Sunday, April 22, 2018

From Ian:

All the Fake News That’s Fit to Print
On Saturday, Nellie Bowles, a technology reporter for The New York Times, wrote a piece about Campbell Brown, the former news anchor recently hired by Facebook to help the social media giant improve its relationship with the news media. One obvious problem is Facebook’s contribution to the dissemination of fake news, which Brown is now fighting. How? Let the Paper of Record tell you all about it.

“Ms. Brown,” wrote Bowles, “wants to use Facebook’s existing Watch product — a service introduced in 2017 as a premium product with more curation that has nonetheless been flooded with far-right conspiracy programming like ‘Palestinians Pay $400 million Pensions For Terrorist Families.’”

As those of us who are in the reality based community know, the Palestinian Authority’s financial support of terrorists and their families is very, very far from a conspiracy, far-right or otherwise. Reading Bowles’s report, for example, Lahav Harkov, the Knesset reporter for The Jerusalem Post, took to Twitter to share some of her meticulous reporting on the Palestinian pay-for-slay program with Bowles: Read the real news, and you’ll learn that, in 2017, the PA doled out more than $347 million to families of terrorists who had murdered Jews, increasing the amount to $403 million this year. Between 2013 and 2017, the PA spent $1.12 billion on supporting terrorists and their families, as Yosef Kuperwasser, the former head of the IDF intelligence’s research branch, reported in Tablet last May.
New York Times' Nellie Bowles: PA Payments For Terrorists, a 'Far-Right Conspiracy'
Moreover, does The Times' Bowles consider her own paper part of the vast "far-right conspiracy"? The Times has repeatedly reported the fact that the Palestinian Authority pays the families of terrorists. See for example, the May 2, 2017 Times article ("G.O.P. Pressures Trump to Take Tough Stance With Mahmoud Abbas") which confirms that not even the Palestinian officials try to deny that their government is providing the families of suicide bombers with funding:

The issue of payments to families of suicide bombers and others who commit violence has become a frequent complaint by Israel and its supporters. The Palestinian Authority spends about $315 million a year to distribute cash and benefits to 36,000 families, according to Sander Gerber, a New York hedge fund executive and fellow at the Jerusalem Center Public Affairs, who has studied the issue and brought his research to American lawmakers. . . .

Palestinian leaders defend the payments, saying they are meant to help widows and orphans of "martyrs," as they call suicide bombers and others killed in attacks, as well as destitute families of prisoners, not to promote terrorism. . . .

But Mr. Rajoub also signaled that Palestinian leaders would be willing to reconsider the payments as part of a "broader negotiation." . . . (Emphasis added.)


In 2015, The New York Times reported ("Palestine Groups Are Found Liable at Terror Trial," Feb. 24):

But citing testimony, payroll records and other documents, the plaintiffs showed that many of those involved in the planning and carrying out of the attacks had been employees of the Palestinian Authority, and that the authority had paid salaries to terrorists imprisoned in Israel and had made martyr payments to the families of suicide bombers.

As far back as 2006, Steven Erlanger wrote in The Times ("Hamas: Rivalry Breeds Extremes") July 2, 2006:

Syria and Iran, which support the Hamas leaders in exile, have no interest in a calm Israeli-Palestinian relationship, and they are masters at manipulating the third rail of Palestinian politics -- the need to payrespect and honor to those who fight Israel and ''the occupation,'' including prisoners and suicide bombers.

CAMERA has contacted Times editors to request a correction. Stay tuned for an update.
Bret Stephens: Jewish Power at 70 Years
The armchair corporals of Western punditry think this is excessive. It would be helpful if they could suggest alternative military tactics to an Israeli government dealing with an urgent crisis against an adversary sworn to its destruction. They don’t.

It would also be helpful if they could explain how they can insist on Israel’s retreat to the 1967 borders and then scold Israel when it defends those borders. They can’t. If the armchair corporals want to persist in demands for withdrawals that for 25 years have led to more Palestinian violence, not less, the least they can do is be ferocious in defense of Israel’s inarguable sovereignty. Somehow they almost never are.

Israel’s 70th anniversary has occasioned a fresh round of anxious, if not exactly new, commentary about the rifts between Israeli and Diaspora Jewry. Some Diaspora complaints, especially with respect to religion and refugees, are valid and should be heeded by Jerusalem.

But to the extent that the Diaspora’s objections are prompted by the nonchalance of the supposedly nonvulnerable when it comes to Israel’s security choices, then the complaints are worse than feckless. They provide moral sustenance for Hamas in its efforts to win sympathy for its strategy of wanton aggression and reckless endangerment. And they foster the illusion that there’s some easy and morally stainless way by which Jews can exercise the responsibilities of political power.



