Saturday, June 16, 2018

From Ian:

When Does Pro-Palestinian End … and When Does Anti-Israel Begin?
In a 2013 news item on Iran’s annual Quds Day march, the Associated Press reported that newly elected President Hassan Rouhani said at the event that Israel was an “old wound” that needed to be removed.

The AP later provided some context for those remarks, “Rouhani spoke at an annual pro-Palestinian rally marking ‘Al-Quds Day’ — the Arabic word for Jerusalem — and although his remarks appear contrary to his outreach efforts to the West, they should also be seen in the context of internal Iranian politics where softening the establishment’s anti-Israeli stand is not an option.”

Despite the AP’s efforts to downplay the extremism of Rouhani’s comments – that he had no choice but to express his opposition to the Jewish state – it also reported, “In the capital, Tehran, tens of thousands took to the streets, chanting ‘Down with America’ and ‘Death to Israel.'”

In a report about last week’s cancelled soccer match between Israel and Argentina, The Washington Post reported, “The BDS movement aims to pressure Israel into complying with international law vis-a-vis its policies toward the Palestinians by discouraging the purchase of Israeli goods, pressuring international companies not to conduct business in Israel and urging celebrities not to visit or perform in the country.”

Omar Barghouti, one of the founders of the Boycott, Sanctions, and Divestment (BDS) campaign, has been clear about the goal of his movement. He has said, “A Jewish state in Palestine in any shape or form cannot but contravene the basic rights of the indigenous Palestinian population and perpetuate a system of racial discrimination that ought to be opposed categorically….Definitely, most definitely we oppose a Jewish state in any part of Palestine. No Palestinian, rational Palestinian, not a sell-out Palestinian, will ever accept a Jewish state in Palestine.”

Nor is Barghouti alone among proponents of BDS in calling for an end to the modern state of Israel.
Elliott Abrams: The UN's Automatic Majority Against Israel is Fraying
On June 13, the United Nations General Assembly voted once again to condemn Israel, this time for its actions against Hamas in Gaza when tens of thousands of Hamas supporters and terrorists stormed the Israeli border. The condemnation is not news, but the voting patterns are worth a look.

The final resolution passed 120 (yes) to 8 (no) with 45 abstentions. Who were the eight countries voting no? The United States and Israel, several Pacific island states (Marshall Islands, Nauru, Micronesia, Solomon Islands), Togo—and Australia.

Last year Australia’s government announced that it was through with unfair and unbalanced UN treatment of Israel and would henceforth vote against such resolutions in all parts of the UN system. And so it has. For example, on May 18 of this year, the UN Human Rights Council adopted yet another worthless resolution condemning Israel. The vote was 29 to 2, and the two countries voting no were the United States and Australia. So the first thing to note about the recent General Assembly voting was the Australian vote: a rare show of principle and determination on the international diplomatic scene, and a model for other democracies who all ought to be following Australia’s path.
In Israel, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Calls to Turn the Tide Against Terrorists
U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen told the International Homeland Security Forum in Israel on Tuesday:

Our alliance has been fortified through crises and strengthened by collaboration. Following the 9/11 attacks - the deadliest terror assault in modern world history - you were right there by our side. We knew we could not win the coming fight alone. And we turned to you for guidance because the State of Israel has withstood decades of violence at the hands of fanatics - and has proudly defended freedom against relentless terrorist enemies.

From Ottawa to Berlin, our communities are now on the frontlines. All countries represented here have experienced this evil in one form or another, whether your nationals have been victims or your homelands have been hit directly. We are at war. And we must respond accordingly.

Victory in this struggle begins with moral clarity. We are engaged in a generational struggle against Islamist militants, the preeminent terror threat to our lives, our livelihoods, and our way of life.

Whether it is global jihadist groups such as ISIS and al-Qaeda and their legions of digital followers, or the proxies of rogue nation states such as Iran, our enemies have perverted a major religion to justify horrific violence and lust for power. Their goal is to establish a totalitarian empire governed under a backwards and repressive worldview. And the danger they pose is at its highest point in decades.

