Wednesday, November 01, 2017

From Ian:

Britain’s Hard Left Has Come to Resemble a Religion, in Which “Zionists” Are among the Devils
Secularization has dramatically reduced the autonomy of this social sphere, as whole areas of social life have become the business of the state to police. The state is fast becoming a secular church, the fount of moral legislation, and is busy imposing a uniformity of belief on its citizens every bit as intrusive as the theocratic states of the past, where the distinction between church and state was likewise unknown.

From this development, it has followed that politicians have been only too willing to step into the role of prophets or high priests; and it is not surprising, therefore, that someone like Corbyn, who appears to offer a coherent worldview and gives clear guidance as to what people should believe, should be able to acquire a following.

That is one part of the story. The other major trend is simply the wholesale abandonment of the moral teaching associated with the Bible. For it is the first rule of Judeo-Christian morality that evil is to be found within us. . . . It is a prescription for humility which may be considered to be the very foundation of a gentle and harmonious social life.

The strength of this moral teaching is that it inoculates us against the self-righteousness that sees the world in dualistic terms, as divided between us and them, between the children of light and the children of darkness. For in the . . . vision of the Corbynistas, we are wholly virtuous, wholly pure, and wholly innocent; evil has nothing to do with us, but wholly to do with them, those wicked bankers, capitalists, neo-imperialists, Zionists, Tories, and racists, who must in due time be punished for their sins.

Alan Dershowitz: The Forward’s Defense of an Antisemitic Cartoon Is Unacceptable
When the official newspaper of Berkeley published a color caricature of me as a spider-like creature with one leg stomping on a Palestinian child and another holding an IDF soldier spilling the blood of an unarmed Palestinian, there was universal condemnation of what was widely seen as a throwback to the antisemitic imagery of the Nazi era. The chancellor condemned the cartoon, stating that, “its antisemitic imagery connects directly to the centuries-old ‘blood libel’ that falsely accused Jews of engaging in ritual murder.”

Writing in the Daily Cal, students from a pro-Israel organization at Berkeley debunked the claim that the cartoonist and the student paper editors at the Daily Cal could not have known that this cartoon was seeped in traditional antisemitic stereotyping, when considering its deep roots in European, and even American, publications.

In the cartoon, Dershowitz is depicted with a hooked nose and a body of a large amorphous black sphere. His exaggerated head and contorted legs and hands evoke images of a spider. The rhetoric of Jews as ‘invasive’ insects in society, trying to take over resources and power, has long been used to justify violence, persecution and murder. The two elements of the cartoon, with Dershowitz’s face in the front and the black body in the back, plays into the antisemitic trope of Jews as shape-shifting, sub-human entities using deception and trickery in order to advance their own agendas. This rhetoric is nowhere more common than in Nazi propaganda, and can be traced far beyond WWII in European and American media.

The students also wrote about the “pain” the antisemitic cartoon had caused them:
To a Jewish student on this campus, seeing this cartoon in the Daily Cal is a reminder that we are not always welcome in the spaces we call home…

Telling Jews that we can or cannot define what is offensive to us, because of our status as privileged minority in the United States, is antisemitic.

Some students also pointed to the swastika that had defaced my picture on a poster outside Berkeley Law School, as evidence of a pervasive antisemitism disguised as anti-Zionism on that campus.

Not surprisingly, it was only an op-ed writer for the Forward who not only denied that the imagery was antisemitic, but actually justified it:
The mere appearance of blood near a Jew is not a blood libel. The State of Israel has an army, and that army sometimes kills Palestinians, including women and children. When you prick those people, I am told, they bleed. It is perverse to demand of artists that they represent actual, real Israeli violence without blood, just because European Christians invented a fake accusation.
Palestinian leaders need to have ‘that’ Santa conversation with their people
It can’t be easy for a parent to tell their child, after years of excitement, that in fact there’s no rotund, white-bearded man who lives at the North Pole, flies around the world on a sleigh with supersonic reindeer, comes down chimneys, drinks milk, eats a cookie then leaves you presents. The news must be devastating, and at least for a while, there must be a distinct lack of trust between parent and child. That’s presumably why most parents put off telling their children for as long as possible.

