Tuesday, May 31, 2016

From Ian:

Some Jew-baiting is more equal than others to the media
Mostly anonymous Trump-bots called out, silence when it comes from the Left.
My point here is not to minimize what happened to Weisman at the hands of the alt-right. The truth is that for the most part we don’t know who the alt-right are who attacked Weisman. What we do know is that ugly anti-Semitic tropes have made their way to the mainstream. During last year’s legislative battle over the Iran nuclear deal there was plenty of anti-Semitic trolling going on, and it wasn’t coming from Trump supporters:
Here’s how Tablet Magazine put it:
What we increasingly can’t stomach—and feel obliged to speak out about right now—is the use of Jew-baiting and other blatant and retrograde forms of racial and ethnic prejudice as tools to sell a political deal, or to smear those who oppose it. Accusing Sen. Schumer of loyalty to a foreign government is bigotry, pure and simple. Accusing senators and congressmen whose misgivings about the Iran deal are shared by a majority of the U.S. electorate of being agents of a foreign power, or of selling their votes to shadowy lobbyists, or of acting contrary to the best interests of the United States is the kind of naked appeal to bigotry and prejudice that would be familiar in the politics of the pre-Civil Rights Era South.
This use of anti-Jewish incitement as a political tool is a sickening new development in American political discourse, and we have heard too much of it lately—some coming, ominously, from our own White House and its representatives. Let’s not mince words: Murmuring about “money” and “lobbying” and “foreign interests” who seek to drag America into war is a direct attempt to play the dual-loyalty card. It’s the kind of dark, nasty stuff we might expect to hear at a white power rally, not from the president of the United States—and it’s gotten so blatant that even many of us who are generally sympathetic to the administration, and even this deal, have been shaken by it.

There has been an increasing acceptability towards using anti-Semitic tropes in political discourse. We really saw an increase in it last year in the battle to get support for the deal to legitimize the illicit nuclear program of a regime founded on anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism.
Having read Weisman’s column there’s an air of unreality to his seeming discovery of online trolls who spout anti-Semitism at those they disagree with politically. Of course there were the reactions to the nuclear deal with Iran last year, which Weisman and the Times had a hand in perpetuating.
Daniel Pipes: The Left vs. Israel
Since the creation of Israel, Palestinians, Arabs, and Muslims have been the mainstay of anti-Zionism, with the Left, from the Soviet Union to professors of literature, their auxiliary. But this might be in process of change: as Muslims slowly, grudgingly, and unevenly come to accept the Jewish state as a reality, the Left is becoming increasingly vociferous and obsessive in its rejection of Israel.
Much evidence points in this direction: Polls in the Middle East find cracks in the opposition to Israel while a major American survey for the first time shows liberal Democrats to be more anti-Israel than pro-Israel. The Saudi and Egyptian governments have real security relations with Israel while a figure like (the Jewish) Bernie Sanders declares that “to the degree that [Israelis] want us to have a positive relationship, I think they’re going to have to improve their relationship with the Palestinians.”
But I should like to focus on a small illustrative example from a United Nations institution: The World Health Organization churned out report A69/B/CONF./1 on May 24 with the enticing title, “Health conditions in the occupied Palestinian territory, including east Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan: Draft decision proposed by the delegation of Kuwait, on behalf of the Arab Group, and Palestine.”
The three-page document calls for “a field assessment conducted by the World Health Organization,” with special focus on such topics as “incidents of delay or denial of ambulance service” and “access to adequate health services on the part of Palestinian prisoners.” Of course, the entire document singles out Israel as a denier of unimpeded access to health care.
This ranks as a special absurdity given the WHO’s hiring a consultant in next-door Syria who is connected to the very pinnacle of the Assad regime, even as it perpetrates atrocities estimated at a half million dead and 12 million displaced (out of a total pre-war population of 22 million). Conversely, both the wife and brother-in-law of Mahmoud Abbas, leader of the Palestinian Authority, whose status and wealth assures them treatment anywhere in the world, chose to be treated in Israeli hospitals, as did the sister, daughter, and grand-daughter of Ismail Haniyeh, the Hamas leader in Gaza, Israel’s sworn enemy.



Edwin Black: The expulsion that backfired: When Iraq kicked out its Jews
After Adolf Hitler’s defeat in May 1945, many Nazis melted away from the Reich, smuggled out by such organizations as the infamous Odessa group and the lesser-known Catholic lay network Intermarium, as well as the CIA and KGB. They ensured the continuation of the Nazi legacy in the postwar Arab world.
