Sunday, July 14, 2019

From Ian:

Jonathan S. Tobin: The Problem With Opposing Israel’s ‘Occupation’
As far as the Palestinian Authority’s official media and education system is concerned, Tel Aviv and Haifa, let alone Jerusalem, are every bit as “occupied” by the Jews as the most remote hilltop settlement in the West Bank.

Left-wing American Jewish activists, as well as most of the mainstream media and liberal politicians like Warren, also ignore the fact that the reason why a Palestinian state in the West Bank doesn’t already exist is because the PA has repeatedly rejected Israeli offers that would have given them one. These refusals centered on the Palestinian leadership’s fear of being branded as traitors for agreeing to any pact that would recognize the legitimacy of a Jewish state within any borders. Doing so would effectively end the century-long war on Zionism in which most Palestinians still refuse to concede defeat.

The same is true for complaints about the checkpoints and the security fence that Palestinians say make their lives miserable. They only exist because of the carnage that the Palestinians unleashed on Israelis during the Second Intifada, in which they answered a peace offer with a terrorist war of attrition.

And while the Palestinians carp that the autonomous rule of the PA over the Arab population of most of the West Bank isn’t the same as independence, their ability to govern themselves in this manner also undermines claims of Israeli oppression.

But the main point about the talk about “occupation” is that while the status quo in the West Bank isn’t ideal for either side, the obstacle to peace remains the Palestinians’ futile clinging to their fantasy of occupying all of Israel.

And though groups like IfNotNow couch their advocacy in the language of human rights, when they oppose the right of Jews to visit Israel until the descendants of the 1948 Arab refugees have a right to “return,” what they’re effectively endorsing is Israel’s elimination. The same is true of their support of an antisemitic BDS movement, which is similarly linked to a war to wipe Israel off the map.

That is why even if we were to give Warren the benefit of the doubt for what she said to these activists, Americans should be wary of being lured into statements opposing “occupation.” Doing so sounds right for any liberal. But what it really does is fuel the intransigence that makes peace impossible, encouraging Palestinians and their allies to continue to pursue the goal of denying the Jews rights to their ancient homeland.
Noura Erakat Recounts Her ‘Anxiety’ Over Israel’s Existence
To bolster her anti-Zionism, Erakat appropriated the struggle of Mizrahi Jews — those who hail from the Middle East and North Africa — against what is, in fact, rapidly diminishing discrimination in Israel. She wanted “to cut across the native-settler binary. Instead of it being Palestinians versus Jewish Israelis, why don’t we do it as a racial struggle against .. the racial hierarchy within Israel?” Erakat rejected the terms “Middle Eastern Jews” or “Mizrahim,” claiming they serve “to separate them from the Arab world, so they cannot be both Jewish and Arab.”

As noted by Israeli Mizrahi journalist Hen Mazzig, anti-Israel ideologues like Erakat are imposing an Arab identity upon unwilling Jews. Jewish presence in the Middle East, along with other non-Arab communities such as Aramaic Christians, predates the region’s Arabization following the Islamic conquests in the seventh century. Moreover, Jews suffered greatly under Muslim rule in Arab countries. Such realities make a mockery of Erakat’s “vision for Jewish Israelis in the region” that would be supposedly “better than what Israel has been able to offer.”

Equally absurd were Erakat’s theories about the alleged “relationship between queer theory and Palestinian liberation,” given the mortal dangers to gay individuals in Palestinian society. Invoking intersectionality, she declared that if Palestinians are part of “emancipation on all levels, then we can’t stop at the door of homophobia,” even as she dismissed Israel’s tolerance for homosexuality as “pinkwashing” and “homonationalism.” Nonetheless, she admitted Palestinian society might not be so accepting when she warned that outsiders must let them “define that on their own terms.”

Erakat and her allies in Washington, D.C., and beyond form a leftist/Islamist, red-green coalition centered intellectually in Middle East studies, which in recent decades have abandoned principled scholarship for grievance-based, politicized writing and teaching. Lacking an empirical foundation for their claims, these activists in scholars’ robes invent false narratives that propagandize students and policy makers and willfully blind journalists. Academe’s unwillingness to reform itself leaves the job of countering and defeating these lies to extra-university organizations and concerned stakeholders, including alumni, donors, and legislators. Absent sustained efforts, today’s outrageous claims will become tomorrow’s conventional wisdom.
Pope Francis sends letter to Jewish group on AMIA bombing anniversary
Pope Francis sent a letter to the Argentine Jewish political umbrella organization DAIA ahead of the 25th anniversary this month of the attack that killed 85 people at the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires.

