Thursday, July 06, 2017

From Ian:

WATCH: Women’s March Organizer Linda Sarsour Calls For ‘Jihad’ Against Trump
Linda Sarsour attends a rally to protest the executive order that President Donald Trump signed clamping down on refugee admissions and temporarily restricting travelers from seven predominantly Muslim countries in New York City on January 29, 2017.
Speaking at the Islamic Society of North American Convention last weekend, Women’s March organizer Linda Sarsour ripped into the Trump administration and called for “jihad” against Trump. ISNA itself has a long history of ties to Islamic extremism. As Jordan Schachtel of Conservative Review notes, Sarsour began the speech by thanking Siraj Wajjah – a man “listed as an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombings.”
It got worse from there.
She ranted: Why sisters and brothers, why are we so unprepared. Why are we so afraid of this administration and the potential chaos that they will ensue on our community?...I hope, that when we stand up to those who oppress our communities, that Allah accepts from us that as a form of jihad....We are struggling against tyrants and rulers not only abroad...but here in the United States of America where you have fascists and white supremacists and Islamophobes reining in the White House.
She concluded, “Our number one and top priority is to protect and defend our community. It is not to assimilate and to please any other people in authority. And our top priority…is to please Allah, and only Allah.”
Sarsour, who was called a “Champion of Change” by the Obama White House, has a long history of speaking kindly of shariah law and terrorists. Sarsour stated that underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was a CIA agent; she supports attacks on the Israeli Defense Force; she stated that “the sacrifice the black Muslims slaves went through in this country is nothing compared to Islamophobia today”; she stated that Brigitte Gabriel and victim of Islamic genital mutilation Ayaan Hirsi Ali didn’t deserve to be called women, explaining, ‘I wish I could take their vaginas away – they don’t deserve to be women.”
The UN’s Destructive, and Self-Destructive, Obsession with Israel
On Tuesday, the United Nations Social, Educational, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) passed a resolution condemning Israel, despite UNESCO’s being an ostensibly apolitical body. This resolution, hardly the first of its kind, typifies the UN’s perverse fixation on Israel, which, as Joshua Muravchik chronicles in a brief history, has existed nearly since the world body’s inception and interferes with its ability to do much else. The story begins with the UN’s approval of a plan to partition Palestine and the Arab world’s response: waging precisely the sort of aggressive war the body was formed to prevent:
Sadly, the UN did nothing to defeat this aggression or others that were to follow in other parts of the world. As a result, the world body grew up devoid of its intended purpose. In its place, member states have pursued a variety of other goals, chief of which have been decolonization, development, peacekeeping, and, remarkably, castigation of Israel. . . .
Daniel Patrick Moynihan wrote that upon taking up his duties as chief U.S. ambassador to the UN in 1975, he was startled to discover that Israel was “the center of the political life” of the world body. Moynihan arrived just months after the first UN appearance by Yasir Arafat, chief of the PLO. The event marked a turning point in the UN’s treatment of Israel that ramifies to this day. . . . The PLO then was a long way from becoming the organization that signed the 1993 Oslo Accords with Israel and joined long-term negotiations toward [an ostensible] peaceful settlement. Rather, it was riding the crest of a campaign of international terrorism carried out not only on Israeli soil but also in skies and airports and streets around Western Europe and the Middle East.
Melanie Phillips: The radical difference between antisemitism and Islamophobia
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Watch me here explaining to Avi Abelow of Israel Video Network what I think is the crucial distinction between antisemitism and Islamophobia.

Melanie Phillips: Honour among thieves?
An extraordinary clash recently occurred at the UN between representatives of Saudi Arabia and Iran. The two states that between them are responsible for the fanatical Islamic thinking and jihadi violence that currently menaces the world faced off across a table and each denounced the other as terrorists.
Of course, both protagonists are correct about each other. The Iranian was right to link Saudi Arabia to al Qaeda and Isis. The fact that Saudi Arabia is now a bitter enemy of al Qaeda and Isis doesn’t alter the fact that it funded, promoted and exported the Wahhabi ideology that inspires them.
But the young Saudi official had the better of the argument, and not just because of his impressive English and rhetorical skills. The case he laid against Iran’s sponsorship of global terror was relentless and devastating and one that is not often heard, least of all in the UN. About time.
Iran and Saudi Arabia have been at loggerheads for years. But it’s rare to see Iran publicly forced so much onto the back foot like this, and rarer still to see it done by Saudi Arabia.
