Monday, September 05, 2016

From Ian:

IsraellyCool: Know Your History: Palestinians Return Home
A series where I use history to debunk common misconceptions about the Middle East conflict.
One of the sticking points of the Middle East Conflict is the so-called palestinian right of return. Yet before those words took on the meaning they have today, palestinians returning home meant something else entirely.
From the February 21, 1919 edition of The Sentinel.

New Guardian “journalist” revealed to be anti-Zionist extremist
The magazine Private Eye noted the “oddly partisan” nature of a Guardian article (Corbyn joins seatless commuters on floor for three-hour train journey, Aug. 16th) which characterized the Labour leader as a man of principle for joining 20 seatless commuters on the floor of a “packed” train from London to Newcastle.
Of course, this was published a week before CCTV footage emerged contradicting claims that he was forced to sit on the floor, but that isn’t the point of the Private Eye article, which revealed that the co-author of the Guardian piece, film maker “Charles Anthony”, is a passionate Corbyn supporter who used to be a member of Socialist Workers Party (SWP). SWP is a extreme-left group criticized for (among other things) its “involvement in the bannings of Jewish Societies at university campuses and its repeated hosting of Gilad Atzmon“.
Anthony, during an interview with Jeremy Corbyn
Anthony, during an interview with Max Blumenthal
Well, it turns out that there’s more about Anthony than what the Private Eye revealed, facts especially relevant in light of the antisemitism scandal plaguing Labour.
In April, Anthony defended NUS President Malia Bouattia from charges of antisemitism after it was revealed that she condemned “Zionist-led media outlets” for “oppressing the global south”.
Jeremy Corbyn is “Sunshine” for David Duke
If Jeremy Corbyn ever gets gloomy, he needs to remember that he is “sunshine” for so many people.
The notorious racist and former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, for example.
Last September Duke invited James Thring, a fellow antisemite, to a radio interview.
Duke flags the interview this way:
He then brought on Dr. James Thring from Britain, who talked about the new leader of the British Labor Party, Jeremy Corbyn. Corbyn was elected over the weekend despite a massive smear campaign by Britian’s Zio-establishment over his association with anti-Zionist activist like Dr. Thring. Corbyn’s landslide victory in the leadership election can be viewed as a positive sign that understanding of the harm being done to the world by Zionism is spreading.
Duke was certainly well pleased, telling Thring in the interview:
We must keep looking for the sunshine and I do believe we are going to find the sunshine in this world. I think things are opening up. And one encouraging thing that I see, now this, let’s go into this, Dr Thring. I know that you’re a friend of Mr Corbyn and I know you respect his positions on the Middle East.
Duke then laments the “Marxist roots” in Corbyn’s circles, naturally, but overall Corbyn is good because he must be bad for the Jews:

Debunking A Palestinian Hoax: The True Story of Waseem Shalouf
Here is am image that made the rounds on Twitter earlier this year:
The translation (via Google Translate) reads:
Wounded in the Zionist aggression
Child Ghazzawi "handsome (7 years) .. smile" will "exceed" disability "(picture)
This week, the image has resurfaced, this time on Google Plus:
It may very well be that the person who posted this was taken in by this hoax.
When you look in the lower right hand corner, you can see that the photo comes from The PCRF - The Palestinian Children's Relief Fund. But the story they are telling is much different form the one making the rounds.
Here is how The PCRF is describing Waseem Shalouf on Twitter:
Waseem was @PCRF_Washington's first kid from #Gaza. He'd never walked in his life and left with new legs to walk on.
— The PCRF (@ThePCRF) August 12, 2016
It turns out that Waseem has a congenital deformity, something he was born with and actually has nothing to do with Israel. The Palestinian Children's Relief Fund is making no secret of this, and even posted about this on YouTube:
This day in 1997: Three simultaneous Palestinian suicide bombings at Ben Yehuda Street, Jerusalem
The history of multiple Ben Yehuda Street bombings tells the story of Palestinian terror.
The list of Palestinian suicide bombings targeting civilians is long and bloody, and dates back at least to 1989.
