Saturday, April 28, 2018

From Ian:

Ben-Dror Yemini: As global press ignores swastika kites, Hamas is winning propaganda war
The good news from the south is that the number of protestors in the “March of Return” is decreasing. Hamas is encouraging, calling, shouting, broadcasting, publishing—but the masses are staying away.

From one Friday to the next, the numbers are dropping. Tens of thousands in the first protest; only several thousand last Friday. In this sense, at least in the current stage, it’s a failure.

The bad news is that there is no need for hundreds or tens of thousands of protestors to succeed. Just one 15-year-old boy, whose death is being investigated, is excellent fuel for the anti-Israel propaganda. And if the moment he was hit was caught on camera, it’s double trouble. It’s a great opportunity for Knesset Member Ahmad Tibi, and not just him, to turn IDF soldiers into murderers, and it’s an opportunity for the UN envoy and other functionaries and “rights activists” to use their arsenal of propaganda rockets against Israel.

The events on the Gaza border have stopped occupying a lot of space in the global press. But Natalie Portman’s announcement, unintentionally, put Gaza back in the headlines, as did the UN envoy’s statement and the European Union’s demand for an investigation into the incident. The IDF, in any event, intends on investigating.

Let’s put things in order. First of all, any killing of an innocent person is unfortunate. Hamas gains, Israel’s enemies celebrate, and Israel is the only one that loses from the situation. No one has placed cameras on the US-Mexico border, although 412 infiltrators or work migrants were killed there in 2017, and 498 in 2016, including children. But the border between Israel and Gaza, as well as the points of friction in Hebron, seem to have the highest number of cameras in the world.
The Media, Palestinian Nazi Flags, and Hamas Talking Points
The Times of Israel, Haaretz, and other newspapers have published pictures of Hamas using children as human shields, yet these images — and the double war crime they illustrate — go unmentioned by major US press organizations.

Clear evidence of Palestinian violence exists, but many news outlets either ignore it or present it as merely an “Israeli claim.” By contrast, some in the media have had no problem regurgitating Hamas statements.

For example, Brian Stelter, who hosts a CNN show called “Reliable Sources,” treated the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry as credible, repeating casualty figures supplied by that terrorist-controlled entity. In an anti-Israel screed masquerading as a “World Views” analysis, The Washington Post’s Ishaan Tharoor presented dead Palestinian terrorists as nonviolent civilians indiscriminately slaughtered by the IDF — long after they were publicly identified as belonging to terror groups.

But many in the media already have their talking points.

As Bassam Tawil noted in an April 18 Gatestone Institute report, Hamas’ “press office” has issued guidelines for how journalists should be covering the demonstrations. According to Tawil, “the first order that Hamas requires the journalists to obey is to refrain from focusing on the actions of individuals participating in the demonstrations.”

The directives, issued by a group with a history of kidnapping and intimidating journalists, require that the march be presented as a “peaceful and nonviolent civilian uprising.” The participation of terrorists must go unmentioned. Palestinian journalists — many of whom serve as producers, translators, and “fixers” for international news organizations — are instructed to highlight “the various personal and social aspects” of those killed at the border.

The goal is to single out Israel for international opprobrium, while securing greater aid relief for the Gaza Strip — despite the fact that Hamas has a long and documented history of pocketing aid money or using it to build “terror tunnels” to attack the Jewish state.

While many in the media have fixated on the “economic misery” of everyday Palestinians as a chief factor in the demonstrations, few have noted that a violent antisemitic terrorist group is clearly ill-suited to governing. To do so would require discussing Palestinian Nazi flags, kite bombs, and human shields. And that would mean departing from the Hamas-approved scripts.



Andrew Pessin: The Jewish Army That Could Have Fought Hitler
In 1940, in the first months of World War II, the three great Zionist leaders in the world — Chaim Weizmann, David Ben-Gurion, and Vladimir Jabotinsky, the leaders (respectively) of the left, center, and right wings of the Zionist movement — each undertook a separate mission to America, seeking support to create a Jewish army to fight Hitler.

