Sunday, February 05, 2017

From Ian:

Yair Rosenberg: Five myths about anti-Semitism
For a phenomenon often dubbed “the world’s oldest hatred,” anti-Semitism is not well understood. From top Iranian officials who blame the Talmud for the international drug trade to British political activists who claim that the Mossad is stealing their shoes, anti-Jewish bigotry can be bewildering and bizarre. But given the prejudice’s longevity, virulence and recent resurgence in Europe and America — witness the waves of bomb threats against dozens of Jewish centers nationwide in the past month and the controversy over the Trump administration’s repeated refusal to include Jews in its Holocaust memorial statement — it’s well worth debunking common misconceptions that impede our ability to fight it.
Myth No. 2 Anti-Semitism comes predominantly from the right.
This past election season, the ascendant alt-right, a band of reactionary white nationalists with a penchant for harassing Jewish journalists, filled Twitter with neo-Nazi memes, Photoshopped reporters into gas chambers and concentration camps, and chanted anti-Semitic slogans at political rallies. (My critical reporting on Trump made me the second-most-harassed Jewish journalist on Twitter, according to an Anti-Defamation League study.) One could be forgiven for assuming that such bigotry flows from one primary political source.
But anti-Semitic outbursts were taking place on the left at the same time. At liberal Oberlin College, a writing instructor named Joy Karega shared Facebook memes about Jewish control of the global economy and media, alongside posts asserting Israeli responsibility for the Islamic State and 9/11. Yet when school officials and others criticized her conduct, the student council dismissed it as a “witch-hunt.” In New York, despite a local outcry, the hip leftist hub Brooklyn Commons hosted Christopher Bollyn, a conspiracy theorist who argued that “Zionist Jews” were behind 9/11. During the Democratic primaries, Jewish candidate Bernie Sanders was confronted by a questioner who declared that “the Zionist Jews . . . run the Federal Reserve, they run Wall Street, they run every campaign.” Surveying this scene, TBS comedian Samantha Bee aired footage of an anti-Semite ranting at a Trump rally, then cracked, “To find anti-Semitism that rabid, you’d have to go to, well, any left-leaning American college campus.”
This bipartisan bigotry shouldn’t surprise. Anti-Semitism could never have attained its impressive influence without forging coalitions across ideological and religious lines. Hatred of Jews has long thrived on its ability to ensnare utterly opposite worldviews. Thus, the 2013 E.U. survey found that Italian and Swedish Jews perceived more anti-Semitic statements coming from the left, Hungarian Jews heard them overwhelmingly from Christians and the right, and French Jews reported abuse largely from Muslim extremists. It’s tempting to cast anti-Semitism as the sin of other people, but that’s usually a way to avoid confronting the problem within one’s own community.
WaPo Ignores Islamic/Muslim Anti-Semitism
Later in the article, Rosenberg acknowledges how French Jews’ report their experiences with anti-Semitism as "largely [coming] from Muslim extremists.” His next sentence, however, warns readers against “[casting] anti-Semitism as the sin of other people [in order to] avoid confronting the problem within one’s own community.” In other words, Rosenberg is uncomfortable with acknowledging anti-Semitism as a pathology more virulent among certain cultural, religious, and/or ethnic groups than others.
Anti-Semitism, according to Rosenberg's implication, is somehow equally distributed across all political, religious, cultural, and ethnic groups.
While touching on anti-Semitism in Europe, Rosenberg ignores its worst recent manifestations, all of which were functions of Islamic terrorism.
Rosenberg similarly ignores the relationship between modern anti-Semitism on American campuses and the rapid growth of America's Muslim population in recent decades, particularly with respect to student bodies across the country's universities and colleges. He neglects to mention the Muslim Students' Association - an anti-Zionist, left-wing, and Democrat-aligned organization - as a primary driver of anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist agitation across American campuses:
Illinois warns European Union on boycotting settlements
In the wake of the UN anti-settlements resolution, the governor of Illinois warned the European Union that companies complying with boycotts of Israel or of its West Bank settlements face divestment by the governments of Illinois and other states.
Gov. Bruce Rauner, in his January 31 letter to Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, outlines Illinois law banning state pension plans from investing in companies that boycott Israel.
