Thursday, June 14, 2018

From Ian:

UNRWA: Gaza Baby Mortality Shot Up As Soon As Israel Left
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) periodically estimates infant mortality rates (IMR) among the Arabs in its Gaza Strip camps. These surveys recorded a decline from 127 per 1000 live births before the Israeli takeover in 1967, to 20.2 in 2006 – a few months after Israel had unilaterally left the Strip.

A survey in 2006 revealed an IMR of 22.2. A survey conducted in 2011, following five years under Hamas rule, revealed an IMR of 22.4. And a survey in 2013, estimated the IMR at 22.7.

Alerted by these findings, a follow up survey was conducted in 2015 to further assess the trend of IMR. It found, according to a new UNRWA report published on Wednesday (Stalled decline in infant mortality among Palestine refugees in the Gaza Strip since 2006), that the mortality rate in infants in the refugee camps has not declined since 2006.

Infant mortality refers to deaths of young children, typically those less than one year of age, measured by the IMR, which is the number of deaths of children under one year of age per 1000 live births. IMR is an indicator used by the UN to monitor progress in the efforts to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages. Meaning, the higher your IMR, the lower are the chances that the rest of the population is healthy.

According to the Director of UNRWA’s Health Department, Dr Akihiro Seita, the new findings are “an extraordinary warning sign, an alarming trend in the overall situation not only of health for infants but also the health of entire Palestine refugee population in Gaza. Moreover, it is a warning sign on the overall social and economic situation of Gaza, as the Palestine refugees account for more than seventy per cent of the entire populations in Gaza. Infant mortality is a barometer of the health of an entire population.”

PMW: PMW welcomes FIFA investigation of Jibril Rajoub
FIFA announced that it received and is investigating the Israel Football Association’s (IFA) complaint against Jibril Rajoub, for inciting violence against Argentinian football players

PMW has resubmitted PMW’s complaints to FIFA’s disciplinary committee against Jibril Rajoub due to his incitement to murder Israelis and glorification of terrorists who killed Israelis. From PMW’s letter to FIFA:

“Should the Disciplinary Committee deal only with the complaints against Rajoub related to Messi and the Argentinian football team, the clear implication would be that while attacks on football stars is unacceptable to FIFA, incitement to murder Israelis and the glorification of terrorist murderers of Israelis is acceptable. This clearly discriminatory and even racist approach cannot and must not be reflective of FIFA’s message.”

PMW calls on the Israel Football Association to also submit PMW’s complaints to FIFA in addition to its own recent complaint. It is important that the IFA expresses as much protest against Rajoub’s calls to murder Israelis as it expressed to Rajoub’s threats of violence against Argentinian players

The international football association FIFA announced yesterday that following the complaint of the Israel Football Association (IFA) it will be investigating the statements by Jibril Rajoub and the threats that he made against the Argentinian national football team and its star Lionel Messi, which led to Argentina canceling the friendly match that had been scheduled to take place in Israel.

While PMW welcomes FIFA’s decision, it is far too little and far too late.
Who to Root For in the World Cup, From Least to Most Anti-Semitic
The World Cup starts tomorrow, and if you were planning on rooting for either the U.S. or Israeli team, you already had your hopes dashed when they failed to qualify.

And so, with 32 countries vying for the title, it’s hard to decide which team to support. Should you root for an underdog? Pick the team with the best looking players? Or, better yet, ask yourself the age-old question: Are they good for the Jews?

The ADL conducted a study about global anti-Semitism in 2014 (partially updated in 2015). The study’s general system: If you answer “probably true” to a majority of the anti-Semitic stereotypes polled for, you count as an anti-Semite, and a country’s overall score is the percentage of people questioned who fall into this category. So the lower the score, the less anti-Semitic the country. And the more likely we are to root for their soccer team.

The ADL even has a nifty “compare” feature—so if two countries with the same overall index play each other, you can easily look at them side by side, and think, “Hm. More South Koreans think Jews complain too much about the Holocaust, but in Senegal we’re more likely to get blamed for the world’s wars!” (Or, you can side with the country with the lower population, which therefore contains fewer total anti-Semites. You can insert your own judgment.)



Sohrab Ahmari: Qatar and the Columbia Journalism Review
Should Al Jazeera–the broadcast organ of Qatar’s pro-Muslim Brotherhood regime–be required to register as a foreign agent in the United States? Alexandra Ellerbeck and Avi Asher-Schapiro of the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists think the answer is no, and they have a long essay in the Columbia Journalism Review laying out their case.

Requiring Al Jazeera to register under the Foreign Agent Registration Act, they argue, would have a chilling effect on its journalism and empower a “notoriously opaque unit within the Department of Justice to draw an impossible line between propaganda and journalism.” They also contend that using FARA to pressure outlets like Al Jazeera would encourage repressive governments abroad to take similar action against critical media and civil-society organizations.

