Tuesday, November 29, 2016

From Ian:

Time to scrutinise foreign aid
From The Australian, 29 Nov 2016:
If the Israelis are right, the Australian taxpayer has been one of the biggest (unwitting) funders of the terror group Hamas in Gaza. The claim is that money given to World Vision for farms and other economic projects has been diverted to build a military base, tunnels and weapons for Hamas. The head of World Vision Gaza, Mohammad El Halabi, stands accused of funnelling $US43 million ($57.4m) to Hamas since infiltrating the charity in 2010. These are serious allegations. Australia gives aid money to the Palestinian Authority to encourage the economic development without which a two-state solution cannot be viable. It is a destructive fraud if those funds are used to bankroll terror.
There is much at stake. Through AusAID and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Australian government has been the world’s single biggest donor to World Vision in Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza, as we reported yesterday.
Tim Costello, chief executive of World Vision in August when charges were brought against Mr Halabi, stressed the agency’s work in Gaza was subject to “regular internal and independent audits”. This week, a spokeswoman for World Vision said it had “yet to see any substantive evidence to support the charges made by the Israeli authorities”. There is no suggestion that the World Vision hierarchy was aware of the alleged fraud. Even so, it was the correct step to suspend World Vision’s operations in Gaza and to put a freeze on funding from DFAT. The Israelis can answer for the integrity of their justice system but Australia must ensure that the DFAT review of Gaza funding is thorough and its results open to public scrutiny. The Australian allegations have a larger context. In June this year, a former British cabinet minister, Eric Pickles, complained that British financial assistance to the PA was being used to free up money to pay prisoners convicted of violent crime in the conflict with Israel. Last month, Britain suspended millions of pounds in financial aid to the PA pending an investigation into claims that money was ending up in the hands of terrorists.
The PA has received an estimated $US25 billion in financial aid from the US and other countries during the past two decades, according to Khaled Abu Toameh, a journalist writing for the Gatestone Institute. He argues that the failure of the US and Europe to hold Yasser Arafat accountable for this money encouraged the corruption that pushed Palestinians into the arms of Hamas. “Unless Western donors bang on the table and demand that the Palestinian Authority use their money to bring democracy to its people and prepare them for peace, the prospects of reviving any peace process in the Middle East will remain zero,” Abu Toameh says.

Pro-Israel Christians Launch Video to Push Taylor Force Act, End 'Pay to Slay'
Christians United for Israel (CUFI), the largest pro-Israel organization in the United States, has launched a new effort to promote the Taylor Force Act, a bill that would make aid to the Palestinian Authority conditional on efforts to stop terror.
On Monday, CUFI released a new video promoting the act as an “opportunity for bipartisan cooperation,” and launched a new website, www.stopmoneyformurder.org, that features the video and the stories of American victims of Palestinian terrorism.
The Palestinian Authority (PA) often provides public support for terrorism, including direct incitement against Israelis and Jews through the media, and indirect encouragement in the form of public monuments named to honor Palestinian terrorists. It also provides salaries directly from the Palestinian Authority budget to convicted Palestinian terrorists in Israeli prisons.
CUFI states at its new website:
…the PA makes generous financial payments to terrorists. PA legislation actually requires these payments and specifies that the more Israelis (including other innocent bystanders) a terrorist kills, the more money the terrorist will receive. If the terrorist is killed or imprisoned, his family receives these payments. The sums involved are far more than most Palestinians could ever make through honest work.
In addition, the PA encourages violence by praising terrorists as “martyrs” and “heroes” and naming its streets, stadiums and town squares after them. The PA delegitimizes Israel by denying the Jewish connection to the Land of Israel in its textbooks and on its television. The PA’s recent lies about Israel’s intentions on the Temple Mount have fueled the latest “stabbing intifada.”
WATCH: CUFI Making A Big Noise About Murder Payments
Christians United For Israel (CUFI) has launched a campaign against US funding going to the Palestinian Authority (PA) and used to reward terrorists.
The website is Stop Money For Murder.
