Thursday, January 12, 2017

From Ian:

Chloé Valdary: Where Israel Advocacy Fails, and How It Can Succeed
This past November, the student newspaper at McGill University in Montreal responded to accusations that it had been providing a platform for anti-Semitism. While denying the specific charge, the editors emphatically reasserted their core position—namely, that the student paper “maintains an editorial line of not publishing pieces which promote a Zionist worldview, or any other ideology which we consider oppressive.”
This blunt statement is a reminder that hatred of the Jewish state is rapidly becoming the default position on many college campuses. Meanwhile, Israel’s friends, Jewish and non-Jewish alike, are left to ask what, if anything, can be done to stem the rising tide of anti-Israel venom.
In more than five years of involvement in advocacy for Israel, both as a college student and in a professional capacity, I’ve spoken at hundreds of events, worked with dozens of organizations, designed campus programs and social-media campaigns, and advised members of Congress, donors, and even Israeli government officials on how best to advance the cause of the Jewish state. As a member of the “millennial” generation, I have also been privy to the frustrations and complaints of my activist, pro-Israel peers whose own enchantment with the Jewish state is a driving force in their lives and who believe that too much institutional support is going to forms of advocacy that have outlived their usefulness.
Partially in response to these frustrations, I conducted a year-long study of how pro-Israel groups engage millennials. What works? What doesn’t? How to improve? In addressing those questions, I compared the available survey data about the attitudes of young Americans toward the Jewish state with what pro-Israel groups are currently doing to reach them, and conducted hundreds of interviews with students, professors, essayists, and professional activists.
The conclusion I eventually arrived at, presented below in severely boiled-down form, is that some kinds of Israel advocacy are at best of limited effectiveness and at worst can do more harm than good. Yet I also found some approaches that promise significantly greater success.
Trump’s Pentagon chief: The capital of Israel is Tel Aviv
Diverging from the signals the president-elect has been sending out, James ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis opts to ‘stick with US policy’
President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee to head the Pentagon said Thursday that the United States should continue treating Tel Aviv as Israel’s capitol, breaking with Republican members of Congress and indications the incoming president could fulfill his campaign pledge to move the US embassy to Jerusalem.
Asked during his confirmation hearing with the Senate Armed Services Committee if he supported the embassy’s relocation, retired Marine Corps general James “Mad Dog” Mattis said, “Right now I stick with the current US policy.”
Facing an hours-long session of questions from senators, he emphasized that “the capital of Israel is Tel Aviv” because, he said, “that’s where all the government people are.”
The last three successive presidents have maintained that the future status of Jerusalem should be settled in final negotiations between the parties, as both Israelis and Palestinians claim the city as their rightful capital.
But Trump has indicated since his surprising victory in November he will no longer honor that tradition. In December, he nominated his longtime friend and attorney David Friedman, a vocal supporter and donor to West Bank settlements, to be the next US ambassador to Israel
In a statement announcing the selection, Friedman said he expected to carry out his duties in “Israel’s eternal capital, Jerusalem.”
David Collier: Corked. Ben Dor’s anti-Israel ‘circus of hate’ comes to UCC in Ireland
Corked is a word that defines something special turning rotten. A wine that is flawed due to a damaged or broken cork. In this case, it is perhaps fitting that Oren Ben Dor chose UCC, or University College Cork, as the new site for the failed academic hate-fest from two years ago. The hate fest, the venom, the anti-Israel activism posing as academic thought, the deception, the rush to be top of the ‘Israel hating’ pile. This is what happens when academia is not preserved properly. When unwanted and unsavoury elements are allowed to infest and spoil the natural academic process. The proposed conference is effectively ‘corked’.
What do you do when on the one hand you want to adhere to the strongest principles of free speech, but on the other believe that academia is being used for something illegitimate.
For two years, the organisers of the disgraceful Southampton conference have had the ability to rent the local hall, pull these activists together, and conduct this vile call for the destruction of Israel in private. This is not good enough for them.
Almost all the academics involved are activists. People who are apparently on a mission to bring about the end of the democratic state of Israel. These people, in the vast majority, see Israel as an Apartheid, Nazi-like state. The conference is seen by these people, as part of their activism.
