Monday, July 11, 2016

From Ian:

German news network accuses Israel of teaching children to hate
An advertisement for a German television documentary which will deal with how children in the Palestinian Authority are taught to hate and kill has caused an uproar for claiming that Israeli children are also taught to hate and kill Palestinians.
The program will be aired on ZDF, a German television channel which is known for its anti-Israel slant.
The ad for the documentary, titled "teaching to hate?" asks the question "how do Israeli and Palestinian children learn to despise one another – and kill?"
The documentary makes the comparison between incitement to murder and hatred in Palestinian schools to the education and incitement to hatred which Israeli children alleged receive. This, despite the fact that the documentary clearly and explicitly proves that the education systems which spread incitement to kill and to hate is on the Palestinian side only.
While the documentary doesn't claim that the Israeli education system teaches children to kill Arabs, it does say that Arabs are presented in a negative light in Israeli textbooks. An example of this "racist education" against the Arab population is that the majority of Israeli students, when drawing a picture of an Arab, draw the Arab sitting on a camel. (h/t Gastwirt)
Israeli Newspaper Slammed For Hiring Editor Linked To Anti-Israel Activism
Yair Lapid, a leading Israeli politician in the opposition today, strongly criticized the country’s Haaretz newspaper for hiring a new chief editor for its English language edition who is connected to Breaking The Silence, a controversial anti-Israel activist group.
In a Hebrew-language statement published on Facebook, Lapid, the leader of the centrist Yesh Atid party, noted that Noa Landau was an unfit choice. Lapid wrote “Landau, the life partner of Avner Gvaryahu, the most vocal and radical slanderer from Breaking the Silence, was appointed the editor of Haaretz’s English edition,” noting that Breaking the Silence actively seeks to delegitimize the Israel Defense Forces.
Lapid accused Haaretz — an outlet that is widely quoted by influential media outlets and international governments such as the White House, the US Congress and the European Union — of spreading lies about Israel, including that “the majority of Israeli citizens support apartheid and that Israeli soldiers slaughter Palestinian children.” Lapid noted that “[t]his is further proof (as if any were needed) that Breaking the Silence is not interested in influencing Israeli society from within, but prefers to slander us abroad.”
Islamic Spain in Middle Ages no paradise for Christians, Jews, women
There is a widely held belief that in Spain, during the European Middle Ages, Islam, Christianity and Judaism co-existed peacefully and fruitfully under a tolerant and enlightened Islamic hegemony. Dario Fernandez-Morera, associate professor of Spanish and Portuguese at Northwestern University in the US, with a PhD from Harvard, has written a stunning book that upends this myth.
The myth itself has been a comforting and even inspiring story that has underpinned the so-called Toledo Principles regarding religious tolerance in our time. It has buttressed the belief that Islam was a higher civilisation than that of medieval Europe in the eighth to 12th centuries and that the destruction of this enlightened and sophisticated Andalusia should be lamented.
The great Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca, a century ago, saw it that way. US President Barack Obama and The Economist magazine have both very recently cited Muslim Andalusia as evidence that Islam has been a religion of peace and tolerance. In short, the myth of Andalusia has been a beacon of hope for working with Islam in today’s world with a common commitment to civilised norms.
This vision was spelled out in Maria Rosa Menocal’s The Ornament of the World: How Muslims, Jews and Christians Created a Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain (2002) and reinforced by David Levering Lewis’s God’s Crucible: Islam and the Making of Europe, 570-1215 (2008). But it has deep roots. Edward Gibbon, in his famous 18th-century history of the decline and fall of the Roman Empire, wrote in glowing terms of the 10th-century Umayyad caliphate in Spain as a beacon of enlightenment, learning and urban living, at a time when Europe was plunged in bigotry, ignorance and poverty.
As someone who has long taken this vision for granted, it came as a considerable shock to me to discover that the conventional wisdom is quite unfounded. In The Myth of the Andalusian Paradise, Fernandez-Morera systematically refutes the beguiling fable. The picture he draws is starkly different from the conventional one, troubling in what it reveals and compelling in its arguments.

