Saturday, June 03, 2017

From Ian:

Charles Krauthammer: Israel and Palestine are a sideshow to the real Middle East peace process
That would suggest an outside-in approach to Arab-Israeli peace: a rapprochement between the Sunni state and Israel (the outside) would put pressure on the Palestinians to come to terms (the inside). It's a long-shot strategy but it's better than all the others. Unfortunately, Trump muddied the waters a bit in Israel by at times reverting to the opposite strategy – the inside-out – by saying that an Israeli-Palestinian deal would "begin a process of peace all throughout the Middle East."
That is well-worn nonsense. Imagine if Israel disappeared tomorrow in an earthquake. Does that end the civil war in Syria? The instability in Iraq? The fighting in Yemen? Does it change anything of consequence amid the intra-Arab chaos? Of course not.
And apart from being delusional, the inside-out strategy is at present impossible. Palestinian leadership is both hopelessly weak and irredeemably rejectionist. Until it is prepared to accept the legitimacy of the Jewish state – which it has never done in the 100 years since the Balfour Declaration committed Britain to a Jewish homeland in Palestine – there will be no peace.
It may come one day. But not now. Which is why making the Israel-Palestinian issue central, rather than peripheral, to the epic Sunni-Shiite war shaking the Middle East today is a serious tactical mistake. It subjects any now-possible reconciliation between Israel and the Arab states to a Palestinian veto.
Ironically, the Iranian threat that grew under Obama offers a unique opportunity for U.S.-Arab and even Israeli-Arab cooperation. Over time, such cooperation could gradually acclimate Arab peoples to a nonbelligerent stance toward Israel. Which might in turn help persuade the Palestinians to make some concessions before their fellow Arabs finally tire of the Palestinians' century of rejectionism.
Perhaps that will require a peace process of sorts. No great harm, as long as we remember that any such Israeli-Palestinian talks are for show -- until conditions are one day ripe for peace.
In the meantime, the real action is on the anti-Iranian and anti-terror fronts. Don't let Oslo-like mirages get in the way.
Ben-Dror Yemini: The truth about the occupation
Op-ed: It’s been 50 years since Israel gained control of the territories, and figures show that the Palestinians have actually experienced a major improvement over that period. In most areas, their situation is much better than that of Arabs in neighboring countries. The lies about a genocide and destruction must therefore be shattered.
The lies must be refuted
It’s been 50 years since Israel gained control of the territories, and figures show that the Palestinians have actually experienced a major improvement. In most areas, their situation is much better than the situation of Arabs in neighboring countries. So the lies about Auschwitz and the destruction and the mass killing must be shattered.
That doesn’t mean there is no injustice. That doesn’t mean there is no room for criticism, even profound criticism, against certain actions committed by Israel. That doesn’t mean that there are no hooligans in the territories, even if they are a small minority. That doesn’t mean that the settlement enterprise should be justified. And that definitely doesn’t mean that the occupation should be perpetuated or that we should march with our heads held high towards the disaster called one big state or a binational state.
All it means is that we must refute the lies about what the Palestinians have experienced in the past 50 years under Israeli rule. That will only work to advance the discussion on the proper agreement, both for the Palestinians' sake and for Israel’s sake.
UN Watch: UNRWA fakes Gaza girl campaign with image of bombed-out Damascus
UN Watch today demanded that UNRWA chief Pierre Krahenbuhl apologize for using images of a girl in a bombed-out Syria building in a major global campaign to raise money for the organization by pretending the girl is a Gaza victim of Israeli actions.
UNRWA is now running the above photo on Facebook and Twitter ads. It is also now UNRWA’s cover image.
Imagine being cut off from the world – for your whole life. That’s reality for children like Aya. The blockade of Gaza began when she was a baby, the occupation in the West Bank before her parents were born. Now she is eleven, and the blockade goes on.
Aya’s childhood memories are of conflict and hardship, walls she cannot escape, and the fear that the only home she knows, however tiny, could be gone when she returns from school.
This Ramadan, please help support children like Aya who have known nothing but conflict and hardship.