Egypt was a prime destination for German Nazi relocation in the Arab world. Dr. Aribert Heim was notoriously known as “Dr. Death” for his grotesque pseudo-medical experiments on Jewish prisoners in the Sachsenhausen, Buchenwald, and Mauthausen concentration camps. He was fond of surgical procedures including organ removals without anesthesia, injecting gasoline into prisoners to observe the manner of death, and decapitating Jews with healthy teeth so he could cook the skulls clean to make desk decorations. Dr. Heim converted to Islam and became “Uncle Tarek” Hussein Farid in Cairo, Egypt, where he lived a happy life as a medical doctor for the Egyptian police.
Two of Goebbels’s Nazi propagandists, Alfred Zingler and Dr. Johann von Leers, became Mahmoud Saleh and Omar Amin respectively, working in the Egyptian Information Department. In 1955, Zingler and von Leers helped establish the virulently anti-Semitic Institute for the Study of Zionism in Cairo. Hans Appler, another Goebbels propagandist, became Saleh Shafar who, in 1955, became an expert for an Egyptian unit specializing in anti-Jewish and anti-Zionist hate propaganda. Erich Altern, a Gestapo agent, Himmler coordinator in Poland, and expert in Jewish affairs, became Ali Bella, working as a military instructor in training camps for Palestinian terrorists. A German newspaper estimated there were fully 2,000 Nazis working openly and under state protection in Egypt.
Franz Bartel, an assistant Gestapo chief in Katowice, Poland, became El Hussein and a member of Egypt’s Ministry of Information. Hans Becher, a Gestapo agent in Vienna, became a police instructor in Cairo. Wilhelm Boerner, a brutal Mauthausen guard, became Ali Ben Keshir, working in the Egyptian Interior Ministry and as an instructor for a Palestinian terrorist group.
Egyptian society was so enamored with the Nazi war against the Jews that a young army officer felt compelled to write a postwar letter to Hitler via the Cairo weekly, Al Musawwar, as though Hitler were still alive. “My dear Hitler,” the officer wrote. “I congratulate you from the bottom of my heart. Even if you appear to have been defeated, in reality you are the victor. You succeeded in creating dissensions between Churchill, the old man, and his allies, the Sons of Satan … Germany will be reborn in spite of the Western and Eastern powers … The West, as well as the East, will pay for her rehabilitation—whether they like it or not. Both sides will invest a great deal of money and effort in Germany in order to have her on their side, which is of great benefit to Germany … As for the past, I think you made mistakes, like too many battlefronts and the shortsightedness of [Foreign Minister Joachim von] Ribbentrop vis-a vis the experienced British diplomacy … We will not be surprised if you appear again in Germany or if a new Hitler rises up in your wake.” The letter was signed “with affection” by Col. Anwar Sadat, later president of Egypt and the first Arab leader to sign a peace treaty with Israel.
Edwin Black: Painful Lessons from the 75th Anniversary of the Farhud
June 1-2 is the 75th anniversary of the Farhud, the 1941 pogrom by pro-Nazi Arabs attempting to exterminate the Jews of Baghdad. Hundreds were murdered and raped, and many Jewish homes and business looted and burned during a two-day orgy of hate and violence orchestrated by the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini.
In Arabic, Farhud means “violent dispossession.” This forgotten Holocaust-era pogrom was the first step toward the extinguishing the 27 centuries of Jewish life in Iraq. It led to the eventual mass expulsion of some 850,000 Jews from Arab lands into Israel, penniless and stateless.
To mark the anniversary, I will be helping to lead commemoration ceremonies with Jewish groups and senior Israeli diplomats in four cities spanning three continents. It was the next logical step after the inauguration of International Farhud Day, which was proclaimed in an official event at the United Nations last year.
The first ceremony begins the morning of May 31 in the U.S. House of Representatives. A program of sorrow—and a cry for recognition—will unfold in the presence of members of Congress, Israeli diplomats, and American-Jewish and Iraqi-Jewish groups. Witness accounts reliving the 1941 massacre will be read by Maurice Shohet, president of the World Organization of Jews from Iraq. Special statements will be delivered by Jewish leaders. Haim Ovadia, the Iraqi-Jewish rabbi of Magen David Sephardic Congregation, will chant Iraqi songs. A congressional letter will express solidarity with the victims and the surviving generations in Israel.