Indigenous Australians form pro-Israel group
A group called Indigenous Friends of Israel was established by indigenous Australians in what organizers said was a bid to counter growing support in the country’s Labor party for recognition of a Palestinian state and to boost bipartisan support for Israel.
Spokesperson Munganbana Norman Miller said the national organization is concerned that the Labor Party is “going down a dangerous path” in its attempt to get individual states and then federal Labor endorsement of a Palestinian state while Palestinian leaders do not accept the right of Israel to exist and continue to support terrorism.
Miller spoke Thursday from the north Queensland city of Cairns, an area with high concentrations of indigenous Australians.
“I support a two-state solution and Israel has offered it in 1947, 2000, 2008 and 2014,” he said, “but Arab leadership including Yasser Arafat and current Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas have rejected it. Also, Hamas who are in control of Gaza have vowed to annihilate Israel and drive every Jew into the sea. It is a terrorist organization, recognized as such by the Australian and other governments,” he said.
“At this stage there is no viable Palestinian state until the governments of the West Bank and Gaza sort out their difficulties. Who will the Labor Party and possibly Labor in government recognize?”
Miller told JTA that unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state is likely to further discourage the Palestinians from coming to the negotiating table, which he believes they have been reluctant to do.
David Collier: What if they were ‘coming for the Jews’. What would you do?
There is an oft repeated poem that begins ‘first they came for the socialists’. It was refined over several years by German Lutheran pastor Martin Niemölle as he described the general cowardice of German intellectuals during the rise to power of the Nazis. The central message is clear and it can be adapted easily to suit the person who wishes to use it. Given the background, Jews are always one of those they came for.
So what would happen if they did ‘come for the Jews’?
The UK in May
What would the Scottish Parliament do if Scottish thugs really came for the Jews?
On 18th May, antisemitic thugs came for Jews in Edinburgh. The Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign (SPSC) walked up to the Scottish Parliament building to protest the arrival of an Israeli Ambassador on Scottish soil (no, this is not about Zionism, read on).
It is a choice
There are those that are coming for the Jews.
At the moment the Scottish Parliament stands in solidarity with them, the Mayor of London allows them to wave radical Islamic flags in Oxford street and the Government of the UK gives them permission to use the QEII building to promote their hate.
You can choose what it is you see. You can view the people outside the Scottish Parliament as anti-Israel activists and turn a blind eye to the rabid antisemitism. You can choose to see a march down Oxford Street as a message of solidarity and excuse the Jew hating Islamic flag. You can see a cultural event at the QEII in London and ignore the fact it is simply the same old hate-fest dressed up in a tuxedo.
It is your choice to decide what you see and what action you take. ‘Palestinianism’, or anti-Israel activity, is clearly a fetish for the antisemite. They are coming for the Jews. What will you do?
A Victim of the Hate That Won’t Be Named
If Sarah Halimi is to receive justice, then her murder must be tried as a hate crime. Anything else would be a mockery.
But if France is to finally overcome its unsettling silence around anti-Semitism—broken occasionally by Chirac-esque denials that there is a meaningful problem in the first place—it has to first accept that many of its leaders and opinion-formers are responsible for maintaining it.
Last month, the publicly-funded Franco-German broadcaster Arte/WDR canned the screening of a major documentary on anti-Semitism, which carried endorsements from many of Germany’s leading experts on the same Islamist ideology that continues to explode in European cities. Bosses at Arte/WDR blamed the film’s producers for not conforming to an agreed mandate, but that was code for their evident discomfort at the film’s focus: the fusion of crude anti-Semitism with Islamist ideology that is creeping through Muslim neighborhoods across Europe. The scale of the problem was laid bare in a recent study showing that 40 percent of Germans hold anti-Semitic views about Israel’s right to exist
Following widespread protests in Germany against the cancellation, the documentary was eventually shown, but only in Germany. The French continue to refuse to screen the film.
Can one speak of censorship in a democracy? Perhaps it’s more comforting to describe Arte/WDR’s decision as reflecting a type of group-think about anti-Semitism in Europe which holds, in essence, that what you see right before you isn’t really there.
As a result, millions of Europeans remain genuinely flummoxed as to how their Muslim fellow-citizens can tolerate such deadly anti-Semitism in their midst even when they are often victims of racism and intolerance.
