Friday, June 24, 2016

From Ian:

Analysis: On diplomatic front, weaker EU not necessarily bad for Israel
No Israeli government official would dare say it, but a weakened EU is not necessarily a bad thing for Israel diplomatically.
Economics might be another issue. The specter of the EU falling apart, and what kind of forces that will unleash, is also a separate matter.
But on the very narrow issue of the diplomatic impact of the move on Israel, the fact that the EU house is now being shaken is not something necessarily inimical to Israeli interests.
Or, as one source put it, clearly the EU will pack a lesser punch when it makes statements about Israel and the Middle East. And that is not something that will cause many in the government to shed tears.
The British vote shows that the EU is now in serious trouble, with other states – starting with the Netherlands, and perhaps even including France – likely to question their membership in the union.
If that is the case, the Europeans will need to spend more time and energy trying to keep their own house in order, rather than trying to fix what is happening in homes in other neighborhoods.
An EU with 28 countries packs a lot of power. But with Britain pulling out, and some other countries either likely to do so or beginning the processing of checking into a divorce, it will have a more difficult time presenting itself as a major power.
Melanie Phillips: The UK referendum and the politics of hate
Well, I’m a British Jew. I supported Brexit principally on the grounds that Britain should become once again a democratic self-governing nation. I also back Britain being able to control its immigration levels.
The comparison with Jewish refugees and migrants, whose total number in the decades around the turn of the past century is exceeded by the numbers now migrating to the UK every year, is invidious. Pfeffer’s comments are as offensive as they are shallow.
Contrary to the claims of Remain, it is uncontrolled migration that swells neo-Nazi support. The rise of extremist parties in Europe has been fueled by those who have turned a blind eye to mass migration and who deny the growing phenomenon of Muslim assaults on women.
In Britain, neo-Nazi groups have been boosted by the denial of Islamization, Muslim rape gangs and the infiltration of schools by Islamic radicals.
What’s more, those claiming that Remain meant an end to the politics of hate are themselves the principal hate-mongers. Those backing Brexit talked about “getting our country back” from the EU. Commentators backing Remain used the same term to mean getting their country back from their fellow British citizens who supported Brexit.
Those who voted for UK self-government have thus been damned as pariahs who hijacked a nation to which they are deemed too horrible even to belong.
Britain’s EU referendum turned into a culture war. The divisions are savage and won’t go away. British Jews are on both sides. But when a society turns on itself like this it will hurt them all too in the end. It always does.
Al-Jazeera Network Explains BDS: HP, Cat, Adidas, Alstom, G4S "Make a Profit from the Occupation... Do They Have a Presence in Your Country?"
An infomercial titled "What Is BDS?" and produced by AJ+, an online news and current events channel run by the Al-Jazeera network, lists companies that are targeted by the BDS movement. According to the video, posted on the YouTube channel of AJ+ on June 4, Hewlett-Packard, G4S, Alstom, Cat, and Adidas are singled out as trademarks that "make a profit from the occupation."
Reporter: "The Palestinians face daily covert suffering, on top of their suffering from the guns of the occupation. All of Abu Yessar's work has been disrupted by the Israeli checkpoints, which are equipped with advanced electronic devices produced by HP. Yasser goes to school, where he learns that his teacher was arrested in an Israeli prison, run by the G4S company, which has a contract with the occupation. As for Umm Yasser, she finds it difficult to ride to the train, which serves only the settlements. The train was created and is operated by the Alstom Company. These settlements, the train and the wall are located in lands that, according to international law, are occupied. There can be no more visits to the home of the neighbors. The Israeli occupation forces destroyed it, using bulldozers made by the Cat Company. The Israeli authorities hold a marathon, which is sponsored by Adidas. These famous trademarks, as well as others, make a profit from the occupation. There are demands to boycott the occupation and those who benefit from it, to withdraw investments from them and to place sanctions upon them. These demands are led by a movement known as BDS. Some companies have stopped their activities in the occupied lands, whereas others have declared their intention to pull out. Do these companies have a presence in your country?"

Michael Lumish: Rosenthal's Ten Propositions (Part 1)
Vic Rosenthal of Abu Yehuda fame has a recent piece entitled simply, Ten Propositions, and I intend to examine each - perhaps the first five in this piece and the second five at the Elder of Ziyon this Sunday - and see where we agree and disagree and hopefully spark some interesting discussion.
He writes:
I am a nationalist, Zionist, tribalist and hawk.
Here are ten things I believe:
What I like about Rosenthal is what I like about, for example, Caroline Glick, i.e., he's got balls.
