Thursday, July 20, 2017

From Ian:

With longest concert in 11 years, Radiohead shows it does belong here
Forty-seven thousand creeps and weirdos flocked to Tel Aviv’s Yarkon Park to hear Radiohead play in the Jewish state for the first time in 17 years on Wednesday night, despite the hot, muggy weather and in appreciation of the band’s robust defiance of calls by boycott-Israel activists that it cancel the show.
Those tens of thousands of fans, plus the hordes who saved the ticket price and listened to the concert on the grass beyond the gates, were treated to the longest Radiohead concert in 11 years, according to a Reddit tally.
Toward what seemed like the end of the show, lead singer Thom Yorke, who’d been relatively quiet all night, told the fans: “We ain’t done yet. We came all the way here. We’re gonna play our fingers off.”
Other than perfunctory “Thank yous” and a bit of Israeli slang, “yalla” (come on), which drew whoops of approval from the crowd, Yorke’s only other brief on-stage comments during the show had to do with some of the controversy surrounding the Tel Aviv performance.
In the months leading up to the show, a group of activists who support cultural boycotts of Israel called for Radiohead to cancel the concert, as they routinely urge all visiting artists, over Israel’s policies regarding the Palestinians. Unlike many artists — a minority of whom cancel, and most of whom go ahead with their shows and ignore the critics — Radiohead responded fiercely to the pro-BDS pressure campaign, calling it patronizing and saying that their playing in Israel does not signify approval of the government’s policies.
Yorke didn’t go into the details of the argument, but merely told the crowd quietly, “A lot of stuff was said about this. But in the end, we played some music,” before launching into the final song of the night, “Karma Police” from its hit album “OK Computer.”


New ADL Guide Blasts Right-Wing Anti-Semites, Gives Left-Leaning Bigots a Pass
Yesterday, the ADL issued a guide to help us errant Jews understand who are our true haters. It is titled “From Alt Right to Alt Lite: Naming the Hate,” and it profiles 36 (double chai!) prominent individuals who are either known for their anti-Semitism or known for cozying up to people known for their anti-Semitism. As long, of course, as they’re on the right.
Looking for social justice warriors who kick Jews out of their marches? Prominent progressive activists who think you can’t be both a Zionist and a feminist? Professors who believe Jews were behind the 9/11 attacks? Don’t bother the ADL by arguing that Jew hatred is as rampant on the left as it is on the right, if not more.
Why the double standard? Why focus on one end of the political spectrum and ignore the other? Todd Gutnick, the ADL’s Senior Director of Communications, said his organization “will continue to put out reports on the wide range of extremist threats, as well as those involved in anti-Israel activity.” He also added that the organization’s CEO, Jonathan Greenblatt, a former assistant to Barack Obama, has spoken out before about the left’s growing anti-Semitism problem. But reporting on the right, Gutnick said, “felt timely and necessary. These groups have been holding a number of public rallies recently and our Center on Extremism has been tracking their activities. As more of the individuals in these movements attempt to move into the mainstream, we felt it was crucial to understand their ideas and to share their statements.”
It’s a strange argument. Is Andrew Anglin, who runs the neo-Nazi site The Daily Stormer, more mainstream than Linda Sarsour? Are KKK rallies in Virginia better attended or more prominent than leftist anti-Jewish marches in Chicago? Of course they’re not. Why, then, the systemic focus on the alt-right? I pressed Gutnick for an answer; I never heard back.
It’s a shame. As Jews face real hate from left and right alike, we need and deserve an organization that places principles over politics.
ADL accuses Jewish Voice for Peace of ‘anti-Israel radicalism’
The Anti Defamation League on Wednesday accused Jewish Voice for Peace of seeking to undermine support for Israel among US Jews, saying the pro-BDS group has adopted “increasingly radical positions” and uses “questionable tactics” to promote its agenda.
In a statement, the ADL said JVP is engaged in “harassing LGBT groups,” citing the organization’s infiltration of the pro-Israel Jewish Queer Youth during June’s Celebrate Israel parade in New York and its support for the Chicago Dyke March’s removal of three Jewish women from its parade for carrying Jewish Pride flags.
The ADL also slammed JVP for “shutting down dialogue,” saying that members of the group shout down speakers whom they deem to be too pro-Israel rather than engaging them in debate.