Therefore, it is not the ‘in gathering’ of like-minded people that is important. It is not about the discussion, but rather how the output can best be utilised to further delegitimise Israel and strengthen their personal cause. They need this to be in a university because they must have the academic stamp of approval.
The man behind the scam: dubious tactics of Al-Jazeera’s undercover reporter
This is the man who spent six months undercover for a sting that aimed to expose “attempts by the Israeli government to influence British democracy” – but his true identity remains hidden four days after the story broke.
The reporter, posing as a pro-Israel Labour activist by the adopted name Robin Harrow, first made contact with Shai Masot, then assistant to deputy ambassador Eitan Na’eh, last summer.
He subsequently spent considerable amount of time with him, even accompanying him to a Jewish Labour Movement meeting between Ambassador Mark Regev and a group of young Israeli Labor leaders, and social gatherings such as the one where he made his much-reported remarks about ‘taking down’ Alan Duncan.
To create his persona, ‘Harrow’ set up a fake Twitter account promoting pro-Israel messages and also a blog on the Times of Israel, with a bio describing himself as German-born and having taken part in Israel exchange programmes in school. He also professed his fascination with the strength of Israeli society “to live under such circumstances and continue to grant civil rights to all citizens”.
In one in which he lauds the treatment of LGBT people compared to other parts of the Middle East, he wrote that those calling themselves anti-Zionist are “effectively saying that Israel should not exist”. He added: “If the Labour Party loses its path, leaves the progressive camp and sanctions terrorist groups like Hamas, we lose more than legitimacy and electability in the minds of the electorate. The Labour Party will lose its soul and open the door to a new wave of anti-Semitism.”

Guido Fawkes: Revealed: Al-Jazeera Undercover Operative’s Cover Story Exploited Holocaust
Guido can unmask the undercover operative who carried out Al-Jazeera’s sting targeting Israelis in London. Multiple sources confirm that the man above is ‘Robin Harrow’, the name used by a Qatari-funded undercover journalist who infiltrated the Israeli Embassy. ‘Harrow’ claimed he was German, sources say he convinced young Jewish activists he was a supporter of Israel by telling them he was guilty about the Holocaust and his country’s history. A charming cover story.
‘Harrow’ told Jewish community members he was a recent graduate of the University of Berlin, and suddenly announced he was “returning to Germany” before the story broke and deleted his Twitter account. A bogus pro-Israel opinion piece he wrote for The Times of Israel as part of his cover has disappeared:
All that hard work creating his cover story and this is all he could catch the pesky Zionists doing?
Israeli embassy employee quits over plot to ‘bring down’ UK lawmakers
An employee at Israel’s embassy in Britain resigned a few days after he was caught on film conspiring to discredit British politicians.
Shai Masot was filmed by an undercover reporter for al-Jazeera conspiring to “take down” certain MPs — notably Foreign Office minister Alan Duncan — who were perceived as unfriendly to Israel. The footage was published Sunday in British media.
The Foreign Ministry said Thursday that his resignation was offered two days ago in response to the exposé.
Israeli Ambassador Mark Regev apologized for Masot’s actions and made it clear that the remarks made in the video about UK lawmakers were “unacceptable.”
“The Embassy of Israel rejects the remarks concerning Minister Duncan, which are completely unacceptable; the comments were made by a junior embassy employee who is not an Israeli diplomat, and who will be ending his term of employment with the embassy shortly,” spokesman Yiftah Curiel wrote in a statement posted to his Twitter account Sunday.
MEMRI: Arab World: A Violent Region in Turbulent Times
In 2015, the United Nations adopted the 2020 Agenda for Sustainable Development as a vision for transforming global development over the next 15 years "to be building a more peaceful, prosperous, sustainable, and inclusive future." The agenda asserts that young women and men "are critical agents of change, and are central to achieving sustainable development."
The report under review, the sixth in a series of reports on Arab development issued by the United Nations Development Programme, was released on November 29, 2016 at the American University in Beirut.