Bernard Lewis and me
The historian Bernard Lewis celebrates his 100th birthday today. ‎
Three quotes establish his career. Martin Kramer, a former student of Lewis, sums up his teacher's ‎accomplishments: ‎
"Bernard Lewis emerged as the most influential postwar historian of Islam and the Middle East. His ‎elegant syntheses made Islamic history accessible to a broad public in Europe and America. In his more ‎specialized studies, he pioneered social and economic history and the use of the vast Ottoman archives. ‎His work on the premodern Muslim world conveyed both its splendid richness and its smug self-‎satisfaction. His studies in modern history rendered intelligible the inner dialogues of Muslim peoples in ‎their encounter with the values and power of the West."
The University of California's R. Stephen Humphreys notes "the extraordinary range of his scholarship [and] his ‎capacity to command the totality of Islamic and Middle Eastern history from Muhammad down to the present ‎day." And, as the late Fouad Ajami of Johns Hopkins University put it on Lewis' 90th birthday, he is "the oracle ‎of this new age of the Americans in the lands of the Arab and Islamic worlds." ‎
Lewis' career spanned a monumental 75 years, from his first article ("The Islamic Guilds") in 1937 to his ‎autobiography in 2012. Midway, in 1969, he entered my life. In Israel the summer between my sophomore and ‎junior years in college, with my aspirations to become a mathematician in doubt, I thought of switching to ‎Middle East studies. To sample this new field, I visited Ludwig Mayer's renowned bookstore in Jerusalem and ‎purchased "The Arabs in History," Lewis' 1950 book. ‎
Michael Lumish: Nothing Left # 101
Nothing Left - Episode 101 - 31st May 2016 - Mike Lumish, William F Callahan, Pat Condell, Arnold Roth, Steve Leiblich, Isi Leibler and Guest Host Mary Werther
My piece is brief and is concerned with the dispute between Isi Leibler of the Jerusalem Post and the new national director of the Anti-Defamation League, Jonathan Greenblatt.
Greenblatt spoke before J Street and Leibler believes that this legitimizes an organization that is decisively not pro-Israel.
I tend to agree.
The Mottle Wolfe Show: Pakistan’s Progressive Wife Beating Reform
Knesset Insider Jeremy Mann Sultan shares the inside scoop on the new Israeli Knesset coalition, plus what passes as progressive wife beating reform in a Muslim country, and Israel breaks another barrier of tolerance by crowning an Arab Christian as Miss Trans Israel.
Ryan Bellerose: The Pendulum
If you cared about human rights wouldn’t you advocate for everyone’s human rights? Wouldn’t you advocate against Muslims changing declarations of humans rights to say “As long as it doesn’t contravene the Koran?” Shouldnt basic human rights trump any belief system?
I believe the “pro palestinian” movement has had its day. It’s still kicking but it’s dying and it’s dying because it is a movement that uses language it has no right to use, that in fact goes directly against. Justice? I would argue that the return of the Jews to their ancestral home was absolute justice. Peace? I would argue that the Jews have been willing to do almost anything for peace. Human rights? Does it even need to be said that Israel is literally the only country in the Middle East that has a decent human rights record? Where women are not property and gays can live openly?
We talk a lot about these things, but we are starting to make these arguments in public where people can see, so remember, perception matters, optics matter, so choose your words carefully but truthfully. That’s OUR advantage and because we have been using it intelligently we are winning. We just have to understand that this is a generational conflict, it won’t be over soon.
The pendulum is swinging and the other side knows it, so they will get more and more radical and stupid out of desperation. As they do, it drives more and more people to look at the truth.
So stay strong, be active and visible and the world will change. It has to.
Labour councillor who called Israel a 'terrorist state' and was married to two women at the same time is appointed equality chief in Birmingham
A Labour politician who was married to two women at the same time and describes Israel as a ‘terrorist state’, has been appointed to oversee equality in Birmingham the Mail can reveal.
Councillor Waseem Zaffar has been selected as the new cabinet member for Transparency, Openness and Equality for Birmingham City Council – tasked with ensuring it is being fair and honest.
This is despite his questionable attitudes towards women and his ‘anti-Semitic’ views.
The Labour politician and magistrate married teacher Ayesha Imdad in a lavish Islamic ceremony in 2014 while still being married to his first wife, Faraz Begum, we revealed last year.
The Mail has now discovered videos of Mr Zaffar, 34, online, describing the ‘Zionist Israeli government’ as ‘terrorists’ at a pro-Palestine demonstration.
