Wednesday, January 01, 2020

From Ian:

BDS or BS?
Another feature of BDS is that it often condemns both an action and its opposite. If the Israeli government were to restrict gay rights, it would be homophobic – if it extends them, it is pinkwashing. If the local Israeli embassy pays the airfare for a director to come to discuss what is more than likely a pro-Palestinian film, then the festival is accepting blood money and should be boycotted. But if the Embassy didn’t make the payment, it would be accused of running a North Korean type hasbara propaganda machine, supporting only films supporting the government’s line. UK films are universally supported by the government through generous tax credits, of course, but you don’t see screaming mobs outside showings of Hugh Grant films, despite some of our questionable actions in Iraq and Afghanistan, and our complex relationship with the Saudis.

The government is right to propose an anti-BDS bill (and let us not kid ourselves that any council would apply a boycott to Malaysia, despite its open discrimination against its Chinese population, or the Iranians for persecuting almost everyone, dare we even bother mentioning the prospect of a boycott of China, currently operating concentration camps?), because those who are at the sharp end will otherwise have an impossible job. Can you allow council premises to be used for an Israeli/Palestinian dialogue group (normalization), or host a singer who has recently performed in Israel? Could a university host a Jewish Society that serves Israeli kiddush wine, or allow a speaker who has been in the Israel Defence Force? Could a library order Amos Oz books or host a church group organising a trip to Jerusalem and Bethlehem? Could the mayor welcome a group of disabled IDF veterans? No-one really knows the answers, but the hope of BDS activists is that people will take the safest route by simply not asking, so achieving the movement’s goals by default.

Given that your average declared anti-Zionist would struggle to find the West Bank on a map, the chance of a council worker or university administrator being able to make a reasoned decision on BDS is close to negligible. And the legal and administrative costs of getting it wrong will be borne by the benighted taxpayers and ratepayers, very few of whom have the slightest interest in the Middle East conflict. Meanwhile, a generation of otherwise engaged Jews would grow up fearful that their local authority considers them to be second-class citizens, and their Israeli relatives to be uniquely and irredeemably evil.

BDS activists can of course try to boycott Israel, Zionists, or anything they like when doing their shopping, but should leave their personal prejudices at the door when it comes to local or national government.

Stand With Us: A New Middle East?
In the past decade, Israel has developed closer ties to Arab states in the region. From sporting events to official diplomatic delegations and regional infrastructure plans we are seeing a positive shift in the Middle East. Peace is possible!

Prof. Phyllis Chesler: I saw the writing in the sky
For years, organized American and European Jewry have refused to take a courageous stand about Jew hatred. Please note that I am not calling this “antisemitism.” I have been using the phrase “Jew hatred” for many years now, sometimes the regrettably ungraceful term: “Judeophobia”. Scholar Shulamit Magnus has a very good piece about this. In short: Jews are not a “race,” we are a people, and we exist in all the colors of the rainbow. Arab Muslims and Arab Christians are also Semites and the term “antisemitism” applies to them as well.

Most big-monied American-Jewish groups have tended to universalize antisemitism as “racism” or “prejudice,” perhaps in the hope that Jew haters who oppose anti-black, anti-brown, and anti-immigrant racism would therefore magically realize that nearly half of all Jews, at least in Israel, are black, brown, or olive in skin color and that even white-skinned Ashkenazi Jews are human beings who are currently being verbally and physically menaced, shot down, stabbed, punched, and blown up in Israel and in the West.

I started writing about this almost full-time in the fall of 2000. I saw the writing on the sky. I’d seen it before in the early 1970s and 1980s, but never so clearly, never so alarmingly. Others did too. Some had been our shomrim for a long time. They were barely and only rarely heeded and were defamed as conservatives.

However, most American Jewish organizations, including the ADL, insisted that the greatest danger to Jews was coming from white Christian conservative men. They refused to name Islamic Jew hatred or black American, black Caribbean, or black African Jew hatred. The media happily kept quoting such views. Oddly, the ADL’s own stats, which they’ve released over many years, tells us another story.
Jews are not lemmings, Mr. Gandhi
“They should have thrown themselves into the sea from cliffs.”- Mahatma Gandhi, suggesting that mass suicide should have been the preferred Jewish response to the Holocaust, as opposed to fighting back or seeking refuge elsewhere.

