Saturday, April 06, 2019

From Ian:

Netanyahu vows to annex settlements in West Bank if he wins election
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu began a campaign over the weekend to take seats away from the Likud’s satellite parties on the Right, in an effort to win more seats for Likud than Blue and White in Tuesday’s election, and ensure that President Reuven Rivlin will ask him to form the next government.

As part of that effort, in an interview with Channel 12 on Saturday night, Netanyahu vowed to annex territories in settlements and evacuate the illegal West Bank herding village of Khan Al-Ahmar, if he wins another term.

“We are dealing [with the Americans] on exercising Israeli sovereignty on Ma’aleh Adumim and other things,” Netanyahu said. “Everyone understands the next term will be fateful for guaranteeing our security and our control over key territory in Judea and Samaria.”

In weekend interviews with Channel 13 and the right-wing Makor Rishon and Israel Hayom newspapers, Netanyahu vowed to not permit a single settlement or a single resident of them to be evacuated.

“That [evacuation] will not be happening,” he told Channel 13. “If that’s the plan, there will be no plan.”

In the Makor Rishon interview, Netanyahu promised more clearly than ever that he would form a government with right-wing parties and not invite Blue and White to join his coalition.

“Anyone with a brain understands that a unity government cannot be formed,” he said.
Ben Rhodes is back for more Israel-bashing
In the same Times article, a “former member of the Obama White House” (sounding an awful lot like Rhodes) revealed that the Obama administration played a central role in that U.N. Security Council vote against Israel in the autumn of 2016.

You remember that one. It was a run-of-the-mill U.N. resolution declaring that the Jewish presence in the Old City of Jerusalem was “illegal.” The kind of resolution American presidents routinely vetoed many times in the past. But not President Obama. He had secretly decided to abstain, so that the resolution would pass.

The problem for Obama was the timing: The vote was scheduled to take place shortly before that year’s presidential election. So the Obama team manipulated the schedule. “There is a reason the U.N. vote did not come up before the election in November,” the anonymous “former official” told the Times. “It was because you were going to have skittish donors. That, and the fact that we didn’t want [Hillary] Clinton to face pressure to condemn the resolution or be damaged by having to defend it.”

At the time, of course, Team Obama loudly denied the Israeli government’s claim that the White House was secretly planning to let the U.N. resolution pass. Obama aides like Rhodes, on the record and off the record, vigorously attacked critics who raised such suspicions. But now we know that the suspicions were well-founded.

Why does any of this matter now, years after Obama left office?

First, it matters because Obama is still a major force in the Democratic Party. He will influence the outcome of the race for the Democratic nomination in 2020. His views on Israel will continue to shape the party’s position.

Second, it matters because it sheds some light on why Obama rushed to appoint Rhodes to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council in the waning hours before he left office—and why Rhodes wanted the appointment. Rhodes has harsh opinions about Israel. He seems proud that he helped trick the public into accepting the Iran deal. And he’s proud of his role in Obama’s policies towards Israel—in fact, he regrets that they weren’t harsher. Clearly, Rhodes wants a platform that will help keep him and his opinions in the public spotlight.

Serving on the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council gives Rhodes cover as he plans his next move. You can almost hear him warming up the argument: “You can’t accuse me of being anti-Israel—I’m part of the leadership of the Holocaust Museum!” Sadly, Israel and American Jewry have not heard the last of him.
Sarsour Whitewashes Omar
Raging Linda Sarsour recently tried to whitewash her buddy Omar's obvious anti-semitism in a recent speech:

But what has happened often from White Jews when they call you call an antisemite, is they look at Muslim women from an orientalist trope, that we are inherently antisemitic because we are Muslims, right?

"It's a stereotype that has been used often against the Muslim community. That we are antisemitic until proven otherwise. That we are guilty until proven innocent. It's not okay."

"She didn't know nothing in Somalia, about no antisemitism. This is something she is learning along the way now that she is a legislator

Where to begin? White Jews. Two of the most hated groups among leftists and Muslims like Sarsour and Omar evidently. The inclusion of the word white is an attempt I suppose to do the old good Jew Bad Jew thing; a common anti-semitic trope. This is also an attempt, like all the rants these bigots give, to mainstream antisemitic tropes.

