Friday, June 02, 2017

From Ian:

Evelyn Gordon: Gaza on the Brink
If you ask Palestinians in either Gaza or the West Bank who’s responsible for their suffering, most would probably say Israel. But what would they say if they were safely overseas and no longer needed to fear their own governments? That’s not a question reporters, diplomats, or nongovernmental organizations usually bother asking. We now have an answer to it, at least with regard to Palestinians who fled Gaza. They left not because of anything Israel did, but because of persecution by Gaza’s Hamas-run government
There are numerous UN agencies ostensibly devoted exclusively to helping the Palestinians, while human rights groups allocate disproportionate attention to this issue. In both cases, their only real interest in Palestinian suffering is finding some way to blame Israel for it. They couldn’t care less about protecting Palestinians from the abuses of their own government. That’s why they keep issuing reports accusing Israel of being the “key cause” of Palestinian suffering, as one UN agency put it this week, despite all evidence to the contrary.
Yet their blatant bias often obscures a larger problem that affects even well-meaning journalists, NGOs, diplomats and almost everyone else involved in telling the world about what’s happening in the West Bank and Gaza–a failure to understand the way fear affects what people say in nondemocratic societies. For Palestinians, blaming anyone other than Israel for their problems risks serious repercussions from either their own governments or vigilante groups affiliated with both governments. And that’s true not just in Hamas-run Gaza, as people like Ayman and Naji discovered to their sorrow, but also in the Fatah-run West Bank, where journalists, businessmen, and Palestinian security officers have all suffered arrest and financial sanctions for daring to criticize the Palestinian Authority or its president, Mahmoud Abbas. Blaming Israel is always the safest solution, even in cases where it’s patently untrue.
Responsible journalists, NGOs, and diplomats would take this fear factor into account and try to dig a little deeper to try to get at the truth. They would also recognize that the very fact that Israel is the one party no Palestinian fears to criticize is in itself a potent refutation of Palestinian claims that Israel is an oppressive regime. People who truly live under an oppressive regime are generally afraid to go on record criticizing it.
Instead, these opinion shapers take everything they hear from Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza at face value and parrot it uncritically. That does nothing to better the Palestinians’ lot, but a great deal to bolster the Palestinians’ own repressive governments by absolving them of all scrutiny and pressure to reform.
The testimony of these Gazan refugees in Greece provides a rare opportunity to hear what Palestinians say when they’re out of reach of their own repressive governments and can speak freely. It thereby offers a glimpse at the true source of much Palestinian suffering – and a rebuke to all the journalists, diplomats, and NGOs who have collaborated with both Palestinian governments to hide this truth from the world.

Eli Lake: Trump Left the Door Open for a Jerusalem Embassy
He thinks he can use the issue as leverage -- for now.
Donald Trump's presidency so far has followed a pattern of disruption. He snubs European allies. He tweets in atrocious grammar. He pulls out of international agreements. He shakes things up.
But in one important respect, Trump's presidency appears entirely conventional. That is in the Middle East. Like his recent predecessors, he promised during the presidential campaign to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. And like his predecessors, he violated that promise now that he is in office.
So why did Trump do it? "To maximize the chances of successfully negotiating a deal between Israel and the Palestinians," according to a White House statement issued Thursday on his decision to sign a waiver of the Jerusalem Embassy Act, that would have set in motion the process for the U.S. moving its embassy to Israel's capital. It doesn't get much more conventional than that. What modern president hasn't tried to maximize the chances of that ever-elusive peace deal?
It would be easy to end the story there. But in this case, Trump has left open the possibility that he will eventually keep his campaign promise: "As he has repeatedly stated his intention to move the embassy, the question is not if that move happens, but only when," the White House statement also said.
Sources on the ground in troubled Bradford West think the Corbyn surge could help save Labour’s Naz Shah, who is facing an increasing threat from independent Salma Yaqoob. Yaqoob – of Respect and Stop the War fame – is running a professional campaign and so far two other independents have stood down to back her. At a tumultuous hustings on Wednesday Shah was shouted down for expressing support for Israel’s right to exist. After Shah says “I continue to stand by my statement that I believe in Israel’s right to exist” an audience member can clearly be heard shouting “Jew, Jew, Jew“. Aisha Ali-Khan, who was at the hustings, told Guido: “I was horrified at the conduct some of those in the room.” Yet more disturbing stuff in Bradford…
Naz Shah MP Called "Jew" at Hustings for Saying Israel Has the Right to Exist

Why Can’t Democrats Find a Muslim Woman Who Isn’t Insane Like Linda Sarsour to Pal Around With?
