Saturday, September 21, 2019

From Ian:

Melanie Phillips: In a deadlocked election, the real winners are Israeli Arabs
Israeli Arabs are poorly served by their elected members of Knesset. According to a recent survey by researchers at Tel Aviv University, crime, unemployment, welfare, and the community’s dire housing crisis top Israeli Arabs’ concerns.

Their Knesset members, however, are interested only in political posturing that bashes Israel, behaving as a kind of disloyal fifth column inside the Knesset intent upon harming the state to whose legislature they have been elected.

MK Ahmad Tibi, for example, does not support Israel as a Jewish state, opposes the Law of Return and has challenged the Jewish religious symbols on the national flag.

Former MK Hanin Zoabi has walked out of Knesset during the singing of “Hatikvah,” claims that the Israel Defense Forces are a greater danger than the possibility of Iranian nuclear weapons, and has said that Palestinians who kidnap Israeli civilians are not terrorists because such actions are their only alternative to suffering under occupation.

Before April’s election, some Israeli Arabs were quoted bitterly criticizing the Arab List MKs.

“It didn’t represent us, and it did great damage to the [average] Arab citizen who wants to integrate,” said one resident of Abu Ghosh, an Arab village near Jerusalem. “The infrastructure in the Arab communities needs to be taken care of, and they [the Arab lawmakers] aren’t dealing with it.

“We recognize the existence of the only democratic country in the Middle East and want to be a part of the country. And we’re proud of it. We, Israeli Arabs, exist with our Jewish brothers. Not coexist, exist.”

Those living in east Jerusalem, where civic status falls into an unhappy legal limbo under uneasy Israeli sovereignty over that part of the city, are by default Israeli residents but not citizens.

Officially, they are citizens of Jordan. Most choose not to exercise the right to which their residency entitles them to vote in Jerusalem’s municipal elections.

But Jerusalem’s city hall is currently swamped by applications from Israeli Arabs in east Jerusalem who are keen to activate the right they enjoy under Israeli law to convert their residency into Israeli citizenship.

They want to be Israelis. They don’t want to be citizens of a future Palestinian state.
Kevin D. Williamson: The Iran Dilemma, the Saudi Dilemma, and the Iran–Saudi Dilemma
The United States has enough firepower at its command that it can afford to wear its idealism on its sleeve.

Is the United States going to go to war against Iran on behalf of Saudi Arabia? Probably not.

Should it?

Probably not.

The Saudi regime is, to be plain about it, detestable. It is wildly corrupt and horrifyingly repressive, it tangles together sundry absolutisms and fanaticisms (religious, nationalist, monarchist) into a mess of diplomatic and military trouble, it is duplicitous, and — perhaps most dangerous of all — in spite of its aspirational absolutism, it cannot even control its own contradictory internal constituencies, which is why the Saudi elite cultivates Islamic terrorism with one hand while fighting it with the other. Americans invested a lot of hope and diplomatic currency in the belief that crown prince Mohammed bin Salman was going to turn out to be the great reformer that the West keeps hoping will emerge in the Islamic world, and he’s shaping up to be just another Arab caudillo, if a slicker and more intelligent specimen than the general run of them. There is not much there to hang American hopes on.

But the Iranians are worse. At least, that is the conventional point of view in Washington. The question of what is worth fighting for sometimes is distinct from the question of what is worth fighting against.

And that, fundamentally, has been the argument underpinning continued U.S. support for Saudi Arabia, which is put forward as the great counterweight to the forces of jihad and chaos in Tehran. It is classical great-gaming, the enemy-of-my-enemy thinking that — while not always wrong and occasionally even necessary — has led the United States into so much trouble in the Muslim world, with so many unintended consequences. The legend that the United States “created al-Qaeda” is not exactly true, in the way it usually is put forward, but it is not entirely an invention, either.

The rat bastards in Riyadh, we keep telling ourselves, are our rat bastards — mostly, and most of the time, when they are not murdering columnists for American newspapers or torturing human-rights advocates as a prelude to raping and murdering them or launching ill-advised wars on their neighbors. This so-called foreign-policy realism (which can be very unrealistic) is what is used to paper over both the domestic abuses of the Saudi state and, more important, its habit of acting in a way that is inconsistent with long-term American interests in the region. Of course the Saudi leaders are vicious, depraved, and fundamentally anti-American, the story goes, but they are not quite as vicious, depraved, or anti-American as their Iranian counterparts.
Book review: 'After ISIS'
As Frantzman leads us through the sequence of events that slowly but surely squeezed ISIS out of the vast areas of Iraq and Syria that it had originally conquered, he provides an informed commentary on their impact. He embraces issues ranging from the effect on Europe of the influx of refugees from the Middle East, to the success of the Kurds’ peshmerga fighters against ISIS, the subsequent boost to their independence aspirations, followed by the efforts by Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to remove what he saw as a Kurdish threat to his regime.