“Under our law, the term ‘boycott Israel’ means ‘engaging in actions that are politically motivated and are intended to penalize, inflict economic harm on, or otherwise limit commercial relations with the state of Israel or companies based in Israel or in territories controlled by the State of Israel,’” Rauner wrote in the letter, which his office released to JTA on February 3.
Maher & Sam Harris: Left Has Allied With Islamists; "Self-Loathing" Liberals Think We're Just As Bad
Maher said people need to stop equivocating the Ku Klux Klan to radical Islamic armies.
"And again, size matters," Maher said. "There are entire terrorists armies -- ISIS, obviously, Boko Haram, al-Qaeda. People talk about the KKK like it's an equivalent. The KKK is not seeking nuclear weapons."
"When you take jihadists and Islamists who want Sharia law, they just want to use the leverage of a state that are not committing violence immediately, and then you have a larger subset of conservative Muslims who may not have any alliance to jihadists they still have attitudes about free speech and the rights of women and the rights of gays that are deeply at odds with our own and we have to win a war of ideas with these people. This is not -- we don't fly drones to solve this problem. And so this is why we need to empower real reformers.
Harris admonished Linda Sarsour, a Palestinian-American who often appears on MSNBC and spoke out the D.C. Women's March, for defending Saudi Arabia for giving women work leave for pregnancy, defending Sharia law, and attacking "a real feminist hero" like Ayaan Hirsi Ali, telling her she needs an ass-whipping. Harris said Sarsour is a "theocrat."
"I know you were having a bit of a Twitter spat sometimes with this woman Linda Sarsour," Maher said to Harris. "She was at the march and you mentioned that she tweets things that are semi-supportive of Saudi Arabia because they give women maternity leave more than we do."
"This is a problem," Harris said. "The left has allied themselves with Islamists and closet Islamists. She's not too closeted. She has an hijab and the hijab was promoted as one of the empowering symbols of feminism in this march and she was in the march."
Real Time with Bill Maher: Sam Harris: Winning the War of Ideas

‘Never Again Will Our Allies Have to Question Our Support,’ New US UN Envoy Says After First Meeting With Israeli Counterpart
“Never again will our allies have to question our support,” new US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley vowed this weekend, after meeting for the first time with her Israeli counterpart, Danny Danon.
In a statement published on her Facebook page, Haley said she and Danon had a “great meeting,” at which they discussed the “strong” US-Israel relationship.
In response, Danon tweeted, “Welcome to the @UN Amb @nikkihaley. Looking forward to a new era of close Isr-US cooperation.”
At her Senate confirmation hearing last month, Haley, the former governor of South Carolina, said the US “must let Israel know we are an ally and will be an ally.”
Haley called the UN Security Council’s passage in December of an anti-settlement resolution — which was enabled by an Obama administration abstention — a “terrible mistake” that would make an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal “even harder to achieve.”
Douglas Murray: Some ‘anti-fascists’ need to look in the mirror
I have noted before in this place that the people who seem most fascist these days are self-described ‘anti-fascists’. The inaugural weeks of Donald Trump’s Presidency are – whatever else you think of them – doing a fine job in smoking these people out.
The principal cause of ‘anti-fascist’ ire today would appear to come from the collective decision that anybody whose opinions do not wholly concur with a narrow set of agreed upon ‘liberal’ views is a ‘fascist’. This is not a wholly new development – Allan Bloom noticed this more than thirty years ago. But it seems that the people then who described everyone who disagreed with them as ‘Nazis’ did not grow up as had been hoped but just moved into positions in the media, politics and academia where they deepened and extended the reach of their worldview. Thus today American campuses finds themselves in a situation in which Milo Yiannopoulos is meant to be a fascist, Christina Hoff Sommers is meant to be a fascist and Gavin McInnes is meant to be a fascist.
Until now I have tended to assume that people who call all their opponents ‘fascists’ were doing so purely for short-term political gain. But I am starting to wonder whether some people seriously believe themselves. Is it possible these people actually do think that America is about to start herding people into gas chambers, or is doing so already?
Settlement statement proves Trump is no Obama
Former U.S. President Barack Obama did not stop the U.N. Security Council from passing Resolution 2334 just before him term ended. The resolution declared that "the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-state solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace." The main thing was that Obama insisted he was a "friend." The main thing was that Obama was committed to peace.
