Saturday, July 08, 2017

From Ian:

Netanyahu to mark 75th anniversary of roundup of French Jews
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will visit Paris on July 16 for the 75th anniversary of the Vel d'Hiv roundup, where more than 13,000 Jews were arrested and sent to extermination camps.
"On this occasion, there will be a working meeting" between French President Emmanuel Macron and Netanyahu, the French presidency said of the visit, the first by Netanyahyu since Macron's election.
The Velodrome d'Hiver was an indoor cycle track not far from the Eiffel Tower.
On July 16 and 17, 1942, authorities in occupied France rounded up in a Nazi-directed raid a total of 13,152 men, women and children in the Vel d'Hiv.
They were kept there under inhuman conditions with almost no food or water or proper sanitation for four days before being sent to Auschwitz and other camps.
Only about a 100 of those rounded up at Vel d'Hiv survived.
A total of 42,000 Jews were sent to Auschwitz from France during World War II.
Protest planned for Paris Holocaust memorial event during Netanyahu visit
A Muslim website called on pro-Palestinian activists to crash a Holocaust commemoration ceremony in Paris to protest Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s attendance.
On Friday, the Le Muslim Post urged readers to show up in large numbers at the July 16 state ceremony at the Vel d’Hiv former stadium, where French police in 1942 rounded up 13,000 Jews for deportation to death camps. Its article noted the Netanyahu government’s “treatment of Palestinians in camps, deprived of freedom and liberty of movement.”
Unnamed associations were organizing the protests, it said. The article did not say whether police approved the planned protest.
Netanyahu’s planned visit to attend the 75th anniversary of the deportations is “a rare opportunity” by the unnamed organizations “to make their voice heard.”
The call for protest followed an assertion by the head of France’s pro-Palestinian lobby that Netanyahu should not attend the ceremony because Jews in pre-state Israel did not save their brethren during the genocide.
Bertrand Heilbronn, president of the France Palestine Solidarity Association, who is Jewish, made the assertion in an op-ed published Monday on the website Mediapart that he co-authored with the French-Jewish historian Dominique Vidal.
Modi, Britney and the unabating BDS threat Is Israel still diplomatically isolated
In March 2011, Ehud Barak coined a new phrase in Israel: “Diplomatic Tsunami.”
It was two years into Barack Obama’s presidency, and Barak warned that the Jewish state needed to do more to advance the peace process. Otherwise, the defense minister and former prime minister warned, the international community will unilaterally recognize a Palestinian state.
“It’s a mistake not to notice this tsunami,” he said. “Israel’s delegitimization is in sight, even if citizens don’t see it. It is a very dangerous situation, one that requires action.”
That was six years ago.
Based on the past week, it’s now clear that Barak – who has returned to the spotlight in recent weeks in what many suspect is an attempt at a political comeback – couldn’t have been more wrong.
Despite the best efforts by pro-BDS organizations, Britney Spears performed at Tel Aviv’s Yarkon Park on Monday night before more than 50,000 people, who had come to see the pop princess despite the blistering heat. Then on Tuesday, Narendra Modi arrived in Israel, becoming the first Indian prime minister to visit the Jewish state.
The leader of a country with 1.3 billion people and a fast-growing economy, Modi used his trip to bolster Indo-Israeli ties, and to shower the country with love and (of course) hugs. He visited Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa, but skipped over what almost all heads of state do when they get here – a stop in Ramallah to visit Mahmoud Abbas. Modi’s visit was all about Israel; Ramallah had nothing to do with it.
For a moment this week, Israel almost seemed like a normal country. Syria might be disintegrating and Hezbollah might be amassing arms, but Israelis are spending their nights like normal people – going to pop concerts instead of bomb shelters.

Haley calls UNESCO Hebron motion ‘an affront to history,’ says US to review ties
Hours after UNESCO declared the Tomb of the Patriarchs, in the Old City of Hebron in the West Bank, an endangered Palestinian world heritage site, US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said the move was both “tragic” and an “affront to history,” and that the US would review its ties with the world body as a result of the decision.
On Friday, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, Cultural Organization (UNESCO) passed its second anti-Israel resolution in less than a week.
During the World Heritage Committee’s 41st annual summit, currently taking place in Krakow, Poland, twelve countries voted in favor of the Hebron decision while three opposed it and six countries abstained. Both the US and Israel protested vigorously against the motion.
The voting took place in secret, whereas in the past, votes to inscribe sites onto UNESCO’s World Heritage List are done by a show of hands among all the member states. But three countries — Poland, Croatia and Jamaica — requested a secret ballot, much to the objection of other countries.
“The UNESCO vote on Hebron is tragic on several levels. It represents an affront to history,” Haley said in a statement.