Meanwhile, the kindly Dr. Halimi lies dead. Most cruelly of all, no one will dare explain why.
Saudi Arabia major funder of extremism in UK, study claims
Foreign funding for Islamist extremism in Britain mostly originates from Saudi Arabia, a think-tank report said on Wednesday, in claims that were branded as “categorically false” by the Saudi embassy.
“While entities from across the Gulf and Iran have been guilty of advancing extremism, those in Saudi Arabia are undoubtedly at the top of the list,” Tom Wilson, a fellow at the Henry Jackson Society, said in a statement.
According to the hawkish London-based foreign policy think-tank, Saudi Arabia has since the 1960s “sponsored a multi-million dollar effort to export Wahhabi Islam across the Islamic world, including Muslim communities in the West.”
The ultra-conservative kingdom is the cradle of the austere Sunni doctrine of Wahhabism and is home to Islam’s holiest site in Mecca.
Funding from Saudi Arabia has primarily taken the form of endowments to mosques, the report said, which have in turn “played host to extremist preachers and the distribution of extremist literature.”
Islamist who planned to attack French synagogue jailed
A Muslim man who said he was planning to attack the main synagogue of Marseille was sentenced to two years in prison.
A Marseille court sentenced Mohamed Chebab, 33, on Tuesday, a little over a year after he was arrested for praising the Islamic State terrorist group, l’Express news site reported. He was convicted of supporting acts of terrorism.
Counterterrorism researchers monitoring jihadist circles in Marseille, a city in southern France, flagged Chebab, according to the report. After his arrest in May 2016, Chebab told law enforcement that he had been planning to travel to Syria to fight with jihadists there and to Belgium, to the heavily Muslim Molenbeek neighborhood of Brussels, to meet “brothers” there.
He also said he was planning to “smoke some Jews, at least three” at the Grand Synagogue of Marseille, l’Express reported. At the time of his arrest, Chebab cried out for “Allah” and yelled slogans supportive of the Islamic State, promising the police officers who seized him that he would behead their children.
Separately, a 23-year-old man was charged with plotting to assassinate French President Emmanuel Macron at France’s Bastille Day parade in Paris, a judicial source told the AFP news agency on Monday.
Three held in France for providing weapons to Hyper Cacher killer
Three people are in custody on suspicion of supplying the firearms used by Islamist terrorist Amedy Coulibaly in his attack on the Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket in Paris in January 2015, sources told AFP on Wednesday.
Two women, aged 23 and 31, were arrested in Roubaix in northern France and a 42-year-old man in the Paris region on the night between Monday and Tuesday by anti-terror police, a source close to the case has said.
According to another source, the two women are close relatives of an alleged smuggler, Samir L., who was indicted in April for suspected links to the weapons used by Coulibaly in the January 9, 2015 attack.
DNA traces of one of the women and the man were allegedly found on one of the weapons.
Investigators can hold the suspects for 96 hours before bringing them before a judge.
The attack on the Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket came two days after a jihadist terror rampage at the officers of the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine perpetrated by brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi.
South African ruling party wants to downgrade embassy in Israel
South Africa’s ruling party this week announced its intention of downgrading its embassy in Israel to an “interest office.”
At a major policy conference in Johannesburg, the African National Congress’s international relations committee decided on a number of recommendations to be adopted as official party policy later this year.
“The commission called for the downgrading of the South African embassy in Israel to send a strong message about Israel’s continued illegal occupation of Palestine and the continued human rights abuses against the peoples of Palestine,” the commission’s chairperson announced Tuesday.
Anti-Israel activists celebrated the move, while Israeli officials shrugged it off as a political policy recommendation that may never actually be implemented by the government.
Jewish Voice for Peace Is Spreading Hate on Campus. It’s Time for Jewish Academics to Speak Up.
You agree that Israel’s pro-LGBT policies are nothing but “pinkwashing,” a duplicitous tactic to make Israel look progressive and hide its oppression of the Palestinians.
You agree that shaming gay Jews is fine if they support a Jewish state because it is hypocritical to be part of an oppressed group while showing pride in Jewish self-determination.
You agree that there is no difference between Zionism and white supremacy.
You agree that it is OK to subject American Jews to a litmus test, and, if they see merit in a Jewish state, then they have failed; they have no business being part of the American left and should be removed, forcefully if necessary, from progressive causes.