“Since the first day, my heart has been with the relatives of the victims, Jews or Christians,” wrote the pope, who was born in Argentina as Francisco Bergoglio.

In 2005, Francis was a Jesuit archbishop when he became the first public personality to sign a petition for justice in the AMIA bombing case.

Francis then criticized terrorism in a message to Argentine leaders on the 20th anniversary of the attack.

“Terrorism is lunacy. Terrorism’s only purpose is to kill. It does not build anything, it only destroys … May justice be done!” Francis said in a video message.

Jordanian MP who called Israel a 'Jewish cancer' was welcomed to parliament by the Labour shadow minister for peace
A Jordanian MP who has made virulently anti-Semitic comments was welcomed into the Palace of Westminster last week by a Labour Shadow Minister.

Yahya Al-Saud, who is notorious for praising terrorism in Palestine, was greeted at Portcullis House by Labour frontbencher Fabian Hamilton, shadow minister for peace and disarmament.

The controversial Jordanian was ushered into Parliament for a series of meetings, adding fresh fuel to claims that anti-Semitism is not being taken seriously by the party. His visit also prompted campaigners with the Jordanian Opposition Coalition to write to Home Secretary Sajid Javid, questioning why the MP was allowed entry into Britain.

The campaigners detailed a catalogue of anti-Semitic comments by Mr Al-Saud, including an open letter he sent in 2017 to Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

In it, he wrote: ‘What pains me is this Arab silence towards your [Netanyahu’s] childish behaviour, even though those Arabs could extract this Jewish tumour [Israel] which has occupied the body of Palestine.

‘Be a tyrant as you like [Netanyahu], I swear to almighty God, I and all Muslims know that God shall liberate Palestine at the hands of jihadis in Jerusalem... we are waiting for the day when trees shall call on us saying, “O you Muslim, here’s a Jew behind me, come and kill him.” ’
Bernie Sanders went all the way to the USSR but didn’t meet with the world-famous Soviet dissident living in his state — the history too many people are forgetting.
In 1988, Ronald Reagan visited Moscow to finalize a key arms treaty as US–Russian relations continued to warm in what would be the waning days of the Cold War.

Just a couple weeks later, Bernie Sanders and nearly a dozen other Vermonters called a press conference to talk about their own recent trip to the Soviet Union — 10 days in three cities, visits to schools and factories, and an authentic banya session, complete with vodka and patriotic singing. Sanders gushed about the Moscow Metro and the low price of theater in Yaroslavl, with which he was working to set up sister city status with Burlington, of which he was mayor. Reporters asked how much that would cost, and if anyone they met over there had thoughts about Sanders being a socialist (not realizing, perhaps, that by that time in the Soviet Union any ideological fervor was long gone). And then, just as everyone was ready to pack it in, a reporter asked, kind of quietly: “Of anybody you met, was anyone familiar with Vermont?” The reporter continued: “When you said you’re from Vermont, they said, ‘Oh yeah, Solzhenitsyn,’ right?”

Sanders remained silent, but his wife Jane jumped in: “Yes! Yes! Yes!”

This little exchange hasn’t made it into most of the stories about the Sanders’ Soviet adventure. The media usually treats the trip as a comedic piece of trivia that accentuates just how outside the mainstream Sanders has always been — the honeymooners take Yaroslavl! — rather than part of a complicated tradition of lefties visiting the USSR and what they chose to pay attention to and what they chose to ignore.