The "Arab Spring" And Its Aftermath
In presenting the report, a UNDP official highlighted the fact that its publication comes five years after the events of 2011, referred to rather optimistically at the time as "The Arab Spring." The contribution of the youth in the promising events of 2011 was considered by some as "a glimmer hope for a new renaissance," whereas others considered it "a seditious influence dragging the region into chaos and jeopardizing its future." The report offers a comprehensive and detailed analysis of the challenges youth face in terms of human development process and seeks to bring these young people "back into the centre – politically, economically and socially...
While we would have wished otherwise, in reviewing the report we find that the critics of the "Arab Spring" were more realistic in their assessment of the events of 2011 than those who were inclined to see bright stars in the sky. If anything, Arab youth today remain mired in poverty; they are politically marginalized and voiceless, economically disenfranchised, and socially prone to radicalization and violence. Theirs is a fragile and often volatile existence.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Sinister Plot Behind Every Obstacle Or Failure Facing Area Arab (satire)
A local merchant knows whom to blame each time he encounters adversity: the nefarious forces bent on undermining Islam and Arabs.
Samwan Elss, 41, has faced multiple instances today of his will being thwarted and his expectations unmet, forcing him to conclude that only a sinister cabal of global dimensions has the power to affect his life in such consistent and detailed ways. Elss, a father of six, weighed the cumulative evidence and determined that all his negative experiences to date can be traced to the activities of this cabal, which must have important plans riding on his failures if they are so bent on producing them.
“I thought I was just a clothing and trinkets seller in a touristy part of this city,” he remarked. “But it turns out that my life is much more significant on a global scale than I had assumed, because there is no way my shortcomings and lack of good luck can explain the extent to which I have suffered disappointment after disappointment. The only way to make sense of it all is to attribute my frustrations, flaws, and misfortunes to a greater power with a vested interest in keeping me down. The Jews are the obvious culprit, but they hide their direct involvement well.”
Among the failures, explained Elss, is his being born into a lower-middle-class family and not, as he would have liked, into the economic elite. “Clearly I cannot be blamed for the setup of this situation, and therefore someone else must be guilty,” he reasoned. “If I were able to choose, would I have deprived myself of the luxuries and freedoms enjoyed by those who have the means to indulge themselves in all the pleasures of the world? Of course not. These sinister forces are determined to push me down and keep me there.”
In memory of Ali Hashemi Rafsanjani: the “pragmatic” anti-Semite
On Sunday, Ali Hashemi Rafsanjani, the former President of Iran and a major figure in its Islamic Revolution of 1979, died at the age of 82. In the British media, most obituaries have characterised him as a moderating force in Iranian politics –the Telegraph characterises him as a “pragmatic conservative,” the Financial Times details his support of reformists in Iran, and the Guardian, whilst acknowledging that he was often ruthless, says that overall he can be characterised as a “pragmatic liberal”.
There is much that is missing or played down in these obituaries to maintain this image – his links to global terror and corruption being noticeable examples. But, one gaping hole in all the above obituaries is the failure to mention Rafsanjani’s record on Jews and Israel, one of hatred and murder.
Rafsanjani talked openly of the destruction of Israel. “Israel is a fake, temporary state. It’s a foreign object in the body of a nation, and it will be erased soon,” he said in 2015. In December 2000, he told residents of Israel to expect a “reverse exodus,” when they are forced to leave when the “tumour” of Israel is removed from the map. For decades he attended the Qods Day rally, Iran’s annual day for anti-Zionist rhetoric, and calls for the end of the Jewish State.
But Rafsanjani was not only guilty of hateful rhetoric about Israel. He has Israeli and Jewish blood on his hands. During his Presidency (1989 – 1997), Hezbollah, the Iranian backed terrorist group, bombed the Israeli embassy in Argentina in 1992, as well as the AMIA Jewish centre in Buenos Aires in 1994, killing 85 people. As The Tower recently noted, Argentine investigators believe the AMIA bombing was approved at a meeting attended by Rafsanjani. (The prosecutor Alberto Nisman, who formally accused Iran of involvement in the attack, and Argentina for covering this fact up, was mysteriously found dead in 2015.)