Frantzman brings to light the temporary battlefield alliances that were formed and disintegrated as the US-led coalition slowly crushed ISIS, and also with more profound changes in political thinking in the region, for example how Iran’s growing influence encouraged Saudi Arabia and the UAE to look increasingly toward Israel as an ally, and how it changed the strategic thinking of Jordan and Egypt.

In considering whether the post-ISIS era would simply replicate the worst days of al-Qaida terrorism under Osama bin Laden, he is not wholly pessimistic. He sees hope in the rise of a younger generation of Middle East leaders that came of age in the 1980s or 1990s, in an era of US hegemony, taking over from leaders who had run the region since the colonial era. “With the Saddam Husseins, Mubaraks, Gaddafis, and Salehs out of the way,” he writes, “there may be a new way forward.”

The basis for Frantzman’s qualified optimism lies in his belief that the whole ISIS episode was a unique phenomenon – a one-off. In his words: “It appears that the power of ISIS was sui generis. A group like this will not appear again. This was the apogee of Islamist extremism and jihadist groups.”

“After ISIS” is a comprehensive, insightful, thought-provoking account of how an exceptionally ruthless and brutal organization succeeded in capturing the imagination of scores of thousands of Muslims the world over, how it rose to control large parts of Syria and Iraq and rule over millions, and how finally it was defeated. For anyone wishing to understand how this all came about and what might follow, “After ISIS” is essential reading.



Israel is an 'important country and a good friend of India'
Following a decadeslong history of frostiness, in recent years there has been a significant change in India's attitude towards Israel. Hostility and opposition have given way to an unprecedented burst of support and enthusiasm. Among other things, India has changed its voting habits in the United Nations, and huge deals are being signed in the fields of security, technology, and agriculture. No one familiar with Israeli diplomatic affairs can forget the photograph of Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and Benjamin Netanyahu standing barefoot at the seaside in Hadera. That picture was worth not just a thousand words, but millions of dollars, and reflected a bold friendship.

In light of this, national security experts from the two countries are also increasing cooperation. One of the Israeli researchers who has been pushing to strengthen relations with India for years is Professor Efraim Inbar, now president of the Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security. In early September, Inbar and his institute hosted Sujan R. Chinoy, director general of the Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses, an autonomous think tank of the Indian Defense Ministry. Together with the Moshe Dayan Center, JISS and IDSA held a seminar on India-Israel relations and on what is happening today in Asia in general.

For most of his career, Chinoy served in the Indian Foreign Service, including as the ambassador to Japan and the Marshall Islands, deputy chief of mission to Saudi Arabia, and as a member of the Indian delegation to the United Nations. He spent more than two decades dealing with China in his diplomatic career. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is introducing reforms that are fundamentally changing the face of India. This week, for example, India announced it will appoint for the first time a chief of Defense Staff, a significant step towards achieving integration of its defense forces.
Why Justice Jeanine Pirro and Zang Toi stand out as friends of Israel
Jeanine Pirro is America’s Judge. Need proof, check out her ratings every Saturday night. Need more proof, check out the demand she gets for live appearances. Need further proof, read her new number ONE bestseller, Radicals, Resistance and Revenge.

It’s no secret Judge Jeanine Pirro loves Israel, and Israel loves Pirro. The host of Fox News' Justice with Judge Jeanine and I met at the Embassy opening in Jerusalem, where she was the only American to interview Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at that time. Pirro was suspended last spring for calling out remarks by anti-Semitic Ilhan Omar, something I believe Fox News mishandled, given the words and actions by the three congresswomen since.

I have the honor to be only of the first journalists to interview her. We discussed how disappointing the Jewish support for President Trump is, despite multiple legislation not only championing our relationship, but actually going against Israel’s opponents. It’s especially frustrating watching Jewish Democratic elected officials going against the president, even calling for his impeachment when investigations they oversea prove no wrongdoings.

