders melt-down: 100 years after the Sykes-Picot Agreement
The “Middle East” with which we are all familiar is commemorating a curious and even sad 100 year anniversary.
The 1916 signing of the Sykes-Picot Agreement marked the division of the Middle East between Britain and France and its restructuring in its present borders. However, since then and virtually without any interval, the region has been marked by treaties and international conferences, often contradictory and rarely strictly observed and respected. Issues such as the rivalries between the powers, the control of natural resources, the arms race, arms supplies and freedom of navigation in the Suez Canal have all prompted a power battle, turning this area into a region of unending confrontation.
In dividing the area into zones of influence, neither France nor Britain took into account the demographic, socio-cultural and religious interests and aspirations of the people who lived there. Arab tribes, though nomadic, found themselves separated and dispersed into different states. They strongly rejected the artificial divisions and centralized governmental frameworks. Over the years, the region was shaken by internal uprisings, coups and revolts that continue to this day.
A century after the Sykes Picot Agreement, the Middle East has become a political powder keg and the setting for successive armed conflicts.
Boundaries drawn just a century ago by Western powers are evaporating, and in front of our eyes the whole character of the region is changing beyond all recognition.
Throughout the region from Libya to Iraq, authority has collapsed and people are reaching for their older identities – Sunni, Shi’ite, Kurdish and even tribal. Sectarian groups, often Islamist, have filled the power vacuum, spilling over borders and spreading violence.
Assessing the Growing Sympathy With Palestinians Among Millennials and Liberals
The growing partisan divide on Israel manifested itself last year when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the US Congress about the then-emerging Iran nuclear deal. Netanyahu’s speech was boycotted by a number of liberal Democrats (including Sanders), who accused the Israeli leader of undermining President Barack Obama by accepting an invitation to speak from the House of Representatives speaker before the White House was aware of it.
While Netanyahu gave his speech before Iran reached the deal with world powers, US-Israel tensions only grew amid a legislative struggle that ended in Republicans’ failure to muster enough votes to defeat the agreement. As the Obama presidency winds down, the US and Israel continue to forge strong ties — especially on the security front, with robust American funding for Israeli needs such as the Iron Dome missile defense system. Yet fears persist about the growing liberal electorate’s views on Israel, especially among younger Americans.
“Over time, as the percentage of liberals among Democrats increases, the party’s support for Israel could well become more conditional on what they perceive as Israel’s willingness to support a two-state solution and perceptions related to other liberal causes inside Israel,” Rynhold said.
Rynhold believes that Israel can take a number of unilateral steps to gain more credibility among liberals, such as freezing settlement construction in order to demonstrate that it is “credible in its commitment to a two-state solution.” A settlement freeze, he said, “will not prevent liberal criticism of Israel’s security policy, but it will at least firm up liberal Americans’ understanding of the debate as a reasonable one between two sides committed to the same values.”
Taking the issue of settlements off the table, Rynhold said, would bolster the “growing sense among American liberals that the main threat or issue is Islamist radicalism in its various hues.”
“This will refocus their political attention away from Israeli policies and might also make them more understanding of Israel’s security dilemmas,” he said. “In this regard, it is interesting that between 2009 and 2015, support for the creation of a Palestinian state among Democrats fell (according to Gallup’s survey data). My sense is that ISIS’s arrival on the scene may have affected that.”
An Open Letter to Bernie Sanders
Dear Senator Sanders,
I watched with great earnest on TV your recent remarks in your national televised debate with Hillary Clinton, which was undoubtedly watched by millions, especially by many impressionable Americans who know very little about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I listened to your strong criticism of Israel for its “disproportionate” use of force in the recent Gaza war. I know you have made similar comments in recent weeks, and have been reiterating this with greater force and tone. You have called on the US to “no longer be one-sided, as there are two sides to this story.”