He was so nice to us that he even sent his secretary of state, John Kerry, to speak on camera against Israel for an hour, proving that the settlements were the root of the trouble and the cause of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict -- the settlements, not religion, and not the Palestinians' lack of recognition of the other or their ongoing refusal to recognize the Jewish state's right to exist.
On Thursday evening, it was the media that thought that new U.S. President Donald Trump had adopted his predecessor's attitude after the White House put out an announcement saying that the president had not yet put together an official policy on the settlements, but that the administration believed "the construction of new settlements or the expansion of existing settlements beyond their current borders may not be helpful" in achieving peace.
Obviously, this line immediately garnered headlines. Everyone in the media was quick to jump on the critical part of the announcement, which wasn't even aimed at the settlement enterprise itself, but at the intent to build a new settlement in place of Amona. The line of "condemnation" led people to decide that Trump was turning out to be Obama's twin, and actually opposed the settlements. Some even see the new administration headed for a crash course with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, even before the two leaders meet later this month. Oh, come on. After a war between Israel and Mexico was declared (in the media), we can expand it to include all of North America.
'Obama allowed Iran to develop missiles that can strike Israel'
Former U.S. President Barack Obama's administration had given Iran its tacit consent for the development of ballistic missiles capable of striking Israel but not Europe, a new report by the Middle East Media Research Institute alleged Thursday.
U.N. Resolution 2231, passed shortly after the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal was signed, calls on Iran "not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology" for eight years following the nuclear deal. Resolution 2231 went into effect on July 20, 2015.
Iran conducted a ballistic missile test on Jan. 30. The test has been denounced as a violation of Resolution 2231, but White House spokesman Sean Spicer said the missile test did not violate the nuclear agreement.
"It's not a direct violation. ... I think there is no question that it violates the spirit" of the agreement, he said.
Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan stressed that Iran "asks permission from no one in the matter of its defense program."
The MEMRI report claimed that "immediately after the interim agreement was reached in Geneva, on Dec. 10, 2013, and in reference to it, IRGC [Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps] commander Mohammad Ali Jafari said that Iran is capable of producing missiles with a range of over 2,000 kilometers" (1,200 miles) but that Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had restricted the IRGC to a 2,000-kilometer range.
Israel completes 10km stretch of West Bank security barrier near Hebron
The Defense Ministry has finished construction of a 10-kilometer (6.2 miles) section of the security barrier south of the West Bank city of Hebron, The Jerusalem Post learned on Sunday.
The security barrier, which starts at the Tarqumiya checkpoint in western Hebron and extends southward to the Meitar checkpoint, is a total of 42 kilometers (26 miles) long and is located on the side of bypass Road 35 in the West Bank.
Lawmakers had decided to accelerate the completion of this section of the barrier following several infiltrations that led to deadly terror attacks inside Israel, including the attack at Tel Aviv’s Sarona Market last June where two Palestinian terrorists from the Palestinian village of Yatta near Hebron infiltrated into Israel and killed four civilians.
Hamas reportedly rejects prisoner swap deal offered by Israel
Hamas reportedly turned down an Israeli prisoner swap offer that would have allowed for one Israeli to be exchanged for one Hamas member.
According to the source from the terror organization who spoke with Israel Radio on Sunday, the offer proposed to exchange Hamas member Bilal Razaineh for one of two Israelis in the Gaza Strip who are thought to be alive.
Razaineh, 24, was caught attempting to enter Israel in November and is said to be a high-ranking Hamas operative as he has reportedly been a member of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’s armed wing, for nearly a decade.
The offer, which was said to be a “humanitarian exchange” due to the fact that all three reportedly suffer from mental or psychological illness, was said to have been turned down because it had to be "all or nothing." The source added that Hamas would welcome a deal with Israel with Egypt as a mediator.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Hamas Nixes Prisoner Deal, But Willing To Exchange Rockets On Israel For Destruction Of Gaza (satire)
The Islamist militant organization that governs the Gaza Strip rejected a proposal last week to free some of its members imprisoned in Israel in exchange for the release of two Israelis held in Gaza, but insisted it remains open to trading volleys of missiles fired at Israel for artillery and bombs that would rain destruction down on the coastal territory.
