Friday, October 28, 2016

From Ian:


Douglas Murray: The New Anti-Racist Racists
There is a trait campaigning groups have that is well known. Once they have achieved their objective, they continue. Usually it is because there are people with salaries at stake, pensions, perks and more.
Suddenly the SPLC seemed to spy a new fascism. The SPLC saw this new fascism in people who objected to people flying planes into skyscrapers, decapitating journalists and aid workers and blowing up the finish line of marathons.
One got the impression that it had become immensely useful for some people to be able to smear those concerned about Islamic fundamentalism, and try to make them akin to Nazis. The only other movements who find this equally useful are, of course, Islamic extremists.
Here is this "anti-racist" organisation, largely made up of white men who present themselves as being anti-racists, and yet who spend their time attacking Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a black immigrant woman. At the top of any list of "hate-groups," the SPLC must in future be sure to place itself.
The SPLC's list of "anti-Muslim activists" also includes a practising Muslim, Maajid Nawaz, one of the most principled and courageous people around calling out the extremists in his faith for their bigotry and hatred. He does so, like Hirsi Ali, at no small risk to himself.
Maajid Nawaz an “Anti-Muslim Extremist” according to Southern Poverty Law Center
Long term readers of this blog may recall Mohammed Shafiq tried to accuse Maajid Nawaz of criminalising the veil. At the time I called this a dangerous game of accusing people, that may be more liberal than yourself, of things which fundamentalists are prepared to kill you for.
“Nawaz tweeted out a cartoon of Jesus and Muhammad — despite the fact that many Muslims see it as blasphemous to draw Muhammad.”
Being “blasphemous” makes you an extremist it seems. The Southern Poverty Law Centre is devoid of context that Maajid Nawaz said he did not find a cartoon picture of Mohammed and Jesus saying hello together to be blasphemous or a challenge to his faith. Two students at a London School of Economics student freshers fayre were ejected for wearing them to advertise their Atheist Humanist Secular society, and this was discussed on a BBC show. Hence Maajid Nawaz tweet.
A reminder that this lead to death threats for Maajid Nawaz. No mention of that by the SPLC.
Pro-Palestinian protesters trap attendees of Israel event in London university hall
Police officers were called on Thursday to an on-campus Israel event at University College London after pro-Palestinian demonstrators were seen trapping attendees in the room where the talk was being held and preventing others from going in.
Israel advocate Hen Mazzig was to speak at the event hosted by the Friends of Israel at UCL in London and CAMERA on Campus, but the protests led by the Friends of Palestine Society began just as he began talking.
In a series of videos from the event, the protesters can be seen banging on the windows and the door to the hall, shouting “Free, free Palestine,” and “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”
Outside the room, one attendee confronts a group of protesters who refuse to let him and others into the room to hear the speech.
Mazzig, a former StandWithUs education director who is being sponsored on his campus visits by CAMERA, tries to get through his lecture but the tension is palpable, as is clear in the footage.
Anti-Israel Protesters Assault Jewish Students at UCL




LegalInsurrection: BDS thugs attack Israeli speaker and crowd at University College London
You may recall Hen Mazzig, an Israeli who worked on campuses in the Pacific Northwest several years ago. The hate he experienced from American BDS activists was almost beyond belief, Israeli soldier shocked to see ugly side of U.S. campus life
Hen was scheduled yesterday to speak at University College London.
I knew trouble was waiting when Hen send out this tweet before his scheduled speaking appearance:
There is a history of violent BDS activists in London, as we previously reported, Anti-Israel protest at Kings College turns violent.
The tactic of disrupting Israeli or pro-Israel speakers as part of the boycott of Israel is increasing, as it is in the U.S.
Palestinian-British Author Who Took Part in Controversial House of Lords Event: Israel to Blame for Global Antisemitism
Israel is responsible for global antisemitism, a Palestinian-British writer and filmmaker told The Algemeiner, on the heels of a House of Lords event promoting anti-Zionism.
