Thursday, June 06, 2019

From Ian:

(Internet problems, so just one set of links today, blame the Russians.)

Six Decades After Robert F. Kennedy Was Assassinated, His Legacy Is Attacked… By Democrats
It’s possible to assassinate a great man twice — once while he lives, once when what he stood for is trampled upon. Fifty-one years ago today, in Los Angeles, hours after he won the California presidential primary, Senator Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated by Sirhan Sirhan, a Jerusalem-born Christian Arab who had three motivations: hatred of Israel, hatred of Jews, and hatred of Senator Kennedy, who was a good friend of both.

In what seemed like an attempt to destroy a piece of RFK’s legacy 51 years after his death, the California Democratic Party’s State Convention Resolutions Committee considered six vicious resolutions that were overtly anti-Israel and some antisemitic. It rejected them only after a protracted, headline-grabbing debate.

One resolution accused Israel of genocidal “settler colonialism.” Another urged California’s elected officials not to visit Israel unless they spent equal time visiting “Palestinian villages.” A third demanded the Palestinian “right of return” to Israel, which would be a death warrant for the Jewish state. Two more urged return of the Golan Heights to war criminal and mass-murderer Bashar Assad. The last resolution brazenly linked Israel with the murder of 11 Jewish worshipers at the Tree of Life Synagogue last October. Jewish state legislator David Mandel alleged that the “Israeli government, along with some of its US backers … welcomed support from Christian fundamentalist and ultra-right groups in the United States and abroad, dangerously ignoring their deeply rooted antisemitism while aligning with their virulent Islamophobia.”

The moving force behind this sickening verbiage was the Arab American Caucus of the California Democratic Party, whose chairman Iyad Afalqa a few months ago demonized Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on Facebook, labeling him a “shmuck,” a “traitor,” and a member of the “fascist Israel lobby.” Mandel said the set of resolutions were a “team effort,” praising colleagues Chris Yatooma, Kari Khoury, Yassar Dahbour, Murad Sarama, and Afalqa.

Mandel’s resolutions parallel other overtly antisemitic and anti-Israel actions by Congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib. What better way to slander the multi-ethnic Jewish state than to compare it with Apartheid South Africa and accuse American Jewish leaders of aligning themselves with American “white supremacy.” No greater libel can be imagined in the wake of the Pittsburgh and Poway synagogue murders.

Caroline Glick: Mark Levin and the New York Times' 120-year War Against the Jews
In his newest book, Unfreedom of the Press, Mark Levin demonstrates how the media in the United States have used their power not to provide the news but to shape political agendas to advance their progressive ideology.

Levin’s main contention in Unfreedom is that as presently constituted, the so-called mainstream media, which views itself as an activist media – that is, a partisan and ideological actor in public affairs in the United States rather than a neutral observer and recorder of events.

Given the progressive, activist media’s effective control over the public discourse in the U.S., today it acts not as the guarantor of freedom of expression, but as the most powerful bar to freedom of expression in America.

By determining what is “racist” and what is not racist, what is “politically correct” and what is unacceptable politically and culturally, the media do not serve as a vehicle for informing the public about the issues of the day and the state of the country and the world. Rather, they serve as indoctrination nodes, instructing the public what they can say and what they cannot say; what they can think, and what they cannot think; who can be accepted as legitimate and who must be ostracized and shamed as illegitimate.

One of the most significant chapters in Levin’s book appears at first glance to be out of place in his overall narrative. Most of the book is a discussion of the historical development of the media starting from the revolutionary period and continuing through the present day. He demonstrates how, beginning in the late 19th century, the media began presenting themselves not as partisans and champions of specific political factions and causes, but as objective observers whose function is to inform the public of current events. Their self-declared objectivity, however, was never entirely real. Indeed, it was deliberately dishonest. Because it was in this period that the media began to accept the terms of the progressive movement — which viewed the media, with its self-professed objectivity, as a central tool for advancing the movement’s radical agendas.
Understanding the Real Origin of that New York Times Cartoon
The outrage the Times’ cartoon produced was appropriate, but interpretations of what had happened fell short. Was the cartoon truly a lineal descendant of the anti-Semitic propaganda published in Der Stürmer, as some reflexively opined? To stop there was to accept the possibility that the offices of the New York Times’ international edition are packed with white supremacists. Even if a single production editor was responsible for the incident, as the paper asserted, the publisher’s decision to put the entire staff through sensitivity training to address “unconscious biases” would suggest that senior management was worried others in the company might be similarly infected. Yet the idea that the Times is infested with neo-Nazis seems patently silly.

What makes more sense is the possibility that the cartoon made it into print because the paper’s staff—whether singular or plural—saw it as “a political issue and not religious,” in the words of António Moreira Antunes, the artist who drew it. Like the slogan on the Soviet May Day parade installation, the face of the Israeli prime minister must have signaled to the New York Times staff that the cartoon was about Israel and therefore political—anti-Zionist perhaps, but not anti-Semitic.

Yet the conventional wisdom on the left that anti-Zionism is easily distinguishable from anti-Semitism has run into some obvious practical difficulties in recent months as the Women’s March, the U.K. Labour Party, Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, Marc Lamont Hill, and AJ+ Arabic, Al Jazeera’s popular online platform, have all shown an inability to distinguish between what they consider to be anti-Zionist political positions and overt anti-Semitism.

So if anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism are not the same, why is the left doing such a poor job of distinguishing between the two? How is it that the side of the political spectrum that makes anti-racism one of the central tenets of its platform repeatedly stumbles into espousing such vile hatred?

The left would be less confused if it were able to soften temporarily its ahistorical, ideologically driven focus on the right as the sole source of anti-Semitism and devote some time to studying its own rich history of the same. In particular, it should look at the Cold War-era Soviet Union, which for decades not only practiced politically weaponized anti-Zionism but also exported it abroad. Many of the core tropes that animate the anti-Zionist left today are carbon copies of ideas that the KGB and the Department of Propaganda’s ideologues developed, weaponized, and popularized with particular intensity in the wake of the Six-Day War. It is there, not among the Nazi oeuvre, that the direct precursors to the New York Times cartoon and similar such efforts, in which the European press has been awash for the past two decades, are to be found.

Stand With Us: Jerusalem Day

Commemorating the Six Day War

Disturbed singer slams Roger Waters and ‘his Nazi comrades’ for BDS
David Draiman, the Jewish singer of the chart-topping hard rock band Disturbed, called Roger Waters “ridiculous” for promoting a cultural boycott of Israel.

Disturbed, which has sold millions of albums, is set to play in Israel for the first time on July 2.