The problem: Ellerbeck and Asher-Schapiro failed to disclose their own conflict of interest when it comes to Al Jazeera.

To wit, Al Jazeera program host Mhamed Krichen is a member of the board of directors of the Committee to Protect Journalists, Ellerbeck’s and Asher-Schapiro’s employer. The authors quote numerous Al Jazeera officials and highlight the broadcaster’s reporting “accolades.” But they eschew or only lightly touch on Al Jazeera’s less savory aspects, not least the fact that its Arabic network has long served as a platform for Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the Muslim Brotherhood preacher.

In a 2009 speech broadcast on the network, Qaradawi praised Hitler and the Holocaust: “Throughout history, Allah has imposed upon the [Jews] people who would punish them for their corruption. The last punishment was carried out by Hitler. By means of all the things he did to them–even though they exaggerated this issue–he managed to put them in their place. This was divine punishment for them. Allah willing, the next time will be at the hand of the believers.”
Qatar’s Efforts to Influence American Jews Continue to Unravel
On Wednesday, Nick Muzin, the political strategist and former senior staffer for Republican Senators Tim Scott and Ted Cruz whom Qatar hired to help improve the gulf kingdom’s reputation in the U.S. Jewish community, announced that his work on behalf of his most controversial client had come to an end. “Stonington Strategies is no longer representing the State of Qatar,” Muzin tweeted. “I am proud of the work we did to foster peaceful dialogue in the Middle East, to increase Qatar’s defense and economic ties with the United States, and to expand humanitarian support of Gaza.” According to FARA disclosures, the Qatar contract was worth $300,000 a month for Muzin’s consulting firm.

Muzin’s tweet concluded a tumultuous nine months representing Doha. In September of last year, Muzin largely failed in attempts to facilitate public meetings between U.S. Jewish communal figures and high-ranking Qatari officials during the opening of the United Nations General Assembly. He was more successful in quietly mediating between the Qataris and American activists concerned over Al Jazeera’s potential release of video that a British national named Anthony Kleinfeld collected while infiltrating Jewish and pro-Israel groups in Washington over the summer of 2016 (the documentary still hasn’t been released yet, and the editor who oversaw the project has taken a sabbatical from the network). In November and December of 2017, Mort Klein, Alan Dershowitz, prominent Orthodox Rabbi Menachem Genack, and Religious Zionists of America President Martin Oliner, traveled to Doha on trips that Muzin helped organize. Although Klein and Dershowitz both told Tablet this past February that they went to Qatar partly confront the country’s leaders over their alleged support for Hamas and other terror groups, the trips were still proof that some of the most pro-Israel voices in America were willing to visit the country.

Given the circumstances, Muzin’s tweet is likely to mark the end of Qatar’s latest efforts to court American Jews. Muzin is currently one of the defendants in a lawsuit that Elliott Broidy, a businessman, major Republican donor, and critic of Qatar brought against Qatar, Muzin, and various other defendants. Broidy alleges that Muzin participated in the dissemination of emails that Qatari-hired hackers unlawfully obtained and had operational knowledge of the hack. The hacked emails formed the basis of stories in the Associated Press and The New York Times purportedly documenting Broidy’s behind-the-scenes advocacy with the Trump administration on behalf of the United Arab Emirates, a regional opponent of Qatar’s where Broidy has business interests.
Will Prince William become the first Royal to formally visit Western Wall?
Britain’s Prince William may pay a visit to the Western Wall during his visit to Israel at the end of next month, Western Wall Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovich said on Thursday.

Rabinovich, during a meeting with Israeli reporters, said British officials have looked into the possibility of a visit to the Western Wall.

A spokesperson at the British embassy said that they could not give any more information about the visit than what has already been released.

Kensington Palace made no mention of a visit to the Western Wall when it announced William’s itinerary earlier this week.

However, the statement did say that part of the program for the day when William will visit the “occupied Palestinian territories” will “be announced at a later date, but will allow his royal highness to understand and pay respects to the religions and histories of the region.”
What a Pakistani Muslim learnt from a Jew
A chance encounter with a Pakistani Jew in Israel leads Ibrahim Rashid to conclude that Israelis and Palestinians can never reconcile unless Muslim states come to terms with the disgraceful treatment of their Jews. Story in the Daily Times of Pakistan (But sadly, the comments show that many readers are still in denial):

