Thursday, February 15, 2018

From Ian:

NGO Monitor: Factually Inaccurate and Legally Flawed: HRW’s 2017 Report
I. INTRODUCTION

Human Rights Watch (HRW) is a powerful NGO, with a massive budget, close links to Western governments, and significant influence in international institutions. Its publications reflect the absence of professional standards, research methodologies, and military and legal expertise, as well as a deep-seated ideological bias against Israel.

HRW’s review of “Israel and Palestine: Events of 2017” (a chapter in HRW’s 2017 annual report), reflects these same methodological flaws, resulting in a highly skewed representation of Israeli domestic and international law.

The following systematically analyzes the various claims made by HRW in its report. The factual and legal arguments presented demonstrate that NGO is not advocating for universal human rights, but is instead focused on delegitimizing Israel.

VI. SECURITY CONCERNS
Claim
“Tensions around the Al-Aqsa/Temple Mount compound in July-August 2017 triggered an escalation in violence. Israeli security forces used lethal force against demonstrators and against suspected attackers in the West Bank and at the Gaza border.”

NGO Monitor Analysis
Shamelessly, HRW fails to note that the “tensions around the Al-Aqsa/Temple Mount compound” were sparked by a terrorist attack on the Temple Mount – in which three Palestinian terrorists shot and killed two Israeli police officers. The ensuing “tensions” were a direct result of incitement by the PA, Hamas, and other terrorist organizations. For instance, following the terror attack, on its official Facebook page, Fatah glorified the terrorists, stating that “We must guard the flowers of the Martyrs (quote from poem by Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish -Ed.) And we must live as we wish.”
Claim

“Israel maintained onerous restrictions on the movement of Palestinians in the West Bank, including checkpoints and the separation barrier, a combination of wall and fence in the West Bank that Israel said it built for security reasons.”
NGO Monitor Analysis

HRW’s statement minimizes and questions Israel’s security concerns. Doing so is a typical component of HRW’s reporting on Israel, which routinely erases Palestinian incitement and terror attacks (see example above). HRW’s practice may also stem from the fact that several of the Palestinian NGO with which it consults are linked to the PFLP terrorist organization. HRW negates the fact that the security fence and checkpoints were established in response to a wave of suicide bombings and shooting attacks that took the lives of thousands of Israelis and Palestinians in the early 2000s. The subsequent reduction in the number of terror attacks is testament to the effectiveness of these measures.
Hamas newspaper publishes interview on 'human rights'
The Felesteen newspaper, which is affiliated with the Hamas terrorist organization, on Wednesday published an interview with Omar Shaker, director of the Palestine and Israel department of Human Rights Watch.

Felesteen regularly publishes content that supports actions of “Palestinian resistance” which are defined by Israel, the United States and the European Union as acts of terrorism, including stabbings, ramming and suicide attacks, and calls for the destruction of the State of Israel.

Hamas is blacklisted by the West as a terrorist organization.

Shaker noted in the interview that under international law, “settlements in the West Bank” are “not only violations (of international law) but war crimes." He called for an end to the “settlement”, "collective punishment" such as imposing a closure on towns and villages, setting up roadblocks and demolishing houses.

"In essence, the settlers live on Palestinian land," he charged.

Israel’s blockade on Gaza has nothing to do with Israel's security, Shaker claimed, but rather stems from political considerations, since Israel "wants to topple the Hamas regime in Gaza."

"Israel controls the borders and the sea and the air, meaning it is responsible for almost everything in Gaza, entry and exit of people, and the entry and exit of goods. Israel prevents exit from Gaza except in exceptional cases," he said.


Does aid do more harm than good?
What a scandal for our times. Oxfam, that upholder of modern-day virtue, unassailable in its righteousness, buried for seven years that its aid workers exploited young girls. The men abused their power to have sex with desperate victims of the Haiti earthquake — the very people they were supposed to protect.

Michelle Russell of the Charity Commission is clear about the deception. ‘We were categorically told by Oxfam; there were no allegations of abuse of beneficiaries. We are very angry and cross about this.’

Nor was this a one-off. Helen Evans, the charity’s global head of safeguarding, begged senior staff, ministers and the Department for International Development to act. She had uncovered sexual abuse allegations both abroad — three in one day — and in Oxfam’s charity shops. Nothing was done.

This is the same Oxfam that recently blamed capitalism for world poverty and set up deck chairs in Trafalgar square to protest against corruption and tax havens. Now the virtue signallers are hoisted on the shard of their own fallibility. Compared with the emerging sins of our aid agencies, tax havens look almost benign.

