Saturday, November 25, 2017

From Ian:

Palestinians vs. Trump: The Battle Begins
Over the past year, the Palestinians have managed to keep under wraps their true feelings about US President Donald Trump and his Middle East envoys and advisors. In all likelihood, they were hoping that the new US administration would endorse their vision for "peace" with Israel.

Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas ensured that his spokesmen and senior officials spoke with circumspection about Trump and his Middle East advisors and envoys. The top brass of the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah felt it was worth giving Trump time to see if he was indeed gullible enough to be persuaded to throw Israel under the bus and fork over their demands.

Well, that bus has long passed.

The Palestinians are now denouncing Trump and his people for their "bias" in favor of Israel. Even more, the Palestinians are openly accusing the Trump administration of "blackmail" and of seeking to "liquidate the Palestinian cause." To top off the tone, the Palestinians are insinuating that Trump's top Jewish advisors and envoys -- Jared Kushner, Jason Greenblatt and David Friedman -- are more loyal to Israel than to the US.

The Palestinians' unprecedented rhetorical attacks on the Trump administration should be seen as a sign of how they plan to respond to the US president's plan for peace in the Middle East, which has been described as the "ultimate solution." Although the full details of the proposed plan have yet to be made public, the Palestinians have already made up their mind: Whatever comes from Trump and his Jewish team is against the interests of the Palestinians.
Michael Lumish: "Palestine" is a Wraith
"Palestine" and "Palestinian" are European settler colonial terms for the land of the Jewish people. I think we should cease to use those terms or, at least, put them in quotes.

Or perhaps go with Palestinian-Arab.

In truth, the greater Arab nation gave the world "Palestinians" - a word which used to mainly refer to Jews living under the British mandate - as a challenge to Jewish sovereignty on historically Jewish land.

The Jews are the indigenous people of the Land of Israel.

The Arabs are settlers and colonists on Jewish land.

I certainly do not mind that Arabs live there. Nor do I mind that Chinese people or Venezuelans or the Easter Islandish live there.

But none of those folk can claim sovereignty because none of them are indigenous.

Only the Jewish people have a claim to indigeneity to that land and we must insist on this basic concept.

Everything flows from that recognition.

From a purely objective historical standpoint, only the Jewish people can claim indigeneity to Israel.
The Full Balfour Centenary Lecture with Simon Schama
On 1st November, renowned historian, Simon Schama delivered a guest lecture marking the centenary of the Balfour Declaration. This historic lecture delved in to the details and background that led to the signing of the iconic Balfour Declaration- the 67 words that led to the creation of the State of Israel. This lecture is sponsored by Balfour 100, the official tribute of the British Jewish Community, marking 100 years since the Declaration.




German judge compares Israel to state sponsors of terror Iran, North Korea
The German judge Wolfram Sauer, who ruled last week in Frankfurt that Kuwait Airways can bar an Israeli passenger from flying on the Gulf country’s airline because of his nationality, juxtaposed the Jewish state with the US classified state-sponsors of terrorism, Iran and North Korea, to justify his legal decision.

The Jerusalem Post obtained the 13-page legal ruling by Sauer on Saturday, in which he lays out his reasoning in favor of Kuwait’s state-owned airline boycotting Israeli passengers.

Nathan Gelbart, the German lawyer who represented the Israeli passenger Adar M., told the Post that it was “unconscionable that the judge” would reference “Israel, the only Middle East democracy” in the same breath as the terrorist-sponsoring states Iran and North Korea. Gelbart, who is acting on behalf of the US-based human rights organization The Lawfare Project, said the comparison was “quite insulting,” and will appeal the Frankfurt court’s decision against Adar in the next few days.

Sauer wrote in his legal defense of the Kuwaiti boycott law of Israel that “such rules, in different expressions, are not foreign to Germany’s legal system,” linking his decision to sanctions regulations against the Islamic Republic of Iran and North Korea.

Gelbart, one of Germany’s most prominent attorneys, said “the German justice system is helping Kuwait to implement its own racist boycott against Israel.” Kuwait passed a law in 1964 barring commerce with Israelis.

Writing in the mass-circulation BILD on Friday, the journalist Antje Schippmann said that “The antisemitic [Kuwait] boycott law is merely being rated as an embargo ‘imposed on one state by another state.’”
BDS activist Miko Peled: Egyptian “criminal collaboration with Israel” responsible for Sinai massacre
Miko Peled is a celebrated anti-Israel activist who tours the U.S. promoting that Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.

