Thursday, September 22, 2016

From Ian:

Dershowitz: Alumni, Donors Should Divest From Universities That Boycott Israel
Attempts by universities to divest from Israel “should be met with a similar counter response from alumni and donors,” internationally acclaimed attorney Alan Dershowitz told The Algemeiner on Thursday.
In light of growing support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement across college campuses around the world, Dershowitz said, it is time to take a stand against this “dangerous force at universities.”
“The policy will be that in response to any university that divests from Israel, alumni and parents will divest from that university,” he explained. “It is important to fight economic threats with economic counter-threats.”
Recounting his own experience as a parent, Dershowitz said that when he heard about faculty at Hampshire University — the alma mater of one of his children — voting to boycott Israel, “I called up the president and said I would lead a campaign to urge all donors and alumni to divest from the school. He then assured me that Hampshire will never divest from Israel, and it never has.”
According to a 2015 report by campus watchdog group the AMCHA Initiative, 54 percent of the more than 100 US colleges surveyed reported BDS-related activity, which, it said, was “very strongly correlated with…antisemitic expression.”
Dershowitz continued, “The current student body has far too much influence on the political policies of universities. It has to be checked and balanced by people who have a more permanent interest in the university, such as alumni, donors, faculty and administrators.”

IsraellyCool: Alan Dershowitz Interview In London
I probably don’t need to introduce Alan Dershowitz to the Israellycool audience, but the one line summary is that he’s a huge thought leader for the US left leaning Jewish population. He sat down for a long interview with my friend Jonathan Sacerdoti for i24 News in London. Plenty of criticism of Obama but a balanced interview overall with some great questions.
Dershowitz was in London speaking at UJIA’s annual dinner at the Grosvenor House Hotel on Monday.

NGO Monitor: Unraveling the Belgian BDS connection
On September 9, Brigitte Herremans arrived at Ben Gurion airport, planning to lead an “alternative tour” of political activists, as she had done many times before. But this time, the polite-sounding Belgian activist was not given the usually automatic tourist visa. Instead, by her own account, she was unceremoniously denied entry and turned back.
Brigitte Herremans is in many ways typical of Western European leaders of BDS and demonization campaigns. Her official title is Policy Officer for the Middle East at Broederlijk Delen (BD) meaning “fraternal sharing”– an influential and semi-official Belgian Flemish Catholic aid organization. (She plays a similar role in another Catholic NGO — Pax Christi.) They claim to combat poverty and inequality by working with local organizations, but are tainted with a radical political agenda that includes intense demonization of Israel. Out of the €6 million annual budget provided by Belgian taxpayers, €264,000 goes to political projects in “Israel/Palestine” that have nothing to do with aid. This is Herremanns’ radical mini-empire.
The blatant anti-Israel agenda and Palestinian victimization narrative reflects the Western European norm, including strong Christian theological echoes and a patronizing neo-colonial relationship with Palestinians. BD’s website states: “Unlike the Palestinian people, the Israeli people has more than 60 years of statehood, established on 78% of historic Palestine” a standard slogan that erases the history of wars, terrorism and hate. Herremanns is not a terrorist — she echoes the soft form of warfare, and in this spirit, BD held a public event on “Peaceful resistance in Palestine and Israel” in May 2016. “Resistance” is the goal – not peace and security based on mutual recognition and compromise.

UK Jews cry foul over Corbyn video on anti-Semitism
Leaders of Britain’s Jewish community have accused Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn of flippantly dismissing allegations of anti-Semitism within the party in a new video.
Corbyn’s campaign team reportedly apologized for the clip and partially hid, but did not remove, the video from social media.
As part of his campaign for reelection as leader of the Labour Party, Corbyn posted a video on his Facebook page on Monday which shows people answering the five questions they are asked most frequently. The final question was “Do you promote anti-Semitism?”
In answer, some Labour supporters are filmed dismissing the charge as mere politicking with no basis.
Corbyn has consistently denied allegations of anti-Semitism by him or Labour, though the party recently underwent an internal purge of members found to have made anti-Israel or anti-Jewish statements in the past.