Many Jews have been disgusted at these attacks, seeing it almost as a psychological syndrome of extreme secularism and liberalism, the so-called “self-hating Jew syndrome.” I, for one, choose to leave any possible psychological underpinnings out of this, and just accept that this is purely your own political views based on your knowledge of the situation. However, what DOES upset me, in these recent comments is a display on your part of either a complete ignorance of what took place during the recent Gaza War, or overlooking many of the facts on the ground. I wanted to present at least seven facts which you may or may not be aware of:
Douglas Murray: Britain's Muddled Priorities?
On the one hand, the overwhelming cause of our current security problems is Islamist terror. It is the number one cause of concern to our police, intelligence services and everybody else with the nation's security at heart. The public expects to be protected from such terror and expects that protection to come from that security establishment. Yet all the time, a vocal lobby of Muslim and non-Muslim figures tries to pretend that the threat is not what it is, or that an attempt to depict any and all efforts to protect the country -- even one phrase said by one actor in one simulated attack scenario -- is some terrible crime of bigotry.
Of course, there would have been no social media backlash and no swift apology from the Greater Manchester Police if the terrorist simulation had involved a "far-right" terrorist. But there is always a backlash if the scenario reflects the real security threat that all our societies are facing. This is yet another occasion in which the general public's view of people's priorities is legitimately raised. Why would any Muslim or anyone else genuinely opposed to terror object to the realistic simulation of such an event? One can see, of course, that it may be offensive to somebody's religion. But if so, what is more offensive to their religion: one actor saying "Allahu Akbar" as part of one simulation, or countless Muslims around the world shouting the same phrase before real attacks in real time?
If I were a Muslim, I would spend every minute of my waking life trying to persuade my co-religionists not to kill people right after shouting about my Allah. I do not think I would bother for a second if a police force, trying to keep people safe, chose realistically to simulate the behaviour of my co-religionists. It is a matter of priorities, and across Britain and many other countries in the world today, our priorities are now seriously awry.
Thwarted Vietnamese-British Suicide Bomber Tells FBI He Was Instructed to Target Israelis, Americans at Heathrow Airport
A Vietnamese worker from south London was instructed by a senior Al-Qaeda operative how to build a bomb with which to attack Heathrow Airport, where he was to target Israeli and American arrivals, the UK’s Daily Mail reported on Sunday.
According to the report, based on documents obtained by The Sunday Times, Minh Quang Pham, who joined the Yemen-based terror group Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), told FBI interrogators that he had spent a day training with senior AQAP member Anwar al-Awlaki, whom he had approached to offer himself as a suicide-bomber.
After pleading guilty to terrorism charges in a New York City court, the report said, Pham, 33, faces a possible 50-year jail sentence. Awlaki was killed in a 2011 drone strike in Yemen.
Court transcripts published in The Sunday Times revealed:
Mark Regev - Israel's Ambassador to UK on Marr Show - anti-semitism (h/t Daphne Anson)

Rabbi Sacks: Livingstone should be sacked from Labour party for Hitler comments
Former chief rabbi of the UK and prominent public intellectual Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks said on Monday that former mayor of London Ken Livingstone should be sacked from the Labour party.
Speaking to The Jerusalem Post, Sacks said that some politicians in the British Labour Party had courted the Muslim vote and had adopted anti-Israel attitudes which have morphed into anti-Semitism.
In April, Livingstone, a senior Labour figure, said that Hitler supported Zionism and that anti-Semites hate Jews outside of Israel as well as Israelis.
Livingstone and some 50 other Labour Party members, including at least one member of parliament and several local councillors, have all been suspended pending an internal party investigation.
“There’s no question there has to be zero tolerance otherwise who knows what we’re getting back into,” said Sacks. “There has to be zero tolerance otherwise Europe will cease to be Europe.”
Asked if Livingstone and others should be fired Sacks replied “of course.”
UK’s Labour Party anti-Semitism scandal is not a uniquely British issue
What is striking about the scandal over the endemic anti-Semitism in the UK Labour Party, which has led to the suspension of 50 party members, is as much the shocking extent of bigotry as the curious timeline of the scandal.
