Wednesday, July 05, 2017

From Ian:

Indian PM affirms ‘kinship’ with Israel, where he feels ‘at home’
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke on Wednesday morning of the “kinship” he feels with Israel, hailing the rapidly improving relations between the two countries, and especially the burgeoning trade ties.
Modi arrived Tuesday, making him the first-ever head of India’s government to visit the Jewish state.
“Israel is a real friend and I have really felt that feeling of kinship. I feel absolutely at home here,” Modi said during a meeting with President Reuven Rivlin in Jerusalem. “Your Excellency, you yourself broke protocol and stepped onto the road [at the President’s Residence] to receive me, and this is a mark of respect to the entire Indian nation comprising 1.25 billion people,” he added.
“You have expressed your love and your sentiments for our country. For that, I would especially like to thank you and express my gratitude.”
Rivlin heartily welcomed the prime minister to his residence.
“We have a lot in common, we are doing a lot in common,” he said, praising Modi for understanding the need of fostering both government-to-government and business-to-government relations. “It’s really a pleasure to have as a guest one of the greatest leaders in the world today. Prime Minister, welcome,” Rivlin concluded.

Rivlin hails Modi as one of world's 'greatest leaders of democracy'
President Reuven Rivlin welcomed Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to his official residence in Jerusalem on Wednesday, calling him “one of the greatest leaders of world democracies.”
Modi, in turn, noted Israel’s friendship. “Israel is a real friend,” he said. “I have really felt that feeling of kinship. I feel absolutely at home here.”
Commenting on “the warmth that has emanated from everyone that I have met here,” Modi included in his remarks Rivlin’s break from protocol when he came outside to welcome the prime minister.
According to protocol, a president ranks higher than a prime minister, but because Modi is considered to be such a special guest in Israel, Rivlin circumvented protocol and went outside to greet his Indian visitor, as the car carrying the prime minister drove into the presidential compound.
The two briskly traversed the red carpet and mounted a stage at the end of the main reception hall, where Modi signed the guest book. They then went into the president’s office for a 10-minute tête-à-tête before joining Modi’s waiting delegation and representatives of the media in a small reception hall.
Taking up their conversation from where they left off last November during Rivlin’s visit to India, Rivlin, in welcoming Modi, discussed commonalities between their two countries despite the differences in size and demography.
Rivlin told Modi that he could not forget his visit to India, where he had found a really strong nation with strong ideas and strong wishes.
Netanyahu accepts Modi invite to India as leaders ink cooperation deals
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday accepted an invitation from his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi to visit Delhi, as the two leaders signed a raft of agreements aimed at bolstering anti-terror and economic cooperation.
Modi is currently making the first-ever trip by an Indian prime minister to Israel, where he is being feted by Netanyahu for three days as Jerusalem touts its growing ties with the second-most populous country in the world.
At the end of a ceremony in Jerusalem to mark the signing of several bilateral agreements, Modi formally invited Netanyahu and his family. Netanyahu immediately responded: “I accept.”
According to the “India-Israel Joint Statement” that diplomats from both countries issued during the ceremony, Modi extended a “warm invitation” to Netanyahu to visit in India “at a mutually convenient time.”
The visit had already been in the works and Indian officials said last week the trip would likely take place toward the end of 2017.

Modi holds heartfelt meet with Israeli boy survivor of 2008 Mumbai massacre
His late parents, Rabbi Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg, were directors of the Jewish center. Moshe was a toddler at the time and was rescued by his nanny, who fled the building with him. Now 10-years-old, Moshe lives in Afula with his grandparents, Rabbi Shimon and Yehudit Rosenberg, who joined him at the event, along with his former nanny, Sandra Samuel, who came with him to Israel.
Holtzberg told the Indian prime minister that he misses India, and Modi responded that the country is open to him. Netanyahu meanwhile invited Holtzberg to accompany him on his upcoming visit to India.
Holtzberg was taken hostage along with his parents and several tourists by terrorists who raided the Chabad House in India's largest city.
The attack on the Chabad House by an Islamist terrorist group based in Pakistan was one of a dozen attacks throughout the city from November 26 to November 29, 2008, claiming over 160 victims.
Ten militants arrived on the Mumbai shoreline in a dinghy on the day of the attack, before splitting into four groups and embarking on a killing spree. They held off elite commandos for up to 60 hours in two luxury hotels, the Jewish center and a train station in the city.
