Tuesday, November 22, 2016

From Ian:

Top Congressman: Palestinian Authority’s ‘Pay-to-Slay’ Scheme Has Got to Stop
The US must cut off funding to the Palestinian Authority if it continues to pay monetary rewards to terrorists and their families, the chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs said on Sunday.
“This pay-to-slay scheme has got to stop,” Republican Congressman Ed Royce of California said in remarks at the Zionist Organization of America’s annual awards gala in New York City.
With this goal in mind — as reported by The Algemeiner — three Republican senators (Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Dan Coats of Indiana and Roy Blunt of Missouri) introduced the “Taylor Force Act” earlier this year, which was named after the 28-year-old West Point graduate who was stabbed to death on the Tel Aviv beach promenade by a Palestinian terrorist in March.
Another speaker at Sunday’s ZOA dinner — which was the subject of controversy after it was announced last week that senior Donald Trump adviser Stephen Bannon, who has faced allegations of antisemitism, would be in attendance (he ultimately did not show up) — was internationally renowned legal expert Alan Dershowitz.
“The Left in Europe and the United States is moving more left, and the Right is moving more right,” Dershowitz said. “I think these trends are troubling…Israel and Jews have historically always thrived at the center. We’ve always suffered between the extremes of right and left…between the black of fascism and the red of communism.”
Shmuley Boteach: Stop the Syrian genocide or cancel the Elie Wiesel Lecture
Through all these declarations, Power, along with Secretary of State John Kerry, was in negotiations with Iran and made not a single public demand that it stop promising a second Holocaust. The Iranian incitement to genocide is in direct violation of the UN’s own 1948 Anti-Genocide convention. Still, Power remained silent. Perhaps she believed that President Barack Obama’s deal was actually good for Israel. Still, she could have given one speech at the UN Security Council demanding that Iran stop promising to kill all the Jews.
She did not.
Beyond supporting the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Samantha has further made excuses for Iran’s ballistic missile tests and violations of the nuclear agreement. Even as evidence of Iran’s cheating have been publicized Power has claimed its compliance has been “strong.” When the International Atomic Energy Agency accused Iran of violating the agreement in its latest report, Power was silent while her State Department gave an Orwellian explanation for why Iran’s behavior was not problematic.
Jews are only threatened with slaughter. But Power has not forcefully raised her voice while people are being murdered every day in the Middle East and North Africa. Shi’ites and Sunnis kill each other on a daily basis throughout the Middle East, while thousands die in Sudan, Nigeria, Libya and Yemen.
Christian communities that have existed for centuries in the Middle East are being decimated as many men, women and children are killed or forced to flee.
Power, to be worthy of Elie Wiesel, should be saying so much more.
The Hypocrisy of the Anti-War Left
In October 2015, during a battle for the northern Afghan city of Kunduz, U.S. forces accidentally bombed a hospital belonging to Doctors Without Borders. The French NGO immediately accused the U.S. of committing a “war crime,” and the U.S. military launched an internal investigation that resulted in disciplinary measures for 16 personnel.
Fast forward to today. Bashar Assad’s and Vladimir Putin’s air forces are deliberately–not accidentally–targeting hospitals in Aleppo so as to make the rebel-held parts of the city uninhabitable.
“Bombs launched by the Syrian government over the past three days seriously damaged two general hospitals that were providing trauma care in the war zone and hit the only children’s hospital, according to doctors, nurses, and residents,” the New York Times reported. “The destruction left more than a quarter-million people in eastern Aleppo without hospital care, the W.H.O. said.”
This is only the latest atrocity carried out by the regime and its foreign enablers–Russia and Iran. They not only bomb hospitals, they routinely bomb civilian neighborhoods and impose sieges which make it impossible to get food or medicine to civilians trapped in the fighting. The Assad regime is responsible for the vast majority of deaths in the Syrian civil war, which may have claimed as many as 500,000 lives to say nothing of the far larger number injured and turned into refugees.



Honest Reporting: What Would It Take to Spark Media Introspection Over Mideast Coverage?