After delivering a speech at the UK parliament-hosted re-launch of a Palestinian Return Centre (PRC) campaign to get the British government to apologize for the 100-year-old Balfour Declaration, Karl Sabbagh said that Jews around the world “would be better off” if Israel had never been established.
“They would not be the focus of hostility, and sometimes antisemitism, because of the actions of a state which they do not support but which claims them as its potential citizens,” asserted Sabbagh, whose talk at the event was described as “how successive British governments fell in love with Zionism, until it was too late” — referring to the political history of Britain following the 1917 letter sent by UK Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour to Jewish community leader Baron Walter Rothschild, saying that the British government “views[s] with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.”
Sabbagh told The Algemeiner that he belongs to a group working to “counteract the influence” of British-Jewish organizations, which “insist on a regular series of meetings with ministers and parliamentarians to make sure their views are being heard and acted upon” and hurl an “organized torrent of abuse” whenever politicians “support Palestine or speak out against Israel’s actions.”
Israel condemned for its treatment of B'Tselem
Michael Lynk, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the “Palestinian territories” on Friday condemned Israel for its reaction to the Director-General of B’Tselem’s recent appearance before the Security Council, in which he blasted Israel’s “occupation” of Judea and Samaria.
According to a statement from Israel’s UN mission, Lynk held a press conference condemning Israel, and announced that his next report will also focus on Israel’s treatment of so-called “human rights” organizations such as B’Tselem and Americans for Peace Now.
At the press conference, which was called to discuss “Israel breaching Palestine’s right to development,” the Rapporteur discussed the recent appearance by B'Tselem’s director Hagai El-Ad at the UN Security Council and what he called Israel’s “worrying” reaction.
El-Ad’s appearance was condemned by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who described B’Tselem as a “delusional little organization” and later ordered that the national service law be amended so that it will no longer be possible to do national service with B'Tselem.
In addition, coalition chairman MK David Bitan (Likud) said he would look into revoking El-Ad’s citizenship but later backtracked on that and instead proposed a law that would forbid Israelis from appearing before international bodies with operational powers.
BBC News producer breaches impartiality guidelines on social media
Nevertheless, Bitan’s declaration did provide the opportunity for some PR posturing from B’Tselem’s director.
And that second Tweet was given further amplification by BBC News producer “in Israel and the West Bank” Michael Shuval who went on to add his own commentary – notably and oddly, in English.
Those Tweets clearly “advocate” a “particular position on an issue of current public controversy or debate” and thus contradict the BBC’s guidance and compromise its impartiality. The fact that B’Tselem was the local political NGO most quoted and promoted by the BBC throughout 2015 and 2014 makes that lack of impartiality even more worthy of note.
BDS on Canadian Campuses Dealt a Serious Blow, Say Jewish, Pro-Israel Advocacy Groups in Wake of University System Adoption of New Non-Discrimination Policy
A serious blow was dealt to BDS this week, prominent members of Major Canadian Jewish and Israel advocacy groups told The Algemeiner on Thursday, following the university system’s adoption of a new non-discrimination policy.
Commenting on the Wednesday vote by Universities Canada, representing 97 institutions of higher education in the country — determining that discrimination based on “place of origin,” among other factors, is now prohibited, Robert Walker, national director for Hasbara Fellowships Canada, said that anti-Israel groups will now “find themselves in a lonely position”
“The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement thrives on discrimination against Israelis and Jews,” Walker told The Algemeiner. “The onus is now on university leadership to implement these policies, to make sure that they are upheld and that the universities hold the student governments to this code of conduct.”
Amanda Hohmann, national director of B’nai Brith Canada’s League for Human Rights, told The Algemeiner, “It is good to see that Universities Canada has brought their policies in line with those outlined by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which already protects against discrimination based on nationality or place of origin. Parliament itself condemned BDS last year, so any backlash against an anti-discrimination policy from the pro-BDS camp would further undermine their already dubious claim to support human rights.”