You agree with a movement that rejects dialogue as a constructive approach to conflict resolution because dialogue is merely a smokescreen for the perpetuation of violence and oppression.
You do not believe that anti-Semitism on the left is a problem that needs to be taken seriously.
You do not have a problem with disrupting academic and cultural events based on the presenter’s Israeli citizenship—which is more often than not an accident of birth, not an ideological position.
You are OK with hindering scholarly access to Israeli institutions, archives, and faculty.
These are the positions articulated by Jewish Voice for Peace. And they have been the basis for its “interventions” and harassment of Jews in parades and at events on university campuses with increasing frequency.
It is not OK to speak out against the harassment and propagandistic assault of Jews when it comes from the right but not the left if your silence is a product of fear, discomfort, or indifference, as opposed to ideological conviction. And even if you agree with Jewish Voice for Peace’s ideology, you should be alarmed at its tactics.
Identifying and connecting with Israel is a legitimate form of expressing Jewishness in the Diaspora. Jews across the political spectrum should be able to do this without fear. Jewish Voice for Peace is intent on suppressing this connection by shaming, bullying, and disseminating inflammatory videos, acts that abet the proliferation of anti-Semitism. It believes that purging academia of Zionists is a laudable and achievable goal. To stop this process, Jewish studies faculty must no longer remain silent.
Rabbi Abraham Cooper: Time to Call Out Activists’ Anti-Semitic Bigotry
Two days after the incident, organizers of the Chicago Dyke March not only refused to apologize, they doubled down on their bigotry.
They justified throwing out the three participants displaying the Jewish symbols by declaring that “Zionism is an inherently white-supremacist ideology.”
That would be news to Israelis whose families hail from Morocco, India, Syria, Egypt, Yemen, and Libya. And it would be a real shocker to Yityish Aynaw, the first black Miss Israel and the over 100,000 other Ethiopian Jews who have returned to the Land of Israel.
As for the White Supremacist canard, it came about 75 years too late for 6 million European Jews. They were isolated, dehumanized and mass murdered by a Nazis’ White Aryan racist, genocidal regime, who apparently unaware of the “whiteness” of their Jewish victims.
Far from being an aberration, such a wholesale demonization of Israel, Zionists, and Zionism, follows on the heels of Linda Sarsour the Palestinian-American political activist and national co-chair of the Women’s March, Linda Sarsour, who in an interview in The Nation announced that there is no room in the feminist movement for those who identify with Zionism.
Apparently the vision of a society based on “equality for all” isn’t enough for these self-appointed gatekeepers of America’s progressive social agenda.
The embrace of history’s oldest hate-anti-Semitism in the name of Social justice is an abomination. It helps explain the roaring silence when Gays are executed in Iran or persecuted in Arab lands. In the final analysis, such unbridled hypocrisy diminishes and degrades the cause that claims ‘equality for all’ as its ultimate goal.
What would Martin Luther King Jr, a great admirer of the Jewish state say?
I believe he would issue a warning to bigots hiding beyond their progressive slogans:
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that…
Nothing Progressive About Embracing Anti-Semitism
Curiously enough, Soviet communists and Arab regimes have also persecuted and denied rights to gays. Under Stalin gays were condemned to forced labor. Some communist intellectuals equated them with fascism indirectly inciting to murder. In the Arab world not only is homosexuality illegal, it is punishable by death in four countries in that region.
LGBT rights have evolved precisely in the U.S. and Western societies because freedom and democracy enables expansion of rights — and the proliferation of new groups and ideas.
Israel is also a liberal democracy in which rights of individuals expand accordingly. To call Israel’s liberal approach to homosexuality as "Pinkwashing" reflects the ignorance of many, and above all the hypocrisy of those who claim to represent higher moral ideas — as the communists did then and as some progressives do now.
If progressive movements do not begin to question the level of fairness in their ideology and attitudes, they are surely headed in the direction of total collapse.
It would be a good start for progressive groups to remove from their files all the demagogic anti-Semitic influences they have come to tolerate, even admire.
Artists protest Israeli-gov't sponsored play in New York
In addition, it claims both Israeli theaters “have long been actively complicit in the occupation and colonization of the West Bank, by performing repeatedly in illegal settlements there, despite calls by conscientious artists in Israel and around the world asking them not to do so.”
The play follows the story of an Israeli mother who escapes to the countryside while her son goes off to war, clinging to the hope that if the IDF cannot notify her of his death, then he cannot be among the slain.
