Monday, January 15, 2018

From Ian:

The left’s latest bid to delegitimize the Jewish state
Jerusalem defied many in the media’s expectations that it would explode into violence after President Trump’s decision to recognize the city as Israel’s capital. But that hasn’t stopped some liberal Zionists from predicting doom — and the demise of their own ideology.

Michelle Goldberg wrote in The New York Times this week that the announcement, along with the fruition of plans to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, would be the prime cause for the death of “liberal Zionism” — a concept that isn’t explicitly defined but is generally understood to center on a two-state solution. Goldberg claimed Trump showed “Palestinians and Israelis alike” that he was “giving the Israeli government carte blanche to continue claiming Palestinian territory,” even though she admitted the administration was “not prejudging the status of Jerusalem in a final peace deal.”

There is likely a one-state future, and it “can be Jewish or it can be democratic, but it cannot be both,” Goldberg argued. “Trump’s embassy decision was thus another nail in the coffin of liberal Zionism.”

She wasn’t alone. On Dec. 6, the day of Trump’s embassy announcement, Haroon Moghul wrote for NBC News that it “signal[ed] that the two-state solution is pretty much dead.” The next day, UCLA Professor Saree Makdisi wrote an op-ed titled “Trump Just Dealt a Death Blow to the Two-State Solution” in the Los Angeles Times. Both were riddled with half-truths and selective omissions of history — namely any mention of Arab nations rejecting repeated land-for-peace offers by Israel or the fact that Arab countries initiated many of the wars where, as Makdisi put it, Israel “illegally” took land.

It’s a particularly egregious bit of hypocrisy. From the Arab League’s famous “Three No’s” (no peace, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with Israel) after the Six-Day War to Linda Sarsour telling Haaretz last year that she desired not a two-state solution but a single state (without Jewish self-determination), when those opposed to Israel’s existence have actually denounced a two-state plan, they’re not accused of hindering the peace process.

Should America Stop Funding UNRWA?
UNRWA provides aid to Palestinians. But it does some harmful things too: slandering Jews and putting Israeli lives in danger. It even worsens the refugee problem. Trump wants to cut funding. So why is the Israeli PM urging him to reconsider? The answers might surprise you.


UNICEF: Another UN Agency corrupted by anti-Israel politics
ISIS, Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and Boko Haram justifiably appear on the UN’s list of grave violators of children’s rights in conflict zones. But UNICEF is also spearheading a campaign to have Israel’s military included on this blacklist, which could lead to Security Council sanctions if successful.

It’s preposterous that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) could be grouped among terror groups and militias from failed states, together with the planet’s worst offenders in terms of protecting children.

But the problem is that UNICEF has for years been partnering with a group of virulently anti-Israel non-governmental organizations (NGOs), who play an integral role in advancing this campaign to blacklist the IDF, receiving hundreds of millions of dollars from UNICEF to do so.

These NGOs, some of whom reportedly have links to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist group, supply UNICEF’s Palestinian office (UNICEF-oPt) with a steady stream of inaccurate information and distorted claims about Israel’s justice system and the operations of its security forces.

This propaganda then becomes the basis for misleading and false UNICEF reports about the alleged mistreatment of Palestinian minors involved in violent attacks and who are subsequently arrested by the IDF.

Basically, UNICEF has allowed itself to become corrupted by a virulently anti-Israel and pro-BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) agenda, which is now perverting its mandate of child protection and its guidelines of neutrality and impartiality, as documented in a 49 page report released last week by the watchdog group NGO Monitor, UNICEF and its NGO Working Group: The Campaign to Blacklist the IDF.
UNICEF and its NGO Working Group: The Campaign to Blacklist the IDF




JPost Editorial: Winning the War
Considering the world’s hateful obsession with Israel’s purported misdeeds, one would think that the Jewish state devotes a disproportionate percentage of its budget to setting the record straight.