Since the US elections, the journalism industry has been humbled by Donald Trump’s unexpected win. Long-held assumptions are flying out the window. Long-held practices will hopefully be re-examined. A “reality check,” after all, means you may not be in sync with reality.
How big a problem is it?
It’s coming out that journalists operated in a bubble. Blind spots were further exacerbated by a lack of diversity in the nation’s newsrooms. Editors were willfully misled by polls. We devoured and shared shallow graphics and interactive features without realizing that reality is far more complicated than a graphic artist can possibly convey. Analysts proffering what we thought was wisdom and meaning were compromised.
Adding insult to injury, fake news is now a thing.
I welcome the media’s soul-searching, and I’m hopeful that at least some news services will make meaningful changes in the way they cover US politics and society. But I’ve been monitoring Western coverage of Israel and the Mideast conflict for 15 years now and here’s what I wonder:
What would it take to spark Western media introspection over its Mideast coverage?
Unfortunately, the more I think about it, the more pessimistic I become. Here are three reasons why.
NGO Monitor: European Funded NGOs linked to PFLP Terror Network, IBA News, November 14, 2016
Read NGO Monitor's full report: The European-Funded NGO PFLP Network, available here (pdf)


Vic Rosenthal: Film Review: “Hate Spaces: The Politics of Intolerance on Campus”
“Hate Spaces” is a documentary film (view the trailer here) produced by Ralph Avi Goldwasser and Americans for Peace and Tolerance, who also gave us “The J Street Challenge,” and as the full title suggests, it describes the recent surge of anti-Jewish and anti-Israel activity on American university campuses.
I’ve written about the phenomenon more than once, so I didn’t expect to be surprised by anything in the film. But despite knowing about the various incidents described, the sheer volume and intensity of them taken together left me shaken. Yes, shaken, and I’m not easy to shake.
I was an academic for a short time some decades ago, and the combination of ideological intensity and insulation from the real world that characterizes many students and faculty is not entirely unfamiliar to me, but I couldn’t have imagined that it would focus this way, on one group and one target – my people and my country.
Student activism has always centered around freedom, anti-authoritarianism, opposition to oppression of minorities and support for civil rights, especially free speech. What is happening on campuses is that these principles are being twisted so that the outcome, rather than a reduction in oppression and increased human rights, is the intimidation, marginalization, silencing and even persecution of Jewish and (especially) pro-Israel students.
Although only a few incidents of physical violence have been reported, psychological and academic pressure is widespread, and pro-Israel speech by students or invited speakers is disrupted – or restricted due to fear of disruption.
Moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem: A Great Opportunity for the New President
Moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem would be a good example of the kind of policy change that President-Elect Donald Trump has said is needed in Washington. More importantly, this action could mark a new US strategy for pursuing Israeli-Palestinian peace: Telling the truth.
The US State Department, which has always opposed moving the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, understands very well that any peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians will leave at least western Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and part of sovereign Israel. So why will the State Department nevertheless advise President-Elect Donald Trump not to fulfill his promise to move the embassy?
Moving the embassy to Israel’s actual capital would provoke Arab anger at the US and lead to protests that might turn violent. The foreign policy establishment wishes to prevent this result and protect America’s status as an “honest broker.” It therefore continues to insist that because Jerusalem’s ultimate status can only be determined by agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, and that it would be wrong for the US to “prejudge” the outcome by acting on the truth that Israel’s capital is Jerusalem.
This is a perfect example of the kind of politically-correct establishment pettifogging that Trump campaigned against. Moving the embassy to Jerusalem is a low-cost action that he could take as soon as he is inaugurated, and one of the easiest and quickest changes in policy that he could implement. The new US consulate in Jerusalem was built with security features that would be needed for an embassy, so the move could be started almost immediately, without any prejudice to the Palestinian claim to eastern Jerusalem.
The State Department’s insistence on the diplomatic fiction that none of Jerusalem is part of Israel helps preserve the Palestinian hope that, someday, Israel will be forced to give up its capital and will be destroyed as the independent, democratic Jewish state.
