Wednesday, November 16, 2016

From Ian:

Hillary’s loss accelerates the Democrats’ turn against Israel
Israel’s supporters were hoping Hillary Clinton could forestall the Democratic Party’s seemingly inevitable turn against the Jewish state. Clinton’s loss last week means we’re officially après Hillary — and must prepare for the flood.
This could be the last US presidential election that Israelis don’t have to watch with existential dread.
At least, the first signs of a post-Clinton Democratic Party aren’t good. Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison, a fiery critic of Israel, is the front-runner to be the next Democratic National Committee chairman.
As Scott Johnson detailed in The Weekly Standard when Ellison was on the verge of winning his House seat in 2006, before his congressional career Ellison had worked with Louis Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam and even defended Farrakhan against accusations of anti-Semitism.
Ellison has left Farrakhan far behind, but his Israel criticism remains scathing. As the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported, Ellison “has organized letters urging pressure on Israel, and was an advocate of drawing lessons from the UN Goldstone Report following the 2009 Gaza War.” Even Richard Goldstone, the author of the infamously anti-Israel report, wound up essentially disowning it.
Keith Ellison’s troubling relationship with anti-Israel groups
The defense of Ellison by supporters is that the Louis Farrakan stuff was long ago, that he’s changed. And indeed, from much of what I’ve read about Ellison, he tries to play some of his activism when it comes to Israel to the left of center but not to the extreme.
Yet those words of reasonableness are called into question by his association with anti-Israel groups.
U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation
The U.S. Campaign to end the Israeli Occupation, recently rebranded as the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights, is one of the most active BDS groups. As we have covered many times, the U.S. Campaign is active on campuses and in churches urging the boycott of Israel.
The U.S. Campaign is so uncompromising, so vitriolic and so biased, that the United Methodist Church assembly recently voted to seek withdrawal from the U.S. Campaign coalition.
The U.S. Campaign is so toxic that it could not find a single congressman or congresswoman to sponsor its planned event on Capitol Hill, as we previously reported, Report: Pro-BDS event on Capitol Hill canceled after nature of group exposed:
Bannon and Breitbart: Friends of Israel, not anti-Semites
In his inspiring book “Words That Hurt, Words that Heal,” Rabbi Joseph Telushkin wrote: “Because words can be used to inflict devastating and irrevocable suffering, Jewish teachings go so far as to compare cruel words to murder.”
Thus it is painful to see the malicious character assassination and false accusations of “anti-Semitism” being hurled against President-elect Trump’s appointee Stephen Bannon and Bannon’s company, Breitbart Media.
In fact, as pro-Israel writer and Breitbart senior editor Joel B. Pollak wrote, Bannon is “an American patriot who defends Israel & has deep empathy for the Jewish people.” Pollak is an Orthodox Jew; would an Orthodox Jew praise Bannon and tolerate spending six years working with Bannon if he were an ugly Jew hater and Israel basher?
ZOA’s own experience and analysis of Breitbart articles confirms Bannon’s and Breitbart’s friendship and fair-mindedness toward the Jewish people and Israel. To accuse Bannon and Breitbart of anti-Semitism is Orwellian. In fact, Breitbart bravely fights against anti-Semitism. Here are a few of many examples:



EXCLUSIVE - Alan Dershowitz Defends Steve Bannon: ‘Not Legitimate To Call Somebody An Anti-Semite Because You Disagree With Their Policies’
Alan Dershowitz, a staunch Democrat and emeritus law professor at Harvard University, is hitting back against the smears claiming White House appointee Steve Bannon is anti-Semitic, arguing it is “not legitimate to call somebody an anti-Semite because you might disagree with their policies.”
Speaking in a telephone interview with this reporter, Dershowitz stated:
I think we have to be very careful before we accuse any particular individual of being an anti-Semite. The evidence certainly suggests that Mr. Bannon has very good relationships with individual Jews. My former researcher, Joel Pollak, is an Orthodox Jew who takes off the Jewish holidays, who is a committed Jew and a committed Zionist, and he has worked closely with him. He has been supportive of Israel.