JVP also came under fire from the ADL for its continued praise of convicted Palestinian terrorists, including its decision to host Rasmea Odeh — who was was convicted by Israel of involvement in a 1969 bombing in Jerusalem that killed two and injured nine — at an event in April and an advertisement it published in The Forward newspaper hailing jailed Palestinian terror mastermind and political leader Marwan Barghouti that made no mention of his involvement in the murder of Israelis.



Guide at Anne Frank Center compares Israel to Nazi Germany Arab guide at Berlin's Anne Frank Center compares Arabs in Israel to Jews under Nazi Germany.
The Anne Frank Center in Berlin has distanced itself from the statement of a freelance guide who compared Jews suffering at the hands of the Nazis in World War II to Arabs living in Israel today.
At issue was a profile of Nesreen Hajjaj, a 24-year-old Berliner of Arab background, in the July 19 online English version of Al Arabiya. Hajjaj is one of 25 freelance guides who introduces visitors to the exhibition at the Anne Frank Zentrum Berlin.
Hajjaj told the interviewer that “many things that happened to the Jews during the Nazi rule are happening to the Palestinians now. Jewish people were kicked out of their homes and denied an education. Today Palestinian lands and houses are being conquered,” she told the online publication.
She said she had been called an “infidel and a hypocrite” on social media for taking the job with the center.
Her answer to critics: “We must be open-minded toward different people, especially if you live within their societies.”
Patrick Siegele, director of the Anne Frank Zentrum, told JTA that Hajjaj’s comparison as stated in the Al Arabiya article was “incorrect and painful … and does not reflect the official position of the Anne Frank Zentrum. Furthermore, the Anne Frank Zentrum distances itself from this position.”
Tunisia bans Wonder Woman over Israeli star
A Tunisian court has banned the US film “Wonder Woman” which stars Israeli actress Gal Gadot, more than a month after it had been scheduled to open at cinemas in the Arab state, a legal source said Wednesday.
Lebanon has also banned Wonder Woman, on the grounds of a long-standing boycott of Israel.
The film was to have been screened at two venues in Tunis in early June but the showings were “suspended” following a complaint from the nationalist Al-Chaab party.
The court finally decided to impose the ban last Friday, prosecution spokesman Sofiene Sliti said, although the verdict was only disclosed to the media this week without a reason given for the judgement.
Al-Chaab demanded the film be banned because its leading actress, Gal Gadot, praised the Israeli military in a widely shared Facebook post during the 2014 Gaza war, sending prayers to soldiers “who are risking their lives protecting my country against the horrific acts conducted by Hamas.”
IsraellyCool: Victorian Opposition Leader Matthew Guy Slams Media Bias Against Israel
Australia - Victoria’s opposition leader has slammed the bias of the mainstream media, after witnessing their fake news firsthand while here at the time of Friday’s Temple Mount terror attack.
Matthew Guy (right) with Member for Caulfield David Southwick in the Old City last Friday (AJN).
VICTORIAN Opposition Leader Matthew Guy, who was in the Old City of Jerusalem last Friday when three terrorists killed two Israeli police officers, has slammed major news outlets for “fundamentally untruthful” reporting.
Guy was in the neighbourhood of the attack only four hours after he landed in Israel, when he was put in lock-down.
“There were police and army coming from everywhere,” Guy told The AJN this week.
“It gave a pretty good indication for someone like me from the other side of the world to what Israelis live with every day and what the IDF and the police forces have to manage all the time.”
After the initial shock, Guy started reading how the world’s media was covering the incident and said he was taken-aback by the “utterly false” coverage.
“A number of outlets, like the BBC and CNN, have a totally biased and fundamentally untruthful way of reporting these incidents,” Guy said.
UN chief opposes ESCWA's ongoing 'Israel apartheid' slurs


French left-wing head slams Macron for admitting French guilt in Holocaust
Melenchon charged that Macron inappropriately labeled the Vichy government, a client state of Nazi Germany, as the French government, when the legitimate French government was in exile in Britain at the time.
At the end of a long blog entry, Melenchon called it “totally unacceptable” to say that “France, as a people, as a nation, is responsible for this crime.”
Melenchon also panned the invitation of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel to participate in the commemoration marking the 75th anniversary of the Vel d’Hiv deportations of thousands of French Jews, calling Netanyahu “the leader of the extreme right-wing government in Israel.”
He also took issue with Macron calling anti-Zionism a form of anti-Semitism, which he said was a “very old thesis,” pointing out that “this is the first time that this argument has been made official by the president of our Republic.”
