Monday, May 06, 2019

From Ian:

Daniel Pipes: Making Sense of Palestinian Logic
Palestinians do weird things. A few days ago, the Palestinian Authority (PA), which rules most of the West Bank, refused to accept the tax revenues it is owed by the Israeli government. Today, Hamas, which rules all of Gaza, launched more than 200 rockets into Israel.

Both of these are, on the surface, self-defeating steps that make no sense. Not taking the money means the PA could collapse; firing rockets means Hamas is getting battered militarily by the far superior Israeli forces.

So, why do the leaders of these quasi-governmental entities take such apparently self-defeating steps? Because they bring results. Follow the logic:
- Israelis thriving in nearly every domain, from demographics to economics, from democracy to cultural creativity.
- The Palestinians feel isolated and weak because the Arab states have basically come to terms with Israel’s existence, leaving the struggle to secondary players such as Iran, Turkey, and the global Left.
- No matter their weakness, the leaders of the PA and Hamas remain committed to the elimination of the Jewish state, meaning that they cannot live in peace next to Israel.
- Contrarily, the Israeli public cherishes normality and, especially since the 1993 Oslo accords, has been ready to pay a price for it.

Therefore, the Palestinians play a game of chicken, disturbing the quiet in return for an Israeli pay-off. The Palestinian Authority says, “Give us the money you’re holding back that we use to fund attacks on Israelis or our whole structure will come crashing down and you’ll have a much bigger mess on your hands.” Hamas says, “Give us access to the money Qatar is sending us or we will make life miserable for you, with rockets raining down during your Memorial Day, your Independence Day, and the semi-finals of the Eurovision Song Contest.”

Pierre Rehov: Corruption: A major cause of Palestinian suffering - documentary
Much has been said about the sums that the Palestinian Authority spends on salaries of terrorists imprisoned in Israel and the families of “martyrs” – in other words, suicide-terrorists and those killed during their murderous operation. But when you talk to Palestinians about the misappropriation of funds allocated by the international community, the first term they use is “corruption.”

Indeed, a study by AMAN – a chapter of Transparency International co-founded by Jordan – shows that, according to several surveys of the Palestinian population, the corruption of their leaders is the second most popular cause of their misery. According to the same surveys, the first cause would be the inability of these same leaders to create a strong economy. The Israeli occupation comes in third place.

The equation between PA President Mahmoud Abbas and his entourage on the one hand, and Hamas leaders on the other, is easy to understand. For decades, to divert the attention of the media, the international community and their people, all they had to do was accuse Israel of all their ills.

This is an exercise that has also been carried out by many Arab-Muslim countries. Whatever the excesses of the dictatorships in place, it has long been enough to accuse Israel – and sometimes the West – to keep their populations calm, while diverting and reaping billions of dollars that could have improved their living conditions or infrastructure.

But times are changing, global information is now easily accessible and people are no longer fooled.
Pierre Rehov: Terror Racket and Corruption


Nikki Haley | The Ben Shapiro Show Sunday Special Ep. 49




Anti-Semites Don’t Just Hate Jews. They’re Targeting Freedom
Reflecting on the fact that the recent shooting at the Poway synagogue occurred on the final day of Passover, Dara Horn writes:

The Bible’s famous call for freedom is “Let my people go.” But in the Bible, these words are nearly always followed by another phrase: “so they may serve Me.” The only purpose of this freedom is to enable the people voluntarily to accept divine laws—laws about welcoming strangers, loving one’s neighbors, and accepting responsibility for creating a civic society of mutual obligation. For a nation of former slaves, this was terrifying. Suddenly these people discovered that freedom requires hard work: building a community, supporting the vulnerable, respecting others, educating children. . . .

