Saturday, July 15, 2017

From Ian:

Alan Dershowitz: So Now American Zionists Want to Boycott Israel
I strongly support greater separation between religion and state in Israel, as Theodor Herzl outlined in his plan for the nation-state of the Jewish People in Der Judenstaat 120 years ago: "We shall . . . prevent any theocratic tendencies from coming to the fore on the part of our priesthood. We shall keep our priests [by which is meant Rabbis] within the confines of their temples." It was David Ben Gurion, Israel's founding Prime Minister, who made the deal with the Orthodox Rabbinate that violated Herzl's mandate and knocked down the wall of separation between religion and state. He allocated to the Chief Rabbinate authority over many secular matters, such as marriage, divorce and child custody. He also laid the groundwork for the creation of religious parties that have been a necessary part of most Israeli coalitions for many years.
So, do not blame Israel's current Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, for the recent capitulation. His government's survival depends on his unholy alliance with allegedly holy parties that threaten to leave the coalition and bring down his government unless he capitulated. The alternative to a Netanyahu government might well be far to the right of the current government, both on religious matters and on prospects for peace. Reasonable people may disagree as to whether Netanyahu did the right thing, but I believe that given the choice between the current government and what may well replace it, PM Netanyahu acted on acceptable priorities.
This is not to say that I am happy with the end result. As a post-denominational Jew, I want to see a part of the Western Wall opened to conservative and reform prayer. I also want to see conservative and reform and modern orthodox rabbis deemed fully competent to perform rituals including marriage and divorce. I will continue to fight for these outcomes, and I think we will ultimately be successful. But in the meantime, I will also continue to fly El Al, contribute to Israeli hospitals, attend APAC events, and encourage Americans to support Israel, both politically and financially. To do otherwise is to engage in a form of BDS – the tactic currently employed by Israel's enemies to delegitimate the Nation state of the Jewish people. Supporters of BDS will point to these benign boycotts as a way of justifying their malignant ones. If BDS is an immoral tactic, as it surely is, so too is punishing the people of Israel for the failure of its government to be fully inclusive of Jews who do not align themselves with the ultra-Orthodox.
Tough love may be an appropriate response in family matters, but boycotting a troubled nation which has become a pariah among the hard-left is not the appropriate response to the Israeli government's recent decisions regarding religion. The answer is not disengagement, but rather greater engagement with Israel on matters that involve world Jewry. I, too, am furious about the arrogant and destructive threats of the ultra-Orthodox parties in the current government. I, too, would prefer to see a coalition that excluded the ultra-Orthodox parties. I, too, would like to see a high wall of separation that kept the Rabbis out of politics. But I do not live in Israel, and Israel is a democracy. Ultimately it is up to the citizens of Israel to change the current system. The role of American Jews is limited to persuasion, not coercion. In the end, we will be successful in persuading the Israeli people to take the power of religious, coercion out of the hands of the ultra-Orthodox minority because that would not only be good for secular Israelis – who are a majority – but also for religious Israelis. History has proven that separation of state from religion is better not only for the state, but also for religion.
Ken Loach accused of exempting himself from cultural boycott of Israel
Ken Loach has been accused of seeing himself as exempt from the cultural boycott of Israel that he promotes, after claims that he allowed his films to be distributed in the country without objection.
Loach has vocally condemned artists who perform in Israel as supporting an “apartheid regime” and his long-standing producer insisted it was down to a “mistake” that the Palme d’Or winning I, Daniel Blake is currently showing in Israeli cinemas.
The contentious issue of Loach’s films being screened in Israel emerged after the director’s searing condemnation of Radiohead’s decision to play a concert in Tel Aviv later this month. Loach accused the band of ignoring Palestinian communities and supporting a system of apartheid by refusing to commit to the cultural boycott of Israel.
Rebecca O’Brien, Loach’s producer, said the distribution company Wild Bunch, had done the deal “accidentally” and without the knowledge of Loach or his production company Sixteen Films.
“We have asked Wild Bunch before not to sell to Israel,” O’Brien said. “But what happened this time – and what has happened before – is that during Cannes, things happen very fast and a junior member of the company went and sold it to Israel in the heat of the moment, forgetting we had asked for it not to be sold there.”
Claims that the distribution rights for Israel were sold “accidentally” were however dismissed as “absurd” by Loach’s long-term Israeli distributor Guy Shani, the head of Shani Films and also the owner of Israel’s Lev cinema chain.