At the rally, at which he is one of the lead speakers, he shouts: ‘If you want to know what extremism and terrorism is, you go and look at what the Israelis are doing to those civilians in Palestine.’
He calls on crowds - who repeatedly chant ‘Israel is a terrorist state’ - to ‘stand up in solidarity’ against ‘something that can only be described as state supported terrorism by this Zionist Israeli government.’
French Jews flee Paris suburbs over rising anti-Semitism
Benhamou still lives within the sprawling Seine-Saint-Denis department that sits northeast of the capital and combines run-down immigrant ghettos with trendy new gentrified business districts.
In the last 15 years, it has gone from being one of France’s most densely-populated Jewish areas to what the community now considers “one of the lost territories of the Republic.”
“The Jewish community is expected to disappear from here,” Benhamou says.
In nearby Raincy, Rabbi Moshe Lewin shares Benhamou’s pessimism, fearing he could be one of the last Jewish leaders in Seine-Saint-Denis.
“What upsets me is that in some areas of France, Jews can no longer live peacefully, and that just five minutes from my home, some are forced to hide their kippas (skullcaps) or their Star of David,” he admits.
Even areas with a strong Jewish population, such as Sarcelles to the north, still have major problems.
Francois Pupponi, the Socialist mayor of Sarcelles, says many Jewish residents come to him for help with stories of being assaulted or having swastikas daubed on walls outside their homes.
Some have been caught in “extremely violent situations” that in some cases required families to be “urgently rehoused,” says Pupponi.
He become aware of “a phenomenon of internal migration” about five or six years ago, which he says “is getting worse.”
Argentine ex-minister’s Iran tape admitted as evidence of alleged treason
Argentine judges reviewing treason charges against a former minister admitted as evidence a recording of him speaking about Iranian involvement in a terrorist attack in Buenos Aires.
The justices of the federal appeals court ruled last week to admit the 2012 recording of former foreign minister Hector Timerman, who is Jewish. In it he is heard justifying the negotiations with Iran to jointly investigate the 1994 terrorist attack, even though he is heard saying the Islamic Republic was responsible for the bombing of the AMIA Jewish community center, which killed 85 people.
“If there was someone else, they [the Iranians] wouldn’t have planted the bomb. So we are back to the beginning. Do you have someone else for me to negotiate with?” Timerman said in the recording, which came from a telephone conversation he had with then AMIA president Guillermo Borger – an opponent of Argentina’s brief collaboration with Iran on the investigation.
Federal prosecutor Eduardo Taiano decided in December 2015 to start a probe against Timerman for alleged treason and planning a cover up. In addition to Timerman, ex-president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner is also being probed for alleged treason, along with members of Congress who in February 2103 voted for a Memorandum of Understanding with Iran.
IsraellyCool: What The Schoolgirl Represents And Why Her Lies Must Be Met With Truth
Blood Libel
Another charge I want to address is whether or not this is a blood libel. It is a blood libel for two main reasons:
- she intimates that the Jewish State of Israel has an absolute policy of bombing and killing children deliberately and she provides a vastly inflated number of times she thinks we’ve done this. In fact, because there are to my knowledge no times the Israeli State has taken a collective decision to kill children (for no other purpose and not in the course of carrying out legitimate acts of self defence or war), she’s inflated numbers from 0 to 30,000;
- the second blood libel is saying her cousin died specifically because Israel doesn’t provide adequate health care to Palestinians on the grounds of their race. There’s even a specific charity, Save a Child’s Heart, which brings children from P.A. areas and all over the world to be treated in our Israeli hospitals.
Those are both libels (defamatory lies) and they involve blood (death).
This is bigger than one school girl and her presentation in a competition. This cuts to the heart of whether the UK is fatally infected with the new anti-Israel strain of Jew hatred and if this is being spread far and wide within the UK’s schools.
IsraellyCool: Speakers Trust Responds And Doesn’t Seem To Understand
I wouldn’t normally post again on the same story, but this statement concerning the Leanne Mohamad story from Speakers Trust needs to be seen in full.
Highlights according to this:
- Leanne Mohamad failed to get through to the final based on regular judging criteria and that happened before any blogger outcry;
- 37 regional winners were cut down to 15 for the final, this happened on May 21st before any blog posts;
- They have not stripped her of her regional win, merely removing her speech and web page announcement owing to negative comments;
- They are concerned that Leanne Mohamad’s experience hasn’t been positive.
