Saturday, April 29, 2017

From Ian:

N. Korea threatens Israel after Liberman calls Kim a madman
North Korea threatened to punish Israel and accused Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman on Saturday of “rash and malicious” statements that insulted its leadership, after he criticized the Asian nation and called its leadership “extremist and insane.”
In an official foreign ministry statement, Pyongyang said Liberman has challenged North Korea by making “rash and malicious” comments against the nation.
“Our consistent message is to mercilessly punish those who offend the dignity of our leadership,” the statement said.
“We warn Israel to think twice about the implications of its defamation campaign against us.”
The statement further condemned Israel for its nuclear policy, and accused the Jewish state of abusing the rights of Arabs across the Middle East.
“Israel is the only illegal possessor of nuclear weapons that enjoys the support of the United States, but Israel is attacking North Korea for possessing nuclear weapons,” the statement read, going on to claim this was a cynical move intended to distract from Israeli “occupation” and “crimes against humanity.”
On Thursday Liberman said Pyongyang “seems to have crossed the red line with its recent nuclear tests,” adding that its nuclear weapons program posed more of a threat to world order than Iran or any terrorist group.
At UN Security Council, Tillerson Presses for Economic Sanctions on North Korea
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson took the escalating threat of a nuclear North Korea to the United Nations Security Council Friday, urging member countries to financially cut ties with Pyongyang and freeze access to funds that could be used to build up that nation’s nuclear arsenal.
Tillerson called on the international community to fully implement U.N. sanctions and to suspend or downgrade diplomatic ties as well with North Korea.
“With each successive detonation and missile test, North Korea pushes northeast Asia and the world closer to instability and broader conflict," Tillerson said. "The threat of a North Korean attack on Seoul or Tokyo is real."
Tillerson added that it was “only a matter of time” before Pyongyang takes aim at the United States and said the international community must take concrete steps now in order to prevent North Korea from making good on threats.
“Business as usual is not an option,” Tillerson told 15 top diplomats at the U.N. meeting.
The secretary of state’s comments capped off an intense week in Washington that included closed-door briefings between the Trump administration and U.S. lawmakers over the escalating threat.
John Bolton: If North Korea Gets Nuclear Missiles, ‘Iran Could Have That Capability the Next Day by Writing a Check’
Breitbart News National Security Editor Frances Martel joined the conversation to ask Bolton about the deep relationship between the nuclear issues in Iran and North Korea, which are generally treated as entirely separate matters in media coverage.
“The media don’t get the connection, and that in part is because the national security bureaucracy doesn’t get, or doesn’t want to talk about, the connection,” Bolton replied, portraying it as “a classic bureaucratic example of what they call silos.”
“You’ve got the people dealing with Iran there in one silo, you’ve got the people dealing with North Korea in another silo. They might as well be on different planets,” he explained.
“But the fact is, again, from publicly available information going back 30 years, we know that the North Koreans and the Iranians have been in close cooperation on the development of ballistic missiles for that entire period. North Korea sold Iran the first SCUD missiles that were the basis for the Iranian missile program. They’ve cooperated in multiple ways since then. It makes perfectly good sense for that to happen. They’re both using the same Soviet-era SCUD missile technology for their missile programs, so they’ve got a common scientific and engineering base. Their objectives for the missile programs are exactly the same. It’s to deliver nuclear weapons, not launch communications or weather satellites. On that score, it’s just absolutely clear,” Bolton said.
“It is less clear in terms of publicly available evidence on the nuclear side, but I think there is substantial reason to believe there’s close cooperation there as well,” he continued. “The reactor that Israel destroyed in Syria in September of 2007 was being built by North Koreans. It was a clone of the North Korean Yongbyon reactor. Most people don’t think Syria had the financial wherewithal to pay for building that kind of reactor, and the North Koreans don’t do anything for free, so where did the money come from? I think it probably came from Iran.”
