Tuesday, February 27, 2018

From Ian:

How the Left Became its Own Worst Enemy – Part I
One subtle shift has been the emergence of political correctness, a form of Cultural Marxism (the theory that culture more than politics drives inequality between races and classes in Western societies). Political correctness started as a reasonable exercise to protect vulnerable members of society -- blacks, women, Jews, gays, the disabled -- from offensive speech and action but ended as a modern totalitarianism that blocks free speech and open debate on just about everything.

Today's youth, particularly on university campuses, have adopted ways of thinking and behaving that contradict all the ideas that were the fundamentals of classic liberalism. There are many examples, but the one that stands out above the rest is support for radical Islam and hard-line Muslims.

The most famous instance in the UK was Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn's embrace of members of the terror outfits Hamas and Hezbollah, which he described as his "friends". It took him until the summer of 2016 to say that he regretted his engagement with the terrorists.

In several European countries, including France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and parts of Italy, governments have banned fully or in part the wearing of the Islamic veil; above all, the niqab and burqa, the full-face forms. One might have thought that Western feminists would be in the vanguard of such movements, as it could not be clearer that Islamic law oppresses women far more than ever happened in the West. A British Muslim physician, Qanta Ahmed, and Yasmin Alibhai-Brown have openly and repeatedly called for the abolition of all forms of veiling. Muslim women reformers across entire the Islamic world have called for an end to veils of all kinds.[1] In Iran this year, young women have been demonstrating on the streets without their compulsory hijabs, and at least 29 have been arrested as the regime clamps down again.
Joe Rogan Experience #1084 - Douglas Murray (NSFW)


Caroline Glick: What America Can Learn from Israeli Gun Laws
When mass shootings take plan in the U.S., commentators routinely raise Israel as a case study to prove that guns in the hands of citizens save lives.

Israel, with its long and painful history of contending with terrorism, is rich with examples that prove this contention. In recent years, armed citizens have stopped dozens of terrorists. In some cases, those citizens acted when cowardly police officers shrank from danger.

For instance, on March 6, 2008, a terrorist disguised as a delivery man entered the Merkaz Harav seminary in Jerusalem with an assault rifle hidden in a television box. He opened fire on students studying in the library.

Two beat cops arrived on the scene but failed to enter the building to stop the killing.

In the event, a seminary student armed with a handgun, and an off duty infantry officer who lived in the neighborhood, heard the shots and ran to the seminary. The student, a young rabbi, was armed with a handgun; the officer was carrying his assault rifle. Both men ignored the police officers who told them not to go inside. They entered the building and killed the terrorist, ending the massacre. By the time they arrived, eight students, including five high school students, had been killed, while eight more were wounded.

The most recent Palestinian terror campaign, which lasted more or less from October 2015 through April 2016, showed the need for an armed citizenry. In two major attacks in Tel Aviv, the terrorists, armed with rifles were able to kill at will for several minutes because none of the civilians at the sites of the attacks were armed.

In contrast, terror attacks in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria, which took place during the same period, were repeatedly stopped at their outset by armed civilians who ran to the scene within moments.

In response to the public outcry, Public Security Minister Glad Erdan slightly loosened restrictions on eligibility for gun licenses and encouraged citizens with gun licenses to carry their weapons wherever they go.

Erdan’s move to loosen restrictions on eligibility for gun permits shone a light on an aspect of Israeli life of which foreigners are largely unaware.



Shmuley Boteach: Honoring Yoni Netanyahu
Israel’s 70th birthday will be celebrated in a few weeks, and to commemorate this momentous anniversary, my organization will be presenting the World Values Network’s Second Annual Elie Wiesel Award — posthumously — to Yoni Netanyahu.

We chose Yoni because we wanted to recognize someone who symbolized the best values of the Jewish people — courage, humility and sacrifice. Yoni exemplified all three. He also represents the thousands of Israelis who gave their lives to protect the Jewish people in Israel and abroad.

Yoni Netanyahu was born in New York City on March 13, 1946, the son of Benzion and Cela — who had moved to the United States to work for the New Zionist Organization. After Israel’s independence, the Netanyahus returned to Israel, where Yoni’s brothers Benjamin and Iddo were born.