Sadly Oxfam is not alone. Andrew Macleod, former chief operator of the UN Emerging Coordination Centre, contends paedophiles and ‘-predatory’ sex abusers use the halo of charity work to get close to desperate women and children. ‘You have the impunity to do whatever you want. It is endemic across the aid industry and across the world.’ He warns the infiltration of the aid industry by paedophiles is on the scale of the Catholic church — if not bigger. The difficult truth is that ‘child rape crimes are being inadvertently funded in part by the United Kingdom taxpayer’.
Oxfam sex abuser of underage relief victims briefed Mia Farrow in Chad





Netflix making show about murdered Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman
Netflix began production in Buenos Aires of a miniseries about the late AMIA Jewish center bombing prosecutor Alberto Nisman.

The British director Justin Webster will prepare four to six episodes about the life and shooting death of Nisman, who investigated the 1994 attack on the Buenos Aires center that killed 85 and wounded 300. Two months ago, the case was officially classified as a murder by an Argentine judge.

The online streaming platform is creating the miniseries in association with JWP, a Catalonian company specializing in crafting narrative documentaries and series.

JWP producers want to interview Nisman’s relatives and those who were at the scene when Nisman’s dead body was found in his apartment on January 18, 2015. They include former Argentine national security secretary Sergio Berni; prosecutor Viviana Fein, who investigated the case in the initial stage; and Nisman’s security guards.

Nisman’s daughters, Iara and Kala, have already been interviewed, according to the Spanish-language showbiz news website Exitoina.

Nisman had accused Iran of sponsoring the AMIA attack and declared unconstitutional his country’s memorandum of understanding with Iran to hold a joint investigation. His body was found hours before he was to present evidence to Argentine lawmakers that President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner covered up Iran’s role in the attack.
Now, More than Ever, Holocaust Memory Matters
Yes. That’s the answer to a question posed by the headline of Shmuel Rosner’s latest piece in the New York Times. Yes: Israeli students need to visit Auschwitz. All Jewish students should. Plenty of non-Jews, too.

Rosner disagrees. His piece, pegged to the news of Poland’s decision to “outlaw claims of Polish complicity in the Holocaust,” misguidedly argues that trips in which Israeli students visit the Polish death camps should end because “they contribute to a misperception by many Jews that remembering the Holocaust is the main feature of Judaism,” and because “they perpetuate the myth that Israel itself is born only of the ashes of Europe.”

Rosner goes on to cite a Pew study which found that “73 percent of American Jews believe ‘remembering the Holocaust’ is essential to being Jewish.” Rosner may mourn this statistic, but memory, in general, is a key part of Judaism. It’s also not entirely clear to me why anyone would consider it problematic for a people to prioritize the commemoration of the worst period in the entire history of their peoplehood. Maybe Rosner would also object to celebrating Passover, a holiday all about memory and remembrance.

If Rosner is truly concerned that Israeli students will exit Auschwitz with the belief that “Israel itself is born only of the ashes of Europe,” he should focus on improving the Israeli education system. I, for one, do not believe for a moment that students educated about the history of their own country would leave Poland with this assumption. If they did, it means their schooling needs to be improved, not that these trips need to be canceled.
JPost Editorial: Polish ethics
The Poles just can’t seem to stop offending Jews. Last month, Polish lawmakers passed a law that seeks to whitewash Poles’ involvement in the Naziled destruction of more than three million Polish Jews during World War II. They did it just days before International Holocaust Remembrance Day, compounding the emotional impact of the move.

Now the Poles are at it again.

The Polish parliament is preparing to vote on a bill that seeks to limit the export of kosher meat and which could also make the performance of kosher slaughter difficult, if not impossible, according to the European Jewish Association.

This is not the first time the Poles have targeted shechita or kosher slaughtering methods. The practice was banned by lawmakers in 2013 but a High Court ruling overruled that ban in 2014 because it unlawfully limited religious freedom.

But the Poles just can’t seem to let well alone. The latest Polish legislative move follows a familiar pattern that has been played out across Europe over the past decade or so. Both ritual slaughter and circumcision have come under attack for a variety of reasons.
Polish government insists Poles and Jews suffered Nazism ‘together’
The Polish government has taken to YouTube to try to persuade the world that its countrymen were equally victimized by the Nazis as its Jewish citizens.

A video clip, entitled “Germany put Poland through Hell on Earth,” combines dramatic images and menacing music with the text, “Jews and Poles suffered its terrors together.”

The text continues, “We did much to save Jews — as a state, as citizens, as friends…Today, we are still on the side of truth.”

Produced for the Polish Prime Minister’s Office, it has already been viewed 9,242,590 times.

The move is part of a Polish charm offensive, some say attempt to recolor history, after Polish President Andrzej Duda’s controversial decision on February 6 — in the face of protests from Israel, the US, and the Jewish world — to sign into law a controversial proposal seeking to make it a criminal offense to blame Poland as a nation for Holocaust crimes committed by Nazi Germany.
Israeli Major Avichay Adraee Goes Head to Head with Hezbollah, on Facebook, in Arabic
Last summer, members of Hezbollah developed the habit of tweeting greetings from their posts in Syria to loved ones back in Lebanon. One combatant, his face unseen in the photo, thought it funny to address Israeli army spokesman Maj. Avichay Adraee directly by holding up a cardboard sign: “We are practicing on the Nusra Front in preparation to occupy the Galilee.”