Linda Sarsour is the full package: A female religious minority with a knack for activism (and not much else), she’s the perfect pawn in the Democratic Party’s Loyal Opposition to Trump. If you criticize her, you’re not just attacking a fellow American—you must be a bigot.
Many liberals are hitching their wagon to Sarsour’s recent celebrity. According to a recent report by Peter Hasson of The Daily Caller, at least eight Congressional Democrats are joining her at Saturday’s anti-Trump “March for Truth.”
I just have one basic question: Why? Sarsour isn’t the only Palestinian-American woman preaching tolerance towards minorities. Yet she’s one of the only public figures who has links with the terrorist group Hamas. She’s also a known apologist of sharia law—an odd feature for a political party obsessed with defending woman from persecution, real or imagined.
While Democrats were running to the toilet to vomit over President Trump’s $110 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia, they had no problem embracing Sarsour, who has previously declared that Saudi Arabia’s treatment of women puts the United states “to shame.” Sure, liberals can excuse statements like these by simply shaming her critics as culturally insensitive, but when was the last time an evangelical Christian got cut that kind of slack when arguing about transgender bathrooms?
As much as Sarsour demands our respect, it’s not like she gives it to other women. After ex-Muslim activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali detailed her own gruesome experience with female genital mutilation, Sarsour said critics of the barbaric practice “don’t deserve to be women” and that she wished she “could take their vaginas away.”
CUNY's Curious Defense of Linda Sarsour
Sarsour's defenders claim that her views stem from anger and "should come as no surprise for a Palestinian-American;" after all what she really opposes is "right-wing Zionism." Sarsour has said that Zionists – including the vast majority of Jews – can't be feminists. She didn't say only "right-wing Zionists" can't be feminists.
Why would the CUNY want to showcase someone who, as Daniel Pipes documents, has such a "long record of incompetence, extremism, vulgarity, and eccentricity"? Dov Hikind, a Brooklyn Democrat in the New York Assembly, says "it's just nuts. It makes no sense. It's crazy to have this woman be the person who's going to speak to the students."
In an effort to explain, CUNY Chancellor James B. Millikin released an April 26 statement saying that while the views Sarsour "reportedly" has on Israel are "anathema to the values of higher education," forgoing a commencement speech by Sarsour "would conflict with the First Amendment and the principles of academic freedom."
Much the same argument was made by five CUNY professors in a spirited but sophomoric defense of Sarsour's right to speak at the academic blog InsideHigherEd. Two of the five, Meena Alexander and Rosalind Patchesky, are known for their anti-Israel activism.
But these arguments conflate and grossly misunderstand free speech and academic freedom. Which speakers a university, even a public one, invites to deliver commencement speeches is not a First Amendment issue. This is not a matter of deciding whether to allow this or that student demonstration or campus guest lecture to take place; it's a formal endorsement, not of what the speaker says, but of the speaker's qualifications and ability to inspire an audience. Of course Sarsour has a First Amendment right to her anti-Zionism and even to her anti-Semitism. But CUNY does not have a First Amendment obligation to honor her or provide a platform for her.
Pro-BDS Activist Linda Sarsour Receives Standing Ovation After Giving Keynote Speech at CUNY Graduation
A Muslim-American activist whose role as a commencement speaker had come under protest from critics opposing her stance on Israel, was given a standing ovation by graduating students Thursday after she told them they must commit to demanding change.
"We in this room together must commit to never being bystanders to poverty, lack of jobs and health care," Linda Sarsour told graduates of the City University of New York's Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy.
One parent of a student at the university said "Sarsour’s record is replete with anti-American values, degradation of feminists and others who disagree with her, unbridled hatred of the State of Israel and those who support it, and the promotion of violence."
Critics of Sarsour who don't like her views on Israel had spoken out against her being the keynote, but the school administration stood behind the decision, with the dean saying it was important to listen respectfully to differing ideas.
The Muslim Brotherhood Connection: ISIS, "Lady al Qaeda," and the Muslim Students Association
"It should be the long-term goal of every MSA [Muslim Students Association] to Islamicize the politics of their respective university ... the politicization of the MSA means to make the MSA more of a force on internal campus politics. The MSA needs to be a more 'in-your-face' association." — Hussein Hamdani, a lawyer who served as an adviser on Muslim issues and security for the Canadian government.
Several alumni of the MSA have gone on to become leading figures in Islamist groups. These include infamous al Qaeda recruiter Anwar al Awlaki, Osama bin Laden funder Ahmed Sayed Khadr, ISIS propagandist John "Yahya" Maguire and Canada's first suicide bomber, "Smiling Jihadi" Salma Ashrafi.