There was no assurance that they would have a state to live in — because five Arab states attacked the newly-declared nation on the day of its Declaration of Independence. Israel’s military leaders thought their chances were at best 50-50, and American defense experts thought those odds were overly optimistic.

But the Jews prevailed against those odds because they knew victory was the only option. The Arabs had made clear their objective when the secretary-general of the Arab League declared: “It will be a war of annihilation. It will be a momentous massacre in history that will be talked about like the massacres of the Mongols or the Crusades.”
How Israel and America Worked Together During the Cold War
During the 1950s and 1960s, the Middle East served as a combat testing ground for Soviet military doctrine and advanced weaponry. But the experience amassed by Israel in its wars against the Egyptian, Syrian, and Iraqi armies — who were trained by Soviet advisers and equipped with Soviet weapons — provided the US military with operational lessons; information about new Israeli technologies to neutralize the Soviet weaponry; and direct access to Soviet weapons systems captured by Israel.

Within this framework:
  • In 1966, an Iraqi pilot defected to Israel in a MiG-21 fighting aircraft.
  • After the June 1967 War, Israel transferred to the US a SA-2 surface-to-air-missile battery seized by the IDF.
  • In August 1968, two Syrian MiG-17s landed by mistake in a Galilee landing site.
  • In December 1969, during the Egyptian-Israeli War of Attrition, Israeli paratroopers raided an Egyptian radar station in Ras Gharib, near the western shore of the Gulf of Suez, bringing back an advanced radar unit of the P-12 model.
  • According to Professor Yuval Neeman, who, during the Yom Kippur War attended meetings of the cabinet and the IDF General Staff, Maj. Gen. Ariel Sharon’s division seized (on October 18) a complete Egyptian SA-6 surface-to-air-missile battery.
  • Similarly, during the 1967 and 1973 wars, the IDF seized over a thousand Egyptian and Syrian T-54 and T-55 tanks. A large number of T-62 tanks, some of them intact, were captured on the Syrian front during the 1973 war.
  • In his book Red Flag over the Mediterranean (2017), Pesach Malovany noted that during the 1982 Lebanon war, Israel reportedly obtained unknown information concerning the Russian T-72 tank.
  • Finally, in October 1989, a Syrian MiG-23 defected to Israel.

An especially valuable Israeli contribution, however, involved a mysterious intelligence episode related to an issue of existential significance for the US: the Soviet nuclear threat to the American homeland, and, indeed, to the survival of the Western world as a whole.
War or peace? IDF brass debated the meaning of Sadat’s 1977 visit to Israel
The sequence of events leading to Israel’s landmark peace agreement with Egypt is, today, fairly well known: On November 19, 1977, then-Egyptian president Anwar Sadat visited Jerusalem and spoke in the Knesset; less than a year later, then-prime minister Menachem Begin met with Sadat at Camp David in the United States; and in 1979, Begin and Sadat met again on the White House lawn to sign the deal.

But on the morning of November 22, 1977, the IDF’s top generals were thoroughly flummoxed by the meaning of Sadat’s visit, picking apart the nuances of the words he used — and didn’t use — in his speech to the Knesset in an attempt to divine whether it was a true olive branch or an elaborate ruse ahead of a war.

The extent of the generals’ confusion can be clearly seen in previously top-secret transcripts of that November 22 meeting that were released for publication — with a few redactions — by the Defense Ministry archive on Sunday.

In the meeting, Mota Gur, the IDF chief of staff at the time, said the opinion shared with him by the political echelon following the speeches in the Knesset by Sadat and Begin was not one of optimism.

“What was the instruction that the chief of staff received from the Defense Ministry, from the members of the security cabinet, from many members of the Knesset? Get the emergency warehouse units ready for war,” Gur said, speaking of himself in the third person.

In their meeting, the generals debated the meaning of Sadat’s speech, if it had one at all.
Ryan Bellerose: Why I Am Not Going to AIPAC
First I am going to say this: I enjoy going to AIPAC. I get to hang out with my friends, talk about Zionist things with other actual Zionists face to face, and it’s nice to be around people where the default position is strong support of indigenous rights and Zionism.

But it’s the attendees who make AIPAC fun and worthwhile because frankly some of the people AIPAC brings in to speak, are not only counterproductive if you are building support for Israel, but frankly, I don’t even believe many of them are Zionists at all.

