Thursday, September 05, 2019

From Ian:

Israeli leftists and ‘the occupation'
THE LEGALLY fraudulent concept of OPT was introduced by the International Committee of the Red Cross in the early 1970s and was adopted by the international community as a way of defining the status of “the territories” and denouncing “Israeli occupation.”

Rather than describe what now exists as “occupation,” however, a different terminology would be more creative and productive for both sides. One could refer to what the Torah calls “possession,” (reshut – the exercise of Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel). Another possibility would be to refer to the Israeli presence, instead of to “occupation.” This would describe realistically what exists, without referring to a political term that has legal and moral implications. And, it would emphasize that Israeli Jews also have legitimate “humanitarian” and legal rights to build and protect their homeland.

Moreover, as of March 13, 2019, the US State Department erased the word “occupation” from its description of the Golan Heights and areas claimed by Palestinians. Instead, it refers to them as being “under Israel control.” Last week, the State Department also removed the Palestinian Authority from its list of countries.

The truth is that evacuating Jews and destroying Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria would accomplish nothing. It would not satisfy the PLO/PA/Hamas goal of destroying Israel. It would not change their basic narrative – “the Nakba,” or “catastrophe” – of Israel’s establishment in 1948, nor would it satisfy their demand for “the right of return” of Arabs who left “Palestine” and live in UNRWA-sponsored towns in Lebanon and Syria. It would not “Liberate Palestine, from the river to the sea!”

Creating another “Palestinian state” – in addition to Jordan – would not eliminate terrorism: It would encourage and enhance it. Another Palestinian state would not promote peace: It would provide the catalyst for war and it would destabilize the entire region. Ironically, it would prevent the emergence of any moderate, democratic Palestinian group that seeks accommodation with and acceptance of Israel.

Israeli leftists need a reality check and honest self-examination: what purpose do they serve?

UN Watch: UN censors 100 rights groups on Chinese abuses, blocks publication of joint appeal
The UN in Geneva confirmed it is censoring a human rights complaint on China’s mass incarceration of Uighurs that was filed by a cross-regional coalition of more than 100 UN-accredited non-governmental organizations from numerous countries including Brazil, Canada, France, India, Indonesia, Germany, Nigeria, Pakistan, South Africa, Switzerland, Turkey, Uganda, United Kingdom and the United States.

United Nations Watch, a Swiss non-governmental organization, filed the joint complaint on June 4th to be circulated as an official UN document, following the standard protocol outlined by the UN human rights council’s guidelines on NGO written submissions.

The letter by 135 NGOs urges UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and High Commissioner for Human Rights Michele Bachelet to condemn China’s escalating abuse of UN rules to censor, interrupt and block references at the world body to its detention of an estimated 1 million Muslim Uighurs.

The joint complaint references an incident in March, widely shared on social media, in which UN Watch director Hillel Neuer took the floor at the UN Human Rights Council to condemn China’s abuses of Uighur Muslims. Neuer was interrupted three times by the Communist regime’s delegates in an attempt to shut down his testimony.

As noted in the complaint, UNHRC President Coly Seck of Senegal urged Neuer to “stick to the agenda item” on racial discrimination, implying that China’s abuses against Muslim Uighurs did not qualify. Later in the debate, however, Seck told China to “prevent disturbing the proceedings of the room the next time.”

When UN Watch submitted the joint complaint by 125 NGOs about the incident, the UNHRC secretariat—in a break from past practice—refused to publish it, together with four other submissions.


PreOccupiedTerritory: China Cancels Adoption Of Judaism, Fearing Muslim Nations Will No Longer Endorse Its Repression Of Muslims (satire)
The People’s Republic of China stepped away today from an anticipated policy that would convert its 1.4 billion citizens into Jews after realizing that the numerous Muslim-majority states and entities giving its abuse of the Muslim Uighur minority political and diplomatic cover will likely withdraw their support for that abuse once the perpetrators are Jews.