Since ancient times, in every place they have ever lived, Jews have represented the frightening prospect of freedom. So long as Jews existed in any society, there was evidence that it in fact wasn’t necessary to believe what everyone else believed, that those who disagreed with their neighbors could survive and even flourish against all odds. The Jews’ continued distinctiveness, despite overwhelming pressure to become like everyone else, demonstrated their enormous effort to cultivate that freedom: devotion to law and story, deep literacy, and an absolute obsessiveness about transmitting those values between generations. The existence of Jews in any society is a reminder that freedom is possible, but only with responsibility—and that freedom without responsibility is no freedom at all.

People who hate us know this. You don’t need to read the latest screed by a hater to know that unhinged killers feel entitled to freedom without any obligations to others. The insane conspiracy theories that motivate people who commit anti-Semitic violence reflect a fear of real freedom: a fondness for tyrants, an aversion to ideas unlike their own and most of all, a casting-off of responsibility for complicated problems. None of this is a coincidence. Societies that accept Jews have flourished. Societies that reject us have withered, fading into history’s night.
Daniel Greenfield I24 Interview on Aid to Palestinian Authority terrorists
Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow with the David Horowitz Freedom Center, appears on I24's Clearcut to discuss Senator Dianne Feinstein's resolution to funnel aid to Palestinian Authority police (h/t Failexa)


Why Is a Life in Poway Worth More Than One in Ashkelon or Sderot?
More than 700 rockets, missiles, and mortars were fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip this past weekend. Four Israelis were murdered, many more were injured to varying degrees, widespread panic and property damage was caused, schools and other social institutions were shut down, and normal life ground to a halt.

More than one million Israelis living in southern Israel are being terrorized and forced to live in shelters as rockets are indiscriminately fired at them by Islamic terrorists who are determined to destroy Israel. Israelis in the south have long been subjected to an annihilationist campaign with no end in sight, and with flare-ups like this one largely ignored by the American mainstream media.

When viewed from the eyes of an Israeli, let alone one living in southern Israel, this lack of coverage only a week after an antisemitic terror attack in Poway, California — one that dominated the news cycle and prompted calls for a wider discussion of the rise in antisemitic attacks across the world — is simply appalling.

Are Israelis — the largest group of Jews in the world — to conclude that a Jewish life snuffed out by a white supremacist in Poway is more precious than a Jewish life snuffed out by an Islamist rocket to the American public and media? Is an Islamic antisemitic terror attack on Israelis any less appalling than one that takes place on American soil, regardless of the identity of the perpetrator(s)?
Elisha Wiesel: After Poway, We Must Unite and Stop the Hatred
The article below is adapted from remarks delivered at Chabad of Manhattan’s Upper West Side on May 4 about the recent shooting in Poway, California.

We must stop the hatred.
I don’t mean the hatred our enemies have for us.
Our enemies have always hated us.
And realistically, they always will.
I mean the hatred we show for each other.
In a weekend that saw the tragic shooting at Chabad San Diego and odious antisemitic cartoons in The New York Times, this is what I saw on my Facebook feed:
Jews blaming other Jews for the bloodshed.
“If you support Trump — I’m looking at you, right-wing Jews — this is on you,” said one.
“If you support the Democrats … and still pay to read The New York Times,” wrote another to her mostly Jewish audience, “you have Jewish blood on your hands.”
We have gone too far.
For shame.
Do you know who blames the Jews for Jewish blood?
Listen to Adolf Hitler’s last political will and testament: “It is untrue that [Germany or I] wanted the war in 1939. It was desired and instigated exclusively by [international Jewry].”
Enough!
Poway rabbi calls Trump a ‘mensch par excellence’
The rabbi of the Chabad of Poway synagogue injured in the deadly shooting there called President Donald Trump a “mensch par excellence” at the National Day of Prayer service on Thursday at the White House.

Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein in impromptu remarks told the president that his call and concern helped the rabbi begin the healing process following the April 27 attack, which killed one and injured three.

Oscar Stewart, the combat veteran who confronted the shooter in Saturday’s synagogue attack and forced him to flee, and Jonathan Morales, the off-duty Border Patrol agent who engaged the gunman as he fled the synagogue, accompanied Goldstein to the service.