So Leanne Mohamad’s unfounded and libellous charges against Israel do not constitute an obvious problem according to the organisers. Any action taken so far is to protect Leanne Mohamad from people like me. I can’t say I’m completely surprised, but I had hoped for something better than this.
It seems the organisers are trying to paint Leanne Mohamad as some kind of victim here. I don’t think they understand, yet, exactly what she said and what it represents.
Edgar Davidson: When you challenge anti-semitic blood libels you become the victim of anti-semitic abuse and threats
When a non-political charity - against its own rules - awarded first prize in the Redbridge finals of its speaking competition for youngsters to a virulently anti-Israel speech full of lies and blood libels, I was one of the first to complain. Not to demand the speech be censored, but simply to point out that this speech should not have won the competition and that the charity should set the record straight by allowing a proper response to the speech (which had been met with enthusiastic applause at Wanstead High School). I also noted that the student in question had been extensively re-tweeting hateful material from a well-know terrorist supporter called Abbas Sarsour.
The charity said that they had already decided a week earlier that the speech was in breach of their two fundamental rules and that because of this the student was not being put through to the Grand Final.
Because the antisemites (of whom there are far more than Israel supporters) decided that I had played a role in 'silencing a child' I have now been abused, threatened in many ways - including being reported to the police - and accused of being a child molester and paedophile. I am currently receiving, for example, hundreds of abusive tweets per hour (even though I only joined twitter a few months ago and before the weekend had received less than a dozen tweets in total). You can see them on my twitter feed and comments on my recent blog postings. There is also a campaign to 'ban' me (whatever that means):
Over 1,500 to take part in anti-BDS conference at UN
More than 1,500 people were expected to take part in an international conference on the fight against the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement set to take place at the U.N. headquarters in New York on Tuesday.
The "Building Bridges, Not Boycotts" conference is being co-hosted by the Israel U.N. mission and the World Jewish Congress.
"BDS is the modern incarnation of anti-Semitism," Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. Danny Danon said ahead of the conference. "Holding this anti-BDS summit in the U.N. General Assembly will bring together an international coalition against the boycott movement, and will send a clear message to all of our adversaries -- Israel will not relent and will continue to reveal the lies propagated by the BDS movement.
"BDS is continuing to spread and seeks to utilize international institutions to implement its ideology of hate. This summit will create practical tools to battle BDS by training students to serve as 'ambassadors' against boycotts. They will return to their campuses fully equipped and ready to take on the lies of the BDS movement."
Prime Minister Netanyahu's Message - #StopBDS


Universities, Academics in Italy, Scotland, Canada and US Pushing Back Against BDS Movement
The University of Edinburgh’s Israel Engagement Society (IES) praised the EUSA’s decision, saying in a statement, “IES strongly believes that BDS is a dangerous, divisive and discriminatory campaign tactic that risks undermining peace talks and cohesion on campus, and made this clear in its representations to EUSA in conjunction with other groups of concerned students. EUSA’s dropping of the policy follows a precedent set by other universities, recognizing the illegality of BDS and the significant risk of increasing intolerance against minority groups on campus that it poses.” While the BDS motion will not be enacted, IES said, the EUSA’s website will continue to display that the Student Council’s referendum passed.
In New York, Cornell Tech announced last week the appointment of a new director to the Joan & Irwin Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute. The center — to be headed by world renowned artificial intelligence computer scientist Ron Brachman — was launched as an academic partnership in 2011 between Cornell University and the Technion Israel-Institute of Technology.
The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) strongly condemned the partnership in 2012, stating it was “deeply disturbed” by the collaboration and called on Cornell to break ties with the Technion. PACBI accused both institutions of being “complicit in Israel’s violations of international law and the rights of Palestinians…all New York City residents should, rightfully, be outraged that their tax dollars are being apportioned in the service of such an endeavor.”
McGill University professors sign letter condemning BDS
In yet another blow to the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement (BDS), more than 150 professors at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, signed an open letter condemning the organization.
“As academics who represent a wide range of political views and methodologies, we all know that open discourse is essential to the pursuit of truth. Boycotts and intellectual bullying have no place at McGill or at any other institution of higher learning,” the professors wrote.
The letter was written as an endorsement of a statement condemning BDS issued by the university’s principal and Vice Chancellor Suzanne Fortier in February.
Fortier issued the statement following the rejection by McGill undergraduate students of an online ratification of a motion to support BDS earlier this year.
BDS Groups at Stanford Hatching ‘Big Plans’ Against Israel Despite Opposition From Student
Majority

Sources from SJP told the Review on condition of anonymity about their concern that the move is part of “big plans” being formulated against Israel for the 50th anniversary of the Six-Day War.
