Wednesday, October 19, 2016

From Ian:

Hillary’s ‘foreign intervention’ hypocrisy
Even more striking was her shock and awe about foreign powers attempting to influence the upcoming US election.
As a former member of the Obama administration, she ought to know a thing or two about such a practice. Yes, her pals in the White House and State Department invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in a concerted campaign to prevent the re-election last year of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. They did this by funneling “grant” money to a far-Left, pro-Palestinian NGO called OneVoice.
A Senate investigation revealed that the activities and political leanings of OneVoice were well-known. In addition, as the Washington Free Beacon reported in July, a senior State Department official admitted that he had deleted several e-mail exchanges pertaining to the administration’s coordination with OneVoice, whose grants and oversight were done by then-US Consul General in Jerusalem Michael Ratney.
“It is completely unacceptable that US taxpayer dollars were used to build a political campaign infrastructure that was deployed…against the leader of our closest ally in the Middle East,” said Sen. Rob Portman, who chaired the subcommittee that investigated the fiasco.
Not to worry, though. Private money from Hillary’s billionaire friends, such as the virulently anti-Israel George Soros, was also spent on the effort to keep Netanyahu from winning the election. Another organization, established specifically for this purpose, was V-15 (victory 2015).
Founded by an Israeli named Nimrod Dweck, V-15 hired US consulting firm “270 Strategies” – comprised, as World Net Daily reported – mostly of former top staffers for Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign. Dweck told WND that it was OneVoice that persuaded him to hire the firm.
The attempt to topple Netanyahu by bolstering the Israeli Left failed abysmally, much to the dismay of Obama and cohort Democrats. But theirs was a blatant example of foreign intervention in the election process of another country.
I guess Hillary thinks that’s ok, as long as it’s her team running the interference.
JPost Editorial: What is B’Tselem?
Nevertheless, B’Tselem showed its true face over the weekend when its executive director Hagai El-Ad appeared before the UN Security Council to call for the UN to take action against Israel’s settlements. This was just the latest example of how B’Tselem and many other organizations have long ago moved from being human rights groups to organizations engaged in blatant political advocacy.
B’Tselem was not just trying to educate Israelis with the hope that they would change their policies from within, but rather the organization was aiding – even initiating – international efforts to pressure Israel to adopt policies rejected by Israelis repeatedly in democratic elections.
“With every breath they take, Palestinians are breathing in occupation,” El-Ad told the special UN Security Council session titled “Illegal Israeli Settlements: Obstacles to Peace and the Two-State Solution.” He claimed that “ever-present” settlers live in a first-world community “that exists only for them.”
Israel, El-Ad added, used the peace process “to buy time” to establish facts on the ground for the settlements.
“The UN Security Council must act and the time is now,” he concluded.
While some of El-Ad’s claims bear validity, he crossed the line that separates the operations of an impartial guardian of human rights from a political advocacy group that openly calls on the international community to take unilateral steps against Israel.
His appeal to the Security Council reflects a position that rejects direct negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis in favor of international intervention to coerce Israel into relinquishing control over the West Bank, even if this means a potential severe deterioration in the country’s security.
Human rights should transcend politics, and Israel, like other democracies, appreciates criticism and gets plenty of it domestically and internationally. But organizations like need to decide what they are. It seems B’Tselem has made up its mind.
Israel’s envoy to call on UN to end funding for B’Tselem
Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations said he intends Wednesday to demand that the global body end its funding for the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem after it called on the UN to act against Israel over its settlement policies.
Danny Danon is set to address the UN Security Council during a special meeting on the Middle East, in which he plans to bring up the UN bodies that are among B’Tselem’s funders, and argue that the funding prevents the group from giving reliably objective reports to the UN.
B’Tselem and its director, Hagai El-Ad, were taken to task by Israeli officials for participating on Friday in a session of the UN Security Council, during which El-Ad criticized Israeli settlement policy.
“In the year 2016, three UN bodies gave money to fund B’Tselem,” Danon said in a statement. “It is no coincidence that exactly that organization was invited to speak before the UN in order to harm Israel.”
His implication seemed to be that the UN bodies involved already taken a clear stand against Israel and its settlements.