Britain has already suspended payments to the Palestinian Authority, for which the Israeli press gave Kay Wilson a huge amount of deserved credit. Lets see if the USA can follow suit and end these barbaric rewards for murder.
Stop Money For Murder - Christians United for Israel




France's Politician Dhimmis
"Moreover, it is puzzling and disturbing that France adopts a double standard in relation to Israel, while ignoring 200 territorial conflicts currently taking place around the world, including those taking place right on its doorstep." — Response of Israel's Foreign Ministry to France's new labeling regulations.
In the Ukraine, a few sanctions were imposed by France and EU, but there was never any labeling of food or cosmetic products.
Ironically, and sadly, the people most negatively affected by the French and EU regulations will be the 25,000 Palestinians employed by Israelis in the West Bank.
In just one year, 2016, France and its socialist president have made multiple hostile gestures towards Israel, which reveal more about raw anti-Semitism posing as anti-Israelism in France than about its unjustly solitary target.
The Muslim vote is now an important factor in French politicians' decisions. In 2012, socialist President François Hollande was elected with 93% of the Muslim vote. That is how diplomacy is made conducted in France, and in Europe generally. It is a diplomacy solidly rooted in domestic policy. It is a domestic policy made by dhimmi politicians.
Thanks for the Memories: Why Israel Has No Use for American Jewish Organizations
Many American-Jewish organizations are currently minimizing antisemitism, and arguing that people who hate Israel are not antisemites. In this environment, does it make sense for Israel to keep aligning itself with these groups?
Case in point: A recent panel hosted by the Anti-Defamation League — entitled “Is Delegitimization of Israel Anti-Semitism?” — provided well-known anti-Zionists Jill Jacobs and Jane Eisner a platform to launch into tirades about the evils of the Jewish state. In addition, Jacobs defended the BDS movement against accusations of antisemitism, and criticized the American Jewish community for opposing BDS.
At this point, there’s little to connect the Jewish state to ostensibly centrist American-Jewish groups other than mystic chords of memory. The days when such organizations served to bolster Jewish sovereignty by way of a common, non-partisan commitment to the Zionist enterprise are long gone.
In recent years, Israel has actually been the primary source of friction between the Orthodox, secular, Reform and haredi communities in the United States. As a result, donations to Israel are no longer about helping the country’s poor, hungry or otherwise afflicted — nor are they about securing the Jewish state.
Today, it’s all about politics. American-Jewish organizations have morphed into appendages of one of the country’s two main political parties. With 70% of American Jews voting for Hillary Clinton in the presidential election, the vast majority of American-Jewish groups appear beholden to the Democrats.
And in the aftermath of Clinton’s loss, the Democratic Party may be turning against the Jewish state. Notably, Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison, the front-runner to be the next Democratic National Committee chairman, has a long history of anti-Israel, antisemitic and extremist radical Islamist involvements and positions.
J Street Lies Even to Its Own Members
While J Street tries to woo donors with graphs showing how well their candidates did, it doesn’t take a genius to realize that when you support mostly incumbents in favorably designed districts it will look like you know what you’re doing. The reelection of Representatives Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) and one of Israel’s most ruthless opponents, Debbie Dingell (D-MI), is not exactly a great achievement. They represent constituencies that would vote for the Easter Bunny if a “D” were next to its name.
This past election cycle, there were 20 key races in the House and Senate in which the Republican Jewish Coalition and J Street went head to head. When it was all done, the RJC beat their progressive counterpart nearly two to one.
Wisconsin and Pennsylvania are two swing states that haven’t swung GOP for President since the 1980s. Yet, J Street entered the political arena in both states, hoping to defeat the GOP senate incumbent. After running an ad denouncing Senators Ron Johnson (R) and Pat Toomey (R) for agreeing with Trump about the Iran nuclear deal, both men were re-elected and the states went GOP for the first time since the advent of the Internet.
You can add to J Street’s failures their efforts in Ohio, Florida, North Carolina and to a lesser extent Michigan.