We also talked out her administration for people like Ambassador David Friedman and Zionist Organizations Of America President, Morton Klein, two men I know well.

Her book picks up where her #1 New York Times bestseller, Liars, Leakers and Liberals, left off, and exposes the latest chapter in the unfolding liberal attack on our most basic values.

It is an easy read. Fans will recognize popular themes and “opening statement” quotes Pirro has become legendary for. She makes no apologies for appreciating democracy, freedoms and America’s friendships with Israel.
Jpost Editorial: Hold the plan
Trump, to his credit, reacted with rare restraint when asked last week about Israel’s election results.

“The relations are between our countries,” he said, implying that the special US-Israel relationship goes beyond himself and Netanyahu.

While some pundits considered that as giving Netanyahu the cold shoulder, it was the correct statement to make from an ally, showing what most people already know – the ties between Israel and the US transcend their leaders, they are between the peoples and don’t depend on one prime minister or one president.

Even though holding off the publication of the plan will push it deep into the US presidential campaigning period, and likely detract from Trump’s interest or involvement in its implementation, it’s a course that needs to be taken.

No matter whether Netanyahu or Gantz, or some surprise candidate, forms the next government, it is unlikely for us to see a major shift in Israeli policy vis-a-vis the Palestinian issue. Gantz is as security minded as Netanyahu, and the Israeli reaction to the peace plan’s thorny elements won’t veer sharply no matter who’s in power.

The coalition negotiations are going to focus on a myriad of topics, but peace with the Palestinians is not going to be at the top of the list. The US will be wise to let those negotiations take place without the extra element of the ‘deal of the century’ to contend with.
In farewell essay, Trump envoy ‘hopeful’ for peace plan, encourages compromise
The outgoing US envoy to the Middle East, Jason Greenblatt, on Friday penned an op-ed marking his resignation from the position expressing his regrets about stalled peace efforts and his hopes for future progress.

Greenblatt, who met on Friday in Jerusalem with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, is one of the architects of the Trump administration’s long-awaited Middle East peace plan, which has yet to be unveiled, has raised widespread skepticism, and has already been dismissed by the Palestinians.

Earlier this month, Greenblatt announced his intention to quit his position shortly after the plan is unrolled. He later clarified that he may stay on longer to see the peace proposal unfold.

“Nothing is perfect, and compromises are necessary. I am deeply hopeful that the vision we created will appeal to Israelis and Palestinians enough to start down the hard road of negotiating a peace agreement, and that peace extends to the countries in the region beyond Jordan and Egypt,” Greenblatt wrote in the essay published by CNN. “If the vision achieves peace, the lives of millions of people will be so much better.”
US President’s peace process envoy Jason Greenblatt, left, meets with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at the President’s office in the West Bank city of Ramallah, March 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

He said he was grateful for assistance on the project, including from those who disagreed with the administration’s views, and that he was proud to have served the US and protected Israel “under a President who has been the greatest friend to Israel in its history.”

Greenblatt wrote that he was “sad for the many Palestinians I was so fortunate to meet who seek a better life,” and castigated Gaza-based terror groups.
A model for the Jordan Valley
You’ve probably never heard of Baarle-Hertog, a Belgian territory consisting of an unremarkable three square miles in an otherwise unremarkable part of Europe. However, things get interesting when you look at a map. Baarle-Hertog contains about two dozen unconnected areas entirely surrounded by the Netherlands. Complicating matters, some of these territories in turn completely encircle parts of Dutch Baarle-Nassau.

In the wake of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s announced plans to annex the Jordan Valley, which will in turn fragment parts of a future Palestinian state, Baarle-Hertog challenges the dogmatic insistence that only a maximally contiguous Palestine can be viable. The town provides a small-scale working model of how such a state will look and operate.

When Netanyahu first proposed a Baarle-Hertog style approach to drawing borders in 2014, then in reference to annexing Israeli settlements completely surrounded by Palestinian land, local officials pushed back. Representatives from the Belgian territory emphasized the peaceful nature of area compared to Israel-Palestine. In their words, “We have no war here, no wall and no religious struggle,” and “We don’t walk around with hand grenades and don’t throw stones.” This sentiment was echoed by Vincent Braam, mayor of the Dutch territories.