Orientalist? Well, this is a reference to failed Jew hater and PLO member Edward Said's definition of "a way of seeing that imagines, emphasizes, exaggerates and distorts differences of Arab peoples and cultures as compared to that of Europe and the U.S. It often involves seeing Arab culture as exotic, backward, uncivilized, and at times dangerous" Exotic? Eye of the beholder. Backward, uncivilized, and at times dangerous? Well, look at what they do and say. Geeze, a whole Arab nation, Brunei has progressed so much it is now stoning gays in 2019. If that ain't backward, uncivilized and dangerous, I don;t know what is.

Stereotype? Well, if it walks like me a Muslim that isn't Pro-BDS or or anti-Israel and I'll show you a Muslim that isn't antisemitic. Until then, the shoe fits Linda.

Hitler knew of the Mizrahi Jews. Why don’t we?
Who are the Mizrahi Jews? If you don’t know and you identify as a Zionist, an anti-Zionist, or you just want more context when it comes to the seemingly never-ending conflict, let’s talk.

But first read this.

Mizrahi literally means “from the east.” That is what defines the Mizrahi Jewish people; they are Jews from Middle Eastern and North African countries. Their presence in those areas dates back to biblical times, like the Jews in Persia during the time of Queen Esther around 486 BCE and before, or the Jews in Babylon during Nebuchadnezzar’s reign around 586 BCE. Of course, Persia is ancient Iran and Babylon is ancient Iraq.

From the time of the Israelites’ exile, causing them to be scattered all over the known world, there has always been a significant number who chose to stay in the place to which their grandparents and great grandparents were exiled.

For centuries, Jews have lived alongside their neighbors in Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Morocco, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Tunisia, Algeria and other countries, but were seldom treated as equals. Jews were often considered “dhimmis,” which means “protected person” and refers to non-Muslims living in Islamic territory who receive safety in return for paying capital tax. They were subjected to dhimmi laws, which prevented them from serving in the military, bearing arms, riding horses or camels, having houses taller than their Muslim neighbors, or synagogues taller than their neighboring mosques. A dhimmi was also not allowed to give evidence against a Muslim in an Islamic court and a dhimmi’s oath was found unacceptable. While some people even today say that because “dhimmi” is a word that means “protected,” that somehow these laws were good for the Jews and later on, the Christians. In actuality, these Jim Crow-like practices oppressed the Mizrahi Jewish communities. In fact, historically, the times when the Jews seemed the most “safe” was when they were the most subordinate to these laws. Some of the dhimmi laws inspired the genocide of European Jews in the 1940s. In the ninth century, for example, Baghdad’s Caliph al-Mutawakkil designated a yellow badge for Jews, setting a precedent that would be followed centuries later in Nazi Germany.

Not only was Adolf Hitler inspired by dhimmi laws, he even met with the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini in 1941. This, of course, was before Israel had been reborn, so Jerusalem belonged to British Mandate Palestine at the time. Among the many things they discussed: how to destroy the Jews of both Europe and the Arab lands. They also discussed their disdain for a Jewish homeland.
Rabbi of 8,000 stranded Ethiopian Jews fights to complete their exodus
When about 100 Ethiopian immigrants left for Israel last month, Menachem Waldman was there to see them off at the Addis Ababa airport. For the 64-year-old Israeli rabbi making his 70th trip to Ethiopia, it was one more small victory in a bitter battle that has caused enormous pain and agony for tens of thousands of families that have been torn apart.

And it is a battle that is far from over: About 8,000 Ethiopians remain waiting in Ethiopia for the Israeli government to allow them to immigrate. Many have been separated from their families in Israel for more than 20 years.

Waldman’s interest in Ethiopian Jews goes back to the early 1980s, when the first wave of Ethiopian Jews came to Israel and a group settled near the village of Nir Etzion in northern Israel. Waldman served as the local rabbi there.

“I was impressed by how connected they were to Jewish traditions,” recalls Waldman.

From talking with the Ethiopian religious leaders known as kesim, Waldman became familiar with the group’s oral history. His research would result in 10 books about Ethiopian Jewry published over the past 30 years. Among his findings is what the kesim told him about how the community originally came to Ethiopia.

