Sunday, August 12, 2018

From Ian:

Netanyahu: Israel demands a total ceasefire
Israel demands nothing less than a complete cease-fire from Hamas, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday before the weekly government meeting.

"We are in the midst of a campaign against the terror [Hamas] in Gaza. There has been an exchange of blows and this will not end in one blow,” Netanyahu said.

“Our demand is clear - a total cease-fire,” Netanyahu added.

“So far, we have destroyed hundreds of Hamas military targets. With every round of attacks, the IDF exacts a heavy price from Hamas. I will not reveal our operational plans, but they are ready.

Our goal is to restore peace to the residents of the south and the surrounding areas. This goal will be achieved in full,” Netanyahu said.

He spoke in advance of a meeting later today of the security cabinet to discuss further steps with regard to Gaza in the aftermath of last week’s violent flare up in which close to 200 rockets were fired at Israel on Wednesday and Thursday.

It’s unclear if Hamas stopped the rocket fire as the result of a mutual understanding reached with Israel, or if it was unilateral decision.

The man trying to save Gaza
United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Nickolay Mladenov, 47, has become one of the most prominent diplomatic brokers the region has seen in recent years. His current mission is a critical one: preventing a war from breaking out between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, as well as eventually rebuilding the strip.

Ever since the mass protests along the Gaza border fence began on March 30—and with them the kite and balloon terrorism that has burnt large swaths of fields and woodlands in southern Israel—Mladenov has been a central figure in efforts to prevent a violent confrontation between Israel and Hamas.

At least twice, his intensive diplomatic work—together with the Egyptians—was successful in preventing further escalation. The last time was on July 20, when a Palestinian sniper killed Staff Sgt. Aviv Levi from the Givati Brigade, the first Israeli casualty on the Gaza border since Operation Protective Edge, prompting the IDF to bomb dozens of targets in the Gaza Strip, and it seemed that a huge escalation was inevitable. Hamas made a phone call to Mladenov, who rushed to ask Israel for a ceasefire, which in the meantime seems to be holding—until next time.

Israeli officials agree that Mladenov is the most active UN envoy the region has seen in recent years. That is considered a compliment, as Israel generally views UN personnel with suspicion for their generally pro-Palestinian views. Mladenov previously headed a UN mission to Iraq and served as the minister of defense and foreign affairs in his native Bulgaria.

Sources familiar with Mladenov say he is very involved, ambitious and makes frequent trips to all the parties; all while presenting a pleasant demeanor, wisdom and a desire to delve into the depth of the issues.
Matti Friedman [NYT$]: Matti Friedman
Mr. Dabash, a civil engineer, was born in Sur Baher a few months before Israel captured it in a war with Jordan in 1967. Unlike the West Bank, which was placed under military occupation pending a peace deal with the Arab world, East Jerusalem was declared by Israel to be part of Israel proper.

That meant people here, including the Dabash family, were given residency status and access to Israel’s systems of universal health care and social welfare. They were allowed to apply for citizenship and vote in municipal elections. But nearly no one in East Jerusalem did either of those things, seeing them as an unacceptable “normalization” of Israeli control.

For the past 51 years, Mr. Dabash and the other Arab residents of Jerusalem have lived an ambivalent and disadvantaged political existence. In the last election in 2013, according to City Hall, not even 2 percent of them cast a ballot.

Over the past five years or so, watching from west Jerusalem, it’s been clear that remarkable changes are afoot in the city’s human landscape. Not long ago, it was unheard-of to see Palestinian salespeople in Israeli stores. Now it’s commonplace. Palestinian enrollment at Hebrew University is up dramatically, as are requests for Israeli citizenship. The number of East Jerusalem wage earners employed in West Jerusalem is now estimated at close to 50 percent. The trend is driven not by good will but by economic interests: by demand for labor in Jewish Jerusalem, and by a lack of better options for Palestinians. . .

Following all of this makes you more aware of the peculiarities and paradoxes on which the city rests. One, for example, is that the movement on the Israeli side is coming not from the conciliatory left but from the nationalist right. The left traditionally hoped that one day East Jerusalem would be transferred to Palestinian rule and wouldn’t be Israel’s problem — hardly an incentive to invest. The right, on the other hand, believes the whole city must remain under Israeli control, and thus has an interest in making a united city more viable.