A nationalist, Zionist, tribalist and hawk, huh? That, my friends, is a very bold statement. I will go with number one and number two, particularly since in order to be a Zionist one must, by definition, be a nationalist. As for "tribalist," I am not even certain what that means.
As for hawk, I simply consider myself a pragmatist. Nobody wants war... I guess... but when aggressors come to kill your children it is probably good policy to strike them back hard enough that they will never do so again.
OK, on to the first five of Rosenthal's ten propositions. They are
What impact will the Brexit referendum have on Israel?
While it may have huge ramifications for Britain, Europe, and the world’s economy, Britain’s decision on Thursday to leave or remain a part of the 28-state European Union will have little impact on Israel, Yigal Palmor, a veteran diplomat, said on Wednesday.
Palmor’s comments followed a statement made on Monday evening by Prime Minister David Cameron, who – in an address to a fund-raising event for the Jewish Care welfare organization in London – argued that Britain’s remaining in the EU would be beneficial for Israel.
“Do you want Britain, Israel’s greatest friend, in there opposing boycotts, opposing the campaign for divestment and sanctions, or do you want us outside the room, powerless to effect the discussion that takes place?” Cameron asked. The idea underpinning Cameron’s argument was that Israel needs a friend like Britain inside the EU to go to bat for it when it matters.
Palmor, the Jewish Agency’s director of communications who served in several diplomatic postings in Europe before becoming the Foreign Ministry’s spokesman from 2008 to 2014, sought to put the United Kingdom’s friendship toward Israel inside the EU into context.
Britain, he said, is not Israel’s “go-to guy” inside the EU, a role fulfilled by countries such as the Czech Republic, Germany or – to a certain degree – Italy, at least in the past.
Are we on the edge of an abyss or should we celebrate? British Jews react to Brexit vote
At Shabbat dinner this Friday night, many British Jewish households will be “having an extra l’chaim” to celebrate the results of Thursday’s Brexit poll, said 31-year-old Richard Verber, the senior vice president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews.
But many others are, as one British Jewish journalist put it, “appalled and very depressed. On the edge of an abyss.”
On Thursday, 51.9% of Britons voted to leave the European Union in a controversial referendum on whether to remain or exit the 28-nation bloc. On Friday morning, British Prime Minister David Cameron resigned, saying he does “not think it would be right for me to try to be the captain that steers our country to its next destination.”
What that destination is, however, is what worries many in the Jewish community.
According to political strategist Jeremy Newmark, chair of the Jewish Labour Movement and a firm proponent for Remain, the Leave decision “gives British Jewry and European Jewry huge cause for concern.”
Newmark speculated that the result “is likely to act as a massive boost and a recruiting sergeant for racist and nationalist parties” throughout Britain and the EU. He added that it could also act as a catalyst for other member states to fortify borders and refuse to allow the entry of immigrants.
“The collapse of the EU itself is a real possibility on the table,” said Newmark from his London office where he works as a political consultant to clients including governments, NGOs and businesses. The vote, he said, “brings us very much into uncharted territory.”
After Brexit vote, Israeli prof warns: ‘When the EU is sick, Israel will suffer’
Given this widespread uncertainty, it is hard to foresee precisely what implications Brexit will have for the Jewish state. But, said Professor Sharon Pardo, big changes are now unfolding, and they will have an impact on Israel.
“Above all, we should remember that the EU is Israel’s largest trade partner. Every obstacle in the European integration project will have financial implications that will immediately influence the Israeli economy,” said Pardo, the director of the Center for European Politics and Society at Ben Gurion University of the Negev.
“When the EU is sick, Israel will suffer [too], it’s as simple as that,” he said.
On Friday, global stock markets crashed and in the short term, the Israeli economy will likely take a hit as well, Pardo predicted. “Israel is a member of the international community, and any major and drastic decision has implication on us as well.”
Diplomatically speaking, Israel is losing a friend in the union, but it is no catastrophe. London was not an ardent critic like Ireland or Sweden, but also not as friendly as Germany or the Czech Republic.
Within the union’s Foreign Affairs Council, “Israel is losing an open channel, one that is clearly influential at the EU leadership level,” Pardo said. “On other hand, Germany has good chances of taking the lead here and the fact that Germany is a close ally of Israel will clearly have implications. Germany is the responsible adult here.”
PM praises Cameron as true friend of Israel, Jewish people
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday heaped praise on his British counterpart David Cameron, who announced he would resign later this year after Britons voted to leave the European Union despite his campaign to keep it in the bloc.
Cameron is a “respected leader and a true friend of Israel and the Jewish people,” Netanyahu said in a statement.