‘The Genius of Judaism': An Interview with Bernard-Henri Lévy
Bernard-Henri Lévy, France’s leading public intellectual, returns to the United States in January to promote his new book, The Genius of Judaism, perhaps the fullest expression yet of his commitment to the Jewish faith, Jewish culture, and the continued flourishing of the State of Israel. Newly-returned from the Iraqi city of Mosul, where he accompanied Kurdish peshmerga fighters combating ISIS, Lévy spoke by phone with Ben Cohen, senior editor of The Tower.
In your new book, The Genius of Judaism, you demonstrate the depth of your Jewish identity. How has that identity guided you in your writing and advocacy on behalf of those nations and communities, particularly in the Middle East, suffering from war, religious persecution and ethnic cleansing?
My relationship to Judaism is the most important thread of my life as a committed intellectual. When I report about the most forgotten wars, as I did a few years ago in Africa and elsewhere, when I commit myself, as I do these very days with the battle for Mosul, when I commit myself, as I did 25 years ago, with the people of Sarajevo besieged by the Serbs – when I do all of that, I am faithful to this obligation, this duty, of going to the other and embracing his otherness, which is at the heart of the Jewish identity as I conceive it in my book.
Bernard-Henri Levy: “Deeply Shocked” by Passage of Anti-Israel UN Resolution
French author and philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy was “deeply shocked” by the passage of an anti-Israel resolution at the UN Security Council Resolution last month, he explained in a commentary published Thursday in The Algemeiner.
The United Nations, where Israel has been vilified for years, is “one of the last places on earth” one would expect a “balanced or courageous stance” concerning Israel, he wrote. Given the failure of the international community to stop the killing of civilians in Syria, “how could they dare to portray little Israel as the great barrier to peace? How could they imagine that by doing so they might recover in the applause of those in attendance a share of their lost honor? And what is one to make of the splintered and anemic international community trying to repair itself on the back of the Jewish state? All of this was as pathetic as it was ghoulish.”
Levy also tore into the “poor wording” of the resolution’s text, which criticized Israeli construction in eastern Jerusalem and the West Bank. While the resolution also condemned “acts of terror,” it assigned no responsibility for them. Levy pointed out that the resolution also fails to address “Palestinian obstinacy,” the “double-speak” of the Palestinian Authority, or Palestinian leaders’ incitement of terror. “Nothing,” Levy observed, “was equal in perfidy to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.”
The resolution was offered before the Security Council because global leaders felt that they were acting to save the two-state solution. But Levy countered that such an agreement is still far from impossible. The scale of withdrawal from areas in the West Bank where Israelis are now living “is not radically different” from Israel’s past actions in the Sinai Peninsula or the Gaza Strip. Such evacuations would be “admittedly painful,” Levy conceded, so he offered an additional “option that I am amazed is so seldom raised —namely, that Jews should be invited to stay and live in the new Palestine, just as 1.5 million Palestinians now live in Israel as full citizens.”
Anti-Semitism’s New Guise, Israel’s Exceptional Future
Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpt from The Genius of Judaism (Random House), published January 10, 2017.
The fact remains that anti-Semitism exists.
Some had thought it dead, obsolete, cast aside.
It is back.
Making new connections.
It has even begun to strike and to kill—to growing indifference—in French cities.
And, moreover, because observers of the phenomenon often seem blind to its new reality and, believing that they are confronting it, grapple only with its shadows, I see no option but to begin by describing the new guise of the oldest form of hate.
For, in the beginning, are words.
Anti-Semitism is a very special form of madness, one of the features of which has always been, at every step in its history, choosing the right words to make its madness look reasonable.
At bottom, it is a language of pure rage, of brute violence without logic, which knows that it is never more convincing, never so strong or blessed with such a bright future, as when it succeeds in dressing up its resentment in legitimate-looking clothes.
And the anti-Semite is someone who, at the end of the day, has always managed to make it appear as if the hate that he feels for some is no more than the effect or reflection of the love he claims to feel for others.
India's Best Friend: Protector of the Free World
Israel has always been appreciative of New Delhi's security imperatives. New Delhi, however has yet to be fully appreciative of Israel's security imperatives.
New Delhi has yet to be morally conscientious enough openly to back Israel in multilateral fora such as the United Nations. One hopes Prime Minister Modi would show the statesmanlike leadership at which he is so expert and which makes him so admired.