Don’t expect J Street to learn from their drubbing anytime soon. In the advocacy world, results matter only if those who support you care enough to know the truth. Progressives tend to care more about intent than results.
J Street’s next mission is to give cover to Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN) during his bid for Democratic National Committee chair. His anti-Israel proclivities and antisemitic ties are undeniable. Still, J Street is selling him as “a true friend to the Jewish people.”
Need I say more?
Tennessee Students’ Calls to ‘Annihilate Jewish, Zionist Dogs’ Uncovered by Covert Campus Watchdog
Students at two Tennessee colleges have issued calls on social media to annihilate Jewish and Zionist “dogs,” a covert campus watchdog group revealed to The Algemeiner this week.
According to Canary Mission — a clandestine organization that monitors anti-American, anti-Israel and antisemitic activities on college campuses — current students at the University of Memphis (UM) and Middle State Tennessee University (MTSU) wrote and promoted posts threatening physical violence against Jews, cursing the Jewish people and demonizing the state of Israel.
The watchdog said in a statement that it decided to “[dig] deeper into the state,” following a similar investigation into the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK), which, as The Algemeiner exclusively reported, uncovered a “cesspool” of antisemitism and racist behavior by a ring of students on campus.
MTSU student Dana Swaies — a former organizer for the school’s Muslim Student Association (MSA) chapter and Muslim Inter-Scholastic Tournament — wrote in an October 2013 transliterated Arabic tweet, “May Allah annihilate the Jewish dogs.”
dana-swaies-1
On July 14, 2014, the day two rockets were fired into Eilat by Hamas terrorists, Swais heralded the news with the hashtag #PalestineResists and wrote in another transliterated Arabic tweet, “Palestine is our land and the Jews are our dog!!! May Allah annihilate you!”
The Huffington Post's Holocaust Inversion
The Huffington Post does not exactly have a reputation as a fair voice on Israel. A blog post last week, however, “Fascism Rising, Israel And America” by Dana Beyer, crosses the line.
"Fascism" is a word that has an actual definition. It involves rule by a dictator, and not by a democratically elected leader, such as the current and all previous leaders of Israel. The first sentence in the second paragraph reads, “Israel has a fascist government today.” The assertion is irresponsible and, obviously, false. Beyer writes it because, evidently, anything can be written and published at the Huffington Post regardless of factual merit.
Fascism is commonly associated with Nazism. While the Nazis were not the only fascist party that came to power in Europe in the first half of the 20th century, it is the party that left the most potent impression on Jewish and American memory. This particular deception, therefore, has overtones of Holocaust inversion – what one commentator has called, turning “the memory of the Holocaust [into] a stick to beat its victims and their descendants.”
Beyer goes so far as to compare Israelis and Palestinians to “Germans, Poles and Ukrainians who were not part of the machinery of genocide [who] went about their lives even while they themselves suffered under a brutal occupation.” Her implication is that Israel is committing genocide and its population is a group of bystanders. Of course, there is no genocide occurring in Israel, the West Bank, or Gaza. The comparison is false and outrageous.
Comparing BBC reporting on human shields in Gaza and Iraq
As readers no doubt recall, one of the many remarkable features of BBC coverage of the summer 2014 conflict between Israel and terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip was the corporation’s failure to report on Hamas’ use of the local civilian population as human shields.
Not only did BBC journalists refrain from reporting adequately on the issue of Hamas’ placement of military assets in populated areas (with the BBC later claiming that it was “very hard for journalists in Gaza to get to see rockets being fired out”) and the terror group’s instructions to civilians to stay put in such areas but some BBC correspondents even went out of their way to deny the phenomenon.
“I saw no evidence during my week in Gaza of Israel’s accusation that Hamas uses Palestinians as human shields.” Jeremy Bowen, July 22, 2014.
“While there are growing allegations against Israel, it claims civilians here have been used by militants as human shields but so far there’s been no evidence of that.” Orla Guerin, August 13, 2014.

Complaints from members of the public on that issue were eventually dismissed by the BBC Trust’s Editorial Standards Committee in a tortured and self-contradicting ruling which adopted an interpretation of the term human shields that conflicts with existing definitions.