Representatives of the Jewish community were quick to speak out about the way in which the video, in which Corbyn does not appear, dealt with the charge.
The video is a “slap in the face for Jews,” Board of Deputies President Jonathan Arkush said in a statement Wednesday.
Corbyn Video Dismissing Antisemitism Accusations Withdrawn After Angry Response From British Jews
A video produced by Jeremy Corbyn's leadership campaign team which dismissed concerns over antisemitic abuse has been withdrawn after an angry response from British Jews.
The video was taken off YouTube on Wednesday night after Gillian Merron, chief executive of the Board of Deputies, spoke to Jon Lansman, chair of Momentum's steering committee, about its contents. Mr Lansman is said to have apologised to her, promising that it would be withdrawn and a public apology issued.
To date, no such statement or apology has been issued. The video, "Five questions Corbyn supporters are tired of hearing", can still be viewed on Jeremy Corbyn's Facebook page.
It features supporters of the Labour leader explaining why they are backing him. The final question asks: "Do you promote antisemitism?" One of the contributors is shown throwing a piece of paper, with the question apparently on it, to the floor. The man says: "So that's gone as well."
Ms Merron said that the removal of the video was "the right result". She said: "The dismissive video was a 'slap in the face' for the Jewish community. Having spoken directly to campaign director Jon Lansman, the Jeremy for Labour campaign now recognises the inappropriate message conveyed and has committed to remove the video and apologise. This is the right result.
"It has been a bruising year for relations between the Labour Party and the Jewish community. Whatever the result of the leadership election on Saturday, we will continue to demand that antisemitism is opposed across our politics with the requisite force and conviction."
Cruisin’: Women’s Boat to Gaza
Five Minutes for Israel has a suggestion
The normal procedure, and one the organisers of this cruise are well aware of, is for the Israel Navy to board the boat and tow it to Ashdod. The passengers are confined for a couple of days and then deported.
My suggestion is the the IDF board and check for contraband at sea. Assuming they find none, (it would be extraordinarily stupid, even by their low standards, for the group to try and smuggle something) the boat should be allowed to proceed to Gaza.
All crew members and passengers will be informed that they will not be allowed to leave the Strip through Israel. What Egypt decides is up to the Egyptians but the Rafah crossing has been closed since January 2015 and unlikely to open for a bunch of women the Egyptians consider to be supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood’s branch in Palestine.
This brings up problems. For a start can the boat dock? Granted it only has space for fifteen political tourists but might still be too large. Brought ashore in fishing boats? Carried ashore by strong men, as used to be the practise in Ottoman times?
That leads to another problem. Assuming the rented boat hasn’t skedaddled back to its owners while they were demonstrating solidarity with the starving Gazans the women will then have to take fuel and provisions AWAY from Gaza to be able to return by sea. Embarrassing and doubling costs especially as they were relying on Israel to pay for their comfortable deportation flight home.
Controversial President of UK’s Largest Student Union Slammed For Applying ‘Double Standards’ to Racism Against Jews
The controversial president of the UK’s largest student union has “completely denied the right of Jewish students to define their experiences of antisemitism,” an official from a major British student group said.
Josh Nagli, campaigns director at the Union of Jewish Students (UJS), was responding on Facebook to a recent Guardian interview with National Union of Students (NUS) President Malia Bouattia, who has come under repeated fire for purported antisemitic and anti-Zionist rhetoric.
Asserting that Bouattia must adhere to an NUS policy that “treat[s] racist incidents to be any incident which is perceived to be so by the victim or any other person,” Nagli slammed the student union president for her application of double standards when it comes to Jews.
“If Jewish students believe something to be antisemitic, then it must be considered as such,” he wrote. “[Bouattia] does not accept that just because some Jewish people consider her antisemitic, that means she is. This is, to a certain extent fair, if you do not uphold the…recommendations. But as the interviewer proceeded to ask: ‘Why, then, does she not accord this principle to anyone else?’ One rule for the Jews, another for everyone else.”