Very few people know this story, which in the hands of author Rick Richman, quickly turns into a gripping suspense story. It was a desperate situation, with the Nazis rapidly advancing through Europe and with Palestine closed to Jewish immigration because of the infamous British White Paper of 1939.

The book is filled with heroic individuals, crucial events and meetings, unexpected reversals, a devastating sudden death (Jabotinsky’s), plenty of principled arguments and petty disputes, and all told in an easy-to-read (but scholarly and substantial) narrative that generously quotes many diaries, letters, and speeches never previously published. There is something here for everyone, from those entirely new to the material to seasoned scholars.

The story also turns out to be a tragedy, of course. The three Zionist leaders had the same goal, but at the time they made their respective trips, they weren’t even on speaking terms with one another — a regrettably familiar Jewish story of division and disunity, recrimination, and antagonism. Nor was the American Jewish community particularly willing to get on board — a familiar Jewish story there as well, of the assimilated Jew and his fears of antisemitic claims of Jewish war-mongering and dual loyalty.
The Israeli Air Force Legend Who Influenced Generations
On Yom Hazikaron, Israel’s Memorial Day for Fallen Soldiers, the family of Lt.-Col. Ohad Shadmi — a legendary and highly influential air force pilot and squadron commander — turned their thoughts to his lasting legacy.

Shadmi’s remarkable influence extended to his three daughters, who went on to follow in their father’s footsteps and serve in the Israeli Air Force — after losing their father in an air accident in 1970.

And Shadmi’s grandchildren are now continuing the same family tradition.

In the 1950s, Shadmi flew Mystères French-made fighter jets, and was a member of a team that received Israel’s first Super Mystères planes in 1958.

In 1967, he became commander of the Israeli Air Force (IAF)’s 109th Squadron, and prepared it for the assaults later conducted by the IAF during the Six-Day War.

A month before the war’s outbreak, Shadmi traveled to the United States to receive the IAF’s first A4 Skyhawk planes, returning to Israel shortly before combat began in June of 1967. He took part in waves of strikes on enemy targets in Egypt and Syria during the conflict.

After the war ended, Shadmi became the first pilot that flew the A4 Skyhawk in Israeli skies. He flew many operational hours during the War of Attrition that followed the Six-Day War. Later, he began flying F-4 Phantom jets after joining the 201st Squadron (also known as “The One Squadron,” which today flies F-16I jets).

On March 6, 1970, Shadmi was killed in a flight accident, together with his navigator, Natan Marom. A technical malfunction caused Shadmi and Marom to eject from their aircraft at high speed; neither survived.
Top Israeli Diplomat Slams UN Human Rights Official for Accusing IDF of Using ‘Excessive Force’ Against Palestinian Rioters on Gaza Border
Israeli diplomat Danny Danon has slammed UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein over his denouncement of the IDF’s alleged use of “excessive force” against Palestinian rioters on the Gaza border over the past month.

“The high commissioner’s decision to condemn a democracy that is diligently defending its sovereignty, while completely ignoring the terrorists of Hamas as they use children for human shields, provides a tailwind for terror and encourages the continued exploitation of civilians,” Danon, Israel’s UN ambassador, said on Friday. “This statement proves once again that high commissioner is not focused on human rights, but only with obsessively criticizing Israel.”

In his statement, Zeid said that in the past four weeks 42 Palestinians had been killed and more than 5,500 wounded along the Israel-Gaza border fence, with no reports of Israeli casualties.
Abbas advisor: Return Marches gamble with the lives of women and children
The Gazan Ministry of Health reported on Saturday that a 15 year old boy who suffered injuries during the Friday protests died of his injuries, this brings the number of Palestinian killed during the weekend protest, dubbed "the Day of Angry Youth", to four.

Major Avichay Adraee, who is the head of the IDF spokesperson unit Arab Media division, dubbed the protest "The day of lost youth" and used graphics depicting Egyptian footballer Mohamed Salah and Emirati singer Ahlam next to Palestinian youths to highlight the difference between "success" and "failed".

Thousands of Palestinians attended the funerals of those killed.

