Sunday, November 25, 2018

From Ian:

Zionism Is About Letting Jews Live (And Die) Without Humiliation
“Suppose the Exodus from Egypt had never occurred. Suppose the Romans never exiled the Jews. Suppose also that there had been no Jews in antiquity. Even then, the justification for establishing their nationhood in Israel would be valid along the lines I tried to explain in my article “From rabid Zionism to egalitarian Zionism” (November 9, 2018).

Shlomo Sand’s response to my arguments (“The twisted logic of the Jewish historic right to Israel,” November 16, 2018), misses that central point. In this sense he’s like Naftali Bennett. The education minister carries an ancient coin in his pocket in order to prove Jewish ownership of the land since antiquity. Sand’s understandable revulsion at the Jewish-national implications of Bennett’s version of nationalism, based on that coin, leads him to reject Zionism in its entirety.

The justification I tried to provide for this ideology frees us both from Bennett’s coin and from Sand’s contentions against it. It’s anchored not in the history of the Jews in antiquity, but rather in two pivotal facts regarding their history in modernity.

Fact 1: A major component of the Jews’ social profile in modernity, in their own eyes, and in the eyes of their surroundings, is that of group originating in Palestine in antiquity. It doesn’t take a historian to recognize this fact. Suffice it to read the Passover Haggadah, be a tourist in Florence or listen to the “Passions,” preferably Bach’s.” (h/t dov)
For the full article click via twitter:


Mumbai Chabad Center Marking 10th Anniversary of 11/26 Attacks With Renaming Ceremony
Monday is the tenth anniversary of the Mumbai terror attacks, and the event is being marked with a renaming ceremony at the Chabad center that was one of the targets.

On November 26, 2008, ten terrorists from the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) group entered Mumbai by sea and launched a coordinated gun-and-bomb assault on multiple sites in India’s most populous metropolis, killing 166 people — including six Jews at the Nariman House.

A decade after the carnage, the Chabad center is being renovated, and the fifth floor — where the murdered Rabbi Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg lived with their two-year-old son Moshe (who survived the attack, thanks to the heroism of his nanny, Sandra Samuel) — is to be named the “Nariman Lighthouse” and serve as a memorial to the victims of the Mumbai attacks.

“We hope that viewing this will teach visitors the power of adding light,” Rabbi Israel Kozlovsky — the current head of the Nariman House — told Lubavitch.com. “We want to create waves of good that will spread until the whole world is filled with it.”
France gave 'sensitive' intel to Palestinians during Second Intifada
Former intelligence officer slams France’s “short-termist” policy to help militant groups for immediate securi

France worked closely with Palestinian Authority during the late 1990's and 2000's, including during the Second Intifada ("uprising") against Israel, providing training and delivering "sensitive intelligence" to the PA's security services, a former officer in the French secret service told i24NEWS on Wednesday.

Speaking with i24NEWS defense correspondent Mattias Inbar on his French-language weekly Defense program, Pierre Martinet said that “France, via its secret service, trained Palestinian agents in France” and that the French government delivered “sensitive materials to the Palestinian administration via the diplomatic bag”.

The diplomatic bag is an expression to describe a physical package that is used by a diplomatic mission to exchange correspondences with its home country. It cannot be officially scrutinized by another country’s border protection agencies and benefits from the same kind of diplomatic immunity as its owners.

The ‘bag’ can be anything, but is most often an actual suitcase.

"Unofficially we have collaborated with different [foreign] services, more notably with Palestine at different times. We worked with them on training and delivery of certain materials....through back-channel diplomacy," Martinet said.



President of Muslim-majority Chad arrives to reestablish ties with Israel
Chad President Idriss Déby will meet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Sunday, the first-ever visit of the president of that Muslim-majority African country with whom Israel has no relations.

The visit was kept carefully under wraps for days, with Netanyahu's office only announcing it Sunday at noon.

The two men will give a statement to the press, widely expected to be the announcement of the establishment of formal diplomatic ties.

