Saturday, March 03, 2018

From Ian:

Women’s March Co-Chair Cites Anti-Semite to Prove She’s Not an Anti-Semite
A Women's March organizer who came under fire this week for attending a sermon by rabid anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan responded to criticism by tweeting a defense from a rapper who shared Farrakhan's bigoted views.

Tamika Mallory was called out by CNN's Jake Tapper after she attended Farrakhan's annual Saviours' Day address, during which the Nation of Islam leader attacked "that Satanic Jew," called Jews "the mother and father of apartheid," and declared that "when you want something in this world, the Jew holds the door."

One of Mallory's defenders was Bronx rapper and political activist Mysonne, who denied that Mallory was an anti-Semite. In appreciation, Mallory shared his tweet on Twitter and Instagram.

But in his defense of Mallory, Mysonne then made a series of comments agreeing with Farrakhan's view that Jews were uniquely to blame for the plight of black people.

"…farakhan[sic] has a view of Jews based on the pain and harm that he can prove they've inflicted on blacks for hundreds of years!" he tweeted to one user who compared him to David Duke, another anti-Semite.

"To disagree with farakhan[sic] is understandable," he tweeted to another user, "but to act as if the violence, pain, control and destruction that people he has evidence that are in fact Jewish have imposed on Blacks is not Realistic.

Evelyn Gordon: State Department Backs Lebanese Land Grab against Israel
State Department officials have spent a lot of time in Lebanon recently. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson visited the country two weeks ago, and Acting Assistant Secretary of State David Satterfield made an appearance last week. Among other issues, they are trying to mediate two Lebanese-Israeli disputes. The problem is that only one of these is a quasi-legitimate conflict; the other is a patently illegitimate Lebanese land grab. By treating that claim as legitimate, the State Department is not only encouraging aggression but proving, once again, that international guarantees to Israel are worthless.

The quasi-legitimate dispute relates to where the maritime border between Israel and Lebanon runs. As I noted back in 2011, Beirut is currently claiming maritime territory that it didn’t consider Lebanese as recently as 2007, when it signed (but ultimately didn’t ratify) a deal demarcating its maritime border with Cyprus. That makes the State Department’s proposal to award Lebanon 75 percent of this territory outrageous. Nevertheless, the fact remains that Israel and Lebanon have no agreed maritime border, and international law doesn’t provide an unequivocal answer as to where it should run. So State’s mediation is justifiable, even if its proposal isn’t.

The second dispute, however, is over Lebanon’s claim that Israel’s planned new border wall encroaches on Lebanese territory in 13 places. And on this, there should be no question whatsoever, because a recognized international border, known as the Blue Line, already exists and the UN has twice affirmed that Israel isn’t violating it.

The first time the UN affirmed realities on the ground was after Israel unilaterally withdrew from Lebanon in 2000. Then, the UN Security Council unanimously confirmed that all the areas Beirut now claims were, in fact, on Israel’s side of the border. The second was earlier this month when the UN Interim Force in Lebanon reaffirmed that all the new construction is on Israel’s side of the border.

Iran and Hezbollah's Terror in Argentina
Iran has employed the same pattern of networking with sub-state terrorist groups, in Yemen with the Houthis; in Lebanon, with Hezbollah; and in the Gaza Strip with Hamas.

So far, all of the major Iranian players in these expeditions remain free from justice, even though specific Iranian officials were named by the IRGC defector Mesbahi and lead prosecutor Alberto Nisman as the primary decision-makers at least in the Argentine bombing plot.

Nisman's findings, in fact, convinced Interpol to issue a red notice -- the names of persons wanted for extradition -- for several Iranian officials. These included Iran's former Minister of Intelligence and Security, Ali Fallahian; Foreign Policy Advisor to Khamenei, Ali Velayati; and deceased former Iranian President Ali Akbar Rafsanjani.