The Ministry of the Interior issued a statement Thursday morning announcing the cancellation, effective immediately, of a five-year plan to impose Judaism on the entire population as a way to buttress China’s financial and banking prowess. The plan, developed in 2015, aimed to leverage the longtime association of Jewishness with money management excellence, but now the administration of President Xi Jinping has reversed course upon determining that certain unacceptable consequences will accrue from such a move, most dire among them that the many governments now endorsing China’s suppression of Uighur religious and ethnic identity will reverse those decisions when the country becomes Jewish instead of atheist and anti-religion.

“A reassessment of the risks led the government to decide against adopting Judaism for China in the end,” the statement read. “While financial and economic prowess will serve the people of China, especially in the shadow of unjust American tariffs, our strategic needs point to greater engagement with the Muslim world. Alienating those dozens of countries that produce natural resources China needs will negate, or possibly worse, whatever economic benefit the people stand to gain from Jewish banking aptitude. China will therefore continue to ‘reeducate’ Uighur Muslims, intern them in concentration camps. suppress their indigenous culture, and restrict their rights even more than other Chinese citizens, but will do so under a banner that claims no religion, no opiate of the masses.”
UN Watch: What you ARE allowed to say at the U.N. Human Rights Council
UN Watch has put together a compendium of clippings that shows actual film clips of the president of the Human Rights Council, Luis Alfonso de Alba of Mexico, thanking various diplomats for their testimony. He thanks a speaker for Zimbabwe talking about the ignorance of a delegate who has criticized human rights under President Mugabe. He thanks the delegate from Cuba for insulting a human rights expert who exposed abuses of the communist regime. When the permanent observer of Palestine asserts that the one that has a "monopoly on human rights violations" is Israel, which, he adds, is the darling of not only the ambassadors of America and Canada but also of the human rights commissioner, Louise Arbour, the observer is thanked by Mr. de Alba. On the clip one can see Mr. de Alba thanking the delegation of Sudan for a statement saying that reports of violence against women in Darfur have been "exaggerated." Then one can watch and hear an envoy from Nigeria assert that "stoning under Sharia law for unnatural sexual acts … should not be equated with extrajudicial killings …" Or watch an envoy of Iran defend the Holocaust denial conference. Or watch a defense of the Hezbollah terrorist organization.




Honest Reporting: Jesus Was a Jew, Not a Palestinian
Until fairly recently, the understanding that Jesus was a Jew was generally unchallenged. In recent years, however, a new generation of anti-Israel activists and academics are now trying to claim that actually Jesus wasn’t just a Jew, but a Palestinian.

First, let’s back up a little. The last century has seen many schools of thought aimed at forcing us to question our basic beliefs. Some of these have led to great advances: the beliefs that women should have equal rights, that black people should have equal rights, that homophobia has no place in modern-society. All worthy causes. Others have challenged long-held conceptions, that “drinking is manly” or that women should be paid less than men.

One of the conceptions challenged in recent years is the almost universal depiction of Jesus as white. Given that Jesus is described as living in the Holy Land, this would make him a native of the Middle East. In other words, there’s every reason to be concerned that depictions of Jesus as fair-skinned are inaccurate.

If only things ended there. A radical core of activists now seem bent on co-opting “brown” identity and excluding Jews, thus denying the historical truth that Jesus was in fact Jewish.

So… was Jesus a Jew or was he a Palestinian?
For the benefit of anyone exposed to this false claim, a brief recap of history is in order:

Jesus was born in Judea, a client kingdom of the Roman Empire, and identified as a Jew. Jews living there at the time would most likely have described themselves as living in the Land of Israel. Anyone referring to “Palestine” in the first century C.E. would have earned themselves strange look, especially from the indigenous Aramaic-speaking Jews. The land was subject to all the religious laws in Judaism that apply in Land of Israel.

A century later, the area was renamed. After a Jewish revolt was crushed in the 2nd Century CE, the vast majority of Jews were exiled and the Roman emperor Hadrian subsequently had the region entitled “Syria Palestina” after the Jews’ ancient enemies, the Philistines, in an antagonistic move designed to demonstrate that the Jews were no longer owners of the land.