Melanie Phillips: Brexit earthquake
Other countries are looking on anxiously at this pandemonium. Both the US and Israel wanted the UK to remain in the EU.
Both countries view Britain as a useful bridge to Europe. Israel thinks in particular that Britain helps mitigate the EU’s hostility toward it.
David Cameron certainly warmed toward Israel during his premiership. However, the UK still falsely claims Israel’s occupation of the disputed territories is illegal, still pressures it to surrender to Arab aggression, still voted with France and Germany for the preposterous UN resolution singling out Israel as the world’s sole violator of health rights. The notion that Britain is invaluable to Israel inside the EU therefore seems implausible.
America and Israel are also missing a much more fundamental point. Brexit means the concept of the self-governing nation is back in business. That’s good not just for Britain but also for Israel and the defense of Western civilization.
The End of AIPAC’s Israel Monopoly
In 2016, AIPAC continues to monopolize the field of activists eager to provide policy support for Israel, while J Street provides a useful outlet for those unwilling to abandon progressive policy priorities while maintaining or manipulating a pro-Israel self-image. Another clearly visible market niche, however, remains unfilled: activists adopting the conservative worldview unsatisfied with the compromises inherent in bipartisan policy formulations
The arrival of a partisan pro-Israel group to AIPAC’s right will dethrone the Israel monopolist but not destroy it. AIPAC has invested decades in developing a powerful brand, exceptional connections, a demonstrated ability to work across the aisle, and unrivaled lists of donors and grassroots supporters. Furthermore, AIPAC’s flagship product—the foreign aid bill—is likely to become increasingly important as fallout from the Iran deal triggers a regional arms race. Whether broadly appropriate or not, to the degree that AIPAC can retain its bipartisan relationships, it can help ensure continued military aid to Israel regardless of the configuration of power in Washington.
In addition, though few cast it in such terms, AIPAC plays two other critical roles: It serves as a Jewish pride organization and as a safe space for Truman Democrats. Its annual Policy Conference provides Jewish pro-Israel activists with a brief respite from pervasive anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism. And AIPAC’s membership may represent the largest remaining group of hawkish Democrats—voters who reject progressive foreign policy even as they support other parts of the progressive agenda. By providing a forum for such voters, AIPAC fills a niche critical to American national security—as well as to the State of Israel. Voters who place primacy on the ascendance of progressive cultural mores and/or economic distribution, while still favoring a strong national defense, deserve a forum in which they can speak comfortably. AIPAC appears to be the only prominent organization filling that need. Without such a forum, Democratic approaches to this traditionally bipartisan belief will range from cavalier to disdainful—much to the detriment of national security.
The pro-Israel community should push AIPAC to reposition itself with a clear eye on contemporary reality. AIPAC can best serve the pro-Israel cause by redeploying its formidable assets to help pro-Israel, national-security-conscious Democrats defeat the anti-Israel progressives ascendant in their party—certainly the most effective way to ensure continued bipartisan support for Israel. New organizations promoting policy innovation and adaptive political strategies must also enter the pro-Israel market, however, to address challenges, push policies, and forge alliances on behalf of Israel that run counter to AIPAC’s strategic approach and the preferences of its members. AIPAC’s directors and customers—i.e., the Jewish community’s leading philanthropists and the grassroots activists who genuinely want to protect Israel and the U.S.-Israel relationship—should accept nothing less.
Clinton camp quells bid to add ‘occupation’ into Democratic party platform
An effort to inject language criticizing Israel for “occupation and illegal settlements” in the Democratic Party platform was defeated by Hillary Clinton supporters Saturday as a panel charged with drafting language for the high-stakes statement convened for a likely final time in Orlando, Florida.
The attempt was one of two amendments seeking to re-frame the party’s language regarding Israel, both of which were fended off by supporters of the presumptive nominee when the party held what was expected to be the final day of voting on the party’s platform Saturday.