Israel's ambassador to UNESCO Carmel Shama-Hacohen (R) protests the vote on July 7, 2017 (Screenshot/ UNESCO)
UNESCO adopts Hebron decision targeting Israel, against expert advice

Seth Frantzman: Five reasons the UNESCO Hebron decision matters to Israel and the world
Palestinians sites are always “in danger”
The Palestinian Authority has exploited UNESCO to declare all three of its sites “in danger,” including Hebron, Battir and the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. The Old City of Jerusalem is also on the list of 54 UNESCO sites in “danger.” This puts Palestinian sites “in danger” up there with Libya, Mali, Iraq, Congo, Syria and Yemen. The other countries are undergoing vicious wars, and in Iraq and Syria sites have been totally razed by ISIS. ISIS demolished Hatra and blew up parts of Palmyra. Battir, Hebron, Bethlehem and Jerusalem’s Old City are not in danger in the way other sites UNESCO lists as “in danger” are. The decision to keep voting them onto the “danger” list is part of a Palestinian campaign against Israel, not an honest weighing of whether these sites face any danger. For instance, the Bethlehem sites are under the control of the Palestinian Authority, yet in “danger” ostensibly from Israel. This disproportionate claim of “in danger” is used as a tool to attack and undermined Israel’s rule in the West Bank and Jerusalem. Ironically sites like Sebastia, the important historical site of ancient Samaria, which is actually in danger after years of neglect, go unrecognized by UNESCO.
Israel has nine UNESCO sites
Israel has nine UNESCO sites, including Masada, the White City of Tel Aviv and the Necropolis of Beit Shean which was inscribed in 2015. Israel should recognize that, although it won’t win at UNESCO in any areas over the Green Line or in Jerusalem, all of which is not seen as part of Israel by the UN, Israel has ample opportunities to develop and register new UNESCO sites in other areas. In recent years, it has registered the Caves of Maresha at Beit Guvrin, for instance. Rather than arguing with the Palestinians at UNESCO, Israel might consider seeking to add more sites to its list.
Will UNESCO be reformed?
The Israel-Palestinian conflict playing out at UNESCO is not good news for archaeology or history. The concept of UNESCO was supposed to be a way for the world to acknowledge a list of sites, now numbering 1,052, that are of special cultural, historic, scientific or other significance. The sites would be protected, monitored and be a sort of “bucket list” of places in the world of supreme worth. Turning sites into part of a religious, ethnic or political conflict runs contrary to the purpose, but because of the way UNESCO is run, with countries represented and voting, the ability to prevent politicization is difficult. Sites such as Preah Vinear on the Thai-Cambodian border have also found themselves in the middle of national disputes. The difficulty of registering sites in Taiwan, which is seen as part of China, mean sites are less likely to be recognized there. Other international disputes or religious disputes or reluctance of countries to declare a place a UNESCO site because it means they should preserve it, all go against the ideal of UNESCO. The dispute in Hebron could engender attempts to reform how sites are registered or shed a light on which sites are declared “in danger.”
Israel to cut $1 million from UN to build museum in Hebron
Israel plans to cut one million dollars from its funding to the United Nations so that it can build a museum in Hebron.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided to take that step after UNESCO on Friday inscribed Hebron’s Old Town and the Cave of the Patriarchs to the State of Palestine on the World Heritage in Danger list.
It will also spend the money on additional projects to strengthen Jewish ties to the Biblical city of Hebron and the adjoining settlement of Kiryat Arba.
The UNESCO vote marks the first time that a Jewish religious site is registered to the State of Palestine. The Cave of the Patriarchs is the second holiest site in Judaism.
After the vote, which took place in Krakow, Poland, Netanyahu stated: ”This is another delusional UNESCO decision."
“This time, they decided that the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron is a Palestinian site, meaning that it is not Jewish, and that the site is in danger,” the premier continued.
Conference of Presidents condemns UNESCO
Leaders of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations on Friday condemned UNESCO for passing a resolution declaring Hevron an “endangered Palestinian heritage site”.
In a statement, Stephen M. Greenberg, Chairman and Malcolm Hoenlein, Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of the Conference of Presidents, urged the leaders of the UN and UNESCO to speak out against the resolution.
“We strongly condemn the adoption by UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee of two more resolutions in the relentless Palestinian campaign to erase the more than 3,800-year Jewish and 2,000-year Christian connection to the holy sites in Jerusalem, Hebron and elsewhere in Israel,” they said in a statement.
“The two resolutions passed this week again reveal the Committee’s politically driven disregard of historical facts, disdain for Jewish heritage and disrespect for its mission to preserve the world’s cultural and religious heritage. These outrageous assaults on history, tradition, and religious beliefs must be reversed,” added Greenberg and Hoenlein, in a reference to a UNESCO resolution passed earlier this week which denies Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem and condemns.
“No amount of UN resolutions based on lies and distortions can rob the Jewish people of its heritage or break the historical connections to some of the most sacred roots of the Jewish religion,” they continued.
Abbas welcomes UNESCO resolution on Hevron
Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Friday praised the United Nations’ cultural agency UNESCO for its decision claiming that Hevron is an “endangered Palestinian heritage site”.