Throughout the West various leftists and pacifists still worship the passive resistance legacy of Gandhi. This worship or virtue-signalling, however, does not impress me, especially because my father was a slave labourer in Auschwitz and his parents and then 8 year old sister were murdered in the gas chambers there.

We should also examine myths surrounding lemmings jumping off cliffs, as Gandhi seems to infer that is moral, as quoted above.

Non-violence is a fair tactic when dealing with the British or Indian authorities, but we contend that it is a very stupid and immoral practice when dealing with Hitler and the Nazis (and more recently with Islamist supporters of terrorism and oppression of their own people and their neighbours all over the world).

First let us think about Gandhi’s preference for jumping into the sea when confronted with enemies seeking your death.

Non-violence is a fair tactic when dealing with the British or Indian authorities, but is a very stupid and immoral practice when dealing with Hitler and the Nazis (and more recently with Islamist supporters of terrorism and oppression of their own people and their neighbours all over the world).
The notion of jumping into the sea reminds us of the supposed conduct of Norwegian lemmings. According to a good Wikipedia article about them, it is accepted that these lemmings do periodically jump off cliffs. However it argues that they have become “the subject of a widely popular misconception that they are driven to commit mass suicide when they migrate by jumping off cliffs. It is not a deliberate mass suicide where the animal voluntarily chooses to die, but rather a result of their migratory behavior. Driven by strong biological urges, some species of lemmings may migrate in large groups when population density becomes too great.

Netflix Releases Documentary Series on Murder of Argentine AMIA Bombing Prosecutor Alberto Nisman
Five years after the murder Alberto Nisman — the Argentine federal prosecutor who was investigating the worst terror outrage in the history of Latin America — streaming giant Netflix unveiled its new documentary series “The Prosecutor, the President and the Spy” in its latest offerings for 2020.

Nisman spent more than a decade probing the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish center in the Argentine capital, and then later exposed the role of former President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner and her colleagues in a cover-up of Iran’s responsibility for the atrocity.

Hours before he was due to unveil a complaint against the Kirchner government over its alleged collusion with Iran on Jan. 19, 2015, Nisman’s lifeless body was discovered in his Buenos Aires apartment.

The Kirchner government falsely maintained that Nisman’s assassination was a suicide until an independent police investigation in May 2017 established beyond doubt that he had been murdered.

Nisman had been investigating the AMIA atrocity, in which 85 people were murdered and hundreds wounded, since 2005. His efforts resulted in the global law enforcement agency Interpol issuing six “red notices” in 2007 for the Iranian and Lebanese Hezbollah operatives believed to have planned the attack.

Interviewed last September by the showbiz news outlet Variety, Justin Webster — the producer of the Netflix series — explained that its “thrust is to reach some more clarity on a subject that is so difficult, and so complex.”
Jewish ex-Labour MP: Leaders vying to replace Corbyn ‘cowards’ on anti-Semitism
A Jewish former UK Labour lawmaker has condemned the frontrunners in the race to replace Jeremy Corbyn as party leader, saying they are “cowards” in confronting the rampant anti-Semitism in the party and are unfit to lead.

Ruth Smeeth, who lost her seat in the December election, has headed the Jewish Labour Movement, which broke with Corbyn, accusing him of anti-Semitism.

Writing in the Jewish Chronicle on Tuesday, Smeeth slammed leading contenders like Rebecca Long-Bailey, Keir Starmer and Emily Thornberry, saying they were hypocrites as the anti-Semitism debate raged in the party.

“Too many leaders-in-waiting were prepared to speak out if it was politically convenient, not because it was the right thing to do,” Smeeth wrote. “That means that no currently serving member of the Shadow Cabinet deserves our vote.

“They have been timid when we needed strength,” she said. “They have failed us when we needed them most. They enabled Mr Corbyn and his friends to make us a target.”