I’m not comparing the Palestinian population to children, but certainly their leadership is selling their own version of the Santa story to them.

“The problem for Palestinians is that we are surrounded by Israel” said a Palestinian commentator on radio this week. This throwaway remark, amid a series of rehearsed and anodyne platitudes about Palestinian national unity flowing from the rapprochement of Hamas and Fatah in Gaza and the West Bank, revealed the real motives of this entente.

Let’s think about that opening sentence for a minute. That’s a bit like saying that the problem with the Czech Republic is that it is “surrounded by Germany and Poland.” Does the Palestinian commentator regard a future Palestinian State as an island like Tristan de Cunha, devoid of neighbors? A blissfully isolated utopia? Sadly, the answer is much less fanciful, but just as absurd.

The Palestinian leadership, and by proxy the population as a whole, cannot get their heads around the fact that the “Nakba” (the disaster, as they refer to the creation of the State of Israel) is not a flash in the pan, and that some 70 years later, Israel exists, is flourishing and isn’t going anywhere.

JPost Editorial: Judo Shame
Not only were these Israelis being publicly shamed for who they were, but they were told that this shaming was for their own protection. Flicker’s silent lipping of the Israeli anthem as the IJF theme song was played was admirable but hardly a satisfactory substitute for real recognition.

The entire fiasco in Abu Dhabi is a bitter reminder of the ease with which people acquiesce to appalling discrimination.

The commentators with British accents knew enough about judo to praise Flicker’s techniques as he flounced his opponent from Azerbaijan. But they were eerily silent about the proverbial elephant on the tatami. They obediently accepted the terms set by Abu Dhabi’s bigots and refrained from commentating as Flicker stood lipping “Hatikva.” Humans, it seems, are remarkably accepting of humiliating treatment as “just the way things are.”

Abu Dhabi’s despicable behavior would never have received mention if the Israeli Judokas had given a mediocre performance. But Flicker had won the gold and four other members of the Israeli team – men and women – won bronze medals in their respective weight-classes. As a judo powerhouse, Israel simply cannot be ignored.

Vizer had an opportunity to end, once and for all, Israel’s mistreatment by members of the IJF. Unfortunately, he missed that opportunity, but it is not too late to change course. Neither Abu Dhabi nor any of the 198 members of the IJF should be allowed to behave so terribly to Israel again.
A dangerous deceit
It seems that anti-Semitic views are increasingly being accepted in mainstream American political discourse.

Anti-Semitism can currently be found among three different groups, two of which recently joined forces. The first is the radical Right, which almost everyone recognizes and denounces. Rooted in traditional Christian anti-Semitism, its legacy stretches from the Spanish Inquisition through the Nazis to the Klu Klux Klan.

The second is radical Islam, which has harbored anti-Semitic beliefs as part of its traditional hatred of infidels, in particular the Jews, for thousands of years. This hatred took on greater significance with Israel's founding and as a result of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Finally, modern anti-Semitism can be found among members of the radical Left, which sees Israel as a symbol of American and Western imperialism, aggressive military rule and the violation of human rights.

We do not give adequate attention to the developing alliance between the radical Left and radical Islam – two groups that, despite their seemingly incompatible worldviews, collaborate against Israel and the Jews. This strange alliance can be explained by the theory of intersectionality adopted by many in the far Left. According to this theory, groups that consider themselves neglected and discriminated against must come together to fight against each of those groups' supposed enemies.
Caroline Glick: From Mueller to Mandelblit
As for the probes against Sara Netanyahu, every day the public is treated to yet more salacious, unsubstantiated tales of her alleged abuse of workers at the Prime Minister’s Residence.

While Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit did not initiate the probes against Netanyahu, he has done nothing to stop them. This despite their demonstrably prejudicial nature. Mandelblit is a product of the system that has turned the police, media and state prosecution into a political party united in their common goal of hunting the political Right. As a result, he can be expected to go along with whatever they do. If the police recommend indicting Netanyahu, Mandelblit can be counted on to dutifully indict him, even though the acts he is suspected of committing are not crimes.