But back then, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was one of those people easily recognized by their last name only. In Cavendish, Vermont, the tiny picturesque town he called home for nearly two decades, people still talk proudly about how they refused to give out the address of a man who fiercely guarded his privacy, despite the many reporters, fans, and gawkers who traveled far to see him. “He liked Vermont because he was looking for a place with a long cold winter to remind him of home, where he could do his writing in an undisturbed environment,” said Bruce McEnaney, the sexton of the town (population: 1,380). “And that's what the people in town gave him. Nature gave him the snow and the people in town gave him his space.” (h/t IsaacStorm)
Qanta Ahmed: What does the Muslim Council of Britain have against Muslims like me?
Have you ever wondered why there are so few moderate Muslim voices in the press? It’s not because they don’t exist. There are over a billion of us in the world. In many cases, it’s because of the way we are treated by hardliners. Once again, they have trained their crosshairs on me, this time charging me with ‘misrepresenting Muslim behaviour and belief’ and ‘negating the belief of some Muslims’. If a Muslim speaks up against political Islam – questioning the legitimacy of these self-appointed spokesmen – this is what we can expect.

Just look at this week’s report by a group called the Centre for Media Monitoring, which claims that ‘Islamophobia’ is on the march in Britain. In making its case, the group cites one of my Spectator articles in which I defended Boris Johnson’s right to criticise the burqa (a garment which, unlike Boris, I do not think has any place in a tolerant society, nor a basis in Islam).

The Centre for Media Monitoring claims that my column – and The Spectator itself – is guilty of ‘misrepresenting Muslim behaviour’. But what exactly is this body? The group’s own report admits it is part of the Muslim Council of Britain, a highly-politicised organisation. But actually the link is closer than that: its founder and executive director is also the official mouthpiece of the Muslim Council of Britain.

Unsurprisingly, the report has major flaws. It claims from the start that ‘Islamophobia is real’ but doesn’t properly define the term. It’s true that bigotry against Muslims exists, just as it does towards dozens of other groups. But the use of Islamophobia is intended to cover something much broader than that: namely to smear any criticism of Muslims and Islam as motivated by bigotry.
Netanyahu to Nasrallah: Attack Us and Lebanon Will Suffer ‘Crushing Blow’
Following statements by Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah last week that a war between the United States and Iran would put the Jewish state “on the brink of extinction,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned on Sunday that if attacked, Israel “would impose a crushing military blow on [Hezbollah] and on Lebanon.”

On Friday, Hezbollah’s Al-Manar TV broadcast an interview with Nasrallah marking the 13th anniversary of the Second Lebanon War, during which the Hezbollah leader said that “any [future] war will be bigger than the 2006 war for Israel and it will put it on the brink of extinction.”

“We have game-changing offensive weapons, along with human capabilities represented by the Radwan Force and al-Abbas Brigades [elite forces],” he said. “Our weapons have been developed in both quality and quantity. We have precision missiles and drones. The 70-kilometer Israeli coast starting from Netanya and ending at Ashdod is under the fire of the resistance.”

He also pulled out a map and pointed to Tel Aviv and Ashdod ports, Ben-Gurion airport, and various desalination and petrochemical plants and arms depots, declaring that they were all targets Hezbollah could hit.

Netanyahu said in response, “Suffice it to say that for years Nasrallah dug terror tunnels, which we destroyed within days.” He added that if Hezbollah “dared to do something foolish and attack Israel, we would impose a crushing military blow on it and on Lebanon.”

“But unlike Nasrallah, I do not intend to detail our plans,” he said.

Minster Erdan: Palestinian Authority strengthening support for BDS
Minister of Strategic Affairs Gilad Erdan during this weeks cabinet meeting spoke about the Palestinian Authority and the BDS movement, claiming there is a "sharp rise in cooperation" to boycott the State of Israel.

At the meeting Erdan revealed that the Palestinian Authority is strengthening its support for "terror-linked" BDS organizations - by not only spreading incitement, but also glorifying terrorist in its institution of its "pay-for-slay" program, wherein the Palestinian government finances terrorist salaries while they serve out their sentences in Israeli prisons.

“Not only is the Palestinian Authority continuing to incite against Israel through its education system while paying terrorists’ salaries, but it is also strengthening its relationship with terror-linked BDS organizations," Erdan said. "For there to be a chance for peace with the Palestinians, there must be an unequivocal demand to stop the calls for incitement and boycotts stemming from the PA. The Palestinian Authority, terrorist groups, and BDS organizations are all working in the same manner: calling for the delegitimization of the State of Israel as a Jewish state.”

Erdan alluded to the attempted boycott of the Eurovision song contest in Israel, as well as the Palestinian education system continuing to educate Palestinian students to "hate" the Jewish people and delegitimize Israel. Examples of these educational programs include study tours with convicted terrorists, cultural activities such as singing songs about killing Jews, as well as textbooks filled with calls for the "liberation of Palestine" from "the Jews."

