Wednesday, January 11, 2017

From Ian:

Guido Fawkes: Al-Jazeera Over-Eggs Israeli Conspiracy Sting
Guido thought the Al-Jazeera sting exposing Israeli ‘diplomat’ Shai Masot and Rob Halfon aide Maria Strizzolo discussing their dislike of Alan Duncan was a fun tale. Was it a “plot” to “take down” a Tory minister? No. Maria Strizzolo was a very junior aide. The truth is MPs and journalists have far tastier conversations with friends at London embassies all the time…
Part two of the sting caught Masot telling Labour Friends of Israel chair Joan Ryan that he could fund trips for MPs to Israel. If you believe Al-Jazeera this is proof of a million pound Israeli conspiracy to buy off British MPs. Again they’ve over-egged it. Pretty much every MP has taken a freebie trip to another country at some point.
Today brings part three: the Israeli embassy helped Jewish students campaign against Malia Bouattia’s election as NUS president. Seriously? Bouattia had been embroiled in some pretty nasty anti-Semitism allegations, is it a surprise or even a bad thing that the Israelis aren’t her biggest fan? Noteworthy that the Qatari-funded Al-Jazeera is siding with an alleged anti-Semite while peddling a bunch of far-fetched anti-Israel conspiracies in a series titled “The Lobby” (that old trope). Guido looks forward to Al-Jazeera’s exposé of Qatari money funding much more sinister activities in the UK…
Jewish Group Screens ‘Jerusalem Eternal Capital of Israel’ on UNESCO’s Paris Headquarters
The French branch of the organization Israel Is Forever on Tuesday announced it had decided to take strong action “on behalf of many French Jews and Israeli Francophones,” to show their dissatisfaction with the upcoming international conference on the Middle East to be held in Paris January 15, whose only goal is to harm Israel.
According to IIF France, its members proposed on Tuesday evening to project the image of the Western Wall with the text “Jerusalem, the eternal capital of the State of Israel” on many facades of the UNESCO building in Paris, as well as on the building fronts of the “disinformation” news agency AFP, and on the Arc de Triomphe.
IIF France argued that France’s voted at Unesco and the UN, along with its initiative for an international conference Sunday, January 15, can only promote terrorism against Israel. They suggested that last Sunday’s terrorist truck ramming attack in Jerusalem was further proof for the notion that the more the PA Arabs sense that the international community is anti-Israel, the more inclined they are to resort to terrorism.
They also issued “An open letter to the President of the French Republic,” which “draws attention to France’s harmful role vis-à-vis the island of stability and democracy in the Middle East.” The letter condemned a policy that undermines prospects for peace and expresses its solidarity with the State and people of Israel.
FBI looking for source of 'robocall' bomb threats to Jewish centers
A wave of telephone bomb threats to 16 Jewish community centers in nine US states may have originated from the same number and been placed by at least one individual and an automated calling system, security officials said on Tuesday.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is looking into the calls, which led to evacuations at some of the community centers on Monday, but resulted in no attacks or injuries. Police who searched the centers found no bombs.
The FBI has not named any suspects or described a likely motive for the bomb threats, and it was not clear why the centers in the US Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and South regions were targeted.
Some of the phone calls were made using an automated "robocall" system, while others were placed live by at least one individual, said Paul Goldenberg, national director of the Secure Community Network, a nonprofit group that advises Jewish groups on security.

The NYT's Special Words for Certain Places
Western Sahara, according to The New York Times, is “disputed territory.”
Not that there’s anything wrong with that. The status of the large swath of land between Morocco and Mauritania is indeed disputed. Morocco claims Western Sahara as its sovereign territory; the international community does not agree. There is also an ongoing dispute between Morocco and the Polisario Front, a rebel group that has declared a state of its own on the territory. And the Polisario Front has its own dispute with the international community, which does not recognize its state.