The New York Times’ Roger Cohen Laments Israeli Self-Defense
Among the court Jews, Roger Cohen of The New York Times leads the coterie identifiable as “ashamed Jews.” He laments Israel’s defense of its borders and by extension its citizens as the despicable and reckless exercise of power, periodically wringing his hands and twisting his mind in the attempt to find appropriate words of condemnation.

Back in December, he deplored President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Echoing left-wing historian Tom Segev, who assailed the “strong nationalism and strong religion” that has supposedly transformed the Jewish state into a “colonialist power,” Cohen labeled Israel an “ethno-religious Jewish state.”

One month later he reported on his visit to Hebron, where he ostensibly encountered “the biological metaphors of classic racism” driven by “a fanatical settler movement.” This in King David’s first capital, where the patriarchs and matriarchs of the Jewish people are buried. His mentor, predictably, was a founder of the left-wing anti-settlement group Breaking the Silence. Seemingly oblivious to the place of Hebron in Jewish history, Cohen lacerated Hebron’s Jews without any indication that he conversed with a single one of them.

Cohen’s most recent lamentation, published April 20, focused on Israel’s alleged “insanity,” evidenced by its “stomach turning” reliance on “a disproportionate military response” to Gazans, mobilized by Hamas, who have been attempting to breach Israel’s border. Quoting an array of former Mossad directors who cannot abide the Netanyahu government, he concluded that “Israel, through overreach, has placed itself in a morally indefensible noose.” He conveniently failed to mention the kite marked with a swastika and carrying a petrol bomb that flew across the border a day earlier – appropriately on Adolf Hitler’s birthday. The day his column appeared an Israeli warehouse was set on fire by another kite equipped with a flaming rag.
Fox News Channel Airs Geraldo Rivera’s Anti-Israel Disinformation
Ashrawi has discredited herself a number of times – for example, as the only known professing Christian in the otherwise Muslim leadership of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, Ashrawi gave a press conference in 1991 in which she replied to a question in self-righteous indignation, “I find your reference to 'Judea and Samaria' a statement of extreme bias, and rather offensive. I am a Palestinian Christian, and I know what Christianity is. I am a descendant of the first Christians in the world, and Jesus Christ was born in my country, in my land. Bethlehem is a Palestinian town. So I will not accept this one-upmanship on Christianity. Nobody has the monopoly." (Washington Post, “The Practiced Palestinian,” Caryle Murphy, Nov. 4, 1991)
But if Ashrawi is in fact a "descendant of the first Christians in the world," as she describes herself, she would be a descendant of ancient Israeli Jews not the descendant of Arabs as she is presumably. Furthermore, although Ashrawi denies the existence of Judea and Samaria, Israel's names for the West Bank, the names are mentioned in the Christian New Testament in well known passages Matt. 2:1 and Acts 1:8 in the context of land resided in by Israeli Jews (this was perhaps a thousand years before the establishment of the first Arab communities in the Holy Land which happened well after conquering Muslim Arab armies had swept across the continent from the Arabian Peninsula in the 7th century C.E.). Evidently, Ashrawi is either ignorant or deceitful about all this. This is Geraldo's long-time friend whose influence is likely to have led to his misperception of the conflict with the Palestinians.

Interestingly, Geraldo is not the only highly visible American newsman who was likely to have been influenced by Ashrawi to mislead viewers about Israel. Former ABC News anchor Peter Jennings, when he was head of the ABC bureau in Beirut in the 1970s, had a serious relationship with Ashrawi in Beirut, Lebanon where she was a graduate student in literature at the American University. This relationship was reported by U.S. News & World Report in 1991, Washington Post of Sept. 17, 2001 and Daily Mail (London) of Sept. 20, 2001. Jennings frequently misreported and fabricated information about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict beginning in the 1970s and continuing through his career as an anchor for ABC's World News Tonight.

In March 26, 2010, Geraldo launched verbal assaults on Israel in an appearance on Fox and Friends in which he accused an allegedly anti-peace, obstructionist Israel of focusing on the Iranian threat in order to divert attention from its own supposed intransigence. His tirade also included the baseless allegation that Israel is responsible for American difficulties vis-a-vis the entire Middle East and the Muslim world.