The Mumbai attacks in 2008 brought Pakistan and India to the brink of war.

BBC News changes its description of 2008 Mumbai terror attack
In August 2014 the BBC News website published an article about the re-opening of the Chabad centre in Mumbai that had been closed for almost six years after it was targeted in a terror attack in 2008.
As was noted here at the time, some four hours after its original publication the article was amended and the word ‘terror’ was removed from its opening paragraph.
Version 1: “A Jewish centre in the Indian city of Mumbai is due to reopen, nearly six years after it was attacked by gunmen in terror attacks on the city.”
Version 2:
“A Jewish centre in the Indian city of Mumbai has reopened, nearly six years after it was stormed by gunmen who attacked the city.”
An explanation for that change in wording was never forthcoming but on July 4th visitors to the BBC News website’s Middle East page came across that article again in the form of a link in a report concerning the visit of the prime minister of India to Israel – “Narendra Modi to become first Indian PM to visit Israel“.
Israel, India pledge to fight evils of terrorism together
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Israel on Tuesday for a historic three-day visit. The high-profile visit celebrates 25 years of diplomatic relations and aims to bolster trade ties between the two countries.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu greeted Modi at Ben-Gurion International Airport, where the Indian dignitary was received with full state honors.
Israeli officials noted that the warm treatment goes well beyond diplomatic protocol and reflects the importance of the visit.
Modi, who is heading a delegation of 100 officials and businesspeople, visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem shortly after his arrival. On Tuesday evening, Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, hosted the Indian leader at the Prime Minister's Residence in Jerusalem.
Modi met with President Reuven Rivlin on Wednesday, before meeting with Netanyahu at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem. He also visited the Israel Museum before heading with Netanyahu to the Tel Aviv Convention Center, where they were both set to speak at an event for the Indian community in Israel. Some 4,000 people are expected to attend the event.
Israel, India sign sweeping bilateral trade, R&D agreements
Israel and India signed a series of sweeping trade, commerce, and research and development treaties Tuesday, as part of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's historic visit to the Jewish state.
The Israel Space Agency and the Indian Space Research Organization signed a first-of-its-kind agreement to collaborate on adapting Israeli technologies, such as electric propulsion systems for small satellites and the creation of an accurate system for measuring time, to the extreme conditions of outer space. The agencies will also explore jointly developing a system for the transfer of data between satellites.
The blueprint for the agreement was outlined during Science and Technology Minister Ofir Akunis' trip to India in December 2015, during which he visited India's space agency.
Another treaty signed Tuesday will see Israel and India collaborate on a unique social initiative: the establishment of an international network aimed at cultivating young leaders worldwide. Proponents of the initiative include Shiv Khemka, chairman of the Global Education and Leadership Foundation that works to foster the next generation of Indian leaders, and Eliav Zakay, who heads the LEAD organization, which aims to identify and cultivate young leaders in Israel.
On Wednesday, representatives from a number of large Indian corporations were set to sign eight trade agreements with leading Israeli firms in the fields of industry, security, energy and medicine, among them defense contractor Elbit Systems and Israel Aerospace Industries.
Building a hi-tech triangle among Tel Aviv, Bangalore and Silicon Valley
As the hi-tech sectors of Tel Aviv, Bangalore and Silicon Valley continue to blossom, a group of Indian-American entrepreneurs are hoping to build a robust triangle to connect these three hotpots.
“Maybe we could envision an Israeli investor, putting money into a company in India that sells to the US market, through an office in Silicon Valley,” M. R. Rangaswami, a Silicon Valley-based software executive and investor, told The Jerusalem Post. “Or it could be the opposite – an Indian-American investor who invests in an Israeli company and sells stuff to India."
Rangaswami is among 15 Indian-American business leaders currently visiting Israel in parallel with the historic arrival of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the country. In a trip organized by the Indiaspora organization in conjunction with the American Jewish Committee, the delegates are meeting with Israeli and Indian accelerators, venture capitalists, incubators and entrepreneurs over the next few days, with hopes of cementing future partnerships among the three communities.
"Maybe someone this week will end up investing in an Israeli start-up – this gets the ball rolling," Rangaswami said.
In addition to his role as founder and president of Indiaspora, which strives to unite Indian-Americans to promote a meaningful impact for India, Rangaswami is the co-founder of Sand Hill Group, one of the first angel investors in Silicon Valley.