How Al Jazeera Inspires Terrorists
The Qatari-funded news network al Jazeera has inspired terrorists world wide, and continues to promote an extremist ideology to viewers, more than 80 percent of whom expressed support for ISIS, according to a new video issued by the United Arab Emirates, one of several Arab countries currently boycotting Qatar over its continued financial support for terror groups.
The UAE and other major Arab nations such as Saudi Arabia have ceased all ties with Qatar until the country fulfills a list of demands that includes cutting ties to terror groups and shutting down al Jazeera, which these nations say is promoting Islamic radicalism across the region and elsewhere.
"Al Jazeera Supports Terrorism," declares the latest video, which is being publicized by the UAE’s foreign ministry.
Al Jazeera has long faced accusations that it promotes terrorism and distorts regional news events, such as the conflict with Israel. Al Jazeera has been caught staging deaths in Egypt and elsewhere and trying to pass off the false scenes as news.
Former al Jazeera employees are currently suing the network over its support for the Muslim Brotherhood and allegedly misleading employees about the network’s extremist ties.

Israel set to reopen Temple Mt. on Sunday; 3 Waqf officials held
Israel will gradually reopen the Temple Mount compound to Muslim worshippers on Sunday, having closed the site for the first time since 1969 after three Arab-Israelis shot dead two Israeli police officers there on Friday morning.
The closure drew furious complaints from the Jordanian-appointed Waqf Muslim trust that administers the compound and the Al-Aqsa Mosque there, prompted a demonstration in Jordan, and provoked criticism from much of the Arab world. Israel, which closed off the site throughout Friday and Saturday, said it was searching for weaponry and for information related to the attack.
Israel also restricted access to the Old City to non-residents on Saturday, set up new checkpoints in East Jerusalem, and limited traffic on some roads close to the Old City.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the decision to reopen the site following a telephone conversation Saturday evening with the heads of the police, the Shin Bet, and Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan.
“It was decided to gradually reopen the site tomorrow to worshippers, visitors and tourists,” a statement from his office said Saturday. In addition it was decided to set up cameras and sensors and detectors at all the gates leading in, the statement said, promising “further additional security measures.
Israel’s Channel 2 reported on Saturday night that three Waqf officials were under arrest on suspicion of assisting or encouraging the attackers, who shot dead the two policemen near the compound on Friday morning. It said the three gunmen had stored their weapons inside the compound several days before Friday’s attack. One of the three Waqf officials, whose arrest was reported on Friday, was said to have been seen acting suspiciously on security cameras.
White House 'applauds' Israeli response to 'heartbreaking' Temple Mount attack
Israeli officials have assured the Trump administration that they have no intention of changing the status quo security arrangement on the Temple Mount, known to Muslims as the Holy Sanctuary, the White House said in a statement on Saturday.
Describing a shooting attack that killed two Israeli police officers as a "heartbreaking" act of terror, the president's press secretary strongly condemned the event, which took place at ground zero of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
"Yesterday, the Holy City of Jerusalem– which means 'City of Peace'– became a scene of terror," the White House statement reads. "There must be zero tolerance for terrorism. It is incompatible with achieving peace and we must condemn it in the strongest terms, defeat it, and eradicate it."
The president's special adviser on international negotiations, Jason Greenblatt, similarly condemned the attack on Friday, praising Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for swiftly speaking out against the attackers.
"The attack forced the government of Israel to temporarily close the Temple Mount/Haram al Sharif to conduct its investigation," the press secretary said. "Israel has assured the world that it has no intention to alter the status of this holy site, a decision which the United States applauds and welcomes."
Families, friends mourn ‘beloved’ cops killed in Temple Mount attack
The two Israeli Druze police officers killed in a shooting attack at the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem were laid to rest in separate funerals in their respective northern villages on Friday evening.
Haiel Sitawe, 30 was buried in the town of Maghar, a mostly Druze and Arab city in northern Israel, Friday afternoon. Sergeant Master Kamil Shnaan, 22, was laid to rest in the Druze village of Hurfeish, also in northern Israel.
Sitawe joined the Border Police as part of his mandatory national service. He joined the Israel Police in 2012 and had served in the unit responsible for securing the Temple Mount ever since. He leaves behind a wife, Irin, a three-week-old son, his parents and three brothers.
Shnaan joined the police directly after high school. He decided to stay on the police force seven months ago, signing on as a career officer. He was the youngest son of a former Labor Party Knesset member, Shachiv Shnaan. His engagement party to his girlfriend was to be held next week.
Shnaan leaves behind his parents, one brother and three sisters.
Family of fallen soldier held by Hamas: 'Don't release bodies of the terrorists'
The family of fallen IDF soldier Hadar Goldin, killed in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge in 2014 and whose body is being held by Hamas, have called on the government to refrain from releasing the bodies of the three terrorists who carried out Friday morning's terrorist attack in Jerusalem.
