Wednesday, May 10, 2017

From Ian:

FIFA delays decision on Israeli settlement soccer clubs
FIFA said on Tuesday it was “premature” to take any final decision on the controversial issue of Israeli clubs in the West Bank, according to a statement.
The communique came after a five-hour long FIFA Council meeting in Bahrain, ahead of the issue being scheduled for discussion by its annual Congress, which takes place in Manama on May 11.
“Following the report by chairman of the Monitoring Committee Israel-Palestine, Tokyo Sexwale, the FIFA Council considered that at this stage it is premature for the FIFA Congress to take any decision,” read the statement.
It is not clear after the statement whether the issue will remain on the Congress’ agenda.
The Palestine Football Association argues that the presence of six Israeli soccer clubs playing inside settlements in the West Bank are in breach of FIFA statutes.
These statutes forbid another member association playing on another territory without permission.
Israel argues that FIFA rules are unenforceable as there is no permanent border. (h/t Yenta Press)
President of Daniel Pearl Foundation Calls on BDS Advocate Linda Sarsour to ‘Disinvite Herself’ From CUNY Ceremony
The father of Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reporter murdered by Islamist terrorists in Pakistan in 2002, has added his voice to the condemnation of the City University of New York (CUNY) over its decision to honor Linda Sarsour, a prominent advocate of the BDS campaign targeting Israel.
In an interview with The Algemeiner on Tuesday, Judea Pearl – a Chancellor’s Professor at UCLA and the president of the Daniel Pearl Foundation, which promotes cross-cultural understanding – expressed dismay that Sarsour would be giving the commencement speech at the graduation ceremony for CUNY’s Graduate School of Public Health on June 1.
Pearl described Sarsour as a “Zionophobe,” a form of prejudice he argued shares common features with Islamophobia.
“A Zionophobe is someone who has an irrational fear of Zionism and coexistence in the Middle East,” Pearl said. “Like Islamophobes, Zionophobes have no respect for other communities’ symbols of identity.”
Sarsour's Anti-Semitism Campaign Minimizes Anti-Semitism
Sarsour also tries to shut down those who cite her record of celebrating terrorists and advocating radical positions by calling the critics Islamophobes. "Linda Sarsour is a Palestinian Muslim American woman in a hijab and she has the audacity to be prominent in this country, the audacity to resonate with communities outside her community," she said, speaking in the third person in the SiriusXM interview. "How dare I do that? How dare I defy every stereotype that Islamophobes have of me."
Yet, she's nakedly intolerant of beliefs other than her own.
Sarsour famously tweeted, "Nothing is creepier than Zionism." That's not a statement critical of the Israeli government or of settlement building in the West Bank. Instead, Sarsour believes the entire concept of a homeland for the Jewish people is flawed, is "creepy."
And Sarsour wants nothing to do with you if you believe in and support the state of Israel. That goes for Jews who might try to stand in solidarity against anti-Muslim bigotry. In her worldview, Zionism and feminism are mutually exclusive. "You either stand up for the rights of all women, including Palestinians, or none," Sarsour told The Nation. "There's just no way around it."
"But insisting that Jews need not apply if they subscribe to the belief in a Jewish homeland in Israel is an anti-Semitic double standard," StandWithUs researcher Lauren Post wrote in the Forward. "Too many leftists already ignore anti-Semitism unless it's rhetorically convenient, so perhaps it's unsurprising that Sarsour's brand of feminism demands that we give up our liberation movement for some nebulous greater good."

NYC mayoral candidate: No room for BDS in New York
The elections for the mayor of New York City will take place November, 2017.
Arutz Sheva spoke with Paul J. Massey, one of the candidates running for mayor this year.
"New York City is a community of fantastic Jewish people, the biggest population outside of Israel," Massey said.
"I'd be the mayor representing a lot of those folks here in New York, and I'd be proud to be doing that," he.declared
When asked what he would do about the anti-Israel BDS movement, Massey responded: "I am completely pro-Israel. We will support Israel from New York, in a partnership with Israel every chance we get."