Several interesting points arise from the European officials’ bewilderment. First, the primary issue centers on peace rather than the size of the territory. Baarle-Hertog is significantly smaller than Israel-Palestine, which would seem an intuitive objection to the analogy. In fact, the opposite is probably true. Whereas in the European territories, situations arose in which patrons of a restaurant straddling the border would need to move to one side at the time of other side’s mandatory business closing hour, such situations would not arise in the Jordan Valley.

Instead, issues will probably center on municipal services, which are easily managed. In large Palestinian territories such as Jericho, services would remain under Palestinian control. In smaller areas, Israel could continue to extend such services when most efficient. If Israel can presently supply electricity to Gaza, a belligerent territory governed by a terrorist organization, it could just as easily continue to provide services to any fragmented Palestinian villages after peace has been achieved.
A formal US-Israeli defense pact is still a bad idea
The question of whether the United States and Israel should sign a formal mutual defense pact is a recurring theme in relations between the two countries. It came up again in the run-up to this week’s tumultuous elections as a result of public advocacy on the part of Washington and behind-the-scenes encouragement from Jerusalem.

The motivation on both sides is understandable; the US wants to demonstrate its enduring commitment to Israeli security, while the Israeli government is eager to capitalize on the pro-Israeli attitudes of the Trump administration (which have already produced significant dividends, from the relocation of the US Embassy to a formal recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights). But it nevertheless is a misguided effort, and one that is potentially dangerous to the long-term health of bilateral ties.

This is so for at least three reasons.

First, as former IDF intelligence chief Amos Yadlin has noted, it puts previously taboo topics squarely on the diplomatic table. If a mutual defense agreement is indeed signed between the two countries, the US will naturally need to know what, exactly, it has committed to defending. That makes the true status of Israel’s nuclear program a valid subject of discussion.

It will also naturally force Israel to much more definitively articulate where it thinks its final borders vis-à-vis the Palestinians will be – since presumably US troops would be required to defend them in the event of a future Arab-Israeli or Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Given the importance of nuclear “opacity” to Israel’s deterrent posture, and the volatility of present-day relations with the Palestinians, Israeli officials shouldn’t be eager to discuss either of those things in more detail than they do currently.

Second, a defense pact runs the risk of stoking anti-Israel sentiment in the US. The past several years have seen the emergence of a growing isolationist streak on the American Right, while the Democratic Party has of late tolerated mounting anti-Israel and antisemitic sentiments from its vocal progressive wing.
US Ambassador to the UN: 'Israel will have no better friend than myself'
Kelly Craft, the recently-appointed US Ambassador to the UN, vowed on Friday to maintain support for Israel. Craft, who replaced Nikki Haley – a staunch supporter of the Jewish state, made it clear that she would act the same way.

In her first appearance at the monthly Middle East debate at the UN Security Council, Craft declared: “The United States has always supported Israel in the past. The United States supports Israel today. The United States will always support Israel moving forward.”

“Israel will have no better friend than Kelly Craft,” she added. Danny Danon, Israel’s envoy to the UN, thanked her. “We welcome your presence here, and look forward to your voice being heard on behalf of the American people.”

Following their statements in the Security Council, Ambassadors Danon and Craft met outside the Council chamber.

“The United States will have no better friend than the State of Israel,” Danon added. “Ambassador Craft made it clear today that the US remains strongly committed to Israel and our security. With her help, together, we can continue to change the culture at the United Nations.”

In his speech, Danon called on the Security Council to maintain pressure on Iran: “Iran poses the greatest danger to regional stability and security. Iran must be stopped. Not with smiles and handshakes, but with economic, political, diplomatic and any other pressure, as necessary. I call on the members of this esteemed Council to act against the Iranian violations and exert more pressure on Iran.”

Danon also addressed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s remarks last week regarding the future status of the Jordan Valley.
Palestinians in bid to secure renewal of UNRWA mandate
Palestinian Authority officials said on Saturday that they are hoping to persuade donor countries to continue their financial contributions to the United Nations Work and Relief Agency for Palestinian Refugees.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas and senior Palestinians officials are expected to meet in the coming days with representatives of the donor countries on the sidelines of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly to discuss the issue of UNRWA.

On Saturday, Abbas traveled to New York, where he is also scheduled to deliver a speech before the General Assembly and hold talks on the future of UNRWA.

The officials said the discussions on UNRWA were designed to ensure the agency’s mandate is renewed by the General Assembly. The agency’s mandate is renewed every three years.

