Thursday, June 28, 2018

From Ian:

Ami Horowitz Speaks With Senior Hamas Leader In Wild Interview
In a never-before-released interview, journalist and activist filmmaker Ami Horowitz journeys to the West Bank to meet with a high-ranking Hamas leader to ask him about female jihadists, the Palestinians' mission of "redeeming" all of Israel, and what a man like him does to "relax."

After working through "several layers" of contacts to finally land a meeting, Horowitz traveled to Qalqilya in the West Bank to meet with Abdul Rahman Zedain, the Northern West Bank Commander of the terrorist organization Hamas. Horowitz told The Daily Wire that his contacts said Zedain spends most of his life "underground" because he is a wanted man, and is rumored to be behind the horrific Passover Massacre in Netanya that killed 30 people.

On the drive into Qalqilya, Horowitz asks his driver if where he is going is "really dangerous." His guide answers, "No, no, no," then adds for clarification, "A little bit." As the two approach the place where the commander is residing, the guide tells Horowitz, "Please, whatever you do, don't say you're Jewish." Horowitz doesn't comply.

After revealing that he's Jewish to Zedain's apparent consternation, Horowitz tries to ease the tension by asking the military leader what he does to "relax," to which Zedain replies, "I am a devout Muslim."


Elliott Abrams: The PCUSA Against Israel
In the year 2000 the Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA) had 2.5 million members. Now it is down to 1.4 million. and the number is still falling. The age profile of members, according to a Pew study, suggests how this happens: 38% of members are 65 or over, while only 8% are under age 29. The denomination is also 88% white, and making no apparent inroads into Black, Asian, or Hispanic communities. But perhaps the members simply lack time to expand, given the time they must dedicate to condemning Israel.

The PCUSA’s 223rd General Assembly (GA) has been meeting, and Israel is one issue that continually attracts the attention of these GAs when they assemble every two years. I think it fair to say PCUSA has shown more hostility to Israel over a longer time than any other denomination. For example, at the GA last week a resolution was passed 393-55 demanding that the real estate firm RE/MAX stop doing business in Israeli settlements in the West Bank or in East Jerusalem. Another resolution asked Israel to be in compliance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (no similar demand of North Korea, Iran, Cuba, China, Russia, Venezuela, etc etc). Another referred to Israel as an apartheid state. A resolution that would have terminated the church’s reference to Israel as a “colonial project” failed. A resolution against legislation (usually at the state level) that opposes BDS (boycotts, divestment, sanctions) passed. Perhaps worst of all, a resolution on the violence along the Israel-Gaza border was rejected as insufficiently critical of Israel—because it also mentioned Hamas. An amended resolution was proposed that removed all mention of Hamas, and it passed 438-34.
Evelyn Gordon: What School Shootings and Palestinian Terror Have in Common
Last Thursday, Palestinian Media Watch revealed that the Palestinian Culture Ministry proclaimed a National Reading Day in honor of Baha Alyan, a terrorist who murdered three civilians on a Jerusalem bus in 2015. This was just the latest of hundreds of similar examples of the Palestinian Authority’s glorification of terrorists, a practice the international community has been dismissing as unimportant for a quarter century now. Thus, it might be useful for Americans to look at the issue through the prism of a more familiar problem: school shootings. Because, as investigations into the shooters’ motivations reveal, those shootings have quite a lot in common with Palestinian terror.

As the New York Times reported last month, school shootings seem to have become “contagious.” Each new shooter is inspired by his predecessors, and especially by the media attention they receive. In a cellphone video made prior to February’s deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida, for instance, the gunman declared, “I’m going to be the next school shooter of 2018 … It’s going to be a big event. When you see me on the news, you’ll all know who I am.”

Similarly, after another gunman killed two people on live television in 2015, one 26-year-old man wrote on his blog, “I have noticed that so many people like him are all alone and unknown, yet when they spill a little blood, the whole world knows who they are … Seems the more people you kill, the more you’re in the limelight.” A few months later, that man murdered nine people in a shooting spree at an Oregon community college.