"There is no room in New York City for intolerance, about Israel or the Jewish people. No room whatsoever."
Virulently Antisemitic NYC Council Candidate Seeks Support of BDS Advocate Linda Sarsour
A hardened antisemite running for the New York City Council in upper Manhattan has appealed to BDS advocate Linda Sarsour for her support.
Thomas Lopez-Pierre is running in the 7th Council District – which includes Washington Heights, West Harlem and the Upper West Side – against incumbent Jewish Democrat Mark Levine on a platform that claims, as summarized on his Twitter feed: “Jewish landlords OWN 80% of private rental buildings in Upper Manhattan; GUILTY of GREED for pushing Black/Hispanic tenants out.”
Now Lopez-Pierre is seeking the endorsement of Sarsour, who is currently making waves over her forthcoming commencement speech at the City University of New York (CUNY) School of Public Health on June 1. CUNY has been taken to task by Jewish leaders and some local politicians for honoring an activist with a record of inflammatory statements against Israel, including a tweet that declared “nothing is creepier than Zionism.” In a recent interview with The Algemeiner, Abraham Foxman, National Director Emeritus of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), deemed Sarsour a “bigot” and added that CUNY should not have extended an invitation to her.
But while Sarsour restricts her attacks to “Zionists,” avoiding “Jews” per se, Lopez-Pierre has a long history of bombastic and frequently foul-mouthed rants against both Jewish individuals and the community as a whole. His tweets routinely target “Greedy Jewish Landlords,” while a YouTube video by a Jewish female comedian poking fun at him drew the comment that “This Jewish woman is NOT only sexy BUT very funny.”
Sarsour’s supporters claim ‘character assassination’
Supporters of Palestinian- American, anti-Israel activist Linda Sarsour gathered outside New York’s City Hall on Monday to express their solidarity after the controversy caused by her upcoming speech at a City University of New York commencement ceremony.
Last month, CUNY said it stands by its decision to invite Sarsour to address graduates of its School of Public Health and Health Policy, despite much criticism by Jewish leaders.
Sarsour, who was among the organizers of January’s Women’s March on Washington, has been vocal against Israel. In an interview conducted in March, she said one cannot be part of the feminist movement unless he or she is critical of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank.
Jewish groups such as the Zionist Organization of America and local Jewish politicians like New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind and New York City Council member Rory Lancman, have expressed outrage and called on the university and the state to rescind Sarsour’s invitation Among those who gathered to support Sarsour on Monday were members of the New York Justice League, an organization for racial justice and immigrant rights, who said Sarsour “has become the target of a vicious smear campaign and character assassination led by two elected officials,” citing Hikind and Lancman.
Jewish Labour Movement leaders betray their cause
Since 2015, they have put considerable pressure on those who seek to undermine our community. They have been able advocates working for the community as a whole. Their allegiances always seemed to be with the community first and the Labour Party second.
That is not to say that they have not always got things right, in June 2016, the JLM welcomed the Chakrabarti report, “This is a sensible and firm platform which gives the Party an opportunity to get off the back foot and on to the front foot in setting a new standard for tacking racism and anti-Semitism”.
The report was widely panned by many across the Jewish community and indeed elsewhere in the Labour party. Bury MP Ivan Lewis stated ‘it was not worth the paper it was written on’. To add insult to injury, the author of the reporter, Ms Chakrabarti was subsequently rewarded with a peerage.
The party fell further in the minds of the Jewish community when one month later, in July 2016, Baroness Royall’s report into anti-Semitism at Oxford University, after much delay, was published with a whimper and largely ignored by the Labour party. By her own admission it would be a “great disappointment” to many in the Jewish community. It was.
And in April of this year, Ken Livingstone, despite his vicious and sustained goading of the Jewish community on every media outlet that will have him, and despite calls from the JLM for his expulsion, remains a member of the Labour party.
From Spring 2018 – ongoing inquiries withstanding – Mr Livingstone can run for elected office under the Labour banner and officially represent the party again should he get enough support to do so.