So, I haven’t seen any evidence of personal anti-Semitism on the part of Bannon. I think the (Breitbart) headline about a Conservative Republican being a renegade Jew was ill-advised. But it doesn’t suggest to me anti-Semitism. It suggests to me a degree of carelessness.
Dershowitz: I Have Not Seen Evidence Bannon Is Anti-Semitic
Tuesday on MSNBC, Havard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz dismissed the claim that there was proof Stephen K. Bannon, President-elect Donald Trump’s chief strategist and senior counselor appointee, was anti-Semitic, a claim critics across the media have made in recent days.
Dershowitz told network host Steve Kornacki that while he could not say definitely if Bannon was an anti-Semite, the evidence to say he was “is just not there.”
“Well first of all, a court filing – it was the testimony of his former wife,” he said. “Of course it’s in a court paper, but he disputed and contradicted it and said it never happened. From what I’ve heard, he wanted to send his kids to a Catholic school and that was a point of division between him and his former wife. Look, I don’t know if he’s an anti-Semite or not. I just don’t think you should toss that phrase around casually unless there is overwhelming evidence. There is a difference between three things. One, is he personally an anti-Semite? I have heard no evidence to support that. He has hired Joel Pollak, who worked with him for four years – who an orthodox Jew who is married to – has a mixed race marriage. He has been very positive towards Jews and toward Israel. So, that’s number one.”
Only Because Of Trump Did The Media Suddenly Care About Anti-Semitism
Perhaps it’s because I’m a Jewish writer who has been the target of a great deal of anti-Semitism this year, but I’ve watched the following phenomenon with great interest: Suddenly, the year 2016 became the year the media and a good number of liberals discovered the continued existence of anti-Semitism and began to decry it, loudly.
For the rest of us Jews, especially on the conservative side of the aisle, it’s been somewhat amusing to see dozens of journalists file breathless stories about anti-Semitism they, rightly or wrongly, perceived out of the Trump campaign and supporter base over the last year.
The increased focus on anti-Semitism has, of course, only been borne out of the fact that the supposed offender and his supporters have a capital R after their names. Would the media have been so concerned about an outbreak of hatred against a religious group had it originated out of a Democratic campaign? Given the water-carrying the media has been willing to do for Democrats who on one hand breathlessly warned about a “War on Women” in 2012 while still eulogizing Ted Kennedy, a beloved Democrat who killed an actual woman in 1969, it would be a good bet to wager that maniac supporters and a few campaign dog whistles would’ve been hastily ignored from a different party.
Amid Antisemitism Controversy, Senior Trump Adviser Stephen Bannon to Attend Major Pro-Israel Group’s Gala Dinner
Stephen Bannon, whose appointment to serve as President-elect Donald Trump’s chief strategist and senior counselor has drawn controversy in recent days over allegations of antisemitism, will attend the Zionist Organization of America’s annual awards gala in New York City on Sunday.
“All administration officials are welcome to come to the ZOA dinner,” ZOA National President Morton A. Klein told The Algemeiner on Tuesday. “Any Democrat is welcome, as is any Republican. If you’re a government official and you want to come to the ZOA dinner — unless you’re extremely hostile to Israel or a Jew-hater — you’re welcome to come.”
Furthermore, Klein emphasized, “Bannon is not an antisemite at all. He’s never said or written anything that is antisemitic. If he was an antisemite in any way, shape or form, I’d be screaming.”
On Sunday, Anti-Defamation League (ADL) CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt said in a statement, “It is a sad day when a man who presided over the premier website of the ‘alt-right,’ a loose-knit group of white nationalists and unabashed anti-Semites and racists — is slated to be a senior staff member in the ‘people’s house.’ We call on President-elect Trump to appoint and nominate Americans committed to the well-being of all our country’s people and who exemplify the values of pluralism and tolerance that makes our country great.”
