Wednesday, February 08, 2017

From Ian:

Former PFLP Terrorist One Of “Feminists” Calling For Mass Strike
In an op-ed for The Guardian, a group of “feminists” have called for a mass strike on International Women’s Day (March 8).
The Women’s March on Washington spawned more than 600 sister marches in more than 75 countries around the world. The turnout in Washington, D.C., alone far exceeded expectations, with an estimated half a million people turning out, while the worldwide estimate sits above 3 million. But despite the impressive crowds the question remains — what happens next? How about a mass strike, where women around the world walk out of work on March 8th in protest against male violence and in defense of reproductive rights? Well, mark your calendar, because that’s precisely what one group of women is calling for.
In an Op-Ed for The Guardian, a group of feminist activists and writers — including Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, author of From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation; Angela Davis, founder of Critical Resistance, which advocates for prison reform; and Rasmea Yousef Odeh, associate director of the Arab American Action Network — issued a call for “feminism for the 99 percent.”

“Militant” feminist struggle somehow seems appropriate, considering one of these so-called feminists is Rasmea Yousef Odeh, a former PFLP terrorist who was sentenced to life in prison in Israel for her involvement in two terrorist bombings in Jerusalem in 1969, one of which killed two people – but only spent 10 years in prison before being released in a prisoner exchange with the PFLP in 1980.
UH-OH: DNC Candidate Ellison Allegedly Ranted About ‘Jewish Slave Traders’
Democrtaic Congressman Keith Ellison, a Muslim who is vying for the position of head of the Democratic national Committee, has been accused of ant-Semitism because of remarks he has made in the past about jews.
Now there is further alleged evidence of his anti-Semitism. As Mother Jones reports, when Ellison attended the University of Minnesota in the late 1980’s, he reportedly snapped that “European white Jews” were “trying to oppress minorities all over the world," referring to them as “Jewish slave traders.”
Mother Jones details how Ellison was a supporter of the racist Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, and wrote op-eds, under the name Keith Hakim, in the student paper, the Minnesota Daily, defending the Nation of Islam leader. Ellison also introduced Kwame Ture, the black-power activist formerly known as Stokely Carmichael, when he spoke at the university; Ture called Zionism a form of white supremacy.
Eager to effect a rapprochement between the blacks and Jews on campus, the university organized a series of conversations between the two groups. But Ellison insisted Ture was not a racist. Michael Olenick, the opinions editor at the Daily, recalled Ellison asserting, "European white Jews are trying to oppress minorities all over the world.” He added, "Keith would go on all the time about 'Jewish slave traders.'" Another Jewish student recalled Ellison ranting, "What are you afraid of? Do you think black nationalists are gonna get power and hurt Jews?"
E.U.-Supported Palestinian University Calls to ‘Blow Up’ Jews
A Palestinian university with strong U.S. and E.U. ties held a militant parade graphically calling for the murder of Jews.
Birzeit University, just outside of Ramallah in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria), held festivities to celebrate the 52nd anniversary of the Fatah movement on Dec. 31, 2016. Fatah is the dominant movement in the Palestinian Authority (PA) and is led by the authority’s president, Mahmoud Abbas. The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), an organization that translates Arab, Iranian and Russian media, recently issued a report on the event.
MEMRI footage showed armed masked men in military fatigues conducting drills and chanting at Birzeit University’s campus. The men belong to Fatah’s Shabiba student movement. According to MEMRI, during the drill, the student movement members praised deceased Palestinian leader and Fatah head Yasser Arafat and shouted:
“Blow up the head of the settler!”
“We are the guardians of the borders!”
“Oh shabiba, this is a call to arms!”
As CAMERA has noted, Palestinian officials often refer to all Israelis as “settlers,” regardless of where they live.

Stanford Freshman Criticizes Administrators for Providing Solace, Resources to Students Lamenting Trump’s Election, While ‘Largely Ignoring’ Trauma of Jews Under Antisemitic Assault on Campus
A freshman at Stanford University criticized school administrators for offering aid and solace to students who were upset by the election of Donald Trump to the US presidency, while failing to provide similar support to Jews under antisemitic assault on campus.
