Wednesday, September 28, 2016

From Ian:

Eugene Kontorovich: If FIFA kicks Israeli teams out of soccer, it has to also kick out a Korea
The absurdity of the Palestinian reading of FIFA rules is powerfully illustrated by the soccer status of the two Koreas.
Both North and South Korea’s soccer federation’s are FIFA members. Yet the governments of both Koreas claim the entire territory of the other as their own. Indeed, the constitution of the ROK (South Korea) asserts its sole sovereignty over the peninsula.
So FIFA has two member federations whose countries have 100 percent incompatible and overlapping territorial claims. Under the interpretation of FIFA rules being used against Israel, that means it is certain that one of the Koreas is playing on the other’s territory, which in this case can be remedied only by expulsion.
There is a loophole in the FIFA “territorial” statute for matches played with the consent of the other member federation’s consent — but there does not seem to be an evidence of express consent by either Korea. Indeed, if FIFA acts to push out Israel, it is likely that at least Pyongyang will jump on the bandwagon to cause trouble for Seoul, opening a new theater in the “soccer wars.”
Oddly, a global human rights organization, Human Rights Watch, has taken the lead in the effort to kick Israel out of world soccer, citing supposed Israeli human rights violations. HRW doesn’t seem to have ever suggested the expulsion of the North Korean soccer federation, despite that fact that DPRC (North Korean) football is apparently one big human rights violation. (Underperforming players are sent to coal mines — if they’re lucky.) Odder still, HRW has actually reported on North Korean soccer crimes, without suggesting any action be taken against the hermit kingdom’s federation.
“I’m boycotting the occupation, but I support it”: The charade
Those who wax intellectually about the “green line” at cocktail parties and sign petitions and pat themselves on the back for their “heroic” stand against Israel’s policies, are often hypocrites who support the very occupation they oppose. If they don’t support it, they are at least not being realistic, logical, or fair in determining what it is they oppose. There are so many residents, in so many hundreds of Israeli communities in the West Bank, huge cities, massive tunnels, highways, roads, factories, the sheer level of investment is awesome. To oppose it by itself, as if one can just bifurcate it and “Israel proper,” is not realistic.
Everyday Israelis move beyond the Green Line, many of them for economic reasons. Israel has used the communities it built over the line as a release-valve for pressure on its own housing market, for an economic release. Without the housing for the 750,000 residents, the prices would be even more than they are inside the line. Those Jewish residents are never coming back inside the line. Fifty years of Israeli rule in the West Bank is not going to end. There were only 19 years of Jordanian rule and thirty years of British rule. In short: Israel has run the West Bank longer than the last two regimes combined. Think about it.
But the intellectuals and the weekday-warrior boycotters don’t want to think about it. They want to oppose something that is easy to oppose, while they secretly accept it. If they didn’t accept it, if they truly think that everything over the Green Line is unacceptable, then they have to eventually admit Israel is unacceptable. There is no such thing as an investment that has good and bad aspects. There is no bifurcating the investments over the line and within, in a connected, globalized, financial marketplace. Israeli businesses do business on both sides. Banks. Coffeeshops. Gas stations. Road workers. Police.
To boycott one and pretend one can really achieve that is as silly as to boycott air that is over the Green Line. As if the air is not the same air.
WCC Invites Israel-Hating Conspiracy Theorist to Interfaith Event in Switzerland
The World Council of Churches, a Christian ecumenical institution with a long history of beating up on Israel while giving jihadists and killers like Syrian President Bashar al Assad a pass, has invited an antisemitic conspiracy theorist to lecture at an upcoming celebration of interfaith dialogue at an event held near the WCC’s headquarters in Switzerland.
The event will take place at the WCC’s Bossey Institute, located outside of Geneva. The speaker is His Excellency Professor Dr. Ahmad al-Tayyeb, Grand Imam and Shayk of al-Azhar University.
His lecture, titled “The Responsibility of Religious Leaders for Achieving World Peace,” will take place at 4 p.m. on Saturday October 1, 2016.
Tayyeb’s talk is part of the Bossey Institute’s celebration of 70 years of interfaith dialogue at the institution which describes itself as the “international center for encounter, dialogue and formation of the World Council of Churches (WCC).”