Student Leaders at NY State U Condemn ‘Abhorrent’ Anti-Trump Swastika Scrawled on Dorm Wall, as Outraged Governor Cuomo Orders Police Investigation
Student leaders at the State University of New York (SUNY) responded harshly to the appearance at one of the dorms of an anti-Trump swastika on Friday, New York’s WXXI News reported.
“We condemn the recent abhorrent display of hate, racial bigotry and antisemitism at SUNY Geneseo in the strongest terms, and will continue our efforts to make all campuses welcoming and inclusive places to live and learn,” said SUNY Student Assembly President Marc Cohen and SUNY Geneseo Student Government President Michael Baranowski in a joint statement on Monday. “We now as student leaders need to make our voices heard on issues of racial discrimination and antisemitism and bigotry now more than ever before.”
The statement was issued following the conclusion of the annual Student Assembly’s fall conference in Albany, which brings together more than 350 student leaders from across SUNY’s 64 campuses.
In response to the antisemitic graffiti, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered New York State Police, SUNY Police and the State Division of Human Rights to investigate the incident, according to the WXXI News report.
Who is Walid Phares, Trump’s Mideast adviser?
One of the first things Donald Trump’s Middle East adviser, Walid Phares, did after the US election was try and calm any anxieties in the region over the change in American leadership.
“A Donald Trump administration will surprise the region’s peoples with a positive message of peace, security and prosperity so much needed,” he told Egypt’s Al-Ahram newspaper.
Phares, a Maronite Christian who reportedly served as an ideologue of Lebanese militiamen during the civil war in the 1980s, is expected to land a major foreign-policy post, but he is already facing criticism over his past alleged role motivating fighters during the bloody Lebanese conflict and his perceived far-right views as an academic and analyst of the region.
His supporters argue that he presciently discerned the threat of jihadist ideology when other analysts were blind to it and that he is eminently qualified for a senior post. They also point to a strong pro-Israel track record and dismiss the questions about his past as a smear campaign.
What if Donald Trump did Move the American Embassy to Jerusalem?
Miriam Elman had an excellent post on Sunday on the possibility that, once inaugurated as president, Donald Trump would do what none of his predecessors ever did despite their promises and move the American embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, Israel’s capital.
The reason that Bill Clinton and George W. Bush never followed the law calling for moving the embassy because the law has a waiver provision, allowing the president not to move the embassy if he deems the move to threaten the national security.
The foreign policy smart set says that the president can’t do this because it will hurt the United States in the Arab world or because it would show the Palestinians that the United States is on Israel’s side or that it would prejudge the terms of any final deal between Israel and the Palestinians.
However, over the past eight years, President Barack Obama has put daylight between the United States and Israel, because as he put it, according to The Washington Post, “When there is no daylight, Israel just sits on the sidelines, and that erodes our credibility with the Arab states.” During Obama’s two terms in office there has been daylight and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has been no more inclined to make peace with Israel during the past eight years than he was during the tenure of President George W. Bush.
More Balfour Declaration resources
This post is part our series providing resources relating to the Balfour Declaration and it will be permanently available in the Library section on the menu bar above.
The Peel Commission report of 1937 includes testimony from former Prime Minister Lloyd George concerning the background to the 1917 Balfour Declaration.

On quest to clear Kasztner, historian ‘shocked’ to prove Nazi collaboration
Bogdanor’s new book, “Kasztner’s Crime,” published in October, sets out the case against the Jewish leader in damning detail. Even the most devoted defender might have second thoughts after reading his book.
Ironically, Bogdanor set out to work on the book almost a decade ago in a bid “to prove Kasztner’s innocence.” He was tired of seeing Kasztner’s name come up repeatedly in anti-Zionist propaganda.