Keith Ellison Supports BDS and Admires Louis Farrakhan. So Why Are Jewish Democrats Supporting Him for Chairman of the DNC?
Why is such a stance necessary? During the Obama years, real anti-Semitism—grotesque libels and actual violence—grew dramatically around the world. In Europe and the Middle East victims of Islamic terror were deemed “innocent victims”—unless they were Jews, in which case they were somehow combatants in a righteous struggle. Here in America, for the first time in our lives, as Obama and Kerry’s “Israel is our misfortune” rumblings grew, we heard rabbis and Jewish leaders—including ADL’s previous chief executive—discuss in agonized tones how the world was beginning to resemble the 1930s. Under Obama, for the first time, we witnessed older Jews huddle after synagogue for hushed debates about whether there was anywhere left for Jews to run now that America was growing inhospitable and Israel was being put under the existential threat of nuclear annihilation. Younger Jews became hesitant to wear yarmulkes on campuses and on the streets.
Donald Trump didn’t pave the way for Iran—a country that quite literally and repeatedly promises to commit genocide against Jews—to acquire a nuclear bomb. Nor did Trump and his close aides seek to demonize his opponents as “wealthy donors” and “warmongers” with loyalties to a foreign power. Nor did Trump ally the United States with Iran in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq. President Barack Obama did all these things, and he did them openly, with hardly a peep from the same people who now pretend to fear for their lives under Donald Trump.
Who knows? Maybe reasonable people can differ about these things. But here’s another thing to consider: The people who vouched for Obama to the American Jewish community are now vouching for Rep. Ellison, while condemning Donald Trump and his advisers for the sins of stoking hatred and anti-Semitism that Obama demonstrably committed, and the Democratic Party is now hoping to induce our community to forget.
Democrats Must Scrutinize Keith Ellison’s Antisemitic Past and Ties to Radical Islam
Despite the furor over Trump aide Steve Bannon’s alleged antisemitism, there’s been virtually no media attention paid to the person likely to become the next chair of the Democratic National Committee, Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN).
The man poised to head the Democrat Party was a spokesman for the Nation of Islam (NOI) well into his 30s, who publicly spewed antisemitism and, later in life, as a Congressional candidate, knowingly accepted $50,000 in campaign contributions given and raised by Islamic radicals who openly supported terrorism and were leaders of front groups for Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.
And once in office as a congressman, Ellison more than hinted that 9/11 was an inside job carried out to create a pretext for war against Muslims – a trope often pushed by antisemites who claim Israeli or “Mossad” complicity, by comparing the toppling of the Twin Towers to the Reichstag Fire, the infamous 1933 arson of the German Parliament building, which the Nazis pinned on Communists to gain majority control of the government.
To be clear, Ellison has never genuinely repudiated his past antisemitism or his close association with the terror-tied Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) or its co-founder, Nihad Awad, who has publicly supported Islamic terrorism.
Muslim Brotherhood-Tied Group Paid for Keith Ellison to Visit Mecca in 2008
The House Ethics Committee opened an investigation into Rep. Keith Ellison (D., Minn.) after he failed to disclose that a group founded by members of the Muslim Brotherhood paid for him to make a pilgrimage to the Islamic holy site of Mecca in Saudi Arabia.
Top Democrats have considered shifting to the left by electing Ellison party chairman, but critics say his previous association with radical groups should disqualify him from the leadership role.
Ellison has associated with the Muslim American Society, a Virginia-based group founded by Muslim Brotherhood members in 1993 to act as the “overt arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States,” according to federal prosecutors in 2007. The United Arab Emirates recently added the group to a list of terrorist organizations.
In 2008, the society paid for Ellison, a practicing Muslim, to make a 16-day pilgrimage, known as the hajj, to Mecca. He was joined on the trip by Asad Zaman, who sits on the board of the Muslim American Society’s Minnesota chapter. Zaman has contributed thousands of dollars to Ellison’s congressional runs, both before and after the Mecca trip.
Eight months after Ellison returned from the trip, the House Ethics Committee questioned why he did not disclose the amount of money that the Muslim American Society paid for him to take the trip, which qualifies as a gift to a public official.