A representative of Hamas told Egyptian mediators yesterday (Saturday) that the group would not pursue the suggestion that it return Avera Mengistu, a mentally unstable Israeli who crossed into the Gaza Strip in 2014, and Hisham al-Sayed, an Israeli Bedouin, in exchange for the release of Hamas militants in Israeli prisons. However, noted the spokesman, representatives of the movement stressed to the Egyptians that Hamas remains open to a larger-scale exchange with Israel, whereby tens of thousands of Iranian, Chinese, and locally-made rockets and mortar shells would be sent in the air toward Israeli cities and towns, in return for which Israel would deploy large numbers of high-explosive bombs, tank shells, artillery barrages, air-to-surface missiles, and other ordnance on targets in the Gaza Strip.
Blomi Awe’i told journalists from the Chinese Xinhua news agency that the movement aims to secure a larger-scale exchange than a swap involving prisoners. “The Resistance refuses to negotiate little details with the illegitimate Zionist Entity,” he was quoted as saying. “We operate on an epic scale.” Awe’i added that Hamas was willing to show some flexibility, and include in the package the use of infiltration tunnels to attack Israeli civilians and soldiers beyond the border, and was also considering the use of further automotive terrorist attacks and suicide bombings to sweeten the deal.
3 Palestinians indicted for arson over devastating forest fire
Three Palestinians were indicted Sunday for allegedly starting a fire that nearly destroyed the Judea and Samaria community of Halamish, southwest of Ramallah.
According to a Walla news report, Salem Ataman, Salem Zahran Muatasem Mahmoud Yousef Zahran and Ahed Isa Yousef Zahran, all in their 20s and residents of Dir Abu Mashal, near Ramallah, were indicted in the Judea Military Court on multiple counts of arson, malicious property damage, disturbing the peace, and inflicting damage to a natural reserve. The indictment makes no mention of a nationalistic motive to their crimes.
Several massive wildfires raged in Israel for eight days in mid-November, prompting the evacuation of some 75,000 people nationwide, and destroying nearly 5,000 acres of forest.
The Halamish blaze destroyed 17 homes and damaged dozens of others, as well as the surrounding woodlands and property. In total, 169 homes sustained damaged as a result of the flames. According to the indictment, the fire inflicted damage to the tune of 25 million shekels ($6.7 million).
At the time of the alleged arson, Israel was beset by extremely dry weather and heavy winds, which fanned the flames that erupted across the country and quickly turned the Halamish fire into a destructive blaze.
Senior Hamas commander said killed in accidental blast
A senior Hamas field commander died Sunday of wounds incurred a day earlier in an accidental blast, the Gaza-based terror group said.
Hamas’s military wing, the Qassam Brigades, said in a statement posted to its official website that high-ranking field commander Muhammad Hemada Walid al-Quqa, 37, died Sunday morning. Other reports from Gaza said he was 44 years old.
According to the statement, Quqa was “preparing equipment” in the field when he was injured in an explosion.
The Hamas commander, the statement added, was from the al-Shati refugee camp in northern Gaza.
Palestinian media posted a picture of Quqa on Twitter.
UK Students Rights Activist: Hamas-Linked ‘Friends of Al-Aqsa’ Key Fomenter of Campus Antisemitism
A British campus activist said on Friday that a key player behind the deteriorating situation for Jewish students in the UK is an outside anti-Israel group with ties to Hamas.
In an oped in the International Business Times, Elliot Miller — a student rights organizer and fellow at the Henry Jackson Society think-tank — accused Friends of Al-Aqsa (FOA) of fomenting antisemitism across UK schools.
Miller wrote that FOA and its partnering organizations are “driving the development of a divisive atmosphere on some campuses,” most recently at the University College London in October, where, as The Algemeiner reported, Jewish students were targeted in coordinated, violent FOA-sponsored protests during a pro-Israel event.
As a result, Jewish students “feel that they are being suffocated when it comes to expressing their views on campus,” he said.
UK media obfuscate ‘stunning’ US shift on settlements and peace
Here’s a quick break down of the statement:
  • The US desires peace between the Israelis and Palestinians
  • The existence of settlements is not an impediment to peace
  • However, the construction of new settlements or the expansion of existing settlements beyond their current borders may not be helpful in achieving peace.