Three Arab-Israelis from the northern Israel town of Umm al-Fahm killed two police officers and injured three others in a shooting attack on the Temple Mount.
"The first organization that rushed to boast about the terrorist attack and its severe results was Hamas," said the Goldin family in a statement.
"Even though the perpetrators are terrorists with Israeli identification cards, cabinet ministers must seriously consider the matter of releasing their bodies, which would be a prize for Hamas."
"The release of the bodies will be interpreted by Hamas supporters in the West Bank and Gaza as further proof of the lack of clear Israeli policy on releasing the bodies of terrorists," concluded the statement.
The Goldin family also sent their wishes to the families of the two police officers killed on Friday morning.
Temple Mount Terrorist Attack Highlights Deep Bonds Between Jewish and Druze Communities, Says Israeli Rabbi
A leading Israeli rabbi who works closely with Druze religious leaders spoke on Friday of the deep bonds between the Jewish and Druze communities, hours after two Druze border police officers were shot dead during a terrorist attack at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City.
Rabbi Yaakov Kermaier, the president of Yakir — an Israeli community development organization focused on Druze-Jewish relations — told The Algemeiner that he had spoken with Druze leaders after the attack to tell them that “Jews around the world share their grief and pain today.” The two officers — 30-year-old Haiel Sitawe and 22-year-old Kamil Shnaan — were buried in their home towns in northern Israel on Friday afternoon. Sitawe was the father of a three-week-old son, while Shnaan had planned to celebrate his engagement to his girlfriend at a family party next week.
Kermaier — an American who moved to Israel in 2015 after serving as rabbi of Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue Synagogue — explained that among Druze, such tragedies are viewed as “goral,” the Hebrew word for “destiny.”
“It’s very painful, but they are also very proud that their young people make the same sacrifices as the young Jewish women and men who defend Israel,” Kermaier said.
Among those who spoke with Kermaier after the attack was Rinal Seif, the widow of the Druze police officer Zidan Seif — who died of his wounds after defending worshipers at a Jerusalem synagogue during a terrorist assault in November 2014.
Waqf protests Israel has completely taken control of Temple Mount
The Waqf on Saturday protested that Israel had completely superseded its control over the Temple Mount, as Muslim anger mounted following Israel’s closure of the flash point holy site in the wake of the Friday terror attack there.
The Waqf — the Jordan-based Muslim organization that administers the Temple Mount — also said Israeli security forces had “caused harm” to all of its central offices.
“We reject all the measures that Israel is taking,” said Jerusalem’s chief mufti, Mohammad Hussein, “and we warn against any harm to Al-Aqsa.”
Waqf officials said they were barred from their offices in the compound Sunday, and condemned the closure of the Temple Mount to Muslim prayer for the first time since 1969.
“We have no control at the blessed Al-Aqsa,” said Abdel Azim Salhab, a senior Waqf official at a press conference. “Israel’s security forces are doing whatever they want there — defiling and destroying.”
Israel outraged by Jordan's reaction to terror attack
Israeli officials were angered by Jordan’s statement, saying on Friday evening they rejected it.
"Instead of condemning the attack, Jordan chose to attack Israel, which protects the worshipers and preserves freedom of worship in the area," the statement said, according to Israeli media outlets.
"Israel will not tolerate any harm to the holy sites and it maintains the status quo in them. It would be appropriate for all the parties involved, including Jordan, to maintain restraint and prevent an escalation," it added.
Jordan is one of two Arab countries, the other being Egypt, to have signed a peace treaty with Israel.
The country’s parliament, which is made up mostly of Islamists, remains anti-Israel and its members have more than once called to annul the peace treaty.
There have been tensions between the sides over the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Under an agreement reached following the Six Day War, in which Israel liberated Jerusalem, the Jordanian Waqf is in charge of the Temple Mount.
Hundreds in Jordan protest Temple Mount closure
Hundreds of people on Saturday protested in the Jordanian capital of Amman against Israel’s closure of the Temple Mount following a terror attack in which two police officers were killed.
At the demonstration, protesters condemned the “Arab silence” over the decision to close the holy site and also issued calls of support for the “warriors of the conquered city,” the Ynet news site reported.
Many of the protesters waved Palestinian flags and chanted anti-Israel slogans.
The protest in Amman followed a demonstration on Friday outside the Israeli consulate in Istanbul, in which dozens of people waved Turkish and Palestinian flags and called Israel “cursed,” Channel 2 reported.