Investigators have consequently concluded that alienated or mentally disturbed young men see such shootings as a way “to get the attention of a society that they believe bullies, ignores or misunderstands them,” the Times reported. And media attention plays a major role in this, according to researchers at Western New Mexico University. As the Times put it, “The role of the media in turning school gunmen into household names and perpetuating ‘the infamous legacy they desire’ can be shown to have inspired additional attacks.”



Deborah Lipstadt: It’s Not the Holocaust
It is important, though, to distinguish between methods and objectives. Apartheid aimed to economically, socially, and legally humiliate and degrade black people, keeping them in a subservient position. If some were lynched, shot, or killed in some manner that was entirely acceptable, but the objective was not mass murder. The Holocaust, by contrast, was designed to murder an entire group on an entire continent. It did not matter if the Jews designated for death were providing a useful service to Nazi Germany. When it came time to kill them, they were murdered. It is not a question of competitive suffering, but of historical accuracy. Conflating the two periods diminishes the specific, unique horror of each particular crime, and impedes our ability to understand them on their own terms.

The same applies to conflating the Holocaust with the family-separation policy enacted by the Trump administration along the southern border of the United States. People are being concentrated in camps, but the contemporary camps bear little resemblance to the camps in Nazi Germany in which people were beaten, tortured, starved, and often killed. However well-intentioned its use, the comparison is misleading.

Moreover, even taken on its own, narrow terms, the analogy is mistaken. The Nazis aimed not at separation, but extermination. When there were mass shootings, children were not typically separated from parents; they generally kept them together so as not to alarm them. In the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum there hangs a picture, taken by an SS officer, of the arrival of Hungarian Jews at Birkenau. In the front row, a woman is holding a small child. Behind her stands a younger woman. A few years after the opening of the museum, a woman identified herself as the younger person. She explained that the baby was hers, and the woman standing next to her was her mother, the baby’s grandmother. A Jewish prisoner who worked at the trains told her to give the baby to the older woman. He knew that the Germans did not want to separate parents from the children because the parents might then resist. The prisoner who warned her knew that, had she been holding the baby, she would have been sent directly to the gas chambers.
Melanie Phillips: Does the British government now recognise a country called Palestine
Oh dear. Prince William appears to be under the impression that there’s a country called Palestine.

On his “apolitical” visit to Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian Authority, he reportedly told the PA President Mahmoud Abbas today:

“I’m very glad our two countries work so closely together and have had success stories with education and relief work in the past…”

Of course, there is no country called Palestine. Abbas’s strategy of war against Israel is to assert that there is, not just in contradiction of the truth but in flagrant repudiation of the PA’s international legal agreements.

Accordingly, Abbas told the prince:

““Your Royal Highness Prince William, it is my honour to receive you in Palestine for your first visit.”

And now the Daily Telegraph has fallen into line by repeating the lie in its own headline:

“Duke of Cambridge meets President Abbas in first royal visit to Palestine amid promises of peace”.

No blame can accrue to Prince William for this blooper; he is a geopolitical ingenue abroad and all that he says is in accordance with his briefings by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
Prince William’s visit a PR coup for Israel, with some royal pain amid the gain
This prince wasn’t very Machiavellian.

As British officials had stressed countless times before the Duke of Cambridge’s arrival in the region earlier this week, his historic visit here was intended to celebrate the UK’s bilateral ties with Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian Authority, but otherwise remain strictly apolitical.

He would not recognize a Palestinian state or apologize for the Balfour Declaration, they predicted, but nor would he do anything that could be interpreted as recognizing Israeli sovereignty over any part of Jerusalem.

And so it was.