Bouattia’s “poor attempts to clarify her past rhetoric are clumsy,” create greater distance between the NUS and Jewish students, he said.
Institutionalized antisemitism at UC Berkeley — facts and details
Last week’s column, New course at Berkeley University: How to get rid of Israel – Cancelled, made a lot of noise. I received quite a few emails following the column, the majority of which supported the points I made in the column.
And yet, one email caught my attention in particular. It came from none other than Mr. Dan Mogulof, Assistant Vice Chancellor, from the Office of Communications and Public Affairs at UC Berkeley. In the email, Mr. Mogulof grumbled that the “piece in the Jerusalem Post about the ‘Palestine’ course at Berkeley was outdated, incomplete and inaccurate” because the course had been cancelled two days prior. Mogulof also expressed his hope that in the future, my colleagues and I would “see fit to confirm facts and details prior to publication.”
I thought this was sound advice and decided to explore the facts and details concerning antisemitism at UC Berkeley, and then share my findings with the readers. What I learned did not surprise me, but seeing all the evidence en masse still depicted a distressing picture.
As you will see below, there is good reason for concern for the future of Jews on American campuses.
Spanish court freezes Ibiza BDS resolution against Israel
ACOM, an Israel lobby group working to combat BDS in Spain, was able to once again successfully combat a boycott of Israel passed by a municipality in the renowned Spanish tourist island of Ibiza.
The Jerusalem Post first reported that the City Council of Santa Eulalia, an exclusive residential area and the second most populated municipality on the island, endorsed the boycott campaign against Israel in its plenary session in July.
According to ACOM this week, the council motion condemned an alleged pattern of war crimes and crimes against humanity carried by the Israel Defense Forces, denouncing supposed Israeli breaches of the Geneva Conventions.
The endorsement committed the city to support the BDS campaign, the boycott against Israeli and pro-Israel institutions, companies and organizations, as well as Spanish nationals associated or sympathetic to the Jewish state.
The Court Number One of Palma de Mallorca issued an interim restraining last Friday order freezing the decision to boycott Israel passed by the City Council.
According to ACOM, the court concluded that the boycott decision “even if not executed in practice, sets limits to the rights of individuals and companies that trade with Israel to have relations with the City Council on equal terms.
The court stated that these limits are “in breach of the rights to non-discrimination and equality before the law.”
Here And There: BDS – whither tomorrow’s leaders?
Eighteen years ago, when we made aliya from the UK, the Jewish community and its students were prepared to stand up and be counted. Today, there are still those who do, but the numbers are fast diminishing.
At a personal level, this showed itself on our visits to the UK. For the first few years there were always questions about what was happening in Israel. As the years passed, the questions diminished to the point where there were none.
The media’s constant anti-Israel barrage coupled with a lack of knowledge of the reality had taken its toll.
What of the United States – Israel’s strongest ally? If we look at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a lobbying group that advocates pro-Israel policies to Congress and the executive branch, we see that it has been outstandingly successful. However, today’s younger generation is choosing to affiliate less with AIPAC and more with J Street, which sees Israel as being only within the Green Line, and all else as “occupied” territory (no recognition that negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians will decide the final borders).
Similarly, too many students are gravitating toward Open Hillel rather than traditional Hillel. A number of professors on Open Hillel’s academic council are public supporters of the BDS movement.
Omar Barghouti and Ali Abunimah, BDS’s main spokespersons, define BDS as being against the very existence of Israel.
OUR STUDENTS are our future, a vehicle for bringing together Israel and the Diaspora. Jointly, we must seek out those with leadership potential who are about to enter university. They are the ones in whom we are obligated to invest. It is time for a “Gap Year Birthright” enabling tomorrow’s leaders to truly discover what Israel is about. Is anyone listening?
IsraellyCool: The New York Times Headline That Will Leave You Shaking Your Head
Today, a terrorist armed with a knife tried to storm Israel’s embassy in Ankara, while shouting “Allahu Akbar,” and was shot in the leg after trying to attack a local police officer.