The second bullet point is extremely important in the context of of US-Israeli relations, as it reverses decades of US positions characterising settlements as an impediment to peace. The third bullet point merely takes the position that ‘new’ settlements and the expansion of existing settlements beyond their current boundaries are “not helpful” in achieving peace. The White House makes a clear distinction between construction within existing settlement boundaries and construction beyond those boundaries, including entirely new settlements.
Since there hasn’t been a new settlement in over two decades, and the overwhelming majority of new construction within the last 20 years – including most of the announced construction since Jan. 20th – was in existing settlement boundaries, the White House appears to be arguing that most settlement construction is not an impediment to peace.
However, most UK media reports on the announcement focused not on the White House position that settlements don’t impede peace, but instead on the muted condemnation (as “not helpful”) of new settlements and construction beyond existing boundaries.
BBC’s Gaza casualty figures source continues lawfare campaign
As readers may recall, during the summer 2014 conflict between Israel and terrorist organisations based in the Gaza Strip, the BBC quoted and promoted casualty figures based on information sourced, among others, from the NGO Al Mezan.
Two and a half years on, the BBC has still not provided its funding public with a satisfactory explanation as to why it uncritically amplified data – which had not been independently verified – that was sourced from organisations that make no secret of the fact that they are involved in a political campaign of lawfare against Israel or why it later rejected complaints which challenged the BBC’s use of patently partisan information from those sources.
SUCCESS: Sydney Morning Herald Backs Down After HR Takes Action
As well as launching a petition, we stated our intent to take this to the Australian Press Council if the SMH refused to back down.
We did exactly that and we succeeded. In an email to HonestReporting, the APC wrote:
In response to your concerns, we contacted the publication and it proceeded to remove references to Tel Aviv in the article and, where appropriate, replace it with “Israel”. As such, the Executive Director has decided not to refer the complaint for further consideration as the publication has sufficiently remedied the matter.
Our 2012 confrontation with The Guardian and the now defunct UK Press Complaints Commission over this very same issue created an important precedent for the UK media.
We expect this success to do the same for Australian media in the event that any future stories commit this Tel Aviv capital error.
Thank you to the thousands who signed our petition on this issue.
Exposed: Holocaust Denial Literature In Auckland Libraries
Israellycool reader K has alerted me to the fact that Auckland libraries have a copy of a book called The holocaust hoax exposed : debunking the 20th century’s biggest lie by a guy called Victor Thorn.
Sure enough, it’s there.
In fact, the global library catalog WorldCat indicates that Auckland Libraries is the only library storing this book in the WorldCat database.
Far-right French leader calls for ban on wearing kippot in public
Marine Le Pen, the leader of France's far-right National Front party, called for a ban on kippot in France. "Since I believe everyone in France should receive equal treatment, I also support a ban on wearing kippot in public," she told Channel 2 News on Friday.
Le Pen, who officially launched her presidential campaign on Saturday, said, "The dangerous situation in which Jews in France live today is such that those who walk around with a kippot are a minority, because the rest are scared of being attacked and refrain from wearing kippot."
The controversial leader had voiced her support for a ban on kippot before.
In an interview with French media in October, Le Pen said that if elected president, she would outlaw the public display of religious symbols and clothing in the name of "national interest."
"I know I am asking a lot of them," she told Channel 2 News, "but I think the fight against radical Islam should be a joint struggle, and everyone should say, 'Here, we are sacrificing something, setting the kippot aside.' They might wear a hat in public spaces, but at least this will be a step in the attempt to eradicate radical Islam in France," she said.
Windows broken, swastikas placed at Chicago synagogue
Unknown assailants broke windows and placed swastikas at the entrance to a Chicago synagogue overnight Friday-Saturday, in what local authorities said was a suspected hate crime.
The president of Loop Synagogue, Lee Zoldan, told NBC Chicago that the attack was witnessed by nearby construction workers.
According to Zoldan, the workers said that the incident began when a black SUV stopped outside the building a little after midnight, and one of the passengers got out and broke the windows using what appeared to be a hammer or an axe. The person returned to the SUV to collect the swastika stickers that were then placed on the front door.
Zoldan told NBC that Shabbat worship at the synagogue went ahead as planned.
The synagogue had not received any further threats, she said, adding that the board would consider increased security measures.