Israeli water technology firm inks deal with India
An Israeli company that affordably extracts water from thin air signed a memorandum of understanding on Tuesday to bring its proprietary technology to India.
Rishon Lezion-based Water-Gen and India's SUN Group announced their collaboration in Tel Aviv that afternoon, agreeing that the latter will be responsible for distributing the former's technology in the Indian market. According to the memorandum of understanding, the partners are focusing on providing a potable water solution to the Indian military, official institutions and government agencies in particular.
The partnership announcement coincided with the arrival to Israel of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his accompanying business delegation – among whose members is the vice chairman of the SUN Group, Shiv Vikram Khemka. The signing took place at a special event held by the Israel Association of Industrialists.
"We are a business company, but our vision is a humanitarian one,” said Water-Gen executive chairman Maxim Pasik. “In the 21st century, there is no reason for any society to suffer shortage of water.”
Indian PM Modi pays respects at Israel's Holocaust memorial
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Israel's official Holocaust memorial, Yad Vashem, shortly after arriving in Israel on Tuesday afternoon.
Modi described Yad Vashem as a "poignant reminder of unspeakable evil," following his tour of the museum on Tuesday. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu joined Modi on his tour, guided by Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev.
They visited the Hall of Names, participated in a memorial Ceremony in the Hall of Remembrance and toured the Children's Memorial. At the conclusion of his visit, Modi wrote in the Yad Vashem Guest Book:
"I am deeply moved by my visit to the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial museum. It is as much a poignant reminder of the unspeakable evil inflicted generations ago as it is a symbol of the endurance and fortitude of the Jewish people As we deal with conflict, intolerance, hatred and terror in our time, Yad Vashem serves as a mirror to society around the world. May we not forget the injustices of the past and its devastating toll on humanity and remembering the past. We may empower our children to make compassionate, just and righteous choices for their future."
Israel names new flower in honor of visiting Indian prime minister
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and visiting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday stopped at a flower farm where
a new strain of chrysanthemum was named in honor of the Indian leader.
Netanyahu and his guest, who arrived earlier at Ben Gurion International Airport, stopped at the Danziger Flower Farm at the Mishmar Hashiva agricultural community, as Modi kicked off the first-ever trip to Israel by an Indian prime minister, before heading to the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial and a state dinner in Jerusalem.
To mark the occasion, officials named a new white chrysanthemum developed at the farm “MODI” in honor of the visitor.
Billed as a celebration of the 25-year anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties, Modi’s visit marks the first to Israel by an Indian head of government.
Besides sit-downs with senior politicians and business leaders, his packed itinerary includes meeting a Jewish victim of a terror attack in Mumbai; visiting a desalination plant and the Israel Museum; headlining a rally for thousands of Indians living in Israel; and laying wreaths at a military cemetery in Haifa.
After Start of Historic Visit to Jewish State, Indian PM Hails Israeli Heroes as ‘Inspiration for the Younger Generations’
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was warmly greeted in Israel on Tuesday, as he arrived at Ben-Gurion International Airport to kick off a historic three-day visit to the Jewish state.
“A strong and resilient relationship with Israel will be my intent and focus,” Modi said at a welcome ceremony attended by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other dignitaries.
“Alongside building a partnership of shared economic prosperity, we are also cooperating to secure our societies against common threats, such as terrorism,” Modi — the first sitting Indian prime minister to travel to Israel — noted.
“Today is July 4,” Modi said. “Exactly 41 years ago, since Operation Entebbe. The day, when your prime minister and my friend Bibi lost his elder brother Yonatan while saving the lives of so many Israeli hostages. Your heroes are an inspiration for the younger generations.”
In his own remarks at the ceremony, Netanyahu said to Modi, “We receive you with open arms. We love India. We admire your culture, we admire your history, your democracy, your commitment to progress. We view you as kindred spirits in our common quest to provide a better future for our peoples and for our world.”
Netanyahu, the Hebrew news site Walla reported, had ordered his staff to give Modi the same red-carpet treatment US President Donald Trump received when he stopped in Israel in May during his first overseas trip since taking office.
Remembering the Indian soldiers who helped liberate Jerusalem 100 years ago
Welcome Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and thank you for the sacrifices made by your country’s soldiers who saved the Jews of the Land of Israel 100 years ago and eventually led to the Jewish state’s creation.