This is how the New York Times represented the story on their front page.
And the ever-so-slightly-better-yet-still-ridiculous headline to their report on the attempted terror attack:
Reading this you’d think a person – perhaps someone wanting asylum in Israel – was just trying to enter the embassy, before those violent, thuggish Israeli embassy security guards just popped some bullets into him.
Can the New York Times sink any lower?
An Israeli Arab asks the Guardian: Why didn’t you explain the reason Israel built its “wall”?
Yesterday, we posted about a Guardian article focusing on “walls within cities” all over the world that included paragraphs on Israel’s “wall” between east Jerusalem and the West Bank, yet didn’t include any information at all on the security reasons prompting its construction. As we also noted as a point of comparison, the Guardian article did manage to explain the security concerns motivating the erection of walls in Baghdad.
Following our post, we decided to tweet the author of the article, an independent journalist named Ellie Violet Bramley.
Not only did we fail to get a reply to our query, but earlier today we noticed that Ms. Bramley had blocked us:
Our subsequent tweet noting Bramley’s decision to block us garnered more than a few retweets, and piqued the interest of this Israeli Arab named Yahya Mahamed (@3moYahya), who made the following brief YouTube video:

New York Times’ Nicholas Kristof Appropriates the Holocaust for Political Gain
The New York Times’ Nicholas Kristof published last month a column with the stomach-turning headline, “Anne Frank Today Is a Syrian Girl.” Last week, he continued with this analogy, asking his readers, “Would You Hide a Jew From the Nazis?”
Kristof goes into detail about the many nations of the world that refused to provide refuge to the Jews. He then tells the stories of a few brave souls – Martha Sharp, Witold Pilecki, Jozef and Wiktoria Ulma, Aristides de Sousa Mendes – that defied their governments to aid Jews, in some cases paying the ultimate price. Those stories are certainly worth telling and remembering.
Not surprisingly, however, Kristof never mentions the Times’ own role in intentionally downplaying and obfuscating the Holocaust as it was taking place. In 2005, journalist Laurel Leff exposed a “deliberate effort by The New York Times to withhold news of Hitler’s destruction of European Jewry.”
Kristof ignores this, writing, “[i]t was the Nazis who committed genocide, but the U.S. and other countries also bear moral responsibility for refusing to help desperate people.” The Times, of course, bears responsibility as well, for failing to inform the public about what was really happening.
Kristof’s next move is even worse: turning the Holocaust into a cautionary tale about the treatment of today’s migrants.
'Threat of imminent attack on US Jews is real'
Painting a grim picture of Jewish vulnerability in the United States, a top U.S. security official said that the vast majority of funds earmarked to secure non-profits goes to Jewish institutions because their need is most acute.
Alejandro Mayorkas, the Deputy Homeland Security Secretary, speaking Wednesday to the Orthodox Union’s annual leadership mission to Washington, said rising extremism in the United States and its threat to the Jewish community keeps him awake at night.
He said the threat had shifted in the last year from the relatively small number of Americans who were radicalized overseas, to homegrown extremists whom the Islamic State terrorist group had reached through the Internet. The FBI was tracking more than one thousand suspected extremists across the United States, and they were to be found in all 50 states, he said.
“They find great access to a radicalizing Islam” on the web, Mayorkas said of the homegrown extremists. “They find what they believe is purpose and meaning in their life.”
The nonprofit security grants approved by Congress — $20 million this year — “preeminently” go to the Jewish community,” Mayorkas said.
“The need is most acute in the Jewish community because of the ascension of anti-Semitism and hate crimes we see,” Mayorkas said.
In past years, more than 90 percent of the funds have gone to Jewish groups. The FBI reported last year that 57 percent of reported anti-religious hate crimes had an anti-Jewish bias.
Bullies Force London Jewish Boy to Remove Kippa -- Or Else
A Jewish child walking home from school in London on Wednesday evening was forced to remove his kippa by a gang of bullies, the UK’s Evening Standard reported.