Yet, not only are our leaders not planning on beefing up public diplomacy efforts throughout the world, they are actually planning on further reducing Israel’s presence on the international stage in an effort to save money.

The original proposal put forward by the Finance Ministry was to cut a total of 22 of 103 Israeli missions abroad over three years at a savings of NIS 176m. and to fire 140 of the 686 Foreign Ministry employees based in Jerusalem for an additional NIS 40m. in savings.

This proposal was later scaled back to a plan to close seven diplomatic representations and to freeze layoffs altogether.

But we wonder what the powers-that-be could possibly be thinking when they behave so disparagingly toward our foreign corps. By allowing the Finance Ministry proposal to be widely publicized, the government message to them is very clear and very disheartening.
The Quran Says Jerusalem Belongs to the Jews
The following Quranic passages clearly illustrate the Jews' imperative to enter the land of Israel:
  • And [mention, O Muhammad], when Moses said to his people, "O my people, remember the favor of Allah [God] upon you when He appointed among you prophets and made you possessors and gave you that which He had not given anyone among the worlds. O my people, enter the Holy Land which Allah has assigned to you and do not turn back and [thus] become losers." [Surah Al-Ma'idah 5:20-21]
  • They said, "O Moses, indeed within it is a people of tyrannical strength, and indeed, we will never enter it until they leave it; but if they leave it, then we will enter." [Surah Al-Ma'idah 5:22]
  • Two men among those who feared [disobeying the people upon whom] Allah had bestowed favor said, "Enter upon them through the gate, for when you have entered it, you will be predominant. And upon Allah rely, if you should be believers." [Surah Al-Ma'idah 5:23]
  • [The Israelites] said, "O Moses, indeed we will not enter it, ever, as long as they are within it; so go, you and your Lord, and fight. Indeed, we are remaining right here." [Surah Al-Ma'idah 5:23]
  • [The Israelites] said, "O Moses, indeed we will not enter it, ever, as long as they are within it; so go, you and your Lord, and fight. Indeed, we are remaining right here." [Surah Al-Ma'idah 5:24]
  • [Moses] said, "My Lord, indeed I do not possess except myself and my brother, so part us from the defiantly disobedient people." [Surah Al-Ma'idah 5:25]
  • [God] said, "Then indeed, it is forbidden to them for forty years [in which] they will wander throughout the land. So do not grieve over the defiantly disobedient people." [Surah Al-Ma'idah 5:26]
Martin Luther King Jr.’s Speech On Soviet Jewry
This Monday, we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day across the country. While nearly every aspect of the great man’s life has been analyzed from every angle, including his relationship with Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel and the Jewish community, there are still little-known gems in the archives.

One of those is a speech Dr. King wrote on behalf of Soviet Jews. In December 1966, on Hanukkah, the American Jewish Conference on Soviet Jewry was having a nation-wide organizing conference call, and invited Dr. King to speak over the phone, an offer he gladly accepted. What followed was a rousing address on behalf of what he called a “withered and restricted Jewish community.”

“Individual Jews,” Dr. King said in his comments, “may in the main be physically and economically secure in Russia, but the absence of opportunity to associate as Jews in the enjoyment of Jewish culture and religious experience becomes a severe limitation upon an individual.”

King and Heschel and Moses
By all accounts, being a prophet is no picnic. No one wants the job. Nobody decides to do it; it gets thrust on you, and you do anything you can to get out of it (see: Jonah, Moses). Most prophets recognized in our society have been men, and the agony of shouldering a burden for the sake of others at enormous personal expense sometimes seems not unlike that of our pop-culture superheroes, like Spidey, Wolverine, or Superman. But a prophet is not a superman. He’s more like a noodge, a persecuted, driven noodge.