There have been more than 100 terrorist attacks in Western countries since the rise of ISIS in 2013, resulting in thousands of casualties. The U.S. has been the victim of around 25 of those incidents. Most were carried out by homegrown violent extremists inspired by the group's heinous propaganda.

The good news is that we have put clear-eyed, focused pressure on terrorist groups around the world. We have obliterated the core safe havens of groups such as ISIS and taken tens of thousands of them off the battlefield. The U.S. is standing up to rogue regimes that bankroll terror and use proxies to advance their malign goals.



20 Fires Sparked by Incendiary Kites From Gaza
Twenty fires were set off by incendiary kites in Israeli areas close to the Gaza border on Saturday.

According to the Hebrew news site Walla, two fires broke out in the afternoon near the kibbutzim Beeri, Kisufim, and Nir Am. Firefighters responded and brought the fires under control. Shortly after, new fires were sparked near Kibbutz Erez and the southern town of Sderot. The fires destroyed over 240 acres of land in the area.

Israel responded to the fires by sending a drone to attack an area where the kites had been released from southern Gaza.

On Friday, the Israeli air force retaliated against a similar set of fires by firing at a group that was releasing the kites and destroying a Hamas watchtower. A balloon carrying explosives was also intercepted.

The Palestinian media had previously reported that Gazans were prepared to send 5,000 incendiary kites into Israel.
IDF Strikes Hamas Post in Gaza, in Response to Ongoing Kite Bomb, Incendiary Balloon Attacks
The Israeli military conducted an airstrike on a Hamas observation post in the northern Gaza Strip on Friday, in response to continuing cross-border kite bomb and incendiary balloon attacks launched by Palestinian terrorists in the coastal enclave.

The IDF has also fired warning shots toward terror cells several times in recent days as they prepared to fly flammable objects over the border into southern Israel.

In a tweet, the IDF said it “views the use of incendiary balloons and kites with great severity and will operate to prevent their use.”

Earlier on Friday, a booby-trapped balloon launched from Gaza landed on a road in Israel’s Sha’ar HaNegev region. Police sappers were called to the scene and demolished the device in a controlled explosion.
Palestinians throw cold water on ‘meaningless’ US peace push
Ahead of a visit to the region next week by the Trump administration’s Middle East peace team, the Palestinian Authority on Saturday dismissed the expected US peace plan as “meaningless” and said the series of meetings being held were “a waste of time” because they did not have the support of the Palestinians.

“The round of meetings that began in New York, whose purpose is to bring a meaningless plan, won’t achieve anything,” Nabil Abu Rudeineh, PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s spokesman, was quoted as saying by the Ynet news site.

Abu Rudeineh was referring to Friday’s meeting in New York between United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, peace envoy Jason Greenblatt and Jared Kushner, US President Donald Trump’s special adviser and son-in-law. The White House said they discussed US peace efforts and the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip.

Kushner and Greenblatt are set to discuss the two issues during their trip to the Middle East for talks with regional leaders. They are scheduled to visit Israel, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and Qatar.

The US officials will be in Israel Friday, June 22 through Saturday, June 23. They have no meetings scheduled with Palestinian Authority leaders.
Trump’s peace envoys add stops in Jordan, Qatar to next week’s Mideast trip
The Trump administration’s top peace envoys have added stops in Jordan and Qatar to their trip to the Middle East next week for talks with regional leaders.

White House special adviser Jared Kushner and US Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt earlier this week announced a trip to Israel, Saudi Arabia and Egypt to discuss when to present the Trump administration’s Israeli-Palestinian peace plan, as well as the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip.

A senior administration official told The Times of Israel the trip is an opportunity to “discuss the situation in Gaza and to discuss the next stages of the peace effort, as well as get some ideas from players in the region about some remaining questions the White House peace team has.”

Qatar has long been accused of being a key financier of Hamas, the Islamist terror group that rules the Gaza Strip, including by Israeli and Saudi officials. Qatar has denied this affiliation.
British FM said to seek meeting with Kushner to voice ‘red lines’ on peace plan
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson is organizing a meeting of European and Arab foreign ministers with Jared Kushner in order to coordinate their “red lines” for the White House’s Israeli-Palestinian peace plan, Channel 10 reported Friday.