According to the report, the 11-year-old boy was surrounded in the Hackney neighborhood of the British capital by a group of unfamiliar older children, who threatened to beat him up if he did not take off his skull cap.
The boy was not injured in the incident, but the report said he was “badly shaken.”
“He lives near where the incident took place and had his rucksack over his shoulders as he was walking home from school,” a spokesman for north London’s Shomrim neighborhood watch group was quoted as saying. “The child said he tried to run away but the youths blocked his way.”
As reported by The Algemeiner, antisemitic hate incidents in the UK jumped in the first half of 2016, with the Jewish community being targeted on an average of three times per day.
Former antisemitic Hungarian MP who discovered Jewish roots to make aliya
A one-time MP for Hungary's extremist right-wing and antisemitic Jobbik party, who quit when he discovered he was Jewish, is now making aliya to Israel.
In an interview with The Jerusalem Post's Hebrew language sister newspaper, Ma'ariv, Csanad Szegedi said that he is waiting with bated breath for the moment that he becomes an Israeli citizen and can contribute from his wide experience to the fight against international antisemitism.
Szegedi, 34, revealed his intention to make aliya with his wife and two children at a World Zionist Organization conference that took place in Budapest over the weekend.
Prior to discovering his Jewish roots, Szegedi was known for his extremist positions and antisemitic statements as a member of Jobbik. He was one of the founders of the Hungarian Guard, an extreme nationalist group whose members don black uniforms and see themselves as the descendants of the Hungary's fascist Arrow Cross Party, which collaborated with the Nazis during World War II. Szegedi rose in the ranks of Jobbik through the years, becoming a senior member and even serving as the party's vice president until 2012, and as the party's representative to the European Parliament.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Justice Dept. To Reclassify Antisemitic Incidents As Islamophobia (satire)
A spike in antisemitic incidents in the last eighteen months has led the Department of Justice to reconsider its treatment of hate-crime statistics, with the main thrust of the reformulation a change in the way the Department understand attacks on Jews. Specifically, antisemitic occurrences will henceforth be labeled as Islamophobic incidents.
The change will take place at the urging of President Barack Obama, who is eager to help reduce racial and religious tensions amid increased concerns over police violence, Islamic terrorism, and resurgent expressions of bigotry in public discourse.
Attorney General Loretta Lynch ordered her staff and section heads to implement the policy at once, and stressed that the new classification of anti-Jewish crimes as anti-Muslim would bolster the government’s image as responding to an Islamophobic backlash to recent acts of terrorism.
“The main concern for our government, in the wake of terrorism, is that Muslims not be blamed collectively for the violence,” she explained. “Coverage of the victims is all well and good, as far as that goes, but our underlying values must be reflected in how the community that produced the perpetrator is actually a victim. Very often, the feared backlash does not occur, which calls into question the government’s rhetoric and the meme that the mainstream media trumpet, to the effect that Muslims will face increased discrimination following an attack. To that end, we will be changing our statistics to reflect an actual increase in hate crimes targeting Muslims so we can justify the maintenance of that approach.”
“Of course it would be fraudulent to invent hate crimes,” continued Lynch. “Instead, the very real incidents targeting Jews will be categorized as targeting Muslims, and each will be a bona fide incident in the statistics.”
New Ken Burns Film Offers Compelling Tale of Christians Saving Jews During World War II
At Israel’s official Holocaust memorial, Yad Vashem, there are only five Americans listed as Righteous Among the Nations, a title awarded to non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews during World War II.
The story of two of these honored heroes, American minister Waitstill Sharp and his wife, Martha, is brought to life in the new Ken Burns film, “Defying the Nazis: The Sharps’ War,” airing Sept. 20 on PBS stations nationwide.
The Sharps’ grandson, Artemis Joukowsky, co-directed the compelling new documentary with Burns, which sheds light on how the couple saved refugees from Nazi persecution while the war raged on in Europe.