“I think there are a lot of other connections that have been noted, the Iranian scientists in North Korea and vice versa. Forget the Iran nuclear deal for a minute – it’s entirely foreseeable that the day North Korea gets the capability to drop a nuclear warhead on the United States via ballistic missile, Iran could have that capability the next day by writing a check in the right amount of money, so this relationship is extremely important,” he warned.



Leading Jewish Group Warns of Negative Ramifications for Israel if Qatari Diplomat Becomes Next UNESCO Chief
A leading Jewish human rights group is warning that condemnation of Israel at UNESCO will only intensify should a Qatari official assume the director-general’s post at the international cultural agency in November.
Dr. Shimon Samuels — a permanent observer on the UNESCO Executive Board from the US-based Simon Wiesenthal Center, told The Algemeiner that Hamad Bin Abdulaziz Al-Kawari emerged as a front-runner during a meeting in Paris last week. UNESCO is selecting a successor for Irina Bokova, its current leader.
Out of nine candidate countries, Samuels said, France, China and Qatar emerged as serious contenders. However, France and China face an obstacle in the fact that both European and Asian officials have recently led the organization. Paris is also the host of UNESCO’s headquarters.
“The former Qatari culture minister, Al-Kawari, has been a diplomat, politician and businessman,” Samuels said. “In a sophisticated presentation, he did not hide his ability to provide the funds to resolve UNESCO’s cash crisis, since the United States ended its funding due to Palestinian entry into UNESCO in 2011. The American unpaid debt now stands at $400 million and counting.”
At the ABC, Fact Phobia Strikes Again
Race hatred is soaring in the US and Donald Trump is to blame -- that was the gist of a 7.30 report which went to air on March 14, two weeks after the perpetrator of one such attack was arrested. No Trump fan, he was a black, left-wing Muslim journalist. The ABC has not bothered to correct the record
On March 14, 7.30 ran a fake-news piece whose intent was to stitch up President Donald Trump for inciting a wave of anti-Semitic bomb threats and vandalism of Jewish cemeteries in the US. Compere Leigh Sales intoned: “Some people blame Donald Trump’s incendiary rhetoric for unleashing people’s worst impulses, something Trump backers of course dispute.” You can view the report here.
The show’s US correspondent Conor Duffy then interviewed a conga-line of Democrat activists to ramp up the 7.30 narrative which amounted to ‘the disgusting Trump incites cemetery vandalism, race hate and bomb threats’.
On the ABC news website the same day, under the nakedly-propaganda banner “Trump’s America”, Duffy’s story included pictures of desecrated Jewish headstones and the header, “Shootings, bombings, desecrated cemeteries and racist graffiti — minority groups in the United States say the number of race hate crimes are spiking in President Donald Trump’s America.”
On the evening’s 7.30 report, Sales and Duffy proffered no evidence whatsoever connecting Trump to the anti-Semitic upsurge. As professional journalists, Sales and Duffy must already have been aware that black, Muslim anti-Trumper Juan M. Thompson, 31, had been arrested at least 10 days earlier and charged with making multiple bomb threats against synagogues. His motive was not anti-Semitism but to frame a white ex-girlfriend for the calls, as revenge because she’d ditched him. If neither knew by that stage about Thompson’s arrest, they are incompetent. If they did know, they are liars by omission. You can read the FBI charge sheet hre, and do notice the date — March 1, almost two weeks before 7.30‘s beatup.
The American Rabbi Who Hunted Nazis
While a rabbinical student at the Jewish Theological Seminary in the 1960s, Barry Dov Schwartz learned of the work of Simon Wiesenthal and offered him his services. On Wiesenthal’s behalf, and alongside his career as a congregational rabbi, Schwartz interviewed numerous survivors and even suspected perpetrators—and, occasionally, went to still greater lengths, as Jordan Hiller writes:
In the spring of 1965, about 30 members of the 500-person-strong American Nazi party discreetly met in a cramped apartment on 114th Street and Broadway in New York City. It had been two decades since the liberation of death camps; . . . Nazis, their conspirators, sympathizers, and passive supporters were alive and well, either in hiding and trying to avoid punishment, or—more often than not—slithering seamlessly back into society.