A Labour student group has apologised after the party’s prominent youth activist Bethany Barker – who was Chair of Nottingham Labour Students Committee – posted dozens of sick racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic tweets. Barker introduced Jeremy Corbyn at Labour’s local elections campaign launch in Newark, Notts, last month. The remarkable tweets – sent several years ago – are a litany of extremely offensive comments:
Nottingham Labour students said:
“At 2.35pm we were made aware of a series of tweets which Bethany Barker had made on a deleted personal Twitter account, which were of a racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic nature from 2012-14.”
UK Labour student leader resigns over racist tweets
In a statement, Barker apologized for the “disgusting comments” and asked forgiveness for the mistakes of her juvenile past.
“As some of you may have seen online, some anti-Semitic, homophobic, and racist tweets have resurfaced from my old Twitter account from 2012-14,” Barker wrote. “I understand the upset that these comments have caused and I want to extend my sincerest apologies to anyone that I have offended.”
“I am appalled and ashamed by these comments and I condemn them in their entirety; they are outrageous and wrong and I should have never said them.
“I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to all of you reading this, too. These views are clearly not in line with what I believe today and do not reflect my character.
The Corbynista co-chair of Manchester Labour Students has been forced to resign after it was revealed he claimed “Hitler was Jewish” and compared Israel to ISIS. Tayyib Nawaz, a psychology student at Manchester Metropolitan University, posted a series of tweets last year which are remarkably grim even by the standards of recent Labour anti-Semitism scandals.
In other remarkable comments Nawaz wrote:
“ISIS is not a democratic organisation like Israel but both murder civilians and claim their authority is from God.
“Zionism is scum, even Einstein was against the Zionist terrorism which pressured the creation of Israel.
“Muslim feminism supporters? Muslim Gay rights activists? If my kids were any of these I’d slap them.
“When you spell Gay wrong but your phone auto corrects it to Fag”.
IDF's chief lawyer comes out, says military has 'no glass ceiling'
Military Advocate General Brig. Gen. Sharon Afek came out on Tuesday as gay, becoming the highest-ranking General Staff officer to ever do so.
Afek openly discussed his sexual orientation for the first time in an interview with the Israel Bar Association's official journal.
"It's important for me to be a role model," Afek said in the interview.
"When I was a young officer, times were different. I was afraid that this [being gay] would work against me and that I would truly hit a glass ceiling, but I never encountered discrimination, either positive or negative, because of this since beginning my service in the IDF. To my delight, this didn't cause any special interest, and I never felt my sexual orientation was a factor in any judgments about me, which is a good thing."
Afek said he hopes his coming out will help young LGBTQ people wary of enlisting in the military.
"Many young men and women belonging to the gay community are preparing to enlist in the IDF, or already serve in the military," he said.
Israel’s first woman Shari’a court judge a humble role model
Hana Mansour-Khatib’s four children learned about their mother’s history-making accomplishment in late April from their school teachers.
“It was very exciting for my children when they heard from their teachers that their mother is the first woman judge in the Shari’a courts,” said Mansour-Khatib, speaking from her office in the northern Arab city of Tamra on Sunday. “They announced the achievement over the microphone at school. It was a success for Tamra and the Arab community.”
While the Shari’a court system in Israel has operated since Ottoman times and handled countless cases of marriage, divorce and family matters, in Israel’s Muslim community, no woman has had a voice in the judgments.
That changed in late April when 44-year-old Mansour-Khatib was appointed as Israel’s 18th Shari’a judge or qadi.
Israel’s rabbinic courts, which also handle marriage, divorce and other family matters, has yet to appoint a female judge.
Dartmouth Jewish Studies Chair Calls Pro-BDS Activist Appointed to Top Administrative Position ‘Great Friend’ Who Is ‘Very Supportive’ of Judaic, Israel Studies
The chair of Dartmouth College’s Jewish studies program said the pro-boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) activist recently promoted to a top administrative position at the school has been a “great friend” of her program, including supporting courses related to Israel.
