Sunday, March 04, 2018

From Ian:

Four Wounded in Car-Ramming Terror Attack in Israeli City of Acre; Driver Shot
Two Israeli soldiers and one civilian were wounded in a car-ramming assault in the northern city of Acre on Sunday. Police have confirmed that the incident was a nationalistically motivated terror attack.

The attack took place near the city’s central train station. The driver of the car was shot by a soldier at the scene and taken to a hospital in critical condition.

His name has not been released, but the Hebrew news site Mako identified him as a resident of the Israeli-Arab town of Shfaram.

Police official Benny Avaliya stated, “There is almost 100 percent — if not 100 percent — certainty that we are dealing with a terror attack.”

The driver apparently first struck a policeman, then proceeded to hit two young soldiers nearby. Eli Bin, an official with the Magen David Adom emergency service, told Israel’s Channel 2 that paramedics arrived at the scene and found that the victims were lightly wounded. They were quickly evacuated to a hospital in the nearby town of Nahariya.

Magen David Adom’s Dovi Richter, who was at the scene, said, “I saw two young people around 20 fully conscious. They lay at the side of the road and suffered from light wounds in the head and body. I gave them first aid. I put them in the ambulance and we brought them in good condition to the hospital in Nahariya. We also treated a man around 51 who was wounded in the legs.”

Paramedic Shai Markovitz of emergency service Hatzalah gave first aid to the attacker, saying, “I found a driver who was critically injured after having suffered multiple gunshot wounds.”
Hamas hails Akko terror attack as 'brave and heroic'
The Hamas terrorist organization praised Sunday’s ramming attack in the northern Israeli city of Akko, calling the attack “heroic and brave”.

Earlier on Sunday, an Israeli Arab terrorist rammed an Israeli Border Police officer and IDF soldiers at two different locations in the northern coastal city of Akko before being shot and neutralized. The terrorist was later taken into custody and evacuated for treatment. His condition is listed as moderate.

Police later confirmed that the incident was intentional, and that the attacker had acted out of nationalistic motives.

Later on Sunday, the Gaza-based Hamas terror group praised the attack, hailing it as “heroic and brave”.

A Hamas spokesperson further claimed that the attack was a testament to the “determination” of the “Palestinian people to continue in their use of resistance” to defend their land and holy places.

PMW: Fatah claims 2-year-old victims were soldiers to hide that it murdered children
While glorifying the female terrorist murderer Dalal Mughrabi who led the most lethal terror attack against Israel, Abbas' Fatah Movement tried to hide the fact that the terrorists murdered children and adult civilians.

In a video on Facebook, Fatah lied, claiming the terrorists killed "soldier passengers," on the bus they hijacked, when in fact they murdered 12 children and 25 adult civilians, in what is known as the "Coastal Road Massacre."

These are 12 of those "soldier passengers":

The video assures that terrorist Mughrabi's name "will remain engraved in golden letters in the history of the Palestinian struggle":

Text in video: "When the woman carried a rifle to liberate the homeland
The date:
March 11, 1978
The place:
The Palestinian coast (i.e., the Israeli coast)
12 members of the Deir Yassin squad
The target:
The Israeli Parliament building
Abu Jihad visited the special forces and told the squad they have a task
The time: 18:40
The squad began to carry out the operation
The plan was
to take over an Israeli army bus and drive to Tel Aviv
Dalal Mughrabi - Military commander of the Deir Yassin squad
The squad took over the bus and all of its soldier passengers
Israel appointed a special military unit led by [Ehud] Barak to stop the bus
The squad confronted the Israeli forces. Dalal and her comrades died as Martyrs, and one fell into captivity.
Then Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin admitted that 37 Israelis were killed and over 80 were wounded.
Dalal Mughrabi's name will remain engraved in golden letters in the history of the Palestinian struggle and the resistance to the occupation
Production: Fatah TV Montage: Ali Fa'our"
[Facebook page of the Fatah Movement - Nablus Branch, Jan. 29, 2018;
Facebook page of the Fatah Movement - Bethlehem Branch, Jan. 31, 2018]

Michael Danby MP: Roger Waters: Comfortably dumb
Sanitising a hate-filled political campaign like the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) campaign is difficult. It obviously has repugnant historical parallels with the boycott of Jewish businesses in 1930’s Germany. So what do you do to get away from the image of jack-booted stormtroopers menacing people outside shops in Berlins swanky Kurfürstendamm?