IsraellyCool: Something That Is REALLY Going To Upset Roger Waters
Roger Waters has made it crystal clear he hates Israel and will try to persuade all acts to boycott us. Needless the say, the chance of a Pink Floyd concert here is not very likely.
But not to worry Israeli Pink Floyd fans! It seems like a loophole has been found – the UK Pink Floyd Experience tribute band!
They’ll be touring Israel in January next year unless Roger insists they don’t, in which case he might actually yield some power – unlike most acts which have told him where to go.
Revealed: Student “suffering from nightmares” after 3rd grade anti-Israel event
On Friday morning, September 18, 2015, the third grade classes at the Beverly J. Martin School in Ithaca, NY, heard a presentation on “human rights” by Palestinian activist Bassem Tamimi and local anti-Israel activists, led by Ariel Gold.
In fact, through the investigative and litigation efforts of Legal Insurrection, it has become clear that the Tamimi event was an anti-Israel propaganda event targeting young children, and as we just learned, caused at least one student to suffer nightmares.
The Attempt to Portray the Tamimi Event as Loving and Promoting Peace
On Sunday night, September 20, Legal Insurrection broke the story, Anti-Israel activism hits elementary school in Ithaca, NY.
Because of Tamimi’s notoriety for exploiting children in videotaped confrontations with Israeli soldiers, Tamimi’s mere appearance in a third grade class raised suspicions about the event.
“Why I was arrested and thrown in jail by George Mason U. police”
Oleg Atbashian is the creator of the satirical political website The People’s Cube, which eventually spawned the satirical political website iOwnTheWorld.
Atbashian was born in the former Soviet Union and knows the evils of censorship and unchecked government power all too well. As we mentioned in a recent post, he was arrested earlier this month for placing anti-terrorism posters on the campus of George Mason University.
Now he’s telling the full story:
Why I was arrested & thrown in jail by @GeorgeMasonU police
As you may have heard, on November 4th I was arrested, handcuffed, and taken to jail for posting anti-terror stickers on George Mason University campus. I was charged with “class 6 felony for destruction of property,” threatened with five years in prison, and released 14 hours later on $8,000 bail posted by my wife. The court date is now set for February 14th, 2017.
You can read the full description of how it happened in a number of news stories below. Now I’d like to explain why I did it.
George Mason University (GMU) ranks number three in the top 10 most anti-Semitic campuses, with very active, rabidly anti-Israel student groups, who thrive in the school’s politically correct climate. The administrators’ endorsement of pro-terror activism may be explained not only by their “progressive” ideology, but also by large donations from Islamist groups tied to terror finance – two factors that have been increasingly converting American universities into Marxist madrassas. For more background, see a well-researched article about this case by Kyle Shideler.
CNN apologizes for 'Are Jews People' headline
CNN viewers are angry over a caption flashed on the screen during a segment on white supremacist groups which read “Alt-right founder questions whether Jews are people".
The segment was aired Monday on “The Lead,” which was being guest-hosted by Jim Sciutto.
The discussion with the CNN panelists included statements made over the weekend by Richard Spencer at an event of the white supremacist think tank the National Policy Institute. Spencer said of political commentators, after suggesting that the news media had been critical of presidential candidate Donald Trump in order to protect Jewish interests: “One wonders if these people are people at all, or instead soulless golem.”
CNN said in a statement of the banner caption, called a chyron: “It was poor judgment and we very much regret it and apologize.”
Revisiting the BBC News website’s PFLP profile
Following the terror attack at the Kehilat Ya’akov Synagogue in the Har Nof neighbourhood of Jerusalem on November 18th 2014, the BBC News website produced a profile of the organisation with which the two terrorists were affiliated.Pigua Har Nof PFLP art
Two years later, that profile remains online with its inaccurate main illustrative photograph. The article’s presentation of the number of Israelis murdered in the Har Nof attack is also inaccurate:
“It was also not clear how involved the PFLP leadership had been in the attack in November 2014 that saw two members of the group armed with axes storm a synagogue complex in West Jerusalem and kill four rabbis in the middle of their morning prayers.