Supreme sharia judge in the Palestinian Authority and PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s adviser on religious and Islamic affairs Mahmoud al-Habash lashed out at Hamas during Friday's sermon.

"The Marches of Return gamble with the lives of children and women, which does not serve Palestine," he said.

Speaking in the presence of Abbas, al-Habash argues that "the children are being sent to their death facing occupation soldiers, this does not serve Palestine.''
Israel strikes Hamas naval post in Gaza in response to attack on border fence
Israeli military aircraft struck six targets in the Gaza Strip Friday night belonging to Hamas’s naval forces, the army said, in response to “terror acts and the major attempt to infiltrate the border into Israeli territory earlier in the day.”

Palestinians reported that four people were injured in strikes on a position belonging to Hamas’s naval commando forces in the port of Gaza City in the northern Strip.

Earlier in the day hundreds of Palestinians converged on the Strip’s border fence with Israel, trying to rip through it before drawing Israeli fire in one of the most violent incidents yet in five weeks of protests.

Three people were killed and over 300 hurt in Friday’s rallies, the Gaza Strip’s Hamas-run health ministry said, as thousands of Palestinians converged on the border with Israel.

In a statement, the Israeli military said it “thwarted” an attempted infiltration by Palestinian protesters.
IDF says ‘hundreds’ try to breach Gaza fence; 3 killed, over 300 hurt in clashes
Hundreds of Palestinians converged on the Gaza Strip’s border fence with Israel on Friday, trying to rip through it before drawing Israeli fire in one of the most violent incidents yet in five weeks of protests.

Three people were killed and over 300 hurt in Friday’s rallies, the Gaza Strip’s Hamas-run health ministry said, as thousands of Palestinians converged on the border with Israel for a fifth round of weekly protests.

In a statement, the Israeli military said it “thwarted” an attempted infiltration by Palestinian protesters.

It said “hundreds of rioters” tried to burn the fence and enter the Israel. It said the crowd threw explosives, firebombs and rocks, and that troops opened fire “in accordance with the rules of engagement” and halted the crowd.

It released a video showing a young Palestinian man placing a burning tire along the fence in an apparent attempt to set it on fire. In another, a small group lobs stones at an Israeli military vehicle on the other side of the fence.

The footage also showed large numbers of Gazans close to the border fence.

Footage filmed inside Gaza showed youths at a barbed wire fence, being urged to “cut, cut.”


Rights group calls for arms embargo on Israel over Gaza riots
A human rights group called for an international arms embargo on Israel over the Israeli military’s response to weekly riots on the border with the Gaza Strip.

In a statement Friday, Amnesty International accused Israel of carrying out a “murderous assault” on Palestinians participating in the violent “March of Return” protests, which have seen participants burn tires, throw rocks and firebombs at Israeli troops, fly flaming kites over the border, and attempt to destroy the border fence.

“The international community must act concretely and stop the delivery of arms and military equipment to Israel,” said Magdalena Mughrabi, Amnesty’s deputy regional director for the Middle East and North Africa.

“A failure to do so will continue to fuel serious human rights abuses against thousands of men, women and children suffering the consequences of life under Israel’s cruel blockade of Gaza,” she added.

Mughrabi also called for the International Criminal Court to open a “war crimes” investigation if Israel does not pursue “criminal prosecutions of those responsible.”


Nikki Haley: US report on UN voting records could lead to funding cuts
Ambassador Nikki Haley renewed her threat to cut foreign aid for countries that oppose the United States at the United Nations, after a State Department review showed agreement with the U.S. plummeting over the last year.

“The American people pay 22 percent of the UN budget — more than the next three highest donor countries combined,” Haley said Thursday evening. “In spite of this generosity, the rest of the UN voted with us only 31 percent of the time, a lower rate than in 2016. That’s because we care more about being right than popular and are once again standing up for our interests and values. Either way, this is not an acceptable return on our investment. “

That was a double-swipe at the U.N. and former President Barack Obama’s administration, as the 31 percent average is “a 10 percentage point drop from 2016” under the State Department’s calculations. Haley’s response renewed a threat previously leveled in December, when the U.N. General Assembly voted to condemn President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the U.S. embassy to the ancient city.