Conclusion
Geraldo Rivera is a persuasive speaker on issues he is passionate about and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is one of those issues. Therefore, in accord with the network's mottos of "fair and balanced news" and "most watched, most trusted," Geraldo's on air statements about the issue should immediately be balanced on air with factual information. This is necessary because even one instance of his unchallenged disinformation is one too many in terms of planting seeds of antipathy toward Israel in the minds of vulnerable individuals among the potentially millions of FNC viewers.
Elizabeth Warren’s Gaza Problem
Why does Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren keep putting her foot in her mouth over Gaza?
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The state’s senior senator responded to the Gaza violence last week with this statement: “I am deeply concerned about the deaths and injuries in Gaza. As additional protests are planned for the coming days, the Israel Defense Forces should exercise restraint and respect the rights of Palestinians to peacefully protest.”

I don’t know who is advising the Democratic senator when it comes to Gaza, but it’s remarkable how many misstatements are packed into that little two-sentence comment.

Let’s start with her “concern about the deaths and injuries.”

The Gazans who have been killed were military-age men. Many of them are documented members of the Hamas terrorist organization. And even the ones who were not known to be official Hamas members were engaging in very Hamas-like behavior—by throwing firebombs and rocks at the Israelis on the other side of the fence, and burning tires as a smokescreen in the attempt to reach the border fence to infiltrate Israel.

Some of the Gazans who were injured were likewise throwing firebombs and rocks. More recently, they flew lit kites to burn nearby Israeli fields and forests. Some of them were injured from tear gas or gunfire because they chose to venture into a live-fire battle zone—a battle that Hamas has initiated, organized and sponsored.

I’m disappointed that the senator did not express any “concern” about a terrorist regime busing thousands of women and children to a site where some of them will inevitably be hurt.

Sen. Warren went on to defend “the rights of Palestinians to peacefully protest.”
Flaming kite from Gaza sets Israeli warehouse ablaze
A warehouse in Israel’s south was set aflame Saturday after a kite equipped with a flaming rag that had been intentionally released by Palestinians in the Gaza Strip landed there.

Firefighters managed to put out the fire, according to Ynet.

No casualties were reported, but heavy damage was caused to the warehouse.

Some 3,000 Palestinians protested along the Gaza border with Israel on Friday, burning tires and flying flaming kites across the frontier to set Israeli fields ablaze, witnesses and the army said. Soldiers responded with tear gas and live fire, killing four Palestinians, including a 15-year-old, according to the Hamas run-health ministry.

Israel’s army said it was looking into the incidents.

The kites are part of a new tactic aimed at setting fields on the Israeli side on fire. Most kites were stitched together in the colors of the Palestinian flag. One white kite bore the swastika.

In all the Gaza ministry said that some 445 people were injured, including 96 from live fire.
3 wounded after IDF opens fire on infiltrators from Gaza

IDF forces stationed along the Israel-Gaza border opened fire Sunday on several terrorists at various locations along the frontier while they attempted to tear openings in the security fence separating Israel from the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.

According to Palestinian Authority media outlets, three Gazans were wounded Sunday after they approached the Israeli border security fence and attempted to damage it.

Israeli security personnel opened fire on the would-be infiltrators, wounding three.

Israel has yet to respond to the reports.

Terrorists have taken advantage of the ongoing riots along the Israel-Gaza frontier to attack Israeli forces stationed on the border, and attempt to infiltrate into Israel.
Palestinian Lies go whole hog
There is no lie too extreme for the "Israel is always wrong" cru to tell.

Lie du jour: the "internationally banned" "exploding bullet" used by Israeli snipers to deliver maximum pain to the pure, unarmed civilians amassing on the Gaza border.

Haitham Khatib, a "photographer" from Ramallah writes:
Every single Palestinian is becoming a guinea pig and is targeted to bear in his flesh the very embodiment of the Illegal Israeli Occupation.
Soon,butterfly bullets will be part of Palestinian DNA.
But at the same time,butterflies are the living embodiment of FREEDOM and BEAUTY.
What doesn't kill us will make us stronger.
FOREVER.
He lies.

Exploding bullets or close-range hog hunting ammo?

These bullets were cut and pasted directly from an ammunition advertisement,

They aren't a secret Israeli weapon. The bullets were specifically developed for close range hog hunting. Not internationally banned. Widely available on the web. And there is zero evidence that Israel uses close range hog-hunting ammo in its munitions.

Another Palestinian lie exploded. You can thank me later.

Hamas-Fatah fight erupts at mourning tent for Gaza teen killed by IDF
Hamas security forces on Saturday evening attacked members and leaders of the rival Fatah faction who came to offer condolences over the death of Mohammed Ayoub, 14, in clashes Friday between Palestinian demonstrators and IDF soldiers along the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel.