Yet neither the girl nor the bombed-out building are in Gaza; it’s an old photo from Syria, dating apparently to 2014.
Here is UNRWA tweeting the original image in a January 2015 story on Syria:

Top PA official: Of course Jews must be sovereign at Western Wall
A top Palestinian official said Saturday that the Palestinians recognize the Western Wall as a Jewish holy site that must remain under Jewish sovereignty.
The comments from Fatah Central Committee member Jibril Rajoub constitute a departure from the formal Palestinian position that brands all of Jerusalem’s Old City as occupied territory which must become part of a Palestinian state, and run counter to the Palestinians’ long-running campaign to deny a Jewish historical connection to Jerusalem.
Speaking to Israel’s Channel 2 TV, Rajoub, who is also head of the Palestinian Football Association, was praising US President Donald Trump’s efforts to reach a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians and commenting on his visit last month to Israel and the West Bank.
“He went to the Western Wall, which we understand is a holy place to the Jews. In the end, it must remain under Jewish sovereignty. We have no argument about that. This is a Jewish holy place,” said Rajoub, who is sometimes touted as a successor to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
Sanders 'occupation must end' days before 50 year anniversary of 1967 war
US Senator Bernie Sanders delivered a video message Saturday to the left wing Knesset party Meretz, who plan to hold a conference on Sunday to mark "50 years of occupation."
Sanders, who has historically run as an Independent in his home state before challenging former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination last year, addressed members of the Mertez party in a recorded speech in light of their similar progressive stances namely on economic policies and the peace process.
June 5 marks the start of the historic Six-Day War Israel fought in 1967 against the neighboring states of Egypt, Jordan and Syria. Following the end of the conflict, Israel captured the entirety of Jerusalem, the West Bank, Gaza and the parts of the Golan Heights.
Sanders began his comments by describing Meretz as "Israel's most prominent political organization," adding that the party stands "for many of the same values that progressives are fighting for here in the United States and throughout the world."
Elie Wiesel and two others on Israel after the Six Day War
When Israel won the Six Day War, many people considered it a miracle. Not only did the small country beat the armies of three Arab countries — Egypt, Jordan and Syria — it also succeeded in returning Jewish control to Jerusalem after nearly 2,000 years.
While histories of the war are more likely to credit superior military planning over divine intervention, that sense of awe is evident in the accounts of those who were in the country during (and immediately following) the war.
The excerpts of the stories below, which were published in Hadassah Magazine’s July 1967 issue, describe Elie Wiesel’s visit to the Western Wall after the war, how the Hadassah hospital managed to treat the war’s wounded despite severe staff shortages and the reopening of its Mt. Scopus campus, which had been under Jordanian control since 1948.
Elie Wiesel on visiting the Western Wall after Jerusalem’s reunification
The piece by Elie Wiesel (Hadassah Magazine)
New Book by Late Israeli President Shimon Peres Examines the ‘Why’ Behind Jewish State’s History
A new book by the late Israeli statesman Shimon Peres, which delves into pivotal moments in the Jewish state’s history from his perspective, is due out this fall.
Peres, Israel’s ninth president, penned his final work just weeks before he died at age 93 on Sept. 28, 2016.
The book, No Room for Small Dreams: Courage, Imagination, and the Making of Modern Israel, looks at the “crucial turning points in Israeli history through the prism of having been a decision maker and eyewitness,” according to Amazon. The book “explores what makes for a great leader, how to make hard choices in a climate of uncertainty and distress, the challenges of balancing principles with policies, and the liberating nature of imagination and unpredicted innovation.”
His publisher, HarperCollins, released a statement on Tuesday, saying the book will be on sale Sept. 12.
The Whitewashing of Linda Sarsour
The world must be upside down when liberal media outlets celebrate Linda Sarsour as a courageous Muslim feminist fighting against the evil forces of the far-right. “Feminist activist Linda Sarsour has become one of the far right’s favorite targets,” Newsweek tweeted on Saturday. The same week, The New York Times ran a piece headlined, “A Muslim-American activist’s speech raises ire even before it’s delivered,” depicting Sarsour as a victim of the anti-free speech crowd.