“President Trump wants to ensure that our foreign assistance dollars — the most generous in the world — always serve American interests, and we look forward to helping him see that the American people are no longer taken for granted,” she said.

The voting record compiled in the report might overstate the divergence between the United States and other countries, according to a caveat in the report.
Palestinian ambassador refuses to clarify cryptic remark at United Nations
The Palestinian ambassador to the United Nations on Friday would not clarify if a reference he made about two U.N. ambassadors as being liars was aimed at U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley.

Instead of answering direct questions on the accusation, Ambassador Riyad Mansour said only that Haley’s speech Thursday to the U.N. Security Council was “not credible.”

Mansour had called a news conference to discuss the deteriorating situation on the Gaza-Israel border, where thousands of Palestinians protested Friday. Hundreds reportedly tried to storm into Israel during the weekly demonstration.

During the “Great March of Return,” Israeli security forces reportedly killed three Palestinians, with some 300 injured as they tried to break through the border fence from Gaza.

Referring to Thursday’s Security Council debate on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestine question, Mansour told reporters that while he appreciated the support his delegation received at the council, he was not so impressed with two other delegations. Without referring to the U.S. and Israel by name, he went onto say that, “We challenge the liars who advocated lies in the Security Council yesterday.”
Israel ‘completely surprised’ to hear Trump may attend Jerusalem embassy opening
Israeli officials professed themselves “completely surprised” Saturday by US President Donald Trump’s remark Friday that he might travel to Israel next month for the opening of the new US embassy in Jerusalem.

Standing next to German Chancellor Angela Merkel at a White House press conference, Trump responded to a question from the Christian Broadcasting Network over who would attend the ribbon-cutting ceremony. “I may go,” the president said. “Very proud of it.”

It was previously reported that Trump had mulled attending the inauguration but decided against it.

Hadashot TV news quoted Israeli sources saying the president’s comment was entirely unexpected, and that his name was not on the documents that the Americans have shared with their Israeli counterparts regarding the US delegation that will be coming to the ceremony. They said they would now wait and see whether Trump was indeed intending to come.

The same TV report also quoted an unnamed American official saying that the Trump Administration may finally unveil its much anticipated Israeli-Palestinian peace proposal at around the time of the embassy opening, or shortly thereafter, and that it could contain an element of “compensation” for the Palestinians — presumably to offset the significant step toward Israel represented by Trump recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moving the US embassy there.
Confident Pompeo due in Israel on Middle East diplomatic debut
Washington’s newly appointed secretary of state set off on a tour of America’s key Middle East allies on Saturday, vowing to bring some “swagger” back to US diplomacy.

After attending NATO talks in Brussels, Mike Pompeo was to embark on a three-day trip to Saudi Arabia, Israel, and Jordan to update “key allies and partners in the region,” as referenced by State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert, on President Donald Trump’s plans for the Iran nuclear deal. Pompeo is set to return to the US on April 30.

Pompeo insists his boss has not yet made the decision, but Trump is widely expected to pull the United States out of the accord next month, re-imposing sanctions against Tehran’s nuclear program.

The former CIA chief, who was sworn in as Trump’s top diplomat on Thursday and set off within two hours for Brussels, will consult with leaders of Iran’s main regional opponents ahead of the announcement.

But he also has a second more personal mission, to show foreign capitals and his own colleagues that US diplomacy is back on track after the troubled reign of his sacked predecessor Rex Tillerson.
Israeli minister: Korean pledge for denuclearization will help revamp Iran deal
A senior Israeli minister said the Trump administration is in a better position to renegotiate the Iran nuclear deal after the leaders of North and South Korea earlier on Friday pledged to pursue a permanent peace and rid the peninsula of nuclear weapons.

“He [Trump] will have more power against Iran now and maybe to convince the European Union not to be the weak link in the coalition,” Intelligence Minister Israel Katz told the Reuters news agency.