BDS vandals target Israeli goods in Canadian mall
Stickers advocating for the BDS movement against Israel were found on Sodastream boxes at several department stores in one of the biggest malls in Winnipeg, Canada, the Coordination Forum for Countering Anti-Semitism reported Friday.
The stickers were found on products at the Hudson's Bay and Sears stores in the Polo Park shopping center by a couple which took photographs of them and sent the pictures to B'nai Brith. Adriana Glikman, B’nai Brith’s Winnipeg Programming Coordinator, informed the managers of both stores of the stickers. She said that both managers were “shocked and disturbed” to find out about the defacement of the products in their stores.
The message on the stickers told consumers not to purchase the Sodastream product because it was made in Israel, which the stickers accused on violating international law, the Fourth Geneva Convention, and human rights.
Day of Action for Palestine at UC Berkeley. A photo essay
Today was the Day of Action for Palestine at UC Berkeley. And by "action", apparently, they meant screaming angry words into a microphone.
Anti-Israel activists from on campus and off gathered in Sproul Plaza.
Not much of a crowd. Blame it on the rain. Yeah. It was the rain.
Marina Gutierrez and the map that lies
Hassan Fouda is a professional Israel hater. Rusty Bates sells bumper stickers on Telegraph Ave. They both took time off from their busy schedules to protest the only democracy in the Middle East
The SJP fundraising booth stood empty. No one was buying what they were selling.
Tikvah, Bears for Israel, and even representatives from J street countered the event with a silent protest , steadfastly ignoring provocations from the other side.

Roger Waters said to lose $4m Amex deal over anti-Israel activism
Roger Waters’ anti-Israel activism has cost the British rock star millions of dollars and an American Express sponsorship, the New York Post reported Thursday.
The credit giant took off the table a $4-million sponsorship of Waters’ 2017 tour in North America following his partisan and anti-Israel rhetoric this month at a festival that American Express sponsored, according to the tabloid’s report.
“Roger is putting on a huge show. The company was asked to sponsor his tour for $4 million, but pulled out because it did not want to be part of his anti-Israel rhetoric,” an unnamed source from American Express was quoted as saying.
But an official spokesperson for the firm said it never formally offered to sponsor Waters’ 2017 tour. “When we were approached with the options, we passed on making a bid,” the spokesperson said.
At the “Oldchella” festival, Waters used his time on stage to blast the Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and to call for a boycott against Israel, according to the Post.
Chinese Airline marks Israel as 'Palestinian Territories'
The Chinese airline, Hainan Airlines, which began operating in Israel half a year ago has come under scrutiny for marking Israel on its multimedia flight system as “Palestinian Territories.”
Israeli passengers aboard the Tel-Aviv-bound plane from Beijing were shocked to discover that the word “Israel” was nowhere to be seen on the map.
The screens, which were photographed on a flight which landed on Tuesday in Ben Gurion Airport, display Syria, Cyprus and Lebanon but only Tel Aviv and Jerusalem appear on the map while Israel is clearly omitted
The Chinese airline conducts multiple flights in the Middle East but only to Ben Gurion Airport, making the decision to remove the word “Israel” from the map all the more bewildering.
“The flight was wonderful with great service. The aircraft is new and its crew were extremely professional,” Ynet heard from Lior Peleg, the CEO of a tourism company and the former director general of the Nazareth Municipality, who returned to Israel on the Hainan flight.
“Much to my dismay and surprise, I realized that on the multimedia screens on the plane, the State of Israel was not there. There is a feeling that this is a blow to Israeli sovereignty as the destination of the plane is Tel Aviv.”

Guardian story on Habima & settlements omits facts which undermine narrative
You can tell that the Guardian’s Jerusalem correspondent Peter Beaumont spends a lot of time associating with those on the radical fringes of Israeli society by reading the first three paragraphs of his Oct. 25th article ‘Israel’s national theatre company criticised for show in West Bank settlement’.
Israel’s national theatre company has announced it will perform in a hardline West Bank settlement, sparking a fierce row inside Israel’s artistic community.