French Jews were deeply appreciative of the Macron speech at the Vel d’Hiv commemoration, which included some of the most forceful remarks on French complicity in the persecution of the country’s Jews ever heard from a French president. Macron rejected “those who wish to say that Vichy’s France wasn’t representative of the French nation,” saying that “the Nazis knew they could count on the obedience” of the puppet government and thousands of Frenchmen serving it.
Melenchon, an anti-Israel lawmaker with a record of statements deemed anti-Semitic, rejected that assessment.
‘Never again,’ declares Netanyahu at Hungarian Holocaust memorial
The memorial consists of 60 pairs of period shoes made out of iron to commemorate the hundreds of Jews who were brought to the spot by members of the Arrow Cross, a Hungarian fascist movement at the time. They were ordered to remove their shoes and then were shot so that their bodies fell into the river.
Netanyahu visited the site on his way from Budapest to the airport ahead of his flight back to Israel at the end of his three-day visit. The prime minister was accompanied by his wife and United Torah Judaism party MK Yisrael Eichler, who read a chapter of Psalms.
“This place expresses in such a tragic but also a clear way, the change in Jewish fate,” Netanyahu said. He explained he had brought a stone from Mount Herzl cemetery in Jerusalem, named after Theodor Herzl, the Austrian-Hungarian journalist considered the father of modern Zionism and whose tomb lies at the site in the Israeli capital.
“I brought a stone here from Mount Herzl, (Herzl) who was born in this city, and brought about the rebirth of Israel, and this stone, from Mount Herzl, from Israel, in memory of the victims here, symbolizes the rebirth of Israel and our absolute commitment that this disaster will never fall upon us again,” he said.
Hungarian PM tells EU to improve its ties with Israel
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán on Wednesday called on the European Union to improve its relations with Israel, saying that Brussels’ current policy toward Jerusalem was nonsensical and hurt its own interests.
At a joint appearance with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and three other prime ministers from EU member states in Central Europe, Orban implied that the Jewish state is a bulwark against radical Islamism and protects the continent against massive waves of migration from the Middle East.
“Once again, we should reiterate our acknowledgement towards Israel for what it does for the security of Europe,” Orban said at a meeting of the Visegrad Group, a political alliance of Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic, held in Budapest’s Vigado concert hall.
“In the future, we shall promote that the cooperation between the European Union and Israel become better,” he went on, speaking in Hungarian. “If Europe does not cooperate with Israel, it is punishing itself, which is pointless. And therefore, we shall propose in the upcoming period that the Israeli-EU cooperation should return to the field of common sense.”
Decrying ‘betrayal,’ Hungary Jews say Netanyahu ignoring them
Members of Hungary’s Jewish community expressed deep disappointment with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Wednesday evening, saying a speech by the Israeli premier at a Budapest Jewish center catered mainly to the Hungarian government and entirely ignored their concerns.
Wrapping up his three-day trip to Hungary, Netanyahu and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Wednesday delivered addresses in the headquarters of the Federation of Jewish Communities in Hungary, also know as Mazsihisz, which is located adjacent to the world-famous Dohany Street Synagogue.
In a markedly dry event attended by some 200 Jewish officials — free of the children’s choirs and other celebratory rites usually showered upon Netanyahu by Diaspora communities he visits — both prime ministers focused their remarks on bilateral ties, neglecting to directly address the community.
One senior rabbi said Netanyahu failed to respond to the community’s questions. Another community member spoke of a “betrayal.”
The chilly reception for the prime minister — including scathing criticism from the Jewish community’s president — underlined Hungarian Jewry’s unhappiness with Netanyahu’s decision to embrace Orban despite accusations of anti-Semitism. While Netanyahu is often criticized by Diaspora Jews for placing realpolitik over community concerns, such as his defense of President Donald Trump amid concerns over growing anti-Semitism in the US, he is normally welcomed warmly by Jewish leaders abroad.
Ben-Dror Yemini: Soros and Hungarian anti-Semites: Almost one and the same
All this shouldn’t legitimize anti-Semitic propaganda, even against an Israel-hating Jew. And anti-Semitism is, admittedly, experiencing political prosperity in Hungary. The country’s radical right-wing party, Jobbik, is one of the leading promoters of the anti-Israel boycott, and the party’s website, Kuruk, is spreading anti-Semitic propaganda that “Israel is committing crimes against humanity.”