While yet another Labour Party member was suspended just days ago for claiming that “Jews control Britain and are committing genocide on us,” the anti-Semitic comments by elected Labour officials that prompted the current outrage are not new. They were made months and even years ago on social media. Some offenders posted to Facebook about destroying the State of Israel. Another that “Zionist Jews are a disgrace to humanity.” But at the time they were made, no one raised any objections.
Why is that? Because on the far left it has become an acceptable position to oppose the very existence of Israel. In the political echo chambers that social media often create, “relocating” all Israel’s Jews to America seems a justifiable position, even if an implausible one. Comparing Israel to the Nazi perpetrators of the Final Solution is a patently obvious parallel, and accusing Israel of creating or supporting ISIS is reasonable conjecture. It was only when these vile views were exposed to the wider political community that they were they called out – correctly – as anti-Semitic.
But let us not think that this scandal unearths what is a uniquely British problem; it’s a far-left problem, too. And we see similar dynamics at play in other countries across Europe and even here in the U.S.
Head of inquiry into Labour antisemitism Shami Chakrabarti reveals she has joined the party
Shami Chakrabarti has said she is confident that her inquiry into antisemitism within Labour will be independent, despite revealing that she joined the party last month.
Unveiling details at a press conference this morning of how the probe will be conducted, Ms Chakrabarti announced that she had joined Labour on the day she was appointed to chair the inquiry – April 29 – because she wanted to reassure party members that she was not looking to cause a political row.
She said: “I want to be honest. I consider myself to be independent. I’m not less independent for showing I share the values of Labour’s constitution."
The inquiry was launched by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn following a series of suspensions of activists and members for alleged Jew-hate in recent months.
Hate preachers to be banned from working with children in new extremism crackdown in the Queen's speech
A crackdown on hate preachers working with children and other vulnerable groups will be placed at the heart of the Queen's Speech this week.
The set-piece relaunch of the Government agenda is also set to include new laws for a British space port, rules on the use of drones in British air space and provisions for driverless cars.
New laws will also pave the way for higher fees at the best universities and there will be a draft bill on creating a British bill of rights.
The new laws on hate preachers will come in a counter extremism bill and will mirror a ban on paedophiles working with children.
Israelly Cool: WATCH: South African Member of Parliament On Israeli “Apartheid”
Israel haters are constantly accusing Israel of being an apartheid state.
South African Member of Parliament Kenneth Meshoe has lived through on actual apartheid, and has very strong thoughts on this.
South African Member of Parliament on Israeli Apartheid

Outrage over German university’s dismissal of anti-Semitism expert
The University of Göttingen unleashed a firestorm of criticism from scholars, students and Jewish organizations when it did not extend the employment contract of Dr. Samuel Salzborn - one of the most prominent academic experts in German anti-Semitism.
“It is a scandal! It shows that critical research on right-wing radicalism/anti-Semitism is not desired in Germany," Julius Schoeps, a leading German Jewish historian and a descendant of the 18th century philosopher Moses Mendelssohn, wrote The Jerusalem Post by email in early May. "One can only shake his head.”
An open letter supported by scores of academics, student groups, and human rights NGOs was sent to the university’s administration in late April titled, “Retain the chair of Professor Salzborn.”
The letter states: "Prof. Salzborn is one of the most distinguished anti-Semitism researchers in the German-speaking area. Considering the Presidential Board's focus on continuously being nominated as a ‘university of excellence’ (granted by a Federal research program) the decision not to extend the contract is highly inconsistent, to say the least. Prof. Salzborn is also a renowned expert on right-wing extremism, who has published many studies on the subject.”
Salzborn, who has been cited in the Post and the New York Times, also has an expertise in contemporary anti-Semitism - the loathing and de-legitimization of the Jewish state. Göttingen is a major university city in the state of Lower Saxony. During the widespread outbreaks of anti-Semitism - including violence - amid Israel’s Operation Protective Edge in 2014, Salzborn told The New York Times: “There is a startling indifference in the German public to the current display of anti-Semitism.”