“It is due to Palestinian diplomacy and the support of our friends in the world, that UNESCO voted on two important resolutions; the first concerning Jerusalem and the second about Hebron for being two historical cities,” said Abbas, in comments quoted by the Wafa news agency.
“The resolutions passed despite the pressure exercised on many states by Israel and the United States,” he added.
The PA official in charge of foreign affairs, Riyad al-Malki, criticized the countries that did not support the resolution and chose instead to “accept the fabricated Israeli narrative”.
“This is an indirect encouragement for Israel to continue its violations and overlook the danger surrounding Palestinian heritage and rights,” said al-Malki, according to Wafa.
Dr. Mordechai Kedar: Qatar and the Saudis – getting ready for the next round
A close look at the document presented to Qatar by the four countries shows that it contains three major demands: To cut off political relations with Iran; to exile all the subversives plotting against the regimes who presented the demands; shutting the media outlets managed or supported by Qatar, the most important among them being al Jazeera.
Qatar then claimed that it cannot accept the demands as they undercut its sovereignty. Qatar's reaction was surprising, to say the least, since all that country has done since the present emir assumed the reins in 1995 is to ride roughshod over the internal issues of other countries in an attempt to undermine their sovereignty by supporting organizations that oppose the current regimes.
The mediator between Qatar and the 4 country coalition is the Emir of Kuwait. He asked for the ultimatum to be extended and was granted two days that will end shortly after these lines were penned. Since then, the demands have been retracted. Still, the end results are hard to predict for several reasons:
The ultimatum did not spell out the measures that would be taken against Qatar should it refuse to accede to the document's demands and although it is far from certain that the coalition has the power to do anything beyond expelling Qatar from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), there may be other measures it can take.. In a previous article I noted the possibility that the Saudis invade Qatar and put an end to the al Thani family's rule, but this might lead to a conflagration with Iran if it should decide to aid Qatar militarily.
A Saudi invasion must be coordinated with the United Sates, because the Saudis need US support for a step of this gravity so as to cause Iran to have second thoughts about joining the fray. The Saudis need US intelligence knowledge and military aid as well as the US veto in the Security Council against resolutions that will be raised by countries such as Russia and Iran.
However, this is where US Secretary of State Tillerson comes in. He called the demands made of Qatar too extreme and the European foreign ministers agreed with him. Their declarations were broadcast non-stop by Qarar's al Jazeera
Tillerson's statements may be a result of his long term positive business relations with the Qatar regime in the field of energy, but he certainly dealt a sharp blow to Saudi Arabia's attempts to tame the Qatari shrew. (h/t Elder of Lobby)
Palestine Expo to feature sheikh who said ‘Jews are fleas’
One of the main speakers at this weekend’s Palestine Expo event has previously delivered lectures in which he compared Jews to “fleas”, described equality between the sexes as “absurd”, and defended violent jihad as “part and parcel” of Islamic teaching.
Sheikh Ebrahim Bham, an Islamic preacher from South Africa, is booked to speak on both days of the controversial conference in Westminster, where he is listed as one of the “acclaimed” guests.
The Palestine Expo event, cleared to go ahead by the government following concerns over the organisers’ links with terror group Hamas, is supported by leading trade unions including the National Union of Students, the National Union of Teachers and Unite the Union.
But the JC has discovered examples of Sheikh Bham’s views in his sermons. In one lecture — available online — the Islamic scholar can be heard stating: “People tell me that Jews are human beings. Yes, I know they are human beings.
“Just as fleas are also animals. Just as fleas are also animals, they are also part of human beings like that.”
London Mayor calls for full ban of Hezbollah
London Mayor Sadiq Khan urged British Home Secretary Amber Rudd to fully ban the Hezbollah terrorist group, the British Jewish News reported on Thursday.
According to the report, the London Mayor confirmed to Labour London assembly member Andrew Dismore that he’d write to Rudd after flags of the terror group were openly flown during the Al-Quds parade in the capital last month, with police taking no action.
Figures from across the political spectrum have called for a change in the law to blacklist the political wing of Hezbollah, just as the military wing already is.
Hezbollah is banned in full by the U.S., Canada and the Arab League.
The loophole in the law was exposed during the latest parade when organizers pinned disclaimers to the rifle-laden flags stressing specific support for the political wing, noted the Jewish News.
Closing the loophole: time to clip Hizballah’s “wings”
For and against the distinction
Arguments for maintaining the distinction are not persuasive. There is no consistent international approach: whilst some countries (and the EU) ban only Hizballah’s political “wing”, it is banned entirely in others, including the USA. If the reason was to facilitate UK government contact with Hizballah’s political “wing”, there was no such contact as late as 2013 (see paragraph 48.13 of this document). If the aim was to encourage Hizballah to disarm and wholly embrace democratic politics, this has clearly failed.