Put simply, an Aramaic-speaking Jew living a century before this change of name would never have called himself Palestinian.
Mosaic near Sea of Galilee may mark new site for Jesus loaves and fishes miracle
A mosaic depicting fish, birds and baskets of what may be bread, newly uncovered near the Sea of Galilee, may commemorate the historic location of the miracle recorded in the New Testament in which Jesus miraculously feeds a multitude, according to the lead archaeologist at the site, Haifa University’s Dr. Michael Eisenberg.

The colorful mosaic was uncovered in the ongoing Hippos-Sussita Excavation Project at the Sussita National Park’s South-West or Burnt Church. The 15-meter by 10-meter mosaic carpet is bursting with fish, birds and 12 baskets filled with fruit, flowers and — arguably — bread. The traditional location of the miracle is across the sea at the Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fish in Tabgha, which houses a famous mosaic depicting two fish on either side of what is thought to be a bread basket.

It is the Sussita church’s combination of fish and bread baskets that has led Eisenberg to believe that the mosaic could be a record of the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes and a clue hinting at a historic location for the feat.

In conversation with The Times of Israel on Wednesday, Eisenberg said that this miracle, as well as a multitude of Jesus’s other miracles, occurred under the direct gaze of the church — located near the shores of the Sea of Galilee. He believes that they are all symbolically depicted in the mosaic.

“The symbolism behind [the mosaic] and the position of the church in the perfect place, overlooking Sea of Galilee where most of his miracles took place, means I’m rather sure that the people recognized and interacted with the geographic, physical places where the miracles occurred,” he said.
New archeological findings at Goliath's birthplace recontextualize history
A new layer to the ancient Philistine city of Gath has been uncovered in an archaeological excavation that has the potential to re-contextualize much of biblical history.

Known to historians as part of the Pentapolis of Philistine cities – a group of five cities consisting of Ashkelon, Ashdod, Gath, Ekron and Gaza – Gath is best known for being the home of the giant Goliath, whom the future King David famously slew in one of the most iconic moments in biblical history.

However, after 23 years of excavations, new evidence reveals that the city’s size far exceeded previous assumptions and understandings.

“It was assumed the city reached its large size during the 10th and ninth century BCE,” Aren Maeir of Bar-Ilan University explained to the Daily Star. “It now appears that the early Iron Age city – 11th century BCE and perhaps before – may have been even bigger and more impressive.”

The archaeologist believes that the large size of the city and the monuments that remained may have helped contribute to the legends of giants among the Philistines and others.
Most British Jews will strongly consider voting Tory at the next election - you have no right to judge them
For four years now, the vast majority of the UK’s Jewish community has made it clear that they will not countenance voting for Jeremy Corbyn in a general election. They have pointed to Mr Corbyn’s associations with Jew haters, Holocaust deniers and terrorist groups with genocidal antisemitic agendas.

At best, what they have received from a significant percentage of Labour members is total indifference or denial. At worst, they have suffered vicious attacks on their character, attacks which very frequently have veered into antisemitic territory.

Now, however, it seems likely that at some point in the near future there will be another general election. And suddenly, many Jewish voters reiterating what they have been saying for years have been met by a surge of indignation. Apparently, if Jews do not vote for Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour, they will be voting for “Fascism”. Jews are being told, (apparently without a trace of the English irony Mr Corbyn thinks we’re unable to understand), to “study history”.

At the risk of pointing out what should be unbelievably obvious, Jewish history has shown that when someone says they hate you and want to kill you, you should believe them. And when a politician hangs around such people for decades and speaks of them in glowing terms, as Jeremy Corbyn has, you do not want to vote for their party. Ever.
Sara Conway, Labour candidate for Finchley and Golders Green, says she did not mean to say antisemitism is being “weaponised”
The Labour Party’s parliamentary candidate for Finchley and Golders Green has said she did not mean to claim that antisemitism has been “whipped up” and “weaponised by certain media commentators”. Instead, she claims that she just meant that the “far-right” has “weaponised” antisemitism.

Sara Conway, who is currently a Labour councillor in Barnet representing Burnt Oak, had said that she was “not trying to dismiss or push back on anything at all but I think there has been an element…of the press and right-wing commentators that has drummed this up to such a level that it then becomes, if you look on Twitter, an endless back and forth that doesn’t work”.