“They believe that their forefathers followed the Nile valley southward from Israel in the years following the destruction of the [First] Temple,” explains Waldman.

Isolated from other Jews, they followed the laws of the Torah without the practices introduced by the Talmudic authorities.
Front-Page New York Times Antisemitism Article Is Total Nonsense
Under the print headline “Extremes of Right and Left Share Ancient Bias,” the New York Times has an above-the-fold, front-page news article about what it describes as a “surge of Anti-Semitism in Europe and U.S. as Economies Cool.”

I suppose it’s nice to see the New York Times taking the danger of antisemitism seriously, though it also risks describing Jews inaccurately as victims and overstating a problem that, while serious, has done little to impede a great period of Jewish flourishing.

What is troubling, though, are the inaccuracies that run through the article. Leave it to the New York Times to turn a front-page article on antisemitism into a vehicle for spreading destructive falsehoods about the Jewish state and its prime minister.

The errors begin with the subheadline referring to the cooling US economy. The Times itself reports online the same morning it has the front page headline blaming antisemitism on an economic decline, “The United States economy is still enjoying one of its longest expansions on record…. The number of people filing for unemployment benefits for the first time has declined to lows not seen in decades, and recent surveys of the construction and manufacturing industries did not suggest that employers were pulling back.” We’ve got unemployment below 4% and growth at almost 3%. Europe may be a different story.

If the Times can’t get the economics right in its antisemitism article, it can’t get the history right, either. The Times writes, “For decades after World War II and the Holocaust, anti-Semitism was mostly consigned to the political fringes, which is no longer the case. It is now more widely harnessed for political ends, experts say.”
What Is Behind the Opposition to Peace with Israel?
The anti-Israel campaign in the Arab and Islamic world sees peace with Israel -- and not failed leadership, bad economic policies and corruption -- as the biggest threat to Arabs and Muslims. Recognizing Israel's right to exist is also seen by many Arabs and Muslims as a humiliation to their values, their culture, their political power and their economic traditions. They seem concerned that Arabs and Muslims might wake up one morning and start demanding freedom of expression and free and democratic elections like the ones held every few years in Israel.

The anti-peace camp seems to want its people to continue living in misery and under dictatorships, so that it is easier to recruit people to jihad against Israel and the West. Also, if people are lifted from poverty and misery and begin to enjoy the fruits of modern civilization, there is a chance that Arabs and Muslims will move away from Islam and even start endorsing the inadmissible values of the West.

The Trump administration will soon discover what every child in the Arab and Islamic world already knows: that the Israeli-Arab conflict is not about a settlement or a checkpoint or a security fence, but about Israel's very right to exist in the Middle East. The Trump administration will also learn that peace with Israel is seen by many Arabs and Muslims as nothing but an unacceptable threat that must at all costs be stopped.
The Palestinians Should Support Greenblatt, Who’s Telling Them the Truth
In politics, and especially the politics of the Middle East, it is rare for government officials to speak the unvarnished truth. That is why the comments of Jason Greenblatt, US Special Representative for International Negotiations, at the United Nations are notable.

At a closed-door UN Security Council Meeting held on March 8, 2019, Greenblatt condemned the Palestinian Authority (PA)’s continued support for financial payments that incentivize and reward terrorism, known as “pay to slay.” The PA’s refusal to end these programs, coupled with subsequent funding cuts by the United States and Israel, have plunged the PA into a self-manufactured fiscal crisis.

According to Greenblatt:
The Palestinian Authority’s institutionalization of support for terrorism is unacceptable and must be called out, unequivocally by all of us. The time has come for everyone to stop looking the other way.

It is because we care about the Palestinian people, and because we want a better, brighter future for their children that we seek to ensure the Palestinian Authority puts the interests of ordinary Palestinians first.

Greenblatt’s truth-telling was too much for others in the room, cocooned as they are in their entrenched beliefs of the PA’s misrepresentations and inability to accept any responsibility for its actions. His lone voice of reason was left to echo in the ears of those who refuse to acknowledge what has become clear: The PA’s support for terror is wrong on all accounts, incompatible with peace, and accrues to the detriment of the Palestinian people.

