Saturday, August 24, 2019

From Ian:

Without Israel, the Middle East is lost
For example, the Arab world contains around one-third of the world’s deserts. Most Arab countries have insufficient water resources, and poor water management, making the region especially vulnerable to desertification and drought. Israeli agricultural and water technology can resolve this problem.

However, the problem is that Arab hearts are full of conspiracy theories and Jew-hatred. According to the latest Pew research center study, 100% of Jordanian, 99% of Lebanese and 98% of Egyptians hate Jews.

This hatred is blinding Arabs to Israel’s contribution to the security of their countries and potential contribution to their economies. But then, the rest of the world has failed to see this as well.

Although Israel certainly needs to set out its case to the world, the world also needs to recognize the contribution Israel is already making in the Middle East, and open its eyes to the much larger potential. Israel on its own cannot do much to change Arab public opinion.

In conclusion, Israeli policy should not be defined by the narrow Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but mainly by the economic and security future of the wider Middle East, particularly Jordan, Syria, and Egypt.

What would the situation be today if the Golan Heights were under Syrian control? What would have happened to the security of Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, etc., if Iran had established proxy militias in the Syrian Golan Heights? Would we see the rise of another terrorist group like Hamas and Hezbollah?

Above all Israel needs to see and think, remain strong and make sure that the Jordan Valley remains part and parcel of the Jewish state, indeed becoming its economic center and stays highly populated. The Middle East needs a strong Israel.

Klavan's One-State Solution: Give the Middle East to the Jews (2011)


Khaled Abu Toameh: Palestinians: Victims of Arab Discrimination, Racism
The controversy surrounding the crackdown on illegal workers and businesses, and the increased fear in Lebanon that the Palestinian protests could plunge the country into violence and anarchy, are likely to escalate in the coming days: the Lebanese authorities appear determined to continue.

Lebanon's discriminatory and apartheid laws and measures against Palestinians are not new. According to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), Palestinians in Lebanon are excluded from key facets of social, political and economic life. Palestinian refugees face legal restrictions that limit their rights, including the prohibition to work in 39 professions and to own property. Moreover, they have limited access to state-provided services such as health and education. Professions that remain prohibited for Palestinians include healthcare, engineering, transport, fishing, and the public sector and law.

It takes little imagination to predict the global uproar were, say, Israel to ban Arabs from working as engineers, can drivers, nurses or physicians. The international community and pro-Palestinian groups, however, seem distinctly indifferent about the plight of Palestinians in an Arab country.

While the Lebanese people's fear of Palestinian violence in their country is warranted, there is no reason why any Arab country should be subjecting Palestinians to discriminatory and apartheid regulations. The story of the mistreatment of Palestinians in Lebanon is a microcosm of a bigger problem: the Arab "betrayal" and "abandonment" of Palestinians.

It is time for the Arab countries to replace lip service to the Palestinians with deeds. It is also time for the international community and so-called pro-Palestinian groups to start reckoning with the real suffering of Palestinians, particularly in Lebanon.



The myth of Jewish influence in the Democrat Party
Once upon a time, Trotsky thought he was going to run the Soviet Union. Didn’t quite work out that way — and he at least had the decency to abandon the Jews, his Jewish identity, to change his name, to deny his Jewishness. Karl Marx was even more open: he hated Jews and Judaism so much that he made a central thesis of his entire Marxist agenda the eradication of the Jews and of Judaism, following in the steps of his father who abandoned Judaism and converted to the Evangelical Church of Prussia before Karl even was born.

Schumer, Nadler, Schiff. They are the Three Stooges who symbolize and epitomize the utter emptiness and myth of “Jewish influence” in the Democrat Party. Jews who lack loyalty to themselves or their roots. Those Jews are pure freiers (suckers), just as the Democrats have hoodwinked Black America. When the Democrats know they have you in their pockets, they move on. For example, they figure they have Blacks in their pockets, so they now focus on importing Hispanic voters to leap-frog Blacks socially and economically — which is exactly what is happening. And the Democrats likewise know they have non-Orthodox Jews, Fake Jews, and anti-Semitic Jews in their pockets. (Orthodox Jews, who are the fastest-growing demographic in American Jewry, voted 90 percent for Romney over Obama, and are rock-solid as President Trump’s strongest constituency.)

When Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib attack Israel, the Three Stooges — plus Elliot Engel, nukh a schlemazel (“NAS”)— thought they had all that influence among Democrats. They really started to believe the anti-Semites bewailing Jewish influence. And then they could not even pass a simple resolution condemning anti-Semitism. A year later, with a new form of American Nazi in Congress — the Jew-haters Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib accusing Jews of controlling the world, hypnotizing the world, disloyalties, controlling power with their money . . . and now trying to destroy Israel by using anti-Semitic allies and Holocaust-denial organizations to promote their anti-Semitic BDS efforts and Nazi tropes — the Three Stooges Plus NAS are powerless, useless, hapless.