Beyond Western Sahara, the Times over the past year hasn’t hesitated to tell readers about “disputed territory” in Kashmir, claimed by India and Pakistan; the Scarborough Shoal, contested by China and the Philippines; the Spratly Islands, torn between a number of southeast Asian countries; the Yirga Triangle between Eritrea and Ethiopia; Nagorno-Karabakh, contested by Azerbaijan and Armenian separatists; Bartica, claimed by Venezuela and Guyana; and even territories in Syria and Iraq.
But in its coverage of one particular dispute, the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, there is a striking difference in the newspaper’s language: News editors have recently acknowledged what amounts to a new policy of avoiding the term “disputed territory,” even when describing the land most obviously in dispute—the ground on which Israeli settlements in the West Bank are built. In fact, editors go so far as to insist that this land rightfully belongs to the Palestinians.
This discriminatory double standard and blatant partisanship should raise red flags and engender real doubts about a post-election promise by the Times’s publisher and executive editor to “rededicate” the newspaper to honestly reflecting all political perspectives.
Nazi war criminal Alois Brunner died in Syria basement in 2001 – report
Nazi war criminal Alois Brunner, who was responsible for the deaths of an estimated 130,000 Jews, died in 2001 at the age of 89, locked up in a squalid Damascus basement, a French magazine reported Wednesday.
Its investigation — described as “highly credible” by veteran Nazi-hunter Serge Klarsfeld — aims at resolving the fate of one of the most notorious figures of the Holocaust.
Three ex-members of the Syrian secret service interviewed by the magazine XXI said Adolf Eichmann’s former assistant spent his last years in miserable conditions underneath an apartment block in the Syrian capital.
The Austrian-born SS commander was in charge of the Drancy camp north of Paris from which Jews in occupied France were sent to the gas chambers.
He remained to the end an unrepentant Nazi and anti-Semite, the sources told XXI.
One of his guards said Brunner, who went by the name of Abu Hussein, “suffered and cried a lot in his final years, everyone heard him.”
In Susiya, False Narratives Drown Out Reality
A decades-long, multi-party legal fight over what may or may not be uninhabited West Bank land has become an international incident.
Khirbet Susiya is an unlikely cause-célèbre. Deep in the South Hebron Hills, this shantytown comprises a few dozen tents, animal pens, and German-donated solar panels. Israel insists it was built illegally and wants to demolish it while offering to rehouse the residents nearby. The Palestinian Authority encourages further construction without permits and in defiance of Israeli court orders. The European Union funds this construction, and together with the U.S. and UN publicly warns Israel to back off. Meanwhile, non-governmental organizations on both Left and Right continue to petition the Israeli Supreme Court and wage an international public relations battle over the fate of the windswept hamlet.
How did Israel, the Palestinians, the international community, and an assortment of NGOs reach this unsightly stalemate over an obscure Judean hill?
What follows is based on two expeditions to the area—one visit to the Nawajeh clan in Susiya with left-wing activists, and another to the nearby Jewish settlement of Susya with right-wing activists. It is based on conversations with military officials, diplomats, and political advocates, as well as reams of old maps and contemporary court papers. It is an attempt to make sense of Susiya, and to separate rhetoric from reality. Without declaring winners and losers, this is an attempt to evaluate the facts—while leaving readers to draw their own judgments.
End the UNRWA Farce
After President Obama greased the wheels for the U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Israel’s settlements policy, President-elect Trump tweeted that “things will be different after January 20th.” I didn’t vote for Trump, but for the sake of restoring some sanity to America’s Middle East policies, I fervently hope he fulfills that promise.
To make a real difference, our next president needs to understand how the United Nations’ hostility to the Jewish state is rooted in perverse institutions that have been abetted by previous U.S. administrations. The most glaring example of this is the inaptly named United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). With its $1.3 billion budget (30 percent of which comes from U.S. taxpayers), this agency actually perpetuates the refugee problem it was created to solve, while promoting Palestinian rejectionism and Jew hatred. Trump will soon have the means to drain the UNRWA swamp. If he does so, he would increase the chances of peace between Palestinians and Israelis.