HR's Daniel Pomerantz debates Gaza rockets on i24News

More amendments made to BBC’s online Gaza rocket attacks report
Around five hours after the BBC News website had rephrased a problematic headline to a report concerning missile attacks launched from the Gaza Strip which it had published two hours earlier, the article was amended once again.

The inaccurate claim that violence had broken out “after militants shot at an IDF vehicle in Gaza on Wednesday” – which by that time had been online for over seven hours – was revised:

“On Wednesday afternoon, the IDF said militants had fired shots at civilians constructing an underground barrier along the border fence, damaging a vehicle. In response, a tank targeted a Hamas post in northern Gaza, it added.”

Some five hours after that, the report was updated again to include further developments.

Providing BBC audiences with a link to the Hamas affiliated Shehab news agency and once again failing to clarify that “Gaza health officials” are actually part of the same terror organisation that had launched some 180 missiles at Israeli civilians in the 24 hours before this update, the amended report informed readers that:
Pictured: The day Jeremy Corbyn gave a speech at wedding of a Holocaust 'denying' PLO man... fresh outcry amid ongoing anti-Semitism row
Jeremy Corbyn was embroiled in a fresh anti-Semitism row last night after it was revealed that he gave a wedding speech for an alleged Holocaust ‘denier’.

The Labour leader, who has been battling to contain the furore which has been raging in his party for weeks, paid tribute to Husam Zomlot, who was at the centre of a furious row when he appeared to suggest that Israel had ‘fabricated’ the Holocaust.

Mr Zomlot, 44, told the BBC in 2014: ‘They [Israel] are fabricating all these stories about beheading journalists in Iraq… as if they are fabricating also the story of the Holocaust, that it happened in Europe.’

It triggered an outcry among Jewish groups, although Mr Zomlot strongly denied that he meant that details of the Holocaust had been fabricated. He said his words were meant to convey that Israel was using both the Holocaust and the murder of Western journalists by Islamic State to ‘justify its murder of Palestine’.

Mr Zomlot, 44, told the BBC in 2014: ‘They [Israel] are fabricating all these stories about beheading journalists in Iraq… as if they are fabricating also the story of the Holocaust, that it happened in Europe’

He made the inflammatory remarks shortly after IS posted a video of the beheading of an American photographer James Foley.

Mr Zomlot has also said Israel was founded on the ‘skulls of our nation’ and accused the country of an ‘ethnic cleansing campaign’.
Jeremy Corbyn’s anti-Semite crisis worsens as a shocking dossier brings his past back to haunt him
The Sun on Sunday reveals a damning diary of meeting with hate preachers and other racists

JEREMY Corbyn sinks deeper into the anti-Semitism crisis as we reveal a damning diary of his meetings with hate preachers and other racists.

The Labour leader is now in danger of being overwhelmed by allegations spanning two decades.

His past has come back to haunt him in the shape of our 16-year dossier, which you can read about below.

Mr Corbyn’s woes had already deepened when pictures surfaced of him standing near the graves of terrorists who murdered 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics.

He insisted he was at a service for Palestinian “martyrs” on a visit to Tunisia in 2014.

But he was pictured holding a giant wreath just feet from the burial plot of Black September members behind the massacre.

In other photos, he is seen close to the grave of Atef Bseiso, the former Palestine Liberation Organisation intelligence chief also linked to the slaughter.

A video also surfaced on Saturday showing him apparently making a direct link between the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the Nazi occupation of Europe.

Our dossier includes him writing to defend a vicar who suggested the 9/11 Twin Towers attack was an inside job by Jews.

Mr Corbyn also invited Hamas and Hezbollah to Parliament and called them his “friends”.
Three trade unions and Momentum align to demand that Jeremy Corbyn adopts the full International Definition of Antisemitism
Three major trade unions and Momentum have aligned to demand that Jeremy Corbyn adopts the full International Definition of Antisemitism. So far, he has refused to do so, in defiance even of his own MPs.