This "Argentina Model" is a case study on how Iran may be using its diplomatic missions, foreign and domestic intelligence agencies, front organizations and Hezbollah-infested Lebanese diaspora in Latin America to establish not only terrorist networks and conduct terrorist operations, but also formidable business, economic and commercial relationships.[1] Those activities could also be nurturing criminal financing networks and anti-American and anti-Israeli political coalitions.[2]

For decades, Iran has seemingly been employing both normative diplomatic ties and criminal links to export its Islamic revolution to the Western Hemisphere. By using similar methods of subversion, Iran appears already to have penetrated other Latin American nations, including Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Brazil and some island countries in the Caribbean.[3]

If efforts to expose Iran's and Hezbollah's roles in the Argentinean bombings are successful, the information will elucidate for regional leaders the dark side of Iran's ties to sub-state terrorist groups, which increase even further its influence in Latin America.
David Horovitz: For AIPAC in a polarized America, bipartisanship is a near-impossible challenge
AIPAC’s annual police conference opens Sunday in the nation’s capital and, on the surface, everything in the garden is rosy.

Even this powerful pro-Israel lobby doesn’t expect the president to grace its flagship event every year, but Vice President Mike Pence will be speaking here, as he did last year. So too will the undisputed star of the 2017 gathering, Nikki Haley, who, after a year of standing up for Israel at the United Nations, is likely to get an even warmer reception than last year’s roars and cheers.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is heading in from Israel for the event — and will be dropping in at the White House in the course of his visit — as are no fewer than three prominent opposition figures, Avi Gabbay, Isaac Herzog, and Tzipi Livni.

Doubtless hanging on their every word will be a predicted audience of 18,000 AIPAC supporters, 3,500 of whom are students — a robust young generation of pro-Israel activists, direct from the campus battlefields.

And yet this year’s policy conference finds AIPAC striving to highlight its commitment to bipartisan support for Israel in an America where there is precious little bipartisan support for anything, and on behalf of an Israel whose leadership under Netanyahu is widely regarded as having thrown in its lot with the Republicans, or, more specifically, with the Trump administration.

Support for Israel truly was an overwhelmingly consensual issue in American politics for many years, but is gradually morphing into yet another area in which Republicans and Democrats are openly at odds. Indeed, it was at AIPAC two years ago that this divide was savagely revealed.
Netanyahu sets off to Washington for Trump meeting, AIPAC conference
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is set to take off later Saturday for a week-long trip to the United States, where he will speak before the annual convention at AIPAC and meet with US President Donald Trump at the White House, escaping — if momentarily — mounting legal troubles at home.

In a statement on Saturday evening, Netanyahu said that in his upcoming meeting with Trump, he will thank the president “on behalf of the people of Israel, for moving the US embassy to Jerusalem to mark the state of Israel’s 70th Independence Day,” and will “first and foremost” speak with him on Iran, the 2015 nuclear deal, which Netanyahu has vehemently opposed, Iran’s “aggression in our region,” and “advancing peace” between Israelis and Palestinians.

“Advancing these issues is important to Israel and important to the security of the entire world,” said Netanyahu in a statement by the Prime Minister’s Office.

Netanyahu is expected to receive a warm welcome at the White House on Monday, where he will meet with the president and senior staff, including Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, a point man for mediation between Israel and the Palestinians. Kushner and a small team, including special envoy to the Middle East Jason Greenblatt, have spent the past year preparing a much-awaited blueprint for peace, but no details have emerged. Kushner has been in the spotlight the week after losing his top-secret security clearance.

Netanyahu has been a close ally of the US president, not least as his administration is set to upturn decades of international consensus, and US policy, when the US moves its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in May.
House bill would write into law decade’s promised $38b defense aid for Israel
A bipartisan bill timed for AIPAC’s annual conference would codify into law the memorandum of understanding signed in 2016 by Israel and the United States guaranteeing Israel $38 billion in defense assistance over 10 years.

The bill introduced Friday is sponsored by two Middle East policy leaders in the US House of Representatives — Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., the chairwoman of the Middle East subcommittee, and Ted Deutch, D-Fla., its ranking Democrat. Their senior positions in their respective House caucuses means the bill has a high chance of passage.

Delegates to the annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee policy conference starting Sunday will lobby for the bill on Tuesday.

The thinking behind the bill is to prevent any president from reneging on the agreement.