Ms Conway noted that the Equality and Human Rights Commission has launched a full statutory investigation into antisemitism in the Labour Party, which was opened following a formal referral and detailed legal representations from Campaign Against Antisemitism, which is the complainant.

However Ms Conway has now sought to clarify her language, tweeting: “I used the wrong word by saying weaponised. I was referring to far-right commentators particularly on Twitter who use this issue as a political football to create polarisation and division. Antisemitism is a very real problem and I was in no way referring those of us fighting it.”
Amnesty International report condemns Israel's treatment of Arab MKs
A report published on Wednesday by Amnesty International claims that "Israeli Arabs elected to Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, are being targeted by discriminatory regulations and legislation that undermine their ability to represent and defend the rights of the Israeli Arabic minority population in Israel."

The report details ways in which the right to freedom of expression of Israeli Arabic members of the Knesset (MKs) has been threatened by discriminatory legislative changes, proposed bills and Knesset regulations. It also highlights alleginflammatory rhetoric used by Israeli government ministers to stigmatize Israeli Arabic MKs and exposes how bills put forward by Israeli Arabic MKs have been unfairly disqualified on discriminatory grounds.

“Israeli Arabic members of the Knesset in Israel are increasingly facing discriminatory attacks. Despite being democratically elected like their Jewish Israeli counterparts, Israeli Arabic MKs are the target of deep-rooted discrimination and undue restrictions that hamstring their ability to speak out in defence of the rights of the Israeli Arabic people,” said Saleh Higazi, Deputy Middle East and North Africa Director at Amnesty International.

The report claims that "With Israel systematically committing human rights violations against Israeli Arabs in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, it is vital that Israeli Arabic voices in parliament are heard, considered and respected.”
Resolution to Boycott Israeli Academic Institutions Thwarted at Annual Poli-Sci Conference
A resolution to boycott Israeli academic institutions at the American Political Science Association’s (APSA) annual conference in Washington, DC, was thwarted on Saturday.

“Proponents of an anti #Israel academic boycott resolution (& its obnoxious accompanying FAQ) lost spectacularly last night at #APSA19. 120+ packed the room, the vast majority opposed. There will be no further action or vote. #bdsfail,” tweeted Miriam Elman, executive director of Academic Engagement Network (AEN), an organization of American college and university faculty opposing the BDS movement, on Sunday.

Although the “Academic Boycott Resolution” was going to be only discussed and not voted on during the Aug. 31 meeting, AEN nonetheless expressed alarm towards the APSA, which was founded in 1903, and is “the leading professional organization for the study of political science and serves more than 11,000 members in more than 100 countries,” according to its website.

Ahead of the conference, AEN, which consists of APSA members, expressed concern that the resolution introduced by APSA’s Organized Section 17, Foundations of Political Theory, would “further a virulently anti-Israel agenda and the goals of the BDS movement” and “not allow a fair discussion of the resolution.”
BBC draws outrage for including anti-Israel activist in Nazi documentary
BBC Two has come under fire for featuring in a new documentary an activist who defended the anti-Semitic spray-painting of a Warsaw Ghetto wall.

Novara Media senior editor Ash Sarkar is included in the three-part program “Rise of the Nazis,” which premiered on Monday.

In September 2018, the self-proclaimed Communist and BDS supporter expressed “solidarity” with those who spray-painted “free Gaza and Palestine, liberate all ghettos” on one of the last remaining parts of the Warsaw Ghetto wall. She denied the defacement was anti-Semitic.

Jewish historian and professor Sir Simon Schama called Sarkar’s inclusion in the documentary “really appalling.”


British-Jewish actress Tracy Ann Oberman told Patrick Holland, BBC Two’s channel editor, “as someone who lost famiky [sic] during The Rise of The Nazis I am deeply disturbed that of all knowledgable [sic] experts/historians, you use Ash Sakar a woman who endorsed the spray painting of the remaining WatsawGhetto [sic] wall-an open grave for our families. Why?”

