Wednesday, May 18, 2016

From Ian:

Alan M. Dershowitz: A Visit to the Old and New Hells of Europe Provides a Reminder of Israel's Importance
I just returned from a week-long journey through Hell! It began with a visit to the Auschwitz and Birkenau death camps in Poland, as a participant of the March of the Living, following a conference commemorating the 80th anniversary of the Nuremberg Laws and the 70th anniversary of the Nuremberg Trials. My week was consumed with recurring evidence of the worst crime ever perpetrated by human beings on other human beings – the Holocaust.
I traveled from the death camps to several small Polish towns from which my grandparents emigrated well before the Holocaust, leaving behind relatives and friends. During the course of my travels, I discovered the fate of two of my relatives. Hanna Deresiewicz (an original spelling of my family name) was a 16-year-old girl living in the small town of Pilzno when the Nazis arrived; she was separated from her siblings and parents. "The soldiers took several of the most beautiful Jewish girls for sex, and then killed them. [Among those] taken [was] Hanna Deresiewicz, 16."
Another relative named Polek Dereshowitz, served as an "orderly" to the Commandant of Auschwitz when he was 15. He was suspended "from the ringbolts in his office because a flea had been found on one of his dogs." He was later gassed.
This is not the first time I have visited Nazi death camps. I was fully familiar with the statistical evidence of how six million Jews were systematically murdered. I was also familiar with how the Nazi death machine searched out Jews in the furthest corners of Nazi occupied Europe, even as far as the island of Rhodes in the Aegean Sea, and transported them to Auschwitz to gas them. I also knew that this was the only time in human history when people were brought from far distances to camps designed for one purpose only – to kill every possible Jew they could, find no matter where they lived. And I knew that because this was part of a planned genocide of the Jewish People, it was most important to kill every child, woman and man capable of producing future Jews.
Phyllis Chesler: Israel--not Apartheid; Islam--Nothing but Apartheid
Israel has long been accused of being an apartheid nation state--and a state involved in "ethnic cleansing."
Pure propaganda! This is a brazen Big Lie.
The largest practitioner of both gender and religious apartheid in the world is Islam or Islamism.
Religious apartheid exists when the dominant state religion allows no other religion to exist and flourish. For example, Muslim countries do not allow churches to be built, Christian insignia to be displayed; Muslim mobs and governments destroy existing churches or convert them into mosques.
Today, living Christians are persecuted, tortured and murdered in the name of Islam all across the Muslim world. Oddly, on April 16th of this year, (for the second time) the Pope offered no solace and no asylum to persecuted Christian; he publicly offered to take in a symbolic number of Muslim refugees into the Vatican.

The Mottle Wolfe Show [Podcast]: Palestinian Museum of Non-History
The new $24 million Palestinian Museum of Art History and Culture opened today in Israel. Like the subject matter of the Museum, the space is completely empty of exhibitions. Also an Election 2016 update, Trump starting to trounce Hillary.

IsraellyCool: Indigenous Brian Talks To London
This is the first video I’ll post from the event “Two State Campaign4Truth: Dead or Alive” event in London from a few weeks ago. I will post the entire set of talks and the debate later, but here’s what I said. As you’ll hear, it’s heavily influenced by Ryan Bellerose’s indigenous Jews arguments.
I kicked off my talk with the story of the signs in the British Museum that I blogged about: The Perfidious British Museum Jewish History Denial.
I’ll post the other speakers talks soon and you’re not going to want to miss David Collier or Melanie Phillips who both knocked it out of the park.

Why does UNESCO Insist On Rewriting Israel’s History?
UNESCO is in a sense doing what the Council of Nicea did centuries ago; attempting to permanently control the future by controlling the past. The irony is that today’s Church has by and large made peace with the idea that the Judaism serves as their religion’s roots. Despite this acceptance, their overtures to the Jewish people came about precisely because of the Jewish Nation’s return to its historic homeland, which destroyed one of the major tenets of early Church philosophy known as the wandering Jew.
The assumption by the Church, was the exile of the Jewish Nation came about due to a rejection of Jesus, proving covenant between the Jews and the Almighty to be null and void. According to the Church this exile would continue forever. Aurelius Prudentius Clemens said as far back as 400 CE: “From place to place the homeless Jew wanders in ever-shifting exile, since the time when he was torn from the abode of his fathers and has been suffering the penalty for murder, and having stained his hands with the blood of Christ whom he denied, paying the price of sin.” The Church was forced to dismantle this tenet upon the Jewish people’s return. By reversing this sort of doctrine, the Church is essentially accepting the veracity of the Mosaic covenant.