What they have in common (whether members of ISIS, al Qaeda, Jamaat e Isami, Boko Haram, Abu Sayyaf or others) is ideology often rooted in the Muslim Brotherhood -- as findings of a 2015 U.K. government review on the organization revealed.
Democratic Rep. Mark Pocan Identified as Lawmaker Behind Anti-Israel Capitol Hill Forum
Rep. Mark Pocan (D., Wis.) has been identified as the anonymous member of Congress who reserved official Capitol Hill space for an anti-Israel forum that is being organized by several organizations that support boycotts of the Jewish state, according to congressional sources who spoke to the Washington Free Beacon.
News of the June 8 anti-Israel event, which was first disclosed earlier this week by the Free Beacon, sparked outrage on Capitol Hill and initiated a search to identify the anonymous member of Congress sponsoring the event.
The event, which sources confirmed to the Free Beacon is being sponsored by Pocan, is being organized by anti-Israel advocacy groups that have supported Israel boycotts and have been cited for distributing propaganda slandering the Jewish state.
Pocan, a supporter of the liberal Middle East advocacy group J Street, has come under fire in the past for meeting with convicted terrorist associated with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a terror organization.
Since the Free Beacon first reported on the event—which many have described as a propaganda effort meant to defame the Jewish state—pressure has been mounting for the anonymous congressman behind the event to step forward.
From the annals of an Israel hater: The Richard Falk files
The following is the "dialogue" that developed between Richard Falk, former UN Human Rights Council Rapporter for Palestine and recent author of a UN report accusing Israel of apartheid, and myself after he published an entry on his blogsite called “Israel’s New Cultural War of Aggression” complaining about the cancelation of his book launches in England because of "strong pushback by Zionist militants threatening disruption."
Note: Please notice the repeated response to my remarks is: "Your comment is awaiting moderation," which is his excuse for not posting them, as indeed he did not, ever.
Fred Skolnik May 5, 2017 at 9:14 am #
Israel’s efforts to undermine the anti-Israel activities of its declared enemies are no less legitimate than the effort of its enemies to undermine Israel’s economic and academic life, not to mention efforts to bring about its extinction.
Richard FalkMay 5, 2017 at 12:21 pm #
These are not equivalent activities:
–I am expressing views on the basis of academic study, which is in the mainstream of discourse in a democratic society, even if the views are controversial;–BDS activists are protesting by nonviolent [means] what they and most of the world consider to be unlawful and unjust policies and practices.
Israel, the US Government, and its militant supporters, are interfering with academic freedom and nonviolent protest activities, by engaging in smear tactics, and even by threatening violent disruption. These two sets of behaviors are in no sense equivalent, and to treat them as if they are, is to be ‘heartless’ and ‘ignorant.’
Fred Skolnik May 5, 2017 at 5:39 pm #
I beg to differ. You are not acting as an academic but as a polemicist publically active in discrediting and delegitimizing the State of Israel. Israel has every reason to regard you as a hostile individual bent on harming it and acting accordingly. As for militant supporters of Israel, they are no more militant than Israel’s detractors. When people like yourself call for boycotts of Israel, Israel’s supporters are going to call for boycotts of people like yourself. When BDS people disrupt Israeli events, Israel’s supporters are going to disrupt BDS events. What do you expect?
Prof. Efraim Karsh: THE REAL STORY: An inevitable conflict - The Six-Day War
The June 1967 war was a direct corollary of pan-Arabism's delusions of grandeur, triggered by the foremost champion of this ideology and directed against its foremost nemesis. It was the second all-out attempt in a generation to abort the Jewish national revival, and it ended in an even greater ignominy than its 1948 precursor. Then, only half of Palestine had been lost. Now the land was lost in its entirety, together with Egyptian and Syrian territories. In 1948, the dividing line between victor and vanquished was often blurred as the war dragged on intermittently for over a year. In 1967, owing to the war's swift and decisive nature, there was no doubt as to which side was the victor.
The magnitude of the defeat thus punctured the pan-Arab bubble of denial and suggested to the Arabs that military force had its limits. If the 1967 war was fought with a view to destroying Israel, the next war, in October 1973, launched by Nasser's successor Anwar Sadat, had the far narrower objective of triggering a political process that would allow Egypt to regain the territories lost in 1967. Israel's remarkable military recovery in October 1973 after having been caught off-guard further reinforced Sadat's determination to abandon pan-Arabism's most celebrated cause and culminated in the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty of March 1979.