The attack came after a verbal altercation erupted between Hamas and Fatah members at the tent in Gaza City, set up by the Ayoub family to receive condolence calls over the death of their son.

Hamas security officers later dismantled the tent and ordered all those present to leave immediately, a source in the Gaza Strip said.

A senior Fatah operative, Abed Al Majdalawi, was lightly injured during the Hamas raid, the source added.

It was not immediately clear what had triggered the verbal altercation between the representatives of the two rival parties. However, such confrontations have become commonplace in various parts of the Gaza Strip since Hamas violently seized control of the coastal enclave more than 10 years ago.
Security forces arrest 15 alleged Hamas men in West Bank
Israeli security forces arrested 15 operatives of the Hamas terror organization in raids in the West Bank late Saturday and early Sunday, the military said.

According to a statement from the IDF, a joint operation by the army, Shin Bet and Israel Police targeted individuals who had been in contact with senior Hamas official Khaled al-Din Hamed and were receiving instructions from the Gaza-based group on “various activities” they were to carry out in the West Bank.

All 15 hailed from the Ramallah area north of Jerusalem.

The suspects also allegedly received funds from Hamas for the activities, which authorities say were linked to terrorist actions. At least one car was confiscated in the raid.

The forces also shuttered a printing press that was producing materials the IDF said were “inciting to terrorism.”

“The exposure of this activity reveals yet again the ceaseless efforts of the Hamas terror organization in Gaza to generate terror actions in the West Bank through funding, instructions and dissemination of its message, without any concern for the ramifications this will have on the Palestinian residents of the West Bank,” the army said.
JPost Editorial: Black swan
Natalie Portman, until this past weekend, has always been someone Israel could take pride in. Born in Jerusalem but raised in the United States, she never forgot her birthplace, was a fluent Hebrew speaker and for her debut as a director, decided to take Amos Oz’s memoir A Tale of Love and Darkness and turn it into a Hollywood film.

But on Thursday night, all of that changed. Portman went from being someone Israelis spoke about with pride to someone condemned for deciding not to attend a ceremony in Jerusalem in June where she was supposed to receive the prestigious Genesis Prize.

“I was sad to hear that Portman fell like a ripe fruit into the hands of BDS supporters,” Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev said.

“A Jewish actress, who was born in Israel, is joining those who see the story of the success and magic of the establishment of Israel as ‘a tale of darkness and darkness,” Regev added, referencing Portman’s 2015 film.

Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan told Portman that it seemed she had been fooled by Hamas.

“Anakin Skywalker, a character you know well from Star Wars, went through a similar process,” Erdan wrote in a letter to Portman.

“He began to believe that the Jedi knights were evil, and that the forces of the Dark Side were the defenders of democracy. I call on you not to let the Dark Side win,” the minister wrote.
Ben-Dror Yemini: Natalie Portman’s double standards
Natalie Portman’s refusal to come to Israel has created quite a buzz. From The Washington Post to The Guardian, from The Telegraph to Reuters, the headlines are similar and homogenous: “Portman won’t visit Israel due to recent events.”

Most reports attributed the actress’ refusal to the events in Gaza, following claims that innocent people had been shot. In a clarification statement issued Saturday, Portman implied that she decided not to come to Israel because of the refugee issue.

But the clarification arrived too late. The refusal to come to Israel was seen, rightly, as a move aimed at reinforcing the boycott. Israel’s haters haven’t received such a significant gift in a long time.

The protest, any protest, is part of the democratic discourse. There is a difference, however, between the public debate in Israel and Portman’s boycott, because Israel has been receiving a hefty, exaggerated and obsessive dose of demonization. Portman didn’t help the relevant criticism; she helped the demonization campaign.

Countries like Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, Finland, and definitely in the United States have been making decision on refugees and asylum seekers. The decisions generate criticism and a public debate, as well as judicial decisions. But no one has chosen to boycott those countries, or ceremonies that are held in those countries, or the leaders of those countries, because of controversial decisions.

When it comes to a boycott of Israel, or “only” of the Israeli prime minister, the boycott is much more serious, because Israel is the only country in the world forced to deal with a propaganda of horrors. The claims against Israel are based on a worldwide propaganda of lies. It’s not that Israel can’t be criticized. But people of moral and conscience should speak out against the propaganda of horrors rather than reinforce it.
Natalie Portman Joins BDS, Boycotts Herself (satire)
Saying that she has finally come around to support the cultural boycott of Israel, Jerusalem-born actress Natalie Portman is reportedly urging fans not to watch any of her movies.