An idyllic fenced park in the middle of the Talpiot neighborhood in Jerusalem, just a four-minute Waze-directed detour from Hebron Road. This cemetery, which I visited for the first time last week, is the burial site for 79 Indian soldiers who died here fighting for the liberation of Jerusalem in 1917. Another cemetery for the Indian soldiers is in Haifa.
Cemetery in the Talpiot neighborhood of Jerusalem for fallen Indian soldiers (photo credit: Lenny Ben-David)Cemetery in the Talpiot neighborhood of Jerusalem for fallen Indian soldiers (photo credit: Lenny Ben-David)
More than a million Indian troops fought with the British Army in WWI, at the Western front in Europe, in Africa, Mesopotamia and the Middle East. On the Sinai-Palestine front, 95,000 Indian combatants served; approximately 10% were killed. In 1914-1918 period, they fought the Turkish-German armies at Gallipoli, the Suez Canal, through the Sinai and Palestine and finally Damascus, with crucial battles in Gaza, Jerusalem, Jaffa, Haifa, Nablus and Megiddo.
The Indian soldiers joined other troops in the Sinai-Palestine campaign from Australia, New Zealand, the West Indies, as well as the Jewish Legion. These auxiliary forces relieved British troops badly needed on the Western front in Europe.
India Today Corrects: Tel Aviv Not Israel's Capital
CAMERA's Israel office today prompts correction of an India Today article which incorrectly identified Tel Aviv as Israel's capital. Yesterday's article, covering Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's landmark visit to Israel ("PM Modi in Israel: Ramanujan symbol of Indian talent, says Benjamin Netanyahu"), erroneously referred to "Israel's capital Tel Aviv."
CAMERA staff reminded editors that Jerusalem, not Tel Aviv, is Israel's capital, and shortly later they commendably corrected. The amended article now says "Prime Minister Narendra Modi today landed in Israeli [sic] city of Tel Aviv."
Israel: The Hottest New Destination for Asian Travelers
Another influencer is celebrity blogger Perez Hilton, according to Camila Seta, PR director of the tourism ministry. Her office sent Hilton and his family to Tel Aviv for the June gay pride parade in exchange for blogging and Instagramming about the experience. “Trip of a lifetime!!” Hilton wrote — yes, he was so excited by all that free travel that he used two exclamation points. Seta is happy that she can show influencers a good time in Israel and is actively targeting the LGBT and millennial populations — demographics with disposable income and an inclination to travel. “People travel more these days, and the average millennial is more global,” Seta says. She also notes an increased demand for Mandarin- and Spanish-speaking tour guides.
Easier access is another reason for the surge in visitors. In 2016, Hainan Airlines began direct flights between Beijing and Tel Aviv, and the carrier plans to add Shanghai departures starting in September. El Al flies Mumbai–Tel Aviv and will add Delhi to the roster this year. Air India introduced flights from New Delhi in May. In October, the German carrier Lufthansa will add five additional flights per week from Frankfurt and Munich.
Budget carriers are also helping to boost visitation to the Holy Land. Ireland’s Ryanair just announced seven new routes between Israel and Europe starting this winter. In May, the low-cost Icelandic carrier WOW Air started selling tickets for new routes between eight American cities and Tel Aviv that will debut in September. Not surprisingly, the one-way fares starting at $149 sold out within hours. “WOW is always looking for interesting places to expand, and we recognize the huge potential of Israel,” says Nir Grossman, WOW Air’s Israeli spokesperson.
Ashley Pearson, editor of I Googled Israel, an online travel guide for tourists and locals, suggests that part of Israel’s current appeal, sadly, is due to terrorism elsewhere, which makes Israel look safer by comparison. Israel’s lowest year for tourism was 2009, right after the Palestinian-Israeli shoot-out, and it declined again after the 2014 Israel-Gaza conflict. “Unfortunately tourism takes a hit here every two to three years with some kind of terror,” Pearson says. Nevertheless, the Western Wall and historic Jerusalem retain their global appeal.
Travel blogger Kumar is grateful that she was able to see Israel for what it is, beyond the scaremongering. So many friends expressed interest in her trip that she created a blog detailing itineraries, and she knows people who’ve been to the country as a result. When asked how she would describe the vest-pocket Middle Eastern nation, she responds: “I’d say it looks like the U.S., but better and cleaner. I tell everyone to go to Israel.” (h/t Zvi)
FIFA Supporting Terrorism?