“Boycotting an entire society, an entire people, based on the actions of its government is absolutely ridiculous,” he said in a video interview with the Bring Disturbed to Israel Facebook page. “I don’t see boycotts happening of Russia … I don’t see people boycotting China for what they’re doing to their Muslim population. It’s just Israel that gets this treatment, and I think we all know the reason behind that.”

Draiman added that Waters, the former Pink Floyd frontman and poster child for artists who boycott Israel, and his “Nazi comrades” are pushing an ideology based on “hatred.”

Draiman, known for his guttural yells, grew up attending Orthodox yeshivas in Chicago — he was expelled from three of them. At one point he trained to be a cantor.

MEMRI: Quds Day Rally In Dearborn, Michigan: Israel Is A Cancer, Will Crumble In Less Than 25 Years As Our Leader Khamenei Calculates; U.S. Government, Politicians Are Satanic Terrorists; Hamas, Hizbullah, IRGC Have Right To Resist
An International Quds Day Rally was held in Dearborn, Michigan on May 31, 2019, in front of the Henry Ford Centennial Library. A speaker whose identity is not known said that every U.S. President – not only the "idiot" Trump – was a criminal and a terrorist, and that it is only economic sanctions and "political arrogance" that is maintaining America's standing in the world. He cursed America and the world powers for "wishing for the masses to remain silent" and abandon Palestine, and he said: "Not only will we witness the liberation of Palestine, but Allah willing, we are going to play an active role in it with our own hands." He said that Palestine will only be liberated by Muslims, and not through American legislation or deals drawn up by "hypocrites" and "traitors."

The speaker also said that the "beloved Leader" Imam Khamenei said that Israel will crumble in less than 25 years and that the "cancer" of Israel can only be removed through resistance and reliance on Allah. Referring to American politicians and the U.S. government as satanic, he said that Hamas, Hizbullah, the IRGC, and anybody else fighting against Israel have a God-given right to resist. Sheikh Usama Abdul Ghani, a D.C.-born Shiite imam who studied at the Islamic Seminary in Qom, Iran, also spoke at the event, saying that Israel is the "head of the snake" behind all the oppression in the world. He also referred to Israel as a "system of cancerous oppression." The audience chanted: "Away with the humiliation!" The video was streamed live on Facebook by the Al-Quds Committee, which describes itself as "an effort to peacefully raise the voice against atrocities and human rights violations of Zionism."

"We Don't Point Our Fingers At The Current Idiot In The White House, But At All Of The Criminals And Terrorists Who Held His Position Before Him"

Speaker: "Many people from across the community and across the Muslim world at large have been swept away by the tide of American patriotism. They are proud of America, its freedom, its democracy, free speech, freedom of religion... At the same time, they look down upon the Islamic countries from the high horse of American exceptionalism. How these countries are backwards, corrupt, unorganized, and you have heard more... For that I would like to call the attention of those individuals – however they might hear this – that the amenities and luxuries that they are enjoying in this country are attained at the expense of the rest of the world.
Quds Day Rally in Dearborn, Michigan: Israel Is a Cancer behind All Oppression in the World

Witnesses sought after men who saw Israeli flag at “Al Quds Day” parade sneered “I’m feeling very dirty with all that Jewish flags, feel like I need a shower”
Witnesses are being sought over antisemitic remarks that were made during the “Al Quds Day” parade in central London on Sunday afternoon.

A member of the public has provided Campaign Against Antisemitism with a recording of a group standing and watching the parade. As anti-terrorist activists waving Israeli flags walked by, a man whose face cannot be seen, can be heard saying: “I’m feeling very dirty with all that [sic] Jewish flags, feel like I need a shower”, referring to some of the gas chambers at concentration camps which were disguised as shower rooms and used to massacre Jews in large groups.

Separately, another member of the public, Councillor Stephen Canning, told Campaign Against Antisemitism that they had heard men saying: “Jews everywhere, I need a shower” and “Lads, let’s do a sieg heil.” “Sieg heil” was a common chant at political rallies in Nazi Germany, meaning “hail victory”. He also provided a photograph of the group that he bravely took and tweeted at the time.

De Blasio says anti-Semitism is strictly a ‘right-wing movement’
Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday that anti-Semitism is a “right-wing movement” — while rejecting a claim that the left plays any role in discriminating against Jews.

“I think the ideological movement that is anti-Semitic is the right-wing movement,” de Blasio said at a Brooklyn press conference Tuesday about the increase of hate crimes in New York City. Hate crimes against all minority groups are up 64% compared to this time last year. Anti-Semitic incidents have spiked by 90%.

De Blasio said he did not agree with a claim by a reporter that there is also rising anti-Semitism “on the left in the BDS movement and around the world.” The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement is a largely left-wing campaign to ban Israeli products.

“I want to be very, very clear, the violent threat, the threat that is ideological is very much from the right,” de Blasio said, adding that the perpetrators trace their history back to Nazism and fascism.

He was speaking specifically about national and international incidents.

The remarks drew immediate blowback from City Council members on both sides of the political aisle.

“I don’t agree with the mayor,” said Chaim Deutsch, a Brooklyn Democrat.

“I have not seen any white supremacists coming in here committing these hate crimes,” he said.
see also
House to propose resolution that condemns left-wing movement to boycott Israel

Indeed, NYPD Chief Dermot Shea said at the same press conference that perpetrators of hate crimes “run the gamut” from teens, to people with mental illness, to first- time offenders, and career criminals.
Poll: Most Americans Support Israel, Say BDS Movement Anti-Semitic
The Hudson Institute released new polling data this week showing most Americans favor a close relationship with Israel and believe the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel is anti-Semitic.

Pollster John McLaughlin discussed the survey's findings at an event on Tuesday. The polling sample consisted of 1,000 likely 2020 general election voters.

Fifty-one percent of those surveyed held a favorable opinion of Israel, while only 21 percent held an unfavorable opinion. An even greater number—75 percent—agreed it is in America's interest to have Israel as its closest ally in the Middle East.

Almost 60 percent said anti-Semitism is happening more frequently today than 15 years ago, but the blame was divided: Thirty-seven percent attributed anti-Semitism in the United States to Muslim extremists, 28 percent to right-wing extremists, and 22 percent to left-wing extremists. Republicans were more likely to blame Muslim extremists, while a plurality of Democrats pointed to right-wing extremists.

The Anti-Defamation League reported last month that the "U.S. Jewish community experienced near-historic levels of anti-Semitism in 2018, including a doubling of anti-Semitic assaults and the single deadliest attack against the Jewish community in American history." The number of attacks against Jews and Jewish institutions in 2018 made it "the third-highest year on record since ADL started tracking such data in the 1970s."
The take - home lesson from the California Democratic convention
The recent controversies at the California Democratic convention underscore how few people understand the current system, and how few are actually involved.