In response to Greenblatt’s comments, Saeb Erekat, secretary-general of the PLO and chief Palestinian negotiator, penned an op-ed in Haaretz. In rejecting Greenblatt’s comments and accusing him of “blaming the victims,” Erekat does not use the word “terror” once in the 799 words of his response. Nowhere does he mention the PA’s cradle to grave incitement to hate and murder Israelis and Jews, or the seven percent of the PA’s budget that is used to incentivize and reward terrorism.

Eli Lake: Do Democrats Want a U.S.-Saudi Alliance or Not?
This maneuver is more a matter of messaging: In effect, Democrats are signaling what their policy toward the Saudis will be if they win the White House in 2020. And here, the resolution matters a great deal.

When combined with the growing number of Democratic presidential candidates pledging to rejoin the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, this vote shows a party ready to embrace neutrality in the conflict for the future of the Middle East — a conflict that pits Iran against America’s historic allies in the region. It’s not only possible but necessary to criticize the Saudis and their depravities, while still recognizing that it’s better for the U.S. if they prevail in Yemen and help to contain Iran.

Only one of those countries cooperates with the U.S. on counterterrorism and is slowly thawing its relationship with Israel. It’s the same country whose war in Yemen has been supported by the U.S. since the administration of President Barack Obama, whose diplomats negotiated the nuclear deal. Even though Obama once mused that Saudi Arabia and Iran should learn to share the Middle East, he nonetheless approved massive arms sales to America’s Persian Gulf allies after the nuclear deal was finished.

No one, least of all the Trump administration, should turn a blind eye to the Saudis’ crimes. But it’s much easier to exercise leverage when both sides have confidence the relationship will endure, no matter which party occupies the White House. (h/t MtTB)
Hamas: In next war, Israel has to evacuate Ashdod, Ashkelon and Tel Aviv
In the next war between Hamas and Israel, the Israelis will have to evacuate not only their “settlements” near the border with the Gaza Strip, but also Ashdod, Ashkelon, the Negev and Tel Aviv, Yahya Sinwar, the leader of Hamas in the Gaza Strip, threatened on Saturday.

He said that despite the recent ceasefire understandings with Israel, the Palestinians will continue to protest near the border fence with Israel.

Sinwar, who was speaking to representatives of Palestinian factions and civil society organizations in the Hamas-ruled coastal enclave, said that his movement will continue to be ready for war with Israel to “defend the Palestinian people.” Hamas, he said, will be a “shield and sword” for the Palestinians.

Sinwar said that if a war is “imposed” on the Gaza Strip, Israel will “suffer.” He added: “I pledge that the occupation will evacuate its settlements not only in the ‘Gaza Envelope,’ but also in Ashdod, the Negev, Ashkelon and even Tel Aviv. Remember this pledge. The fingers of the resistance in the Gaza Strip are on the trigger. We are today ten times stronger than we were in 2014 (in reference to the Operation Protective Shield).”

Regarding the ceasefire understandings with Israel, Sinwar said Hamas did not pay any “political price.” The understandings, he said, “have no prices or political dimensions.”

He further said that the understandings were not connected to any prisoner swap between Hamas and Israel, or the issue of the weapons of Palestinian terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip.
Over 10,000 Palestinians protest at Gaza border, 70 injured
Over 10,000 Palestinians participated in weekly protests and riots along the Gaza Strip’s border with Israel Friday afternoon.

Despite reported calls by organizers and armed factions to avoid violence, as Israel and Hamas work to achieve a long-term truce, clashes were reported. Some protesters hurled rocks and explosive devices at Israeli troops, who responded with less-lethal measures. The Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza said 70 people had been injured, one of them critically.

By nightfall the protesters had disbanded. A Palestinian who crossed the border was detained by Israeli troops.

Last week’s rallies, on the one-year anniversary of the start of the marches, drew over 40,000.

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh earlier Friday said talks were “advancing in a positive direction.”

On Thursday a top March of Return organizer told the Kan public broadcaster that protesters have been instructed not to launch incendiary balloons toward Israel during the rallies, and that the nighttime “confusion units” have been called off.