The whitewashing of Sarsour by liberal media outlets is quite extraordinary given her controversial record as an activist. Although she has over the years deleted many of her most notorious comments, the picture that emerges is that of anything but a feminist and defender of free speech.
“Sharia law is reasonable and once u read into the details it makes a lot of sense. People just know the basics,” Sarsour wrote on social media in 2011. That would be the same fundamentalist Islamic code that is enslaving, mutilating, and killing hundreds of millions of Muslims and non-Muslims across the Islamic world. Let’s go, as Linda demands, into details for a moment.
Brunei, a small oil-rich sultanate bordering Malaysia and the South China Sea, known as a popular tourist’s destination, is currently in the process of implementing full Sharia law for all citizens regardless of religious denomination. Draconian punishments such as amputation of hands for theft and floggings for indecent behavior have already been initiated. Phase three is expected to come into effect in 2018 and includes the most severe punishments. Adultery, abortion, homosexuality, apostasy and blasphemy will all be punishable by death, including stoning.
Now that we have more gory details than most of us wanted to digest, perhaps Linda can explain what exactly is “reasonable” about chopping off limbs and stoning women to death.
Leftist Professor: Arianda Grande Knows Counterterrorism Better Than James Mattis
On Wednesday, a leftist professor at the University of Michigan argued that pop star Ariande Grande, whose concert was the scene of the horrific massacre in Manchester, England in which a terrorist loyal to ISIS (ISIL) murdered 22 people and injured scores of others, understands combating terrorism better than Secretary of Defense James Mattis.
Professor Juan Cole of the University of Michigan, who hates Israel so much that he even wrote an article titled “5 Surprising Ways Iran Is Better Than Israel,” writes in The Nation that Mattis said in an interview that U.S. strategy toward ISIL was based on annihilating members of ISIS. Cole added, “He also urged a battle of humiliation against them in cyberspace, depriving them of any mantle of legitimacy.”
Cole posits that ISIL “want to engineer such a clash, by hitting soft targets like pop music concerts and getting angry Westerners to mistreat Muslims and drive them into the arms of ISIL. They did the same thing in Iraq, hitting Shiite weddings and then coming back and blowing up the funerals, in hopes of provoking Shiite attacks on Sunni Arabs. They succeeded. Talk, and strategy, like Mattis’s plays into this ploy … The strategy of annihilation is sort of like fighting forest fires with gasoline hoses.”
Get ready for this load of garbage: Cole writes, “The fighters could not have amounted to anything if the citizens of cities such as Falluja and Mosul had felt well-treated by their government and well-represented in the Baghdad parliament. As for eastern Syria, its hardscrabble Sunni Arab farmers have lived under a totalitarian, one-party state for decades, a state oriented to the country’s west and controlled by a Shiite minority. The drought of the last decade killed 70 percent of their livestock and drove tens or hundreds of thousands off their farms.”
Yup, the classic leftist “It’s poverty that creates terrorism” argument. You just know Cole is going to lay the blame for ISIS on America eventually.
Douglas Murray: Blind, bovine hope will get us nowhere – it’s time to change our response to Islamic extremism
In any case, what I really wanted to open up in that short segment was an oddity of our now 16-year old response to Islamic terror. For over that time we have essentially adopted the argument of the Muslim Brotherhood and similar groups for whom the answer to absolutely everything is ‘Islam’. You have a problem? The answer is Islam. Something good has happened to you? The answer is Islam. You have a problem with Islam? The answer is Islam.
For a decade and a half the West has adopted this reasoning. If a group of men fly planes into the Twin Towers all the leaders of the free world rush to the local Islamic centre to extol the wonders of Islam. When a group of British Muslims blow up the London transport system the city’s police chiefs wave away the smoke and immediately extol the peacefulness of Islam. And when a suicide bomber in Manchester blows up 22 young people as they leave a concert, the one thing nobody must say is that there is any connection whatsoever with Islam. The problem cannot be Islam. Yet the answer apparently always is.