Supporting UNESCO or at least remaining silent stems from the inherent need to deny a national connection the Holy Land for the Jewish people. For the world, this history, the history of the Nation of Israel and its connection to its land has become a burden. After all, it is far easier to deal with the Jewish burden than the Muslim one and perhaps, just perhaps that tenet of the wandering Jew, so vital to the Church and many Christian theologians, will be reinstated in a very careful way.
The nefariousness of all of this is of course obvious, but what is perhaps more telling is that the Israeli government has assumed this is just some sort of mistake or lack of knowledge. It isn’t, and the faster it understands this, the faster it can start pushing back successfully.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Ancient Israelites Unaware The Place Supposed To Be Called ‘Palestine’ (satire)
The inhabitants of this ten-tribe kingdom north of Jerusalem, along with their brethren in the kingdom Judah to the south, are oblivious to the fact that the land in which they live and have developed their civilization is called not Israel but Palestine, a new study reports.
Researchers investigating political awareness in the peoples of the ancient Levant surveyed the populace between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea over a period of ten years, and found that despite being firmly located in the heartland of ancient Palestine, the residents of the area display no awareness of the land’s proper name. The authors say the study raises important questions about education and civic involvement at every level of society, including the more educated, wealthy, and politically important classes.
In an article in this month’s issue of the journal Proceedings of the Association for Local Exploitation of Semitic Tribes Indigenous to the Near East (PALESTINE), the researchers describe the outcome of their efforts to ascertain the extent to which the inhabitants of Palestine in the ninth and eighth centuries BCE had a consciousness of being part of a larger Palestinian people. The team of sociologists from Bir Zeit University commissioned the use of a time machine to travel to the relevant period and examine the knowledge, sensibilities, and loyalties of those ancient Palestinians, who, it turned out, had never been informed that they were Palestinian.
“They thought of themselves as part of ancient Israel, which only goes to show how pernicious the false propaganda of the Zionists has been even into ancient times,” said the study’s lead author, Dr. Saeb Erekat. “Obviously, the Zionists got to these ancient peoples before we did, and corrupted their awareness to such a degree that they are oblivious to their Palestinian pedigree. Even the higher echelons of society, in the aristocracy especially – one might expect them to be more aware, more cosmopolitan, but evidently their self-awareness as Palestinians has also been compromised.”
Activists launch campaign against Arab bookshop for selling Israeli author's books
Okeikan Publishing, a well-known bookstore which owns several branches in the Arab world, is the target of a new anti-Israel social media campaign that calls to boycott books written by Israeli authors.
On Tuesday, Arab social media activists launched an aggressive campaign against the famous bookstore on Twitter under the hashtag "Okeikan's normalization," for allegedly selling books by the prominent Israeli author, David Grossman.
One of the anti-Israel activists, a user named Abdullah al-Bishri, posted an image showing a shelf crowded with Grossman's books in one of Okeikan's bookstores in Saudi Arabia, claiming that by doing so, the bookstore ridicules its book shelves.
A user named Faris al-Jarbuh, who presented himself as a writer, wrote a series of comments about the alleged affection of Okeikan to Israel.
Anti-Semitism charges roil the calm waters of Oxford
Most Jews in Oxford “enjoy a very good situation of safety and a robust Jewish community with excellent facilities that are actually far better than what one finds in many other British universities,” said Berger, the psychology student from Manchester. Even Black – a supporter of the Conservative Party – said that “for every negative experience” with non-Jews in Oxford, he has had “a hundred positive ones.”
While the recent scandal exposed widespread hate speech at Oxford, it also reinforced growing rejection of anti-Semitism “by the vast majority in Oxford” who understand “how criticism of Israel spills into anti-Semitism,” Black said.
Last month, four of Oxford’s six delegates to Britain’s National Student Union said their university should disaffiliate from the union following the election of Malia Bouatia as its president. Bouatia, a student at the University of Birmingham, is accused of justifying violence against Israelis and opposing a motion to condemn the Islamic State terror group lest it stigmatize Muslims. She also blamed the “Zionist-led media” for oppression in the global south.
