Thursday, December 28, 2017

From Ian:

How the International Red Cross failed the Jews
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has a startling and consistent history of anti-Semitism, despite its founding and reputation as an “independent, neutral organization.” Although mandated to eschew taking sides in international and internal armed conflicts and to protect victims of those conflicts — including wounded soldiers, prisoners of war, refugees and civilians — ICRC anti-Semitism emerged prior to World War II, broadened to encompass anti-Israelism after creation of the Jewish state and has continued ever since.
  • In the 1940s, it failed to intercede on behalf of Jewish Holocaust victims and was complicit with the Vatican’s protection of Nazi war criminals and collaborators.
  • Its modern-day expression of anti-Jewish sentiment was manifested in an initial refusal to accept the symbol of Israel’s own emergency aid organization, the Magen David Adom, while welcoming the Red Crescent of Muslim countries.
  • It provided solicitous aid to Arab-Palestinian terrorists whose homes were destroyed by the Israel Defense Forces in reprisal for and to prevent deadly attacks against Israel.
  • The ICRC also supported and glorified terrorism in a tree-planting ceremony honoring imprisoned Islamic terrorists who were guilty of murdering Jews.
  • It has unfairly singled out Israel as an “illegal occupier” and has falsely labeled Israel guilty of an apocryphal “Jenin massacre.” In addition to these actions, the ICRC has failed to condemn Hamas’ use of human shields and has not recognized Israel’s right to self-defense. Instead,
  • it has demonstrated a complete lack of sensitivity for the plight of Israeli civilians as perennial victims of rocket attacks and suicide bombings.
  • Remarkably, the ICRC — arbiters of the humanitarian standards of war by dint of their stewardship of the Geneva Conventions — recently instituted new policies prohibiting return fire upon civilian-inhabited areas. In effect, it empowered terrorists to fight worry-free amongst the general population.
Given this recent history, the organization’s reputation as a purveyor of “neutral humanitarianism” rings hollow.
Josh Meyer Gets an Echo Chamber Beat-Down
A week after Josh Meyer’s Politico expose,“The Secret Backstory Of How Obama Let Hezbollah Off the Hook,” former Obama officials are still berating Meyer for his 13,000-word article detailing how the Obama administration killed a nearly decade-long DEA effort to stem a global Hezbollah cocaine-smuggling-and-organized-crime ring to help secure its nuclear deal with Iran. “This was a policy decision, it was a systematic decision,” former Defense Department analyst David Asher explained in the article. “They serially ripped apart this entire effort that was very well supported and resourced, and it was done from the top down.”

Asher helped establish and oversee the project, codenamed Cassandra, that looked into Hezbollah’s wide-range of illicit activities across the globe, including weapons procurement, drug trafficking, and money laundering. Senior Obama officials, according to Asher, ignored the legal and financial instruments that he and others had provided to target a terrorist organization with American blood on its hands and was still plotting against the United States.

In response, a Twitter mob of mid-level bureaucrats and former intelligence officers orchestrated in the usual fashion attacked Asher in tandem with the media echo chamber used to sell the Iran Deal, with former political operatives from the Obama White House supplying the usual talking points to their hatchet-men. Meyer’s “on the record sources have undisclosed anti-Iran deal bias,” tweeted former Obama speechwriter Tommy Vietor, who has remade himself as a podcast host. Meyer’s “entire piece,” tweeted Obama lieutenant and former CIA officer Ned Price, “is based on pure speculation by these ‘1 or 2 sources’ w undisclosed anti-Iran deal bias.”

The catchphrase, “undisclosed anti-Iran deal bias,” is an extended replay version of the catchy slogans Team Obama used to market the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. Opponents and critics of the nuclear deal were “warmongers” beholden to “donors” with “agendas” whose concerns were shaped by their loyalties not to America but rather to the Jewish state. Now, the echo chamber insisted, Meyer’s sources aren’t to be trusted because they were against the Iran deal, or have associated with think tanks that opposed the Iran Deal—which means that they are secret neocon slaves of Israel, of course.
Yair_Rosenberg: Confessions of a Digital Nazi Hunter
Like many Jewish journalists who reported on Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, I spent the 2016 election being harassed by a motley crew of internet racists who coalesced around the future president. They sent me threats, photoshopped me into gas chambers and hurled an uncreative array of anti-Semitic slurs my way. A study by the Anti-Defamation League found that I’d received the second-most abuse of any Jewish journalist on Twitter during the campaign cycle. My parents didn’t raise me to be No. 2; fortunately, there’s always 2020.