Last year, the US administration cut its funding to UNRWA. The move came as US President Donald Trump’s Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt called for dismantling UNRWA and handing its duties to countries hosting Palestinian refugees or to international organizations.

The Palestinians see the US move as part of a US-Israeli “conspiracy” to eliminate UNRWA and deny Palestinian refugees and their descendants the right to return to their former homes inside Israel.

Recently, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland and New Zealand announced they were temporarily suspending their financial contributions to UNRWA in the aftermath of charges of mismanagement by the agency’s leadership.
IDF says armed drone captured by Syria near Golan was Iranian, not Israeli
The Israel Defense Forces on Saturday denied any connection to a drone captured by Syria near the Israeli Golan Heights, saying it was an Iranian aircraft.

“Today we saw the Syrians prove that [Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force commander Gen. Qassem] Soleimani does what he wants in Syria and definitely doesn’t tell the Assad regime what he is up to,” wrote the IDF’s Arabic spokesman Avichai Adraee.

Earlier Saturday, Syria’s state news agency SANA said authorities have captured and dismantled a drone rigged with cluster bombs near the border with the Israeli Golan Heights.

SANA gave no further details about the drone but posted several photos.

The news agency also reported that Syrian forces found Israeli-made vehicles and material in Bariqa, a village near the deserted border city of Quneitra.

Israel frequently conducts airstrikes and missile attacks inside war-torn Syria but rarely confirms them. Israel says it targets mostly bases of Iranian forces and the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah in Syria.

But Adraee said it was definitely “not an IDF drone,” noting that it was found in the same area where the IDF attacked last month to foil an Iranian drone attack on Israel.
Greek police make arrest in 1985 Hezbollah hijacking of TWA Flight 847
Greek police said Saturday they have arrested a suspect in the 1985 Hezbollah hijacking of a flight from Athens that became a multi-day ordeal and included the slaying of an American.

Police said a 65-year-old suspect in a 1985 hijacking and a 1987 abduction was arrested Thursday on the island of Mykonos in response to a warrant from Germany.

Lt. Col. Theodoros Chronopoulos, a police spokesman, told The Associated Press the hijacking case involved TWA Flight 847. The flight was commandeered by hijackers shortly after taking off from Athens on June 14, 1985, demanding the release of 700 Shi’ite Muslims from Israeli custody. The flight originated in Cairo and had San Diego set as a final destination, with stops scheduled in Athens, Rome, Boston and Los Angeles.

The hijackers shot and killed US Navy diver Robert Stethem, 23, after beating him unconscious. They released the other 146 passengers and crew members on the plane in stages during an ordeal that included making three stops in Beirut and two in Algiers. The last hostage was freed after 17 days.
Haniyeh orders Hamas leaders not to comment on anti-Sissi demos in Egypt
Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh has ordered senior members of the Gaza-based terror group not to publicly comment on rare protests held in Egypt Friday against President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi.

Haniyeh sent an audio message to Hamas leaders telling them not to address “any matter connected to Egypt” whatsoever.

“Everyone must obey and promise this,” he said in the message, according to Israel’s Ynet news site.

Hamas and Egypt have worked to repair ties in recent years following the 2013 coup that brought Sissi to power.

Hamas, which has historic links to Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, enjoyed warm relations with Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi, a top Brotherhood figure who was overthrown by the military after a divisive year in power.

The Egyptian government tightened an Israeli-Egyptian blockade on Hamas-ruled Gaza shortly thereafter, but since then there have been signs of a thaw in relations.

Hosni Mubarak, the longtime Egyptian ruler whose deposal led to Morsi coming to power in Egypt’s first and only democratic presidential election, has claimed Hamas sent hundreds of fighters across the Gaza border during the 2011 uprising.

Hamas has denied the claim.
Next for Turkey? Nuclear Weapons!
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan now wants to make Turkey a rogue state with nuclear weapons.

For several decades, Turkey, being a staunch NATO ally, was viewed as the trusted custodian of some of the U.S. nuclear arsenal. In the early 1960s, the U.S. started stockpiling nuclear warheads at the Turkish military's four main airbases

Presently, the nuclear warheads in Turkey at Incirlik airbase still remain at the disposal of the U.S. military under a special U.S.-Turkish treaty. That treaty makes Turkey the host of U.S. nuclear weapons. According to the launch protocol, however, both Washington and Ankara need to give consent to any use of the nuclear weapons deployed at Incirlik.