Goldstein recalled coming face to face with the gunman, saying “I faced evil and the worst darkness of all time.”

He said he decided that he would save as many people in the synagogue as possible, adding, “We cannot control what others do, but we can control how we act.”
Dennis Prager: Why Most Jews Aren't Bothered By The Times' Anti-Semitic Cartoon
Exactly right. As I wrote in "Why the Jews? The Reason for Anti-Semitism" 40 years before Stephens wrote his column, there is no difference between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism. Of course, one can criticize Israel, just as one can criticize any country, but that is not anti-Zionism. Anti-Zionism is not criticism of Israel. It is a hatred of Israel — a hatred greater than that of any other country and a delegitimization of Zionism, the movement to reestablish the Jewish national home. Imagine someone who argued that the establishment of the Italian state — Italy — was illegitimate and who hated Italy more than any other country in the world yet claimed that he was in no way anti-Italian, as he had Italian friends and loved Italian culture. No one would believe such an absurdity.

Why aren't most American Jews troubled by the Times' cartoon? Why were all American Jews horrified by the anti-Semitic shootings at the California synagogue this past weekend, while most barely had their feathers ruffled by the anti-Semitic cartoon in one of the most influential media in America?

The answer is most American Jews, while ethnically Jewish, are ethically leftist. And ethics trump ethnicity — as they should. For most American Jews, therefore, the Times is far more consonant with their ethical values than are Jewish values (if, by Jewish values, we are talking about the Torah and traditional Jewish religious/moral teachings). So, then, when you combine hatred of the right-wing prime minister of Israel and reverence for the left-wing Times, even a Nazi-like cartoon — if it negatively depicts Benjamin Netanyahu and Donald Trump and is published in The New York Times — is no big deal. (h/t MtTB)
The animalization of the Jews by their enemies
The dehumanization of the Jews has permeated Arab societies. Ordinary citizens, having followed opinion leaders, also consider Jews to be apes and pigs. A well-known example concerns a 3½ year old Muslim girl who was interviewed in 2002 by the Saudi-Egyptian satellite television station Iqraa. After she answered an earlier question saying that she did not like Jews, the interviewer asked her why that was so. She replied that Jews were apes and pigs. When questioned further about who had said so, she answered that God said so in the Koran.

One also finds many indications that these demonizing ideas are brought into the Western world by some Muslims living there. I once interviewed a young academic from the Netherlands who used the pseudonym Samar. Unbeknownst to her Muslim colleagues she had secretly given up her religion. Samar said that she had met approximately 150 Muslim students during her university days. She remarked: “These students also believe that Muslims are superior to other people. In particular, they look down on Jews in contempt. They believe Jews descend from apes and pigs. This is stressed in particular by those who know where this is written in the Koran. It’s not that they think Jews change into monkeys during a full moon. Rather, they believe that Jews are not fully human. This message is also broadcast on Arab TV stations.”

Mohammed al-Khaled Samha is an imam at a mosque run by the Islamic Society in Denmark (Islamisk Trossamfund) in the Odense suburb of Vollsmose. He was among a group of imams who travelled to the Middle East to stir up anti-Danish sentiment in the aftermath of the Jyllands-Posten newspaper printing of the series of Mohammed cartoons.

In a sermon, he said: “How can we – or any free Muslim with faith in his heart – accept the division of Palestine between [the Palestinians] and a gang of Jews, the offspring of apes and pigs?”

Various Canadian imams have also called Jews "apes and pigs." In 2014, Mostafa Saad Hannout, an imam at Masjid Toronto mosque, posted on his Facebook page: "O Allah, [show] your kindness to our brothers in Gaza O Allah, give them victory [help] over your enemy and their enemy O Allah, destroy [take revenge against] the grandchildren [descendants] of the apes and pigs."

