Tuesday, September 26, 2017

From Ian:

Who deserves a state, Kurds or Palestinian Arabs?
There are over twenty Arab states throughout the Middle East and North Africa, but the world demands, in a chorus of barely disguised animosity towards Israel, that yet another Arab state be created within the mere forty miles separating the Mediterranean Sea and the River Jordan.

Remember, there has never existed in all recorded history an independent sovereign nation called Palestine - and certainly not an Arab one. The name ‘Palestine’ has always been that of a geographical territory, such as Siberia or Patagonia. It has never been a state.

But there is a people who, like the Jews, truly can trace their ancestry back thousands of years and deserve a sovereign, independent state within their ancient homeland. They are the Kurds, and it is highly instructive to review their remarkable history in conjunction with that of the Jews. It is also necessary to review the historical injustice imposed upon them over the centuries by hostile neighbors and empires.

Let us go back to the captivity of the Ten Tribes of Israel, who were taken from their land by the Assyrians in 721-715 BCE. Biblical Israel was de-populated, its Jewish inhabitants deported to an area in the region of ancient Media and Assyria - coincidentally a territory that roughlyincluded that of modern-day Kurdistan. Assyria was, in turn, conquered by Babylonia, which led to the eventual destruction of the southern Jewish kingdom of Judah in 586 BCE. The remaining two Jewish tribes were sent again to the same area as that of their brethren from the northern kingdom.

The Persian conqueror of Babylon, Cyrus the Great, allowed the Jews to return to their ancestral lands, many Jews nevertheless remained (and continued to live) with their neighbors in Babylon - an area which included modern-day Kurdistan. The Babylonian Talmud refers in one section to the Jewish deportees from Judah receiving rabbinical permission to offer Judaism to the local population.

A large segment of the general population, accepted the Jewish faith. Indeed, when the Jews in Judea rose-up against Roman occupation in the 1st century AD, the Kurdish queen reportedlysent troops and provisions to support the embattled Jews. By the beginning of the 2nd century CE, Judaism was firmly established in Kurdistan, and Kurdish Jews in Israel today speak an ancient form of Aramaic in their homes and synagogues. Kurdish and Jewish life became interwoven to such a remarkable degree that many Kurdish folk tales connect with Jews.
Kurds overwhelmingly back independence as first votes in referendum tallied
Iraqi Kurds voted Monday in a landmark referendum on supporting independence, with initial results confirming predictions of overwhelming support for breaking away from Baghdad, in a move billed by the Kurdish leadership as an exercise in self-determination, but viewed as a hostile act by Iraq’s central government.

Neighboring Turkey even threatened a military response.

To Baghdad, the vote threatens a redrawing Iraq’s borders, taking a sizable chunk of the country’s oil wealth. In Turkey and Iran, leaders feared the move would embolden their own Kurdish populations.

Polls closed just after 7 p.m. in the Kurdish region of Iraq, with some 72 percent of 4.5 million eligible voters casting ballots, according to the Kurdish Rudaw news website. With just under 300,000 votes counted, 93.4% of Kurds backed independence, according to a tally published by the site.

The vote — likely to be a resounding “yes” when results are made official later this week — is not binding and will not immediately bring independence to the autonomous region. Nevertheless, it has raised tensions and fears of instability in Iraq and beyond.

Just hours after polls closed Monday night across the Kurdish region of northern Iraq, the Defense Ministry announced the launch of “large-scale” joint military exercises with Turkey.
Kurdish leader says 'yes' vote won independence referendum
Iraqi Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani said on Tuesday that Kurds had voted “yes” to independence in a referendum held in defiance of the government in Baghdad and which had angered their neighbors and their U.S. allies.

The Kurds, who have ruled over an autonomous region within Iraq since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein, consider Monday’s referendum to be an historic step in a generations-old quest for a state of their own.

Iraq considers the vote unconstitutional, especially as it was held not only within the Kurdish region itself but also on disputed territory held by Kurds elsewhere in northern Iraq.

The United States, major European countries and neighbors Turkey and Iran strongly opposed the decision to hold the referendum, which they described as destabilizing at a time when all sides are still fighting against Islamic State militants.

In a televised address, Barzani said the “yes” vote had won and he called on Iraq’s central government in Baghdad to engage in “serious dialogue” instead of threatening the Kurdish Regional Government with sanctions.

The Iraqi government earlier ruled out talks on Kurdish independence and Turkey threatened to impose a blockade.