Since Friday’s attack, in which three Israeli-Arabs killed two Israeli Druze police officers near Lions Gate just outside the Temple Mount complex, tensions have been steadily increasing, with Muslim leaders calling for Israel to reopen the site.
Failing to mention attack, Arab League scolds Israel for Temple Mt. closure
The Arab League condemned Israel for its closure of the Temple Mount following a terror attack at the holy site.
Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit said in a statement on Friday that Israel’s “banning Palestinians from praying” will only “inflame extremism and escalate tension” in the region.
He stressed “the high sensitivity of issues related to religious places,” and chastised Israel for handling the situation with “carelessness.”
The statement made no mention of the cause of the temporary closure — a terror attack earlier in the day that claimed the lives of two Israeli police officers.
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation, an umbrella group of 57 nations, also lambasted the closure, calling it “a serious crime and a dangerous precedent.”
Hamas calls for attacks on Israelis after Temple Mount closure
The Hamas terror group on Saturday called for further attacks on Israelis after the closure of the Temple Mount in the wake of Friday’s deadly assault at the holy site.
In Gaza, Hamas staged a rally Saturday to celebrate the attack, in which three Arab Israelis shot dead two Israeli police officers.
The gunmen launched the attack from the compound and then fled back onto it, where they were pursued and killed by Israeli forces. Israel then shut the site as its forces searched for more weapons. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly intends to gradually reopen it on Sunday, but the move has drawn widespread condemnation from the Arab and Muslim World.
Hamas, an Islamist terror group which seeks to destroy Israel, described the closure of the site in a statement Saturday as a “religious war” and Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum called on the Palestinian “uprising” to target the Israeli army and West Bank settlers.

Unmasking BDS: A new method to fight the movement has emerged, and it's working
After decades of allowing the BDS Movement a free playing field on which to spin their allegations against Israel, a trend is discernible that is making headway into the jumble of their narrative. Slow but sure progress is being made against the radical accusations that have been fired at the Jewish state.
The old tactic of branding Israel as the Start-Up Nation had limited value. What benefit is it extolling the wonders of Waze if the other side is using negative emotional imagery of a Zionist state as child-killers and brutal occupiers? Instead, a new strategy took root. Take Israel out of the equation. Put the spotlight onto our enemies. Concentrate on the messaging and the character of our BDS adversaries. Target those who are attacking Israel and Jews, and retaliate directly at them. Expose them and expose their hypocrisy and lies.
The anti-Israel BDS advocates are caught in a trap of their own making, namely the paucity of their argument and often the deep antisemitism that drives them.
The battle has been joined and rapid progress has been made. Part of the offensive involves the naming and shaming of Israel’s BDS enemies. Often this is done via the social media as with the Canary Mission website that documents individuals and groups promoting hatred against Israel and Jews on college campuses in America. Their site catalogues people and groups listing their names, locations, which radical group they belong to, the roles they play, and detailing the negative actions or statements made by them. Their profile usually includes a headshot photo. Often the person’s profile includes their social media presence.
In the past, entertainment figures wielded influence in the cultural world. Recently, their radical bias has been exposed and they are increasingly ignored. One example is Roger Waters of “Pink Floyd” fame. Once a BDS icon, he has become a laughingstock, trashed by artists who ignored his demands for them to boycott Israel. Aerosmith was quickly followed by Radiohead, Rod Stewart and the Pet Shop Boys in performing in front of huge crowds in Israel.
Why Radiohead is more important than Roger Waters
Which brings us back to Roger Waters, who sent Yorke an email earlier this year expressing concern “about Radiohead crossing the BDS picket line to perform in Israel.”
The letter prompted a tirade from Yorke published in Rolling Stone, which turned out to be the best hasbara Israel has received lately, excluding Gal Gadot’s stint as Wonder Woman.
Saying that there are many people who don’t agree with the BDS movement, Yorke told the magazine that “It’s really upsetting that artists I respect think we are not capable of making a moral decision ourselves after all these years. They talk down to us and I just find it mind-boggling that they think they have the right to do that. It’s extraordinary.”
Yorke endeared himself further to those who prefer dialogue to boycott during last week’s Radiohead performance at the TRNSMT Festival in Scotland. Several Palestinian flags and signs calling on the band to boycott Israel were held aloft, prompting Yorke to mumble into his microphone “some f**** people” a few times, and to give his middle finger to the protesters.
Besides helping to propel the band’s career by giving endless airplay to their first single, “Creep,” Radiohead has other reasons to feel affinity for Israel. Guitarist Johnny Greenwood is married to an Israel woman, Sharona Katan, and Greenwood collaborated with Israeli musician Shye Ben Tzur on a 2015 album called Junun, recorded in India with a group called the Rajasthan Express.