Susannah Heschel told The Algemeiner on Monday that N. Bruce Duthu — who was appointed the dean of faculty in March, after signing and allegedly co-writing a BDS statement for the Council of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA) in 2013 — has never “said or indicated anything antisemitic or anti-Israel” in the year that she’s worked with him in his role as an associate dean. She said Duthu has helped facilitate the bringing of Israeli scholars to Dartmouth, voted in favor of an exchange program with Israeli students. Heschel added that Duthu recently told her he was invited to and plans to speak at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University this fall.
Heschel — the daughter of late famed civil rights leader Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel — called Duthu the “best dean I’ve ever worked with, ” but maintained that she was “torn” by his anti-Israel connections.
“On the one hand, I am vocally and publicly opposed to BDS,” she said, noting that she was featured in an video released last month extolling the power of cooperating with Israeli scholars. “But, on the other hand, [Duthu] has been a fantastic supporter, and he’s never said anything, in countless meetings, against Israel.”
European development bank to invest in West Bank, Gaza
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is to start investing in the West Bank and Gaza, it said on Wednesday.
The development bank's shareholder governments approved the move which will initially last for five year and be financed with donations pooled from individual countries.
It is expected to concentrate on energy infrastructure, renewable energy and supporting private businesses.
"The EBRD can make an important contribution to the economy alongside other international financial institutions," the EBRD's President Suma Chakrabarti at the bank's annual meeting.
Chakrabarti said Israel, which is also an EBRD shareholder, had supported the move.
Speaking to Reuters, Azzam Shawwa, governor of the soon-to-be-formalized Palestinian central bank, said the EBRD's financing model and policy advice would be the main benefit.
"The whole concept took long enough but it's good that we made it and that the EBRD and others are moving into Palestine," Shawwa said.
"It is going to be something that is really supportive to the economy."
N.Y. promoted, covered up lesson plan teaching students to sympathize with Islamic suicide bombers
On April 12, The Blaze reported the Public Broadcasting Service has been for more than decade featuring a lesson plan that instructs students to be more sympathetic to the plight of Islamic terrorists in Palestine. The plan, titled “Dying to be a Martyr,” features, among other things, video interviews with Islamic terrorists who tell viewers why their attacks on Israelis are justified. There are no instructions in the lesson plan for teachers to denounce these views and no videos are featured showing the Israeli response.
Among the other biased aspects of the lesson plan are instructions for teachers to “Check for understanding by asking students to respond to the focus question. (Mohanned, feels he would rather die and by a martyr than live his life, sees his life as hollow—in contrast he sees Israelis as happy, going out, having fun, traveling.) Ask your students why Mohanned may feel that way (Answers may include: Palestinians have less land, fewer privileges, cannot come and go as they please.)”
A new investigation into the lesson plan and its origins show the plan was developed in New York state and was, until just a couple of weeks ago, promoted by the New York State Education Department. Following a request for comment from state officials, NYSED abruptly altered its website without a comment, essentially covering up the fact the website ever contained the “Dying to be a Martyr” material.
Calling for The Daily Show's Trevor Noah to Pull out of Toronto Event Supporting Islamist Intolerance
The Middle East Forum is encouraging Trevor Noah, host of Comedy Central's The Daily Show, to withdraw from a Toronto fundraising event hosted by the Islamist group Islamic Relief and featuring extremist cleric Nouman Ali Khan (see profile here). You can help by contacting Noah's representative, Jill Fritzo ( +1 917 410 5441), and the Convocation Hall at the University of Toronto ( +1 416 978 2187) to explain that there's nothing funny about Islamic extremism.
Trevor Noah with guest Dalia Mogahed, who told viewers that the hijab "privatizes women's sexuality." No one asked who the owners are.
The Middle East Forum is calling on Trevor Noah, host of The Daily Show, to withdraw from a troubling fundraiser to benefit "Islamic Relief" scheduled for Toronto on May 20th.
Here's why: Muslims in North America are being forced to live under the thumb of extremists. Some of western Islam's most prominent clerics might publicly praise and practice interfaith dialogue, but we have seen how, behind closed doors, many of them promote hatred and incite violence.