The United Nations created UNRWA with the noblest of intentions. By the time an armistice agreement ended the first Arab-Israeli war in 1949, roughly 700, 000 Palestinians had fled (or were driven) from the territories governed by the new state of Israel. The prevailing view at the time was that refugee problems produced by war were best solved through resettlement in the countries to which the refugees had fled. In the aftermath of World War II, 7 million ethnic Germans in Central and Eastern Europe were the victims of brutal ethnic cleansing campaigns approved by the victorious allied powers. On the Indian subcontinent another 3 million people were uprooted in the violent creation of India and Pakistan. These destitute refugees had to make do in their new host countries with virtually no outside aid. Yet, within a decade, there was no longer a refugee problem in Europe or Asia to trouble the international community.
Canada-funded UN agency’s schoolbooks continue to fuel Palestinian hatred of Israel
United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), which is funded by the Canadian government the tune of $25 million annually, continues to use textbooks in its schools that demonize and delegitimize Israel, and continue to foment Palestinian hatred towards Israel, according to a new report published in Israel.
UNRWA’s funding, which was cut by the previous Conservative government over its alleged links to Hamas – designated in Canada as a terrorist organization – was resumed by the Liberal government last November. At that time, Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, announced that the funding will be used to “to support education, health and social services for millions of vulnerable Palestinian refugees, as well as urgent humanitarian assistance.”
Bibeau also attempted to placate UNRWA critics who expressed grave concerns that some of the money may be used to promote incitement to terrorism or be diverted to Hamas by saying that it “there will be enhanced due diligence applied to UNRWA funding. Today’s funding is accompanied by a very robust oversight and reporting framework, which includes regular site visits and strong anti-terrorism provisions.”
According to a brand new investigation from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, UNRWA continues to use textbooks in its schools which incite hatred and violence towards Israel. The books describe Zionism as a foreign “colonial movement” and deny the historical and religious connections between Jews and Israel.
Following the new revelation that UNRWA continues to use hate-filled schoolbooks, Danny Danon, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, slammed the organization. “This is just the latest example of anti-Israel incitement under the auspices of the United Nations,” Danon tweeted. “This is not how you make peace in the Middle East. This is how you raise another generation full of hatred and ready to use violence.”
The Anti-Semitic Islamophobia Hoax
Fighting Islamophobia is trendy. But it also often becomes a means of enabling and expressing hatred toward others. Especially Jews. It doesn’t take much digging into campaigns against Islamophobia to find the anti-Semitism lurking underneath the bright lights and polished logos.
The Ford Foundation, which in its time had played a key role in the anti-Semitic Durban hatefest, hosted a forum titled, “Confronting Islamophobia in America Today.” Participants included Linda Sarsour, who had promoted the anti-Semitic Muslim practice of throwing rocks at Jews and appeared at a rally for a pro-Hezbollah organization, along with Imam Talib Abdur-Rashid, who had defended Ahmadinejad's call for destroying Israel and described such a proposed atrocity as a sentiment born of "legitimate anger."
Why was the Ford Foundation privileging the persecution fantasies of Islamist bigots who believe that plotting the genocide of millions of Jews is somehow rooted in “legitimate anger”?
The loudest voices inveighing against Islamophobia often justify Islamic terrorism, explicitly or implicitly, even while they whine that being associated with Islamic terrorism is a form of Islamophobia. Indeed the campaign against Islamophobia has, among its agendas, the legitimization of Islamic terrorism.
If Islamic terrorism, and its underlying supremacist hatred of Jews, can’t be discussed, then it also can’t be condemned. And, in a perverse twist, Islamic terrorists then become the victims of Islamophobia.
German Security Classifies 43 Thousand as Extremists
German Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Directorate General for Public Security, classified in its 2016 annual report more than 43,000 Muslims residing in Germany as extremists.
The report, which was published on Friday, stated that 11,000 of these Muslims have “terrorist tendencies.”
Compared to the report published in 2014, the number has not changed much and the scene is somewhat the same, yet the extremism among this category of hardliners has significantly increased.