In its recently published cartoon, The New York Times dehumanized Netanyahu. Yet however severe, it was hopefully a one-time occurrence. The "animalization" of Jews in a variety of Muslim circles, including in the Western world, is a recurrent event. It is yet further proof of the fact that Muslim antisemitism
The Hezbollah Sleeper Agent Busted for Black Ops in America
Kourani was further asked to scout out the security around the Israeli consulate in New York and identify Jewish businessmen in the city who were former or current members of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) for “either assassination or recruitment purposes,” according to the FBI report.

The list of surveillance targets is also said to have included the federal building in Manhattan where the FBI has its offices and a Secret Service facility in Brooklyn. Kourani allegedly made videos of a U.S. Army Armory in Manhattan, and JFK airport.

In the meantime, he and his wife had two children. One of the kids triggered a brief interruption in the e-mail communications he maintained with his handler via a Toshiba laptop. “His daughter spilled something on it,” an FBI report says.

The Toshiba was destroyed, but Kourani purchased an Apple laptop and allegedly continued his double life. He might have been the perfect sleeper had he not gone into the counterfeit clothing business. He was caught with 190 pairs of Ugg boots after he ran a stop sign in Queens in November 2013.

“I make about two dollars per pair,” the resulting police report quotes him saying. “I buy them for 20 dollars.”

The arrest prompted the NYPD Intelligence Division to interview Kourani on a number of occasions. He came to the further attention of law enforcement in September of 2015, when arriving from a trip to Lebanon back to the same airport he had extensively surveilled.

“Law enforcement personnel determined that Kourani’s cellphone did not contain a memory card, but found a memory card secreted under a travel sticker affixed to Kourani’s U.S. passport,” the complaint reports.

Kourani had gone seven years as an alleged sleeper agent without being activated in any operational capacity. He deduced that the most likely reason was Hezbollah’s 2015 discovery that Mohammad Shawraba, the very man in charge of external operations and the revenge mission in particular, was an Israeli mole. Shawraba was said to have sabotaged numerous attack plans while the sleeper agents slumbered on.
New York Times: Confidant of Maduro Assisted Iran, Hezbollah in Venezuela
Tareck El Aissami, who was indicted in the United States in March on drug-trafficking charges, played a crucial role in assisting Iran and the terrorist group Hezbollah in their operations in Latin America, reported The New York Times on Thursday. He is closely tied to Venezuelan dictators Hugo Chávez and Nicolás Maduro,

The story cited a confidential dossier by Venezuelan intelligence agents documenting El Aissami’s activities, provided to the outlet by a former top Venezuelan intelligence official that was confirmed independently by another one.

The United States sanctioned El Aissami in February 2017.

“El Aissami and his family have helped sneak Hezbollah militants into the country, gone into business with a drug lord and shielded 140 tons of chemicals believed to be used for cocaine production—helping make him a rich man as his country has spiraled into disarray,” according to the Times.

The publication, citing the dossier, wrote, “Informants told intelligence agents that Mr. El Aissami’s father was involved in a plan to train Hezbollah members in Venezuela, ‘with the aim of expanding intelligence networks throughout Latin America and at the same time working in drug trafficking,’” as El Aissami had the authority to issue residency permits, including to members of the terrorist group, thereby allowing them to remain in the country.


Eli Lake: Trump’s Latest Tweak Could Kill Obama’s Iran Deal
One of Iran’s greatest diplomatic achievements in recent years was getting the world to recognize its right to enrich uranium suitable for nuclear fuel. The Trump administration has now undermined it.

On Friday, the State Department renewed some exemptions to U.S. sanctions on Iran’s nuclear activities and ended others. The renewals initially attracted more attention than the terminations. Yet make no mistake: One sanction that will now be reimposed, preventing Iran from sending enriched uranium to Russia in exchange for natural yellowcake uranium, could effectively kill the deal — a realization Europe seems to have made over the weekend.

The sanctions will hurt “efforts to pursue the legitimate trade that the agreement allows for,” read an EU statement released Saturday. The U.S. State Department had already issued a statement on Friday: “Iran must stop all proliferation-sensitive activities, including uranium enrichment, and we will not accept actions that support the continuation of such enrichment.”