Without directly addressing the results of the referendum, Netanyahu said that throughout Cameron’s premiership, “the security, economic and technological cooperation between the United Kingdom and Israel has greatly expanded,” and that “together we laid a strong foundation for continued cooperation.”
Netanyahu echoed sentiments made earlier by Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan who said he was “sad” to see Cameron resign, calling him a “fair, responsible” politician, a “real gentleman,” and friend to the Jewish state.
UK will remain a friend to Israel outside EU, says British envoy
The British Ambassador to Israel David Quarrey said Friday the United Kingdom will continue being a friend to Israel from outside the European Union, which Britons chose to leave on Thursday following a fraught referendum.
The results prompted British Prime Minister David Cameron, a strong supporter of Israel, to announce he would resign in the coming months.
Israel, Quarrey said, will now have to navigate relations with the European Union without the United Kingdom while maintaining separate ties with London.
“We have been a friend of Israel in the EU, we’ll be a friend of Israel outside the EU, but Israel’s relations with the EU in the future will have to be determined without Britain at the table,” he said in an interview with Channel 2.
“I don’t think that things will change very significantly between the UK and Israel. I don’t see any likely change in the desire on our part for a strong relationship with Israel based on trade, investment, security, cooperation, technology and science."
Regavim praises UK for choosing Brexit
Regavim has offered its congratulations to the UK for voting in favor of leaving the European Union.
Regavim is an NGO focused on "ensuring responsible, legal, accountable and environmentally friendly use of Israel’s national lands and the return of the rule of law to all areas and aspects of the land and its preservation." It has strongly criticized the EU for funding illegal Palestinian construction.
An official statement reads: "Regavim would like to thank all of our supporters who took a stand for the independence of Britain and Israel. Our "Support Israel-Leave Europe" campaign generated a tremendous response and undoubtedly contributed to the Brexit result. Now that Britain has voted to leave the EU, we pray the EU will leave Israel.
"The European Union should immediately stop its illegal building on Israeli land, stop funding anti-Israel NGOs and allowing European taxpayers' money to bankroll Palestinian terrorists. Above all, it is time that the EU focus on its own problems and cease its unhealthy anti-Semitic obsession with Israel.
"Regavim is a legal advocacy organization, dedicated to ensuring responsible, legal and accountable use of Israel’s national land. By investigating claims on the ground level, Regavim protects national land interests, presenting its findings in the form of white papers and legal action, in addition to briefing the press and diplomatic corps. Regavim has launched the “Support Israel-Leave Europe” campaign following years of legal battles against the European Union and their well-funded NGO proxies to encourage Israel supporters to take a stand against the EU."
UK Labour Party lawmakers seek to oust leader Corbyn
Two members of Britain's main opposition Labour Party submitted a motion of no confidence in their leader, Jeremy Corbyn, on Friday after the country voted to leave the European Union at a referendum - something Corbyn had campaigned against.
The motion, submitted by lawmaker Margaret Hodge and backed by colleague Ann Coffey, calls for a debate on Corbyn's leadership among the party's parliamentary representatives when it next meets on Monday. If supported at a later secret ballot, it could then trigger a leadership contest.
Several Labour members have criticized Corbyn, who was elected leader last year on a wave of enthusiasm for his left-leaning agenda, for failing to persuade voters in his party's heartlands in northern England and elsewhere to vote to remain.
Millions of them voted in favor of leaving the bloc, often swayed by the "Out" campaign's arguments on immigration.
"In a leader you need somebody who can communicate a message and inspire confidence in that message and I think he failed on both counts during the referendum campaign and therefore I don't think he should be leader of the party," Coffey told Reuters.
"I will say to people, you can win the election or you can have Corbyn as leader but you can't have both."
Brexit: Soros Defeated by Act of God
As Breitbart News predicted, severe flooding hammering the UK on Election Day depressed British turnout enough to assure a victory for the “Brexit” from the European Union.
Breitbart News reported that George Soros had served as “The Puppet Master” of the E.U. “remain” campaign by mobilizing British elites to spread fear that a vote to “leave” would cause the pound to be devalued by 15 to 20 percent and GDP per household to fall by $6,321.
With the pre-election polls showing the “remain” leading and London bookies offering 13 to 1 odds against the “Brexit,” the shock and awe of the leave vote winning by 52 to 48 percent sent UK stock prices crashing down harder than the initial September 15, 2008 bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers hit US markets.
Breitbart News on the eve of the vote predicted that an “Act of God” level storm system was about to wallop the UK and favor the Brexit. The worst of the day’s torrential rain storms and severe flooding hit hardest in Southeast England, which was expected to be the strongest area for the pro-remain vote.