You do what host Waleed Aly did with his recent interview with BDS promoter Roger Waters, the ex-Pink Floyd musician, during his recent appearance on the Channel 10’s infotainment programme The Project. To a wholly ahistorical, non-ideological millennial audience, you reclassify the BDS as a ‘creative’ boycott. In reality, BDS ideologues repeatedly attest that it aims through political means to get rid of Israel altogether. Love or hate Benjamin Netanyahu, the raison d’être of the eliminationist BDS movement is not to change this or that Israeli policy. It doesn’t aim to critique Netanyahu. Does Waleed Aly know this? Of course, Waleed Aly won’t let me or any other informed person dissent on The Project about his soft-sell of the BDS movement. If it’s not influencing Israeli policy then what are the aims of this political movement against the Middle East’s only open liberal democratic society?

The BDS’s chief, founder and operator in the United States is Omar Barghouti. He says: ‘The current phase has all the emblematic properties of what may be considered the final chapter of the Zionist project. We are witnessing the rapid demise of Zionism, and nothing can be done to save it, for Zionism is intent on killing itself. I, for one, support euthanasia.’ Other leading BDS ideologues are also explicit. As’ad Abu Khalil: ‘The real aim of the BDS is to bring down the state of Israel… That should be stated as an unambiguous goal. There should not be any equivocation on the subject. Justice and freedom for the Palestinians are incompatible with the existence of the state of Israel.’

Ahmed Moor: ‘OK, fine. So BDS does mean the end of the Jewish state… I view the BDS movement as a long-term project with radically transformative potential… In other words, BDS is not another step on the way to the final showdown; BDS is The Final Showdown.’

To enforce the BDS on musicians, Roger Waters and his BDS gang orchestrate vile social media attacks on anyone who performs in Israel.

Why left-wing anti-Semitism matters
The comparison with Farrakhan is important. He has a mass following among adherents of the Nation of Islam. And many others in the African-American community that don’t claim to share his views treat him as a respected ally. That includes members of the Congressional Black Caucus, who hosted him back in 2005 when he took a picture smiling next to Illinois Sen. Barack Obama (which was repressed by a sympathetic photographer who didn’t wish to endanger Obama’s hopes for a higher office). Rep. Keith Ellison, the deputy chair of the Democratic National Committee was also a longtime supporter of Farrakhan.

The same is true of people like Sarsour. The BDS (boycott, divest and sanctions) movement hasn’t won any major battles in America. But it has a foothold on many major American college campuses and is backed by many on the left. It is also inextricably linked to incidents of antisemitism and attacks on Jewish students, which occur wherever the BDSers raise their banner.

Liberal critics of Trump were right to demand that he disassociate himself from haters, as he belatedly did after Charlottesville. But a Women’s March that is prepared to turn a blind eye to Mallory’s connections and those of Sarsour cannot claim any legitimacy. That’s especially true when the reaction of many of its supporters to complaints about their ties is to attack those pointing out the problem rather than holding their leaders accountable.

That said, the obligation of liberal Jews is to ensure that the Women’s March is free of any taint of antisemitism and hatred for Israel.
How the Left Became its Own Worst Enemy - Part II
This willingness to indulge even the most anti-liberal beliefs and behaviour finds many of its roots in the general disdain many left-wingers and liberals seem to feel for Western democracy, human rights and individualism. But that does not explain why so many people, often decent people, are drawn to defend Islam, Islamic patriarchy, Islamic discrimination against women, violence and more, even when such defence is obviously anti-liberal in the extreme.

I have never known a liberal to say a bad word about a more prevalent and arguably more damaging imperialism: Islamic imperialism. There have been many more imperialist Muslim empires than European ones.

One might have thought that historical facts such as these would provoke human-rights activists to put the Muslim empires into the same category as the later European ones. Not a word of it. Nor do liberals mention another issue that should be close to their hearts: the Islamic slave trade.
Trump the Deal-maker and the Middle East
The first reason that so many deal-makers have failed is that peace is never negotiated and is always imposed by the side that wins a war. There is not any instance in history, which is primarily a narrative of countless wars, in which an outsider has imposed peace on unwilling belligerents.

