Monday, May 01, 2017

From Ian:

Col. Kemp, Gen. Molan: Where is world outrage over Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul?
On May 1, Israelis will observe Remembrance Day, honoring soldiers who fell in defense of the Jewish state, and victims of terrorism.
At an age when most teenagers are getting ready to go off to university or travel abroad, Israelis devote at least two to three years of their lives to defending and protecting their country, the only Jewish state, and by extension the West’s front line of defense in the global war against Islamic terrorism.
Two such soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of the State of Israel were Lt. Hadar Goldin and Sgt. Oron Shaul, who were killed in action by Hamas during Israel’s defensive 2014 war with the terrorist group, Operation Protective Edge.
On August 1, 2014, hours after a United Nations- and US-brokered humanitarian cease-fire between Israel and Hamas went into effect, Hamas terrorists emerged from a tunnel in Gaza, ambushed an IDF unit and killed Hadar, who was only 23 years old. Hamas then took his body and have been holding it hostage in Gaza since, treating it contemptuously as both a bargaining chip and an instrument to torment his family.
Shaul, who was only 20 years old at the time, was also killed by Hamas, when he left his armored personnel carrier to repair the vehicle and Hamas fired on his unit, killing him, and likewise taking his body and malignly holding it in Gaza.
Holding the bodies of soldiers killed in action and refusing their return to their next of kin for burial is a serious violation of the Geneva Conventions and international humanitarian law. As is using the soldiers’ bodies as bargaining chips, which Hamas continues to do.

David Collier: Stephen Sedley, FSOI and the PSC, getting antisemitism all mixed up
As I researched for an article about the demonstration and counter demonstration at SOAS on 27 April, I came across an essay on antisemitism by Stephen Sedley. Sedley is a former appeal court judge and the essay was just published in the London Review of Books. The essay dealt critically with the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism.
The building block for the IHRA definition reads:
“Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews.”
The definition was adopted by the UK government in December 2016, as part of an ongoing war against increasing levels of antisemitism. The IHRA definition logically accommodates a defence against ‘Israel as Jew’ manifestations of antisemitic activity. In turn anti-Israel activists, accused the government of ‘weaponising antisemitism‘.
What seems to be true is that antisemitism is being viewed as a serious battle and improved definitions are being deployed to fight against a defiant and flexible disease. So what on earth are some people doing trying to undermine these efforts?
The Sedley article is just the latest of a recent tsunami of attempts to discredit a newly deployed working formula. It is time to cast an eye on this dangerous strategy.
Does Anyone Here Care about Muslim Women?
The Palestinian Hamas terror movement recently banned Palestinians living under its control in the Gaza Strip from celebrating International Women's Day. Hamas dismissed a decision by the Palestinian Authority (PA) government in the West Bank to give all civil servants a day off on this occasion, arguing that International Women's Day was a "Western and foreign" event that is incompatible with Islamic traditions and teachings.
The Islamic movement also issued a warning to all public and private institutions in the Gaza Strip, including schools and universities, to refrain from marking the occasion.
Hamas's decision drew sharp criticism from many Palestinians, especially women's groups and human rights organizations, as well as the Palestinian Authority. The critics maintained that the ban was a sign of Hamas's disrespect for women and their contribution to Palestinian society.
The General Union of Palestinian Workers issued a statement in which it condemned Hamas's refusal to acknowledge and honor the role of Palestinian women. The statement said that Palestinian women have made huge sacrifices and contributed remarkably to the Palestinian labor force and the development of society.
The Hamas ban also angered many Palestinian men, who expressed outrage over the "humiliation" of Palestinian women. Fathi Tbail, a leading Palestinian journalist, commented: "I will celebrate International Women's Day, whether you (Hamas) like it or not. All you represent is retardation!"
But not all Palestinians were protesting the latest Hamas insult against Palestinian women. Take, for instance, Linda Sarsour.
Sarsour is a US-based supporter of sharia law and the anti-Israel BDS movement who chose, instead of condemning Hamas for cancelling International Women's Day, to spew her hatred against Israel and Zionism.

The horror and hope I saw in Rome
It was a trip I would never forget. On our way to Israel, my wife and I stopped in Rome for a tour of the city. What sounded like a benign tour of a European city, ended up being a traumatizing and reinvigorating trip, shedding light on the past and future of the Jewish people.
As we approached the Colosseum in ancient Rome, we marveled at its greatness; 157 feet high with a circumference of 620 feet, it was a sight hard to ignore. At its peak, the Colosseum would seat more than 50,000 people from a city that was the center of Western Civilization. At the same time, a flashback from the past, could not let me rest.