In the last elections, the party won about 20 percent of the votes. European Parliament Member Krisztina Morvai, a senior Jobbik member, is an ardent supporter of Iran and Hamas. In 2009, Morvai was invited to London to speak at a conference in support of the right of return. The conference’s guests included anti-Semites like Nick Griffin, the former leader of the far-right British National Party (BNP), and Clare Short, who served as a minister on behalf of the Labour Party and is considered a radical leftists. When it comes to hating Israel, the ends come together. The conference was organized by the Palestinian Return Center (PRC).
And it only gets worse, because Soros is funding an anti-Israeli organization in London, Spinwatch, which published a statement in PRC’s defense, following evidence that the organization was linked to Hamas.
The common denominator between Soros and Hungary’s anti-Semites is close to perfect. The latter recite the exact same things recited by the anti-Israeli left-wing groups funded by Soros. And as far as Soros is concerned, anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism have become one ideology—hatred for Israel.
So this time, both sides are right: Both Israel’s ambassador to Hungary, who issued a scathing statement against a campaign with anti-Semitic undertones, and the Prime Minister’s Office, which reminded those of us who have forgotten who Soros really is.
"J Street and Soros are outside the White House!"
Barack Obama is gone and the relief among the Christian Zionists and their Jewish friends who peopled certain corners of Washington, D.C., this week was palpable.
Gary Bauer, the veteran evangelical activist, laid it out at the opening session of Christians United for Israel’s annual conference on Monday.
A year ago, “from one end of Pennsylvania Avenue to the next, we had people who were not blessing Israel, they were cursing Israel,” said Bauer, who was recently named director of CUFI’s Washington office.
Now, Bauer said to applause, Pastor John Hagee, CUFI’s founder, was able to attend White House meetings.
“J Street and their supporters like George Soros are out and CUFI and Pastor Hagee are in!” he said.
Palestinian Christian Group Asks WCC to Engage in Lawfare Against Critics
The call to take a stand against Christian Zionists was followed by a request that the WCC support the NCCOP “in combating the foundations of extremism and that you seek our counsel when acting against religious extremism so that you do not jeopardize and harm our standing here.”
Because this request immediately follows the appeal to stand against Christians who support Israel, it is clear that the NCCOP is referring to Christian Zionism as the form of religious extremism that must be combated. In a part of the world where Christians continue to be the victims of Muslim extremism, and Israel is the only country in which Christians can be safe, it is ironic, to say the least, that Palestinian Christians – who themselves are victims of the human rights crimes described by Justus Reid Weiner – would identify Christians who support Israel as extremists.
This skewed way of thinking, and the urging to seek their counsel when acting against so-called Christian “religious extremism,” can only be explained by understanding the dhimmi mentality that results from centuries of living as the victims of crimes committed by their Muslim neighbors.
As a result of this mentality, which Australian scholar Rev. Dr. Mark Durie describes as a “curse,” Palestinian Christians portray Israel and Christians who support the Jewish State as the threat to Christian existence in the Holy Land, rather than identify Islamist extremism as the danger it is to both Jews and Christians. And in a further attempt to protect themselves in the Muslim-dominated society in which they live, they caution the World Council of Churches to ask for their advice before taking any action that might make their life more difficult. This underscores an important aspect about Christians in Palestinian society: They are not free to speak the truth about the problem of Muslim supremacism and its impact on the society in which they live.
Given that the WCC has endorsed and publicized a number of statements issued by Palestinian Christians in the West Bank — such as the Kairos Document — it is likely that in the months ahead, this text will receive even more support (than it already has) from the ecumenical organization. This is too bad, because in addition to promoting a distorted view of the Arab-Israeli conflict on the part of Christians in the West, the text also encourages the WCC to legally harass people who are critical of the narrative put forth by Palestinian Christians.
‘Anti-Normalization’ Said to Be Emerging as Top Challenge for Zionist Students on US College Campuses
Sara Weissman — the editor of chief of independent Jewish student newspaper New Voices — described her views in an op-ed she published last week begging the Jewish establishment to take notice of the anti-normalization trend. Titled “We’re Not Talking About BDS, So Why Are You?,” Weissman argued that boycott measures on campus have gone down, yet BDS continues to take center stage in the conversation about Jewish university life.
“The article was brewing for a while,” Weissman told The Algemeiner, explaining that over the first of her two-year term at the left-leaning New Voices, she’d observed the rapid growth of anti-normalization.
The term is often wielded by anti-Israel groups as an official policy of not engaging with Zionists, so as not to “normalize” their views — that can include everything from a conversation over coffee with a pro-Israel peer to allowing Zionists to attend programming.