A statement by the Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades praised the “heroic operation” by Ghassan and Uday Abu Jamal, but did not specify whether the cousins had been instructed to carry out the attack.”
In fact, five people (four worshippers and a policeman) were killed during the attack and one additional victim succumbed to his wounds a year later but the BBC’s article has not been updated accordingly.
The article refrains from describing the PFLP as a terrorist organisation in the BBC’s own words, with that definition attributed to Israeli authorities in quotation marks:
In Reuters Report, No Counterpoint to What “Palestinian Leaders Say”
"Palestinian leaders say" lots of things. And it's perfectly reasonable for Reuters journalists to include their talking points in its news reports.
But when only one side's views are shared with readers, the impartial journalism Reuters promises starts to look more like a partisan platform. Consider the Nov. 18 Reuters article "Gaza man shot dead in protest near border with Israel: Palestinians." (What the Reuters headlines describes as "protests" Israel dubbed a "riot." Even Palestinian headlines more precisely referred to "clashes.")
In the body of the piece, Reuters mentions the past year's wave of deadly Palestinian attacks against Israelis and shared Palestinian rationalizations for the anti-Jewish violence, but completely ignored Israel's view of what fuels the attacks:
Palestinians, many of them acting alone and with rudimentary weapons, have killed at least 33 Israelis and two visiting Americans.
Palestinian leaders say assailants have acted out of desperation over the collapse of peace talks in 2014 and Israeli settlement expansion in Israeli-occupied territory that Palestinians seek for an independent state.

"Palestinian leaders say," and that is all. But Israeli leaders (and plenty of independent analysts) have also weighed in on this topic. It is Palestinian incitement, they say, that inspires Palestinian violence.
US Holocaust museum alarmed over 'hateful speech' by white nationalists
The US Holocaust Memorial Museum expressed alarm on Monday over "hateful speech" at a white nationalist meeting over the weekend, and a restaurant apologized for hosting the group after a woman tweeted a picture of herself making a Nazi salute.
The National Policy Institute, a think tank that is part of the alt-right movement that includes neo-Nazis, white supremacists and antisemites, held a gathering at the federally owned Ronald Reagan Building on Saturday.
The alt-right movement came to the fore during the US presidential election. President-elect Donald Trump has drawn criticism for naming Steve Bannon, former head of a website linked to the alt-right, as his chief White House strategist.
Trump's transition team issued a statement on Monday saying Trump has continued to denounce racism, CNN reported.
Swiss government wants Jews to fund their own security costs
Switzerland’s Jews need to fund their own security costs even though doing so is really the government’s responsibility, a Swiss government agency said in a report on anti-Semitism.
The unusual assertion came in a report published last week by the Swiss interior ministry’s Service for the Fight against Racism. It prompted a mixed reaction by the country’s Jewish communities, who welcomed the report’s naming of the problem but criticized its failure to offer alternative solutions.
“Where credible indications suggest that the Jewish community, Jews or Jewish institution may be targeted in violent attacks, the state — meaning the federal confederation or its cantons — is positively duty bound to offer protection and guarantee individual safety, even at the expense of elevated expenditure of human of financial resources,” states the 18-page document, entitled “Report on the measures taken by the federal state to combat anti-Semitism in Switzerland.”
And while Swiss Jews are at such risk, “there is no constitutional or legal basis permitting the participation of the federal state in the costs of security costs to protect Jewish institution.” Therefore, “Jewish organizations could create a foundation for financing their security costs,” the document goes on to recommend.
Polish man sentenced for burning effigy of haredi Jew
A Polish man was sentenced to prison for burning an effigy of a haredi Orthodox Jew at a demonstration against Muslim refugees in western Poland.
Piotr Rybak received a 10-month jail sentence on Monday for burning the effigy in the Wroclaw central market in November 2015. The decision by the Wroclaw municipal court will be reviewed by a second court.
“For everyone living in Poland after World War II it is a clear statement of the terms ‘burning’ and ‘a Jew.’ This gesture should be read as a threat of annihilation, eg. by burning,” said prosecutor Katarzyna Zagwojska.