In an oped in the campus newspaper The Stanford Daily on Tuesday, Micah Cash said that though the university “created a vast network of resources…offering therapy, comfort and discourse” after the presidential election, it “couldn’t even muster the manpower” to erase a swastika painted on a library wall.
While praising the California university for being “tolerant and inclusive,” Cash said that “prominent and hateful” acts against Jews on its campus remain “largely ignored.”
“In response to Donald Trump’s recent executive order banning immigrants and refugees from predominantly Muslim countries…nearly every activist group on campus has staged events, rallies or protests, along with providing resources to help,” Cash wrote. “Perhaps activist groups are well-equipped to protest macro-injustice, but reluctant to confront it face to face. What non-Jewish group has held an event, protest or rally concerning the swastikas drawn all over our walls?”
UN, scrap your hollow Holocaust commemoration
And by calling upon “all States”… “to distinguish, in their relevant dealings, between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967,” you have empowered Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions activists, who already are raising their volume with what they call “legal justification” to battle legislation aimed at preventing economic boycotts of Israel.
This reeks of the same brand of anti-Semitism my father described as having witnessed in his native pre-Holocaust Poland: “The physical struggle against the Jews will be illegal, but the economic struggle will be encouraged – that was the official policy of the government. Jews were squeezed out of their economic position wherever it was possible.” Boycotts were a license to harass Jews, and a gateway to their mass murder.
Seven decades after Auschwitz-Birkenau became a cemetery for a million Jews whose blood left a permanent stain on humanity, anti-Semitism has proliferated and often masquerades as criticism of Israel. A German court in January reportedly upheld a lower court’s ruling that three men convicted of torching a synagogue were motivated by criticism of Israeli policies, not anti-Semitism.
And Jews on college campuses are being verbally and physically attacked, with a dearth of safe spaces to protect them or their views. “Burn the Jews” was written in my neighborhood schools during a rash of anti-Semitic incidents that persists. City officials initially didn’t even report these hate crimes and then framed them as an inclusiveness issue. Meanwhile, students have joked openly about pizzas, as opposed to Jews, not crying when they are shoved into ovens.
United Nations, you are a poor role model for any course correction. So spare me the theatrics and the empty gestures. I don’t need your disingenuous sympathy for one day a year while you isolate and demonize Jews during the rest. I, for one, prefer to save my tears for a more genuine commemoration.
UN Sponsors Anti-Israel Conference Promoting BDS
On February 4, 2017, featured speakers at a UN-sponsored conference held in Nicaragua called for the boycott of Israel, a UN member state, and accused it of ethnic cleansing. The conference, entitled "Building Bridges with Palestinian Diaspora in Central America," was organized by the UN's "Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People," a committee dedicated to promoting the Palestinian political agenda.
Here are some of the statements issued at the conference according to the UN press release:
"Keynote Presentation SAID MUSA, former Prime Minister of Belize, said...those who had expelled people from their ancestral land and killed others who resisted were called victims, and those driven out and massacred were called terrorists..., emphasizing that Israel had been built on the ethnic cleansing of Palestine... it was important to challenge the idea that denouncing Israel's illegal action was constituted bias against Jews, which somehow had been made credible by invoking crimes against them in the 1940s... He also advocated for boycotting goods produced in illegal settlements; joining the academic and cultural boycott of Israel...
RIYAD MANSOUR, [Palestinian representative to the UN], said...there must be a distinction between Israel and the Occupied Territory, including East Jerusalem. 'They are not the same,' which opened the door for the diaspora to intensify efforts to delegitimize Israel's colonization... He ... challeng[ed] participants, whatever their political ideology, to exceed the efforts of the Jewish community...
Sergio Iván Moya Mena, Professor, School of International Affairs, National University of Costa Rica and Coordinator of Centro de Estodios de Medio Oriente y Africa del Norte...encourag[ed] diaspora members to take the diplomatic space away from Israel as a way to foster its global isolation."