EXCLUSIVE: Notorious Anjem Choudary Backs ‘Remain’ – Says EU Courts Are Softer On His Islamist Friends
British hate preacher Anjem Choudary – who is currently facing charges of supporting Islamic State – has told Breitbart London that he thinks the United Kingdom should stay in the European Union (EU).
“If you want my view on it, I think Britain will be worse off,” Mr. Choudary (pictured above) told Breitbart London.
“I think that [leaving the EU] is something that is probably not in our advantage from a Muslim perspective,” he added.
The radical preacher rose to prominence as the head of Al-Muhajiroun and then Islam4UK – both banned Salafist groups – and for his provocative anti-Western views.
Following Brexit, UK Considers Joining Middle East (satire)
With Britain looking for a new home after narrowly voting to leave the EU, the Brits are reportedly considering joining the Middle East.
“Things didn’t work out with Europe, but it’s time we get back out there on the market,” former London mayor and leading Brexiter Boris Johnson told The Mideast Beast. “The Middle East has some great things to offer; it’s got warm weather, historical sites, people with real tans, and a little bit of a dangerous side, which frankly we could use after 45 boring years in Europe. Plus, given our extensive historical involvement in the region, it shouldn’t be too difficult of a transition.”
British Prime Minister David Cameron has agreed to spend a week in Abu Dhabi, which will end in a six-hour meeting with a group of Middle Eastern leaders who will push the benefits of membership in the Middle East. While Cameron has publically promised to go into the meeting with an open mind, aides privately say he is determined not to agree to anything on the spot.
Cameron did note, “We’re certainly not just pretending to be interested in the Middle East for the free week-long vacation, I can assure you that. And to be honest, if it’s true what they say about Israel’s beaches, you can pretty much count on a ‘Brit-in’ vote.”
PreOccupiedTerritory: Teen Demands Referendum On Remaining In Same Room As Brother (satire)
Emboldened by the UK’s vote yesterday to leave the European Union, local adolescent Itamar Golan asserted that a similar process was necessary to determine whether he and his younger brother continue to share a bedroom.
Itamar, 15, told reporters at a press conference this morning that he was placed with Boaz, age 12, in the same living quarters without any democratic process, and he therefore demands that a vote be held and room assignments be reallocated accordingly, if necessary.
“Aside from the non-representative management of my affairs that that characterizes this and other family situations, it has become clear that neither I nor my brother were ever consulted regarding our preferred living arrangements, which is a clear departure from democratic norms, to which our society ostensibly adheres,” said the teen, reading from a prepared statement. “Such a referendum is necessary as an act of establishing – or reestablishing, as the case may be – individual sovereignty. For too long, that sovereignty has been ignored by the powers that be, or, worse, actively undermined. No more. Referendum now!”
The high schooler, just out of his freshman year, has taken a keen interest in the British “Brexit” referendum, which this morning was officially announced as resulting in a “Leave” vote. Itamar has proposed, with some forcefulness, a proposal to conduct a similar referendum of Golan household members living in the front-left bedroom. He has styled his campaign “MyOwnRoom,” including a Twitter hashtag for use in social media campaigning, and has printed flyers and posters to help sway the electorate.
Corbyn rejects Herzog invitation to visit Israel
British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn wrote his Israeli counterpart, Isaac Herzog, on Thursday, turning down his invitation to come to Israel.
On April 30, Herzog wrote Corbyn a letter inviting him to Jerusalem, to visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum and “better understand the scourge of anti-Semitism.” The invitation, Herzog said, was issued after incidents within Corbyn’s party that “sicken all those of moral conscience to the core” and “must act as a red alert and prompt immediate action.”
The letter from Herzog came after former London mayor Ken Livingstone told the BBC that Adolf Hitler was a Zionist and Labour lawmaker Naz Shah suggested Israelis should be moved en masse to the United States.
Corbyn thanked Herzog for his letter and the invitation but said “my existing commitments make it impossible for me to take up your offer in the immediate future.” He said he asked his party’s deputy leader Tom Watson and general secretary Iain McNicol to go instead.
In his letter, Corbyn vowed zero tolerance for anti-Semitism and all other forms of bigotry.
He said every allegation of anti-Semitism in his party had led to immediate action.
Democratic platform drafters align on Israeli-Palestinian stance
Two delegates to the Democratic Party’s platform drafting committee — one appointed by Hillary Clinton and the other by Bernie Sanders — said the platform must reflect the hardships faced both by Israelis and Palestinians.