Rybak’s defense attorney reminded the court that the effigy — which included a black hat, beard, side curls and black clothing — was burnt during a demonstration against the taking in of Muslim refugees and not against the Jewish community. Rybak had previously told the court that the effigy was meant to represent philanthropist George Soros, an American Jewish billionaire.
UK, India tech firms call for Israel-style tech hub
Umbrella organizations representing technology and software companies in India and the UK have called on UK Prime Minister Theresa May and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi to set up a joint tech hub in India inspired by the “pioneering model” of a hub set up by the British Embassy in Israel.
“The relationship between the UK and Indian ICT sectors has seen a step change in recent years and our shared goal of being global centres for innovation make the UK and India natural partners in technology,” Julian David, CEO of techUK, and Rentala Chandrashekhar, the president of NASSCOM, said in a joint letter to May and Modi on November 4, ahead of her visit to India.
“Our Governments’ commitment to emerging sectors such as FinTech, cyber security, the Internet of Things (IoT) and smart cities provides fertile ground for new joint initiatives between UK and Indian businesses. As such, techUK and NASSCOM encourage the UK Government to consider establishing a tech hub in India following the pioneering model of the British Embassy in Israel.”
techUK represents more than 900 member companies that collectively employ approximately 700,000 members, about half of all tech jobs in the UK. The companies range from FTSE 100 firms to startups. NASSCOM is a nonprofit trade association of Indian IT companies with over 2,000 members, including 250 international firms.
IsraellyCool: El Al’s Planes Will Be Powered By British Rolls Royce Jet Engines
In yet another blow to the isolate Israel crowd, the following announcement just appeared on the UK’s embassy in Israel twitter account and the Foreign and Commonwealth website:
Barry Grossman, Director of Trade & Investment at British Embassy Israel in Tel Aviv writes the following:
After two years of negotiations we succeeded. EL AL chose the Trent engine, giving Rolls-Royce a massive £1 billion win – and the UK its largest ever trade deal with Israel. David Maimon, President & CEO of EL AL, said that “there is a natural synergy between Boeing and Rolls-Royce”.
For EL AL, the Trent engine was right, the price was right and, no less important, working with Rolls-Royce felt right. Now we just have to wait and see if the new Dreamliner will enable EL AL to get me to my destination on time – and with extra leg room.
Earliest Alphabet Ever Identified As Hebrew: Substantiates Biblical Narrative
A new report states that the oldest alphabet in the world is Hebrew, and substantiates Biblical claims that the Hebrews indeed lived in Egypt at the time of the Exodus.
Archaeologist and epigrapher Douglas Petrovich of Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Canada studied stone slabs at several Egyptian sites, and found that the Israelites translated hieroglyphics into Hebrew 1.0 over 3,800 years ago.
Speaking at the annual meeting of the American Schools of Oriental Research on November 17, Petrovich said the Israelites wanted to communicate with their brethren, and simplified the complex hieroglyphic writing system of the Pharoahs into 22 alphabetic letters. He asserted, “There is a connection between ancient Egyptian texts and preserved alphabets.”
Inscriptions along the left edge of the slab read, “The one having been elevated is weary to forget.” Inscriptions across the top read, “The overseer of minerals, Ahisemach.”
Petrovich was anticipated by a German scholar in the 1920s who identified the ancient Egyptian writing as Hebrew, but cold not identify many letters in the alphabet. But in January 2012, Petrovich found the word “Hebrews” in a text from 1874 B.C. that includes the earliest known alphabetic letter at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. Traditional Jewish texts attribute the Israelites’ sojourn in Egypt from 1876 B.C. to 1442 B.C.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Dead Sea Scroll Fragments Just Boy Practicing Forging Mom’s Signature (satire)
Scholars exploring the remaining pieces of ancient parchment not included in the formal collection of writings known as the Dead Sea Scrolls have determined that a large number of the pieces can be traced to a single schoolchild attempting to duplicate his parents’ signatures to forge notes excusing him from school.