The second reason is that outside deal-makers have their interests and agendas which make an already tangled web even more complicated. For example, in the case of American deal-makers, how to win Jewish votes in the US without antagonizing the Arabs who sell us oil and buy our arms?

The third reason is that whenever a status quo is at least tolerable for both belligerents, the desire for risking it in the hope of an ill-defined peace is diminished. Many people in the world live with a status quo they don't regard as ideal.

There is one thing that Trump the deal-maker could do. He could ask the Israelis and the Palestinians to work on an agreement, each in their own camp, on what they exactly want, and report to him.
Israel-born Oracle chief shortlisted for US national security adviser
The White House over the weekend pushed back against reports suggesting that U.S. President Donald Trump was planning to imminently replace National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster.

According to a CNN report, Israeli-born co-CEO of Oracle, Safra Catz, is on the shortlist to replace McMaster. Catz was also part of Trump's transition team.

Also on the alleged shortlist are former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton and Stephen Biegun, vice president of international government affairs at Ford Motor Company and a former senior staff member to National Security Agency Condoleezza Rice under the George W. Bush administration.

National Security Council spokesman Michael Anton said Trump called the report "fake news" in a meeting with McMaster Thursday and informed McMaster "that he is doing a great job."

"We frequently face rumor and innuendo about senior administration officials," White House Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah said. "There are no personnel announcements at this time."
Senators soften anti-BDS bill following criticism
A US Senate bill to intended to ban businesses from boycotting Israel has reportedly been scaled down, following criticism from civil libertarians.

Maryland Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin on Saturday released an updated version of the bipartisan legislation, which is aimed at combating the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign targeting Israel for what some see as its mistreatment of the Palestinians, after the American Civil Liberties Union said it would inhibit free speech.

The amended text of the bill is said by Cardin to affirm business rights under the country’s First Amendment, defend the right to engage in personal boycotts and limit proposed punishments for violating the law to just fines, the Baltimore Sun reported.

Among other criticisms, there were concerns that the bill, which updates a 1970s law targeting the Arab League boycott of Israel, would also replicate its stiff jail sentences, and that simple expressions of support for a boycott of Israel would be criminalized.
Iran, Mideast peace process on agenda for PM-Trump meeting
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, departed for the U.S. on Saturday night ahead of Netanyahu's meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump. This will be the fifth meeting between Trump and Netanyahu since the former took office.

Prior to leaving on Saturday night, Netanyahu tweeted, "I leave tonight for the United States on an important visit. While there, I will meet with [U.S. President] Donald Trump, and I will speak at the AIPAC [American Israel Public Affairs Committee] annual convention.

"While speaking with the president, I will thank him on behalf of the Israeli public for moving the American Embassy to Jerusalem in honor of Israel's 70th Independence Day.

Netanyahu said that the "first and foremost" topic he and Trump would discuss during their March 5 meeting would be Iran, "especially ahead of the decision regarding the Iranian nuclear program. We will discuss Iran's aggression in the region in general, and specifically with regard to the Iranian nuclear program."

The prime minister also said he and Trump would discuss advancing the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, which he called "very important for Israel" and "important for the security of the entire world."
Poll: 63% of Israelis think Right will stay in power for the next decade
Close to two-thirds of the Israeli public believe that the right-wing bloc will continue to lead the government for at least another 10 years, according to the "Future Index" compiled for the 2018 Sderot Conference for Society by the Sapir Academic College and the Sderot Cinematheque.

The poll asked 624 Jewish and Arab Israelis what they expected the country to look like a decade from now.

The percentage of Jewish respondents who said they expected the Right to remain in power for the next decade was noticeably higher than the percentage of Arab respondents who thought the same: 66% compared to 50%.

Nearly half of the public as a whole believed that Jewish-Arab tensions would grow worse, although the Arabs were more optimistic about the future of coexistence, with 23% of Arab respondents saying they believed that tensions would fade, compared to 18% of Jewish respondents who said the same.

According to the poll, 60% of the public (63% of Jews and 45% of Arabs) does not believe that there will be a permanent peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians in the next 10 years, and 54% believe that Iran will have nuclear weapons.

Nevertheless, most respondents expected Israel's security to improve.
Fatah: Abbas turned down meeting with Trump administration officials
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas rejected an offer to meet with Trump administration officials last month when he visited New York City, Fatah Central Committee member Azzam al-Ahmad said on Saturday.