To the dismay of moderates, these extremists have gained control over much of the Muslim community, partly because they have been legitimized as representative voices by government, the media and prominent public figures who fail to note the Islamists' bigoted rhetoric once the microphones are switched off.
Trevor Noah is due to speak in Toronto alongside Nouman Ali Khan, a prominent American cleric with a history of involvement in Islamist causes. While Khan projects a moderate image, we have found evidence of him expressing repugnant views about homosexuals and abusing women.
Toronto Star Gives Undue Platform to Notorious Hate-Monger Richard Falk
Today, the Toronto Star gave an undue platform on its opinion pages to notorious anti-Israel hate-monger Richard Falk.
In a commentary dubbed “The hazards of criticizing Israel,” Falk claimed that the Israeli government “pioneered” efforts to label critics of Israel as anti-Semites. Importantly, there’s no truth to this unfounded allegation. As informed observers know, Israel is well known for welcoming and having vociferous criticisms of Israeli policy, whether in politics, on the column inches of its major newspapers, or in private life. Israel is world renowned for its vibrancy, free speech and its diversity of strong opinions and its healthy marketplace of ideas – even those that go beyond the mainstream and enter into the fringes.
Falk misleadingly claimed that he has “… been personally attacked as ‘anti-Semitic’ and ‘a self-loathing Jew’ following the release of a United Nations-sponsored study that I co-authored investigating whether the available evidence supported a finding that Israel was guilty of apartheid — as defined by the UN Convention on Apartheid — due to the manner by which it controlled the Palestinian population.” In truth, and as UN Watch has documented, U.N. chief Antonió Guterres rejected Falk’s report published by ECSWA, a Beirut-based agency of the world body— ECSWA—comprised entirely of 18 Arab states, which accused Israel of “apartheid”. Guterres said that Falk’s report was published without consultation with the U.N. secretariat and was removed from the ECSWA website. Following the uproar, United Nations Under-Secretary General and Executive Secretary for the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), Rima Khalaf, resigned. Falk’s report was described by U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, as “anti-Israel propaganda.”
Falk’s commentary in the Star today is an apparent rebuttal of a March 23 Rosie DiManno column which accused Falk of being an “Evangelist for anti-Semitism.” Why would the Star grant Falk, a notorious hate-monger, precious column inches to spew his noxious venom? Did Falk himself complain to the Star requesting equal space in light of DiManno’s commentary?
PA’s anti-Israel campaign at FIFA gets BBC WS amplification again
For years Jibril Rajoub has been exploiting his various sports-related positions in the Palestinian Authority to advance delegitimisation of Israel.
In May 2012, he volunteered to lead a campaign to have Israel expelled from all Olympic unions and committees, stating that he opposes any form of ‘normalisation’ with Israel, including in the field of sports. In June 2012 Rajoub demanded that UEFA cancel Israel’s hosting of the 2013 European Under-21 Championship.
Not infrequently, Rajoub’s assorted campaigns have been covered on BBC platforms: see for example here, here and here. Over the last two years, the BBC has repeatedly amplified Rajoub’s current campaign against the Israeli football association at FIFA (which is supported by the political NGO HRW) on multiple platforms:
BBC frames anti-Israel delegitimisation campaign as a sports story
Wind in the sails of Jibril Rajoub’s anti-Israel campaign from BBC WS WHYS
Kevin Connolly continues the BBC’s amplification of anti-Israel delegitimisation
BBC WS news bulletins amplify HRW delegitimisation campaign
BBC’s Knell relegates impartiality to the bench in campaigning football report
The latest installment in the BBC’s coverage of Rajoub’s campaign was broadcast on the BBC World Service radio programme ‘Newshour’ on May 9th.
Contrary to Financial Times claim, Hamas did NOT drop call for destruction of Israel
However, there are multiple reasons why the Financial Times claim is untrue.
First, the new policy paper does not replace or in any way supersede the group’s founding charter – the 1988 document which explicitly calls for Israel’s complete destruction and the murder of Jews. Moreover, even if you take the new Hamas policy paper at face value, the paragraph purporting to indicate the group’s implicit acceptance of Israel’s existence includes additional text demonstrating that they support a Palestinian state within ’67 lines only as an interim step to Israel’s ultimate destruction.