The report published in 2014 estimated the extremist scene by saying that “the Islamist following in Germanyis 43,890 (2013: 43,190); this was due to the increase in the number of members of the Salafist movement in Germany in particular.”
There is a sharp increase in the number of preservative extremists, whose numbers have been radically increasing for several years due to the emergence of ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
The Directorate classified around 8,650 persons by describing then as part of the conservative extremist party in the country.
Among those extremists in Germany, 11,000 are seen to have terrorist tendencies, according to the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution and other security agencies.
Amid crisis, Greece gains a critical ally: Israel
In difficult economic times Greece is endeavoring to shape its foreign policy with relatively low budgets.
Although cuts in the defense sector have a negative impact, a careful and smart strategy in parallel with some favorable circumstances can counterbalance losses and possibly yield more positive results. It is here where the Greek-Israeli partnership deserves particular attention.
Greece may have lost some of its financial capacity in recent years but has gained a critical ally in the Eastern Mediterranean: Israel. 2016 outlined the excellent level of bilateral and multilateral cooperation and prospects are similarly promising for 2017.
At first glance, energy has the lion’s share following hydrocarbon discoveries in the Levant Basin. The recent Jerusalem trilateral summit with the participation of prime ministers Alexis Tsipras and Benjamin Netanyahu as well as Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades confirmed their determination to examine the possibility of the construction of a gas pipeline linking the three countries. In spite of its technical difficulties and cost, the so-called “EastMed” is supported by the European Commission as a “project of common interest” in diversifying gas imports and will be co-financed by Europe. Further to this, the underwater cable connection of the Israeli, Cypriot and later Greek electricity grids is top on the agenda. The objective is to establish a common electric grid in the future and ensure energy security.
After Zuma says not to visit Israel, S. African opposition head makes trip anyhow
Mmusi Maimane, the charismatic leader of South Africa’s opposition, is currently on a low-profile, private visit to Israel, just two days after South African President Jacob Zuma called on his countrymen not to visit Israel.
Maimane is being accompanied by Michael Bagraim, a Jewish member of parliament from Maimane’s Democratic Alliance (DA) Party. He is expected to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other senior officials, including opposition head Isaac Herzog and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat.
The visit was not organized by the Foreign Ministry, though it did facilitate setting up meetings.
One diplomatic official said that Maimane’s visit is part of efforts by both Israel and pro-Israel supporters in South Africa to develop positive relations with key figures in the country, whose current leader has taken stridently anti-Israel positions.
Maimane has been described by diplomatic officials as having an “open mind” on Israel.
Natalie Portman Was Born in ISRAEL, Agent Confirms
Actress Natalie Portman was in fact born in Israel, her agent tells the Washington Free Beacon.
Chris Andrews, Portman’s representative at the Creative Artists Agency (CAA), gave the Washington Free Beacon an emphatic “YES” when asked whether Portman was born in Israel in a stinging rebuke to Julia Child impersonator Meryl Streep’s anti-Israel speech at the Golden Globes.
Streep, who has portrayed a witch and is also represented by CAA, employed an anti-Zionist tactic in her Sunday night speech by deliberately avoiding saying that Jerusalem, the city where Portman was born, is located in the Jewish State of Israel.
The Washington Free Beacon reported that Streep attended a farewell party for President Barack Obama, who has previously used similar tactics to the ones exercised by Streep, on the night before the award show.
American Historical Association Rejects Anti-Israel Resolutions for Third Time in Two Years
The oldest and largest society of US historians rejected two anti-Israel petitions last week, the blog History News Network reported.
At its 131st annual gathering, held in Denver on Jan. 5-8, the American Historical Association (AHA) voted not to take action called for in resolutions filed by Historians Against the War (HAW) — self-described as a group of “historically minded activists, scholars, students and teachers [who] stand opposed to wars of aggression, military occupations of foreign lands and imperial efforts by the United States and other powerful nations to dominate the internal life of other countries.”
Without mentioning Israel or the slant against it in the resolutions — claiming that it violates the academic freedom of Palestinians — the AHA explained that it “upholds the rights of students, faculty and other historians to speak freely and to engage in nonviolent political action expressing diverse perspectives on historical or contemporary issues.”