The Chicago Dyke March’s eviction of pro-Israel LGBT activists was one recent example of anti-normalization at work that caught national attention, but The Algemeiner has reported numerous incidents of pro-Israel students being excluded from campus conversations.
Daniel Vainish, a student at the University of California-Davis, and a pro-Israel member of the LGBT community, told The Algemeiner he has been “shut down even when trying to have personal conversations” about the Jewish state with his progressive peers.
But, in Weissman’s article, she also called out “[r]ight-wing Jewish organizations…[who] marked speakers, professors, and student leaders too-reprehensible-for-campus before it was cool.” One of her examples of such behavior was the reaction by a segment of the Jewish community to BDS activist Linda Sarsour giving the commencement speech at a City University of New York graduation ceremony in May 2017.
After Dyke March Scandal, SlutWalk Chicago Bans ‘Zionist Displays’ From Upcoming August Protest
After the scandal involving the ejection of Jewish women carrying Star of David pride flags at Chicago’s Dyke March on June 28, a sister organization in the city has announced that it will follow suit by banning “Zionist displays” from its upcoming protest against sexual violence and “rape culture.”
The ban was announced this week on social media by the organizers of SlutWalk Chicago — part of an international protest movement that “fights rape culture, victim blaming, and slut shaming.” The Chicago event is set to take place on August 12.
“We still stand behind Dyke March Chicago’s decision to remove the Zionist contingent from their event, & we won’t allow Zionist displays at ours,” the organizers tweeted last Sunday — beginning several days of exchanges with other users over the policy. These were distinguished by the organizers’ continued insistence that anti-Zionism is a legitimate progressive belief, and that any linkage with antisemitism should be dismissed as a discrediting tactic.
In one exchange defending the Dyke March decision to exclude the Jewish women, the SlutWalk organizers aggressively justified the action, declaring: “They were kicked out after a discussion where they made their Zionist beliefs known and refused to back down.”
Influential progressive PAC criticizes US bill targeting Israel boycotts
MoveOn.org, an influential liberal public policy advocacy group and PAC that raises money for progressive political candidates, criticized the Israel Anti-Boycott Act on Twitter.
“Regardless how you feel about BDS, Congress must reject action to criminalize free speech and peaceful protest. The Democrats in House and Senate must say no to H.R. 1697/S. 720,” MoveOn.org tweeted, referring to the House and Senate versions of the bill.
“Free speech and peaceful protest are integral to democracy,” the group added.
The bill, introduced in March in both the House and the Senate, would expand 1970s-era laws that make illegal compliance with boycotts of Israel sponsored by governments — laws inspired at the time by the Arab League boycott of Israel, to include boycotts backed by international organizations. Those adhering to boycotts would be subject to fines.
While the measure is aimed at the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, it also targets efforts by the United Nations and the European Union to distinguish between products manufactured in Israel from those manufactured in West Bank settlements.
On Twitter, MoveOn.org linked to a letter issued Monday by the American Civil Liberties Union, urging senators to oppose the bill.
Michael Lumish: This Week on Nothing Left
Because the J-Air studios are being relocated, no live shows are currently available until late July, so Michael Burd and Alan Freedman are pre-recording a 1hr program each week featuring two new interviews.
This week the fellahs feature Italian political scientist Emanuele Ottolenghi discussing the situation in Europe, and Richard Millet, a London blogger who found himself in the middle of the al-Quds rally in London. The Prager U clip this week features Andrew Klavan talking about fake news.
Isi Leibler is having some time off but will return when we resume live programs.
3 min Emanuele Ottolenghi, Italian commentator
23 min Prager U: Andrew Klavan on fake news
8 min Richard Millett, London blogger at al-Quds rally
The podcast can also be found on the J-Air website.
ISNA Isn't Kosher Says the Feds, Who Revoke Its Charitable Status
A Muslim Brotherhood offshoot raising money for jihadists in Pakistan? When I heard the news, you could have knocked me over with a feather.
And speaking of feathers--or feather-weights, or leaders with fluff in their heads--remember when Liberal leader Justin Trudeau spoke at an ISNA event?
That's our Justin for you--a panderer extraordinaire.
Is San Francisco State University Stoking Antisemitism?
At a time of rising concern about antisemitism on American college campuses, should a California state university maintain an official partnership with a Palestinian institution where hatred and violence towards Jews is encouraged?