The Democrats rally ‘round two Islamist Nazis who happen to be among 435 elected Congressional representatives, and the Three Stooges Plus NAS cannot so much as lead a counter-charge. What about some loyalty to themselves and to their roots? It takes Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Mike Huckabee, Sean Hannity, Bill Maher (yes, Bill Maher!), Laura Ingraham, and Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) to stand with Israel on banning those two Islamist Nazis from the Jewish State.

Omar and Tlaib have no right to be there, to set foot in Israel — ever. That is the beauty of living in an era when Jews have one small country, the size of Delaware: Jews finally have one place on earth where they can keep Nazis out. Tlaib waiting for how many years to visit her grandmother? And then suddenly wanting to visit her, merely to get Israel to refuse. And as soon as Israel called her bluff and said she could come in privately and visit, Tlaib exposed her innermost garbage: no longer interested in visiting the nonagenarian, once Israel said she could.
Furor over Trump's 'disloyalty' remarks is a diversion
It was in the context of this whirlwind of Democratic denunciations of Israel that Trump reacted with anger and amazement at a reporter’s question about cutting foreign aid to Israel.

“Five years ago, the concept of even talking about this … cutting off aid to Israel because of two people that hate Israel and hate Jewish people – I can’t believe we’re even having this conversation,” said Trump.

He condemned Democrats for defending Tlaib and Omar and their comments against Israel and the Jewish people.

“I think any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat, I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty,” he said.

Trump was not being anti-Semitic; he was simply being honest and saying out loud what a lot of people are thinking.

Recent polls quoted in The Washington Post show that Democrats are equally split in their support for Israel and the Palestinians. This contrasts with Republican support for Israel, which is 76% in favor of Israel.

As the two Muslim freshman Democratic representatives defame Israel and lie about its history, the other Democratic members of Congress cower in silence. Can Jewish Democrats visualize what US-Israel relations will be like with a Democratic president from the current crop of candidates, egged on by a Democratic Congress?

Trump was just reminding American Jews of Hillel’s dictum: If I’m not for myself, who will be for me?
Why Is New York Times Still Surprised When AIPAC Breaks With Netanyahu?
It’s almost at the point where instead of describing these situations as “unusual,” the Times would be more accurate to describe them as “routine” or “increasingly frequent.”

There’s a climate of increased scrutiny in Washington around the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) owing to the so-called “Mueller Effect,” and a cynic might view these moves by AIPAC as legally calculated to dispel decisively the false impression that the lobby’s actions are directed by the Israeli government rather than by the group’s American members. But a source familiar with AIPAC told The Algemeiner that FARA was not a consideration for the organization’s statements.

During the period when The New Republic was reliably contrarian, people used to joke that the publication should be renamed “Even The New Republic” on its front cover because of the frequent tendency of conservatives to cite the fact that the ostensibly-liberal political magazine endorsed some policy idea. Maybe the Times could save ink by writing EAIPAC — for “Even the American Israel Public Affairs Committee” — instead of spelling the whole thing out each time. Or better yet, the Times could skip the pose of surprise as the lobby maneuvers to make sure that support for the US-Israel relationship and for AIPAC itself remain strong and bipartisan long past the administrations of either US President Donald Trump or Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu.
Ron Kampeas: For this Jewish Republican, Trump’s ‘disloyalty’ jab is a bridge too far
Matt Brooks, the RJC director, doesn’t think so, and insists Trump was putting into blunt terms what Jewish Democrats have long said about Republicans.

“The president is not plowing any new fields here,” he said in an interview.

Brooks said that Jewish Democrats promote their own problematic trope — that their party is better aligned with Jewish values. He mentioned his counterpart, Jewish Democratic Council of America director Halie Soifer, who debated Brooks at an American Jewish Committee conference in June. Soifer spoke of values, including advocacy for human rights and reproductive rights, that her party embraced.

“The Republican Party under President Trump has enacted policies that are antithetical to those values,” she said then.

I put it several times to Brooks that “antithetical” was not equivalent to “disloyal,” which attaches not to a policy, but to a person, and which implies intent. He insisted that Democrats were implying disloyalty, but also acknowledged, like Zeldin, that he would not use the term “disloyal,” instead preferring “misguided,” which does not imply intent.

What happens if it sticks? How do you work with someone you think is disloyal, or who thinks you are disloyal?

Zeldin said that he believes Trump is right on policy and that he hopes Democrats marginalize — “crush,” in his words — the Israel-critical minority Trump was targeting when he made the “disloyalty” comment. But while Trump keeps insisting that the two pro-boycott congresswomen, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, are the “face” of the Democratic Party, Zeldin notably acknowledges that Democrats have pro-Israel leaders within their ranks.

Two days before the disloyalty kerfuffle, a pro-Israel group urged both Democrats and Republicans to refrain from painting the other party according to its extremes. The appeal did not come from a mainstream Jewish group, but a hawkish Christian one: Christians United for Israel.

CUFI’s statement referred to the previous week’s Israel-related drama, when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government barred Tlaib and Omar from entering the country. But it might have as easily applied to the Disloyalty Affair.