Our Jewish tradition’s most famous prophet (one shared also by Christianity and Islam) is the subject of an exhibition at the Musee d’art et du Judaisme in Paris. The show Moses: Paintings of a Prophet (Moïse: figures d’un prophète) opened on October 14 and runs until February 21. Featured in it are two men revered by liberal Jews in America: The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr and Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, whose united efforts are represented by a 15-minute excerpt from a documentary film by Steve Brand titled Abraham Joshua Heschel & Moses. The full documentary, Praying With My Legs: the Spiritual Witness of Abraham Joshua Heschel (not yet released and seeking funding to complete), traces the life and philosophy of one of the 20th century’s great Jewish theologians. It details well the close relationship he shared with King and their involvement together in the civil rights and Vietnam War protest movements, which is the portion of the film on view at the museum in Paris.

King and Heschel initially bonded over the prophets. King was drawn to Heschel’s intimate knowledge of the topic (Heschel’s masterwork, in a body of masterworks, was his book The Prophets), and Heschel in turn admired King’s devotion to the Exodus story of Moses and the Israelites, adapted to the narrative of the civil rights struggle in the 1950s and ’60s. King, like his model Moses, famously did not reach the promised land of equal rights for Black Americans, dying without seeing the vision he’d been journeying toward.
Netanyahu: Modi is revolutionizing Israel-India ties
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is not only revolutionizing India by “catapulting” it into the future, he has already revolutionized the India-Israel relationship, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in India on Monday.

Speaking after a two-hour meeting, Netanyahu said he was “deeply moved” by the honor “shown the people of Israel and the State of Israel” in the welcome ceremony held at the presidential place.

"You are a revolutionary leader in the best sense of the word 'revolution,'” Netanyahu said, noting that Modi's visit over the summer was the first visit by an Indian leader to Israel “in 3,000 years of our own sovereign existence and our history.”

Noting that Israel and India have had diplomatic relations for 25 years, Netanyahu said that “something different is happening now because of your leadership and because of our partnership.”

Netanyahu said he spoke with Modi about cooperation in all fields, including defense, “so that our people are always safe and always secure. Indians and Israelis know too well the pain of terrorist attacks,” he said. We remember the horrific savagery in Mumbai. We grit our teeth, we fight back, we never give in.”

Modi greeted Netanyahu warmly, hugging him and greeting him in Hebrew, “Dear friend, welcome to India."
Netanyahu ‘disappointed’ by Modi’s rejection of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday he was “disappointed” by India’s refusal to back recognition of Jerusalem as his country’s capital but would not let it spoil his landmark visit to the Asian giant.

Netanyahu also vowed that Israel would “catch up” with the killers of a Jewish couple murdered in 2008 attacks in Mumbai whose son is accompanying him on a six-day trip to India.

The Israeli leader arrived Sunday at the head of the biggest business delegation he has taken on a foreign visit.

Netanyahu told the India Today media group, in an interview released Monday, that he has a “special relationship” with his counterpart Narendra Modi.

But the run-up was clouded by India joining more than 100 countries at the United Nations in voting last month to condemn Washington’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Israel, India sign memorandum of understanding on free trade
Israel and India were poised to sign a memorandum of understanding on Monday to promote a free trade agreement between the two countries.

Manufacturers Association of Israel President Shraga Brosh, who is heading a delegation of over 100 business representatives accompanying Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on his visit to India this week, will sign the agreement on Israel's behalf. Confederation of Indian Industry President Shobana Kamineni will sign it on India's behalf.

A free trade agreement would allow for the bilateral removal of tariffs and regulatory barriers and for coordination on investments and taxation, all steps that would make it easier for Israeli exporters to do business with India.

The Indian economy is one of the world's largest and is characterized by very high growth rates.

The memorandum of understanding also includes the possibility for collaboration and the exchange of information.
Netanyahu trip highlights India’s tiny Jewish community
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will make an emotional visit this week to a Jewish center targeted in the 2008 Mumbai attacks, in a trip that India’s tiny and shrinking Jewish community hopes will boost its profile.

Netanyahu will talk trade in New Delhi and marvel at the Taj Mahal before rounding off his visit in Mumbai, where the majority of India’s estimated 4,500 Jews live.