Novelist Grossman completed most of the book before his tank-commander son, Uri, was killed in the 2006 Second Lebanon War. Grossman was awarded the prestigious Man Booker Prize last month for his most recent work, A Horse Walks into a Bar.
Adalah-NY’s letter was signed by a range of Pulitzer- and Tony-award winning artists, including actress Greta Gerwig, playwright Tracy Letts, playwright Lynn Nottage and actor Niall Buggy. It was also signed by the Jewish Voice for Peace Artists Council and a variety of Palestinian artist and activist groups.
In response to the letter, Deborah Spar, president of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, said the festival was “looking forward to bringing many different performances from all over the world as part of the series.”
In her response, which Adalah posted online, Spar noted that Lincoln Center does “from time to time” receive requests “taking political issue with either the performers or the work itself. “ But, she said, “as a cultural and education organization, however, we do not make political statements and hope that the art we present can stand on its own.”
Local organizations to boycott Halifax Pride festivities
The Halifax Pride festival will be without the support of several organizations this year as the festivities are being boycotted.
Dalhousie University’s student union is the latest organization to join the boycott, saying they won’t be marching in the parade.
“Dalhousie Student Union has been very active in pride, sending students ever year including marching contingents. They'll be missed, but I frankly don't think that the students will stay away,” says Halifax Pride's executive director, Adam Reid.
Members of the Dalhousie Student Union passed a motion in January to boycott Halifax pride following a controversy that took place at the Pride annual general meeting.
In October, a resolution to remove a pro-Israel campaign from the festival was defeated, leaving a number of local societies feeling marginalized.
"It's not really about being pro-Israel or not. It's about acknowledging the fact that pink washing has happened within Halifax Pride. Until they recognize that and speak with the communities that have had these concerns for years and have actually rebuilt that relationship, I don't see how we can really move forward," says Masuma Khan, Vice President Academic of the Dalhousie Student Union.
IsraellyCool: Code Pinker Ariel Gold Back At Scene Of Her Crime
Code Pinker and Israel hater Ariel Gold is back in Israel, and she posted this earlier today:
True to form, Gold tries to take what could have been a poignant moment and uses it to demonize Israel.
Regarding her banning from the Wall, she made that claim in February this year. But she is not being truthful. This is not just a case of a woman carrying some “Pro Palestinian items.” This is a woman carrying anti-Israel items, with a history of using them to desecrate the Western Wall.
Why this woman is even allowed back into Israel at all is beyond me.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Palestinian Leaders Puzzled By Your Assumption They Care About Palestinians (satire)
Prominent officials in Palestinian government and society voiced surprise and confusion today when informed that you believe the welfare of everyday Palestinians matters to them.
Leaders of the dominant Fatah faction and the rival, Islamist movement Hamas confessed being perplexed this morning upon being told that your thoughts, words, and actions indicate that you assume they make the health, prosperity, and productivity of Palestinians a priority in their decision-making. A number of officials gave puzzled expressions, others showed faces blank with confusion, and the remainder asked for the question or remark to be repeated, since it could not possibly mean what you wanted it to mean.
“I- wait, what?” replied Ismail Haniyeh, the political leader of Hamas. “Where the hell did you get that idea?”
“This is… uninformed,” answered a polite Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority and Chairman of Fatah.
“See, there’s this thing called evidence, and there is no evidence to support that mistaken assumption,” concurred Jibril Rajoub, the Palestinian Minister of Sport. “Someone has not been paying attention.”
Taming the Wild West of the world wide web
When it comes to spreading hate on the Internet the rules against such vitriol are few and far between. But dedicated, pro-Israel activists have decided to take matters in their own hands, defend Israel and hit Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) operatives where it hurts the most: rendering them ineffective in the social media landscape. Below is a snapshot of conversations The Jerusalem Post had with organizations leading this fight online.
‘The strategic messaging hub of the pro-Israel community’ Lior Weintraub, The Israel Project VP & director of Israel office In Lior Weintraub’s eyes, the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions operatives are already losers.
“When people read about BDS in the media, they get the sense that the delegitimization campaign is winning. But it’s not, it’s losing in a big way,” The Israel Project’s vice president and director of its Israel office, argued.