“I think it will be very good if the North Koreans will finish and go out of the nuclear business and capabilities,” he said. “It will also be good to our region, because there is a connection.”

Katz said that Israel had proof that Iran and North Korea were developing ballistic missiles together.

“Yes, I think there is cooperation as it belongs to developing the ballistic missiles. And we have the evidence,” he said.
New embassy quarter to be built in Jerusalem, could be called 'Trump Town’
Construction Minister Yoav Gallant has instructed the top officials in his ministry to begin the process of planning and approving a new quarter for embassies from countries around the world that will be built in Jerusalem, he revealed on Thursday in an interview from New York, where he will be speaking at Sunday’s Jerusalem Post Conference.

Even before the progress made this week toward moving the embassies of the Czech Republic, Romania, and Honduras, Gallant had already sent a letter to Construction Ministry director-general Hegai Roznik and chief architect Vered Solomon-Maman last Friday, asking them to form a task force that will immediately begin working on finding an appropriate site for many embassies in the capital.

In the letter, which was obtained exclusively by The Jerusalem Post, Galant asked the top figures in his ministry to start working on solutions to house the workers of the embassies.

Following the letter, Roznik, Solomon-Maman and other ministry officials met this week and started working on a plan.

“There is an apparent pattern of embassies moving to Jerusalem, and we have to start getting ready now,” Gallant said. “We might have to build dozens of embassies, and we would need new land ready for that purpose. I asked my ministry to vigorously take action as fast as possible."
Outgoing Paraguay leader wants to relocate embassy to Jerusalem
The outgoing president of Paraguay on Thursday voiced support for relocating his country’s embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem by mid-August.

Speaking at an event marking 70 years of Israeli independence, Horacio Cartes expressed his willingness to move Paraguay’s mission to Israel’s capital before the end of his term, according to the ABC Color newspaper.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry declined to comment on the report.

Diplomatic officials told Channel 10 they were skeptical the outgoing president has the political support to advance an embassy move in under four months.

On December 6, 2017, US President Donald Trump bucked decades of US foreign policy by formally recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and launching the diplomatic process to move the US Embassy there from Tel Aviv.

In February of this year, the US administration announced that it would open its Jerusalem embassy in May 2018 to coincide with the 70th anniversary of Israel’s independence.
Trump: ‘Wherever There’s a Problem’ in the Middle East, ‘Iran Is Right There’
President Donald Trump on Friday castigated Iran for being a destabilizing force in the Middle East, saying at a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel that wherever there is a "problem" in the region, the Islamic Republic is "right there."

Trump said that he and Merkel discussed Iran during their meeting earlier at the White House. Iran was expected to be a contentious issue between the two world leaders, as Trump has lambasted the Iran nuclear deal and threatened to withdraw from it while Merkel strongly supports the accord.

U.S. and European officials have been discussing a possible side agreement to the deal to address key concerns Trump has about its provisions. Trump has until May 12 to decide whether to continue suspending economic sanctions on Iran that were lifted under the 2015 deal but come up for periodic review.

"The Iranian regime fuels violence, bloodshed, and chaos all across the Middle East," Trump said. "We must ensure that this murderous regime does not even get close to a nuclear weapon, and that Iran ends its proliferation of dangerous missiles and its support for terrorism."

"No matter where you go in the Middle East, wherever there's a problem, Iran is right there," Trump added.

The State Department consistently names Iran as the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism in an annual report. Tehran, whose leaders have said they seek to destroy Israel, has steadfastly supported the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the ongoing conflict in Syria, and has provided weapons to the Houthi rebels in Yemen, who have fired missiles on U.S. Navy ships and Saudi Arabia.


Merkel, at White House, says Iran deal ‘not sufficient’ to curb nuclear program
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, standing alongside US President Donald Trump at the White House, said Friday that the existing international accord on Iran is not enough to curb the Islamic republic’s nuclear ambitions.

The so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, signed by Tehran and six world powers including Germany and the United States, is “a first step that has contributed to slowing down their activities in this particular respect,” Merkel told reporters.

“But we also think from a German perspective that this is not sufficient in order to see to it that Iran’s ambitions are curbed and contained.”