While one can only speculate about Sadat's ultimate intentions (he was assassinated in October 1981 by an Islamist zealot), there is little doubt that his successor, Hosni Mubarak, viewed peace not as a value in and of itself but as the price Egypt had to pay for such substantial benefits as increased U.S. economic and military aid. So did the Palestine .Liberation Organization (PLO), which perceived its 1990s peace agreements with Israel as a pathway not to a two-state solution—Israel alongside a Palestinian state in the 'West Bank' and Gaza living side-by- side in peace—but to the subversion of the state of Israel.
In Arab eyes, then, with the partial exception perhaps of Jordan's King Hussein, contractual peace with Israel has represented not a recognition of legitimacy but a tacit admission that, at least for the time being, the Jewish state cannot be defeated by force of arms. And while militant pan-Arabism is unlikely to regain its pre-1967 dominance in the foreseeable future due to the ravages of the recent Arab upheavals, the advent of a new generation of Palestinians and Arabs for whom the 1967 defeat is but a dim memory, one more historical injustice that has to be redressed by any means necessary, makes the prospects of Arab-Israeli reconciliation as remote as ever.
Stop the occupation (of the mind)
The "land for peace" idea that has dominated diplomatic efforts to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for years fails to address the actual challenges posed by reality • Fifty years after the Six-Day War, here are 10 thoughts on those six days.
Fifty years after the Six-Day War, we should know by now that the local Arabs never accepted the fact that dividing the land would mean that the Jews would also have their own state on land that was sanctified by Muslims. Over the last century, starting with the Faisal-Weizmann Agreement (a short-lived agreement for cooperation on the development of a Jewish homeland in Palestine and an Arab nation in a large part of the Middle East) in 1919, they consistently rejected land division proposals, thereby indicating their viewpoint on the matter.
Did the Palestinian majority in Jordan ever rise up against the Hashemite "occupation" and seek to establish a state there? Why didn't the Arab residents of Judea and Samaria demand an independent state until 1967? The permanent rejection of partition plans, the rejection of Jewish history and the fabrication of an alternative history, the alliance with Islamist factions and the fact that the demand for an independent state was only ever made under Israeli rule, all these prove that all the region's Arabs -- from Hamas in Gaza, through Fatah in Ramallah, to Israel's Arab citizens -- have gathered around one core nucleus: Denying the Jews' national identity and their right to a state of their own. It is not just the Hamas charter that denies our right to exist as Jews on this planet -- the Palestinian National Covenant specifically states that "Judaism, in its character as a religion of revelation, is not a nationality with an independent existence" (Article 20). As such, we have no right to characterize ourselves as a people and we certainly don't deserve a state.
50th Anniversary of the 1967 Six-Day War: Why History Matters
Today, there are those who wish to rewrite history.
They want the world to believe there was once a Palestinian state. There was not.
They want the world to believe there were fixed borders between that state and Israel. There was only an armistice line between Israel and the Jordanian-controlled West Bank and eastern Jerusalem.
They want the world to believe the 1967 war was a bellicose act by Israel. It was an act of self-defense in the face of blood-curdling threats to vanquish the Jewish state, not to mention the maritime blockade of the Straits of Tiran, the abrupt withdrawal of UN peacekeeping forces, and the redeployment of Egyptian and Syrian troops. All wars have consequences. This one was no exception. But the aggressors have failed to take responsibility for the actions they instigated.
They want the world to believe post-1967 Israeli settlement-building is the key obstacle to peacemaking. The Six-Day War is proof positive that the core issue is, and always has been, whether the Palestinians and larger Arab world accept the Jewish people’s right to a state of their own. If so, all other contentious issues, however difficult, have possible solutions. But, alas, if not, all bets are off.
And they want the world to believe the Arab world had nothing against Jews per se, only Israel, yet trampled with abandon on sites of sacred meaning to the Jewish people.
In other words, when it comes to the Arab-Israeli conflict, dismissing the past as if it were a minor irritant at best, irrelevant at worst, won’t work.
Can history move forward? Absolutely. Israel’s peace treaties with Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994 powerfully prove the point. At the same time, though, the lessons of the Six-Day War illustrate just how tough and tortuous the path can be—and are sobering reminders that, yes, history does matter.
The 50-year unanswered question
Israel will soon mark the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Six-Day War, which will surely highlight the nostalgia for the time before the war, the time of the "good, small State of Israel." This nostalgia will be clearly expressed and reasoned, and some in the media will surely long for those simpler, innocent times, especially compared to the times we live in now.