While a handful of authentic former Nazis were gathered at the New York meeting along with like-minded individuals, so was a Jew. In fact, it was a rabbinical student . . . who moved inconspicuously among them. Naturally, Barry Dov Schwartz had delivered a false name at the door while dressed in the detective’s trench coat he had purchased expressly for the occasion. To avoid eating the sandwiches and drinks he was offered, Schwartz feigned a stomach ailment; [he then] lingered in the back and waited for his moment.
French Jewish leader demands police probe death of Jewish woman as murder
A French Jewish leader demanded police investigate the death of a Jewish woman earlier this month as a murder, and not as an act of insanity.
Joel Mergui, president of the Consistoire organization that provides religious services to French Jews, cited reports that the suspect shouted “Allahu Akbar,” Arabic for God is great, before pushing his victim out of the window on Vaucouleurs Street in the crime-ridden 11th district of the French capital.
“I refuse to accept the convenient pretext of madness for a murderer who tried to make the victim look like a suicide case in front of witnesses who were powerless to act,” Megui wrote in a statement Thursday.
His demand marks the first open dispute between French authorities and Jewish leaders over the death of Sarah Halimi, 66, on April 4 in Paris. The suspect is her 27-year-old neighbor.
Relatives of Halimi said that she had previously experienced anti-Semitic harassment by a relative of the man under arrest.
Suspected London terrorist was part of Gaza flotilla
A man arrested on suspicion of planning a terrorist attack in London on Thursday was on the Mavi Marmara ship, which was raided by Israeli soldiers in 2010 while trying to violate Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza, sources familiar with the investigation told Reuters on Friday.
The 27-year-old man was arrested with knives near Prime Minister Theresa May's office by armed counter-terrorism officers during a stop-and-search as part of an ongoing security operation, British police said.
No one was injured in the incident and police said knives had been recovered from the man, who was being monitored by British intelligence agents and counter-terrorism officers.
He remains in custody on suspicion of terrorism offences and possession of an offensive weapon, according to Reuters.
Sources who spoke to the news agency on Friday identified the suspect as Khalid Omar Ali from London.
Ali was on board the Mavi Marmara, the sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said.
Last message left by Westminster attacker Khalid Masood uncovered by security agencies
The last message left by the killer Khalid Masood on the WhatsApp messaging service, revealing his motivation for the lethal attack in Westminster, has been uncovered by the security agencies, The Independent has learnt.
In the message, sent just minutes before he began the rampage in which five people died and 50 were injured, the 52-year-old Muslim convert had declared that he was waging jihad in revenge against Western military action in Muslim countries in the Middle East.
The person who received the message has been extensively questioned, but freed after the police and MI5 concluded that he was not part of a plot and had no prior knowledge of what was unfolding on 22 March.
Eleven others detained following the attack were freed and have been cleared from inquiries.
Three charged with supplying arms to terrorists in 2015 Paris attacks
Three people have been charged with supplying arms to jihadists who staged deadly attacks in 2015 on a kosher supermarket in Paris and the Charlie Hebdo satirical weekly, a judicial source said.
Those charged this week include Samir L., believed to be linked to the sale of weapons to the supermarket attacker, as well as Miguel M. and Abdelaziz A., who are thought to have been involved in trafficking arms between Belgium and France.
Seven people have already been charged over the assaults. The attackers had a wide array of weapons including guns that came from Slovakia.
Investigators are trying to piece together how France-based jihadist Amedy Coulibaly obtained the weapons used in the January 9, 2015 attack on the supermarket.
US approves possible $440 million arms sale to Israel
The US State Department approved a “Possible Foreign Military Sale” to Israel, according to a Defense Security Cooperation Agency press release published on Friday.
The agency said that the Israeli government requested to purchase 13 76-mm. naval guns, as well as a variety of naval maintenance materials and tools, technical, logistics and support services, operations and maintenance training and other related supplies and services. The estimated cost of such a deal is $440 million.