On my first day in Jerusalem, I woke up, performed wudu (ablution) and donned a new shalwar kameez that my grandmother had sent from Pakistan.
I thought to myself, “Today, I am representing my culture, religion, and family – and I will do it with pride.”
As I boarded the bus for the Western Wall, the holiest site in Judaism, my driver asked, “Where are you from?”
“Pakistan!” I responded, to which he replied, “I’m from Pakistan, too!”
I was stunned to know that there were Pakistanis in Israel.
“What’s your name?” I asked in Urdu.
“Shimshon!” “Shimshon?” That’s an odd-sounding Pakistani name, I thought.
“How long have you been in Israel for?”
“Since 1957.” “Wow, that’s a while. When were you last in Pakistan?”“1957.” Confused, I asked him, “Why haven’t you gone back since?”
“Because I can’t – it’s not safe for me.”
In that moment it hit me. Shimshon is Jewish! I was shocked. I never imagined there could be Pakistani-Jews.
In Holland, a former jihadist reaches out to Jews for forgiveness
Jews were never far from the mind of Jason Walters when he was still a key member of the Netherlands’ deadliest network of jihadist terrorists.

Even after Dutch security forces arrested Walters in 2004 for throwing a hand grenade at police during a counterterrorist raid on his hiding place, he believed that “the outcome of the trial will be determined in Tel Aviv.”

That belief was the result of an “extreme susceptibility to conspiracy theories,” said Walters in a recent interview.

It was that susceptibility that led Walters, still a teenager, to join the deadly Hofstad Group that in 2004 killed Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh.

Now Walters is 33 and a recent university graduate. He says he became de-radicalized in prison, where he served eight years before his release in 2013.

“As a salafi jihadist, anti-Semitism is wrapped up in your entire worldview,” he said.

Which is why Walters chose to speak out for the first time to Esther Voet, the editor-in-chief of Holland’s NIW Jewish weekly, in an unusual interview that also featured an apology to Dutch Jews and other victims, and his advocacy of Israel’s right to exist within secure borders.
Why Artists Must Oppose the Boycott Israel Movement
One hundred artists, filmmakers, writers, and other cultural workers have called for a boycott of an artist-run gallery in Glendale, California — a town less than five miles from Hollywood.

Why? Because an exhibit there, which is a nod to Glendale’s long-standing artist community, does not include artists of Armenian descent. Armenians represent 40% of the community’s population, and they argue that this is enabling an “erasure” of their community.

Of course, an erasure of the Jewish ethnicity of Israel is exactly the goal of the deplorable Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel — a nation that is fully 75% Jewish.

An important distinction, however, is that the artists are calling for a boycott in Glendale because they want others to be included and are championing diversity. Contrast that with the cultural boycott campaign against Israeli artists and audiences, which wants an entire community excluded from international cultural events.

Artists and cultural workers have an obligation to stand up for artists and audiences who are singled out for censorship based on their gender, ethnicity, or nationality. Leaders of the BDS campaign — like Roger Waters, Brian Eno, and Ken Loach — call for the boycott of Israeli artists not because of the content of their work, but because of the cover of their passports.
Edwin Black: UCLA Students File Criminal Complaints Against anti-Israel Disruptors
Criminal complaints are now being filed by students following the belligerent disruption of a May 17, 2018 Students Supporting Israel (SSI) event at the University of California Los Angeles. At least a half-dozen students announced they would visit the UCLA police department to file formal complaints of criminal disruption of a meeting, as well as disturbing the peace and conspiracy.

The move follows media disclosures that UCLA was reneging on a public pledge by two chancellors in The Daily Bruin — bolstered by a statement for the record by a university spokesman — to refer the May 17 incident to prosecutors.

The disruption and nose-to-nose intimidation of the students attending the May 17 SSI event at UCLA was documented in a video, beginning at minute 41. Disruptors suddenly and loudly stormed into the room mid-session. One person tore down a flag, demonstratively pulled away a desk placard, and cursed threateningly close to the face of a panelist. With bullhorns, whistles, staged dancing, and slogans shouted, the event was shut down.

The Louis D. Brandeis Center, led by attorney Alyza Lewin along with Director of Legal Initiatives Aviva Vogelstein and three law students in the UCLA Brandeis chapter, dispatched a letter to the university asserting that the disruption crossed the line into misdemeanor violations of the California criminal code. They cited Title 11, section 403, which covers deliberate disruption of a public meeting — successfully used to convict the so-called Irvine 11; section 415, which covers malicious disturbance of the peace; and section 182, which forbids any conspiracy to violate the other sections.
JPost Editorial: Geographic divide: Taking the pulse of Jews in America and Israel
Take Independence Day. Every city with a sizable Jewish population in the US has a community event that celebrates Iyar 5. But how many communities mark the day before, Iyar 4, Memorial Day for the Fallen Soldiers of Israel and Victims of Terrorism? While Independence Day celebrates the birth of a nation, Memorial Day notes the price of that birth.

Here, Memorial Day is equal to Independence Day, ultimate sadness and supreme joy being marked within 48 hours.