Kasztner was a leader of a small Zionist grouping in Budapest towards the end of World War II. He led a Jewish rescue committee which, before the Nazis entered Hungary, did succeed in saving the lives of a number of Jews. But once the Nazis arrived, Kasztner, an ambitious lawyer, became embroiled in prolonged negotiations with the Nazi leadership, particularly Adolf Eichmann.
After complex dealings with Eichmann, Kasztner succeeded in getting the Nazis to agree to the deportation of a group of 1,684 Hungarian Jews, the so-called “Kasztner Train,” who eventually ended up in freedom in Switzerland.
But thousands more continued on the doomed path to Auschwitz. Bogdanor says that not only did Kasztner know they were being sent to their deaths, but that he actively kept such information secret from other Jews in Hungary and the wider Jewish world. (h/t Elder of Lobby)
Michael Lumish: This week on NOTHING LEFT (Nov 15, 2016)
This week we discuss the US election and the Middle East with academic and expert on political Islam, Greg Barton; we catch up again with Ron Jontof-Hutter in Berlin; and we speak with Aaron Langmaid, Herald-Sun journalist who attended the recent Rambam trip to Israel.
We also hear from Zenobia Ravji, a journalist who was invited to participate in a discussion on the BDS movement and a resolution supporting it proposed the New York City council, and of course we hear from Isi Leibler in Jerusalem who has his thoughts on the Trump victory ,you will be surprised .
On Anniversary of Paris Attack, Sting Opens Bataclan Gig with Song Called 'Inshallah'
In what The Rebel Media's Victor Laszlo perfectly labeled "a stunning display of sanctimony and insensitivity," pop superstar Sting opened last weekend's gig at the Bataclan club in Paris with a song called "Inshallah."
The Bataclan, you will remember, was the site of a ghastly Islamic terror attack in which jihadists tortured and slaughtered 90 trapped concertgoers. Sting's performance actually took place on the anniversary of that massacre, making his choice of "Inshallah," Arabic for "if God wills it," even more repulsive and inappropriate.
Sting introduced the song briefly in French. Below is the translation:
The next song is called "Inshallah." It’s a prayer [unintelligible]. It’s a proof of humility, courage and hope. It’s a story about a family on a small boat. I don’t have, unfortunately, any political solution to the migrant crisis, but I think if there’s any solution, we can find it if we show empathy, if we imagine ourselves on one of those boats, with our children and the loved ones. Here goes: "Inshallah."
Where is Sting's empathy for those innocent French citizens who were butchered a year ago in the very venue in which he was performing? Why didn't he write a song in solidarity with them and their children and loved ones? Where is his song condemning the ruthless violence of the jihadists who laughed at their moaning victims crying for help?
Germany Carries Out 200 Simultaneous Raids Against Islamists
German authorities have raided more than 200 mosques, apartments and offices across 10 states Tuesday to shut down a Salafist group connected to Islamic State.
The raids targeted the “True Religion” group for spreading a particularly conservative translation of the Koran. The group is not suspected of planning an attack but has allegedly been helping ISIS recruit fighters.
“We don’t want terrorism in Germany… and we don’t want to export terrorism,” Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said during a press conference.
Officials said a major source of radicalization in Germany has now been eradicated, and that those who “spread hate” will no longer be allowed to hide behind freedom of religion.
Graffiti artists create a different image of Israel on campuses
On this unseasonably warm and sunny day, students sit on the grassy knoll of McGill University’s expansive campus eating lunch and watching a couple of burly guys spray-painting on a large wooden canvas.
Images gradually appear: a Canadian flag, the word “peace,” and McGill’s avian mascot, the martlet. Then an Israeli flag and Hebrew lettering.
The men are Artists4Israel, professional American graffiti artists who tour college campuses in North America trying to create an image of Israel as other than a place of conflict.