The so-called “right to enrich” was the first concession the U.S. and five other powers made to Iran ahead of formal nuclear negotiations in 2015. Until then, it was U.S. policy to oppose any enrichment for countries that sought peaceful nuclear energy. The United Arab Emirates and other U.S. allies had signed agreements that forswore this activity because the process for making uranium suitable for fuel uses the same science necessary to enrich uranium suitable for a bomb.

Until Friday, the Trump administration did not sanction Russia for its uranium swaps with Iran. Now those swaps can be sanctioned. And while some waivers on Iranian civil nuclear activity were renewed, they were renewed for only 90 days instead of the customary 180.
US deploying carrier, bombers to Middle East to deter Iran
The Trump administration is deploying a carrier strike group and bombers to the Middle East in response to “clear indications” that Iranian and Iranian proxy forces were preparing to possibly attack U.S. forces in the region, an American defense official told the Associated Press.

The defense official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive information, said the Pentagon approved the deployments and that U.S. forces at sea and on land were thought to be the potential targets. The official declined to be more specific.

With tensions already high between Washington and Tehran, another U.S. official said the deployment was ordered “as a deterrence to what has been seen as potential preparations by Iranian forces and its proxies that may indicate possible attacks on U.S. forces in the region.” However, the official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the United States was not expecting any imminent Iranian attack.

National Security Adviser John Bolton said the carrier deployment was also to show that the U.S. will retaliate with “unrelenting force” to any attack on U.S. interests or those of its allies, adding that the move was in response to “a number of troubling and escalatory indications and warnings.”

Speaking to reporters while flying to Europe, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the actions undertaken by the U.S. had been in the works for a little while.

“It is absolutely the case that we have seen escalatory actions from the Iranians and it is equally the case that we will hold the Iranians accountable for attacks on American interests,” Pompeo said. “If these actions take place, if they do by some third-party proxy, a militia group, Hezbollah, we will hold the Iranian leadership directly accountable for that.”
Surprise! Iran Exposed for Faking U.S. Warship Surveillance Footage
Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGG) faked an entire video claiming to show American warships transiting disputed waters in the Persian Gulf by piecing together old scraps of unrelated footage, French analysis confirms.

The original video, published by the IRGC on April 28, allegedly showed the flight deck of a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier and was used to advance the claim that Iran was spying on the American military. It went public just weeks after Washington placed the IRGC on its list of terrorist organisations.

As Breitbart News reported, Iran’s Tasnim news agency claimed a camera-equipped Iran Revolutionary Guards’ spy drone captured the footage.

It said a Guard drone flew over the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower and another U.S. warship in the Persian Gulf. The images show fighter planes parked on the carrier deck.

A week after the film was first made public, it was dismissed by the U.S. Navy as “several years old.”

Now France 24 has used Google Earth satellite images to determine the video was taken prior to December 2017, when work was undertaken to extend the landing strip used to show the drone’s original takeoff.

Photos taken after that date show that the surface area of the landing strip is increasing, while the one seen in the video resembles the strip before work began.
UK Labour Party accused with 15,000-page report of antisemitism
The UK Labour Party once again found itself at the center of antisemitic accusations from the Labour Against Antisemitism group, who submitted a 15,000-page digital dossier to the Equality and Human Rights Commission, Great Britain’s national equality body.

The report alleged "endemic" anti-Jewish behavior throughout the party and claims Labour has a "don't care" attitude to the problem. It contained over 15,000 images and screenshots of hundreds of Labour members and officials promoting antisemitic views.

The Labour Against Antisemitism Spokesman Euan Philipps said, “Over the last two years, our team of dedicated volunteers has systematically collected and detailed evidence of Labour Party members promoting [antisemitic] views and tropes across a range of social media platforms."