She labeled Sarkar “a momentum propagandist” and told BBC to “rethink your ‘experts’ please. Too much insensitivity and lack of diligence on this. I’m sure @BBCTwo didn’t mean to cause offence with this Sakar booking but it has and it makes a mockery of the subject matter.”
Hamas-Affiliate Uses British Libel Laws to Humiliate the Jewish Chronicle
On Aug. 23, The Jewish Chronicle (JC), Britain’s largest Jewish newspaper and one of the oldest Jewish papers in the world, published an apology and handed 50,000 pounds (more than $60,000) to Interpal, a British Muslim charity linked closely to Hamas, the murderous Palestinian terrorist organization in Gaza.

The apology and the payout come in the wake of a March 2019 article in the JC (since taken down), in which journalist Orlando Radice reported that Interpal was itself “deemed by the US a Specially Designated Global Terrorist Organization in 2003.” Radice also claimed that the chairman of Interpal, Ibrahim Hewitt, “has been widely described as an Islamic extremist who believes that adulterers should be stoned to death and has compared gay people with pedophiles.”

The JC is not the first publication to end up paying money to Interpal to avoid a lawsuit. In June 2019, the Daily Mail and Mail Online gave the charity more than $145,000.

In this specific case, what did the JC get wrong? What exactly is Interpal? And why has the newspaper now handed over $60,000 to a charity considered by the U.S. government to be a terrorist organization? (h/t IsaacStorm)
Trump Labor Dept. Appointee Unfairly Accused Of Anti-Semitism Gets His Job Back
Leif Olson, a religious Christian who had clearly intended his messages to mock anti-Semites, resigned last Friday after Ben Penn of Bloomberg had maligned him by accusing him of posting the anti-Semitic messages, twisting what Olson said and reporting him to the Department of Labor. As The Daily Wire’s Josh Hammer wrote in a piece ferociously denouncing Penn for his shoddy journalism and clearly partisan attack:

Penn flagged for DOL a transparently sarcastic Facebook post of Olson's dating back to the much-ballyhooed August 2016 Paul Ryan/Paul Nehlen Republican primary race in Wisconsin's 1st Congressional District … Paul Nehlen, the reader may recall, was a vile alt-right anti-Semite whose failed insurgent bid to supplant Paul Ryan was vociferously backed by Breitbart and other nationalist populist figures. Prior to his later being banned outright from Twitter in 2018 due to serial peddling of Jew-hatred, Nehlen became notorious for promoting on the platform a list of Jewish journalistic conspiracists against him.

After Ryan destroyed Nehlen in the primary, winning 84% of the vote, Olson sarcastically mocked Nehlen and his alt-right supporters. Penn took Olson’s quotes out of context, alerted the Department of Labor, and voila! he had a political scalp. Penn’s motivation seemed clear enough; he tweeted, "Lost in all of this is that Olson was part of a team of political appointees tasked with the heavy lift of drafting wage-hour regulations that are high priorities for Trump White House, business community. They're now down one adviser."

Penn was roundly condemned across the political spectrum, as Hammer and Twitchy pointed out. Hammer noted, "Conservatives ought to be up in arms that DOL, a prominent department of the Trump administration, is so unwilling to defend its own appointees against manufactured smear campaigns."
CAMERA Op-Ed Iran and The Washington Post Attack Israel
For centuries, Jews were deprived—at unimaginable cost—of that most basic right: self-defense. Today, the Jewish nation is subjected to impossible standards of self-defense by press and policymakers, as an Aug. 27, 2019 Washington Post editorial illustrates.

In the Post’s column “The hype over possible U.S.-Iran talks obscured something much more ominous,” the editorial board fretted over “another escalation in Iran-related tensions across the Middle East, this time driven by Israel.”

Citing recent Israeli strikes against Iranian proxies in the region, the newspaper conceded that “Israel has a right to defend itself against Iranian attacks” emanating from Syria. However, the Post faulted the Jewish state for targeting Iranian-backed militias in Iraq. It notes with alarm the “expansion of what has been a mostly measured and covert Israeli campaign” in a country where “some 5,000 U.S. troops are still based…and could be targets for Iranian reprisals.”