“Our main message is twofold,” he said. “First, that they aren’t about peace, but about hate and bullying. Every time they reveal their true face, we make sure everyone knows about it. Second, that they fail much more often than they succeed. They are on the defensive. With the help of a very wide and large coalition of organizations in Israel and the United States, these BDS activists are finding it more difficult to operate.”
To fight against the hate spewed by BDS, TIP uses a methodical, multi-pronged approach, using professional tools and working as a strategic hub for the whole pro-Israel community, sharing messages, research and expertise with a wide variety of organizations to make the entire community much more effective. From its Tower Magazine, to a vibrant social media presence (boasting two billion Facebook impressions in 2016) to its seasoned team of communications professionals, TIP prides itself on being advocates of Israel in a tactical and calculated way.

Blog by parents of murdered Israeli teenager censored as 'hate site' in the UK
I have previously posted about how pro-Israel blogs in the UK (and elsewhere including even in Israel) are censored or blocked completely by internet service providers.
After discovering that his own site was blocked by Sky-UK, Elder of Ziyon discovered that this was due to Symantec classifying his site as "Hate". He noted (as I had previously reported) that other pro-Israel sites such as Israellycool, Israel Matzav and Abu Yehuda all get the same "Hate" classification. Most internet service providers (including Sky, Virgin, and EE) use the Symantec classification and normally either block such sites or require 'parental unlocking' to view them.
Using the symantec link I checked a number of other pro-Israel sites (including this one and found that they too were classified as "Hate". Included inevitably were pamelageller, jihadwatch and thereligionofpeace, as well as the outstanding sultanknish.
But what shocked me was that the "Hate" classification was also assigned to This Ongoing War. This is the moving blog dedicated to the memory of 15-year-old Malki Roth who was murdered in the 2001 Hamas massacre in Jerusalem’s Sbarro restaurant that was engineered by Ahlam Tamimi. Malki's parents Frima and Arnold have campaigned for Tamimi - who is on the FBI's most-wanted terrorist list - to be brought to justice (she is currently living in luxury, inciting more terrorism, under the protection of the Jordanian government who have refused a US extradition request). While it is shameful that all of the above sites are classified as hate sites, it is especially pernicious in this case, as it demonstrates the extent to which the antisemites who masquerade as 'Palestine supporters' in the UK will go to prevent the truth being heard and justice being done.

Success: Guardian Quietly Changes Behavior on Judaism’s Holiest Site
Despite further correspondence from HonestReporting, including a direct email to The Guardian’s Jerusalem correspondent Peter Beaumont, asking that he, in future, stop incorrectly referring to the Western Wall as Judaism’s holiest site, neither Beaumont nor the readers’ editor wished to engage further.
It is only too common for journalists to avoid acknowledging mistakes, particularly if it means giving a media watchdog some credit. But this is not the only kind of meaningful success. In this case it appears that HR’s complaints have not gone unnoticed.
On June 26, The Guardian’s religion correspondent, Harriet Sherwood, covering recent events surrounding the Western Wall, correctly referred to it as “the holiest place that Jews can pray” and “the last remnant of the retaining wall of the Temple Mount.”
Perhaps more significantly, Peter Beaumont, in a story on July 4, wrote that the site of the Temple Mount is “considered the holiest in Judaism,” marking a complete turnaround from his previously incorrect assertions that the Western Wall is the holiest site.
Has The Guardian begrudgingly and without acknowledgement, finally decided to report in a factually correct way when it comes to the Western Wall and Temple Mount?
If this is indeed the case, then it represents an important achievement by HonestReporting even if The Guardian is loath to publicly own up to its own failings.
Top collector cries foul on Nazi memorabilia trove uncovered in Buenos Aires
Two weeks ago, news of a “hidden Nazi memorabilia stash” discovered in Buenos Aires received continent-to-continent coverage. In recent days, however, experts in Nazi-era artifacts have called the collection “carnival-quality garbage,” and something akin to “fake liverwurst.”
The kitsch-fueled drama began on June 8, when Argentinian federal police and Interpol raided the home of a suspicious Buenos Aires art collector. Behind a bookcase, agents spotted a secret passageway leading to a room packed with Nazi-era memorabilia. Among more than 75 “original” objects was a Hitler bust, toys, and medical supplies, all neatly branded with swastikas.
Officials said the objects once belonged to high-ranking Nazis, some of whom — including Adolf Eichmann and Josef Mengele — fled to Argentina after the war. Media reports on the trove presented the collection as authentic, with some mentioning that — according to Argentina’s federal police head — the objects’ Nazi-era provenance had been confirmed.