Shockingly, this is happening at San Francisco State University (SFSU) — which has a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with An-Najah University, a Palestinian hotbed of antisemitism and radicalism in the West Bank.
At the Middle East Forum, we have launched a campaign to end SFSU’s MOU with Najah University. Meanwhile, the Lawfare Project is filing a lawsuit against SFSU alleging “a long and extensive history of cultivating antisemitism and overt discrimination against Jewish students.” The lawsuit names the Najah MOU and its architect — anti-Israel activist and professor Rabab Abdulhadi — as some of the reasons for the increasing antisemitism on campus (see page 56).
In her response to these claims, Abdulhadi proves their accuracy by lambasting SFSU’s Department of Jewish Studies, Hillel and the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC), while championing “terrorist university” Najah, without addressing the charges against it.
It was largely due to SFSU’s partnership with Najah that The Algemeiner placed SFSU tenth on its 2016 list of “The 40 Worst Colleges for Jewish Students.” As Algemeiner editor Dovid Efune put it: “If you can imagine for a second what it’s like to be a Jewish student on this campus and know that there is a formal agreement with an institution that has hosted terrorism . . . it’s going to leave you feeling uncomfortable.”
Australian University Urged to Distance Itself From Pro-BDS ‘Israel Hate Fest’ Being Hosted by Peace Studies Department
Australia’s University of Sydney has been called on to distance itself from a pro-BDS conference to be hosted later this month by the school’s Department of Peace and Conflict Studies, The Australian reported.
The two-day conference has the support of the Sydney University Staff for BDS and at least 10 other groups, but Dvir Abramovich, chairman of the Jewish community’s Anti-Defamation Commission, repeatedly called it a “blatantly anti-Israel hate-fest.”
“Misusing tax dollars to ­officially sponsor and put out the welcome mat to a one-sided propaganda gathering that is predicated on an immoral black-listing and boycotting of a state and its people, and which ­violates the principles of free speech and the unrestrained ­exchange of ideas so fundamental to university life, is shocking,” said Abramovich, according to The Australian.
Some thirty papers will be presented at the program by speakers from Australia, North America, Europe and Asia, according to the conference website, with topics covering anti-Israel student activism, “the Israel lobby” and how to respond to criticism of or “legal attacks” on the boycott movement.
Vic Alhadeff — the chief executive for the New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies — reportedly criticized conference organizers for scheduling a discussion session on Jewish-Palestinian relations for a Saturday. Alhadeff saw “irony” in the program “automatically excluding [Shabbat] ­observant Jews and demonstrating how tokenistic any attempts to understand the Jewish community actually are.”
Nine Flaws With New York Times ‘Israel’s War on George Soros’ Article
An opinion article in the New York Times improbably used George Soros as a bludgeon with which to attack Israel and its elected prime minister.
I counted at least nine flaws with the article. It appeared in the Times online under the headline “Israel’s War Against George Soros,” but a more apt headline might have been “The New York Times’ War Against Israel.”
It began with the claim, “Mr. Soros has failed the only litmus test that seems to count for Israel’s current leadership: unconditional support for the government, despite its policies of occupation, discrimination and disregard for civil and human rights.”
That’s just nonsense [Problem No. 1]. There’s no such “litmus test,” and there are no such “policies.” This is a government that includes the first openly gay Likud Party member of the Israeli parliament, that has welcomed Syrian refugees and treated them in Israeli hospitals, and that has a better developed system of courts and civil society to protect minority rights than does any neighboring country.
The next sentence of the Times article was just as phony and misleading [Problem No. 2]. It claims, “For years Mr. Soros largely avoided Israel-related philanthropy, but he became involved in 2008 when he contributed to J Street, a moderate pro-Israel, pro-peace lobbying group based in Washington, after it was founded.” Never mind the characterization of J Street. The idea that Soros’s involvement with Israel-related topics only began in 2008 is false. He’s been a longtime and major funder of Human Rights Watch, a group so critical of Israel that its founder left in protest and started a rival organization. In 2007, Soros wrote a piece in the New York Review of Books describing himself as neither a Zionist nor “a practicing Jew” and denouncing Israel as bloodthirsty: “The current policy of not seeking a political solution but pursuing military escalation — not just an eye for an eye but roughly speaking ten Palestinian lives for every Israeli one — has reached a particularly dangerous point.”
BBC WS ‘Newshour’ picks up the baton of BDS campaign amplification
The July 19th edition of the BBC World Service radio programme ‘Newshour‘ included yet another report concerning the BDS campaign’s failed crusade against a performance by Radiohead in Israel.
