Thursday, November 16, 2017

From Ian:

Evelyn Gordon: U.S. Jews and Israel’s Right to Be Heard
The growing divide between Israeli and American Jews was a major topic of conversation at this week’s annual meeting of the Jewish Federations of North America. It was also the topic of a lengthy feature in Haaretz, which largely blamed the Israeli government. Inter alia, it quoted former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro as saying, in reference to that majority of American Jews who identify as non-Orthodox and politically liberal, “There is an idea that has some currency in certain circles around the Israeli government that says, ‘You know what, we can write off that segment of American Jewry because in a couple of generations their children or grandchildren will assimilate.’”

I agree that the idea of writing off this segment of American Jewry has some currency in Israel. But in most cases, it’s due less to fantasies about liberal Jews disappearing than to a belief that Israel will have to do without them whether it wants to or not, because liberal Jews can no longer be depended on for even the most minimal level of support. And by that, I don’t mean support for any specific Israeli policy, but for something far more basic: Israel’s right to be heard, by both Jewish and non-Jewish audiences.

Nothing better illustrates this than recent decisions by two campus Hillels to bar mainstream Israeli speakers from addressing Jewish students. At Princeton, it was Israel’s deputy foreign minister, Tzipi Hotovely, and at Stanford, it was a group of Israeli Arab veterans of the Israel Defense Forces. I can understand Hillel refusing to host speakers from the radical fringes. But how are Jewish students supposed to learn anything about Israel if campus Hillels won’t even let them hear from representatives of two of the country’s most mainstream institutions – its elected government and its army?

Both Hillels later termed their decisions a “mistake” – most likely under pressure from Hillel International, whose CEO, Eric Fingerhut, was the lead author on Princeton Hillel’s apology. But that doesn’t change the fact that at two leading universities on opposite sides of the country, the Hillel directors, both non-Orthodox rabbis, initially thought canceling the speeches in response to progressive students’ objections was a reasonable decision. Princeton’s Julie Roth thought it completely reasonable to deny her students the chance to hear an official Israeli government representative try to explain the government’s policies. And Stanford’s Jessica Kirschner – backed, incredibly, by the university’s “pro-Israel” association – thought it completely reasonable to deny her students the chance to hear from non-Jewish Israelis who don’t agree that Israel is an apartheid state.
Ben Shapiro: BDS is Antisemitism


A Leftist Crank on Fox News
There was no pushback from Carlson, usually known for his spunky, combative style. Nor did he bother to present a charitable version of the opposing argument. In the Washington Post, Brookings fellow and COMMENTARY contributor James Kirchick has written a strong brief for why the U.S. should make it harder for RT to access American airwaves. Yet I’m not quite persuaded of the wisdom of such restrictions. I worry about opening the door, even an inch, to government regulation of broadcast speech, even if that speech comes from an adversarial, autocratic regime. Perhaps such moves make sense in small, fragile, Kremlin-endangered states that lack a robust indigenous media. But in the U.S., with its large and diverse media market, the best antidote to Moscow’s lies is truthful reporting.

But never mind all that. What Blumenthal wanted to talk about were the real sources of malign foreign influence in Washington: the Jews. Or as Blumenthal put it to Carlson, “the Israel lobby and organizations like [the American Israel Public Affairs Committee], which have been promoting a humanitarian catastrophe in the Gaza Strip, war on Lebanon, war on Iran, which is [sic] not required for some reason to register as a foreign agent, and I don’t why that is.”

Carlson didn’t offer a single critical note in response to any of this. Instead, he went on to underscore Blumenthal’s points, raising a knowing eyebrow here and there as his guest cast the pro-Israel lobby–a domestic, small-“d” democratic movement reflecting a broad opinion consensus among U.S. voters–as equally if not more malign than Putin’s infowar operations. And Blumenthal said all this, unchallenged, not on Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now–but on Fox News.

The Blumenthal interview followed an earlier segment, in which Carlson approvingly quoted Noam Chomsky to the effect that American democracy represents a form of “manufactured consent”–i.e., that it is merely a more subtle form of dictatorship than those found in obviously unfree societies. I wonder: Which icon of leftist crankery will Carlson elevate next? Naomi Klein? Slavoj Zizek? The ghost of Howard Zinn? Tune in to Fox to find out.