"The first step before anything else must be to demand from the Palestinians to stop their spreading of incitement to terrorism and to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. Minister Erdan revealed that there has been a sharp rise over the last six months in PA support for BDS, including President Abbas’s advisor for international relations and foreign affairs, Nabil Shaath, calling for 'a boycott against Israel in order to pressure it to end its occupation in the Palestinian territories.' In contrast to its official policy in the past, the PA and its senior officials are now openly expressing support for BDS," Erdan's office stated in a press release.
Reversing allegedly anti-Arab ban, Afula says nonresidents can use city’s parks
The Afula municipality on Sunday agreed to open its parks to the general public, reversing a controversial city ordinance banning nonresidents that many critics said was designed to keep Arabs from nearby towns out of the Jewish-majority city.

The city agreed to change its policy at the recommendation of the Nazareth District Court, where the municipality is being sued over the discriminatory policy by the advocacy group Adalah.

Before the judge handed down his ruling, Afula officials told the court the signs banning nonresidents would be removed by Tuesday.

In his decision, the judge said that limiting access to public parks was illegal, but did not refer to Adalah’s claim that the ban was motivated by anti-Arab racism.

“The law is clear about preventing access or charging a fee for public spaces,” he said. “Just like it would be illegal to shut down a street, it’s illegal to restrict entry to a public park, regardless of whether the motivations are discriminatory.”

PMW: It’s summer again – when Palestinian summer camps are named after murderers
It’s summer again - when Palestinian summer camps are named after murderers.

Another camp organized by Fatah and the PLO - both of which are headed by PA Chairman Abbas - was named after terrorist murderer Dalal Mughrabi, who led the most lethal attack in Israel's history when she and other terrorists hijacked a bus and murdered 37 Israeli civilians, 12 of them children:
“The Sisters of Dalal Summer Camp”

It’s summer again - when young Palestinians are taught in summer camps that terrorists and killers are their role models.

The participants at the Sisters of Dalal Summer Camp, which was held in Tulkarem, were female high schools students.

It’s summer again - when Fatah and PLO officials endorse such camps glorifying killers of Israelis.

The Sisters of Dalal Summer Camp was organized by the Tulkarem branch of the Fatah Movement’s Shabiba Youth Movement high school committees, with the support of the PLO Supreme Council for Sport and Youth Affairs. Moreover, the participants in the camp met with PA officials at the PA National Security Forces regional command’s headquarters.

Several officials spoke at the meeting, including the district governor who delivered “greetings” from PA Chairman Abbas and his “blessings” for the organization of “activities... that strengthen the spirit of national belonging among our sons and daughters.” In his speech the governor specifically mentioned terrorist murderer Dalal Mughrabi and praised her “position in the struggle and the revolution”:
Hamas member kidnapped, murdered in alleged UAE operation
Hamas member Salim Ahmed Maarof was murdered on Saturday in Yemen, a country he had lived in for 15 years, Arab media reports.

Maarof, a father of five, was originally from Khan Yunis.

Hamas opened a mourning tent in the south Gaza city and is calling for a comprehensive inquiry into his death.

Maarof was allegedly kidnapped from a large airport in Yemen and tortured to death by the security services of the UAE for his connection to Hamas.

UAE and Saudi Arabia are part of the Arab coalition involved in the ongoing Yemeni Civil War between the current government of Yemen and the Houthis.

JCPA: Iran Chips Away at Its Nuclear Deal Obligations and Ups the Pressure on Europe
On July 7, 2019, the ultimatum Iran posed to the countries still signed on to the nuclear deal expired, and Iranian leaders announced it would take further steps to violate the deal. Days earlier, Iran had already crossed the deal’s threshold of 300 kilograms of enriched uranium (enriched to a low level, 3.67 percent), as it had threatened to do. On May 8, 2019, exactly one year after the United States withdrew from the agreement, Iran allotted 60 days to the other signatories to meet their commitments to provide Iran with the economic benefits it is supposed to receive under the deal.