The change for the worse, they will explain, stems from the "occupation" that is "ruining Israel." Few, if any, will mention the fact that back then, given Israel's narrow geographic waist, the pre-war atmosphere was somber and not everyone believed the young Jewish state could survive the brewing conflict.
Drawing from history, others in Israeli society will surely overstate the anxiety felt during those days, so as to underscore how expanding Israel's territory was and remains vital to its security. They will argue that what is mistakenly referred to as "occupation" saved Israel from annihilation.
Moreover, the Right will undoubtedly stress the importance of returning to the land of our forefathers, the "very foundation of our existence," as if pre-Six-Day War Israel had not been in a process of gradual regeneration in the areas under its control.
How Charles de Gaulle fathered Israel's tech revolution 50 years ago
France’s embargo in 1967 changed Israel. It took a country that was barely 20 years old and forced it to understand once again that it could rely only on itself. It made the country innovate, think out of the box and adapt to changing realities.
Fifty years after that war, Israel has become a global epicenter for innovation in life sciences, agriculture, weaponry, medical devices, IT and cyber security. But for some reason, creativity seems to lack when it comes to the way we perceive and present the conflict with the Palestinians.
If the two-state solution is no longer relevant, then Netanyahu should say so and present an alternative. If, however, it remains his objective then he should clarify his position and prepare the nation for the concessions and compromises that it will need to make.
So Mr. Prime Minister – after 50 years, what’s next?
The International Media and the Six-Day War
The legacy of the 1967 war for international media
Following the war many correspondents retuned home and wrote glowing articles. In America the war had special resonance because of its contrast with the Vietnam War, where the US was bogged down and had deployed 535,000 soldiers. The war also turned Israel into a centre of world news, with the number of correspondents based in the country quadrupling to 200.
One continuing public diplomacy challenge for the Israeli government was dealing with the country’s image in the eyes of global public opinion. Those responsible for public diplomacy couldn’t decide whether they wanted Israel to be perceived as a state under siege fighting for its survival, a type of ‘Samson the weakling’ as once described by Eshkol, or Israel as a strong modern state, a leader in high tech, with strong achievements in research, science, culture, music, art and literature (in 1965 we organised meetings for correspondents with Shmuel Yosef Agnon who was the first Israeli to win a Nobel Prize).
Israel has also been unable to decide on its position regarding the future of the West Bank. The multiplicity of agencies dealing with the foreign press – each one connected to a different minister with different political positions – didn’t make this challenge easier following the war. The GPO was under the Prime Minister, while the spokesperson of the Foreign Ministry was guided by Eban, who had dovish views, and the IDF spokesperson was under Dayan and thus reflected his position. Experienced foreign journalists didn’t always succeed in working out who was speaking in the name of the government and what its official policies were. Israel has a similar challenge today, exacerbated by its coalitional politics. Even as Netanyahu visits Washington senior members of his cabinet often speak a different language.
June 1941: The Farhoud massacre remembered
On the Jewish holiday of Shavuot, June 1-2, 1941 (5701 on the Hebrew calendar), the Muslim residents of Baghdad carried out a savage pogrom against their Jewish neighbors. In this pogrom, known by its Arabic name al-Farhoud, about 200 Jews were murdered and thousands wounded. Jewish property was plundered and many homes set ablaze.
Within a week, the British ousted the pro-Nazi government of General Rashid Ali, which had seized power in a coup d’état two months earlier, and restored the legal Iraqi government. That government appointed a commission of inquiry into the pogrom, which determined that the Nazi propaganda of Radio Berlin had been one of the massacre’s foremost instigators.
The commission’s report also identified the main individuals who had impelled the assault. It pointed to the extensive activity of Dr. Fritz Grobba, the German ambassador to Baghdad, and to the activity of the former mufti of Jerusalem, Hajj Amin Husseini, who had fled to Iraq from Mandatory Palestine in October 1939 (after a short spell in Beirut) and begun inciting against the Iraqi Jews. The mufti had also worked with Iraqi subversive elements, including Rashid Ali, to overthrow Iraq’s ruling Hashemite monarchy and install a pro-Nazi regime.
In an attempt to win Arab and Muslim hearts and minds, the first Arab-language Nazi radio station was launched in Berlin prior to the outbreak of the Second World War, broadcasting anti-British, anti-American, anti-Soviet, and particularly anti-Semitic propaganda. It thus helped spread radical anti-Semitism in the Middle East, where it found common ground with the anti-Jewish tendencies in Islam.
Will Britain Pass the Jeremy Corbyn Test?