This was the first time the New York-based program was in Montreal (McGill Nov. 8 and Concordia University Nov. 9), and it generated curiosity, which pleased Artists4Israel co-founder and director Craig Dershowitz.
The team, which included three artists, set up panels with a total footage of 8-by-16 feet. For three hours, they worked on tableaux that included the program’s message of “shalom” and elements the sponsoring organizations requested, such as the Canadian and university motifs.
Pro-Israel Artist Threatened With 5 Years in Jail for Anti-Terror Posters at GMU
It's not a story out of the Soviet Union though Oleg Atbashian, an artist, activist and commentator, had gotten in trouble for defying the authorities there too.
"Back in my Soviet dissident days, when I was collecting signatures in defense of Andrei Sakharov, I was screamed at, threatened, and lectured by the KGB and Communist funcionaries. What I never imagined was that in the United States, the land of the free, I would not only be subjected to similar treatment, but go to jail," Oleg writes.
But that's exactly what happened to him.
Oleg's mixture of art and satire took off with Communists for Kerry. He's the mastermind behind The People's Cube and his tweaking of the radical left and its alliance with Islamic terrorists allowed him to continue the same fight he had pursued in the days of the Soviet Union. But as the US comes to resemble the USSR, political satire and activism carries a serious price.
This is what happened to Oleg when he put up some of his Freedom Center posters challenging the anti-Semitic environment created by the left's alliance with Islamic terrorists on campus.
Following Exposé Backlash, Kent State Refuses to Cave to Pressure by Anti-Israel Groups Demanding Removal of Golda Meir Photo, Inspirational Quote
Kent State University said it won’t cave to pressure from anti-Israel student activists to dismantle a display featuring a photo of and quotation by the late Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir — which they claim serves as a daily reminder of racism on campus — after reportage by The Algemeiner earlier this month generated significant backlash.
The decision comes after university president Beverly Warren initially said that outrage expressed by the head of Kent State’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), as well as by the Spanish and Latino Student Association (SALSA), Ohio Student Association and Muslim Students Association — would be taken into consideration while weighing whether to remove the exhibit.
On Thursday, however, according to a school spokesperson, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Todd Diacon sent a letter to SJP president Yousof Mousa — which was obtained by The Algemeiner — informing him of the school’s decision to leave the display intact.
Mousa had initiated the controversy earlier this month by publishing an op-ed in the independent student website Kent Wired, accusing the late leader of the Jewish state of the “ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.”
Friends of the Earth Spokesman: Israel and ISIS are “Best Pals”
Asad Rehman is a senior spokesman for Friends of the Earth and is leading their delegation at the next UN Climate Change conference. As you can see above, Asad has worked out who are the real baddies when it comes to climate change: those pesky Zionists. He says Netanyahu and Israel are “best pals” with ISIS and advocates banning “Zionist organisations” from climate change events. Things are certainly hotting up at the Friends of the Earth press office this afternoon…
Now is not the time for BDS
Around this time a year ago, the Daily, as well as many other publications throughout the country, covered the University of Michigan Central Student Government’s first-ever Ethics Committee investigation. It was a probe to determine if I, an elected member of CSG at the time, was guilty of committing an unprecedented ethical violation because of my public and civil condemnation of an anti-Israel apartheid wall erected on campus.
Eventually, I was vindicated of any wrongdoing after a long, stressful process that included numerous threats and harassments by classmates and online trolls that went on for weeks after the investigation ended. Because of this horrifically negative experience and the unwanted attention paid to me in both the CSG weekly agenda and in The Michigan Daily, I have refrained from writing about my experience or matters pertinent to this subject. Today, I no longer feel I can remain silent.
On the night of Tuesday, Nov. 15, CSG will vote on a measure dealing with the proposed imposition of boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel, and Israel alone. This legislation is being brought forth by the same student organization that led the failed effort demanding my removal from the assembly, Students Allied for Freedom and Equality. This political organization has brought forth what I believe to be immoral legislation. The resolution is not an accurate representation of the University student population’s views on human rights violations, but is merely packaged and presented as such. In reality, it is a position offering only one narrative in the incredibly complex Arab-Israeli conflict, chock-full of regressive solutions that will only impede dialogue and aggravate tensions.