I was actually torn. I wanted to go, do some networking, talk about some projects I’m working on, spread the message of indigenous rights, listen to some of the speakers I respect, and attend the amazing Judea and Samaria event (which has easily become the highlight event of the conference). But I started crunching numbers and looking at who was speaking. I remembered being threatened that if I engaged the screaming protesters outside I would have my pass taken away, I remembered seeing J Street and other non Zionist speakers being given the stage, while actual Zionists are not. I saw how they marginalize any pro Judea and Samaria voices by not including them on panels that are about Judea and Samaria. How they pander to leftist and “progressive” voices, and I decided that since I am headed to Israel in a few months anyway, my money would be better spent in Israel where it will support actual Zionism, not this virtue signalling wannabe Zionism.
Sarah Silverman – we are not in Poland anymore
Funny she should bring up Poland. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves…

So here’s another Jewish American ready to teach the Israelis proper etiquette. This time it’s comedian Sarah Silverman, and she’s not joking on the matter of Ahed Tamimi, a Palestinian Arab “teenager” being detained for trial for repeatedly provoking Israeli soldiers – and thinking it’s cute. Slapping is her specialty.

Silverman thinks it’s cute.

Along the Internet, Tamimi is described as “best known for appearances in images and videos in which she confronts Israeli soldiers.”

In other words, she does it for publicity. She does the filming to heap scorn. She does it to humiliate. The rest of her family does it differently. They commit murder.

Tamimi comes from a long line of killers and this clan has its fingerprints all over various atrocities, including the Sbarro Jerusalem restaurant massacre, 2001.

On cue from Amnesty Int’l, Silverman has rushed to Tamimi’s defense…and she’s doing so using Tamimi’s tactics – going public to yell injustice.
Antisemitic Images, Cartoons, Flood Polish Press as Holocaust Law Dispute Festers
Antisemitic images and cartoons continue to flood the Polish press, as the country’s right-wing nationalist media becomes increasingly angry with international opposition to new legislation that makes any discussion of Polish collusion with the Nazi occupation during World War II a criminal offense.

On Monday, the cover of Do Rzeczy — one of the Poland’s biggest and most influential news weeklies — showed the face of a cherubic Polish child wrapped in the colors of the national flag. The accompanying headline read, “Attack on Poland: How to stop this brutal wave?” with a Star of David superimposed over the word “Attack.”

A cartoon in the same magazine by artist Cezary Krysztopa openly invoked alleged Jewish responsibility for the massacres and deportations of Polish citizens by Soviet forces.

The cartoon showed a slumped figure wearing an armband in Polish national colors about to be executed by both a Nazi and a Soviet officer. However, the red star worn by the Russian figure is shaped as a Jewish Star of David, rather than the traditional, 5-pointed communist symbol.

Another ultranationalist magazine, Najwyższy Czas, descended into medieval antisemitism with a cartoon featuring a hook-nosed Jewish figure wearing sidelocks and a kippah.
Polish priest: Truth for Jews is whatever’s beneficial to them
Representatives of Polish Jews complained to the state watchdog on media over a public broadcaster’s airing of an interview with a priest who said Jews have a unique understanding of the concept of truth.

Henryk Zielinski, editor-in-chief of the Catholic weekly Idziemy, said this on Feb. 24 during an interview with TVP, according to the complaint that the Union of Jewish Communities in Poland filed on Monday with Poland’s National Council of Radio and Television.

Jews have “a completely different system of values, a different concept of truth,” Zielinski said. “For us, the truth corresponds to facts. For the Jew, truth means something that conforms to his understanding of what’s beneficial. If a Jew is religious, then truth means something God wants.”

In non-religious Jews, “the truth is subjective or whatever serves Israel’s interests,” he added. Zielinski cited the Haggadah — a text read by Jews at the Passover Seder, which contains the story of the Exodus of the Hebrews from Egypt. “Often these stories have nothing to do with facts,” noted the Catholic priest.

The interviewer, Michał Karnowski, did not contest Zielinski’s assertions, according to the complaint.
Envoy: Polish Holocaust law won’t be enforced without Israeli coordination
The controversial law outlawing public discussion of Poles’ collaboration with the Nazis will not be enforced in the near future, Polish Ambassador to Israel Jacek Chodorowicz told the Knesset Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Committee on Monday.