US ‘troubled’ by attacks on Israeli rights group B’Tselem
A US official on Monday defended Israeli human rights group B’Tselem as the organization came under fierce criticism in Israel, saying Washington valued the information it provided about the situation in the West Bank and that free speech must be protected, Haaretz reported.
B’Tselem was slammed in Israel for its participation Friday in a session of the UN Security Council, in which the NGO’s director criticized Israeli settlement policy.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Saturday that the organization had joined the “chorus of mudslinging” against Israel and denounced it as “shoddy and unhinged.” He threatened to advance a law to block national service volunteers from working with the organization, even as the group pointed out that it only had one such volunteer annually, and the position was currently vacant.
Zionist Union MK Itzik Shmuli said the group was helping to advance “the libel and demonization of Israel.” A Labor party activist even lodged a police complaint for alleged treason by the organization.

Deputy FM pulls support for Hebrew University human rights center over NGO ties
Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely on Monday pulled support for Hebrew University’s Minerva Center for Human Rights over its support for what she termed “anti-Israel organizations.”
Hotovely accused the institute of collaborating with “a group of anti-Israel organizations,” that “have a track record of ignoring Jewish human rights,” according to Channel 2.
The minister named a list of rights groups and leftwing advocacy organizations under that description, including the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel, Gisha, B’Tselem, Hamoked: Center for The Defense of the Individual, Bimkom, Emek Shaveh, “and others.”
“Most of them are involved in anti-Israel activity,” Hotovely said. “The Foreign Ministry will not collaborate with organizations that slander Israel from every possible platform.”
The collaboration appears to be linked to the center’s fellowship program, which enables students to work in a part-time volunteering capacity at selected human rights organizations. The center’s website does not indicate which NGOs are part of the program.
David Collier: Antisemitism or anti-Zionism, ten questions for the Dean of Lichfield
Last week I attended a conference on ‘Palestine’ that was promoted by the Dean of Lichfield and held at Lichfield Cathedral. My feelings on what occurred were detailed in a piece that I wrote upon my return. That article was widely shared.
I received emails in response from both the Bishop of Lichfield and the Archbishop of Canterbury. The emails informed me they had forwarded the story of my experience to the Dean of Lichfield.
Two days after this, the Dean of Lichfield posted a public ‘non-statement’ that included this section:
“Our recent weekend conference ‘Holding Palestine in the Light – the context of the conflict’ was an attempt to help people understand the complexity of the situation and what roads to peace are available for all the people of the Holy Land, Israelis and Palestinians. There were some passionate exchanges and contributions from the floor representing very diverse views.”
This statement is entirely false. This conference was about ‘Palestine’ and on that particular topic there was no attempt to present diverse views. What was presented was a narrow part of the spectrum, ranging from ‘Israel is to blame’ to ‘Israel is entirely to blame’.
What he no doubt meant, is what I often encounter at Palestinian Society meetings on campus. The presentation of a list of Israeli crimes, followed by a range of possible punishments with a few different ‘red lines’ to add diversity and spice. 100 different reasons to hate Israel. For after all, this is what apparently the Dean had engineered for Lichfield. A Palestine solidarity meeting, replete with all the necessary requirements, BDS promotional material, Israeli hating Arabs, Israeli hating Jews, Ilan Pappe, an executive from the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and a couple of lame ‘two staters’, who pull the conference back from going completely over the edge. There were also deliberate attempts to silence the real pro-Israeli voice even being heard from the floor.
So we can discard his statement as worthless and suggest it highlights a blatant disregard for the truth. Rather than reflect the vision of a man who seeks understanding, the statement shines light on just another petty little anti-Israel activist. As the latest report released on Antisemitism in the UK shows, if you merely give lip service to the fight against Jew hatred whilst failing to appreciate the distinct nature of post-Second World War antisemitism, you’ll disregard the majority of antisemitic incidents. As it states: “Antisemites frequently use the word ‘Zionist’ when they are in fact referring to Jews”.