Every two years, California Democrats elect 7 self-identified females and 7 other than self-identified females from each Assembly District as delegates to the California Democratic party. Only a tiny proportion of registered voters participate in these elections. There are almost 8 million registered Democrats in California. Of those, less than 400,000 voters participated in the last elections, held in January of this year. That’s one half of 1 percent. In my Assembly district, the elections were held on Shabbat, effectively disenfranchising traditionally observant Jewish voters. This is in violation of the parties own guidelines.

There is little transparency and little accountability in these elections. Assembly District Delegate Elections are not regulated by the California Fair Political Practices Commission.

Those who are elected can vote for Party officers, endorse candidates for statewide, legislative and congressional office, attend the annual convention, and to introduce, endorse and vote on resolutions and ballot measures.
Israel said trying to block bipartisan Senate two-state resolution
Israeli diplomats in Washington have been working to prevent the Senate from passing a bipartisan resolution that would endorse a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, according to a report published Wednesday.

The resolution was drafted by Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham and Democratic Sen. Chris Van Hollen and is seen as a means of putting pressure on the White House ahead of the release of its peace plan, according to the report on Israel’s Channel 13 and the Axios news site.

“Both Senators Van Hollen and Graham are long-time supporters of a two-state solution and are working on the best way to advance that commitment in Congress,” Van Hollen spokesperson Bridgett Frey told Axios.

However, Israeli diplomats, led by Ambassador Ron Dermer, have been trying to get them to take the references to the two-state solution out of the text, the report said, citing Israeli diplomats and congressional staffers.

The Israelis don’t mind a general resolution calling for direct negotiations between the parties with no preconditions, so long as it doesn’t deal with the end game or the parameters of such talks, the report said.
Major world financial bodies plan to be at US-led peace conference
Global financial bodies including the International Monetary Fund and World Bank plan to be present at a U.S.-led conference on the Palestinian and Middle Eastern economy this month that U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration has cast as an overture to its peace plan.

The much-touted economic component of the administration’s peace plan, dubbed the “Peace to Prosperity Workshop” will take place on June 25-26 in Bahrain. The Palestinians have said they would boycott the event, accusing Washington of pro-Israel bias and inattention to their political demands.

Israel’s new election, an upsurge in cross-border fighting and the Palestinians’ resentment at U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital add to the complicated backdrop.

However, the IMF, which has been operating in the West Bank and Gaza since 1995, confirmed it and other institutions would be present in Bahrain’s capital Manama.

“The IMF has been invited to the meeting and expects to attend, along with other international financial institutions,” a representative said.
US envoy tells Palestinian leaders dire situation is of their own making
US Mideast Envoy Jason Greenblatt on Wednesday hit back at Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh who called President Donald Trump’s Mideast peace plan “blackmail” and warned the PA was on the verge of collapse, telling him that the Palestinians’ woes were their own leadership’s fault.

“PM Shtayyeh is wrong, the PA isn’t ‘in a collapsing situation,’ the PA caused the situation, Greenblatt tweeted with a link to an interview with Shtayyeh in the New York Times.

“Time for the PA to step-up & take responsibility for their people & the economy. The PA can’t continue to blame the US & everyone else for a situation they caused,” said Greenblatt, who frequently spars with Palestinian leaders over Twitter, even though they have been boycotting him and other US officials in person.

In the interview, published Wednesday, Shtayyeh warned that the PA would collapse by July or August if a financial standoff with Israel isn’t resolved.
Shtayyeh: ‘Israel waging financial war on Palestinians’
Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh said on Thursday that the financial crisis in the PA was real, and held Israel responsible for deducting payments to families of prisoners and “martyrs” from tax revenues it collects on behalf of the Palestinians.

He accused Israel of waging “financial war” on the Palestinians to force them to accept US President Donald Trump’s upcoming plan for peace in the Middle East, also known as the Deal of the Century.

“We refused to accept the money that was transferred to us because of the [Israeli] deductions,” Shtayyeh said in a video he posted on Facebook. “We want all our money.”

Shtayyeh’s announcement came amid claims that the PA was exaggerating the financial crisis as a means of pressuring Israel and the US administration.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas has appealed to the Arab and Muslim leaders to provide the Palestinians with a financial security net, he added.

“We hope that the Arabs will comply with our request,” Shtayyeh said. “We have also addressed the international community asking that Israel assume its responsibilities on this issue because it’s also in violation of the Paris Protocol.”

Former Wisconsin Governor: No need for Israeli concessions over embassy
The former Republican Governor of Wisconsin Scott Walker has said Israel does not need to accede to possible requests from President Donald Trump to make concessions for peace with the Palestinians, regardless of Trump’s decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem.

Walker made his comments on Wednesday during a four-day visit to Israel organized by Dr. Joe Frager of the Nation Council of Young Israel.

Speaking to The Jerusalem Post, Walker described Trump’s decision to move the embassy as “extraordinary” but that he and others have long considered such a move “a given.”

Trump himself said in August last year after the embassy move that “Israel will have to pay a higher price, because they won a very big thing,” and that the Palestinians would get something in return.

Walker rejected this idea however, asserting that it was a country’s right to determine its capital city.

“To me the idea that a country who has a seat of government in one city has to be thankful that someone put their embassy where their seat of government is at, its extraordinary that this president did it, it’s not extraordinary to me in any other circumstance, it is extraordinary that he did so I compliment him,” said Walker.
Palestinians Call for One-State Solution to US-Mexico Dispute (satire)
In a rejection of more than two decades of Palestinian foreign policy, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said it might be time for the US and Mexico to give up on their attempt at a two-state solution.

“Listen, we’ve tried having separate states on each side of the Rio Grande, and we ended up with one side sending all its rapists over, and the other side trying to build a wall,” Abbas said during a joint press conference with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto. “Two state, one state, I’m happy with whichever one the two sides like, but it seems like two states hasn’t been working out too well.”

Despite longstanding tension, most international observers have supported a partition of the US and Mexico rather than one country comprised of both entities. Even most Americans recognize that annexing Mexico would eventually create a country in which Mexicans make up a majority of citizens.

Abbas, however, was unfazed. Asked how to solve the US-Mexican conflict, Abbas announced that he had put his son-in-law in charge and promised that he’d be the one to reach a “tremendous” deal.
Netanyahu appoints Amir Ohana justice minister, first openly gay cabinet member
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday confirmed loyalist Amir Ohana as justice minister in the run-up to elections on the September 17.

Ayelet Shaked formally departed from the Justice Ministry on Tuesday, two days after she was fired by Netanyahu in a cabinet reshuffle that also targeted her political ally education minister Naftali Bennett. The move was widely seen as a bid to prevent the once-popular right-wing duo from using their cabinet positions to bolster their campaigns ahead of the new national vote.