Separately, but also timed for the AIPAC conference, all 100 senators signed a letter urging the Department of Homeland Security to expedite Israel’s full membership in the Global Entry program, which facilitates passage through customs for citizens of member countries. Israel has had limited membership since 2012.
Danon denies prior knowledge of alleged effort to sink U.N. resolution
Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon denied that he had prior knowledge of an alleged coordination effort to scuttle a controversial United Nations resolution between Trump transition officials and the Israeli government.

United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 was passed on December 23, 2016 in a 14-0 vote with the United States abstaining. The resolution condemns Israeli settlement activity in East Jerusalem and the West Bank and calls Israel’s presence in the Old City a violation of international law.

In December 2017, US Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller’s investigation into the 2016 presidential election revealed that former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was directed by a “very senior member of the [Trump] transition team… to contact foreign governments, including Russia, to learn where each government stood on UN Resolution 2334 and to influence those governments to delay the vote or defeat the resolution.”

Buzzfeed News later reported that the Trump transition team undertook the effort to “undermine the Obama administration’s policy on the Middle East… at the prodding of Israeli officials” in the Netanyahu government.

But in an interview with The Jerusalem Post on Thursday, Danon said he was not aware of an alleged clandestine arrangement between the incoming US administration and Jerusalem to sink the UNSC vote, explaining that he didn’t know what “others may have done” during that time.

“I can tell you about myself: I made phone calls to heads of state I have personal relationships with; I made phone calls to ambassadors here [at the UN] and the same with [Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu],” Danon said.
Top Palestinian official claims Trump peace plan spells ‘liquidation, apartheid’
The US administration’s yet-to-be-announced Middle East peace plan calls for maintaining the status quo between Israel and the Palestinians, while giving the Palestinians “eternal self-rule,” Palestine Liberation Organization Secretary General Saeb Erekat said in a policy paper he presented to Fatah leaders on Friday.

The plan will effectively “lead to the creation of one state with two systems, thus legitimizing apartheid and settlements in accordance with American criterion,” Erekat wrote in his report, titled “Dictations of President [Donald] Trump for the new phase: imposing a solution, June 2017 – March 2018.”

The content of the policy paper was published in several Palestinian media outlets on Friday.

Erekat’s document was presented to members of the Fatah Revolutionary Council on the second day of their three-day conference in Ramallah, which began on Thursday.

Erekat did not say how he had obtained the details of the plan, which the US has said has not been finalized.

“We must not wait until the outlines and content of this liquidation and dictation plan are announced,” Erekat cautioned.

“According to this new American phase, anyone who wants peace must agree to what the US dictates, and anyone who opposes the plan will be considered as being part of the forces of terrorism and extremism, which should be fought against and expelled. For the US, moderation means accepting dictation that fully endorse the positions of successive Israeli governments.”

In his policy paper, Erekat detailed the “outlines” of the purported peace plan, which he described as “a new American phase of imposing solutions and dictations.”

EU states defy UN resolution with Palestinian missions in Jerusalem
Several European countries have been found to be in violation of a U.N. resolution they themselves supported when condemning U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

The U.N. General Assembly resolution that followed the U.S. announcement on Dec. 6 called on all countries "to refrain from the establishment of diplomatic missions in the Holy City of Jerusalem." But the eight European countries in question – Belgium, France, Greece, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, and the United Kingdom – actively operate Palestinian Authority consulates or embassies in Jerusalem despite having voted in favor of the resolution.

The president of the world's largest Zionist Christian organization, International Christian Embassy Jerusalem has come out against what he called the "hypocritical and inappropriate conduct of the international community toward Israel and Jerusalem."

ICEJ President Jurgen Buhler sent letters to each of those nation's leaders, in which he noted that "the international community has always called for an even-handed approach to Jerusalem, so as not to prejudge this sensitive final-status issue. Yet here are eight nations that have never been called out for violating this principle by placing their chief missions to the Palestinians in Jerusalem. It turns out the demand for neutrality has just been a hollow pretext for denying the Jewish people and state their rightful place in Jerusalem. So no nation can now complain when a country decides to open an embassy to Israel in Jerusalem.
Saudi crown prince endorses ‘legitimate Palestinian rights’ in Jerusalem
Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman penned a letter to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas expressing Saudi Arabia’s support for “legitimate [Palestinian] rights” in east Jerusalem, according to the official PA news site Wafa.