Most American Jews don’t mark that day. But that’s the Israeli experience, and our political perspective is shaded by that experience.

We understand that the large majority of American Jews – liberal Democrats – don’t like Trump.

We realize that gaps are widening in the relative support for Israel in the Democratic and Republican parties. From afar, we see a red and blue United States torn asunder, Left and Right polarization being played out at an extreme which no one has seen before. It is not surprising that the Jewish community reflects that divide, lining up on the side that was against moving the embassy.

Israelis saw it differently. We saw a US president flying in the face of 70 years of political history – putting aside 3,000 years of Jewish history – and upending seven decades of US foreign policy and an international consensus. Trump’s declaration on December 6 said the city’s boundaries would be resolved in negotiations, but that there can be no debate regardless of where the line is drawn: If Israel exists, then Jerusalem exists, and “that city is Israel’s capital.”

Israeli and American Jews will continue to look at these issues from the perspective of their communities and locations. The question that remains is whether we will let these differences divide us as a people.
The American Jewish Committee’s Myth of a ‘Demilitarized’ Palestinian State
The phrase “demilitarized Palestinian state” is the very definition of an oxymoron: “a figure of speech in which apparently contradictory terms appear in conjunction.”

Proponents of Palestinian statehood use the term “demilitarized” as a propaganda weapon. They know that Palestinian Authority (PA) spokesmen have consistently rejected the idea that a Palestinian state would be demilitarized. And they know that the idea of demilitarizing a dictatorship has never been successfully implemented in history. But they use the phrase because it’s the only way to sell their awful plan.

The creation of a Palestinian state in most or all of Judea and Samaria means that Israel would be nine miles wide at one point. As a result, the idea that a Palestinian state would have an army of its own is nothing less than terrifying. It means that Israel would be in mortal danger from the moment that “Palestine” is created.

So the only way for Palestinian advocates to push their cause is to pretend that, somehow, the state would be demilitarized.

Look at the new poll carried out by the American Jewish Committee about attitudes among American Jews and Israelis. The appropriate wording for a question about a Palestinian state would have been: “Do you support the creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel, which would then be nine miles wide?”
Linda Sarsour, Are You Willing to Denigrate Islam to Advance Your Political Agenda, Like You Do With Judaism?
Faux feminist but very real Israel hater Linda Sarsour retweets this from an anti-Israel group calling themselves Jews for Racial & Economic Justice:

Yet another co-opting of Judaism for a political agenda (much like we have seen from fellow anti-Israel group IfNotNow).

So here’s my question for Sarsour: as a frum Muslim, are you willing to take a festival or practice in Islam and twist it in to an unrecognizable form, to advance a purely political agenda?

I highly doubt it and have not seen it from her. Yet she is more than willing to promote such a twisting and mockery of one of the most important festivals in Judaism.

Not that this is the first time Sarsour has denigrated Judaism. She constantly attacks Zionism, which is a central tenet of Judaism.

Linda Sarsour will claim she is no Jew hater. Whatever she is, she certainly is not respectful towards Judaism.
Call for ‘eradication’ of Israelis has no place in civil society
In Kitchener, Shafiq Hudda is known as a community builder.

He is one of the founding members of Interfaith Grand River, an alliance of about 30 local different faith groups.

He also runs Islamic Humanitarian Service on Hollinger Crescent, a charitable organization that collects donations for Waterloo Region's food bank and other worthwhile projects in the developing world.

But in Toronto on Saturday, Hudda was calling for the "eradication" of Israelis and Zionists.

It happened at Al-Quds Day, an annual worldwide demonstration against Israel.

In the video of Hudda's speech he says: "We pray to the Almighty, a day will come when we will see justice throughout the world, the eradication of the unjust powers, such as the American empire, such as the Israelis and Zionists, in the same way we saw the British Empire wither away ...

"We will see a day coming, God willing, in our lifetime, where this empire, the Zionist empire, the American empire, will be down in the dustbins of history."

The Jewish human rights organization B'nai Brith (on whose website you can view the video at www.bnaibrith.ca) says Hudda's comments amount to hate speech as defined in the Criminal Code of Canada.

Canada has a rich tradition of freedom of speech. Hate speech is outside the lines, though. It's illegal to advocate genocide or promote hatred against an identifiable group.
"Racism dressed up as scholarship..."
A Perth academic who criticised Israeli policies in a PhD eight years ago says she is the subject of sustained attempts to silence her on the topic of Palestinian human rights.

Sandra Nasr’s 2010 thesis is the subject of a complaint to the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency by the president of the Jewish Community Council of Western Australia, Joan Hillman, who alleges it contains “improprieties”, citing “crude prejudice and lack of scholarly rigour of the thesis (as now attested to by three independent academic scholars); apparent conflicts of interest by the two examiners; and the university’s … placing the thesis under permanent embargo in 2010”.