“I thought: ‘This is nice. Should I let it be, or try something we’ve never done before: Engage the enemy himself?’ ” recalled Adraee, Israel’s iconic spokesman to Arabic-language media.

Adraee retorted on Facebook, bashing Hezbollah for attacking a field hospital that treats Syrian refugees in the Arsal region, near the border with Lebanon.

“My response, I thought, left us even,” Adraee said. “But the following day another fighter from [Hezbollah’s] Radwan Force appeared, in full fatigue, with a similar sign reading ‘When we finish with the takfiris’ ”—a pejorative term for Islamist Sunni fighters—“ ‘we’ll come for you.’ ”

At this point, Adraee and his team decided to up the ante. IDF intelligence provided him with photos of undercover Hezbollah agents positioned along the border with Israel. Adraee promptly published the images among the Syrian population, adding a warning that “these are Hezbollah men endangering you.”

The virtual back and forth between the enemy fighters and the spokesman continued up until a major IDF drill in September, known as “the Light of the Grain,” simulating an all-out war with Hezbollah. Standing on the Israeli-Lebanese border, Adraee decided to write his own cardboard message in Arabic, reading: “If you dare, we’ll surprise you.” Not two hours had passed before Hezbollah’s official accounts responded with “If you dare, we will annihilate you.” Hezbollah supporters online photoshopped Adraee’s sign to include hateful messages. Debates erupted on Lebanese TV.

For Adraee, the entire episode was much more than a social-media squabble with the enemy across the border.
When Yasir Arafat Almost Came to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum
In 1998, the lay chairman of the Holocaust Memorial Council—which supervises the Washington, DC Holocaust Museum—invited Yasir Arafat to pay the museum an official visit. Walter Reich, then the museum’s director, objected strenuously to the invitation. In an interview with Rafael Medoff, he describes what happened:

I [said] that it was a bad idea—that the museum must be protected from the political or diplomatic use to which it was vulnerable as a federal institution. Many Americans, especially in the Jewish community, distrusted Arafat’s intentions, as did Israelis. Such a visit would be orchestrated by the State Department and the White House to convince the American public, as well as Israelis, that Arafat could be trusted because he wanted to feel the pain of the Jews.

The museum, I said, mustn’t allow itself to become a prop for a politically motivated photo-op. Besides, I added, what if he were to emerge from the museum saying to the press, as he’d often said before, that the Israelis were doing to the Palestinians exactly what the Nazis had done to the Jews? . . .

The night before [Arafat] was supposed to visit, the Monica Lewinsky story broke. The reporters and photographers went to the White House to cover that historic news. There would be no photo-op at the Holocaust Museum. Arafat’s delegation called the museum to say that he wouldn’t be coming. So much for Arafat’s desire to be educated about the Holocaust. Many years later, Aaron David Miller of the State Department, who was also a council member and . . . had [initially] suggested the visit, . . . wrote an article in which he conceded that his idea of inviting Arafat was “one of the dumbest ideas in the annals of U.S foreign policy.”

Today, the museum’s quick retraction of its recent study arguing that U.S. intervention in Syria wouldn’t have helped [defeat Bashar Assad] may have been a result, partly, of the fact that it had been burned by the attempt to use it for political purposes during the Arafat affair. Critics of the Syria study argued that its goal was to justify President Obama’s decision not to intervene in the Syria crisis; they noted that Obama had appointed members of his national-security team to the museum’s council and that a former member of Obama’s National Security Council was the director of the unit that commissioned the study.
A Primer on Sut Jhally’s Shameless Propaganda
Sut Jhally, a professor of Communications at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, cannot reconcile himself with one simple fact: A significant number of people in the United States do not share his understanding of the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Jhally sympathizes with the Palestinians, but the American people sympathize with the Israelis – by about a two-to-one margin.

Jhally does take some comfort in the fact that young people are more likely to be supportive of the Palestinians than the rest of American society, but he nevertheless wants public opinion in the U.S. to be more supportive of their cause. Ostensibly, his goal is to lay the groundwork for a change in American policy in the Middle East by convincing the American people that Israel is not worthy of their sympathy.

To explain why Americans have accorded Israel such unwarranted sympathy, Jhally has concluded that Israel and its supporters in the U.S. have lied to the American people and have fooled them into supporting the Jewish state despite the evil things it has done over the years.

Dishonest and manipulative propaganda, Jhally asserts, has been spread by pro-Israel activists, who have used their money, marketing techniques, appeals to the Holocaust and concern over antisemitism to cajole and bully Americans into believing that Hamas seeks to destroy Israel and will not “change,” that Israel wants peace, and that Palestinian terrorism is a real obstacle to peace in the Holy Land.