"This has all been reported to the party's compliance team, in a format suggested by them and including a significant level of detail," he continued. "Most distressing of all, reports containing the most appalling levels of racism have been given only the lightest reprimand."

The Labour Party has been plagued in recent years by accusations of antisemitism and, in April, the Jewish Labour Movement passed a motion of no-confidence on Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership.

The Annual General Meeting of the movement voted to describe Labour as “institutionally antisemitic.”




Who is plastering anti-Israel posters onto London bus shelters?
Several pictures have emerged from London of bus stops that were reportedly vandalized with anti-Israel posters.

The posters were plastered on top of adverts at some point over the weekend during a violent flare-up between Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Israel in which 690 rockets were shot from Gaza into Israel. In response, Israel bombed 350 targets.

The posters, which were captioned, "Israel's killing children again, enjoy your weekend" garnered shock and outrage with social media users condemning such actions. It's unclear at this stage who is responsible for the posters, however organization Protest Stencil posted about it with the caption, "What will it take for people to stop normalising Israel's rampages...?"

On Twitter, UK Media Watch shared the picture with a post saying that "this anti-Israel hate in London was likely fueled by initial media reports, which promoted the unsubstantiated - and later refuted - Hamas claims that Israel killed a 14-month-old baby."

It was found that the baby was actually killed by a rocket that had fallen short in Gaza - not by an Israeli air strike as Hamas claimed, the IDF confirmed on Sunday.




Deutsche Welle Adds Bombed Turkish News Office Was in Hamas-Occupied Building
CAMERA’s Israel office today prompted significant improvement of a Deutche Welle article about a Turkish news outlet which was hit Saturday in an Israeli airstrike in the Gaza Strip. In an egregious omission, the May 4 article by Germany’s public international media outlet failed to report that Anadolu, Turkey’s state-run news agency, was housed in the same building as Hamas military intelligence and security offices, which was the target of the strike (“Israel hits offices of Turkish state news agency in Gaza“).

Although the article ignores Hamas’ presence in the building, it repeatedly cites the bombing of the Anadolu Agency, which was not the target of the strike. Aside from the headline, the subheadline emphasized: “Israeli forces have hit a Gaza City building housing Turkey’s state-run news agency. . . ”
In addition, the article itself stated:
An Israeli airstrike hit the office of Turkey’s state-run news agency in Gaza, Turkey’s foreign minister said Saturday, calling it a “new example of Israel’s unrestrained aggression.”

Other news agencies which reported that the Turkish news agency was hit noted that it was housed in a building that Israel says was also occupied by Hamas.


BBC withdraws programme entitled “Isn’t it time we stopped using the Jewish Holocaust as propaganda for the Jewish cause?”
The BBC has removed a World Service programme from its International Question Time series entitled “Isn’t it time we stopped using the Jewish Holocaust as propaganda for the Jewish cause?”.

The programme, which was broadcast on the BBC World Service in August 1998, was resurrected and has been available online since 21st March 2016. It was highlighted by a Twitter user, who used the BBC Sounds app to look for programmes about Jewish topics and was shocked to find the title among the top results.

The programme itself covered various topics and included on its panel the distinguished late Professor David Ceserani, but it appears that the programme was named purely for its first ten minutes, which were spent discussing the question of whether the Holocaust is Jewish propaganda in response to a question from a caller from Lebanon.

The panel in fact dealt with the antisemitic question intelligently and firmly, but the decision to use such an antisemitic title on BBC apps beggars belief.
Jewish MP targetted with antisemitic graffiti during election campaign.
I am proud to be a sixth generation Australian – the grandson of a survivor of Changi and the Burma Railway and the great-grandson of an Anzac who served in the 1st Light Horse.

And I’m proud to be a Jew.

There have been Jews here in Australia since a dozen Jewish convicts came ashore on the first fleet. Moved by a sense of patriotism Jews have always sought to serve this country.

In the first federal Parliament there were three Jews – one of those three, Sir Isaac Isaacs, became the first Australian born Governor General.