Most importantly, however, Hizballah itself has consistently rejected any notion of separate “wings”. An early document stated
“Our military apparatus is not separate from our overall social fabric. Each of us is a fighting soldier”.
Time to abolish the distinction
We end where we began. It seems unconscionable that just 15 days after the central London terror attacks, the flags of a terrorist group were paraded through nearby streets with impunity. Since the Al-Quds Day March, there have been calls from both Conservative and Labour figures (including Sadiq Khan) for the distinction to be abolished and for Hizballah to be proscribed in its entirety. It is to be hoped that the Home Secretary will now do so.
Linda Sarsour’s Jihad
She used the word “jihad” deliberately, in order to split her audience. Anyone who criticized her use of extremist language would be painted as a bigot alongside those who really are bigots. Those who defended her right to use extremist language would be dragged along with those who really are extremists.
It’s instructive that neither Sarsour’s critics nor defenders have noted what is perhaps the most toxic part of her speech. “You can count on me,” she told an audience of American Muslims, “to use my voice to stand up, not only to people outside our community who are repressing our communities, but those inside our communities who aid and abet the oppressors outside our community.”
Right, it’s a threat. If you don’t see things like she does, even if you’re Muslim, then you’re in for it— Linda Sarsour is watching. Linda Sarsour has your name.
But of course many Arabs and Muslims value our political system precisely because we are free from the political violence and coercion that has left the region in flames. We Americans, rather, regardless of race or religion, are left alone to make our own political choices—even if that means supporting Donald Trump. The last thing our political culture needs is someone like Linda Sarsour channeling the political energies of an Arab intelligence service and threatening Muslims and others to see it her way or else.
Sarsour’s speech marks a further degradation of American political discourse, which, as I’ve described here previously, has taken on a peculiarly Arab cast. It’s not enough to oppose Trump’s policies—no, instead it’s a “resistance,” mimicking the same reckless and ignorant energies that have made the last century of Middle Eastern politics a charnel house. Arab and Muslims have and will continue to make interesting and useful contributions to American life. Importing from the region the language and ethos of Middle Eastern political culture is not one of them.
WATCH: Shapiro DESTROYS Islamic Sarsour Defender Over Sarsour's 'Jihad' Against Trump
Perino turned to Shapiro, asking him to tell why he thought Sarsour’s words were not taken out of context. He replied:
It clearly wasn’t taken out of context; everybody I know who posted this story posted the entire video, as well as a large portion of the transcript from what she said. I don’t think anybody is claiming that she openly called for violence against President Trump, but jihad means more than just internal struggle, or “struggle for good.” We all know that there are terrorists all over the world who use the word “jihad” as justification for what they do, and Linda Sarsour knows that too. She knows how to make headlines; she is a radical anti-Semite who has backed terrorists in the past; she is a person who said Ayaan Hirsi Ali should have her genitals removed –
Shibley interrupted, ranting that Shapiro was “smearing” Sarsour, snapping, “Don’t smear a woman who’s not here to defend herself."
Shapiro calmly responded, “Fine, I’ll talk about CAIR instead. CAIR is an organization that was an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terror funding trial of 2007.”
Shibley, although he had told Shapiro not to attack Sarsour, prompting Shapiro to shift targets, started accusing Shapiro of switching subjects, then went back to defending the use of the term jihad, saying, “Let’s talk about what jihad means.”
Shapiro was ready to debate that; he said:
If you want to talk about context, let’s talk about the full context, which is who Linda Sarsour is, the fact that she began this speech praising a guy, who has, in the past, talked about how jihad includes violent jihad. She started her speech with that, so let’s not pretend that you can just – you’re the one taking this one line out of context and then suggesting that it only refers to this sort of anodyne version of jihad.
Shapiro vs. CAIR Islammunist; 7-7-2017

7 Things You Need To Know About Women's March Organizer Linda Sarsour
Women's March Organizer Linda Sarsour has made her way into the news again after calling for "jihad" against President Trump. Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro has the lowdown on it here, but Sarsour's latest statement and the leftists defending her statements highlight just how radicalized the Left has become in their embrace of Sarsour.
Here are seven things you need to know about Sarsour.
1. Sarsour was irked by Barack Obama's call for Muslims to help eradicate Islamic extremism. Shortly after the San Bernardino terrorist attack, Obama stated that "extremist ideology" is "a real problem that Muslims must confront without excuse."
2. Sarsour is warm toward Louis Farrakhan. Sarsour actually appeared onstage with Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who has a record of anti-Semitism and vitriol himself, at Farrakhan's #JusticeOrElse rally in 2015:
3. Sarsour seems to like a number of Islamic terrorists. These include:
  • Calling Siraj Wahhaj, who Shapiro notes was "a possible unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombings, and testified on behalf of the Blind Sheikh," her "favorite person in the room."