Twenty-nine hours later – BBC News reports Golan cross-border attack
Only in the sixth paragraph do readers find out about the attack that sparked events.
“In Sunday’s incident, Israeli soldiers came under machine-gun and mortar fire, according to the Israeli military.
The air force bombed a vehicle carrying the assailants, whom the military said were members of the IS-linked Khaled Ibn al-Walid Brigade, a Syrian group formerly called the Yarmouk Martyrs’ Brigade.”

Not only did the IDF ‘say’ that the four terrorists were members of the ISIS linked group: the BBC refrains from informing its audiences that ISIS later published their photographs.
Readers are not provided with any further information concerning Jaysh Khalid ibn al-Waleed or its recent internal conflicts. Neither are they reminded that one of the groups making up that organisation – the Yarmouk Martyrs Brigade – kidnapped UN forces in 2013. Readers are not given any information concerning the size of the area controlled by the ISIS affiliated group adjacent to Israel’s border and the Syrian civilians living in that region have not been the topic of any BBC coverage.
The Economist bizarrely alleges ‘decades-long Israeli ban on Arabic songs’
A Nov. 27th article in The Economist, titled ‘The Economist Explains: The status of Arabic speakers in Israel‘, included the claim that “Arabic songs were banned from Israeli radio for several decades.”
However, we could no find no evidence that this is even partially true. Indeed, the only other place we could find a version of this claim was in a 2015 article published at Middle East Eye – but the claim (unsurprisingly) is not sourced.
Indeed, evidence suggests there couldn’t possibly have been such a ban (yet alone one “for several decades”) on Arabic songs.
Germany to investigate Nazi influence on post-war government
Germany will investigate the Nazis' influence on the country's post-war government, German magazine Der Spiegel reported over the weekend.
At an estimated $5 million cost, the four-year probe will assess how many members of the Third Reich stayed on at the German Federal Chancellery -- the agency that serves the executive office of the chancellor, equivalent to the White House -- after the war.
This will be the 21st time Germany's government has investigated Nazi influence on Germany since the fall of the Third Reich in 1945.
According to a statement released by Germany's Culture Ministry and reported by The Independent, the investigation will also study post-war recruitment policies and "the mentality of the political culture."
The government probe will also focus on the role of Hans Globke, a senior civil servant in the Weimar Republic and the Nazi regime. As a member of the Third Reich, he helped draft the Nuremberg race laws that revoked the citizenship of German Jews in 1935.
When Nazi leaders were tried in Nuremberg after the war, Globke was called as a witness for both the prosecution and the defense. While on the stand, he admitted he knew "the Jews were being killed in large numbers." Globke would later serve as chief of staff to West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer from 1953 to 1963.
Germany's highest court rejects appeal by 'bookkeeper of Auschwitz'
Germany's highest court has rejected an appeal filed by a man known as the "bookkeeper of Auschwitz," who was sentenced last year to four years in prison for his role in the murder of 300,000 people at the Nazi death camp.
It said it rejected the appeal of Oskar Groening, 95, who was convicted in July 2015 of aiding and abetting the murders, as well as appeals filed by several other people who argued that Groening should have been convicted of the more serious charge of being an "accomplice" to murders.
"The conviction is therefore now legally binding," the Federal Court of Justice said in a statement. It said it took the decision in September but only made it public on Monday.
Groening, a former Nazi SS officer, did not kill anyone himself while working at the camp in Nazi-occupied Poland, but the lower court ruled that he helped support those responsible for mass murder through various actions, including by sorting bank notes seized from trainloads of arriving Jews.
‘Auschwitz on Ice’ is perfectly fine in Russia, where the Holocaust is not about the Jews
Widely denounced as tasteless, the so-called “Auschwitz on Ice” figure-skating dance performed in Moscow on Saturday is only the proverbial iceberg’s tip when it comes to Holocaust memory in Russia.