We first wrote about Peled when the hideous “Jewish Voice for Peace” found Peled too toxic (which is saying a lot), Jewish Voice for Peace disavows BDS activist Miko Peled: “No place 4 antisemitism in our movement”. We explained in that post that Peled is so valuable to the anti-Israel movement because he is from Israel and the son of a famous Israeli general:

His main claim to fame is that his father was famous Israeli General Matti Peled. Miko’s book, The General’s Son, is his talking point when he makes his frequently visits to campuses. Being Israeli and from such a prominent Zionist family gives Peled a seeming credibility on the stump that few other pro-BDS speakers have. But his rhetoric is every bit as vicious, nasty and inflammatory as just about anything we see.

Despite the rhetoric, or perhaps because of it, Peled continues to be treated as a hero on campuses and among anti-Israel groups, like our local obsessive anti-Israel activists, who hosted him to a large crowd.

Earlier today in Egypt over 200 Muslim worshippers were massacred by Islamist terrorists at a Mosque in the Sinai. Egypt has vowed to hunt down the killers and their supporters.

No one is blaming Israel for the massacre. Well, almost no one.

Peled blames this Islamist massacre of Muslims on Egyptian “criminal collaboration” with Israel. In a tweet today Peled wrote:

“As we mourn the loss of innocents in northern Sinai we must remember that this terrorism is a direct result of the regional instability caused by #Sisi and his criminal collaboration w #Israel”


There is a real sickness in the BDS movement, and Miko Peled is its poster child.
David Collier: A Jewish life outside of Israel – on matters Diaspora
Israel’s Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely is in hot water over ‘disparaging‘ remarks she made about US Jewry. Whether or not there is any truth to her comments, Hotovely broke the unspoken rule of diaspora politics – Israeli politicians cannot criticise the Diaspora, but the Diaspora can freely criticise Israel.

The only surprise about these type of events, is that people are surprised by them. The truth is that each time this happens, it shakes the roots of a fake paradigm. Those connected to the issues feel such discomfort precisely because it sheds light into corners that must never be spoken about.

This is not a piece trying to analyse the complexities of today’s Israel-Diaspora relationship. It is not my place to tell other Jews what they should feel. As always my approach is the wider historical perspective. As someone who uses history to analyse the present, I often feel people deal with today as the ‘permanent’, when in reality, we are forever standing on shifting sands. It is the ‘permanence’ I seek to address.

Moving forward
The Diaspora community cannot expect to survive the creation of Israel without properly educating its young. Zionism without an apology.

You can be religious and not Zionist, you can be Zionist but not religious, but in a world where you keep neither religion, nor carry the blue-and-white identity bracelet, then what is left? A theoretical value-based system that has no adhesive to keep it together. Such a community has but generations before it dissipates into wider society.

Israel is a nation to be proud of. A nation that is navigating very difficult waters. It has a history we need to learn for ourselves and teach our children. A truth that supports Israel, is currently being rewritten with hate and lies. Israel is the Jewish homeland and a vital part of our identity. You are tagged – pass it on. If you want there to be a vibrant Jewish Diaspora 100 years from now, you had better start playing.
Elliott Abrams: The Saudis and Israel--Again
There have been many signs that Saudi official attitudes toward Israel are changing, and today brought one of the strongest. As a headline in the Jerusalem Post put it, "In Possible Nod to Israel, Two Top Saudi Officials Visit Paris Synagogue."

Needless to say, neither man would conceivably have made this visit without official approval from Riyadh.

This is a small step, of course; this is not Sadat visiting Jerusalem to speak to the Knesset, an event that happened almost exactly forty years ago (November 19, 1977). But it is not exactly nothing, either. It fits within a recent pattern that should be recognized and encouraged. As I've written before, it seems to me the Trump administration believes this will go further than I think it will. I think the Saudis are getting most of what they want from Israel in secret military and intelligence channels. I doubt they will take big risks by doing things in public that might bring significant attacks on them.