"Countries that oppose Iran's nuclear weapons should not have nuclear weapons themselves." — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Hürriyet, 2008.

If Turkey overtly or covertly launched a nuclear weapons program -- as Erdogan apparently wishes -- the move could well have a domino effect on the region. Turkey's regional adversaries would be alarmed, and Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria and Greece might be tempted to launch their own nuclear weapons programs. Erdogan should not be allowed to possess nuclear weapons.
Team Iran
It wouldn’t seem hard for anyone remotely interested in the fate of the planet to draw at least one clear lesson from last Saturday’s Iranian strikes on Saudi Arabia: There is no way that the regime that casually took 50% of Saudi oil production offline can ever be allowed to get anywhere near possessing a nuclear bomb. Imagine what a nuclear-armed Iran might do to the oil production on which the entire planet depends for energy, transportation, and food. Does anyone really care to wager that an Iranian regime that had such devastating weapons wouldn’t actually use them? That seems like a bad bet.

And yet that was precisely how a highly visible segment of political partisans in Washington has chosen to see things. The oil fields were still burning as former Barack Obama aides, Democratic Party officials, political operatives, and journalists rolled out an arsenal of tweets, quotes, and op-eds laying down cover for a military attack targeting the world’s oil supply. In a different time, the idea of a public campaign to cheer on an operation whose intended effect was to raise oil prices and terrorize a traditional US ally might seem like a deranged PR stunt by campus nihilists. But in DC’s toxic new zero-sum political game, an attack on Saudi Arabia is good news— not because it benefits America or Americans in any conceivable way, but because it benefits Iran. Same difference, right?

The public conjoining of US and Iranian interests represents the fulfillment of Obama’s signature foreign policy initiative, the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. The purpose of the JCPOA was to bribe the Iranians to hold off on building a bomb until Obama left office by legitimizing a future Iranian bomb while filling the regime’s coffers with hundreds of billions of dollars. The effect of the deal was to arm and fund the country that Obama saw as America’s new ally in the region.

Right or wrong, Obama believed t his was in the American interest. Minimizing the US footprint in the region required partnership with a power that could bear the load after America’s exit. From Obama’s perspective, that power could only be Iran: Saudi Arabia was not a military power, Iraq was a mess, Egypt was politically unstable, and Israel was a non-starter. So he tabbed Iran as the curator of US regional interests, even though its elevated standing came at the expense of traditional US allies. This is what Obama meant by regional “balance.”


JVL’s Mike Cushman says Labour antisemitism is a “lie” from Mossad and British security services
Mike Cushman, a member of antisemitism denial groups Jewish Voice for Labour and Labour Against The Witchhunt, has claimed that he has never observed antisemitism in the Labour Party and that the evidence on which antisemitism allegations are based emanates either from the Israeli Mossad or British security services, which he insists oppose the election of a Labour government.

The claims were made at a 19th September screening in Brixton of the film, Witchhunt, which disputes the degree of antisemitism in the Labour Party, hosted by expelled Labour member and former Vice-Chair of the pro-Corbyn group Momentum, Jackie Walker.

In his remarks, Mr Cushman said: “I’m not saying that antisemitism doesn’t exist in the Labour Party, but I’ve never seen it — I’ve never experienced it. I’ve seen anti-black racism; I’ve seen islamophobia; I’ve seen misogyny; I’ve seen homophobia; I’ve seen many awful things, but personally I’ve never observed antisemitism.”

He went on to explain that “when the allegations of people like Louise Ellman [a Jewish Labour MP] and Luciana Berger [a Jewish MP who resigned from the Labour Party] are examined properly, they fall apart as a tissue of lies. I cannot emphasise enough just how much lying and falsehood is going on in making these allegations.”

Complaining that criticism of Israel and talking about Zionism are interpreted as antisemitism, and that even telling an MP “they’re just no bloody use as an MP” is also interpreted as antisemitism, Mr Cushman concluded that the twin motivations behind those exposing antisemitism in the Labour Party are “to stop us talking about Palestine” and “to stop us getting a socialist Labour government elected.”
Columbia U. to host antisemitic Malaysian PM
Columbia University's World Leaders Forum will be hosting Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who has a history of making antisemitic statements.

The 93-year-old leader described Jews as "hook-nosed" last October, and blaming them for creating trouble in the Middle East. "They are hook-nosed," he said in defense. "Many people called the Malays fat-nosed. We didn't object; we didn't go to war for that."