“This is another diplomatic breakthrough,” Netanyahu said. “This is a historic and important visit that comes against the background of efforts that we have led. I welcome the president of Chad on his arrival to Israel.”

Since becoming the first Israeli prime minister in July 2016 to visit Africa in some three decades, Netanyahu has place improved ties with Africa high on the country's diplomatic agenda. Since that visit he has made two other trips to Africa.

Chad – which has found itself on the front lines in the battle against Islamic extremists – severed ties with Israel in 1972 after coming under intense pressure from its Arab neighbors, Libya and Sudan. Chad is a member of the 57-nation Organization of Islamic Cooperation.


IsraellyCool: Norman Finkelstein Hopes Palestinians Murder Israelis
This next footage was apparently taken at a bookstore in May of this year. In it, you see Israel hater Norman Finkelstein wishing for Gazans to break through the border fence, to murder Israelis, of course (which they have been pretty clear is their intent).

And if you still aren’t convinced this means he wants dead Israelis, he says it more explicitly.


“The protests have been overwhelmingly non-violent… but even if they were violent, I would say to the people of Gaza: God bless you, I hope you break through that fence! And those soldiers, those snipers, those assassins… if every one of them were killed, I would not shed a tear!”

He truly is despicable.
IsraellyCool: Norman Finkelstein Wishes Death on American Jewry, Makes Antisemitic Comment & Mock Hitler Salute
Following yesterday’s post in which I exposed some despicable comments by Israel hater Norman Finkelstein (whereby he wished palestinians would murder Jewish Israelis), some equally detestable comments and actions of his have come to my attention.

They are from a 2009 Danish documentary called “Defamation.” As you will see, Rat Fink wishes American Jews dead and makes a mock Hitler salute, followed by an antisemitic remark about Abe Foxman.


This is the face of Israel hatred, folks. And ultimately, more often than not, contempt and hatred for Jews is the root cause – even when the haters are themselves Jewish.
U.N. likely to publish settlement black list prior to March session
The United Nations is likely to publish its settlement black list prior to it 40th session that is expected to be scheduled for March 2019, a UN official told The Jerusalem Post.

The office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet is in the midst of creating a data base of companies doing business area Israelis in areas over the pre-1967 lines such as east Jerusalem, the Golan Heights and the West Bank.

But its publication has been delayed for political and budgetary reasons. Former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein had said that there could be an update on the matter this summer, but no announcement was forthcoming.

The UNHRC in 2016 had mandated the publication of such a list.

US pressure was responsible in part for the delay in the publication of the blacklist. The US had warned that it would withdraw from the council if the list was published.

With the US withdrawal in June, it has been presumed that the Bachelet’s office would move forward with the list.
Israeli UN Envoy Calls Out European Union for ‘Infinite Hypocrisy’ on Treatment of Jewish State
Israel’s UN envoy called out the European Union on Sunday for its “infinite hypocrisy” regarding its treatment of the Jewish state.

Ambassador Danny Danon tweeted:


Danon was responding to an EU statement published on Saturday, which said:

Last week, Israeli authorities demolished around 20 Palestinian commercial buildings in the Shuafat Refugee camp in East Jerusalem, only weeks after the Jerusalem municipality advanced plans for close to 800 new housing units in the Israeli settlements of Ramat Shlomo and Ramot in East Jerusalem. In addition, settlers in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Silwan are continuing proceedings that could lead to the eviction of up to 700 Palestinians living in the area.

The European Union is strongly opposed to Israel’s settlement policy, illegal under international law, and actions taken in that context, such as forced transfers, evictions and demolitions. The EU expects the Israeli authorities to reconsider and reverse these decisions.

The policy of settlement construction and expansion in East Jerusalem continues to undermine the possibility of a viable two-state solution, with Jerusalem as the future capital of both states, which is the only realistic way to achieve a just and lasting peace.