“Israelis today live in fear of acts of terror that can turn peaceful marketplaces and neighborhoods into scenes of violence and horror,” said the statement released Thursday by Reps. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., and Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., appointed by Sanders and Clinton, respectively. “Palestinians struggle under an unjust occupation that deprives them of the rights, opportunities and independence that they deserve. That is the reality of a conflict that has gone on for far too long and at a terrible cost.”
The statement was released by J Street, the liberal Middle East policy group that favors including language sympathetic to Palestinians and Israelis in the platform. The political action committee affiliated with J Street has endorsed both Ellison and Gutierrez for reelection.
“As we and our colleagues work over the next few weeks to frame our party’s platform, we’re confident that we can seize this moment and confirm the consensus vision of peace, security and human dignity shared by our party and its supporters,” said the statement.
Jewish PAC to press Republicans to call West Bank ‘Jewish homeland’
A Jewish political action committee is seeking to get the Republican Party platform to recognize the West Bank as an “indigenous” part of the Jewish homeland.
“The Land of Israel is the indigenous homeland of the Jewish people by right and by law and we oppose any measures to force, coerce or otherwise impose a security ‘solution’ or artificial borders on the Jewish state,” says the language proposed by Iron Dome Alliance. “We recognize an undivided Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and Judea and Samaria as integral parts of the indigenous Jewish homeland.”
The “Land of Israel” generally refers to the State of Israel and territories it controls. Judea and Samaria are the biblical names commonly used in Israel to designate the West Bank, an area where Israel has expanded Jewish settlement over the decades but which it has never formally annexed. Israel has annexed Jerusalem and, unlike in the West Bank, has extended some rights conferred on Israelis to its Palestinian residents.
The Iron Dome Alliance released the language on June 16, offering it for incorporation into both major parties’ platforms. Its chairman, Jeff Ballabon, told the Forward Wednesday that its emphasis would be on the Republican Party, in part because the party is more attuned to conservative pro-Israel positions and in part because the presumptive presidential nominee, Donald Trump, is an iconoclast.
Top Trump aide: He’d back Israeli annexations in West Bank
Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump would support an Israeli annexation of parts of the West Bank and would likely back a complete annexation if Israel deems it necessary, a top aide to the candidate told Haaretz in an interview published Thursday.
David Friedman, who serves as Trump’s adviser on Israel along with Jason Dov Greenblatt, told the paper that, if elected, his boss wouldn’t necessarily adopt the positions of previous US presidents in supporting the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel.
“Not without the approval of the Israelis,” Friedman said. “This is an issue that Israel has to deal with on its own because it will have to deal with the consequences… The Israelis have to make the decision on whether or not to give up land to create a Palestinian state. If the Israelis don’t want to do it, so he doesn’t think they should do it.”
Trump, he stressed, did not see a Palestinian state as “an American imperative” in any way. “Trump’s position is that we have to deal with reality and not hopes and wishes.”
He also called into doubt Palestinian rights to the land, saying, “We don’t accept the idea it is only about land. Nobody really knows how many Palestinians actually live there.”
Put BDS on the Defensive
There are precedents that serve to drive this need. I was part of an effort that successfully employed this strategy in the past and it can be successful now in the present.
It was more than 20 years ago when Arizona State University law student, David Don, responded to an article in the State Press, the school newspaper, describing an outrageous blood libel against the Jewish people. The former editor of the school newspaper, Mary Summerton, penned an article falsely claiming that Orthodox Jews assaulted and then murdered a paraplegic at Jerusalem’s Western Wall, ostensibly because he was using an electric wheelchair on the Jewish Sabbath. The story was obviously false. Apparently the real story was a philosophical debate about the use of an electric wheelchair on the Sabbath at the Western Wall. That nothing happened to the paraplegic seemed unimportant to a writer in search of a story.
David and I planned a two-pronged response employing both public and private pressure. We requested a meeting with the administration at Arizona State University while at the same time contacting David Bar Ilan at the Jerusalem Post. The Bar Ilan article about the outrageous blood libel coupled with the outcry by students quickly led to Summerton admitting she made up the story. Arizona State University was then compelled to decide what action to take against Summerton. Moreover, it needed to consider if any action was required against ASU’s Cronkite Journalism School’s Professor Bruce Itule who had approved the article for publication – claiming he did not think to fact check the information.
We met with the administration (I as a law school alumnus) and we put pressure on them to take action and reiterated how serious we considered this incident. The pressure led not only to a retraction by the school newspaper but to an investigation by Arizona’s major newspaper, which found that Summerton had lied on her school transcripts. She was then expelled from the University. We do not believe Professor Itule was reprimanded but a new mechanism was put in place to fact check articles for the school newspaper. Professionally, Arizona State University’s Cronkite School of Journalism suffered a serious black eye.