“The leaders of both parties should keep their fringe elements in check and stop attributing the views of these outliers to the opposition,” CUFI said. “Allowing a handful of anti-Israel Members of Congress to hijack Congressional action on Israel has gone on long enough.”
Rabbi Shmuley Blasts Cory Booker for Twisting Torah to Attack Trump
Booker was reacting to President Trump’s statement this week that American Jews who voted for Democrats, after they supported anti-Israel and antisemitic members of their party, were “disloyal” to themselves.

The New Jersey senator told an interviewer in Iowa that Trump was not displaying the Jewish values of tzedakah (charity) and chesed (kindness). The Times of Israel reported:
“I know Jewish values… tzedakah, chesed… there’s an idea in Judaism about kindness and decency and mercy,” he said in a video posted to Twitter by the politics site Iowa Starting Line. “These ideals are not being evidenced by the president of the United States.”

The New Jersey lawmaker added that Democrats “are no less disloyal to this country” than Republicans are.

“The word tzedakah — I know you’re not a Torah scholar — it not only is used to talk about charity and decency and mercy, it’s actually the word for justice as well. We need to get back to that, to being good to each other,” he said to the interviewer.


In response, Rabbi Boteach, a Breitbart News contributor who befriended Booker at Oxford University before their political falling out over the Obama administration’s hostile approach to Israel, issued a statement:
In response to Cory Booker’s comments quoting the Torah and Jewish values to assail President Trump, I would remind him that firstly, “I was the one who taught him the Torah he knows” and what I always emphasized to him is that Judaism’s highest value is protection and preservation of life. This is something that Cory unfortunately violated in the extreme when he betrayed the American Jewish community by voting for the Iran nuclear deal for political gain.

Jewish values are about having core convictions that do not change based on any external benefits, especially when genocide is at stake. While I absolutely agree that President Trump’s words – and not only actions – should be consistent with Jewish values, there can be no question that in action he has been the most supportive President for Israel for security and legitimacy in the history of the United States.

Cory, sadly, has gone in the opposite direction, catering to left-wing extremists who sadly despise Israel and the Jewish people for no legitimate reason. Cory has condemned the moving of the American embassy to Jerusalem, voted against the Taylor Force Act in committee, which would simply have stopped Palestinian terrorists from being payed to murder Jews, and most famously he voted for the Iran deal and refused to even once condemn Iran’s genocidal promises to annihilate Israel.
IDF strikes in Syria to thwart drone attack on Israel by Iranian forces
Israeli fighter jets carried out airstrikes in Syria to thwart a planned drone attack on Israel by Iran-backed fighters, the Israel Defense Forces said Saturday night.

The Israeli military said its strike targeted operatives from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards’ Quds Force as well as Shiite militias who had been planning on sending attack drones into Israel.

“The thwarted attack included plans to launch a number of armed drones intended to be used to strike Israeli sites,” the military said in a statement.

The rare Israeli announcement of a strike inside Syria came minutes after Syrian state television reported air defenses were activated against hostile targets.

Reports said blasts were heard in the skies of the capital Damascus.

A military airport in the capital was said to have been targeted. It was not immediately clear if there were casualties in the strike.

The IDF said the strikes targeted sites in the town of Aqrabah, southwest of Damascus.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the Israeli strikes in a tweeted statement. “Iran has no immunity anywhere. Our forces are operating in every arena against Iranian aggressiveness.”

“Rise first to kill those who come to kill you,” he added, referencing a Talmudic passage justifying pre-emptive strikes.
US officials: ‘Raging heat’ may be behind Iraq explosions, not Israel
US officials said Friday a series of recent explosions in Iraq may be due to the scorching summer weather and not Israeli airstrikes as widely reported.

Earlier in the day, the New York Times quoted two US officials saying Israel was behind “several strikes in recent days on munitions storehouses for Iranian-backed groups in Iraq.”

In a briefing with reporters, a pair of Trump administration officials pushed back on the report, saying the US could not confirm Israel was responsible for the August 22 explosion, Bloomberg reported.

The officials posited that rather than Israeli airstrikes, the blasts may have been caused by the “absolutely raging heat in Baghdad over the summer,” when temperatures regularly average around 110º fahrenheit.

They also said Iran was culpable for the explosions due to its transfer of weapons to militia groups in Iraq and accused the Islamic Republic of working to make the country a client state like Syria.

According to US officials, Israel was responsible for a July 19 attack that targeted a base belonging to Iranian-backed paramilitary forces in Amirli in the northern Salaheddin province, and killed two Iranians. The attack was followed by at least two other mysterious explosions at a munitions depot near Baghdad belonging to the militias.

It would be the first known Israeli airstrike in Iraq since 1981, when Israeli warplanes destroyed a nuclear reactor being built by Saddam Hussein.
2 NY Women Plead Guilty to Planning Terrorist Attack Against Law Enforcement, Military
Two New York residents inspired by radical Islam pleaded guilty on Friday to planning a terrorist attack using explosives against law enforcement and military targets in the United States.

Asia Siddiqui and Noelle Velentzas of Queens intended to use explosives and a weapon of mass destruction in their attack and studied the worst terrorist attacks in the country during their planning, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

"In an effort to implement their violent, radical ideology, the defendants studied some of the most deadly terrorist attacks in U.S. history, and used them as a blueprint for their own plans to kill American law enforcement and military personnel," said U.S. Attorney Richard P. Donoghue.