These particular circumstances, related to a general increase in Nazi-era forgeries, have some antiquities experts crying foul.
“The so-called horde is all fake,” said Darrell English, a decades-long collector of artifacts related to the Third Reich.
Multifaith ceremony marks 71st anniversary of Kielce pogrom
Jews, Christians, Muslims and Buddhists prayed together at the gravesite of the victims of the 1946 Kielce pogrom, marking 71 years since non-Jewish neighbors killed 37 Jews who had returned home after surviving the Nazis.
“We are here to say that we remember and we will not let such excesses happen again,” Michał Sobelman, a spokesman for the the Israeli Embassy in Poland, said Tuesday at a ceremony organized by the Jan Karski Society, a group named for the Polish underground figure who delivered news about the genocide of Europe’s Jews during World War II.
The ceremony was attended by local residents and visiting clergy, including Imam Abdul Jabbar Koubaisy, secretary general of the Islamic League in Poland; Michael Schudrich, the chief rabbi of Poland, and Michal Czernuszczyk, a Buddhist monk representing Uji Mikolaj Markiewicz, abbot and spiritual leader of the Kannon Zen Center in Warsaw.
Students from schools in Kielce, a city in south-central Poland about 115 miles from Warsaw, read the names of the victims in a ceremony held next to the building where the pogrom had occurred and sang a lullaby in Yiddish dedicated to the children who were killed. Three non-Jews also were killed in the pogrom.
Schudrich thanked the youngsters, stressing that the young generation gives him “a lot of hope.”
Congressman apologizes to those hurt by 'political' gas chamber clip
In a five-minute video posted on YouTube and on his Facebook page Saturday, Higgins describes the horrors that took place in the gas chamber, and adds that "this is why homeland security must be squared away, why our military must be invincible."
The video ends with an image of Higgings, a first-term Republican lawmaker and former sheriff's captain, that he used during his campaign last year: Wearing a badge on his chest, he bows his head reverentially, his face partially obscured by the brim of his cowboy hat. The image is superimposed over images of the U.S. and Israeli flags.
The Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum criticized the video Tuesday on Twitter, saying the building where genocide was committed against thousands of Jews should not be used as a stage.
On Wednesday, Efraim Zuroff, director of the Israel office of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, said the video contained political rhetoric that was inappropriate, although he didn't think Higgins had bad intentions.
In a statement issued later Wednesday, Higgins said he did not intend to offend or disrespect anyone.
"My intent was to offer a reverent homage to those who were murdered in Auschwitz and to remind the world that evil exists, that free nations must remember, and stand strong," Higgins said in his statement. "However, my message has caused pain to some whom I love and respect. For that, my own heart feels sorrow. Out of respect to any who may feel that my video posting was wrong or caused pain, I have retracted my video."
Higgins added that he was offering a "sincere apology for any unintended pain."
'Orange is the new black' has Scottish prisoners demanding kosher meals
Inmates at a Sottish prison are believed to have started asking for kosher food after watching “Orange is the New Black,” a Netflix television series set in a women’s prison.
In a 2015 episode of the series, a character known as “Black Cindy” converts to Judaism in order to receive “better quality food.”
Inspectors demanded an investigation into why the HM Prison in Edinburgh is serving kosher meals to more than 100 prisoners when hardly any of its inmates are Jewish, according to The Times of London.
It is thought that hundreds of prisoners across the United Kingdom have applied to change their religion to Judaism since the TV episode aired. The Edinburgh prison is believed to be the “worst hit” by such claims, the prison service report said.
The daily cost of normal prison meals per prisoner is about $2.50, but a report by the Inspectorate of Prisons for Scotland said that kosher food was four times as expensive, resulting in an extra annual bill of approximately $313,000, according to The Times.
In 2013-14 there were nine Jewish prisoners in Scotland’s 15 jails, according to The Times. The prison service report said that an urgent investigation was needed into the legitimacy of the claims by the inmates at the prison, whose population is almost entirely “white Scottish.”
Israeli Startups Raise Nearly $850 Million in June
The month of June 2017 was hotter than usual in Israel, not only in terms of temperature but also in terms of investment. Here’s a roundup of activity over the past month.