In 2003, he said that "the Europeans killed six million Jews out of 12 million. But today the Jews rule this world by proxy. They get others to fight and die for them.”

He has also said that the number of Jews killed in the Holocaust is exaggerated and that, in reality, four million were killed rather than six million.

He has also previously denied Israel's connection to Jerusalem, claiming it is a Palestinian territory. "Jerusalem has always been under Palestine, so why are they taking the initiative to divide Jerusalem not belonging to them, but to divide the Arabs and the Jews? They have no rights," Mohamad said.

In January, Mohamad announced that he would not allow any Israelis to enter Malaysia. The comment was in response to criticism after the Southeast Asian nation banned Israeli participants in the Paralympic Swimming World Championship.

"The world is talking about freedom of speech, but whenever we say anything against Israel and the Jews, it is considered antisemitism," he stated. "It is my right to criticize Israel for its policy regarding the Palestinians and say they do many bad things."
The Forward Continues to Publish A Propagandist
In July, CAMERA wrote about Muhammad Shehada’s claim, made in the Forward, that the Palestinian pay-to-slay program was just a “canard,” when his own source, the Washington Post, explained that, “in the Palestinian Authority’s budget, one can find $350 million in annual payments to Palestinian prisoners, ‘martyrs’ and injured….”

Yet, despite this grossly dishonest claim, the Forward inexplicably continues to give Shehada space.

Last week, Shehada wrote a piece that was disingenuously entitled, “A Plea To My Israeli Brothers And Sisters, From A Palestinian Who Can’t Vote” (September 11, 2019). And in August, in “Israel Is Now Trolling Us Palestinians On Social Media,” (August 28, 2019) he claimed to tell “the truth about COGAT,” Israel’s Coordination of Government Activities in the territories. Missing from both pieces, however, is the truth about Palestinian leadership.

In the August piece, Shehada wrote that COGAT “is a military unit in charge of civilian affairs, a perfect encapsulation of the problem with military rule over a civilian population without the right to vote.” Palestinians, of course, do have the right to vote. In Gaza, where Shehada is from, the last election was in 2006. That election brought Hamas, a genocidal terrorist group that vows to destroy Israel, to power. Hamas promptly ousted the opposing political party, and today, arrests and beats journalists and violently suppresses internal protests. Meanwhile, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas last stood for election in 2005. Since then, Abbas rejected Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s 2008 offer for statehood that would have removed COGAT from the West Bank, and continues to refuse to negotiate.
Selfies banned to prevent misinterpretation at Dutch museum’s Nazi design expo
A Dutch museum has banned visitors from taking photos at a controversial exhibition of designs from Hitler’s Nazi regime to stop them being “interpreted the wrong way.”

The crowds at the Design Museum in Den Bosch — which has been sold out since “Design in the Third Reich” opened earlier this month — look like those at any other museum, but with two important exceptions.

Firstly, there is the extraordinary backdrop — 277 articles ranging from a 1940s Volkswagen Beetle to statues of Hitler’s favorite sculptor Arno Breker, propaganda posters and films by Nazi director Leni Riefenstahl.

And secondly, the tell-tale lack of the smartphones that are normally ubiquitous at any tourist attraction or place of interest anywhere in the world.

The exhibition’s opening prompted protest from left-wing and anti-fascist groups who said they feared it could serve as a Nazi shrine.

Museum spokeswoman Maan Leo said extraordinary measures had been taken, including banning photography inside, posting extra staff and only allowing 50 visitors entry at a time.

Tickets can only be purchased online.
Canadian social media influencer fights hate, erases antisemitic graffiti
A Canadian social media influencer has made a presence for himself online by removing graffiti and drawings on public property depicting hateful messages, such as racist or antisemitic symbols.

Corey Fleischer uses different kinds of equipment, from pressure washers, to regular drugstore nail polish remover, to get rid of swastikas and hateful messages painted around the world.

Most recently, Fleischer uploaded videos of him visiting Portugal and Spain, wearing his signature vest reading "#ErasingHate" on the front.

Fleischer hails from Montreal, where he regularly makes sure that no hatred is not put on display. He video tapes the removal of the graffiti and uploads them to his Instagram and Facebook pages.

In August, he was joined on his mission by a Holocaust survivor named Angi Richt as they removed a small, drawn-on swastika from a street sign in a park. Richt has joined Fleischer in several videos to remove hateful graffiti. She, according to Fleischer, is one of the two people to have ever been born in Auschwitz concentration camp.