For a man asked to speak about the role religious leaders can play in promoting "peace" Tayyeb has said some pretty hateful things.
In September 2014, Tayyeb declared in reference to ISIS that “fundamentalist terror groups, whatever their names, and their backers are colonial creations that serve Zionism in its plot to destroy the Arab world." Earlier in 2014, Tayyeb dishonestly accused Israel of committing genocide in the Gaza Strip.
Christian criticism of Israel is myopic
A Methodist church in Hinde Street, London, is exhibiting ‘You cannot pass today: Life through a dividing wall’, a reconstruction of a border control point between Israel and the occupied territories. The purpose, needless to say, is not to show how to deal with a terrorist threat, but to attack Israel’s oppression of Palestinians. A Jewish human rights group which has written to protest has been told, soapily, by the minister, ‘I respect your passionate concern for these issues…This exhibition… has been carefully curated… to promote reflection and prayers for peace.’ I have noticed these wall protests popping up on campuses etc., and they never seem either reflective or prayerful. They are propaganda. Serious, bitter issues certainly surround the whole question of Israel and its wall, but for churches to focus on this in the Middle East at this time is myopic. Not many miles away, their fellow Christians are being persecuted, expelled and murdered by Isis, their cries virtually unheard in our comfortable pews.

Corbyn ally under fire for questioning Holocaust Day
A senior activist in the UK Labour Party, who is close to recently reelected leader Jeremy Corbyn and was previously suspended for anti-Semitic remarks, sparked controversy again this week by saying that the national day to honor the victims of the Holocaust should not be solely about Jews.
“Wouldn’t it be wonderful if Holocaust Remembrance Day was open to all people who’ve experienced holocaust?” Jackie Walker on Monday told a training session on how to confront anti-Semitism and engage Jewish voters. Her recorded comments appeared Wednesday on the Huffington Post.
When attendees at the session — which was organized by the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM) at the annual party conference in Liverpool — told her that the day did in fact include non-Jewish victims, Walker said that “in practice it is not circulated and advertised as such.”
She told attendees that she had come “seeking information,” and that she still had not heard “a definition of anti-Semitism that I can work with.”
She also questioned the need for security at Jewish institutions, implying that attacks against them were not caused by anti-Semitism.

British Anti-Zionist Jewish Group Calls to Oust Jewish Labour Movement From Party
A British Jewish anti-Zionist group has reportedly called for the dissociation of the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM) from the UK Labour Party.
The International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN) distributed leaflets calling for the dissociation to attendees of an alternative Labour Party conference, which was organized by the left-wing organization Momentum. The conference was held in tandem with the official Labour Party Conference 2016, which started on Sunday and runs through Wednesday.
Momentum has supported Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, who was reelected as leader on Sept. 24, with nearly 62 percent of the vote — despite criticism for his history of denouncing the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), referring to the terror groups Hamas and Hezbollah as “friends” and for his connections to a Holocaust denier.
The IJAN leaflets stated that JLM acted as “a representative of a foreign power, Israel,” and called for them to be dissociated from the party. They also questioned why antisemitism remains a focus of the Labour Party compared to other forms of racism, alleging the issue was being “exploited for factional goals,” reported the Huffington Post UK.
Jewish Labour Movement Heckled in Conference Hall
Mike Katz, the speaker from the Jewish Labour Movement, was sporadically heckled throughout his speech to the conference hall this morning. Katz had spoken about how Jews felt let down by Labour. There were heckles from at least four audience members, this one on camera:
Jewish Labour Members Walk Out Over “Cancer” Rant
Jewish Labour members walked out of the Arab ambassadors’ reception at Labour conference last night after the Palestinian ambassador ranted about Israel. Multiple sources independently quote Manuel Hassassian, Palestinian ambassador to the UK, as describing Israel and Israelis as a “cancer“. According to a source in the room a large number of attendees walked out in disgust, with some Jewish Labour members brought to tears. They were particularly upset that Labour MPs present did not speak out against the comments. Earlier Hassassian had launched another tirade against Israel, describing them as “cowboys“. Seems a charmer…
Israeli Ambassador Brings Heavies To Labour Conference
The Israeli ambassador, Mark Regev (left) has turned up to the Labour Party conference with four security guards. Regev was the spokesman for the IDF during the Gaza War of 2014, earning him a reputation as a bit of an all-round mensch. Will Seumas perform a citizen’s arrest?