As a result, I’ve become something of an unintentional expert on alt-right trolls and their tactics. For the most part, these characters are largely laughable — sad, angry men hiding behind images of cartoon frogs, deathly afraid that their employers will uncover their online antics. But there are also more insidious individuals, whose digital skulduggery can be more consequential than the occasional bigoted bromide.

And so last November, in the wake Trump’s victory, I decided to turn the tables on them. My target? Impersonator trolls.

You probably haven’t heard of these trolls, but that is precisely why they are so pernicious. These bigots are not content to harass Jews and other minorities on Twitter; they seek to assume their identities and then defame them.

The con goes like this: The impersonator lifts an online photo of a Jew, Muslim, African-American or other minority — typically one with clear identifying markers, like a yarmulke-clad Hasid or a woman in hijab. Using that picture as a Twitter avatar, the bigot then adds ethnic and progressive descriptors to the bio: “Jewish,” “Zionist,” “Muslim,” “enemy of the alt-right.”

False identity forged, the trolls then insert themselves into conversations with high-profile Twitter users — conversations that are often seen by tens of thousands of followers — and proceed to say horrifically racist things.

In this manner, unsuspecting readers glancing through their feed are given the impression that someone who looks like, say, a religious Jew or Muslim is outlandishly bigoted. Thus, an entire community is defamed.



Anti-Israel bias reigns at Columbia
When Columbia University’s Center for Palestine Studies was established in 2010, Rashid Khalidi, its founding and current director — and a supporter of an academic boycott of Israel — stated that steering clear of political activism was an important goal of the center:

“The last thing you want is a Middle East institute or a center for Israel or Palestine that isn’t within the university mission. . . . We’d avoid doing anything that’s directly related to any political activism.”

However, just seven years later, new research from our organization reveals that the Center for Palestine Studies has become an academic epicenter for anti-Israel political activism, as well as the promotion of an academic boycott of Israel and its mother movement, boycott, divestment and sanctions, otherwise known as BDS.

In 2015 and 2016, of the 44 Israel-related events sponsored by the Center for Palestine Studies, 41 included anti-Israel, pro-BDS speakers. During the same two-year period, Israel-related events sponsored by Columbia University’s other two Middle East studies departments — the Middle Eastern, South Asian and African studies department and the Middle East Institute — also overwhelmingly included anti-Israel, pro-BDS speakers.

Columbia’s three Middle East studies departments hosted 46 events with pro-BDS speakers in 2015 and 2016, more than double any other U.S. school.
Ryan Bellerose: The Thing About The Conflict
The thing about the conflict is that most people know only what they have been told. It is a complex issue, yet at the same time a very simple one.

The narrative the Arabs feed people feels good, it’s a familiar narrative: they are a small oppressed minority who had their ancestral lands stolen by foreign imperialists who desecrate their sacred places and force them to live under foreign colonialist rule. The ones who are even allowed to remain after the majority are ethnically cleansed by the evil foreigners. They are treated horribly and barely eking out an existence due to this occupation and oppression, with many starving and the rest living in conditions not unlike the concentration camps in the middle part of the last century.

This narrative plays extremely well to anyone who is:

Ignorant of the history of the region and the basic facts on the ground
Why? Because you need to be unaware of the simple fact that the Arabs are in fact descended from people who colonized the entire Middle East. Their “small and persecuted minority religion” are in fact a very large majority and in control of 99.4 percent of the land mass in the Middle East. Hardly the tiny and persecuted minority who are slowly being pushed off their ancestral land.
Ten Basic Facts About the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
In all the discussion about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict — and the quest for a solution — some basic facts are too often missing, neglected, downplayed or skewed.

Not only does this do a disservice to history, but it also contributes to prolonging the conflict by perpetuating false assumptions and mistaken notions.

Consider:
Fact #1: There could have been a two-state solution as early as 1947. That’s precisely what the UN Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP) proposed. Two states, recognizing the presence of two peoples — and two nationalisms — in a territory governed temporarily by the United Kingdom. And the UN General Assembly decisively endorsed the UNSCOP proposal. The Jewish side pragmatically accepted the plan, but the Arab world categorically rejected it.