The Forward: The Absurdity Of Linda Sarsour And JVP Discussing Anti-Semitism
Among those invited is Linda Sarsour, the new face of intersectional feminism. Linda Sarsour is many things, including a charismatic leader and an adept social media presence. But an expert on anti-Semitism she is not.

It’s true that Sarsour has made a point of opposing anti-Semitism and standing in solidarity with Jews, after Charlottesville, for example. And I myself have defended her speaking at the CUNY School of public Health commencement.

But she also has a problematic history when it comes to minimizing anti-Semitism. In a video for Jewish Voice for Peace posted in April, Sarsour was clear on the subject. “I want to make the distinction that while anti-Semitism is something that impacts Jewish Americans, it’s different than anti-black racism or Islamophobia because it’s not systemic,” she said. “Of course, you may experience vandalism or an attack on a synagogue, or maybe on an individual level… but it’s not systemic, and we need to make that distinction.”

But Sarsour is hardly the most problematic presence on the panel. Also in attendance will be Rebecca Vilkomerson, the executive director of the explicitly anti-Zionist Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), and Lina Morales, chair of JVP’s Jews of Color and Mizrahi/Sephardic Caucus.

As you might recall, Jewish Voice for Peace was one of the most vocal defenders of the Chicago Dyke March organizers when they expelled Jewish women for simply carrying Stars of David. People and publications throughout the globe denounced the organizers for the anti-Semitism involved in barring marchers for displaying signs of Jewishness, when signifiers of all other nationalities, ethnicities, and religions were allowed. But Jewish Voice for Peace decided to defend the organizers by justifying the hostility towards the Star of David display, on the grounds that “Palestinians can justifiably feel unsafe around a blue Star of David in the center of a flag.”
Daily Freier: Screenshotting My Old Tweets is Racist, by Linda Sarsour (satire)
So can we get one thing straight? Screenshotting my old tweets is basically a hate crime. Worse than the NYPD. Worse than Netanyahu. I mean, it’s even worse than the NFL not giving Colin Kapaernik a job. Yes. It’s THAT BAD. Because when you screenshot a tweet like this one….

…. Well you are simply taking away my voice as a Woman of Color and a Muslim in Donald Trump’s Amerika. And why are you even screenshotting my old tweets anyway? Is it because I speak Truth to Power? Like the time I told the CIA to “Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself”?

Yeah, I called it. But still no props. Plus, why you gotta bring up old business anyway? Why you gotta go back in time and dredge up the past? I mean, that’s just straight up creepy. Creepier than Zionism….
The NGOs that Wrote McCollum’s Legislation on Children’s Rights
On November 14, 2017, US Congresswoman Betty McCollum (D-MN) proposed legislation “to prevent United States tax dollars from supporting the Israeli military’s ongoing detention and mistreatment of Palestinian children.” Notably, McCollum’s press release highlighted the endorsement of several non-governmental organizations (NGOs) – including American Friends Service Committee, Amnesty International USA, Center for Constitutional Rights, Defense for Children International-Palestine (DCI-P), and Jewish Voice for Peace; all are leaders of BDS campaigns in the US and internationally. In addition, DCI-P has alleged links to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist organization. DCI-P board members Shawan Jabarin, Nassar Ibrahim, and Dr. Majed Nassar all have alleged affiliations with PFLP, and Hashem Abu Maria, a DCI-P employee, was hailed by PFLP as a “commander” after his 2014 death. The PFLP is proscribed as a terror organization by the United States, Canada, Australia, the European Union, and Israel.

NGO Monitor research reveals that the NGO involvement in this legislation runs more deeply than endorsement from BDS NGOs. As the following analysis shows, the entirety of the proposed bill is premised on factually inaccurate claims from anti-Israel advocacy NGOs, including direct quotes from DCIP’s “No Way to Treat a Child” 2016 report and website. The sections that reference reports from the US State Department and UNICEF originate with these same NGOs (although McCollum’s office selectively quotes, hiding the origins).
Pro-Israel Bay Bloggers: J Street endorsed Representatives introduce anti-Israel bill into Congress
What do Representatives Betty McCollum , Mark Pocan, Earl Blumenauer, André Carson, John Conyers, Jr., Danny K. Davis, Peter A. DeFazio, Raul Grijalva, Luis V. Gutiérrez, and Chellie Pingree all have in common?