“For me, therefore, expunging anti-Jewish hate from our politics must mean that the next leader of the Labour Party has to be one of the backbenchers who have stood by us, whether that’s Jess Phillips, Lisa Nandy, Dan Jarvis or Yvette Cooper. They have all shown leadership on racism when others were cowards,” Smeeth said.
Leftists ostracise Jews at antisemitism vigil
Last night Jews were ostracised at a vigil against antisemitism organised by pro-Corbyn groups. Shameful.

Jeremy Corbyn's supporters should be kicked out of Labour to enable the party to eradicate anti-Semitism, Jewish community leader warns
Labour's next leader must drive out Jeremy Corbyn's supporters to end its anti-Semitism crisis, a leading member of the Jewish community has urged.

Jonathan Goldstein, chairman of the Jewish Leadership Council, said the 'problem is not only Corbyn but also Corbynism and Corbynites, and these remain strong in the party'.

His warning yesterday came as defeated Labour MPs blamed the party leadership's 'repeated unwillingness to stand up to the stain of anti-Semitism'.

Rebecca Long Bailey and Sir Keir Starmer, two of the frontrunners to replace Mr Corbyn, condemned anti-Semitism yesterday after graffiti was sprayed in north London.

Miss Long Bailey tweeted: 'This is truly horrifying... it is an awful reminder of the rise in anti-Semitism around the world. It must be defeated.'

Writing in The Sunday Times yesterday, Mr Goldstein said Mr Corbyn's defeat had provided an 'extraordinary relief' for the vast majority of British Jews. But he warned Labour had hundreds of thousands of members who joined to support him.

Mr Goldstein added: 'Large numbers of the influx of far-Left members have been carriers of a particular variant of anti-Semitism deep in their ideological and political approach.'

Mr Goldstein demanded a 'zero-tolerance approach to anti-Jewish racism' from whoever takes the reins.
Daphne Anson: Islamophobia? Not on Our Watch, insist the UK's Trembling Israelites
It seems hard to believe (actually, perhaps it doesn't, given today's onslaught on the Judeo-Christian tradition and the consequent neglect in schools of scriptural teaching) that people actually grew up thinking that Islam preceded Judaism and Christianity, but some viewers of this video are claiming just that!

It seems hard to believe, given the zeal with which the Left attacks male sexists of the Western kind, that they, with honorable exceptions, turns a blind eye to such excrescences as these, committed by Muslim men against non-Muslim females.

It seems especially hard to believe that in Britain Jewish leaders, with honorable exceptions, are so lily-livered that they are prepared to undermine one of the most courageous, astute and perspicacious of Jewish commentators on the current scene, namely that wonderful lady Melanie Phillips, in their anxiety not to transgress political correctness.

Cerebral British blogger Edgar Davidson pulls no punches in his indictment of such cravenness. He calls Jewish Chronicle [JC] editor Stephen Pollard "an idiot", for instance, and thunders inter alia:

'Pollard is part of the elitist clique who think they know what’s best for British Jews (and he’s by no means the worst). We have seen with the recent decision by the Jewish 'leadership' to demonize and silence Colonel Richard Kemp and Melanie Phillips (see articles by Jonathan Hoffman and David Collier about this), that they will not tolerate anybody who dares raise concerns about Islamic antisemitism and terrorism.

They have bought into the whole "Islamophobia" narrative in an attempt to appease people like Baroness Warsi (who claims to oppose antisemitism while being a vicious enemy of the Jewish state, whipping up antisemitic hatred of it among British Muslims).

What started with the demonization of Tommy Robinson, Geert Wilders, Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer (all true friends of Israel and the Jewish people) and then Katie Hopkins and Douglas Murray, was never going to end with just them. Now they seek to silence anybody on the 'right' of politics who raises these concerns and even accuse anybody who supports them of being 'racists'. So, while many of the Jewish community's best friends are shunned by the Jewish leadership, that same leadership is happy to work with (and even invite to communal events): Israel-hating agitators like Warsi, antisemitic anti-Israel leftist Muslims like Naz Shah, and any number of left-wing politicians and activists who supported both Corbyn and the boycott campaign against Israel.
Unpacking the Indy’s latest tale of ‘Israeli cruelty’
The latest Indy tale of Israeli cruelty (My friend was banned from travelling to visit his dying mother. This is the personal, intimate price of occupation, Saleh Hizjazi, Dec. 27th) begins in the opening sentences:
On Christmas Eve I received the distressing news that the mother of my friend and colleague, Laith Abu Zeyad, passed away after a short but bitter battle with cancer. She had suffered for three excruciating months between the diagnosis and her laying to rest. She died in the Augusta Victoria hospital in occupied East Jerusalem. Her eldest son, my colleague, was not able to spend the last days with her because of a travel ban Israel has imposed on him after his involvement in human rights work.