As we watched the beauty of the structure and its adjoining arches and buildings, 2000 years later, I could not help myself from hearing the cries and the jiggles of the chains of 97,000 slaves from destroyed Judea described in the writings of Josephus. I could hear the echoes of the shouts of my brothers and sisters--those who led proud and meaningful lives in the beautiful mountains of Judea-- now living in slavery and humiliation in Rome. I could hear the heartbreaking screams of Jewish women who led dedicated and dignified lives in their regal homes in Judea, now living in shame and disgrace in a foreign land, with cruel and merciless slave owners as their masters.
I recalled the recently deciphered inscription found near the Colosseum which read "The Emperor Caesar Vespasian Augustus had this new Amphitheatre erected with the spoils of war", the war being the recent destruction of Jerusalem. I can just imagine the vessels of which I read in reverence in the book of Exodus—the Menorah, the Table, the Altar, and more—in front of my eyes, in the exact spot it was featured to the Roman people, celebrating "Judea Capta"- Judea has been captured.
Why does Europe fund an NGO claiming Israel poisons Arab wells?
Breaking the Silence has spilled forth countless lies against Israel. The most famous lie is that heard from Yehuda Shaul, the head of the NGO, who said that “settlers” poisoned a water supply system of a Palestinian village." Another one is Avner Gavriyahu, who claims that the Israeli Defense Forces shoot at innocent Palestinians as if they were playing in a video game.
Lies. Easily recognizable as such to anyone who knows. But these lies of Breaking the Silence have gone around the world.
Mahmoud Abbas, leader of the Palestinian Authority, received a standing ovation at the European Parliament after saying that Israel poisoned the Arab wells. The same anti-Semitic story went viral after Anadolu, the Turkish press agency, ran it. The UN report on the 2014 Gaza War makes extensive use of those lies by Breaking the Silence.
After the 2009 Gaza War, the same NGO supported efforts to pursue Israeli officials and soldiers. It also emerged that several NGO funders conditioned their donations to a minimum number of “testimonies” against the Israeli army. For example, a document obtained by NGOMonitor shows similar requests from the British Embassy in Tel Aviv, the Dutch organization Icco (financed by the Hague) and Oxfam (UK-funded).
In Basel, Switzerland, and Strasbourg, France, in the Middle Ages many Jews were accused of poisoning the wells and then burned at stake. Today the same lies circulate in the same cities thanks to a shameful NGO funded by Europe. This is the only “silence” we need to break.
Ben-Dror Yemini: With ‘Zionists’ like that, who needs enemies?
When poison is frequently injected into one’s veins—that Israel is Germany of the 1930s, that Israel is an apartheid state, that Israel deserves a boycott, that people should vote for the Joint Arab List which denies Zionism—the result is that terror is justified, and it’s all because of Israel.
Several days ago, Haaretz publisher Amos Schocken tweeted that there was a link between “Islamic terror in Europe and European support for Zionism for more than 100 years.” He further explained that it was “important” for terrorists “to balance it out” Europe's supposedly pro-Zionist approach and that the terrorists “are helping do this.”
How nice of them. All they want is a fairer policy that's just a little less Zionist. And so while it is true that Europeans fund countless anti-Zionist NGOs, and while this horrific propaganda and these “balancing activities” claim the lives of numerous innocent victims, Schocken is providing justifications.
We could simply dismiss these comments. We could argue that the Haaretz publisher has gone off the rails. The thing is, though, that crazy opinions are the product of a constant and regular consumption of self-made ideological junk food. When poison is frequently injected into one’s veins, as a matter of routine—that Israel is akin to 1930s Germany, that Israel is an apartheid state, that Israel deserves to be boycotted, that people should vote for the anti-Zionist Joint List party—the result is that terrorism is justified, and it’s all because of Israel.
Israel Remembers Fallen Soldiers, Victims of Terror With Two-Minute Siren on Memorial Day
Israel marked Memorial Day for the Fallen Soldiers of Israel and Victims of Terrorism on Monday morning with a two-minute siren, with people stopping their daily activities. The day also included a state memorial service honoring fallen IDF soldiers at the military plot on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem.
President Reuven Rivlin, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot and Chief Justice Miriam Naor were in attendance, alongside bereaved families of fallen soldiers and terror victims.
3,117 citizens have been killed in acts of terror since Israel's founding and until today. This number includes 122 foreign citizens who were killed in Israel and 100 Israelis killed by acts of terror abroad. These acts have left 109 orphaned of both parents, while 826 people were widowed by acts of terror and 939 became bereaved parents.
During the later ceremony for terror victims, Netanyahu attacked terrorists wh have indisriminately taking the lives of others. "Terrorists attack with the intent to commit a crime, Jews and non-Jews, here and abroad, aiming to plant death, destruction and fear. They drink the incitement against our people along with their mother's milk. They are considered heroes in the society they grew up in. But how can a young boy who takes a knife, breaks into the room of an innocent young girl and stabs here in her sleep be a hero?"