“The Saudi crown prince affirmed in [the letter] that the Palestinian issue is of special and great importance and a priority for the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdel Aziz,” the Wafa report said, referring to the Saudi monarch.

“The prince also emphasized the keenness of the Saudi kingdom and its continued resolve in supporting the Palestinian issue and the Palestinian people attaining their legitimate rights including those in east Jerusalem.”

Wafa’s report of the letter stands in sharp contrast to other reports in the past several months, which have suggested that the Crown Prince has adopted a position on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process biased in favor of the Netanyahu government.

According to reports in The New York Times and other publications, the prince informed Abbas of the details of a forthcoming American peace plan largely unfavorable to the Palestinians in November and applied pressure on him to accept it.

Saudi, Palestinian and American officials, however, have denied these reports.
Argentina newspaper first target of controversial Polish Holocaust law
A major Argentinian newspaper has become the first target of Poland's controversial new Holocaust legislation, which took effect Thursday despite Israeli diplomatic pressure.

The nationalist Polish League Against Defamation (RDI) group filed a lawsuit on Friday against the daily Argentinian newspaper Pagina 12's website which it says used a photo of post-Second World War Polish resistance fighters in a December 2017 article about the 1941 Jedwabne pogrom.

The pogrom saw the massacre of at least 340 Jews from the small Polish town of Jedwabne and surrounding areas killed by their Polish neighbors on July 10, 1941.

The RDI complaint stated that the Buenos Aires-based Pagina 12 newspaper and journalist Federico Pavlovsky's actions amounted to "manipulation in order to harm the Polish nation and the good reputation of Polish soldiers."

"By issuing such a statement, the publisher showed great historical ignorance, for which he should officially apologize to all Poles," said the RDI. The group does not address whether the law can be applied retroactively to cover an article published prior to the legislation coming into force.

The new legislation makes it a crime to say that the Polish nation was responsible or co-responsible for crimes committed during the Holocaust, an offense punishable by a fine and up to three years in prison.
British Labour Party Again Declines to Expel Ex-London Mayor Ken Livingstone Over Antisemitic Comments
British Jewish leaders expressed frustration this week that a former mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, has yet to be expelled from the opposition Labour Party over his antisemitic outbursts.

A two-year suspension of Livingstone was renewed “indefinitely” the party’s National Executive Committee on Thursday, leading to a disappointed reaction from the head of Britain’s Jewish representative body.

“Ken Livingstone’s readmission to the Labour Party would have been a disaster for the already strained relationship between the Jewish community and the Labour Party, so it is fortunate that this possibility has been taken off the table,” Board of Deputies of British Jews President Jonathan Arkush said in a statement. “However, we continue to believe that Ken Livingstone should have been expelled long ago.”

Arkush said that Livingstone’s comments — which included the false statement that the Nazi leader Adolf Hitler “supported Zionism before he went mad and ended up killing six million Jews” — “have been very public, frequently repeated and consistently offensive.”

“It is time for Labour to expel him for good, and as soon as possible,” Arkush said.

Livingstone’s latest outrage was timed to coincide with International Holocaust Remembrance Day in January, when he appeared as the sole guest on a program on an official Iranian propaganda network that asked, “Has the Holocaust been exploited to oppress others?”
ISIS operatives spotted training teens near Israel border
The Israeli army's Combat Intelligence Collection Corps released surveillance footage on Thursday showing Islamic State-affiliated militants along the Israeli border in Syria training underage children to use weapons.

The Yarmouk Martyrs Brigade is a Salafi Sunni group that controls a strip of land in southern Syria, near the point where Israel, Syria and Jordan meet. The group swore allegiance to Islamic State in 2014.

In the footage captured by the Israel Defense Forces operatives are seen training underage recruits to use weapons. The group has been recruiting child soldiers to counter a manpower shortage, after having incurred losses while fighting the regional terrorist group Tahrir al-Sham, affiliated with al-Qaida.