Greenwood will be busy on Wednesday night when he joins Ben Tzur as Radiohead’s opening act. Their set will be preceded by another multi-centric performance, by Jewish and Arab musicians under the banner Dudu Tassa and the Kuwaitis, who have opened up some Radiohead shows internationally this year, including the Coachella festival.
Rather than succumbing to boycott pressure, Radiohead via their words and actions appear to be issuing a call for inclusion and using music as the unifier. It’s no less than one would expect from the world’s most important band.
Group Associated With BDS Activist Linda Sarsour Announces Intention to Turn Over Funds Promised to Historic Jewish Cemetery
An organization associated with Palestinian-American BDS activist Linda Sarsour announced its intention on Wednesday to turn over funds promised to a historic Jewish cemetery in Colorado, one day after The Algemeiner revealed that the cemetery had yet to see the money a full four months after the campaign — which raised over $160,000 — was launched.
Celebrate Mercy — an Islamic education non-profit founded by Imam Tarek El-Messidi — posted on Facebook that the Golden Hill Cemetery will be the recipient of a “large portion” of the over $100,000 remaining from a campaign originally launched in February on Muslim crowdfunding site LaunchGood, money raised to aid in the restoration of vandalized Jewish cemeteries.
For years, Golden Hill has been seeking funds to clean up and secure its inactive historic section, where some 800 graves mark the burial spots of mostly impoverished tuberculosis victims from the 19th and 20th centuries.
Though cemetery officials said they had not heard back from Celebrate Mercy after multiple attempts to make contact, the group claimed in its social media statement that “Cemetery directors have sent a detailed funding request and are currently working on sending a revised version of that proposal.”
The statement also suggested that the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, which was observed May 26-June 24, was a primary cause of the lack of communication between the cemetery’s caretakers and Celebrate Mercy’s crowdfunding campaigners, among whom Sarsour was prominently featured.
Chicago Dyke March Drops Pretense, Deploys Anti-Semitic Term Popularized by Neo-Nazis
Last month, the Chicago Dyke March, a far-left alternative to the city’s main Pride parade, expelled several Jewish lesbians for carrying Jewish pride flags emblazoned with a Star of David. You can find links to the victims’ accounts and the reasons this discrimination was anti-Semitic here. At the time, the Dyke March’s officials claimed they were merely being “anti-Zionist” in expunging those brandishing Jewish stars, disingenuously conflating the ancient Jewish symbol with the modern Jewish state.
But if any doubt remained as to the true intentions of the March, they should be dispelled by its official Twitter feed, which went full white nationalist last night. (To be clear, far from a freelance operation, the Twitter account is listed on the March’s official Facebook page.) Unprompted, the March’s feed deployed the anti-Jewish slur “Zio,” originally popularized by former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke:
After reporters began inquiring about the tweet, the Dyke March attempted to hide the evidence by deleting it.
While this episode is disturbing, it is also clarifying. People who kick Jews out of their spaces for displaying Jewish symbols, then deploy neo-Nazi terms to defend their conduct are not “anti-Zionist.” They are “anti-Semitic.” Progressives and all people of good will should treat them as such.
CAMERA: A U.N. Report on Gaza, Reuters and Polemics
"Attempts to tell the story of what is happening to normal citizens inside Gaza today, quickly become the target of polemic – over what is the cause and what is the effect, around the correct sequencing of events and responses, over the language used and so on and so forth," presciently begins the opening paragraph of the foreword of a United Nations report released this week on humanitarian conditions in Gaza 10 years after Hamas took control of the territory ("Gaza Ten Years Later"). Robert Piper, the UN Coordinator for Humanitarian Aid and Development in the Occupied Palestinian territory, is signed at the bottom of the foreword.
Indeed, underscoring the polemical nature of much the discussion surrounding the conditions in the Gaza Strip, and the reasons for those difficult conditions, is a July 11 Reuters interview with Piper himself, published on the occasion of the release of the very same report ("Gaza 'unliveable' ten years after Hamas seized power: U.N.")
A careful read of both the U.N. report and the Reuters interview, conducted by Reuters' Jerusalem bureau chief Luke Baker, reveals a glaring gap between the two. While the U.N. report notes the thousands of Hamas rocket attacks, Hamas' military buildup and its attack tunnel infrastructure, the terror group's successful and attempted kidnappings, and its weapons smuggling, the interview is completely mum on these topics. The Reuters interview with Piper includes not a word about why Israel "moved to isolate the militant group by restricting the flow of goods and people in and out of Gaza, limiting access to the sea and working with Egypt to enforce a blockade."