The actress, who last week cancelled a trip to Israel in response to the recent conflict on the Gaza border, has gone to great lengths to make sure none of her fans support her movies.

“I was about to rent ‘The Phantom Menace’ from a Redbox, and she just appeared out of nowhere and started shouting at me,” one Pasadena resident told The Mideast Beast. “She kept saying, ‘By watching my movies, you’re committing genocide against the Palestinian people!’”

Things took an even stranger turn at a Red Carpet event for her most recent film, ‘Annihilation.’ Portman led a group of picketers shouting at attendees for supporting “Zionist murderers.” But when the movie was about to start, she put down her sign and attended the screening.
D.C. Councilman 'done apologizing' for antisemitic comments
Embroiled Washington D.C Councilman Trayon White, Sr. took to Facebook on Saturday to say he is "done apologizing" for his recent actions.

"I'm under constant attack," he began.

"I made some comments...about the weather...at the time, I didn't know saying anything as relates to the Rothschilds meant all Jews," he continued.

White is under fire for his suggestion that the Rothschilds, a wealthy European Jewish banking family, control the weather. The family has been at the heart of dozens of conspiracy theories that claim that they - and Jews in general - control all of the world's banks and have been the architects of several wars. He stated in the video that he "never learned" about the Holocaust in school.

In an effort to make amends for his comments White visited the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., though he wordlessly departed his guided tour halfway through, a fact he disputes and claims the media made up.
Israel-Hamas shadow war follows Palestinian expats to Malaysia
It’s not surprising that the Mossad was immediately declared the prime suspect in the assassination of Fadi al-Batsh, the mysterious Palestinian electrical engineer originally from Gaza who only after his assassination in Malaysia on Saturday morning was revealed to be a member of Hamas’s military wing.

Most of the Palestinian factions have already rushed to pronounce the Israeli spy agency the culprit. It’s hard to tell if they have anything to go on except the obvious question: Who has an interest in removing Batsh?

The operation to take down Batsh shares many similarities with the last assassination attributed to the Mossad: that of the Tunisian scientist Muhammad a-Zawari, shot dead by unidentified assailants on December 15, 2016, in Sfax, Tunisia.

In Zawari’s case, too, it was only after his death that Hamas publicized the fact that he was working for its military wing and was part of its efforts to develop advanced drones and an unmanned submarine.

Unlike Zawari, Batsh was born in the Gaza Strip and grew up in Jabaliya. He was considered a genius in his electrical engineering studies and had close ties with several Hamas leaders in Gaza.
Israel Dismisses Suggestions It Killed Palestinian in Malaysia
Israel’s defense minister said on Sunday a Palestinian scientist shot dead in Malaysia was a rocket expert and “no saint,” but dismissed suggestions by Hamas that Israel’s Mossad spy agency assassinated him.

Two men on a motorcycle fired 10 shots at Fadi al-Batsh, an engineering lecturer, in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday, killing him on the spot, the city’s police chief, Mazlan Lazim said.

Hamas, an Islamist terror group that rules the Gaza Strip, said one of its members had been assassinated in Malaysia. Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said Mossad had been behind past attempts to kill Palestinian scientists, and the attack on Batsh “follows this sequence.”

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said it was likely that Batsh was killed as part of an internal Palestinian dispute.

“We heard about it in the news. The terrorist organisations blame every assassination on Israel – we’re used to that,” Lieberman told Israel Radio.

“The man was no saint and he didn’t deal with improving infrastructure in Gaza – he was involved in improving rockets’ accuracy … We constantly see a settling of accounts between various factions in the terrorist organisations and I suppose that is what happened in this case.”
Israel asks Egypt not to let Hamas rocket scientist’s body into Gaza
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said Sunday that Israel was asking the Egyptian government not to allow the body of a Palestinian rocket engineer assassinated on Saturday in Malaysia to be returned to his family in the Gaza Strip, until Hamas returns to Israel the bodies of two IDF soldiers and two mentally ill Israeli citizens it is holding in the enclave.

Fadi al-Batsh, 35, was shot dead early Saturday while on his way to prayers in Kuala Lumpur. Hamas, which claimed him as a member of its military wing, blamed the Mossad spy agency for his killing and threatened revenge.

Liberman’s statement came after Education Minister Naftali Bennett on Saturday vowed to prevent Hamas from bringing Batsh’s body to burial in Gaza.

The bodies of the two soldiers — Goldin and Shaul — are currently being held by Hamas, along with two Israeli civilians, Avera Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed, who entered Gaza of their own volition in 2014 and 2015, respectively.
Israel pulls fighter jets from drill in Alaska amid tensions with Iran
The Israeli Air Force has decided to scale back its participation in the Red Flag exercise in Alaska amid increasing tensions on Israel’s northern border.