Dr Nasr, a lecturer in politics and history at Notre Dame in Western Australia, said her thesis was passed in line with Curtin University’s PhD candidate admission and supervisor and examiner review processes. In it, she “critiqued Israeli policies and practices of occupation within the framework of critical state terrorism … These attacks on academic freedom are part of a sustained attempt to redefine criticism of Israel or Zionist ideology as anti-Semitism in order to silence those who would express concern regarding Palestinian human rights under Israeli occupation.”

The complaint is being dealt with 2½ years after Dr Nasr was criticised for a piece she wrote on the London School of Economics website that criticised Zionist ideology. [The matter was reported in WA Today and The Jewish Chronicle ]. The Britain-based Jewish Community Security Trust decried the article for “employing grotesque racist slanders against Judaism”.

A spokeswoman for the University of Notre Dame Australia said an investigation into the 2015 post was “internal and confidential” and the university would not be making further comment.
A New Approach to Fighting Campus Antisemitism
College campuses today are being challenged by profoundly intolerant behavior, the goal of which is to prevent some individuals and groups from expressing their opinions, beliefs, or identity — or from fully participating in campus life.

For Jewish and pro-Israel students, such behavior has become especially prevalent and challenging. On many college campuses, not only are positive statements about Israel demonized and delegitimized, but individuals who express these opinions are often intimidated, ostracized, and literally bullied into silence.

In the past few months alone, pro-Israel events have been aggressively disrupted at New York University, Syracuse University, UCLA, and the University of California, Irvine. Numerous flyers and graffiti stating “Zionists Not Welcome on Our Campus” were found all over San Francisco State University after an SFSU professor wrote on her department’s Facebook page that welcoming Zionist students on campus was a “declaration of war.” And a formal complaint was filed by Jewish students at Columbia University against anti-Zionist student groups for systematically harassing and silencing them for more than a year.

In the wake of recent controversies involving the disruption and canceling of campus events, many university leaders have adopted the University of Chicago’s statement on freedom of speech, which has become the gold standard on free speech for universities across the country. Not only does the statement commit to upholding students’ rights under the First Amendment, but it makes it crystal clear that to do so the university must ensure students are protected from the harassment and intolerant behavior that directly impedes this right.
Prof Says Pro-Israel Students ‘Not Welcomed’
When asked last year whether Zionists — people who support Israel — were welcome on campus, SFSU’s president, Leslie Wong, said “That’s one of those categorical statements I can’t get close to. I take each on their own merits. Am I comfortable opening up the gates to everyone? Gosh, of course not. I’m not the kind of guy who gets into absolutes like that.”

But a year later, he changed his tune and after meeting with Jewish Hillel students, said “I want to sincerely apologize for the hurt feelings and anguish my words have caused. Let me be clear: Zionists are welcome on our campus.”

You would think leftists would be happy with this statement of INCLUSION, but not Professor Rabab Ibrahim Abdulhadi, who took to Facebook saying “Jews Against Zionism reject President Wong’s statement. Zionists are NOT welcomed on our campus.” He said he considers Wong’s statement “to be a declaration of war against Arabs, Muslims, Palestinians and all those who are committed to an indivisible sense of justice on and off campus.”

Abdulhadi apparently teaches race and resistance studies — so, activism —- and also lists Islamophobia as one of her areas of expertise. It’s funny, but it’s also a little depressing going through these faculty bios. Classical education used to focus on teaching you HOW to think, not WHAT to think. Today’s universities seem to be churning out people who can pen a few platitudes like “protect kids, not guns” or “no fascist USA” to a sign. But ask them to elaborate on these little slogans and they often come up short.


After Pressure From ‘Anti-Occupation’ Group, Camp Ramah Affirms Opposition to ‘Any Anti-Israel, Antisemitic, Anti-Zionist Education’
A summer camp network affiliated with Conservative Judaism has pledged not to engage with an activist group that has criticized its approach to Israel education.

Leaders of Camp Ramah — whose programs annually include more than 11,000 children and staff members in the US and Israel — distributed a letter on Monday to institutional partners following criticism by the Jewish group IfNotNow, which accuses Ramah of failing to recognize Palestinian narratives when teaching its campers about Israel.

“Ramah camps have not engaged–and will not engage–in any way with If Not Now as an organization,” members of the National Ramah Commission (NRC), led by director Rabbi Mitchell Cohen, asserted. “Ramah will not partner with any organization that is not unequivocally pro-Israel.”