President Reuven Rivlin told William about the need for the Palestinians to finally come to terms with Israel being the nation-state of the Jewish people. PA President Mahmoud Abbas asserted his continued commitment to a peace agreement with Israel based on the 1967 lines. But the prince would not be drawn, sticking to vague talking points prepared in advance. He did appear to slip by referring to the Palestinian territories as a country when meeting Abbas, but he didn’t even endorse the idea of a two-state solution.

Nonetheless, the future king’s visit was highly significant for Israel, despite a few nuisances along the way.
UK’s Prince William Visits Jerusalem Holy Sites, Great-Grandmother’s Tomb
Minutes later, accompanied by Jewish rabbis, William approached the Western Wall, at the foot of the sacred hilltop, through a passage formed by police barricades that held back a crowd of onlookers.

Wearing a skullcap and following a Jewish tradition of offering a written prayer at the wall, he placed a note between its stones, rested the palm of one hand against them and leaned forward in silent reflection.

Separately, he wrote in the Western Wall’s official guest book: “May the God of peace bless this region and all the world with peace.”

William then visited the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, another popular stop for pilgrims and where many Christians believe Jesus was crucified and buried.

William’s trip, undertaken at the behest of the British government, was the first official visit by a senior member of Britain’s royal family to Israel and the Palestinian territories.

Until now it had been British policy not to make an official royal visit until the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was resolved.

Britain gave no detailed explanation for the change of tack, which coincided with Israel‘s 70th anniversary.

Great-grandmother
Before visiting the shrines, William — second in line to the throne — made a pilgrimage to the Jerusalem tomb of his great-grandmother, Princess Alice, who was honored by Israel for sheltering Jews in her palace in Nazi-occupied Greece during the Holocaust.

Princess Alice of Battenberg and Greece, who was Queen Elizabeth’s mother-in-law, is buried in a crypt in the Russian Orthodox Church of Mary Magdalene on the Mount of Olives outside Jerusalem’s Old City.

A devout Christian, she died in London in 1969 and had asked to be buried in Jerusalem.



What Prince William Did Not See in Ramallah
It seems that Abbas and Israel have different views on how terrorism should be combated. Abbas seems to think that paying salaries to convicted terrorists and their families is a good first step in that direction.

Prince William just spread smiles around as Abbas was talking about the Palestinians' "serious" desire to achieve peace with Israel and their "commitment" to combating terrorism.

The Palestinian leadership does not want the prince and the rest of the world to know about the conflicting messages they send to their people and to the rest of the world. The message to the Palestinians: We support anyone who murders a Jew and will take care of their families if they are killed or imprisoned by Israel. The message to Prince William and other world leaders and dignitaries: We are committed to peace and the war on terrorism.

As chance would have it, on the very day that the prince was in Ramallah, the Palestinian Authority was repeating its pledge to continue funding terrorists and their families. One hopes that Prince William enjoyed his visit to Ramallah. One also hopes that he asks his advisors to translate for him what Palestinian leaders are saying to their own people in Arabic.
Yisrael Medad: The King David Hotel Operation, Again
The Daily Mirror took advantage of Britain's Prince William's stay at the King David Hotel to cover the Irgun operation in 1946 when the southern wing was severely damaged and nearly 100 persons were killed.

The story by Steve Myall, the paper's Deputy Features editor, highlights the paper's correspondent in Mandate Palestine at the time, Barbara Broad, who was at the entrance of the hotel when the blast occurred.

The story does have its problems. For example, we read that:
The militia viewed the King David Hotel as a strategic target because it housed the British administrative headquarters

First of all, what was targeted was the southern wing, not the entire hotel. The northern wing was the "civilian" section where tourists stayed and was not harmed. In constantly writing "the King David Hotel", the reader receives the impression that the entire hotel was intended to be damaged.
BBC R4 ‘Today’ listeners sold short by Knell’s portrayal of Jerusalem
Knell then went on to provide listeners with an overtly partisan view of the issue from the PLO’s Hanan Ashrawi:

Knell: “Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi says the Palace is using the right descriptions.”