However, Hiziazi, the deputy regional director for Amnesty Mid-East and North Africa, who, research by David Collier demonstrates, has a penchant for promoting terrorists on Facebook, fails to note reports that the travel ban imposed on Abu Zeyad had nothing to with his “human rights work”.

An article published last month in Haaretz noting the following:
The Shin Bet say that the activist was denied passage through the crossing due to “serious security considerations,” and stated that their decision had nothing to do with Zeyad’s employment with Amnesty. “Any attempt to claim otherwise is completely unfounded,” the agency said.

Additionally, Abu Zeyed was formerly the international advocacy officer at the Palestinian prisoners’ rights NGO Addameer, an affiliate of Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) – a group designated as a terror organisation by the US, EU and Israel. So, it doesn’t seem like too big of a stretch to imagine that his true political sympathies are not “civil rights”.
BBC Arabic does stealth ‘clean-up’ after CAMERA Arabic complaint
In conclusion, this BBC Arabic radio item normalised the negation of Israel’s right to exist within any borders and denied the right of Israeli Jews to live peacefully while exerting their right of self-determination in their homeland. Asi’s mention of Abdullah Barghouthi also mainstreamed implied support for terrorism against Israeli civilians.

All of the above is a breach of BBC’s editorial guidelines regarding impartiality and offensive speech, as well as a breach of BBC’s style guide regarding the use of the term “Palestine”.

In late November, not long after a CAMERA Arabic submitted a complaint about the item to the BBC, it was mysteriously removed from BBC Arabic’s Soundcloud channel and Facebook webpage. Notably, the other two items aired in the same programme on October 24th still appear on both the Soundcloud channel and the Facebook webpage (the first link leads to the opening item of the show which includes a short description of the map item – the second of the three – at 0:40).

Although CAMERA Arabic has yet to receive any response to the complaint submitted in November, it would appear that somebody at BBC Arabic took action to hide evidence that this embarrassing item had existed in the first place.

Jordan asks Netflix not air controversial series 'Messiah' in the country
The upcoming Netflix series Messiah has attracted widespread controversy from numerous parties. Now, the show-runners can include the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to that list.

Two days before the show's premiere, the Royal Film Commission (RFC) of Jordan released a statement requesting the streaming service not make the controversial series available in the country, according to Deadline.

“Having been made aware of its content, the RFC has asked officially the management of Netflix to refrain from streaming it in Jordan,” the statement read.

This represents a notable shift in position for the commission, as the series was partially shot in Jordan. Furthermore, according to sources quoted by Deadline, the RFC had reviewed the summaries of each episode and approved them before shooting and giving the show tax credit.
BBC World service radio reclassifies Hanukkah
BBC coverage of the recent stabbing attack in Monsey included a report aired on the afternoon edition of the BBC World Service radio programme ‘Newshour’ on December 29th. Presenter James Menendez introduced the item (from 00:11 here) as follows: [emphasis added]

Menendez: “And we’re going to start straight away today in New York and the latest in a spate of antisemitic attacks in the area in the past few days. This one was particularly serious. A masked man armed with a large knife got into the home of an ultra-orthodox Rabbi in Rockland County north-west of the city where dozens of people were celebrating Hanukkah, the Jewish New Year. He stabbed five people before running away. He was later arrested.”

Hanukkah of course has nothing to do with the Jewish New Year – Rosh HaShana – which is celebrated at the beginning of the month of Tishrei, which usually falls in September.