A False Theatrical Peace
It is not an accident that the “Oslo Chronology” provided in the glossy program supplement at Lincoln Center covers the period after the play’s action by only acknowledging the one instance of Israeli terror during the period (the 1994 massacre at the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron) and the assassination of Rabin. The program says nothing about the innumerable instances of Palestinian terror during the period or about Arafat and Abbas’s subsequent refusal of Israeli offers of statehood and peace.
Those omissions are astonishingly bad history, but they are an accurate reflection of the mindset of those in the United States from Foggy Bottom to the faculty lounge who continue to blame Israel for Palestinian intransigence. This false narrative is the root of the myth that the Israelis and Netanyahu threw away the peace Rabin had signed. That lie is also at the heart of the growing support for the BDS (boycott, divest, sanction) movement against Israel in the United States, and it undergirds support for anti-Zionist groups such as Jewish Voices for Peace that have overtaken J Street and Peace Now as the home for left-wing critics of the Jewish state. Those groups are gaining influence in the Democratic Party.
Far from being irrelevant to current events, Larsen’s blunders and the unwillingness of the West to draw conclusions from what happened after the accords go to the heart of the contemporary vituperation against Israel and Zionism. Rather than giving the Israelis credit for empowering their foes, Larsen, with his clever attempt to jump-start history, joins much of the world in continuing to wrongly blame Israel for not wanting the peace Oslo seemed to promise.
It turns out that for all of his common humanity, the Palestinian rock thrower Larsen saw in Gaza still has a way of looking at the conflict that is different from that of the Israeli he is opposing. Thanks to Larsen and Oslo, he is now armed with rockets aimed at Israeli cities and poised to use tunnels to kidnap and murder Jews. That terrorist who is determined to expel the Jews from the land rather than share it with them still doesn’t have the same goal as his stereotypical Israeli antagonist. Oslo and all that followed it proved repeatedly which side was prepared for coexistence and which rejected it. That is the true tragedy of Oslo and the Middle East conflict that the playwright and his cheering audience have missed.
Qatar and Terror Finance
Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani abdicated as the emir of Qatar in June of 2013, making his son Tamim the youngest ruler in the Arab world. Hamad’s reign was characterized by persistent negligence toward local U.S.-designated funders of al-Qaeda, but some American officials have expressed hope that Emir Tamim would turn over a new leaf in Qatar’s approach to tackling terror finance. Three years into Tamim’s new regime, however, its record is still conspicuously incomplete.
It is particularly vital to evaluate Qatar’s record on terror finance in light of the Nusra Front’s July 2016 decision to rebrand itself as Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (JFS), which purports to have “no relationship with any foreign party.” According to sources cited by Reuters, Qatar led an effort starting in 2015 to bolster the Syrian opposition by persuading Nusra to distance itself from al-Qaeda. Reuters reported that intelligence officials from Qatar and other Gulf states met several times with Nusra’s leader around this period to suggest that his group could receive money, arms, and supplies after stepping away from al-Qaeda. Yet the more JFS legitimates itself by integrating into the broader Syrian opposition, the greater the risk of a permanent al-Qaeda army on Europe’s doorstep.
This report is Part Two of a three-part series on Qatar’s record dealing with terrorist finance and its practitioners. Part One outlined Doha’s dismal record at punishing funders of terror throughout Emir Hamad’s reign.[7] This document evaluates the publicly available evidence on Qatar’s record since then, focusing primarily on individuals sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department in 2014 and 2015. All of these sanctions were imposed after Qatar agreed in September 2014, as part of a U.S.-led initiative called the Jeddah Communiqué, to bring terror financiers to justice.[8] The cases should therefore be seen as a measuring stick for recent Qatari conduct.
What the U.S. Can Do to Fight BDS
First, the U.S. Congress should submit the Combating BDS Act of 2016 for President Trump’s signature. The bipartisan legislation would permit state and local governments to penalize companies participating in BDS. . . .