Given the current dynamic, the only way for Netanyahu not be forced from office for actions that aren’t even criminal is for his political associates to rein in the out of control police and state prosecution by limiting their authority. So far, the media have cowed them into inaction.

In the Mueller probe and the incessant probes against Netanyahu we see the new face of the Left. Unable to win elections, they exploit their control over the bureaucracy and media to overturn election results.

There can be no greater threat to the health of a liberal democracy than that.

Two things must happen for this situation to be corrected.

First, we must recognize what is happening and what it means for our systems of governance. Second, lawmakers in Congress and the Knesset alike need to stand up to the media and the legal fraternities and bravely restore the power to govern to those in whom the public has vested it.
Eight Dead in Truck Attack on Manhattan Bike Path; Suspect Arrested
A pickup truck driver killed eight people and injured more than a dozen others when he drove down a New York City bike path on Tuesday afternoon in what authorities said was a terrorist attack.

The 29-year-old driver was shot by police in the abdomen and taken into custody after he crashed the truck into a school bus and fled his vehicle, New York City Police Commissioner James O‘Neill told a news conference.

A spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security called the incident an "apparent act of terrorism."

Asked at the news conference about reports that the driver shouted "Allahu Akbar" – which is Arabic for "God is greatest" – O‘Neill said that a statement made by the suspect when he exited his truck and the general circumstances of the assault led investigators to label the incident a "terrorist event."
Israeli PM Netanyahu on New York City Terror Attack: ‘Together We Will Defeat This Scourge’
Top Israeli leaders have issued solidarity statements following the Tuesday’s truck-ramming attack in New York City in which eight people were killed.

“To President [Donald] Trump, Governor [Andrew] Cuomo and Mayor [Bill] de Blasio: We stand with our friends in New York and all Americans following yet another horrible Islamist terror attack,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said. “We pray for the victims and their families. Together we will defeat this scourge.”

During a CNN interview on Wednesday, Cuomo noted he had spoken with Netanyahu by telephone after the attack.

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin declared, “Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of New York. Israel and the USA stand shoulder to shoulder in the fight against terror.”
‘We Stand With America,’ Israel’s UN Ambassador Says After Terrorist Plows Truck Into New York City Pedestrians
Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations in New York launched what is certain to be a stream of solidarity messages from Israeli leaders following Tuesday evening’s terrorist attack in Lower Manhattan, in which at least eight people are reported to have been killed, with dozens more wounded.

“Just as the US has always stood by our side in our times of need, Israel will always stand with America in the fight against terror,” Ambassador Danny Danon said in a message to his American counterpart Nikki Haley. “We send our condolences to the families of those killed and we wish a speedy recovery to those injured.”

The suspect – Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov, a 29 year-old Uzbek national who resides in Paterson, New Jersey and arrived in the US in 2010 – drove a rental truck onto a jogging and bike path, plowing into pedestrians and cyclists until he crashed into a school bus. Exiting the truck, the suspect waved imitation firearms, before being shot in the abdomen by a uniformed police officer.

Multiple reports said that Saipov shouted “Allahu Akhbar!” during the attack. The FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force is taking over the lead of the investigation.
Soros Provides Funding to Group Behind Pulled Anti-Gillespie Ad
Liberal billionaire George Soros is a major funder of a Latino activist group that produced an ad in Virginia depicting a supporter of Republican gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie running down minority children in a truck, which was pulled following the New York City terror attack that left eight people dead.

The group was part of Soros-backed efforts against Trump and Republicans during the 2016 election cycle, and its leadership includes individuals who previously worked directly with Soros at his foundation.

The Latino Victory Fund, a group that carries a mission of "growing Latino political power by increasing Latino representation at every level of government," released the advertisement showing a man driving a pickup truck with a Gillespie campaign bumper sticker chasing minority children down streets and alleyways. "Is this what Donald Trump and Ed Gillespie mean by ‘the American dream?'" the voiceover says in the ad.