Anti-Israel church activist agenda unveiled at BDS conference – intersectionality and crowdsourcing
The U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation is one of the most virulently anti-Israel activist groups. Legal Insurrection recently covered how the US Campaign’s plan to hold a seminar on Capitol Hill was canceled when it became known just how extremist it was, Report: Pro-BDS event on Capitol Hill canceled after nature of group exposed.
Perhaps to escape its past, U.S. Campaign is rebranding itself and renaming itself as the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights.
This weekend the U.S. Campaign held its Annual Conference in Northern Virginia, attended by about 200 anti-Israel activists. Panelists and experts instructed activists within churches, academia, and community organizing on how to leverage their influence against Israel.
I attended the annual meeting. In this first report, I will focus on how plans were unveiled by Kairos USA, an anti-Israel church group, to ramp up the efforts to turn churches against Israel by leveraging concerns about Black Lives Matter within Black Churches, and the rollout of a new crowdsourcing and organizing portal, Palestine Portal.
The workshop on churches was titled “The Church as Partner in the Joint Struggle, and was led by representatives of Kairos USA, an offshoot of Kairos Palestine, and at the center of most of the anti-Israel church activism. About 25 activists were at this workshop.
Trump invites pro-Hamas Malik Obama to debate
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump reportedly intends to bring a noteworthy supporter with him to the final presidential debate on Wednesday night — one of US President Barack Obama’s half-brothers.
According to the New York Post, Malik Obama backs Trump for the presidency, unlike his younger and more famous brother, who supports fellow Democrat Hillary Clinton.
The Kenyan-born Malik Obama, a US citizen now living in Washington, told the Post he will attend the Las Vegas event as Trump’s guest.
“I’m excited to be at the debate,” he said. “Trump can make America great again.”
Malik Obama, who is three years older than the president, rejected claims by a growing number of women that Trump had sexually assaulted them.
“I don’t believe them,” said Malik, accusing the media of bias against the Republican. “Why didn’t they come forward before?”
In January 2014 the Daily Mail uncovered a photograph showing Malik Obama with a traditional Arab headscarf decorated with slogans of the Palestinian terror group Hamas.
Chris Nineham backing a violent antisemite
All of this disturbing information and more was widely reported during the trial. None of it moved Mr Nineham. Apart from spurring him to speak up for Siddiqui, of course, nine months after her conviction. His message included a set of barefaced lies spread by Islamist extremists at the time.
Indeed, extremists who were already notorious in 2010 spoke alongside Nineham at this demonstration. They included the nasty Khomeinist Massoud Shadjareh, Jamal Harwood of Hizb ut-Tahrir, Abdullah Hasan of the Islamic Forum of Europe, Salafist preacher Wasim Kempson, and Uthman Lateef, one of the worst terrorist supporters in the country.
Keep in mind that this demonstration was but one episode in Mr Nineham’s own extremist career. In this post you will see him spell out the key stopper message – the far left and “the resistance” in the Middle East are a team. He’s also good at tearing down the banners of Iranians for freedom, cheered on by Mr Corbyn.
Remember that Mr Corbyn, former chairman of the “Stop the War Coalition”, proudly attended a stopper rally just a week ago. It is one of his favourite causes and his praise for the stoppers last weekend was effusive.
I’ll tell you what won’t make “a blind bit of difference” to me – any protestations from Corbyn and his camp that they really do oppose antisemitism and terrorism.
‘Disgust’ with Israel led to rise in UK anti-Semitism, says baroness
Rising anti-Semitism in Europe reflects the general public’s “disgust” over the Israeli government’s treatment of Palestinians, a controversial member of Britain’s House of Lords said Monday.
Taking to Facebook to publish a letter she said the Guardian newspaper had failed to print, Baroness Jenny Tonge welcomed Sunday’s publication of an all-party parliamentary report on anti-Semitism.
But she said “it would have been more useful if it had investigated the causes of anti-Semitism too. It is difficult to believe that a 75 percent increase in anti-Semitism it reports have been committed by people who simply hate Jewish people for no reason.”
“It is surely the case these incidents are reflecting the disgust among the general public of the way the government of Israel treats Palestinians and manipulates the USA and ourselves to take no action against the country’s blatant disregard of international law and the Geneva Conventions.”