The AHA first rejected moves by its members to condemn the Jewish state in January 2015, refusing to bend the rules and consider an anti-Israel resolution filed after the deadline. It did so again in 2016, denying a motion claiming that Israel actively blocks education opportunities for Palestinians.
A Major BDS Fail
That resolution passed 101-93. The delicious result is that the MLA, which the pro-boycott forces hoped would be the first major academic organization to support BDS, may end up on record against it. Just as the 2014 anti-Israel resolution failed when it went to a vote open to all members, though, so, too, might this one. The rules of the MLA specify that a mere majority in such a vote is insufficient for passage—the majority must represent at least ten percent of the membership. That has proven to be a high hurdle in the past.
Whatever may happen to the anti-boycott resolution, the flat failure of the pro-boycott resolution is a big deal, and, not surprisingly, BDS supporters are perturbed—they were almost too stunned to boo when the Delegate Assembly went against them. They are now recovering enough to act. The anti-boycott forces are “like Trump” and very, very white. Soon, the complaints about the influence of Zionist money will start to appear.
For now, however, I congratulate MLA Members for Scholar’s Rights, who have led the fight to prevent a hostile BDS takeover of their association, on a well-deserved victory.
Michigan Becomes 15th State to Pass Law Against Anti-Israel Boycotts
Gov. Rick Snyder signed a bill on Monday aimed at combating efforts to restrict trade with Israel, making Michigan the 15th state to enact such legislation, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported Tuesday.
While Israel is not specifically mentioned in the legislation, the law states that Michigan’s Department of Management and Budget and all state agencies “may not enter into a contract with a person to acquire or dispose of supplies, services, or information technology unless the contract includes a representation that the person is not currently engaged in, and an agreement that the person will not engage in, the boycott of a person based in or doing business with a strategic partner.”
“This bill sends a strong statement that the State of Michigan stands with Israel, which has long been an important trading partner of Michigan,” said David Kurzmann, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council/AJC. “This is a significant step against prejudice. It will solidify that relationship and prevent companies which boycott Israel based on national origin from doing business with the state of Michigan.”
The law follows the passage of similar measures in Pennsylvania, Illinois, South Carolina, Tennessee, Arizona, Georgia, Colorado, Florida, Alabama, California, New Jersey and Ohio. New York governor Andrew Cuomo approved a similar measure by executive order.
Coldplay denies Israel-Palestinian peace concert plans
Coldplay has denied an Israeli TV report that it plans to come to Israel in November 2017 for two special “peace concerts” for Israelis and Palestinians.
A representative of the band told Rolling Stone magazine on Tuesday the information was false.
Israel’s Channel 2 reported Monday night that unprecedented joint concerts were scheduled for November 3 and November 4, at an outdoor location north of the Dead Sea, and tickets would be sold both in Israel and in the Palestinian territories.
The TV report gave no specifics of the intended venue, saying only that it is an “agricultural area.” The area immediately to the north of the Dead Sea is in the West Bank, under Israeli control.
Provided final security and other logistical arrangements are completed, tickets will go on sale shortly, the TV report had said.
Coldplay frontman Chris Martin came to Israel two months ago, directly from Mumbai, where the band headlined the Global Citizen Festival.
David Miller and the Zionists
David Miller is a scholar who seems to find solace in blaming everything he thinks is evil on the West and Israel. He seems to think Zionists are some kind of dodgy group of people sitting in the background funding evil conspiracies.
Shiraz Muhar put a number of questions to Miller several years ago asking why it is that his powerbase website seemed to feature a whole range of utterly benign Jewish organisations such as the Board of Deputies but not many others.