French Jews fume as prosecutors reject hate crime in Jewish woman’s murder
Leaders of French Jewry strongly criticized the absence of a mention of hate crime in the indictment of a Paris man who killed his Jewish neighbor while shouting about Allah.
CRIF, the umbrella group of French Jewish community, used uncharacteristically harsh language in criticizing the indictment for murder filed by prosecutors Wednesday against Kobili Traore, who confessed to killing 66-year-old Sarah Halimi on April 4 and throwing her dying body from the third-story window of her apartment.
“CRIF is astonished that the anti-Semitic character of the murder was omitted,” read the statement of the organization, which over the past two weeks has presented on the homepage of its website a running meter with the number of days it took authorities to file an indictment. CRIF has accused authorities of covering up and silencing the slaying of Halimi along with mainstream media.
Traore, 27, who has no history of mental illness, initially was hospitalized in a psychiatric institution as per his insanity plea. He knew that Halimi, a physician and kindergarten teacher, was Jewish and had called her daughter “dirty Jew” in the elevator two years ago, the daughter told French Jewish media.
British and Israeli Air Forces Conduct Emergency Drill at Sea
Rescue teams from the British Army’s naval and air forces concluded a three-day joint emergency drill with their Israeli counterparts on Wednesday, in the largest such exercise in 10 years.
British Royal Navy rescue fighters, who operate the UK Royal Air Force’s win-engine Bell 412 helicopter, were hosted by Israel’s Black Hawk helicopter squadron at the Palmachim Airbase near the city of Rishon LeZion on the Mediterranean coast.
The British squadron that joined in the exercise is usually posted at Cyprus’s Akrotiri base.
Throughout Wednesday’s drill, the pilots and soldiers from both countries trained several miles off Israel’s coast, and practiced emergency rescue situations involving civilians trapped on ships in stormy weather.
“In the main, they focus on locating and rescuing civilians in the sea. We are also doing this on land in combat zones, under fire, for soldiers who have been wounded in enemy territory,” said the commander of the Israeli helicopter squadron, Lt. Col Gilad, Yedioth Ahronoth reported.
“We learned a lot from [the British forces] over the last few days,” he added. “They were in our helicopters and we were in their helicopters. We saw, for example, that they use rescue tactics from the side of the ship, whereas we descend directly onto the deck.”
Tariq Ramadan Double Talking for Hamas
Tariq Ramadan is known for his double talk.
I don’t know why he bothers. Being slippery does not hide his thinking. It only makes it even more objectionable.
You can see him at it again in a speech at Palestine Expo in London last weekend. Hamas are not terrorists. Only bad Israelis make that claim:
What we heard from Livni, what we heard from Netanyahu, telling us, you know what, when we are dealing now with terrorism in your country, you are dealing with terrorism, with what happened in Manchester, what happened in London, and we condemn terrorists, we condemn violent extremists, what are they saying? That, you know what, what you are experiencing now, is what we had there. Who said that? Netanyahu said that, just in 2001, what we heard is what you got in the States is what we are getting in Israel.
As if al-Qaeda is exactly like Hamas and the Palestinian resistance. By saying that they are all terrorists, that’s exactly the game. And we are saying we condemn terrorism. But there is a legitimate resistance to your state terrorism.

Hamas itself begs to differ. When Osama bin Laden was killed, Hamas mourned the “holy warrior”:
Hamas Arrests Dozens Of Salafists In Gaza After Islamic State Attack In Sinai
Hamas security personnel in the Gaza Strip arrested dozens of Salafist activists in the immediate aftermath of an attack in Sinai by militants from Wilyat Sinai, the Egyptian branch of the Islamic State, in which 23 Egyptian soldiers were killed.
A senior jihadist figure associated with IS told Breitbart Jerusalem that according to figures from Salafist organizations, at least 70 activists and jihadists were arrested in the crackdown.
Most of those arrested identify ideologically with the Islamic State group. The jihadist source said the arrests took place in dozens of homes belonging to Salafists and jihadists. According to the source, during the raids on the homes, Hamas personnel did not hesitate to use violence against the families of the Salafist and jihadist suspects and live fire was used in some cases.
Most of Hamas’ arrest operations focused on the southern Gaza Strip and areas along the border with Sinai.