Documenting the pathology of Palestinian terror attacks, including suicide attacks, and telling the stories of the victims, has become a priority for me. I have previously covered, among others, the suicide bombings at Sbarro Pizzeria in Jerusalem, and Dolphinarium Disco and Mike’s Place bar in Tel Aviv, and Bus 37 in Haifa.
On September 4, 1997, three suicide bombers targeted the Ben Yehuda Street pedestrian mall in Jerusalem in a coordinated attack just five weeks after another marketplace suicide bombing.
The NY Times reported at the time:
Three suicide bombers evidently acting in concert set off bombs on a popular shopping promenade in Jerusalem today, killing four passers-by and themselves and dealing a brutal new blow to the reeling Israeli-Palestinian peace.
The three explosions followed in quick succession at about 3:10 P.M. on Ben Yehuda Street, a shady pedestrian thoroughfare in West Jerusalem lined with boutiques and outdoor cafes, and packed with Israelis and foreign tourists.
Officials said eight people were severely wounded, and about 180 others were also hurt. Hospital officials said the toll and damage were limited by the fact that the bombers set off their charges in the open. An attack five weeks ago by two suicide bombers in Jerusalem’s Mahane Yehuda vegetable market, a more constricted and more densely packed place, took the lives of 15 victims….
Could the Munich Massacre have been prevented?
When Lalkin warned about the position of the apartments and requested to move the Israelis to a higher floor he was told by the organizers that "everything had been prearranged" and that they have no intention of changing it.
"I warned the heads of the delegation and German authorities that our residence wasn't secure," insisted Lalkin.
Lalkin, who served in the Palmach, the elite fighting force of the Haganah, played basketball for Hapoel Tel Aviv before turning his focus to the managerial aspect of sport. In 2011, he was honored for his services to Israeli sport with a special award.
"The memories from September 5 are not easy to handle. Every year I go to the memorial ceremony at Kiryat Shaul Cemetery and I meet the families," he said.
Lalkin was frustrated at not being invited to Rio last month.
"There was finally a nice ceremony honoring the Israeli athletes from Munich organized by the International Olympic Committee," he noted, a ceremony he believes he deserves some credit for.
Nevertheless, he remains upbeat, and even at his age, Lalkin tries to maintain a sporting lifestyle.
"I walk every day," he noted. "I love sport. I have always loved sport and that will never change."
Band that survived Paris attack to perform in Tel Aviv
American rock band Eagles of Death Metal will perform at Tel Aviv’s Barby Club Monday night on the tail end of its summer tour around Europe.
It’s been nearly a year since Eagles of Death Metal, known also as EODM, was performing last November in Paris at the Bataclan concert hall where Muslim terrorists attacked and killed 89 people, leading to a total of 130 people dead in a series of coordinated attacks in Paris.
Since then, the California band, founded nearly 20 years ago by high school friends and singer Jesse Hughes and drummer/guitarist Joshua Homme, have earned a kind of proxy fame for their reactions to the tragic concert hall attack.
Never ones to mince words, frontman Hughes told his Israel audience during a visit in July 2015 that he had written former Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters, telling the BDS spokesperson, “F**k you, ain’t nobody gonna keep me from my people here in Tel Aviv.”
Hughes reacted emotionally after the terrorist incident, relating his own escape from the concert hall, as well as discussing his views on the need to carry arms. At the time of the attack, Hughes, a card-carrying National Rifle Association member, told French radio iTélé, “I know people will disagree with me, but it just seems like God made men and women, and that night guns made them equal. And I hate it that it’s that way. I think the only way that my mind has been changed is that maybe that until nobody has guns everybody has to have them.”
Eagles of Death Metal // Barby Tel-Aviv // 05.09.2016 - #2

Normandy to Reopen Church Where Priest Was Slaughtered by Jihadists
French Catholic officials have announced that the church of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, where two Islamic terrorists slit the throat of Fr. Jacques Hamel in July, will reopen in October.