The IDF does not believe that the Islamic State operatives in the Syrian Golan Heights are currently planning to target Israel, as they are mired in internal Syrian power struggles at the moment. But Israel is maintaining vigilance nonetheless.

In 2016, the IDF retaliated to an attack on one of its infantry patrols along the border by the group. The Israeli Air force struck targets in Syria, killing at least four terrorists, wounded others and destroyed an entire military base.
Palestinians say Gaza farmer killed by Israeli army fire
A Palestinian farmer was killed Saturday by Israeli army fire near the Gaza Strip city of Khan Yunis, the Hamas-run health ministry said.

An IDF spokeswoman said soldiers opened fire at a Palestinian man who had entered a “banned zone” near Gaza’s border with Israel, but gave no further details.

The Gaza Health ministry identified the farmer as 59-year-old Mohammed Abu Jumaa.

The area surrounding the Israel-Gaza border has seen an uptick in violence since US President Donald Trump announced he was recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital on December 6, in a move that infuriated Palestinians.

Gaza residents have staged regular demonstrations along the fence, and regular clashes with Israeli troops have resulted in the deaths of several protesters.

Last month, four IDF soldiers were injured when they attempted to remove the IED disguised as a flag from the Gaza security fence adjacent Khan Younis.

As they pulled the device off the fence, it was apparently detonated remotely.
Report: Hamas refusing to provide Egypt with details on missing Israelis
The Gaza-based terrorist group Hamas has rejected requests by Egyptian intelligence to disclose details about the status of IDF soldiers declared killed in action during fighting in the Strip more than three years ago, and whose remains are apparently being held by the Palestinian organization.

The group also refused to provide the Egyptians with information about other missing Israeli persons believed to be in Gaza, according to the Walla news site Saturday.

The Lebanese Al-Akhbar newspaper reported Saturday that Hamas informed Egypt it would not negotiate the matter unless Israel provided a commitment to implement all the clauses of the 2011 Shalit deal, in which the Jewish state released more than 1,000 convicted terrorists.

Last month, US President Donald Trump’s special envoy to the Middle East, Jason Greenblatt, seemed to contradict Israel by implying that IDF Staff Sgt. Oron Shaul is still alive, despite the army declaring him dead.

On July 20, 2014, during the Gaza war of that year, the armored personnel carrier in which Shaul’s unit was traveling was attacked by Hamas terrorists with an anti-tank missile in the Shejaiya neighborhood of Gaza City. Initially, the Israel Defense Forces declared that six soldiers were killed and that Shaul was missing.
Charges dropped against Lebanese actor accused of spying for Mossad
Lebanon's Interior Minister, Mouhad al-Mashnouk, announced via Twitter on Friday that Ziad Itani, a Lebanese actor accused of spying for Israel on behalf of the Mossad, had been cleared of the charges against him.

Itani was arrested and indicted in November after he was accused of "collaborating with Israel." Lebanon's internal security agency said that he had confessed to meeting with Israelis and had provided them intel. A report released about him stated that he favored "supporting Zionist ideas" and "establishing a Lebanese network to support the concept of normalization with Israel."

Now, the Information Branch of Lebanon's Internal Security Forces is investigating an intelligence official who reportedly fabricated evidence that was used to arrest Itani, according to Lebanese news site An-Nahar.

The individual, Major Susan Hajj Hobeiche, who once director the Anti-Cybercrime and Intellectual Property Bureau at the ISF, is said to have hired a hacker in an attempt to frame Itani.

The hacker, reportedly an informant for the ISF, is said to have created fake social media accounts both in Itani's name and in the names of made-up Israelis, forging conversations between them.

It is presumed that Hobeiche acted in revenge for an incident in which Itani shared a screenshot of a tweet that Hobeiche had favorited. The tweet, by a Lebanese film director, had mocked a Saudi Arabian decree permitting women to drive; Hobeiche later claimed she had liked the tweet on accident, and had believed it to have been sincere.