There is no accounting for taste, of course, and the controversial routine was, after all, created by a Jewish choreographer who used images and a song from the 1997 Holocaust film “Life is Beautiful.” However, for some critics of the Putin regime, Shoah-related ice dances — of which there have actually been several — only scratch the surface of a more sinister problem with historical memory in Russia.
The majority of Russians view the word Holocaust, a Western term, in the context of a Russian Holocaust, or the murder of more than 10 million Soviet civilians during the Nazi occupation. Among those slaughtered by the Nazis and their collaborators during the so-called “Great Patriotic War” were 1.3-million Jewish Holocaust victims.
Until the 1990s, Europe’s devastation in the Shoah was hidden from the Russian public’s view — along with the role of Soviet citizens who collaborated with the Nazis to murder Jews. Additionally, the united struggle against Nazism did not include space for a Jewish-specific genocide, removed as it was from the Communist framework of class warfare and the needs of Cold War diplomacy.
“While the West came to regard the Holocaust as the main tragedy and lesson of the Second World War, in the USSR, the focus was on the tragedies of the Nazi occupation of Soviet territories and the heroic victories of the Soviet people; the word ‘Holocaust’ was barely known,” wrote editor Masha Lipman last year.
Soccer fans chant anti-Semitic slogan on London subway
Fans of a British soccer team were filmed singing an anti-Semitic chant on a London subway.
The chant by backers of the Chelsea club followed the team’s victory on Saturday night against the rival Tottenham Hotspur, which has many Jewish fans.
“I’ve got foreskin, how about you? F****** Jew,” they reportedly chanted.
One Spurs fan said the Chelsea supporters were “goading any Spurs fans they could” on the subway car and at two stations, the Daily Mirror reported.
Ahead of the match, Chelsea had warned fans in the match’s program and on its website that the club will not tolerate such actions, the London-based Daily Mail reported.
Arizona teens decorate cupcakes with swastikas at Jewish friend’s party
Teens at a Jewish girl’s birthday party in Arizona reportedly decorated cupcakes with swastika symbols, saying they did it to “be funny.”
The birthday girl’s mother posted a photo of one of the cupcakes on Facebook and called for it to be a teaching moment for parents, the Arizona NBC affiliate 12 News reported late Sunday. She reportedly removed the post, but the photo has spread on social media.
The teens had recently learned about the Holocaust and therefore knew what the swastika symbolized, the mother reportedly said in her post. She later posted that the girls had apologized, according to 12 News.
Carlos Galindo-Elvira, director of the Anti-Defamation League in Arizona, in an interview with 12 News called on parents to talk to their children about hate symbols such as the swastika.
“When you joke with symbols like the swastika, you begin to normalize them and make it very casual within our society,” Galindo Elvira said.
Swastika smoothie no longer on menu at London cafe
A London cafe sparked outrage by selling bottles of swastika-labelled smoothie drinks.
The Nincomsoup cafe in Old Street Tube Station in central London was selling an almond-based smoothie called “Nutzy” bearing the Nazi emblem.
A horrified Jewish member of the public, whose family were killed in the Holocaust, spoke with the management, who refused to apologize. She contacted the Campaign Against Antisemitism and alerted them to the pro-Nazi product.
The customer told the charity that she noticed the drink on November 16 and immediately asked to see the manager. When she asked him about it he told her that it was a Hindu symbol of health and prosperity. However the Hindu symbol is the inverse of the swastika which was on the bottle. “When I asked about the name of the drink, he said it was a play on ‘having the nuts,’ meaning ‘having the courage’ and was a pun as the drink contains nuts,” she said.
Edwards Lifesciences to buy Israel’s Valtech Cardio for up to $690m
California’s Edwards Lifesciences Corp., a medical devices company focusing on heart diseases, said Monday it has agreed to buy Israel’s biotech startup Valtech Cardio Ltd., for a cash and stock deal and milestone payments.
Valtech specializes in the development of innovative surgical and transcatheter valve repair and replacement devices for the treatment of the most prevalent heart valve diseases, including mitral valve regurgitation (MR) and tricuspid valve regurgitation (TR). In January, HeartWare International Inc. said it was abandoning plans to buy the Israeli company after it encountered opposition from investors.