Ohana is a lawyer by training who became the first openly gay MK in a right-wing party when he was elected to the Knesset in 2015. In announcing his appointment Wednesday, the Likud party noted that he would also be the first openly gay minister in Israel’s history.

“Good luck to Justice Minister MK Amir Ohana!” Netanyahu tweeted Wednesday evening.

Thanking the prime minister, Ohana said in a tweet that it was “a great honor to serve the State of Israel in the role of justice minister.”

German parliament rejects ban of Hezbollah, snubbing U.S. and German Jews
Germany's Bundestag on Thursday rejected a proposed bill to outlaw Lebanon's terrorist organization Hezbollah
in the federal republic.

The parties Christian Democratic Union, Christian Social Union, the Social Democratic Party, The Left, The Greens and Free Democrats opposed an anti-Hezbollah bill authored by the far-right party Alternative for Germany party. The mainstream German parties' rejection of the motion to ban Hezbollah comes a week after an urgent appeal from the Central Council of Jews in Germany last week to outlaw Hezbollah amid rising Jew-hatred in the federal republic. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo requested last Friday that Chancellor Angela Merkel's administration proscribe Hezbollah as a terrorist entity.

The Jerusalem Post reported exclusively on Wednesday that a May German intelligence report from the state of Lower Saxony asserts the number of Hezbollah members and supporters has climbed from 950 in 2017 to 1,050 in 2018 in Germany.

The American Jewish Community's Berlin office tweeted on Thursday: "For a long time we have been calling for a ban on the antisemitic terrorist organization #Hisbollah. It is regrettable that this topic is now being taken up by the right-wing populists. We hope that all democratic parties will finally seek this prohibition. #Bundestag."

The Left Party's Kathrin Vogler spoke against the anti-Hezbollah bill during the debate. The Left Party is widely considered an anti-Israel party. The Left party's MP Christine Buchholz has defended the 'legitimate resistance” of Hezbollah against the Jewish state.

Buchholz has also showed support for the EU and US designated terrorist entity Hamas.
French MP slams anti-Israel colleagues in committee meeting
After members of a French parliamentary committee that was meeting on Tuesday to discuss an upcoming visit by Palestinians officials began voicing harsh criticism of Israel, MP Meir Habib stood up and said, “The Jewish people have only one country – the Jewish state, which the Jewish people dreamed of for 2,000 years.”

“I’m alone here, but I know the issue better than anyone,” Habib declared.

“This little state [Israel] is barely the size of 2% of the territory of France,” Habib added, and said he wondered whether all the problems of the world stemmed from the Palestinian territories: “There is so much hypocrisy in the region. I’m begging, open your eyes,” Habib, who represents French citizens overseas – including those who live in Israel – told his fellow MPs.

During the discussion, MP Christian Hutin spoke out against U.S. President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and special adviser Jared Kushner, who is helping broker the administration’s “deal of the century” for peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

“Let’s try and keep things balanced. One people has a state and the other doesn’t. Trump’s son-in-law certainly isn’t the person to do anything about the matter, since he is already biased in favor of one side,” Hutin said.

Habib responded by asking, “Because Kushner is Jewish?” which sparked an argument between Habib and a female MP from French President Emmanuel Macron’s party, who shouted: “You’re just a representative of the Likud – you aren’t a representative of the French.”
Israel can successfully invade Gaza, says former IDF general
For former GOC Northern Command and one-time Deputy IDF Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. (ret.) Yair Golan, the question is not whether he will join politics, but when.

Golan, who is reportedly thinking about going into politics, sees four issues that Israel must address: the leadership of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; the way the IDF is handling the Hamas threat; the bureaucracy’s betrayal of Israel’s citizens; and what is taking place in the historical-national sphere.

“There was a period of hope for peace in Israel. We all know that’s no longer realistic,” Golan tells Israel Hayom. “The peace narrative has been replaced by Netanyahu’s narrative of fear. Now we need to transition to a narrative of self-assurance and pride.”

When asked if at an earlier stage of his military career he ever imagined that the Palestinians in Gaza would be capable of firing rockets at most of Israel, Golan replied: “I think that the [2005] disengagement from Gaza was very bad in the way we implemented it. But do I miss accompanying convoys carrying bombs to Gush Katif? Does anyone miss chasing rock-throwers at al-Shati [refugee camp]? In Jabaliya? In the first five years of the Second Intifada, 147 Israelis were killed in Gaza. Since 2005, 121 Israelis have been killed there, including all the soldiers who died in all military operations.”

On the question of why Israel doesn’t invade Gaza, Golan says, “They’re afraid to find. Afraid of casualties. It wouldn’t mean 500 dead. We give the enemy too much credit. Fighting in Gaza doesn’t come without a cost – fighting in an urban setting is fighting on the ground,” he explains.

And what would follow a ground incursion?

“The equation is imaginary. There is a public aspect – the assumption is that if we go into Gaza, we’ll be bogged down there for years, is wrong.”
Anti-aircraft missiles fired at Israel's Hermon, falls inside Syria
Several anti-aircraft missiles were fired towards Mount Hermon from Syria on Thursday, the second such incident in under a week.

“IDF radars identified a number of anti-aircraft missiles fired from Syria,” the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit told The Jerusalem Post, adding that none fell in Israeli territory or posed a threat.

The incident came just days after five Syrian soldiers were killed in an alleged Israeli attack on the T4 airbase in the eastern Homs province on Sunday night, a day after a limited clash between Israel and Syria.

According to an assessment by ImageSat International (ISI), the strike on T4 likely took out an advanced weapons system which had been delivered from Iran a day earlier “probably related to UAVs and possibly including a transportable ground control structure.”

On Saturday, two rockets were launched from Syria to Mount Hermon, one of which landed inside Israeli territory. In response, the IAF struck several Syrian military positions in southwestern Damascus and Quneitra, killing three soldiers and injuring seven others.

The retaliatory strikes targeted two artillery batteries, a number of observation posts near the border, and an SA-2 air defense battery.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that he had “instructed the IDF to take strong action” in response to the rocket fire on Saturday which targeted the Mount Hermon ski resort.
Report: Syrian general with ties to Hezbollah, Iran, assassinated
A high-ranking Syrian army commander was mysteriously assassinated on Tuesday near the city of Sweida in the war-torn country’s southwest, dozens of miles from the border with Israel.

Brig. Gen. Jamal al-Ahmad was gunned down by unknown assailants while touring the sector, the intelligence blog Intelli Times and London-based pan-Arabic daily Asharq Al-Awsat both reported on Wednesday.

According to the Intelli Times, al-Ahmad was among a group of Syrian officers tasked with maintaining ties with Hezbollah in the Sweida area, and particularly with Hezbollah’s commander in southern Syria, Munir Ali Naim Shaiti – also known as Hajj Hashem – who is responsible for building the Lebanese terrorist organization’s military infrastructure in the Syrian Golan Heights.