According to Miller he’s been suspended and reinstated to the Labour Party. In comments made at an annual IHRC conference he goes on about how the “Zionists” are funding Islamophobia. Can we even begin to take apart the number of antisemitic tropes contained within that concept? He says;
“this is the word that will get my suspension from the Labour Party, [now] lifted, re-imposed. The Zionist movement is also part of…part of the Zionist movement is also part of this, the Zionist funders which are funding some of the Islamophobic networks, not all of the Zionist movement the liberal left part of the Zionist movement let’s not get into that argument, but there are elements of the Zionist movement that are involved in that as well funding networks so it’s not true to say it’s just the state…”
This is the kind of thinking that merits a round of applause at an IHRC event.
The Israeli occupation, Emily Hilton and the eternal privilege of the spotless mind
In the minds of most editors, journalists and contributors at The Independent, the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict is a straight-forward story of the weak against the powerful, the privleged against the unprivileged, the oppressed and their oppressors.
The fundamental ‘progressive’ principle to which they seem wedded as professional purveyors of news and opinion – to comfort the afflicted and afflict the powerful – is channeled to reveal Israeli culpability, examine the body politic’s darkest inclinations and expose the atavism of heart of modern Zionism. Palestinians, within this ideological framing, are to be championed, comforted, pitied and humanised – but certainly never critically examined nor taken seriously as moral agents who control their own destiny.
In assigning an op-ed to a young British Jew named Emily Hilton (As a young Jew, the news coming out of Israel makes me feel hopeless about ending the occupation, Jan. 10), Indy editors were certain that, regardless of the particulars, the words would abide by the secular catechisms of this moral tale.
Hilton, a board member of Yachad UK and a New Israel Fund UK Fellow, like so many of her political fellow travelers in the US and UK, believes the root cause of most of what plagues the region can be explained by Israel’s 50 year occupation of the West Bank – a theory of political causality so absolute that it necessarily usurps all other particulars, and negates the role of individual actors.
Lithuanian show nixed over Nazi salute ‘Jew’ clue
A Lithuanian game show in which a contestant performed a Nazi salute and shouted “Jew” to describe a Jewish composer was taken off the air.
Actress Asta Baukute, a former lawmaker, made the gesture on the “Guess the Melody” episode that aired Friday, Delfi reported. In the charades-style game, contestants act out songs and other music trivia without explicitly naming them.
Standing up in a leather coat and dancing excitedly, Baukute put both the index and middle finger of her left hand to her upper lip — ostensibly to indicate Hitler’s mustache — and raised her right hand in a Nazi salute high in the air. She yelled “Jew” three times in Lithuanian.
She was signaling that she recognized the melody being played belonged to Lithuanian composer Simonas Donskovas, who is Jewish. The show was not aired live, but was recorded several days earlier, according to Delfi.
A Swiss bank guard’s quest to obtain justice for the Jewish people
More than 50 years after the end of the Holocaust, there were still righteous gentiles willing to risk everything they had to help the Jewish people, if not to save their lives, but to at least help them obtain justice.
On the night of January 8, 1997, Union Bank of Switzerland night guard Cristoph Meili discovered that the bank in Zurich was destroying Holocaust-era documents.
“I noticed that carts full with old books and portfolios were being taken to the area where documents are usually destroyed,” he said in his testimony to the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee months later.
With his Christian conscience, at the end of his shift the 20-year-old Meili decided to take some of the documents home to see if the documents were indeed related to the Third Reich or to Jewish clients whose heirs’ whereabouts were unknown.
When Meili returned to the work the next day, all the documents had been destroyed. A week later, after revealing to the Swiss-Jewish population what he had found, the police became involved and the case was made public.
“I also wanted the oppressed Jewish population – the Holocaust victims – to not again be left behind in their search for documentation at the Swiss banks and get justice,” he told the committee.
Shomrim volunteers tally arrests for anti-Semitism
Stamford Hill’s neighbourhood watch group Shomrim helped make one arrest every three days during 2016, with 19 being for “anti-Semitic crimes,” according to figures released in an annual report.
Among the alleged crimes were burglary, assault, drink driving, indecent exposure and illegal possession of a firearm, while other suspects were alleged to have perpetrated racially-aggravated abuse and harassment of Orthodox Jews.