In separate, strident opinion articles, the heads of Unison, GMB and USDAW have all demanded that Mr Corbyn immediately adopt the definition, including its examples.

Simultaneously, reports have emerged that the powerful Momentum faction, which controls the levers of power in the Party and swept Mr Corbyn to victory in two Party leadership elections, has now also demanded that he adopt the definition, including its examples. This is a major turnaround for Momentum, which had previously argued that Mr Corbyn’s rewritten definition was the gold standard and that the international definition was unfit for purpose.

Experts from the British delegation to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance this week had to reconfirm that the examples form part of the definition after Labour figures repeatedly made out that they were not.
Jeremy Corbyn suggested that British education system should teach children that Israeli actions are like Nazi occupation of Europe
It has been revealed that Jeremy Corbyn expressed his desire for the British education system to promote a narrative that would allow for Israel to be compared to the Nazi regime.

Mr Corbyn was captured on video at an event in 2013 calling for the British education system to “start teaching a lot of people the history of the Middle East in a more accurate and more balanced way…”. Moments later, he described the West Bank as being “under occupation of the very sort that would be recognised by many people in Europe who suffered occupation during the Second World War…”, a clear reference to the aggression of Nazi Germany.

The International Definition of Antisemitism states that “drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis” is antisemitic.

With each new revelation about Jeremy Corbyn’s associations and views, the reason for his refusal to accept the Definition in full becomes increasingly clear.

IsraellyCool: “Jihad” Jenny Tonge Gets Sloppy and Allows Inner Jew Hater to Surface Again
I have posted about UK politician “Jihad” Jenny Tonge quite a bit in the past. She has expressed her support for palestinian terrorism as well as her desire for Israel to be destroyed, but has denied she is an antisemite.

Alas, the prune-faced witch is finding it harder and harder to restrain the inner Jew hater.

It is a response to this excellent video I posted about roughly a year ago.

To answer Tonge, we have been persecuted over and over again throughout history because evil pieces of excrement like you have always existed.

Lucky for us and the world in general, you and your ilk always end up being a nothing more than a rather ugly footnote in history.
Ocasio-Cortez endorses Ilhan Omar, of “may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel” infamy (#MN05)
The controvery continues, nonetheless, as discussed in a story on August 8, 2018, at PJ Media by David Steinberg, State Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) Swore to Apparent Falsehoods in Court — While Divorcing Her Alleged Brother.

Her personal history, however, is not Omar’s most controversial history. She’s steeped in the same type of anti-Israel Islamist and leftist fanaticism that has taken hold in the Democratic Socialist wing of the Democratic Party.

In 2012, Omar tweeted:

More recently, on May 31, 2018, Omar tweeted a favorite (and false) leftist-Islamist claim that Israel is an “Apartheid” state, a claim that is used to delegitimize Israel:

Omar is a *worthy* successor to Ellison’s Farrakhan-driving hatred and lunatic left-wing politics.

So of course, Democratic Socialist star Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has endorsed Omar, who is thrilled to have it:
Left Dismayed as Palestinian DNC Congressional Candidate Refuses to Attack Israel
Electronic Intifada, a frothing-at-the-mouth, anti-Israel website bemoaned on Friday: “According to a 15 July filing with the Federal Election Commission, the Rashida Tlaib for Congress committee had received $3,000 this cycle from JStreetPAC.”

The same website stated: “A key tenet of J Street’s position is rejecting the right of return for Palestinian refugees solely because they are not Jewish and therefore constitute a ‘demographic threat’ to Israel. […] Tlaib has not said much about Palestine during the campaign, but when she has spoken it has not been comforting. […] ‘We need to be honest about the dehumanization on both sides, frankly,’ Tlaib told The Washington Post. ‘And more importantly, we need to be not choosing a side.’”