PreOccupiedTerritory: Corbyn Invites Friends Hamas, Hezbollah, To Combat Labour Antisemitism (satire)
Newly-reelected Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn promised to improve his approach to addressing concerns of anti-Jewish prejudice in the ranks of his organization today, saying he would enlist his friends from the Islamist movements Hamas and Hezbollah to lead the effort.
Persistent accusations and documentation of antisemitism have dogged Labour under Corbyn since the start of his term, as well as accusations that the Opposition leader has failed to take adequate steps to eliminate the phenomenon. Even the internal investigation into the phenomenon has been suppressed, prompting Jewish Labour activists and Jewish advocacy organizations to question the MP’s commitment to fighting it. To counter that impression, Corbyn told reporters today he had invited some political allies with combat experience to take a vanguard role in his redoubled efforts to root out antisemitism from Labour.
“My friends in Hamas and Hezbollah have significant experience in combat of the less conventional sort,” he boasted. “They have just the right attitude toward things, I think, and that will be an asset to Labour as we pursue what is just and what is right.”
Corbyn declined to offer specifics as to what moves Hamas and Hezbollah would make that Labour has yet to make without them. “Suffice it to say that their thinking is less, shall we say, conventional than our British sensibilities, and so can be more flexible when to comes to thinking outside the box for original ideas.”
An aide who spoke on condition of anonymity suggested that the two movements might simply augment the current trend in Labour vis-à-vis antisemitism, which primarily consists of denial, justification, and deflection, activities they have pursued in their own contexts for decades. “As I see it, Hamas and Hezbollah have enjoyed success in their public campaign and media operations where Labour has faltered,” he noted. “That, I believe, is the primary angle Mr. Corbyn seeks to follow. At heart he’s a cautious man, so I do not foresee a radical shift in the assumptions governing the party’s treatment of the issue even with our new partners in the endeavor.”
Ithaca Schools spent $20k in losing fight over anti-Israel 3rd Grade event records
The Ithaca Journal has an article today about my court victory against the Ithaca City School District (ICSD) seeking records under the NY Freedom of Information Law regarding the anti-Israel 3rd Grade event.
The Ithaca Journal article, discussed below, reveals that ICSD spent over $20,000 in its fight to avoid having to disclose video and documents regarding the event.
I laid out the history and the court ruling in my post, Another Legal Insurrection victory: Ct orders video released of anti-Israel 3rd Grade event.
The short version is that for the second time, the court granted virtually all my requests, including forcing ICSD to release a video of the event. Before the litigation began I suggested the video be redacted by ICSD to protect student privacy, but ICSD refused to release ANY portion of the video or audio, even the portions that didn’t contain student images or voices. Instead, ICSD produced a partial transcript with obvious gaps.
The court order rejected ICSD’s position that it could withhold the entire video, and ordered precisely what I had offered many months earlier, to have a redacted version of the video produced. The court also ordered ICSD to account for possibly missing or unopened video clips:
Radical Group at San Diego State U Cancels Talk by Israeli Activist Who Called Jews ‘Sleazy,’ But Says Antisemitic Rhetoric ‘Not Reflective of His Principles, Character’
An anti-Israel group at San Diego State University (SDSU) has cancelled a lecture by a prominent Israeli anti-Zionist activist — whose recent antisemitic comments prompted major controversy — despite its belief that his Jew-hating rhetoric does not reflect his morality.
Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) at SDSU announced late Tuesday it had nixed a talk by Miko Peled — who referred to Jews as “sleazy thieves” on social media — just hours after The Algemeiner reported on his planned Thursday lecture.
“Our scheduled speaker, Miko Peled, had made offensive remarks on Twitter. After consulting with many Jewish and non-Jewish allies, they made it clear that the tweets were offensive,” the group said in a statement on Facebook. “Although we believe that these comments are not reflective of Mr. Peled’s principles or character, continuing to host the event without a resolution of this issue would not be appropriate.”