Personally I dislike this indecent over-compensation and would like rather less of it. I dislike the fact that before the victims’ bodies have been identified in the morgue the local police are at the local mosque for a group hug and photo. I dislike the politicians who, only hours after another Islamist atrocity, talk about how great it is that the violence has ‘brought us together’, so distracting attention from the bodies that have been blown apart. Of course it is a sickness of a sort – one which I have recently written about at some length. And all the symptoms are ongoing.
Consider the reaction last week on Question Time when an audience member, who happened to have the triple disadvantages of being white, male and not being young, waved an anti-Western leaflet he said had been handed out at an open day at the Didsbury mosque where Salman Abedi worshipped. This significant revelation mainly attracted awkward shuffling. By contrast, a young woman in a headscarf in the audience immediately dismissed the man’s leaflet as probably not from the mosque and in any case ‘taken out of context’. Along with the programme’s chair, David Dimbleby, she implied it was possible the man had made the leaflet up himself, leaving the poor man spluttering, waving his leaflet and clearly wondering why he wouldn’t be believed. Well he can join the rest of the non-Muslim nation (and the few actual reformers) in that club.
Fleeing Tyranny or Bringing it with Them?
Many newcomers to Canada and Europe are demanding laws similar to those from which they claim to be seeking refuge.
Newcomers soon start demanding privileges. They ask for gender segregation at work and in educational institutions; they ask for faith schools (madrasas), and demand an end to any criticism of their extremist practices such as female genital mutilation (FGM), forced marriages, child marriages and inciting hatred for other religions. They call any criticism "Islamophobia". They seek to establish a parallel justice system such as sharia courts. They are also unlikely, on different pretexts, to support any anti-terror or anti-extremism programs. They seem to focus only on criticizing the policies of West.
It is now the responsibility of Western governments to curb this growing turbulence of religious fundamentalism. Western governments need to require "hardline" Muslims to follow the laws of the land. Extremists need to be stopped from driving civilization to a collision course before the freedoms, for which so many have worked so hard and sacrificed so much are -- through indifference or political opportunism -- completely abolished.
Labour Party Suspend Blog Writer Over Emma Barnett Anti-Semitism Allegations
The Labour Party has suspended one of its members over allegations of anti-Semitism, following the slew of abuse thrown at a BBC presenter after a car-crash interview with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
BBC Radio 4 Women’s Hour Presenter Emma Barnett was inundated with abuse on Twitter by Corbyn supporters on Tuesday, following an interview in which the Labour leader had to look up details of his party’s manifesto on his iPad.
Barnett was accused of being a “zionist shill” who “hates Corbyn” and therefore biased against the leader.
Among those joining in the attack was the Twitter account for the Labour Insider blog. Phillip Jones, who runs the blog, has now been suspended pending investigation, although he insists that he didn’t post the tweet. At the time of publishing it is still on the blog’s Twitter account.

The account followed up the original tweet by claiming they had merely been “asking a question”. But a senior party member has told Politics Home that the party did not see it the same way.
“It was judged to be conduct prejudicial or grossly detrimental to the party,” the source said, adding: “Phillip Jones has been suspended from the Labour party, pending an investigation.”
US senators push bill to mark 50 years since Jerusalem reunification
A bipartisan group of US senators are pushing for a resolution to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem.
Co-sponsored by 17 senators, including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D), the text calls on the legislative body to recognize the half a century landmark since Israel captured the eastern part of the city during the 1967 Six Day War.
“Jerusalem should remain the undivided capital of Israel in which the rights of every ethnic and religious group are protected,” it states, adding that “there has been a continuous Jewish presence in Jerusalem for 3 millennia.”
It also says that “Jerusalem is a holy city and the home for people of the Jewish, Muslim and Christian faiths.”
Advanced through the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last week, the resolution now goes the Senate floor, where the entire chamber will vote on it.
Senators are pushing this measure just as US President Donald Trump formally deferred — at least for now — his campaign pledge to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and recognize the city as Israel’s capital.