For Jhally, these things aren't true. By his lights, the continued existence of the Israel-Palestinian conflict is the result of Israel's refusal to withdraw from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip (which in Jhally's mind is still “occupied” despite the 2005 withdrawal). In Jhally's narrative, Israel is not merely “defending itself” when it attacks Hamas, but is instead oppressing the Palestinians who themselves are merely exercising their lawful right to resist an illegal occupation.

The failure of millions of American's to accept Jhally's interpretation of the conflict is the result of what he calls “Israel's occupation of the American mind,” the goal of which, he says, is “to make sure that Americans think in very specific and narrow ways about the conflict.”
Jewish Orgs Denounce University of British Columbia Student Clubs for Promoting Conspiracy Theories About Jews
Two clubs at Canada's University of British Columbia have been denounced as promoting the "kinds of racist conspiracy theories that helped inspire the Holocaust" after posting on social media a list of 140 "Zionist crimes."

Colour Connected Against Racism UBC and Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights – UBC have been sharply condemned by a coalition of on-campus Jewish organizations for linking this week on their official Facebook pages to an article accusing Jews, Zionists, and Israel of orchestrating 9/11 and mass war, and "Jewish Big Money" of controlling American politics.

Leveraging the rhetoric of #MeToo, the article excoriated the "Western hypocrisy" of American politicians supporting "the criminal and genocidal Zionist colonial enterprise and a nuclear terrorist Apartheid Israel," while denouncing "non-deadly and non-illegal inappropriate behaviour to women."

Titled "Palestinian Me Too: 140 Alphabetically-listed Zionist Crimes Expose Appalling Western Complicity & Hypocrisy," the piece was published on an India-based conspiracy website called Counter Currents, and written by a Dr. Gideon Polya, who footnoted to his own pieces on the topic of Zionist-supported state terrorism.

Polya is a biological scientist who at one time worked at Australia's La Trobe University, according to his LinkedIn profile.
Concerns raised over nomination of BDS for Nobel
The Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies (FSWC) on Tuesday sent a letter to Norway’s Ambassador to Canada in which it expressed concern over a Norwegian lawmaker’s nomination of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement for a Nobel Peace Prize.

“Over the weekend it was disturbing to see reports that Norwegian MP Bjornar Moxnes nominated the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel for a Nobel Peace Prize. It is important to understand that this movement, at its core, is anti-Semitic and is indeed an impediment to peace,” wrote FSWC President and CEO Avi Benlolo to the ambassador, Anne Kari Hansen Ovind.

“Boycott campaigns singling out Israel are inherently anti-Semitic and discriminatory by focusing only on goods produced by Jewish-owned companies while negatively impacting the empowerment of local residents, including Palestinians, regardless of their ethnic or religious backgrounds,” Benlolo pointed out. “According to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, of which both Norway and Canada are members, this double standard applied to Israel is a form of anti-Semitism.”

“As the Canadian Government condemned the BDS movement through a parliamentary motion in 2016, it is important that Norwegian officials strongly condemn Mr. Moxnes’ actions, and recognize that the BDS movement for what it is, a hateful and anti-Semitic movement used as a tool to attempt to delegitimize the Jewish State of Israel,” he concluded.

Moxnes last week defended his nomination and denied in an interview with the Middle East Eye website that the BDS movement is anti-Semitic.
The New Front in the BDS Wars? Airline Food
The defining feature of modern politics is stupidity. This is an unassailable fact.

It’s not that people are stupider. It’s just that the primary means by which most people experience politics—social media—is stunningly effective at rapidly transmitting the most thoughtless, facile ideas, “controversies,” and punditry to billions of people.

So stupidity abounds. Sean Hannity’s fans smash Keurig machines, sanctimonious broadcasters who were supposedly aghast at half-truths give breathless coverage to Fire and Fury, and we have to seriously debate the semiotics of a cartoon frog that Nazis like.

The BDS movement provides an especially fertile ground for stupidity. I think it is obvious by now that the odds of a program that seeks to economically isolate Israel, an ascendant economic power with strong relationships with world superpowers, cannot succeed. So then the point becomes a game of embarrassment between BDS supporters and its opponents, where the battleground moves to culture wars. The Lorde debacle was one thing. This new skirmish, though, this time with Virgin Atlantic, may take the cake.

Until recently, Virgin Atlantic listed a Palestinian couscous salad on its in-flight menu. “A duo of couscous,” the description reads, “with tomato and cucumber, drizzled with a lemon, mint, and parsley dressing. A salad inspired by the flavours of Palestine.” Sounds delicious. Couscous is a staple of multiple Middle Eastern cuisines, Palestinian among them.
Northeastern University Students Overwhelmingly Reject Anti-Israel Divestment Referendum
The student government at Northeastern University (NU) in Massachusetts overwhelmingly voted on Monday against holding a divestment referendum targeting Israel, which was accused of employing biased language.