Israel stands and fights for openness, diversity, truth and its existence, just as India does. India must back Israel. New Delhi also needs Jerusalem in combating Islamist terrorism, one of the greatest threats to its unity and territorial integrity.
The operational code of anti-India Islamist forces' behaviour is similar to that of Israel's Palestinian counterparts: spread the culture of hatred and violence against the free world. Israel knows better than anyone it how best to protect it against such elements.
2 years after Paris supermarket attack, darkness engulfs memorial candles
Could it happen again? Two years ago, four people were murdered in a terror-driven hostage standoff at a kosher supermarket in Paris. For the roughly 250 people who gathered in front of the Hyper Cacher supermarket Monday evening, the answer seemed to be a resounding “yes.”
While many Parisians agree the French government has done a good job ramping up security amid the terror outbreak of the last few years, they do not rule out future instances of violence.
“Nobody is fully protected from another attack because the targets are no longer only members of the Jewish community,” said Lassana Bathily, a young Malian Muslim employee of the supermarket who saved about a dozen people during the hours-long standoff in January 2015.
“The Islamic radicals have twisted Islam, my religion and that of my fathers, to justify killing whomever they want,” he told The Times of Israel, speaking from the middle of the crowd. “So, yes, I am afraid sometimes, and we must all be careful.”
Bathily succeeded in hiding the distraught customers in the storeroom downstairs when terrorist Amedy Coulibaly started shooting. Bathily then managed to escape the store and give police valuable information. Considered part of the “family” of store employees, he was named a hero after the survivors were rescued and the terrorist killed. Eventually he was given a French passport.
Man who kidnapped, murdered Parisian Jew gets 10 more years in jail
Youssouf Fofana, who is serving a life sentence in France for the brutal murder of a Parisian Jew, received another 10 years in jail for earlier extortions, including of a Jewish lawyer.
Joseph Cohen-Sabban, a criminal attorney, accused Fofana, a 36-year-old career criminal who in 2006 murdered and tortured Ilan Halimi with more than a dozen accomplices because Halimi was Jewish, said Fofana threatened him and tried to extort him in 2004, Le Parisien weekly reported Tuesday.
That day, the 16th Correctional Tribunal of Paris added 10 years for several extortion attempts to the sentence of Fofana, who was convicted of murdering Halimi in 2009, Le Figaro reported.
Cohen-Sabban said Fofana obtained his home address from Cohen-Sabban’s son, who was a high school student at the time, Cohen-Sabban told Le Parisien. Fofana or his accomplices broke into Cohen-Sabban’s home three times in 2004. A female accomplice of Fofana called Cohen-Sabban’s ex-wife to obtain further details under false pretenses, alerting the lawyer to the scheme, he said.
Is Europe's Jihadist Problem Generating Empathy toward Israel?
Is terrorism softening European attitudes toward Israel?
When a Palestinian terrorist used a car to ram and kill an Israeli soldier in eastern Jerusalem in 2014, the European Union urged “restraint” and, without condemning the attack, called it merely “further painful evidence of the need to undertake serious efforts towards a sustainable peace agreement.”
The statement by EU foreign relations chief Federica Mogherini was “a typical EU reaction, which blames the victim for getting attacked,” Oded Eran, a former ambassador of Israel to the European Union and a senior research fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies, said at the time.
Two years later, however, European officials had a much different reaction to a similar attack in eastern Jerusalem, which killed four Israeli soldiers on Sunday.
“The European Union condemns the murder of these four young Israelis, as well as any praise or incitement for terrorist acts,” Brussels said in a statement, which unlike the 2014 communique omitted any reference to the fact that the attack happened in an area of Jerusalem that it considers occupied.
Unusually, following Sunday’s attack the Israeli flag was projected on the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin and Paris City Hall, signs of solidarity with the Jewish state permitted by local authorities. Rotterdam City Hall flew the Israeli flag at half-mast.
World Vision head accused of funneling funds to Hamas
Israel on Wednesday announced new charges against the Gaza head of a major US-based NGO accused of diverting millions of dollars in aid to Hamas.
Mohammed al-Halabi, the Gaza director of Christian humanitarian charity World Vision, is alleged to have funnelled aid money to the Islamist terrorist movement that runs the Gaza Strip.He is due in court again in the city of Beersheva on Thursday.