But they will do some things, and this is a potentially important one. The late King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia started a center on interfaith dialogue, announcing it at a United Nations session on religious tolerance in November 2008 that he and President Bush attended. This gives the current Saudi king and crown prince something to build on (and hide behind). Given the growth of anti-Semitism in Europe and globally in recent years, having the Saudis publicly demonstrate respect for Judaism is a helpful and useful step--for Israel and for Jews. Let's hope it is followed by more. If the Saudi ambassador to France can visit a synagogue, can the Saudi ambassador to Washington--who happens to be the King's son? Can the head of the World Muslim League issue a strong and clear denunciation of anti-Semitism and all religious hatred? Can the Saudis cleanse their textbooks of anti-Semitic material? Such steps seemed ridiculous not so long ago, but these are questions that may seriously be asked today--with at least some hope that in future years the answer might be yes.
Israel’s Jewish Fertility Tops Arabs for First Time, Defying ‘Demographic Doom’
New statistics show that the Israeli-Jewish fertility rate this year has surpassed that of the Israeli-Arab population for the first time, defying analysts who have made long-term projections of a Jewish minority in Israel.

At the same time, it remains to be seen whether the numbers will affect the political landscape of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The upward-trending Jewish rate of 3.16 births per woman, and the corresponding downward-trending figure of 3.11 for Israeli Arabs, can lead to more confident policy decisions by the Israeli government, said demographic expert Yoram Ettinger, who published a recent report on the issue.

“In contrast to the stated position of the establishment’s prophets of demographic doom, there is no Arab demographic time bomb; but there is an unprecedented Jewish demographic tailwind,” Ettinger, the former minister for Congressional affairs at the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C., told JNS.org.

As of September, there were 6.523 million Jews and 1.824 million Arabs living in Israel, according to the country’s Central Bureau of Statistics.

Ettinger explained that “conventional demography has been systematically mistaken and misleading” when it comes to Israel.

“In 1898, the leading Jewish demographer, Shimon Dubnov, opposed [Theodor] Herzl’s Zionist idea, contending that by 1998, there would be 500,000 Jews in the land of Israel,” he said, adding that in 1944, another renowned Jewish demographer, professor Roberto Bachi, “urged [David] Ben-Gurion to postpone declaration of independence, since 600,000 Jews were not the critical mass required to maintain Jewish majority. … He had projected that in 2001, there would be, at best, 2.3 million Jews, a 34-percent minority.”
Pass the Taylor Force Act Now
Twenty-nine-year-old US Army veteran Taylor Force had served his country in Iran and Afghanistan, but did not die in battle. The Lubbock, Texas, native and West Point graduate was murdered while walking on a beach promenade on a Vanderbilt University graduate school trip abroad in March 2016.

The site of his murder was Jaffa, Israel — but it could have happened in London, Paris or Texas. In the past, jihadist terrorism primarily targeted Jews in Israel, but now it hits anywhere and anyone, terrorizing innocent civilians around the world.

There is no better symbol for the war on terrorism than Taylor Force. He fought bravely for America in life, fell victim to terrorism in death and now lives on as the inspiration for efforts to defeat terrorism.

There are many ways to fight terrorism. Most involve proactive and reactive offensive and defensive steps by militaries, law enforcement authorities and intelligence agencies. But there are also steps that can be taken by our lawmakers.

The Taylor Force Act, sponsored by Republican Senators Lindsey Graham and Bob Corker and co-sponsored by top Democrats, would require the Palestinian Authority (PA) to stop compensating convicted terrorists and their families, or face a freeze in aid from the United States.

The bill would demand that the PA end its “pay for slay” policy that resulted in the family of Force’s murderer receiving a hefty monthly stipend, like other families of terrorists.

The PA distributed some $300 million to the families of terrorists in 2016, coincidentally the same sum that the US annually provides the PA.
US backtracks on decision to close Palestinian office in DC
The Trump administration backtracked Friday on its decision to order the Palestinians’ office in Washington to close, instead saying it would merely impose limitations on the office that it expected would be lifted after 90 days.

Last week, US officials said the Palestine Liberation Organization mission couldn’t stay open because the Palestinians had violated a provision in US law requiring the office to close if the Palestinians try to get the International Criminal Court to prosecute Israelis. The move triggered a major rift in US-Palestinian relations that threatened to scuttle President Donald Trump’s ambitious effort to broker Mideast peace before it ever got off the ground.