Nikki Haley UN must stop wrongly singling out Israel for criticism
US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley spoke out in defense of Israel just a week prior to her visit to the country in an opinion article she penned for the Washington Post, bashing the UN's Human Rights Council for what she deemed as its biased approach and harsh and unfair judgement of the Jewish state.
"The council must end its practice of wrongly singling out Israel for criticism," the US envoy wrote in the article, which appeared Friday night. "When the council passes more than 70 resolutions against Israel, a country with a strong human rights record, and just seven resolutions against Iran, a country with an abysmal human rights record, you know something is seriously wrong," she continued.
Haley made the aforementioned statement as part of a description of the grievances she said she would like to air with the Human Rights Council, which she is expected to address in Geneva, Switzerland on June 6 before paying an official visit to Israel.
"Next week, I will travel to Geneva to address the Human Rights Council about the United States' concerns. I will outline changes that must be made," Haley announced, before going on to describe several issues she believes the council overlooks or does not tackle properly.
Israel Observes Massive Maritime Exercise in Cyprus
Israeli representatives observed a four-day international maritime drill known as the “Exercise Argonaut” in Cyprus this week.
Naval forces from Cyprus, Greece, France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Hungary, and the U.S. took part in this year’s exercises in the Larnaca district of Cyrpus.
Rescue drill scenarios simulated terrorist hijackings, mass evacuations of civilians from a disaster scenario in the Middle East and other events.
One such real-life emergency evacuation scenario occurred during the 2006 Lebanon War between Israel and terror group Hezbollah, and involved more than 25,000 foreign nationals — many of whom were Westerners — who were evacuated to Cyprus.
Last year, the Israeli Air Force participated in several joint military exercises with Cyprus.
In the backdrop of burgeoning military cooperation between the three Mediterranean allies, lawmakers from Greece, Israel and Cyprus signed a memorandum of understanding to boost cooperation and enhance ties in January of this year.
Morocco king boycotts Africa summit to avoid Netanyahu
Morocco’s king has cancelled plans to attend a West Africa summit this weekend in Liberia due to the presence of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the foreign ministry has said.
The North African country is hoping to join the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) after the African Union readmitted Morocco after a 33-year absence in January.
Mohamed VI had been due to attend the ECOWAS summit in Monrovia on Saturday and Sunday, where members are expected to discuss Morocco’s petition to join the bloc as a “full member,” the foreign ministry said late Thursday.
But key members of ECOWAS “have decided to reduce to the minimum their level of representation at the summit because they disagree with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu being invited,” the ministry said in a statement.
Defending new curriculum against incitement claims, PA education chief says it ‘safeguards Palestinian narrative’
On June 3, Palestinian Authority Education Minister Sabri Saidam will unveil a new school curriculum for Palestinian students that he hopes will better prepare them for the job market.
Saidam, who is overseeing an overhaul of the PA education system, said the focus will be on skills training and entrepreneurship and not traditional rote learning, which has been the method for the past half century.
But while the new system looks to prepare the next generation of Palestinians for the jobs of tomorrow, what will it teach students about the conflict with Israel?
In a recent interview with The Times of Israel on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Jordan, the minister defended the PA curriculum against the longstanding Israeli accusation that it incites against the Jewish state and perpetuates the conflict. He argued that contentious parts of the PA curriculum, including maps that don’t recognize Israel, and praise of so-called “martyrs” — many of whom are considered terrorists by Israel — derive from “the ripple effects” of the conflict.
Israel defends its maps and heroes, he argued, so the Palestinians do likewise. “End the conflict and you will end this whole saga,” he said.
Addressing criticism over the absence of Holocaust studies, Saidam said incorporating the subject into the curriculum “is being considered.” He demanded, however, that Israel take reciprocal action and teach about the Nakba (“catastrophe”), a term used to refer to the dispossession of land and the consequent Palestinian refugee crisis that accompanied the creation of the State of Israel in 1948.
Qatar said to order several Hamas terror chiefs to get out
Qatar is expelling several senior Hamas members from the Gulf kingdom, in response to outside pressure, a report said Saturday, in a major blow to the Gaza-based terror group.