Lebanese BDS symposium to feature launch of Israel boycott app
The Lebanese capital of Beirut will host a symposium Friday on the Lebanese academic and cultural boycott of Israel, organized by the Campaign to Boycott Supporters of Israel in Lebanon.
During the symposium, the treaty of the academic and cultural boycott of Israel will be displayed, and a new smartphone application to boycott products of pro-Israel companies will be launched.
Many well-known Lebanese actors and artists, including the movie star Tarek Tamim and the actor and singer Jahida Wehbe, are expected to attend the conference.
In a video posted on the Facebook page of the Lebanese campaign, Tamim said: "As an artist, I can only see myself as a part of the resistance to the Occupation."
Another well-known Lebanese figure who will attend the symposium, the actress Nidal Ashkar, stated: "I regard the art an obligation and resistance against Israel." She concluded her statement by urging the Lebanese citizens to boycott Israel and resist it.
"The resistance to Israel is not only military – it is first and foremost cultural and ideological, because after you can defeat the enemy several times and put an end to its military supremacy, it will try to enter from other places," said Pierre Abi Saab, the deputy-editor of the Lebanese daily newspaper al-Akhbar.
Israelly Cool: BDS-Hole Complains About Israeli Educational Apartheid – While Working At Israeli Company
Meet Areej Sous, a Bethlehem Univ student who has decided to bash Israel and what she describes as “educational apartheid.”
The video is for a group calling themselves The American Anthropological Association, which is voting on the boycott of Israeli academic institutions.
There’s plenty of ridiculous things in this video
Besides lying about key facts, Areej Sous is also not disclosing a big one.
She works for an Israeli company!
According to her LinkedIn profile, she has been an account manager at Tradeo since 2015.
The media as a weapon in the Israeli/Arab war
Israel is engaged in a war in which the media plays a fundamental role in influencing world public opinion and government attitudes and decisions. According to Colonel David Kilcullen, an Australian expert on counterinsurgency, “It’s now fundamentally an information fight.” And it is on this “information battlefield,” Steve Fondacaro, an American military expert believes, that the struggle between the Western democracy and Islamic fundamentalism will eventually be determined. “The new element of power that has emerged in the last thirty to forty years and has subsumed the rest is information,” he said. “A revolution happened without us knowing or paying attention. Perception truly now is reality, and our enemies know it.”
The media is being used to erode support for Israel by promoting “disproportionate and unsubstantiated allegations of human rights violations, war crimes and racism,” asserts Gerald M. Steinberg, the founder and president of NGO Monitor, that documents questionable funding and actions of many NGO's that support Israel-based reporters. This strategy, which helped defeat the South African apartheid government, was embraced in 2001 at the NGO Forum U.N.-sponsored Durban Conference on racism. Since the Conference, many human rights NGOs have adopted the political agenda of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), whose members dominate the U.N. Human Rights Council. The NGO association has frequently condemned of Israel “based on false or unverifiable allegations of human rights abuses and ‘war crimes’.”
The NGO campaigns, led by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, are vital in this process. The problem is that journalists, academics, diplomats, political leaders, and Western officials frequently quote these usually uncorroborated accusations in condemning Israeli policies, “reflecting the ‘soft power’ of these NGOs acting to reinforce the Palestinian narrative and the objectives of the OIC.”
Role of the Soviets
The Soviets played a critical role in facilitating the use of language as a weapon of demonization and delegitimization against Israel by creating a political language connecting the former Soviet-styled anti-Semitism to the present one. In defining the political vocabulary about Israel and the Jewish people, the Soviets established the cultural foundations for a new type of political anti-Semitism that has become part of mainstream culture.
The communists viewed Zionism “as a utopian, reactionary, ‘petty-bourgeois’ movement. At best an unwanted diversion from the class struggle and proletarian revolution, it was also seen by leading German Marxist theorists like Karl Kautsky as being complicit in the rise of antisemitism. Kautsky even accused Zionism of putting a spoke in the wheel of historical progress.”