“In light of the situational assessment by the Air Force it was decided to adjust the planes’ participation in the exercise,” read a statement by the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit, stressing that nonetheless, “Israel’s first participation in the Red Flag exercise in Alaska will take place as planned.”

According to a statement by Air Force public affairs officer Kitsana Dounglomchan, Israel’s Air Force decided not to send F-15 fighter jets to the two-week-long drill, which will run between April 26 - May 11, out of Eielson Air Force base in Fairbanks and Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage.

"Despite this change, we are looking forward to hosting the Israeli contingent that will be partaking in Red Flag-Alaska 18-1," Dounglomchan was quoted by local media as saying.

The Red Flag exercises take place several times a year bringing together US and international forces for drills on realistic simulated combat situations. A statement released by Pacific Air Forces, the Alaskan Command’s higher headquarters which directs the exercise, said that over 60 aircraft “from more than a dozen units” will be taking part in the drill.

Israel regularly participates in US Air Force’s main Red Flag exercises at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada and the drill in Alaska is meant to offer pilots the opportunity to fly in combat scenarios which involve winter conditions such as snow and ice that Israeli pilots rarely get to drill on in the Middle East.
Israel Hints It Could Hit Iran’s ‘Air Force’ in Syria
Israel released details on Tuesday about an Iranian “air force” deployed in neighboring Syria, including civilian planes suspected of transferring arms, a signal that these could be attacked should tensions with Tehran escalate.

Iran, along with Damascus and its big-power backer Russia, blamed Israel for an April 9 air strike on a Syrian air base, T-4, that killed seven Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) members. Iranian officials have promised unspecified reprisals.

Israeli media ran satellite images and a map of five Syrian air bases allegedly used to field Iranian drones or cargo aircraft, as well as the names of three senior IRGC officers suspected of commanding related projects, such as missile units.

The information came from the Israeli military, according to a wide range of television and radio stations and news websites. Israel’s military spokesman declined to comment.

However, an Israeli security official seemed to acknowledge the leak was sanctioned, telling Reuters that it provided details about “the IRGC air force (which) the Israeli defense establishment sees as the entity that will try to attack Israel, based on Iranian threats to respond to the strike on T-4.”

The official, who requested anonymity, would not elaborate.
Watch: Australian Lawmaker Argues for Embassy Move to Jerusalem
Australian Senator Eric Abetz ‏argues the country’s embassy in Israel should be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and used a recent television debate to push his point.

Mr. Abetz said that Jerusalem is the seat of governance for Israel and should be its capital, with Australia moving its own embassy there a symbolic recognotion of that fact. Mr. Abetz added that Israel is a sovereign nation and as such should be allowed to determine its own capital without outside interference.

Some of Judaism’s holiest sites are also located in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount and Western Wall in Jerusalem; the Tomb of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs in Hebron; and Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus.

This is not the first time the conservative Senator has entered the debate over Australia’s diplomatic representation in Israel.

Last year he wrote privately to Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop to ask her to consider shifting the embassy, and he is now calling for the ministry to consider it.

“The suggestion that the embassy should be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem is one that I think is slowly but surely gaining momentum,” he told AM last January.

“Given the indications by [Mr] Trump, there is a gaining momentum, and so in those circumstances I would invite the executive of our government in Australia to give very serious consideration to following suit if that does develop into a trend.”

Former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has also called to move Australia’s embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.


Poland: We will always support 'Palestinian rights'
Poland is unwavering in its support of “Palestinian rights”, the country’s top diplomat told Arab leaders during a meeting on Thursday.

Speaking with representatives of the Palestinian Authority, Morocco, Egypt, Yemen, Mauritania, Iran, Lebanon, Tunis, Libya, Qatar, Algeria, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates, Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz said that his country’s support for “Palestinian rights” was “fixed”, and “unchangeable”, Safa reported on Friday.

Arab leaders have lobbied Poland to back the Palestinian Authority, and potentially to use its seat on the United Nations Security Council in future votes relevant to the Israel-Arab conflict.
Merkel: Refugees bring a new type of antisemitism to Germany
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she is “burdened’’ by the failure to eradicate antisemitism in the Germany, Channel 10 reported on Saturday evening.

Merkel agreed to give an exclusive interview to the Israeli news channel, in which she addressed German-Israeli relations and world events, which is to be broadcast in full on Sunday.