NYU Graduate Student Union repeals pro-BDS resolution
Two months after the Graduate Student Union at New York University voted to join the Boycott Divest and Sanctions movement against Israel, the decision was repealed by the group’s parent union, the United Auto Workers.
The decision made this week was the result of some members of the NYU student union (GSOC) filing an official appeal against the April decision, claiming it violated the UAW constitution’s own bylaws.
The appeal, signed by Ilana Ben-Ezra, member of GSOC for Open Dialogue on Israel and Palestine, pointed out that the resolution is illicit because it violates the UAW’s pledge “to maintain free relations with other organizations.” Ben-Ezra also noted that the resolution goes NYU’s official position and “vilifies” companies that are members of the parent union.
The UAW decision in favor of Ben-Ezra stated that no subordinate body of the parent union can endorse BDS, which affects graduate student unions at more than 15 universities, including others which have passed similar resolutions. It noted that GSOC’s resolution was indeed “contrary to the position of the International Union” and is void of “force or effect.”
Anti-BDS: Is California next?
The most populous state in the U.S., California, is considering strong legislation against the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) movement. BDS calls for boycotting and sanctioning Israel.
Twenty-one states and the largest township in America have already passed similar legislation against BDS.
The California Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote next week on the California Combating BDS Act of 2016, AB 2844. The bill would require any entity that proposes to enter into a contract with a state agency to certify, under penalty of perjury, that it has adopted no discriminatory policy against any sovereign nation or peoples recognized by the United States, including, but not limited to, Israel. The bill covers contracts in the amount of $100,000 or more.
Earlier this month, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order against BDS. The order bars the state from doing business with entities that back the BDS movement.
Other states that have taken similar moves include Georgia, Illinois, Arizona, Iowa, Florida, Indiana, Rhode Island, South Carolina and others.
Antisemitism Is Flourishing on California Campuses
For nearly a decade, incidents of antisemitism have been on the rise in the University of California system and numerous other colleges in the Golden State. Some say that California colleges make more headlines about incidents of antisemitism than for academic or athletic achievements. The most recent academic year was no exception.
According to the antisemitism watchdog group AMCHA Initiative, 69 antisemitic incidents occurred on 20 different California campuses during the recent academic year. UC Berkley led the way with eight instances, followed by UC Irvine and UC Santa Cruz with seven each.
“When it comes to antisemitism, California schools continue to top the list, both in number and severity. To those of us closely monitoring the rise of campus antisemitism over the past few years, this comes as no surprise since many California schools were ground zero for the campus anti-Zionism movement,” explained AMCHA Director Tammi Rossman-Benjamin. “Examination after examination demonstrate a direct connection between anti-Zionist activities on campus and acts of anti-Jewish hostility. The problem is not going away. In fact, it’s picking up steam and must be addressed immediately.”
AMCHA tracks all reported incidents of antisemitism on college campuses throughout the US. To be classified as antisemitic, an incident must meet the definition established by the US State Department.
In 2015, 464 antisemitic incidents on campus were reported across the country. The first half of 2016 has seen 254 occurrences. At the current pace, 2016 will see an increase of nearly 10 percent in antisemitism on college campuses nationwide.
Brazil Jews sue media outlet for article blaming ‘Zionists’ for president’s ouster
The Rio Jewish federation filed a criminal suit against a far-left news service for publishing an anti-Semitic article blaming Jews for the suspension of President Dilma Rousseff last month.
The article in Vermelho alleged that Israel is through its proxies in charge of what he considers the country’s three most important sectors — defense, intelligence and central bank — and was involved in her suspension.
Brazil’s Senate voted in May to impeach Rousseff for allegations that she illegally manipulated fiscal accounts.
“We won’t allow that isolated people or political parties or media outlets that distribute paid or non-paid news to denigrate the image of the Jewish people,” said Paulo Maltz, the Rio Jewish federation’s president. The lawsuit was filed on Wednesday.
The article — titled “The fingers of Israel and the United States in the coup” — claimed to list Jews who would lead various government areas, describing them as “Israel’s Zionists.” However, two of the figures named in the article are Christian. Only Ilan Goldfajn, the third official named in the article, is Jewish. Tapped by newly appointed president Michel Temer, Israeli-born Goldfajn is the new head of Brazil’s Central Bank.
What word is missing from BBC report on sentencing of Hamas terrorists?
However, despite this being a story about the sentencing of convicted terrorists belonging to the Hamas terrorist organisation who murdered two Israelis in a pre-planned terror attack, the words terror, terrorist or terrorism do not appear even once in this report.