Fact #2: When Israel declared independence on May 14, 1948, it extended the hand of friendship to its Arab neighbors, as clearly evidenced by its founding documents and statements. That offer, too, was spurned. Instead, five Arab armies declared war on the fledgling Jewish state, seeking its total destruction. Despite vastly outnumbering the Jews and possessing superior military arsenals, they failed in their quest.
The Fantasy of an International Jerusalem
In the uproar over President Trump’s announcement of U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, one constant refrain has been the insistence that, by longstanding international consensus, the city’s status has yet to be decided. In the portentous words of the recent UN General Assembly resolution protesting the American action, “Jerusalem is a final-status issue to be resolved through negotiations in line with relevant United Nations resolutions.”

The most “relevant” of those prior resolutions was the November 1947 resolution proposing partition of Palestine and envisaging, in addition to two independent states, one Arab and one Jewish, an entirely separate status for Jerusalem as a city belonging to no state but instead administered by a “special international regime.”

One might have thought that the wholesale Arab rejection of the entire partition plan, in all of its parts, would also have put paid to the idea of an internationalized Jerusalem. Evidently, however, this fantasy is too convenient to lie dormant forever.

That is why it’s useful to know that, almost exactly three decades before the 1947 UN plan, internationalization of Jerusalem was killed—and killed decisively. Who killed it? Thereby hangs a tale, but here is a hint: it was neither the Arabs, nor the Jews.
IsraellyCool: WATCH: Al Jazeera Pushing Ridiculous Lies About Jerusalem
Al Jizz can never be accused of being objective – or credible.

In this recent interview with the fishy-sounding “historian” Salman Abu Sitta, they push some ridiculous, easily refutable lies.

“It’s Muslim and Christian population have been living there for thousands of years.”

Brilliant!

Christianity: began in first century CE (approx. 2,000 years ago) from Judaism, but have been present in “Palestine” since around 450 CE only (approx. 1,600 years ago)
Islam: began in early 7th century CE (approx. 1,400 years ago)


And while we are at it

“Jerusalem is Palestinian longer than London is English”

Anglo-Saxon settlements developed in London since the year 500 CE – before Islam.
Prof. Phyllis Chesler: Dancing with death: The Intellectual opposition to Zionism
Some insist that the “new” Anti-Semitism is not all that new—and that anti-Zionism is not necessarily anti-Semitic. In fact, this is the current mantra among pro-BDS and pro-Palestine panels on campus.

One might say that anti-Zionism in the 1920s and 1930s was not necessarily anti-Semitic—but it did condemn European and North African Jews to an industrial-scale genocide.

Herzl understood what the Dreyfus case meant and he both sounded the alarm and provided the solution. The French journalist Albert Londres heard him. The shluchim (messengers) from Palestine who tried to convince the Jews of Eastern Europe to leave before it was too late also heard him. Trumpeldor and Jabotinsky heard him.

But the Jews, who were no longer young or who were far too impoverished or paralyzed by poverty and starvation; and those who were awaiting a call from their vision of Moshiach, could not hear him. However, many wealthy and educated Jews were also deaf to Herzl’s warning and to the vision of a Promised Land.
MEMRI: MEMRI TV'S TOP 50 CLIPS FOR 2017 – PLEASE SUPPORT OUR WORK
As a valued subscriber to our MEMRI TV Project research, you understand the project's unique work of bringing content from Arabic-language broadcasting to Western audiences. No one else in the entire world is doing this vital work. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words; MEMRI has, since its launch in 2004, produced 6,000 video clips comprising nearly 30,000 minutes of translated video content that have had hundreds of millions of views online and are seen in 192 countries worldwide.

The MEMRI TV Project monitors the 100 most important Arab, Iranian, and South Asian TV channels around the clock, providing open-source broadcast content to Western governments, military, law enforcement, and academia, as well as to the public at large. It is a major resource for researchers, providing a much deeper understanding of complex situations than can be obtained from other sources.