The women's plans were thwarted by law enforcement.

According to the DOJ, between approximately 2013 and 2015 Siddiqui and Velentzas were planning to build a bomb. They taught each other chemistry and electrical skills to create explosives and detonating devices. They researched how to make plastic explosives and build a car bomb, and also bought the necessary materials.

Explosives used in past terrorist attacks including the Boston Marathon bombing, Oklahoma City bombing, and 1993 World Trade Center attack were discussed by Siddiqui and Velentzas and they researched potential targets.

When the women were arrested in April 2015, propane gas tanks, soldering tools, car bomb instructions, jihadist literature, machetes, and several knives were seized from their residences.
IDF arrests 3 Palestinians in manhunt for bomb attack perpetrators
The IDF on Saturday arrested three Palestinians as part of a manhunt for the terrorists responsible for a terror attack that killed a teenage girl and wounded her father and brother near a natural spring close to the West Bank settlement of Dolev.

According to Palestinian news agency WAFA, two men were arrested during a raid in the village of Ein Arik close to Ramallah and another, a student at Birzeit University who has spent time in Israeli jails, was arrested in the nearby village of Ein Qiniya.

Other raids took place in the village of Beitunia. During the raids, IDF troops are also said to have confiscated surveillance cameras from businesses in the area.

On Friday, 17-year-old Rina Shenrav was killed by an improvised explosive device in attack at the Ein Buvin spring.

It was previously thought that the device had been thrown at the family from a car that fled the scene but it was determined that the IED had been planted earlier at the spring and remotely detonated when the family approached.


Ambassador Danon to the security council: condemn Rina Schenrav's murder
Following the murder of Rina Schenrav on Friday, Israeli ambassador to the UN Danny Danon sent a letter to UN Security Council President Joanna Wronecka of Poland demanding condemnation of the terrorist attack.

According to Danon’s office, the ambassador emphasized the responsibility of the Palestinian Authority, saying that this attack, “like so many others conducted by Palestinians, was intentionally aimed at innocent Israeli civilians.

“It is being glorified in Palestinian social media,” he added. “The Palestinian Authority is directly responsible for this attack, a result of the Palestinians’ ongoing policy of educating and incentivizing their youth to kill Jews throughout Israel. The PA glorifies terrorists, rewarding their horrific actions with guaranteed salaries and renaming streets, schools and town squares in their honor.”

Danon demanded that the Security Council condemn the murder. “The international community must join Israel in our struggle against terrorism; this is the most justified fight. The international community needs to join it and condemn not only the murder but also the culture of incitement and salaries to murderers.”

House Majority leader Steny Hoyer condemned the terrorist attack.
German Jews slam Merkel’s FM for belittling Palestinian terrorist attack
A German foreign ministry statement unleashed a storm of criticism from German Jews because the diplomatic comment played down the role of Palestinian terrorism in the murder of 17-year-old Rina Shenrav and injuries to her father and brother on Friday.

Daniel Botmann, the executive director of the nearly 100,000 Central Council of Jews in Germany, wrote on Twitter: “Dear Foreign Ministry, the Tweet has a mistake. The end should read, ‘and we are working to stop such terrorist attacks on innocent Israeli civilians.’ Israel, reason of state”.

Botmann’s reference to “reason of state” was connected to German Chancellor Angela Merkel claiming in the Israeli Knesset in 2008 that the Jewish state is part of Germany’s national security or reason of state.

Botmann’s tweet was in response to the foreign ministry Tweet: “We strongly condemn such acts of violence, as well as instigating them or justifying them. The Federal Government is committed to overcoming the spiral of violence and hatred and to maintaining the perspective of a two-state solution that will enable all Israelis and Palestinians to live a life of peace and security.”
Rep. Tlaib Appears To Blame Israel For Israeli Teenager's Death
Democratic Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib once again criticized the state of Israel Friday night, following the death of an Israeli teen.

17-year-old Rina Shnerb was killed in a terrorist attack earlier this week in the West Bank, while her brother and father sustained serious injuries. Tlaib responded to the attack Friday night by making reference to the “Israeli occupation.”

“This is absolutely tragic & horrible. My heart goes out to Rina’s family,” Tlaib said in a tweet. “More than ever we need to support nonviolent approaches to ending the Israeli occupation and guaranteeing equal rights for all.”

Tlaib was responding to a tweet from “IfNotNow,” an anti-Israel organization with connections to anti-Semites and Palestinian radicals.
Palestinian Rioters Again Raise Nazi Swastika on Israel-Gaza Border
For the second time this month, a Nazi swastika symbol was raised by Palestinian rioters on the Israel-Gaza Strip border on Friday and documented by the IDF.

Thousands of Palestinians took part in demonstrations on the border on Friday, violently confronting IDF soldiers, who responded with riot-dispersal means.

Border unrest has been a near-weekly occurrence since the Hamas-orchestrated “Great March of Return” protests began in March 2018.