Sar Shalom: Tibet
One of the particularly galling aspects of Linda Sarsour is her talent for ingratiating herself and the cause of Palestinianism with every domestic social justice cause in the United States. Whether the cause is Driving While Black or the aspirations of the dreamers, that is those who grew up in the U.S. as illegal immigrants, Sarsour turns her sophistry to drawing parallels between those causes and the Palestinians' situation. The result is that activists for those causes, whether or not you like any of them they have widespread support, who fail to recognize her sophistry see Palestinianism as a natural extension to their other social justice causes.

However, there is an international social justice cause, popular albeit dormant on the left, that has genuine parallels with the southwest Levant. That would be Tibet. Specifically, China's occupation of Tibet and transfer of Han population into the province parallels the Arabs' conquest of Palestine back in the 7th-8th centuries and subsequent migration of Arab populations into the southwest Levant. Furthermore, today's Palestinians parallel, if current trends continue, the descendants of today's Han settlers of Tibet.

Following the Palestinianist logic, if the Han squat long enough in Tibet, they will become the native people there. By that point, if the Tibetans were to somehow reclaim any of their ancestral land, they would be thieves of Han Chinese land. If you were to ask any social justice warrior whether Tibet belongs to the Chinese, it would be like claiming that the earth is flat. Following up with a question of how the Chinese would have to squat to become rightful owners would be similarly received. Yet these same social justice warriors argue that the results of the Arabs' conquest of the Levant in the 7th and 8th centuries and settlement since then give the Palestinians title to the southwest Levant, many of them unaware of the prior history.
Netanyahu orders ministers to keep mum on Kurdish referendum
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has instructed ministers in his government to avoid speaking out about the Kurdish independence referendum that took place Monday in the Kurdish autonomous region in northern Iraq.

The Prime Minister’s Office and Foreign Ministry would not confirm or comment on the purported gag order, but top officials, speaking anonymously, acknowledged the instruction.

Earlier this month, Netanyahu publicly backed Kurdish independence while distancing himself from comments by a retired Israeli general, who said he did not consider the PKK, or Kurdistan Workers Party, a terror group.

Responding to a speech at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy by former deputy IDF chief of staff Yair Golan, Netanyahu said Israeli policy on the PKK was the opposite.
Top Iranian general says Kurdish referendum an Israeli ‘plot’
Senior Iranian officials claimed Tuesday the independence referendum in Iraqi Kurdistan a day earlier was a “plot” orchestrated by Israel and the United States.

“The Zionist regime and the world arrogance [US] are behind this issue,” the semi-official Fars News Agency quoted the head of the Iranian armed forces, General Mohammad Hossein Bagheri as saying on Tuesday.

Although Bagheri did not elaborate on Israel’s alleged role, the chief of staff to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei claimed the independence referendum was a “Zionist plot” meant to fuel violence in the Middle East following the battlefield defeats in Iraq and Syria suffered by the Islamic State terror group.

“You may rest assured that it is a plot by the Zionist regime under such conditions that the ISIL is collapsing,” Fars quoted Mohammad Golpaigani as saying, using an alternative acronym for IS. Among numerous conspiracy theories posted on Arabic-language and Persian sites are claims that Israel’s Mossad agency is behind the rise of Islamic State.
Erdogan threatens halting relations with Israel amid Kurdish independence vote
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan stated on Tuesday afternoon that "If Israel does not reconsider its support for Kurdish independence, Turkey could not take any steps" with the Jewish State, according to the Turkish news outlet Daily Sabah.

He went on to say that if the Kurdish referendum is held on its own, with only Israel and the PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party) celebrating it, then it will not be legitimate.

"Those trying to establish new states in Iraq and Syria should not be surprised when they are tossed aside by those who use them," he said.

Israel is the only nation to publicly support the Kurdish independence referendum.

The Iraqi government ruled out talks on possible secession for Kurdish-held northern Iraq on Tuesday and Turkey threatened to choke it off, after a referendum on independence there showed strong support for a split.
Palestinian terrorist hijacker to speak about women’s rights in EU parliament
Leila Khaled, a Palestinian woman convicted of terrorism who has continued to advocate violence against Israelis, is slated to speak at the European Parliament about women’s rights.

Khaled, who was invited to Brussels to speak Tuesday by lawmakers representing the far-left Izquierda Unida party from Spain, was arrested by Israeli sky marshals in 1970. She was carrying two grenades while attempting to hijack an El Al flight from Amsterdam with a partner, whom the security officers killed. British authorities released her in exchange for hostages from another hijacking a month after her arrest.