More than one hundred fragments of parchment feature all or part of two recurring names, one of a man and one of a woman, and the same handwriting appears on several separate fragments containing messages to a teacher, asking him to excuse a boy’s absence for various reasons.
Archaeologists made the discoveries as part of a renewed effort to find and preserve any remaining ancient scrolls before antiquities thieves can get to them. The arid desert environment has proved excellent for the preservation of the ancient documents, many of which were stored inside clay jars in the desert caves more than two thousand years ago. The new search effort uncovered a trove of parchment fragments in the loose earth of one secluded cave, which archaeologists suspect was also the temporary home of a family with school-age children.
“The letter formation and style of script is unlike the other scrolls we’ve found in the area,” explained team leader Tay Rutz. “These are clearly the work of an inexperienced hand, likely a child, and the content of the fragments is consistent with the behavior of a child – perhaps a precocious eight-year-old. The prevailing hypothesis has these pieces, which so far number one a hundred-thirty, all being the product of the same quill, and all part of a concerted effort to trick a teacher into excusing one Yishai, son of Shimon and Miriam, from his studies.”
Why ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ is an allegory about anti-Semitism
The first spin-off from the Harry Potter film series, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” is a thrilling and at times darkly sinister adventure. The movie, which launched a new five-film franchise with new characters, has already cast a spell over Potter fans, raking in a box office best $75 million in its opening weekend.
It also happens to be an allegory of the perils of anti-Semitism, xenophobia, and a general fear of the other in modern society.
The film’s plot follows Newt Scamander — a young “magizoologist” who has traveled the world studying exotic magical creatures, played by Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne — around New York City in 1926.
Along the way, as he attempts to find some “beasts” who have escaped from his magical suitcase, Newt befriends three characters who are presumed to be Jewish: Tina Goldstein, who works for The Magical Congress of the United States, her sister Queenie, and Jacob Kowalski, a World War I veteran who wants to open a bakery on the Lower East Side (he bakes confections from recipes passed down from his presumably Jewish grandmother).
J.K. Rowling always avoids identifying religions in her works, but an establishing shot of an Orchard Street sign in the heart of the Lower East Side — which was New York’s Jewish immigrant epicenter in the early decades of the 20th century — feels like a crystal clear hint.
JPost Editorial: Israel and India
President Reuven Rivlin’s eight-day trip to India is yet another sign of Israel’s warming ties with the Asian giant. Rivlin is in India with a delegation of Israeli businesses to mark a quarter of a century of diplomatic relations between the two countries. The president is a guest speaker at the Confederation of Indian Industries Premier Biennial Agro Technology and Business Fair.
He will also visit the sites of the November 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks that killed 195 people, including 162 Indians and nine Israelis.
The two events – the agro convention and the eight-year anniversary of the Mumbai attack – underline the two fields in which Israel and India have fruitful cooperation: business and defense.
Israel’s innovative, dynamic and free economy has so much to contribute and teach India. And India’s huge market offers an important destination for Israeli products.
Indian farmers can benefit from Israeli expertise in drip irrigation, water security, methods to increase milk production in cows and genetic advances that breed disease-free poultry among others. Hi-tech startups in Bangalore and Hyderabad see Israeli firms as role models of creativity.
Rivlin lights memorial candle at Mumbai Chabad House
The bullet holes from Mumbai’s terrorist attack eight years ago this month still mark a small wall in the Chabad House where six people lost their lives.
Next to the wall hangs a photograph of two of the victims, Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg, 29, and his wife, Rivka, two Israeli emissaries from Chabad who had opened the center in a five-story apartment building off a crowded street in 2006.
On Monday evening, President Reuven Rivlin walked up the second floor and lit a candle in their memory, as his last act before leaving India after an eight-day trip.
“Terrorism will never win,” he said, as he stood at a wooden podium surrounded by dozens of reporters.
Rivlin recalled how the Holtzbergs’ son, Moshe, then two, had been saved by his Indian nanny, Sandra Samuel, both of whom now live in Israel.
“We will never forget her bravery,” Rivlin said.




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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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