Israel, Cyprus, Greece and Italy agree on $7b. East Med gas pipeline to Europe
Greece, Italy, and Cyprus have reached an agreement with Israel to lay a pipeline connecting the Jewish state’s gas reserves to the three countries, in a major project estimated at costing over $7 billion that will supply gas from the eastern Mediterranean to Europe, as the continent seeks to diversify its energy supply.

According to Hadashot TV, the European Union agreed to invest $100 million in a feasibility study for the project before the agreement was reached over the laying of the longest and deepest underwater gas pipeline in the world.

As part of the agreement, Israel and Cyprus will be granted preference over other countries in exporting gas to the European market, according to the report.

The EastMed Pipeline Project is to start about 170 kilometers (105 miles) off Cyprus’s southern coast and stretch for 2,200 kilometers (1,350 miles) to reach Otranto, Italy, via Crete and the Greek mainland.


Czech president in Israel, to begin moving embassy to Jerusalem
Miloš Zeman, the president of the Czech Republic – one of the friendliest countries to Israel in Europe – arrived on Sunday for a four-day state visit. During his visit, Zeman will inaugurate an office in Jerusalem he said will be the precursor to moving the country’s embassy to the city.

Zeman will open the Czech House in the capital on Tuesday, in the presence of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu was present at the opening of the US, Guatemala and Paraguay embassies in the capital in May. Paraguay has since moved its embassy back to Tel Aviv.

The Czech House will house the Czech cultural, investment, trade and tourism offices. Zeman’s office issued a statement in September saying the Czech House “is to be the first step with the intention to relocate the embassy of the Czech Republic to Jerusalem, in accordance with international law.”

Zeman, ardently pro-Israel, said at a gala celebration in April at the Prague Castle in honor of Israel’s 70th anniversary that the appointment of an honorary consul that month, followed by the establishment of the Czech cultural center in the city, were the first two steps of a three-step process that he hoped would culminate in the opening of the embassy.
Jordan requests more water from Israel after canceling peace treaty annex
A delegation of Jordanian officials accompanied by Israel’s Ambassador to Jordan Amir Weissbrod visited the Sea of Galilee this week, where they discussed a request for Jerusalem to increase the amount water allocated to the Kingdom.

The sale of water to Jordan is a central component of the nations' bilateral cooperation, which despite the occasional public dust-up remains strong, especially in the security sphere. The 1994 peace accord spells out the amount of water to be transferred and includes assurances that both countries will offer further assistance in times of scarcity.

The rising demand for water by Syrian refugees in Jordan has compounded the severity of present drought, prompting numerous requests for additional resources. Currently, Jerusalem sells the kingdom more than 10 million cubic meters of water over the treaty's requirement.

This comes on the backdrop of King Abdullah's announcement last month that he would not renew a 25-year lease allowing Israeli farmers to access two plots of land—Naharayim in the north and Tzofar in the south—that were ceded to Jordan as part of the peace accord. In response, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu triggered a clause in the agreement that grants the sides one year to hold consultations to discuss the matter further.
Omani minister acknowledges Israel is a 'fact of life in the Middle East'
Oman made its second public statement in support of normalized ties with Israel over the weekend, just days before the president of the Muslim-African country of Chad, Idriss Déby, made a historic visit to Israel on Sunday despite there being no diplomatic ties between the two countries.

“The Arab states need to come to terms with the reality that Israel is a fact of life in the region and as such it should share the rights as well as obligations,” said Oman’s Foreign Affairs Ministry Secretary-General, Sayyid Badr bin Hamad al-Busaidi.

He spoke at the fourth Mediterranean Dialogues in Rome, which drew leaders from all over that region, including Israel.

Just one month earlier, the Omani foreign minister made a similar statement at a secure summit in Bahrain. He spoke after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a visit to Oman, which like Chad, had no diplomatic ties with Israel.

But as a sign of the slow shift in the region’s attitude toward Israel, Muslim leaders have become more open about their ties with the Jewish state and their reflections on the role it could have in the region.

Busaidi expressed his regret that Israel is not directly among those working to resolve the humanitarian crisis in Yemen.