She had already hijacked an American passenger plane in 1969, landing it in Damascus, where the two Israeli passengers aboard were held for three months before they were traded for Syrian prisoners of war in Israeli jails.
Illustrative: Members of the EU Parliament take part in a voting session, on December 17, 2014, at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France. (AFP/Frederick Florin)

A member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which is blacklisted as a terrorist entity by the European Union, Khaled is to be the keynote speaker at an event titled “The Role of Women in the Palestinian Popular Resistance,” a poster advertising the event read.

The American Jewish Committee’s Brussels-based Transatlantic Institute condemned the invitation to Khaled, saying that the group is “deeply concerned” by it, and urged the European Parliament’s president to prevent Khaled’s planned arrival to its seat.

In a statement, the director of the Transatlantic Institute, Daniel Schwammenthal, said that it was an “utter disgrace that a convicted terrorist is given a platform in the European Parliament to spew her hateful message.”
NGO Monitor: Letter to MEPs Concerning PFLP Event at the European Parliament
Dear Mr. President of the European Parliament ,
As the distinguished President of the European Parliament, we wish to bring to your attention a highly disturbing event, “The Role of Women in the Palestinian Popular Struggle,” scheduled to take place this evening (September 26, 2017) in the European Parliament in Brussels. The event is organized by MEPs from the European United Left/Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL) group and Unadikum – International Solidarity Association.

Scheduled speakers include Leila Khaled, whose affiliation is listed as the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and Sahar Francis, director of a Palestinian NGO known as “Addameer” (see below for poster advertising the event).

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) is a terror organization, responsible for hijackings, suicide bombings, and assassinations. It is designated as such by the EU (including in the latest Council update dated August 4, 2017), as well as by the United States, Canada, and Israel, among others. We note the following connections between the event’s speakers/organizers and the PFLP terror organization:
- Leila Khaled is a “prominent member of the PFLP,” and is a terrorist responsible for hijacking multiple airplanes.
- Addameer is an “affiliate” of the PFLP. Addameer’s chairperson and co-founder, vice-chairperson, as well as researchers and board members have been convicted, arrested, and/or banned from travel due to their ties to the PFLP.
- In December 2014, Unadikum, participated in a gala event to raise donations for the Union of Health Workers Committee (UHWC), a PFLP-affiliated health committee active in Gaza (as identified by USAID and in Palestinian documents).
JPost Editorial: Undemocratic Democrats
Israel has been a bipartisan issue in US politics, at least since Democratic US president Harry Truman recognized the world’s only Jewish state. Support for Israel was instinctual regardless of one’s party affiliation because it was synonymous with American values.

But the rise in the popularity of US Senator Bernie Sanders signals an ominous change.

In the run-up to the 2016 elections, Sanders, the first Jewish presidential candidate to win a major party’s nominating contest, surrounded himself with people openly antagonistic to Israel. He chose Professor Cornel West and James Zogby as members of the 15-member Democratic platform committee. He tapped Simone Zimmerman, a vocal critic of Israeli policies, as director for Jewish outreach before firing her in the wake of outcry from a number of Jewish leaders.

Sanders’ position on Zionism is generally favorable. But he has on occasion revealed his own bias against Israel and sympathy for Palestinian leadership.

Sanders is making headlines again after claiming in an interview Friday with the left-wing website The Intercept that the US is “complicit” in Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza and that, under certain circumstances, he would consider supporting reduction in the yearly $3.1 billion military aid provided by the US to Israel.
Caroline Glick: The New Democratic Party
Sanders said the US is “complicit” with Israel’s “occupation” of Judea and Samaria and Gaza. He said that he would consider cutting off US military aid to Israel. He argued the US should take a more evenhanded approach to Israel.

No similar statements have ever been made by any major presidential contender or political leader in either party.

And yet, they have raised no outcry among his fellow Democrats.

Sanders’s rise has unleashed forces in the party such as former Nation of Islam spokesman Rep.

Keith Ellison and BDS activist Linda Sarsour. Both have been outspoken in their antisemitism. Both routinely defame and delegitimize American Jews who support Israel. And both are all but unanimously embraced as leaders by their partisan colleagues.

Since Donald Trump’s election, most of the media coverage of US politics has centered on cleavages within the Republican Party. But while it is true that the Republican Party is dysfunctional, the Democratic Party is transforming into something never before seen in mainstream US politics.

In 2016, the party of Bill Clinton ceased to be the party of the working class. Hillary Clinton abandoned her husband’s Rust Belt base, referring to his voters as “deplorables.”

Today, the two predominant branches of the party are the Obama branch – which is comfortable with antisemitic dog whistles – and the Sanders branch, which is comfortable with Corbyn-style Jew-baiting and open discrimination of pro-Israel Jews.