In other words: the Post blamed Israel for defending itself. The newspaper doesn’t blame the aggressor, Iran—long considered the preeminent state sponsor of terror by the U.S. State Department and others—for plotting attacks against the Jewish state. Nor does the editorial board bother to note that Iranian proxies and their allies in Iraq and Lebanon receive U.S. taxpayer support, as the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis (CAMERA) has documented.
McGill Daily Peddles in Antisemitism Claiming Zionism is Racism
In its September 3 edition to inaugurate the new school year, the McGill Daily produced content claiming that Zionism is a form of racism and a “colonial establishment”.

This is hardly surprising coming from a “newspaper” which officially bans commentary from pro-Zionist voices. As HRC has said previously, the McGill Daily’s censorship of pro-Zionist opinions has racist overtones and xenophobic dimensions.

The slur that “Zionism is racism” came in 1975 when the UN General Assembly adopted Resolution 3379 slandering Zionism by equating it with racism. Zionism is defined as the Jewish people’s national liberation movement, which holds that Jews, like any other nation, are entitled to a homeland and for the resumption of Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel.

Jews are the indigenous people of the land of Israel and have lived there, uninterrupted, for over 3,000 years. The Jewish people have a legitimate religious, legal and ancestral claim to the land of Israel. You cannot “occupy” your own land and to present Jews as usurpers denies Jewish rights and Jewish self determination in their historic homeland. The establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 was not a by-product of “colonialism”. In fact, Israel supported the Partition Plan which would have created separate Jewish and Arab states. Sadly, the Arabs rejected the plan and waged war, which caused the displacement of hundreds of thousands who were encouraged by the Arab world to leave the area en masse.

The origins of the so-called Palestinian-Arab “Naqba” were caused by a war of annihilation launched against the nascent Israeli state by neighbouring Arab armies. It was in 1948 that the Arabs refused to establish a state side-by-side with the Jewish one.
In Orthodox Jewish Brooklyn, a spate of assaults feels all too familiar
As he talks about the recent string of attacks on Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn, Yosef Rapaport points to a small scar above his right eye.

It’s the remnant of an anti-Semitic attack he experienced 50 years ago as a teenager in Montreal.

“For those of us who look very Jewish, this has been a constant,” said Rapaport, 65, wearing a black hat and suit, as he stood outside an afternoon prayer service in the heavily Orthodox Brooklyn neighborhood of Borough Park. “You shrug your shoulders. It’s like a constant background.”

That same afternoon, New York City’s new Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes opened months ahead of schedule. The timeline was advanced in part because of a recent string of attacks on visibly Jewish people in Brooklyn.

At least three came in a week:

* On Aug. 31, an assailant hit a Jewish man with a belt outside a synagogue.

* On Aug. 29, an assailant threw rocks at a Jewish man while the victim was in his truck.

* On Aug. 27, a Jewish man was struck with a paving stone as he exercised in a park.

According to New York Police Department statistics from early June, there have been 110 hate crimes against Jews in 2019, ranging from assaults to anti-Semitic graffiti. That’s nearly double the previous year’s figure.
NYPD: Over half of reported hate crimes this year anti-Semitic
More than half of hate crimes reported this year in New York City are anti-Semitic, NYPD officials said Wednesday, according to CNN.

According to the latest numbers, reported through September 1, anti-Semitic hate crimes in NYC are up 63% this year from last year, with 152 anti-Semitic hate crimes reported this year so far, compared to 93 over the same period last year.

A total of 290 hate crimes have been reported in NYC this year so far compared to 205 last year.

Arrests over hate crimes were also up this year, with 135 arrests made this year compared to 108 over the same period last year.
Turkish Actor Yenisehirlioglu: Israel Sterilizes Palestinian Children by Exposing Them to Radiation
Bahadir Yenisehirlioglu, a Turkish actor who played the protagonist role in the antisemitic Turkish TV series Payitaht: Abdülhamid (The Last Emperor), said in an August 25, 2019 interview on TRT Arabic TV (Turkey) that the Torah has been falsified by the Jewish rabbis. He claimed that they have turned it into an ideological and politicized book that espouses Zionism by saying that the Jews are the Chosen People and that other nations exist to be the Jews' slaves. Yenisehirlioglu said that Jews who believe in Zionism are different from those who do not, and he criticized Israel for treating the Palestinians in what he said was a Nazi-like fashion. He further claimed that Israel is imprisoning Palestinian children and sterilizing them by exposing them to concentrated radiation. He added that Israel's expansionist policy has been enabled by American support.