“Our work resulted in 19 suspects being arrested by police for anti-Semitic crimes, many of whom were charged and have court dates pending,” said the group.
“It also saw eight anti-Semites successfully prosecuted and convicted for anti-Semitic crimes, which is considered a very high number of convictions for anti-Semitism, given that in 2015 there were only 12 known convictions nationwide.”
Work by volunteers from the largely Charedi population drew praise and endorsements from senior police figures, who said their assistance was “relentless and tireless”.
City of Great Falls, Montana, Issues Moving Resolution Backing Jews in Whitefish Assailed by Neo-Nazis
As you’ve probably heard, neo-Nazi website editor Andrew Anglin has called for a march against the Jewish population of Whitefish, Montana, on Jan. 16, MLK Day. In the face of significant public outcry and his own inability to file for basic permits, Anglin is now hedging on whether the march will even take place this month. Meanwhile, others are lining up in solidarity with the Jews of Whitefish.
Last week, the governing officials of the nearby city of Great Falls, Michigan, authored a remarkable resolution in support of their neighbors in Whitefish. Citing George Washington’s famous letter to the Jews of Newport—in which the American founder promised to give “bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance”—and Pastor Martin Niemöller’s famous anti-Nazi poem recounting how “they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out,” the city officials vowed to stand with embattled Jews.
“Recent events in our sister city of Whitefish, Montana, remind us that the plagues of anti-Semitism, ethnic and racial hate, and intolerance remain a stain on an otherwise decent society,” the resolution opened. “We join our Montana Congressional Delegation, elected state leaders, the Whitefish City Council, our Jewish neighbors, representatives of the broader faith community, and all citizens, in denouncing hate, bigotry, and intolerance, which today masquerade under euphemisms such as ‘white nationalism’ and the ‘alt-right’; and … we express our solidarity with our brothers and sisters in the ongoing struggle to free this world of the ideas and conduct that serve to undermine a free and virtuous society.”
“To those who would promote these false ideas long since rejected by civilized peoples,” it concluded, “we say, ‘le’olam lo’—‘Never again!'”
Philip Morris investment in Syqe was 2nd-largest 2016 cannabis deal – report
Israel’s Syqe Medical’s $20 million funding deal from Philip Morris International in January last year was the second-largest cannabis deal in 2016, a report by New York-based data firm CB Insights shows.
Global funding in cannabis ventures saw a nine percent drop in 2016 to $220 million from $225 million in 2015, according to the report, with the number of deals also declining to 96 in 2016 from 106 in the same period a year earlier.
The largest deals in 2016 were Washington-based Privateer Holdings, which raised $40 million in convertible notes, Israel-based Syqe Medical‘s $20 million corporate minority round from Philip Morris International, and California-based MedMen‘s $15 million round from Cap-Meridian Ventures, the report said.
Tel Aviv-based Syqe Medical developed a medical cannabis inhaler designed to enhance dosing precision. Privateer Holdings is a private equity firm that invests in medical cannabis companies and has itself raised $144 million since 2013 from investors including Founders Fund and Casa Verde Capital, Snoop Dogg’s cannabis-focused fund. MedMen provides both investment and management services in areas such as cannabis cultivation, extraction, and retail operations, the report said.
Pedestrian safety is target as Israel’s Autotalks teams with Taiwan firm
Autotalks, an Israeli semiconductor company that makes vehicle-to-vehicle communication systems for use in autonomous driving cars, and Taiwan’s RoyalTek, a maker of global positioning systems (GPS) and satellite navigation technology, have joined forces to improve road safety.
The two companies said they will develop a new vehicle-to-pedestrian product in which cars equipped with Autotalks’ V2X semiconductor chips will be able to “talk” to pedestrians who use RoyalTek’s OMEN device. Designed as a phone case, the OMEN is equipped with chips that will send pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists alerts on their phones when cars get dangerously close and there is a risk of a crash.
The joint product is currently at the prototype stage.