Absent a major restructuring of the party’s makeup, Plame’s forced resignation from Ploughshares may be remembered as the high-water mark in the new Democratic Party’s efforts to root out antisemitism from its ranks.
The conditionality of liberal support for Israel
Those who support Israel based on her presumed progressivism seem to forget that the country remains a liberal democracy regardless of who controls the government. Indeed, Americans often confuse “liberal democracy” with liberal politics, though the terms are not synonymous. Whereas liberal democracy refers to representative government characterized by the rule of law and free elections, the liberal agenda reflects specific political ideology. Like any other political philosophy in an electoral system, liberalism may compete – but is not guaranteed supremacy – at the ballot box.

The intent of liberal democracy is not to entrench one party’s agenda over another’s, but to guarantee voters the freedom to accept or reject competing ideologies, whether liberal or conservative.

This is the aspect of Israeli political society that liberal Americans should celebrate, not the elevation of a platform that exalts a Palestinian nation that never existed, belittles Israel’s Jewish character, and threatens her national security. The Israeli left – with western progressive complicity – was responsible for Oslo and the waves of terror it enabled. The rejection of Oslo’s facilitators by the Israeli public shows the triumph of liberal democracy over self-destructive political fantasy.

Unfortunately, many American liberals have conditioned their support for Israel on her acceptance or rejection of their political agenda, regardless of what Israelis want, what is most conducive to safety and continuity of the world’s only Jewish nation, and irrespective of the Orthodox establishment. But considering the high rates of intermarriage and assimilation among secular and nontraditional Jews in the US, it could be that their political and social values are simply out of step with most Israelis, who tend to be more Judaically literate and culturally centered.

It should come as no surprise, then, that Israelis resent outside attempts to mold their society, and chafe at the paternalism of western liberals who rationalize BDS, legitimize Islamists posing as moderate, and tolerate anti-Semitism within their ranks. Likewise, nobody should be shocked when Israelis refuse to embrace Jewish movements that have become identified with liberal politics.
Calls to allow Holocaust denial and expel the Jewish Labour Movement electrify Labour Conference fringe event
Calls by speakers at a Labour Conference fringe event to allow Holocaust denial and expel the Jewish Labour Movement from the Labour Party were reportedly met with rowdy applause and cheering earlier today.

The packed event run by “Free Speech on Israel” heard from American-Israeli activist Miko Peled that people should be free to ask “Holocaust, yes or no” because “there should be no limits on the discussion”, for which he was cheered.

Michael Kalmanovitz, a member of the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, reportedly asserted that claims of increasing antisemitism were intended to undermine Jeremy Corbyn and the left, before demanding that the Jewish Labour Movement be expelled from the Labour Party. He reportedly said: “The thing is, if you support Israel, you support apartheid. So what is the JLM [Jewish Labour Movement] and Labour Friends of Israel doing in our party — kick them out”, to raucous cheering and calls of “throw them out”.

Ironically for an organisation called “Free Speech on Israel”, the organisers reportedly ordered attendees not to tweet or take photographs for fear of “hostile coverage” whilst leaflets were passed around claiming that concerns about rising antisemitism were a “manufactured moral panic”.

The event was also reportedly addressed by Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi, who had earlier been given a standing ovation by the Labour Party Conference plenary for stating that “There is no problem with Jews in the Labour Party”, and notorious antisemite Tony Greenstein, who was among a number of attendees able to attend and participate despite being currently or previously suspended from the Labour Party over allegations of antisemitism.
New CAA research shows antisemitism amongst officials in Labour is eight times worse than any other party
Today, Campaign Against Antisemitism has published the initial findings of a comprehensive ongoing research project to track antisemitism amongst office holders in political parties, comprising MPs, peers, councillors, party officers and candidates selected to contest any public election. The International Definition of Antisemitism adopted by the British Government and the College of Policing, and the deployment of the so-called ‘Livingstone formulation’ has guided our research. Our researchers used a supercomputer to analyse four million social media posts by more than two thousand parliamentary candidates, together with a review of our private logs and publicly available reports of allegations of antisemitism amongst office holders.

Our findings show that Labour Party office holders account for 61% of the cases of alleged antisemitism, which is nearly eight times higher than the number of office holders in the second-placed parties.

80% of cases were in parties of the progressive left, namely Labour, the Greens, the SNP and the Liberal Democrats. In all cases, the parties also had poor track records for addressing allegations of antisemitism.