All of which does not suggests that Rashida Talib is likely to sing Hatikvah at the 71st anniversary celebration of the Jewish State, but does imply that she will be much closer to the Democratic party’s consensus on Israel – not a small feat considering other Muslim members of the DNC. And the proof is in the pudding: the left is in a rage:

“Is Tlaib serious that we should be neutral and not ‘choose a side’ when it comes to Israel’s brutal military occupation, colonization and apartheid in her parents’ homeland? If she is taking the liberal Zionist ‘both sides’ line now, falsely equating a colonial occupier with its victims, does anyone expect her to be more courageous when she is in Congress and raising money for reelection?”

Music to our ears.
JCPA: The Pan-Arab Palestinian Flag Hoisted in Tel Aviv
The flag that is considered the flag of Palestine today was based on Hashemite flags first unfurled in the 1920s in Damascus as the flag of Hashemite Syria and in the Hashemite Kingdom of Hejaz (an area of Saudi Arabia today). Even after the Hashemite kingdom was replaced by Syrian nationalist regimes and other flags were waved, the Syrian Baath party preserved the original flag of Syria, which is today the flag of Palestine.

After the Hashemite kingdom collapsed in Damascus, the officers who became the first Palestinian leadership returned to the land that they defined as “Southern Syria,” together with the flag. The Hashemite emirate across the Jordan adopted the same flag with a star.

This flag does not symbolize anything that is specific to the land of Palestine, but rather the history of the Arabs and Islam: the Umayyad caliphate – white; the Hashemites – red; the Abbasid caliphate and Mohammed – black; and Islam – green. (The Hamas and Saudi flags are predominantly green, representing Islam.)

The Palestinian flag symbolizes the essence of the Palestinian national movement as a pan-Arab and pan-Islamic movement, which, like other pan-Arabic and pan-Islamic movements, do not accept anyone different from themselves – neither the Kurds in Syria nor the Jews in Israel. This is its problem – and ours.
'Song of the Intifada' in Rabin Square
During a demonstration by Arabs and left-wing activists against the Nationality Law held Saturday night in Rabin Square, the song "Where are the Millions?" was played.

Participants in the rally brandished PLO flags.

The song, by singer Julia Boutros, was popular in the Palestinian Authority during the so-called 'stabbing Intifada' of 2015, and encourages violence against Israelis.

Palestinian Media Watch posted a a translated video of the song.

The lyrics to the song read :"Where are the millions? Where is the Arab people? Where is the Arab rage? Where is the Arab blood? Where is the Arab honor? ...

"In my chest is a [whole] gun magazine, where are you, my brothers?

"The revolution [needs] men, it is not bought with money The revolution of a people holding rocks against fleets

"[They] sacrificed from young to old, out of obligation and not as a kindness...

"Allah is with us. He is stronger and greater than the Children of Zion
The truth is revealed
The truth is revealed

The Palestinian flags waving in Tel Aviv on Saturday night are the real narrative, which no amount of wording, impersonating or mountains of hypocrisy can conceal. The protesters at Rabin Square are fighting for the right of return to Sheikh Munis (Ramat Aviv), Khirbet Azoun (Raanana), and the lands of the Abu Kishk tribe in Ramat Hasharon. They want to make Nakba Day their day of independence. Their fight is over the 1948 borders, not the 1967 borders. The protesters in the square, led by the Arab Higher Monitoring Committee in Israel – MKs Ayman Odeh, Hanin Zoabi and Jamal Zahalka – are voicing their truth. We should heed what they are telling us and stop already with the Left's foolish march of naiveté.

The State of Israel is the national home of the Jewish people. We longed for this place, and we prayed for our return. And to liberate it we fought and sacrificed in the many thousands. We did not confiscate foreign soil; we are not colonialists in our own historic homeland, as claimed by the protest organizers, the leaders of the Arab public.
The proof is in the protest
I've thought about the Jews who joined the demonstration. Like those who joined the Tel Aviv-based trend of voting for the Joint Arab List on the eve of the elections, these people could be divided into two groups: an ideological minority that consciously rejects the existence of a Zionist state, even if it neighbors Palestine, and a large group of Jews who march with eyes wide shut and arm in arm with members of the Balad and Hadash parties and the Islamic Movement. They are so frustrated with the results of our democratic system that they simply cannot be bothered with the facts.