Second, Trump can join other world leaders, especially those from BDS ground-zero countries in Western Europe, and declare BDS an anti-Semitic movement that runs counter to all peace efforts. Moreover, lawmakers should push through Congress the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act. . . . This legislation would give the U.S. Department of Education the statutory tools to examine anti-Semitic incidents [in schools and universities] in the broadest and most effective way possible. . . . The act will enhance the Department of Education’s ability to identify, investigate, and punish all forms of anti-Semitism, including anti-Zionism and anti-Israel harassment.
Third, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, can help to move the United States out of the company of the jackals and state that [the recent Security Council resolution regarding Israeli settlements] boosts BDS and should be discarded and disdained. . . . Finally, U.S. ambassadors in countries where BDS is flourishing—countries such as Ireland, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Belgium—should deliver speeches in those countries condemning the movement. Moreover, the ambassadors should advocate that the European Union replicate anti-BDS legislation. . . .
The BDS movement has been incorrectly viewed as exclusively anti-Israel. Take one telling example: Code Pink, an allegedly pro-peace U.S. group that is a main actor in the [American] BDS network. Code Pink supports many of America’s principal enemies—the Islamic Republic of Iran and Communist North Korea, just to name a couple.
News of the Israel conference at Cork University
Readers will probably remember the Israel – or rather anti-Israel – conference which was due to be held at Southampton University back in 2015. I was inclined to oppose cancelling the conference, but others thought it should not go ahead. In the end the conference was cancelled in rather confusing and, to my mind, unsatisfactory, circumstances.
It was recently announced that the conference would be held in a new venue – Cork University. Last month it looked as though it might be cancelled yet again, but now it seems to be going ahead as planned.
One of the biggest problem with this conference – in both iterations – is the involvement of Oren Ben Dor on the organising committee. In the bizarre article I discuss here, he demonstrates the intersection between antizionism and antisemitism – although of course many antizionists find his ideas equally disturbing.
Another member of the organising committee – the full list is here – has recently set some alarm bells ringing through his efforts to publicise the event.
Germany Urged by US Jewish Group to Freeze Sports Cooperation Deal With Terror-Glorifying Palestinian Authority
A leading US-based Jewish human rights group is calling on the German government to freeze a sports cooperation deal it recently signed with the Palestinian Authority until it stops glorifying violence against Israel.
In a statement on Tuesday, the Simon Wiesenthal Center urged German Chancellor Angela Merkel to “suspend this unthinkable agreement until the Palestinian Authority removes all names of terrorists from all sectors of Palestinian sport and their acts of terror be publicly condemned by Ramallah.”
Dr. Shimon Samuels — the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s director for international relations — expressed “revulsion” that “today’s Germany could be associated through sport with the blatant sanctification of Jew-killers, thereby evoking the shadows of the 1936 Nazi Olympics and the 1972 Munich Olympics atrocity.”
A list of 21 Palestinian athletic teams, tournaments and stadiums named after terrorists was published by the group.
Jewish Student Leaders at UK’s Cambridge U ‘Deeply Concerned’ Over Swastika, Holocaust Denial Fliers on Campus
The heads of the Jewish Society of Britain’s Cambridge University (CUJS) expressed “deep concern” over the spike in antisemitism on their campus, the student newspaper The Varsity reported on Sunday.
CUJS co-presidents Adam Goott and Alex Szlezinger were responding to two recent events in particular: the discovery on Saturday of two swastikas on a campus map, and fliers supporting infamous Holocaust deniers placed Thursday on the windshields of student- and faculty-owned vehicles.
Goott and Szlezinger told Varsity that the CUJS has “already been in touch with the CST [Community Security Trust, a charity set up to protect British Jews from antisemitism] and the Cambridgeshire Police have been notified. We also plan to meet with CUSU and the University, to discuss the best possible ways to put an end to these offensive incidents.”