Qatar has been a major backer of Hamas, pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into the Gaza Strip and sheltering the group’s top leadership in recent years.
Hamas was recently informed of the decision by a representative of the Gulf kingdom, who gave Hamas a list of members who must leave Qatar’s capital of Doha, Hebrew media quoted a report from the Hezbollah affiliated al-Mayadeen television station as saying.
According to the report, those singled out are Hamas members tasked with coordinating with the terror group’s operatives in the West Bank, and the list of names reportedly came from interrogations of Palestinian security prisoners by Israel.
The Qatari’s reportedly apologized for the move, but said it came as a result of “external pressures” on Doha.
Nevada governor signs anti-BDS law
Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval signed legislation on Friday making Nevada the 20th US state to have passed a law against the anti-Israel boycott movement.
Christians United for Israel, which has more than 3 million members, wrote: “CUFI leaders were on hand today as the Nevada anti-BDS bill was signed into law. After a year of grassroots efforts, we are very pleased Nevada has taken a bold stand in defense of Israel.”
The measure outlaws government bodies from conducting business with companies that boycott the Jewish state.
“The BDS movement focuses on discriminating against businesses, organizations and institutions simply for exercising their right to freely associate with Israel, or for being of Jewish or Israeli heritage,” said Dillon Hosier, national director of state government affairs at the Israeli-American Coalition for Action.
He added, “Nevada has strong economic ties with companies targeted by BDS in sectors like water sustainability, alternative energy and cybersecurity. Allowing BDS to infiltrate this state would greatly disenfranchise Nevadans and harm our long-term economic interests.”
SPME BDS Monitor: School Year Ends With Defeats for Boycott Movement, but There Are Challenges Ahead
The spring semester ended with several BDS resolutions being defeated in student governments, usually after many hours of debate. The ability of defeat BDS resolutions in open debates contrasts with resolutions passed using underhanded tactics. But as BDS has moved beyond campuses and aligned with, and then dominated, other causes, overall ability to hold open debates is being limited. BDS and antisemitism are being defined as signs of correct politics and thus acceptable speech in an environment where violence is increasingly used against unpopular causes.
The academic year ended with a flurry of BDS votes and events on campuses. Student governments at Montclair State University, the University of California at Santa Barbara, and George Washington University defeated BDS resolutions, the latter two after epic debates lasting over eight hours. After the defeat at George Washington a proposal was made for a campus-wide BDS referendum in the fall.
The Teaching Support Staff Union at Simon Fraser University voted down a BDS resolution. But in Britain, the University and College Union has rejected government antisemitism guidelines that include demonization of Israel. A BDS resolution was also approved at Cal State – Long Beach despite a statement from the university president the school had no intention of divesting from companies doing business in Israel.
Abusive behavior by Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) chapters and other pro-BDS groups continued. At Cornell University SJP members disrupted a pro-Israel event after lying to university police regarding their intentions and being admitted to the venue. The SJP chapter at Santa Barbara was also accused of using fake quotes in flyers, while unknown persons at that campus vandalized a pro-Israel mural.
Government launches campaign to fight BDS online
Ethiopian-born model and former Miss Israel Yityish "Titi" Aynaw and actress Ariel Mortman, star of the popular youth TV series "The Greenhouse," have been selected to lead a government campaign aimed at fighting the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.
The two recently shot a video encouraging people to visit the now under-construction 4IL website to learn how they can act against the demonization of Israel online. Alongside the video shoot and the new website, the campaign will also include a smartphone application that will suggest daily two-minute Israel advocacy tasks.
Inspired by the anti-apartheid movement, BDS organizers say they are using nonviolent means to promote Palestinian independence. Israel says the campaign goes beyond that and often masks a more far-reaching aim to "delegitimize" or destroy the Jewish state. But the BDS movement's decentralized organization and language calling for universal human rights have proved difficult to counter.