At least five highly regarded non-governmental organizations -- Palestinian Media Watch, NGO Monitor, the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies, UK Lawyers for Israel and the New York-based Lawfare Project – have enumerated the many and varied ways in which [Jibril] Rajoub – the secretary-general of the central committee of PA President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah faction, the chairman of the Palestinian Olympic Committee and the head of the Supreme Council for Sport and Youth -- has violated FIFA's own Code of Ethics, "by promoting and glorifying terrorism; inciting hatred and violence; promoting racism; and preventing the use of the game of football in order to build a bridge for peace."
In July 2012, while addressing the launch of the first Forum for Arab women sports journalists, Rajoub referred to Jews and Israelis as "Satans" and "Zionist sons of bitches," adding, "Normalization with the occupation is impossible, impossible, impossible, with no exceptions..."
Rajoub is a serial violator and must be expelled from the organization. Swift action needs to be taken to oust Rajoub, and pressure should be put on the PA to replace him with a chairman whose passion for sports and sportsmanship is greater than his thirst for blood.
In New Video, Notorious Anti-Israel Group JVP Portrays ‘Jewish Conspiracy to Murder Innocent Americans’
The rabidly anti-Zionist and pro-BDS group that styles itself “Jewish Voice for Peace” (JVP) took a step toward open antisemitism this week with the release of a video that blames “Jewish institutions” in America for a “deadly exchange” between US and Israeli law enforcement that has supposedly resulted in the fatal shootings of African-Americans by police officers.
In a comprehensive analysis of the video, Andrew Bennett — a Berlin-based academic who monitors JVP’s activities — noted that while the group has a long history of “indulging” antisemites, its actions could no longer be explained in terms of its long-established role in shielding the BDS movement from accusations of antisemitism.
“On June 4, 2017, JVP intentionally targeted a group of queer youth in a perfidious counter-protest of the Celebrate Israel Parade [in New York City],” Bennett wrote. “The incident was covered fairly extensively in the media, and there is no particular reason to recount the full details here. What went unnoticed but nevertheless caught my eye was what was emblazoned on the JVP demonstrators’ shirts: ‘DEADLY EXCHANGE.'”
Bennett explained that “Deadly Exchange” was “a JVP campaign to blame Jews for police violence in the United States.” Highlighting the fact that police exchange programs exist between the US and Israel — as both nations also have with other countries — JVP’s video stressed the role of Jewish groups (“the majority of the programs are run by Jewish organizations,” the video claims) in running and funding the exchanges.
At the heart of this theory of a “moneyed Jewish conspiracy to murder innocent Americans,” Bennett said, was JVP’s accusation that police tactics in American inner cities were determined by “Israeli military personnel.”
Palestine Solidarity Campaign: A case study in the correlation between anti-Zionism and antisemitism
Questions regarding the relationship between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism have been the subject of much discussion. Both Natan Sharansky and Rabbi Jonathan Sacks have put forward convincing arguments that much of anti-Zionism is in fact anti-Semitic, with people such as Peter Beinart arguing the opposite. A new report now provides persuasive evidence that many anti-Zionist circles in the UK are rife with anti-Semitism.
The 79 page report by David Collier takes a very concrete approach. Rather than asking whether opposing a Jewish state or supporting BDS is inherently anti-Semitic, he asks a more practical question; are the people who espouse these views also espousing ideas that are classic anti-Semitism? Do the people who support BDS and oppose the existence of the state of Israel also believe things that are classic anti-Semitism – Holocaust denial, belief in a global Jewish cabal, and blaming of ISIS and 9/11 on the Mossad?
The answer was an overwhelming yes – many of the most involved anti-Israel activists also seem to hold classic anti-Semitic views. Collier focused on the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), and looked at the Facebook accounts of major PSC activists to see what sort of articles they post – and his report provides damning evidence of the anti-Semitism that is rife within PSC ranks.
Lets start with an easy example – In December 2015, PSC Bristol posted on Facebook, asking for activists to come down to run the BDS stall to tell Christmas shoppers to boycott Israel. Three people responded, saying that they would come to run and support the stall – Shirley Dodd, Cookie Love McBride and Owen Williams. Here are the sort of things these people post on their Facebook walls: Shirley Dodd posted an article from entitled “Christians should not support Ashkenazi and Israeli fake Jews”. Cookie Love McBride posted an article entitled “The Federal Reserve Cartel – The Rothschild, Rockefeller and Morgan Families” and Owen Williams takes the biscuit by posting a fake photo of Israeli Jews wearing ISIS T Shirts, and an article entitled “The Genocide of 15+ million Germans by the Jews.” So if you would have seen the Bristol PSC stall that day, the people telling you to boycott Israel would have been anti-Semites.