The events in question come at a precarious time for British-Jewish students in general, and for those at Cambridge in particular, of late. As The Algemeiner reported, the school’s student paper recently published an opinion piece about Jared Kushner — US President Donald Trump’s Jewish son-in-law and senior adviser — which “explicitly contains antisemitic rhetoric.”
White supremacist fliers found at Indiana University
Indiana University said it contacted the FBI after white supremacist fliers were found posted on the Bloomington campus.
In a statement Tuesday, Provost and Executive Vice President Lauren Robel said the fliers were put up "by a group that identifies with white supremacy" and targeted minority faculty members.
"Posted under cover of darkness, targeting the office doors of faculty members of color or scholars of race and ethnicity, these flyers were clearly meant to intimidate, threaten, scare, and provoke anger among faculty, staff, students and visitors," Robel wrote. "The university is working with the police and has notified the Federal Bureau of Investigation."
Robel said the university rejects racism and discrimination and said the fliers run counter to the school's values.
"Our campus unequivocally rejects the cowardice and ugliness that this group’s action represents," Robel wrote. "We stand together as a community in the face of this abhorrent action. We will not be divided by cowards. This is a university. We discuss ideas in the full light of day."
Labour PPC Far-Right Rothschilds Conspiracy Contains 'Great Deal of Truth'
A Labour prospective parliamentary candidate has posted a Rothschilds conspiracy meme from a far-right website and claimed it contains “a great deal of truth”. John Clarke ran in Priti Patel’s Witham seat in 2015, when he was forced to apologise for calling her a “sexy bond villain”. Today he shared a graphic from the far-right anti-Semitic website Smoloko, claiming “Israel owns the Senate, the Congress and the executive branch” and that “The Rothschild family” owns Israel. The account that originally posted the graphic has the bio: “There were no gas chambers. Hitler was right”. When his fellow Labour members pointed out that he was promoting an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory, Clarke – a serving councillor – replied: “I am anti-Rothschild not Antisemitic. I will now block people who accuse me of Antisemitism merely to close down legitimate criticism of Israel &/or Rothschild family.” Days since Labour’s last anti-Semitic incident: zero…
Watchdog of the Week: BBC Backs Down Over “Angel” Abbas
In January, HonestReporting critiqued the BBC’s report on a meeting between PA President Mahmoud Abbas and the Pope.
We pointed out to the BBC its own report from 2015 that cast doubt on the Pope’s alleged “angel of peace” comments.
Despite this, the BBC rejected our complaint. Cue our Watchdog of the Week, UK resident Stephen Franklin, a former HonestReporting Mission participant and a regular thorn in the side of the BBC.
Stephen continued the complaints process even after a first rejection. His perseverance paid off with the following correspondence from the BBC:
I’m sorry that our initial response did not address your concerns. After considering them further we’ve since amended this piece to now explain that:
Israeli relations with the Vatican were further strained after it was reported that Pope Francis described President Abbas as “an angel of peace” during the canonisation ceremony of two Palestinian nuns at the Vatican in 2015. The Vatican later clarified that this was an encouragement to Mr Abbas rather than a description of him.
Israeli Music: Like Nothing Else on Earth
Israeli music has always been as vital and diverse as the country’s multicultural society. It began with “Land of Israel music” in the pre-state period, which drew on traditional Jewish music combined with Eastern European and Ashkenazi melodies. As the young state developed, so did its music, with its newly arrived Mizrahi community bringing their Middle Eastern and Mediterranean styles with them. And Israel was hardly deaf to the rest of the world; as the years went on, foreign styles like rock and roll, pop, techno, heavy metal, and recently hip-hop combined with earlier forms to create a unique hybrid sound that typifies Israeli popular songs today.
The top Israeli acts encompass all of these strains of Israeli musical history. First up is Subliminal, the stage name of Kobi Shimoni, who has risen to the top of the pop charts with his intense, aggressive rap music that addresses themes of patriotism, Zionism, and ferocious defiance of Israel’s enemies. Often controversial for his Right-wing views, Subliminal views himself as an in-your-face truth-teller, once saying, “The international media makes us look like blood-eating, Arab kid-killing monsters. You want to know what’s real? Listen to my lyrics, and you can find out.”