“An Israeli military court has sentenced four Palestinians to life in prison for the murder of an Israeli couple in the occupied West Bank, the military says.
Eitam and Naama Henkin were killed in front of their four young children in a drive-by shooting on 1 October.
The military said the assailants, members of the Islamist movement Hamas, opened fire at the Henkins’ car after an attempt to abduct them failed.”

What does appear in this article is the above link to the BBC’s original report on the attack. There we learn that over nine months since its publication, BBC Online has still not got round to correcting its inaccurate presentation of Eitam Henkin’s name.
Sadly, there is of course nothing surprising about the BBC’s censoring of the word terror from this article: the same pattern was seen in its earlier reporting on the same story (see ‘related articles’ below).
However, just a few days earlier the BBC was capable of reporting that “jihadist terror struck Paris in November“.
Man who claimed he escaped Auschwitz admits story a lie
A 91-year-old Pennsylvania man who has for years lectured to school groups and others about what he said were his experiences at Auschwitz now says he was never a prisoner at the concentration camp.
Joseph Hirt made the admission in a letter to LNP newspaper on Wednesday and apologized. He said he used poor judgment and faulty reasoning in trying to tell the story of those affected by the Nazis.
“I was wrong. I ask forgiveness,” Hirt wrote in his letter to LNP.
“I am writing today to apologize publicly for harm caused to anyone because of my inserting myself into the descriptions of life in Auschwitz. I was not a prisoner there. I did not intend to lessen or overshadow the events which truly happened there by falsely claiming to have been personally involved,” Hirt was quoted by LNP as writing.
British World Heavyweight Champion Should Be Banned From Boxing for Sounding Like Hitler, Says Ukrainian Competitor
Britain’s world heavyweight champion, Taylor Fury, should be banned from boxing for making Nazi-like comments, a former world champion from the Ukraine said on Thursday, ahead of their upcoming match.
“I was in shock at his statements about women, the gay community, and when he got to the Jewish people, he sounded like Hitler,” Wladimir Klitschko told British media, according to Reuters. “We cannot have a champion like that. Either he needs to be shut up or shut down in the ring, or just suspended, because you cannot create more hate.”
Fury, 27, stirred controversy in May when he made derogatory comments about Jews during an interview that was posted online. He has since apologized for the remarks, but Klitschko said the boxing world would be better off without him.
Klitschko called his competitor an “imbecile champion,” and slammed the British boxer for “bring[ing] hate to the Jewish people.” He added, “I cannot accept that. We are one society. We cannot have a champion who creates the friction which generates hate. After women, gays and Jewish people, what next?”
Tunisian Jews Fleeing Terror-Torn Country Digging Up Remains of Loved Ones for Reburial in Israel
As Jews from the Tunisian island of Djerba flee to Israel over the country’s worsening security situation, many families are digging up the remains of their loved ones for reburial in their new home, The Guardian reported on Thursday.
Over the the course of the past five decades, the population of the Jewish community of Djebra — present on the North African island since the destruction of the First Temple in 586 BC — has significantly dwindled in number, with only about 30 new births a year, the report said.
A once vibrant community, it now numbers a mere 1,100, following a mass exodus between the 1940s and 1960s, during a time of great persecution. The majority of those Jews who fled immigrated to Israel.
Yossif Sabbagh, a 42-year-old local, told the Guardian that each year he helps exhume some one dozen bodies for transport to Israel. “There are bones that are 80, 90 years old. When you lift them up, they can break,” he said. The Jewish cemetery — located behind Djerba’s Great Synagogue known as El Ghriba — is littered with cracked tombstones and slabs of strewn marble, the report said.
A glimpse into Azerbaijan’s hidden all-Jewish town
“Not good,” Rabbi Yona Yaakobi says in Hebrew, expressing his distaste while pointing to a grave featuring a statue of a man who died in 1988.
Carved in white marble, the nearly life-size statue of the deceased portrays him staring ahead, cane in hand, flanked by two pots of artificial flowers. Just below, on a black tombstone, is inscribed the man’s name, date of birth and the day he died in Hebrew. But lower it is engraved again much more prominently in Russian.
“All of this is influenced by the Muslims who got it from the Russians,” Yaakobi continues.
Although this particular grave is among the more ostentatious in the three cemeteries of Krasnaya Sloboda, an all-Jewish town in the mountainous north of Azerbaijan, it is surrounded by hundreds of others showing lifelike pictures of the dead in various poses, sometimes bordering on the absurd.
“I knew all of these people personally. I know the story of each one of them,” Yaakobi laments as he strolls past a large tombstone depicting a middle aged man in a business suit reclining in a throne-like chair. “This guy for instance went fishing one day, and when he cast his line, it ended up hitting some wires, he got electrocuted and died.”