Netanyahu specifically came out against terrorist organizations and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who he noted is due to meet US President Donald Trump. Referring to Hamas paying the families of convicted terrorists a monthly salary, he said to Abbas, "How can you talk about peace, peace with Israel, while funding murderers of innocent people? You want to do somethnig for the peace we all want? Stop funding these terrorists. Fund peace, and not murder."
Speaking directly to those who lost the loved ones, Netanyahu said, "you are an example of growing out of mourning," before adding, "Solidarity is the secret to our shared existence."
Through animation, a new breath of life for the fallen
The symbols of mourning for the fallen on Israel’s Memorial Day are vivid and visceral: the wail of the siren that opens the evening and morning ceremonies; scenes of families swarming the graves of their loved ones; the stories, films and accounts of soldiers who fell in battle, in a variety of media.
For six years, Beit Avi Chai, the Jerusalem cultural center, has been producing “A Face. The Day. A Memorial,” in what may seem like an unlikely medium, more often associated with children’s content — a compilation of animated short films made about soldiers who fell in battle, created by young, local animators.
“We wanted to change something in the language of remembering in Israel,” said Yotvat Fireaizen Weil, who launched and runs the project. “The focus has always been on the way someone was killed, their heroism in battle, and how hard it is to remember who they were before they were killed.”
One of the ways in which fallen soldiers are remembered is with documentary-style films, usually made by their families and shown in a steady reel on television throughout the 24 hours of Israel’s Memorial Day.
Fireaizen Weil said she felt strongly that anyone who had lost someone faced a nearly impossible task of retaining the memories of how they looked and sounded and felt.

JPost Editorial: Foundational Values
Today, 69 years after Ben-Gurion first publicly read the Declaration of Independence, we are no closer to an agreement on a constitution. And there is little likelihood that this state of affairs will change any time soon. Nor is there a group of elites to whom society is willing to defer for guidance.
Jews are a contentious group and Ben-Gurion knew this.
That’s probably why he opposed attempts to draft a constitution.
But the fact that the country lacks a constitution does not detract from the robustness of its democracy.
On the 69th anniversary of the state’s establishment we should remain vigilant in protecting our democratic values as stated in the Declaration of Independence, which includes “precepts of liberty, justice and peace taught by the Hebrew prophets” and the upholding of “the full social and political equality of all its citizens without distinction of race, creed or sex.”
Indeed, the Declaration of Independence, which remains relevant to this day, should continue to be the moral foundation for Israel’s vibrant and dynamic society.
IDF Blog: Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot’s speech on the eve of Israeli Memorial Day
Dear Bereaved Families,
Today, we raise our heads and look to you. You who struggle daily with the loss and with the void. The inner strength you demonstrate is appreciated and gives us great strength. Your connection with the Israel Defense Forces is the fulfillment of our promise to our fallen brothers and sisters – to stand by you always. We, who walked with them at the most difficult moments, feel their absence, and the heart aches at the thought of who they could have been today and the heights they could have reached. For their sake, we continue to carry the torch, to fight with courage, and to defend with determination. Because in their death, they have ordered us to live. We raise our heads to this land for whose wellbeing we are committed to, with confidence, pride, humility, and a sense of responsibility. We hope to be worthy of their memory and of their sacrifice. We pray: “Ordain peace in the land and grant its inhabitants eternal happiness.”
I pray today, as I do every day, for a full recovery to our wounded, and promise to continue accompanying them throughout the challenging journey they are enduring. We promise to continue working to return our soldiers home. This is our obligation as the people’s army, the Israel Defense Forces. Tomorrow, flags will be waved in honor of Independence Day, for a country our loved ones sacrificed their lives for.
Although the song of their lives was severed and cut short, we thank them and can say tomorrow with our heads held high: The music of the Nation of Israel will not stop. The Nation of Israel lives.
Israeli Arab singer ‘honored’ to perform at Memorial Day ceremony
The American Airlines Arena, Miami’s main entertainment venue, was packed. Some 20,000 people filled the place, which had hosted international stars like U2, Madonna and Beyoncé in the past. Israeli Arab singer Nasreen Qadri was tempted to peek at the audience from behind the curtains, to feel the energy in the air, but chose to remain in the dressing room, to stretch that moment just a bit longer.
“Dudu (Israeli musician Dudu Tassa) told me to come see the hall, but I told him I would rather not,” she says. “I heard the instrumentalists talk about how enormous it was, but I just didn’t want to see it. I preferred to wait. Only when Dudu called me up on stage, I went up and saw all those heads in front of me. Heads, heads, heads. A huge stage, massive illumination. I began trembling. I didn’t know what to do. I was stressed out because I didn’t know if we would succeed and how we would be accepted.”
And then you opened your mouth and all your fears were gone?