According to a poll conducted by the student newspaper — among freshmen, sophomores and juniors — 70 percent of the school’s students oppose the international anti-Israel movement. When broken down, 65 percent of freshmen, 72 percent of sophomores and 73 percent of juniors oppose sanctions and boycotts against Israel.
Using unique identifiers, the Review was able to block multiple votes from being cast by each voter. The newspaper noted that “over 90 percent of those people who tried to vote more than once were voting ‘yes’ in support of BDS.”
SJP and SOOP will face significant pressure against pushing their agenda forward, the Review reported, “given the divisiveness it caused in 2015, the accusation of antisemitism levied against past ASSU Senators, the increasing skepticism towards anti-Israel university movements across the Atlantic, and the fact the administration has already rejected divestment once.”
One student senator told the paper that “SJP would have to be raving lunatics to bring this issue to the Senate.” He called out the anti-Israel group for distracting the governing student body from more important issues, such as sexual violence prevention. “If it [the BDS referendum] is going to fail, why pursue it?” he questioned.
According to campus antisemitism watchdog group the AMCHA Initiative, between 2012 and 2016, there have been 89 divestment votes recorded across American college campuses.
PayPal terminates anti-Israel BDS France account
PayPal, a global leader in online payment services, has cut off payments to the anti-Israel group BDS France.
Early Monday, the website’s link to the money processing site returned an error message that “the recipient is currently unable to receive money.” Later in the day, the link to Paypal was removed entirely from the group’s webpage. Earlier in the month, the site’s connection to Paypal remained fully operational. PayPal would not confirm directly that they shut the account, telling The Jerusalem Post that they are “subject to very strict customer confidentiality rules.”
“We can’t confirm or deny any limitation of a specific account,” said company spokeswoman Daphan Mackover. France has Europe’s strongest anti-BDS law – the 2003 Lellouche law – and has applied the anti-discrimination statue to punish Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) activists. The law bars discrimination against people based on national origin. French courts view BDS as an illicit act targeting Israelis because of their nationality.
“Compliance with all local laws is something we take very seriously,” Mackover continued. “PayPal has dedicated significant resources to combat the use of our secure payment platform for illegal activities and works collaboratively with law enforcement agencies around the world to support both the detection of crime and the conviction of criminals.
“We have 184 million active customer accounts and regularly screen their activities to make sure they respect the laws, and if they don’t, per our user agreement, we then suspend, limit or close them,” she said. “PayPal encourages anyone who has information about the potential unlawful use of our service to contact us.”
Spanish court annuls BDS boycott
A Spanish Magistrate’s Court has recently annulled the decision of a local city council to boycott Israel and endorse the BDS campaign against it.
The court in the city of Langreo ruled Thursday that such a move was illegal on the grounds of being discriminatory. A lawsuit against the city council’s decision was filed by ACOM, a Spanish pro-Israel lobby. Actions by ACOM across Spain have resulted in a swath of similar results over the past few months, seeing rulings against BDS of council revoking decisions in Gijon, Aviles, Tarragona, Malaga and more.
However, in March, month four municipalities – Sant Sadurní d’Anoia, Sant Adrià de Besòs, Sant Quirze del Vallès and Buñol – passed motions supporting the BDS movement, joining about a dozen other municipalities that earlier subscribed to the movement’s goals.
Irish FM: BDS is a 'legitimate political viewpoint'
In advance of his June visit to Israel, Irish Foreign Minister Charles Flanagan has confirmed the legitimacy of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.
“While the [Irish] government does not itself support such a policy, it is a legitimate political viewpoint, albeit one regarded in Israel as deeply hostile,” he told the Irish parliament last Thursday during a question and answer session.
“I do not agree with attempts to demonize those who advocate this policy, or to equate them with violent terrorists,” he said.
“I am deeply concerned about wider attempts to pressure NGOs and human rights defenders through legislation and other means to hinder their important work. We have raised this both at the EU level and directly with the Israeli authorities,” he said.
Holland and Sweden have similarly confirmed that the BDS movement, which seeks to push Israel to withdraw to the pre-1967 lines and allow refugees to return, is protected under the laws of free speech.
Israel, however, holds that the movement is not about support for the creation of a Palestinian state, but rather seeks the destruction of the Jewish state.