David Ward Hits Back at Home Affairs Inquiry
What does David “The Jews” Ward think about the Home Affairs select committee report on anti-Semitism, Guido hears you ask? The serving LibDem councillor reckons “The Zionists are winning”, telling his followers to read the Chakrabarti inquiry instead. Tim Farron gave Ward his backing, refused to admit he was a repeat offender and wouldn’t call his rant about “Jews” anti-Semitic. There’s an argument that Farron is weaker than Corbyn on this issue…
Corbynistas Back Anti-Semitism Row MP For Home Affairs Chair
Days after the Home Affairs committee published its anti-Semitism report, Corbynistas have named an MP embroiled in multiple anti-Semitism rows as their choice for its next chairman. Paul Flynn has next to no chance of winning, but the decision by five Shadow Cabinet ministers and other top Corbynistas to sponsor his vanity bid has infuriated colleagues. In 2011 Flynn was condemned for suggesting the British Israeli ambassador Matthew Gould had “Jewish loyalty”. More recently Flynn said Labour’s anti-Semitism crisis was “wholly untrue”. Those backing him include Clive Lewis, Ronnie Campbell, Richard Burgon, Andy McDonald, Dennis Skinner, Nick Smith, Cat Smith, Kelvin Hopkins, Rachael Maskell, Carolyn Harris and Margaret Greenwood. If Paul Flynn had been in charge of the Home Affairs anti-Semitism report, fair to say its conclusions would have been somewhat different. MPs are very angry about this…
Fire German teacher who glorifies Palestinian violence, say critics
A German public school teacher and leading BDS activist praised a Facebook photo of a Palestinian using a slingshot to apparently hurl stones at Israelis, prompting calls on Friday and Saturday for his immediate removal from the classroom in the city of Oldenburg, in the state of Lower Saxony.
The Facebook post by the teacher, Christoph Glanz, was seized upon by his critics in Israel and Germany as a glorification of Palestinian violence against Israelis and a “blatant violation” of the German civil service’s legal requirement to remain politically neutral.
His “one-sided verbal, ideological and photographic support of a party to a conflict, as well as of a stone-throwing man, presents the support of a criminal act and has already led to the deaths of many Israelis and serious injuries,” Nathan Gelbart, head of Germany’s United Israel Appeal and a prominent attorney with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Berlin, told The Jerusalem Post on Saturday. “Glanz is entirely unqualified to teach students in a state school,” said Gelbart, who added that Glanz’s “call for the elimination or ‘resettlement’ of a member [Israel] of the international community with over 8 million citizens (and total boycott of Israel)” is a violation of German civil service law regarding teachers.
The Post reported in October that Glanz said it would not be absurd to abolish the Jewish state and relocate Israel to Baden-Württemberg in southwestern Germany.
Roger Waters ‘Surprises’ Fans by Replacing Concert with Three-Hour Rant on Israel’s Policies (satire)
Roger Waters, former Pink Floyd vocalist and outspoken critic of Israel, took his activism to the next level at his most recent show in Indio, California. He approached the stage brandishing a fold out chair and a microphone and proceeded to explain that there are important things happening ‘out there’ and that this was the best opportunity to have a frank discussion on the ‘atrocities going in Palestine’. He then set out the chair and began ranting about the current Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The sellout crowd was visibly confused, with some unsure whether this was simply a prelude to music. “I have no idea what the f$%k just happened” commented concert goer David Dochiam. “I paid $200 to come here and he didn’t even pick up a f#%king guitar. All I wanted was to hear Another Brick in the Wall.”
About an hour into the impromptu lecture the crowd began to chant ‘Dark Side’. “We wanted him to play the hits” explained Pink Floyd fan Raj Parvin. “But he just said ‘Yes, Israel is the dark side!’ I’m so glad my wonderful fans get it!’ and went on for another two hours. Next time I’ll go to the Rolling Stones concert instead.”
BBC article on antisemitism report recycles problematic backgrounder
This BBC article twice offers readers the same ‘related article’ titled “What’s the difference between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism?”.
As was noted here when that ‘backgrounder’ first appeared, its problematic aspects (which, regrettably, have not been addressed since publication) include promotion of the Livingstone Formulation.