The rejected proposal, submitted by the anti-Zionist group Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), urged NU to boycott Hewlett-Packard companies over the “central role” their technologies play “in the Israeli occupation of Palestine,” as well as “the mass deportation of immigrants from the US by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.”

SJP said prior to the vote that it hoped to “start a conversation about Northeastern’s financial ties to the oppression of immigrants in the US, and of Palestinians in Palestine and Israel.”

The Student Government Association (SGA) rejected the measure with a vote of 47 against and seven in favor, with 12 abstaining.

According to the student representatives, SJP’s proposal lacked a “fairness of wording” and did not adhere to university policy.

In a petition circulated before the vote, the Zionist campus group Huskies For Israel argued that SJP’s bid was part of the larger boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israelis, “which is known to deepen divisions between students and lead to antisemitism on campus.”

“HP employs Palestinians and is helping to grow the IT industry in the West Bank,” the petition read. “This is just one example of how this referendum would harm both Israelis and Palestinians.”

The group celebrated on Monday night, saying the “biased BDS referendum” was struck down “in one of the highest margins of victory on any campus.”
Federal Judge Strikes CAIR-Hamas Reference From San Diego Lawsuit
On Monday, a Federal judge partially granted a motion by San Diego’s Unified School District (SDUSD) to strike references to the Council on American Islamic Relations’ (CAIR) ties to Hamas from a lawsuit that seeks to block the school system from working with CAIR.

The Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund (FCDF) claims that the school district violated the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause, the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, and California state law by enacting a CAIR supported anti-Islamophobia/anti-bullying program last spring.

Yet the FCDF’s decision to discuss CAIR’s Hamas ties was “impertinent, immaterial, and scandalous,” school district officials claimed in December. Including references to CAIR’s Hamas connection — and the fact that some of its officials have been convicted on terrorism charges — was intended to “inflame the public,” according to school officials.

But court evidence from a terror-financing trial shows that CAIR was formed by Muslim Brotherhood officials to serve a Hamas-support network operating in the United States during the 1990s. The FBI cut off non-investigative contact with CAIR in 2008, explaining, “Until we can resolve whether there continues to be a connection between CAIR or its executives and Hamas, the FBI does not view CAIR as an appropriate liaison partner.”

That policy remains in effect.
Muslim Malaysia rejects criticism over Israeli visit
Malaysia on Thursday defended the decision to allow a high-level Israeli delegation to attend a UN conference in Kuala Lumpur after the move sparked widespread anger in the Muslim-majority country.

Foreign Minister Anifah Aman said Malaysia, as host of last week’s international forum on urban development, had no choice but to allow all UN member states to take part.

Malaysia has no formal diplomatic ties with Israel and many in the country support the Palestinian cause, with thousands taking to the streets in December to protest when US President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as the Jewish state’s capital.

The Israeli delegation at the conference was led by David Roet, who used to be Israel’s deputy ambassador to the UN, and included other senior foreign ministry officials and a former minister, the Times of Israel reported.

Roet posted pictures of himself on Twitter at various locations around Kuala Lumpur and next to a Malaysian flag.
Ex-heads of NY’s Queens Museum ‘misled board’ over Israel blunder — report
The former director and deputy director of New York’s Queens Museum “knowingly misled the board” after they canceled an Israeli government-sponsored event last year and then, facing accusations of discrimination, reinstated it, an independent probe found.

The two have since left their positions.

The former director, Laura Raicovich, immediately hit back, telling the art market website artnet on Thursday, “I did not mislead the board.”

The event was organized by Israel’s mission to the United Nations to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the UN vote in 1947 to partition Palestine and establish a Jewish state in one part of it.

The General Assembly made that decision in the building that now houses the art museum.

Originally scheduled for June, the event took place in November, still with Vice President Mike Pence as its star guest.

The museum board’s independent investigation, carried out pro bono by law firm Katten Muchin Rosenman, found that the institution’s “president and executive director, Laura Raicovich, and deputy director, David Strauss, exercised poor judgment” and “knowingly misled the board, and otherwise failed to comport themselves with the standards consistent with their positions.”
Michael Lumish: This Week on Nothing Left
This week Michael Burd and Alan Freedman feature Mordechai Kedar, one of the stellar commentators on the Arab and Muslim world, and then hear from Israeli political media commentator Michael Tuchfeld.

Carli Dvash, the events manager for the UIA joins us to talk about their upcoming annual appeal and the guests they have invited, and Isi Leibler is controversial as always.

3 min Editorial: ADC focus on anti-Semitism in Australia
9 min Mordechai Kedar, Israeli scholar on Arab & Muslim world
31 min Michael Tuchfeld, Israeli media political commentator
51 min Carli Dvash, UIA events manager
1 hr 31 min Isi Leibler in Jerusalem
UKMW prompts correction to Indy article on Iranian drone incident which omitted…the DRONE
“It all started when Israel fired back”, some cheekily say in briefly characterising the media’s distorted framing of conflicts between Israel and its regional foes, such that, when terror groups in Gaza fire rockets into Israel, reports only are published following the Israeli response. Further, the headline typically leads with something like “Israel launches attack…”, delegating the initial Gaza rocket which started the exchange to either the strap line or somewhere in the opening paragraphs.