New York Times Article on Arab-Jewish Solar Project Turns Into Attack on Settlements
Just how bad is Sunday’s New York Times feature article about a solar energy array in a West Bank Palestinian Arab village that was built largely with funding from American Jews?
Never mind how the article deals with the perilous shoals of the Arab-Israeli conflict; it can’t even get the basic electricity facts correct. The article claims: “A typical light bulb uses 100 watts.” Maybe the Times West Bank bureau is lit at operating-room brightness, but a “typical” incandescent light bulb in my house is closer to 60 or 75 watts. That bulb’s work is nowadays likely to be done by an LED or compact fluorescent bulb that uses even less energy. The Times reporter whose byline is atop the piece, James Glanz, is a PhD physicist with a background in science writing, but he doesn’t seem to have been light-bulb shopping in an American hardware store anytime recently.
The Times article goes downhill from there. The first American Jew quoted in it is Peter Beinart, one of the Times’ favorite sources, who views the whole situation “as a sign that younger American Jews are less comfortable with Israeli control of the West Bank.” Mr. Beinart views pretty much everything as a sign of that.
In fact, the whole article is a one-sided exercise in settlement-bashing.
French groups sue Twitter, Facebook, YouTube over racism, homophobia
Two French groups say they have filed a suit against Twitter, YouTube and Facebook for allegedly failing to uphold requirements to delete content deemed racist, anti-Semitic, homophobic or defending terrorism.
The lawsuit was filed on Sunday by the Union of Jewish Students of France (UEJF) and SOS-Racisme, the organizations said in a press release.
They referred to a survey carried out between March 31 and May 10 by their members and those of a third association, SOS Homophobie.
In this “first mass test of social networks,” the groups uncovered 586 instances of content that was “racist, anti-Semitic, denied the Holocaust, homophobic (or) defended terrorism or crimes against humanity,” the joint statement said.
Only a fraction of these postings was deleted by the host organisations within a “reasonable time,” as required under a 2004 French law: four percent on Twitter, seven percent on YouTube and 34 percent on Facebook.
Ben Shaprio: Breitbart, ‘Renegade Jews,’ And The Anti-Semitic Wing Of The Trump Movement
On Sunday, Breitbart News posted an article by conservative thinker
David Horowitz. The headline: “Bill Kristol: Republican Spoiler, Renegade Jew Prepares Third Party Effort To Block Trump’s Path To White House.”
This is surprising coming from Horowitz.
It’s unsurprising coming from Breitbart News.
I am a former employee of both Breitbart News and David Horowitz. I left Breitbart under rather public circumstances thanks to their overweening allegiance to Donald Trump, which led to them treating decent people like trash. I founded the website TruthRevolt under the auspices of the David Horowitz Freedom Center, and I consider David both a mentor and a friend.
But this article is garbage.
US knocks Romania for ‘anti-Semitic’ coin
The US Embassy in Romania on Friday criticized the country’s central bank for releasing a coin bearing the image of a former bank governor who it said actively promoted anti-Semitism.
The embassy called the bank’s decision to honor Mihail Manoilescu, the former governor of the National Bank of Romania, “disappointing.” In a statement, it said he was “an active promoter of and contributor to fascist ideology and anti-Semitic sentiment.”
Manoilescu was foreign minister in 1940, when Romania was allied with Nazi Germany. A supporter of the fascist Iron Guard, he signed a diktat under which Romania lost large swaths of territory to Hungary.
It said in a statement that the coin was part of a series minted in mid-April honoring former bank governors and noted that Manoilescu had been governor in 1931, a year of economic crisis.
Speilberg's new movie based on book by 'anti-Semitic bigot'
Legendary Jewish Hollywood film director Steven Spielberg was caught off guard at the Cannes Film Festival Saturday evening after a reporter asked if he was aware of acclaimed children's author Roald Dahl's professed anti-Semitic views, according to USA Today.