Joukowsky first learned of his grandparent’s story when he was given the assignment in ninth grade to write about someone with moral courage. “I came home and asked my mom who I should interview and write about. She told me to go talk to my grandmother, she did some cool things during WWII,” Joukowsky told “Little did I know this wonderful doting person was undercover rescuing lives, helping people escape and working with Waitstill laundering money. It changed my life.”
Lebanese reports on return of Mossad spy's remains prove false
Claims were made that Cohen's body was buried under the central square in Damascus, now an urban area featuring buildings and roads.
Cohen's exact place of burial remains unknown to this day.
Cohen's widow, Nadia, still reeling from the release of the video, said Wednesday that no government official had contacted her over the potential recovery of her husband's remains, telling Israel Hayom that, as much as she longs to have Cohen buried in Israel, it should not be achieved at all cost.
"I won't have the remains of the father of my children returned home in exchange for the release of murderers with blood on their hands.
"I know the man I married, who was brutally taken from me when I was just 24, a young mother, wouldn't want that. This will not be Gilad Schalit 2," she said, referring the 2011 prisoner exchange deal to security the release of an Israeli soldier from Hamas captivity, under which 1,027 Palestinian security prisoners were released.
Commenting on the LBC report, she said, "I'm still very confused and stunned; over the years there have been many appeals to the Syrian government and people to release Eli's remains, so the first thing that came to mind was that this report was not credible."
Cohen said she believes the report was psychological warfare by the Syrian government.
Israeli Microchip Firm Hits Record Share Price After iPhone 7 Launch
The shares in an Israeli microchip company hit a record high after analyses showed that its technology is used in the recently launched iPhone 7, Reuters reported Tuesday.
Shares in Ceva, a firm that designs chips and licenses the designs to chipmakers, jumped 10.3 percent to a record $34.99 per share after companies specializing in analyzing phone technology discovered its hardware in the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus.
The newfound interest in Ceva marks a comeback for the company. Ceva products hadn’t been used in Apple products since the iPhone 3 and iPhone 4 five years ago, Haaretz reported. In recent years, Apple has mostly used digital signal processors from Qualcomm instead.
“Since 2012 our numbers were down because of Qualcomm,” Ceva Chief Financial Officer Yaniv Arieli told Reuters. “This year that’s changing and our customers are successful in launching their own LTE chips,” which are used in 4G smartphones.
“We view Ceva as one of the main beneficiaries from the launch of the iPhone 7/7+,” analyst Gary Mobley told Reuters. Mobley also predicted that Ceva and Qualcomm will share the market for the thin modems for the iPhone, which would boost Ceva’s earnings.
Prestigious US Travel Magazine Includes Israeli Eateries on List of World’s Top Restaurants
The editor-in-chief of a premier US travel magazine named five Israeli eateries on her expansive list of the best restaurants in the world.
Pilar Guzmán of Condé Nast Traveler curated a “Where in the World to Eat” guide to the globe’s restaurants, and the Middle Eastern suggestions include some located in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Rosh Pina and Umm al-Fahm, near Haifa.
Among those praised were Machneyuda, called “joyfully chaotic,” Muscat Restaurant, Studio Arcadia, labeled as “simple but extraordinary,” Tzfon Abraxas and Elbabor.
The guide, written with the “impassioned guidance” of food experts, chefs and creative travelers, is the cover story of Condé Nast Traveler‘s October issue. It showcases a total of 207 restaurants, ranging from simple, small productions, to places with Michelin Star ratings.
Aussie PM praises 'start-up nation' at meeting with Netanyahu
At the beginning of their meeting Netanyahu said to Turnbull, "It's always a pleasure to see you. You are a great friend of Israel. Australia and Israel have a solid friendship and I'm looking forward to coming to visit Australia and to seeing you in Israel soon."
Turnbull responded by saying "Very good, Lucy (wife of the Australian prime minister) was there earlier this year."