Two British universities, Lincoln and Newcastle, this month disaffiliated with the union, citing lack of confidence in its leadership. Oxford is set to hold a disaffiliation referendum in the coming weeks.
As for Israelis living in Oxford — there are hundreds of them, mostly students and researchers — they say they suffer no discrimination or abuse for their country of origin.
UK Labour Party Suppresses Full Report on Anti-Semitism at Oxford
The UK Labour Party’s investigation into allegations of anti-Semitism at its affiliated club at Oxford University contained 11 recommendations for “immediate and sustained action,” but did not find institutional racism, a claim that was complicated by the revelation that the release of the full report is being postponed.
The report, which was compiled by Baroness Jan Royall and partially released Tuesday, also raised many issues that Royall promised to bring up in the Labour Party’s broader investigation into anti-Semitism, of which she is the vice chair. Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC) refused to allow the full report to be released at this time, the Jewish Chronicle reported, though her findings may be rolled into the broader investigation.
Royall recommended that the NEC provide “leadership and training in equalities issues including antisemitism,” eliminate statutes of limitations on allegations of anti-Semitism, allow for quicker responses to such allegations, and do a better job vetting political candidates.
Jeremy Newmark, the chair of the Jewish Labour Movement, told the Jewish Chronicle that he had met with Royall and shares “her frustration that the full content of her report was suppressed by the NEC.”
Labour Report Recommends No Life Ban For Anti-Semites
Baroness Royall’s report into anti-Semitism claims at Oxford University Club – which sparked the resignation of the co-chair – has found there was no institutional problem there at all:
“I do not believe that that there is institutional antisemitism within OULC, difficulties however face OULC which must be addressed to ensure a safe space for all Labour students to debate and campaign around the great ideas of our movement”
Controversially, Royall goes against the so-called McDonnell Doctrine and advises that anti-Semites should not face a life ban:
“It is not recommended that where a person is excluded from membership for antisemitism this should automatically be a life ban.”
Here is McDonnell saying all anti-Semites should be kicked out for good:
Melania Trump says husband Donald is 'not Hitler'
In an interview with Du Jour magazine published Tuesday, the former model was asked to respond to comedian Louis C.K.’s letter to fans in March saying Donald Trump’s call to temporarily ban all Muslim entry into the United States was something akin to the policies of Nazi Germany’s leader.
“We know the truth,” she said. “He’s not Hitler. He wants to help America. He wants to unite people. They think he doesn’t but he does. Even with the Muslims, it’s temporary.”
That said, she did admit her billionaire husband — who is now the Republican Party’s presumptive presidential nominee — could change the way he expresses his ideas on the trail.
This latest interview comes shortly after the last magazine profile of Ms. Trump resulted in its Jewish author receiving a barrage of anti-Semitic harassment, which Trump insisted was “provoked” by the reporter, Julia Ioffe, late last month.
“I don’t control my fans,” Trump told Du Jour reporter, Mickey Rapkin, who asked: “If people put a swastika on my face once this article comes out, will [you] denounce them?”
“I don’t agree with what they’re doing,” Trump said. “I understand what you mean, but there are people out there who maybe went too far. She provoked them.”
Koch Brothers Give a Megaphone to the Anti-Israel Fringe
On Wednesday, the Charles Koch Institute, a think tank funded by one of the conservative movement's most generous donors, will host a conference featuring some of the academy's most virulent foes of Israel.
Charles and David Koch, scions of the Koch Industries fortune, have always leaned libertarian in their political giving and nonprofit work. The two brothers have supported criminal-justice reform and other free-market initiatives in education and labor. In foreign policy, the Kochs have stayed away from the uglier fringes that blame Israel and its supporters for hijacking U.S. foreign policy. That is, until now.
The institute's conference scheduled for Wednesday will feature separate panels with Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer, co-authors of the 2006 book "The Israel Lobby."
While Walt and Mearsheimer are hardly household names, they are known in U.S. policy circles. Their book prompted Abe Foxman, who was then national director of the Anti-Defamation League, to write a response, "The Deadliest Lies: The Israel Lobby and the Myth of Jewish Control."