The supposedly anti-racist Labour Party has shamed itself by failing to firmly and consistently address antisemitism, even proving incapable of expelling a Holocaust revisionist, a senior MP who said that “Jewish money” controls the Conservative Party, and another prominent official who claimed that Jews were “among the chief financiers of the slave trade”. The Labour Party has compounded its antisemitism problem by shrouding all disciplinary matters in secrecy under guidelines introduced in the wake of Baroness Chakrabarti’s report into antisemitism, thus concealing the fact that it has failed to address antisemitism within its ranks.
Israel compared to Nazis at Labour conference fringe event
Israel was compared to the Nazis during a Labour conference fringe event, it has been reported.

The session today also featured activists calling for the Jewish Labour Movement and Labour Friends of Israel to be “kicked out” of Labour, the Guido Fawkes website said.

According to the site, which filmed the event run by the Free Speech on Israel group, the Jewish chair of the session had attempted to ban conference delegates from tweeting about the session or taking photographs.

One speaker had complained that the JLM had been handed the Del Singh award for effective campaigning, while another had called for Israel to be treated the same way apartheid South Africa had been by the international community, Guido reported.

The event featured a number of anti-Zionist Jewish Labour activists, including Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi and Tony Greenstein, who was suspended by the party last year. Mr Greenstein has previously written that Ken Livingstone, the former Mayor of London, “got it right over Hitler and Zionism”.
Calls to expel Jewish members from Labour cheered at conference
A call to expel Jewish activists from Labour was greeted with cheers at a packed fringe meeting at the party’s conference in Brighton.

Members of the Jewish Labour Movement and Labour Friends of Israel were targeted at the meeting today, held by the Free Speech on Israel group, and chaired by leading Jewish anti-Zionist Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi.

Wimborne-Idrissi, who won a standing ovation on Monday morning when, speaking in the international debate, she told Conference: “There is no problem with Jews in the Labour Party”.

Keynote speaker at the meeting was Miko Peled, a Jerusalem-born anti-Zionist who lives in America. His book, The General’s Son, describes his change of heart from growing up in the family of one of Israel’s most decorated soldiers, General Matti Peled.

Today, sporting a large pink Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions badge, Miko Peled and his enthusiastic audience roamed through every anti-Israel trope in the canon, from refusing to call Israel “Israel”, but rather “Palestine”, to concluding his remarks with “We can speak about the Holocaust, yes or no” — as though there were a choice in the matter.

Peled made a series of claims about the spending power of “the Zionists”, including a suggestion that “every person standing for city council in America gets a five star trip to Israel, all expenses paid”. “Billions” had been invested in a campaign to “silence the Palestinian voice”, he said.


Edgar Davidson: Understanding the Labour Party policy on antisemitism
Following the first day of today's Labour Party conference their policy on antisemitism can easily be summarised:

Today's events included:
- calls to expel the 'Jewish Labour Movement' from the party (for refusing to accept that Israel was 'like the Nazis')
- Jewish writer David Collier banned from attending a meeting of the new Jewish labour group JVL (a group that seeks the destruction of Israel) for being too Jewish for them
- multiple instances of antisemitism dressed up as 'anti-Zionism', with the worst proponents stating there was no such thing as antisemitism in the party
CHRIS WILLIAMSON DEFENDS “JEWS FINANCED SLAVE TRADE” JACKIE WALKER
Readers will remember Jackie Walker, who was suspended from the Labour Party not once but twice for claiming “Jews” financed the slave trade and attacking Holocaust Memorial Day. She’s being supported by top Corbynistas at conference…
Pro-Israel University of Maryland Professor Dismissed After Complaining of Religious Discrimination Plans Legal Action
A Jewish professor at the University of Maryland (UMD) who was dismissed months after complaining of facing religious discrimination plans to pursue legal action against the school, The Algemeiner has learned.

Dr. Melissa Landa, who worked as an assistant clinical professor at UMD’s College of Education and has been a vocal opponent of anti-Israel activism in academia, was informed on June 8 that her contract would not be renewed. Her firing, which is currently being investigated by UMD’s Office of Civil Rights and Sexual Misconduct, came shortly after the resolution of a faculty grievance that Landa filed in February against two of her colleagues.

Faculty members who submit such complaints may not be “reprimanded or discriminated against in any way,” according to university policy, and Landa’s attorney Ari Wilkenfeld said legal steps against UMD “are forthcoming.”

Landa told The Algemeiner that her troubles began shortly after she started vocally advocating for Israel “in November 2015, when I wrote an essay for Scholars for Peace in the Middle East denouncing the [anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions] movement in academia.” The next month, Landa — who completed her undergraduate degree at Oberlin College — formed a group to address what she and other concerned alumni saw as rising antisemitic and anti-Israel sentiment at their alma mater.