Meeting in the ballroom of an Orlando hotel, supporters of Clinton and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders faced off on a wide variety of issues including international trade partnerships, the minimum wage, health care, and the environment.
The draft version platform, which won praise from J Street and the Anti-Defamation League in recent weeks, called for a two-state solution that would grant a homeland to Palestinians, for the first time framing the issue in terms of Palestinian national aspirations as well as Israeli security needs.
ADL lauds Dems’ platform backing two states, opposing BDS
The Anti-Defamation League commended the Democratic National Convention’s draft party platform Wednesday for opposing the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel and supporting America’s commitment to Israel’s security and a negotiated two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“The draft platform rightly frames a negotiated two state solution as in the interests of both Israel’s ‘future as a secure and democratic Jewish state’ and a Palestinian future of ‘independence, sovereignty and dignity,’” ADL chief Jonathan Greenblatt said in a statement. “We urge the full platform committee and Democratic National Committee delegates to support it.”
The platform, ADL’s national chair Marvin Nathan said: “Affirmed the Democrats’ and America’s longstanding commitment to Israel’s security and to Israel’s fundamental rights and enshrined key principles of its quest for peace with the Palestinians through a directly negotiated” two-state agreement.
“A debate in which progressive values loomed large appropriately produced a platform highlighting shared values like ‘democracy, equality, tolerance and pluralism’ as undergirding US support for Israel’s rights and security,” he added.
J Street lauds Democrats for putting Palestinian rights in platform
J Street head Jeremy Ben-Ami said in a statement that the language nonetheless represented a “more balanced approach” from previous Democratic party platforms.
“The new language breaks with the party’s practice of framing its aim of establishing a Palestinian state solely in terms of Israel’s interests,” he said. “By including parallel acknowledgement of Israeli and Palestinian rights, the party underscores its belief that the only viable resolution to the conflict–a two-state solution–requires recognizing the fates of the two-peoples are intertwined.”
The 2012 platform made no mention of Palestinian rights, but instead framed a two-state solution as necessary for making Israel safer.
“A just and lasting Israeli-Palestinian accord, producing two states for two peoples, would contribute to regional stability and help sustain Israel’s identity as a Jewish and democratic state,” the platform read.
The stance was expected to shift its language on Israel given the influence of presidential also-ran Bernie Sanders, who pushed for a number of voices critical of Israel to be included on the drafting committee, including Zogby’s.
Hillary tries to deal with her (Max) Blumenthal problem
Max Blumenthal is toxic to any mainstream political candidate. Indeed, he’d be too toxic even to most left-wing candidates, his anti-Israel venom is so notorious.
Max’s anti-Israel conspiracy theories were a big hit with the Overland Park shooter. Liberal professor and author Eric Alterman termed Max’s book, Goliath, The Israel Haters Handbook.
Recently, Max and a friend chased a German lawmaker into a bathroom because the lawmaker called them anti-Semites…
Things just got a whole lot more interesting.
…the latest batch of Sidney’s emails shows that contrary to Hillary’s claim that she just received unsolicited advice, Sidney served a Svengali-like (or is it Rasputin-like) role in Hillary’s foreign policy thinking. Obama told Hillary to stay away from Sidney when it came to foreign policy, but Hillary seemed to be addicted to the long-time Clinton confidant.
Hillary has managed to ignore Max’s politics despite Max regularly pushing the comparison between Zionism and Nazism, including favoring this cartoon showing the founder of modern Zionism giving birth to Hitler:
Max Blumenthal with Rasmea Odeh, convicted supermarket bomber and murderer of two Israeli university students.

Will Sanders Negatively Affect Clinton on Israel?