In February, Abbas spent a few days in New York City, where he delivered a speech to the United Nations Security Council.
“When President Abu Mazen went to the Security Council, they tried to meet with him, but President Abu Mazen refused,” Ahmad told official PA television, referring to Abbas’s nickname and American officials.

Since US President Donald Trump in December recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and initiated the relocation of the American Embassy in Tel Aviv to the city, Abbas has said the Palestinians will no longer work with an American-led peace process and has called for a multilaterally mediated peace process to replace it.

In January, Abbas also turned down a meeting with US Vice President Mike Pence when the latter visited the Middle East on a multi-day tour.

In the interview with PA television, Ahmad did not clearly name the officials who attempted to arrange a meeting with Abbas.
AIPAC launches conference with appeal to progressives
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee launched its annual conference with an appeal to bipartisanship, including a plea to progressives not to leave the pro-Israel cause.

“To my friends in the progressive community, I want you to know we are partners in this project,” AIPAC president Mort Fridman said Sunday at the launch of this year’s conference at the Washington convention center.

“The progressive narrative for Israel is just as compelling and critical as the conservative one,” Fridman said. “There are very real forces trying to pull you out of this hall and out of this movement and we cannot let that happen — we will not let that happen!” The crowd applauded.

Fridman said maintaining bipartisan support for Israel was critical in a polarizing time.

“People are angry and hurting and frustrated and fed up,” Fridman said. “There’s an impulse to walk away from politics to retreat to partisan corners and to demonize the other side. We cannot let those impulses win the day.”

AIPAC has been buffeted in recent years by tensions between Israel and Democrats during the previous administration led by President Barack Obama. It is striving to rebuild bipartisan support at a time when President Donald Trump has made good on promises that AIPAC has had for years on its agenda: recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and seeking to alter the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

Fridman’s thanks to Trump for those policies earned extended applause.
JPost Editorial: What Prince William's visit means for Israeli-British relations
Asking why the British royalty has refrained from making an official visit to Israel since its founding 70 years ago seems out of place now, precisely when such a visit is slated to take place this summer. It’s like the Jewish mother who, upon receiving a phone call from her son, asks him why he never calls.

Nevertheless, we’d like to run through some of the explanations given over the decades. By understanding why visits have been put off for so long, we can better appreciate the change of heart that has taken hold among British royals and the British government. This will make Prince William’s visit to Israel, which includes a stopover at the Palestinian Authority, all the more praiseworthy.

It might even signal a subtle change in Israel’s international status.

In 2007, leaked emails between two senior aides to Prince Charles provided a rare look at the thinking behind the turning down of repeated Israeli invitations.

In email exchanges obtained by The Jewish Chronicle between Sir Michael Peat, the prince’s principal secretary, and Clive Alderton, Peat’s deputy, it emerged that the two were concerned Israel would exploit a royal visit for political goals.

After complaining that he was being “pursued” by then-Israeli ambassador to Britain Zvi Heifetz, Alderton wrote to his boss that “acceptance [of the Israeli invitation] would make it hard to avoid the many ways in which Israel would want HRH [Prince Charles] to help burnish its international image.
David Singer: Prince William's visit will advance the Jordan-Israel solution
Kensington Palace’s carefully-crafted tweet announcing that “The Duke of Cambridge will visit Israel, Jordan and the Occupied Palestinian Territories in the Summer” – could spark a diplomatic war with far-reaching implications.

The Palace clarified that:
“The visit is at the request of Her Majesty's Government and has been welcomed by the Israeli, Jordanian and Palestinian authorities.”

This will be the first official Royal tour to the State of Israel since its establishment in 1948. Israel’s President Rivlin and Prime Minister Netanyahu have expressed their delight at this long-overdue announcement.

Jordan – visited officially by Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip in 1984 – will enthusiastically welcome their grandson Prince William.

The British Government’s decision to also dispatch the Prince to visit the “Occupied Palestinian Territories” (“OPT”) – Judea and Samaria (the West Bank), East Jerusalem and Gaza – the last remaining 5% of the territory of the Mandate for Palestine where sovereignty remains unresolved between Jews and Arabs – is very intriguing.
"A celebration of Britain's relationship with Israel"
UK ambassador David Quarrey talks to "Globes" about the planned official visit to Israel by Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, the first by a British royal.