They have all been endorsed by J Street, and they are all co-sponsors of
H.R.4391, an anti-Israel bill introduced by Betty McCollum this week that calls for
"the Secretary of State to certify that United States funds do not support military detention, interrogation, abuse, or ill-treatment of Palestinian children, and for other purposes."

The legislation is the result of a fierce lobbying campaign conducted by groups such as American Friends Service Committee, Amnesty International USA, Center for Constitutional Rights, Churches for Middle East Peace, Defense for Children International - Palestine, Friends Committee on National Legislation, Global Ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and United Church of Christ, Jewish Voice for Peace, Mennonite Central Committee, Presbyterian Church (USA), the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights, United Methodists for Kairos Response (UMKR), and United Methodist General Board of Church and Society.

The bill is most notable for its omissions. It does not concern itself with the use of Palestinian children as human shields or as child soldiers by their own government. It does not address the glorification of violence in Palestinian textbooks and media, or incitement in the mosques.
MAAJID NAWAZ’S EPIC RESPONSE TO CALLERS OBSESSION WITH ISRAEL
This excellent way of dealing with the issue of blaming Israel for all of the world’s ills is right on the nose.

Why is it that out of the blue – for almost any reason – Israel gets blamed for everything.

What really is the main issue in the Middle East? Maajid Nawaz argues that it is Iran and Saudi Arabia.

It is a pleasure to hear this perspective. Thank You Maajid.


College Republicans and Democrats at Rutgers: Fire Former Spokesperson of Assad Regime
In a show of bipartisanship, the College Republicans and College Democrats of Rutgers University came together to issue a joint statement on Monday condemning the university's decision to continue to employ a controversial adjunct professor.

The professor, Mazen Adi, is a former member of the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria, a regime that is known for its egregious human rights violations and bloody civil war.

In an appearance on "Fox & Friends," Rutgers student and Campus Reform correspondent Andrea Vacchiano said, "Because Rutgers is a public university, I think it has a duty to use taxpayer money effectively. And it shouldn't be going to fund the income of someone who literally defended the Assad regime in front of the UN, which is a regime that's been accused of committing the worst war crimes, including gassing its own people."

Adi has been a lecturer at the university since September 2015 and has taught courses in political science, United Nations and global policy studies, and, ironically, international criminal law.

Rutgers has also received opposition from UN Watch, "a non-governmental organization based in Geneva whose mandate is to monitor the performance of the United Nations."

Hillel Neuer, the executive director of UN Watch, has called Adi a "liar" and an "apologist for mass murder." "It ought to be a matter of profound concern that an American university would allow an apologist for the Syrian regime’s genocide to be a teacher," he said.

The College Republicans and College Democrats made their concerns known:
We are calling on Rutgers University and President Robert Barchi to remove the same faculty member that has been flagged by UN Watch.

As a community that is "committed to the recruitment and retention of a diverse staff that reflects the students [they] serve," Rutgers fails its mission and responsibility towards its students by employing a former spokesperson who endorsed the murderous regime of a disgraceful dictator.
Miko Peled compares Zionists to Nazis at University College London
American-Israeli activist, Miko Peled, compared Zionists to Nazis in a controversial talk on Friday 10th November at University College London (UCL).

The talk was titled “Segregated and Unequal, Palestinian Life in Apartheid Israel”. Though it was organised by UCL Friends of Palestine Society, it had the backing of pro-Palestinian student societies at various London universities, namely City, Imperial, Kings College, Queen Mary and Westminster.

Following approaches from concerned Jewish students at UCL, Campaign Against Antisemitism wrote to the UCL administration prior to the event to raise our concerns about Mr Peled and to call for the event to be cancelled. We demonstrated that 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.

In response, a university official assured us that: “In discussion with officers in the Union it has been agreed that the event will go ahead. Mr Peled has agreed to abide by the Union’s Code for speakers, and the event will be chaired by an independent student officer. I understand the concerns you express but we believe that the arrangements we have put in place strike the right balance between compliance with our legal obligations to secure freedom of speech, other legal obligations and our responsibilities towards our students.”

Sadly our concerns and those of the students were proven to be correct.