The group soon came across social media posts by then Oberlin professor Joy Karega, who called the Islamic State terrorist group “a CIA and Mossad operation” and endorsed claims that “Israeli and Zionist Jews” were behind the 9/11 attacks. When Landa started speaking to the press about Karega’s comments, she shared those articles with the associate chair of UMD’s Teaching and Learning, Policy, and Leadership (TLPL) department, Dr. John O’Flahavan, who previously served as her doctoral adviser.
Alan Dershowitz Talk Expected to Be Disrupted by Protesters
Protests are expected to disrupt an upcoming talk by lawyer and political commentator Alan Dershowitz at Columbia University, according to event organizers.

Dershowitz's sold-out talk about the Constitution, free speech, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will likely be disrupted by dozens of anti-Israel student activists, said Ofir Dayan, the media coordinator for Students Supporting Israel, the group hosting the event.

Some 30 seats have been reserved by those affiliated with Students for Justice in Palestine, Columbia University Apartheid Divest, and Jewish Voice for Peace, according to Dayan, a tactic she said has been used in the past to facilitate shout-downs of SSI programming.

"They sign up in large numbers so that they can protest," she said. "[They] have an anti-normalization policy, which means they do not engage or discuss with anyone who has a different opinion. Their opinion is that Israel should be wiped off the map and that all terrorism targeting Israel or Israelis is ‘legitimate,' so anyone who is against the murder of innocent civilians and supports Israel's right to exist is shunned from the conversation."

Dayan—daughter of Israeli diplomat Dani Dayan, who came up against protesters himself while speaking at the City College of New York last spring—said that disruptions of Dershowitz's talk "will expose the anti-Israel movement for being fascist and violent."
University of Illinois Chancellor Slams ‘Antisemitic Attacks Hidden Under Anti-Zionist Rhetoric’
The chancellor of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) on Sunday condemned rising antisemitism at American universities, including “anti-Semitic attacks hidden under the guise of anti-Zionist rhetoric.”

In a statement issued in response to “growing national instances of intolerance, especially on college campuses,” Chancellor Robert Jones denounced the pervasiveness of racist and antisemitic symbols and behaviors, from painted swastikas and KKK costumes to illegitimate attacks on the Jewish state and its supporters.

“Members of our Jewish, African American, Latino/a and many other residents of our diverse community find themselves asking whether they are welcome and safe here,” Jones wrote. “The answer to that — whether in Urbana-Champaign, Chicago, or any place in this country — must be a clear and resounding: ‘Yes, you are.’”

Earlier this month, while promoting a rally it was co-sponsoring, UIUC’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine equated Zionism — the movement for Jewish national self-determination — with white supremacy and fascism. The group threatened to use “any means necessary” against supporters of each ideology, including “full-scale armed conflict.”

During the rally, SJP displayed an Israeli flag that was covered in fake blood and the word “genocide.”

Illini Public Affairs Committee (IlliniPAC) — a bipartisan, pro-Israel student group at UIUC — praised Jones’ statement on social media “for affirming to Pro-Israel and Jewish students that our voice matters, and has been heard, on this campus.”
IsraellyCool: YouTube Set To Delete Israellycool Account
Yesterday I posted about YouTube resetting all of my videos to “demonetized”, in what I called the “latest assault on Israellycool.”

My account now has two strikes against it – both of which I have appealed. They are against videos I uploaded in 2014 to expose Hamas hatred and terrorism, not condone it. This is obvious from the context, not just of the video descriptions, but of my entire YouTube account.

Even if after all of these years, YouTube has decided to crack down on any videos showing violence or terrorism (even though they do not seem to be cracking down on antisemitic videos, for example), it seems patently unfair to threaten a “three strikes and you’re out” rule, especially given I have appealed the strikes, and especially given the reason I uploaded the videos to begin with. It makes me think YouTube actually wants to eject pro-Israel channels like mine.

I now stand to lose over 180 videos with combined views of over 1.2 million, uploaded over the course of over 11 years. The lost advertising revenue is not even the main issue here; it is the loss of all the hard work and the resulting broken posts in my blog this will cause.
New York Times Whitewashes Iraq’s History of Killing Jews
A New York Times article about Israel’s support for Kurdish independence gives readers a false impression about how Jews were treated in Iraq.

The Times news article reports: “After Israel’s defeat of its Arab neighbors in 1967 and the Baathist coup in Iraq a year later, Iraq became inhospitable to its dwindling Jewish population.”

This error is repeated in a photo cutline, which reads: “Fleeing Iraqi Jews arrive at the Israeli consulate in Tehran in 1970. At the time, Iran was an Israeli ally and Iraq was becoming inhospitable to Jews.”