Globes: Why was it decided to hold the visit at this particular time?
"There was no specific event that led to the decision. We see this visit as a symbol and celebration of the good relationship between Britain and Israel. We have ramified ties in technology, security, mutual trade relations... the prince's visit will be an important opportunity to stress and promote these ties."

Will Prince William come alone, or will other family members accompany him?
"As far as is known at present, Prince William plans to come by himself. This the first visit by the royal family, and it should be understood that as far as the wider family is concerned, they are in a period of many family events, and so my understanding is that at this stage only the prince will come."

Prince William is part of the royal family, and in Israel we have no royalty, only elected representatives. Perhaps you would explain to us the significance of a visit of this kind from the point of view of foreign policy and political ties?
"This is not a political visit, but the arrival in Israel of the person who is second in line to the British crown, a very important person. The significance of the visit lies in the strengthening of ties between the two countries. He is not coming here to talk about political or diplomatic matters, but only to strengthen the relationship."
German national arrested for throwing rocks at IDF during West Bank protest
A German national was arrested after throwing stones at IDF troops during a weekly demonstration in the West Bank city of Bil’in, Israel Police said Sunday.

The 24-year-old tourist was interrogated following his Friday arrest and confessed to the charges, according to authorities.

On Saturday evening, he was brought before the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court where his remand was extended until Monday.

“The investigation is ongoing and steps are being taken to expel him from Israel,” the police statement concluded.

An official from Germany’s embassy in Tel Aviv said he was looking into the matter, but declined to comment further.
Palestinians say Gaza farmer shot dead by Israeli troops
The Palestinian Health Ministry says a farmer has died after being shot by Israeli troops near the Gaza border.

The ministry says the 59-year-old farmer was shot in the back Saturday as he worked his land near the border fence and died hours later from his wounds.

The Israeli military says it identified a suspect approaching a restricted area in the southern Gaza Strip and troops first fired warning shots into the air. When the suspect failed to halt, it said forces fired at him and he fled the area.

Israel has vowed to take stricter measures toward people approaching the fence after a bomb explosion wounded four soldiers there last month. Israel accused Palestinian demonstrators, who hold weekly protests there, of planting the device.
IsraellyCool: The Curious Case Of the Palestinian Farmer
The New Arab also reports the farmer died, but his name was Mohammed Atta Abdel Mawla, not Abu Jame. He was shot five times (not once), wad rushed to the hospital, before his condition deteriorated and he died late afternoon.

According to IMEMC News, his name was Mohammad Ata Abu Jame, he was shot at noon and died this evening.

So which is it? Was the farmer Mohammed Atta Abdel Mawla or Mohammad Ata Abu Jame? Was he shot once or five times? Did he arrive at the hospital in moderate condition (and is still alive) or was he rushed to hospital in more serious condition and deteriorated, dying in the late afternoon? Or did he die this evening?

As I keep emphasizing, if the palestinians are telling the truth, we would not keep finding multiple versions of the once incident.
Fatah names potential successor for PA leader Abbas
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will be replaced by his deputy, Mahmoud al-Aloul, if he becomes unable to fulfill his duties, Fatah's Central Committee decided in Ramallah on Saturday.

According to Palestinian media outlets, Fatah's Central Committee decided that should Abbas, 82, were unable to continue in his role, al-Aloul will be appointed "acting president of Palestine for a period of three months until elections can be held."

According to senior Fatah officials, the committee, also amended Palestinian law to facilitate the transfer of Abbas' presidential powers to his deputy if it becomes imperative, for the aforementioned three-month interim period.

"The amendment to Palestinian law on the matter of transferring Abbas' presidential authorities to his deputy Mahmoud al-Aloul, was made in light of rumors regarding Abba's failing health," one council official said.

The Palestinian president was hospitalized in the U.S. during his recent visit to New York, sparking a flurry of media reports quoting unnamed medical officials saying Abbas was coping with stomach cancer. This, in turn, raised concerns in the PA that he would be rendered incapable of performing his duties because of declining health.
In overture to Hamas, PA includes 20,000 of its employees in budget
The Palestinian Authority has included some 20,000 Hamas employees in its 2018 budget, thus removing any obstacle hindering the implementation of the “reconciliation” agreement between the two factions, PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah announced on Saturday.