Turnbull added that "We've launched our first innovation center together with you. The 'start-up nation' has been a great inspiration to our whole innovation agenda. Our innovation launchpad is there and we'll see a lot more collaboration between Australian and Israeli innovators and financiers in Australia and Israel. This is a very important step for us. As you know, that's' the way you have to stay ahead in the 21st century: You must innovate and take on the challenges of technology and bring the imagination there with the technology and that's how you secure prosperity."
Netanyahu responded that "I agree. I think the future belongs to those who innovate and we both have innovative nations so we can do a lot more together than separately.
Netanyahu added that "Also, we owe you one for the Australian troops and the liberation of our country from the Ottoman Empire. That was a great event. I think it was the last cavalry rush in history."
Turnbull answered: "The last cavalry charge – that’s right, in Beersheba."
Netanyahu responded: "You have to come and see it (Beersheba)" and Turnbull replied: "I will. I’ll do that. I look forward to coming back."
Ozraeli – celebrating Australia-Israel friendship
A week-long festival celebrating Australia and Israel’s friendship — Ozraeli — is now underway. The event is celebrating common features the two countries share and their strong diplomatic ties.
Australian ambassador in Israel, Dave Sharma, Embassy staff and their families, KKL-JNF volunteers, about 150 Australian youngsters and Kinneret Authority advocacy teams kicked off the first Israel-Australia week with a beach cleanup on September 18.
“The international clean-up day initiative, which started initially in Australia, has become an international tradition, I am proud for that. Each and every one of us needs to treat the environment the same as one does its own home. Our home is not the street or city in which we live, but planet Earth, the responsibility is international, crossing borders and countries, only together in cooperation, can we protect our planet. One hundred years ago Australian soldiers fought right here against the Ottoman Empire to liberate the country, and now, Australian youngsters are here to safe keep and preserve it,” said Sharma.
Tomorrow, an Australian-Israeli football game will take place at the Sportek at Yarkon Park in Tel Aviv. There will also be a traditional Australian Barbie (BBQ) with meat pies, sausage rolls, and beer on tap to help recreate the atmosphere at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Evidence Discovered of an Ancient Jewish Presence in the Jordanian City of Abila
During the period of Roman rule, there was a significant Jewish population, dating back to biblical times, east of the Jordan River. Archaeologists have now uncovered a trace of the Jews of the ancient city of Abila, located south of the Yarmouk River, near Jordan’s border with Syria. Philippe Bohstrom writes:
A menorah carved on a stone block, found in a 1,400-year-old Byzantine church in Abila, Jordan is the first tangible evidence of a Jewish presence in the ancient Hellenistic city. . . .
[I]n 36 years of excavations at Tel al-Abila, also known as Seleucia, no traces of Jews living in this Roman trading hub had been found before. The depiction of the seven-branched menorah, with a branching three-legged base, was found on a stone in the second tier of a wall, near the floor, while excavating a Byzantine church from the 6th or 7th century CE. . . .
The stone block with the menorah carving was almost certainly . . . repurposed from another structure, probably a synagogue. Since it was not found in its original site, the date of the menorah cannot be ascertained. But it has to predate the construction of the church.
3D tech proves Hebrew Bible 'unchanged for 2000 years'
The charred lump of a 2,000-year-old scroll sat in an Israeli archaeologist’s storeroom for decades, too brittle to open. Now, new imaging technology has revealed what was written inside: the earliest evidence of a biblical text in its standardized form.
The passages from the Book of Leviticus, scholars say, offer the first physical evidence of what has long been believed: that the version of the Hebrew Bible used today goes back 2,000 years.
The discovery, announced in a Science Advances journal article by researchers in Kentucky and Jerusalem on Wednesday, was made using “virtual unwrapping,” a 3D digital analysis of an X-ray scan. Researchers say it is the first time they have been able to read the text of an ancient scroll without having to physically open it.
“You can’t imagine the joy in the lab,” said Pnina Shor of the Israel Antiquities Authority, who participated in the study.
The digital technology, funded by Google and the US National Science Foundation, is slated to be released to the public as open source software by the end of next year.
Wounded Israeli Army Veterans Meet Holocaust Survivors (h/t IsraellyCool)

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