Actually, Iraqi hostility to Jews began before 1967 and was manifested in murderous violence in 1941.

This may seem like a pointless or pedantic argument about mere chronology. So what if the Times was off by a few decades? Actually, though, it does matter. The idea that it was the 1967 war — and Israel’s subsequent “occupation” of East Jerusalem and the West Bank — that prompted Arab inhospitability to Jews fits with a certain leftist narrative. If that claim were true, and the Arab objection were merely to the “occupation” of land won in the 1967 war, as opposed to the existence of Israel or of Jews at all, then that might support the idea of withdrawing from the West Bank or parts of Jerusalem. This theory, does not, however, fit with the facts, at least when it comes to Iraq.
AFP Fails to Correct IDF Fatalities in Jenin
Agence France Presse, an influential news agency, on Sunday understated the number of 13 Israeli soldiers killed in Jenin in April 2002. The Sept. 24 article ("Israel minister wants probe of Arab filmmaker over Lebanon remarks") erred, stating that Israeli filmmaker Mohammed

Bakri enraged the Israeli establishment and Jewish public with his documentary film "Jenin, Jenin" about April 2002 clashes in which 52 Palestinians and 13 Israeli soldiers were killed.

As AFP itself repeatedly reported at the time, 23 Israeli soldiers were killed during those battles. An April 24, 2002 article, for example, accurately reported ("Israeli president tells world to stop using 'double standards'"):

Israel lost 23 soldiers in the nine-day battle which broke out on April 3 when the army invaded the camp in search of hardline militants and suicide bombers.

CAMERA notified AFP editors of the error yesterday.
Brutal Murder of French Jewish Pensioner Sarah Halimi Motivated by ‘Antisemitism,’ Paris Public Prosecutor Concludes
French Jews have cautiously welcomed the decision of the Paris public prosecutors’ office to recognize the murder of Sarah Halimi – a Jewish pensioner who lived alone in public housing in Paris — as an antisemitic hate crime.

The prosecutor’s decision was announced last week, and was based on interviews conducted by psychiatrist Dr. Daniel Zagury with Halimi’s killer, 27-year-old Kobili Traore. In the early hours of April 4, Traore — who had previously made antisemitic remarks to Dr. Halimi — broke into her apartment and proceeded to beat her ferociously while yelling Islamist slogans. Police who arrived at the scene during Halimi’s ordeal reportedly feared a terrorist attack was underway and failed to rescue her before Traore threw her out of a third-floor window to her death.

According to Zagury, Traore’s assault on Halimi was both “antisemitic” and a “delirious act” influenced by the heavy consumption of marijuana. However, Zagury was clear that Traore was not sufficiently intoxicated at the time of the attack to be absolved of criminal responsibility — a key demand of Traore’s lawyers.

In a statement, French Jewish representative body CRIF said it was “relieved” and “satisfied” with the announcement, which coincided with the Jewish New Year on Wednesday last week. Francis Kalifat, CRIF’s head, said that if a judge was to uphold the prosecutors’ position, then “the trial of the murderer must also be the trial of the antisemitism that murders in France. ”
Swedish court moves neo-Nazi march on Yom Kippur away from synagogue
A court in Sweden has rerouted a neo-Nazi march on Yom Kippur farther away from a synagogue.

The Gothenburg administrative court ruling concerning the Sept. 30 march by the far-right Nordic Resistance Movement overrode the suggested route by police. The court also shortened the route.

The group had initially wanted to march on the main streets of Gothenburg, but the police offered an alternate route taking demonstrators only about 200 yards from the main synagogue in Sweden’s second largest city.

An outraged Jewish community appealed the police decision earlier this month along with several other groups. The Anti-Defamation League and the World Jewish Congress were among others to protest.

Among other factors, the court said it considered the fact that the route would have passed near the synagogue on the Jewish holiday and the demonstration would fall during the Gothenburg Book Fair, when some 100,000 people are expected to gather in the city for the largest literary festival in Scandinavia.

Swedish Jewish leaders cautiously praised the decision.
Israeli Company Develops Germ-Killing Cotton for Use in Hospitals
The constant intensifying battle against viruses and antibiotic-resistant “superbugs” isn’t only about finding stronger drugs against infection, but about preventing infections in the first place.

That’s why large companies such as Carrefour and a Far East luxury hotel chain are looking at unique germ-vanquishing textiles invented by Jerusalem’s Argaman Technologies and manufactured inside its custom-built factory.

Carrefour Group, a French-based superstore chain with 12,000 retail stores in 30 countries, is testing Argaman’s CottonX—billed as the world’s first bio-inhibitive 100 percent cotton—in a line of uniforms dubbed “The Uniform that Cares.”