  • Embracing Rasmea Odeh, who faces a life sentence in Israel for her involvement in a plot to bomb the British consulate in Jerusalem as well as a bombing at a Jerusalem grocery store that resulted in two Hebrew University students dead and nine injured.
  • Taking a picture with Salah Sarsour, who was imprisoned in Israel for laundering money to Hamas.
  • Tweeting for the release of Muhammed Allen, who is currently in an Israeli jail for his work with the terror group Islamic Jihad.
Sarsour has also perpetuated a bizarre conspiracy theory that the underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was somehow working with the CIA.
4. Sarsour was "hurt" by the death of Saddam Hussein. Here's what Sarsour said in 2003: (emphasis bolded)
Linda Sarsour, who is American-born and of Palestinian descent, said many Palestinians viewed Hussein as a hero because he steadfastly supported Palestinians in their struggle against Israel. She and other Palestinian New Yorkers felt humiliated by the way Hussein was caught and shown, disheveled and pathetic-looking, on international television, Sarsour said. "I think he's done a lot of things he shouldn't have done, but I was hurt. My Arab pride was hurt," said Sarsour, 23, of Bensonhurst. "Palestinians are under so much oppression and no other Arab country ever helped them."
5. Sarsour is an advocate for Sharia law.
How can Sarsour claim to be a champion of women's rights when she advocates for a backward, Third World system that actually oppresses women?
6. Sarsour has a searing hatred for Israel. Sarsour has openly stated that there shouldn't be a two-state solution due to Israel's building of settlements in Judea and Samaria. Instead, she thinks that Israel should just cease to exist.
Additionally, Sarsour has called Zionism "creepy" and stated that it's not compatible with feminism.
"It just doesn't make any sense for someone to say, 'Is there room for people who support the state of Israel and do not criticize it in the movement?'" Sarsour told The Nation. "There can't be in feminism. You either stand up for the rights of all women, including Palestinians, or none. There's just no way around it."
7. Sarsour once tweeted something vile about Brigitte Gabriel and Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Sarsour tweeted in 2011, "Brigitte Gabriel = Ayaan Hirsi Ali. She's asking 4 an a$$ whippin’. I wish I could take their vaginas away- they don’t deserve to be women."
Linda Sarsour: Puppet of Siraj Wahhaj

Jay-Z Jewish lyric spurs criticism from ADL
The Anti-Defamation League expressed concern about a Jay-Z lyric that “Jewish people own all the property in America,” but emphasized that it did not believe that the rapper intended to promote anti-Semitism.
“The lyric does seem to play into deep-seated anti-Semitic stereotypes about Jews and money,” said an ADL statement released Friday.
“The idea that Jews ‘own all the property’ in this country and have used credit to financially get ahead are odious and false. Yet, such notions have lingered in society for decades, and we are concerned that this lyric could feed into preconceived notions about Jews and alleged Jewish ‘control’ of the banks and finance.”
The song, “The Story of O.J.,” on Jay-Z’s latest album, “4:44,” has attracted negative social media attention for its lyric, “You wanna know what’s more important than throwin’ away money at a strip club? Credit/You ever wonder why Jewish people own all the property in America? This how they did it.”
Wondering Who’s an Anti-Semite? The ADL Can Help!
Hint: it’s not the one who embraces terrorists
Who’s an anti-Semite? It’s so hard to tell these days! Folks are just so touchy!
Luckily for us, we have the Anti-Defamation League, an organization devoted to helping us avoid needless hysteria and perceive real danger. Here as a public service, then, is a handy guide to contemporary anti-Semitism, courtesy of the ADL:
A person expressing admiration for an unindicted conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, arguing that a woman can’t be both a Zionist and a feminist, and that antisemitism isn’t a “systemic” problem?
Totally fine! In fact, maybe even a First Amendment heroine. The ADL believes being balanced is very important, and suggesting that people who say hateful things about Jews are hateful is not very woke.
A person who appeared in a PSA to speak out against anti-Semitism and then dropped a few lines on a rap album about how Jews were good in business and savvy with real estate?
Bad! The ADL is very troubled by the way hip hop bravado, a category anyone with ears and a brain knows to read as anything but a literal description of reality, plays into “deep-seated anti-Semitic stereotypes about Jews and money.”
That’s your lessons for today, kids.
And to think, people wonder why Jewish organizations are dying.
SPME BDS Monitor: Academic Situation Improves, Cultural Sphere Worsens
In the US, a showdown is emerging between various elements within the Democratic Party. New York City mayor Bill De Blasio stated his strong opposition to BDS, as did House Minority leader Chuck Schumer. The Massachusetts Democratic Party also rejected a plank that would have addressed Israeli “settlements.”
But the California Democratic Party adopted a resolution decrying the “Israeli occupation” and the idea of moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. BDS supporters describe the resolution as a significant shift in state party policy, which they believe foretells a shift at the national level. Such a shift may already be underway, as seen by the sponsorship by Wisconsin Democrat Mark Pocan of a BDS presentation on Capitol Hill. Pecan tried to anonymously sponsor the event — but his identity was later revealed after pressure from other lawmakers. A similar incident took place in 2016, when Texas Democrat Sheila Jackson Lee anonymously reserved a space for an anti-Israel presentation that was later moved off Capitol Hill.