On Israel, Sanders has taken on a far-left tone during his campaign, including by criticizing Israel’s presence and policies in the disputed territories, as well as by referring to the Israeli army’s Gaza operation during its 2014 war with Hamas as “indiscriminate.” He also inflated the number of Palestinian civilian deaths in that same conflict at least sevenfold — to 10,000 — in an interview with the New York Daily News, and temporarily hired a Jewish outreach coordinator who is active in the self-described “pro-Israel, pro-peace” lobby J Street and the “Open Hillel” movement — both of which have been criticized in the Jewish community for ignoring Israeli grievances in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and whitewashing Palestinian terrorism.
Meanwhile, as the Democratic Platform Drafting Committee gets ready to ratify its platform at the Democratic National Convention in late July, pro-Palestinian activist and Sanders-appointed committee member James Zogby told ABC News that “there will be a re-do of inserting the word ‘occupation’ and ‘settlements’ into the platform.” Currently, the committee’s most recent platform draft does not include the words “settlements” or “occupation.”
The possibility that Clinton might adopt similar rhetoric on Israel to appeal to Sanders’s voters “is definitely something I am concerned about,” said Tevi Troy, a presidential historian and former White House aide for the George W. Bush administration, and author of the forthcoming book “Shall We Wake the President? Two Centuries of Disaster Management from the Oval Office.”
“I will be watching carefully to see what happens with the platform and which, if any, Sanders aides join the Clinton team post-convention,” Troy told
Incoming British PM Theresa May seen as warm supporter of Israel
Home Secretary Theresa May, set to succeed David Cameron as Britain’s prime minister this week, is widely regarded as a good friend of the Jewish community, and of Israel.
May, who will become the UK’s second woman prime minister after Margaret Thatcher, emerged Monday as the Conservative Party’s unchallenged candidate to take over from Cameron in the chaotic political aftermath of Britain’s referendum vote last month to leave the European community.
May made a first visit to Israel in 2015 to meet Israeli experts on cybersecurity and combating modern slavery – “two challenges which both Israel and the UK are confronting with great determination,” she said.
She was the guest speaker for the Bnei Akiva youth group’s Independence Day event this year, and spoke of her “honor” in celebrating Israel’s independence. She added: ”The modern State of Israel is the fulfillment of many generations of struggle.”
PreOccupiedTerritory: Islamic State Claims Credit For Trump (satire)
The Islamic State has not claimed credit for perpetrating an suicide bombing attack yesterday at the burial site of the prophet Muhammad that killed 4, but a video clip has emerged of an organization spokesman asserting that a more momentous phenomenon, the rise of Donald Trump as a likely candidate to win the US presidential election in November, is an IS initiative.
In a two-minute video posted on social media today, IS representative Ayman Assol can be seen announcing that Trump’s success as a candidate is the result of a Daesh plot to bring about the downfall of the West and thus remove a major obstacle blocking the organization’s ambition to establish a global Islamic caliphate.
ISIS spokesman“The people who prophesy the decline of Daesh will be shamed and our enemies will cower when they finally realize that the political rise and success of Donald Trump is our doing,” boasted Assol. “The arm of Islam reaches into the depths of the enemy’s rear and strikes with the fist of a thousand vengeances.”
The ADL and #BlackLivesMatter
Like many fellow Jews, I fought for black voting and civil rights in the 1960s. I participated in sit-ins, marched, traveled to Mississippi, and was arrested there. I — and virtually every Jew and Jewish organization — rightfully continue to support equal rights and fair and unbiased treatment of African-Americans, and everyone else, today.
However, the abiding Jewish support for black equality should not blind any organization into supporting the anti-police, antisemitic, anti-Israel #BlackLivesMatter movement. Therefore, my organization, the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), is urging the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) to discontinue ADL’s statements and educational materials promoting the #BlackLivesMatter movement. Here’s why:
The coordinated ambush and assassination of five innocent Dallas police officers and wounding of seven more, is another horrifying chapter in the “war on cops” targeting our country’s first line of defense. One of the shooters cited “Black Lives Matter” and said that he “wanted to kill white people, especially white officers.”