Moroccan BDS calls on Muslims to boycott Israeli dates during Ramadan
The upcoming Islamic fasting month of Ramadan is stirring up a vibrant debate in the Arab world regarding the Israeli date, which is popularly consumed by Muslims during the holy month.
The Moroccan BDS movement has recently launched a new campaign that calls on Moroccans not to consume the Israeli-produced Medjool dates, which flood Middle Eastern markets.
In a statement the anti-Israel movement issued to mark the launch of the campaign, the local activists appeared to try to reassure their countrymen of the origin of the date species. The statement claimed that the Medjool dates were in fact grown on Moroccan trees that had been stolen by Israel. They alleged that Israel has changed the genetics of these trees and planted them in "stolen lands...just like the Argan tree which was also uprooted by Israel and replanted in the Negev."
BDS activists have lately taken to the streets in many Moroccan cities to distribute pamphlets with the slogan: "Boycott the Zionist dates. Don't finance the bullets lodged in the Palestinians' chest."
IsraellyCool: Horrid Media Bias: The Dangerous Dishonesty Of The Independent’s Indy100
Indy100 seems like The Independent’s attempt to appeal to the younger, trendier set. It bills itself as “Seriously addictive news,” and seems to use headlines of a more “link-baity” nature.
These Palestinians went to prison because of Facebook posts cries out this headline of theirs from yesterday. And reading that, you’d be forgiven for thinking these palestinians had somehow been treated really unfairly.
Heck, the entire article – written by one Narjas Zatat – continues in the same vein, demonizing Israel at every turn.
Indy100 then goes into specific examples. Let’s have a closer look at some of them to see just how dishonest this piece truly is.
Ukraine honors nationalist whose troops killed 50,000 Jews
Amid a divisive debate in Ukraine on state honors for nationalists viewed as responsible for anti-Semitic pogroms, the country for the first time observed a minute of silence in memory of Symon Petliura, a 1920s statesman blamed for the murder of 50,000 Jewish compatriots.
The minute was observed on May 25, the 90th anniversary of Petliura’s assassination in Paris. National television channels interrupted their programs and broadcast the image of a burning candle for 60 seconds, Ukraine’s Federal News Agency reported.
A French court acquitted Sholom Schwartzbard, a Russia-born Jew, of the murder even though he admitted to it after the court found that Petliura had been involved in or knew of pogroms by members of his militia fighting for Ukrainian independence from Russia in the years 1917-1921. Fifteen of Schwartzbard’s relatives perished in the pogroms.
Separately, the director of Ukraine’s Institute of National Remembrance, Vladimir Vyatrovich, said in a statement on Monday that Kiev will soon name a street for two other Ukrainian nationalists — Stepan Bandera and Roman Shukhevych — who are widely believed to be responsible for lethal violence against Jews. Another street is to be named for Janusz Korczak, the pen name of Henryk Goldszmit, a Polish Jewish teacher who was murdered in Auschwitz.
No school for Dutch Muslim group whose ex-chief wished a tsunami on Israel
Citing potential radicalization, the Dutch government prevented the opening of a Muslim school by a group whose former leader praised Islamic State terrorists and wished for Allah to drown Israel in a tsunami.
Education Ministry Undersecretary Sander Dekker on Monday said that the government is withholding funding and permits for SIO — a Dutch-language acronym for “Association of Islamic studies” — because its board is working against giving pupils real knowledge. It was the first time that the government cited Islamist radicalization in withholding its permission for the opening of a Muslim school, the Het Parool daily reported.
“Affording education and understanding is, in our society, an important mission for schools. There is no room in this framework for a school board whose actions contradict this mission,” Dekker said in a statement about the decision not to grant SIO, which already runs a school in The Hague, permission to open another school in Amsterdam.
According to Het Parool, Dekker’s statement and decision are connected to remarks made by Abdoe Khoulani, a former secretary of SIO, who in 2014 praised the Islamic State terrorist group, or ISIS, on Facebook, said it was no worse than Israel and also wished for the destruction of Israel in a divine flood.
French-Israeli Actress Says She Hears ‘Shocking’ Antisemitic Comments From People Who Think She’s Not Jewish
Popular French-Israeli actress Julia Levy-Boeken said that people would be shocked at the antisemitic comments people say in front of her, assuming she is not Jewish.
In an interview with French magazine Paris Match, Levy-Boeken, who was born in France, was complimented by the interviewer for not having a “Jewish appearance” — and for not even “look[ing] like an Israeli” — and asked whether Levy-Boeken whether had personally encountered antisemitism.