“The Polish Justice Ministry committed to not enforcing the new law before there is an in-depth examination of all of its components, including a discussion with Israeli representatives,” Chodorowicz said.

The ambassador acknowledged that for the past month, Poland and Israel have been “in the eye of the storm,” but said the two countries have agreed to discuss the matter.
Israel urges Poland to change bill regarding its role in Nazi Holocaust, January 28, 2018 (Reuters)

“We will talk about the subject more quietly and peacefully. Too much has been said that was criticized by Israelis,” he stated.

Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Committee chairman Avraham Neguise (Likud) called for the law to be canceled immediately, and said the Foreign Ministry needs to take steps to fight Holocaust denial.

Yisrael Beytenu MK Yulia Malinovski said, “You can legislate whatever you want, but no one can change history. We appreciate those who helped and saved Jewish lives, but there were also people who participated in the Jewish genocide, and no one has a right to say anything else. It pains me... that there are many who can no longer tell the story of what happened to them.”
Polish Antisemitism
The disturbing trend of antisemitism in Poland is nothing new, and unfortunately, it doesn't seem to be getting any better. Here's what happened:


Dutch groups cancel speeches by Palestinian ex-terrorist
Following protests over the planned speech in the Netherlands by a Palestinian ex-terrorist, two organizations that had intended to host her cancelled their invitations for her to speak.

A labor association for Turkish immigrants, HTIB, told De Telegraaf on Tuesday that it is bowing out of hosting Rasmea Odeh this week. HTIB Chairperson Mustafa Ayranci said this following the publication of a report that called into question the move, in light of HTIB’s receiving state subsidies.

HTIB had volunteered to host Rasmea after Amsterdam’s Nasau Church rescinded its invitation to Odeh, who is visiting the Netherlands as the guest of two Marxist groups, Anakbayan-Europe and Revolutionary Unity.

She spent 10 years in an Israeli prison for her role in a 1969 bombing attack at a Jerusalem supermarket that killed two Hebrew University students, Leon Kanner and Eddie Joffe. Israel jailed Odeh for life, but she was released in a prisoner exchange with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine in 1980 and immigrated to the United States from Jordan. She has said her confession to the bombing was the result of severe torture by Israeli security forces.

Odeh obtained her U.S. immigrant visa in 1994 and her citizenship in 2004. In both applications, she failed to disclose her arrest and convictions in the bombings. She pleaded guilty to falsifying her immigration applications and was deported to Jordan in September.
Opposition leader Herzog asks EU event to disinvite BDS head
Opposition leader Isaac Herzog asked a European Union parliament member to rescind an invitation to the co-founder of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement, Omar Barghouti, to speak at an event on ‘The Israeli Settlements in Palestine and the European Union" set for Wednesday at the EU parliament in Brussels.

Barghouti was invited by Ana Maria Gomes, a member of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament and a former diplomat. Herzog wrote Gomes that giving a stage to Barghouti undermined efforts to advance Middle East peace and help the Palestinian people.

"On the basis of my commitment to a peaceful two state solution, I am deeply concerned by your plans to include BDS activist Omar Barghouti in your event," Herzog wrote Gomes. "The BDS movement promotes an extreme and entirely one-sided position. This movement not only promotes unjust discrimination against Israel and its citizens, but its supporters unashamedly call for dismantling Israel and replacing it with a single Arab majority state. This is against the policies and values of the EU and its members, and in opposition to the preferences of a majority of Israelis and Palestinians who favor a two state solution."

Herzog wrote Gomes that BDS is an ineffective tool for promoting Palestinian rights in the West Bank. He explained that boycotts targeting settlement industries in particular hurt those they claim to support, because tens of thousands of Palestinians rely on these industries for their livelihood, enjoying salaries and benefits far greater than average Palestinian incomes.

He added that BDS activities in Europe harm primarily European Jews, who are frequently confronted by attempts to intimidate and ostracize those who wish to engage and identity with Israel. Herzog wrote that BDS activities have become platforms for legitimizing outright expressions of antisemitism.

"For Israelis and Palestinians who want to promote peace, BDS is a hindrance, since it undermines moderates who want to build bridges of understanding and find solutions that address the legitimate national rights of both peoples," Herzog wrote. "In addition, any association of the EU with BDS undermines its credibility in the eyes of Israelis as a balanced third party."