“No, I wish. In the tour’s first concert, in Miami, I couldn’t get over it. Only when I got off the stage and heard the applause, how much they support us and love our music, which they find a bit strange, only then I relaxed. You are applauded by 20,000 people and you say to yourself, ‘Wow, music actually talks here. They don’t care about anything else.’ I got off the stage, and it suddenly hit me. I gave a huge scream, with all my heart.”
Netanyahu to Abbas: How can you speak of peace while financing murderers?
If the Palestinians are serious about peace, stop paying salaries to murderers, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday during a memorial ceremony at Mt. Herzl for victims of terrorism.
Speaking two days before Abbas is scheduled to meet US President Donald Trump in Washington, Netanyahu said to the PA president, “How can you speak about peace with Israel and at the same time pay murderers who spill the blood of innocent Israelis?"
The premier said that if Abbas wanted to take a true step toward peace, he would stop the payments to terrorists.
“Fund peace, not murder,” he said at the memorial ceremony for 4,128 people killed in terrorist activities, some 3,117 of them since the founding of the state.
Netanyahu said that when Israelis go and and celebrate on Yom Ha'atzmaut, and every day, they should look around, “because among the musicians who are playing in the orchestra, and the checkout person at the supermarket, and the gas station attendant, and the lecturer at the university and the judges in the courts you will find our brothers and sisters, those dear ones among us who are part of the family of the bereaved.”
Terrorists indiscriminately attack Jews and non Jews, in Israel and abroad, to spread fear and death, he said.
Belgium focus of Israeli ceremony for Jewish victims of terror
Ambassador of Belgium to Israel Olivier Belle laid a wreath in memory of Jewish victims of terror attacks in his country, during the annual Memorial Day ceremony hosted by the Jewish Agency for Israel at the main plaza of its Jerusalem headquarters on Monday.
On a day dedicated to Israel’s fallen soldiers and victims of terror, the Jewish Agency expands its service to include Jews killed in antisemitic attacks around the world.
Every year the ceremony focuses on a different country and this year that country was Belgium.
Special mention was made of Professor Joseph Wybran, a world-renowned immunologist and leader of the Belgian Jewish community murdered in 1989, and Mira and Emmanuel Riva, an Israeli couple killed in the 2014 terror attack at the Jewish Museum of Brussels. Wybran’s widow and her son participated in the ceremony, as did Mira and Emmanuel Riva’s daughters, Mira’s siblings, and Emmanuel’s twin brother.
Ambassador of Belgium to Israel Olivier Belle (Tamara Zieve)
“it is very important for me and for the Belgian people to be together with the Jewish people, the Jewish victims and their families and that's the reason why I'm here,” Belle told The Jerusalem Post. “It is very important for the Belgian authorities to their utmost to fight antisemitism and any type of terrorist act and my presence is testimony of our solidarity with the Jewish victims and the Jewish community in Belgium."
Israelis on Lufthansa flight stand for Memorial Day siren
A group of Israelis on a Lufthansa flight on Sunday stood for a moment of silence on the Jewish state’s Memorial Day to honor the men and women who died during active duty or were killed in terror attacks.
The group of Israelis on the flight — which was on its way from Marrakesh to Munich — stood in the aisle silently for one minute at 8:00 p.m. Israel time, when the traditional siren marking the start of Memorial Day is heard in Israel.
Petah Tikva resident David told the Hebrew-language Ynet news site that the rest of the passengers on the flight were initially confused over why such a large group of people stood up silently in unison.
“We explained to them the meaning of Memorial Day for us and that at exactly at this time in Israel millions of people are standing in honor of the fallen,” he said.
“It was very moving,” he added.
Gerald Steinberg: Taking Back our Sovereignty
The Zionist Congresses, the Balfour Declaration of 100 years ago, and the Declaration of Independence on May 15, 1948 all had one goal — to restore the sovereignty of the Jewish nation in our ancient homeland.
Sovereignty comes with a military, and the IDF provides the security that Jews in the Diaspora did not have, as well as the dignity and respect among the nations. Every year at this time, we are reminded of the continuing cost borne by the IDF – a citizens’ army – in deterring and defeating the attempts to erase us from the map.
But Israeli sovereign equality has been under attack from the beginning, in part by Arab and Muslim states that have rejected any form of Jewish self-determination, and in part by ideologues and Christian groups that cling to “replacement” theology. Together, they have used the United Nations and other institutions to wage a political war against Israel, employing double standards and singling out the Jewish state for special treatment.
The use of labels such as “apartheid” to soil Israel’s image, linked to the BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) and lawfare campaigns, are central to this form of political warfare. The tools and weapons are those that were used in the war against the South African apartheid regime, often framed as opposition to post-1967 “occupation”. In the words and actions of the leaders of these campaigns, however, the core goal continues to be the erosion of Israeli sovereignty and the legitimacy of Jewish self-determination.