She added: “Europe and the United States ought to be in lock step on this.”
ADL will no longer co-lead Starbucks diversity training
The Anti-Defamation League is no longer taking a leading role in next month’s diversity training at Starbucks stores across the United States, serving instead in an consulting role.

Initially, the group’s CEO, Jonathan Greenblatt, was one of four civil rights leaders tapped to develop the coffee giant’s all-day anti-bias training next month across its 8,000 U.S. locations. The training was announced following outrage at the arrest of two black men waiting to start a meeting at a Philadelphia Starbucks store.

The other three civil rights leaders — Sherrilyn Ifill of the NAACP’s Legal Defense Fund, Bryan Stevenson of the Equal Justice Initiative and Heather McGhee off the liberal think tank Demos — will still be leading the training.

But Starbucks announced in a Wednesday press release that the ADL will now be one of “a diverse array of organizations and civil rights experts” that Starbucks will consult. Other groups in the consulting role include those combating anti-Muslim, anti-LGBT and anti-Latino bigotry.

Starbucks did not specify why Greenblatt is no longer among the originally named experts, although Greenblatt noted in a tweet that the training will focus specifically on race. The three activists leading the training are all people of color. The ADL combats bigotry of all kinds, but focuses on fighting anti-Semitism.


Examining BDS and Other Anti-Israel Hate at Oberlin
Eliana Kohn is a third year student at Oberlin College, who has contributed a powerful chapter to Andrew Pessin and Doron S. Ben-Atar’s new book, Anti-Zionism on Campus. Her chapter is titled, “On Being Pro-Israel, and Jewish, at Oberlin College,” and presents Eliana’s first-hand accounts of Oberlin’s oppressive environment for Jewish students.

From describing her unsettling early interactions with hostile peers and her experiences with unsupportive Jewish professionals on campus, to revealing a hostile campus that welcomes assaults on Zionism and its supporters, Eliana presents herself not only as a talented writer, but also as a courageous leader who ultimately is refusing to succumb to the threatening tactics of Oberlin’s BDS followers.

Eliana first describes how she “shamefully stuffed” her IDF T-shirt away, “never to be worn at Oberlin again,” after facing criticism for wearing it, and feeling “ostracized alienated, and confused” after being discouraged from expressing her pro-Israel sentiment at an open-mic night on the grounds that it would “make people hate me or start a fight.”

As she proceeds to describe the shock that she faced at a Hillel meeting, where, “when someone tried to bring up Israel… the subject was shot down” — and where she was told that “the place for discussing Israel was at a J Street meeting” — she sheds light on one of the most insidious and devastating aspects of life for pro-Israel students at Oberlin. While Jewish students have ample opportunities to express their religious and cultural identities, there is no one to encourage them and protect them in their public support of the Jewish state.
Exclusive: German Jewish owner of bank demands bank stop enabling BDS
The Central Welfare Board of Jews in Germany – a part owner of the Cologne-based Bank for Social Economy – called on its management to end all business relations with groups that support a boycott of the Jewish state.

“The Central Welfare Board of Jews in Germany will henceforth use its influence to actively counter every form of the BDS movement. For this reason, the ZWST [the board] calls on the Bank for Social Economy [Bank für Sozialwirtschaft] to end its business relations with BDS organizations,” spokeswoman Renate Müller told The Jerusalem Post last week.

The Central Welfare Board owns 0.7% of the bank, is one of six main owners listed on the bank’s website, and has a member on its board of directors.

The bank maintains at least four accounts that directly or indirectly support the boycott, divestment, sanctions campaign.

It is unclear how the Central Welfare Board will act to change what it calls the bank’s antisemitic support of BDS. The board could sell its shares in the bank and close its account.

Aron Schuster is slated to be the next executive director of the Central Welfare Board. He will replace long-time executive director Benjamin Bloch, who played a key role in shutting down the account of the hardcore BDS group Jewish Voice for a Just Peace in the Middle East in 2016. The bank later reversed its decision and re-opened the BDS account in 2017.