Here’s the text in question, in section 20 of the Hamas document.
Further, in sections 23 and 25 of the document, “jihad” and “armed resistance” for “the liberation of Palestine” is characterised as a Palestinian “right, a duty and an honour”.
When you look past the verbal acrobatics – within a document designed purely to improve their public image – you can’t escape the fact that when you support “armed resistance” whilst rejecting “any alternative to the…complete liberation of Palestine, from the river to the sea” you are, by definition, calling for the complete destruction of the Jewish state.
‘Lancet’ Editor “Deeply Regrets” Attacks on Israel and Dedicates New Issue to Jewish State
Nearly three years after publishing a virulently anti-Israel letter which whitewashed Hamas and accused Israel of war crimes, The Lancet, a highly regarded medical journal published an issue highlighting health care in Israel, Ynet reported Monday.
Subsequent to The Lancet‘s publication of the letter, the publication’s editor, Richard Horton, was invited to Israel by Professor Karl Skorecki, Director of Medical and Research Development at Rambam Hospital in Haifa. Horton, while in Israel, also met with Prof. Rafael Beyar, Director of Rambam Health Care Campus and Prof. Mark Clarfield of Ben-Gurion University.
During his visit, Horton said that he “deeply, deeply regrets” the publication of the letter attacking Israel and decided to devote a future issue to exploring Israel’s health care system. The just-published issue featured ten articles written by Israel doctors and researchers focusing on three major topics, Rambam Hospital, Ben Gurion University and israel National Institute for Health Policy Research.
“We wanted to turn the unfortunate episode into a constructive and positive lever that will lead to recognition of Israel’s advantages for global health,” Horton explained in the final article in the issue.
“We hope that this special issue will not only improve health and equality in health within Israel, but between Israel and its neighbors, which will also serve as a platform for greater involvement of Israeli doctors and researchers in global health issues,” he added.
Horton not only advocated greater collaboration with Israeli medical professionals, but asserted that “boycotting academics and Israeli professionals, as led by the BDS movement, is inefficient and will never be effective in helping shape public and political opinion that will promote a solution, on the contrary, it will harm these goals.”
“The special issue on Israel will not be a one-time project,” Horton said. “It is the beginning of a close partnership.”
New Watchdog Report: 2016 ‘Worst Year on Record for Antisemitism in Canada,’ With Spikes in Holocaust Denial and On-Campus Hate Incidents
A newly published yearly report on antisemitism in Canada revealed that incidents of Holocaust denial and on-campus hate spiked significantly in 2016.
B’nai Brith Canada’s “Annual Audit of Antisemitic Incidents” reported that 2016 was “worst year on record for antisemitism in Canada,” the human rights organization’s CEO, Michael Mostyn told The Algemeiner on Tuesday, following the release of the report which said there were a total of 1,728 antisemitic incidents nationwide last year.
Holocaust denial and distortions accounted for 20% of the antisemitism recorded — including University of Lethbridge professor Anthony Hall using his classroom as a platform for anti-Jewish conspiracy theories about the Holocaust and 9/11 (Hall was ultimately suspended and remains under investigation).
Mostyn attributed the increase in Holocaust denial — up from 5% of antisemitic incidents in 2015 — to the fact that “every year, as we get further and further away from the Holocaust, as fewer survivors go into the community and tell their stories, we see a rise [in this sort of antisemitism].”
“We’ve been seeing this behavior for a long time,” he continued. “It has not leapt out of the blue. But what’s interesting is that it is now being perpetrated by coordinated individuals, from the extreme Right and Left, who might otherwise make strange bedfellows, but have been united on social media and the internet through their hatred of Jews.”
Report: Canada's Arabic-Language Publications Contribute to Anti-Semitism Spike
This year, two Canadian imams attracted media attention for their past incendiary and anti-Semitic sermons.