House bill extends criminal penalties to compliance with BDS
American lawmakers have introduced a bipartisan bill which stipulates that criminal penalties for boycotting Israel would be extended to companies complying with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, including the boycott of communities in Judea and Samaria.
Reps. Pete Roskam (R-IL), and Juan Vargas (D-CA), introduced the bill Monday, JTA reported. The measure is a companion to one introduced in the Senate in September by Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH), and Ben Cardin (D-MD), called the “Protecting Israel Against Discrimination Act.”
The House bill amends language in bills passed in the 1970s to combat the Arab League boycott of Israel to encompass the modern Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement – and to include efforts that would boycott goods produced in Judea and Samaria.
Whereas the original anti-boycott laws targeted companies cooperating with boycotts that were launched before Israel’s establishment as a means of squeezing its Jews, and then as a means of isolating the new Jewish state, the new bill appears to extend the definition to those who would use boycotts to pressure Israel into giving up territory.
Swastikas painted on vans outside London Jewish school
Swastikas were painted on vehicles parked outside a Jewish school in a Hasidic neighborhood.
Police are investigating the incident in which swastikas and the phrase “f*** off” were found on vans parked outside the Beis Malka Jewish Girls School in the northern London neighborhood of Stamford Hill, The Standard reported Monday.
“Young schoolchildren and their parents were shocked to discover the offensive graffiti,” a representative for the Jewish neighborhood watch group Shomrim told The Standard. “Sadly, swastikas and anti-Semitic graffiti is far too common in Stamford Hill.”
The neighborhood has been the site of other recent anti-Semitic incidents, with an average of eight incidents there being reported to Shomrim every week, according to a recent study by the group.
Israeli tech alerts drivers to crashes, road hazards
Israeli startup Nexar has decided not to wait for autonomous cars to make car travel safer. The Tel Aviv-based company says it has created the world’s first vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) network that aims detect dangers on the road and prevent collisions.
Nexar uses a V2V network that features real-time warning technology, including forward-collision warnings, that can be controlled by smartphone and a dashcam app powered by artificial intelligence.
Considering that in the United States in 2015, 94 percent of the over 35,000 vehicular fatalities that occurred were the direct result of human error, technology that could help drivers avoid mistakes fits right in to the growing quest of automakers to make their vehicles safer.
Driverless car technology and auto technologies that would remove human error from the driving experience have seen an explosion of interest this year by corporations and investors. There have been a dozen venture capital-backed exits in the auto tech sector since 2012, with five in 2016 alone, a report by CB Insights, a New York-based data company, shows.
Israel, Germany join forces in nanotechnology boost
Israel and Germany have set up a new three-year, €30 million plan to promote joint nanotechnology initiatives and are calling on companies and entities in both countries to submit proposals for funding for projects in this field.
The program will support joint projects and aims to boost cooperation between companies and research centers in the nanotechnology sector in Israel and Germany.
“Nanotech is the industry of the future in global hi-tech and Israel has set a goal of becoming a leader of this field, while cooperating with leading European countries,” Ilan Peled, manager of Technological Infrastructure Arena at the Israel Innovation Authority, said in a statement announcing the plan.
In the past decade nanotechnology, seen by many as the tech field of the future, has focused mainly on research. Now, however, Israel’s Innovation Authority, which has set up the joint program with Germany, believes the next decade will focus on the application of this research into products — and countries are keen to set up the right ecosystem that will draw companies operating in this field to them.
Happy 20th birthday, ICQ!
Uh-oh! It’s 20 years to the day since the introduction of one of the internet’s most well-remembered chat apps: ICQ.