The #BlackLivesMatter movement’s incitement of anti-police violence helped create the environment that led to the Dallas massacre of police officers, according to experts including former New York City Police Commissioner Howard Safir; US CENTCOM official Colonel Derek Harvey, and National Association of Police Organizations Executive Director William Johnson. Johnson stated:
Divest from Palestine
Your average Muslim terrorism might be crazy, but he isn’t stupid. He isn’t killing anyone for free.
We’re the ones who are paying Muslims to kill us in the hopes that funding terrorists will lead to peace. That makes us both crazy and stupid.
Divesting from Palestine means pushing our politicians to stop all funding into areas under Palestinian Authority control until the terror group stops financing terrorism. It means not donating to any charities that do work in those same territories or doing business with companies that operate there.
The supporters of the “Palestinian” cause have made boycotts of Israel into their new tactic. They should be made to choke on it. Israel actually has an economy. Its people work for a living. Their Islamic terrorist enemies don’t. Instead they remain entirely dependent on a welfare state that we fund. BDS for Israel can never succeed. BDS for Palestine can go for a narrow and vulnerable choke point.
Divest from “Palestine” and it, along with its bands of murderers and killers, ceases to exist.
Terrorism can be over, if we want it to be. All we have to do is be willing to cut up its credit card.
BDS movement targets St. Clair Ave. store
Sadly, partly due to BDS pressures and a need to expand, SodaStream recently shut its West Bank factory, putting as many as 500 Palestinians out of jobs that paid them far more than they’d ever earn in Ramallah.
“It’s a huge pity,” says Rena Nickerson, country manager for SodaStream Canada.
But the BDS activists have continued to visit her store trying to pressure her to stop selling SodaStream products and threatening not to shop there if she refused. Klopp said about 20 have attempted to coerce her, some of them Jewish and others students from U of T and Ryerson. One Jewish woman followed up with her every day for two months to see if she’d backed down and wrote a review about her on Facebook.
Even though other large retailers like Canadian Tire and Walmart carry SodaStream products, Klopp believes she has been targeted because the BDSers don’t get anywhere with them.
Nickerson said Ecoexistence has been the first customer targeted this year and not more than a handful across Canada have been the focus of BDS campaigns in the past few years.
But things all changed a few weeks ago when a Jewish client wrote an e-mail to friends and family documenting the pressures on Klopp.
“People started flooding in that day,” she said.
“The show of support has been overwhelming ... I cried every day for two weeks.”
On the day I visited her store, she said she was “sold out” of the actual models she carries.
“We can’t keep them in stock anymore,” Klopp said. “The BDS movement has been good for business.”
Shocking double standards after CAA evidence team made to leave Hizballah rally in London
A march in support of genocidal antisemitic terrorist group Hizballah went ahead in London on Sunday, after Campaign Against Antisemitism’s talks with the Metropolitan Police Service and the Crown Prosecution Service failed.
Hundreds of demonstrators festooned themselves and their children with Hizballah flags, and then marched through the streets of the capital in support of the terrorist group which strives for the annihilation of Jews worldwide and has perpetrated terrorist attacks against Jewish targets around the world for decades.
Members of our evidence team were made to leave for asking demonstrators about Hizballah’s policy of murdering Jews, whilst the demonstrators paraded in front of police officers with printed placards reading “We are all Hizbullah [sic]”, as they have done in previous years.
Section 13 of the Terrorism Act makes it a criminal offence for a person to carry an article “in such a way or in such circumstances as to arouse reasonable suspicion that he is a member or supporter of a proscribed [terrorist] organisation”, but the Metropolitan Police Service and the Crown Prosecution Service both obtusely argue that only the military wing of Hizballah is proscribed, and someone carrying a Hizballah flag could be supporting the political wing which is not proscribed. There is no such thing as a separate “political wing” of Hizballah which is one single organisation, with one flag.