The same day Behrouz Kamalvandi, Spokesman for the country’s Atomic Energy Organisation (AEOI) has said Iran will start enriching uranium to a higher purity than 3.67 per cent. The IAEA has confirmed that Iran is now enriching Uranium to a higher level. Iran has previously said it needs five-percent enrichment for its Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) and 20-percent for Tehran research reactor.

Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Abbas Araqchi said on 7 July that Iran prepared a step-by-step strategy for further eroding its nuclear commitments in collaboration with the AEOI”. Araqchi was speaking at a press briefing together with Kamalvandi, and government spokesman, Ali Rabiei, as they officially announced the start of uranium enrichment beyond levels stipulated in the JCPOA.

Araqchi added that Iran has set a new 60-day deadline for the remaining European JCPOA signatories, while threatening that it will take a “third step” of scaling back its commitments unless its demands are met.
Rouhani denies sanctions bite but pledges to talk with U.S. if they're lifted
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday insisted that the sanctions placed upon his country have not been devastating, but pledged to return to talks with the US if they lift the sanctions, according to the semi-official Iranian Fars news.

"Today anyone claiming that the Iranian nation's will and determination has weakened in light of these pressures [by the United States] has made an inappropriate statement and told a lie," Rouhani told a group of supporters in northern Iran.

Later, the president took a slightly different tone, saying on national television: "We have always believed in talks ... if they lift sanctions, end the imposed economic pressure and return to the deal, we are ready to hold talks with America today, right now and anywhere."

In his speech earlier on Sunday, Rouhani began by expressing the power of his country and the defiance and resistance showed by Iranians.

"It is now 14 months that the world's largest economic and military power has imposed the harshest sanctions against Iran; sanctions which could bring any nation to its knees. But the Iranian nation has resisted powerfully," Rouhani said.

Rouhani said that the United States had failed in its attempts to undermine the Islamic Republic through the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United Nations and the International Court of Justice.

"The US has also been condemned in our region. It has failed in Syria and Yemen," he said.
IfNotNow Pushing Anti-Settlements Public Statements on Leading Democrat
The last thing leading Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden needs is to sink his pretty teeth into the Israel-PA conflict. His views on the settlements are identical or a bit to the left of the Obama administration: he opposes them and believes that they are counterproductive to Israel’s security. But he prefers not to highlight this part of his platform, because no matter what he says on the issue, it would cost him votes.

Which has made him a very attractive target for the most effective anti-Israel group, IfNotNow, which uses its tiny numbers (a few hundreds – although they might be growing) to drag Biden, along with the rest of the party, to a precipice where the Trump campaign will surely pick them off and watch them fall.

Because the fact is you cannot win a presidential campaign in America on an anti-Israel line – despite what your base is demanding. Because while as many as 73% of Democrats identify Israel as the cause for the failure of peace talks, the voters at large do not.

Alas, IfNotNow activists hunt for Biden, and while they are not allowed a seat up front at his events, they wait for him after the show.

Mark Mellman, president of Democratic Majority for Israel, on July 9 sent a warning letter to the Democratic presidential candidates regarding a “strongly anti-Israel organization, IfNotNow, which has refused to acknowledge Israel’s right to exist at all,” and which is “asking young people to run up to candidates and ask some variant of, ‘will you push Israel to end the occupation.’”
Anti-Semitic Rep. Ilhan Omar Boasts of Berating Jewish Trump Official
Freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) on Saturday boasted about her fiery exchange with U.S. special envoy to Venezuela Elliott Abrams earlier this year, saying it gave her an opportunity to speak on behalf of others who had her "lived experience" by shouting in his face.

Omar participated in a panel at the liberal Netroots Nation conference, where she said Democrats don't get an opportunity to debate the Trump administration's foreign policy because of all the distractions.

"We often don't get to have a clear debate about the people he's appointing to lead in these areas as an invoice, which is why I lost my mind when Elliott Abrams came to my committee," Omar said.

The moderator then interjected to address Abrams, saying that her exchange with Abrams was around the same time when Omar falsely claimed the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, was paying politicians to be pro-Israel.

Trump: Congresswomen from corrupt, inept countries should go back there
US President Donald Trump slammed unnamed Democratic congresswomen for criticizing US democracy when they hail from countries “whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe” in a thread of tweets on Sunday.

"So interesting to see 'Progressive' Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all), now loudly and viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth, how our government is to be run," Trump wrote.

"Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came. Then come back and show us how it is done. These places need your help badly, you can’t leave fast enough. I’m sure that Nancy Pelosi would be very happy to quickly work out free travel arrangements!"
Presidential Candidate Joe Sestak Would Move the US Embassy ‘Back Out of Jerusalem’
Former US Rep. Joe Sestak, who is running for the Democratic nomination for president in 2020, said on Friday that, if elected, he would undo US President Donald Trump’s relocation of the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem—the first candidate running next year for the highest office to explicitly say so.

“We have to have a two-state solution, and I believe the administration made a mistake to move the embassy to Jerusalem,” the former two-term Pennsylvania congressman told JNS. “That will be a major impediment, if not a permanent impediment, to try to get a two-state solution” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he said.

“We need to move the embassy back out of Jerusalem, but with the understanding that, ultimately, I believe we need to have the capital be there,” he continued. “But it needs to be worked out in a two-state solution and then our embassy needs to be there.”

Candidates who have said that, if elected, they wouldn’t move the embassy back to Tel Aviv include South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg; spiritual guru and author Marianne Williamson; former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper; Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.); and Montana Gov. Steve Bullock.
Rashida Tlaib compares 'racist' Israel to 19th-century US segregation
Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib claims that “there is continued dehumanization and racist policies by the State of Israel that violate international human rights, but also violate my core values of who I am as an American.”

In an interview published Saturday by Jacobin, a democratic socialist quarterly magazine based in New York that offers American leftist perspectives on politics, Tlaib - America’s first Palestinian-American in Congress - compared the happenings in Israel with racial segregation in the United States.

“‘Separate but equal’” doesn’t work, Tlaib said. “I know that my ancestors were killed, died, uprooted from their land.... I can tell you when I was in Palestine with my mother and she had to get in a separate line. There are different colored license plates if you are Palestinian or Israeli."

Tlaib’s parents were both born in the West Bank. Her mother grew up there and her father moved at nine years old to Nicaragua. As young adults, they moved to the States.

CAIR Exec's Brother Makes Facebook Post About Killing Jews
The brother of a prominent CAIR executive wrote about killing Jews on Facebook while waiting for a plane at Israel's David Ben Gurion Airport after a trip to Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque, the Middle East Forum's Sam Westrop found.

Ahmed Billoo, known on Facebook as "Ahmed Ibn Aslam," is Zahra Billoo's brother. She is executive director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations' (CAIR) San Francisco-Bay Area office and also is known for her frequent anti-Semitic outbursts. Ahmed Billoo is the religious director of the Islamic Center of Cypress and a professor at California Islamic University. He also teaches at the Institute of Knowledge, which Westrop identifies as a seminary that has other faculty from a hardline Salafist/Deoban ideology.

"Oh God, reduce their numbers, exterminate them, and don't leave a single one alive," Billoo wrote in an Arabic post featuring the hashtag "#Zionists."

Once Billoo reached Istanbul he posted, "So good to be in a Muslim country," with the hashtag "#TiredofSeeingZionists."

This is nothing new for Billoo. Westrop notes that The Jewish Journal describes an Ahmed Billoo from Alhambra, Calif., Billoo's home, who said that suicide bombers should be looked at on a case-by-case basis. He was president of the California State University Long Beach Muslim Student Association at the time.
German weekly: Jewish lobbyists have 'dubious political influence'
A recent article in German weekly Der Spiegel makes anti-Semitic accusations against Jewish organizations in the country that work to promote the struggle against the hatred of Jews and the recognition of Israel's positions.

The report accuses two organizations, Promoting Values and the Middle East Peace Forum, of using "dubious methods" to wage a "focused campaign" aimed at changing Germany's Middle Easy policies to better conform to those of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government. A number of journalists behind the article have in the past written reports that were found to have been fabricated.

According to the report in Der Spiegel, the aforementioned organizations have ties to the Strategic Affairs Ministry's international campaign against the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, and acted "aggressively" to promote the decision by the Bundestag to define BDS as anti-Semitic and call to withhold government funding from organizations with ties to the anti-Israel movement.

In its report, Der Spiegel quotes members of Germany's parliament as claiming the decision was unnecessary and only made as a result of "systemic influence and pressure" from Promoting Values founder and German Jewish activist Dario Adler.