We have in the past noted here the need for the BBC to work according to a recognised definition of antisemitism in order to prevent the appearance of antisemitic discourse in its own content as well as on its comments boards and social media chatrooms and such a proposal was included in BBC Watch’s submission to the DCMS public consultation on the renewal of the BBC’s charter.
In light of the Home Affairs Select Committee recommendation, it would of course be appropriate for the BBC and OFCOM to now adopt the IHRC working definition of antisemitism.
BBC News again misrepresents the ‘Mavi Marmara’ as an “aid ship”
October 19th saw the appearance of an article by Selin Girit titled “Gas pipeline hope heals rupture in Israel-Turkey ties” in the ‘Features’ section of the BBC News website’s Middle East page.
Readers are told that:
“Bilateral relations went into the deep freeze in May 2010 when Israeli commandos stormed the Mavi Marmara aid ship as it tried to breach the blockade of Gaza. Ten Turkish activists on board were killed.”
The Mavi Marmara was of course not an “aid ship” at all. As documented in the UN’s Palmer Report (p. 47), it carried 546 passengers but no humanitarian aid supplies for the people of the Gaza Strip.
Twitter failing to quash 'appalling levels' of online anti-Semitism
Social media giant Twitter is failing to properly counter user abuse of its content policy, especially when it comes to anti-Semitism, a British Home Affairs Select Committee said in a report released Tuesday.
According to the British daily The Independent, the committee criticized Twitter for failing to properly deal with the "vast swathes" of anti-Semitic abuse posted by its users, further lambasting Twitter for the "disgraceful" neglect it was showing, given how Jewish Twitter users are routinely subjected to "appalling levels" of online abuse.
The Independent said the "cross-party committee was 'shocked' at the 'viscerally anti-Semitic nature and volume'" of abusive tweets, "particularly in the direction of Jewish MPs."
As an example, the committee named Jewish Labour MP Luciana Berger, who was victimized by a U.S.-based neo-Nazi website. Berger received 2,500 abusive messages in the course of three days in 2014. "This experience is no doubt common to many Jewish people outside Parliament, too," the committee said.
"It is disgraceful that any individual should have to tolerate such appalling levels of anti-Semitic abuse in order to use Twitter -- a social media platform now regarded as a requirement for any public figure. ... It is deplorable that Twitter continues to act as an inert host for vast swathes of anti-Semitic hate speech and abuse.
"The company has the necessary resources and technical capability, and must do more to address this pernicious problem, which appears to be growing exponentially," the committee said.
Colorado school expels students calling for 'execution' of Jews
A Colorado high school recently expelled five students for starting a Facebook group calling for the "execution" of Jews and African-Americans, The Guardian reported Monday.
According to the British daily, about 15 Boulder Preparatory high school students wrote messages championing "white power" on the "4th Reich's Official Group" page on the social media platform. Boulder police said group members discussed "killing all Jews and [N-words]" and encouraged each other to "recruit more members so they can complete their 'mission.'"
Members also gave themselves Nazi-themed nicknames, posted pictures of guns, used derogatory terms for gay people, joked about "rape memes," declared that they "must lynch the [N-words]," and mocked Mexicans, the police said.
Regional director of the Anti-Defamation League Scott Levin was quoted in The Guardian as saying, "It was a shock to the community. It isn't as if there is any identifiable group [in Boulder] that is advocating this. There's a lot of hateful rhetoric going on in this country right now, and that has just empowered some teenagers."
US flag defaced with anti-Semitic messages left at Florida synagogue
An American flag was desecrated with anti-Semitic messages and then thrown in front of a synagogue in Tampa, Florida this past weekend.
Messages on the flag, discovered on a wall in front of Congregation Schaarai Zedek in south Tampa, blamed Jews for media bias and immigration policies, WTSP, the Tampa-area CBS affiliate, reported.
The flag was discovered on Saturday afternoon in front of the more than 100-year-old Reform synagogue, which has a membership of 1,100 families.
“There’s a lot going on in the world and a lot of different opinions and people become frustrated and I think this was a voice of frustration,” the congregation’s rabbi, Richard Birnholz, told WTSP.