Extremely intensive processes and resources go into creating every single MEMRI TV clip: recording many hours of programming, selecting the most important content, translating and transcribing it, adding subtitles, carrying out technical editing, and performing a final review before publishing it on multiple platforms. Additionally, MEMRI TV maintains the world's largest archives of content translated from Arab and Iranian television. All these are very expensive undertakings.
This On Going War: 24-Dec-17: Nabi Saleh, the media and a Tamimi child's journey
We keep running into people who think they know the story of the Tamimi clan. But it's clear to us that few understand the rich and ugly detail of their hatefulness, expressed not as mere protest and words but the kind of physical violence that has ended dozens of lives on the Tamimi side and among their many victims.

FBI Most Wanted Terrorist: The Arabic version is here
Regular readers of this blog know our oldest daughter Malki was murdered at the age of 15 in a massacre engineered by Bassem Tamimi's niece, Ahlam Tamimi. Since March 2017, she has been a fugitive from US justice, wanted by the FBI to face federal charges in Washington arising from the bombing/massacre of the Sbarro pizzeria in Jerusalem 16 years ago. She has confessed often and in great detail about her role as the mastermind of the slaughter.

Meanwhile Bassem Tamimi has been crowned a hero of Amnesty International. They sent him on a coast-to-coast roadshow in 2015. We tried to get some straight answers from him and from his generous sponsors at the time to some straightforward, related questions... but all we got was ignored: see "04-Sep-15: Mr. Human Rights Defender, a question if we may".

But Ahlam Tamimi, the confessed murderer, along with her uncle and aunt and cousin Nariman, Bassem and Ahed, are simply part of a long list of Tamimis associated with Arab-on-Israeli terror. Some of the details are barely known and are being deliberately obscured or hidden. We have been doing what we can to publicize them. We revisited some of the barely-known details just a few days ago in "19-Dec-17: Uncovering some of Nabi Saleh's hideous buried secrets".
This On Going War: 28-Dec-17: So how old is the Tamimi girl?
Depends whom you ask (as we originally wrote here).

In the order in which the following media reports were published, she was

12 in September 2011 [quoted by Israellycool from an Arab source];
8 in August 2012 [Source: +972, a far-left Israeli site];
13 in December 2012 [Source: TimeTurk News and other Turkish sources];
10 in December 2012 [Source: World Bulletin];
13 in June 2013 [Source: Your Middle East];
12 in February 2014 [Source; The Guardian];
14 in September 2015 [Source: NBC News];
16 in February 2017 [a South African source].

So depending on which media report you want to believe, she was born (in the same order as those links above) in 1999, 2004, 1999, 2002, 2000, 2002, 2001, 2001.

Making her now 13, 15, 16, 17 and/or 18.
Anti-Israel San Francisco State Professor Is Always the Victim
“We are reminded of McCarthyism in the 1950s,” asserted San Francisco State University (SFSU) Professor of Race and Resistance Studies Rabab Abdulhadi at Washington, DC’s anti-Israel Jerusalem Fund conference.

Her clichéd and morally inverted presentation, “In Service of State Violence: Palestine and Restrictions on Academic Freedom,” before about 20 people, depicted the professor — a notorious Israel-hater — as a victim of nefarious right-wing forces.

Abdulhadi began her lecture with her customary politically-correct invocation: “We are meeting on indigenous stolen people’s lands.” She didn’t specify which Amerindian tribe owned the land, and why it would have greater claim over Washington, DC, than the city’s current diverse inhabitants. But she did establish the lecture’s leitmotiv: the mythical narrative of native Palestinians fighting against European Jewish colonialism.

Accordingly, Abdulhadi later declared: “It is really important to contest the colonial narrative” of Zionism in the Holy Land, and celebrate the “multiple stories that defy the story of submission, subjugation and defeat.” One of her slides displayed the violent slogan, “My heroes have always killed colonizers,” which was proudly exhibited at SFSU in 2013 by the radical General Union of Palestinian Students (GUPS) — with Abdulhadi as faculty advisor. That display was so blatant that SFSU President Les Wong — no friend of Israel’s — condemned this as antisemitic incitement.

Yet, Abdulhadi fancied herself the victim of a “pro-Israel lobby network, an industry,” which she said consisted of groups like the Lawfare Project and the “shadowy organization” Canary Mission; in reality, Canary Mission is an exposer of antisemites at American universities. “The right wing has done it many times; we can go into the history of interventions around the world,” she added, ludicrously comparing Zionists to US intelligence professionals.
Spanish court rules city council’s BDS agreement illegal
A Spanish court in Gran Canaria issued a decision this week declaring that a boycott against Israel passed by the City Council is illegal.