Although the identity of al-Ahmad’s assassins is still unknown, the enemies of the Syrian regime and its Iranian and Hezbollah allies are Israel and rebel groups still active in the country. The ability of these insurgent groups to carry out an assassination of this type has drastically decreased over the past year and their presence in southern Syria has been virtually eradicated. Another possible suspect is armed Druze groups who have quarreled in the past with the regime but have since made amends with it following the expulsion of the rebels from the area.
Ten thousand march in Jerusalem Pride Parade under heavy security
Chanting for equality and holding aloft brightly painted signs supporting LGBT rights, some 10,000 people marched in Jerusalem’s annual pride parade Thursday evening, with over 2,000 police securing the highly charged event four years after a deadly attack on participants.

Police said 17 people were arrested as of 8 p.m., including one who was found to be carrying a knife and refused to identify himself. The detainees were suspected of “intending to disturb the event and parade,” a police statement said.

The annual event is a highlight for the city’s vibrant LGBT community, which is often overshadowed by Tel Aviv’s gay-friendly persona and beset by religious and political tensions ever-present in the capital.

The parade came hours after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appointed Likud lawmaker Amir Ohana as justice minister, making him the first openly gay cabinet member in the country’s history.

Ohana walked through the crowds, some of whom booed at him, apparently due to his being a member of the ruling Likud party, seen as to the right of many in the gay community.

“What have you done for the gay community,” some shouted at him.

Ohana responded “Even though you’re protesting against me, I’m glad you’re here. Thank you.”
PMW: How many Major-Generals do the PA security forces need?
While Palestinian Media Watch has already shown that the self-imposed financial crisis the PA is suffering from at the moment can easily be resolved if they would accept the hundreds of millions of shekels a month Israel has sent them, in an interview with the New York Times, PA Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh, said that the PA is "in a collapsing situation". He then added, if that happens, the authority would have to furlough its police officers who police the PA controlled areas.

Whereas Shtayyeh statements were probably rightly interpreted as a threat to Israel regarding the continued security coordination, in reality, this could actually be an opportunity for the international community to force the PA to stop using its security apparatus as a means to provide salaries to released terrorist prisoners.

A 2017 "Integrity and Combating Corruption" report released by Aman - an NGO which enjoys the cooperataion of the PA and is funded by the governments of Norway, Luxembourg and the Netherlands and whose mission is to promote "transparency and accountability and values of integrity in Palestinian institutions" - provided important information. The report showed that in the years 2013 - 2017, the number of high ranking officers in the PA security forces grew at a completely disproportionate rate to the number of non-officers.

According to the report, between 2013 and 2017 the number of officers in the different PA security apparatuses grew from 23,163 to 30,313. Of these additional officers, 5,982 hold the rank of Lieutenant Colonel (+2,167) to Major General (+97).
Report: Iran planning to arm Palestinians in Judea and Samaria
Iran is working to arm the various terrorist organizations active in Judea and Samaria with the aim of sparking fresh hostilities against Israel, recent remarks by senior officials in Tehran reveal.

A report published by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs on Wednesday exposed a series of comments from officials showing that the Iranian regime has not abandoned its hopes of instigating a bloody uprising in Judea and Samaria.

Former commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, Gen. Yahya Rahim Safavi, who now serves as security adviser to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, spoke on Quds Day – marked last Friday – and said that support for the Palestinians was a fundamental principle of the Islamic Revolution, and would continue until the “Zionist regime” was eliminated.

Safavi praised the upgraded weapons the Palestinians have been using and stressed that the “blessed” process of procuring advanced weaponry was still underway. Safavi said that in contrast to the past, when Palestinians had waged war against Israel using rocks and sticks; they were now supplied with an arsenal of rockets that would allow them to respond to “any Israeli attack.”
Mashhad Sermon by Khamenei Rep.: We Will Not Give Up on Jerusalem Even If the Palestinians Do
Ayatollah Ahmad Alamolhoda, Khamenei's representative in the Khorasan Razavi Province in Iran, said in a May 31, 2019 Friday sermon that aired on Khorasan Razavi TV (Iran) that even if the Palestinian people want to "give up" and come to an understanding with America or Israel, Iran will not give up because it is interested in the "liberation" of Jerusalem and in returning it to the Muslims as a place of worship.

Iranian Citizens in Messages to President Trump: We Will Punch You in the Mouth
On May 31, 2019, Khorasan Razavi TV (Iran) aired a report from the Quds Day Rally in Mashhad, Iran. One young boy told the reporter that he came to the march because the Americans treat the Palestinians poorly and in order to say "Death to America and Israel" to remind them that Iran can defeat them. When asked what they would tell President Trump if they spoke to him on the phone, several of the Iranians participating in the march told the reporter that Trump is not worth speaking to. People also "told" Trump that he wouldn't dare do anything to Iran, that the Iranians stand behind Khamenei's words, that Iran will not forget America's "acts of betrayal," and that the Iranians will "land a strong punch in the mouth of [the] arrogant people."

A Profile of the Palestinian Youth Generation
The younger generation of adult Palestinians is in many ways radically different from Palestinian youth of the past. This "post-Oslo" generation, born since the 1990s, lives under a combination of Palestinian self-governance and the continuation of Israeli control. The Arab Spring has also affected this generation as it encouraged defiance against authority figures.

Simultaneously, the digital realm provides instant gratification through the charms of Western consumer culture, as well as easily accessible exposure to extremist ideology, such as that of the Islamic State. The modern discourse of youth worldwide is increasingly emphasizing the importance of civil and individual rights as well.

Palestinian youth are interested in individual development and self-actualization, but are instructed by Palestinian leadership to continue fighting and sacrificing for the collective good. Through the internet, they are exposed to permissive modern culture, but continue to live in a traditional society with strict behavioral codes. It is hardly surprising that many Palestinian youth report a profound alienation from political leadership.

Like many members of the Palestinian public, the younger generation seems to have essentially given up on the national administration of the Palestinian Authority and displays impatience with the older "era of revolutionary slogans." These feelings are leading to a trend of apoliticism, clearly manifested in the reduction in membership within political organizations and declining participation in the activities these organizations promote.
JCPA: The Fate of Palestinian Refugees in Syria and Lebanon
The refugee issue (and not Jerusalem) is the “essence” of the PLO, and without the Palestinian refugee problem, the PLO would not exist. In other words, even if Israel and the PLO were to reach an agreement on Jerusalem and the other clauses of the final status agreement such as borders, the conflict would not be resolved until an agreement is reached on the refugee problem.