The programme’s synopsis provides BBC audiences with inaccurate information:
“… why a performance by the band Radiohead in the Israeli capital Tel Aviv has become controversial.”
Presenter Rebecca Kesby introduced the item (from 38:54 here) as follows:
“Now one of the world’s biggest bands, Radiohead, have [sic] been playing to thousands of fans tonight in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv but the concert has been controversial. Earlier this year an open letter signed by more than 40 public figures urged the band to pull out and instead join a boycott against what it said was the Israeli government’s denial of freedom to Palestinians. About an hour or so ago we spoke to the BBC’s Tom Bateman at the concert – he assessed the mood.”
In fact, many of those who signed that letter are hardly household names but Bateman likewise promoted that chimera.
LA Times Amends Israel 'Refusing Entry' Editorial: HRW's Omar Shakir Has 1-Year Visa
CAMERA's Israel office has prompted an important Los Angeles Times clarification which belies the extremely misleading print headline for the July 9 editorial ("No entry for Israel's critics," page 15). (Online the headline is "Israel should stop trying to wall out its critics.")
The editorial featured what the writers described as a "noxious law passed by the Knesset in March – requiring border authorities to refuse entry also to people who have publicly supported a boycott of the country. These visitors would be turned away not because they are suspected of a crime or pose a security risk, but because they have expressed an opinion in favor of a nonviolent protest movement that is unpopular to the country."
The Los Angeles Times writers slammed the law as "an attack on the freedom of expression and on political dissent," and argued:
Refusing entry to the country's critics isn't unprecedented; Israel has turned away travelers for political reasons in the past, including denying a visa earlier this year to a researcher from Human Rights Watch. It has also restricted the foreign travel of Omar Barghouti, one of the founders of the BDS movement.
AP Corrects on Iranian Support for Global Terrorism
Readers could wrongly understand from AP's misleading characterization of Iran's activity that the country's mischief entails support for Students for Justice in Palestine, Breaking the Silence, Al Haq and the like.
Iran remains on the State Department's list of state sponsors of terrorism for its support for Hezbollah and other Shia militia groups, including in Iraq, Syria and Bahrain.
In response to communication from CAMERA, editors commendably amended the text, updating the article to report accurately:
Iran remains on the State Department's list of state sponsors of terrorism for its support for Hezbollah and other Shia militia groups, including in Iraq, Syria and Bahrain.
CAMERA's timely action and AP's quick correction of yesterday's wire story underscores the value of the organization's work monitoring and responding to wire stories in the same news cycle as they appear. With this preemptive work, CAMERA's Israel office helps prevent misinformation from appearing in media outlets around the world.
‘You Jew!’ Becoming Common Insult In Berlin Schools As Anti-Semitism Rises
Schoolteachers and other school officials in Berlin have noticed a rising trend of anti-Semitism among pupils and say the expression “You Jew!” has become a common insult.
A report conducted by the American Jewish Committee (AJC) of 21 schools in Berlin shows the level of antisemitism is growing among the primarily Turkish and Arab Muslim pupils. The group also found a disturbing rise in support for radical Islamism, according to German broadcaster RBB.
Many of the teachers interviewed for the survey said they had been confronted by various anti-Semitic incidents in recent years. Some blamed “religious authorities”, saying many of the Muslim children were being taught at their mosques to be aggressive toward classmates who were girls, homosexuals or secular Muslims.
The AJC study, which took place between 2015 and 2016, looked at schools where Turks and Arab children made up a significant proportion of the student population but also several schools in middle-class areas with more native German pupils. Though the AJC claims the study does not reflect all Berlin schools, they note a worrying trend of anti-Semitism in those they did examine.
European court: Islamist hate speech not protected under law
Europe's top human rights court ruled on Thursday (July 20) that online videos considered by a Belgian court to be Islamist hate speech were not protected under free speech provisions.
Fouad Belkacem is a Belgian national currently imprisoned for his activities as the head of Sharia4Belgium, an organisation banned for recruiting foreign fighters to participate in militant activities in the Middle East.
The European Court of Human Rights evaluated Belkacem's argument that his remarks in a series of videos on online platform YouTube fell within his freedoms of expression and religion and were not meant to incite violence.
In the videos, Belkacem had called on viewers to "overpower non-Muslims, teach them a lesson and fight them", content the Court called "markedly hateful" and "vehement". He had also called for the violent establishment of Sharia law.