Despite these developments, legislation preventing states from investing in companies that boycott Israel was signed in Nevada and Kansas, approved by the North Carolina legislature, and introduced in Ohio.
BDS is failing – a continuing series (July 2017)
Swiss Government directed to amend laws o prevent funding to NGOs “involved in racist, anti-Semitic or hate incitement actions.”
BERN (EJP)—The Swiss Council of States, the upper house of the country’s parliament, has voted a resolution which directs the government to “amend the laws, ordinances and regulations” to prevent funding to NGOs “involved in racist, anti-Semitic or hate incitement actions.” This resolution will have a dramatic effect on Swiss government funding to non-governmental organizations (NGOs), according to watchdog group NGO Monitor. “For the first time, a European country has passed legislation to end funding for NGOs that are vehicles for incitement and hate speech, specifically including anti-Semitism,” noted Prof. Gerald Steinberg, NGO Monitor president.
UCAL Santa Barbara; Divestment Resolution Gets Zero Votes in Favor
Zero votes were cast in favor of a boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) resolution at the University of California-Santa Barbara (UCSB) early Thursday morning following a marathon debate between pro- and anti-Israel activists.
SodaStream Rehires Palestinans Laid Off Due To BDS
[h/t/Israellycool] Some 74 Palestinian employees of SodaStream, who lost their jobs when the company shut its West Bank plant in the face of international pressure, will return to work at its factory in southern Israel. The employees’ work permits, which allowed them to enter Israel from the West Bank, expired in February 2016. The Israeli government agreed to reinstate the permits after persistent requests from SodaStream and its CEO Daniel Birnbaum, The Jerusalem Post reported Sunday.
Israel, Hamas downplay report of progress toward prisoner swap
Israel and Hamas are close to a preliminary deal that could pave the way for the release of a number of Israeli nationals held captive by the terror group in Gaza, a Lebanese paper claimed Saturday. However, officials from both sides downplayed the report.
According to the Al-Akhbar daily, quoting Hamas sources, the sides are close to an “information deal” that would be similar to the exchange from 2009 in which Israel received a video in which captive soldier Gilad Shalit was seen alive and talking in exchange for the release of 20 female Palestinian prisoners.
Hamas, an Islamist terror group, holds the bodies of IDF soldiers Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin, who the army determined were killed in action in the 2014 Gaza war.
It is also believed to be holding three Israeli men who crossed into the coastal territory of their own accord: Avraham Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed, as well as Juma Ibrahim Abu Ghanima, whose presence in Gaza is unconfirmed.
US Senate to hold hearing on Taylor Force Act Wednesday
The US Senate Foreign Relations Committee will hold its first hearing this week on a bill that would cut aid to the Palestinian Authority if it continues to pay stipends to terrorists and to the families of deceased terrorists.
The bill, titled the Taylor Force Act, was introduced by Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, and has earned mostly Republican support. Senate Democrats have been lobbying for edits to the legislation that would provide the State Department with wiggle room to negotiate with the PA over the nature of its program and the timing of aid cuts, should the PA continue with the scheme.
Several leaders in the Democratic Party have inched closer to supporting the legislation in recent weeks. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York has spoken out against the Palestinian program, and Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland, ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee, said that his Senate colleagues would “find a way” to pass the bill in one form or another.
The Trump administration has repeatedly raised the issue of terrorism funding with PA officials, with one senior official telling The Jerusalem Post that the program represents a “major impediment” to Israeli-Palestinian peace. But the White House has not endorsed the Taylor Force legislation specifically – nor have the US’s largest Israel advocacy organizations, such as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.
Israeli accidentally enters Jenin
An Israeli citizen on Friday evening accidentally entered the Palestinian Authority city of Jenin.
The IDF said that the Israeli was transferred to the security forces at the Salem crossing, in coordination with the Civil Administration.
The IDF stressed that entry into Area A, which is under full civil and security control of the Palestinian Authority, is dangerous and forbidden to Israelis according to the law that applies in Judea and Samaria.
In December, three Israelis accidentally drove into Ramallah. They were rescued by the IDF and taken to a nearby checkpoint.
Dutch PM slams Israel for dismantling West Bank solar project
Holland’s prime minister complained to his Israeli counterpart about Israel dismantling solar panels — paid for by the Dutch government — set up without permission in a Palestinian village in the West Bank.
Mark Rutte protested the move to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week, Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders told the parliament on Tuesday, shortly after the solar panels were dismantled and confiscated in Jubbet al-Dhib. The panels cost approximately $600,000.