Immediately taking issue with the question, Levy-Boeken said that “Israeli girls are the most beautiful in the world” and that her “European” looks enable her to know what people around her really think.
“It is precisely because of my blond hair and fair skin that many people think I’m not Jewish, and I often hear comments that they wouldn’t dare say if they knew, like, ‘They [Jews] are everywhere’ or, ‘We are no longer the majority here.’ This has shocked me more than anything,” she said.
Surf's up for Brian Wilson ahead of Israel visit
When the weather heats up, the sea seductively beckons and the bathing suits come out of the closet, it's time for the music of the Beach Boys. The perennial all-American band - built on Chuck Berry riffs, surfing, hot rods, girls and the allure of eternal youth – has remained in the psyche and on the Ipods of music fans around the world mainly due to the talent and vision of Brian Wilson, the gifted but troubled writer of some of rock's most enduring songs.
Wilson's scope expanded significantly in the second half of the 1960s, as along with the Beatles, he began making rock music for adults. And no better example of that growth exists than on the Beach Boys' pinnacle Pet Sounds, released in 1966. Now on its 50th anniversary, the 74-year-old Wilson is performing the album in its entirety on a world tour that stops at the Ra'anana Amphitheater on June 8.
Pet Sounds, featuring songs like "God Only Knows," "Wouldn't It Be Nice" and the self-prophetic "I Just Wasn't Made for These Times," offer a palette far removed from the happy-go-lucky hits the band made only a year or two earlier. Dominated by slower tempos, complex arrangements with orchestration and introspective lyrics, the material still retains the unmistakable Beach Boys sound, thanks to the intricate soaring harmonies Wilson arranged for brothers Carl and Dennis, cousin Mike Love and members Al Jardine and Bruce Johnston to sing.
"I wanted to do something good like Rubber Soul," Wilson told The Jerusalem Post recently, referring to The Beatles' landmark 1965 album, when asked why he abandoned the Beach Boys traditional sound for the ethereal tones of Pet Sounds. "I was young, happy and creative," Wilson added in a promotional video released last week ahead of his Israel show.
JPost Editorial: Gay freedoms
How do you measure freedom? If you ask 10 people, you’re likely to get 10 different answers.
To what extent is Israel a free country? If one’s criterion is, for instance, the Index of Economic Freedom, the Jewish state is not exceedingly free. In 2016, Israel managed to receive a “mostly free” rating, but was surpassed by Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar. It was ranked 35 out of 178 countries.
If one’s focus is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and if one’s tendency is to place the majority of the blame for the conflict on Israel, Israel will once again not be considered particularly free, at least not from the point of the view of the Palestinians.
There is, however, one measure of freedom in which Israel excels: the freedom of sexual expression. When speaking of Israel’s outstanding record on gay rights, one risks being accused of pinkwashing. But this week – Gay Pride Week – we have decided to take that chance.
'Orange is the New Black' actress visits Israel to participate in Pride Week
Lea DeLaria, American comedian, actress and musician, most famous for her recurring role as Carrie 'Big Boo' Black in the Netflix prison drama, 'Orange is the New Black,' landed in Israel Monday to take part in Tel Aviv Pride Week.
DeLaria could hardly contain her excitement upon her arrival, posting a photo of herself to her Facebook page standing in front of a sign reading, "Welcome to Israel," saying, "This is almost too much even for me."
Delaria spent her first day taking in Israel's sites, including the Western Wall where an IDF soldier, originally from Brooklyn, told her he was a big fan and asked for a photo.
Delaria's Facebook posts received a largely positive response as Israeli fans who welcomed her to the country and celebrated her choice to join in on the Tel Aviv Pride week celebrations.
20,000 walk through Toronto in support of Israel
Some 20,00 people marched through Toronto on Sunday in an annual show of support for Israel that also raised over one million dollars for education and projects in the Jewish state.
The Greater Toronto’s 46th annual Walk with Israel event attracted even more participants than last year’s 17,000, the Canadian Jewish News reported.
Among the dignitaries who took part were Israel’s Consul General to Canada DJ Schneeweiss, Liberal MP Carolyn Bennett, provincial Tory Leader Patrick Brown, Toronto councilor James Pasternak and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne.
Bennett read out a statement prepared by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
“Canada has been a friend of Israel for almost seven decades, through triumph and tragedy,” Trudeau said. “We will continue to stand with Israel, one of our closest friends and partners, thanks to our shared values and the presence of a dynamic and thriving Jewish Canadian community.”



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