According to the organizer, who was not identified, Gaza factions had committed to a nonviolent protest, and Israel had agreed not to use live fire to disperse the border demonstrations.
Palestinian prisoners to go on hunger strike Sunday
Barring any last-minute development, some Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli prisons will begin a hunger strike on Sunday.

Israel Prison Service (IPS) officials and representatives of the prisoners held meetings in the past 48 hours in an attempt to prevent the planned hunger strike. The negotiations between the two sides are expected to continue until late Saturday.

The inmates are demanding the removal of signal-jamming devices that prevent them from using cellular phones, lifting sanctions placed on some prisoners following the stabbing of two prison guards last month by Hamas prisoners, and the resumption of family visits.

The inmates are demanding the removal of signal-jamming devices that prevent them from using cellular phones, ending sanctions imposed on some of the prisoners after the stabbing of two prison guards and resuming family visits to the prisons.

Following the stabbing of two guards at Ketziot Prison in the Negev, the IPS imposed restrictions on dozens of prisoners for their reported involvement in the incident and a subsequent riot that erupted in the prison.

On Friday, unconfirmed reports said that the IPS and the prisoners were close to reaching agreement to avert the hunger strike.
US to Designate Elite Iranian Force as Terrorist Organization
The United States is expected to designate Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards Corps a foreign terrorist organization, three US officials told Reuters, marking the first time Washington has formally labeled another country’s military a terrorist group.

The decision, which critics warn could open US military and intelligence officials to similar actions by unfriendly governments abroad, is expected to be announced by the US State Department, perhaps as early as Monday, the officials said. It has been rumored for years.

The Pentagon declined comment and referred queries to the State Department. The State Department and White House also declined to comment.

The Iranian mission to the United Nations did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, a strident Iran hawk, has advocated for the change in US policy as part of the Trump administration’s tough posture toward Tehran.

The announcement would come ahead of the first anniversary of President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of a 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran and reimpose sanctions that had crippled Iran’s economy.
Iran spreads article claiming Israel performs medical tests on prisoners
An Iranian news portal in Latin America has published an article claiming that Israel uses Palestinian prisoners for “new medical trials.”

Despite citing no evidence for the claim, the HispanTV report Wednesday has spread to outlets across Latin America, including the El Ciudadano monthly in Chile and the website of an association of Cuban jurists. It was published on Uruguay’s La Republica website but taken down Friday after a reader complained.

“This fake news crosses all limits of journalistic ethics,” said Ariel Gelblum, the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s regional representative in Buenos Aires.

The Argentine site Infobae first reported the Wiesenthal Center’s complaint.

“HispanTV is for the Iranian regime to influence Latin America, through the presence of Hezbollah, its terrorist arm,” Shimon Samuels, the director of international relations for the Wiesenthal Center, said in a statement. “The charge of blood libel was used against Jews since the Middle Ages. Its use by Tehran is the crudest form of anti-Semitism.”

HispanTV, which is operated by the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, launched in 2011. In 2014, Iran announced plans to expand its media influence in Latin America.
US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman will head a delegation of US ambassadors and White House representatives on the March of the Living, which will be dedicated this year to the struggle of the future generation against antisemitism and the memory of Greek Jewry.

"We are marching to remind the world of the horrors of the Holocaust," said Dr. Shmuel Rosenman, founder and co-chairman of the International March of the Living.

The 31st annual March of the Living will take place on May 2, 2019. Some 10,000 Jewish and non-Jewish youth from all over the world will walk 3.2 kilometers between Auschwitz and Birkenau in memory of those who perished in the Holocaust and in a call to fight antisemitism. This year, the main event of the Holocaust Day will be devoted to Greek Jewry and the singer Yehuda Poliker, who will participate in the parade and perform at the ceremonies.

The participants in the march will call for a war against rising antisemitism and against the background of the growing trend of hate crimes against Jews around the world in the past two years. Concurrently, participants will cooperate in a large-scale digital ad campaign under the following criteria: #SayNoToAntisemitism.
Israel activist assaulted near anti-Israel rally in Holland by men yelling ‘Jew’
A pro-Israel activist was beaten near an anti-Israel rally in Amsterdam by a crowd of men shouting “Jew.”