Subliminal had a hand in another of Israel’s top acts—the Ultras. Playing a unique hybrid of hip-hop and techno dance music, the group is managed by Subliminal and broke through in 2016 with a song that garnered more than 21 million views on YouTube (this in a country with a population of eight million). They have even found success overseas, with a song played on MTV.
IDF to promote first colonel from Bedouin community
The Israeli army has decided to promote its first colonel from within the ranks of the Bedouin community, pending approval from the defense minister, the army said Monday.
Currently a lieutenant colonel, Hassan Abu Salb is slated to take responsibility for a Manpower Directorate program that aims to increase recruitment into the army from the Bedouin community.
This position will be in addition to his current role as head of the West Bank Division’s tracker unit.
His new colonel’s rank will technically be ceremonial and temporary, the army said. The military sometimes grants a higher rank to officers temporarily in order to allow them to take on a specific role they otherwise would be unable to do.
Israeli company wins $110 million contract with Asian country
Elbit Systems Ltd. announced on Wednesday that it was awarded an approximately $110 million contract from an Asia-Pacific country for the upgrade and maintenance of dozens of Mi-17 helicopters.
The project will be performed over a five-year period.
Elbit Systems CEO and President Bezhalel (Butzi) Machlis said, "We are very pleased to have won this major helicopter upgrade project and for the opportunity to implement our unique and innovative avionic solutions.
"Elbit Systems is a world leader in the Eastern helicopter upgrade market, having completed and continuing to perform numerous programs which improve operational capabilities and facilitate safer flight, night and day. Since the 'aging helicopter' market is growing rapidly and includes numerous Eastern platforms, we hope other customers will follow the selection of our modernization solutions."
40% of IDF's female recruits ask to serve in combat units
Although around 40% of young women who enlist in the Israel Defense Forces are interested in serving in a combat unit, only 10% are ultimately assigned to combat positions, according to Lt. Col. Gili Ben-Menachem of the IDF Personnel Directorate. Ben-Menachem disclosed the finding at a meeting of the Knesset's Subcommittee for Personnel in the IDF aimed at using the enlistment to its full potential.
"The IDF aspires to complete equality between men and women in the selection process," Ben-Menachem said. He said the IDF has authorized 50 more military occupations to be made available to women, and expects the number of technical positions open to women to increase from 11% to 23% by the end of the year. He said female soldiers will soon comprise over half of those taking part in the IDF's academic track.
Despite the high demand for combat positions among female recruits, 35% of young women eligible to be drafted are exempted from military service on the grounds of religious observance. Ben-Menachem said that in the last five years, the IDF had investigated 450 cases in which officials believed women who had requested such exemptions were merely pretending to be religious to avoid mandatory military service. After their charade was exposed, 223 of the young women revoked their requests.
MK Aliza Lavie (Yesh Atid) has called for assistance for young religious women interested in military service.
Israel’s detachable camera drone makes selfie sticks redundant
Even as it seems people are snapping selfies everywhere — in dressing rooms, restaurants and parties — Israeli startup SELFLY is upping the game by creating a photographic drone that doubles as a smartphone case, which could make the selfie stick obsolete
SELFLY is an autonomous flying camera that doubles as a phone case. To use it, you detach it from the back of your phone, toss it into the air and then regulate the picture you want to take by tapping your phone, just like an ordinary picture. The phone translates your picture instructions into flight patterns for the drone: when you manipulate the picture on your phone through the SELFLY app, the camera receives flying orders to capture the best angle possible, including 360° panoramic views.
The Tel Aviv-based company has started a Kickstarter campaign that it hopes will lead to mass producing the device. The company has raised $274,990 to date, overshooting the target of $125,000 it had originally set. The first buyers are expected to get their orders in June, according to the Kickstarter page.