The meeting, which will include the foreign ministers from France, Germany, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan, was proposed by Johnson when he met in Washington last month with Kushner, US President Donald Trump’s special adviser and son-in-law, the report said.

While Kushner responded positively to the proposal, saying he was open to outside input, he stressed that it is Trump who will ultimately decide on what is included in the US plan, according to the network.

The meeting, which has yet to be finalized but is likely to take place in July, is meant to lay out the principles European and Arab countries expect to be included in the peace plan in order for them to support it, Channel 10 reported.
US envoy blocked check of IDF human rights record as part of military aid review
US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman rejected a State Department examination of the IDF’s human rights record as part of a military assistance review, according to a report Saturday, arguing that Israel should not be subject to the same type of scrutiny as other recipients of US military aid.

In an email from October seen by Politico, Friedman pushed back at a request for embassies in the Middle East to look into potential human rights abuses by militaries that receive US military assistance. The request was made in light of a US law that prohibits the state and defense departments from providing aid to countries found to abuse human rights.

“Israel is a democracy whose army does not engage in gross violations of human rights” and “has a robust system of investigation and prosecution in the rare circumstance where misconduct occurs,” Friedman wrote in the email.

He added that “it would be against [US] national interests” to restrict military aid to Israel, “especially in a time of war.”
Jordan recalls its ambassador from Iran over regional interference — report
Jordan has recalled its ambassador from Iran in protest over its interference in the affairs of countries in the region, the Al Arabiya television network reported Friday.

A senior Jordanian official told Al Arabiya Amman rejects “Iran’s interferences in Arab affairs” and policies “that harm the principle of good neighborliness.”

The source noted Jordanian concern over “the security of the region’s countries, particularly of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Cooperation Council countries.”

The official said there was “no intention to name another Jordanian envoy in Tehran at this time.”

There was no official confirmation from Amman.

Earlier this week Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait offered $2.5 billion in aid for Jordan to ease its economic crisis following a wave of anti-austerity protests, according to Saudi state media.
Liberman: Messi missed penalty because Argentina canceled Israel game
Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman suggested Saturday that soccer soccer star Lionel Messi missed a crucial World Cup penalty because of Argentina’s last minute withdrawal from a warm-up game in Israel.

“In the Argentina against Iceland game we saw just how much Messi needed the warm-up game against Israel,” Liberman tweeted after Messi missed a penalty and Iceland held on for a 1-1 draw against Argentina in an impressive World Cup debut on Saturday.

Messi failed to give his team the lead when his 64th-minute penalty was stopped by Hannes Halldorsson. The Iceland goalkeeper dived to his right and got two hands behind the ball.

Argentina had pulled out of its final pre-World Cup warm up game with Israel amid intense protests and threats from the Palestinians after Israel decided to move the game to Jerusalem from Haifa, where it was originally to have been staged.

Liberman also hailed tiny Iceland for its “giant” team performance.
Australian FM says embassy won’t move to Jerusalem, rebuffing party pressure
Australia’s foreign minister on Saturday ruled out moving the country’s embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, despite Canberra’s strong support for Israel.

“Jerusalem is a final status issue and we have maintained that position for decades,” Julie Bishop said, according to the Guardian.

At the Liberal party’s annual federal council in Sydney, MPs and party members voted to urge the government to relocate the embassy as well as freeze financial aid to the Palestinian Authority until it stops paying stipends to terrorists and their families.

But Bishop resisted the pressure from her party’s base.

“While I understand the sentiment behind this resolution, the Australian government will not be moving our embassy to Jerusalem,” the minister said in response.

She added that “We are doing all we can do to ensure that any support we give to the Palestinian Authority is only used for purposes that we determine.”

Bishop said Australia’s aid to the PA, which the Guardian reported was expected to amount to $43 million Australian ($32 million), was “subject to a memorandum of understanding, defining precisely how it is used and subject to very close audit to ensure that no funds are diverted to the so-called Martyr’s fund.”
As Denmark considers a ban on circumcision, some Jews consider leaving
In 2015, a jihadist killed a Jewish guard outside this capital city’s main synagogue, where Hannah Bentow was having her bat mitzvah party.