Knesset advances bill banning Breaking the Silence from schools
The Knesset has given initial approval to legislation that would grant the Education Ministry the authority to ban organizations deemed as acting against the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) from entering schools.

The proposed amendment to the State Education Law, initiated by MK Shuli Mualem-Rafaeli (Habayit Hayehudi) passed a first reading on Monday by a vote of 35 in favor and 23 opposed.

The bill seeks to grant the education minister “the authority to prohibit individuals or organizations that are not part of the education system from engaging in activities within an education institution when the nature of the activity undermines the goals of the state education system or one that works to harm IDF soldiers who are a consensus in Israeli society.”

It further proposes to add to the goals of the state education system the education for a meaningful service in the IDF or national service.

The bill will mainly target organizations such as Breaking the Silence and other extreme left-wing NGOs and will prevent them from speaking or entering schools.
Guardian 'Sat on Charity Sex Abuse Scandal Stories'
The Guardian sat on stories from charity sex abuse victims, according to claims made by an industry insider. An ‘overseas aid expert’ writing under a pseudonym told the OpenDemocracy website:
“Why didn’t the complainants go to somewhere like the Guardian? They did.

“These victims are not typical Mail and Telegraph readers and they understood that a story about a lack of accountability in an aid organization will likely be followed in those newspapers by calls for less foreign aid. None of the victims support that goal. What they want is aid plus accountability.

“Almost all of the complainants went to the Guardian first. Different Guardian journalists were contacted, but all went quiet. One told me: “I just wanted to say I haven’t forgotten about this. Unfortunately the decision to work on the story or not is above my station, so I’m just waiting for a decision either way…” Later, when I asked if they had heard back the same journalist said: “I haven’t unfortunately. It was passed onto powers that be. At the moment it’s looking like it’s not going to run… I presume after some weighing of pros and cons.”


The writer then claims the whistleblowers turned to the right-leaning press: “When the Guardian sat on the story a subsection of the whistleblowers went to the Mail and the Telegraph, who ran it with many fewer sources.” The importance of a plural media…
Jewish anti-Israel activist loses court case against German Jewish leader
A Jewish anti-Israel activist has lost his case against a German Jewish leader who had labeled him as “notorious” for anti-Semitic remarks.

Jewish blogger Abraham Melzer had sued Charlotte Knobloch, head of the Jewish community in Munich and Bavaria, over comments that he said violated his “personality rights.”

The court’s decision favoring Knobloch came down in January, and Melzer had until last week to appeal. He did not do so.

Melzer, 71, publishes an online magazine that claims to “deal exclusively with the Mideast conflict, with the oppression of the Palestinians, but above all with the self-serving, arrogant and nationalist Israelis and their promoters in Germany.”

In September 2016, Knobloch wrote a private email to groups that had made rooms available for an event featuring Melzer as a speaker on anti-Semitism. Melzer has claimed that charges of anti-Semitism are often exaggerated.

Several events with Melzer as speaker reportedly were canceled following Knobloch’s message.
King’s College London Students Threaten Legal Action After Union Promotes ‘Discriminatory’ BDS Events
Students at King’s College London (KCL) are considering taking legal action after their elected representatives promoted “Israeli Apartheid Week” (IAW) events in a mass email to peers.

In an “Officers Update” sent to students on February 23, the KCL Students’ Union (KCLSU) described IAW as an effort to raise “awareness of Israel’s apartheid system over the Palestinian people and [build] support for the growing Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.”

The week-long campaign — organized by the KCL Action Palestine Society — began on Monday and includes events on “Football and Whitewashing Apartheid,” as well as “the Politics of Racist Detention: From Palestine to the UK.”

KCL’s Israel Society denounced the newsletter’s inclusion of IAW as an expression of bias and a violation of KCLSU’s mandate.

“This is the only student society event of the entire year that KCLSU has advertised and endorsed, with absolutely no right to do so,” Tamara Berens — president of KCL Israel Society — said in a statement shared by the advocacy group CAMERA on Campus UK, with which she is affiliated.

Berens indicated that promoting IAW “is not within KCLSU’s usual charitable objects, and is therefore unlawful.”