The legal proceedings against the council were filed by Angel Mas, president of ACOM, a pro-Israel Spanish organization that combats BDS in Spain.

Gran Canaria is one of Spain’s Canary Islands, off the northwestern coast of Africa with a population of roughly 850,000. Last year, on November 27, 2016, the City Council passed a resolution proclaiming the city a “free space from Israeli apartheid,” and affiliating the council with the BDS movement.

As part of the boycott decision, the City Council announced it would refrain from any cooperation with Israel, its public bodies and officials in areas including agriculture, education, trade, culture or security. The City Council also agreed to support BDS in every campaign for the trade, cultural, sports, academic or institutional boycotts.

According to ACOM, the Court No. 4 of Gran Canaria dismissed the argument raised by the town hall that the boycott decision was “just a political statement, insisting that the actions and declarations of the public bodies are subjected to the Rule of Law and are under the legal control of the courts of law.”

The sentence declared that the council of Gran Canaria is “not competent to adopt such a resolution.”
Hostile Takeover By SAFE At University Of Michigan [incl. Jasbir Puar]
Defying democratic principles and ethical standards for academic integrity, the University of Michigan allowed Students Allied for Freedom and Equality (SAFE) to browbeat their way into passing a boycott-of-Israel initiative. Frustrated by 10 prior attempts to pass a largely unpopular BDS initiative, SAFE resorted to unethical tactics to achieve their ultimate goal. Last year's vote was dramatically different from this year. How did SAFE successfully achieve a hostile takeover at the University of Michigan?

Clearly, the same rules for conduct, civility and academic integrity don't apply to Palestinian solidarity groups like SAFE, Students for Justice in Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace. However, according to SAFE's own code of conduct, "SAFE rejects any form of hatred or discrimination against any religions, racial or ethnic group."

At its core, the BDS agenda is anti-Semitic because its founder, Omar Barghouti, advocates for a one-state "from the river to the sea" ideology.

SAFE's campaign symbolizes the abject failure of universities to rein in groups promoting hate and intolerance. Ted Poe, chairman of the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade, described the BDS movement as "a threat which seeks [Israel's] ultimate destruction."

According to the Wall Street Journal, a federal lawsuit uncovered emails from Jasbir Puar, an associate professor of women's and gender studies at Rutgers, who "actively tried to stack the National Council of the Association of American Universities with boycott backers." Various members of the association deliberately concealed their BDS agenda.
StandWithUs - We Represent You


Is ISRAEL responsible for anti-Semitism? And more, on i24 News: "The Spin Room"


HR Year End Roundup feat Joe Hyams, CEO


Times Columnist Cohen Writes About Jews and ‘Their Formless, Faceless God’
To me the most interesting words in those two dense and intense paragraphs were the pronouns — “their” and “they.”

Cohen writes “ethics that bound Jews to their formless, faceless God.” He could have simply written “bound Jews to God.” The word “their” has a kind of distancing effect.

If Cohen were feeling daring, he might have used the formulation “our God,” which is a different thing from saying “their God.” Jews, after all, believe (or some profess not to believe) in one God. We’ve been “bound” to that God not merely by ethics, though ethics are certainly important, but by a covenant. Whether this God is “faceless” is a complex theological question that may involve matters of Maimonides and metaphors. But it’s worth mentioning that these same diaspora Jews had, and Jews today have, prayers that include the priestly blessing from the Book of Numbers, asking God to shine his countenance, or face, on you and turn it to you.

Cohen writes of the case “for why Jews needed a small piece of earth they could call home.” Again, the “they” has a distancing effect. Cohen could have simply written, “a small piece of earth to call home.” Had he been feeling daring, he might have used the formulation, “why Jews needed a small piece of earth we could call home.” Maybe Cohen doesn’t feel himself part of the “they” because he’s writing about Jews from a while back, at the moment of Israel’s founding or before then. But the need is still there, isn’t it? Why, then, does Cohen write “needed,” in the past tense, and not “need”? Schama is a historian, not a polemicist, and Cohen is book reviewing, not column writing.