Ryerson officials can run, but they can't hide
Since Monday’s exclusive Toronto Sun story on the complaint by Rebecca Katzman that the treatment she said she received at the hands of the faculty of social work was anti-Semitic, the university has run for cover — refusing to admit it did not handle the situation properly and instead chose to try discredit both Katzman and me.
The story, which details how the 22-year-old Katzman was refused a third-year placement at the Prosserman Jewish Community Centre (JCC) and/or the United Jewish Appeal (UJA), has gone viral on social media and on blogs throughout Canada and the United States since being published in the Sun.
According to a series of e-mails from August and September of 2015 — obtained by the Sun — Katzman’s field placement coordinator, Heather Bain, advised her that the two well-respected Jewish agencies were not only “in opposition” to the values of the School of Social Work but that both agencies would not be pursued because they have a “strong anti-Palestinian lean.”
When Katzman — with the assistance of the campus advocacy group StandWithUs — indicated in an e-mail one week later she’d booked a meeting with then-president Sheldon Levy (who ended up not showing), Bain backtracked in a Sept. 9, 2015 e-mail, insisting that the school of social work does not require their partner agencies to “align with Palestinian solidarity movements” and apologizing for providing “misinformed information.”
Katzman confirmed that at no time did anyone in the faculty offer to place her at either agency — not in her third year or fourth year.
This is where it gets interesting.
EU parliament adopts definition of anti-Semitism
The European Parliament Thursday adopted a resolution calling on its member states and their institutions to apply the working definition of anti-Semitism of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.
Most of the 28 European Union states are IHRA members, but so far, only Austria, Romania and the United Kingdom have formally adopted its definition.
The IHRA's definition anti-Semitism, adopted in May 2016, states: "Anti-Semitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of anti-Semitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities."
In its resolution Thursday, the European Parliament called "on the Member States and European Union Institutions and Agencies to adopt and apply the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance's working definition of anti-Semitism in order to strengthen judicial and law enforcement authorities in their efforts to identify and prosecute anti-Semitic attacks more efficiently and effectively and encourages the Member States to follow the example of U.K. and Austria in that regard."
Sweden launches program to fight Holocaust denial and antisemitism
With surveys showing “lots of Swedish Jews are afraid of showing their Jewishness,” Stockholm has stepped up efforts to teach about the Holocaust as a means of fighting against antisemitism, the director of a government-run program targeting the issue said.
“The Swedish government is investing a lot of money to combat the phenomenon of antisemitism and Islamophobia,” Ingrid Lomfors, director of the Living History Forum in Sweden added, in an interview with The Jerusalem Post this past week.
The Forum is a public authority established by Sweden some 15 years ago with the aim of “promoting democracy, tolerance and human rights using the Holocaust as a starting point.”
In November the government announced an additional 156 million Krona (NIS 65 million) stipend to develop a new national program for Holocaust remembrance, with the aim of combating antisemitism and racism.
Estonian politician vows to legalize Holocaust denial
An Estonian nationalist politician vowed in his election campaign to decriminalize Holocaust denial and instead penalize those who would downplay the Soviet domination of the country.
Georg Kirsberg, who is running for a lawmaker’s seat for the Conservative People’s Party in Estonia’s elections in October, was quoted Wednesday by the Estonian National Broadcasting Company.
“We will decriminalize Holocaust denial and enter a correct teaching of the history of the Third Reich,” Kirsberg said.
His far-right party supports revoking the citizenship and deporting what it defines as “Russians hostile to Estonia” – a reference to ethnic Russians or speakers of that language living in Estonia, including most of the country’s Jews. Last month, the party, which was founded in 2012 and currently has seven out of 101 seats in the Estonian parliament, submitted a bill proposing such deportations. It is likely to be defeated.
The party also supports a ban on the construction of new mosques and Eastern Orthodox churches.
Israeli scientist helps discover ‘a whole new Jupiter’
Less than a year into its planned three-year study of the planet Jupiter, NASA’s Juno research spacecraft already has revealed or confirmed facts that the Juno Science Team – including Yohai Kaspi of Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science – could only guess at previously.