Ashrawi: “The only country that has violated international law openly and admitted Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is the US…is Trump. And the UK has not changed its position. It still considers Jerusalem as occupied territory. You cannot expect the royal visit to come and become complicit in land theft and the illegal annexation of Jerusalem.”


Not only did Knell not bother to challenge Ashrawi’s inaccurate and deliberately provocative claim of “land theft” or to clarify that her selected contributor’s claims concerning “international law” are a matter of opinion, she did not even make the effort to inform Radio 4 listeners that – as she doubtless knows, because their embassies are located in the same Jerusalem complex as the BBC’s own offices – in addition to the United States, Guatemala and Paraguay have also recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Instead, Knell simply changed the subject and moved on with her report.

While it is standard BBC practice to avoid informing audiences of the history and status of Jerusalem before June 1967 – including the internationally unrecognised 19 year-long Jordanian occupation of parts of the city – obviously that practice does not contribute to meeting the BBC’s public purpose obligation to provide its funding public with “accurate and impartial news, current affairs and factual programming of the highest editorial standards so that all audiences can engage fully with issues across the UK and the world”.
Ezra Levant in Israel: Leftists put Palestinian jobs at risk


How UN’s anti-Israel motions harm productive cities like Ariel
On day two in Israel, I visited the Roman ruins in the city of Caesarea, but that was after spending most of my day in the city of Ariel — the forty year old, much maligned city that is a victim of fake news.

Thanks to the way the Left changes the meaning of words to delegitimize places like Ariel, and because of their ability to spread this fake news, Ariel has become the most boycotted city in the most boycotted country in the world.

And actions at the United Nations only contribute to this problem.

Watch as I explain the unintended consequences of the Boycott Divestment Sanctions movement as thousands of Palestinians are losing their jobs.


IsraellyCool: Palestinians Heap Scorn on Israeli Leftists Supporting Them
A group of Israel leftists have shown solidarity with the Gazans those trying to murder them, by placing on the fence posters of rioters killed. They even use the language of the terrorist organizations, calling them “martyrs.”

Warning: this video contains some of the worst, most laughable subtitles (“misters and activists”, “the world’s largest prison for confrontations attempts”)

Needless to say, even this won’t save these misguided Jews on “judgment day”, when stones and the trees will say: “Oh Muslim, oh servant of Allah, there is a Jew hiding behind me, come and kill him!”

This is how the Gaza-based PAL+ English describes the video

Yup, even these leftists are characterized as “settlers” and their actions seen as sick and worthy of scorn.

When will they wake up and smell the coffee Molotov cocktail?
IsraellyCool: It’s the George Galloway and Ken Livingstone Show!
This should be a barrel of laughs

One can only imagine what their times of joy and disappointments include.
Israel boycotter to address NSW Labor Conference
A former senior ABC journalist who has advocated for boycotts of Israeli products is a speaker at a Fringe event at this weekend’s NSW Labor conference...

Peter Manning, who in 2009 signed off on a letter with fellow academics urging the boycott of Israeli institutions and who chaired forums in Marrickville for the “Boycott Divestment and Sanctions” group, is headlining an event for the “Labor Friends of Palestine”.

The web page for the conference says of Dr Manning’s involvement:
“In this event, we will discuss the evolution of Labor’s Foreign Policy and examine how we can navigate and profit from the challenges we face in a rapidly evolving and changing region.

“The event will be presented by Dr Peter Manning, the known Australian journalist, author, broadcaster, commentator and academic, followed by a Q&A session.”


NSW Jewish Board of Deputies chief executive Vic Alhadeff said yesterday it was

“appalling that an active proponent of boycotting Israel who accuses Israel of apartheid, colonialism and ethnic cleansing is accorded a platform at the State Labor conference... It’s an unequivocal repudiation of the sensible voices within Labor ...”.