Volunteers from our Demonstration and Event Monitoring Unit went to the talk to gather evidence.
Labour’s Emily Thornberry thinks British Jews need to show “a bit of movement” on antisemitism in the Labour Party
Labour’s Shadow Foreign Secretary, Emily Thornberry, has said that “We need a bit of movement on both sides”, while attempting to reach out to the Jewish community to counter antisemitism in the Labour Party.

In a wide-ranging interview with the Times of Israel during her visit to Israel last week, she said that: “There is clearly a lot of work to be done between the Labour Party and the British Jewish community. And I am prepared to do whatever it takes in order to be able to open channels again and to see if we can sort this out.” She added, however, that: “We need a bit of movement on both sides.”

Ms Thornberry also said that: “I don’t think that the antisemitism in the Labour Party is any worse than it is in our society generally. I want my Labour Party to be held to higher standards than the rest of British society.”

While we welcome her initiative to engage with the Jewish community and to confront antisemitism in the Labour Party, her request for “a bit of movement on both sides” is simply outrageous. It places responsibility on the Jewish community for the failure of the Labour Party to address its antisemitism problem, and implies that the Jewish community needs to change its ways.
Labour selects Billy Wells, who defends Ken Livingstone and says “it’s the super rich families of the Zionist lobby that control the world”, as Council candidate
Billy J Wells is an ex-Army musician from Swaffham, in Norfolk. On his Twitter profile he describes himself as a “Wedding and event clarinetist Democratic Socialist and writer Head of PR [at] Prolestar”. He has now expanded his repertoire further to add the role of Labour politician, having proudly announced on 2nd October that he had been selected to represent Bradwell South and Hopton in forthcoming borough elections. His Facebook profile announces that “Jeremy Corbyn got my vote”.

Mr Wells is convinced that there is no evidence for antisemitism in the Labour Party. He says: “This whole saga [antisemitism] has been staged in a bid to put people off voting labour” as well as telling the actress Frances Barber: “You are a bellend…there is no antisemitism it’s just right wing propaganda”. He even thinks that Labour MP John Mann should have been suspended from the Labour Party for remonstrating with Ken Livingstone, after he claimed that Hitler supported Zionism. To Mr Wells, the Labour Party is a pure and virtuous community, being attacked on all sides by enemies who disguise their true motives by accusing people of antisemitism.

Then, with no self-consciousness, he has claimed: “…it’s the super rich families of the Zionist lobby that control the world. Our world leaders sell their souls for greed and do the bidding of Israel. They see the evil but their love for wealth makes them turn a blind eye.” He also asked on Twitter: “How much money and how much power is too much? The greed of the Rothschild family knows no bounds”. He makes several claims that the media is controlled by the “Israeli lobby”, in one instance claiming: “The Zionist Lobby would not allow our puppet government and its media lapdogs to show the truth.”
Propping up UK's Labour is a staunchly anti-Israel, influential trade union
For Jeremy Corbyn’s supporters, September’s Labour party conference was supposed to be a time of celebration.

Gathered at the coastal city of Brighton in the south of England, the four-day confab offered the opportunity to laud it over critics who had wrongly claimed that the summer’s general election would see a catastrophic defeat for Labour and the swift removal of the party’s far-left leader.

The “Corbynistas” seaside party was, however, thrown off course when the festering row over anti-Semitism in Labour’s ranks was dramatically reignited.

Labour had hoped that a tightening of its rules cracking down on hate speech would bring an end to the string of allegations which has dogged it since Corbyn’s election in the autumn of 2015.

Instead, a slew of new incidents erupted. Leaflets were distributed to conference delegates backing the claims of the controversial former London mayor, Ken Livingstone, that the Nazis had initially supported Zionism. They quoted from the architect of the Final Solution, Reinhard Heydrich.

Loud calls were made for Jewish and pro-Israel groups within the party to be expelled.
U. Michigan student govt passes watered-down anti-Israel non-divestment divestment resolution
There was a time that student government resolutions divesting from Israel were all the rage, and the center of the anti-Israel movement on campuses. We covered many such battles, most of which were defeated, though some passed.

They always were purely symbolic acts, since student governments have zero power to divest university investments, and universities regularly reject such student resolutions.

But actual divestment never really was the purpose. The purpose was to usurp student government time and student newspaper coverage talking about how bad Israel supposedly is.