As though to underline the double standards at play, the day after the Hizballah demonstration, Sophie Linden, the Deputy Mayor of London for Policing and Crime issued a statement saying: “We are concerned by the reported increase in racial hate crimes following the referendum result.

PreOccupiedTerritory: Israel Increases Mining Of Dead Sea Salt For Taking With Amnesty Reports (satire)
Local officials at this community overlooking the Dead Sea have seen a marked increase in the scale and quantity of salt mining occurring in the area since Amnesty International began releasing critiques of Israel Defense Force actions in the Gaza Strip two years ago, necessitating a large intake of sodium chloride with each paragraph.
Ein Gedi’s principal industry is farming, but residents have also begun to seek employment of late in the salt mining enterprises that dot the shores of the lowest place on Earth, at 427 meters (1400 feet) below sea level. Those mines, which produce a mineral-rich compound unlike other types of sea or rock salt, have augmented their output by more than 200% over the last 24 months, coinciding with increased output of Amnesty International condemnations of Israeli military strikes against Hamas and its allied militias in the Gaza Strip.
Exact figures are unavailable for the last three months, but between August 2014 and March 2016, salt mine output held steady at 84 tons per month, a sharp uptick from the period preceding Operation Protective Edge, Israel’s name for the offensive to suppress rocket fire and infiltrations into Israel from the coastal territory. Average monthly salt output averaged only 40 tons per month for the two-year period prior to Protective Edge. Industry experts pointed to Amnesty’s reports as the chief factor in increased demand.
The continuing disservice of the BBC’s black and white narrative
In his recent parting musings, Kevin Connolly told listeners to BBC Radio 4 that:
“In thousands of work places from hospitals and hotels to building sites and banks, Israeli Jews and Palestinians rub along a little better and for much more of the time than outsiders might imagine.”
That statement is of course true, but it raises the question of why “outsiders” are not familiar with the day-to-day realities of co-existence in Israel – especially as it comes from a journalist who represents a media organisation which pledges to give it audiences “insight into the way people live in other countries”.
The cartoon portrayal of Israel so often seen in the reporting of Connolly and his colleagues leaves no room for the provision of such insight. The black and white narrative promoted day after day mean that audiences rarely get to see reality’s other hues and a correspondent such as Connolly can spend five years reporting from Jerusalem without making any significant contribution to their understanding of how the vast majority of people making up Israel’s different ethnic and religious communities live, work, learn and relax together.
Haaretz Omits Critical Information on New Police Regulations
The regulations are very clear that police can only fire when there is a clear and immediate danger to life or limb. The article completely omits this critical qualification, stating only:
Israel Police are now permitted to fire live bullets as a first resort against people throwing stones or incendiary devices, including fire crackers, according to open-fire regulations that were loosened last December in light of an upsurge of violence in East Jerusalem.
The article selectively quotes from the regulations, omitting the qualification that "it is permissible to open fire only when there is a clear threat to life or limb." The article states:
Among the new instructions: “A policeman is permitted to open fire at a person who is clearly seen to throw, or is about to throw, an incendiary device ... or is about to fire an incendiary device ... or is about to fire directly aimed firecrackers, in order to prevent the danger.” [Ellipses appear in Haaretz.]
The regulations also say that “throwing stones while using a slingshot” is an example of an incident that justifies shooting with live fire.

In the regulations (reproduced below), the directive that "it is permissible to open fire only when there is a clear threat to life or limb" appears immediately after the sentence "A policeman is permitted. . . . in order to prevent the danger." But Haaretz did not include the reference to "life or limb."
Some context to the BBC’s ‘reporter in the Gaza rubble’ features
Since then – and in particular around the time of the one-year anniversary of the start of the conflict – the BBC has frequently promoted the topic of the slow pace of reconstruction in the Gaza Strip, often inaccurately claiming or insinuating that border restrictions introduced by Israel to combat Hamas terrorism are to blame. Notably, the corporation has devoted considerably less attention to the issue of Hamas’ misappropriation of construction materials for the purpose of terrorism.