Holocaust ‘masterpiece’ causes uproar at Venice film festival
A searing adaptation of one of most controversial books about the Holocaust divided critics at the Venice film festival Wednesday, with some fighting each other in the dark to get out of its first screening.

“The Painted Bird,” based on Jerzy Kosinski’s highly contentious 1965 novel about a Jewish boy surviving the worst human nature can inflict on him in an unnamed Eastern European country, was hailed as a masterpiece by some and an unwatchable ordeal by others.

But its staggering central performance from nine-year-old Czech Roma boy Petr Kotlar — who witnesses a panoply of depravity from incest, bestiality and rape to mutilation and murder — has had co-stars Harvey Keitel and Stellan Skarsgard as well as the critics in raptures.

That did not stop some running for the exits at its first screening.

In the very first scene, the boy’s pet ferret is taken from him by boorish peasants and burned alive.

The Hollywood Reporter called the black-and-white epic “heart-wrenching… and the ideal film treatment” of the novel, which itself sparked outrage in Kosinski’s native Poland when the writer first hinted that the story was autobiographical.
Yad Vashem marks 80th anniversary of start of WWII with online exhibit
Eighty years have passed since the start of the World War Two on September 1, 1939, an anniversary being marked by Yad Vashem with a new online exhibition, portraying the experiences of a dozen Jewish families in those first months, when they had no way of knowing the events that were going to unfold.

The exhibition, “1939: Jewish Families on the Brink of War,” describes the progression of the war using Holocaust-era documents, photographs and artifacts from Yad Vashem’s archives, many which were donated by Holocaust survivors and families.

One diary entry, written by Mira Zabludowski in September 1939, records her thoughts during the first months of the German occupation of Warsaw. She had already immigrated to pre-state Palestine and was visiting her parents in Warsaw at the time the war broke out.

“The time is 4:00 p.m. The sound of artillery fire has been going on nonstop for twenty hours. The noise of machine guns and the thunder of the planes overhead have been reverberating in the air and increase the terror. My ears and head ache. You can’t hear what’s being said. Just boom! Boom! Boom! A block of houses in the city center is on fire. Suddenly there is a terrible noise, then moans and screams — houses collapse in the old city and we run to save those buried alive under the rubble. Suddenly the sky darkened — a cloud of smoke descended over the city.”

Zabludowski escaped Poland and made her way back to Israel. Her father died in July 1940 in Warsaw while her mother was deported along with other family members to Treblinka.
Saudi Arabia’s $2 Trillion ARAMCO IPO depends on Israeli security
SEC stands for the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. They are the US government watchdog of American corporate finance. If a corporate body knowingly fails to disclose a risk that the SEC believes its corporate executives knew should have been disclosed to shareholders or bondholders, they can put the executives and their attortneys into jail.

In short, any stock or bond to be sold or traded on an American exchange needs to satisfy the SEC’s financial risk disclosure requirements, or face civil or criminal jeopardy.

How are the SEC disclosure requirements relevant to Israel’s safety and security? Saudi Arabia is about to bring to market its 2 Trillion Dollar initial public offering (IPO). And, if one simply looks at the Middle East, one quickly understands that Saudi Arabia’s and ARAMCO’s security relies solely on the safety and security of Israel.

Without Israel, Saudi Arabia and ARAMCO are finished, and using Mr. Hinman’s analysis, if a corporation must disclose something as ephemeral as a financial risk from BREXIT, then surely Saudi’s ARAMCO IPO must disclose the catastrophic risk if Israel is at risk.
Electric plane maker Eviation bought out by Singapore’s Clermont
Israeli electric airplane startup Eviation is being merged into Clermont Aerospace, part of the international Clermont Group of healthcare, financial services and aerospace businesses headquartered in Singapore.