The performance in the Israeli settlement of Kiryat Arba next to Hebron is planned to take place next month despite a growing chorus of criticism from Israeli cultural figures opposed to the move.
Although other theatre companies have performed in Kiryat Arba before, it is the first time that Habima – Israel’s national theatre – has performed in the settlement.

Of course, beyond a few outspoken voices within the artistic community (and the editors at Haaretz), it’s difficult to find evidence of “a growing chorus of criticism” within the country over the national theatre company’s decision to perform in a community across the green line.
Third time unlucky for BBC audiences trying to understand UNESCO charades
Readers were also not told of the threats issued by the Palestinian and Jordanian delegations to members of UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee ahead of the vote.
As was the case in the BBC News website’s previous two reports concerning UNESCO, audiences learned nothing of prior UNESCO motions and resolutions which have similarly erased Jewish ties to historic sites or of the all-important context of this latest UNESCO resolution in the long-standing Palestinian campaign to erase Jewish heritage and history as part of the tactical delegitimisation of Israel.
With this being the third report concerning Palestinian and Arab abuse of the UNESCO forum for political ends that the BBC News website has produced in twelve days, it is by now very obvious that the corporation has no intention whatsoever of providing its funding public with the information which would enhance their understanding of this particular “international issue” – as its remit obliges.
'Anti-Semitic' barrister is thrown out of the profession after posting tweets attacking Jews and quoting Hitler
A barrister has been kicked out of the profession after posting 'anti-Semitic' messages on Twitter and appearing to praise Hitler.
Ian Millard has tweeted a series of incendiary messages on the social network, quoting the Nazi leader and hitting out at 'Jews' and 'Zionists'.
In one message, he wrote: 'National Socialist Germany 1933-1945. Its flaws were few, its achievements many. Don't believe Jewish-Zionist lies.'
At a disciplinary tribunal hearing in London this week, the 60-year-old was disbarred from the profession for 'conduct likely to diminish the trust and confidence in barristers'.
The hearing was told of a series of messages posted on Mr Millard's Twitter feed in November 2014, in which he branded politician Michael Gove 'pro-Zionist' and 'pro-Jew'.
The same day, he posted a picture of a swastika with a comment in German about Jews, and a few days later he called French politician Nicolas Sarkozy a 'little Jew', the tribunal heard.
France: Anti-semitic political website has over 8 million monthly visits
Grégory Chelli, who operates under the pseudonym Ulcan, is a French-Israeli pro-Israel militant and hacktivist. Earlier this week, Chelli hacked into the website 'Egalité et Réconciliation' run by veteran anti-semitic and conspiracy-theorist writer Alain Soral.
In June a French court fined Soral for saying that Hitler should have should have finished killing the Jews of Europe.
Chelli explained to Le Monde that he had extracted personal details of thousands of Soral's fans - some have already been disclosed - and undertook to contact their employers if Soral did not close his blog. By supporting him they were complicit in spreading anti-semitic propaganda.
According to sociologist Antoine Bévort, 'Egalité et Réconciliation' is the political blog in France with the highest traffic topping a staggering 8.1 million monthly visits.
Quoting these figures, Grégory Chelli told Le Monde that "the most viewed French political website is operated by an extremist. I demand its closure".
Powering a green car revolution, Israeli style
An Israeli firm says a super-efficient engine it has created could drastically reduce fuel consumption and help power an auto industry revolution as manufacturers search for environmentally sound alternatives.
Industry analysts, however, question the reinvented internal combustion engine’s chances of success at a time when purely electric car technology is advancing and attracting investors.
The invention from Israeli-based Aquarius Engines is currently being discussed by France’s Peugeot, the firm said.
Aquarius says the cost of the engine will be as low as $100 (92 euros).
According to the firm, the engine can allow cars to travel more than 1,600 kilometers (990 miles) on a single tank of fuel, more than double current distances.
Such efficiency is vital as countries seek to reduce carbon dioxide emissions — a main cause of climate change. Car engines are a major source of CO2 emissions.