Israel was not born of the Holocaust
Once again, the days commemorating the Holocaust, Yom HaShoah; Israel’s fallen, Yom HaZikaron, and Israeli independence, Yom HaAtzmaut, are before us, with somber reflections on the former followed by triumphal celebrations of the latter. For some, the symmetry is neat and the symbolism is cathartic: The degradation of the Churban followed by the redemption of the Jewish State. It is understandably tempting to link the two phenomena. The impulse to do so encompasses a wide spectrum, both secular and spiritual, with Orthodox luminaries citing Scripture to console us that the rebirth of Israel was divinely forged in the crucible of the Destruction. The problem with such reasoning is not only that it is morally repugnant but it is historically false.
The Destruction of Europe’s Jews and the Creation of the Jewish state are two distinct events. That one followed upon the other doesn’t connect them except superficially, affording emotional release at the expense of historical reality. Implicit in this rationale is that the Zionist enterprise was unable to establish the Jewish state through its own agency. It plays into the hoary Palestinian critique of the Jewish state: that it is essentially a colonial creation of Europe to expiate its guilt over the Holocaust, allowing Arabs to persist in asking why they should have to pay the price for Europe’s sins.
The Jewish State owes its creation to a string of contingencies which either predated, or were independent of, the Destruction of Europe’s Jews between 1941 and 1945. One can begin anywhere but let us start with the Balfour Declaration which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. The British commitment to a Jewish homeland after an anticipated triumph over the Ottoman Empire in World War I, gave international standing to what was already a vibrant Zionist presence marked by the aliyahs of the previous three decades. The subsequent Allied victory in the Great War, creating a League of Nations mandate as a precondition for the Jewish State, was far from assured when the Balfour Declaration was drafted in 1917, yet one of many outcomes that broke in favor of the incipient Jewish state.
Isi Leibler: Celebrating Yom Haatzmaut in a World of Turmoil
Never in their wildest dreams could those who survived the Holocaust ever have imagined the miraculous success of the recreated nation state based primarily on refugees from Eastern European pogroms, Nazism or Arab persecution.
It was a wise decision, reflecting compassion and insight, to directly precede Yom Haatzmaut with Yom Hazikaron, a day to commemorate those who sacrificed their lives in defense of our homeland.
Above all, as we celebrate we should pledge to ensure that as a nation we must continue strengthening ourselves militarily, economically and socially. The reason for our extraordinary success in nation-building flows from our inner strength and determination.
Israel today has been blessed with an American leader who is deeply sensitive to Jews and has displayed unprecedented support for Israel. We should seek to continue improving our relationship with the Trump administration and cooperate with his efforts to renew peace negotiations. We can hopefully progress toward reaching an accommodation on the settlements, annexing the Golan and have Washington formally recognize Jerusalem as our capital by relocating its embassy.
Where appropriate, we should continue building both covert and open alliances even with countries traditionally hostile towards us who share the common threat facing the region from the Iranian terror state.
Despite living in a region where barbarism is rampant and facing threats from religious fanatics pledged to our destruction, Israel has never been as strong and secure as it is today. We have every reason to count our blessings, rejoice and give thanks to the Almighty.
Chag Sameach.
Israel at 69 has 8,680,000 citizens, 43% of world Jewry
Israel’s population stands at 8,680,000 and is increasing at nearly two percent a year, according to figures released on Thursday by the Central Bureau of Statistics ahead of the country’s 69th Independence Day next week.
Over the past 12 months some 174,000 babies were born, 44,000 people died and 30,000 new immigrants arrived in the country. Overall, the population increased by 1.9%, and at the current rate will hit 15.2 million by the time Israel celebrates its centenary in 2048.
Independence Day begins with celebrations on Monday night, as the country transitions from Memorial Day — 24 hours of mourning for its fallen soldiers and terror victims.
In 1948 there were just 806,000 people in Israel, less than a tenth of the current number. At the time, the global Jewish population was 11.5 million, and just 6% were in Israel. There are now estimated to be 14.4 million Jewish people in the world and 43% of them are in the Jewish state.
Whereas in 1949 the life expectancy for women in Israel was 67.6 years and 64.9 for men, by the end of 2015 it was 84.5 for women and 80.9 for men.
The 6,484,000 Jews in the country make up 74.4% of all residents, while 1.8 million Arabs account for 20.8% and non-Arab Christians and other ethnic groups number 388,000 people, or 4.4% of the population.
69 reasons to applaud Israel on its 69th birthday
The biggest challenge was choosing just 69 examples. Indeed, what a prolific year it’s been for the Startup Nation. Herewith a sampling of Israeli triumphs from May 2016 to April 2017, presented in chronological order according to the month when each took place or was announced.