On Wednesday an updated charge sheet was published with two additional charges, including "aiding and abetting the enemy in a time of war" and "passing information to the enemy. A foreign ministry spokesman declined to comment on the additional charges.
Halabi is expected to plead not guilty on Thursday after negotiations over a plea bargain collapsed, a source close to the case said. His legal team said Wednesday they still have not had access to much of the evidence against their client.
On January 4 a United Nations worker from Gaza was sentenced to seven months in jail for aiding Hamas "without intention."
Israel frees Palestinian UN worker jailed for aiding Hamas
A Palestinian UN worker sentenced by Israel to seven months for aiding Hamas was released Thursday and returned to Gaza, calling his prosecution “unjust” and hoping to resume his job.
Waheed Borsh, 39, arrived at his home in Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip and was greeted by dozens of well-wishers handing out sweets and singing songs.
Israeli forces detained Borsh, an engineer, on July 16, causing a major stir in the aid community.
He was sentenced last week to seven months in prison in a plea deal, but released on the basis of time served and for good behavior.
Israel initially claimed Borsh had been recruited by Hamas, the Islamist terrorist group that runs the Gaza Strip, but it later dropped that allegation. He was convicted for “rendering services to an illegal organization without intention,” his lawyer said.
The United Nations Development Program (UNDP), where Borsh worked, said the deal showed there had been no wrongdoing by the organization.
Speaking to AFP, Borsh said he was hopeful of returning to his job.
BDS fail: Canadian university won't hold referendum on boycott
A planned referendum on whether to endorse the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement at a university in Ontario, Canada has been cancelled.
King’s University College, a Catholic affiliate of Western University in London, Ontario, will not hold the referendum after the Affiliate Appeals Board, the appeals board for affiliate colleges on campus, ruled against it.
The referendum was cancelled after Jewish students successfully argued that it violated the mandate of the college’s student council.
The Jewish students noted that the BDS campaign against Israel causes a hostile atmosphere on campus toward students identified with Israel.
Oxford students to national student leader: Apologize to Jews
In a show of solidarity with Jewish students, the Oxford University Student Union (OUSU) published this week an announcement acknowledging the problem of anti-Semitism at the University, and challenging national student leader Malia Bouattia to resign if she won’t apologize to Jewish students for past anti-Semitic statements.
“We would particularly like to acknowledge concerns raised specifically over the National Union of Students [NUS] and the Oxford University Labour Club [OULC],” the OUSU posted on its website.
NUS President Malia Bouattia has, in the past, expressed support for terror, calling Palestinian terrorism against Israelis “Palestinian resistance,” and blaming “mainstream Zionist-led media outlets” for painting the “resistance” as terrorism.
She also had claimed that the BDS movement doesn’t go far enough in its war against Israel.
“To consider that Palestine will be free only by means of fundraising, non-violent protest, and the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement is problematic," she said.
In light of her previous statements, the OUSU called on Bouattia to apologize to Jewish students - or resign.
Knesset committee passes bill to deny entry to BDS supporters
A Knesset committee on Wednesday approved a controversial bill that would deny visas and residency permits to people who support the boycott of Israel.
The bill, put forward by MK Bezalel Smotrich (Habayit Hayehudi) and MK Roey Folkman (Kulanu), passed the Knesset's Internal Affairs and Environment Committee, ahead of being presented to the Knesset plenum for its second and third readings.
"We must remember that not everyone has the right to enter Israel, and there is no reason for us to allow those who want to harm the state to enter. The law grants the interior minister the authority and the discretion," Smotrich said.
Committee head MK David Amsalem (Likud) asked, "Why should I let someone who sullies the state and harms it into my home? We are not afraid of criticism, but we have national respect. A person who has already received temporary residency [status] and is under consideration for permanent residency comes and hurts us, as a guest; why would we keep them?"
Among those who opposed the bill was committee member MK Yael German (Yesh Atid), who said it would do more to harm Israel than to help it.