Israel tech firms raise $1.26 billion in 2Q 2017
Israeli high-tech firms raised $1.26 billion in the second quarter of the year, the second-highest quarterly amount in the past five years, IVC Research Center and law firm Zysman Aharoni Gayer & Co. (Zag S&W), which track the industry, said in a new report.
The money was raised by 157 tech companies in Israel. In the second quarter of 2016, 194 firms raised a total of $1.7 billion, the highest amount in five years.
The number of deals in the second quarter of this year, though slightly above the 155 deals reported for the previous quarter, remained 4 percent below the two-year average of 164 transactions, the report said.
The average financing round grew in the second quarter of 2017, reaching $8 million, compared with the $6.8 million average of the previous quarter, second only to the exceptional $8.8 million average in Q2/2016.
The first half of 2017 was the second-highest ever in terms of capital raising, as 312 Israeli high-tech companies attracted $2.3 billion, just below the strongest first half of 2016, when $2.8 billion was raised in 368 deals. Even so, the first half of this year showed a slight drop in terms of the number of deals, which was 8% lower than the corresponding past four-year average.
The figures show a 12 percent rise in deals backed by VC funds, following a series of declines in previous quarters.
Israeli, French space agencies present out-of-this-world new mission
France's National Center for Space Studies presented its new climate change observation mission, VENuS, in Paris on Thursday, which has been designed in collaboration with Israel Space Agency.
The VENuS mission (Vegetation and Environment monitoring on a New micro-statellite) aims at observing 110 scientific sites on five continents every two days, a "unique" and "world first" frequency, according to Venus project leader Pierric Ferrier. It will closely monitor the impact of human activity on vegetation as well as on water and carbon influxes.
In all, more than 40 countries are home to observed sites, with 24 percent of the selected observed sites located in the United States.
President of the French National Center For Space Studies Jean-Yves Le Gall hailed France's and Israel's collaboration on the project.
Israeli high schoolers excavate 2,700-year-old water system
The Neo-Assyrian Empire invasion of Israel in 738 BCE brought with it war and destruction — and taxes, the trademarks of imperial rule.
But because an army marches on its stomach, along with heavy tariffs came an impressive spate of agricultural infrastructure in its conquered territories. The new discovery of a 2,700-year-old administrative watering system near Rosh Ha’ayin attests to the conqueror’s emphasis on exploiting its new lands.
With the help of high school students participating in the Education Ministry’s new Land of Israel and Archaeology studies program, ahead of the construction of a new neighborhood in the area the Israel Antiquities Authority recently exposed a massive water system.
The excavated system measures some 20 meters long and is over 4 meters deep. A large 50-meter long building is built on top of the cavernous underground reservoir.
According to the IAA it is “highly likely” that the structure and reservoir were built at the end of the Iron Age (late eighth or early seventh century BCE), placing it during the Neo-Assyrian conquest of the war-torn region, where the kingdoms of Judah and Israel were constantly at war. There is evidence that the reservoir was used until modernity.
Campaigners Implore US State Department to Stand Firm Against Libyan Attempt to Confiscate Property of Jewish Heritage
Campaigners representing Jewish communities expelled from Arab countries reacted furiously on Tuesday to an effort by the current Libyan government to win legal recognition for its claims to property of Jewish heritage.
In addition, under the terms of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which the Libyans have submitted to the US State Department, the historic properties of the Jewish community in Libya — including archives, holy books and objects used in synagogue worship — would be barred from entry into the United States.
“I ask the Libyan government: ‘Where are the bones of my ancestors? Give them to me, I want to give them a proper burial,'” Libyan-born Gina Bublil-Waldman — co-founder and president of advocacy group JIMENA (Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa) — told The Algemeiner on Tuesday.
Bublil-Waldman’s family were among the 4,000 Jews driven from Libya in 1967, following the antisemitic pogroms in the country sparked by Israel’s victory in the June war. Ordered by the government to leave the country “temporarily” with the equivalent of $50 each, none of Libya’s Jews ever returned. Following Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s successful coup in 1969, all property and assets belong to the community were seized, while promised “compensation” never arrived.
On Wednesday and Thursday, the State Department’s Cultural Property Advisory Committee is meeting in Washington, DC to discuss the Libyan demand. Bublil-Waldman said that she was appealing “to our State Department not to approve this MOU, because the Libyan government is laying claim to our Jewish patrimony and barring its entry into the USA under the guise of ‘protecting it.'”



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