Radical post-Zionism has never been more warmly embraced. Artificial intelligence could not have done a more surgical job of processing the data than the Jewish protesters who have cherry-picked precisely the ideologies behind the protest that suit them. In Russia, these people, who firmly believe in the overarching principle of equality but would never have contemplated arming themselves with gay pride flags at Saturday's protest, would be referred to as "useful idiots." These same bleeding hearts demand equality in the distribution of the burden in society, but only among the Jews, and exalt the Declaration of Independence but bow their heads to their new brothers in arms, who demand the right of return and reject our declaration.

Indeed, much restraint was needed in the face of the absurd display in Tel Aviv on Saturday night – restraint and some mild desperation.
PM: Many Arabs protesting nation-state law want Israel to be a Palestinian state
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday said the protesters at a mass rally against the nation-state law who were waving Palestinian flags were seeking to destroy Israel and proved the contentious legislation was necessary.

“We have [here] conclusive evidence of the opposition to the existence of the State of Israel and the necessity of the nation-state law,” he said at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting, referring to the Arab-led demonstration in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square on Saturday.

“Yesterday we saw PLO flags in the heart of Tel Aviv. We heard the calls: ‘With blood and fire we will redeem Palestine.’ Many of the demonstrators want to abrogate the Law of Return, cancel the national anthem, fold up our flag and cancel Israel as the national state of the Jewish people and turn it – as their spokespersons said – into an Israeli-Palestinian state, and others say: A state of all its citizens.”

He added: “It is for precisely this that we passed the nation-state law. We are proud of our state, our flag and our national anthem. Israel is a Jewish and democratic state. The individual rights of its citizens are anchored very well in the basic laws and other laws. Now it is clearer than ever that the nation-state law is also necessary… to ensure the future of the State of Israel as the national state of the Jewish people. We passed this law and we will uphold it.”
Opposition divided over Arab-led rally against nation-state law
Opposition Knesset members on Sunday debated the left’s muted response to the the Arab-led rally against the nation-state law after it drew criticism for the presence of Palestinian flags at the event.

Left-wing parties have staunchly opposed the contentious law passed by the Knesset last month, but most lawmakers chose not to attend Saturday’s protest rally to avoid being associated with displays of Palestinian nationalist symbols.

“Yesterday was a true test of democracy and equality,” Meretz MK Michal Rozin said in an interview with Channel 10 news.

Rozin, who attended the protest with a number of Meretz supporters, accused Labor leader Avi Gabbay, opposition leader Tzipi Livni and Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid of joining “Netanyahu’s system of hierarchical citizenship.”

“It’s not a big deal to demand equal rights for people you totally agree with,” she said. “What is a big deal is standing for equality and against the nation-state law that discriminates against the Arab minority.”
Trump May Cut Suspended Aid To Palestinians Soon
The Trump administration could be on the verge of cutting millions of dollars of aid to the Palestinians, funds that could be critical at a time when there's a humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip, current and former U.S. officials tell NPR.

Early this year, the United States froze most of the $251 million earmarked for Palestinian aid projects, after the Palestinian Authority protested the administration's recognition of the contested city of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

The U.S. also withheld about $300 million to the United Nations agency serving Palestinian refugees, calling for other countries to share the financial burden and demanding reform at the agency.

For months, it has been unclear whether the U.S. will release the withheld funds. But this week, following discussions between Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Trump adviser Jared Kushner, the administration is believed to have decided it will give almost no further Palestinian aid this year, the 2017 fiscal year, says Dave Harden, the former director of the U.S. Agency for International Development's West Bank and Gaza Strip mission.
U.S. Senate urged to push bill targeting Hamas, Hezbollah use of human shields
AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and the Anti-Defamation League are urging United States lawmakers to co-sponsor a bill targeted at terrorist groups Hamas and Hezbollah for their use of human shields.

The Senate bill, introduced last week by Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., would sanction those who use civilians to shield themselves while carrying out attacks. It singles out Hamas and Hezbollah as egregious violators.

Three Democrats and 12 Republicans have sponsored the bill thus far, but a statement Friday by the Anti-Defamation League — a relatively liberal nonpartisan group — could drive up Democratic co-sponsorship.