Guardian op-ed: Israel is ‘Judaising Jerusalem’ and reducing the Palestinian population
An op-ed was published at the Guardian on Jan. 10th by Nur Arafeh titled “Moving the US embassy to Jerusalem would destroy Palestine’s hope for justice”.
Arafeh is the Palestine Policy Fellow of Al-Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network. NGO Monitor’s profile of Al-Shabaka demonstrates that the group promotes the “the right of return,” the “Nakba,” and BDS, and regularly features writers who accuse Israel of “apartheid” and “ethnic cleansing”.
Though there are multiple distortions, errors and misrepresentations of fact throughout her Guardian op-ed, one falsehood in particular stands out as especially egregious:
Since 1967, Israel has been transforming Jerusalem from a multi-religious and multicultural city into a “reunified” Jewish city under its exclusive control. It has accelerated Jerusalem’s “Judaisation” through policies that specifically aim to minimise the number of Palestinians.
However, if Israel is enacting ‘Judaisation” policies intended to “minimise the number of Palestinians” in Jerusalem, they’ve done an awfully bad job, as is evident by population statistics. Whereas in 2007 there were 208,000 Palestinians in east Jerusalem, today there are roughly 293,000. So, over the course of merely seven years, the Palestinian population of east Jerusalem has increased by over 40%.
BBC reports on death of Rafsanjani ignore his involvement in global terror
Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Iranian president from 1989 to 1997, and mentor to current President Hassan Rouhani, died of a heart attack on Sunday at 82.
In multiple BBC reports on his death, Rafsanjani was characterised as one of the most “influential figures since the 1979 revolution” and a “pragmatic conservative” who became “a key supporter of reformists”.
However, in our review of BBC’s coverage of the former president’s death, there was one glaring omission: his key role in Iran’s use of global terror as a tool of foreign policy.
Twice Lost, Then Found, in Haaretz Translation: Hamas Exploitation of Gaza Cancer Patients
Twice in the last six months, articles in Haaretz's English edition about increasingly rigid restrictions for Gaza cancer patients seeking to cross into Israel for treatment in Israeli or West Bank hospitals omitted the Israeli response: that Hamas is exploiting very ill cancer patients to smuggle money and information to terrorist operatives.
In both instances, back in July and also the week, the Hebrew version of the same article included this key information about Hamas coercion of cancer patients. The omission of the Shin Bet's information concerning Hamas' exploitation of cancer patients insthe latest instance of the well-document phenomenon of "Haaretz, Lost in Translation," in which Haaretz's English edition downplays, whitewashes, or completely omits Palestinian violence or other wrongdoing.
In both cases, after CAMERA's Israel office contacted editors of Haaretz's English edition, they commendably added the essential information about Hamas taking advantage of cancer patients. But the question remains: how did this omission of the very same point happen not once, but twice?
Update: NPR Responds to Criticism
Regarding complaints about the devious half truth that "no Israeli citizens" were living in the West Bank and that Jerusalem had a population "that was then entirely Palestinian" in 1967, the NPR ombudsman's office responded that the "information is accurate and provides helpful context to listeners in a story which notes that there are now hundreds of thousands of Israeli citizens residing in the West Bank."
Contrary to the ombudsman's assertion, such partial information overtly misleads the audience. It is not simply a different "viewpoint" or irrelevant history that the authors claim they have no room for, but essential information whose absence creates a false implication. By isolating their point of reference and concealing the fact that Israeli citizens were forcefully kept out of the territory for 19 years, the authors imply that Israel holds no rightful claim to it. As for the "helpful context" the ombudsman insists this provides, it is only helpful to those partisans who already have made up their mind before peace negotiations that the disputed territory rightfully belongs to the Palestinians.
By mechanically reciting that "NPR's journalists are committed to accuracy above all else and they are guided by NPR's rigorous code of ethics," the ombudsman is fooling no one.
Montana neo-Nazi march ‘postponed’
The editor of a neo-Nazi website wrote Wednesday that a planned anti-Jewish march through a Montana town was postponed due to lack of a permit from the authorities.
“We’ve decided that due to the permit refusal by the city of Whitefish, we will need to postpone the planned march,” wrote Andrew Anglin on the Daily Stormer white supremacist site.