Cristóbal J. Alex, the president of the Latino Victory, said the ad was produced to show how Gillespie has "eagerly embraced racism and xenophobia" during the campaign. The group pulled the ad following the terror attack in New York City on Tuesday and issued a non-apology when announcing the move.
UN Settlements ‘Blacklist’ of Israeli and International Companies Will Have Scant Legal Impact, Expert Says
A United Nations Human Rights Council effort to squeeze international companies engaging in business with Israeli individuals and entities in eastern Jerusalem and the West Bank is unlikely to have any major legal impact, a leading Israeli expert on the boycott campaign said on Tuesday.

“There is nothing illegal about such business activity, and no court anywhere in the world has established otherwise,” Anne Herzberg — legal adviser to the Israeli research institute NGO Monitor — told The Algemeiner.

Last week, some 130 international and 60 Israel companies received letters from Prince Zeid bin Ra’ad al-Hussein — the UN’s high commissioner for human rights and a former Jordanian ambassador to the UN and the US — warning them that their activities in Israeli settlements were in breach of international law. The companies reportedly include leading brands like Hewlett-Packard, Motorola, Israel Aircraft Industries and Ahava.

Under the terms of the UNHRC resolution adopted in March of this year, member states are urged to offer “guidance” to “individuals and businesses” regarding the “possibility of liability for corporate involvement in gross human rights abuses and the abuses of the rights of individuals, of becoming involved in settlement-related activities, including through financial transactions, investments, purchases, procurements, loans, the provision of services, and other economic and financial activities in or benefiting Israeli settlements.”
JVP’s summer of discontent: It’s time for Rebecca Vilkomerson to step down
One of Silicon Valley’s most influential CEOs bit the bullet a few months ago and stepped down after a whirlwind of controversy and acrimony. Travis Kalanick of Uber fought off pressure for months. But the board of directors could only tolerate so much: an avalanche of reports detailing a culture of sexual harassment, stolen Google Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology, being recorded screaming at drivers over pay cuts. The list goes on. Kalanick finally stepped down on June 21.

Jewish Voice for Peace under the stewardship of Rebecca Vilkomerson and the staff she recruited finds itself in a similar situation after perhaps the worst month in the organization’s history. Already public enemy No. 1 for many right-wing Jews, now mainstream and many left-wing Jews have completely turned against the group.

It was a long time coming. The summer of 2017 is only the culmination of years of ideological deterioration inside JVP. Having been involved on the local level, it was clear the national leadership was on the one hand not supportive enough and on the other sending the organization down a dark path. Looking at last month in retrospect, one can only conclude it was an unmitigated disaster for an NGO that once saw itself as bringing a voice of rationality to the Middle East.

Going back to late May, JVP joined a horrendous campaign to boycott Wonder Woman because of Gal Gadot’s starring role in the film. Why? Well, she posted her support for the IDF in a war against Hamas. JVP joined a gaggle of regressive writers and groups that used the post to smear the star more based on her simple heritage than anything substantial.
Gal Gadot our True Wonder Woman!
Last week at Kent University, a student guest op-ed attacked Gal Gadot, and the idea behind the plausibility of being a zionist and feminist. Although the article was deleted due to inaccuracies, Wonder Woman’s role against evil in the film is what inspired me to speak up for strong, empowered zionist women, like myself.

As a proud Zionist, I believe in the Jewish people’s right to statehood in their indigenous land, Israel. Anti-Zionism is then, inherently a form of anti-semitism because it denies the Jewish people’s right to exist in their own homeland. A recent argument against Zionism is that one cannot be a Zionist and a feminist. However, I am both a strong feminist and unapologetic Zionist just like Gal Gadot, so how is this possible?