“The United States is committed to the security of Israel,” said the press release. “And it is vital to US national interests to assist Israel to develop and maintain a strong and ready self-defense capability... This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a strategic regional partner that has been, and continues to be, an important force for political stability and economic progress in the Middle East.”
In terms of specifics, the agency said the equipment “will improve Israel’s capability to meet current and future threats in the defense of its borders and territorial waters. The naval guns will be installed on Israeli Navy Sa’ar 4.5 and Sa’ar 6 missile patrol boats. One gun will be located at an Israeli naval training center to be used for training maintenance personnel.”
Trump proclaims May annual Jewish American Heritage Month
US President Donald Trump on Friday proclaimed May 2017 Jewish American Heritage Month, marked annually since 2006 across the United States and preceded each year with an announcement by the sitting president.
In a statement late Friday, Trump said he will mark the month with a celebration together with his family, “including my daughter, Ivanka, my son-in-law, Jared, my grandchildren, and our extended family [of] the deep spiritual connection that binds, and will always bind, the Jewish people to the United States and its founding principles.”
“In every aspect of the country’s cultural, spiritual, economic, and civic life, American Jews have stood at the forefront of the struggles for human freedom, equality, and dignity, helping to shine a light of hope to people around the globe,” the statement read.
The Jewish people, said Trump, “have left an indelible mark on American culture,” adding that “today, it is manifested in the towering success Jewish people have achieved in America through a unique synthesis of respect for heritage and love of country.”
US lawmakers introduce bill to commission Elie Wiesel bust in Capitol
Two Congress members introduced a bipartisan bill to commission a bust of Holocaust survivor and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Elie Wiesel, who died last year.
Reps. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., introduced the bill in the House of Representatives on Friday.
Wiesel, an activist against racism who was well-known internationally for his many books, essays and educational projects about the Holocaust, died in July at 87.
Cohen, who is Jewish, and Ros-Lehtinen, an Episcopalian with Jewish heritage, praised Wiesel’s accomplishments in a statement Friday noting that they were introducing the bill during the week of Holocaust Remembrance Day.
“Elie Wiesel was one of the greatest moral forces in the world,” Cohen said. “He is a member of that rare group of people who have had a major individual impact on our world, such as Nelson Mandela, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi.”
Trump I want to see peace with Israel and the Palestinians
President Donald Trump complained on Thursday that US ally Saudi Arabia was not treating the United States fairly and Washington was losing a “tremendous amount of money” defending the kingdom.
In an interview with Reuters, Trump confirmed his administration was in talks about possible visits to Saudi Arabia and Israel in the second half of May. He is due to make his first trip abroad as president for a May 25 NATO summit in Brussels and could add other stops.
"Frankly, Saudi Arabia has not treated us fairly, because we are losing a tremendous amount of money in defending Saudi Arabia,” he said.
Trump’s criticism of Riyadh, the world’s top oil exporter, was a return to his 2016 election campaign rhetoric when he accused the kingdom of not pulling its weight in paying for the US security umbrella.
"Nobody’s going to mess with Saudi Arabia because we’re watching them," Trump told a campaign rally in Wisconsin a year ago. “They’re not paying us a fair price. We’re losing our shirt.”
Shaked: Failure to secure US Embassy move a ‘great missed opportunity’
Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked said Saturday she believed the failure to secure the US Embassy’s move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem during US President Donald Trump’s first 100 days in office was a great missed opportunity.
“I think there was a great historic opportunity here that was missed…it’s a great loss,” Shaked said during an interview with Channel 2’s Meet the Press.
Though Shaked noted that such a move — promised by Trump during his campaign — could still take place, she said Trump may have succumbed to heavy pressure not to move the embassy.
The minister, of the nationalist Jewish Home party, lamented what she implied to be an Israeli failure to take advantage of the Trump administration’s early openness to a different approach to the conflict — an attitude she seemed to believe no longer prevailed in the White House.