He called on Hamas to allow the PA government to assume full responsibilities in the Gaza Strip, including tax collection and control of the border crossings with Egypt and Israel.

Hamdallah also demanded that the PA be allowed to enforce law and order in the Gaza Strip through its police force and judicial system and urged Hamas to permit PA civil servants in the Gaza Strip to return to their jobs.

Hamdallah’s statements came during a visit to the town of Anabta in the Tulkarem area of the West Bank.

The Palestinian Authority prime minister did not provide details about the Hamas employees who have been added to the PA payroll.

The Hamas employees do not include members of Hamas’s military wing or other security apparatuses, a senior Palestinian official in Ramallah clarified.

Hamas, an Islamist terror group, has strongly rejected the idea of laying down its weapons or dismantling its military wing in the context of any agreement with the PA.
COGAT accuses Hamas of stealing electricity from Gazan hospitals, school
A video that allegedly shows Hamas operatives stealing electricity from Gazan civilian institutions was posted on Facebook by the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) Maj.-Gen. Yoav “Poly” Mordechai.

“The Hamas terror organization continues to steal from Gazan residents,” Mordechai wrote on his Facebook page.

“Yesterday it was reported that Hamas militants reached the Gaza Strip border fence at 16:30, to an area where there is an electricity line to connect it to pirated grids for terror purposes,” Mordechai wrote. The electricity line was intended for hospitals and schools in the city of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip, he said, but added: “Hamas is not interested in the population and even oppresses it.”

While Israel and Hamas have both said they are not looking for conflict, the current fuel crisis – in which Gaza Strip residents have less than four hours of electricity per day – has led to concern among senior IDF officials that a confrontation might break out if one side miscalculates actions by the other.

Hamas has provoked confrontation with Israel in the past in order to distract attention from internal issues. In addition to a lack of fuel for electricity, Gaza’s water utility company has also warned that when the power is off, it does not have enough fuel to run water and sanitation facilities.
Report: Two Houthi Prisoners in Yemen Admit They Were Trained by Hezbollah
A militant with the Iran-supported Houthi militia in Yemen has reportedly admitted that he and others underwent weapons training and ideological indoctrination by the Lebanese terror organization Hezbollah before being sent to fight in Yemen.

The media center run by the Yemenite army released a video clip on Tuesday showing two Houthi prisoners recalling how they were recruited to fight in the ranks of the pro-Iranian militia.

One of the two, Zakariya Awada, recalled how he had been given military training two months ago in the Sahawaba region in the Sanaa district before being sent into battle by the Houthis. He said that the fighters who participated also attended ideological workshops. According to Awada, the military and ideological training was given by specialists from Hezbollah.

The second prisoner, Abdullah al-Asati, said that he was tricked by the Houthis, who convinced him to go to the ideological workshops before finding himself on the battle front within just a few days, with the Houthis telling him that he was fighting to defend the homeland. According to al-Asati, the ideological workshops were given by Hezbollah members.

He also claimed that he thought the ideological workshops were full of misrepresentations and lies. He recounted how his friend became a victim of the Houthi’s propaganda campaign, for which he feels sorrow and remorse. Al-Asati called on his friends not to believe the Houthis.

The Al Arabiya website reported that the Houthis have begun an expansive campaign in recent months to recruit school children and street youth.
Hardware haul for Israelis at Ju-Jitso Worlds
Israel’s delegation to the Ju-Jitsu World Championship for Juniors (under-21) and Aspirants (under-18) returned home from Abu Dhabi with two gold medals, four silvers and seven bronzes, but the Hatikvah national anthem and the Israel flag were both conspicuously missing in the medal ceremonies.

While the members of the delegation reported that they received a warm welcome and were treated very well in the capital of the United Arab Emirates, Israel’s representatives were once more forced to compete in Abu Dhabi without any symbol of their country.

With Israel and the UAE not having diplomatic relations, the blue-and-white team was forced to compete under the flag of the Jiu-Jitsu International Federation. The organizers claiming that due to security reasons, the Israelis can’t have their flag on their uniforms and instead of having ISR (Israel) by their names on the scoreboard and on their backs, they will have to take part as representatives of the JJIF.

For the same reason, they explained that should an Israeli win a gold medal, the national anthem would not be played, just as was the case in the judo Grand Slam event in Abu Dhabi last October.