“We strongly agree that the use of human shields by terrorist groups is illegal, harms innocent civilians, and impedes necessary efforts at self-defense by democracies such as the United States and Israel. There’s clearly a need for this legislation,” the ADL told JTA in a statement. “It would impose concrete penalties against all terrorist groups that do this and encourage the United States to pursue a Security Council Resolution that would force the international community to do more to put a stop to this odious practice.”

Also backing the bill are B’nai B’rith International and the Orthodox Union.
Trump marks Charlottesville anniversary with tweet condemning racism
One year after the deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, US President Donald Trump tweeted a condemnation of racism Saturday, calling for unity and “peace to ALL Americans.”

His tweet came a day before those same factions plan to march in Washington, D.C., where they are set to meet in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood and march to Lafayette Square, across the street from the White House.

“The riots in Charlottesville a year ago resulted in senseless death and division,” Trump said Saturday.

“We must come together as a nation. I condemn all types of racism and acts of violence. Peace to ALL Americans!”
Ivanka Trump says there is no room in US for neo-Nazism
Ivanka Trump, US President Donald Trump’s daughter and a White House adviser, explicitly condemned “white supremacy, racism and neo-nazism” late Saturday in a manner her father seems reluctant to do.

The tweets come on the anniversary of deadly unrest triggered by a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

A similar far-right rally is scheduled for Sunday outside the White House after the white supremacists who organized the 2017 march were denied a permit to reconvene in Charlottesville.

However, they have been granted permission to gather in Washington, DC, on Sunday evening at Lafayette Park, near the White House.

“One year ago in Charlottesville, we witnessed an ugly display of hatred, racism, bigotry & violence,” tweeted Ivanka Trump, who is Jewish.

“While Americans are blessed to live in a nation that protects liberty, freedom of speech and diversity of opinion, there is no place for white supremacy, racism and neo-nazism in our great country,” she said.
Armed PA Police in Pickup Trucks Head Towards Jerusalem
Israel drivers were shocked to see a convoy of armed and uniformed Palestinian Authority (PA) security force members driving up Road 1 (near Kfar Adumim) in pickup trucks, towards Jerusalem from Jericho, looking very reminiscent of ISIS, this past Friday afternoon.

Armed members of the PA security forces are normally not allowed in Area C.

The PA security forces in the vehicles had rifles, battle vests, and even grenades. The armed convoy was not being escorted by the IDF or Israeli police, witnesses told TPS.

The convoy also ran a red light, according to the witnesses.

Upon checking with government sources, TPS was told that the convoy’s travel was coordinated with the Civil Administration and relevant security forces, and it was under escort and guard throughout their travels in Area C.

That supposed Israeli escort does not appear in the video (below), and witnesses say they did not see any Israeli security vehicles traveling with the convoy.

Update: TPS says the convoy had an escort from the Civil Administration.
Hamas is jealous of Hezbollah
This week will mark 12 years since the Second ‎Lebanon War ended. Since then, the Israel-Lebanon ‎border has been the quietest it has been for ‎decades. ‎

It is true that Hezbollah has been using this peace ‎and quiet to build up its missile arsenal. It is ‎believed that the Shiite terrorist group is ‎currently in possession of over 100,000 missiles – ‎‎10 times more than it had in 2006 – and it is no ‎secret that it currently strives to increase their ‎range and improve their accuracy.‎

Still, Hezbollah has made sure to avoid any ‎provocation along the border. The memory of the blow ‎Israel dealt it is still fresh, as is the memory of ‎the humiliation suffered by its leader, Hassan ‎Nasrallah. ‎

One cannot forget, however, that there are two sides ‎to this coin. Yes, Hezbollah remains deterred but ‎Israel is also careful not to target its interests, neither on ‎the border nor on Lebanese soil. Thus, in the shadow ‎of a balance of mutual deterrence, both parties are ‎careful not to violate the tacit understandings ‎formed between them following the 2006 conflict. ‎

A similar balance of mutual deterrence is also being ‎hammered out on Syrian soil, opposite Iran. Foreign ‎media outlets may keep reporting on alleged Israeli ‎strikes against Iranian assets in Syria, but since ‎Israel and Iran traded blows in May – after Iranian-‎backed troops fired missiles at the Golan Heights – ‎Israel has been making a conscious effort not to ‎target Revolutionary Guards officials in Syria.‎
Soft Cell's Marc Almond cancels Israel show
Singer Marc Almond – half of the 80s pop duo Soft Cell – has canceled his upcoming show in Israel. The performer, who was slated to play in Caesarea on August 14, said he was forced to cancel because of “breach of contract.”