The institute's decision to host a conference that features Walt, Mearsheimer and a former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Chas Freeman, is in keeping with a general realignment of U.S. politics in 2016. Under George W. Bush and Barack Obama, conservatives have embraced Israel and accused their partisan foes of not supporting the Jewish State, but this year has brought a shift. This week for example, the conservative website Breitbart featured a story that accused Weekly Standard editor William Kristol of being a "renegade Jew."
The Financial Times sanitises the ‘ideological fanaticism’ of Charles Freeman
Concerning Israel, contrary to what Dyer suggests, objections centered around more than just his views on Jerusalem’s policies. Freeman was widely criticized due to his suggestion that the attacks on 9/11 were brought about by US support for Israel and his suggestion that the Israel lobby controls debate in Washington. Questions were also raised over his reference to Hamas as a “legitimate movement for Palestinian independence” that has shown “principled and disciplined restraint.”
Tellingly, Freeman’s forays into antisemitic tropes were not one-offs.
Upon withdrawing from consideration for the job of Chair of the NIC, he again decried the Israel lobby’s supposed control over the US political process and accused American supporters of Israel of dual loyalty in decrying their putative efforts to enforce “adherence to the policies of a foreign government.” Further, in a post he published at the extremist blog Mondoweiss in 2010, Freeman implicitly justified global antisemitism, characterizing it as merely the inevitable response to Jewish support for Israel’s “apartheid” policies.
As commentator Jon Chait observed about Freeman at the time of his nomination, summing up his views on China, Saudi Arabia and the ‘Israel lobby’, the problem wasn’t due to his views on Israel per se – as the Financial Time now claims – but that he was shown to be something of an “ideological fanatic”.
Exclusive Interview: Danny Danon to Kick Off Anti-BDS Initiative at UN with 1500 College Students
In less than two weeks, Jews around the world will start getting some much needed back-up in the battle against BDS, as Danny Danon, Israel’s envoy to the UN, rolls out a plan of action designed to unite, organize, and train those on the front lines.
“Young people are being effected by the propaganda,” said Danon, “if we don’t counter it, it will become their truth and reality. We have to stand, fight back, and show the world the real face of Israel”.
The initiative’s inaugural event, entitled “Ambassadors Against BDS”, will take place on May 31st when Israel’s Mission to the UN will host 1500 students, organizations, and agencies from around the world at a summit aimed at cultivating a cadre of able young ambassadors who will carry the message back to their campuses, armed with practical advice and the resources to take on the toxic atmosphere created by BDS.
“The goal of the event is to empower students from around the world – not just from the US – by giving them the tools they need to fight back. By doing it at the United Nations, in the General Assembly, we send a clear message that we will not be silent. We are a strong nation and we will overcome this wave of incitement against the State of Israel,” explained Danon, “We can win, but in order to win, we – the State of Israel and world Jewish communities – have to work together in order to be strong and effective.”
Palestinian BDS group: Israeli Mossad 'spying on us'
A Palestinian group promoting boycott, divestment and sanctions activities against Israel has accused the Mossad of targeting its activists, Israel Hayom learned on Tuesday.
In a letter to the United Nations Human Rights Council, the Palestinian BDS National Committee claimed the Israeli spy agency "is working against us," and has demanded the UNHRC recognize its members as "human rights activists," arguing that the right to boycott is a basic human right.
Public Diplomacy Minister Gilad Erdan, who heads Israel's efforts to counter the BDS movement, said the measures taken on this issue are for the most part kept out of the public eye, and that by not drawing attention to the groups preaching BDS, Israel can minimize their impact.
Around 100 million shekels ($26 million) have reportedly been allocated to Israel's campaign to fight the BDS movement.
Despite Israel's efforts to keep its counter-BDS activities under the radar, the letter can be seen as evidence that the government's strategy is working.
Another Defeat for BDS
To listen to supporters of the BDS movement talk about their progress, you’d think their effort to popularize an economic war on Israel was sweeping the nation. But while they’ve certainly made inroads on college campuses and with some faith groups, their setbacks have been as numerous as their successes. Their latest defeat took place this week at the convention of the United Methodist Church, where several resolutions calling for the denomination to divest from companies doing business in Israel were voted down. This is good news for those hoping to foster good relations between Christians and Jews as well as for Hillary Clinton, herself a member of the 12-million strong denomination, since she weighed in against BDS in a letter she sent to the Jewish group that has been working against such resolutions in the days before the vote.