There he will accompany 11-year-old Moshe Holtzberg as the boy returns for the first time to the house where his parents were killed in the 2008 terror attacks that left 166 people dead.

At Mumbai’s Magen David synagogue, worshipers were excited about the first visit to India by an Israeli leader in almost 15 years.

“It’s very good news for us. We’re very lucky to get to see the prime minister over here,” Joel Gershon Awaskar told AFP after concluding his morning prayers.

Begging To Be Blackmailed
In the face of a series of crucial decisions for President Trump concerning certification of the Iran nuclear deal and continuing waivers from sanctions, the European Union is lobbying hard in the mullahs’ defense. These efforts culminated in a meeting Thursday between representatives of the EU/E3 including France, Germany, and the U.K., and Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, on the eve of the president’s first review deadline under the so-called Corker-Cardin legislation.

EU High Representative/Vice President Frederica Mogherini released a written statement following the meeting that exposes the hollowness of the accord. “The deal is working,” Mogherini asserts. “It is delivering on its main goal, which means keeping the Iranian nuclear programme in check and under close surveillance.” Leave aside for a moment Obama administration predictions that the deal would have a “moderating influence” on Tehran, putting it on the path to entering the “community of nations,” for which no evidence exists; Mogherini’s contention that the deal has kept Iran’s nuclear program “in check and under close surveillance” is demonstrably unproven, and if Iran has its druthers, unprovable. While Mogherini cites the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) “nine reports that Iran is fully complying with the commitments made under the agreement,” she omits what the IAEA cannot or will not verify regarding compliance. As I noted prior to President Trump’s October 2017 decertification decision, the IAEA has admitted that it can’t inspect the military sites where Iran’s illicit nuclear activities would likely be carried out, and Iran has said that it won’t provide access to such sites.

Mogherini continues: “The European Union remains committed to support the full and effective implementation of the agreement, including to make sure that the lifting of nuclear related sanctions has a positive impact on trade and economic relations with Iran, including benefits for the Iranian people.” Perhaps Mogherini’s apparent dismissal of the recent protests in Iran represents a Freudian slip. According to Western media sources, the unrest centers on the economic grievances of the Iranian people (whom Mogherini claims to be championing) against a regime that has enriched itself while lavishing funds on its proxy forces abroad—with the fruits of the very sanctions relief that she and her EU counterparts are fighting so doggedly to maintain.
Col. Kemp (March 2015): Killing Americans and their Allies Iran’s Continuing War against the U.S. and the West
Preface

Iranian-supplied weapons have led to casualties across the Western alliance for Britain, Israel, and the United States. Tehran has used its weapons deliveries to fuel a number of regional insurgencies, like the Houthi revolt in Yemen.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps and its Hizbullah proxy serve as expeditionary forces for Iran throughout the Middle East, with the latter coordinating terror attacks and fundraising activities in Latin America, Africa and Asia.

State-of-the-art roadside bombs — Explosively Formed Penetrators (EFPs) — from Iran in particular were undoubtedly the most lethal Iranian weapon used against British and American forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. Thus the analysis that follows by two former British officers is of extreme importance to anyone concerned with halting the destabilization of the Middle East and the future security of the region. – Amb. Dore Gold