“I am embarrassed due to the fact that Jewish institutions require security details in 2018,” Merkel said. She connected this with the arrival of refugees and “people of Arab heritage” who, Merkel said, “bring with them a new form of antisemitism into Germany.”

The chancellor added that “to our regret, antisemitism existed in Germany even before [their arrival].”
250 French intellectuals pen letter demanding action on antisemitism
A manifesto penned by 250 French signatories calling on the government to make the fight against antisemitism a national cause was published by the daily Le Parisien on Sunday.

Notable signers of the letter include former French president Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife, singer Carla Bruni, former prime minister Manuel Valls, author Bernard Henri-Levy, actor Gerard Depardieu and Philippe Val, the former director of Charlie Hebdo, among others.

“Antisemitism is not a Jewish affair, it is everyone’s,” the letter begins. France, the authors wrote, has “become a theater of murderous antisemitism.”

“When a prime minister at the National Assembly declares, with the applause of every country, that France without Jews is no longer France, it does not feel like a beautiful, consolatory phrase, but a solemn warning,” they wrote, referencing a February speech by Prime Minister Edouard Philippe. He spoke on the floor of the French parliament after the assault of an eight-year-old Jewish boy who was attacked while wearing a kippa, saying that France is experiencing “a new form of brutal and violent antisemitism.”
Another Ahed Tamimi violence video revealed
The Ad Kann organization published a new video in which terrorist Ahed Tamimi is again documented attacking soldiers during operational activity less than a year ago in Nabi Salah.

At the beginning of the video Tamimi appears blocking a border police officer's field of vision while he was taking aim from a prone position, and then attacking Border Policemen and IDF soldiers with pushes, fists, and kicks.

About two weeks after the documented incident, Ad Kann filed a complaint with Binyamin police against Tamimi demanding a criminal investigation: "In the video you can see Tamimi attacking Border Police and IDF soldiers again and again without the security forces stopping her, so she grew bolder and began to attack with fists and even kicks," the complaint states.

"Tamimi's criminal actions are getting worse, and the time has come to act on this matter. Therefore, we ask you to order the necessary measures against Tamimi and other persons involved."
Israeli cyber firm reveals: Hamas planted spyware in Fatah phones
An Israeli cyber firm revealed over the weekend that it had evidence that Hamas planted spyware in mobile phones owned by members of rival Palestinian faction Fatah.

"As part of our cyber monitoring operations, conducted in an effort to alert our clients to potential attacks, we discovered that the link to Fatah's application on Android, which is accessible through the organization's website, was replaced with another link which installs spyware on users' phones," Boaz Dolev, CEO of the Tel Aviv-based ClearSky, told Israel Hayom.

The spyware "accesses information throughout the device, including text messages and emails; it can record conversations and prevent the phone from disconnecting itself from the app," he said.

An analysis of the spyware led ClearSky's team to its developer: Arid Viper, a hacker group affiliated with Hamas, which is also responsible for cyberattacks against a number of Israeli targets.

"Hamas is sparing no effort to gain information on what is going on in the Palestinian Authority. Over the last two years, it has expanded into cyber efforts as well," Dolev said.
BBC R4, WS mark Israeli independence with ‘nakba’ and ‘one-state’
BBC audiences are of course familiar with the style of commentary on the Middle East advanced by Eugene Rogan but nevertheless his promotion of the falsehood that there had been an entity called the “State of Palestine” before May 14th 1948 is remarkable.

Rogan: “The founding of Israel meant very different things to the different stakeholders in the Middle East. For partisans of the Zionist movement it was the realisation of a generation’s old aspiration: to establish a statehood for the Jewish people. Coming in the aftermath of the Holocaust, it seemed to vindicate the greatest of hopes at a time when the Jewish people had suffered their worst of catastrophes. But of course for the Palestinian Arab people, the creation of the State of Israel came at the expense of their homeland: the State of Palestine as it had been ruled under British mandate since 1920. And so for them, rather than this being a moment of joy or triumph, it was a moment of their catastrophe and they’ve called it that ever since. They refer to it as the Nakba – the Arabic word for catastrophe.”

Listeners next heard from another academic who has also been a BBC contributor in the past and whose resume includes having been an advisor to Yasser Arafat – although that was not clarified.

Khalidi: “I’m Ahmad Samih Khalidi. I come from an ancient Jerusalemite Arab family. I was born and lived in exile. I am a writer and commentator. Currently I’m associated with St Anthony’s College at Oxford. I am myself a product of the Nakba. I was born in 1948 and my whole life of course has been determined by this experience, as has that of all my contemporaries, my family and everyone, really, who I relate to on a daily basis.”