Mainline churches like the Methodists with their mostly liberal membership should be a good audience for the BDS crowd. Other Protestant denominations, notably the Presbyterian Church USA and the United Church of Christ have thrown in their lot with the BDS movement. As I wrote last week, recent polls have shown that liberals are the one segment of the American electorate that has become more supportive of the Palestinians than Israel. BDS advocates have played upon sympathy for the real suffering of the Palestinians while spinning a false narrative in which their problems are all said to be the fault of Israeli oppression. But while the sympathy is understandable, the attempt to blame Israel is not. The conflict between the two peoples is complex, but the idea that Israeli settlements or unwillingness to accept the idea of two states for two peoples is the obstacle to peace is a lie.
What those who are duped by the attempt to depict BDS as a form of human rights activism don’t understand is that the goal of the movement and of the Palestinians isn’t to influence the Israeli government’s policies. Divesting isn’t about getting Israel to treat the Palestinians better or to persuade them to accept a border between two states that is more to the liking of its foes. Rather, it is a form of economic warfare designed to isolate a nation that these anti-Zionists believe is illegitimate. Just as even the supposed moderates of the Palestinian Authority continue to refuse to accept the legitimacy of a Jewish state no matter where its borders might be drawn, so, too, does the BDS movement oppose Israel’s existence.
A bad week for Church Divest
Its an even numbered year, and that can only mean, one, well, two things. The San Francisco Giants will win the World Series and the Mainline Protestant Churches will vote on divestment from Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East
The United Methodist Church has convened a two week conference in Portland, and from the posts on social media, there is much prayer and soul searching going on. 864 delegates are considering nearly a thousand resolutions on a wide variety of issues.
As in past years, the conference is filled with anti-Israel activists, pushing divestment from companies that do business in Israel. This year, it appears, the organization is pushing back
From a Press release from the Institute on Religion & Democracy
May 17, 2016
“Activists who seek to enroll the church in demonizing Israel serve neither peace nor justice for anybody”
BDS presses South African rap-rave duo Die Antwoord to cancel Israel show
Die Antwoord, the popular South African rap-rave duo, is being pressured to cancel its scheduled performance in Israel by pro-Palestinian supporters of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
“It has come to our attention and the attention of our Israeli and Palestinian allies that you intend performing in Israel during June 2016,” South African BDS activists wrote in a letter to the group. “As fellow South Africans we are proud of our artists’ international success and, in particular, in the case of Die Antwoord, your innovative musical and performance artistry.”
The history of South Africa and the parallels between apartheid rule in that country and what is taking place in Israel serves as justification for the group to reconsider its Rishon Lezion show, scheduled for June 8.
Standing Up for Israel on Social Media
On Monday, May 9, when there were simultaneous attacks in Jerusalem and Munich orchestrated by terrorists, SWU posted an image of both scenes, with the caption: “Different countries. Same terrorism.” The picture was liked and shared thousands of times in just a few hours.
To provide context to the Mideast situation, SWU shares news stories about Hamas and Palestinian Authority hypocrisy — like how their own family members seek out Israeli hospitals for care and treatment, because they know that Israel has excellent medical care and will treat them. There is also the video of a school play performed by Palestinian children in Gaza, in which the young actors’ presentation consisted of stabbing children dressed as Jews, to gleeful applause.
Then there are the stories about Israel’s world-leading surgery-assisting robots; Israel’s booth at the Buenos Aires Book Fair; letters of support received from all over the world; an investment company run by an Israeli Muslim and an Israeli Jew that only invests in diverse start-ups; and an Arab-Israeli couple who welcomed identical triplets on Mother’s Day. These are feel-good stories that demonstrate the reality — and normalcy — of daily life in Israel. Sadly, these narratives are rarely seen in popular media.
Thank you, SWU, for so often being the voice of rational pro-Israel social-media users, for consolidating and disseminating stories, for bringing the truth onto the Internet, and for starting conversations that others are too timid to start. SWU deserves credit for showing the world that there is so much more to Israel than violence, chaos and death — as many would have us believe.
LegalInsurrection: Why did Brown/RISD Hillel host an anti-Israel “Nakba Day” event?
I know a cover-up happened at Brown/RISD Hillel over an anti-Israel “Nakba Day” event held on the premises organized by a small group of leftist Jews and anti-Israel campus allies.
How do I know? I was there.