In a social media post on Friday, the IDF wrote, “Photographed today by a soldier stationed on the border fence with Gaza. Her relatives were murdered in the Holocaust by Nazis. Like them, she knows what the swastika means. But today, she saw that symbol while wearing the uniform of one of the world’s strongest militaries.”






Seventy Gazans injured in protests, 8,000 protest along border
70 Gazans were injured during the recent Friday protests, including 40 by live bullets, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.

About 8,000 Palestinians gather at the Gaza border to protest.

They threw dozens of bombs, stones and grenades at the fence and IDF troops, while some tried to breach the perimeter.

The IDF also announced earlier that four suspects, apparently children, crossed the perimeter fence in the northern Gaza Strip, but returned to the Palestinian side of the fence immediately.

These protests are part of the "Right of Return" marches, which have been held every Friday since March of last year.
Gaza banks to dole out Qatari cash to 100,000 families starting Sunday
Postal banks in the Gaza Strip will start to distribute small Qatari grants to 100,000 impoverished Palestinian families on Sunday, the Qatari Gaza Reconstruction Committee said on Friday.

Mohammed al-Emadi, a Qatari envoy who heads the committee, crossed into Gaza in the early hours Thursday morning.

In the past year, the banks have distributed $100 Qatari grants several times to tens of thousands of needy families in the coastal enclave.

Israel has allowed Qatar to deliver regular infusions of millions of dollars in cash to the Strip to help stabilize the territory and prevent a humanitarian collapse and further violence.

This week’s payment to 100,000 families marks an increase in the number of beneficiaries over the last two payments, when 60,000 families received disbursements.

The increase was aimed at “lessening the burden on the people of the Gaza Strip in light of the difficult humanitarian situation that it is living,” the committee said on its website.
Germany should investigate chemical weapons-related sales to Syria
The Syrian regime has a horrific record of using chemical weapons on its population. According to Tobias Schneider and Theresa Lütkefend of the Berlin-based Global Public Policy Institute, Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government perpetrated 98% of the more than 300 chemical attacks over the course of the civil war. The other 2% were attributed to Islamic State.

And yet, when the Germany company Brenntag, the world’s largest distributor of chemicals, was found to have sold potential dual-use products that could help Damascus develop chemical weapons to a Syrian company with links to Assad’s regime, German authorities found no grounds to further investigate the sale.

In June, Brenntag disclosed that a Swiss subsidiary sold diethylamine and isopropanol to Syrian pharmaceutical company Mediterranean Pharmaceutical Industries (MPI) in 2014, just a year after the United Nations launched its April 2013 investigation into the use of chemical weapons in Syria.

Brenntag claims the substances it sold were for the production of painkillers. However, isopropanol and diethylamine can also be used in the production of sarin and VX, respectively. According to a report by the Open Society Justice Initiative, the Syrian government has used the deadly chemical sarin in attacks against civilians. The extremely toxic nerve agent VX has also been found in Syria’s chemical weapons supply.

In April 2017, a chemical attack using sarin produced with isopropanol killed almost 100 people and injured more than 200 in Khan Shaykhun, a town in southern Idlib Province.
Another Academic Threat to Israel
Many in the Jewish community have been basking over the recent success of having the California Department of Education cancel its proposed, highly biased Palestinian ethnic-studies curriculum. However, most are oblivious to the fact that there is an equally, if not more, insidious program that has been going on for decades on the federal level, affecting every single state throughout the United States.

This program has been slowly and steadily eroding the hearts and minds of America’s most impressionable students away from support of the State of Israel. It is a part of Title VI of the Higher Education Act (HEA), a law that was passed during the height of the Cold War in 1965.

The initial motivation for the program was a good one. It came about when folks in Washington realized that American students lacked sufficient knowledge in foreign regions, languages and cultures, and were therefore woefully ill-equipped to deal with the Soviet threat. So they set aside a pot of money to give to various universities in order to establish various regional studies programs, such as Soviet studies, Latin Studies, Asian Studies and Middle Eastern Studies.

Thus, a thriving regional studies industry was born.

Then, in 1978, the entire field of Middle Eastern Studies was revolutionized by the late professor of English comparative literature at Columbia University, Edward Said, with the publication of his book, Orientalism. The treatise said that no one could speak with any degree of scholarship and authenticity about the Middle East unless he or she was a native of the region (i.e., an Arab or a Muslim).

Therefore, wonderful scholars such as Efraim Karsh and Bernard Lewis were moved aside on the bookshelves, and the university library and classroom doors were opened to a new generation of highly-politicized, rabidly anti-Israel scholars.
Teaching Israel-Palestine at Columbia
A simple Google search of the words “Columbia University,” “Israel” and “Palestine” rarely yields positive results. Most likely, it will reveal a torrent of controversies and tensions surrounding what has been described as a “battleground campus” involving students and faculty stretching back decades.

The most recent search results are replete with stories of near-violent hostilities between groups such as Students Supporting Israel and Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), of accusations of harassment toward pro-Israel students, pro-Palestinian professors, including comparisons between Israel and ISIS, stories of separation barriers erected by pro-Palestinian students during Israel Apartheid Week, and condemnations over the tactics used by outside pro-Israel advocacy groups such as Canary Mission and CU-Mission.