Her sense of security as a Jew in Denmark was shattered, she told JTA last week. Bentow and dozens of teenagers stayed inside for hours as police pursued and later killed the man who gunned down the volunteer guard, Dan Uzan.

But Bentow said her decision to leave for Israel as soon as she finishes high school was sealed and reaffirmed by the precedent-setting steps undertaken this year in this Scandinavian country toward banning nonmedical circumcision of boys. The Danish parliament is set to become the first in the European Union to vote on a nonbinding motion calling to prohibit the practice.

The ruling parties said they would oppose a ban or a call for one, but the debate about it “makes me feel like I don’t belong, and like Denmark doesn’t want me to belong, either,” Bentow said.

Her words echo a sentiment shared by many Danish Jews, who are questioning their future in a nation where they increasingly feel caught between Islamist extremism and the xenophobia it triggers in their secularist society.
German bank enabling BDS may violate its ethical code of conduct
The pro-Israel group Action Forum Israel (Aktionsforum Israel) in Germany released in June an eye-popping report on its website, questioning whether the Bank for Social Economy violated its internal policies and anti-terror finance laws by providing a bank account to the pro-BDS group Jewish Voice for a Just Peace in the Middle East .

Action Forum Israel, which was founded by Israelis living in Germany and Germans, asked if the "Jewish Voice for a Just Peace fulfills the criteria of the bank as a customer" in light of the BDS-groups connections to its self-described "sister organization" Jewish Voice in the US that supports the convicted Palestinian terrorist Rasmea Odeh.

The US-based Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), which Israel banned in January from entering its territory, hosted the convicted Palestinian terrorist Rasmea Odeh at its spring 2017 conference in Chicago.

The head of Jewish Voice said at the time that JVP was “honored to hear from her.”

Odeh, a former member of the US- and EU-classified terrorist organization Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, was responsible for a 1969 bombing that murdered two students, Leon Kanner and Eddie Joffe, in a Jerusalem supermarket.

She pleaded guilty in 2017 to US naturalization fraud, and was deported in September to Jordan because she had lied about her terrorism conviction when she entered the US.
Munich mayor accuses Rogers Waters of antisemitism, sparking legal action
The mayor of Munich slammed Roger Waters, co-founder of the British band Pink Floyd, for his stoking of antisemitism against Israel, triggering an angry reaction from the singer on Friday.

Waters's attorney demanded that social democratic mayor Dieter Reiter delete his press statement accusing Waters of antisemitism. Reiter said Waters is responsible for "growing, intolerable antisemitic statements." Reiters office said a city attorney will review Waters request.

Waters performed a concert on Wednesday in Munich's Olympic Hall. Reiter said that it was not possible to prevent the hall from being rented to Waters. However, Reiter said the Olympic Hall will not be rented to Waters in the future, due to his advocacy of the boycott, divestment, sanctions (BDS) campaign against the Jewish state.

Reiter said that it "is important for me to make it unmistakably clear ahead of the concert that antisemitic propaganda of Roger Waters is neither welcome in Munich nor will it remain unanswered."


The Munich city council passed a resolution that the mayor supported last year barring space in public facilities and finances for pro-BDS activity. Munich was the first German city to pass anti-BDS legislation.
Waters's lawyer said Reiter's allegations resemble a call to boycott him.

Waters himself has previously said that he was the victim of the "Jewish lobby" that was "extraordinarily powerful."
Twitter Just Unverified Louis Farrakhan. Here’s Why It’s Good That They Didn’t Suspend Him.
Why? Because erasing hate from social media doesn’t make it go away, it just makes it easier to ignore. When Farrakhan and his supporters are out and about on Twitter, racking up retweets, getting tens of thousands of video views, and spreading bigoted calumnies, it makes it much more difficult to dismiss them as inconsequential, as so many of their apologists have attempted to do.

When Women’s March organizer Tamika Mallory was exposed as a long-time supporter of Farrakhan and promoter of his work to her followers, her critics were often told that he wasn’t actually significant, and that the right was simply using him as a tool to distract from their own (very real) bigots. This evasion enabled Mallory’s defenders to avoid confronting Farrakhan and his enablers like her without explicitly owning up to it. They never did explain why, if Farrakhan was indeed so inconsequential and powerless, Mallory and others—including the many members of Congress who had met with and even praised him—were so reticent to denounce him. Had Twitter simply disappeared Farrakhan from its platform, however, the fiction of his insignificance would have been easier to maintain.