Spielberg is currently in the French Riviera to debut his visually stunning children's adventure movie The BFG, based on the book of the same title written by Dahl in 1982.
Spielberg, director of Academy-Award winning Holocaust film Schindler's List and prolific philanthropist to numerous Jewish causes, said he "wasn't aware of any of Roald Dahl's personal stories."
"I was focused on the story (Dahl) wrote," Spielberg added. "I had no idea of anything that was purportedly assigned to him, that he might have said."
Following Dahl's death in 1990, then Anti-Defamation League President Abe Foxman penned an opinion piece in the New York Times saying that Dahl was a "bigot" and "admitted anti-Semite."
PreOccupiedTerritory: Mideast Book Fair Removes Non-Antisemitic Work (satire)
Controversy erupted at a regional book fair in the Palestinian capital this week after visitors discovered for sale a work that contained no anti-Israel or anti-Jewish content, forcing organizers to remove the book from the shelves and reprimand the booth operator.
Thousands of publishers, distributors, educators, and other interested parties gathered in Ramallah for the biannual Palestinian Book Fair, which aims to help keep the struggling Palestinian publishing industry on the regional map and showcase the city’s and culture’s vibrancy despite having only a quasi-state hemmed in by Israel. Booth operators came from Dubai, Qatar, and other places in the Arab world to both display and take in recent or perpetually popular offerings, such as The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a longtime favorite in the region. However, within four hours of the fair opening its doors at the Ramallah Convention Center, more than two dozen visitors came to the concierge to file complaints that one publisher was offering for sale a book that contained no theme, images, or not-so-veiled accusations painting Israel or Jews as malicious, undesirable, corrupt, bloodthirsty, untrustworthy, or unclean. As a result, all copies of the book were confiscated and the seller was threatened with closure of his display.
The seller, whose name has been withheld pending an investigation, allegedly offered for sale copies of a photography journal published as a coffee table book. The 75-page work, titled Bridges Afar, focused on images of bridges around the world, including famous landmarks such as the London and Golden Gate Bridges, as well as out-of-the-way locations such as old railroad bridges in rural Pennsylvania and Bulgaria. None of the images or commentary, however, made even a single mention of Zionist perfidy, brutality, or oppression, even by omission or implication in clear violation of the convention’s rules.
Son of Lebanese immigrants, Brazil’s new president is friend to Jewish community
The elevation of a centrist vice president, Michel Temer, as Brazil’s president amid the impeachment process of Dilma Rousseff is expected to result in a less strained relationship between Brazil and Israel, as well as its Jewish community, Jewish leaders said.
Temer, 75, the son of Lebanese immigrants, took the helm of Latin America’s largest nation on Thursday. He has been vice president since 2011.
Rousseff, who has served for 13 years, was suspended by the Brazilian Congress for 180 days as part of an ongoing impeachment process. She has rankled the Jewish community with what were seen as anti-Israel remarks, including calling Israel’s conflict with Hamas in 2014 “a massacre.”
Also, Brazil refused to accept the appointment of a former West Bank settler leader, Dani Dayan, as ambassador to Brasilia. In March, Dayan was named consul general in New York and no one has been named in his place.
“The interruption of a mandate is not something to celebrate, but the maturation of our democracy must be highlighted,” Fernando Lottenberg, president of the Brazilian Israelite Confederation, told JTA. “We’ll keep an effective and open dialogue with the new government regarding national, international and community-related subjects.”
Making Israel Sexy: New Instagram Account Features Hot Dudes Eating Hummus
HotDudesAndHummus is an Instagram account featuring, you guessed it, hot (Israeli) dudes eating hummus. The account was created by a group of Israeli university students to show a different – yummier? – side to Israel that has nothing to do with the Arab-Israeli conflict, bringing a whole new meaning to the age-old adage, “make hummus not war.”