Throughout my first semester at Columbia, an overwhelmingly liberal Ivy League school, it became clear that the Israel-Palestinian conflict is one of the few topics that deeply divides the community. Small echo chambers permeate the college campus, isolating pro-Israel students from their pro-Palestinian counterparts. The anti-normalization policies advanced by some student groups such as SJP ensure that actual progress and collaborative dialogue seldom takes place.

Some students have even reported avoiding courses in Middle Eastern studies for fear of harassment and academic penalties for their views. Given this discouraging state of affairs, how should campuses such as Columbia teach something as polarizing as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict effectively without alienating entire groups of students?
The Trendy Anti-Israel BDS Movement Has Been A Massive Failure
And left-wing Zionists can gloss over their often-naïve and dangerous enthusiasm for a peace process that so far has made things worse. American left-wing Israel sympathizers like J Street can insist “But we’re against BDS!” all the while supporting policies like the Iran deal that put Israel at risk. (J Street even endorsed and helped fund Rashida Tlaib’s primary campaign, only to have to withdraw their support when she reversed her support for a two-state solution and aid to Israel.)

Some of the economic ill-treatment Israel faces that BDS takes credit for existed long before the movement was founded. And while BDS has created a rallying cry on college campuses, among cultural figures, and even in the halls of Congress, that only underscores my point. A movement of “let’s dismantle the Jewish state” (which is what Palestinians and their supporters really want) would not gain the trendy cachet of a boycott movement.

For decades, the American left has been plagued by a “Phantom Selma Syndrome” in which Democrats desperately seek something to march for, even if what they find is intellectually and morally vacuous. BDS supporters can bask in the fading light of the old anti-apartheid movement by refusing to eat Israeli hummus all they want, but the rot in Palestinian society that would make a peaceful Palestinian state a dubious reality is not going away.

And Israelis and their supporters can continue to beat the drum about the unfairness of the boycott without looking at any modifications to the status quo that might relieve the distress of everyday Palestinians.

Or everyone can just admit that BDS is a grand, failed distraction and get back to figuring out a future for the region shared by both peoples that everyone can live with.
Governor Gavin Newsom: Draft Ethnic studies Curriculum, “will never see the light of day.”
California's Governor Gavin Newsom has unequivocally apologized for the California draft model curriculum, agreeing that it "was offensive in so many ways, particularly to the Jewish community.”

From Dan Pine, in the J Weekly Northern California's Jewish paper:

From his office in the Capitol building, Gov. Gavin Newsom last week made a full-throated apology to California’s Jewish community for a controversial ethnic studies draft curriculum that erases the Jewish story in America and takes unsubtle digs at Israel.

The draft, said Newsom, “will never see the light of day.”

In spite of the widespread criticism, some of the drafters of the curriculum have doubled down, calling for a rally and press conference next Tuesday, and accusing the groups marginalized by the curriculum of attempting to "dilute" it.

On her Facebook page, Guadalupe Carrasco Cardona, an educator at the Edward R. Roybal Learning Center and one of the drafters of the curriculum, referred to those asking for inclusion as "loud ass critics", and pointed out that anti-semitism as a form of oppression is mentioned in the draft.

Anti-semitism is mentioned only once in the 300 page model curriculum, while Islamphobia is mentioned 59 times.

According to the 2018 publication Hate Crime in California, anti-Jewish bias events rose from 104 in 2017 to 126 in 2018, an increase of 21.2 percent, while anti-Islamic bias events fell from 46 in 2017 to 28 in 2018.
Daphne Anson: Much Ado About Peterloo
On 16 August this year people in the great UK city of Manchester turned out to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the city's tragic "Peterloo Massacre", when a two-year old boy and at least seventeen other people (male and female) lost their lives, and around 600 others were injured. These victims of the charging militia were among a vast crowd of peaceful demonstrators gathered in St Peter's Field to demand repeal of the Corn Laws and the extension of the suffrage.

The incident is well-known to people who take an interest in history. But this year, as this report from the BBC shows, more and more people swelled the ranks of those who gathered to commemorate the event, including, I suspect, a number of fairly fresh members of the Labour Party.

You know: Corbynistas.

That the story of Peterloo tugs at the heartstrings is not surprising.

So, of course, does the story of the "Tolpuddle Martyrs", six agricultural from a village Dorset, who in 1834 were transported to Australia, having organised themselves into a proto-trade union.

But among those exploiting the Peterloo event for their own ends were the ratbags pictured.

Muslims Against Antisemitism
It is important... to note that, in recent years, many Muslims have openly and firmly come out to oppose all forms of Jewish hatred and anti-Zionism.

In the West, they are the best integrated, and therefore and should be given the greatest support from social agencies and governments.

On April 24, 2014, thirty French imams signed an open letter in Le Monde, in which they denounced antisemitism and terrorism... Similarly, [in] May 18, 2018, a group of prominent British Muslims placed an open letter... in the Daily Telegraph to urge other Muslims to come out against antisemitism whenever it can be seen.