A similar case played out in 2012 in France, when a viciously anti-Semitic hashtag became the third-most trending one on Twitter in the country. After being threatened with a lawsuit by well-meaning activists, Twitter removed the offending tweets. But of course, this did not put a dent in the problem of anti-Semitism in France, and years of brutal and violent attacks on Jewish targets followed. In reality, the hashtag was a warning that was swept under the rug. It exposed anti-Semitism and made it unignorable—until it was made invisible.

Simply put, disappearing anti-Semitism from social media conceals a symptom, thereby making it easier for people to ignore the source. Few people are converted to racism by a bigoted 280-character tweet, but many people can be made aware of the racism’s existence by seeing one. The answer to online bigotry, then, is not to hide the evidence, but to use it to raise consciousness.
David Collier: The Labour party and the shameful appointment of Gordon Nardell
The Labour Party recently appointed Gordon Nardell as ‘Labour’s in-house Counsel’. The position is an important one. Gordon Nardell will oversee the disciplinary process on antisemitism. If we are to gauge Labour’s approach to antisemitism through this appointment, it would be safe to conclude the Labour Party intend to actively protect the rampant racism that exists within Corbyn’s faction.

Palestine Live is a secret group and was the focus of a report into antisemitism inside the Labour Party that I published in March. Elleanne Green founded the group and has shared large amounts of hard-core antisemitic material. A few things about Green’s post triggered my interest, so I began to investigate.

Green had also commented on Nardell’s appointment in another Facebook Group ‘Labour Against the Witch-Hunt’. This group is exclusively for those investigated, suspended or expelled from the Labour Party because of alleged antisemitism.

At this point it became clear there was a problem. ‘Trusts’ , ‘knows’, ‘likes’, ‘phone advice’. The Palestine Live group contained horrific levels of antisemitism. Far right ideology, white supremacist sites, conspiracy sites, Holocaust denial and all other manner of posts were shared there. Much of the material was shared by the central actors and major activists. There was no infiltration, nor was anything misreported. Yet Elleanne was apparently saying that the man who is now to lead Labour’s antisemitism investigation seems to have played down the incident. He was a man she even cc’d into her letter to the party (protesting the investigation of her own activity).
CAA calls for independent disciplinary process at the Labour Party as Jeremy Corbyn’s new antisemitism czar lashes out at CAA
With the appointment of Gordon Nardell QC as his antisemitism czar, Jeremy Corbyn has once again demonstrated that he cannot be trusted to rid the Labour Party of the toxic antisemitic culture that has engulfed it under his leadership.

Mr Nardell was recently announced as the person in charge of overseeing Labour’s disciplinary process on antisemitism, and finally deal with the huge backlog of complaints. However, researcher David Collier has revealed that Mr Nardell counts Elleanne Green amongst his supporters. Ms Green, a prolific and obsessive poster of conspiracy theories, wrote in the virulently antisemitic “Palestine Live” Facebook group she founded that Mr Nardell is: “A man I like and trust…also a non Zionist Jew and a very brilliant mind…this should prove interesting…He has already seen my letter to the Labour Party as I copied him in a week or two ago…so, we shall see…”

Mr Nardell has also been active on Facebook.

In one response to a Labour member’s defence of Ken Livingstone, Mr Nardell commented: “The problem with characterising Ken’s rather crass and ill-judged remarks as antisemitism is that it debased the coin – we no longer recognise real anti-Jewish racism when we see it, and we undermine the party’s ability to tackle it.”

He also liked a post praising the lifting of Jackie Walker’s original suspension for antisemitism, and another claiming that accusations of antisemitism were being made by a group of Jewish Labour members in an attempt to shut down criticism of Israel.
Brought to You by Verizon: Woke HuffPost Editor Cracks Jokes About Jews, Lesbians
Recently discovered tweets from the front page editor of the Verizon-owned news outlet the Huffington Post feature antisemitic, homophobic and anti-police sentiments.