To boot, headlines accompanying UK media reports about hostilities in the north over the weekend tended to emphasize Israel’s military response to the Iranian drone’s penetration of Israeli air space, rather than the Iranian drone’s penetration itself. Often, in these initial reports on Sunday and Monday, the drone wasn’t introduced to readers until the text, and sometimes quite a few paragraphs down. (UK Media Watch prompted a correction to one Indy article which erroneously claimed that the Iranian drone was shot down over Syria.)

However, a recent report in the Indy went a step further, omitting the drone altogether in both the headline and the text. Here’s our tweet to Indy correspondent Bethan McKernan in response to her article (Israel vows to continue military campaign in Syria despite warnings another incident could lead to regional conflict, Feb. 14).
The BBC ME editor’s response to criticism of his recent reporting
Israel did not of course ‘claim’ that Bowen and his crew “were terrorists”. As the IDF’s investigation into the incident at the time showed:
“…in the early morning hours of that day an intelligence alert was passed to the tank crew regarding the possibility of the firing of rockets by terrorists at IDF tanks and armoured vehicles. The tank crew identified a vehicle and in it people in civilian clothing and suspected that they were a terror cell with equipment to fire anti-tank missiles. In line with the protocol the tank crew passed on the information to the appropriate bodies and was given permission to open fire. Later, said the IDF spokesperson, it transpired that a tragic mistake had been made and that a BBC film crew had been mistakenly identified as a terrorist cell.”

The interview included questions from listeners and later on (at 01:51:58) Caroline Barker read one of them.
Barker: “…Jeff says ‘how hard is it to stay impartial in your reporting after you’ve seen your friend killed?'”

Allen: “And of course you’ve had accusations, haven’t you? Plenty of accusations from the Israelis.”

Bowen: “Well the last few weeks, after a story – the most recent story I did over there which was about a young woman who’s been accused of all sorts of things and is in prison awaiting trial after she slapped a soldier. Ahm…so yeah; I’m very used to that. Actually I think it’s remarkably easy.”


The “recent story” to which Bowen refers is of course that told in his filmed and audio reports concerning Ahed Tamimi (see ‘related articles’ below) in which he concealed an actual charge of incitement against her while disingenuously leading BBC audiences to believe that Israel is charging her with terrorism offences because of “a slap”.

And yet, Mr Bowen still claims that keeping to professed BBC standards of impartiality is, for him, “remarkably easy”.
CAMERA unveils “Times Line” — Exposing biased NY Times coverage against Israel
Conclusion

The New York Times—both in its print and online versions—are read and relied upon by millions of opinion-leaders in America and across the planet. Dubbed the ‘newspaper of record’, the Times sets the topics and the tone for many other media outlets on the left, especially in terms of what is deemed newsworthy and how stories are framed.

So the appalling pattern of bias in its presentation of the complex Israeli-Palestinian conflict really matters. It at least partly explains why so many people on the left are so hostile to Israel.

Bottom line: The New York Times is right: the truth is indeed hard. At least when it comes to Israel and the Middle East, the newspaper will have to try harder to convince readers that they can rely on its pages to convey it fully and fairly.

[Featured Image: CAMERA billboard across from NY Times headquarters, full image here.]

Miriam F. Elman is an Associate Professor of Political Science and the Inaugural Robert D. McClure Professor of Teaching Excellence at the Maxwell School of Citizenship & Public Affairs, Syracuse University. She is the editor of five books and the author of over 65 journal articles, book chapters, and government reports on topics related to international and national security, religion and politics, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. She also frequently speaks and writes on the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) anti-Israel movement.
2018 started with 30% more online antisemitism than 2016, report finds
The use of antisemitic symbols and posts denying the Holocaust increased dramatically in January 2018 compared to the same period in 2016, the World Jewish Congress (WJC) found in a study published on Wednesday.

Key findings of the report indicate that 30 percent more posts using antisemitic symbols were recorded during this time frame, along with twice the number of content denying the Holocaust.

The WJC produced the report ‘Anti-Semitic Symbols and Holocaust Denial in Social Media Posts: January 2018’ in collaboration with Vigo Social Intelligence, as a follow-up to its comprehensive initial study on the scale and impact of online antisemitism released in 2016.

The secondary study covered the period of January 1-24 this year, examining areas specifically related to Holocaust denial, in the lead up to International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27 and coinciding with the World Jewish Congress’ 2018 We Remember campaign to raise awareness about the Holocaust.