Another Clermont Aerospace company, magniX of Canada, will build the electric engine for Eviation’s Alice commuter aircraft unveiled last June at the Paris Air Show.

The streamlined plane, scheduled for commercial use by 2022, is designed to take nine passengers up to 650 miles – approximately the distance from London to Zurich, or New York to Detroit.

Eviation CEO Omer Bar-Yohay said that 2019 “has been a pivotal year for everyone at the company – we debuted our first electric airplane, announced a partnership with magniX and secured our first commercial contract with Cape Air. Clermont’s investment and expertise in business-building will enable us to accelerate our growth and take Eviation to new heights.”

Clermont Chairman Richard F. Chandler commented, “Air travel connects cultures and communities but remains inefficient, polluting and expensive. Through Eviation and magniX, we are leading the development of affordable and environmentally friendly electric flight.”
‘Harry Potter’ Actress Visits Israel to Celebrate Friend’s Upcoming Marriage
British actress Bonnie Wright, best known for playing the role of Ginny Weasley in the “Harry Potter” film series, is visiting Israel for her friend’s wedding and posted photos from her trip on social media.

Wright, 28, shared photos on Instagram on Wednesday of her in Tel Aviv overlooking the ocean while holding a glass of wine.

She captioned the series of shots “here for love #maya4flower.” The hashtag is a reference to her engaged friend Maya, who is getting married in the Jewish state on Thursday.

The actress also shared a photo of her friend on her Instagram story and said they were in Israel to celebrate the “bride to be.”
10 great reasons you should visit Israel’s Gaza border towns
We’ve all heard about the unfortunate security situation in the 50 or so communities that border Gaza in southern Israel’s Western Negev, but did you know that there’s also a lot of interesting and fun activities there that make this a most unusual and rewarding place to visit?

Incoming rockets and incendiary terror may be the order of the day sometimes, but the rest of the time the communities in the Gaza Envelope (Otef Aza, in Hebrew), offer a different pace of life and an opportunity to experience Israel in an alternative, and often meaningful way.

Aside from opportunities to learn more about daily life in Sderot and the surrounding villages, or to see peace projects at work, there are ostrich farms, wineries and cheese tastings that will all help you leave a little bit of your heart in a place that needs it sorely.

We’ve gathered up the best experiences the area has to offer to bring you a list of 10 great reasons to visit Israel’s Gaza border communities — some of them are serious and hard hitting, others lighthearted, uplifting, and fun.
The Unruly Czech Airplane That Helped Israel Win Its Independence
Near the end of World War II, Czechoslovakia’s Avia Company retooled one of its factories to produce Messerschmitts for the Luftwaffe. Avia kept making fighter planes after the war ended, but, having lost access to the German-made engines, had to redesign the aircraft with different parts, creating the S-199, an awkward hybrid used by the Czech air force. In 1948, with war on the horizon, the Haganah—unable to buy arms from the U.S., Britain, or the Soviet Union—became the only other military to purchase the S-199. Robert Gandt writes:

The first band of volunteers—two Americans, one South African, seven native Israelis—arrived at the Ceské Budejovice air base on May 11, 1948. Lou Lenart, a wiry former U.S. Marine Corps pilot, made the group’s first flight in the S-199. It was nearly his last. Lenart recalled, “The big paddle-bladed propeller produced so much left-pulling torque that the first time I tried to take off, the plane ran away from me clear off the runway, through a fence, and over a cliff.”

To the volunteer pilots, the Czech fighter seemed to have a vicious streak, like an attack dog turning on its handler. The narrow landing gear made the S-199 difficult to keep aligned during takeoff. Directional control was made even worse by the enormous torque of the propeller. . . . The volunteers had barely begun training when, on May 15, the radio in their Czech quarters broadcast the news that Israel’s war of survival had begun.

Learning that Arab planes had bombed Tel Aviv, the pilots, with hardly any training, disassembled and packed the planes and went to fight for their country, where the aircraft were reassembled at the Ekron airfield.



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