Over the years, however, such divestment resolutions have turned into something of a sideshow. A nasty, hateful sideshow for sure, but a sideshow.

At U. Michigan – Ann Arbor, though, it’s been more than a sideshow. It’s been an obsession, with 10 attempts to pass divestment failing.

But the 11th time was the charm early this morning. The resolution passed. But it wasn’t really a divestment resolution.

It was a request that the Regents appoint a committee to investigate whether to divest. Yes, seriously.
CAMERA: Haaretz Adds Information on Marwan Barghouti's Murder Convictions
Yesterday The New York Times published an editor's note acknowledging that an article which euphemistically referred to "controversial Palestinian activist Rasmeah Odeh" should have noted that she was convicted of a deadly bombing in Israel. Today Haaretz amends an article to note that "convicted Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti" was found guilty of five counts of murder.

The Nov. 14 Haaretz article ("Israel Denies Entry to European Officials Over 'Support for Israel Boycott'") had originally stated:
According to Interior Minister Arye Dery and Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, the purpose of the visit was to meet with the convicted Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti at Hadarim Prison, "as part of their support for Barghouti and Palestinian prisoners."

As Haaretz had reported elsewhere, Barghouti was "convicted on five counts of murder and sentenced to five cumulative life terms in prison plus 40 years for attempted murder and membership in a terrorist organization." This key information did not appear in yesterday's article about the Israeli decision to deny entry to European officials who were planning to visit Barghouti in prison.

Following communication from CAMERA's Israel office, Haaretz editors quickly amended the article, adding the crucial information about Barghouti's multiple murder convictions. The amended online article now states:
HonestReporting: An Israeli Arab Singer From 'Palestine?'
The Irish Times publishes what should be a positive story about Israeli Arab singer Ruba Shamshoum’s making a success of her career having moved to Ireland.

Unfortunately, some errors have needlessly politicized the piece.


UPDATE
Following HonestReporting’s requests for a correction and the publication of this post, the Irish Times has amended the photo captions. The first caption now refers to a “singer from Nazareth,” while the second caption no longer references Shamshoum’s origins at all.
Uncritical amplification of NGO allegations on BBC One
Leaving aside Marr’s attempt to promote the ridiculously contrived notion that part of the text of a statement produced by the British government a century ago is the litmus test for the policies and actions of modern-day Israel, as we see while presenting unquestioned allegations from two NGOs as ‘fact’, he completely failed to inform viewers of the political agenda that lies behind such tendentious claims from Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International.

Later on in the interview viewers saw additional examples of the failure to adhere to BBC’s professed editorial values of accuracy and impartiality when – referring to the district of Judea – Marr told his guest that “this is Palestinian territory”. When Netanyahu spoke of the extra-judicial execution of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip by Hamas, Marr interrupted with the jibe “you’ve shot a lot of people there too”.

The BBC’s long-standing policy of uncritical amplification of politically motivated allegations against Israel from agenda-driven NGOs such as HRW and AI clearly does not serve its declared purpose of providing “impartial news and information” aimed at enhancing audience understanding of the complex topic of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
BBC News coverage of terrorism in Israel – October 2017
The Israel Security Agency’s report on terror attacks (Hebrew) during October 2017 shows that throughout the month a total of 71 incidents took place: fifty in Judea & Samaria, 17 in Jerusalem, one within the ‘green line’ and three originating in the Gaza Strip/Sinai sector.

In Judea & Samaria and Jerusalem the agency recorded 58 attacks with petrol bombs, 8 attacks using explosive devices and one shooting attack. A fatal stabbing attack took place in Kfar Qasim (Kasseem) and in the Gaza Strip/Sinai sector there were two shooting attacks and one missile attack.

One civilian was murdered during October.

The BBC did not report the murder of Reuven Schmerling on October 4th and the missile attack from Sinai on October 15th likewise went unreported. None of the additional incidents that took place during the month of October received any BBC coverage either.

Throughout the first ten months of 2017 the BBC News website has reported 0.68% of the total terror attacks that took place and 88% of the resulting fatalities.
New editor of UK's Gay Times fired for anti-Semitic, sexist, racist tweets
The newly appointed editor of Britain’s prominent Gay Times magazine was fired Thursday after a series of anti-Semitic, homophobic and racist tweets emerged.