"It is an absolute honor to have [Richt] here," Fleischer said. He proceeded to explain how to use nail polish remover to erase the drawing.
9 brilliant books about Israeli innovation
We know, we know: the moniker “startup nation” has become a kind of cliché since the book of the same name reached the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists a decade ago.

However, the story of tiny Israel’s unlikely climb to the top of the global innovation ladder is no less fascinating and relevant today, as investment in Israeli high-tech continues to break records and the country begins its transition to “scaleup nation.”

The books below explore various aspects of this frankly amazing phenomenon. We’re proud to share that the newest of these titles, Inbal Arieli’s Chutzpah, traces its origins in part to popular columns she wrote, and continues to write, for ISRAEL21c about Israel’s unique innovation-nurturing youth culture.

START-UP NATION: THE STORY OF ISRAEL’S ECONOMIC MIRACLE by Dan Senor and Saul Singer
First published in 2009, this book fast became a classic. It’s the most logical place to start a journey of discovery about Israel’s unparalleled entrepreneurial success despite its tiny size, hostile neighbors, constant conflict and scarce natural resources. Senor and Singer share lessons of the country’s adversity-driven culture, which flattens hierarchy and elevates informality– all backed up by government policies focused on innovation.
Colorful 3D printed corals prove a housing hit with fish in Red Sea
As coral reefs the world over suffer in the face of climate change, pollution and harvesting for aquaria, researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) and Haifa’s Technion-Israel Institute of Technology are experimenting with 3D printed corals, and finding that fish species that can see color prefer bright designs to dull ones.

The project is the first known attempt to accurately simulate the structure and functionality of natural living corals, taking into account factors such as water flow around the coral structures, sizes that fit the diversity of fish species and proximity to food (plankton).

Coral reefs provide a home for 25 percent of all marine fish species. With the aim of ascertaining what kind of coral makes a “good home” and which designs the fish prefer, the team used 3D design tools to scan natural coral colonies, then structurally and spatially manipulated the scans before printing the artificial ones. They experimented with different materials and printers, ultimately whittling the possibilities down to four different forms of printed corals made of sustainable bioplastic, in several colors.

The corals were then attached to a reef at the northeastern coast of the Red Sea, close to the Inter-University Institute for Marine Sciences in Eilat. The biologists then visited over several months to track colonization of the models by real fish.

They found that the fish readily accepted the 3D printed corals, and even preferred some designs and colors over real living ones.
Tel Aviv exhibit examines sustainable living solutions from around the world
With recent hurricanes in the Bahamas and forest fires in the Amazon, Siberia and Indonesia, one may find something of a haven in “Solar Guerrilla: Constructive Response to Climate Change,” the Tel Aviv Museum of Art’s design-heavy exhibit about sustainable living running from July through February 2020.

The exhibit is administered by Maya Vinitsky, an associate curator in the Department of Architecture and Design at the museum, who was responsible for the museum’s last environmental show in 2017, “3.5 Square Meters: Constructive Responses to Natural Disasters.”

“We wanted to tie this exploration to things that are visual, colorful and even tactile,” said Vinitsky. “Whoever comes to the museum, to this exhibit, will hopefully see things that will make them think more, and become more active.”

Much of what is on display in “Solar Guerrilla” was created by architects, landscape designers and industrial designers from all over the world, looking at a wide range of responses to climate change.

Set in the spacious one-room Marcus B. Mizne Gallery in the museum’s main building, the exhibit features 36 projects divided among six themes: 1.5 to 2 Degrees Celsius, Solarpunk, Sponge City, Anti-Smog, Sunroof, and Passive House.

The range of the exhibit’s topics and exhibits offer an indication of which countries are more developed with regard to sustainable living, said Vinitsky, and generally display “multi-solving,” as there is no one solution to any specific problem.

Her previous exhibit about responses to natural disasters highlighted the fact that disasters are brief but hold long-lasting effects. Climate change, meanwhile, is generally measured over a great time scale of 30 to 40 years, pointed out Vinitsky.

Spectator Podcast: The Kremlin's persecution of Jews
Damian talks to Jewish pianist Ariel Lanyi about the cruel cat-and-mouse game that the Soviet Union played with Jewish classical musicians at a time when it was sneakily trying to extinguish both their religion and their ethnic identity.




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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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