After the IRA’s attempted assassination of Margaret Thatcher in 1984, Corbyn invited republican figurehead Gerry Adams and two convicted terrorists to the House of Commons. Adams was identified as a member of the IRA’s army council by the Irish government. London Labour Briefing, a far-left journal where Corbyn was general secretary of the editorial board, editorialized after the Brighton bombing: “Let our ‘Iron Lady’ know this: those who live by the sword shall die by it. If she wants violence, then violence she will certainly get.” Two years later, Corbyn was arrested at a “solidarity” protest outside the trial of Patrick Magee, the man convicted of the Brighton attack.
His solidarity extends beyond the men in balaclavas to other strains of extremism. He invited ‘friends’ from Hamas and Hezbollah to Parliament and even welcomed Raed Salah, promoter of the blood libel, to tea on the terrace of the House of Commons. As recently as 2013, Corbyn was still attending anti-Israel events organized by Paul Eisen, a self-confessed Holocaust denier. And in 2014, the Sunday Times reported that he laid a wreath in honor of one of the architects of the Munich massacre. Corbyn continues to defend the $26,000 he took from Press TV for five guest host stints on the Iranian propaganda outlet.
His leadership of Labour has witnessed an anti-Semitism crisis in the party, with a series of members under investigation and an MP temporarily suspended. Labour has refused to expel its former Mayor of London Ken Livingstone despite repeated outbursts linking Zionism and Nazism. Labour, once seen as an ally and a friend of Israel, is now polling at 13 percent amongst British Jews.
Those observing Britain’s election from afar might gaze in disbelief at a new poll predicting Labour will actually gain seats next week, and even deprive the Tories of their parliamentary majority. They should rest assured much of the UK’s political class and commentariat is equally mesmerized. YouGov’s methodology is controversial, drawing on demographic commonalities across the electorate, but it correctly predicted the outcome of the Brexit referendum. It also reflects a series of polls in the last 14 days that have seen Tory support tumble and Labour, against all expectations, pick up voters.
Whatever the merits of these projections, the fact that a man of Jeremy Corbyn’s record and character is now a serious contender for Prime Minister should deeply trouble Great Britain and her friends around the world. Not because he is a high-taxer or profligate spender; public policy objectives change with governments and moods. Rather, Corbyn confronts Britons with a test: What kind of country is the UK?
IsraellyCool: WATCH: Jeremy Corbyn To Jewish Community “Some Of My Best Friends Are Jewish”
A heartfelt teleprompter-read address by UK Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn.
My favorite part? His promise to “support initiatives to increase awareness and understanding of antisemitism.” Um, Jeremy, the constant news reports about your antisemitic affiliations and the antisemitic statements of Labor party members do not count as such initiatives.

Gina Rodriguez Says Lebanon’s Wonder Woman Ban ‘Sucks,’ Immediately Cowers to Anti-Zionist Trolls
While splashy, salty headlines try to convince you that “fragile men” across the country are “flip[ping] out” over Wonder Woman, it’s the true dregs of the internet that are coming for the first female superhero lead since 2005: anti-Semites.
It’s not just Lebanon, which has banned the film for starring Gal Gadot, an Israeli actress who served for two years in the Israel Defense Forces. Angry mobs of anti-Zionists went nearly apoplectic last night when Golden Globe winner Gina Rodriguez quoted a tweet reporting on the Lebanon ban. The decision, Rodriguez said, “sucks.” Gadot, she added, will “do amazing in the rest of the world.”
But Rodriguez’s polite, borderline milquetoast condemnation of a country whose Jewish population has plummeted from 10,000 just centuries ago to well under 100 today provoked outrage. “It’s not because she’s Israeli,” replied @rantingbisexual. “It’s because she’s a Zionist who supports ethnic cleansing and the slaughter of innocent lives.” (I guess there’s a difference between being a citizen of a country and wanting it to exist versus wanting it to be wiped off the face of the planet.) “Why dont u look up why it has been banned rather than supporting it just for the sake of feminism Gina? I used to look up to you,” wrote another user. In the SJW hierarchy of oppressors, Jews are evidently above men.
Within hours, Rodriguez had deleted the tweet and apologized, writing, “Apologies for a very inconsiderate tweet of mine. Yikes. Thanks for educating me y’all and being kind about it.”

Resisting boycott calls in order to have ‘voice heard,’ Ai Weiwei unveils Jerusalem exhibit
Ai Weiwei said Thursday he sees US President Donald Trump as the “brand” for a global trend toward hatred and division, as the Chinese artist prepared to open a politically charged exhibition in Jerusalem.
In an interview with AFP, Ai also expressed his passion for the cause of refugees and his criticism of his home country — where he currently cannot return.