“When he entered office he and his administration were open to many different possibilities. They were not fixed in their ways by spending years in the State Department,” she said. “Either this was not taken advantage of, or someone over there influenced them…it’s a great loss.
Jared Kushner Has an Israeli Investor and the New York Times Is on the Case
The New York Times devotes a top-of-the-front page headline and a full page inside the newspaper — accompanied by a map, a chart, and five photographs — to a breathless expose of the not-really-that interesting fact that an Israeli individual named Raz Steinmetz has invested in some real estate deals with President Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner.
Why is this even newsworthy at all, let alone newsworthy to the point that the Times article includes reporting credits from seven different Times newshounds? For all the Times reportorial muscle involved, the paper doesn’t tell readers how much money Raz Steinmetz invested with Kushner, either as an absolute sum or relative to Kushner’s other investors or lenders or to the overall value of Kushner’s properties.
If it’s foreign influence on American politics that the Times is concerned about, it’s totally hypocritical from a publication whose largest financial owner is Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim.
Much of the article is devoted to a discussion of Raz Steinmetz’s uncle Beny Steinmetz against whom the American billionaire and left-leaning political activist George Soros has been mounting a campaign. But the Times doesn’t demonstrate that Raz Steinmetz’s uncle’s activities have anything to do with Raz Steinmetz, let alone with Mr. Kushner or Mr. Trump.
As if to illustrate the confusing-to-nonexistent rationale for the story, the headline on it changed.
The print headline is “Mogul in Israel Helped Finance Kushners’ Rise.” That headline isn’t even accurate: Kushner had “risen” well before the initial investments by Raz Steinmetz that the Times describes.
No one is assigned to Jewish outreach at the DNC. Who ya gonna call?
You’re a Jewish donor or macher and you need to talk to someone at the Democratic National Committee, stat. Who’s most likely to return your call?
Tom Perez, the party chairman, according to Jewish and Democratic insiders.
Perez is also pretty much it – no one else is handling Jewish issues right now.
Business Insider posted the DNC’s assigned roles for its officers on April 19. Liaisons were included for blacks, women, Latinos, Asians, LGBT, farmers and various regions – but not the Jewish community.
For a party that prides itself on cultivating an array of constituencies, the absence of a dedicated Jewish staffer seems anomalous to many Jewish Democrats, especially considering that DNC liaisons are available to a range of other minority groups.
“It’s of the utmost importance to have a DNC staffer handling this vital DNC constituency,” said one Jewish Democratic activist, who like many others asked to speak on background because of the sensitivity of criticizing a party seen as under siege since the devastating November elections.
Dutch critic of Israel defends election of Saudis to UN women’s rights forum
A Dutch ethics adviser who urged a large pension group to divest from Israel defended the election of Saudi Arabia as a member of the UN Commission on the Status of Women.
­­­Cees Flinterman, who according to the Dutch Jewish community’s main pro-Israel group had a key role in the 2014 divestment of the PGGM pensions group from Israeli banks over alleged human rights violations in the Jewish state, advocated during a television interview in the Netherlands for Saudi Arabia’s controversial election on April 22.
The election, which was condemned by watchdog groups citing Saudi Arabia’s dismal record on women’s rights, “is used by women and women’s organizations and by the Human Rights Commission to slowly improve women’s situation,” the NOS public broadcaster quoted Flinterman, a retired law professor, as saying.
Esther Voet, the editor-in-chief of the Nieuw Israëlietisch Weekblad Jewish weekly, called Flinterman’s defense of the move “the height of hypocrisy.” Whereas criticism of Israel is not uncommon in the Netherlands, “defense by serious human rights activists for the absurdity of Saudi Arabia’s election is highly unusual and, in Flinterman’s case, a glaring case of double standards on Israel,” she told JTA.
Abbas will continue to pay Palestinian prisoners, PA minister says
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas “outright rejects” Israeli demands to halt payments to prisoners held by Israel, Palestinian Authority Prisoner Affairs Minister Issa Qaraqe said Saturday, according to Channel 2 news.