Such an event arguably violated Hillel International’s Israel Guidelines (aka Standards of Partnership), but it is not an isolated event. And that is the bigger picture, how some local Hillels promote anti-Israel narratives and turn the one place on campus where pro-Israel students can feel comfortable into just another anti-Zionist forum.
Here is the story of what happened:
- Left-wing Activism and Planning “Nabka Day” at Brown Hillel
- What is Zochrot?
- What is the Nakba?
- The Public Event
- The Decoy
- Caught Red-Handed
- The Aftermath
- A Problem from the Top
- Conclusion
Edgar Davidson: On the appropriate response to antisemitic lies and blood-libels directed at Israel
Indeed this is a subject I've addressed before - notably here - but it seems few people understand it so I will attempt to make this very simple using the following hypothetical analogy:
Jackie White looks after her 80 year old mother Iris who has been house bound in London with dementia for 10 years. One day a man Patrick Bates with a history of psychopathic violence and delusions, tells the local media that Iris has been murdering street children in Brazil every day for the last 10 years and that he plans to kill her to stop this.
What should Jackie's reaction be? Should she:
a) Attempt to counter the accusations of Patrick Bates by providing proof of Iris's long-term disabilities and explaining what a caring woman she has always been.
b) Expose Patrick Bates as the liar and dangerously insane psychopath that he clearly is.
If she chooses a) she has already entered into a narrative in which 'both sides' are talking about whether or not Iris is a child killer. A reasonable 'headline' for the media would be:
"Jackie White denies her mother is a child killer"
If she chooses b) she has put the focus solely on the dangerous Patrick Bates. A reasonable headline would be:
"Lying madman threatens to kill 80-year-old housebound woman with dementia"
Given the obvious preference for b) can anybody explain to me why, in response to the obvious lies and blood libels about Israel originating from psychopathic killers like Hamas, Israel supporters choose the equivalent of option a) above
Eurovision descends into farce after Israel Boycott and Ukraine beats Russia (satire)
Debates over the Boycott Israel movement raged across Europe today after millions of fans were left traumatized by the decision to ban all things Israeli in Saturday’s grand finale of Eurovision. The chaos began when outspoken Swedish Foreign Minister, Margot Wallstrom, a strong supporter of the BDS movement aimed at economically crippling Israel, made a series of blunders that left hosts Sweden red-faced. Firstly, she moved the singing competition from the 16,000 all-seater Ericsson Globe arena in Stockholm – after discovering that the mother-in-law of the Ericsson CEO had once eaten a pomegranate on an Israeli kibbutz in 1954. “We were left with no choice. We really can’t be seen to support that level of aggressive Zionism.” Ms. Wallstrom stated defiantly, as the venue was changed to an old IKEA warehouse in the tiny northern village of Dooberguberfloozer. Coaches were then arranged to transport the 42 competing nations after the Israel-developed GPS app Waze had been blocked, sending the lost Azerbaijanis on a wild-goose chase around Denmark. Meanwhile, Israeli start-up GetTaxi, the world’s second largest Taxi app, was switched off, forcing the Spanish to hitchhike to a place they could not even say.
Eurovision is one of the few European cultural events that reinforces regional differences and continuously raises the prospect of a third World War. Amidst all the kitsch of cheesy dancing fairies and Viking heavy metal bands, this year’s show was once again mired in controversy. Greece was devastated after failing to make the final for the first time and immediately blamed German-imposed cuts. Neighboring Turkey was thrilled to have negotiated its inclusion in next year’s semi-finals, in exchange for building more Syrian refugee camps. Fights and beheadings broke out in this year’s semi-finals after a romantic ballad sung by ISIS boy band, the Caliphatties failed to melt judges’ hearts. Canada too was left ticked off by Australia’s inclusion in Eurovision for the second year running. Quebec-born diva Celine Dion, who won Eurovision for Switzerland in 1988, offered to sing but new Prime Minister/heart-throb, Justin ‘Donnie Osmond’ Trudeau vetoed her offer, sending a giant wave of relief across Canada.
HonestReporting: Is Jerusalem in Israel?
The broadcast sparked a complaint to the BSA by the Wellington Palestine Group. It believed that viewers would be confused into thinking that the scene of the incident and, in fact, the whole city of Jerusalem might actually be located in Israel.