The jihadist source noted that Hamas operatives set up ambushes during the operations and increased their searches of vehicles and businesses. “The city of Rafah was effectively surrounded by checkpoints and search points set up by Hamas members,” said the source. “In the territory leading to the border area with Sinai and Egypt, a massive presence of Hamas members could be seen. Hamas personnel were deployed at the scene in military garb as well as civilian dress and that’s in addition to the national security forces who also stuck out in the area.”
Egypt police probe motives of Red Sea beach attacker
Police on Saturday questioned the suspected jihadist who stabbed to death two German women and wounded four others at a Red Sea beach resort, adding to the woes of Egypt’s hobbled tourism industry.
Judicial sources said the man who had swum ashore from a public beach in Hurghada to carry out Friday’s attack confessed to sharing the ideology of the Islamic State jihadist group, although there was no IS claim of responsibility.
The sources said the suspect, a 28-year-old from Kafr al-Sheikh province in the Nile Delta, north of Cairo, has been transferred to the capital for questioning.
At the same time, the prosecution, said in a statement that it had not yet confirmed the assailant’s motives and urged the media “to stop resorting to speculation or getting ahead of the investigation”.
The streets of Hurghada were being heavily patrolled and security was stepped up outside hotels on Saturday.
Two Years After Nuclear Deal, Iran’s Belligerent Behavior Confirms Critics’ Concerns
Friday marks the second anniversary since Iran signed a landmark nuclear agreement with six major world powers led by the United States. Over the past two years, the Islamic Republic has violated the nuclear terms of the deal at the margins and pursued a much more aggressive military campaign across the Middle East, confirming concerns first raised by the deal’s critics.
Already last year, Bret Stepehns, then a columnist with The Wall Street Journal, observed:
Mr. Obama says Iran is honoring the nuclear deal, but German intelligence tells us Tehran is violating it more aggressively than ever. He promised “snapback” sanctions in the event of such violations, but the U.S. is operating as Iran’s trade-promotion agent. He promised “unprecedented” inspections, but we’re not permitted to inspect sites where uranium was found. He promised an eight-year ban on Iran’s testing of ballistic missiles, but Tehran violated that ban immediately and repeatedly with only mild pushback from the West. He promised that the nuclear deal was not about “normalizing” relations with a rogue regime. But he wants it in the WTO.
A year later, the consequences of the nuclear deal have gotten even worse, and the accuracy of its critics’ predictions have been repeatedly confirmed.
Lee Smith, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, warned a week after the deal was announced that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps would strengthen its hold over Iran as a result of the deal. Saeed Ghasseminejad and Emanuele Ottolenghi, both fellows at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), similarly cautioned that the groups most likely to be strengthened by the nuclear deal were businesses controlled by the IRGC and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of Iran.
Turkey’s Failed Coup One Year Later: 24 Governors, 169 Generals, 50,000 Total Arrested
The administration of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has taken legal action against 169,013 people in the wake of the failed coup attempt a year ago, a figure that includes 50,010 individuals arrested, announced the country’s Ministry of Justice.
Independent data shows that 138,148 people have lost their government jobs at the national and local levels as a result of a post-coup purge by Erdogan.
Citing a written statement from the justice ministry, the Istanbul-based Turkish news agency Bianet reported on July 13, echoing other outlets:
As a part of these [169,013] investigations, 50,510 people have been arrested including 169 generals, 7,098 colonels and low-ranking officers as well as 8,815 security staff, 24 governors, 73 vice governors, 116 sub-governors and other 31,784 suspects.
Within this approximately one-year period, 48,439 people have been subjected to probation decisions including 3,046 soldiers, 5,024 police officers, 9 governors, 27 vice-governors, 73 sub-governors and other 39,041 suspects within these investigations.
In addition, 43,404 people who were taken into custody, were later released including 10,033 people from Prosecutor’s Office and 33,371 law-enforcement officers.
Lebanese TV Brawl
A debate between Lebanese Sunni Islamist leader Bilal Daqmaq and former Syrian MP Ahmad Shlash – a Sunni tribal leader from Deir Al-Zour who supports the Al-Assad regime – deteriorated into a brawl seconds after the beginning of the OTV show. The TV host extended his condolences to Shlash, whose cousin had been executed by ISIS the day before. When the TV host asked Sheikh Daqmaq if he would like to join the gesture, Daqmaq said only that he conveyed condolences to the Syrian people for every Syrian killed. This quickly led to an exchange of curses and physical blows. OTV posted the video on its YouTube channel on July 10.
Moderator: We will discuss the developments with former Syrian MP Ahmad Shlash, and with Islamic theorist Sheikh Bilal Daqmaq. I welcome you both on the show. First, we would like to extend our condolences, Sheikh Ahmad. We know that your cousin was martyred yesterday. He was beheaded by ISIS, who accused him of collaborating with the Syrian regime.