“It is with deep, deep regret to my fans in Israel that my management have been forced to cancel the show on Tuesday 14 August due to the breach of contract from the promoter,” Almond wrote on Facebook on Sunday morning. “It is with the heaviest heart because I know my fans there have been so supportive and this is the second time my management have had to cancel.”

The singer said in addition to payment disagreements, “I was not prepared to let the group Tattoo perform as my support in their current line up.”

The Jerusalem Post reported in April the historic reunion of Israeli rock group Tattoo was slated to include all its original members, including Yuval Messner, who served a jail sentence in the late 1980s for rape of a minor.
BBC’s serial omission hinders understanding of history programme
As has been documented on these pages on numerous occasions in the past, the BBC usually avoids informing its audience of the circumstances under which Judea and Samaria and parts of Jerusalem were occupied – and subsequently illegally annexed – by what was at the time still called Trans-Jordan.

Time and time again BBC audiences are told of ‘occupied Palestinian territories’ without any mention of the inclusion of those areas in the territory assigned by the League of Nations to the creation of a Jewish homeland. Also lacking is explanation of the belligerent British-backed invasion and subsequent ethnic cleansing of Jews from the areas attacked by Jordan in 1948. Instead, the BBC’s portrayal of history almost inevitably begins in 1967 when, audiences are told, “Israel occupied the area” which is euphemistically described as having previously been “under the control of Jordan”.

Even the BBC’s country profile of Jordan erases its 1948 belligerent invasion of land beyond its western border from audience view.
'Holocaust revisionist' running for mayor in South Carolina
A self-proclaimed "Holocaust revisionist" wants to be Hilton Head, South Carolina's next mayor, but said his beliefs will not impact his local anti-development platform.

Michael Santomauro, 59, filed on Monday, according to his statement of candidacy filing form.

He plans to run on three major issues: improving transparency in town council meetings, increasing traffic-flow efficiency and implementing a moratorium on both residential and commercial building.

Santomauro has no previous experience in town government. He worked as the editorial director of U.S. operations for the Theses and Dissertations Press, which publishes books that deny the Holocaust. He also runs the website,, which claims to offer rewards for those who can prove the validity of Holocaust events, such as the death toll and the existence of Nazi gas chambers.

The mayoral candidate first made headlines in New York City in 2003 when subscribers to his email service "Roommate Finders" got upset after they received a steady stream of emails spreading his "revisionist" beliefs that question historical accounts of the Holocaust, according to the New York Times.

Santomauro said that he saw nothing wrong with sending the material to people who had not requested it, as long as they had the option to unsubscribe, the New York Times reported.
Jimmy Carr spars, laughs with Tel Aviv crowd
British comedian plays his first-ever show in Israel

Jimmy Carr bounded on stage in Tel Aviv Saturday night with a "shalom" and "sababa" like he's every other musical act to play in the country.

But, as he promised me he would in an interview earlier this year, Carr started off his show with a set of local jokes about the country that delighted the audience.

Joking that he would have done a five-city tour of Israel but "there's only two f*cking cities," Carr also cracked that Jerusalem "will be lovely when it's finished" and is just a "stone's throw from the West Bank."

He also pointed out that the audience could have instead attended a protest that night about the nation-state law or about a gay murder (a rally on the anniversary of the Bar Noar murders was taking place right outside the auditorium). "I wasn't expecting this much controversy in Israel," he joked to a huge laugh.

Before long, Carr launched into his signature one-liners, filling almost two hours of the night with many of the classic jokes he's told over his career.
[NYT$]: Does Sacha Baron Cohen Understand Israel?
What’s the damage for us? Does it help Israel to have this blustering, masculine image, or does it hurt it?