The algorithms that define what constitutes a risk or dangerous situation still need to be worked out, along with what form the alert will take — at the moment it is a visual alert on the phone but a vibration or ring could be added to increase its impact, Autotalks said. The product will also be hacker proof, allowing regular consumer cellphones to be used without compromising their privacy or security.
The companies made their announcement last week at the consumer electronics tradeshow CES 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Ancient Roman theater found in northern Israel may have been religious center
A Roman amphitheater discovered during an excavation by the University of Haifa at Hippos, a site overlooking the Sea of Galilee, may support the hypothesis that the facility was used for religious ceremonies instead of entertainment.
Hippos, which is situated on a prominent hill some two kilometers east of the Sea of Galilee within Sussita National Park, is operated by the Israel Nature and Parks Authority.
According to the University of Haifa’s Dr. Michael Eisenberg, who heads the Hippos Excavations Project, the digs outside the city over the past few years “are falling into place like in a detective story.”
“First, we found a mask of Pan, then the monumental gate leading to what we began to assume was a large public compound, a sanctuary,” he said this week at an annual research conference at the school’s Zinman Institute of Archeology. “And now, this year, we find a public bathhouse and theater in the same location – both facilities that in the Roman period could be associated with the god of medicine Asclepius, or with gods of nature, such as Dionysus and Pan.”
Harper’s Bazaar: Israel One Of Top Places To Travel In 2017
Israel has been listed by Harper’s Bazaar as one of the 17 best places to escape to in 2017.
At number 8 to be exact.
Start your trip in the bustling-metropolis-meets-beach-town of Tel Aviv, but then make sure to explore all that this country has to offer. It would be an unfortunate mistake to fearfully paint this country’s complicated politics as war-torn. Don’t be fooled; its vibrant culture, phenomenal food scene, historic landmarks, beaches and endlessly impressive hotels are too much of a draw to ignore. Be sure to tour the shuks (markets) and the historic sites in Jerusalem–a trip to Israel is definitely not complete without a visit to the Kotel, the Wailing Wall. (When you visit, cover up as you would any temple–it’s a place of prayer). While in town, be sure to enjoy the food; the delicious and dynamic scene at Mahane Yehuda is not to be missed.
Then, choose your own adventure: head north to experience jeep rides and hikes in the mountains of the Golan, explore Tel Aviv and Jaffa’s vibrant food, arts and cultural scene, head to the world-renowned Dead Sea spas in the desert or to Eilat for its hippie, beach vibes. Don’t get overwhelmed by the various experiences this country has to offer–you may want to spend 1-2 weeks here to soak it all in, but its size rivals that of New Jersey. If you’re looking to be strategic in planning out the right amount of time in each city, consult an expert like Travel Composer (Israel’s premiere luxury trip planner) who can also advise on attaching a visit to Jordan (and if you do, Petra is a must) and/or Egypt, which should also be on your bucket list.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 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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The Jerusalem Report:"A seemingly indefatigable one-man operation, armed only with a computer, chutzpa and stamina."

Algemeiner: "Fiercely intelligent and erudite"

Omri: "Elder is one of the best established and most respected members of the jblogosphere..."
Atheist Jew:"Elder of Ziyon probably had the greatest impression on me..."
Soccer Dad: "He undertakes the important task of making sure that his readers learn from history."
AbbaGav: "A truly exceptional blog..."
Judeopundit: "[A] venerable blog-pioneer and beloved patriarchal figure...his blog is indispensable."
Oleh Musings: "The most comprehensive Zionist blog I have seen."
Carl in Jerusalem: "...probably the most under-recognized blog in the JBlogsphere as far as I am concerned."
Aussie Dave: "King of the auto-translation."
The Israel Situation:The Elder manages to write so many great, investigative posts that I am often looking to him for important news on the PalArab (his term for Palestinian Arab) side of things."
Tikun Olam: "Either you are carelessly ignorant or a willful liar and distorter of the truth. Either way, it makes you one mean SOB."
Mondoweiss commenter: "For virulent pro-Zionism (and plain straightforward lies of course) there is nothing much to beat it."
Didi Remez: "Leading wingnut"

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