Executive Summary
  • Iranian military action, often working through proxies using terrorist tactics, has led to the deaths of well over a thousand American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan over the last decade and a half.
  • Throughout the course of the Iraq campaign, a variety of weapons flowed into the country through direct purchases by the government of Iran. These included Explosively Formed Penetrators (EFPs), a shaped charge designed to penetrate armor. These weapons – often camouflaged as rocks – were identical to those employed by Hizbullah against Israeli forces. In 2006, the British Telegraph revealed that three Iranian factories were “mass producing” the roadside EFP bombs used to kill soldiers in Iraq.
  • In 2007, American troops discovered over 100 Austrian-made Steyr HS50 .50 caliber sniper rifles in Iraq. These high-powered rifles, which fire Iranian bullets, can pierce all in-service body armor from up to a mile and penetrate U.S. armored Humvee troop carriers. The rifles were part of a larger shipment legally purchased from the Austrian manufacturer under the justification that they would be used by Iranian police to combat drug smugglers.
  • Iran paid Taliban fighters $1,000 for each U.S. soldier they killed in Afghanistan. The Sunday Times reported that a Taliban operative received $18,000 from an Iranian firm in Kabul as reward for an attack in 2010 that killed several Afghan government troops and destroyed an American armored vehicle.
  • Iranian President Rouhani’s so-called “moderation” was displayed when he appointed Brig.-Gen. Hossein Dehghan to be minister of defense. Dehghan played a key role in the October 1983 suicide bomb attacks in Beirut in which 241 U.S. Marines and 58 French paratroopers were killed. Meanwhile, inside Iran, Rouhani has presided over a rise in repression, including executions, torture of political prisoners, and persecution of minorities.
Netanyahu: World powers seeking to keep Iran nuclear deal alive should fix it
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday said that fixing the Iranian nuclear deal signed with the world powers in 2015 would increase the chances of it remaining in place, amid threats by US President Donald Trump to withdraw from the accord.

Speaking by phone with French President Emmanuel Macron, the Israeli prime minister said that “Trump’s remarks should be taken seriously, and whoever wants to keep the nuclear deal would be wise to fix it,” a statement from Netanyahu’s office read.

The call came a day after Trump demanded that European partners work with Washington to “fix the deal’s disastrous flaws, or the United States will withdraw.”

Netanyahu also told Macron the free world should “strongly condemn the five crimes of the Iranian regime,” listing “efforts to obtain nuclear weapons, developing ballistic missiles against UN Security Council resolutions, supporting terror, regional aggression,” and “the cruel repression of Iranian citizens.”

In the call with Netanyahu, Macron called for the “necessary respect” of the nuclear deal. A statement from the Elysee said Macron “remembers the importance of preserving the Iran nuclear deal and the necessary respect by all parties of their engagements regarding the accord.”

On Thursday, Macron told Trump that it was important for all signatories to respect the Iran nuclear agreement.
Russian FM says Russia will not support changes to Iran nuclear deal
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Monday stressed that Moscow would not back changes to the nuclear deal with Iran, after US President Donald Trump last week said Washington would withdraw from the accord this year unless its terms were changed.

“We will not support what the United States is trying to do, changing the wording of the agreement, incorporating things that will be absolutely unacceptable for Iran,” Lavrov said at a news conference, according to a translation by Reuters.

Lavrov repeatedly attacked the US at the press conference, accusing Washington of issuing ultimatums and failing to recognize “the reality of the emerging multipolar world.”

Lavrov said the past year had not been easy from a foreign policy perspective as he took questions on Syria, Ukraine, the Korean peninsula and other global issues, in a diplomatic roundup of 2017.
Viral Israeli-Palestinian Facebook star discovers he's 1% Jewish
Nuseir Yassin, better known online as Nas Daily, was born in Israel to a Muslim father and a Muslim mother. But he recently decided to do a DNA test to discover his genetic origins and found that he actually has 1% European Jewish ancestry!

“When I got my results, I was surprised,” he said in a video recorded in Shoham and posted Monday. “Specifically, 1% of my DNA comes from a European Jewish descent... a lot of people expect a Palestinian or Muslim to dislike Jews. But it’s practically impossible because I would be hating part of myself. And I love myself!”

Underneath the video, Yassin posted: “I know, I’m NOT Jewish. I was born 110% Muslim... but that 1%... that 1%... that says a lot!” His full results included 59% Middle Eastern DNA, 17% from the Caucasus and a mix from a variety of other places.