“It also contravenes the commitment of KCLSU as a charity not to run a political campaign,” she added, urging the student body to apologize for advertising a “discriminatory” series of events in a way that left Jewish and Israeli students “shocked and confused.”
S. African VP candidate lashes out at Jewish Board of Deputies
South Africa’s Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor, a top contender for the country’s vice presidency, lashed out at the SA Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) during a memorial service at Temple Israel in Cape Town on Friday.

“It is a very interesting moment. I am [a] Muslim South African in a synagogue in a temple which has just made the Jewish Board of Deputies very angry with her,” she said.

“They have written to me, they say, on behalf of all the South African Jewish community, which I don’t quite believe. Nevertheless, I am a recipient of such a letter.”

The SAJBD requested a meeting with Pandor after she stated in parliament last week, “The majority party [the African National Congress] has agreed that government must cut diplomatic ties with Israel, given the absence of genuine initiatives by Israel to secure lasting peace and a viable two-state solution that includes full freedom and democracy for the Palestinian people.”

SAJBD national director Wendy Kahn responded, “We wrote to her requesting a meeting to discuss and clarify certain remarks she had made in parliament concerning the South Africa-Israel relationship. Our letter was respectful and non-confrontational.”

In the letter, which The Jerusalem Post obtained, the SAJBD wrote: “We noted your comments in parliament yesterday... This statement has caused great distress amongst members of the local South African Jewish Community. We request a meeting with you to discuss this issue.”
UK Labour party to launch new inquiry against Livingstone
The National Executive Committee (NEC) of Britain’s Labour party is planning to launch a new inquiry into allegations of anti-Semitism against former London mayor Ken Livingstone, The Observer reported Saturday.

News of the new inquiry came after MPs reacted furiously to information from party insiders who said Livingstone was likely to be readmitted to the party within weeks.

Livingstone has been suspended since April 2016 when he claimed Nazi leader Adolf Hitler had supported Zionism.

He has repeatedly refused to apologize for the comments, even after being harangued as a "racist, Hitler-apologist" by an MP from his own party.

On Saturday, Labour officials said that an NEC inquiry first announced ten months ago by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, but never begun, would probably be opened next month – just weeks before the former London mayor’s two-year suspension is due to end on April 27.

The about-turn by Labour came after The Observer contacted party sources on Friday and was told in repeated exchanges that no further action was in the pipeline and that the former London mayor was likely be allowed back in as a full member. When this was reported on Guardian.co.uk there was a furious reaction from Labour MPs and members.

Five hours later, noted The Observer, the party changed its line and said it would be inaccurate to suggest either that no further investigation was planned or that Livingstone was on course to be readmitted. It said the NEC would probably begin looking at uninvestigated claims against him next month.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Another Harry Potter Metaphor Is What This Debate Needs (satire)
Our discussion of this set of important issues has proceeded well enough, ladies and gentlemen, but no one is going to change his or her mind based merely on a rehashing of familiar points, as cleverly as they might be rephrased. No, my friends, if any of us is going to make a compelling case for a particular position or party, it will have to come in the form of another analogy to characters, relationships, or incidents in the Harry Potter series.

We must be honest: each of us has enough familiarity with the claims and arguments of the other side, and has accumulated enough practice to counter those claims, and we remain at an impasse, as always. The time has come to invoke Dumbledore, Voldemort, Hermione, the Death Eaters, and the Order of the Phoenix, among others, to make a point. Otherwise, I am afraid the other side will remain as unconvinced as always of the opposing position.

If we continue to eschew the power and utility of Harry Potter analogies when employing them would tip the scales, that would be akin to Minister of Magic Cornelius Fudge maintaining his denial of the Dark Lord’s return despite the preponderance of evidence indicating it. We deny the reality of our situation at our peril, and risk painful failure, not to mention defeat, much in the way he-who-must-not-be-named disregarded love, elf magic, and other realities, leading to his eventual demise.
BBC again amplifies church leaders’ PR hyperbole
Back in November 2017 the BBC Radio 4 religious affairs programme ‘Sunday‘ presented a highly partisan and inaccurate account of a story involving Israel and the Greek Orthodox Church which listeners were erroneously led to believe is about ‘religious freedom’.

On February 25th 2018 the BBC News website published an article relating to the same story under the headline “Jerusalem: Christianity’s ‘holiest site’ closed in protest” which opened with amplification of a baseless claim that is part of a PR campaign launched by church leaders last November.