Two categories of antisemitism were tracked. The first category neo-Nazi and antisemitic symbols comprised the use of neo-Nazi and antisemitic symbols including texts, logos, pictures, or symbols referring to the Holocaust that were gratuitous in nature and not used for legitimate historical or documentary purposes. The second category, Holocaust denial, comprised posts claiming the Holocaust or related events did not happen, or that they were exaggerated in scope or severity.
MEMRI: 'Forty Diseases Of The Jews' – Pakistan Army-Backed Jihadi Commander Maulana Masood Azhar's Book Says: 'Jews Are The Cancer Seeping Into All Of Humanity'
This is a book review of Yehud Ki Chalees Bimariyan ("Forty Diseases Of The Jews"), authored by Maulana Masood Azhar, the emir of Pakistani jihadi organization Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM), and published by Maktaba Hasan, a publishing house based in Pakistan. Maulana Masood Azhar is one of the three jihadi terrorists freed by India in exchange for the passengers of an Indian plane hijacked to Kandahar in December 1999, when the Taliban were in power in Afghanistan. The book was written in 1999 in the Kot Bhalwal jail in Jammu and Kashmir where Maulana Masood Azhar was imprisoned by India along with other terrorists.

It must be mentioned that at the Kot Bhalwal prison, Indian officials facilitated the provision of numerous books for the militants. In the writing of this book, the terrorist commander Masood Azhar notes that he was able to receive numerous reference books he requested from Pakistan through his lawyer. In the Introduction, Masood Azhar also notes that some like-minded Kashmiri militants who were being transferred from Kot Bhalwal to some other prison also handed over their books to him, leading to the accumulation of 250 books. This was not the total number of books in the entire prison, but only of those in Azhar's own library in his own ward at Kot Bhalwal.

The Urdu-language book is sold by Jaish-e-Muhammad in Pakistan and is available for free download from the organization's various websites. The cover page carries a Koranic verse (2:120) in Arabic with the Urdu translation: "And the Jews will never be happy with you, nor will be the Christians until you follow their religion." This verse is repeated on the next page along with another verse (5:51): "O believers, do not befriend the Jews and Christians. They are friends between themselves..." This book might be the most antisemitic book available in the Urdu language.
Comment: Jeremy Corbyn is calling out antisemitism in football, but not on his own team
At a “Show Racism the Red Card” event last week, the Leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, called on Tottenham Hotspur fans to stop chanting their traditional “Yid Army” chant, saying that it racialises footballing divides and stokes antisemitism.

Tottenham Hotspur has a longstanding, historic association with its local Jewish community and has been labelled as a “Jewish team” with players and fans often facing antisemitic abuse from opposition fans. Spurs fans began to calls themselves “Yid” in response to abuse shouted by Moseley supporters at matches, as a means of reclaiming the word and showing solidarity with Jewish fans.

The “Yid Army” chant has been the source of much controversy over the years, with activists, celebrities and organisations dedicated to combating hate crime, calling for Tottenham fans to make a change and address its impact, saying that it racialises already tribal divisions and fuels antisemitism. Comedian David Baddiel and his brother Ivor have campaigned against the term for years, gaining widespread support. Mr Baddiel collaborated with Kick it Out, the charity dedicated to fighting racism in football, to campaign for the term “Yid” to be recognised as a racist slur similar to other offensive terms no longer widely used in football stands.

Meanwhile, Tottenham fans have argued that by taking ownership of the term they have successfully neutralised it as a racist term, reducing its impact and taking pride in what they consider to be the defence of their fellow fans who are Jewish. Over the years, Tottenham fans have vociferously defended their right to make use of the term, taking pride in the title despite being largely, a non-Jewish fanbase.
Latvia purchases Rafael's Spike missile systems
The Latvian Defense Ministry signed a contract this week to receive the Spike missile system developed by Rafael.

The missiles will be manufactured and supplied by Eurospec in collaboration with Rafael, Diehl, and Rheinmetall.

The Spike missiles, widely used by the IDF and many armies around the world, are precision guided missiles that can be launched from a variety of ground, land, air, and naval platforms for ranges of up to 30 kilometers.

To date, Rafael has sold more than 29,000 "Gil" variety missiles to 29 countries. Rafael recently won a contract to manufacture and supply 1,000 Gil-2 missiles for the IDF.
In Calcutta, tens of thousands at pro-Israel rally by far-right Hindu movement
Holding pro-Israel banners aloft, some 70,000 people assembled in the center of Calcutta on Wednesday to mark the tenth anniversary of the founding of the far-right, anti-Muslim Hindu Samhati nationalist movement.

The rally, which organizers are claiming is the “largest pro-Israel rally in history,” eclipses a similar demonstration held in 2014, which saw a reported crowd of 20,000.

Wednesday’s rally included speeches by nationalist figures such as Maj. Gen. Gagandeep Bakshi, a decorated career soldier expert in counter-terrorism, from a stage in the heart of one of the poorest areas of India. The event culminated in a celebratory presentation to the crowd of a family of 14 former Muslims who converted to Hinduism.