At the same time, he spoke of the decision artists such as himself face when deciding to exhibit or perform in Israel due to calls for a boycott over the country’s control over the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
For Ai, who has visited the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, where he filmed a piece included in the exhibition, being absent from the argument is not an option.
“My voice should be heard,” he said at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, where his exhibition opens to the public on Friday and will run until October 28.
“I have to make the argument … (and not say) ‘OK, let’s boycott it, and it’s nothing to do with me.’ I think that’s too easy.”
IsraellyCool: Anti-Israel Rocker Bryan Adams To Play In Israel
Early this year, I posted that Hebrew news site Walla had reported rocker Bryan Adams would be playing in Israel in March. This was a surprise to me, given his anti-Israel views. Shortly after, I posted proof this was false.
Of course, March has come and gone and no Bryan Adams, so I was correct. But, lo and behold, he is actually coming after all.
Interestingly enough, this does not appear on his website, with the European “Get Up Tour” currently shown to be ending Nov 19 in the Czech Republic.
I assume Adams is aware of BDS, so I am curious why he has decided to come. He has not tweeted about Israel since the end of 2014, so perhaps he has mellowed in his old age? Alternatively, maybe it’s all about the money.
IsraellyCool: Roger Waters Goes After Bob Dylan
Rock’n’roll BDS-hole Roger Waters has again shown his nasty side – which seems to be his only side, actually – with an attack on rock legend Bob Dylan (hat tip: Steve).
In a new interview, alongside lambasting President Donald Trump, Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters has taken shots at Bob Dylan concerning the nature of his recent album releases.
Talking to Billboard about his new solo album, the first in 25 years, called ‘Is This The Life We Really Want?’ the former Pink Floyd frontman went after Bob Dylan during the long-form interview.

I am assuming Waters is no fan of Dylan at least partially because the latter has been working against Waters’ BDS targeting of artists. And because he is responsible for what I believe to be the best pro-Israel song of all time.
Moroccan man sentenced to death for killing, dismembering Jewish couple
A court in Morocco sentenced to death a gardener who was convicted of murdering a Jewish couple last year in Casablanca.
The Court of First Instance of the coastal city sentenced Mustapha Rerhay, 51, to death on Monday, the Le 360 news site reported, for the killing of Sam Toledano and Vicky Chetrit, a high-profile couple in the Jewish community for whom the killer had worked.
Rerhay dismembered the couple’s bodies and disposed of the parts in various places in Casablanca. He stole jewelry and other possessions from their home in an attack police insisted was financially motivated, not a hate crime.
But the news site Diaspora Saharaui, which is critical of the government of Morocco over its occupation of Western Sahara, suggested in its reporting that the police version does not explain the mutilation of the bodies.
Suspect in brutal murder of French-Jewish woman may not be tried
A Muslim man suspected in the violent murder of an elderly French-Jewish woman in Paris in early April may not face murder charges, as claims that he was not in his right mind when he committed the act are being considered.
The suspect has been hospitalized for psychiatric evaluation since his arrest for the murder of Sarah Halimi, 66, on April 4. His name has not been released but he is known to be a 27-year-old African Muslim and a neighbor of the victim.
Halimi was beaten severely before the suspect pushed her to her death out of the window of her apartment on Vaucouleurs Street in the heavily Muslim 11th district of Paris, considered a crime-ridden area.
His lawyer, Thomas Bidnic, told AFP on Wednesday that there was a strong chance he would not be held “criminally responsible” for the murder. The lawyer based this assessment on the medical advice of the suspect’s examiners.
Judicial experts will now need to determine whether the insanity claims are valid.
Terror Suspect Wanted to Join Islamic State, Gun Down ‘Jewish Football Fans’
A Somalia-born man has appeared in court accused of plotting to obtain automatic weapons and kill Jews in Stamford Hill, North London.
Aweys Faqey, 37 was charged under the Terrorism Act following his arrest last week. Dutch national Mr. Faqey was detained at Stansted Airport as he was readying to board a flight to Istanbul, Turkey. Mr. Faqey had four mobile phones and £841 in foreign currency in his possession.
The court was told that Mr. Faqey was interviewed for five days by counterterrorism police before his court date, but replied “No comment” to all questions.
Thomas Halpin for the prosecution told the court: “The investigation came alive during the search of a laptop in another terrorist investigation and the communication between the defendant and Abdirahman Hassan transpired.
“He is a Kenyan man who is currently in custody in Kenya awaiting trial for terrorist offences. In essence the communication between both men was that the defendant expressed a desire to go to Syria and fight jihad.”