The Netherlands finds the move by Israel “unacceptable,” said Koenders, who was answering a query on the issue by a lawmaker from the left-wing D66 party, the Nederlandse Dagblad daily reported.
Israel began cracking down on illegal construction in Area C of the West Bank approximately two years ago, focusing on structures constructed there without authorization by the European Union, its member states or funding from Europe. In 2015, the European Commission published regulations requiring retailers to apply separate labels to products from what the European Union regards as illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank, eastern Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.
Hamas Police Ban Women from Motorbikes
It’s not unusual to see a Gazan woman riding on the back of a motorbike driven by her male partner or family member. But this sight is expected to disappear due to a decision by Hamas police in the Gaza Strip to forbid women from riding motorbikes with their partners or family members.
Women are also now forbidden from driving motorbikes themselves. A statement from the Gaza police said that any person who violates this regulation will be fined “even if the Traffic Law of 2000 does not include the prohibition on women riding motorbikes.” The decision was made after the death of a Gazan woman who was riding a motorbike behind her son.
Colonel Mahar Alli, deputy police commander, said that the decision was meant to ensure women’s safety. Until now, women who rode behind men did so with their legs closed to one side of the bike as women used to ride side-saddle on horses.
According to Colonel Alli, “A safe position for a woman on a motorbike is parallel to that of the man: a balanced position with one leg on one side of the seat and the other leg on the other. The woman also needs to wear a helmet and hold onto the man and all that contradicts our tradition. Women can’t put on a helmet and wear pants appropriate for riding a motorbike or wear a shirt (as opposed to the galabia that women in the Strip wear), and that’s a look that no one can accept.”
Egypt said to approve $22 million restoration of historic Alexandria synagogue
The Egyptian government has reportedly approved a $22 million plan to restore a 160-year-old synagogue in Alexandria.
The Ministry of Antiquities’ Project Sector on Wednesday approved the funds for restoring and developing the Eliyahu Hanavi Synagogue, according to the head of the Islamic and Coptic Monuments Department, al-Saeed Helmy Ezzat, The Egypt Independent reported from a translation of the Arabic-language daily Al-Masry Al-Youm.
The synagogue was forced to close several months ago after part of its ceiling collapsed, The Independent reported.
Ezzat said the government will pay for the restoration even though Egyptian law requires the community to cover such work.
Amsterdam to rename hall honoring Nazi collaborator
A municipal hall in Amsterdam that for 30 years bore the name of a former city official who helped deport Jews to their deaths will be renamed, the mayor of the Dutch capital said.
Mayor Eberhard van der Laan’s decision this week followed a call by the Center for Information and Documentation on Israel, or CIDI, to remove Piet Mijksenaar’s name from the conference hall.
An internal probe found that Mijksenaar, a senior city official during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands, showed that he had “devised a smarter, faster way of declaring assets seized by the confiscation bank Lippmann & Rosenthal,” van der Laan wrote in a reply to a query by council members seeking an update on the probe. Lippmann & Rosenthal was a Jewish-owned bank that the Nazis tasked with carrying out the theft of property owned by Jews.
First works from Nazi-era art hoard arrive at Bern museum
A Swiss museum on Friday showed off pieces from a spectacular Nazi-era art hoard it inherited from a German recluse, in the run-up to the first exhibit of the controversial collection.
The Museum of Fine Arts in Bern unveiled a selection of the nearly 200 pieces set to go on display on November 2 for its exhibit “Degenerate Art, Confiscated and Sold”.
Among the works showed off to the media Friday were pieces by important German painters Otto Dix, and Franz Marc and Otto Mueller.
The works are part of a vast trove of works left behind by art collector Cornelius Gurlitt, who died in 2014 at the age of 81.
When Gurlitt died, he named the Bern museum as the sole heir to hundreds of works found in his cluttered Munich apartment, including pieces by the likes of Cezanne, Beckmann, Holbein, Delacroix and Munch.
The coach who rose from the Holocaust’s ashes to dominate European soccer
On May 23, 1990, Eusébio da Silva Ferreira — considered by many to be one of the greatest soccer players of all time — took a short trip to the Jewish section of Vienna’s central cemetery to pray by the grave of the late Béla Guttmann, a Hungarian Jew and soccer legend, buried there in 1981.
Eusébio, as he was known to fans, along with the rest of his Portuguese soccer squad, Benefica, were to take on Italian football giants AC Milan in Vienna’s Prater stadium later that day in the European Cup final.
The former Benfica player was hoping to break a losing streak that had supposedly cursed Benfica for nearly three decades.
In May 1962, with Guttmann as manager, Benfica had trounced the mighty Real Madrid 5-3 in the Olympic stadium in Amsterdam as the club claimed their second European Cup in a row.
But Benfica’s astounding success in Europe was short lived. Following his two consecutive European Cup victories with Benfica in ’61 and ’62, Guttmann walked out on the club when the board of directors rejected his demand for a pay rise.