In just over a month the account had amassed more than 3,300 followers from all over the world and so far features 43 photos of ripped male Israelis enjoying the Jewish state’s signature chickpea delicacy. A selection of images appears below:
Founded by four students at Israel’s Herzliya Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) as a project for their communications class, HotDudesAndHummus specifically targets millennials of the type that are likely to already be following other “hot dudes” accounts.
“We want to create a positive association with Israel,” said co-founder Betty Ilovici, 21, the Daily Dot reported. “We’re normal people living normal lives.”
The founders agree that government PR campaigns have largely failed, giving Israeli hasbara (public diplomacy) a terrible name.
Viral makeup tutorial features IDF’s ‘camouflage palette’
Move over MAC mascara and L’Oréal lipstick. The latest must-have makeup is the standard issue camouflage palette by IDF. That’s IDF as in Israel Defense Forces, not some new cosmetics company.
A viral video made by an IDF soldier parodying online makeup tutorials and featuring the camouflage palette has racked up close to half a million views on Facebook in the last week. It took off when it was picked up by Pazam, a social network for IDF soldiers.
The video is a total standout, but it seriously makes blending in with the shrubbery seem like a lot of fun and a great way to cover up zits.
The parody tutorial was made on a whim by Hannah Laskow Defore, a 19-year-old American serving in Machal, the IDF’s program for volunteers from overseas. She serves in the mixed-gender combat search and rescue brigade of the Homefront Command.
“We were supposed to do a four kilometer run, and I didn’t feel up to it, so I got permission to stay behind on base,” Defore told The Times of Israel.
“So while I was hanging around, I made the video. I’d made parody videos before, but never a makeup one. But I always thought makeup tutorial videos were funny because the people in them take them so seriously,” she added.
Digging into our lives
The archaeologist Dr. Gabi Barkay came to Israel at age 6 with his mother and father, on board the ship Kommemiyut, one of the ships that smuggled Jewish immigrants into Mandate Palestine. This was the vessel's last voyage bringing Jewish immigrants to Israel before it was sold to iron traders. As part of the events of a national conference hosted by the Israel Exploration Society, the Kommemiyut sailed past the coast one last time, possibly hinting at the future of the child it had carried from the Budapest ghetto to the land of Israel.
Since then, 66 years have passed, and it seems almost arrogant to attempt to sum up in a single conversation with Barkay the progress Israel has made in archaeology since it was founded, or his personal contribution to that progress. Barkay has been involved in so many studies, excavations and events relating to local archaeology that it's doubtful a single interview will do it all justice.
Although he has never worked for the Israel Antiquities Authority -- Barkay says he prefers a university framework that offers freedom of opinion and thought -- he has acquired an international reputation thanks to two things: The first is the historic discovery of the Priestly Blessing Scrolls, the most ancient archaeological discovery of a biblical text dating to the period the Bible is believed to have been put together. The discovery of the scrolls had wide-ranging influence on biblical research, and the assessment of its historical reliability. The second is the project of sifting dirt from the Temple Mount. Barkay describes the Mount as "a black hole in the history of archaeology in general and Israeli archaeology in particular."
Israel admits that Hebrew Vowels are just a 50 Year Prank on Olim (satire)
Government and Academic sources, speaking at a Conference held at the Academy of the Hebrew Language, made an astonishing admission today: that the use of Vowels in Hebrew is just one giant punk on Olim.
“Honestly, we never thought it would go on this long.” chuckled Professor Binyamin M. “After the Six Day War, a lot of Western Olim started showing up to volunteer, and some of the Kibbutzniks thought it would be funny to tell them that there were special invisible dots and lines underneath the letters that they can’t see but that they must say. And they went along with it! I guess the Emperor really wears no clothes.”
President Rivlin, who was on site to present an award for the best new Hebrew playwright, couldn’t contain his laughter. “It’s all a joke! Kamatz, Patach, Segol. We even wondered if we could force Olim to draw a Tic-Tac-Toe Board, so we made up the Shuruk! Good times!”

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