Pence in Poway: We will always condemn anti-Semitism
US Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Karen, visited Chabad of Poway near San Diego on Friday. In April, the Chabad synagogue was the scene of an anti-Semitic shooting that left worshipper Lori Kaye, 60, dead and three others wounded, including the community rabbi.

Pence tweeted that "no one should fear in a house of worship. We will always condemn evil acts of anti-Semitism. We are with you!"

Pence also tweeted that he and Karen were "honored" to visit Chabad of Poway and said that Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, who was also wounded in the April shooting, was an "inspiration to the nation."

After the shooting, Goldstein said, "Right here it turned dark for a long moment and then the miraculous bright light came on."

In May, shooter John Earnest was indicted on 113 federal counts after pleading not guilty to hate crimes.
Paul Anka rocks Tel Aviv
ANKA CONCERT tickets are, perhaps surprisingly, a hot commodity. Several excited audience members told The Jerusalem Post that they have been to all of his previous concerts in Israel. Avi Benedict, also a singer (although not as famous as Anka), related that he has “been a fan of Paul Anka and Frank Sinatra since my childhood in Morocco.” Shmuel Weiss, 71, who comes to see Anka every time he performs in Israel, remembers that he connected with Anka songs “when I was growing up in Poland,” further evidencing the pop star’s worldwide and enduring appeal.

Speaking for a younger generation, Mali Cohen said, “When I was in the [Israeli] army about 25 years ago, I listened to Paul Anka and Frank Sinatra. Seeing Anka here is like a dream come true. It’s my birthday gift from my husband, Avi, actually.” Their children are fans of the music, too.

Part of the evening was dedicated to Anka’s longtime pal, Frank Sinatra, for whom he wrote the lyrics to “My Way.” Sinatra was a famously strong supporter of Israel, a sentiment that is apparently shared by Anka, as evidenced by several friendly remarks during the show. Moreover, while BDS has bullied lesser lights such as Lorde and Lana Del Ray into canceling performances in the promised land, Anka – as reported last week in the Post – said before the concert that he had little patience for BDS and its tactics, saying: “I told them very delicately to f**k off.”

Classy, yet sincere, familiar and accessible – and clearly having fun – Anka proved to be a consummate performer and real crowd pleaser. The evening climaxed with a surprise choice of tunes for his encore – a pulsing version of Queen’s “We Will Rock You,” followed by Elton John’s “The Bitch Is Back,” performed with the audience cheering on its feet. As one audience member gushed while filing out of the venue, “The show exceeded all expectations – and my expectations were high.”
93% of tourists in Israel enjoyed their trip - tourism survey
The Tourism Ministry released the results of its annual Inbound Tourism Survey on Sunday, which stated that in 2018, 93% of tourists ranked their visit in the "good to excellent" category, with tourism bringing almost 21 billion shekels into the country, excluding flights.

The survey further mentioned that 53.2% of tourists said that their views on Israel changed for the better upon their visit to the country, while 41% said that their views did not change and 1.5% said their view changed for the worst.

"The year 2018 was a record year for incoming tourism to Israel, with more than 4 million tourists," said Tourism Minister Yariv Levin. "The constant increase in incoming tourism is a result of the ministry's new marketing strategy, and we are seeing a continuation of this upward momentum in 2019."

Tel Aviv Port was ranked the best maintained site in the country by 31.3% of the tourists, while Masada was second with 26.2% and the Tel Aviv Museum of Art came in third with 21.1%.

Jerusalem is the most visited city, with 77.5% of the tourists in the country visiting the capital. Tel Aviv is in second place with 67.4%, followed by the Dead Sea area (48%) and Tiberias (36.2%).

The Western Wall is the most visited site, with 71.6% of tourists visiting there. Next in line was the Church of the Holy Sepulchre visited by 52.2% of tourists, 50.1% visiting Old Jaffa, and Via Dolorosa in fourth place with 47.4%.
The Biblical City of Tziklag Uncovered
The biblical city of Tziklag is mentioned in the bible as the place where King David escaped from King Saul. For many years historians and archaeologists debated where the exact location is. Recently,the Israel Antiquities Authorities claimed they have found the historic site. Our reporter Shelby Weiner has the story.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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


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