“Christian leaders in Jerusalem have taken the rare step of shutting the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in protest against a new Israeli tax policy and a proposed property law.

Church leaders have described the legislation as an attack on Christians in the Holy Land.”


Additional PR messaging – complete with a poorly veiled Nazi analogy – was amplified later on in the report.
Newsweek: Fake Traffic, Fake News
Earlier this month, Newsweek fired senior editors and reporters after they reported on accusations that Newsweek Media Group had purchased fraudulent web traffic to secure significant advertising at the International Business Times, a sister publication.

In the wake of massive legal troubles, along with the departure of editor in chief Bob Roe and executive editor Ken Li, misreporting about an Israeli bill which has yet to come to vote is barely a blip in Newsweek's turmoil. But Newsweek's real readers -- as opposed to the fake bots -- may actually care to know when Newsweek fails to deliver real news.

This brings us to Tom Porter's Feb. 25 article ("Jerusalem Church Where Jesus is Said To Be Buried Closed After Tax Dispute With Israeli Government"), in which he falsely wrote that Christian leaders in Jerusalem issued a joint statement criticizing a "recent bill passed by the Israeli parliament that allowed the Israeli state to take over Christian buildings leased to private companies, and plans to begin imposing taxes on Christian church properties."

First, the bill was not passed. In fact, Sunday, after church officials decided to close the holy site, the Israeli Knesset's Constitution, Law and Justice Committee postponed a discussion of the bill.
BBC News again claims Israeli involvement in Syria’s war
On February 22nd an article by the BBC’s Arab affairs editor Sebastian Usher appeared in the ‘features’ section of the BBC News website’s Middle East page under the title “Syria conflict: Will powers end up in direct war?“.

Although the article is tagged ‘Syrian civil war’ – a conflict in which Israel is not involved – readers find the following statement:

“To the south, Israel has sat out most of the conflict, loath to be drawn in – to the disastrous extent that it was during the 16 years of the civil war in Syria’s neighbour, Lebanon. It has mostly limited itself to targeted attacks on alleged Iranian bases and suspected Hezbollah arms supplies.”

Apparently the BBC’s Arab affairs editor would have his readers believe that Israel carries out strikes on the strength of allegations and suspicion. Notably, Usher’s claim of Israeli involvement in the Lebanese civil war omits all mention of the frequent attacks against Israel launched by the PLO from Lebanese territory – attacks which sparked Operation Litani in 1978 (three years after the civil war began) and Operation Peace for Galilee in 1982.
ADL: Antisemitic incidents in 2017 more than double U.S. total from 2015
The number of antisemitic incidents was nearly 60% higher in 2017 than 2016, the largest single-year increase on record, according to a report released by the Anti-Defamation League on Tuesday.

There were 1,986 antisemitic incidents reported across the United States in 2017, including 1,015 incidents of harassment, 952 incidents of vandalism, and 19 physical assaults, reported in ADL’s Audit of Antisemitic Incidents.

That figure represents a 57% increase over the 1,267 incidents in 2016. Every part of the country was affected, with an incident reported in all 50 states for the first time in at least a decade.

The number is the second highest ever reported since ADL started tracking incident data in the 1970s.

The incidents of harassment included 163 bomb threats against Jewish institutions, many of which were found to be the doing of an Israel teenager, who was arrested.

The sharp rise in overall incidents was in part due to a significant increase in incidents in schools and on college campuses, which nearly doubled for the second year in a row. There were 457 antisemitic incidents reported in non-Jewish schools, up from 235 in 2016 and 114 in 2015. Jewish institutions and schools also saw incidents double, jumping from 170 in 2016 to 342 last year. Meanwhile, college campuses saw a total of 204 incidents in 2017, compared to 108 in 2016.
German Village Votes to Keep Nazi-Era 'Hitler Bell' as Memorial
A German village has decided to keep a contentious Nazi-era church bell that bears a swastika and the words “All for the Fatherland – Adolf Hitler”, arguing it serves as a reminder of the country’s dark past.

The parish council of Herxheim voted 10-3 on Monday that the bronze bell from 1934 should remain as “an impetus for reconciliation and a memorial against violence and injustice”.