Convicted former Auschwitz guard dies in Germany at 95
Reinhold Hanning, a former SS sergeant whose conviction last year on 170,000 counts of accessory to murder for serving as an Auschwitz guard was hailed as a long-overdue victory for Holocaust victims, has died. He was 95.
Hanning died on Tuesday, his attorney Andreas Scharmer said, without providing further details.
Hanning was convicted last June in Detmold state court in northwestern Germany and sentenced to five years in prison, though he never served time behind bars as his case was still being appealed.
Unlike most other death camp guards who have been brought to trial, Hanning apologized for his wartime service in Auschwitz from January 1942 to June 1944, telling Holocaust survivors from around the world who attended the proceedings that "it disturbs me deeply" to have been a part of the Nazis' genocidal machinery.
Porsche to invest in Israeli auto-tech
Porsche says it will invest tens of millions of euros in Israeli smart car startups through the Magma and Grove venture capital funds.
German carmaker Porsche, owned by Volkswagen, announced officially today that it would invest tens of millions of euros in smart car technologies startups in Israel. The investments will be made through the Magma and Grove venture capital funds, and are likely to be expanded later. The company did not say in which startups it planned to invest.
In its announcement, Porsche said, "Israel is a key main market for IT engineers and specialists. It has more startups than any other country in the world. This talent and know-how, together with the expertise of Porsche workers, constitute an excellent base for the growth of future business models."
Porsche has increased its investments in smart car technologies substantially in the past two years, and has founded a separate subsidiary, Porsche Digital, for the purpose.
The company plans to open a permanent representative office in Israel that will locate advanced technologies and integrate them with Porsche's projects, similar to the activity of Daimler's office in Israel.
Google uses Israeli app to expand carpooling across California
Unlike other ride-sharing services, Google's Waze unit pairs up drivers and passengers for work commutes only, using home and work addresses • With tens of thousands of commuters in northern California signed up, service expands to southern California.
Associated Press and Israel Hayom Staff
Google is expanding its paid carpooling service throughout California, building on an effort to get more traffic-weary drivers to share their rides to work, and collect data that could be useful for future transportation services.
The move Wednesday by Google's Waze unit, best known for its navigation and traffic monitoring app, extends the year-old carpooling service outside its initial markets of northern California and Israel. Waze will now be pairing up drivers and passengers across a wider expanse that includes heavily congested highways in Los Angeles and other parts of southern California.
Waze connects drivers and passengers with similar commutes based on their home and work addresses. Passengers request carpool rides in advance, but are not guaranteed matches. Drivers can pick up only one passenger; they also get to review the profiles of potential riders in advance and to select the ones they prefer. Riders can only request two rides a day.
Treating wounded Syrians who arrive in Israel is ‘holiest of holy’
As the brutal war across Israel’s northern border rages on, Syrians desperate for medical care continue to make the treacherous journey to the border of a country they were raised to see as their enemy.
While Israel has largely stayed out of the fighting on it’s northern border, more than 3,000 Syrians have been treated here in the four years since the IDF began allowing in the wounded who make their way to the border.
Those who arrive at the Syria-Israel border, both combatants and civilians, are given emergency field treatment to stabilize them before the IDF transfers them to medical centers, where medical care is provided free of charge and patients are treated under strict anonymity out of fear that they and their families could be targeted in Syria if their time in Israel becomes known.
While most are transported by ambulance to Nahariya’s Western Galilee Hospital or Ziv Medical Center in Safed, there have been several times that medical officers have called in helicopters to transfer patients with extreme injuries who could only be treated in hospitals in the center of the country.
Au revoir les enfants
Eden Madar was outside the Hyper Cacher supermarket when a terrorist murdered Jewish customers • Toulouse natives Liora Zano and her brother Eitan realized that Israel is their true home • All three made aliyah because "here, we feel like we're together."
Jan. 9, 2015 was when Eden Madar's life turned upside down. Eden, now 17 and a student at the Yemin Orde boarding school, was 15 years old and on her way from school to her home in the quiet 12th arrondissement of Paris. She was just about there when Islamic State sympathizer Amedy Coulibaly entered the Hyper Cacher kosher market and started shooting and taking hostages.
"Near the market, cops appeared out of nowhere and jumped on me. They wouldn't let me by, but didn't explain what was happening," Eden says.
"Later, I realized there were hostages inside. Fearing [there was] another terrorist, they took me and two older people and told us to lie down on the street, underneath the police patrol car, and be quiet," she says.
Eden spent two hours lying on the asphalt, surrounded by the noise of explosions and people losing their minds from fear.

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