NY passengers band together, scrub swastikas off subway car
Subway passengers in New York City on Saturday night banded together to erase anti-Semitic messages daubed in a train car.
Gregory Lochte boarded the train at a Manhattan station Saturday night to find swastikas graffitied across its windows and advertisements.
After a brief moment of uncomfortable silence during which passengers exchanged uneasy looks, according to Lochte’s account, one man rose up from his seat and pointed out that “hand sanitizer gets rid of Sharpie. We need alcohol.”
In a Facebook post published later that evening, Lochte shared how touched he was by the number of passengers who immediately searched their bags for tissues and sanitizer.
After two minutes of work by Lochte and his fellow riders, the graffiti was removed.
S&P reaffirms Israel's A+ credit rating, lauds thriving economy
International financial services and credit ratings agency Standard & Poor's on Friday reaffirmed Israel's international credit ratings and economic outlook, giving it an A+ score.
The agency gave Israel a "stable" economic outlook, saying its analysts expected the Israeli government to maintain is cautious fiscal policies.
S&P's report noted the Israeli economy is "diverse and thriving," saying it is characterized by a strong export industry, strong external accounts, and a flexible monetary framework.
The Israeli economy's main constraints are its high debt and the potential destabilizing effects of geopolitical threats, S&P warned, adding rising housing prices continue to be a risk factor, as they may lead to "negative economic effects."
Archaeologists get set to dig at Masada, after 11-year hiatus
For the first time in over a decade, archaeologists are commencing new excavations atop Masada, studying previously untouched areas of the legendary desert mountain fortress, including the residences of Jewish rebels who met their doom in 74 CE.
A Tel Aviv University team, headed by Roman-period archaeologist Guy Stiebel, will conduct a month-long excavation at the UNESCO World Heritage Site starting on February 5.
It will be the university’s first expedition at the site, and the first expedition overall there since 2006.
Masada is a rugged crag in the Judean Desert overlooking the Dead Sea. Herod, the first-century BCE king of Judea — perhaps best known for building Jerusalem’s Temple Mount complex — constructed a fortress and palace on the mountain. The elaborate waterworks channeling seasonal rainfall allowed the royal redoubt to have a more plentiful supply than Jerusalem, according to ancient accounts.
Radiohead to play Tel Aviv in July
The mega-popular British alternative rock band Radiohead will be coming to Israel for a concert in July.
The concert will take place at Tel Aviv’s Yarkon Park and is scheduled for July 19, according to the Hebrew-language Ynet news site.
An official announcement of the show is expected in the coming days, detailing ticket prices and availability.
The show will mark Radiohead’s fourth appearance in Israel, following concerts in 1993; in 1995, when the band opened for the American rock group REM; and in 2000.
The group first came to the world’s attention with its 1992 single “Creep,” which was followed by a debut album, “Pablo Honey” a year later. After releasing “The Bends” in 1995, Radiohead released “OK Computer” in 1997, which brought it both popular and critical acclaim.
Fast, accurate test for malaria could be a game-changer
In 2015, about 212 million people were infected with malaria and an estimated 429,000 died from the disease, which is transmitted by mosquito-borne parasites.
As Israeli researchers investigate solutions for preventing and treating malaria, an Israeli company founded in 2010 has developed a device that helps labs around the world detect malaria rapidly, reliably and automatically using unique computer vision-based algorithms for identifying blood-related diseases.
About 70 percent of the 500 million malaria tests done annually are performed using manual microscopy, which is slow and only as reliable as the person processing the test, explains Sight Diagnostics CEO Yossi Pollak. The other 30% are done with rapid tests that are not sufficiently accurate.
“It was pretty clear everywhere we went that current solutions are inadequate, and that a ‘high-tech’ solution is needed,” says Pollak.
What is Chuck Norris doing in Israel
Chuck Norris is so tough, he's taken on the Middle East.
Well, perhaps.
The actor and martial artist who spurred an Internet craze of pop culture satirical factoids about his persona was in Israel this weekend.
Former Foreign Ministry director-general Dore Gold posted a photograph of himself alongside the Walker, Texas Ranger star at a restaurant in Herzliya on Saturday.
While the Israeli diplomat stated that the encounter served as a "break from Middle East tensions," it was not clear for what purpose and how long Norris was in the Holy Land.

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