The council rejected an offer by the regional Protestant Church to pay for taking down the 240 kilogramme (530 pound) bell and replacing it.

A memorial pointing to the bell’s history will now be fixed on the heritage-listed church, the Jakobskirche.

The village of just 700 people has repeatedly caught national attention for the controversial “Hitler bell” since a former church organist complained about the inscription.

Some church-goers were dismayed to find out that they had got married, baptised their children or joined other religious ceremonies and events under the Hitler bell.
New Holocaust museums draw connections to local history to inspire ‘upstanders’
As the atrocities committed during the Holocaust recede from living memory, a new crop of museums around the world is attempting to link the Shoah with current events and the self-identity of visitors.

From Ohio to Macedonia, these institutions are telling the story of the Nazi genocide in World War II, but also encouraging people to “participate in repair” by examining the history of human rights in their own countries, and what it means to stand up for victims.

Holocaust museums — of which there are 21 in the United States alone — have traditionally been conceived around the testimony of survivors, with a scope confined to the Nazi period. No longer, according to Edward Jacobs, a leader in the conceptualization and design of these installations.

Based in Jerusalem, Jacobs advised on pedagogy at Yad Vashem for 15 years. According to the one-time stage performer, visitors to Holocaust museums should leave with a sense of purpose, or, as Jacobs told The Times of Israel, “feeling that there is a call for action I can realize within myself.”
West Pharma sets up new R&D center, sees Israel as regional hub
West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc., an Exton, Pennsylvania-based US manufacturer of packaging components and materials for injectable drugs and other healthcare products, relocated its existing Israeli offices last week, combining its former product development and administrative facilities from Raanana and Or Yehuda into one Raanana location.

West acquired Israel-based Medimop Medical Projects in 2005, which has grown into a regional office with nearly 100 employees.

The 2,750 square meters of open space and offices serve as a regional technology center for the company’s drug delivery products and as an administrative hub for engineering, operations, order fulfillment, and regulatory filings, the company said in a statement.

The company’s Israeli team created a SmartDose drug delivery platform that got approval by US Food and Drug Administration last year. The product is a wearable device that allows patients to self-administer precise doses of medications by attaching it to their abdomens. The data collected is then transmitted to the smartphones of the users, so they can be reviewed by healthcare professionals.

The US firm reported a full year of net sales of nearly $1.6 billion — year-on year growth of 5.2 percent — and forecast net sales to grow 6 to 8 percent to more than $1.7 billion in 2018, on its earnings call earlier this month.
Report: Nigerian Air Force Special Forces Soldiers Receive Counter-Terrorism Training From Israeli Military Team
A group of 150 Nigerian Air Force special forces soldiers have received counter-terrorism training from a team of Israeli military officers, a Lagos-based TV station reported on Sunday.

According to Channels TV, the troops will likely be deployed to northeastern Nigeria, where the government is battling Boko Haram jihadist insurgents.

This past Tuesday, an Israeli man was freed unharmed after being kidnapped for ransom near the Nigerian capital of Abuja several days earlier.
Warren Buffett: “I’m a Big Believer in the Israeli Economy”
In an interview about his growing portfolio of Israeli businesses, American billionaire investor Warren Buffett said that he views Israel now as being similar to the United States “after its birth,” praised Israel’s “determination, motivation, intelligence and initiative,” and declared, “I’m a big believer in Israel’s economy,” according to an article published Monday in Forbes.

Buffett’s initial investment in Israel was in 2006, when his company Berkshire Hathaway bought an 80% stake in Iscar, an industrial toolmaker for $4 billion. In May 2013, Berkshire Hathaway bought the remaining 20% of the business for $2 billion. At the time he called Israel the “most promising investing hub outside of the United States.”

According to Berkshire Hathaway’s most recent filing, Buffett has invested in Israel’s pharmaceutical giant, Teva, which has been struggling of late, breaking with a longtime hesitation to invest in biotech stocks. Berkshire Hathaway bought a 1.9% stake in the company for $358 million. The value of the stock has risen to $400 million as share prices went up with news of the purchase

Buffett has promoted Israel Bonds, and purchased $5 million worth of bonds at a 2016 event in Omaha, at which $60 million in bonds were sold. At the time, Buffett said that if you’re looking for “brains, energy and dynamism,” Israel was the place to go.



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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 14 years and 30,000 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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