Wyatt: “Ahmad Khalidi has spent much of his adult life involved in trying to help find a peaceful resolution for this one land claimed by two peoples.”

Khalidi: “This was an entity that had taken over my homeland, dispossessed my people, so there was an ongoing struggle and Israel was seen as an aggressive state that had dispossessed the people of Palestine and was bent on expanding its presence in the region. Later as I grew up it became more apparent to me that this was something that I personally had to do something about.”
UKMW prompts corrections at Times of London and The Irish News to false Syria “attack” claims.
However, contrary to these claims, neither Syrian TV nor any other official Syrian state news outlet alleged – before they realized it was a false alarm – that Israel was responsible for the “attack”. Rather, Syrian outlets reviewed by CAMERA’s Arabic researchers merely accused unspecified “terrorists” or “aggressors” of carrying out the raid.

Editors responded to our complaints, and revised the headline, removing all mention of the Israeli “attack”:

Additionally, they deleted the first two paragraphs of the article which detailed the “attack”, and published the following correction:

Unfortunately, the ‘correction’ is not completely accurate, as it still falsely maintains that their initial reports of an Israeli “attack” were based on claims by “Syrian state media”. As we noted, Syrian state media did NOT blame Israel. In fact, other than a few pro-Assad propagandists on Twitter, we were unable to find any official source that made this allegation, and it remains a mystery where exactly the journalists who wrote the article, Catherine Philp and Rhys Blakely, received this false information and why they reported it as if it was a confirmed fact.

The following day, April 18th, we noticed that The Irish News had also published an article falsely alleging an attack on Syria, despite the fact that the claim of an attack of any kind was retracted by Syrian sources the previous day.
YouTube ran ads for big firms on Nazi, pedophilia channels
YouTube has been accused of showing ads from multinational companies on channels promoting extremism, Nazis and even pedophilia.

The likes of Adidas, Amazon, Facebook, Netflix and Under Armour are among the 300 firms who unwittingly helped these channels, a CNN investigation revealed.

Other channels found to be running high-quality commercials from as many as 300 firms spewed North Korean propaganda and white nationalists.

CNN claims to have found ads for Jewish groups, including the Jerusalem’s Friends of Zion Museum, running on a video about KKK grand wizard David Duke.

A Nissan ad reportedly featured on Brian Ruhe’s “Nazi” channel, which has since been deleted for violating community guidelines on hate speech.

The video, “David Duke on Harvey Weinstein exposing Jewish domination,” allegedly featured a joint ad promoting the Nissan Leaf and Disney film “A Wrinkle In Time.”

The Toy Association pulled its ads from YouTube after it found one of its campaigns was being run on a channel promoting pedophilia.
Anti-Semitic Wagner letter up for sale in Jerusalem
A letter penned by Richard Wagner warning of Jewish influence in culture will be auctioned next week in Israel, where public performances of German anti-Semitic composer’s works are effectively banned.

Wagner, whose grandiose and nationalistic 19th century work is infused with anti-Semitism, misogyny and proto-Nazi ideas of racial purity, was Adolf Hitler’s favorite composer.

While there is no law in Israel banning his works from being played in Israel, orchestras and venues refrain from doing so because of the public outcry and disturbances accompanying past attempts.
Tuesday’s sale of the handwritten letter, dated April 25, 1869, and addressed to French philosopher Edouard Schure, could rekindle the debate in Israel on the controversial composer.

Wagner wrote in the letter that Jewish assimilation into French society prevents the observation of “the corroding influence of the Jewish spirit on modern culture,” adding that the French know “very little” about the Jews.
Israel is the world’s new dining hotspot
It’s Thursday night and Tel Aviv is hopping.

Diners are lining up outside of Port Said restaurant; the sidewalk is filled with drinkers. It’s a similar story nearby at Santa Katarina. If you haven’t booked a table, good luck. Across town at the Salon, it’s even more lively. The dining room is jammed and the terrace is packed with people smoking, chatting on their phones or waiting for a table. Many are doing all three.

Despite the specter of confrontation as Iran entrenches itself near Israel's border with Syria, Israelis are partying like they're on top of the world. And with good reason. Tourism is booming—the number of visitors last year soared 22 percent to a record and is rising even more quickly in 2018. The economy is healthy, unemployment is low and inflation almost non-existent.

Israel has one of the most exciting dining scenes in the world, and it is just starting to be discovered as a food destination like New York or London. Restaurateurs in Tel Aviv say as many as 30 percent of their guests are now foreign visitors, led by Americans, British, Russians, French and more.




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