...Dr Manning has previously chaired forums for the Marrickville BDS Group — the primary group that pushed BDS through Marrickville Council in 2011.
STATEMENT: The Zionist Federation of Australia .
The Zionist Federation of Australia calls upon Senator Richard Di Natale as leader of The Australian Greens to abide by its core principles and condemn the eco terrorism being perpetrated by Palestinians in Gaza against Israel.

Over the last few months, Palestinian terrorists have been engaging in wanton environmental destruction by sending incendiary devices tied to kites and balloons across the border to Israel with the express purpose of setting wildfires wherever they land. These firebombs have destroyed many trees and acres of half-grown crops as well as creating pollution from the smoke and debris.
credit: Watch Jerusalem.

The Australian Greens has a list of environmental policies which it endorsed in November 2017.

The first three items on the list are-
1 Human beings are part of the natural world, and all forms of life on Earth deserve our respect.
2 Human society depends upon the ecological resources of the planet, therefore we must protect and maintain the integrity of its ecosystems.
3 Australians, as global citizens, have a duty of care to manage our unique natural environment and its resources, to ensure their ongoing sustainability for future generations, and to help protect the ecological integrity of our planet.
Citibank and Arab Bank stop service to NGO with links to terrorism
The United Kingdom Lawyers for Israel (UKLFI) announced on Tuesday that their organization succeeded in stopping the Defense for Children International Palestine (DCI-P) – a NGO accused of close links to a Palestinian terrorism entity from receiving donations by bank transfers from Citibank and Arab Bank PLC. UKLFI director Caroline Turner said, “I am extremely pleased that we are succeeding in shutting down the transfer of donations to this terror linked NGO.”

According to UKLFI, the “DCI-P, which has close links to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist group, can no longer receive donations in US Dollars, euros or pounds sterling via bank transfers from Citibank and Arab Bank. UKLFI wrote to Citibank and to Arab Bank in May 2018, highlighting DCI-P’s links to the terrorist groups, and requested that Citibank and Arab Bank withdraw their banking services to DCI-P. Now these banks no longer provide banking services to the terror linked NGO.”

The US, the EU and Israel have classified the PFLP as a terrorist organization. The UKLFI wrote, “On 22 May 2018, it was possible to send donations in US Dollars to DCI-P via Arab Bank PLC in Ramallah, or via Citibank in New York. Now these banks no longer appear on DCI-P’s ‘other ways to give’ website page.”
The UKLFI cited a examples of a tight working relationship between the Defense of Children International Palestine and the PFLP.

“Several of DCI-P’s board members have ties to the PFLP,” the UKLFI wrote, adding, “Mahmoud Jiddah, who was elected to the DCI-P board in May 2012, is reported to be a PFLP member. He was imprisoned by Israel for 17 years for carrying out grenade attacks against Israeli civilians in Jerusalem in 1968. Hassan Abed Aljawad, another DCI-P board member up to 2018, is described as a PFLP activist or leader representing the PFLP at public events.”
Guardian fails to correct erroneous claim by J Street leader Jeremy Ben-Ami
Jeremy Ben-Ami, the founder and president of J Street, the far-left and self-proclaimed ‘pro-Israel‘ US lobbying group, penned an attack piece in the Guardian on the US Ambassador to Israel which includes some of the favorite tropes of the pro-Palestinian commentariat.

The June 26th piece on Ambassador Freidman includes the oft-repeated ‘Israel’s eroding democracy’ narrative. If David Friedman and the Israeli right get their way, Ben-Ami argued, “Israel’s democratic institutions and norms will be steadily stripped away” by the state’s increasing authoritarianism.

However, as we noted recently, the Economist Intelligence Unit’s annual report ranks Israel 30th out of 167 countries surveyed – higher than even a few European countries.

Ben-Ami’s Guardian op-ed also skirts close to the dual loyalty charge against the Jewish-American Ambassador in charging that he acts more like a lawyer for Israel than a representative of “American interests”.