Now the World Bank has published an interesting document titled ‘Reconstructing Gaza – Donor Pledges’ in which the pledges made by various countries at the Cairo donor conference – and the amounts actually delivered since then – are detailed. The bottom line is that only some 40% of the pledged financial aid has actually been delivered but it is worth reading the document in full to see which countries have made good on their promises and which have not.
Next time the BBC sends Yolande Knell or Lyse Doucet to the Gaza Strip to do one of their signature ‘reporter in the rubble’ dispatches, it will be interesting to see whether or not they remember to inform audiences that countries such as Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia have not delivered the full amount of funds they pledged for reconstruction in the Gaza Strip.
At Auschwitz, Canada’s Trudeau pays tribute to victims
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited the Auschwitz-Birkenau Nazi death camp in Poland Sunday, after the end of a two-day NATO summit in the Polish capital Warsaw.
Two of his three most recent predecessors also visited Auschwitz while in office: Jean Chrétien and Stephen Harper.
The visit came at the prime minister’s own request, according to officials cited by the CBC.
During his tour, Trudeau walked past the infamous Auschwitz I camp gate with the inscription “Arbeit macht frei” (work makes free) and visited the museum exhibition before laying a wreath at “the wall of death” memorial.
At the monument to victims of the Auschwitz II camp, he lit a candle in memory of the victims killed there, Lukasz Lipinski, a spokesman for the museum, told AFP.
“Tolerance is never enough: humanity must learn to love our differences…. We will never forget,” Trudeau wrote in English in the museum’s memorial book, adding in French, “We will remember.”
UK lottery money funds digital memorial to British Jewry’s WWI fallen
Their names are scarcely known these days, often not even by their descendants. But an extraordinary project launched this week marking the centenary of the Battle of the Somme — one of the defining battles of World War I — aims to put that right.
For decades the contribution of those British Jews, both men and women, who fought in the 1914-18 conflict has been largely ignored or forgotten, with more emphasis put on the legacy of the Holocaust. However, two years ago, as Britain began to mark the centenary of the start of WWI, a group of historians at the London Jewish Cultural Centre (LJCC) realized that the Jewish involvement in the commemorations had been “virtually nil.”
Alan Fell, Mandy King and Paula Kitching, all staffers at the LJCC, knew that an estimated 30,000 Jews had served in WWI, but the information was sparse and diffuse. The historians all had vast experience in assembling Holocaust-era educational material. Now the challenge was, could they do the same for WWI?
“The idea grew on paper,” Fell told The Times of Israel. “We knew the timing was right in terms of securing funding. We heard that the Heritage Lottery was interested in funding projects which would focus on WWI, ethnic communities, and a digital platform.”
The team took their “Holocaust Explained” material to the Heritage Lottery, which was impressed, and gave them a grant of £400,000 to create the project We Were There Too, a multi-level website which aims to tell the stories of London Jews who lived during WWI, both civilians and combatants.
Intel Uses Israeli Vision Technology in New Yuneec Drone
Intel has installed Israel-developed technology into a new drone developed by the Shanghai-based aerospace company Yuneec International Co.
The drone, called Yuneec Typhoon H, incorporates Intel’s Real Sense technology, a camera developed at Intel’s lab in Haifa, that enables the craft to see like a human eye – to perceive a sense of depth and track human motion.
The technology enables the drone, sales of which are expected to start in coming weeks, to map out its surroundings, follow objects and avoid collisions, Intel said in a statement.
Intel invested more than $60 million in the Shanghai-based drone company last year as part of its push to expand into drone technology which is expected to be used increasingly by companies globally to deliver products to customers.
Paraguay president to visit Israel seeking expanded ties
President Horacio Cartes of Paraguay will visit Israel to discuss several cooperation agreements between the two countries.
Cartes will meet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin during his mid-July visit to talk about bilateral interests in the areas of agriculture, technology and education, the Ultima Hora newspaper reported Monday.