The letter acknowledged that while National Ramah staff met in March with 15 camp alumni affiliated with IfNotNow, “we made it very clear to them that while liberal pro-Israel views on the conflict can be voiced and taught at camp, we do not allow any anti-Israel, anti-Semitic or anti-Zionist education at Ramah.”

IfNotNow, which bills itself as a movement spearheaded by young American Jews, seeks to pressure Jewish communal institutions to publicly oppose Israel’s “occupation of the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem.” It does not take an official stance on the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel, Zionism, or “the question of statehood.”
New York Times Revisits ‘Folkdance Appropriation’ Allegation
When we last tackled the topic of Israeli dance and The New York Times, it was to comment on a Times article claiming that Israelis stole folk dancing from the Palestinian Arabs in an act of “cultural appropriation.”

Now the Times has revisited the topic in a way that undercuts that earlier claim.

The earlier Times article, from February, appeared in a question and answer format. It included this passage:
One issue you explore is cultural appropriation, how the pioneers of Israeli folk dance, mostly Eastern European women, drew from social dance forms like Palestinian dabke.

It’s well-documented that these women went to Palestinian villages and watched them dancing and felt they held the steps for what new Israeli dances could be. And so they borrowed steps and wrote new music and created dances that were directly synchronous to the new music, and in this way it becomes a new Israeli dance.


The return to the topic came earlier this month, in a dispatch from what the Times describes as “the Bedouin town” of Rahat, Israel. The article, by Isabel Kershner, reports on Israeli tourists taking a “six-hour Ramadan Nights trip” that “promised a guided bus tour of ‘the secrets’ of Rahat, as well as traditional debka dancing and sweets-making workshops.” A photo cutline that appeared alongside the article referred to “A dance group performing the dabke, a traditional Bedouin dance.” The spelling of the dance in the photo cutline was later updated to “debka” to make it consistent with the text of the article, though the Times did this as a “stealth edit” rather than by publishing a printed correction.
Guardian amplifies B’tselem propaganda on the “barbaric” Israeli policy of enforcing its own laws
A Guardian op-ed by David Zonsheine, board chairman of B’Tselem, charged Israel with engaging in a “barbaric” act against Bedouin in Khan al-Ahmar, an encampment in the contested E-1 area between Jerusalem and Ma’ale Adumim – within (Israeli controlled) Area C of the West Bank.

The article begins thusly:
Israel is intent on destroying the homes of the 173 Palestinians who live in the small shepherding community of Khan al-Ahmar, along with the school that serves 150 children from the area. Last month, Israel’s high court of justice removed the last obstacle to this barbaric act of demolishing an entire community in order to forcibly transfer its residents and take over their land.

We’ve highlighted the words “their land” because it erroneously suggests that the Palestinians own the land in question. However, as is made clear elsewhere in the article – and, as CAMERA demonstrated in a recent post on the dispute – nobody, not even the NGOs advocating on their behalf, claim that it is legally “their” land. So, in what sense can the eviction of people living in illegal and unauthorized communities – be they in the Bedouin encampment of Khan al-Ahmar (built and sustained with the help of foreign NGOs) or the recently evacuated Israeli community of Netiv Ha’avot – be considered “barbaric”?
UK Holocaust denier given suspended sentence for antisemitic songs
Alison Chabloz, a British blogger and Holocaust denier, was sentenced on Thursday to 20 weeks in prison – suspended for two years – for sharing antisemitic songs online.

In addition to the suspended sentence, Chabloz was banned from social media for one year and ordered to complete 180 hours of community service.

Chabloz was convicted last month on three counts of sharing “grossly offensive” content. The lawsuit was first brought privately by the British NGO Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA) in late 2016. In October 2017, the Crown Prosecution Service took over the prosecution of Chabloz.

“This sentence sends a strong message that in Britain, Holocaust denial and antisemitic conspiracy theories will not be tolerated,” said CAA chairman Gideon Falter in a statement after the sentencing. “Alison Chabloz is a remorseless and repulsive antisemite who has spent years obsessively inciting others to hate Jews, principally by claiming that the Holocaust was a hoax perpetrated by Jews to defraud the world.”

Last month, District Judge John Zani, of the Westminster Magistrate’s Court, found Chabloz guilty of three criminal offenses under the terms of the Communications Act.
Uproar over Australian army vehicle flying swastika flag in Afghanistan
An Australian army vehicle flew a Nazi swastika flag during an operation in Afghanistan, the prime minister confirmed Thursday in an act he called “completely and utterly unacceptable.”

National broadcaster ABC published a leaked photo of the 2007 incident and cited a defense source as saying it was more a “twisted joke” than evidence of genuine neo-Nazism.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said displaying a Nazi flag was “absolutely wrong.”

Completely and utterly unacceptable,” he told reporters. “It was reported (to officials) in 2007, that incident, and the flag obviously was removed and the personnel involved were disciplined,” he told reporters.