“Israel is not directly involved but its voice can be influential,” Busaidi said.
Polish Military Envoy to Israel Emphasizes Strong Defense Cooperation
Col. Adam Grzymkowski — Poland’s Defense, Military, Naval, and Air Attaché to Israel — told JNS in an interview that military ties between Israel and Poland are solid and unaffected by past disputes over Poland’s role in the Holocaust and the current controversy regarding its government.

“The crisis in relations did not affect the military cooperation, and we are dealing with this problem to restore relations to how they were before,” he said. In a sign of the warming ties, Tel Aviv marked 100 years of Polish independence earlier this month.

In June, Poland changed a controversial Holocaust law that had upset Israel, paving the way for an improvement in relations. Soon afterwards, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Polish counterpart, Mateusz Morawiecki, held separate press conferences announcing the easing of the crisis.

Grzymkowski, who stressed that he is not involved in any of the political processes, said that both countries have the upmost concern for security.

“There is very close and special cooperation between our air forces,” he said, adding that one reason is that both countries use the same F-16 fighter jet. In the past two years, senior Polish air force and defense officials have visited Israel to discuss military issues. Poland was also one of seven foreign countries taking part in the Blue Flag exercise in 2017 — Israel’s largest air exercise ever — as well as the one in 2015. The Polish diplomat said that his country is planning to take part in the 2019 exercise, too.
Israeli Commandos Undergo Drills to Fight Hamas and Hezbollah Simultaneously
Israeli soldiers from the Maglan, Egoz and Duvdevan commando units took part in a major drill last week and will continue this week to prepare for possible simultaneous warfare with Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon.

The 10-day exercise covers different landscapes and fields of combat, and is being conducted in cooperation with the Israeli Air Force.

The war-readiness training was the unit’s sixth brigade-wide exercise since December 2015 and has been observed by Israeli Defense Forces’ Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot.

Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, is believed to possess approximately 10,000 rockets and mortar shells, and has fought three wars with Israel in the past decade, not including the skirmish with Israel just this month.

Iran-funded Hezbollah to Israel’s north is believed to possess more than 100,000 rockets and missiles, and is believed to have more might than the military forces of individual nations.

Clashes break out as IDF forces raid Palestinian wedding in Hebron
Soldiers from the IDF’s Golani Brigade raided a wedding in the West Bank city of Hebron on Friday, looking for illegal weapons, Army Radio reported.

During the raid, clashes broke out with the guests who threw stones at the troops, who responded with riot dispersal means, the report said. No IDF soldiers were hurt and it was not immediately clear if there were injuries on the Palestinian side.

The soldiers found a rifle and ammunition, which had been intended to be used in a terror attack, the radio report said.

Troops routinely carry out raids in the West Bank looking for weapons and terror suspects; however, raiding a crowded wedding is rare.
Israel arrests PA's Jerusalem governor amid abduction probe
Israeli security forces on Sunday arrested a high ranking ‎Palestinian official on suspicion of involvement in the abduction of ‎an American citizen who aided the sale of land to Jews.‎

Adnan Ghaith, who acts as Jerusalem's governor for the Palestinian ‎Authority, was arrested overnight by Border Police. He was scheduled to be ‎arraigned on noon, Sunday. ‎

Two senior Palestinian Authority officials were arrested in the case ‎in October. ‎

It is believed that last month, Ghaith contacted Issam Akel, an ‎Arab American who holds an Israeli ID and is a legal resident of ‎Jerusalem, after the PA began suspecting Akel had aided the sale of ‎a house in the city to Jews, something Ramallah deems illegal. ‎

The two then met in the presence of several Palestinian security ‎officers and Akel was abducted shortly after the meeting. ‎

Akel‎'s wife said she expects the Israeli government to use ‎diplomatic channels to ensure her husband's release. Sources at ‎the Prime Minister's Office said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ‎and the U.S. Embassy in Israel were employing back channels to ‎resolve the issue. ‎
Khaled Abu Toameh: Israel steps up measures against PA activities in Jerusalem
Israeli authorities have stepped up their measures against Palestinian Authority officials who are suspected of carrying out political and security activities in east Jerusalem. The measures are aimed at punishing the PA officials for targeting east Jerusalem residents involved in real estate transactions with Israeli Jews.