Ryerson University in Toronto announced that it fired Ayman Elkasrawy from his teaching assistant position following reports he prayed for Allah to "purify" Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque "from the filth of the Jews."
He also prayed that anyone who "displaced" Muslims be destroyed: "Count their number; slay them one by one and spare not one of them, O Allah! Purify Al-Aqsa Mosque from the filth of the Jews!"
In another case, the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) posted videos showing an imam in Montreal, Sheikh Wael Al-Ghitawi, denying Jewish roots in Israel.
"Jews do not have any historical right to Palestine," Al-Ghitawi said in the 2014 sermon. He falsely asserted that "for long periods of time, there was not a single Jew in Jerusalem and Palestine."
Last year, MEMRI exposed a sermon by an imam in Edmonton, Alberta, who urged Muslims to "look forward" as "Rome will be conquered." Shaban Sherif Mady also glorified the restoration of the "rightly-guided" Islamic Caliphate – mirroring similar calls by the Islamic State's leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
With the spread of radical Islamism among some Arabic-language publications and imams, it is no surprise that anti-Semitic incidents are on the rise in Canada.
Idaho memorial to Anne Frank vandalized
A memorial to teen Holocaust diarist Anne Frank in Boise, Idaho, was vandalized with anti-Semitic and racial slurs.
The damage at the Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial, located in a nearly one-acre memorial park maintained by the Boise Parks & Recreation in partnership with the Wassmuth Center for Human Rights, will cost about $20,000 (NIS 72,000) to repair.
The vandalism was discovered by a group touring the site on Tuesday afternoon, the Idaho Statesman reported.
The anti-Semitic graffiti, which was not published by the newspaper, was written in permanent ink on a marble tablet which contains a list of the names of the donors to the memorial. A racial slur and a message declaring that black people are not human was written directly below the engraved first paragraph of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Hamburg unveils memorial to Jews, Roma killed in Holocaust
The German city of Hamburg has unveiled a memorial to Jewish and Roma residents who were killed during the Holocaust.
The site of the memorial is a former train station, from where 8,071 people were deported on 20 trains to ghettos and concentration camps. The deportations took place from 1940 to 1945. Few survived.
A plaque lists the names of more than 7,700 identified victims. The memorial also includes a piece of the original tracks and a special path leading to a nearby documentation center that is slated to open in 2020.
Hamburg’s mayor, Olaf Schulz, said during the opening ceremony Wednesday that the location “is a place of shame and grief, but from now on also a dignified place of remembrance,” the German news agency dpa reported.
Historic plum tree from Warsaw ghetto has 2nd chance to grow
A mirabelle plum tree that grew in the Warsaw Ghetto area during World War II was cut down in December, but now has a chance to grow again.
Seedlings have been grown from the tree thanks to a pair of Poles, who 12 years ago brought three seeds from the historic tree to the United States.
The mirabelle plum tree grew at Walowa Street in Warsaw. The Polish-Jewish reporter Hanna Krall wrote about it in her book of memoirs from the war. She wrote that next to the tree after the war lay beads, which had been collected by local children. These beads came from Jewish shops, which were closed down during World War II. The tree survived the uprising in the Warsaw Ghetto.
The tree was cut down to clear the area for the construction of an apartment building.
6 Israeli scientists win prestigious Howard Hughes grants
The Howard Hughes Medical Institute has announced that it will award six Israeli scientists grants of $650,000 each over five years as part of an initiative aimed at promoting biomedical research worldwide.
The six were among 41 promising scientists whose names were announced on Tuesday in the institute's 2017 International Research Scholars list. The six Israelis -- 14.6% of the total -- were chosen for their unique accomplishments as "exceptional early-career scientists poised to advance biomedical research across the globe," the institute said in a statement.
"The award is a big boon for scientists early in their careers, and offers the freedom to pursue new research directions and creative projects that could develop into top-notch scientific programs," the institute said.