They range from creating the world’s first bird blood bank to devising a drug-free solution to menstrual pain, from designing a robot to remove brain tumors to organically growing chicken meat in a lab, from helping secure the Rio Summer Olympics to hosting the country’s first transgender beauty contest involving Jews, Muslims and Christians, from building the world’s tallest solar energy tower to the World Health Organization declaring Israel’s emergency medical response team it deploys to disasters around the globe as the best in the world.
Collectively, these achievements say a lot about Israel, and how it strives to contribute to the world and make life better for humanity.
Haters Gonna Hate. Israel will continue to flourish, prosper and make the world a better place!

Former ADL Chief Abraham Foxman Warns Against ‘Politicization’ of Antisemitism; Calls Sarsour a ‘Bigot’ Who Should Not Have Received CUNY Invite
During an interview with The Algemeiner on Friday, the conversation inevitably turned to the subject of Linda Sarsour, the vocal BDS advocate who, this past week alone, earned the praise of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand in the pages of Time magazine and was invited to speak at the commencement ceremony at CUNY’s Graduate School of Public Health.
“She’s a champion of equal rights, except when it comes to Jewish rights,” Foxman said of Sarsour. “She plays that game, ‘I love Jews, I don’t like Zionists.’ Well, I’ve got news for her. Every Jew who’s a Jew prays to Jerusalem, says ‘Im eshkachech Yerushalayim,’ (If I forget you, Jerusalem.) So this is a throwback to 1948.”
Yet Foxman is careful not to charge every Palestinian solidarity activist with antisemitism. “You can be an advocate of the Palestinian liberation movement without being an enemy of Jewish liberation,” Foxman stressed. But that, he continued, is not the case with Sarsour. “She is an enemy of Jewish sovereignty and Jewish liberation,” he stated. “She’s a bigot, and she shouldn’t have been invited [to CUNY].”
But now that the invitation had been extended, Foxman said, CUNY would be better off learning about her views and distancing itself appropriately, rather than turning Sarsour into a “free speech martyr.”
Princeton Hillel refuses to host Breaking the Silence exhibit
The Center for Jewish Life at Princeton University denied the local chapter of J Street U space to hold an exhibition created by the left-wing Israeli NGO Breaking the Silence.
The J Street U chapter decided to go forward with the exhibit, to be held Tuesday and Wednesday, in another campus space, despite the possibility of causing a rift with the Center for Jewish Life, or CJL, which is affiliated with Hillel International, the student newspaper the Daily Princetonian reported.
“We do not take this step lightly. Our relationship with the CJL is deeply important to us, and we consider the CJL and the Princeton Jewish community to be a home for us on campus. We want to continue to be a part of this community,” J Street U Princeton wrote in a statement posted on Facebook.
An Open Letter to Ed Asner on Israel
You have said that you “do not support BDS,” but, as you clearly see, JVP is one of the most aggressive supporters and promoters of BDS globally.
You have said that you “just want peace.” So do the Israelis, who have endured almost seven decades of war and brutal terrorist attacks. The Israelis who grew up in bomb shelters and lost family and friends — they too, want peace. The Jewish parents who send their children to the army to protect Israel — they too, want peace. But Jewish Voice for Peace has never sought peace for Israel; JVP has only supported those who refuse to accept Israel’s right to exist, and have committed atrocities against our people.
Mr. Asner, you can’t be an advisor to one of the most hateful anti-Israel organizations, and at the same time distance yourself from their values, platform and actions.
When you received your Lifetime Achievement Award, hopefully you said a few comforting and sympathetic words about Israel. I’m sure that the people there would have appreciated that from a legendary Jewish figure. Yet my greatest hope was that, when you received your award, you would have publicly denounced Jewish Voice for Peace, and then resigned from their advisory board. Then, Mr. Asner, you truly would have been worthy of a Lifetime Achievement Award.
“Top Ten College Administrations Most Friendly to Terrorists and Hostile to the First Amendment”: Vassar College
The David Horowitz Freedom Center has prepared a report on the “Top Ten College Administrations Most Friendly to Terrorists and Hostile to the First Amendment.” These campuses provide financial and institutional support to terrorist-linked campus organizations such as the Hamas-funded hate-group Students for Justice in Palestine while actively suppressing speech critical of Israel’s terrorist adversaries and their allies in the United States. Frontpage will be highlighting one campus from this report each day. Vassar College is the latest campus to be added to the list. The Freedom Center also placed posters on Vassar’s campus linking SJP to Hamas terrorists. These posters serve as a challenge to the Vassar College administration to defend speech that exposes the truth about SJP and its ties to terrorism.