The 26-year-old native of Arrabe in the Lower Galilee has gained a serious following online after he quit his job in New York and began to travel the world, posting a one-minute video to Facebook each day – hence, the “daily” part of Nas Daily. He has close to four million followers online. And while he posts content from around the world, he spends plenty of time closer to home as well. Over the past few weeks, Yassin has shared many videos from around Israel and the West Bank, including a spotlight on the tax-free city of Eilat; the problems facing the shrinking Dead Sea; and the brand-new Palestinian city of Rawabi.

In October, he posted a video complaining how the boycott movement against Israel has prevented him, a Palestinian-Israeli, from flying from New York to India with Kuwait Airlines.

“Because I’m an Israeli, an entire airline is not allowed to take me on their plane, even if I’m not going to Kuwait,” he said in the video, saying such behavior was discriminatory and “should be illegal.”
New Austrian FM denies having compared Zionism with Nazism
Zionism cannot be equated with Nazism, Austria’s new foreign minister said, rejecting accusations that she had made such a comparison in the past.

In an in-depth interview with The Times of Israel, Karin Kneissl defended the far-right Freedom Party, saying neither its leader Heinz-Christian Strache nor its other members have anti-Semitic inclinations.

Kneissl, who was appointed by the Freedom Party but is not formally a member, also reaffirmed her government’s commitment to Israel’s security, and even appeared to support Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

At the same time, Kneissl, who spent many years in the Middle East and speaks fluent Hebrew and Arabic, said the new government of Chancellor Sebastian Kurz rejects the US administration’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. She also criticized Israeli settlement construction and called for “affirmative steps” to resume peace negotiations that must lead to the implementation of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“To insinuate any comparison between Nazism and Zionism is utter nonsense. I have never made any such comparison,” Kneissl told The Times of Israel.

“What I pointed out is the historical fact that Theodor Herzl was certainly inspired by the nationalist aspirations that swept through many European countries during the 19th century. You always have to see things in the historical context.”

When she was appointed in December, the 52-year-old Vienna native made headlines in Israel for having described early Zionism in one of her books as a “blood-and-soil ideology based on German nationalism.”
Lebanon bans Spielberg film and Israeli adventurer biopic
Lebanon’s intelligence agency has banned Steven Spielberg’s latest film, political thriller “The Post,” and Australian drama “Jungle” to comply with a boycott of Israel, an official told AFP Monday.

“Screening of the film ‘The Post’ has been banned,” said the official from Lebanon’s General Security authority, speaking on condition of anonymity.

In addition to controlling borders, Lebanon’s General Security is responsible for censorship of films, plays, and books.

Spielberg “is blacklisted by the Arab League’s boycott office, which Lebanon complies with,” the official explained.

The Hollywood giant was blacklisted by the Cairo-based pan-Arab body after he donated $1 million to Israel during the 2006 war between the Jewish state and Lebanon.

The two countries are still officially at war.

According to a Sunday report by The Hollywood Reporter, Lebanon’s censorship board blocked “The Post” days before it was due to open on January 18 in Beirut because the Jewish director filmed some scenes of his magnum opus “Schindler’s List” in Jerusalem.
Novelist Nicholas Blincoe's Bethlehem Fiction in National Geographic
In time for Christmas, National Geographic published an interview with novelist Nicholas Blincoe which contains numerous factual errors about the holy city and surrounding area ("The Little Town of Bethlehem Has a Surprising History," Dec. 23). A note at the bottom of the piece indicates that the interview "was edited for length and clarity." Apparently, though, no effort was made to edit for accuracy. Over the last several weeks, CAMERA's Israel office prompted correction of some of the errors, resulting in an appended clarification, but other falsehoods remain, and the ongoing editing introduced new inaccuracies.

Blincoe, author of "Bethlehem: Biography of a Town," fancies himself an Bethlehem expert — "facts about Bethlehem a speciality" he boasts on Twitter, and in Christianity Today he presumptuously called himself Bethlehem's "biographer" — but in reality facts about Bethlehem are the author's undoing.