Israel’s Silicon Wadi Is Bringing In Billions from Investors
A white drone with a 12-foot wingspan banks sharply over an artificial lake on the outskirts of Tel Aviv. The unmanned aerial vehicle, or UAV, is so quiet that herons on the water’s edge don’t budge until the hawklike aircraft is barely a hundred feet away. As the drone swoops in, its cameras beam high-resolution images of the terrain and the birds onto a large outdoor screen for a rapt audience of military analysts and arms buyers while a presenter extols the aircraft’s virtues. “It allows a military unit to peer down on enemies hidden behind hills or buildings and then call in artillery or air strikes,” he says.
Inside an adjacent, hangar-size convention hall at Israel’s annual Autonomous, Unmanned Systems & Robotics (AUS&R ) convention, some 500 attendees hailing from Israel, the U.S., Europe, Asia, and Latin America inspect a score of other drone models. They include a tiny, kamikazelike craft bearing an explosive charge that hovers and surveys its surroundings until its controller directs it to crash into and blow up a target; a drone as large as a tank that can ferry soldiers and cargo in and out of urban combat zones; and a UAV with the wingspan of a business jet that can stay aloft for more than a day on espionage missions.
In less than 30 years, Israel, once better known for its agricultural kibbutzim, has transformed itself into a high-tech industrial nation with a per capita income of some $35,300, just behind France’s and nearly 9 percent greater than Japan’s. Silicon Wadi, a 125-mile corridor stretching from the plains around the northern port of Haifa to the Negev Desert in the south, has spawned more high-tech start-ups than all of Europe. Only the U.S. claims more high-tech start-ups, and it has a population nearly 40 times larger than tiny Israel’s 8.2 million.
The boom has attracted a rising tide of foreign investment from global tech giants looking to bolster their research and development operations and tap into promising new technologies, and from foreign venture capital firms eager to finance hot new start-ups. Israeli companies are especially strong in products and services related to military activities and protection against Internet attacks. The nation is the world’s second-leading exporter, after the U.S., of both military drones and cybersecurity services — two of the hottest digital-era industries.
Israel Gives 12 Portable Solar Generators to Fiji as Pacific Island Nation Continues Post-Cyclone Recovery
Israel has provided 12 portable solar generators to Fiji to help the Pacific island nation as it continues to recover from the destruction wrought by Tropical Cyclone Winston last February, the Fiji Times reported on Wednesday.
At a ceremony on Wednesday at which the generators were handed over to Fiji’s Agriculture Ministry, Yaron Sultan-Dadon — the Israeli Foreign Ministry’s Pacific Islands adviser who is based in Australia — said, “We feel it’s our duty to be here with our friends and family, for me it’s about family. In Australia when they ask me on the street where I am from, I say my village is Vuma Village in Fiji. This is the fourth time I’ve been here in Fiji and I already feel that I’m coming home. We are very excited about the partnership and the co-operation that we have been building together with our friend, the minister for agriculture.”
According to the Fiji Times report, Fijian Agriculture Minister Inia Seruiratu thanked Sultan-Dadon for Israel’s ongoing support of Fiji in the aftermath of the cyclone, which killed 44 people and destroyed around 40,000 homes.
Israel has a long history of providing post-disaster assistance across the world. In April 2015, as reported by The Algemeiner, Israel sent the second largest national delegation to assist Nepal following the massive earthquake sustained by the Himalayan mountain nation.
São Paulo Teams with Israeli App Waze to Ease Traffic Congestion
The mayor-elect of São Paolo, Brazil, South America’s most populous city, has enlisted the Israeli navigation app Waze to assist in managing traffic for the area’s 20 million residents, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported Wednesday.
Joao Doria, a media mogul who was elected earlier this month and will assume office on January 1, met with Waze CEO Noam Bardin on Sunday to discuss ways to develop technology and use innovative techniques to manage mobility in the metropolitan area.
Also at the meeting was Daniel Annenberg, who was selected by Doria to head the effort to computerize public services. “We are planning partnerships in various sectors, both in the mobility and security areas, including an integrated security center to provide data to manage the city better,” Annenberg explained.