As a hunger strike by hundreds of Palestinian security prisoners reached its thirteenth day, Qaraqe called on the international community to intervene, saying “the lives of some of the prisoners are in danger.”
Qaraqe said Abbas was fully supportive of the strikers and their demands, which range from improved medical care to greater access to telephone calls. He warned that more prisoners could join the strike if demands were not met.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said the salaries paid to imprisoned terrorists by the PA constitute a major obstacle to peace.
Palestinian officials say some 1,500 prisoners are participating in the hunger strike that began on April 17, with detainees ingesting only water and salt. Israeli authorities have put the number at around 1,200.
Police on Saturday dispersed dozens of protesters in Jerusalem’s Old City who demonstrated in support of the striking prisoners. The protesters held pictures of prisoners and attempted to march to the Damascus Gate, but were blocked by Israeli authorities.
EXCLUSIVE – Source: Hamas Waiting For Egyptian Action Before Announcing New Platform
Egypt has yet to respond to a request from Hamas to allow Ismail Haniyeh (pictured), deputy to politburo chief Khaled Meshal, to leave the Gaza Strip for Qatar in order to announce the group’s new political platform and the results of internal secret elections, a senior source in the group told Breitbart Jerusalem.
Citing a Hamas source, Breitbart Jerusalem reported in February that Hamas adopted a new political platform supporting the theoretical establishment of a Palestinian state along the so-called 1967 border lines. This distances Hamas from alliances that have harmed Hamas’ status in the international community, especially with groups like the Muslim Brotherhood, the main opponents to the Egyptian regime. Hamas seeks to forge closer relations with the regime in an effort to ease the blockade of the Gaza Strip.
One month later, the news media reported on the revisions to the Hamas charter, including the changes first noted by these reporters.
Within Hamas, it was understood that the reason for Egypt’s silence on Meshal’s request is technical and logistic and has nothing to do with the political differences between the two sides, the Hamas source said.
The source in Hamas did say, however, that it is not impossible that Egypt is sending a signal to Hamas that the group should reconsider their ties with Qatar, a country considered to be the greatest political patron of the Muslim Brotherhood and which runs the Arabic-language Al Jazeera station that maintains an editorial line hostile to the regime of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi.
J Street Embraces an Israeli Settlement
Last week, J Street’s campus division, J Street U, mobilized 575 Jewish students to write a letter to Taglit-Birthright Israel, demanding that it refuse to cooperate with Israeli law. The letter demands that Birthright refrain from any screening of applicants for its trips to Israel to determine if they are BDS activists. Or, to put it another way, J Street wants BDS promoters to be able to exploit Birthright and gain access to Israel under its cloak, so they can avoid being caught by the Israeli border authorities.
Then, this gets really interesting.
The 575 signatories described themselves as having already taken part in Birthright trips, or are planning to participate in them in the near future. And the letter mentioned what it called Birthright’s policy of not traveling to “the West Bank,” and thus supposedly recognizing “a distinction” between pre-1967 Israel and Jewish settlements beyond the 1967 lines. But when the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported on the letter of the 575, it attached to its report a photo of Birthright participants (maybe even including some of the 575 signatories) posing and smiling in front of the best-known Jewish “settlement” beyond the 1967 lines.
Oops!
That’s right, in the photo we see smiling young Jewish men and women visiting a site beyond the 1967 lines — a “settlement,” in “occupied territory.” It’s on the itinerary of every single Birthright trip. Every J Street U student who has gone on Birthright must have visited it. It’s called the Western Wall.
That’s right. The Palestinian Authority considers the Western Wall “occupied Arab territory.” So does every single Arab country, and most other countries, for that matter. In their eyes, the Western Wall and the Jewish Quarter surrounding it are both “illegal settlements.”
It’s a safe bet that many Birthright trips visit other parts of Jerusalem that the Arabs likewise consider “settlements” — French Hill, Ramot, Gilo, Talpiot Mizrach and more.