At least 20 pro-Palestinian protesters mobbed Michael Jacobs at the Dam Square while he was wearing an Israeli flag around his shoulders. They called out “Jew” and “Zionist” as several of them beat Jacobs.

Police intervened and removed Jacobs from the scene with minor injuries, the NIW weekly reported Friday. He is retired and lives in Amsterdam.

In recent years, pro- and anti-Israel activists have often faced off on Dam Square. In the past, the iconic square had only an anti-Israel presence.

In a separate incident last month, Jacobs filmed himself with a body camera standing alone on the Dam. An anti-Israel protester called two horse-mounted police officers on him, who told him he was disturbing public order.

Jacobs argued in that video that whereas staging rallies required permits under Dutch law, individuals may express their beliefs without prior approval.

“The Jew will not move aside,” Jacobs said.

One of the officers then is seen advancing with his horse at Jacobs’ direction, telling him, “The Jew won’t move aside? I will make him move aside.” The officers rode on after the exchange.
Revised Complaint Bolsters AMP's Ties to Old Hamas-Support Network
A Yahoo bulletin board created in late 2005 by activists associated with a former Hamas-support network laid the groundwork for creating a replacement virulently anti-Israel group, an amended complaint filed in Chicago federal court on March 29 alleges.

The new complaint bolsters several allegations made in a 2017 lawsuit that the American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) and several of its activists are "alter egos and/or successors" of the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP) and the American Muslim Society (AMS).Those were two names for one organization that was found liable for an American teen's 1996 death in a terrorist attack.

The bulletin board was referred as a "transition" to a new organization, the complaint says. Among its organizers were Hatem Bazian and Magdi Odeh. Odeh had helped coordinate IAP's first annual "Jerusalem Festival for English Speakers" held in Chicago in 1999. Bazian, chairman of AMP's national board, was a featured speaker at several IAP events and shared a close personal relationship with IAP/AMS leader Rafeeq Jaber, listed as a defendant in the case.

Jaber is a former IAP/AMS president and AMP's financial adviser. He has spoken at numerous AMP conventions and events. AMP routinely sponsors conferences that serve as a platform for Israel bashers and openly approves of "resistance" against the "Zionist state." It is also one of the principal advocates of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against the Jewish state.

IAP/AMS was the propaganda arm of a now-defunct network called the "Palestine Committee." It was created by the Muslim Brotherhood to help Hamas politically and financially in the United States. (h/t MtTB)

15 Jewish college students arrested protesting outside Birthright offices
Fifteen activists from IfNotNow, a Jewish group of millennials that protests Israel’s control of the West Bank, were arrested Friday while demonstrating outside Birthright Israel’s offices in New York City.

The activists were college students, according to IfNotNow, which has been protesting Birthright in a variety of ways since last year, including walking off of its free 10-day trips to Israel.

The activists want Birthright to address Israel’s control of the West Bank on its trips, as well as Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. Birthright says it does not address political issues on its trips. The trips do not visit the West Bank.

IfNotNow members have been arrested previously while protesting other major Jewish groups, such as the Anti-Defamation League.

The arrests at Birthright took place at the end of a 90-minute protest outside of Birthright’s Manhattan offices. At first, more than 100 activists blocked Third Avenue, a busy thoroughfare, during rush hour. They were cursed by commuters and honked at by vehicles backed up in traffic.
‘We Do Not Respond to Threats,’ Says Birthright After IfNotNow Protesters Arrested Outside Its Offices
Birthright Israel said it would not submit to demands put forth by the activist group IfNotNow, which staged a protest on Friday outside its New York City headquarters that ended with 15 arrests.

Activists linked hands and blocked the entrance to the building housing Birthright’s offices, as well as two intersections of Third Avenue during morning rush hour, provoking angry honking from immobilized commuters.

The protest was held in support of INN’s “Not Just a Free Trip” campaign, which calls on Birthright to share Palestinian perspectives while taking tens of thousands of young American Jews on subsidized trips to Israel each year. Friday marked the deadline given to Birthright to comply with INN’s demands, which the group promoted through social media and walk-offs that have drawn press attention.