Josh Rivers’s offending tweets exposed by BuzzFeed UK this week date back to 2010 and also disparage Africans, Asians, and overweight and homeless people.

“Jews are gross. It’s the only religion with ‘ew’ in it,” he tweeted to his followers in 2010.

“I wonder if they cast that guy as ‘The Jew’ because of that f***ing ridiculously larger honker of a nose. It must be prosthetic. Must be,” he posted several months later.

In December 2010, Rivers tweeted at women to stop being “whiney c***s,” telling them to “go change your f***ing tampon & stay the f*** out of my way.”

That year he also called Egyptian men “fat, smelly, hairy, c***-face, backwards rapists,” and tweeted about the “incested, down syndrome, retard” children of “some chav” he encountered on the train.

Rivers also hit out at lesbians and transgender people numerous times, calling out “trannies” for looking like “crackheads” and for their poor fashion choices.
'Bernie Bernstein' Robocall Backfires on Beleaguered Roy Moore Senate Campaign in Alabama, as Critics Charge Antisemitism
Beleaguered Republican senatorial candidate Roy Moore of Alabama braced for further political blows on Wednesday as news broke of a “robocall” on behalf of his campaign that utilized an antisemitic stereotype.

Alabama residents received a call on Tuesday purporting to be from “Bernie Bernstein,” a fictitious reporter with The Washington Post — the paper that first ran the allegations that Moore, now 70, had preyed on teenage girls while in his 30s, apparently warning one victim that “no one would believe” her if she reported his aggressive sexual advances to anyone.

If elected on December 17, Moore could well become the first senator since 1862 to be deemed unfit to serve in the chamber by his fellow legislators.

During the scripted call, “Bernstein” — whose name was possibly taken from famed Post reporter Carl Bernstein — offered generous sums of money to women willing to speak out against Moore.

“Hi, this is Bernie Bernstein, I’m a reporter for the Washington Post calling to find out if anyone at this address is a female between the ages of 54 to 57 years old willing to make damaging remarks about candidate Roy Moore for a reward of between $5,000 and $7,000 dollars,” the recorded voice said, adding a contact email address.

The Moore campaign said it was unaware of the call.
Two ex-Nazi camp guards charged over hundreds of Holocaust deaths
German prosecutors investigating Nazi-era crimes said on Wednesday they had charged two former SS officers in their 90s with complicity in hundreds of murders at the Stutthof concentration camp.

The state prosecutor's office in the western city of Dortmund said the two unnamed suspects, aged 92 and 93, had participated in the Nazi killing machine in then occupied Poland, according to a statement released by the regional court in nearby Muenster.

"With their actions during their time as guards at the Stutthof concentration camp, the accused are believed to have been accessories in numerous killings," the court said.

The 92-year-old suspect was stationed at Stutthof between June 1944 and May 1945, while the 93-year-old accused acted as a guard between June 1942 and September 1944.

Some 65,000 people died at the Stutthof former concentration camp, which Nazi Germany set up in 1939 outside what was is now the Polish city of Gdansk, before its liberation in 1945.

Among other crimes, the suspects are accused of involvement in the mass killing of more than 100 Polish prisoners in a gas chamber at the camp in June 1944, and of another 77 wounded Soviet prisoners of war the same summer.
IsraellyCool: Antisemite Brendon O’Connell Finds Something Else to Fail At: Fleeing!
The last I heard about antisemitic blogger (and object of way too many prison sex jokes on my part) Brendon O’Connell, he had fled Australia while on bail. At the time, I speculated he was fleeing to Iran – which he did! But it seems that relationship soured, and he fled to Malaysia. He couldn’t make it there either. It is not clear to me if he returned to Australia or not, but what is clear is he has now tried to get into New Zealand.

Not a good move.

A blogger previously jailed in Australia over a racial attack has tried to enter New Zealand and wound up in custody.

Brendon O’Connell, 46, is an outspoken critic of Israel and what he describes as “Zionist power.”

Now the Australian man is in New Zealand, where it’s understood he fled for political asylum but ended up under arrest.

Immigration NZ confirmed that O’Connell had been detained at the border.