Textile engineer Jeff Gabbay, founder and CEO of Argaman and inventor of CottonX, led ISRAEL21c on an exclusive tour of the factory, where enhanced copper-oxide particles are ultrasonically and permanently blasted into cotton fibers using an environmentally friendly technique.

Ninety-nine percent of bacteria and viruses are killed within seconds of coming into contact with copper oxide, and bacteria cannot become resistant to copper oxide as they do to antibiotics, Gabbay explained.
Starving cells of oxygen can help them kill cancers, Israeli researchers find
Researchers at Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science have developed a method to reinforce the power of cells that kill cancerous tumors by starving them of oxygen, allowing immunotherapy treatments to be used in targeting previously immune solid tumors.

The research was published in the journal Cell Reports. In the article, the researchers liken the new, toughened cells to athletes who train in high altitudes, where the percentage of oxygen in the air is lower.

The technique is based on removing cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) from the body and then breeding them in a lab, after which they are reintroduced into a patient’s blood stream. The CTLs, known also as killer T cells, are cells in charge of destroying damaged cells, cancer cells, and cells infected with viruses or other pathogens.
In this immunofluorescence image, a group of killer T cells (outer three) is engaging a cancer cell (centered one). A patch of signaling molecules (pink) that gathers at the site of cell-cell contact indicates that the CTL has identified a target. Lytic granules (red) that contain cytotoxic components then travel along the microtubule cytoskeleton (green) to the contact site and are secreted, thus killing the target. (The National Institutes of Health / Wikipedia)

Quoted on Wednesday by Medical News Today, senior Weizmann Institute researcher Guy Shakhar compared the oxygen-starved killer T cells to mountaineers who gradually get used to lower oxygen levels. “Just as altitude training increases endurance in humans, so putting killer T cells through a ‘fitness regimen’ apparently toughens them up,” he explained.
Israeli balloon helps secure pope's visit to Colombia
For the third time in recent years, Pope Francis's security detail used an Israeli observation balloon to help protect him during his visit to South America.

Two of the three Masses the pope presided over in Colombia two weeks ago were accompanied by an observation balloon made by the Yavne-based RT Aerostats Systems based.

The Israeli balloon has also helped secure the pope during past trips to Africa and Israel.

The observation balloon, which is regularly used by the IDF and the Israel Police, covers a radius of five kilometers.

Police in Bogotá and Medellín leased the balloon, with the video feed from it transmitted directly to their headquarters.

The balloon then helped scan the large crowds that gathered for the pope, the rooftops in the area and other spots that cannot be seen from the ground.
Elbit awarded $240 million contract with African nation
Elbit Systems announced today that it was awarded a $240 million contract to provide a wide array of defense electronic systems to an unnamed country in Africa.

The contract, which will be performed over a two-year period, is for Elbit's Directed Infra-red Counter Measure systems to protect aircraft from shoulder-fired missiles, which include Missile Warning Systems (MWS), radio and communication systems, land-based systems, and helicopters upgrade.

“We are proud to have won this contract, allowing us to provide our customers with a variety of systems and capabilities from different fields, a growing trend we have witnessed lately in many countries," said Elbit CEO Bezalel Machlis.

"Our unique structure enables the customer to benefit from the synergy of its overall capabilities while, at the same time, focus on its requirements. Our cutting-edge technologies and operational know-how allow us to customize our solutions and tailor them to our customer’s needs, and we hope others will follow this trend".
Israeli tech helps Mexican rescuers locate quake victims
Radio-wave technology developed by Israeli firm Camero-Tech that can “see” through solid walls is helping rescue workers in Mexico search through rubble for buried victims, Amir Beeri, the CEO of the firm, said.

“We got reports from our representative in Mexico that our technology is being used there by the rescue workers and he sent us TV images that show our systems in use,” Beeri said in a phone interview.

The company’s “sense-through-the-wall” imaging technology uses radio waves to map the layout of areas that are blocked by bricks or any other material. The radio waves penetrate the rubble and get signals back from within. These signals are then analyzed by powerful algorithms which are able to detect in real time if there is movement or breathing within the destruction, indicating there is someone alive that needs to be rescued. The system also allows users to pinpoint the location of the person or people trapped within the building, even if they are unconscious, Beeri said.

“We know from reports in Mexico that our system helped rescue a number of people alive,” said Beeri, “And that gave us great satisfaction, because the possibility of finding survivors under the rubble in a short and effective manner is a main tool for saving trapped people after earthquakes and collapsing buildings.”
IDF Blog: The IDF is in Mexico




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