Dozens of demonstrators — many of them college students, according to INN — wore matching shirts, chanted, and used loudspeakers while accusing Birthright of promoting the interests of “right-wing” donors like casino magnate Sheldon Adelson over those of young American Jews, which the group frequently claims to represent. They repeatedly invoked their belief in Jewish teachings like Tikkun Olam, or repairing the world, while calling for an end to American Jewish support of Israel’s control over the West Bank, the Gaza Strip border’s, and eastern portions of Jerusalem.

“[Today] the movement gave Birthright one last chance, blocking the doors until staff would come downstairs,” INN said in a press release. “According to the protesters, Birthright’s choice to arrest the students rather than engage is a reflection of how they regularly prioritize their donors’ pro-Occupation agenda, and alienate an entire generation of American Jews.”
Dearborn Islamic School Linked to Iran, Hezbollah Propagandists
Clarion Project has discovered that a private Islamic school in Dearborn, Michigan is linked to diehard supporters of Hezbollah and the Iranian regime. The school teaches students from kindergarten through 9th grade.

Great Revelations Academy was founded in 2015 by open supporters of Grand Ayatollah Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah. By their own admission, the school’s founders are dedicated to spreading his message.

Fadlallah was a supporter of the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran and is considered to be a key inspirer of Hezbollah. Some go so far as to describe him as the terrorist group’s “spiritual leader.”

Fadlallah supported the 1983 bombing of the U.S. Marines barracks in Beirut that killed 241 U.S. Marines (who were serving as peacekeepers) as well as 58 French troops and six civilians.

In 2005, he reiterated his support for suicide bombings against Israel. When he died in Lebanon in 2010, Hezbollah called for three days of mourning. Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei sent his condolences.
Anti-vaxxers use Nazi yellow Star of David patch for their cause
Anti-vaccination activists are using the yellow Star of David that Nazis forced Jews to wear during World War II to promote their cause.

Activists are using a star that has the words “No Vax” in Hebrew-stylized letters on social media, while others are wearing yellow stars at events, according to a Friday report by the Anti-Defamation League.

Del Bigtree, CEO of the anti-vaccination group ICAN, wore a yellow star last week at a rally in Austin, Texas, and activists in suburban New York’s Rockland County likened a ban on unvaccinated children in public spaces to combat a measles outbreak to Nazi treatment of Jews, The Washington Post reported.

The ADL slammed the comparisons.

“It is simply wrong to compare the plight of Jews during the Holocaust to that of anti-vaxxers,” Jonathan Greenblatt, the group’s national director, told the Post. “Groups advancing a political or social agenda should be able to assert their ideas without trivializing the memory of the 6 million Jews slaughtered in the Holocaust.”
Uber removes London driver who would not take Jews

Uber dropped a driver in London who allegedly said he would not take Jews.

Two men who were wearing kippahs said the driver, identified as “Ahmed,” refused to pick them up after they were matched with him on the Uber app, the Jewish Chronicle reported.

The driver dropped off another passenger then “turned around, and as he drove past us, said ‘I don’t take Jews.’ Then he hightailed it, just pegged it,” Sam Adler, one of the men, told the Jewish Chronicle. He says he suspects that the driver did not see their kippahs until he turned around.

He then cancelled the booking via the app, according to the report.

An Uber spokesperson told the Jewish Chronicle that the driver’s behavior was “totally unacceptable” and that the company “does not tolerate any form of discrimination.” The company removed the driver’s access from the app and reported the allegations to the London Metropolitan Police.

Adler said that the company declined to provide compensation, telling him: “We would never want to minimize an experience like you describe by putting an arbitrary monetary value on the situation.”
Chelsea Football Club chooses light over the darkness of antisemitism
The Chelsea Football Club held a major fundraising event on Thursday to continue battling antisemitism in Britain, and with plans to expand its campaign to the US later this year.

Under the leadership of club owner Roman Abramovich, Chelsea FC dedicated the star-studded dinner to help finish funding a new expansive Holocaust exhibition at the Imperial War Museums in London. The museum, which has a current Holocaust exhibit and opened in 2000, has its eyes set on revamping the exhibit’s narrative and to bring attention more profoundly to the community.