"[W]e also admit and have to be honest that there is a substantial set of people within Muslim communities who circulate anti-Semitic tropes and who use the Palestinians and their quest for statehood, as a means of targeting Jewish communities. This is not acceptable...." — 'Muslims Against Antisemitism' website (United Kingdom).

These reform-minded individuals and groups deserve our full support.
How did the Arabs help the Nazi war effort?
In this important 9-part series in Israel National News, historian Dr Alex Grobman examines the influence of the Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin al-Husseini on Arab opinion, and the Arab contribution to the Nazi war effort. Here is an extract from Part 3, 'Enlisting Arabs for the Nazi cause':
From 1941-1945, historian Antonio J. Muñoz estimated that about 5,000 Arab and Indian Muslims volunteered to serve in the German armed forces, hardly sufficient to constitute an army of liberation. Their worth as a military force was negligible compared with units created with Muslims in the Balkans and the USSR. Though the Germans failed to conquer the region, the units did have propaganda value which the Nazis exploited.

Joseph Schechtman credited the mufti in helping establish espionage networks to provide information about British troop movements. His news transmissions to the Middle East reported acts of sabotage that would normally have been censored. His agents, who infiltrated the Middle East by land or by air, cut pipe and telephone lines in Palestine and Transjordan and destroyed bridges and railways in Iraq.

His agents, who infiltrated the Middle East by land or by air, cut pipe and telephone lines in Palestine and Transjordan and destroyed bridges and railways in Iraq.

The Mufti's famous meeting with Hitler in November 1941

He also organized an Axis-Arab Legion known as the Arabisches Freiheitskorps that wore German uniforms with “Free Arabia” patches Schechtman said. As part of the German Army, the unit guarded communications facilities in Macedonia and hunted down American and British paratroopers who jumped into Yugoslavia and were hiding among the local population. The legion also fought on the Russian front. Another major success was el-Husseini’s recruitment of tens of thousands of Balkan Muslims into the Wehrmacht. Moshe Shertok (Sharett), chief of the political department of the Jewish Agency, reported that on a visit to Bosnia in 1943, the mufti appealed to local Muslims to join the Moslem Waffen-SS Units and met with the units that were already operational.
The French Jews Who Fought the Nazis and Brought the “Exodus” to Israel
Fictionalized by Leon Uris, and later made into a movie, the story of the Exodus—a ship that left France in July 1947, carrying some 4,500 Holocaust survivors, headed for Mandatory Palestine—is well known in the West. The British, unwilling to allow more Jews into the Land of Israel, turned the ship back; its passengers refused to leave the French port; and eventually the Royal Navy brought them to Hamburg. Less well known is the group of former French resistance fighters who helped organized Exodus’ departure, as Tsilla Hershco writes:

The Jewish resistance organization in France . . . participated in the rescue of tens of thousands of Jews in France during the Nazi occupation through the fabrication of forged documents, the hiding of children and adults, and the smuggling of convoys to Switzerland and Spain. At the end of the war, David Ben-Gurion appointed Avraham Polonski, a leader of the Jewish resistance in France, as commander of the Haganah in France and North Africa. The volunteers who joined the organization, mostly veterans of the Jewish resistance, participated in many critical activities: clandestine and legal immigration [from Europe to Mandatory Palestine]; the forging of documents; the transfer of arms to the yishuv; and the setting up of communication systems, immigrant camps, and military-training camps. . . . Later, many veterans of the resistance went on aliyah and participated in the War of Independence.

Members of the Haganah in France and North Africa under Polonski’s command were involved in the Exodus operation from its early stages: they forged travel documents, assisted in the transporting of survivors to the Strasbourg-Mulhouse border, recruited medical students, organized the reception of refugees by the Red Cross, and accompanied the refugees on their journey from the border train stations to Marseille.

Members of the Haganah in France, under Polonski’s leadership, also played an important role in preparing accommodations for the refugees. By leveraging their contacts and making bribes, they even managed to overcome the obstacle of a truck drivers’ strike in Marseille by obtaining their leaders’ consent to transport the refugees to their destination. [After they were returned to France], Polonski’s team assisted in preventing the British from forcing the passengers to disembark.
German Cop Dismissed For Pushing Nazi Symbols and Mocking Holocaust on WhatsApp
A police officer in the German city of Cologne was dismissed from his post on Friday after he was discovered to have shared Nazi imagery along with crude jokes about the Holocaust while using the WhatsApp messaging platform.

One message sent by the officer contained a picture of the Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, along with a joke mocking the millions of Jews and others murdered in concentration camp gas chambers.

“What’s the difference between Santa Claus and the Jews? One goes down the chimney, the other goes up,” the joke read.

Other messages contained symbols associated with neo-Nazi and far-right groups that are banned in Germany.

Cologne police chief Uwe Jacob told the Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger newspaper that he had not hesitated to respond upon learning of the officer’s actions.