O’Connell is a proponent of conspiracy theories related to a Jewish elite. In a recent video on his website, he blamed this month’s Las Vegas shooting on an “Israeli kill squad.”
Argentina moves to designate memorial day for Israeli embassy attack
The lower house of Argentina’s parliament last week overwhelmingly voted in favor of creating a national day to commemorate the deadly 1992 bombing of the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires.

In a November 8 vote, 186 MPs supported the proposal, with one no vote and one abstention.

If confirmed by the Senate, March 17 will annually be marked as “Day of Memory and Solidarity with the victims of the terror attack on the Israeli embassy.” Schools nationwide would be instructed to mark the event and discuss the implications of international terrorism.

Included in these educational activities would be noting that Iran and its Lebanese proxy Hezbollah were responsible for it, Israeli diplomats in Buenos Aires said in a cable to Jerusalem headquarters.

Foreign Ministry director-general Yuval Rotem in Thursday tweeted that he was “encouraged” by the vote, saying it showed the Argentine government’s “true commitment to the fight against terrorism.

According to Israeli diplomats stationed in Argentina, the bill has a good chance of getting the required simple majority in the Senate, though a vote is likely to be held only in May 2018.

On March 17, 1992, an Iranian-sponsored suicide bomber blew himself up at the five-story embassy building, killing 29 people and wounding 242, in what remains the deadliest attack on an Israeli diplomatic mission.
Paris schoolroom named for Jewish boys slain in 2012 attack
A conference room at a Paris middle school has been named in honor of two Jewish boys who were shot to death by an Islamic extremist in southern France more than five years ago.

The dedication of the room in memory of Arie and Gabriel Sandler is part of an effort by the Georges Brassens school to fight racism and anti-Semitism in France, which is home to Europe’s biggest Muslim and Jewish populations.

The program seeks to make French values and the country’s various religions and cultures more familiar to the school’s students, many of whom are Muslim with roots in France’s former colonies. It includes visits to the Paris Museum of Jewish art and history and the Arab World Institute.

Samuel Sandler, whose grandsons were 3 and 5 years old when they were killed during an attack at a Jewish school in Toulouse, said the naming ceremony was a “very moving” moment.

“Because of the murderer’s weapon, they weren’t able to go to school anymore,” he said, yet “all schoolchildren will remember them.”
Jewish teenager stabbed 12 times in London park
A Jewish teenager was seriously wounded in a stabbing at a London park.

The 16-year-old, a student at London’s Jewish Community Secondary School, was stabbed 12 times in the legs by a group of men. Police said the teen did not know his assailants.

The Community Security Trust, a nonprofit that helps secure British Jewish institutions, said the attack “is not believed to be antisemitic.”

The teenager was walking with a group of girlfriends in Regent’s Park on Primrose Hill when he was attacked just before 9:15 p.m. Police and paramedics rushed to the scene.

He was taken to the hospital, where he is in serious but stable condition and will likely need surgery. Scotland Yard said the suspects are four white males. No arrests have been made.

Regent’s Park overlooks the British capital and is surrounded by some of London’s most expensive properties, including some owned by celebrities.
Israel Issues Watchdog: The Australia–Israel Be’er Sheva Dialogue: round three
On 1 November, ASPI and the Begin–Sadat Centre for Strategic Studies met in Tel Aviv, Israel, at the third Be’er Sheva Dialogue to build on the work initiated at the first round, held in Israel in 2015, and the second meeting, held in Sydney last year.

The ASPI–BESA dialogue brings together experienced voices from Australia and Israel to share perspectives and analyses on common security challenges, while reflecting more broadly on the outlook for the relationship between the two countries.

Having participated in all three dialogues, I think it’s fair to say that the Be’er Sheva Dialogue (named after the 1917 battle in which the Australian Light Horse fought) has grown in stature. That’s evidenced by the number of high-level Australian and Israeli participants across government, parliament (from both sides of Australian politics), academia, think tanks, industry, the military and the intelligence communities. A number of Australian and Israeli delegates commented that the increasing maturity of the dialogue means there’s now a greater candour and depth to the discussions.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull addressed this year’s dialogue. His audience also included many supporters of the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council, who’d made the journey to Beersheba to attend the commemoration of the centenary of the famous charge of the 4th Light Horse Brigade to capture the town on 31 October 1917.