'Wash it off': Jewish Montrealer says police initially didn't take anti-Semitic graffiti seriously
A Montreal man says police have apologized and opened an investigation after initially telling him and his girlfriend that they weren't going to file a report about a swastika scrawled on their car.
Steve Shivalofsky and his girlfriend live in the Monkland village area of Montreal's Notre-Dame-de-Grâce neighbourhood. He said that on Wednesday afternoon, his girlfriend was heading out for an appointment when she found a note on their car's windshield, "telling her to go to the passenger side, and that someone had written something horrible on the door."
If a kind neighbour hadn't left that note, Shivalofsky said, his girlfriend could have driven off without noticing the swastika and hateful message.
Steve Shivalofsky and his girlfriend found this hateful graffiti on their car on Wednesday afternoon. (Corey Fleischer/Facebook)
Shivalofsky, who is Jewish, said he had never experienced anything like this before.
Japan TV show sorry over guest’s Hitler tee
Japan’s public broadcaster NHK apologized Wednesday over a cartoon with Adolf Hitler’s face that was printed on a T-shirt worn by a talk show guest.
The black T-shirt worn by entrepreneur Takafumi Horie also carried a “No war” message on one side and a peace symbol on the cartoon Hitler’s chest. Horie was a guest on NHK’s “Afternoon Live” daily talk show Wednesday.
The T-shirt prompted complaints from viewers.
During the program, the NHK announcer, who is also the show’s co-host, apologized. Responding to a tweet asking about the Hitler cartoon, Horie said it was meant to be an anti-war message.
5 Israeli precision-ag technologies making farms smarter
Israeli precision agriculture started with a drip and became a deluge.
The “drip” is drip irrigation. The single most significant advance in modern agriculture, invented in Israel by Simcha Blass and his son Yeshayahu in 1959, increases crop yield, quality and consistency while using less water.
Netafim, the multinational company founded in 1965 to commercialize the Blass invention, remains the foremost name in irrigation technologies worldwide.
The “deluge” includes a host of farm management solutions. No fewer than 70 Israeli companies make tools for measuring, analyzing, monitoring and automating processes to give crops and soil exactly what they need, exactly when and where they need it, ensuring minimal waste of resources and maximum efficiency and yield.
Israel stands out in precision-ag subsectors of water management, data science, drones and sensors, says Stephane Itzigsohn, investment associate at OurCrowd.
Israel’s robot friend nabs Toyota Research investment
Intuition Robotics, the developer of ElliQ, a social companion robot for elderly people, said it has raised $14 million in a series-A funding round led by Japan’s Toyota Research Institute (TRI). The investment round brings the total funds raised to date to $16 million, the Israeli startup said.
TRI joined investors OurCrowd and iRobot, as well as existing seed investors Maniv Mobility, Terra Venture Partners, Bloomberg Beta, and other private investors, the startup said in a statement.
ElliQ is an artificial intelligence-based robot companion that aims to keep older adults active and engaged with family members by helping make technology use easier. The robot, named after a Norse goddess, is designed to learn an owner’s personality and preferences, and uses machine learning and natural language processing to suggest things like taking a walk or Skyping a grandchild.
The partnership is TRI’s first outside investment in robotic technology specifically for older adults, Intuition Robotics said.
Gill Pratt, CEO of TRI, said the company was impressed by Intuition Robotics’ multi-disciplinary approach that includes human-robot interaction, cloud robotics, machine learning and design.
HuffPo: Mayim Bialik Calls Herself A Proud Zionist And A Proud Liberal
The mom of two spoke out a few months ago on her website, GrokNation, in response to an interview with Palestinian-American activist Linda Sarsour, in which Sarsour disagreed with the idea that Zionism and feminism could co-exist.
"You either stand up for the rights of all women, including Palestinians, or none," Sarsour said.
Bialik wrote that she was both a Zionist and a feminist, and that the former movement encompasses a wide variety of perspectives on both the Israeli occupation of the region and the settlements.
"Accusing Zionism of being incompatible with feminism is exceptionally short-sighted," she wrote. It smarts of a broad-stroke bias against the entire Jewish people for the violations that occur in a state that was founded on the principles of Zionism."
She also doesn't like the use of the word "occupation" to describe Israel's control over the territories, which include the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, calling it "inflammatory."
"[It] paints a not entirely accurate picture — especially for people who don't know anything about Israel or the matzav [situation] — much like calling Israel an apartheid state," she told HuffPost.

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