The church has been closed ever since the two jihadists of the Islamic State, Adel Kermiche and Abdel Malik Petitjean, stormed into the sanctuary during Mass on July 26, murdering the 86-old-old priest and taking several hostages.
Now, 10 weeks after the attack, Éric de la Bourdonnaye, communications director for the archdiocese of Rouen, announced that as of October 2 Masses and other liturgical services will resume in the church after a purification ceremony is held.
The Catholic faith considers a murder carried out in a church to be a profanation of the sanctuary, and the church must be “purified” before the sacraments can again be celebrated there.
The communique also states that all the objects that were deposited at the gates of the church in tribute to Father Hamel will be gathered and displayed in a memorial site to be established in honor of the martyred priest.
French Islamic School Found Radicalizing Children As Young As 6
French police raided an Islamic school allegedly indoctrinating as many as 20 children with radical jihadi doctrine, said the French Ministry of the Interior Wednesday.
The school, known as “The Little Bees School,” was found to be operating illegally in the Al-Islah mosque in the town of Villiers-sur-Marne. Approximately four teachers taught 15 to 20 students aged six to 12. The ministry claimed in a press statement that the children were “at risk of indoctrination.” Prosecutors added that they felt the children were in danger of “being turned into jihadist recruits.” Police arrested three men, including the mosque’s imam.
The raid was conducted as part of the government’s “determination to fight radical Islamism … by every means possible within the law,” said the ministry statement.
“We rented the school a big room on the first floor, but we were under the impression that everything was in order; three or four teachers took turns to teach class,” said Said Merabet, a spokesman for the mosque, to Le Parisien newspaper. “We’re low on funds, Renting out that classroom allowed us to pay the mosque’s electricity bill.”
Politicizing Anti-Semitism on the campaign trail
As the 2016 presidential season heats up, Jewish Democrats are elevating partisan politics over concern for Israel and distorting their party’s and Hillary Clinton’s record on the Jewish State. They dismiss Donald Trump as unqualified, and in order to dissuade Jews from voting Republican have accused him of arousing populist anti-Semitism.
Trump’s bombast and lack of experience may well be legitimate concerns, but Democrats who accuse him of anti-Semitism conveniently ignore the hatred for Jews and Israel that has become common on the left and in their own party. Those who defend BDS activism as political speech and indulge false accusations of Israeli apartheid should look in the mirror before wielding the fear of anti-Semitism as a political weapon.
Progressive Jews are oblivious to anti-Semitism when it comes from the left, and sometimes they are complicit. During the Democratic National Convention they tolerated the presence of BDS supporters – including Cornell West and James Zogby – on the platform committee, ignored chants of “the intifada lives” by hostile crowds who burned Israeli flags just outside the convention center, and overlooked anti-Israel comments by Palestinian flag-wavers.
None of this should be surprising given their unwavering support for Barack Obama – a president who’s had longstanding relationships with anti-Semites, who has shamelessly demonized Prime Minister Netanyahu using classical tropes, and whose policies have empowered Islamists, undermined Israel and enabled Iran’s nuclear ambitions. Partisan blindness has compromised their moral authority to accuse anyone of anti-Semitism by association.
Obama cabinet member speaks at Islamist conference
U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson spoke over this past weekend at the annual Islamic Society of America (ISNA) event, greeting the participants warmly and telling them, "Your story is the quintessential American story."
The Department of Homeland Security, the third largest Cabinet department in the U.S. government, is charged with protecting the U.S. from, and dealing with, terrorism as well as natural disasters.
The Washington Post called Johnson's appearance an “impassioned speech” to empower ISNA’s participants.
The Clarion Project reports that ISNA is a group with Muslim Brotherhood origins and an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terror-financing trial. The Holy Land Foundation (HLF) was created by the now-defunct “Palestine Committee,” which itself was established by the Muslim Brotherhood to advance Hamas’s political and financial agendas in the United States. The HLF was based in the ISNA building. In addition, ISNA deposited checks into its account that were made out to the “Palestinian Mujahadeen [jihadi fighters]” - the name used at the time for Hamas’s military wing. The funding was transferred to the Holy Land Foundation.