Yet the United States delayed shuttering the office for a week while saying it was working out the details with the Palestinians, before abruptly reversing course late Friday, as many Americans were enjoying a long Thanksgiving Day weekend. State Department spokesman Edgar Vasquez said the US had “advised the PLO Office to limit its activities to those related to achieving a lasting, comprehensive peace between the Israelis and Palestinians.”

Vasquez said even those restrictions will be lifted after 90 days if the US determines the Israelis and Palestinians are engaged in serious peace talks. The White House, in an effort led by Trump adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner, has been preparing a comprehensive peace plan to present to both sides in the coming months.

“We therefore are optimistic that at the end of this 90-day period, the political process may be sufficiently advanced that the president will be in a position to allow the PLO office to resume full operations,” Vasquez said.
Saudi Hashtag On Jerusalem Angers Palestinians
A social media hashtag started by Saudi activists is drawing anger from Palestinians for its message “#Riyadh_is_more_important_than_Jerusalem.”

The hashtag led to a social media war with the Saudis claiming that the Palestinians turned their backs on the Saudis, who supported them for years. Social media sites quickly filled up with angry responses from both sides of the argument.

Many Palestinian social media users said that the hashtag is part of a campaign meant to prepare public opinion in Saudi Arabia for normalization with Israel, which, according to the Palestinian posters, is becoming clearer by the day.

The Palestinians and the Saudis who were against the hashtag claimed that it was a continuation of Saudi news website ELAPH’s recent interview with Israeli Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot.

Palestinian social media users also connected the hashtag to reports on social media of an Israeli blogger’s visit to Saudi Arabia and the Islamic holy sites there.

The hashtag set off a social media war between users from both sides, with a minority warning that it was creating needless hostility between the Palestinians and the Saudis and amongst Muslims in general.

The social media tension between the Saudis and the Palestinians wasn’t all the Palestinians have had to deal with recently. A Kuwaiti media personality has angered the Palestinians by claiming that there is no such thing as a Palestinian ethnicity and that the Palestinians are a gathering of different groups called by different names.
US Calls on Pakistan to Arrest Freed Terrorist Leader Accused of November 2008 Mumbai Atrocities
The US expressed horror on Friday over the release by Pakistan this week of Hafiz Saeed, the mastermind of the November 2008 terrorist attacks in the Indian city of Mumbai whose targets included Nariman House, the local Chabad center.

“The United States is deeply concerned that Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LeT) leader Hafiz Saeed has been released from house arrest in Pakistan,” a statement from the State Department declared on Friday. “LeT is a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization responsible for the death of hundreds of innocent civilians in terrorist attacks, including a number of American citizens. The Pakistani government should make sure that he is arrested and charged for his crimes.”

The statement noted that in May 2008, “the United States Department of the Treasury designated Saeed as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist.”

“Since 2012, the United States has offered a U.S. $10 million‎ reward for information that brings Saeed to justice,” the statement continued.

On November 26, 2008, ten LeT operatives entered Mumbai by sea and launched a coordinated gun-and-bomb assault on multiple sites in India’s most populous metropolis, killing 166 people — including six Jews at Nariman House.
Argentina’s Jews had key role in Eichmann’s capture, Mossad agent says
Argentina’s Jewish community gave Israel’s spy agency all the cars and some of the safe houses used to abduct the Nazi murderer Adolf Eichmann, a Mossad agent revealed.

Career Mossad agent Avner Avraham revealed this earlier this month, ending decades of official secrecy around the exact role of the Jewish community of Argentina in the operation Finale, in which Mossad agents flew Eichmann from Buenos Aires to Israel in 1960 to be tried for his role in murdering hundreds of thousands of Jews during the Holocaust, for which he hanged in 1962.

“The Jewish community helped. It’s not something we publish but the Jewish community certainly helped the Mossad with vehicles and also with safe houses,” Avraham said during a lecture he delivered earlier this month at the Mahar conference on Balkan Jews, which the Jewish community of Montenegro organized with help from the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress in the coastal city of Budva.

Efraim Zuroff, a leading hunter of Nazis for the Simon Wiesenthal Center, told JTA that, to his knowledge, the extent of the Jewish community’s involvement in Eichmann’s capture — an episode which led to the Israeli ambassador’s expulsion from Buenos Aires and a rupture in bilateral relations — had previously not been widely known.