Ticketmaster launches in Israel
The US entertainment company Live Nation announced it has acquired a stake in an Israeli concert promotion business and launched Ticketmaster Israel.
The Los Angeles-based company purchased a majority stake in Tel Aviv’s Bluestone Entertainment, Billboard reported Tuesday, and the two companies have partnered on the launch of the popular ticketing site in the Jewish state.
“We have seen a considerable demand for live entertainment with the shows that Live Nation has brought to the market over the last few years and have been very impressed when working with Guy, Shay and the rest of the Bluestone team,” said Alan Ridgeway, Live Nation’s president of international and emerging markets. “Formalizing our partnership and bringing the Ticketmaster brand and technology to the market was the natural next step.”
Tel Aviv’s Summer Concert Scene Is Lit
If you’re in Israel this summer―I’m talking to you, teaching fellows and Mediterranean, sun-soaking vacationers―catch some of music’s biggest names in Tel Aviv. (Sorry, Birthrighters, this probably isn’t for you—I know you have a short leash.)
In July, Radiohead will play a recently (but not officially) announced show at Yarkon Park, a large public space and storied performance site in Tel Aviv. The concert will be the British alt-rock band’s fourth performance in the Jewish state since 1993 (including an opening appearance at a R.E.M. concert). Judging by YouTube’s treasure trove of Radiohead covers by Israeli performers, the band has quite a fanbase there.
Other rock heavyweights playing Yarkon Park in the months to come include Aerosmith (May 17) and Guns N’ Roses (July 15). Those with softer musical sensibilities can see Argentine-Swedish Indie folkster José González at the Barby Club on May 22, or can head to the Tel Aviv Museum of Art on July 6 for a concert with Portuguese-born jazz singer and songwriter Carmen Souza and bassist Theo Pascal.
And last but not least, Justin Bieber will bring a dash of pop (and probably more than a hint of paparazzi intrigue) to Tel Aviv when his “Purpose” tour stops there in May. No judgment if you prefer the Biebs to Thom Yorke―there are clearly more productive debates to be had these days.
The Babylonian Talmud Is Now Available Free Online in English and Hebrew
A multi-decade scholarly effort first published in Israel, the Hebrew Steinsaltz Talmud has long been a print staple of the beit midrash, while the English edition has been distributed by Random House and Koren Publishers. Now, however, both translations will be available to anyone with an internet connection, thanks to a grant from the William Davidson Foundation.
Sefaria has already posted the Talmud’s first 22 tractates in English; the rest, along with the modern Hebrew translations, will be rolling out through 2017. Unlike previous attempts at translating the ancient Jewish legal-literary corpus like the Soncino Talmud, the Steinsaltz edition is prized for its clarity and accessibility, making it ideal for public and not just academic consumption.
Why does this matter? Consider the words of Albert Einstein back in December 1930:
The scientific organization and comprehensive exposition in accessible form of the Talmud has a twofold importance for us Jews. It is important in the first place that the high cultural values of the Talmud should not be lost to modern minds among the Jewish people nor to science, but should operate further as a living force. In the second place, the Talmud must be made an open book to the world, in order to cut the ground from under certain malevolent attacks, of anti-Semitic origin, which borrow countenance from the obscurity and inaccessibility of certain passages in the Talmud.
To support this cultural work would thus mean an important achievement for the Jewish people.

You can access the William Davidson Talmud online at Sefaria here.
Actress Natalie Portman Teaches Hebrew Slang in Vanity Fair ‘Secret Talent’ Series
In a Vanity Fair video series aimed at highlighting the hidden talents of various celebrities, movie star Natalie Portman gave a lesson in Hebrew slang.
Portman, who was born in Israel, focused on commonly used insults — such as “ben zona” (son of a b–ch) and “manyak” (maniac) — and other terms like: “eize basa” (what a downer) and “balagan” (mess).
The video, published on Monday as a part of the entertainment magazine’s “Secret Talent Theatre” series, ended with the “Jackie” star explaining the meaning of the salutation “L’chaim” — “to life.”

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