“When I heard about it, I immediately initiated a formal disciplinary procedure with the aim of dismissal,” Jacob said. “The dissemination of these inciting images is completely unacceptable to me and damages the reputation of the Cologne police.”
Amazon removes shirts with famous photo of Nazi executing Jew
Amazon has removed an assortment of clothes sold on its UK site emblazoned with an iconic Holocaust photo in which a Jew in Ukraine is kneeling in front of a mass grave as a Nazi officer points a gun to his head, moments before shooting him, Channel 12 news reported on Saturday.

The retail giant took down the items plastered with the photo, known as “The Last Jew in Vinnitsa,” after it was contacted by the Israeli TV network.

The items included a hoodie, a t-shirt and a sweater pullover in various colors, all with the same Holocaust picture on them.

In the description of the items, the sellers from “Harma Art” wrote, “Choose from our great collection of authentic designs and stand out from the crowd!”

This was not the first time items charged to be anti-Semitic were sold on Amazon’s site.

Just last month, the Central Council of Jews in Germany denounced the online retail giant for allowing the sale of anti-Semitic books and pro-Nazi merchandise, calling for the practice to immediately stop.
Why Israel is automotive tech’s global engine
Legend has it that the fiberglass shell of Autocars’ Sussita, the symbol of Israel’s brief flirtation with automotive manufacturing during the 1960s and 1970s, was considered a delicacy by the country’s camels.

While the story of hungry camels gnawing on cars was just a rumor, the first “blue and white” carmaker shuttered its manufacturing operations in 1981. Today, the modest Israeli vehicle manufacturing industry serves primarily military purposes.

If local manufacturing failed to live up to carmakers’ aspirations, Israel’s emergence as a global engine of automotive technology has surpassed all expectations. Home to more than 500 transportation start-ups; innovation hubs established by many of the world’s leading automobile manufacturers; and soaring investment, Israel has truly secured its place as a veritable driving force of automotive innovation.

It has been a bumpy ride at times. Ill-fated Better Place, the electric vehicle start-up that promised to revolutionize the worldwide automotive industry, was liquidated in 2013 despite $850 million in investment.

Yet just as the story of Better Place showcased the potential misfortune of Israel’s automotive pioneering spirit, Intel’s acquisition of Jerusalem-based vision technology start-up Mobileye for $15.3 billion in 2017 demonstrated the country’s potential to succeed. The deal remains the largest “exit” by an Israeli start-up to date.

According to Start-Up Nation Central, Israeli start-ups raised more than $750 million in funding last year, more than double the amount raised in 2014. Excelling in fields including autonomous mobility, e-mobility, smart mobility and vehicle technology, entrepreneurs have attracted the attention of the world’s leading original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and tier-one automotive suppliers.
Israeli researchers are using 3D printing technology to help rebuild coral reefs
Researchers at Technion University, University of Ben Gurion of the Negev and Bar Ilan University have been collaborating on a project to help rebuild coral reef systems across the world, using a 3D printing model to create the artificial coral structures, according to research published by the universities.

Due to the continuous degradation of coral reef systems around the world - the technology, now being applied of the coast off Eilat, will help to rebuild the diversity of the underwater ecosystem by introducing these manufactured structures into systems that are likely unable to regenerate themselves.

The coral reefs around the world are disappearing for many reasons, due to causes both natural and man-made, mainly from overheating waters affected by climate change, dynamite fishing, chemicals in sunscreen, as well as invasive fish, such as the lion-fish, a specie of fish that hunts the inhabiters of coral reefs.

Over thirty-percent of the Great Barrier Reef, the world's largest coral reef system located in the Coral sea off the coast of Australia, was knocked out by heatwaves occurring in 2016 and 2017, raising water temperatures to unihabitable levels for these natural systems - scientists have indicated that if Earth's average temperature rises another four-degrees Fahrenheit almost the entirety of the coral reef systems around the world will be lost, which are used as essential nurseries for many specie of fish, used to feed over a billion people a year.
Could racing drones be the answer to the fire-kite threat?
One of the most out-of-the-box approaches proposed to stop the thousands of Gaza “fire kites” – the incendiary devices that have been sent over the border from the Gaza Strip into Israel on kites and balloons, setting fire to thousands of acres and landing occasionally in kindergarten playgrounds – was to shoot the kites out of the sky using remotely operated “racing drones.”

Drone racing has become a popular niche sport around the world. Participants build extremely fast and agile multi-rotor drones and race them against each other around a course. Serious drone pilots use FPV (first-person view) goggles to experience what the drone is seeing rather using a monitor and a joystick.

When a small team of drone enthusiasts gathered last year on the Gaza border, they demonstrated that they could effectively neutralize the fire-kite threat. But there are not enough skilled racing-drone pilots in the country for the army to recruit.

The learning curve is steep: Racing a drone at speeds of up to 200 miles an hour takes years of trial and error (and many broken drones) to perfect. Controlling a drone using FPV goggles can be disorienting at first and result in motion sickness.

In the meantime, though, the fire kites keep coming.

That was the impetus for brothers Aviv and Matteo Shapira to found Xtend Reality Expansion, a company that aims to teach first-person drone racing in seconds rather than years.



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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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