“It was know that there was some involvement, but not exactly what,” he said.
Fatah Accuses Hamas of Operating Shadow Government in Gaza Amid Reconciliation Deadlock
Reconciliation talks between Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah concluded Thursday in Cairo without achieving any breakthrough on granting the Palestinian Authority full control of the Gaza Strip.

Azzam al-Ahmad, Fatah’s pointman in charge of reconciliation, said that Hamas’ government continues to operate in the Gaza Strip parallel to that of the Palestinian Authority. According to al-Ahmed, the sanctions placed on the Gaza Strip by the Palestinian Authority won’t be lifted as long as Hamas continues to operate a separate government.

“The resident of Gaza won’t feel any difference until the PA government gets full authority in the Gaza Strip,” he said. “A parallel government continues to operate in Gaza and continues to make decisions and give orders. The legitimate government won’t be able to accept that.”

According to al-Ahmad, that is the reason there won’t be any change in the situation in Gaza. “We don’t want the minister in the PA government to arrive at his office and all he’ll be able to do is drink coffee,” he said. “We want him to be able to do his job. Hamas announced the dismantling of its government but that can’t just stay on paper, it needs to really happen. Hamas continues to collect taxes that don’t go to PA finances.”

Fatah official and member of the organization’s revolutionary council Ahmad Guneim confirmed to Breitbart Jerusalem that, in reality, Hamas continues to control government ministries in the Gaza Strip.
Mosque attack is a testament to Egypt’s impotence in Sinai
The terror attack Friday at a mosque in the small northern Sinai town of Bir al-Abd wasn’t especially sophisticated. Rather than advanced military skills, the gruesome scene was testimony only to the moral blindness and cruelty of the perpetrators.

First, they set off two bombs inside the mosque, which was thronged with Friday worshipers. Then, when the survivors streamed toward the exits, terrorists waited outside in all-terrain vehicles, picking off those who emerged.

In that fashion, some 305 people were killed and 128 wounded. Based on assessments on social media, before the attack, Bir al-Abd was a town of some 1,500 souls, meaning that about one in three of its residents was a casualty.
Relatives of the victims of the bomb and gun assault on the North Sinai Rawda mosque walk past an ambulance while waiting outside the Suez Canal University hospital in the eastern port city of Ismailia on November 25, 2017, where the injured were taken to receive treatment following the deadly attack the day before. (AFP/Mohammed El-Shahed)

As of Saturday evening, there had been no claim of responsibility for the attack, but the immediate suspicion falls on Islamic State’s Sinai Province, the group formerly known as Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis. Its leader, who goes by the nom de guerre Abu Osama (his real name is Muhammad al-Isawi), took over after his predecessor, Abu Du’a al-Ansari, was assassinated in August 2016.

The pretext for Friday’s attack was likely the mosque’s affiliation with Islam’s mystical Sufi stream. It is known as the birthplace of Sheikh Eid al-Jariri, considered the founder of Sufism in the Sinai. The Islamic State, like al-Qaeda and other radical Sunni organizations before it, has denounced the Sufis.
Egyptian Leader El-Sisi Vows ‘Brute Force’ Against Terrorists After Sinai Mosque Slaughter
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi pledged to use “brute force against that small band of extremist terrorists” following a bomb and gun attack on a mosque in the Northern Sinai region on Friday which left 235 worshipers dead and over 100 injured.

“The Armed Forces and the police will avenge our martyrs and restore security and stability in full force in the next period,” el-Sisi declared in a live televised address after the earlier assault during Friday prayers at the al-Rawda mosque in the town of Bir al-Abed.

“All that is happening is an attempt to stop our efforts in our fight against terror and an attempt to break our will in ending the terrible criminal scheme that aims to destroy what remains of the region,” el-Sisi said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu strongly condemned the “painful terror attack in Egypt.”

“There is no difference between terrorism harming Egypt and terrorism harming other countries. Terror will be beaten more quickly if all countries work against it together,” Netanyahu’s office said in a statement.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for Friday’s atrocity, but ISIS and other Sunni Islamist terror groups have carried out similar attacks in the past. In August, 30 worshipers were murdered at a Shia mosque in Kabul, the Afghan capital, in an ISIS gun attack. ISIS considers the Shia and other minority streams of Islam to be “apostates.”
Mosque terrorists carried Islamic State flags; toll rises to 305
Some 30 armed terrorists wearing camouflage and carrying Islamic State black flags carried out the deadly massacre at the mosque in northern Sinai, Egyptian officials said Saturday as the death toll rose to 305, including 27 children.