Anglin claimed that “two hundred skinhead Alt-Right Nazis” from the United Kingdom, Sweden, France and Greece would be attending, along with a machine gun-toting Hamas member who would speak “about the international threat of the Jews.”
Originally scheduled for January 15, the march was postponed to coincide with the public holiday of Martin Luther King Jr Day on January 16. Now Anglin claims it will be rescheduled, “probably for some time in February, and the march will be bigger and have more guns and special guests than we originally planned.”
Israeli Tap Water Sensor Wins Global Entrepreneurial Prize
BrighTap, an Israeli-made smart water meter sensor that monitors water quality and consumption, recently took first place in the 2016 Startup Open competition, run by the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN).
BrighTap, a product made by BwareIT, is an Internet-of-things (IOT) meter that can be attached to any standard water tap, pipe or hose and helps users enjoy cleaner water while reducing their water bills. The tap meter provides water quality information, and tells the user how much water is consumed – powering itself by the water that runs through it. The product’s display shows real-time data and also stores it for tracking through a monitoring system.
The company topped more than 1,000 startups from 101 countries. Through the Startup Open competition, the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) recognizes the top promising young firms that have yet to raise any outside capital from angel investors, venture capital firms or other formal sources of seed funding.
China’s Kuang-Chi to set up Tel Aviv base, eyes larger firms
China’s Kuang-Chi Group, which said in May it was earmarking $300 million for investments in Israeli and other global technologies, said it is stepping up activities and looking to open an office in Tel Aviv that will serve as its International Innovation Headquarters.
The multi-billion dollar conglomerate is also mulling investments in larger, revenue-generating Israeli tech companies as opposed to startups.
The group has already invested $50 million from its first Global Community of Innovation (GCI) Fund, and is now setting up a second fund for the remaining $250 million to be invested in smart city/smart home technologies, Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, virtual and artificial reality, robotics and medical devices. Kuang-Chi is targeting companies that seek collaboration with local Chinese firms for entry into their domestic markets.
The first fund “was very successful, it has all been invested,” said Dr. Liu Ruopeng, chairman of Kuang-Chi, in an interview in Tel Aviv this week. “We are almost there for raising the $250 million” for the follow-on fund he said.
Google, Wix push to equip small Israeli firms with internet tools
Google and Israeli website builder are teaming up with Atidim, a nonprofit organization, to bring the internet to small and medium-sized businesses in the north and south of Israel that are far from the country’s financial center.
The organizations on Tuesday launched the Digital Starter project, which aims, with the support of the Israeli government and the help of some 250 trained volunteers, to help 10,000 businesses in 44 locations in the country’s north and south set up websites, digitalize their activities, increase their online visibility and use social media platforms.
A survey conducted by Google and Geocartography Knowledge Group in Israel shows that 8 percent of businesses set up in the periphery close every year, and those that survive grow at a rate that is 9% lower than companies that operate in the heart of the country. The 200,000 small businesses in the periphery are 40% less likely to use digital tools for growth than those in the center of the country.
Having a digital presence is a very important factor in helping small and medium-sized businesses grow, the survey showed. Firms with an online presence have a growth rate 24% higher than similar companies that don’t have a presence on the internet. Almost all of the businesses in the periphery are aware of digital tools but see them as too complex to use, the survey showed.
Amid Warming Ties With Jewish State, Russia Approves Importation of Israeli Dairy Products
After a three-year examination process, Russia has approved the importation of Israeli dairy products, the Hebrew news site nrg reported on Wednesday.
The main consumers of these products, the report said, are expected to be Russian Jews who observe kashrut laws.
Israeli dairy companies, according to the report, currently export goods to around three dozen countries in Asia, Europe and North America.
Israeli Agriculture Ministry data shows that 3,180 tons of dairy products are shipped from the Jewish state to Asia annually. Europe is the destination of 2,292 tons and 1,456 tons are sent to the US and Canada.
Dr. Shlomo Grazi — the ministry’s chief veterinary doctor for import and export — said the exports to Russia would benefit the Israeli economy and bolster the country’s reputation in the dairy world.
Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel pointed to the news as a further sign of warming ties between Israel and Russia.
Furthermore, he said, “we will continue to expand the Israeli agricultural export circles to other countries.”

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