“But the incident, it was wrong … it was absolutely wrong, and their commanders took action at the time.”
Belgian rapper with anti-Semitic lyrics kicked off radio show
A Belgian public radio station kicked out of its studio a rapper who on air inveighed against Israel and “Zionists” while introducing a song whose lyrics speak of “money-loving Jews running after each cent.”

The incident occurred last month at the Antwerp studio of a department of the VRT public broadcaster during an interview with Bissy Owa, an up-and-coming performer who is Muslim and goes by the name BizzyBlaza, about his recently released song titled “Money till the Death,” the Joods Actueel news website reported Wednesday.

The VRT studio muted Owa’s microphone after he said during a live interview: “F**k the Zionists, revolution, Israel must go, free Palestine.”

A video for the song, which begins with the expletive about Zionists, shows him dancing while wearing a black hat and fake side-locks and singing about Jewish greed.

He also says “I can’t hang with a Jew.”
England: Vandals smash headstones at Jewish cemetery
More than 30 headstones were toppled and smashed at a Jewish cemetery in Manchester, England.

The vandalism at the Urmston Jewish Cemetery discovered this week comes after two other reports of similar damage on May 7 and May 14, in which 22 headstones were toppled, the Jewish Chronicle reported.

Police are investigating the incidents as hate crimes, according to the report. The cemetery had security cameras and police reportedly are viewing the footage. Police patrols in the area also have been increased, the London-based Jewish News reported.

The most recent attack, reported on Sunday, caused “thousands of pounds of damage,” local councilwoman Joanne Harding, who visited the cemetery on Tuesday, said in a tweet.

The cemetery caretaker showed the councilwoman around the damage at the cemetery. “Imagine going to see your relatives graves and find it trashed and disrespected,” she also tweeted.
German lawmakers approve €1 billion drone lease from Israel
Germany’s parliamentary budget committee on Wednesday approved a military lease of Israeli-made Heron-TP drones in a deal worth an estimated €1 billion ($1.2 billion).

The deal had faced opposition from the center-left Social Democrats, who are partners in the ruling coalition, because the surveillance drones can also be equipped with weapons.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed the approval of the deal.

“This is an enormous contribution to the Israeli defense industry and the Israeli economy. This giant deal is an expression of the strategic cooperation between Germany and Israel and attests to the potential of the Israeli industry to contribute to countries like Germany,” Netanyahu said in a statement.

Netanyahu discussed the deal with German Chancellor Angela Merkel during their meeting last week in Berlin, according to the statement from the Prime Minister’s Office.
Israel Unveils Kamikaze Drone Designed to Hit Complex Targets
Israel Aerospace Industries recently performed ‎a ‎successful demonstration of its newest kamikaze ‎drone, dubbed “Rotem,” which is designed to carry out “suicide ‎missions” to ‎destroy enemy targets.

According to the company’s website, Rotem is a ‎lightweight, multi-rotor, lethal assault ‎drone with ‎vertical takeoff and ‎‎landing capabilities, making it ‎suitable for ‎‎intelligence, reconnaissance and ‎surveillance ‎‎missions, as well as for tactical ‎missions.‎

The drone has a range of up to 10 ‎kilometers (6.2 miles) and can hover for 30 to 45 ‎minutes before diving down at a speed of up ‎‎to 50 knots. It carries a ‎1-kilogram warhead‎, has a 1-meter ‎strike precision, and can be deployed ‎with one minute by a single soldier‎, making it ideal ‎against low-signature enemy systems in urban and ‎complex environments.‎

The drone folds into 38x7x5 ‎inches and ‎offers several automated modes to ensure accurate ‎execution of the mission as well as operational safety, the company said.

It said the test covered the drone’s “end-‎to-end capabilities,” including a rapid, precision ‎strike on a miniature target.

“The demonstration was ‎held under tough field and weather conditions, ‎highlighting the system’s ability to respond quickly ‎and effectively to a low-signature enemy in a ‎threatened space,” it said.‎
Warren Buffett raises millions in Israel bonds investments
Calling Israel’s independence “a good day for the world,” Berkshire Hathaway Chairman, President & CEO Warren Buffett demonstrated his support for Development Corporation for Israel, commonly known as Israel Bonds, by welcoming the organization back to Omaha for a second event in the global magnate’s hometown and his third with the Israel Bonds enterprise in 18 months. The June 7 event with the internationally-renowned investor and philanthropist helped raise $80 million in Israel bonds investments and intentions to invest at a gathering at which he met with investors who each made a new minimum $1 million Israel bond investment to attend.