Meshi Rozenfeld won a gold medal in the women’s juniors under-55 kilogram competition, while Nimrod Ryder finished first in the men’s juniors under-77kg event.

Sarah Kovilev took a silver in the aspirants under-48kg contest, a remarkable achievement when considering that the 16-year-old was born deaf.

UConn to host speaker who once called for ‘jihad’ against U.S. ‘fascists’
Muslim activist Linda Sarsour has called for divestments and sanctions against Israel

Prominent social activist Linda Sarsour, who has previously come under fire for controversial comments regarding opposition to the Trump administration, is set to speak at the University of Connecticut as an invited guest of the school’s Office for Diversity and Inclusion.

The event, scheduled for March 7, is also hosted in part by the school’s Women’s, Gender and Sexualities Studies department and its Human Rights Institute.

The event listing describes Sarsour as a “racial justice and civil rights activist” who “has received numerous awards and honors including “Champion of Change” by the White House, YWCA USA’s Women of Distinction Award for Advocacy and Civic Engagement, and the Hala Maksoud Leadership Award from the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.”

The description also lists Sarsour as “one of the four co-organizers of the January 21, 2017, Women’s March on Washington.”

Sarsour, who has generated controversy in recent months over several controversial comments she made regarding women, Islam and Sharia Law, and Israel, last year called for a “jihad” against “the fascists and white supremacists and Islamophobes reigning in the White House.”
Florida teacher reportedly ran white supremacist podcast
A Florida school district is reeling after a report over the weekend exposed a public school teacher’s neo-Nazi activism.

On Saturday, the Huffington Post published an exclusive report on the online activities of Dayanna Volitich, who teaches middle school students at the Crystal River Middle School in Central Florida. The article revealed that Volitich has been posing online as Tiana Dalichov and ran the “Unapologetic” podcast. Since the report, Volitich pulled her site from the Internet and deleted her Twitter account, though HuffPost saved screenshots and audio of her views. Other tweets were still available via Twitter analysis tools.

In the podcast, Volitich railed against the idea that she was supposed to teach all students as if they were equal, and mocked the fact that the school believes those from Nigeria and those from Sweden can learn the same way.

“That’s just the way it is,” she said. “There are races that have higher IQs than others.”

Volitich said she learned to act a certain way when administrators were watching and a different way when they left the room.
“I’m getting a little bit more underhanded about how I deal with it,” she said.

In now-deleted tweets, Volitich wrote that the “JQ” – i.e., the Jewish Question – is “incredibly complex.” She also praised the work of author Kevin McDonald, whose books have been described as “nothing but gussied-up antisemitism.”
German WWI pilot painted Star of David on plane to annoy future top Nazi
A photo album up for auction later this month contains images of a World War I German aircraft painted with a Jewish Star of David symbol, put there in response to comments made by future top Nazi Hermann Goering.

Lt Adolf Auer, who was not Jewish, and his Jewish wingman, Willi Rosenstein, served in the Luftstreitkräfte alongside Goering, the Daily Mail reported Thursday.

According to the auction catalog, “It was said that Auer painted the Jewish Star of David on his aircraft in support of Rosenstein and to annoy his fellow aviator, Goering.”

Although many Jews served in the German army during WWI, it still appears incongruous to see a Fokker biplane with a Star of David alongside the German Iron Cross in fighter squadron Jagdstaffel 40.

Auer was quoted as saying that he would rather be saved by a Jewish pilot than die in a plane crash.

Matthew Tredwin, of C&T Auctioneers of Ashford, Kent, told the Mail, “At the time there was no anti-Jew issue in Germany, it was just Hermann Goering’s personal opinion at the time that he clearly carried with him into the Second World War.”
Tel Aviv hosts 5th annual Vegan Congress
For the fifth year in a row, Vegan Friendly Israel has put together an international roster of activists and experts for a two-day Vegan Congress, to be held March 8-9 at the Benjamin Duhl Auditorium in Tel Aviv.

The first Vegan Congress in 2014 drew 600 people. Last year’s Vegan Congress attracted 1,500 participants.

Approximately 5 percent of Israelis identify as vegan, the highest percentage of vegans per capita in the world. The switch to a plant-based diet generally is motivated by animal-welfare or health concerns, or both.

This trend has led to Israel’s growing prominence as a destination for vegan tourism, since the country boasts many vegan-friendly eateries or all-vegan restaurants, particularly in Tel Aviv.