On the eve of the launch of the U.S. peace deal and the Bahrain economic conference, it is important to question whether an agreement with the PLO would be necessary and appropriate to “solve the refugee problem” or whether the Arab spring will create a dynamic whereby the problem will evaporate by itself without any negotiations.

The most dramatic change in the Palestinians’ status took part in Syria. The brutal civil war caused significant demographic changes that can be defined as the war crime of ethnic cleansing, as Sunnis, including Palestinians, have been driven out of the country.

The large Yarmouk refugee camp adjacent to Damascus, known as the “capital of the camps,” has ceased to exist. A secret European initiative sought to transfer the refugees from Yarmouk to the Palestinian-controlled Jericho area in the West Bank. Mahmoud Abbas rejected the initiative, however, insisting that the right of return does not apply to territories in the Palestinian Authority but to Israel.

Jordanian MP Khalil Attieh: I Will Take Up Arms against Israel... When Jihad Is Declared
Jordanian MP Khalil Attieh said in a June 2, 2019 interview on Jordan Today TV (Jordan) that he is sometimes tempted to burn an Israeli flag in the Jordanian parliament again, as he had done once before. The interviewer challenged Attieh, saying that burning the Israeli flag is only a "bogus victory" over a powerful enemy, and he asked Attieh if he would ever take up arms against Israel. Attieh said he and his children would be the first to go fight if there was a call for Jihad in Palestine, but when the interviewer pressed him to answer if he would take up arms against Israel even without a call for Jihad, Attieh objected by saying that it would be impossible for him to enter Palestine. The interviewer then asked what Attieh would do if he had to choose between living in a Palestinian state or in Jordan, and Attieh insisted that he would live in both countries and keep both citizenships, even when the interviewer asked what he would do if this were not an option. Attieh then said that he wants to slap an Israeli with his shoe and spit in his face, and the interviewer asked why he didn't do that to the Israeli soldier guarding the border when he crossed the border back into Jordan. Attieh answered: "The day will come when I will [do this]."

Egyptian Forces Kill 14 Suspected Militants After Sinai Checkpoint Attack
Egyptian security forces killed 14 militants suspected in an attack on a police checkpoint in northern Sinai where at least eight policemen died, the Interior Ministry said in a statement received on Thursday.

The deaths raise to 19 the number of militants killed since the attack near the North Sinai provincial capital of al-Arish early on Wednesday, which Islamic State claimed responsibility for.

The Interior Ministry said in a statement that security forces have tracked down militants who escaped after that to an abandoned house in Masaeed neighborhood in al-Arish.

“While they were being surrounded, they opened fire extensively toward the forces. They were engaged resulting in the death of 14 terrorist elements,” the statement said.

It said 14 automatic weapons, three explosives devices and two suicide belts were found in their procession.

The statement did not say if any members of the security forces had been hurt during the gunfight.
Anti-Semitic Jokes, Support for Terrorists, and the Mass Slaughter of Palestinians Won’t Sully the Reputation of a Lebanese Politician
In an interview last week, the eighty-one-year-old speaker of the Lebanese parliament, Nabih Berri, joked that one can tell whether a pregnant woman is carrying a Jewish child by throwing a piece of gold at her feet. “If the fetus jumps out of his mother’s womb and grabs the gold, you know that he is a Jew.” Berri told this joke when asked about his meeting a few days earlier with the Jewish, and reliably pro-Israel, New York congressman Eliot Engel. While his vulgar sentiments received no attention outside of the Jewish media, Berri, who has held his position since 1992, has been the subject of fawning pieces in the French press, and frequently serves as a go-between for the U.S. and Hizballah. Ben Cohen elaborates:

Berri [is] also a warlord—specifically one of the founders, and the current head, of the Lebanese Shiite Amal militia. While at the helm of [Amal], Berri amassed a fortune of $78 million. . . . Many of the more gruesome episodes of his career have long been forgotten: for example, Berri’s mid-1980s alliance with the Syrian dictator Hafez Assad against Yasir Arafat’s PLO. For three years, Amal militiamen imposed a punishing siege upon three of the main Palestinian refugee camps, during which thousands of Palestinian civilians were killed, wounded, starved, arrested, and tortured. . . .

Once an enemy of Hizballah, Iran’s proxy in Lebanon, Berri is now the terror group’s political guardian, stating only last year that Hizballah’s “resistance” was one of the three pillars, along with the “people” and the Lebanese regular army, of Lebanon’s national security. . . .

For all the transformations of our [Western] culture’s sensitivity to race and gender in the last 50 years, we still don’t bat an eyelid when Arab or Muslim leaders come out with same anti-Semitic garbage that has dominated casual discourse about Israel and Jews in the region for at least a century. . . . In telling [this anti-Semitic joke], Berri sent a message to the next generation of Lebanese politicians that anti-Semitism is a legitimate instrument of politics, and that violently mocking Jews is a normal component of rhetoric. Meanwhile, the silence of the outside world tells them that because of Lebanon’s conflict with Israel, attacks on Jews, however vile, will pass without comment or censure.
Russia and Iran: Is the Syrian Honeymoon Over?
After the victory of the Assad regime over the rebels in Syria with the assistance of Russia, Iran, and Iranian proxies, inherent tensions between Russia and Iran regarding influence in Syria have emerged in greater relief.

While Russia is intent on leading the process of reconstruction in Syria and aims to recruit the wealthy Sunni Arab states to this end, those states are making their assistance conditional upon limiting Iran's activities in Syria. However, Russia does not have sufficient leverage to remove Iran's military capabilities.

Changes to Syria's top echelon made in early April with Russian encouragement, including the appointment of the pro-Russian Salim Harba as chief of staff, were meant to weaken the power of Syrian commanders connected to Iran and to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Quds Force.

For its part, Iran has for some time sought to integrate its Shiite militias, which include Iranian commanders, within the Syrian military. There are an estimated 30,000 fighters in Iranian-backed Shiite militias present in Syria.
Arrests of pro-Iranian Syrian activists by Syrian security forces, ordered by Russia and sometimes with the participation of Russian military police, have been reported.

Assad has rejected Iran's request to sign a strategic contract that would guarantee Iran's presence in Syria for the next 50 years, similar to the agreement that it signed with Russia.
Iran could enrich enough uranium for nuke in 6-8 months, says former IAEA deputy
A former deputy head of the UN’s atomic watchdog said Wednesday that Iran is capable of producing enough enriched uranium a nuclear bomb in six to eight months.

In an interview with Israel’s Army Radio, Olli Heinonen said that Israel and the Gulf states “have a reason to worry.”

Heinonen said that despite assertions to the contrary by the current leadership of the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency, which he left in 2010, Tehran has not been adhering to the 2015 nuclear deal.

“Iran is actually weaponizing uranium enrichment without making a weapon,” he claimed.