The WPG claimed:
The inability of TVNZ [Television New Zealand] to get simple geography on this matter correct so often means viewers are led to believe the Israeli version that East Jerusalem is a legitimate part of Israel and thus any resistance to the occupation cannot be legitimate.
Leaving aside the fact that they are in essence referring to the stabbing of a 70 year old woman as legitimate “resistance to the occupation,” “simple geography” shows that Jerusalem is one, united city. There is no separate geographic designation of an “East” Jerusalem. The old 1949 armistice line that divided the city has long disappeared and today Arabs and Jews would be hard pressed to actual pinpoint where this separation once occurred.
Moreover, to make the claim that the Old City of Jerusalem, the national, spiritual, and historic heart of the Jewish people is not a part of Israel is absurd.
BBC Travel’s basic geography fail
Unfortunately, that interesting piece is marred by a rather basic geographical inaccuracy:
“By that point, the knights were no longer needed as crusaders. Their military stronghold of Acre, in present-day Syria, had fallen in 1291. The knights were still engaging in smaller-scale raids, but the Crusades had effectively ended – and, for the Church, had not ended well.”
Acre (Acco), with its beautifully restored Crusader buildings, is of course located in northern Israel.
Update, 18/4/16: BBC Travel has now corrected the inaccuracy.
BBC News passes up on Gaza Strip weapons smuggling story
To date the BBC has shown no interest in reporting this story to its audiences. That editorial decision is of course all the more significant when one considers that the corporation’s often inaccurate portrayal of the naval blockade of the Gaza Strip usually includes the ‘Israel says’ formulation. For example:
“… the blockade, which Israel says is a necessary security measure.”
“Israel says the blockade aims to stop the supply of arms or other items for military use, and to put pressure on the Hamas administration.”
“Israel tightened maritime restrictions on Gaza from 2007 [sic], leading to a blockade which it says it [sic] a vital security measure against the militant Islamist group Hamas, which administers the territory.”
“Israel says the naval blockade is necessary to stop weapons being smuggled to militants within Gaza.”

The BBC’s continued avoidance of stories such as this one means that its audiences are deprived of information which would aid their appreciation of why “Israel says” what it does – and that obviously hinders their understanding of this particular “international issue“.
BBC reports on Jordan Rift Valley mine clearance lack essential context
Viewers are then told:
“But in the 1960s Israeli soldiers planted mines and booby traps in the area. The churches have been left empty ever since.”
In contrast with reports on the same story from other media organisations, no effort is made by the BBC to provide audiences with the relevant context which would enable their understanding of the background to that statement and prevent any misunderstanding of the reasons behind Israel’s mining of the area.
The Telegraph, for example, tells its readers that:
“Israeli forces laid around 2,600 anti-tank mines in long strings to prevent Jordanian armored units from crossing the River Jordan. The area is also scattered with more than a thousand anti-personnel mines which are not much bigger than an apple but can easily blow off a person’s legs.
To stop Palestinian fighters from hiding in the churches, Israeli soldiers built their own improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and rigged the buildings. No one knows how many of the bombs are still active. Added to the mix are mortar shells, artillery rounds and other unexploded ordinance still lying around from the [1967] fighting.”
Ultra-Orthodox, Arab, Ethiopian, and settler youth unite under one roof
A new program aims to build tolerance in Israel by having youths from various sectors live together in ultra-Orthodox, Arab, Ethiopian and settler communities.
The program, called “Ahi Israeli” (My Israeli Brother), also includes new immigrants and secular Jews, as well as Muslims and Druse, said Yaron Kanner, CEO of the NGO Hinam, which is organizing the project.
“Short meetings with people from different parts of society don’t provide enough to overcome mutual fears of the other, so we decided to create a program where youths live for a month in each community,” he said.
Hinam works to promote a tolerant society through knowing the “other.”
The four communities hosting members of the group are the ultra-Orthodox community in Safed, the settlement of Ofra, the northern Arab Muslim town of Deir el-Asad, and an Ethiopian neighborhood in Rehovot.
The second four-month session started on Sunday. Those who took part in the first met with President Reuven Rivlin at the end of their experience.
Federal Judge Rules in Favor of Congregants in Touro Synagogue Dispute
A United States federal judge ruled in favor of the congregants of the 250-year-old Touro Synagogue in Newport, R.I., in an ownership dispute that threatened to shutter the historic building.