To me feminism is equality to all genders along with guaranteed basic human rights. In Israel, women are treated with equality and held to the same standard as men even in the military. Being a patriot and supporting your country is not limited to men as some would have you believe. Unfortunately, gender equality does not exist in Arab culture. Women are not seen as equal human beings in the eyes of men in Arab society. The Palestinian sub-culture is indeed westernized by militarization in terms of terrorism, where Israel is a democratic nation that defends itself from annihilation. The president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas

“emphasized his absolute refusal of the Israeli demands to stop the allowances of the families of the prisoners and Martyrs (Shahids)”, and “emphasized his absolute support for them (i.e., for the payments).'"
Student Petition to Suspend Antisemitic Rutgers Professor Gains Momentum, as Swastika Appears on Campus
An appeal for action against a Rutgers University professor who made virulently antisemitic comments will be formally submitted to administrators on Wednesday, days after a swastika appeared on campus, The Algemeiner has learned.

The petition, which gained over 4,000 signatures by Tuesday, urges campus officials to immediately suspend Michael Chikindas — a microbiology professor at Rutgers who published and shared dozens of antisemitic posts on social media — while the university continues to investigate his conduct.

Miriam Waghalter, a freshman at Rutgers who published the petition online, told The Algemeiner that while she and other organizers had not yet been contacted by the administration, “hopefully we will hear from them in the near future.”

A spokesperson for Rutgers declined to comment on the petition or the ongoing investigation into Chikindas, who also serves as director of the school’s Center for Digestive Health.

Tensions have run high on campus since Chikindas’ postings were revealed. Andrew Getraer, executive director of Rutgers Hillel, said some students in the Food Science Department where Chikindas is a faculty member have expressed concern “that their futures are going to be affected by having a connection to this man.”
Council on Foreign Relations Suddenly Cancels Presentation by Terrorist-Linked Charity Leader After IPT Inquiry
Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW) is banned by the United Arab Emirates, Israel, the Swiss banks Credit Suisse and UBS, and HSBC – the United Kingdom's largest bank – due to its ties to Hamas and other terrorists. That fact did not stop the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) from treating it as just another religious charity.

CFR planned to host Islamic Relief USA (IRUSA) President Anwar Khan Wednesday in a members only conference call on "the role of faith-based organizations in disaster relief efforts," but in response to questions from the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT), said Monday that Khan canceled due to a medical emergency. The fact that Khan was even invited, calls into question CFR's diligence in vetting Khan and Islamic Relief at a minimum, or worse, suggests its indifference to the evidence.

CFR is one of American's most influential foreign policy organizations with a membership that includes former secretaries of state Henry Kissinger, Colin Powell, former U.S. United Nations Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, and numerous other prominent members.

"The Council on Foreign Relations – which I for better or worse help fund as a member – has blundered badly by providing a platform and offering legitimacy to an Islamist organization designated a terrorist organization in both the United Arab Emirates and Israel and whose accounts have been closed by prominent banks such as UBS and HSBC. Someone at the CFR needs to do basic research," Middle East Forum President Daniel Pipes told the IPT.

CFR's communications department did not respond to a request for comment.

Update: Islamic Relief issued a statement Tuesday saying Anwar Khan suffered a heart attack after traveling home from Bosnia.
UCL students set to hear from Miko Peled who seeks a debate on whether the Holocaust happened and says Jews have a reputation for being “sleazy thieves”
American-Israeli activist, Miko Peled, is scheduled to speak on Friday 10th November at University College London (UCL) at an event organised by the UCL Friends of Palestine Society.

Mr Peled’s views have, in the past, engaged the International Definition of Antisemitism adopted by the British Government and also engage the Prevent counter-extremism strategy.

Campaign Against Antisemitism is writing to UCL to raise our concerns about Mr Peled and to call for the event to be cancelled.

In September, Mr Peled made national headlines by demanding at the Labour Party Conference that delegates should have the freedom to engage in debate as to whether the Holocaust actually happened at all. He said that people should be free to ask “Holocaust, yes or no” because “there should be no limits on the discussion.” He additionally reportedly proposed that Israelis should be treated like Nazis. He was widely condemned.