First Israeli Settlement 'In Bethlehem'

Blincoe's hold on reality is just as tenuous when he initially claimed that the "first Israeli settlement in Bethlehem was built in 1967." First, there are no Israeli settlements "in Bethlehem." Second, the first Israeli settlement built in the West Bank after the 1967 Six Day War started with a hotel in Hebron, not in Bethlehem. Third, the first Israeli settlement built near (but not in) Bethlehem was Kfar Etzion, re-built in 1970, and not in 1967. Kfar Etzion was, of course, one of the Jewish communities which existed in the area prior to 1948, at which point Palestinian Arabs expelled all of its residents. As The New York Times reported on Jan. 15, 1948 (70 years ago, to the day): "The Jewish colony [sic] of Kfar Etzion, thirteen miles south of Jerusalem, was besieged tonight by Arabs after twenty-four hours of raids on traffic along the main highway to Jerusalem."

Blincoe initially claimed in his National Geographic interview that 22 settlements surround Bethlehem. In Christianity Today, on the other hand, he took the liberty to claim there are 41 settlements around Bethlehem. When CAMERA pointed out this discrepancy to National Geographic editors, as an indication of Blincoe's fast and free relationship with facts, they simply revised the passage to state that "Now there are 42 settlements surrounding the town."

No Tourists For 10 Years

Tourism in Bethlehem was another point that Blincoe, Bethlehem's self-declared biographer, completely blundered, and which editors did correct in response to communication from CAMERA. Blincoe had falsely claimed that after the Israeli incursion in 2002, "For ten years there were no tourists!"


Star Columnist Tony Burman Lies Claiming Harper Cut Relations with Iran at Israel’s Urging
Today in the Toronto Star’s print and online versions, columnist Tony Burman wrote the following egregious and unsubstantiated statement:
“For its part, Canada has made itself irrelevant in this process. In September 2012, at the urging of Israel, the government of Stephen Harper surprised everyone and broke off relations with Iran.“

While Mr. Burman is entitled to his own opinions, he’s not entitled to his own facts. There’s no evidence to support his claim that the Harper government broke off relations with Iran at Israel’s urging. In fact, at the time, then Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird proclaimed that Canada’s decision to cut diplomatic ties with Iran, brand it a state-sponsor of terror, and to close its embassy in Tehran was a “made-in-Ottawa decision” saying that Canada acted alone in this regard. Baird listed many reasons to explain what prompted Canada’s move against Iran: the safety of Canadian diplomats, Iran’s military assistance to Syria, its hateful antisemitic rhetoric, support for terror, deplorable human rights record, and its destructive pursuit of nuclear weapons.

In an interview with Burman’s former employer, the CBC on September 9, 2012, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: “I wasn’t in consultation with Prime Minister Harper before he chose to do this courageous act in the diplomatic field…” Netanyahu’s official statement described Canada as having made its own determinations, while his spokesperson described Canada’s actions as being “their own, independent decision.”
How Jewish fighters changed the course of WW2
This article in Haaretz describing the little-known exploits of a small band of Jewish resistance fighters, who paved the way for the Allied landing in Algiers in 1942 (Operation Torch), is a welcome effort to restore a much-neglected episode to the historical record. These fighters have been compared to the resisters of the Warsaw Ghetto. Unlike them, however, the Algerian resistance had a strategic impact on the course of the war. (With thanks: Lily)

In 1940, following the German occupation during World War II, Algeria became a protectorate of the Vichy government that collaborated with the Nazis. The Vichy regime abolished the Crémieux Decree, depriving Algeria’s Jews of citizenship and launching a harsh anti-Jewish campaign. Soon all Jewish students were expelled from the universities and public schools.

In 1941, the Jews were about 2 percent of the population but over 37 percent of medical students, 24 percent of law students, 16 percent of science students and 10 percent of arts students. At that time masses of Jews were dismissed from their positions as doctors, jurists, teachers and officials. They were left to the rage of those Algerians and French settlers who sought revenge after decades of envy and hostility.