IS, which is conducting a deadly insurgency in the Sinai, has not claimed responsibility for the attack, but it is the main suspect as the mosque is associated with followers of the mystical Sufi branch of Sunni Islam whom it has branded heretics.

A statement by the country’s chief prosecutor, Nabil Sadeq, said the attack Friday left another 128 people wounded.

It said the attackers, estimated at between 25 and 30, arrived at the mosque close to the small town of Bir al-Abd in five all-terrain vehicles and positioned themselves at the main door and the facility’s 12 windows before opening fire.

They also torched seven cars parked outside the mosque, which belonged to worshipers inside.
Gaza-Egypt border to remain closed after Sinai mosque massacre
The Gaza Strip’s border crossing with Egypt that was due to reopen Saturday will remain closed until further notice following the bloody terrorist attack in neighboring Sinai, an official told AFP.

Friday’s bomb and gun assault on the Rawda mosque near North Sinai provincial capital of El-Arish killed at least 305 people.

Gaza’s Rafah border crossing with Egypt had been due to reopen on Saturday for three days.

But the official in Gaza, speaking on condition of anonymity, said it will remain closed.

“The Egyptian side informed us that Rafah will not reopen on Saturday because of the tragic events in Northern Sinai,” the official added.

The border reopened last Saturday for three days for the first time since the transfer of control of Gaza crossing points from the Hamas terrorist organization to the Palestinian Authority on November 1.

It had been closed since August, and the reopening allowed patients, students and stranded people to leave the Palestinian enclave.
Lebanon's Hariri denounces Hezbollah positions that 'affect security and stability'
Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri said on Saturday that he would not accept Iran-backed Hezbollah's positions that "affect our Arab brothers or target the security and stability of their countries," a statement from his press office said.

The statement did not specify which countries he meant.

Hariri announced his resignation from his post on Nov. 4 in a televised statement from Saudi Arabia, a Sunni monarchy and regional powerhouse locked in a confrontation with Shi'ite Iran.

Hezbollah is fighting alongside Syrian President Bashar Assad in Syria. Gulf monarchies have accused the Shi'ite group of also supporting the Houthi group in Yemen and of backing militants in Bahrain. Hezbollah denies any activity in Yemen or Bahrain.

Hariri's resignation pitched Lebanon to the forefront of a regional power tussle this month between Saudi Arabia and Iran, which backs Hezbollah. The two regional powers back competing factions in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen.

After returning to Lebanon this week, he shelved the decision on Wednesday at the request of President Michel Aoun, easing a crisis that had deepened tensions in the Middle East.

Following his announcement, made on Lebanon's independence day, hundreds of Hariri supporters packed the streets near his house in central Beirut, waving the blue flag of his Future Movement political party.
Lebanese actor arrested for 'collaborating with the Israeli enemy'
Lebanon’s General Directorate of State Security detained Lebanese actor and comedian Ziad Itani on Thursday and accused him of “collaborating with Israel,” it was revealed over the weekend. Itani’s arrest at his home in Beirut comes amid tensions between Lebanon and Saudi Arabia and among Hezbollah, Saudi Arabia and Israel.

State Security said Itani had been under surveillance for “several months,” according to an article in Al Jazeera and other media. He was reportedly interrogated and “confessed” to meeting with Israelis in Turkey, and Lebanon said he provided the Israelis with “extensive” information.

Itani is known in Lebanon for hosting a comedy show and appearing in plays, including Beirut Tariq al-Jedideh. Some of his appearances can be found on YouTube.com. He was previously a reporter and, according to Middle East Eye, worked for Al-Mayadeen television, which is considered pro-Hezbollah and pro-Syrian government.

According to Al-Naher newspaper, he was detained from his home in Ain al-Remmaneh in mostly Christian East Beirut. He was accused of involvement in a plan to monitor Interior Minister Nohad Machnouk and Abdul Rahim Mrad, a former minister.

According to the newspaper, the actor-director-playwright, who was born in 1975, was allegedly “collaborating and communicating with the Israeli enemy. A specialized unit for State Security followed, monitored, tracked and investigated for several months inside and outside Lebanon on direct orders from Maj.-Gen. Tony Saliba.”