US District Judge Jack McConnell on Monday awarded Newport-based Congregation Jeshuat Israel control over the historic Touro Synagogue, America’s oldest Jewish congregation, while rejecting arguments from New York City-based Congregation Shearith Israel — which has acted as a trustee of the synagogue for nearly 200 years — that it is the rightful owner of the building, the Associated Press reported.
The dispute between the two congregations dates back to 2012, when Jeshuat Israel, facing financial difficulties that threatened to shutter the synagogue, attempted to sell a set of bells from Torah Scrolls to Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts for $7.4 million in order to remain open. But Congregation Shearith Israel, which became a trustee of the synagogue in the 1820s, rejected the move and said it was the rightful owner of the bells.
Yet in Monday’s 106-page decision, McConnell said he considered the intentions of the synagogue’s founders in his ruling.
After Jerusalem tickets snatched up, Louis C.K. adds a show
Comedian Louis C.K. on Tuesday added a second performance in Jerusalem this summer after tickets to his first performance sold out within hours on Monday night.
The second performance will be held on the same day as the first, August 18, and at the same venue, the Pais Arena.
Tickets to the first show, ranging in price from NIS 280 ($73) to NIS 730 ($191), went on sale at 6 p.m. Monday, but a rush by fans caused the site to crash. An apology was posted on a Facebook page set up for the Israel shows in which organizers explained the problem.
“Despite the expectation and the increased preparations with the ticket selling site in advance, we discovered that the number of ticket buyers surpassed all expectations, and the site crashed,” organizers wrote.
After ticketing was moved to another website, 9,000 seats were quickly snapped up, prompting organizers to schedule the second show. Tickets were scheduled to go on sale at 7 p.m. Tuesday evening.
Canada-Israel sign business deals worth $87 million
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne kicked off her week-long trade mission to Israel by signing18 agreements and partnerships valued at $87 million. Wynne’s delegation includes government officials as well as approximately 130 business, academic and research representatives.
The trade visit’s focus is on the life sciences and research sectors.
“I am pleased that so many Israeli and Ontario companies have created partnerships to develop innovative solutions to real-world scientific and technological challenges,” said Premier Wynne. “Ontario is the ideal location to take innovative ideas from concept to marketplace — we have a competitive corporate tax rate, a strong financial sector and a talented workforce.”
Two-way trade between Ontario and Israel last year was valued at more than $900 million, according to the CBC. The province of Ontario already has a memorandum of understanding on research with Israel, and according to a CBC report, it has helped pull in more than $16 million in outside funding.
Israeli drip irrigation giant opens first Chinese plant
Drip irrigation and other water-saving technology will be getting a major boost in China, after Israeli drip irrigation leader Netafim opened its first production plant there on May 9. Netafim announced the inauguration of the plant in Yinchuan, the capital of the northwestern Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.
The company has invested over NIS 20 million in the plant, which has begun producing various types and sizes of drip lines and drippers for the Chinese market. In addition, the site includes a training center.
The company said in a statement that the area was chosen due to its low rainfall levels that has led to an increasing interest by local farmers to find ways of saving water. Chinese government policies that “favor agricultural and water-saving irrigation technologies” were also another incentive.
Netafim CEO Ran Maidan hailed the plant as a “testimony to Netafim’s commitment to investing in China,” and said the country has “significant growth potential." A statement also said the Yinchuan was “the company’s initial base for investments in the region and in northwest China.”
ReWalk announces collaboration with Harvard
ReWalk Robotics of Yokneam Ilit, Israel, is collaborating with Harvard University’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering to license and develop lightweight exoskeleton technologies enabling people to walk following stroke, lower limb disabilities, multiple sclerosis and other mobility limitations.
This “soft suit” robotic system will be the newest development from the company, founded in 2001 with the mission of fundamentally improving quality of life for individuals with lower-limb disabilities from spinal-cord injury.
The ReWalk device is the most studied exoskeleton in the industry. In addition to helping people walk again, these studies have shown that ReWalk leads to improved bladder and bowel function, mental health, posture, balance and sleep, while reducing fatigue, body fat and pain.
There are an estimated 3 million stroke patients with lower-limb disability in the United States, and approximately 400,000 Americans with multiple sclerosis. The majority of these patients, as well as the elderly, do not require the structural support of the rigid exoskeleton designed for individuals with spinal-cord injury, explained Larry Jasinski, CEO of ReWalk.

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