The J Street leader also misleads readers by asserting that “Friedman has asserted the legitimacy and legality of the settlements, contradicting longstanding US policy”, ignoring the fact that US policy since the early 80s has consistently avoided characterising the settlements as “illegal”.
Human Rights Watch continues to betray its founding principles
A day after the United States announced its withdrawal from the UN Human Rights Council over what it described as “chronic anti-Israel bias” and a lack of reform, a letter emerged which shed light on the dynamics behind the decision.

The international NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW) posted a letter from Nikki Haley, US Ambassador to the UN, which accused the group of organizing with other NGOs to block US efforts to reform the council.

Specifically, Haley wrote that the US had discussed reforms that would have addressed the presence of human rights abusers and the singling out of Israel by the council. She charged that HRW and allied organizations wrote a letter telling member states not to address the US reform proposal.

In all, there were three letters opposing reforms circulating among member states – one each from Russia, China, and the NGOs. This meant, Haley wrote to HRW, that: “You put yourself on the side of Russia and China – and opposite the United States – on a key human rights issue.”

For those of us who have followed HRW under the leadership of its executive director, Kenneth Roth, the development didn’t come as a surprise. For the past two decades, the organization has engaged in a virulent anti-Israel witch hunt that has diverted attention away from serial human rights violations around the globe.
Head of Human Rights Watch Knocked for Using ‘Antisemitic Dog Whistle’
The executive director of Human Rights Watch accused the White House this week of following an “Israel First strategy” by withdrawing from the United Nations Human Rights Council, drawing sharp backlash from leading Jewish and watchdog groups.

Kenneth Roth tweeted on Tuesday about a response by HRW and other advocacy groups to US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, who described their joint opposition to proposed US reforms as “a contributing factor” in the country’s decision to withdraw from the UNHRC.

“Human rights groups to Trump administration: Don’t blame us for no government wanting to follow your Israel First strategy which risked undermining the UN Human Rights Council when a safer alternative reform effort was underway,” Roth wrote.

The moniker “Israel first” — largely found on the far-right and, increasingly, the far-left of the political spectrum — has in the past been employed against those accused of placing Israel’s priorities above their own country’s.

Sharon Nazarian, the Anti-Defamation League’s senior vice president of international affairs, told the Algemeiner that “Kenneth Roth’s tweet distorts US foreign policy and provides fodder for anti-Semitic conspiracy theorists.”

“We urge him to not use the term ‘Israel First’ in the future,” she said.
RNS Publishes Fictionalized Account of Meeting in Nabi Saleh
Dan Rabb got a few things wrong in a story he wrote for Religion News Service (RNS) about a group of Evangelical Protestants visiting the town of Nabi Saleh in the West Bank in May.

The article, titled “Evangelicals visit West Bank to see life on the other side,” recounts how a group of people attending the Christ at the Checkpoint Conference, an event organized by Bethlehem Bible College, visited the home of Bassem Tamimi, whose daughter Ahed was recently sentenced to eight months in Israeli prison for slapping a soldier serving in the IDF.

The article, which was published on RNS’ website on June 18, 2018, has a number of factual misstatements, mischaracterizations and omissions. Some of the mistakes are innocent enough and can be corrected without much embarrassment on the part of RNS. Reporters get stuff wrong and when they do, they can correct the record.

Other problems with the article approach the level of fabrication.

RNS has been offered proof that Rabb mischaracterized what was said by people in the audience — this writer no less — who recorded the entire event Rabb wrote about.

But instead of correcting the record, RNS’ interim editor G. Jeffrey MacDonald stands by Rabb’s reporting on the grounds that is an accurate representation of what was said.

It is not.
Racist anti-Semite wins North Carolina primary, GOP withdraws support
The North Carolina Republican Party withdrew its support for a candidate for the state’s General Assembly over his racist and anti-Semitic statements.