It was pretty barebones in its first form, released by its Israeli student creators in November 1996, but over the next year had versions available for Windows 95, 3.1 (not everyone wanted to upgrade) and Macs (presumably System 7).
The online chat world was a simpler one at the time, at least in terms of the market and technology used. ICQ was simple and unencrypted, and every user was assigned a number — six digits at first, more later — for ease of operation.
You could message anyone whose number you had, and you could gather them by fair means or foul, on IRC, BBS or AOL — or at school, of course, the way you’d exchange phone numbers. At first, contact lists and other info were even kept client-side, making it an early success of peer-to-peer as well as messaging. And a relatively open architecture meant it could be cloned and forked.
Swimmers attempt 7-hour crawl across shrinking Dead Sea
Swimmers from around the world plunged into the salty waters of the Dead Sea on Tuesday to attempt a seven-hour swim across the fabled lake in a bid to draw attention to its environmental degradation.
Wearing protective masks and snorkels, 25 swimmers paddled through the muddy water to attempt the 15-kilometer (9-mile) swim from Jordan to Israel.
The Dead Sea, the lowest place on earth at 423 meters (1,388 feet) below sea level, has shrunk significantly over recent decades, a process environmentalists blame on unsustainable water management and over-exploitation of the lake’s minerals.
“We’re here for the first ever Dead Sea swim challenge with 25 swimmers that come from all over the world to send out a clear message to save the Dead Sea, which is shrinking today at an alarming rate,” said Mira Edelstein, from the environmental group EcoPeace, one of the swim’s organizers.
SWU-Israel Covers Bellator MMA Visit to Tel Aviv November 10, 2016
On November 10, 2016, Bellator MMA held their first major worldwide broadcast event in Tel Aviv. StandWithUs was honored to be the only Israel education organization invited to cover it. SWU interviewed Bellator MMA President Scott Coker and multiple fighters on their impressions of Israel and why it was chosen to host such a major event. For many of the fighters, this was their first visit to Israel. Arriving from all over the world, they were thrilled to visit the bustling city of Tel Aviv and witness the holy city of Jerusalem. For other fighters, including MMA legend Royce Gracie, Israel is an annual stop.
The MMA is so impressed with the talent in Israel, that it plans to host events there every year. StandWithUs showcased this incredible opportunity on our social media platforms. SWU-Israel is excited to reach new audiences on social media and show the world the myriad positive aspects of Israel.
Here are Comments from MMA President and the Fighters:
Royce Graci, "The show's coming to Israel is history for Bellator. Its the first time in the Middle East and gives locals the opportunity to show their technique." I will be coming back forever, every July."
Scott Coker, Bellator MMA President, "We wanted to go places where some of the best talent lives and there are a lot of great martial arts here that people don't know about. This fight will not just be broadcast here or the States, its going to air in 140 countries around the world."
SWU wondered whether people's perspectives about Israel would change from seeing it in Israel.
StandWithUs+: Bellator MMA Fighters Loving Israel


Shaq dances the hora at a Jewish wedding
Let’s face it: at 7’1’’ and 350 pounds, Shaq is built to dunk. But dancing? Well, you may be surprised: This past weekend, at a Jewish wedding in Miami, the former NBA star danced the hora.
The guests of newlyweds Blair Markowitz and Corey Salter look ecstatic in a video of the momentous event, published Tuesday by TMZ. The groom’s father, Jamie Salter, works with Shaq through the Authentic Brands Group, which owns and manages his intellectual property.
As the band sings “Moshiach! Moshiach!” Shaq and seemingly diminutive guests dance in a small circle, beaming. At one point, a man in a white dress shirt gives the Diesel a big hug.
Unfortunately, as TMZ points out, we didn’t learn how many Jews it takes to lift one Shaquille O’Neal — reportedly, efforts to lift him in a chair failed miserably.





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This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 12 years and over 25,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.

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