The Vegan Congress gives Israelis access to lectures by well-known local and international activists.
Comedian Jimmy Carr heading for Israel
Jimmy Carr will be bringing his trademark off-color humor and deadpan delivery to Tel Aviv this summer.

The British stand-up comedian and popular TV host will take the stage at Heichal Hatarbut on August 11. Carr is stopping in Israel as part of his "Best Of, Ultimate, Gold, Greatest Hits World Tour," which includes shows in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Canada, South Africa and more.

It will be Carr's first performance in the Jewish state, but not his first visit.

In an appearance at a charity dinner for Magen David Adom in London in 2014, the Catholic-born Carr said he spent two months on a kibbutz in the 90s.
Leonardo DiCaprio invests in green energy Israel hotel
Leonardo DiCaprio is investing in a green-certified hotel in Herzliya.

The Oscar-winning actor and prominent environmental activist will be joining the Hagag Group as a partner in the hotel, according to a statement from the company on Sunday.

The hotel, which will be built along the Herzliya Marina, will be constructed according to the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Planning) standards of the US Green Building Council.

“Green environmental development is a significant part of building communities that work in partnership with nature and not against it,” DiCaprio said. “As we seek to create a future that heads off the most severe effects of climate change, we need projects that push for new developments in environmental design... This project, designed by David Rockwell and which meets the gold standard of LEED, will serve as a model for environmentally friendly hotel development for the entire world.”
Israeli medical cannabis company announces record $110 million deal
An Israeli company on Sunday announced a $110 million deal to grow and produce medical cannabis for a European buyer in what it said was the biggest agreement of its kind to be signed in Israel to date.

But it threatened that if the Israeli government did not approve the export of medical cannabis soon, it would sell its knowledge and expertise rather than the cannabis itself.

Medivie Therapeutic and its subsidiary High Pharma will earmark around 100 dunams (25 acres) of land to grow, produce and export up to 50 tons of medical cannabis to the investor each year.

In return, the investor will pay $30 million in the first year for completion of due diligence checks — after which it will reveal its identity — and for rental and preparation of the land, followed by $20 million a year for years two to six for the produce.

The location of the cannabis fields will depend on whether the Israeli government approves the export of medical marijuana.
Top Iraqi newsman issues unprecedented apology
In what has been hailed as a 'transformational' development, a top news anchor in Iraq has issued an unprecedented apology to the Iraqi-Jewish community for their dispossession and expulsion.

Anwar Al-Hamdani is one of the top newsmen in Iraq. He produces and presents his daily, controversial top rated programme Studio 9 or Al Tasi’aa which is watched daily by millions in Iraq.

Al-Hamdani himself contacted the journalist Linda Menuhin in Israel asking her to circulate the clip. It has since gone viral and has had more than 80,000 views.

The clip airs a very powerful testimony by an Iraqi-Jewish woman now living in Israel. In a mixture of Arabic and Hebrew, she tells us her account of her experience of the 1941 Farhud, and how they were oppressed and their monies, assets, bank accounts and properties were confiscated and their Iraqi citizenship was revoked. Moreover some were executed and almost all were deported from Iraq.

Linda Menuhin has hailed Al-Hamdani's apology as 'transformational'.
Israel: UN exhibit proves 3,000 years of history cannot be denied
As part of his five-day visit to the United States, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will stop at the U.N. Headquarters in New York on Thursday, to check out a special exhibit aimed at providing archaeological proof of the continuous Jewish history in Jerusalem.

The exhibit, a joint effort by the Jerusalem Affairs and Heritage Ministry and the Israeli Mission to the U.N., follows a series of resolutions passed by the U.N. denying Jewish ties to the city.

Ambassadors, diplomats and senior U.N. officials have all been invited to view the exhibit, which presents authentic archaeological findings discovered in Israel alongside replicas of other findings that serve to illustrate the connection between the Jewish people and Israel's capital.

Among the archaeological findings on display are a 2,700-year-old seal impression inscribed in ancient Hebrew, which was discovered in January, and an inscription from the seal of biblical King Hezekiah who ruled from 727-698 BCE and helped build Jerusalem into an ancient metropolis.

According to Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. Danny Danon, "The historical truth is the best answer to the attempts to dispute the eternal connection between the Jewish people and their capital."

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