Mr Peled has form. For example, on 23rd May 2016, speaking at an art gallery in Euston, London, Mr Peled alleged that the Labour Party’s antisemitism furore is being fabricated by “Zionists”. He said: “Everyone knows this entire antisemitism thing is nonsense”. At the same event, Mr Peled also alleged that Islamophobia is a strategic invention of “Zionists”. He said: “If anyone has any doubt, that this entire Islamophobia thing isn’t coming directly from pro-Israeli groups, then excuse me you are out of your mind. Absolutely. And when you look at each case, individually you will see, the hand, the fingerprints of some Israeli lobby, some pro-Zionist groups.”

On 14th September 2016, Mr Peled tweeted about a new aid package granted to Israel by the United States: “Then theyr surprised Jews have reputation 4being sleazy thieves. #apartheidisrael doesn’t need or deserve these $$.” In response, his forthcoming event hosted by the Princeton Committee on Palestine was cancelled on the basis that: “The last string of tweets are antisemitic and hateful, which are counterproductive to an educational event on the conflict.”
Student Activist Criticizes Group for ‘Perpetuating Arab Supremacy’
An attendee at a Palestinian student organization’s national conference last weekend has criticized the group for "perpetuating Arab Supremacy."

In a social media exchange obtained by the Washington Free Beacon, a woman named Eqra Kazi called out organizers of National Students for Justice in Palestine for "exclusionary behavior" toward non-Arab students at the conference, which was held Oct. 27-29 at the University of Houston.

"I did not feel accepted or safe," wrote Kazi. "As a brown person with previous experience in this type of exclusionary behavior, I will advocate for Palestinian liberation through my own means, and in gatherings that also work on this issue. I do not expect a cookie for my activism, but what I do expect is manners!"

"Don't expect solidarity from other minorities outside of the Arab sphere if you do not have manners or human decency that acknowledges the perpetuating Arab Supremacy that keeps both brown and black people 100,000 miles away from Arab spheres. Challenge it! Talk about it! BE BETTER. I did not feel accepted or safe," she wrote (emphasis in original).

NSJP responded, "We agree fully with hierarchies and dynamics in organizing spaces that can [be] exclusionary of black and brown activists. We operate with keeping these issues in mind and formulate our programming, workshops and plenaries around it."

Kazi urged Palestinian activists in a separate post to look beyond the Israel-Palestine issue and remember those "hurting" in Kashmir, Sudan, Pakistan, Rwanda, Burma, and Somalia.
Israel protests Aussie caricature critical of Battle of Beersheba memorials
The Israeli Embassy in Australia on Wednesday protested a caricature published in the Canberra Times on Wednesday that shows Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu riding a donkey representing his Australian counterpart.

The caricature appears to criticize Netanyahu and Malcolm Turnbull for the way in which they commemorated the 100-year anniversary of the Battle of Beersheba, which paved the way for the British mandate and, eventually, Jewish statehood. Both leaders on Tuesday attended several events to mark the event’s centenary, hailing it as a milestone for the region that paved the way for Jewish statehood.

“We turned to the editor of the newspaper and expressed our protest over the derogatory manner in which the prime ministers are being portrayed, as well as over the derogatory way in which the Battle for Beersheba and its victims are being portrayed,” the spokesperson of Israel’s Australian embassy, Dorit Hershokowitz, wrote in a cable to Foreign Ministry headquarters in Jerusalem.

Israeli diplomats in Canberra also urged the local Jewish community and “other friends of Israel in politics and the media” to protest the caricature, according to Hershkowitz.
Background on a recurrent BBC interviewee
Over the last three and a half years the Hebron-based professional activist Issa Amro and his group ‘Youth Against Settlements’ have from time to time appeared in content produced by various BBC departments.

In none of those cases, however, did the BBC meet its own editorial guidelines on impartiality by clarifying to audiences the political agenda – or as the BBC terms it, the “particular viewpoint” – of Amro and his group.

“We should not automatically assume that contributors from other organisations (such as academics, journalists, researchers and representatives of charities) are unbiased and we may need to make it clear to the audience when contributors are associated with a particular viewpoint, if it is not apparent from their contribution or from the context in which their contribution is made.”