“Education and awareness is the long-term focus,” said Chelsea FC chairman Bruce Buck. “We were contacted by the trustee of the Imperial War Museums, and they explained they were planning to do a whole new Holocaust gallery, and maybe there was a way for us to work with them.”

The new section of the museum, scheduled to open in 2021, will take some of the existing material and integrate it with the World War II focus of the Imperial War Museums. In this way, the Holocaust’s account will be seen as part of the historic and social context that also influenced the war.

The football club, which recognizes the oddity of pairing a sports team with a slightly marred past of racist behavior and incidents among fans, sees that the great influence it has over its fans makes it all the more imperative for it to educate and change attitudes.

“We still have a few of those problems, they don’t go away all that easily, but we’ve had favorable reactions from our fans,” Buck said. “Football clubs are doing a lot of good activities in their community and around the world. They’re all doing projects that make sense for them and their constituents. No club has done a major thing with lots of projects and make it open-ended in terms of the term. But other clubs are doing it... and we’re happy to share our expertise that we’ve earned.”
Vogue Profiles Ethiopian-Israeli Rapper ‘Changing the Face of Tel Aviv’s Hip-Hop Scene’
An Ethiopian-Israeli rapper making waves in Tel Aviv’s growing hip-hop music scene was the subject of a Vogue magazine profile published on Tuesday.

According to the popular fashion magazine, which praised Eden Dersso’s “captivating and provocative work,” the rapper stands out as one of the country’s few female artists in the genre. “Ethiopian culture is fundamental” to Dersso’s work, the magazine added.

“I am the youngest rapper, so I always talk about it. I always rap that I am better than a man because they need to know,” the 21-year-old artist boasted. “They need to know that a girl can do it better than them, and they don’t. They expect me to come out sounding like Beyoncé, but I’m more like Tupac. And then I spit, I spit my heart out.”

The Rehovot native, whose family immigrated to Israel in 1992, said her heritage impacts her sense of identity, and explained that she feels Ethiopian when she’s in her hometown but very Israeli when traveling elsewhere.

“It was super-frustrating, because I feel so Israeli, but I also felt very Ethiopian, but I wasn’t even there [in Ethiopia]. I wasn’t even born there, but the culture, the neighborhood, my mom… ” she said. “I felt too Ethiopian in my hood, but in school I felt like I was letting go of my Ethiopian side. I always had that struggle.”
Postcards from Theodor Herzl digitized by National Library of Israel
In 1898, Theodor Herzl made what would be his only trip to the Middle East, during which he visited Turkey and the land of Israel.

Throughout the trip he mailed postcards to his eight year old daughter Paulina, who was in Vienna at the time.

The National Library of Israel has recently digitized a collection of these postcards; they can now be viewed online here.

The messages on the postcards contain short but heartfelt expressions of love for his daughter.

On one dated October 15, 1898, Herzl wrote "Tender kisses to my delicate daughter Paulina from her faithful Papa." That particular postcard was sent from Constantinople, which would soon be renamed Istanbul.

"Herzl is remarkable in that his greatness has almost universally been recognized across the Zionist spectrum," commented Dr. Hezi Amiur, curator of the National Library's Israel Collection. "There are few if any other figures in Zionist or Israeli history for which this can be said."
Beresheet to land on moon April 11th, Israel 4th country to conquer feat
Israel is poised this week to become the 4th country to land a craft on the moon when Beresheet touches down on April 11th.

Beresheet, the Space IL spacecraft, is scheduled to land on the moon on April 11, one week after successfully completing its most critical maneuver on Thursday afternoon.

During the complex moon-capture maneuver successfully carried out by SpaceIL's engineering team and IAI on Thursday night, Beresheet photographed spectacular images of the moon while the engines were running and at the peak of the moon's capture maneuver.

The images provide a rare visibility of the lunar surface in perspective that can not be photographed from Earth. One picture shows the earth is hidden by the moon. The larger craters seen on surface are the oldest craters of more than 4.5 billion years old, the smaller craters are younger.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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