Turnbull saluted the achievements that the dialogue had accomplished in a short time, identifying areas of collaboration in defence between Australia and Israel for their mutual benefit. The prime minister’s visit to Israel culminated in the signing of a memorandum of understanding on defence industry cooperation.

Australia and Israel also agreed during Turnbull’s visit that our respective defence officials will now hold annual discussions on strategic and security priorities. To date, there have been almost no high-level military exchanges between the two countries. There’ll also be a track 1.5 cyber dialogue held in Australia next year. These positive measures were suggested at the earlier Be’er Sheva dialogues and were set out in a joint paper produced last year by ASPI and BESA.
BREAKING: Gal Gadot Confirms Brett Ratner Kicked Off 'Wonder Woman'
Following multiple allegations of sexual harassment, "Rush Hour" director Brett Ratner has officially been kicked off of the hit franchise "Wonder Woman," according to actress Gal Gadot.

In an interview on "Today," the famed actress confirmed that Ratner's involvement with "Wonder Woman" ended prior to reports suggesting she would not return in the starring role if he stayed on as a producer in association with his production company RatPac.

“The truth is, there’s so many people involved in making this movie — it’s not just me — and they all echoed the same sentiments,” Gadot told Savannah Guthrie. “You know what I mean? So everyone knew what was the right thing to do, but there was nothing for me to actually come and say because it was already done before this article came out.”

Ratner denies all of the accusations leveled against him which include having masturbated in front of actress Olivia Munn against her will (what is it with that?) and forcing actress Natasha Henstridge into performing oral sex on him.

“He strong-armed me in a real way. He physically forced himself on me,” Henstridge said. “At some point, I gave in and he did his thing.”
Forgetting to take your meds? Israeli firm creates nudging tool
For patients suffering from such life-threatening illnesses as cancer, chronic lung diseases or HIV, medication regimens can be daunting, with multiple pills or inhalers scheduled throughout the course of the day. But Tel Aviv-based startup Vaica believes things may be about to get a lot simpler.

Vaica has launched Capsuled, a cloud-connected drug-distribution device that is designed to be provided as part of insurance-covered patient support programs. These programs are pharma company-devised plans to guarantee the implementation of complex regimens through at-home support, technology, and coordination with friends and family.

The box-shaped electronic device contains the patient’s pills and/or inhalers, gives audio and visual reminders to the patient when it is time to take medication, and has a screen for pharma company-provided instructional videos.

The product has also the ability to analyze data and to alert doctors, friends or family members if something is wrong — by text or email. The first major clinical tests of the product will be conducted in Italy and an undisclosed network of private hospitals, with patients suffering from Patients with Cardiac Heart Disease (CHD), Diabetes Mellitus (DM) and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).
India tech conglomerate to set up Jerusalem design center
L&T Technology Services Limited, an engineering services subsidiary of Mumbai-based Larsen and Toubro, is setting up a design center in Jerusalem.

The new “Center of Excellence” — with an accompanying Tel Aviv sales office — will focus on developments in video, design and security solutions. The multinational company said that these solutions will serve its global customer base, in sectors spanning the spectrum of media, entertainment, telecom, automotive and Internet of Things (IoT).

The company said in a statement that the move aims to “deepen its involvement in Israel’s startup and innovation ecosystem.”

Larsen & Toubro is a technology, engineering, construction, manufacturing and financial services conglomerate, with global operations.

“L&T Technology Services’ use of Digital Engineering and smart technologies is driving customer core capabilities across the globe and addressing the need for digital transformation,” said Dr. Keshab Panda, LTTS CEO and managing director, in the statement.

“With Israel’s rich legacy in triggering tech innovations, we are confident in our ability to develop disruptive engineering services and create digital skill sets across embedded applications, machine learning and enhanced security, all of which are critical building blocks of the future,” he said.
IsraellyCool: Ozzy Osbourne To Perform In Israel
I have not seen it reported yet on any news sites, but it is on promoter Shuki Weiss’s Facebook page: Ozzy Osbourne is to perform in Israel during the Summer of 2018, for what is billed The Farewell Tour.

While I am sure the concert is going to be entertaining, I suspect the press conference will also be, judging by his last one when he was here in 2010.

Either way, this news is enough to make Roger Waters batsh*t crazy.



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