Banner slogans included, “Jerusalem: Eternal Capital of Israel,” “India-Israel: Ancient Cultures, Modern Miracles,” and the inclusive “India-Israel Represents Honoring Women’s rights, Freedom of Speech, Respect for Human Rights, Liberty and Equality for All, Democracy.”

According to a press release, Hindu Samhati founder Tapan Ghosh passed a resolution “by voice vote” urging the Indian government to move its embassy to Jerusalem. Ghosh told the large Hindu nationalist crowd, “Moving our embassy to Jerusalem will honor Israel’s long-standing commitment to peace and strengthen the bond between our two ancient peoples.”
Now you can count your chickens before they hatch, instead of culling them
Each year more than seven billion fluffy little yellow chicks worldwide are tossed into a grinder or gassed to death less than 24 hours after hatching because they are of no use to egg producers.

Now, an Israeli startup, eggXYt, has developed technology that can detect their gender before hatching, saving the egg industry nearly $2 billion per year and eliminating the senseless killing.

“These birds will be hatched to their death. This a man-made problem which started hundreds of years ago when humans started selecting eggs for consumption,” says Yehuda Elram, co-founder and CEO of eggXYt.

The killing of male chicks, known as chick culling, is standard practice in all industrialized hatcheries and has haunted animal rights organizations and egg producers for many years, said Elram.

Farmers have been artificially boosting the growth of two kinds of chickens, the so-called “broilers” and “layers.” The broilers are chickens that can grow to 2.5 kilos (5.5 pounds) and are meant to be consumed as meat because of their size. Layer chickens grow to only 400 grams (1 pound), and female layers produce 100 more eggs each year than do broilers.
Court rules Eritrean draft dodgers eligible for asylum in Israel
An Israeli appeals court on Monday ruled that Eritreans who deserted military service in their home country and came to Israel have grounds to be considered asylum seekers.

The decision could affect thousands of Eritreans who are facing deportation under a new Israeli law.

“There is a well-founded fear of persecution because of political opinion ascribed to him by the authorities in his country as a result of his desertion from military service,” the decision said, describing the plight of a typical deserter from the Eritrean military who fled to Israel.

Israel until now has refused to process the vast majority of asylum seeker applications.

There are approximately 38,000 African migrants and asylum seekers in Israel, according to the Interior Ministry. About 72 percent are Eritrean and 20% are Sudanese. The vast majority arrived between 2006 and 2012.
New exhibit to highlight lives of Holocaust refugees in Shanghai
The Amud Aish Memorial Museum in Brooklyn, New York has launched its new Precious Gift: Rescue and Shanghai exhibition and educational program for schools and private groups.

During World War II, thousands of Jews from Europe whose lives were in imminent peril miraculously escaped the Nazis and found safe haven in Japanese-occupied Shanghai, China.

Through original artifacts and primary source materials, the exhibition engages visitors with this little-explored aspect of Holocaust history, explaining the plights of Jews who sought refuge in foreign lands and the heroic efforts of those - from diplomats to everyday people - who risked their lives to help them.

In the exhibit, visitors are introduced to diplomats from Japan, the Netherlands, and Lithuania who defied orders by distributing visas that became lifelines for thousands. They also learn about the journey from Europe to Shanghai, daily life, and the flourishing of Jewish religious life in Kobe, Japan and Shanghai. Throughout the tour, guides note the significance of the various artifacts - such as the sacred Hebrew texts printed in Shanghai and a meal ration card with unused days - to illustrate the personal stories of those who lived through these difficult times.

Everyday life is explored in Precious Gift: Rescue and Shanghai by looking at the victims’ experiences.
Film zooms in on eight-year-old amputee from Gaza living in an Israeli hospital
In a documentary now making the rounds of film festivals, an Israeli photojournalist trained her lens on a small Gazan child whose remarkably paradoxical existence reflects the complicated mix of humanitarianism, hatred and bureaucracy that governs relations between Israel and the Gaza Strip.

Rina Castelnuovo, who spent 24 years as a New York Times photographer in Israel, devoted four years to closely documenting Muhammed El-Farrah, known as Muhi, an 8-year-old Palestinian boy from Gaza who has spent most of his life in limbo at Tel Aviv’s Tel Hashomer hospital.

The result of that closeup lens is “Muhi — Generally Temporary,” a documentary film in Arabic and Hebrew with English subtitles that she co-directed with Tamir Elterman focusing on the quirky, funny semi-permanent resident of Tel Hashomer, along with his grandfather and caretaker, Hamuda Abu Naim El Farrah.

It is a troubling, even devastating film, yet it offers hope in the figure of Muhi, who perseveres despite the amputation of his hands and feet. He scrambles around the hospital with his prosthetic limbs, and holes up with his grandfather in the hospital room that became his home.




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This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 12 years and over 25,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.

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