Houzz, an online platform for home remodeling and design services, finalized a new funding round of $400 million led by Iconiq Capital. The company was founded by an Israeli couple in Palo Alto, California, and maintains an R&D center in Tel Aviv. Houzz has branches in London, Berlin, Moscow, Japan and Australia.
Cybereason closed $100 million in Series C funding led by new investor SoftBank of Tokyo, which will be the leading distributor of its cybersecurity platform in the Japanese market. Based in Tel Aviv with offices in London and Boston, Cybereason will work with Softbank to build a joint offering enabling Japanese organizations to defend themselves against advanced persistent threats.
Retail intelligence company Trax closed a $64 million financing round led by an affiliate of Warburg Pincus, to enhance its services to core markets in the US, Europe, Latin America and Asia. Founded in 2010, Trax is headquartered in Singapore with a Tel Aviv development center.
More Than 200 Americans and Canadians Make Aliyah to Israel on July Fourth
More than 200 Americans and Canadians landed in Israel on the July Fourth holiday as part of the Jewish state’s latest group of immigrants (olim).
The flight — which was organized by the Nefesh B’Nefesh aliyah agency in cooperation with Israel’s Ministry of Aliyah and Integration, the Jewish Agency for Israel, Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael and JNF-USA — featured immigrants from 16 US states and three Canadian provinces. The 200 immigrants included 14 soon-to-be IDF soldiers, five sets of twins, 34 families, 78 children and 51 singles, working in a range of professions. They will reside in communities throughout Israel.
“Immigrants from the United States come with a desire and excitement to take part in the national project of the Jewish people, through which their identity is strengthened,” said Natan Sharansky, chairman of the Jewish Agency. “We must ensure that the State of Israel remains a place in which every Jew may feel at home and in which the immigrants may confidently connect to the history, roots and national identity of the Jewish people.”
Rabbi Yehoshua Fass, co-founder and executive director of Nefesh B’Nefesh, said the new immigrants were “modern-day pioneers” who were fulfilling not only their personal dreams, “but the dreams of the Jewish nation as a whole.”
Soccer legend Ronaldo’s son to play in Israel’s Maccabiah Games
The son of Brazil’s legendary soccer player Ronaldo will play for Brazil at the 20th Maccabiah Games in Jerusalem.
Ronaldo’s son Ronald, 17, is not Jewish. But he is a member of Brazil’s Under 18 soccer team, which is participating in the Maccabiah games, dubbed the “Jewish Olympics.” A record 10,000 athletes from 80 countries will be competing in 43 sports at the world’s third-largest sporting event, according to organizers.
“This is the Brazilian delegation that represents us at the World Maccabi Games. A special hug to my son @ronald_lima. Good luck, guys! Go for it, Brazil,” Ronaldo posted Wednesday on Instagram a day before the start of the games. The post, accompanied by a photo of Ronald and the team, garnered over 40,000 likes in its first six hours.
Ronald has also been a member of Sao Paolo’s Hebraica, a group popular across South America that functions as a cross between a Jewish community center and a country club.
“Ronald and his mother Milena have been full members of Hebraica club for years, where they felt warmly welcomed and feel like home, as they say. They have also been approaching Judaism more and more,” Avi Gelberg, who presides over both the Maccabi organization in Brazil and the Hebraica club in Sao Paulo, told JTA.
“We didn’t have a full team in this category so we decided to reward the kid by inviting him,” he added.
Opening Thursday, the ‘Jewish Olympics’ is now world’s third largest sporting event
It’s a far cry from what was in its first iteration, like so many other things in this country, a much smaller scale grassroots project.
The Maccabiah Games were the brainchild of 15-year-old Yosef Yekutieli, who got the idea for an international Jewish sporting event after hearing about the Stockholm Olympics in 1912. Nearly two decades after the games were conceived of, 390 athletes from 18 countries participated in the first Maccabiah Games in Tel Aviv in 1932, competing in a stadium — the first of its kind in what was then Mandatory Palestine — that was completed just prior to the opening ceremony.
Seventy-five years later, a record-breaking 10,000 athletes from 85 countries are participating in 45 sporting events. Past competitors have included Olympians, including four-time Olympic gold medalist Jason Lezak, and players of major professional sports.
The Maccabi World Union is comprised of six confederations: Maccabi Israel, the European Maccabi Confederation, Maccabi North America, Maccabi Latin America, Maccabi South Africa, and Maccabi Australia. There are 50 countries in the Maccabi World Union representing 400,000 members.
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