Tampa police are investigating the incident. They told local media they are not releasing a photo of the flag or the exact words written on it, in order to help the investigation.
Israeli smart-park firm Pango sells its US operation
The US operations of Israeli parking payment firm Pango have been acquired by an American firm working in the same space, called Parking By Phone.
The companies did not say how much the deal was valued at.
As a result, Pango technology will be deployed in cities across the US, bringing to Parking By Phone’s customers Pango’s “world class technology and great employees who are changing the landscape in the US market,” according to Luis Garma, executive president of Parking By Phone.
The Pango app currently allows drivers to pay for parking at street meters and in parking lots in over 60 cities in Israel, Europe and the US. Drivers using Pango to park activate the app, which determines their location. Using a built-in database, the app activates an on-phone “meter,” registering the car with a municipal database.
IsraellyCool: WATCH: Wine Experts Discussing Israeli Wines
The October edition of Wine Spectator magazine is out (it being October and all), and as was posted here last month, Israeli wines are featured.
Wine Spectator magazine has come out with this teaser video, in which a couple of their wine experts discuss Israeli wines.
Warning: Their delivery is so robotic, they could have done with more wine before the cameras started rolling. Nevertheless, it is under 2 minutes of your time to hear some nice things about Israeli wines.
Israeli hit drama ‘Shtisel’ heads to US
The co-creator of the hit ’90s sitcom “Friends” is transposing an Israeli drama about an ultra-Orthodox family to a religious neighborhood in Brooklyn, for an adaptation to be named “Emmis.”
Marta Kauffman got the idea from her producer daughter, Hannah KS Canter, who saw snippets of the Israeli show “Shtisel” at an event of the National Association of Television Program Executives.
“She fell in love with it, and the same thing happened with me. It stays with you. We knew it wouldn’t be easy to sell, but we all felt so passionately about it,” Kauffman told Variety.
The Israeli drama, which includes some Yiddish dialogue, explores universal themes such as unrequited love, extramarital attractions and feelings of underachievement, against the backdrop of life in Jerusalem’s ultra-Orthodox Geula neighborhood.
Characters include patriarch and Torah scholar Shulem Shtisel, his strict wife, Giti, and son Akiva, an artist drawn to unavailable women.
The US version will be shown on Amazon Prime and will closely resemble its Israeli parent, but will do more to explain Orthodox ritual to non-Jewish viewers.
Posthumous book by Peres coming next spring
A book about Israel’s character and the “turning points” in its history that Nobel laureate Shimon Peres completed just weeks before he died will come out next spring.
The HarperCollins imprint Custom House told The Associated Press on Monday that Peres’ “No Room for Small Dreams” will be published April 4, 2017. The book by the former prime minister and president had been planned since 2014 and was completed earlier this year. Peres, whose previous books included the memoir “Battling for Peace,” died last month at age 93.
According to Custom House, Peres will reflect on everything from war to Israel’s high-tech industry and will touch on his role in some of the country’s most crucial decisions. He also will address younger generations and their “obligations and opportunities.”
Peres, an elder statesman who held nearly every high office in Israel, died in September 28 after suffering a major stroke.
He was seen as Israel’s last remaining founding father and held nearly every major office in a career spanning five decades.
Can A Desert Nation Solve The World's Water Shortage?
The tiny desert state of Israel may have developed the solutions to future water shortages worldwide.
Businessman Seth Siegel explains in the latest Prager University video that the United States government believes that 80 percent of the states and 60 percent of the world will suffer from a severe lack of water by 2025. Yet Israel is gushing with water despite the fact that it's a desert state. How were they able to do it?
"It begins with a nothing-wasted attitude that extends from the government to private industry to farming to consumers," Siegel explains. "Israel charges its citizens the market price for water. No subsidies. You can have as much water as you want, but you have to pay for it. And when you pay for something, you tend to be more careful with how you use it."
Siegel notes that Israel constantly monitors pipes so that any leaking pipes can be fixed promptly before water seeps out.
Israel has also developed the method of drip irrigation, which Siegel defines as "the process of applying micro amounts of water to individual plants at their roots" to conserve water during agricultural purposes.

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