Vassar College: John Chenette, Interim President, and Ed Pittman, Associate Dean of Campus Life and Diversity
A small liberal arts college located in the quiet town of Poughkeepsie, New York, Vassar College has for several years been home to a radical, anti-Semitic, pro-Hamas student movement against the Jews and Israel.
In March, 2016, the Vassar Student Association passed a resolution supporting the BDS movement against Israel by a vote of 15-7. The Amcha Initiative, an organization that tracks anti-Semitism on campus, gives insight into the atmosphere as the BDS resolution was debated: “A Jewish student who attended the BDS vote outlined antisemitic activity by pro-BDS students during the meeting, stating, ‘One Jewish student talked about how the BDS campaign had invoked every anxiety nightmare she had ever had. She was crying as she spoke. Pro-BDS students laughed at her.’…Another Jewish student talked about Israel’s founding in the wake of the Holocaust. He was immediately accused of using the Holocaust as a political tool to justify the ‘genocide’ of another people.”

DaphneAnson: A "Theobald Jew" Goes Spinning in Malaysia
Sydney academic and "Theobald Jew" Dr Peter Slezak (can you wonder that a hapless namesake in the same city constantly dissociates himself from him?) has been to that well-known oasis of tolerance and diversity, of people's and of women's rights (not), Malaysia, to tell them a thing or two about his fellow-Jews.
Like Antony Loewenstein (originator of this charming fake poster some years ago) Slezak is a co-founder of "Independent Australian Jewish Voices (IACV)", which on its emergence in 2007 was described by Dr Colin Rubinstein, executive director of AIJAC, as "dangerous and unrepresentative" with some of its members "clearly committed to the delegitimization of Israel".
But don't take only Dr Rubenstein's word for it. Associate Professor Mark Baker, a left-leaning Jewish academic who's among the principal Aussie supporters of J-Street has condemned the IACV's "shallow and inflammatory rhetoric, its one-sided vilification of Israel, and its gratuitous reference to Holocaust memory," noting that it's "all about casting Israel as a pariah. Not a word about the peace process, presumably because the only peace its framers envisage does not include a future for Israel as the 'democratic, national home of the Jewish people' (JStreet phraseology)".
According to a Malaysian newspaper:
'The Jews are partially to blame for the anti-Semitism directed at them by the international community as Jewish communities are not doing enough to hold Israel responsible for Gaza atrocities, said Jewish academic Dr Peter Slezak.
"We have to be more subtle about blaming Jews as a whole for the Israeli government’s actions. But the difficulty is that Jewish communities around the world are uncritical supporters of Israel," said Slezak.
Is Our Jeremiah an Arab Woman … and Can We See Her on Channel 2?
I have never met Rosa Parks, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, or Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. So, I may not know all that much about speaking truth to power. But, it seems to me that I just met the Jeremiah of our age. At the local Hillel House.
Lucy Aharish, a veteran newscaster, who now serves as a morning anchor on Channel 2 in Israel, made a stop in Minnesota this week. She was mid-way through a collegiate tour across the United States.
Her remarks, for 30 or so students and faculty members from the University of Minnesota, began with a personal story. She recounted how she was introduced to violence in the Middle East through an early trauma. At the age of six, while her family was returning to their home in Dimona (in the South of Israel) from a day trip in Gaza, a Palestinian militant tossed a Molotov cocktail into the family automobile. While the Aharishs were Arabs, and observant Muslims, their car had a yellow Israeli license plate. To the militants, blind with hatred, the Aharishs appeared to be Jews; and thus deserved to die.
For Lucy, the searing flames of the explosion had a permanent effect, but one that few could have imagined: From the crucible of mistaken identity she became a determined enemy of bigotry, sectarian thinking, and violence.
This story was a beginning for her, and her talk that night, but it led to still more determined challenges to the “isms” of our world. Moving methodically across the timeline of her early life – as one of the only Arabs in Dimona, the only Muslim student at her high school, and a trailblazer for women and Arabs in Israeli broadcasting – Aharish has lots to say about sexism, racism, and parochialism. When she speaks, nothing is off limits and no one is exempt from the critique. We are all, quite literally, in this together.
Likud Becomes “Far Right” According to The Independent
While the media is prepared to label Palestinian figures and organizations comparative to where they stand next to each other politically, it appears that Israelis and their parties are not treated in the same way. Instead, some journalists make a judgment according to their own personal politics.
Take The Independent‘s Bethan McKernan who writes, referring to Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely:
Hotovely, a member of the far-right Likud party in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition, told Army Radio on Wednesday that Breaking the Silence was “an enemy of Israel” akin to Gaza's militant group Hamas.
In Israeli political terms, the Likud is considered to be a mainstream right-wing party. It is not even regarded as the most right-wing party when compared to others such as Naftali Bennett’s Jewish Home or Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu, and certainly not considered to be far-right by the Israeli electorate. Not to mention parties that have run in previous elections on platforms considered to be genuinely far-right but failed to get any representatives elected to Knesset.