Lawsuit Brings Day of Reckoning to Leading BDS Professor
Rabab Abdulhadi, the director of San Francisco State University (SFSU)’s Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diaspora Initiative (AMED) — and a founding member of the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel — is feeling the heat.
The Lawfare Project is filing a lawsuit — in which Abdulhadi is named — against SFSU, alleging “a long and extensive history of cultivating anti-Semitism and overt discrimination against Jewish students” at the school.
At the same time, the joint Middle East Forum/Campus Watch (MEF/CW) campaign to end SFSU’s Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with a terror-promoting Palestinian university is also moving forward. That MOU was brokered by Abdulhadi.
Meanwhile, a Launch Good campaign is underway to raise money for Abdulhadi’s “legal defense fund.” Abdulhadi’s supporters claim that she has “filed several grievances” against SFSU due to a “hostile and unsafe work and study environment for Palestinians, Muslims, and Arabs on campus.” Donations will allegedly go towards fighting “Islamophobia, anti-Arab discrimination, and hostility to Palestinians at SFSU campus [sic] and to supporting the AMED Studies program against destruction.”
AMED, it should be noted, offers courses titled, “Islamophobia: Roots, Development, and Contestation of Hatred,” “Comparative Border Studies: Palestine and Mexico,” and “Colonialism, Imperialism, and Resistance,” among others. The initiative also offers a scholarship named after the late Columbia University (and anti-Israel) professor, Edward Said.
IsraellyCool: Dyke March San Diego Founding Member Rips Chicago Dyke March For Antisemitism
The ejection of Jews carrying Star of David flags at the Chicago Dyke March has been roundly condemned, with many of us accusing the organizers of antisemitism – and rightly so.
One such voice to emerge is Wendy Sue Biegeleisen, one of the founding members of Dyke March – San Diego, who has also proudly expressed her own Zionism.
Wendy Sue Biegeleisen, one of the founding members of Dyke March – San Diego, has come out against the actions of the Chicago Dyke March this year.
On 30 June, Biegeleisen penned an open letter on Facebook addressing this issue. The full text is below:
Dear Beloved Ones,
I am extremely disappointed in the actions taken by the Chicago – Dyke March Organization toward the Jewish LGBTQ Organization, ‘A Wider Bridge’ this weekend. A Wider Bridge works to connect and network with the International LGBTQ Communities and the World Wide Jewish Communities; focusing on creating Peace, Understanding and Pride. A major priority for A Wider Bridge is creating safe space for all our LGBTQ Youth throughout the world.
I am a founding Mother of San Diego – Dyke March and San Diego Lesbian Avengers in the early 1990’s, co-producing 1999 and 2000 San Diego – Dyke March and Rally. I find the exclusionary actions of Chicago – Dyke March organizers toward A Wider Bridge disheartening, sad and not in keeping with the Lesbian visibility mission of Lesbian Avengers and Dyke March Equality Movement. I am ashamed that an organization I affiliate with since it’s conception would embrace antisemitism and exclude a Jewish LGBTQ Organization. With the rise of violence, bombings, torture and murder toward both Jews and LGBTQ people world wide, the actions of Chicago – Dyke March MUST be condemned.
Austrian bishop resigns from NGO over antisemitism at Palestinian event
Bishop Manfred Scheuer resigned as president of the Catholic peace organization Pax Christi in Austria because of outbreaks of antisemitism within the NGO and at a Pax Christi event with the Palestinian ambassador.
Scheuer, bishop of Linz – Austria’s third largest city – said he parted ways with the NGO on Monday because of its “criticism of Israel’s politics” and his assessment of the “criticism as antisemitic,” the Catholic wire agency Kathpress reported.
“I am convinced that because of the Shoah, a special responsibility and sensitivity is necessary in Germany and Austria toward the State of Israel,” the bishop said, Pax Christi International supports the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions campaign targeting the Jewish state.
Scheuer cited an additional reason for his break with Pax Christi: verbal attacks on members of the Jewish community in Linz during a late May lecture by Salah Abdel Shafi, who serves as the Palestinian ambassador to Austria and to the UN in Vienna.