SJP SDSU added that in light of the cancellation, it is taking the opportunity to “make it clear we believe all too often, anti-Zionism is conflated with antisemitism” and will “continue to host individuals who stand up…and who are critical of the oppressive, apartheid state of Israel and its policies.”
Facts Get Away in Forbes' Gaza Fisherwoman Story
About Gazan fishermen or possibly smugglers out at sea, she grossly exaggerates and misleads: "Whatever they are doing, they are sometimes killed by guns." What would news consumers understand when they read that Gaza fisherman and possibly smugglers are "sometimes killed by guns"? Perhaps that one out of five or 10 fishermen is killed? Perhaps Israel shoots dead a couple of fishermen a week, or month? In fact, contrary to MacBride's suggestion, such incidents are extremely rare. In January 2016, Hamas said one of its commanders (not a fisherman) was killed off the coast. Before that, the Egyptian (not Israeli) military reportedly killed a Gaza fisherman in November 2015. Before then, there was another incident in March 2015. In other words, in the last year and a half, during which thousands of fishermen ventured out into the waters on a routine basis, there appears to be one instance in which the Israeli navy killed someone that Palestinians identified as a fisherman. (According to the Israeli military, the fisherman deviated from the fishing zone and ignored calls to halt.) MacBride's vague and imprecise passage gives an extremely misleading impression of this reality in which the journalist "sometimes" gets the facts right.
Addressing the question of content quality, Sonderman wrote in his Poynter piece on Forbes:
There is no traditional editing of contributors' copy, at least not prior to publishing. If a story gets hot or makes the homepage, a producer will “check it more carefully,” [Forbes chief product officer Lewis] DVorkin said.
Traditional-minded journalists probably think that sounds reckless. From the beginning, there were concerns that Forbes' model might "lessen the qualityof the content." Just last week, a Forbes contributor stumbled by writing a controversial post, deleting it to post an apology, only to have a Forbes producer later restore his original text with the apology.
But DVorkin argues that overall Forbes' model is better than the traditional newsroom one, where a reporter has editors and fact-checkers absorbing the responsibility for accuracy.

Forbes' failure to correct the grossly misleading characterization of Gaza fishermen as "sometimes killed" points to a faulty model, as does its failure to add any information about Hamas responsibility for Gaza's dire situation. The editors' failure to address the serious shortcomings in MacBride's propagandistic piece belies Forbes' stated "commitment to upholding the highest standards of professional journalism" and underscores the value of traditional editing and fact-checking.
BBC WS news bulletins amplify HRW delegitimisation campaign
Those who tuned in to a later news bulletin were informed (at 01:45) that:
“…Human Rights Watch has called on world football’s governing body FIFA to force the relocation of six Israeli football clubs based in West Bank settlements considered illegal under international law. The Israeli authorities say it’s not up to FIFA to rule on political questions.”
As usual, no attempt was made to conform to editorial guidelines on impartiality by clarifying to audiences the existence of legal opinions which contradict that well-worn BBC mantra on the alleged illegality of Israeli communities in Area C and parts of Jerusalem. Moreover, despite those same editorial guidelines, no effort was made to clarify the “particular viewpoint” of HRW in relation to Israel and listeners were therefore unable to assess the group’s claims in the appropriate context.
Although this latest example of unchallenged BBC amplification of HRW’s politicised agenda is entirely predictable, it is of course extremely disturbing to see it being promoted in supposedly factual news bulletins.
C-SPAN’s Palestinian Propaganda Presentation as a “Public Service”
C-SPAN’s cynicism and invidious pattern
The network's show of balance didn't work when it followed up this August 25 live broadcast with a recording of an August 15 serious discussion, "U.S.-Israel relations," involving former American diplomats and academicians. Meanwhile the network continues its pattern of airing both public events and its own indulgent interviews with partisan players that include a plethora of unchallenged anti-Israel misinformation and defamatory remarks (examples here, here, here, here and here).
Israel is the only foreign nation subjected to such consistent biased treatment by C-SPAN. This journalistic malpractice undermines its public affairs broadcasting mission which involves special privileges granted to it by Congress. But this mode of operation continues apace (as documented by CAMERA) and continues to be ignored by both Congress and the news media.
Journalist Claims Twitter Blocked His Tweets in Turkey at Erdogan's Request
Twitter has allegedly blocked a popular journalist’s posts in Turkey at the request of the country’s government.