Edwards said it would pay $340 million in stock and cash at the closing of the deal, with the potential for up to $350 million in additional pre-specified milestone-driven payments over the next 10 years.
Before the closing, expected in 2017, Valtech will spin off its early-stage transseptal mitral valve replacement technology program. Edwards said it retains an option to acquire that program and its associated intellectual property. The acquisition of the program would bring the deal closer to $1 billion, said Eyal Lifschitz, the founding general partner at Peregrine Ventures, which holds an almost 10 percent stake in Valtech.
Magisto leads Deloitte Israel Fast50 tech ranking
Magisto, AnyClip, Taboola, Crossrider and Trax top Deloitte’s Israel Technology Fast 50 ranking for 2016, which lists the country’s fastest-growing technology companies, both private and public, based on their percentage of revenue growth over the last four years.
With a growth of more than 8,000 percent in the 2012-2015 period, Magisto has created an artificial intelligence-driven platform that allows users to produce polished, professional-looking video presentations using clips uploaded from their computers or smartphones.
Using algorithms developed by the company, the app analyzes the clips, looking for similarities in faces, scenarios, emotions, topics, locations, continuity, and more, and assembles them into a single “story,” correcting for color, focus, and other video basics. The app even suggests music appropriate to the video, and synchronizes it to the audio in the clips (lowering the music when people are talking, and increasing the volume at a particularly emotional moment).
NYTs: Intel to team with Delphi and Mobileye for self-driving cars
Today’s automobiles are often described as computers on wheels, for the scores of processors and chips they use to control everything, including the transmission, brakes, power windows and navigation system.
The advent of self-driving cars may require the equivalent of a supercomputer on wheels. Which is why three technology companies in the field — Intel, Delphi Automotive and Mobileye — plan to collaborate in an alliance to be announced Tuesday.
For Intel, especially, it will be an effort to catch up in autonomous vehicles, a field where some chip makers have made deeper inroads.
The processing power required to scan the road, identify pedestrians and fuse images from radar, cameras and other sensors — all in real time — is spurring a race to provide increasingly complex computer brains that will dwarf those found in cars today.
The competition is reflected in the partnership being announced on Tuesday, in which Intel will provide specialized computer chips to Delphi, an auto supplier, and Mobileye, an Israeli company that specializes in vision systems that have been used in some of the autonomous-driving systems made by Tesla Motors.
Air Supply In Israel: All Class
Not only have they been praising Israel, and then gave away 200 tickets to firemen’s wives to their postponed Haifa concert, but look at how they relate to their Israeli fans in the following footage.
No footage of this..but wow.
Graham dedicated one of the songs during the show – “I’ll Find You,” a track he says they don’t play very often on tour – to the people of Israel, since the song is about “the courage of the human spirit – something Israelis know very well.”
And they are Aussie.
What’s there not to like about these guys?!
Jerusalem meets Westeros in ‘Game of Thrones’-style PSA
Jerusalem residents know winter is truly coming.
Perhaps that’s why City Hall drew up upon elements of TV show “Game of Thrones” in its new public service video, telling Jerusalem residents how to prepare for the upcoming bad weather.
In a homage to the hit show, a two-minute animated clip explains how Yoni and Dani, characters who bear a more than a passing resemblance to GoT protagonists Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen, should prepare for winter weather.
Against a backdrop of the Old City walls, dripping rain and sudden snowfalls, the narrator warns that dragons (of which Daenerys has three) offer great warmth, but a working heating unit is a much better choice.
Like the members of the Night Watch, Yoni and Dani brace themselves for inclement weather. They close all the windows in their castle, trim their trees and bushes to avoid breakage, and stockpile salt, shovels and food for prolonged snow days. Cocoa and marshmallows are important as well, says the narrator, and be sure to open the faucets just a bit, so that the pipes don’t freeze in cold weather.
“And take down those flags from last Independence Day,” says the narrator.

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