Heinonen currently serves as a fellow for the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a Washington think tank that has been highly critical of the Iran deal, which was initiated by former US president Barack Obama.

He said that according to his personal, “perhaps back-of-the-envelope” calculation, Iran could amass within six to eight months the amount of enriched uranium needed to produce a nuclear weapons, “if they put in their maximum effort.”
Hold Iran Accountable- Reimpose Sanctions
Iran continues to advance its nuclear program.
- In April, it installed 33 advanced IR6 centrifuges
- In May, it quadrupled production of enriched uranium.
Now it's threatening to violate parts of the JCPOA (Iran Deal).
Hold Iran accountable - reimpose sanctions.

Turkey's "Second Invasion" of Cyprus: Illegal Drilling in Eastern Mediterranean
"Although Turkey has been violating Cyprus's sovereignty since 1974, the current highly volatile internal political and economic situation in Turkey has made the Turkish government get even more aggressive in the eastern Mediterranean.... For Mr. Erdogan's plans to succeed, Cyprus needs to be eliminated." — Harris Samaras, an expert on the Cypriot EEZ and chairman of the international investment banking firm Pytheas.

"Mr. Erdogan is aware that it will be impossible for Turkey to achieve its goals of regional hegemony if US interests in particular, but also French ones, develop a firm foothold in Cyprus. This is his biggest fear." — Harris Samaras.

"The East Med Pipeline, then -- which has been started with the blessing of the US -- is of the utmost importance. At the last trilateral meeting of Israel, Cyprus and Greece, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was present and supported the project. If it goes ahead, it will be a major slap in the face for Turkey's energy plans." — Harris Samaras.

"Concrete steps should be taken to stop Turkish violations against Cyprus's EEZ. Sanctions should be imposed at the level of the European Council to the persons and companies responsible for the drilling. All pre-accession funds to Turkey should be blocked, and Turkish access to loans by the European Investment Bank should be eliminated. Additional options, if Turkey escalates the situation further, are imposing sanctions on Turkey's banking sector and freezing the accession process altogether. The US also needs to lift the irrational arms embargo it imposed on the Republic of Cyprus in 1987, and help it to rearm and modernize its ability to defend itself, while keeping the UN peace keeping mission (UNFICYP) intact." — Theodoros Tsakiris, assistant professor of energy policy and geopolitics at the University of Nicosia.
Daily Mail investigation reports that PSC and SPSC forced Jewish shops to close with “campaign of intimidation”
Activists from the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) and its Scottish equivalent (SPSC) have reportedly forced Jewish shops to close with a “campaign of intimidation.”

The Daily Mail reported that the activists targeted shops in Aberdeen, Belfast, Brighton, Glasgow, London and Manchester, and held aggressive rallies outside them, forcing all but one of the businesses to close. The shop in Manchester remained open following efforts by North West Friends of Israel who worked with police to expose the antisemitism and thuggery of some of the PSC activists.

A new documentary called “Hounded” was released last week by Jewish Human Rights Watch (JHRW), to draw attention to this harassment of Jews who sell goods from Israel, highlighting a “campaign of intimidation” that has been going on for years.

It focused on the story of Nissan Ayalon, a British Jewish businessman who ran a business called Jericho Skin Care and who relocated three times, from Belfast to Glasgow and then to Aberdeen, saying that he did so to escape activists from the SPSC and Republican Network for Unity. Each time, however, they found him and attacked his shop, including with paint bombs because he sold Israeli cosmetics. He said that many other shops not run by Jews also sold Israeli products, but that they were not targeted.

Mr Ayalon, who emigrated to Britain from Krygystan, eventually fled the UK with his family after he was hounded for five years by the SPSC and Republican Network for Unity.
Irish Singer Faces Death Threats, Online Abuse After Competing in Eurovision in Israel
A singer who recently represented Ireland in the Eurovision Song Contest in Israel revealed that she was harassed and threatened online after performing in the Jewish state.

Sarah McTernan, 25, told The Irish Sun, “Oh my God, I got threats, I got letters. Horrendous stuff online with someone threatening to do something to me. I had hundreds and hundreds of people messaging me saying the most horrible stuff. I got a few ­sinister threats. They were telling me ‘you have to be careful’, ‘watch where you go’, ‘you never know where I’ll be’, ‘be careful who you’re with’. That kind of stuff.”

The singer said the abuse “got worse and more and more intense” as time went on, adding, “It did freak me out.”

Among the letters she received in the mail, some included messages that called her stupid, and said, “you are a disgrace,” as well as, “you are a silly little girl who doesn’t know anything about anything.”

McTernan was the focus of an open letter published in April by BDS groups and Irish LGBTQ activists who attempted to pressure her to boycott the Eurovision competition in Israel, which the signees accused of “pinkwashing.” Eurovision took place in Tel Aviv from May 14 to May 18.

McTernan explained that the online threats and abuse were too much for her to handle to the point that she stopped going online for a few days leading up to her performance in the second Eurovision semi-final. She also told The Irish Sun she was not looking for sympathy, and said throughout the ordeal, “I have kept my head high and stayed positive and that’s what I will continue to do.”
SFSU Prof Rabab Abdulhadi's Guest Lecture at UCLA Leads to ADL, Hillel Intervention
The fallout over San Francisco State University professor Rabab Abdulhadi's guest lecture last month at UCLA---in which she likened Zionists to white supremacists, leading to student complaints---has culminated in the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and UCLA Hillel accusing the University of failing "to provide an environment where it is safe to be Zionist or Jewish" due to "aggressive, ill-informed and often academically devoid anti-Israel bias." Citing a number of anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist incidents over the past five years, their joint letter to UCLA's administration concludes that "Taken together, the May 14 guest lecture . . . highlight[s] the need for proactive measures."

Likewise, UCLA professor Judea Pearl has called upon UCLA Chancellor Eugene Block to issue a "post-lecture condemnation," as he did following the 2018 cancellation of a Milo Yiannopoulos lecture, stating that "Abdulhadi's tactics and rhetoric are . . . contrary to our values."

Perhaps now UC professors will think twice before subjecting their students to Abdulhadi's vitriol.
UC-Davis judicial council SHUTS DOWN pro-BDS resolution
A student-run judicial council at a California school unanimously ruled in May that a pro-Boycott, Divest, Sanction (BDS) resolution passed by its student government was unconstitutional.

The University of California-Davis judicial council cited that the bill prompted harassment of Jewish students in its decision, according to The California Aggie.

This ruling nullifies a 2015 pro-BDS resolution passed by the UC-Davis student government, which encouraged the university to divest from companies that do business with “corporations that aid in the Israeli occupation of Palestine and illegal settlements in Palestinian territories, violating both international humanitarian law and international human rights.”