It may seem odd to carp here about a review that is also being criticized elsewhere by anti-Zionists for being too sympathetic to Israel. But even so, the passage is a telling one for what it suggests about the limits of even an ostensibly Zionist book review in The New York Times. It’s enough to make a reader wonder about the newspaper’s management, and if they only let writers go so far in their newspaper.
BBC’s ‘Trump Jerusalem syndrome’ plumbs new depths
However, on December 26th BBC World Service radio managed to plumb new depths of hyperbole when, in the synopsis to a clip from its programme ‘Newsday’ that was promoted on social media, it told audiences that:

“Jerusalem has arguably has never felt more divided and anxious following US President Donald Trump’s declaration that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.”

Really, BBC World Service?

Does Jerusalem now feel “more divided” than when Jordan expelled the Jewish residents of the Old City in 1948 and destroyed fifty-eight synagogues? Is the city “more anxious” than it was when Jordanian snipers regularly took pot shots at Israeli civilians from behind the armistice line?

Does Jerusalem really currently feel “more anxious” than during the long years in which Palestinian terrorists regularly targeted Israeli civilians eating pizza, drinking coffee, riding a bus, celebrating a Bar Mitzva or shopping in the market? Is it “more divided” than when residents of the city’s Jabel Mukaber neighbourhood slaughtered early morning worshippers at a synagogue in its Har Nof district?

The BBC urgently needs to get a grip on itself. While its feverish coverage of the US president’s announcement transparently promoted a politically motivated narrative from the start, the continuing frenzied portrayal of that topic is increasingly making the media organisation that describes itself as “a provider of news that you can trust” look simply ridiculous.
Houston Imam’s Apology for Sermon Urging Muslims to ‘Fight the Jews in Palestine’ Falls Short for Local Jewish Leaders
The Houston, Texas imam who urged Muslims to “fight the Jews in Palestine” during an incendiary Dec. 8 sermon spoke of his desire on Thursday to “repair the damage” caused by his remarks — but Jewish leaders said his apology fell short in at least one critical regard.

Imam Raed Saleh Al-Rousan of the Tajweed Institute — a Quranic teaching organization with branches in Houston and Tampa — spoke in a Facebook post of his “hope to establish new and meaningful relationships with my neighbors in the Jewish community,” including through meetings “with Jewish leaders.”

“I want to hear their concerns, learn from them and bring our communities closer together,” Al-Rousan said. “I hope to work with them to alleviate any fears and to combat hatred in all forms, most especially antisemitism and anti-Muslim bigotry.”

“I am absolutely and completely opposed to and disgusted by all forms of terrorism, all terrorists, and I oppose anyone who would commit, call for, or threaten violence against civilians,” he continued.

But Al-Rousan’s claim in the same post that he was “mortified that an impassioned sermon I gave in light of President Trump’s Jerusalem declaration is being seen as a call for the very things I despise” received short shrift from the head of the Anti-Defamation League in Houston.
Proceeds from auction of Hitler's car to go towards Holocaust education
A rare, luxury 1939 Mercedes-Benz ordered by, specially built for and used by Adolf Hitler is to be sold at auction in January, with 10% of the sale price going towards Holocaust education.

Described by auctioneers as the "most historically significant automobile ever offered for public sale", the Mercedes-Benz 770K is the product of the detailed demands of Hitler and his primary chauffeur, Erich Kempka. It is one of five surviving Offener Tourwenwagen models, of which three are in private hands.

The world famous handcrafted "Super Mercedes", an expression of German pride in its engineering capabilities, was equipped with bullet-resistant laminated glass and armor plating in order to provide maximum protection for its passengers. Its primary role was as a guest car for visiting heads of states.

"We are acutely aware of the responsibility attached to presenting such an impactful piece of history for public sale," said Rod Egan, Principal and Auctioneer at Worldwide Auctioneers.

"It is an artifact that continues to stand and serve as a singular piece of irreplaceable living history and as a reminder that the evil which is a part of its history must never be permitted to recur," added Egan.
Archive of pre-state Jewish population offers glimpse of founding generation
A new archive made public and searchable online by the Israeli State Archives and MyHeritage.com brings to light the names of over 206,000 Jews who lived in the country before the founding of the State of Israel.

The archive spans 10 years, from 1937 to 1947, and is made up of about 67,000 requests for citizenship in British Mandatory Palestine. Some of the requests came from famous future Israelis like the late president Shimon Peres.

Each request includes the names of family members, dates and places of birth and a treasure trove of other information, including countless photographs. The requests, which could reach 20 pages apiece, also include the names of two sponsors for each aspiring citizen.