Russell Walker, 75, won the Republican primary in May for the General Assembly seat in District 48.

“The North Carolina Republican House Caucus and our members will not support Mr. Walker’s campaign given his comments and actions,” Rep. John Szoka, the conference chairman of the caucus said in a statement Wednesday. “While Mr. Walker won the Republican primary, his rhetoric and actions have no place in the Republican Party, and he should strongly consider withdrawing his candidacy.”

A website that Walker has claimed to own includes essays that say God is a racist white supremacist and Jews are descended from Satan. Walker has authored multiple essays and other articles on the site and has said it belongs to him, the Raleigh-based News & Observer reported.

An article on the site written by Walker also says that “all Jews are the children of Satan. Cain being the first Jew as a result of Satan raping Eve in the Garden of Eden and Cain being the first seed of Satan,” and that “the I.R.S. and most other ‘taxing’ systems of the world are controlled by and are just an appendage of Jewish institutions. In the case of the United States it is the Federal Reserve Bank, one of many Rothschild-controlled central banks. The Federal Reserve Bank is owned by 9 European jewish banks, all ultimately being Rothschild controlled.”
Volunteers rescue Jewish headstones used to pave street in western Ukraine
Volunteers have rescued dozens of Jewish headstones used to pave a street in the western Ukrainian city Lviv.

“The whole street is made from matzevot,” Sasha Nazar, director of the Lviv Volunteer Center of the Hesed Arieh All-Ukrainian Jewish Charitable Foundation, told Jewish Heritage Europe, using the Hebrew word for gravestones.

He said he was notified about the discovery last week, after city workers began road work on the street, vul. Barvinok in central Lviv. The Lviv Volunteer Center organized volunteers to work at the site this week to rescue the headstones.

Nazar estimated that there could be up to 100 headstones under the stretch of road, and maybe more. Photos show them lying flat and closely packed, some face down and some face up. They had been covered over by the road surface. Many of the stones appeared to be intact. Volunteers said most seem to date from the first part of the 20th century.

“This is the biggest discovery of matzevot in Lviv [used as paving] I can remember,” Nazar said.

He said the stones will be transported to the Yanovskoye Jewish cemetery, where more than a dozen gravestones rescued from the street in 2010 and 2017 were taken.
California's Avenged Sevenfold rocks Rishon
California hard rockers Avenged Sevenfold made thousands of Israeli fans extremely happy Tuesday night at the Rishon Live Park.

The popular band that adeptly integrates metal and pop elements into their music has for years been the target of a lobbying campaign via Facebook to get them to come to Israel. And 19 years after they formed, the band, known affectionately as A7X, finally made it to the Promised Land for a show that left no hard-core fan disappointed.

Following a well-received set by local metalist band Betzefer, A7X came out to a hero’s welcome. Aggressive, but also melodic and fun, the band seemed like they were having a great time onstage, as was the crowd, who knew all the lyrics and sang along to every song.

Vocalist M. Shadows joked at one point that he couldn’t hear himself because he was being drowned out by the fans. The crowd mostly consisted of twenty-somethings who first fell in love with the band as teenagers; for them, the band is as powerful and relevant today as it was then.

As part of a three-song encore, the band played perhaps the most anticipated song of the night – “A Little Piece of Heaven,” from their 2007 eponymous album – which propelled the audience even higher.

“This was one of the best crowds we’ve ever played for – we will have to come back,” Shadows said at one point, probably repeating something he says at every show. But at least to the audience members who had waited years to see them, his sentiments sounded genuine. Next time A7X fans won’t need a Facebook campaign to get them back.
Katherine McPhee, David Foster tour Israel
American Idol alum and Broadway star Katherine McPhee, and her boyfriend, composer and songwriter David Foster, are taking in the sites around Israel on vacation.