New Israeli application determines taste of watermelons
Three computer science students at Haifa’s Technion University may be about to rid the world of the trouble of trying to find a sweet and juicy watermelon with their new technological innovation.
The students developed an application which they say can figure out the quality of the fruit in a matter of seconds.
“One year ago, my mum sent me to the supermarket to buy a watermelon for the guests who were supposed to come to our house,” said one of the developers, Salah Abed Alehlim (23) from the Manda village in the Galilee. “I got to the shop, chose a watermelon and hit it as they taught us to do. If it sounds hollow it isn’t ready, if it sounds full then it means that it is sweet and tasty.”
After the sound test Salah returned home. “My mum opened the watermelon and it was embarrassing. The watermelon was hollow and not sweet. My mum shouted at me. I was so frustrated and disappointed that I decided to search for a scientific solution to this problem. The watermelon is one of the most important fruits, and one of the most special to us. Near the village we have one of the largest watermelon farms in the state.”
To help him in his quest to find the perfect watermelon, Alehim enlisted two of his friends to the project department: Adam Garah (22) and Ayman Sarha’an (23) from the Galilee.
Olympic Gold Medalist to Wear Leotard With Hebrew Letters in US National Championship Competition
Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas will wear a leotard that has Hebrew lettering on it when she competes at the P&G Gymnastics Championships over the weekend.
Douglas’ Swarovski-outlined outfit will feature the Hebrew word “Elohim,” which means God, on its left sleeve. The Hebrew detailing honors the athlete’s “rich heritage of faith,” according to apparel manufacturer GK Elite, which produced the leotard and released a preview of it on Wednesday. The company said Douglas’ sister, Joyelle “Joy” Douglas, created the Hebrew design.
The P&G Championships will help determine if Douglas will compete as part of Team USA in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
In her memoir, In Grace, Gold, and Glory: My Leap of Faith, which was released in 2012, Douglas wrote that her family “practiced some of the Jewish traditions.” The 20-year-old said her family’s participation in Judaism began with her mother, Natalie Hawkins, and maternal grandmother. Douglas’ grandmother occasionally prepared kosher meals for the family and Hawkins studied Hebrew, the website reported. Douglas also talked about the year she spent going to synagogue in Norfolk, VA, and observing the Sabbath, though not strictly, because she had gymnastics practice on Saturdays.
Former NYC Mayor Giuliani Visits Israeli Food Rescue and Distribution Facility
Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani on Thursday visited the facility of Leket Israel, one of the Jewish state’s largest food rescue and redistribution operations.
The visit came on the heels of Leket Israel’s release of a first-of-its-kind study on food waste in Israel. The report found that more than 2.5 million tons of edible food, with a market value of about $2 billion, is wasted in Israel each year. The research “demonstrates the significant economic and social impact of food rescue to Israel’s national economy,” Leket Israel said, explaining that rescuing 25 percent of food waste translates to a savings of about $800 million. The cost of food rescue, according to Leket Israel, is 75 percent lower than the alternative of providing support, subsidies, or allowances to the poor.
Giuliani was accompanied at Leket Israel’s Ra’anana facility by the organization’s founder and chairman, Joseph Gitler, as well as its CEO, Gidi Kroch. The visit was arranged by Giuliani’s current employer, the Greenberg Traurig law firm.
$400 million gift to BGU thought to be largest-ever to an Israeli university
A $400 million gift to Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, earmarked in large part for water research, is believed to be the largest-ever bequest on behalf of an Israeli university.
The university’s American fundraising organization announced the gift by the estate of Dr. Howard and Lottie Marcus of San Diego, California, on June 24. Lottie Marcus died this past December at age 99; Howard died in 2014 at age 104. The family made its fortune investing with Warren Buffett.
The gift will establish a permanent endowment that is expected to yield assets that more than double the size of the current university endowment, according to American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. A substantial portion is earmarked for BGU’s water research at the Zuckerberg Institute for Water Research, which studies sustainable use of water resources, desalination technologies, water quality and microbiology.
Named for New York philanthropist Roy J. Zuckerberg, the Institute was founded in 2002 within the Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research at BGU’s Sde Boker campus.
The Marcuses, who became involved with BGU in 1997, were fascinated by the university’s work in desalination and desert farming. “They believed that peace could come to the Middle East if water scarcity could be addressed,” said AABGU’s Southwest regional director Philip Gomperts in a statement.
But they were interested in Israel for other reasons as well, having fled Nazi Germany in the 1930s.

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This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 12 years and over 25,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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