Jaffa Flohr, a spokesman for the new president of the Jewish National Fund-Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael in Germany, told the Post that she expressed solidarity with the Central Welfare Board of Jews and joined it in urging the Bank for Social Economy to terminate all BDS business relations. The Jewish National Fund-Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael maintains an account with the bank.
BDS' latest target: Israeli banks
A new stage of the BDS movement’s war against the Jewish state is now underway, as anti-Israel groups convince financial advisors to divest from Israeli banks and financial institutions.

According to a Channel 20 report, BDS activists have recently been working to convince financial advisors, mainly in the US, that investing in Israel is tantamount to supporting human rights violations.

Among other means, the anti-Israel activists cite documents and reports authored by the UN Human Rights Council against Israel to make their case.

The efforts are already having an effect on two of Israel’s largest banks, Bank Leumi and Bank Hapoalim.

“There are two very large churches, the Presbyterian Church and the Methodist Church - each one has a pension fund of tens of millions of dollars - that pulled their investments in Bank Leumi and Bank Hapoalim, because they convinced them that investing in Israel equals violating human rights,” Israeli attorney Calev Myers, Chairman of the Anti-BDS Commission of the Israel Association of Bi-National Chambers of Commerce, told Channel 20.
Senior Coroner Mary Hassell condemned by High Court over “irrational” and “discriminatory” obstruction of Jewish burials in landmark legal victory
In a landmark High Court victory, Senior Coroner Mary Hassell has been defeated in her campaign to continue delaying Jewish and Muslim burials.

Ms Hassell had argued that cases would be dealt with on a first-come-first-served basis, in a break with convention which has long seen more compassionate coroners prioritise cases where a swift burial is required for religious reasons.

In what many saw as a cruel and disgusting policy which heightened the suffering of grieving families, Ms Hassell would make Jewish and Muslim families wait for weeks before releasing the corpses of their loved ones for burial, and she even prevented Jewish relatives and burial societies from observing the obligation to stand watch over a body until burial takes place.

However, Ms Hassell met her match in campaigner Marie van der Zyl, and lawyer Trevor Asserson, who worked on behalf of the Adath Yisroel Burial Society to put an end to her disgraceful practices.

Ms van der Zyl, who is a Vice President of the Board of Deputies and standing to become its President, orchestrated a fierce campaign which saw Theresa May, Jeremy Corbyn, Sadiq Khan, the Chief Rabbi and even the Chief Coroner attack Ms Hassell’s “cab rank” policy of treating all cases in the same way regardless of families’ needs.

After Ms Hassell defended her policy and refused to listen to reason, continuing to cause immense distress to families under her jurisdiction, the case was taken to the High Court where seasoned litigator Trevor Asserson argued that a blanket policy may appear to assure equality, but in reality an equal policy may discriminate against those who it disproportionately disadvantages.
Amazon Germany pulls ad for money-flashing rabbi costume
Following complaints, a picture of a model holding money while wearing a rabbi costume was pulled off the Amazon Germany shopping website.

The ads for the costume — a black hat with synthetic sidelocks that costs up to $20 — appeared on the German-language version of Amazon up until last week, the news site Ynet reported Thursday. The retailer who sells the costumes also sells fake beards, the report said.

Separately, a Thailand-based online retailer was selling yellow stars emblazoned with the word “Jude” — German for Jew – as a fashion accessory. “Looks perfect on Jeans, jackets, clothes, vests, hats and bags,” the retailer, using the name virginshop_9, wrote on eBay.com.

The Nazis made Jews wear yellow stars in the 1930s and 1940s. The retailer selling the yellow stars had his ad for that product taken offline.

The news about the items on sale on Amazon’s German edition and on eBay coincide with several statements by leaders in Europe against anti-Semitism.

German memorial finally honors forced laborers of forgotten Nazi camp
Germany on Friday inaugurated a memorial at the long-forgotten site of a World War II Nazi concentration camp where forced laborers built an aircraft factory deep inside a Bavarian forest.

At least 2,200 prisoners, many of them Hungarian Jews, died in the miserable conditions at the Muehldorfer Hart camp and were buried on-site in a mass grave.