The exclusive evening with the famed ‘Oracle of Omaha,’ which took place at the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center, included a dinner reception attended by over 70 investors from the U.S. and Canada, in addition to Israeli dignitaries and members of the diplomatic corps, including Shai Babad, Director General, Israel’s Finance Ministry; Ambassador Danny Danon, Israel’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations; and Ambassador Dani Dayan, Consul General of Israel in New York.

Buffett, who made Israeli tool company ISCAR Metalworks his first major overseas acquisition in 2006, spoke warmly of the Jewish state noting, “I’ve lived through Israel’s entire 70-year history and I believe it is one of the most remarkable countries in the world.” He emphasized, “I’m delighted to own Israel bonds.”

When asked why he remains committed to Israel and the Bonds institution, Buffett stated, “I have nothing but good feelings about what I am doing. The United States and Israel will always be linked. It is a good thing for Israel that there is an America, and it is a good thing for America that there is an Israel.”
Israeli-Made Water Purification Vehicle Donated to Philippine Red Cross
A made-in-Israel GalMobile, the world’s first water-purification vehicle, was purchased by the Pass It Forward Foundation and donated to the Independent Philippine Red Cross.

“This achievement underscores G.A.L. Water Technologies’ commitment to cleaning water and saving lives,” said Deputy CEO Sigal Levi.

“What started out as a simple solution with the intent of saving lives is signified as one of the leading solutions for supplying clean and safe drinking water in the event of an emergency or natural disaster.”

GalMobile is a self-contained automatic system on a vehicle to provide treatment, storage and distribution of safe drinking water from any water source at World Health Organization standards in less than 30 minutes. The vehicle produces approximately 8,000 cups of water per hour.
Rare clay amulet discovered in City of David
A piece of pottery with an Arabic inscription from the Abbasid period (9th-10th centuries CE) was discovered last week in archaeological excavations by the Israel Antiquities Authority and Tel Aviv University in the Givati ​​parking lot in Jerusalem's City of David.

The two-line Arabic inscription written on the tiny object - one centimeter long - was discovered in an excavation funded by the City of David Association. The writing, deciphered by Dr. Nitzan Amitai-Price from the Rothberg International School at the Hebrew University, bears a personal blessing or prayer:

כרים יבטח באללה ﻳﺜﻳﻖ (?) ﺑﺍﻠﻠﻪ ﻛﺮﻳﻢ
רבו (רב) העולמות אללה ﺮﺒﻪ ﺍﻠﻌﻠﻣﻳﻦ ﺍﻠﻠﻪ (?)
Karim will trust in Allah (?)
Rabbo ("rabbi" - Master)(?) of the worlds is Allah

The text of the first line is known from imprints made of semi-precious gemstones, as well as from graffiti along the pilgrims' route to Mecca (Darab al-Haj) from the 8th century CE. The lower part of the letters in the second row is worn, and its reading is based on similar versions appearing on personal stamps and several verses of the Koran.

According to the excavation's directors, Professor Yuval Gadot of Tel Aviv University and Dr. Yiftach Shalev of the Israel Antiquities Authority: "The size, shape, and wording of the object indicate it was probably an amulet for blessing and protection. The tiny object was discovered in a small room, sealed between plaster floors. Pottery shards discovered at the site, including a clay lamp discovered whole, date to the Abbasid period. "Unfortunately," the researchers say, "the meager preservation of the ruins makes it difficult to identify the purpose of the building, but it's interesting to note a number of installations attesting to cooking activity were discovered here, and modest buildings, including residential buildings that were combined with shops and workshops, were discovered in previous excavations. We assume the building in question was part of the same industrial zone."
Ben-Gurion after watching his first soccer game: ‘I won’t do that again’
To mark the opening of the 2018 World Cup on Thursday the IDF released the archive documenting Israel founding father David Ben-Gurion’s outing to watch his first-ever soccer game.

Made up of a record of conversations the Israeli leader, who was also the defense minister, had on the matter with Shimon Peres and the generals Moshe Dayan and Meir Amit, the archive shows that although Ben-Gurion seemed to enjoy aspects of the beautiful game, it wasn’t an experience he was in a hurry to repeat.

“For the first time in my life I saw a soccer game,” he said after watching the Israeli and French militaries play against each other to mark Israel’s ninth independence day on May 11th 1957. “The game of the French was more beautiful, but our goalie was wonderful. They were fine at passing the ball back and forth to one another, but getting it into the goal – they failed.”

He added: “Our goalie was outstanding, he rolled over twice to catch the ball.”

The then-Chief-of-Staff Moshe Dayan, replied jokingly: “He could have done it once, but for the benefit of the crowd he did it twice.”

Maj. Gen. Meir Amit of the Central Command told Ben-Gurion that one of the reasons for the team’s success — the IDF beat the French 3:1 — was his presence at the match.

The premier’s response? “I will not go to that again.”



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