Last month, the PA security forces arrested Esam Aqel, a US citizen from east Jerusalem, for his alleged role in the sale of an Arab-owned house in the Old City of Jerusalem to an Israeli Jewish organization.

The PA, according to Israeli security sources, has also threatened a number of east Jerusalem residents suspected of involvement in the sale of other houses to Israeli Jewish organizations.

The sources told The Jerusalem Post that the PA was continuing to act in violation of the law by carrying out various activities within the area of Israel, including east Jerusalem. An Israeli law passed in 1995 bans the PA from engaging in political, diplomatic, security or security-related activities within the area of Israel, including east Jerusalem.

Last week, the Israel Police summoned PA Minister for Jerusalem Affairs, Adnan Husseini, to the Jerusalem Police Headquarters and handed him an order banning him from leaving the country for three months. Husseini was also requested to deposit his passport with the police to ensure that he does not leave the country.
Qatar said to reconsider Gaza cash transfers amid backlash
Qatar is reportedly considering whether to continue with cash payments to Gaza, and mulling an alternative method for the transfer of the money, due to internal fears that by paying the salaries of Hamas members, it could be seen to be supporting terrorism.

According to a report on the Walla news site, a document circulated internally among Qatari officials argues that the transfer of money to Hamas was a “problematic” move that led to criticism from both Israel and the Palestinians. The document says the cash transfer “only reinforces the negative view of Qatar as a financier of terror acting against the Sunni states.”

Last year Saudi Arabia and its allies cut off ties with Qatar after accusing the gas-rich state of supporting extremism across the region.

The document also specifically addresses the problems caused by the method of transfer and the images seen around the world in the aftermath.

“If the intention was only to pay the salaries of government officials it would have been possible to transfer the money directly to their bank accounts, rather than cash — a method reminiscent of the mafia,” stated the report. (h/t Zvi)


‘Totally unacceptable’: EU raps Rouhani for calling Israel a ‘cancerous tumor’
The European Union on Sunday condemned as “totally unacceptable” remarks by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani calling Israel a “cancerous tumor” established by Western countries to advance their interests in the Middle East.

“President Rouhani’s remarks bringing into question Israel’s legitimacy are totally unacceptable,” an EU spokesman said in an official statement. “They are also incompatible with the need to address international disputes through dialogue and international law.”

“The European Union reiterates its fundamental commitment to the security of Israel, including with regard to current and emerging threats in the region,” the 28-nation bloc said.

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz similarly condemned Rouhani on Saturday, likening his comments to anti-Semitism.

“I strongly condemn the recent unacceptable statements by President Rouhani relating to Israel. It is absolutely unacceptable when Israel’s right to exist is questioned or Israel’s destruction is being urged,” he tweeted.
Erdan calls on Germany to impose sanctions on Iran
Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan implored Germany to take a more aggressive position against Iran calling the regime an "export of terror," in a keynote address at Frankfurt’s Deutscher Israelkongress, Europe’s largest pro-Israel confab on Sunday.

"Germany should take a more aggressive stance against the Iranian regime ... It was only yesterday that President Rouhani called Israel metastatic cancer. History has taught us that anti-Semitic threats from fanatical leaders, and exporters of terror who have hegemonic aspirations, must be taken seriously," he told the some 3,000 attendees in the audience.

During his speech, the Minister addressed Israel’s most pressing geopolitical issues including Iran, Gaza, the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement and the EU’s funding of BDS. The speech was part of his visit to Germany and Italy, in which he focused on strengthening the campaign against BDS in Europe.

Erdan declared that the common goal should be to change the behavior of the Iranian regime. “Forcing a change in Iran's behavior is necessary for the safety of the people of Israel, of the people of Iran, and of the people of Europe," he said.