More than 70 years after the war ended, the state of Bavaria has finally put up a memorial of standing concrete slabs with photographs and text on the site’s grim history.

A concrete path has also been laid, leading visitors through the vast area’s work camp to the mass grave.

“I am satisfied that finally, after so many years, we can remember the suffering of these men and their deaths in the middle of the forest,” said Franz Langstein, who heads the association “For Remembrance.”

The group has fought for 20 years for the memorial to be built, he told AFP.
‘Britain’s Got Talent’ Contender Reprimanded by Producers for ‘Liking’ Racist Videos About Jews Being ‘Hunted Down’
A contestant on “Britain’s Got Talent” has been advised by the television show’s producers to curb her behavior after it was discovered that she “liked” several racist and homophobic YouTube videos, the UK’s Daily Mail reported on Thursday.

Jenny Darren — the 68-year-old singer who won over audiences when she took off her granny clothes and belted out AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell” on the show Saturday night — created a YouTube playlist of videos that included offensive remarks about the LGBT community, labeled Jews as a “pest to society” and called on Jewish people to be “hunted down.” Also found on her Facebook page was a poem she wrote that criticized LGBT relationships. Darren’s YouTube playlist has since been deleted.

“Jenny’s behavior online is shocking and inappropriate,” a TV insider told The Sun. “She’s supposed to represent a family show but is instead setting an extremely bad example for her followers. It’s not only an embarrassment for Jenny, it’s a headache for the show and producers are fuming.”

A spokesperson for “Britain’s Got Talent” said about the controversy, “Any prejudicial language or behavior is abhorrent to everyone involved in ‘BGT,’ which is an inclusive show. As a result, Jenny Darren has been reprimanded by producers regarding her previous statements, and has been warned over her future conduct.” The spokesperson added that Darren had “profusely apologized” for her actions.
Berlin activists to distribute 10,000 kippas in city’s parks on Sunday
Following a spate of anti-Semitic incidents in Germany, and widespread displays of solidarity with Berlin’s Jewish community, activists in the city are to distribute 10,000 kippas to passersby in the city’s public places in another kind of demonstration on Sunday. The goal, organizers said, is a more personal and less political rally against anti-Semitism in the city.

The kippas will be given out by small groups of Jewish and non-Jewish volunteers in the city’s parks. The event is complementary to the “Berlin Wears Kippa” event that took place Wednesday, organizers said.

At that event, around 2,000 participants donned kippas together at a rally in front of the city’s synagogue. Sunday’s event, called “#kippaheadsup,” will encourage people who are not politically active or tied to the issue to wear a kippa on their own and experience the feeling of vulnerability that can come with wearing something identifiably Jewish during their daily life.

“Yesterday we wore a kippa, but in a safe space,” said Anne, 30, one of the event’s organizers, on Thursday. “A lot of people don’t have any markers that marginalize them and maybe they can get more sensitive to that,” added Anne, who declined to give her last name because she has a politics-related job in the German parliament.
Israeli takes gold at European Judo Championship in Tel Aviv
Sagi Muki won a gold metal in the up-to-73 kg. weight category at the European Judo Championship in Baku, Azerbaijan in 2015. On Friday night, Muki proved he could hold his own against heavier competitors, too, when he took gold at the European Judo Championship in Tel Aviv in the up-to-80 kg. category — Israel's third metal in the current competition.

Gefen Primo won bronze in the up-to-52 kg. weight category and Tal Flickr won bronze in up-to-66 kg.

The day of competitions opened with a moment of silence in memory of the ten youths who were killed Thursday after being swept away by a surge in the Tzafit stream, west of the southern part of the Dead Sea, amid intense, unseasonable storms throughout Israel.

In the first round, Muki went against his first match, Jonathan Alardon (29).

In the second round, Muki went up against Matthias Kasei of Belgium. Muki started strong, was very aggressive and on the attack. Muki was wobbly in his second battle against a Belgian who tried to make a surprising move in the last few seconds, but he persevered and clinched the win on the way to the quarter-finals.



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