Apparently Guttmann told those holding the purse strings of the club at the time that Benfica would not win another European Cup for another 100 years.
More gas offshore Israel than originally thought
An upward revision to the reserve estimate for the Tamar gas field offshore Israel shows the region hasn't yet realized its potential, Delek Drilling said.
An independent reviewer, Netherland, Sewell & Associates, Inc., said the volume of natural gas estimated in the Tamar field stands at 11.2 trillion cubic feet, with an additional 14.6 million barrels of condensate, a 13 percent increase from the previous estimate. Condensate is an ultra-light mixture of hydrocarbon liquids.
Delek CEO Yossi Abu said in a statement emailed to UPI that Tamar has already been a significant basin for Israel.
"The updated reserves data indicate that the geological potential of the Levant basin has not yet been fully tapped," he said.
Working through its subsidiaries, the company holds a considerable interest in Tamar and larger Leviathan gas fields in the basin. In its latest financial disclosure, Delek boasted gains from exploration and production were up 15 percent year-on-year.
Once on stream, Tamar and Leviathan could account for more than 1 billion cubic feet of natural gas production per day. Leviathan, the larger of the two, is slated to start deliveries by the end of 2019.
Six Members of ‘Lost’ Jewish-Indian Tribe Join Same IDF Combat Unit
Six members of a “lost” Jewish tribe from India, the Bnei Menashe, will serve together in the same IDF combat unit. All six soldiers immigrated to Israel within the last two years.
The soldiers — Khananya Baite, 21; Ayal Haokip, 20; Ben Gurion Kipgen, 19; Amos Pulamte, 20; Michael Sitlhou, 22; and Binyamin Tungnung, 20 — will serve in the IDF Givati Brigade’s 432nd “Tzabar” battalion.
“I grew up in the state of Manipur in India, and in 2015 I was allowed to immigrate to Israel with all the members of my family — except for my older brother and his family, who remained in India,” Tungnung said at his IDF swearing-in ceremony.
“Three months ago I joined the IDF and was happy to discover that I was serving in the same unit with five friends,” he continued. “My family’s dream was always to immigrate to Israel and build our future there, and my private dream was always to serve as a soldier in the IDF.”
The soldiers recently made aliyah with the help of Shavei Israel, a Jerusalem-based nonprofit that calls itself “the only Jewish organization today that is actively reaching out to ‘lost Jews’ in an effort to facilitate their return [to Israel].”
Members of the Bnei Menashe community claim to descend from Jews hailing from the tribe of Manasseh who were banished from ancient Israel to India in the 8th century B.C. In 2005, then-Sephardic Chief Rabbi of Israel Shlomo Amar officially recognized the Bnei Menashe as a “lost” tribe. Since then, some 3,000 Bnei Menashe have made aliyah, and 7,000 remain in India.
Crowdsourced online database traces the global footsteps of Jewish texts
Are you proud of your collection of passport stamps? They might pale in comparison to the voyages of this collection of ancient texts, many of which are hundreds of years old.
Researchers at Columbia University in New York are tracing the lives of books across time and place with the help of the public, and are making the results available online in the first project of its kind.
The crowd-sourced project, entitled “Footprints: Jewish Books Through Time and Place,” aims to create a database of handwritten inscriptions, censors’ stamps, book plates, annotations, and other marks in old books. The project examines everything besides the actual text in order to trace the life of a book from one owner and location to the next, explained Michelle Chesner, librarian for Jewish studies at Columbia and co-director of the project.
“Until now, there was no way to trace the movement of books,” Chesner said. “You won’t know from looking at a library catalogue that a book was owned by a particular person or that it had annotations by a particular rabbi without going to see the collection.”
It is a groundbreaking project not only for Jewish books but for books in general, said Chesner. The only similar initiative is the “Material Evidence in Incunabula” project at Oxford University, which is cataloguing the “footprints” in books — but only in the 15th century.
The “Footprints” project, on the other hand, includes Jewish books that were printed from the appearance of the printing press in the mid-15th century to the mid-19th century, when industrialization resulted in a drastic increase in the number of books produced.
Family of cyclist from 1935 Maccabiah Games donates hat to Yad Vashem
Just before the Maccabiah games kicked off on Thursday, the family of Polish-born cyclist Moshe Cukierman, who participated in the Jewish sporting competition in 1935, donated a hat that belonged to the sportsman to the Yad Vashem Artifacts Division.
Printed on the hat is the word “Maccabi” – Cukierman and his friends trained with the Maccabi Lodz and Bar Kochba Jewish sports clubs, and participated in competitions throughout the 1920s and ‘30s.
Cukierman was the captain of the cycling team of the Bar Kochba organization in Lodz, and head of the Cyclists’ Association in Lodz, and participated in cycling competitions throughout Poland. He won many medals and documented his cycling trips in diaries.
“One of the competitions he participated in took place on a 500 km. route through Poland’s Kielce district that passed through various cities,” the exhibition notes.

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