Extremist speakers at the ISNA conference at which Secretary Johnson spoke included Jamal Badawi, a founder of another Brotherhood entity, the Muslim American Society, and Nihad Awad, founder and executive director of the CAIR organization. CAIR, too, is a U.S. Brotherhood entity, and an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land terror financing case.
Pro-Israel Dems who backed Iran deal feel the heat in 2016 races
It has become an unmistakable pattern throughout the country: In the first election cycle since Democratic President Barack Obama forged the Iran nuclear deal, Democratic members of Congress who have historically supported the Jewish state, but who backed the landmark pact, are being attacked as anti-Israel.
Some of these targets have long been reliably in Israel’s corner on Capitol Hill, like Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, New York Rep. Jerry Nadler and Maryland Rep. Chris Van Hollen. All of them supported the president’s signature diplomatic initiative — which was bitterly opposed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and a large chunk of the pro-Israel community. And all have been castigated throughout their 2016 campaigns as untrustworthy when it comes to safeguarding Israel from existential threats.
Both Wasserman Schultz and Nadler are among the most prominent Jewish members of the Democratic caucus. They have reputations for being emphatically supportive of Israel and of a two-state solution with the Palestinians.
Van Hollen, who was first elected to Congress in 2002, has likewise been consistently supportive of Israel; he has co-sponsored a series of resolutions affirming the US commitment to Israel’s security and was an early proponent of sanctioning Iran’s nuclear program.
Syracuse U Professor Slams ‘Hypocritical’ Colleagues for Succumbing to BDS, Rescinding Invitation to Israeli Academic/Filmmaker (INTERVIEW)
Elman told The Algemeiner that she and many of her colleagues were “absolutely flabbergasted” when they found out Dotan’s invitation was rescinded and heard of the threats made by campus BDS activists, adding that the move should be considered an “infringement and violation of the bedrock principles of academic freedom and free speech.”
“Our university went on record and opposed the BDS academic boycott as a signatory of non-support of the American Studies Association’s academic boycott. This is institutional policy,” she said. “We do not support the boycott of Israelis at our institution. So on top of this sorry state of affairs being a disgraceful, shameful and discourteous action towards Dotan, it is also a violation of university policy.”
The events related to Dotan, Elman said, are part of a series of “silent stealth boycotts by a small, yet determined group of BDS activists.” What makes the BDS presence at Syracuse even more unique, she told The Algemeiner, is that “we do not have a Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and all boycott activity is faculty driven.”
In Hamner’s email to Dotan rescinding the invitation, the Syracuse professor made reference to the university’s Women’s Studies Association (WSA). According to Elman, Vivian May, who heads the Humanities Center at Syracuse and is the president of the National WSA, “just signed a few months ago in support of the academic boycott against Israel.” When the university refused to join in the academic boycott two years ago, “Women’s Studies as a unit submitted a letter of protest,” Elman added.
“You can see how deep this anti-Israel hatred goes,” she said.
The number one recipient of US foreign aid, per capita are the Palestinians
From Wikipedia, based on 2013 figures. Sourced from the Foreign Aid Explorer website. US Aid July 27, 2015. Retrieved July 29, 2015.
Obama praises Israeli author's best-selling history book
In a CNN interview that aired on Sunday, U.S. President Barack Obama was asked which books he read during his last annual family vacation as president. Obama mentioned two: Colson Whitehead's "The Underground Railroad," on slavery in the United States, and "Sapiens: A Brief History of Mankind," a book many in Israel would be familiar with, by Israeli author and historian Yuval Noah Harari.
"It's a sweeping history of the human race from 40,000 feet," Obama said. "And part of what makes it so interesting and provocative is because it's such a condensed, sweeping history. It talks about some core things that have allowed us to build this extraordinary civilization that we take for granted, but weren't a given. ... It gives you a sense of perspective on how briefly we've been on this earth, how short [a time] things like agriculture and science have been around, and why it makes sense for us to not take them for granted. ... It goes back to keeping the long view in mind. ... In the sweep of history, we get a very small moment in time."