Australian troops were led in World War One by General Sir John Monash.

Jews have contributed to every facet of Australian life far beyond their numbers.

I am one of six Jews who served in the 45th Parliament.

Australia has been one of the few countries on earth where Jews have practised their religion unhampered and never suffered any form of discrimination. Jews have sought refuge here from centuries of hatred and discrimination including pogroms and the Holocaust.
Iranian Holocaust denial promoter to speak at German FM party's think tank
The think tank for Germany’s Social Democratic Party is under fire for hosting a conference on the Iran nuclear deal that features a representative from an Islamic Republic of Iran institution that promotes Holocaust denial and a second official who supports a war against Israel.

The May 14 event is titled “Deal or No Deal: One year after the US withdrawal from the atomic agreement.”

Dr. Efraim Zuroff, chief Nazi-hunter for the Simon Wiesenthal Center and head of its Jerusalem office, told The Jerusalem Post on Monday: “If these are the kinds of guests invited to Berlin, which gives legitimacy to Iranian Holocaust denial and the Iranian regime’s genocidal threats against Israel, it is not surprising that German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has pursued policies severely critical of Israel and voted against Israel at the UN.” Germany voted with Iran’s regime 16 times against Israel last year at the world body.

Zuroff added that the Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FES) should cancel the invitation to the Iranian regime representatives and invite Iranian dissidents instead.

According to an article in the weekly German newspaper Jungle World by Andreas Benl, the Ebert Foundation invited Saeed Khatibzadeh, who represents the think tank of Iran’s Foreign Ministry – the Institute for Political and International Studies (IPIS), which organized the 2006 Holocaust denial conference in Tehran. The 2006 event – “The International Conference On Review of the Holocaust: Global Vision” – featured a who’s who of global and Iranian Holocaust deniers.


Jorge Luis Borges’ love for Israel and Jews revealed in new book
Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges is best known for his complex, surrealist short stories and poems. Few know he was a great admirer of Israel and the Jewish people.

This side of the acclaimed author is revealed in “Borges, Judaism and Israel,” a new book that includes some of his writings, photos and unpublished letters. It debuted this week at the Buenos Aires Book Fair at a panel with academic lecturers and Borges’ widow, Maria Kodama. Its publication was timed to commemorate 50 years since Borges made his first trip to Israel and his 120th birthday.

Borges had a surprising number of Jewish connections. His English grandmother, Fanny Haslam, was an expert on the Hebrew Bible.

“I think my passion for Israel comes from my English grandmother. She was a Protestant, which means that she was a reader of the Bible,” Borges once said. “That is to say that I grew up a bit in a biblical environment, which is to say in a Jewish environment.”

Borges also established close ties with many Jewish friends and colleagues, including two he met while studying at Calvin College in Geneva: Simon Jichlinki and Maurice Abramowicz, with whom he would remain friends throughout his life.
Israel’s population tops 9 million, including 45% of world Jewry
On the eve of its 71st Independence Day, Israel’s population stands at 9,021,000, crossing 9 million for the first time, according to figures released on Monday by the Central Bureau of Statistics.

The data show that 6,697,000 Israelis are Jewish (74.2 percent) and 1,890,000 are Arab (20.9%). In addition, there are 434,000 people who are non-Arab Christians or members of other ethnic groups. Seventy-five percent of the Jews in Israel were born in the country.

Since last Independence Day, the population of Israel has grown by 177,000 (an increase of 2%). During that period, 188,000 babies were born, 47,000 people died and 31,000 immigrants arrived in the country.

Since the establishment of Israel in 1948, 3.2 million immigrants have moved to Israel, with around 43% of them arriving after 1990.

According to the data, the country’s population is expected to reach 15.2 million people by Israel’s 100th Independence Day in 2048.

In 1948 there were just 806,000 people in Israel and at the time, the global Jewish population was 11.5 million, and just 6% were in Israel. Today, 45% of the world’s Jews live in Israel.




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