The judicial council voted to nullify the resolution, claiming that it is “inconsistent with the [student government] constitution.”

“The [student government] senate must promote student welfare, meaning it cannot hinder the welfare of any student,” the council said in its decision. “While this Resolution caters to the welfare of a group of students, it does so at the expense of the welfare of other students.”

Additionally, the council found that the resolution caused discrimination and harassment.

Canadian Media Portray Palestinian Terrorist as Victim
On May 31, many Canadian media outlets produced reporting which outrageously portrayed a Palestinian terrorist as a victim of Israeli aggression.

On a Friday going into the Jewish sabbath, a Palestinian terrorist stabbed two Israelis in Jerusalem’s Old City and was subsequently killed by responding Israeli security forces.

How did Canada’s media cover this repugnant terror attack by a bloodthirsty, knife-wielding Palestinian terrorist? The Toronto Star, National Post, and CP 24 all portrayed the attacker as a victim. Check out the following headlines and coverage which was based on reporting by the Associated Press wire service:

As you can see from the following surveillance video, one of the dead Palestinians stabbed two Israelis, quite seriously, in a terror attack at Jerusalem’s Damascus Gate. This has to be emphasized by our media, failing which, people may wrongly conclude that Israeli forces killed a presumably innocent Palestinian, whereas in sharp contrast, the deceased was an assailant.

As we told various Canadian media outlets, as headlines are read 3:1 over the adjacent article, ensuring that information is transmitted accurately and with context in headlines is of paramount importance.
ADL Praises YouTube for Decision to Remove Racist, Extremist Content
The Anti-Defamation League on Wednesday praised YouTube for its decision to remove extremist content from its website.

On its official blog, YouTube said it had been “partnering closely with lawmakers and civil society around the globe to limit the spread of violent extremist content online.”

As a result, it chose to prohibit “videos alleging that a group is superior in order to justify discrimination, segregation or exclusion based on qualities like age, gender, race, caste, religion, sexual orientation or veteran status.”

“This would include, for example, videos that promote or glorify Nazi ideology, which is inherently discriminatory,” the company explained. “Finally, we will remove content denying that well-documented violent events, like the Holocaust or the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, took place.”

ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt commented on the decision, saying, “Online hate and extremism pose a significant threat — weaponizing bigotry against marginalized communities, silencing voices through intimidation, and acting as recruiting tools for hateful, fringe groups.”
Uzbekistan nixes Israeli photo exhibit over the word ‘Jerusalem’
An exhibit of photographs depicting residents of Jerusalem’s Old City by Israeli photographer Dmitry Brickman has been nixed by the Uzbek government because its title includes the word “Jerusalem.”

The exhibit of 120 photographs, which show the broad spectrum of religious and cultural heritages represented in the city, has toured the world, going on display in Russia and the neighboring Muslim nation of Kazakhstan.

But when the Israeli embassy invited Brickman to bring the exhibit to the Uzbek capital Tashkent in early 2018, things got complicated, the Ynet news site reported Thursday.

The exhibit was to be displayed in a hall at the interior ministry in Tashkent and was initially approved by diplomatic officials.

But then the Uzbek foreign ministry announced it would not allow the exhibit to go up, citing its title, “Jerusalem is not just a city.”

No Israel-sponsored event could have “Jerusalem” in its title, Uzbek officials explained, because of what they called the controversial nature of Israeli claims to the city, especially following US President Donald Trump’s recognition of it as Israel’s capital in December 2017.
‘Swastikas Are Cool’: East Bay Man Outrages Neighbors With Giant Nazi Symbol in Backyard
A resident of California’s East Bay area has scandalized his neighborhood by carving a giant swastika into his front yard — and his message to those offended by the sight of the Nazi symbol is “get over it.”

Helicopter footage filmed on Tuesday by a NBC news crew in El Sobrante revealed a 10 foot by 10 foot swastika in the backyard of motorcycle enthusiast Steven Johnson.

Speaking to local news outlet The Mercury News, Johnson denied that he was a Nazi and claimed that the swastika originated as an ancient Tibetan symbol.

“That Nazi (stuff) happened like 80 years ago,” Johnson told a reporter from the paper on Wednesday. “Get over it, I guess.”

In the two days since the footage of his backyard aired, Johnson has stayed unrepentant, insisting he would not remove the swastika.

“I like swastikas,” he said. “I think they look cool. I didn’t do it to get attention. I’m not a worshiper of Nazis. I just thought it’d be a cool thing to put in there.”

Renee Schultz, who is Jewish and has been a neighbor of Johnson‘s for 27 years, told NBC News that “he’s never done anything like this before.”
As ‘Kippah Solidarity’ Calls Fall Flat, Jewish Commentator Says Antisemitism ‘Sadly Irrelevant’ to Majority of Germans
Calls by German politicians for the wearing of kippot as a gesture of solidarity with the country’s Jewish community have fallen flat with the general public, a leading Jewish commentator said on Wednesday.

In an extensive interview with national broadcaster Deutschlandfunk, Michael Wuliger — a columnist with Germany’s main Jewish newspaper, the Jüdische Allgemeine — argued that the vast majority of Germans remained unmoved by the problem of rising antisemitism, despite a 20-percent rise in offenses targeting Jews in 2018.

After Germany’s top official combating antisemitism warned last month that Jews could not safely wear kippot “always, everywhere,” several politicians from across the spectrum called on ordinary Germans to don a kippah as a show of support. The newspaper Bild even published a cut-out kippah for readers to assemble themselves. But when asked by presenter Gerald Beyrodt whether the kippah solidarity calls had produced anything concrete, Wuliger gave a blunt answer.

“Nothing,” he replied. “Absolutely nothing.”
Neil Patrick Harris appointed int'l ambassador of Tel Aviv Pride parade
"It's going to be legen - wait for it - dary."

Neil Patrick Harris, famous for this catchphrase in his role as Barney Stinson in How I Met Your Mother, and for his roles as Count Olaf in Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events and famous kid doctor Doogie Howser, is expected to be a special guest at this years Pride parade in Tel Aviv.

Harris, one of Hollywood's hottest gay stars, was appointed as the International Ambassador of this year's parade.

In a statement to the press, the Tel Aviv Municipality said that "hundreds of thousands of people from Israel and around the world will descend on Tel Aviv for a nonstop week of parties, events, and shows that feature and celebrate the city’s vibrant LGBTQ community, culminating in a massive parade through the city streets."

"Tel Aviv’s Pride parade is the largest Pride event in Asia and the Middle East, and one of the largest parades in the world," the municipality added.

The American actor, writer, producer, magician, and singer will attend the Pride International press conference next week as events kick off for the parade, set to take place on Friday, June 14, across the city.

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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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