"Changing the behavior of the regime is what the Iranian people want, that is what the Gulf States want, and I call on Germany to join the US sanctions against Iran, and if Germany does so, other European countries will do the same," he added.

Beverly Hills Slams Airbnb After Company Bans Listings In Israeli Settlements
In the wake of Airbnb’s decision last week to remove listings of rentals in Israeli settlements, the city council in Beverly Hills, California, announced over the weekend a resolution condemning the short-term home-rental company.

“We find the actions of Airbnb deplorable,” Beverly Hills Mayor Julian Gold said in a statement, issued by the city. “On behalf of our residents, this unanimous resolution reflects the city council’s ongoing commitment to Israel and to exposing hatred anywhere it exists.”

Vice Mayor John Mirisch added: “Airbnb is not welcome in Beverly Hills as long as its policies are based on anti-Jewish double standards. Jew-hatred is a disease. We can try to inoculate others against this malady but we also must protect ourselves against its effects.”

The city council’s resolution states that Beverly Hills “hereby opposes Airbnb’s discriminatory decision to remove all listings in Jewish settlements in the West Bank. The City of Beverly Hills hereby calls upon Airbnb to correct this act of disrespect to the land of Israel and restore its original services immediately.”

“In the event that Airbnb does not stop, we call upon all civilized people across the globe to boycott Airbnb until such time as they desist from these despicable antisemitic actions,” the resolution said.
IsraellyCool: Hollywood Numbskull Danny Glover Applauds Airbnb’s Antisemitic Decision
It seems all those years hanging around Mel Gibson really tool their toll

Or perhaps Mel Gibson was turned by Glover.
IsraellyCool: Another Palestinian “Own Goal”: Hitler La Visa, Baby!
Paletinian propaganda site Quds News Network have posted this photo, supposedly of an entry visa for Palestine in 1941.

Again, it seems they are trying to make the tired and entirely irrelevant point that a Palestine existed before 1948. No Israel advocate on the planet would deny that – history shows there was a British mandate Palestine at the time. What there wasn’t was a state of Palestine belonging to the Arabs who have since identified themselves as “Palestinians” – a terms that once applied to all residents of the area, but especially those who were Jewish.

Be that as it may, this particular post is an even bigger own goal, considering the true nature of the “visa.”


Hitler fake passport
One of the inside pages of a faked passport of Adolf Hitler featuring a visa for the Palestine, which was made during the Second World War by the Special Operations Executive (SOE) and released to the public for the first time at the Public Record Office in Kew, London. The passport was revealed along with other secret documents kept by the Special Operations Executive (SOE) which included Bulgarian firearms licences, Greek travel permits and Croatian fishing licences. The passport shows the expertise required by professional forgers during the conflict to provide British and foreign agents with suitable identification to be infiltrated into occupied territories. (Photo by Tim Ockenden – PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)

In other words, it is as fake as about everything else we have come to expect from palestinian propaganda.

'I can sleep easier tonight': Jewish students thankful after students' union votes down BDS motion
A motion that claimed to “protect Jewish students” while calling for a boycott of Israeli institutions has been defeated at Cardiff University Student Union, with one Jewish student saying she could “sleep easier tonight” as a result.

The motion was titled “protecting our Palestinian and Jewish Students” and proposed by one of the SU's vice presidents and seconded by its president.

While stating “the rise of antisemitism is an extremely worrying threat”, it then accused Israel of a “system of occupation and colonialism”, saying “Israeli universities play a key role in Israel’s crimes against the Palestinian people", and urging support for a boycott.

However, Jewish students at the university spoke up against the motion on as it debated on Thursday evening, saying none of them had been consulted about something that purported to be “protecting” them.

Guy Oberlander, president of the university’s Jewish Society, tweeted from the conference hall that he “had absolutely no idea" about the motion until he saw the schedule for the SU's AGM.