The file of 20-year-old Szymel Perski, later the statesman Shimon Peres, includes declarations in his handwriting that he worked in agriculture, and a request to change his first name to Shimon, with the explanation written in his own hand that “Szymel is a corrupted Polish version of the name Shimon.”

Similarly, among the sponsors for some aspiring citizens are famous future Israelis such as Golda Meir, who would go on to become prime minister, Shlomo Hillel, later a cabinet minister, the actress Hana Rubina and author Yehuda Burla.

The project is a collaboration of the State Archives and the ancestry startup MyHeritage, whose staff has worked for the past year to scan and index the 67,000 requests.
Multiple terror attacks didn’t stop Lt. Aviv from becoming an officer
Lieutenant Aviv didn’t let two terror attacks stop him. When he was a baby his mother used her own body to shield him from a stabbing attack. Years later, his family’s car was hit by a Molotov cocktail and his sister was badly burned.

Lt. Aviv was only a month old when armed terrorists attack his mother with a knife at the entrance to their home in Gush Katif. His mother was stabbed more than 20 times while she used her own body to protect him and his young sister.

“My mother, my sister, and I were saved because people heard shouting, rushed to help, and overpowered the terrorists. It was not an easy time for my family. It was especially hard for my mother to be away from us [during rehabilitation], her little children.”

Lt. Aviv later enlisted to the IDF to serve in the Golani Brigade. After a challenging year serving in the Golani Brigade, he chose to go to Squad Commanders Course. Right before he finished the course, terror struck his family for the second time.

It was October 2015, and his father and mother were traveling with three of his younger siblings to Beit El, north of Ramallah, when Molotov cocktails were thrown at their car. The first one hit the car window, and the second exploded on his 3-year-old’s sister’s seat. His sister, Tal, was badly burned. “It’s not easy to see your sister wrapped in bandages from head to toe – [during her recovery] she didn’t respond or laugh. To this day she has a pressure suit designed to reduce the scars.”
IDF's Top five military achievements of 2017
It’s been a busy year for Israel’s defense establishment, from major advances in its missile protection capabilities to daring strikes to thwart regional threats. Here are the top five: In the shadow of increased threats posed by Iran’s growing influence in the Middle East, the Israel Air Force became the first air force outside the United States to declare Initial Operational Capability of it’s F-35 “Adir” stealth fighter jet in December, a year after the first advanced stealth jet first touched down in Israel. After years of developing the most expensive plane in history, the jet is expected to be used for long-range missions and will, according to senior Israeli officials, provide complete air superiority in the region for the next 40 years. The IAF, which currently has nine F-35s, is expected to receive a total of 50 planes to make two full squadrons by 2024.

The country, which is highly dependent on the sea, continuously improves the technology behind the country’s anti-missile systems and in November the army’s naval Iron Dome was declared operational by the IDF. Israel believes that Hezbollah has long-range missiles which can hit the country’s offshore gas rigs, which supply a large amount of the electricity consumed in Israel. And while the threat posed by Hezbollah on Israel’s northern border remains the main focus of the Navy and the IDF in general, the threat on Israel’s border with Gaza remains just as real.

David’s Sling, the final piece of Israel’s air defense shield became operational in April, providing Israel with a comprehensive protective umbrella able to counter threats posed by both short and mid-range missiles used by terror groups in Gaza and Hezbollah as well as the threat posed by more sophisticated long-range Iranian ballistic missiles. Israel’s air defenses now include the Iron Dome, designed to shoot down short-range rockets and the Arrow system which intercepts ballistic missiles outside of the Earth’s atmosphere. The David’s Sling missile defense system is designed to intercept tactical ballistic missiles, medium- to long-range rockets, as well as cruise missiles fired at ranges between 40 km. to 300 km.
International tourism to Samaria jumps by 200%
Samaria has seen a 200% increase in the number of visitors arriving from all over the world, particularly Asian countries like Japan, Korea, and the Philippines.

Tourism to Samaria from Sweden, the U.S., and Australia is also on the rise.

The Samaria Regional Council recently signed a "twinning" tourism agreement with the Hungarian resort town of Héviz.

Speaking at the twin cities signing ceremony, Levin said, "Cooperation between Israeli and Hungarian officials will contribute to tourism traffic to Israel, which this year hit an all-time high."