The NGO ‘Youth Against Settlements’ has been described by the BBC as a group that “train[s] activists and locals in how to use cameras and social media – in order to highlight abuses at the hands of Israelis” and Issa Amro has been portrayed in BBC reports as “a local activist”, “a Palestinian activist”, “a prominent human rights activist” and “a prominent human rights defender”.

Researcher Petra Marquardt-Bigman has compiled a detailed backgrounder on Issa Amro and his group in which she examines what actually lies behind the media and NGO portrayal of him as a ‘human rights activist’. The study underscores just how deficient the BBC’s partial portrayal of Amro has been to date.
How to be a Media Watchdog - HR in a Minute

How AP in 1917 reported the Balfour Declaration for a Jewish homeland
On November 2, 1917, the United Kingdom promised British assistance to create a Jewish homeland with the Balfour Declaration.

The declaration was the culmination of talks between British Zionist leaders seeking Jewish statehood and British politicians embroiled in the First World War, amid the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. British Foreign Secretary Lord Arthur Balfour wrote and addressed it to Lord Lionel Walter Rothschild, a British financier and Zionist leader.

The declaration served as the basis for the British Mandate of Palestine, which drew a wave of Jews to Palestine and let Zionist state institutions take root over the following decades.

The Associated Press is republishing a version of its report from Nov. 9, 1917, when the declaration was first made public. The AP report was published in the Idaho Statesman of Boise, Idaho, and includes a condensed commentary published in the Jewish Chronicle of London.

London — Arthur J. Balfour, secretary of state for foreign affairs, has written the following letter to Lord Rothschild expressing the government’s sympathy with the Zionist movement:
Hundreds of Nazi-looted artworks go on display in twin exhibitions
Hundreds of artworks from a spectacular collection hoarded by the son of a Nazi-era dealer will be shown for the first time since World War II in parallel exhibitions in Switzerland and Germany starting Thursday.

“Gurlitt: Status Report,” which displays around 450 pieces by masters including Monet, Gauguin, Renoir and Picasso, aims to shed a light on the systematic looting of Jewish-owned collections under Adolf Hitler.

The works in the two exhibitions, which run in Bern and the German city of Bonn until March, derive from the more than 1,500 discovered in 2012 in the possession of Munich pensioner Cornelius Gurlitt.

His father, Hildebrand Gurlitt, worked as an art dealer for the Nazis starting in 1938.

“With these two exhibitions, we wish to pay homage to the people who became victims of the National Socialist art theft, as well as the artists who were defamed and persecuted by the regime as ‘degenerate,'” Rein Wolfs and Nina Zimmer, directors of the Kunsthalle Bonn and the Kunstmuseum Bern, respectively, said in a statement. (h/t Think of England)
Automotive giant Hyundai to open R&D center in Israel
The Hyundai Motor Group has decided to invest over $100 million in building a research and development center in Israel, one of five new R&D centers the South Korean car manufacturing giant is setting up throughout the world, Israel Hayom has learned.

On Tuesday, Hyundai's executive vice president in charge of innovation, Dr. Youngcho Chi, met with Economy and Industry Minister Eli Cohen and updated him on the company's decision.

The new center will serve as a hub for the company's activity in Israel and will work to locate local technologies, investment, and potential cooperation with Israeli startups.

Youngcho said that Hyundai has a keen interest in Israeli innovation in the automotive field, particularly technologies applicable to self-driving cars. In September, Hyundai signed a memorandum of understanding with the Technion Israel Institute of Technology and the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology for joint research and development pojects on mobility technologies.
India Air Force heads to Israel to begin military air exercises
India sent 45 members of the Garud commandos, a special unit in the Indian Air Force, to Israel for the first time Tuesday to take part in a two-week multilayer air exercise.

The Blue Flag drill is a biannual exercise designed to strengthen Israel’s military cooperation internationally. This is the first year India will participate in the drill, which has in the past included the US, France, Germany, Italy, Greece and Poland.