Mahir Zeynalov, who writes for the Huffington Post and Al Arabiya, announced Twitter’s decision earlier today, claiming, “Twitter told me that it will block my account at the request of Turkey for ‘instigating terrorism,’ putting an end to my ~7-year reporting.”
“This is a farewell message to my followers in Turkey,” he continued. “Love it or loathe it, I always believed in what I wrote and will continue to do so.”
Zeynalov added that another one of his accounts, which only posted in Turkish, was also blocked in Turkey last month by Twitter.
Airbnb Swiftly Banishes Amsterdam-Based Host for Discriminating Against Israelis
Online vacation rental giant Airbnb acted quickly to ban a vendor after it came to light that she was refusing service to Israeli customers, The Algemeiner learned Tuesday.
The company said it removed the Amsterdam-based host named “Maria” from the website after she rejected a request by four Israeli tourists with the following explanation: “I support the BDS [Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions] movement and will therefore not accept guests of Israeli citizenship until there has been a significant change in the question of Palestine. So unless you are well documented activists who work for a peaceful solution to the problem (for whom I will be very happy to make an exception) you will have to look elsewhere.”
An Airbnb representative told The Algemeiner that, “Discrimination like this has no place on the Airbnb platform and our policies prohibit hosts from declining a guest because of who they are, where they come from, how they worship or whom they love,” adding that the company “acted to permanently ban this host from our community approximately two hours after we learned of this incident.”
Neo-Nazi fliers dumped in Jacksonville neighborhood
Fliers calling to "Take America back from the Jews" were dropped in a Jacksonville, Florida, neighborhood that is home to Jewish residents and several Jewish institutions.
The leaflets, which also claimed that the Jews are "plotting the minds of our government" and it was up to the recipients to not "let them destroy what your European ancestors built," were discovered Sunday morning in the driveway of the Jewish Community Alliance, two Jacksonville synagogues and the driveways of area homes, the Florida Times-Union reported.
They were signed by the Detroit-based neo-Nazi group National Socialist Movement. It is the second time in about a year that fliers claiming to come from the group have been distributed in the area.
The synagogues and Jewish leaders have been in touch with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and FBI about the fliers, according to the Times-Union.
Church Is to Blame for Anti-Semitism, Says Archbishop of Canterbury
Christians are partly to blame for “deeply entrenched” anti-Semitism in British society, the Archbishop of Canterbury has said.
The most senior cleric in England’s state church hit out at the “insidious evil” of anti-Jewish sentiment that often manifests itself in “perverted and absurd” conspiracy theories about Jewish plots to manipulate domestic and world affairs.
Writing for the Holocaust Educational Trust, Justin Welby said that anti-Semitism is “at the heart of racism”.
“Yet, because it is so deeply entrenched in our thought and culture, it is often ignored and dismissed,” he added.
However, turning to Christian theology, the archbishop suggested previous Church teaching was erroneous, writing: “It is a shameful truth that, through its theological teachings, the church, which should have offered an antidote, compounded the spread of this virus.
“The fact that antisemitism has infected the body of the Church is something of which we as Christians must be deeply repentant. We live with the consequences of our history of denial and complicity.”
Christians have had varying views towards Jews over the past 2000 years, ranging from acceptance to outright hostility.
Kiev’s last survivor of Nazi ‘path to death’ revisits Babi Yar 75 years on
“We were gathered here, and sent along ‘the path to death,'” says Raisa Maistrenko, pointing to a Kiev ravine that 75 years ago witnessed one of the worst atrocities of World War II.
Maistrenko was only three when the Nazis, helped by local collaborators, slaughtered 34,000 Jews — mostly elderly, women and children — on September 29-30, 1941, as Hitler’s forces advanced toward Moscow on the eastern front.
Maistrenko is the Ukrainian capital’s last survivor of the 29 people who managed to escape execution, either by falling into the ravine before they were shot in the back, to lie on top of thousands of corpses and later flee, or wearing crosses to hide their true religion.
The 78-year-old’s 18 relatives never returned from Babi Yar — a site that unnervingly stands next to Kiev’s main TV tower and is rarely mentioned by modern locals.