Philip Lewis, the current front page editor for the Verizon-owned news outlet the Huffington Post, has a history of antisemitism, homophobia and anti-police bias according to posts on Lewis’ Twitter account. The Huffington Post is currently owned by digital content company Oath, a subsidiary of Verizon Communications. “The tweets were first discovered by the Daily Caller, some of the tweets date back to 2011 while others are more recent. In one anti-semitic tweet, Lewis said: “Where da jews, where da jews, where da jews at – DMX ft Hitler.”

In another poorly formed joke, Lewis tweeted: “im tired of all these jewish jokes….Anne Frankly, i dont approve.”

In another tweet, Lewis openly praised the known antisemite and anti-white leader of the Nation of Islam, Louis Farrakhan. “Louis Farrakhan is as sharp in 2015 as he was in 1967. I hope my mind can stay that sharp as I age,” tweeted Lewis. Farrakhan recently lost his Twitter verification badge for a tweet which read: “the Satanic Jews…control everything and mostly everybody.” Farrakhan is also on record praising Adolf Hitler saying: “The Jews don’t like Farrakhan, so they call me Hitler. Well, that’s a good name. Hitler was a very great man.”
Anne Frank and antisemitism: The unwelcome focus of European soccer
Italian soccer has been making the headlines recently – but for all the wrong reasons.

Rather than celebrating the achievements of Gianluigi Buffon or Giorgio Chiellini, Italian soccer is once again struggling to come to terms with a decades-old antisemitism problem – and the unlikely focus of its resurgence is Anne Frank.

Since Anne Frank’s tragic diary was first published in 1947 and subsequently translated into more than 60 languages, her harrowing story has been at the center of Holocaust education across the world.

Yet instead of Frank serving as a symbol of an innocent and relatable victim of the Holocaust, hardcore “ultra” fans of Rome’s Lazio soccer club plastered an area of their Olimpico Stadium, also home to archrivals AS Roma, with stickers depicting her wearing a Roma shirt – intended as an insult.

Lazio’s ultras only found themselves in the stands generally reserved for their rival’s most committed home fans in October 2017 due to the partial closure of their stadium – a punishment handed down by the Italian soccer league when supporters were found guilty of “chants expressive of racial discrimination” against two black US Sassuolo Calcio players in a previous match.
Australian Jewish Group Slams ‘Foolish Students’ Who Dressed as Nazis, KKK Members
A leading civil rights group has denounced students of Charles Sturt University (CSU) in Australia who participated in a “politically incorrect” post-exams party on Thursday featuring Nazi costumes and blackface.

In a photo shared on Instagram, three attendees could be seen wearing striped suites with Star of David patches marked “Jude,” meant to identify them as Jewish prisoners in a Nazi concentration camp, the Sydney Morning Herald reported. A fourth man in the background appeared to be dressed as Adolf Hitler.

“Jesus Christ, I Jews you as my lord and saviour #csulater #hazingisfun,” the caption read.

Another photo showed five individuals donning Ku Klux Klan robes, with a sixth squatting while wearing blackface and holding a bowl of cotton.

“Very very politically incorrect,” it was captioned. “Cotton prices are unreal though so it’s a great time to be pickin’.”

The Facebook event page — which has since been taken down, along with the photos — encouraged party-goers to “grab a kit that would legally get you in shit and hood right in.”
Turkish PM claims Israel’s Eurovision win is part of an imperialist plot
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim on Friday claimed Israel’s win at the 2018 Eurovision contest was a scam, saying “Israel knows only how to kill, not how to sing.”

During an interview with Turkish television station, Yildirim said Netta Barzilai’s winning song “Toy” was “not good,” and claimed the voting system had been rigged by “imperialists” in order to ensure next year’s competition would take place in Jerusalem in order to “sow strife between religions” in the region.

“They let Israel win, even though they did not have enough points, so they could host the competition next year,” he said.

According to the annual competition’s rules, the winning country hosts the following year’s contest.

Israel’s Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz dismissed the assertion as “unworthy of a response,” beyond noting that Israel has won Eurovision four times “with wonderful songs.”



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