Michael Lumish: This Week on Nothing Left
Because the J-Air studios are being relocated, no live shows are currently available until late July, so Michael Burd and Alan Freedman are pre-recording a 1hr program each week featuring two new interviews.
This week they speak with Jeremy Newark who was the Labour candidate for Golders Green in the recent UK election, and then we hear from Max Singer from the Begin-Sadat Centre on how the Palestinians need to understand that their aim of eradicating Israel has been defeated.
Isi Leibler is having some time off but will return when we resume live programs.
2 min Editorial: antisemitism in Australia
8 min Jeremy Newmark, Labour candidate for Golders Green
26 min Prager U: Where Are The Moderate Muslims?
32 min Max Singer, BESA Centre
The podcast can also be found on the J-Air website.
Israel's Casspi signs with world champ Golden State Warriors
sraeli basketball star Omri Casspi will play for the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors next season, after reportedly signing a one-year deal for the veteran minimum of $2.1 million.
Casspi, 29, has played for five teams over his nine-year NBA career: Sacramento (in two separate stints), Cleveland, Houston, New Orleans, and Minnesota.
The 6-foot-9 high-energy forward was mostly coveted for his ability to shoot from the 3-point range.
Casspi, who has yet to appear in an NBA playoff game, was likely enchanted by the opportunity to join the juggernaut Warriors, whose star-studded roster is widely expected to reach the NBA finals for a fourth consecutive season in 2018.
Incidentally, the best game of his career came in December 2015 against the Warriors, when he scored 36 points in a losing effort for the Sacramento Kings.
3 years after Protective Edge, tourism to Israel rebounds
Three years after incoming tourist numbers slumped following Operation Protective Edge in July-August 2014, tourism to Israel has fully recovered and will hit an all-time high this year, according to the Tourism Ministry. The rise was attributed to the introduction of the open skies policy and massive marketing efforts by the ministry.
Israel previously reached its highest tourism figures before the 2014 military campaign against Hamas in Gaza, but when that began and rocket fire pummeled southern Israel and reached as far as the Sharon region northeast of Tel Aviv, incoming tourism dropped sharply. Given that it came at high season, the blow to the tourism industry that year was particularly harsh.
But even while Operation Protective Edge was still underway and tourists were staying away, the Tourism Ministry decided to continue its previously planned marketing efforts.
For this purpose, an interministerial team headed by Tourism Ministry Director General Amir Halevi was set up and charged with finding tools with which to deal with the tourism crisis, as well as better prepare the industry for any future crisis. The team consulted with employees and business owners in the tourism industry and government officials, and also evaluated the state of global tourism.
20th Maccabiah Games to open with record 10,000 athletes
The 20th Maccabiah Games, known as the “Jewish Olympics,” will open with a record 10,000 athletes.
The start of the games will be marked on Thursday with an opening ceremony at Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem. Some 30,000 people are expected for the opening, and it will be nationally televised on Israel’s Channel 2.
It is the third largest sporting event in the world, according to organizers.
The athletes competing in the 43 sports represented at this year’s games come from 80 countries. The largest delegations are from Israel and the United States. Over 1,000 athletes will represent the United States in the competitions, according to Maccabi USA.
In addition to the dozens of events taking place in the host city of Jerusalem, competitions will be held at 68 sports complexes throughout the country.
Soccer is the largest sport at the games, with more than 1,400 athletes from 20 countries participating in the competitions.
Holocaust survivors, French president bid Simone Veil farewell
Holocaust survivors joined France’s president and European dignitaries Wednesday at a memorial ceremony for Simone Veil, who rose from the horrors of Nazi death camps to become president of the European Parliament and one of France’s most revered politicians.
Best known in France for spearheading the legalization of abortion, Veil faced down sexist criticism and repeatedly broke barriers for women in politics. She died last week at age 89.
During a national ceremony with military honors Wednesday at the Invalides monument, home to Napoleon’s tomb, President Emmanuel Macron announced Veil will be inducted into Paris’s Pantheon mausoleum, the final resting place of dozens of French greats.
She will be buried next to her late husband, Antoine Veil, whose remains will be moved to lie alongside her.
European flags around France were lowered to half-staff to honor the woman, whose experience at Auschwitz-Birkenau made her a firm believer in European unification.
Macron praised her as inspiring “respect and fascination.”

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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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