“Don’t let outside affairs affect the safety and welfare of my friends and family. I am sat here at the moment already nervous,” he said.
Poland drops case against reporter who filmed neo-Nazis feting Hitler’s birthday
Polish national prosecutors said Sunday that they are dropping a criminal investigation into a reporter for a US-owned broadcaster on suspicions of propagating fascism for having gone undercover to film neo-Nazis.

TVN, owned by Discovery, broadcast undercover footage in January that showed members of a Polish neo-Nazi group celebrating Adolf Hitler’s birthday in a forest in 2017.

The private broadcaster reported that agents with Poland’s Internal Security Agency on Friday evening visited the home of the cameraman who had gone undercover, Piotr Wacowski, and gave him the summons to appear in the investigation.

TVN said on Saturday that it considered the state action “an attempt to intimidate journalists,” and other commentators also criticized the move as an attack on media freedom.

On Sunday, national prosecutors issued a statement saying that it was “premature to prosecute the TVN operator” and that it was moving the investigation from the local prosecutor’s office in Gliwice to another city, Katowice.


Kenyan-Israeli runner wins the Florence Marathon
Kenyan-Israeli runner Lonah Korlima Chemtai, 29, won the Florence Marathon on Sunday.

Under heavy rain, Chemtai broke the record, finishing in 2:24:17.

Chemtai won the Tel Aviv Marathon in 2016 and won the 10,000 meters European Championship in August.

She grew up in a village in West Pokot County in western Kenya and gained Israeli citizenship in 2016 after she married her coach, Dan Salpeter, in Kenya.

Chemati began her running career as a short-distance runner and started running marathons after the birth of her son, Roy. She lives in Yanuv.
Sotheby's to auction Bible signed by Einstein
Sotheby’s, a prominent auction house in New York City, is set to sell a Bible signed by Albert Einstein and his wife Elsa in 1930 at the History of Science and Technology auction on November 30.

“This book is an inexhaustible source of living wisdom and consolation,” Einstein wrote in German in the Bible, which he gave as a gift to Harriet F. Hamilton.

The praise Einstein gave to the Bible is radically different from his famed “God letter” to philosopher Eric Gutkind in 1954, in which he dismissed Judaism as a mere “childish superstition.”

However, the sentiment contained in the Bible inscription does echo a private letter he sent in 1926 to his sister Maja, where he called the Bible his favorite book.

As one of the world’s most famous scientists, Einstein was often asked to make statements about God and religion, though he usually refrained from doing so. Most of the record of his beliefs comes from private letters and notes. However, in a public debate in 1930, Einstein professed a belief in a “cosmic religion” but not a personal God.
Israelis, Arabs and Kurds discuss a Middle East confederation in Jerusalem
“The Middle East is at a crossroads and it is worth considering new approaches in the region.”

“A confederation involving Iraq, Syria, or even Jordan and Israel might harness the unique qualities of each while giving space for all the different groups and their agendas to be heard.”

These were some of the ideas that emerged from a unique event last week at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA), where a group of Israeli, Arab and Kurdish speakers – some speaking via Skype from abroad – discussed the current state of the Middle East and its future.

“These kind of meetings are of great importance, to gather Israeli experts and former diplomats together to create a common understanding,” said Ceng Sagnic, coordinator of the Kurdish Studies program at the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies.

Dan Diker, director of the Political Warfare Project at the JCPA, was enthusiastic after the meeting, saying that it provided a space to talk about ideas such as federalism in the Middle East. Convened as the Wechsler Forum for Innovative Regional Diplomacy, Diker said the roundtable discussion is important in light of the post-Arab Spring Middle East, which “may have created new opportunities for rethinking security and stability across the region.”

JCPA president Dore Gold, Pinhas Inbari and Diker have all pushed for assessing federalism’s relevance for the region today.

The meeting was a closed-door session and some of the participants did not want to be identified because they are from Middle Eastern countries that do not have relations with Israel. The main point many of them wanted to get across is that it is important to meet with Israelis and for both sides to share their views. (h/t Zvi)



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