McPhee, known as the runner up on the fifth season of American Idol, has gone on to release five studio albums, land the lead role on the TV show Smash and is currently starring in the Broadway show Waitress.

McPhee appears to have landed in Israel on Sunday, and spent Monday exploring Jerusalem with Foster.

"What a day," she wrote on Instagram on Monday. "Went to Jerusalem and visited where Jesus died and rose."

On her Instagram story, McPhee posted images overlooking the Mount of Olives, and both outside and inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
Tunnel-detection tech offers safer, cheaper colonoscopies
A promising new technology for improving colonoscopies got its start as a way to remotely explore smuggling tunnels.

When a tunnel is discovered, homeland security or military personnel need to quickly and safely determine what’s inside. Beersheva-based startup IBEX Technologies developed a thin inflatable “sleeve” that can be robotically piloted into a dark tunnel. A camera attached to the front end of the sleeve transmits real-time live video and high-resolution images.

IBEX’s RoboSleeve also can be used by first responders in disaster areas, such as earthquakes, hurricanes and collapsed mines, and to inspect sewage, water and gas piping systems.

As IBEX’s founders, Oleg Popov and Raphael Moisa, continued to work on their autonomous sleeve, they thought about other types of “tunnels” that might be relevant for their technology. That’s when they hit on the idea that would become Consis Medical, a spin-off from IBEX focused on the 2-meter long tunnel inside the human body: the colon.
Birthright Israel celebrates 18 years of Zionism in festive gala
The Taglit-Birthright Israel initiative celebrated its 18th anniversary with a festive gala in Jerusalem Wednesday.‎

Some 6,000 participants from around the world, joined by 1,500 Israeli ‎soldiers, gathered at the Sultan's Pool, one of the most ‎popular open-air venues in the capital, for the biggest celebration in the ‎organization's history.‎

Several prominent Israeli acts performed in the gala, including ‎‎2018 Eurovision song contest winner Netta Barzilai. The event ‎also honored IDF units for their outstanding contribution to the ‎promotion of Taglit-Birthright.‎

Since its foundation in 1999, some 650,000 young Jews from 67 ‎countries have participated in ‎Taglit-Birthright programs. ‎
Oren Ben Hakoon

Dr. Miriam and Sheldon Adelson, the project's largest ‎donors, also attended the event. The Adelsons have donated $410 million to Taglit-Birthright so far. ‎
Tank Commanders Break Gender Barriers
Today, four women officially finished tank commanders course and became the IDF’s first female tank commanders. After 16 weeks of hard training in the 460 Brigade they successfully completed the course. “We can say after a year and four months that an armored combat team can carry out operational duties in the Border Defense Array under the command of a female tank commander,” said Brigadier General Guy Hasson, Head of the Armored Corps.

The Armored Corps’ pilot program began in July 2017. Its purpose was to examine whether or not women could be integrated as tank combat soldiers into the Border Defense Array. The selection process was based on medical data, the soldiers’ motivation, former commanders’ opinions, and personal interviews. Finally a committee held a hearing to select 30 female combat soldiers who would be sent to the next screening stage where additional interviews would take place. At the end of the process, female combat soldiers were selected in order to participate in this historic program.

Sergeant Noga, started out in the Bardelas Battalion and is now one of the first women to finish tank commanders course. “It's a role that includes very interesting and challenging training. Furthermore, it is a one-of-a-kind role for women and opens a new window of opportunities for a job in which women can partake.”

After more than six months of training, the combat soldiers began working in the Sagi Brigade, under the Caracal Battalion, with a special platoon commander. The combat soldiers selected for the commanders course carried out operational work for a month and a half, while the rest of the combat soldiers continued in their operational assignments for six months. "There are additional operational values that we can achieve in the Border Defense Array and in the Armored Corps with these combat soldiers. “The training stage was defined as a success, both in terms of the training itself and the operational aspect, and all the targets set for the combat soldiers were achieved,” said Brig. Gen. Hasson.



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