Saliba was appointed head of State Security in March 2017.
Residents, Jewish advocacy group in Ontario township want Swastika Trail renamed
A major Jewish advocacy group in Canada has stepped up efforts to help some residents of an Ontario town convince local politicians to rename a street currently called Swastika Trail.

B'nai Brith Canada started an online petition Thursday calling on Puslinch Township, about 75 kilometres west of Toronto, to change the street name.

The group plans to present the petition to the township council when it discusses the issue of renaming the private road next month, Aidan Fishman, advocacy director for B'nai Brith Canada, said in an interview Friday.

"We first became aware of this in October when a group of local residents -- some of whom actually live on Swastika Trail and are very upset about the name and want it changed -- were encountering some local resistance and contacted us for advice," Fishman said.

Fishman said his organization has been working with the residents behind the scenes since then, but decided to have members of the public outside the area "weigh in on whether this is an appropriate name for a street in Canada in 2017."

Swastika Trail was named in the 1920s before the rise of Adolf Hitler in Nazi Germany, local residents said. Those in support of keeping the name have argued the symbol has a long history before the Second World War, but others argue the name is associated with hate and genocide.
Veiled woman, accomplices said to assault 2 Jews at French supermarket
A veiled woman in a supermarket near Toulouse assaulted with two younger women a Jewish woman and her teenage son, a watchdog on anti-Semitism said.

The incident occurred in Carcassonne, a town situated 55 miles southeast of Toulouse, on Tuesday, the National Bureau for Vigilance against Anti-Semitism, or BNVCA, reported Friday. The watchdog characterized the incident as an anti-Semitic assault. The alleged perpetrators — which BNVCA wrote may have been a mother and her daughters — saw the victim, a woman in her 40s, is Jewish because she was wearing a Star of David pendant, the group wrote in an incident report.

The alleged perpetrators deliberately rammed their shopping cart into that of the Jewish mother and her son. The veiled woman and the two younger women accompanying her all slapped the Jewish woman and her son, said BNVCA, which named neither the alleged perpetrators nor the alleged victims in the incident. No one was injured in the incident.

The woman and her son filed a complaint with police against the veiled woman and her
daughters, added BNVCA, which also filed a complaint as a civil party.
Lyn Julius: “Uprooted” book launch (Nov. 22, 2017)


Magdi Abdelhadi: “Uprooted” book launch (Nov. 22, 2017)


Life-size relief replica stars in Arch of Titus show in New York
Lindsay Neathawk first saw the Arch of Titus on a visit to Rome in 1998. A teenager at the time, she could not have imagined that two decades later she would make the first hi-tech replica of the ancient monument’s famous “Spoils of Jerusalem” panel commemorating Roman forces’s capture of Jerusalem and destruction of the Holy Temple in 70 CE.

Using cutting-edge digital tools, Neathawk, a graphic designer and owner of a sign carving business in Williamstown, Massachusetts, spent a straight 49 days last summer creating the replica.

It was carefully transported in late August to New York City, becoming the centerpiece of the current “The Arch of Titus – from Jerusalem to Rome, and Back” exhibition at Yeshiva University Museum.

The replica is made of high density urethane foam and weighs around 1,000 pounds. It is a one-to-one copy of the panel on the monumental arch erected on Rome’s Via Sacra, the “Sacred Road,” around 82 CE, shortly after Emperor Titus’s death. One of three interior relief panels on the arch, “Spoils of Jerusalem” depicts Titus’s triumphal procession into the Eternal City in July 71 CE. Roman soldiers are seen carrying sacred vessels of the Jerusalem Temple, and at the center is the seven-branched golden menorah.

The replica produced by Neathawk in collaboration with VIZIN: Institute for the Visualization of History, is based on three-dimensional and polychrome scanning conducted in 2012 by an international team of scholars led by cultural historian Dr. Steven Fine, founding director of the Yeshiva University Center for Israel Studies.




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The Israel Situation:The Elder manages to write so many great, investigative posts that I am often looking to him for important news on the PalArab (his term for Palestinian Arab) side of things."
Tikun Olam: "Either you are carelessly ignorant or a willful liar and distorter of the truth. Either way, it makes you one mean SOB."
Mondoweiss commenter: "For virulent pro-Zionism (and plain straightforward lies of course) there is nothing much to beat it."
Didi Remez: "Leading wingnut"

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