Young Jews led by José Aboulker decided to react. Aboulker was from a wealthy educated family; his father, Dr. Henri Aboulker, was a successful physician and surgeon and taught at the University of Algiers. His mother, Berthe Bénichou-Aboulker, was a celebrated poet and playwright, one of the first women in Algeria to publish her own literary work.
#WeRemember Holocaust tribute campaign spreads to 45 countries
Ahead of International Holocaust Remembrance Day on Jan. 27, the World Jewish Congress has launched a global campaign encouraging millions of people to use social media to raise awareness about the Holocaust.

The campaign calls on people in every country to hold up a sign with the words "We Remember," and post it on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #WeRemember.

The campaign took off last Monday and has already spread to 45 countries.

"Anti-Semitism is more prevalent today than it has been at any time since World War II, and bigotry and discrimination still rear their ugly heads all around the world. This is why we all must declare, together, that we remember," said WJC CEO Robert Singer.

Holocaust survivors, MKs, government ministers, religious leaders from around the world, as well as soccer and basketball stars, have joined the project and been photographed holding up "We Remember" signs.
Israeli doctors successfully operate on Syrian refugee baby
Doctors in central Israel performed a successful operation on Sunday on a Syrian baby who had been flown to Israel from Cyprus three weeks ago for urgent medical treatment.

The baby is recovering and is said to be in stable condition.

The baby was only three days old when he arrived in Israel to undergo a procedure to correct a serious congenital heart defect. The treatment was made available after the Cypriot Health Ministry reached out to Israeli Ambassador to Cyprus Sammy Revel and requested that he help bring the baby to Israel.

The Foreign Ministry, along with defense and security officials and the Border Crossings Authority at Ben-Gurion International Airport, informed Interior Minister Arye Deri and secured the necessary permits to allow the baby and his father – a Syrian refugee living in Cyprus – into the country.
Jamiroquai to bring its brand of 'virtual insanity' to Israel
British band Jamiroquai has announced it will perform in Israel for the first time. The band is scheduled to perform on May 2 in Rishon Lezion's Live Park, coinciding with the Lag B'Omer holiday.

Led by Jay Kay, the band released its eighth studio album, "Automaton," a year ago, 25 years after releasing its first single, "When You Gonna Learn."

The band's international breakthrough came in 1996 with "Virtual Insanity," a single from its third album, "Traveling Without Moving."

The album also featured the hits "Alright" and "Cosmic Girl." Jamiroquai received much attention and critical acclaim around the world as a leading voice in the acid jazz and funk scenes of the 1990s.

The band won a Grammy Award in 1998 for "Virtual Insanity" and two MTV Music Awards for the song's music video. "Traveling Without Moving" currently holds the Guinness world record for most successful funk album of all time, with over 35 million copies sold.
Lebanese-Australian’s Story Has Some Things to Say About Israel
Lebanese-Australian Maria El-Hasrouny writes in a local Australian newspaper about how she came to Australia over 15 years ago.

It is an interesting story with a good ending, but it is some blink-and-you’ll-miss-it parts worth pointing out.

Fifteen and half years ago we were given an opportunity; we were granted a permanent visa to Australia.

We were among the lucky families who had a good reputable family member who signed off on our papers for our migrations.

We came from Lebanon.

My father was a soldier in the army in a territory which belonged to the Lebanese government but which was occupied by the Israeli army.

It was a conflict zone and we had to flee.

We had three choices: go back to Lebanon from which we’d fled, stay in Israel where we were recognised as refugees (being put up in provided hotels) or start the process to migrate to Australia where my uncle and his family were living.

Back in Lebanon we faced being beheaded or being jailed.

In 2002 after two long years we were accepted by Australia and in July that year we stepped foot into this wonderful country.


Besides being a reminder of the barbarity of our neighbors, this also shows how Israel took in Lebanese refugees associated with the pro-Israel South Lebanon Army, in a display of gratitude (even though the SLA believed Israel betrayed them by pulling out of Lebanon in 2000).



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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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