In an interview with Israel's Channel 2 News on Sunday, Harari expressed delight that his work had been recommended by the leader of the free world, and said he was surprised that Obama had time to read his book.
"The difference between what started as a first-year university course in Hebrew and how it ended up now is truly very, very big," Harari said.

AFP Misleads Again, This Time About World Vision
In an article today about doubts in Gaza regarding Israel's case against World Vision's Mohammed al-Halabi, charged with diverting tens of millions of dollars in aide to Hamas, Agence France Presse claims ("Gazans, NGO question Israeli charges against aid worker"):
The German and Australian governments, as donors, have additional mechanisms including external audits and they have found no major concerns.
Both the German and Australian governments have suspended their aid to World Vision, a rather unusual response for those who have allegedly cleared the aid organization of significant wrongdoing. While AFP itself noted on Aug. 11 that "Germany and Australia have suspended aid to World Vision," today's story completely omits this fact, leaving readers with the impression that Germany and Australia have cleared the organization.
CAMERA was not able to independently verify the claim that the two governments carried out audits which revealed no significant wrongdoing on the part of World Vision. CAMERA has requested that AFP either substantiate the claim, or correct. In addition, the fact that Germany and Australia cut off aid to World Vision should be added to the story.
AFP Misleads on Gaza 'Food Shortages'
An Agence France Presse article yesterday about a dog shelter in the Gaza Strip begins:
In an impoverished and war-battered territory suffering food shortages and a scarcity of jobs, Saeed al-Ar knew it was a tall order opening a dog shelter in Gaza.
AFP photo captions about the dog shelter likewise contained the claim about alleged food shortages in the Gaza Strip.
While food security is a major problem in the Gaza Strip due to poverty, the territory is not suffering from food shortages. As the World Food Programme reports, "Though food is readily available in Palestine, prices are often too high for poor families to afford."
As AFP reported on Feb. 10, 2016, "nearly half of the population has insufficient access to healthy food."
Daughter of late congressman returns Hungarian award in protest
The daughter of late, Hungarian-born US Congressman Tom Lantos is returning a distinguished state award to Hungary to protest the bestowing of the same award on journalist and writer Zsolt Bayer who has made anti-Semitic and racist references in his articles.
Katrina Lantos Swett, who received the Knight’s Cross of the Order of Merit in 2009, joined over 100 other recipients in returning their awards.
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington earlier called on Prime Minister Viktor Orban and President Janos Ader, who respectively nominated and granted the award to Bayer to “immediately” rescind it.
Ader’s office told news website that based on current laws the award couldn’t be recalled.
Lantos Swett was honored for her work in setting up the Budapest-based Tom Lantos Institute, which focuses on minority rights. Tom Lantos, a California Democrat who died in 2008, was the only Holocaust survivor in the US Congress.
Lantos Swett said that she had hoped to leave the award to her children, but felt Bayer’s distinction had “sullied” the Knight’s Cross.
The Catholic, French count who saved a Jewish family from the Nazis
In fact he probably never thought what he was doing was heroic. “What would he have thought about this distinction? He probably would have been embarrassed,” wrote the “L’est Republicain” daily’s Sebastien Michaux in an op-ed.
Olivier de Menthon said in 2012 during the ceremony naming de Menthon as Righteous Among the Nations, that his grandfather, who died in 1952, hadn’t told anybody about saving the Jewish children.
“My grandfather was very discreet and we knew nothing of this story before Dina contacted us two years ago. Today, we are one family with hers,” Olivier de Menthon said.
Godschalk’s parents and three of her siblings perished in the war, and de Menthon remains the hero who saved her and her brothers.
“He gave us the greatest gift. Thanks to him, life won.”
De Menthon wasn’t the only one in his family who believed in justice for all. His son, François de Menthon, who fought alongside Charles de Gaulle in the Resistance, became justice minister in the first government after the war and was the chief French prosecutor at the Nuremberg Holocaust and war crimes trial.