Hobeiche is one of several individuals being investigated for their roles in the framing of Itani.
Iran says no missile talks unless West gives up its nuclear weapons
Iran’s armed forces spokesman said on Saturday that there can be no talks on the country’s missile program without the West’s destruction of its nuclear weapons and long-range missiles.

“What Americans say out of desperation with regards to limiting the Islamic republic of Iran’s missile capability is an unattainable dream,” Brigadier General Masoud Jazayeri told the official IRNA news agency.

“The condition for negotiations on Iran’s missiles is the destruction of America’s and Europe’s nuclear weapons and long-range missiles.”

Jazayeri said US criticism of Iran’s missile programme was driven by “their failures and defeats in the region.”

US President Donald Trump has threatened to tear up a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers unless more is done to curb Iran’s missile program.

European governments have been scrambling to appease Trump and keep the deal intact, and have voiced increasing concern over Iran’s missile programme.
Punished for Not Chanting "Death to America, Israel, Britain"
Some sympathizers with extremist Muslims even try to insist that these messages are merely examples of "cultural differences". The goal of these sympathizers seems to be to mislead a vulnerable populace into thinking that they should not worry about these chants or about the open and passionate threats against their communities.

This dumbing-down is especially intriguing because the same people who attempt culturally to explain, justify or minimize the meaning of "Death to America" and "Death to Israel" have never lived under Islamic rule or even studied those fundamentalist states. Yet they take it upon themselves to explain the meaning of these chants as if they know better than the people issuing them.

Ultimately this conditioning of the Western culture allows the extremist Muslims to expand their agenda slowly and covertly, while those who raise the alarm are shoved to edge of society and ostracized as "racists" or "Islamophobes," while the public remains lulled into a slumbering state.
Bahrain arrests 116 alleged members of ‘Iran-linked terror cell’
Bahrain said on Saturday that it had arrested 116 people accused of belonging to a “terror” cell allegedly linked to Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.

An official statement on state news agency BNA said that security services had in the process thwarted a number of attacks and seized large quantities of arms and explosives.

Authorities in the tiny Gulf state have cracked down hard on dissent since mass street protests in 2011, which demanded an elected prime minister and constitutional monarchy in the Sunni-ruled, Shiite majority kingdom.

Bahrain frequently accuses opposition figures of links to Shiite Iran, which denies supporting any bid to overthrow the government.

The statement charged that the cell planned to target leading security figures and carry out attacks on oil and other vital installations.

It accused those detained of being members of a cell formed by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and said that as many as 48 of those detained had received military training in Iran, Iraq, and Lebanon.
Eli Lake: Turkey Is Turning Into the Next Pakistan
There isn't much that Turkey's president can do these days to further debase his reputation in the West. Recep Tayyip Erdogan has crushed peaceful protests at home and abroad, closed newspapers, threatened American soldiers, and collectively scapegoated Kurds. But over the weekend, Erdogan managed to go even lower.

At a rally at Kahramanmaras, the Turkish leader brought a trembling 6-year-old girl on stage dressed in military garb and told her she would be honored if she died as a martyr. He sounded like a terrorist. We expect this kind of child abuse from the fanatics in Hamas or Hezbollah. Erdogan though is the leader of an important NATO ally.

Turkey is beginning to resemble Pakistan, a perpetually failing state whose military leadership has tolerated and advanced a vision of political Islam deeply hostile to U.S. and Western interests.

To be sure, Turkey is not quite there yet. There is still a majority of Turks who want to eventually join the European Union. The Turkish economy is stronger than Pakistan's, and its banks are more trusted. And unlike in Pakistan, the driving force to further Islamize society has come from Erdogan, an elected leader, not the military. Indeed, the Turkish military has (until some of Erdogan's recent reforms) historically been a force that undermined the elected leadership through coups to preserve the secular tradition of modern Turkey's founder, Kemal Ataturk.
French police arrest four Arab teens suspected of beating Jewish boy
Police in France arrested four teenagers who are suspected of beating a Jewish boy with a stick and taking away his kippah outside a synagogue north of Paris.

The suspects were detained Wednesday night in Montmagny, Le Parisien daily reported Thursday.