After historic gas deal with Jordan, Israel looking to build Cyprus, Greece pipeline
After the Leviathan gas reservoir partners signed a massive deal with Jordan, Israel is now looking to lay a pipeline to Cyprus and Greece, so Israeli gas can be exported there and to other European countries, National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Minister Yuval Steinitz said Tuesday.
Steinitz, speaking to reporters before the weekly cabinet meeting that was pushed from Sunday to Tuesday because Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was in the US, related to Monday’s announcement of a massive gas deal with Jordan, saying it was an “historic” day for the country, because for the first time in its history it became an energy exporter.
Steinitz said that he was going to Athens on Wednesday to meet with his counterparts in Greece and Cyprus to discuss the laying of a “long” pipeline to Cyprus and then to Greece, and from there further inland to other parts of Europe.
“We will export gas to other countries in the region, and also to Europe,” Steinitz said. “That will turn us into a world energy player and enable us to discover and develop additional large gas fields.”
Israeli-Arab Women’s Choir Wins International Prize for Intercultural Dialogue
Rana Choir, a mixed Jewish-Muslim-Christian women’s chorus from Jaffa, received a 2016 International Hrant Dink Foundation award last week in Istanbul for its role in fostering intercultural dialogue.
Hrant Dink was an award-winning Turkish journalist of Armenian descent who was assassinated in 2007 by a Turkish nationalist because of his public stance regarding Turkish recognition of the Armenian genocide.
The foundation established in his honor grants awards to “people and organizations working for a world free of discrimination, racism and violence, and through their initiatives inspire and encourage others to support their cause and ideals,” according to a press statement.
“It’s a great honor for us to receive this award because the other groups and people honored by the foundation did such courageous and inspiring things. It feels good to be in their company,” conductor Mika Danny tells ISRAEL21c.
The award organizers said Rana Choir “proves the power of shared creation and song to foster intercultural dialogue and to form deep human relationships despite political differences, and with their singing are voicing their call for peace.”
Apple is quietly developing ‘iPhone 8’ hardware in Israel
Apple is using an office in Israel to develop hardware for the “iPhone 8,” which is expected to be released next year with a radical redesign, according to an employee at the site.
Details on the iPhone 8 are scarce at present but some reports, including this one from MacRumours, suggest that it will have an edge-to-edge display that removes the need for the top and bottom bezels where features like the fingerprint sensor and the front-facing camera are located.
Some hardware for the iPhone 8 is being created in Herzliya, Israel, according to a local Apple employee, who said employees in Israel work on all of Apple’s new products.
The employee, whose identity is being concealed by Business Insider, solders components for Apple. This person didn’t give too much away about the new handset other than it will be “different” to the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 7, which have been criticised for being too similar to their predecessors.
Speaking to Business Insider outside Apple’s Herzliya office at Maskit Street 12, the Apple employee said staff in Israel are working on what’s coming “next” in Apple’s product line, giving a specific mention to “iPhone 8.”
Iron Age toilet is evidence Judean king dumped on the gods
A 2,700-year-old crapper is hardly the sort of object one would generally expect to be proof tying archaeology to the Bible. But archaeologists digging at Tel Lachish, a major city in the Kingdom of Judah up to its destruction in 701 BCE, point to the toilet as evidence of religious reforms carried out by the biblical king Hezekiah in the 8th century BCE.
The limestone commode was found inside a chamber of the Iron Age city’s monumental six-chambered gate that served as a shrine. At the time, Lachish was the second city of the Judahite kingdom, whose capital was Jerusalem. The gateway would have served as a meeting place, courthouse and administrative center.
Israel Antiquities Authority archaeologist Sa’ar Ganor, who headed the excavation of Lachish’s massive portal (the largest yet excavated in the region), said Wednesday that archaeologists had found small altars whose horned corners had been smashed, and in the corner of the room a toilet had been erected.
The desecration of non-Yahwistic cult sites in Judah and Israel involves converting them into a latrine in at least one instance mentioned in the Bible. Recounting Jehu’s destruction of temples to Baal in the Israelite Kingdom to the north, 2 Kings 10:27 says the Israelite king’s men “broke down the pillar of Baal, and broke down the house of Baal, and made it a draught-house, unto this day.”

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