"Exercise Blue Flag gives us the opportunity to share and learn [the] best practices with some of the best professionals from other air forces," said an Indian officer.

The training exercise with the Israeli Air Force comes after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the Jewish State in July.

Israel has been supplying India with various weapons systems, missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles over the last few years, making India one of Israel’s largest buyers of military hardware.

Over the last five years, bilateral non-defense trade between the countries has averaged $4.6 billion per year and defense trade has seen annual sales worth more than $1 billion
‘Joshua stopped the sun’ 3,224 years ago today, scientists say
Their new research found, however, that an annular eclipse, “in which the moon passes directly in front of the sun, but is too far away to cover the disc completely, leading to the characteristic ‘ring of fire’ appearance,” occurred on October 30, 1207 BCE.

The researchers note that the ancient world did not distinguish linguistically between total and annular eclipses.

“The researchers developed a new eclipse code, which takes into account variations in the Earth’s rotation over time,” Cambridge University said in its statement. “From their calculations, they determined that the only annular eclipse visible from Canaan between 1500 and 1050 BC was on 30 October 1207 BC, in the afternoon.”

“Independent evidence that the Israelites were in Canaan between 1500 and 1050 BC can be found in the Merneptah Stele,” the Cambridge University statement said.

The paper then goes on to apply this event to precisely date the reigns of two ancient Egyptian pharaohs.

“Solar eclipses are often used as a fixed point to date events in the ancient world,” said Humphreys.

The Merneptah Stele, a “large inscribed granite block now housed in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo,” was carved in the fifth year of the reign of Merneptah and describes his defeat of the Israelites in Canaan two or three years earlier.

Using the precise dating of the eclipse and the stele, the researchers were able to pinpoint the reigns of Merneptah and his father Ramesses the Great.

“Using these new calculations, the reign of Merneptah began in 1210 or 1209 BCE. As it is known from Egyptian texts how long he and his father reigned for, it would mean that Ramesses the Great reigned from 1276-1210 BCE, with a precision of plus or minus one year, the most accurate dates available.”
Stunning photos show centennial Battle of Beersheba re-enactment
A century to the day after Australian and New Zealand troops broke through Ottoman defenses in a daring cavalry charge and captured Beersheba in a battle that helped turn the tide of World War I and shape the modern Middle East, nearly 200 horsemen – including descendants of the soldiers – paraded through the streets of Beersheba in a memorial to those killed.

With leaders from Israel, Australia and New Zealand in attendance, Australian and Israeli military marching bands led the way Tuesday through the flag-festooned route in the southern Israeli city, flanked by several thousand onlookers, in a tribute to the 171 British and Commonwealth troops killed that day.

Some 175 members of the Australian Light Horse Association participated. Australian military veteran Ian Dunlop, whose grandfather fought at Beersheba, wore his grandfather's four medals and said he was "very proud" to have come to the event from his native Melbourne.

The battle was a crucial, if largely forgotten, victory in the Middle East campaign that enabled the Allies to break the Turkish line in what is now southern Israel and capture Jerusalem weeks later. The victorious campaign redrew the map of the Middle East.

In the fall of 1917, Allied forces with Gen. Sir Edmund Allenby's Egyptian Expeditionary Force advanced on Gaza as part of a campaign to knock the Ottoman Empire, Germany's ally, out of the war. To outflank the Turkish troops entrenched around Gaza, a parched detachment made a desperate maneuver through the Negev Desert to capture the strategic biblical town of Beersheba, known both in antiquity and in modern times for its wells.

On Oct. 31, 1917, Allied troops launched their assault, but by late in the day, the critical water sources remained in Turkish hands. In a desperate gambit, mounted infantrymen with the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps drew their bayonets, charged the Turkish trenches cavalry-style, and stormed into the city.

Had they been turned back, the entire campaign might have been lost.

Around 100 Australian horsemen took part in "a ride of peace" on Tuesday commemorating the charge. Barry Rodgers, head of the Australian Light Horse Association, said three young nations – Israel, Australia and New Zealand – have their roots in this place.

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