On September 5, 2012, Yad Vashem honored Count Henri de Menthon as a Righteous Among the Nations.
Double amputee US vet who volunteered in IDF advancing toward Congress
A decorated US army veteran who lost both of his legs in Afghanistan and later volunteered alongside the IDF is making strides in the United States Congressional election.
Brian Mast, a 35-year-old Christian father of three, won the Republican nomination in Florida's 18th Congressional district primary election on August 30.
The Michigan native will be pinned against Democratic nominee Randy Perkins in the much-anticipated November 8 General Election to take over from the district's outgoing representative, Patrick Murphy.
Mast has proclaimed himself a strong supporter of Israel, vowing to "stand up for Israel" if elected and work to repair strained ties between Washington and Jerusalem.
Mast entered the Congressional race last year months after a stint serving as a volunteer in the IDF's Sar-El program.
Humble olive pits are prime find at exhibit from ancient city associated with King David
Olive pits may be the afterthought of a meal, but they’re a crucial clue found at a biblical site near Jerusalem that is the focus of a new exhibit, “In the Valley of David and Goliath,” at the capital’s Bible Lands Museum.
Several of the artifacts from Khirbet Qeiyafa, going on public display Monday for the first time, have gripped headlines and imaginations since their discovery. These include a limestone model shrine with elements reminiscent of the First Temple and a Canaanite inscription bearing a biblical name. But a humble handful of charred olive pits — whose radiocarbon dating, to sometime between 1020 and 980 BCE, establishes that Khirbet Qeiyafa dates from the period associated with King David — are the most important, if most easily overlooked.
These rare artifacts from the murky period at the dawn of the Kingdom of Judah serve as the centerpiece of an exhibit which seeks to answer the question: Who were the people of Khirbet Qeiyafa?
“The whole idea was to bring together for the first time all those amazing finds,” curator Yehuda Kaplan told The Times of Israel ahead of the opening. Two years in the making, the exhibit endeavors to “not only to show those items, but to give the visitor the feeling he’s in the ancient city of Qeiyafa.”
Khirbet Qeiyafa’s Iron Age ruins sit perched atop a hill overlooking the Elah Valley, site of the mythical battle between David and Goliath described in the Book of Samuel. That dramatic literary backdrop provides a catalyst to excite visitors about more mundane aspects of archaeology — pottery, architecture and discarded animal bones.
IsraelDailyPicture: When President Calvin Coolidge Hosted the Chief Rabbi of Palestine in the White House, 1924
Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook (1865-1935), one of the most influential rabbis of the 20th Century, was a renowned Talmud scholar, Kabbalist and philosopher. He is considered today as the spiritual father of religious Zionism, breaking away from his ultra-Orthodox colleagues who were often opposed to the largely secular Zionist movement.
September 6, 2016 corresponds with his yahrzeit (anniversary of his death) on the Hebrew date of the third of Elul.
Born in what is today Latvia, Rabbi Kook moved to Palestine in 1904 to take the post of the Chief Rabbi of Jaffa.
The picture above has appeared in various Israeli publications in recent years, but few know it was taken in Washington D.C. on the day Rabbi Kook met with President Calvin Coolidge in the White House. The picture was found in the Library of Congress archives.
Matisyahu to return to the city he loves
Fresh from his impromptu concert in the Camp Moshava dining hall, Matisyahu has signed up to perform in Jerusalem on Thursday, October 13, at Sultan’s Pool, with singer Ishay Ribo opening the show.
It’s just a year after Matisyahu’s most recent concert in Israel, when he played at the same venue with Idan Raichel.
Before that, he had been in Jerusalem weeks earlier for an impromptu performance with Shaanan Streett, Saz and Daniel Zamir at the Sacred Music Festival, following a difficult festival appearance in Spain that was interrupted by BDS hecklers.
“Matisyahu loves Israel so much and feels a special connection to the people here, and wasn’t ready to give up on an additional visit this year as well,” said 2BVibes promoter Carmi Wurtman.

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