We still have dangerous enemies, so maybe keeping this stereotype going is useful. We seem tough after all, with our big muscles and love of guns. On the other hand, the Morad caricature makes us look bellicose and pigheaded, if not downright absurd. And it probably makes us seem hideous to many Americans, especially young ones, especially liberal ones — the Americans with whom Israel already has an image problem.

Of course, Morad is more a representative of America’s peculiarities than he is of Israel’s. And what we learn from him is a little troubling: Israel’s most avid supporters in America might like us more as crude machos than as start-up entrepreneurs. They might even prefer our satirized fossils to our real selves.

How bad is Mr. Cohen’s satire for Israel? Well, that’s really besides the point. American satire isn’t meant to be good for Israel. The last thing we should do is get offended and defensive, repeating the mistakes that Kazakhs made when another Cohen character, the notorious Borat, made a laughingstock of their country. And besides, I get the impression that Morad’s high jinks make most Israelis laugh without much guilt or worry. (To find out more, I tested it on a sample of two young soldiers: my sons. They cracked up.)

And what about our own character, what about the possibility that without realizing it we, Israelis, really are all Morads? When I was working on this article, I called a friend of mine, a former paratrooper, to get his thoughts. “Are there still a lot of Morad types in our country?” I asked him. And then he gave me the answer that made it all clear: Every Israeli who serves in the military knows that we still have Morads. But for every idiotic Morad, we also have two prankish Cohens. That’s why we can afford a laugh.
Israeli shoemaker donates 2,000 sandals to Syrian refugees
Israeli shoemaker Teva Naot recently donated 2,000 sandals to Syrian children.

"The decision to donate is a humanitarian one," Teva Naot CEO Michael Iluz said, "in the hope that this small step will lead to better neighborly relations in the future."

The estimated cost of the donation was NIS 250,000 ($67,000).

The donation was delivered with the help of Gal Lusky, founder of Israel Flying Aid, an Israeli NGO that "delivers lifesaving aid to communities affected by natural disaster and human conflict, transcending differences, prejudices, race, nationality, religion, and creed."

Israel has treated some 4,500 war casualties ‎from Syria since a ‎humanitarian aid program dubbed Operation Good Neighbor was launched five ‎years ago.‎

In late June, the IDF transported 60 tons of humanitarian aid and supplies to Syrian refugees stranded in tent camps across the border in the Syrian Golan.
Historic Māori-led apology to Israel
istory was made on 29 July 2018 when the indigenous people of New Zealand organised a special ceremony to honour and welcome the Israeli ambassador, His Excellency Dr. Itzhak Gerberg. Led by Ngapuhi kaumatua (elder) Pat Ruka, and joined by many Māori from around the nation, a Powhiri (welcome ceremony) was held at Hoani Waititi Marae (meeting house) in West Auckland. The ceremony of apology, called a whakapāha, was held to express regret for New Zealand’s actions in standing against Israel at the UN and to seek forgiveness.

In December 2016 New Zealand co-sponsored the anti-Israel UNSC Resolution 2334, along with Senegal, Malaysia and Venezuela. Many New Zealanders felt betrayed by their government’s actions and responded with letters, petitions and marches. The Israeli Ambassador was recalled for six months, and while the relationship has since been restored, the New Zealand government has never expressed regret for its stance.

However, not all Māori are supportive of Israel. Greens co-Leader Marama Davidson, also Ngapuhi, has stood firmly against Israel, joining the protest flotilla to Gaza in 2016 and currently calling on the government to condemn Israel’s blockade on Gaza. Sadly, Davidson’s Green Party’s environmental concerns do not extend to the significant environmental damage caused by Hamas in recent months. Indeed, Davidson refuses to consider both sides of the conflict and ignores the fact that Jews have held mana whenua over the land through their continuous presence for 3,000 years, in spite of many occupiers over that period. She seems unaware of the multicultural nature of Israeli society and the fact that, to put it simply, there are more brown Jews than white in Israel.
Māori people and Israel

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