While most Israelis may not have heard of Héviz, it is considered one of Europe's most popular resort destinations, mainly because of its natural thermal lake – the largest in Europe.
Gal Gadot to present at Golden Globes
She may not have been nominated for any awards, but Gal Gadot will still be taking the stage at the Golden Globes next Sunday.

That's because the Israeli actress was announced Wednesday as one of the celebrity presenters at the star-studded ceremony. The Golden Globes didn't say which prize Gadot would be presenting, but it will be her first ever appearance at the awards.

Other presenters announced Wednesday include Kerry Washington, Penelope Cruz and Seth Rogen.

Despite the best hopes of Wonder Woman's producers, the film wasn't nominated for any Golden Globes this year. From her small-time Hollywood fame, Gadot vaulted this year to super stardom after the smash success of the standalone Wonder Woman film. The movie is set to finish out 2017 as the third-highest grossing film in the US for the year, with more than $412 million in sales.

The Golden Globes ceremony is set to take place on January 7 in Los Angeles.
Forbes: Israel's Gal Gadot is top-grossing female star for 2017
Israeli actress Gal Gadot, who starred in the title role of the international mega-hit "Wonder Woman," is the highest-grossing female film actress for 2017, according to Forbes Magazine.

The American business and financial journal stated that Gadot's movies – she also performed in the superhero ensemble flick "Justice League" – raked in $1.4 billion worldwide for the year, and "Wonder Woman" alone made $822 million.

Moreover, Forbes reports that Gadot is the third-highest grossing actor in the world, after fellow action stars Vin Diesel and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.

Interestingly, industry reports this year put Gadot's direct paycheck from her role as Wonder Woman at $300,000, an extremely low figure for a lead actor in a big-budget action film, albeit one that excludes additional earnings from the film, such as residuals or licensing deals.

According to Variety, Gadot was paid the same amount for "Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice," in which Wonder Woman was a supporting character.
Son of Mumbai terror victims to accompany PM Netanyahu to India
Moshe Holtzberg, whose parents Rabbi Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg were cruelly murdered by terrorists nine years ago in the Chabad House they ran in Mumbai, will accompany Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on his upcoming visit to India.

Moshe, now 11, was saved by his Indian nanny Sandra. He is being raised by his maternal grandparents Shimon and Yehudit Rosenberg.

In July, Netanyahu and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Holtzberg, and the youngster expressed his desire to visit India. Modi responded by saying his country "is open to" Holtzberg, while Netanyahu invited the boy to accompany him on his next trip to India.

Holtzberg's grandfather, Rabbi Shimon Rosenberg, confirmed the report to Yediot Aharonot.

"Moshe is very excited to return to his parents' Chabad House," Rosenberg said, adding that he will accompany the pair.

Netanyahu will be Israel's second prime minister to visit India. He is scheduled to leave for a 5-day trip to India on January 14.
When is a humanitarian crisis not important? When Israel is part of the solution.
Israeli companies and charities are already highly active in providing energy solutions in Africa. One Israeli company, Energiya Global, currently provides 6% of Rwanda’s electricity, and will in a few years provide 15% of Burundi’s. Innovation: Africa, an Israeli charity, has brought Israeli solar and water technologies to over 1 million people.

This relationship is being taken to a new level, as the Israeli government now partners with the most powerful country in the world, to provide energy for tens of millions of Africans.

Yet somehow, there was no coverage of this story in the media. This is a significant development in dealing with a central humanitarian issue that has seen regular coverage over the past few years. Yet when Israel gets involved the pens fall silent. Why? Why is there an aversion to reporting a positive story about Israel?

Israel is often portrayed solely through the lens of conflict. (The easiest example of this conflict-centric view is seen on the BBC’s profile of Israel; the profile mentions not a single Israel, alive or dead, nor any Israeli achievement or contribution to the world, but says the word Palestinian fifteen times, and Gaza eight times.) But Israel is much more than a one issue country. Israel is helping in so many places around the world – fighting crime in Honduras, helping agriculture in India, prevent drought in California, treating thousands of injured Syrians, and much more. Ignoring major stories, such as Israeli efforts to bring electricity to millions of Africans, is not proper journalistic conduct. Israel should be covered fairly, and its achievements duly noted and celebrated.



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