The Israeli grant recipients are: Yossi Buganim of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, whose team "has invented and improved ways to reprogram adult cells into other cell types, including those able to generate nearly any kind of cell in the body"; Asya Rolls, of the Technion -- Israel Institute of Technology, whose research "could reveal new ways to harness the body's inherent disease-fighting potential"; and Idan Efroni, also of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, who "is unraveling the mystery of plants' impressive regenerative abilities"; and Weizmann Institute of Science researchers Eran Elinav, who "has discovered important links between nutrition, gut microbes and the risk of developing common diseases, such as obesity and diabetes"; Shalev Itzkovitz, who "is taking a close-up look at individual cells to figure out how they work together in organs such as the intestine, liver, and pancreas"; and Ido Amit, whose lab "develops new single cell genomic technologies" to study immune cells in "unprecedented resolution."
Israel Developing Trail with Instructional App to Teach Hikers About 2nd Temple Period
Israel’s first “smart” hiking trail, under construction between Tiberias and Beit Sheʽarim National Park in the Lower Galilee, will bring hikers back in history to the Second Temple period more than 2,000 years ago, when the Great Sanhedrin — the supreme Jewish authority of sages – was active in this region.
Hikers will have access to an innovative augmented reality-based smartphone application that will virtually reconstruct heritage sites, integrate virtual guides for children along the route and bring to life prominent scholars such as the four rabbis mentioned in the Passover Haggadah.
Due to be completed in spring 2018, the trail marks three important “70s.” It will be inaugurated for the State of Israel’s 70th anniversary, will stretch 70 kilometers, and will pass sites associated with the 70 members of the Great Sanhedrin.
These are among the scholars who recorded the Mishnah and Talmud, Judaism’s Oral Law, during their 290 years in the Galilee following the Bar Kokhba revolt against Rome in 135 CE. The Great Sanhedrin originally sat on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount.
“People such Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi, the members of the Sanhedrin who were active here 2,000 years ago, determined to a great extent much of how our lives are run today. It is according to these religious laws that we marry or conduct funeral ceremonies, and even administer Jewish law,” said Yair Amitzur, the Israel Antiquities Authority’s antiquities inspector for the Eastern Galilee, and one of the initiators of the idea.
Video: WWII Veterans March through Jerusalem to Commemorate VE Day
WWII veterans commemorated VE Day, the Allied Victory over Nazi Germany, in Jerusalem on Tuesday.
Several hundreds of Jewish WWII veterans of the allied armies, many wearing war medals, marched through the streets of Jerusalem with their families.
An official state ceremony is scheduled to take place at the Jerusalem Monument of the Jewish Soldiers and Partisans on the Mount of Remembrance.
A group of veterans also met and shared their personal stories with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Immigration and Absorption Minister Sofa Landver.
"You saved the Jewish people as well as humanity. Humanity might have recovered, but the Jewish people would not have. It is truly a tremendous, historic contribution. I am proud of you, we are all proud of you. I see all your war medals -- you deserve them. I know all those medals were earned through much blood and sacrifice. I admire you all greatly, and the Jewish people owe you an immense debt of gratitude," the prime minister told the veterans.
On US tour, Israeli paratroopers to re-create iconic photo from Six Day War
David Rubinger’s iconic photograph of three paratroopers at the Western Wall is the defining image of the 1967 Six Day War.
The men in the photo — Dr. Yitzhak Yifat, Tzion Karasenti and Chaim Oshri — have proudly served as symbols of the historic Israeli victory for the past five decades. But in an interview with JTA, they said the war for them was just as much about loss.
“To liberate the Kotel was something amazing,” Yifat told JTA, referring to the Western Wall. “But we never celebrated. What was there to celebrate? We had lost many of our friends.”
Between June 5 and 15, in honor of the Six Day War’s 50th anniversary, the three former paratroopers, now in their 70s, will re-create Rubinger’s photo in their first-ever tour of the United States. the tour, sponsored by Friends of the IDF, will stop at Jewish communities and other locations in the Cleveland, Detroit, San Francisco, Chicago, Atlanta, Boston and Baltimore areas. They will also recount some of the sacrifices that were made in the battle for Jerusalem.
Late last month, the three went to the Western Wall in the Old City to remember the moment and 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.

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