Their alleged victim, 14, was beaten after 8 p.m. outside the suburban synagogue, where the holiday of Purim was being celebrated. The National Bureau for Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism, or BNVCA, praised authorities for “swift and effective” action.

The report did not say whether the boy was injured, but his sunglasses were smashed. One of his attackers was reportedly armed with a baton.

Police are treating the assault as an anti-Semitic incident.

The alleged attackers, aged 14 and 15, called the Jewish boy, his sister and brother “dirty Jews” at the park where they were playing, Le Parisien reported, based on police sources. According to BNVCA, all four suspects are of Arab descent.

The Jewish children were lighting firecrackers, a Purim custom in some Jewish neighborhoods in Europe. In recent years, communal leaders and Jewish school directors have forbidden the use of firecrackers and toy guns during Purim due to security concerns.

The alleged attackers are believed to have waited for the boy while he attended service at a nearby synagogue and assaulted him after he exited.
Belgian watchdog slams artist’s ‘anti-Semitic’ caricature of Stephen Miller
Belgium’s main watchdog on anti-Semitism accused a local cartoonist who was honored at Iran’s Holocaust mockery festival of drawing a Nazi-like caricature of White House adviser Stephen Miller.

Luc Descheemaeker, who in 2016 received a $1,000 prize from Tehran at its annual cartoon contest about the genocide, published the caricature of Miller in January. Miller, who is Jewish, appears as having a hooked-nose, oversized ears and fleshy lips. On Twitter, Descheemaeker hashtagged it “Influencer.”

“A caricature normally exaggerates facial features,” Joel Rubinfeld, president of the Belgian League Against Anti-Semitism, or LBCA, said this week about the caricature. “But these three features are classic elements of anti-Semitic caricatures like the ones of Der Sturmer,” he added, referencing a propaganda publication of Nazi Germany. “And they’re not very prominent in Miller’s face.”

Coupled with the “Influencer” hashtag and in view of “previous anti-Semitic works by Descheemaeker, this is quite clearly an anti-Semitic caricature,” Rubinfeld said.

Descheemaeker, who in 2016 was named “cultural ambassador” of his municipality of Torhout, did not reply to JTA’s requests for a comment. The City Council there also did not reply to repeated queries.
New Israeli technology replaces surgeon's knife with no-cut alternative
People who have to undergo surgery but fear the scalpel will have a less-frightening alternative, the enzymatic “blade.” Researchers at the Wolfson Faculty of Chemical Engineering at Haifa’s Technion-Israel Institute of Technology have developed a device that replaces the surgeon’s knife with natural biological materials.

In an article just published in ACS Nano of the American Chemical Society, the researchers present the application of this technology in a surgical procedure in the mouth. This application significantly reduces the pain associated with orthodontic surgery and significantly accelerates tissue restoration.

The research was conducted by Prof. Avi Schroeder, a nanotechnology expert who is head of the targeted drugs laboratory and personalized medicine technologies at the faculty. The “blade” is based on the intelligent use of enzymes – biological molecules by which the body restores itself – as well as nanoparticles and technology for controlled release of drugs.

Every year, about five million people in the US alone undergo orthodontic treatment; to speed up the treatment, which can take as long as two years, many of them undergo an invasive procedure in which the collagen fibers that connect the tooth to the bone tissue that holds it are cut for the laying of an orthodontic bridge.

The technology developed at the Technion softens the collagen fibers by means of a controlled release system of collagenase, an enzyme that breaks down the collagen. In methods developed in Schroeder’s lab, the collagenase is packed into liposomes – nanoscale particles with a spherical shape – that as long as they are there, cause the collagenase particles to be inactive. But when the gel is applied to the target site, the enzyme gradually begins to leak out of the liposome and soften the collagen fibers.

The main author of the article is Dr. Assaf Zinger, who conducted his research in the framework of his doctoral thesis under the guidance of Schroeder.

Zinger emphasizes that the new approach can be applied in a variety of other surgical procedures. “For thousands of years, the surgeon’s scalpel has become more sophisticated, but the paradigm has not changed,” he said. “In our study we present a significant paradigmatic change – the replacement of a mechanical-physical process with a biological process.”

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