“We knew, going in, that Jupiter would throw us some curves,” said Scott Bolton, Juno principal investigator. “But now that we are here we are finding that Jupiter can throw the heat, as well as knuckleballs and sliders. There is so much going on here that we didn’t expect that we have had to take a step back and begin to rethink of this as a whole new Jupiter.”
Talking with ISRAEL21c from the NASA Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas, where the team meets after each 53-day orbit to analyze data transmitted from the Juno Mission, Kaspi shared highlights of the research published Friday in Science and accompanied by 44 detailed papers in Geophysical Research Letters.
Fact #1: Jupiter’s core is more packed with heavy elements and bigger than scientists thought, measuring between 7 and 25 Earth masses as opposed to the previously assumed 0 to 14, though the new understanding is that it is more diluted.
Israeli device simplifies hernia surgery and recovery
Some five million Americans have a hernia, a protrusion of an organ or tissue through a weak spot in the abdomen or groin, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.
Traditionally, open hernia-repair surgery involved stitching a mesh patch, or surrounding tissue, in place over the weak tissue. Today, many hernias are repaired laparoscopically, which is less invasive. Because suturing through tiny laparoscopic incisions is difficult, most surgeons use a less ideal solution — screw-like tacks to secure the mesh to the abdominal wall or bone.
“So we invented a way to deliver suturing in a minimally invasive way. It potentially reduces scar tissue and enables a strong connection of mesh to tissue,” says Lena Levin, cofounder and CFO of Via Surgical in Amirim, Israel.
Via Surgical’s unique FasTouch cartridge system affixes prosthetic material to soft tissue. It is designed like sutures and delivered like tacks, with the goal of providing the best of both worlds for laparoscopic hernia repair.
Gal Gadot’s ‘Wonder Woman’ headed for over $90m at weekend box office
‘Wonder Woman,” starring Israeli actress Gal Gadot, is off to a flying start at the box office. Warner Bros. on Friday said the superheroine pic drew in an estimated $11 million from Thursday night pre-shows.
Analysts expect the film to bring in more than $90 million over the weekend.
“Wonder Woman’s” Thursday night haul is comparable to “Guardians of the Galaxy,” which brought in $11.2 million from pre-shows on its way to $94.3 million. “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” meanwhile, tallied a $27.7 million Thursday night.
The film’s earnings from early international release grossed in some $18 million.
“Wonder Woman,” directed by Patty Jenkins, could land the biggest three-day domestic debut for a female director, overcoming Sam Taylor-Johnson’s “Fifty Shades of Grey” in 2015.
Reviews have been overwhelmingly positive for “Wonder Woman. It’s currently clocking in with a 93 percent fresh ratting from Rotten Tomatoes based on 190 reviews — a much-needed critical win for Warner Bros. and DC.
The film has banned in Lebanon, because of its Israeli star.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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The Jerusalem Report:"A seemingly indefatigable one-man operation, armed only with a computer, chutzpa and stamina."

Algemeiner: "Fiercely intelligent and erudite"

Omri: "Elder is one of the best established and most respected members of the jblogosphere..."
Atheist Jew:"Elder of Ziyon probably had the greatest impression on me..."
Soccer Dad: "He undertakes the important task of making sure that his readers learn from history."
AbbaGav: "A truly exceptional blog..."
Judeopundit: "[A] venerable blog-pioneer and beloved patriarchal figure...his blog is indispensable."
Oleh Musings: "The most comprehensive Zionist blog I have seen."
Carl in Jerusalem: "...probably the most under-recognized blog in the JBlogsphere as far as I am concerned."
Aussie Dave: "King of the auto-translation."
The Israel Situation:The Elder manages to write so many great, investigative posts that I am often looking to him for important news on the PalArab (his term for Palestinian Arab) side of things."
Tikun Olam: "Either you are carelessly ignorant or a willful liar and distorter of the truth. Either way, it makes you one mean SOB."
Mondoweiss commenter: "For virulent pro-Zionism (and plain straightforward lies of course) there is nothing much to beat it."
Didi Remez: "Leading wingnut"

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