“The visit will help us strengthen our cooperation,” Israeli Ambassador Peleg Lewi told La Nacion. “We have been doing a lot of work together, which we wish to expand to other areas such as innovation and high technology.”
Paraguay exports $190 million to Israel annually in soy, beef, charcoal and other products, according to official data from 2015. In Israel, 40 percent of the meat consumed is Paraguayan. Israel is one of the highest paying markets for Paraguayan beef.
Last month, Israel delivered drip irrigation systems to Paraguayan small farmers as a result of technical collaboration process with local cooperatives.
Greek mayor wants his city to remember its vibrant Jewish past
“I am proud to be a Vlach,” says Yiannis Boutaris, the mayor of Thessaloniki, Greece’s second largest city.
Ostensibly, we’re here at the Washington Hilton to discuss Boutaris’ bid to put the Jewish back in Thessaloniki, a city — perhaps best known as Salonika — once home to the largest numbers of Jews in Greece.
But I’m the one who brought up the Vlachs, a dwindling minority of speakers of an ancient Latin dialect, scattered throughout the Balkans. When he ambles over, I greet him with the “Ci fac?” I have learned from my wife’s family. Pronounced “Tzi fatz,” it more or less means “what’s up?”
His eyes widen a little. “Gini!” he says, he’s fine. He looks at his aide, Leonidas Makris, with a look that suggests, “I thought you told me this guy was Jewish?”
I explain my connection, through marriage, to the Vlachs, insular shepherds whose descendants, starting a century ago, assimilated throughout Balkan societies. He asks me where my wife is “from.” I know better than to say Washington, and I tell him Perivoli, the tiny village in the Pindar mountains where our family has summered. He smiles, recognizing the village as one of a constellation of mountaintop Vlach summertime refuges, even before I have completely pronounced it.
Boutaris, a youthful, wiry 74, was here in June to be honored by the American Jewish Committee at its annual Washington conference. He is among 508 American and European mayors who have signed on to the AJC’s Mayors Against Anti-Semitism pledge.
Irwin Cotler: Elie Wiesel: Conscience of humanity
It is a humbling and moving moment to participate in this remembrance of Prof. Elie Wiesel – where Elie Wiesel’s life’s work, indeed his life, is a source of learning and inspiration for us all. For we are here to remember and celebrate the life of a tzaddik, an authentic righteous person who has come to symbolize and embody the conscience of humanity – not only by and for Jews, but by and for humanity as a whole. Indeed, when the Nobel Prize Committee awarded Elie the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986 the choice was greeted with international acclaim, for it is difficult to imagine any other person in the world who had so commanded the respect of political leaders and the people themselves. As for myself, Elie has always been my teacher, mentor, role model, inspiration and friend of 50 years – in a word, the most remarkable human being I have ever encountered and had the honor to work with in common cause.
Elie wrote, as the title of one of his works suggest, as a “soul on fire.” That flame not only animated the literary imagination – and had he received the Nobel Prize for Literature the acclaim would have been no less – but ignited the struggle for peace and justice worldwide. His eloquence was all the more remarkable, because as he would often put it, the Holocaust was beyond vocabulary. Yet the man who felt that Auschwitz and Buchenwald were beyond communication and comprehension not only conveyed the particularity of things too terrible to be believed but not too terrible to have happened, but also transmitted the universality of the messages – the lessons – that we continue to ignore at our peril, including: • The danger of forgetting and the imperative of remembrance.
As Elie put it in his first classic work, Night, “to forget would not only be dangerous but offensive; to forget the dead would be akin to killing them a second time” • The danger of silence in the face of evil – the imperative of standing up against injustice. As Elie put it in his 1986 Nobel Prize lecture, “We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor never the victim, silence encourages the tormentor never the tormented... wherever men or women are persecuted because of their race, religion or political views that place must – at that moment – become the center of the universe.” And he added: “there may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time where we fail to protest against injustice.”

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