New Jersey university rejects BDS motion
The student government at Montclair State University in New Jersey reportedly voted down a resolution calling on the school to boycott Israel, JTA reported on Friday.
According to the report, the measure was defeated Wednesday by a vote of 11-1, with six abstentions.
An earlier survey aimed at gauging student support for the measure found that 64 percent of students were opposed.
The defeat of the resolution, which was initiated by the New Jersey school’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine, was commended by the pro-Israel group Stand With Us.
Several colleges and universities have passed resolutions calling for a boycott of Israel in recent years.
Earlier this month, the Tufts University student senate passed a resolution calling on the university to divest from four companies that do business with Israel.
Dozens of Pro-Israel Groups Call on Tufts President to Take Action After BDS Vote on Passover Eve ‘Deliberately Excluded’ Jews
Forty-five pro-Israel organizations signed a letter that was sent on Thursday to the president of Tufts University demanding that action be taken against the schhool’s student government for voting in favor of a boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) resolution on the eve of Passover.
The letter — organized by the AMCHA Initiative campus watchdog group — charges the Tufts Community Union (TCU) senate with having “deliberately excluded many Jewish students, depriving them of their freedom of expression and the right to full participation in campus life.”
It called the scheduling of a vote on a Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP)-backed motion so close to a major Jewish holiday a “malevolent manipulation of student government procedure in order to eliminate pro-Israel voices from debates about BDS.”
The letter urged President Anthony Monaco and the university’s board of trustees to uphold their “ethical obligations” and ensure all students have the ability to voice their views.
"My Name is Rachel Corrie" at San Francisco's Magic Theater
The one-woman show "My name is Rachel Corrie" is playing at San Francisco's Magic Theater in Fort Mason on a 2 week run. The play includes excerpts from the diary of Rachel Corrie, an International Solidarity Movement (ISM) member who was accidentally killed while guarding smuggling tunnels in Gaza
Even with the deep discounts offered to Jewish Voice for Peace members, there are plenty of tickets still available.
Writing in the Northern California Jewish Weekly, Johanna Meckel, Northern California director of StandwithUs addresses the deification of Rachel Corrie:
The play “My Name Is Rachel Corrie,” currently running in San Francisco, omits all context, portraying that period of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict only through Corrie’s eyes.
DAVID WARD TO WRITE 15,000 WORD THESIS ON “ISRAEL LOBBY”
David “The Jews” Ward has some time on his hands since his sacking from the LibDems. Ward says he is going to spend it completing a Masters degree in the Peace Department at University of Bradford. He has to write a 15,000 word thesis and says it will be on “the influence of the Israeli lobby on the British political system”. It’s all a conspiracy, eh David…
CAMERA Featured Letter-Writer
When the New York Times recently printed an Op-Ed by convicted murderer Marwan Barghouti, Letter-Writer Elinor Weiss sent them the following:
The New York Times recently ran a guest editorial by Marwan Barghouti that rationalized his hunger strike in an Israeli prison. Some of Barghouti’s demands include more television channels and cell phone availability.
The Times described Barghouti as a “Palestinian leader and parliamentarian,” while Barghouti described himself as a “victim.” Left out of the editorial is the fact that Marwan Barghouti is a terrorist who has organized suicide bombings of innocent people as they went about their daily lives. To many in the civilized world, those that died at the hands of Barghouti are the real victims.
The editorial only justifies the mistrust that many have in the New York Times. By withholding pertinent information and glorifying a murderer’s credentials the Grey Lady has badly tarnished its own reputation. The Times has taken journalism to a new low.

Eventually, after contact from the Public Editor, Opinion Editors were persuaded to append an Editors’ Note to the article, which explained that the piece had "neglected to provide sufficient context" about the offenses of which Barghouti was convicted.
Le Pen says she abhors Holocaust denial after party successor quits
Far-right French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen said she “abhors” Holocaust denial and that nobody in the leadership of her National Front party advanced such “unfounded” theses.
She spoke out on Friday, hours after her interim successor as party chief stepped down amid a storm over an interview he gave in 2000 in which he cast doubt on the Nazi gassing of Jews during the Holocaust.