We’ve contacted editors at The Independent to ask for a correction and to remind Bethan McKernan that opinion disguised as news shouldn’t have a place in objective and balanced reporting.
Flip-flopping neo-Nazi used to back Trump, now blasts his 'Jew loving'
Neo-nazis feel betrayed by their former darling, Donald Trump.
"The white majority are fed up with all of these lying, cheating, thieving, war-mongering, child-molesting political pimps and whores of this corrupt and decadent two-party, Jew-party, queer-party system!" cried Arthur Jones at a neo-Nazi rally in rural Kentucky, The Guardian reported.
Jones delivered his fire-and-brimstone speech to a tent of like-minded individuals who applauded and "Mmmhmmm!"ed along with him. He decried United States President Donald Trump's campaign promises of a ban on Muslims and a wall along the US-Mexican border to keep out undocumented migrants, an issue on which the gathering felt the president has not delivered.
"President Trump," Jones continued, "has surrounded himself with hoards of Jews, including a Jew in his own family. That punk named Jared Kushner. What does he know about foreign affairs? Nothing. And yet, he is going to determine what our foreign policy is in the Middle East? Absolutely absurd."
Bullet fired at Milwaukee Jewish elementary school
The front door of a Jewish elementary school in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, was struck with a bullet.
No one was injured when the bullet hit the glass front door of the Yeshiva Elementary School on Friday morning. The bullet broke the glass, but did not go in to the school, the local CBS affiliate reported.
The school was not evacuated.
Police believe the bullet was fired in the area, but was not intended for the school. They are investigating the shooting and working with the school to locate witnesses.
“It did a little bit of damage to the door. But there was no real security issue in the sense that nobody was threatened. Nobody was in harm’s way at all. Nonetheless, we are taking precautions at this point,” school representative Rabbi Aryeh Borsuk told the local Fox affiliate.
Macron honors Holocaust victims at Paris memorial
Amid worries about rising nationalism, French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron visited the Holocaust Memorial in Paris with a somber message: “Never again.”
Macron, who, if elected, would become France’s youngest president at 39, paid his respects at the memorial where he was greeted by France’s chief rabbi, Haim Korsia.
“What happened is unforgettable and unforgivable,” Macron said after pausing before the wall bearing the names of 76,000 Jews who were deported, of whom just 2,500 survived. “It should never happen again.”
Sunday was France’s national day of remembrance for the victims of the deportation of French Jews to Nazi Germany, which holds a highly sensitive place in the national psyche.
“The homage that I wanted to make today is this duty that we owe to all these lives torn down by the extremes, by barbarism,” Macron said.
Holocaust survivors and children of its victims were among those present on Sunday.
3 Israeli directors’ films top LA Times movie picks
Three films directed by Israelis took center stage in the film listings of the Los Angeles Times’ senior critic Kenneth Turan.
In Hollywood few newspaper items are scrutinized more intensely than the film reviews and rankings in the Los Angeles Times, making Friday’s list a boon for the films and their directors.
The top spot in the “Our Movie Pick” section went to Joseph Cedar’s “Norman,” which tracks the ups, and mainly downs, of a small time New York fixer.
“Subtle, unsettling, often slyly amusing and always unexpected,” Turan wrote, adding: “This delicate, novelistic character study is what more American independent films would be like if more had thoughtful adult themes and gravitated toward nuance and complexity.”
The next Israeli pick on the list was Emil Ben-Shimon’s “The Women’s Balcony,” centering on a clash between a strict Orthodox rabbi and his more permissive congregants. Turan judged it as “an unapologetically warm-hearted comedic drama, a fine example of commercial filmmaking grounded in a persuasive knowledge of human behavior.”
Finally, a half page of the paper was devoted to Asaph Polonsky’s feature debut “One Week and a Day,” which, of all unlikely topics, focuses on a short-tempered father played by Shai Avivi, who is sitting shiva for his son who died of cancer. The father forms an unlikely alliance with the young stoner, played by Tomer Kapon, who supplied his dead son with marijuana.
Can Bar Refaeli get Spanish tourists to say 'sí' to Tel Aviv
While we think that Tel Aviv's food, sun and attractive residents sell themselves, the Tourism Ministry and Israeli Embassy in Madrid wanted to get Bar Refaeli on board to sweeten the deal.
In a bid to get more Spanish tourists to the bustling Israeli metropolis, the world-famous Israeli beauty graced the cover of the May issue of Condé Nast Traveler magazine's Spanish edition.
The concept for the Condé Nast travel feature is "Tel Aviv, the avant-garde city."
The cover photo shows Refaeli wearing a futuristic-looking dress while standing barefoot in Jaffa with the Tel Aviv skyline in the background.

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