Doria has long been interested in Israel. In 2011, he led a delegation of Brazilian CEOs to Israel as part of an initiative from the Brazil-Israel Chamber of Commerce. The next year, the Brazilian Society of Friends of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem awarded him the Scopus Prize for his efforts to build ties between the two countries.
“This coexistence gave me a great learning experience and made me even more enthusiastic about the values of Judaism and Israel, a small country where large investments in education and innovation are key pillars.” Doria recounted. “In Israel, I discovered the value of peace, the precise understanding that Israel is not a country that was formed to go to war, but a nation of young men and women who desire peace.”
Unveiling Altalena memorial, Netanyahu says ‘war against our enemies is not over’
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv on Thursday hailed the spirit of those who fought on the Altalena as he unveiled a new memorial to the victims of the 1948 destruction of the controversial ammunition boat.
“The men of the Altalena gritted their teeth and joined the IDF to help defeat the invading Arabs,” Netanyahu said while unveiling the memorial in the Nahalat Yitzhak cemetery to those who died in the 1948 Altalena incident, which cast a pall over the foundation of the Israel Defense Forces.
“We continue in their path. The war against our enemies is not over,” the prime minister said.
Netanyahu tailored his remarks in light of the latest anti-Israel measure passed by UNESCO on Wednesday, saying that Israel’s conflict with its enemies is not only a military one, “but also a conflict about historic truth, about our roots, about our past, about our rights in our homeland, about the Land of Israel, and our capital of Jerusalem.”
The prime minister added that “those who are trying to erase our past, are also trying to erase our future. Therefore we will continue to fight for the truth while also defending the State of Israel.”
Dimona nuclear facility to be named for Shimon Peres
Family members and friends of Israel’s recently deceased president and prime minister Shimon Peres joined the country’s leaders on Friday morning for the unveiling of his tombstone at Jerusalem’s Mount Herzl national cemetery.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin recalled the man who helped to forge Israel’s military prowess and launched the Oslo peace process with the Palestinians, and Netanyahu said the Dimona nuclear facility would be named for him.
“I wish to announce here that, upon my request, the Committee for Nuclear Energy has decided to rename the Dimona nuclear reactor facility after Shimon Peres – an appropriate name after a man of vision and a man of action. Shimon had numerous contributions – contributions to peace, to economics, to increasing immigration to Israel, to encouraging Israeli innovation — but all of these are only possible if our defense is secure,” Netanyahu said as he paid tribute to the man credited with founding the Jewish state’s nuclear program.
“Shimon walked among us as a beacon of knowledge and curiosity. Eyes shining, he would weave dreams and hopes with his indestructible optimism. He left us with one instruction: to establish a state that would not shame our children nor disappoint our grandchildren. We will do everything, dear Shimon, to make that happen.”
The unbelievable tales of smuggled Torah scrolls that survived incredible journeys
At the heart of almost every Jewish community is a synagogue. At the heart of a synagogue – the holy ark. And deep inside the ark, draped in velvet and decorated in silver, lies a Torah scroll, one at the very least.
In a religion that values ritual objects – hanukkiot, kiddush cups, tefillin – nothing is more priceless and more treasured than a Torah scroll.
When a fire alarm sounds in a synagogue, there will always be a group that surges forward instead of backward, rushing toward the ark to grab the precious Torah.
But the story of the Jewish people is also one of persecution, of fleeing from homes at a moment’s notice, and of terrible oppression. And yet, when Jews had to escape with barely any possessions, oftentimes they would bring with them a Torah scroll. During Kristallnacht (“Night of Broken Glass” in German) the Nazis set light to many scrolls, precisely because they knew how cherished they were by the Jewish people.
And while the birth of every new Torah scroll is marked by celebration, there are countless stories of scrolls that were smuggled, rescued, reborn, restored and rededicated – much like the story of the Jewish people. Here are just a dozen incredible tales of sifrei Torah that escaped destruction, survived crazy journeys and went on to amazing things.




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