“I abhor this thesis [of Holocaust denial],” Le Pen said in a French television interview. “These are completely unfounded theories. I have always rejected these theories. My position on this is completely clear.”
She added that “there is nobody in the National Front leadership who defends such theories.”
Le Pen was speaking after the resignation of Jean-François Jalkh, who took her place this week as National Front president on an interim basis while she campaigns for president ahead of the runoff vote May 7.
Le Pen’s PM pick blasted Israel during Gaza war, equated Netanyahu with Hamas
Far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen’s pick for prime minister, should she win France’s May 7 runoff, has in the past sharply criticized Israel over its actions towards the Palestinians.
Nicolas Dupont-Aignan also supported a French parliamentary vote to recognize a Palestinian state in 2014, over Israeli objections, appearing to equate the “hardline” policies of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with those of the Palestinian terror group Hamas.
Le Pen on Saturday named euroskeptic Dupont-Aignan — who came in sixth during the election’s first round with 4.7 percent of the vote — as her choice for prime minister. Dupont-Aignan, 56, heads the Debout la France (France Stand Up) movement.
During 2014’s war between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip, Dupont-Aignan issued a strongly worded statement in which he censured Israel’s “disproportionate” actions throughout the operation.
Dupont-Aignan called the collateral damage to innocent civilians during Operation Protective Edge “unacceptable” and criticized the Israeli ground operations as an “invasion” of Gaza. He also slammed France’s “scandalous inertia” in failing to help rein in the Jewish state. He claimed failure to do so would “import” the conflict into France.
First-class soldier From WWII vet to Israeli special forces trailblazer
HOW MANY people in Israel know that the Israel Defense Force’s first long-range reconnaissance unit was made up of about 40 foreign volunteers ‒ not all of them Jews ‒ and that when they carried out their first operations behind Syrian lines in the 1948-1949 War of Independence, the only “real” Israelis among them were two liaison officers sent by army headquarters? Frenchman Norbert Beyrard, a key actor in of this largely forgotten episode, passed away on February 13 at the age of 91, in Divonne-les-Bains, an elegant spa town near the banks of Lake Geneva, on the border between France and Switzerland.
Beyrard, originally Norbert Benchemoul, was born in the once populous, but now extinct Jewish community of then-French Algeria, on June 16, 1925.
At the age of 23, Beyrard helped create, and then commanded, the “Yehidat Siyur” (Reconnaissance Unit), the predecessor of the now world-renowned “sayarot” (recon) units of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).
The best known of these is “Sayeret Matcal” (General Staff Reconnaissance), whose exploits included spearheading the 1976 Entebbe raid to rescue hostages in Uganda.
The unit’s then-commander, Lt.-Col. Yonatan Netanyahu, brother of Israel’s current prime minister, was killed in that raid.
Despite his youth, Beyrard already had considerable military experience before he came to Israel in 1948. In 1941, at age 16, and while still in high school, he was arrested by the French Vichy police in Algeria as a member of the French Resistance.
50 years later, 3 soldiers reenact, remember their iconic Six-Day war photo
The David Rubinger photograph of three paratroopers standing in silent awe in front of the recaptured Western Wall after the battle for Jerusalem in 1967 has become the defining image of one of the most significant moments in Israel’s history.
With the 50th anniversary of the Six Day War approaching, Zion Karasenti, Haim Oshri, and Dr. Itizik Yifat returned to the Old City this week to remember the moment.
Karasenti, Oshri, and Yifat described to Channel 2 News how they, as 20-something reserve duty soldiers, inadvertently became the symbol of a nation fulfilling a 2,000 year dream.
“There were snipers everywhere, especially from overhead. They could have thrown a grenade on us and finished us,” Karasenti recalled of the battle for the Jerusalem holy site.
Since none of them had ever been to the Western Wall, which had been under Jordanian rule since 1948, they admitted that, at first, nobody was really sure they had even captured the “real thing.”




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