Once again we see the results of the BBC’s failure to carry out even basic fact checking.
BBC Ideas tries – and fails – to explain ‘the root causes’ of antisemitism
Viewers are told that Edelman “believes it’s important to understand anti-semitism in order to eradicate it” but the information which would promote such understanding is not evident in this film. Audiences hear that Edelman has personally experienced antisemitism – with no further details given – from different kinds of people and that it is “not restricted to one party or gender or race”.

However the two examples given – a late 1950’s newsreel of a swastika daubed on a synagogue in Leeds and a 2018 speech by Hungary’s prime minister Viktor Orban – both come from one side of the political map and viewers do not see any examples of antisemitism on the ‘progressive’ Left.

A significant part of the video is devoted to the topic of Israel – which viewers are told is “a very complicated issue”.

“I think Jews get bludgeoned with Israel. I think Israel is like a very weird lead pipe for a lot of people. They’re just like ‘oh you’re Jewish so explain this Israeli policy’. And you’re like ‘well I don’t know if I 100% agree with that policy because, you know, I’m a person with complicated political views’. And then they’re like ‘well then, do you think Israel shouldn’t exist?’ and you’re like ‘no that’s not what I said either’. Like, Israel is a very complicated issue and it is the only sort of Jewish homeland on earth so for that reason Jews do have a special affiliation with it and it is a place by the way where I…I love my time in Israel ‘cos it is one of the only places where I do not feel ‘other’ for being Jewish.”

Having made sure to clarify that he has “taken issue with, you know, many of [Israel’s] policies” Edelman states that he thinks that:

“…Israel is used as a complete mask for anti-semitism sometimes or it’s used to justify anti-semitism.”

Viewers are not provided with any examples of how that device manifests itself.

Edelman spends the last part of the video telling the audience that there are many different kinds of Jews.

“And, you know, if you think all Jews are sort of powerful and educated and rich, I have a bunch of cousins that you should meet…”

Obviously this exercise contributed very little indeed to audience understanding of the “root causes” of antisemitism – not least because little effort was made to explain the many ways in which that form of racism manifests itself beyond the rather obvious daubing of a swastika on a synagogue, the use of “1930s rhetoric” and something “complicated” connected to Israel.

Once again we see that the BBC’s efforts to address the issue of antisemitism in British society continue to fall far short but that nevertheless – despite its own dismal record and the plethora of evidence illustrating that the BBC does not have the authority or the expertise, let alone the remit, to define antisemitism – it continues to insist on producing content purporting to inform its audiences on that issue.
Newly renovated Greek synagogue vandalized with antisemitic graffiti
A newly renovated historic synagogue in Greece was vandalized with what the country’s Jewish umbrella organization called “abusive slogans of antisemitic hatred.”

“Jewish snakes out” was among the slogans painted in bright blue on an outside wall of the synagogue in Trikala, a city in northern Greece that once was home to one of the country’s oldest Jewish communities.

The vandalism has caused “outrage and deep sadness,” the Central Jewish Council of Greece, or KIS, said in a statement.

“We are reminded that the snake’s egg continues to hatch in our society, and that the fight against antisemitism must be continuous and vigilance uninterrupted,” it said.

The statement said authorities must “take all necessary measures to arrest and punish the perpetrators and to protect the Jewish sites of the city of Trikala, which has demonstrated its zero tolerance of intolerance and racism.”
Polish children simulate being gassed to death at Auschwitz-themed dance recital
A Polish elementary school held an Auschwitz-themed dance recital featuring children in concentration camp uniforms simulating being gassed to death.

During the event, which was held in the village of Łabunie on December 10, students lay on the floor as a smoke machine sent clouds of fake poison gas into the air, while other students dressed as Nazis, complete with swastika armbands, stood at attention nearby.

Some of the children were are young as seven, according to the Notes from Poland website, which cited several Polish-language press reports about the incident.

The site, which is run by Pedagogical University of Krakow historian Daniel Tilles, quoted a Newsweek Polska report stating that Łabunie’s mayor “told the children that they must defend Latin civilization.”

Another speaker, whose parents died at Auschwitz, was quoted as saying that lawmakers who opposed seeking German reparations deserved to have their heads shaved as if they were Nazi collaborators.
Holocaust education planned after West Virginia jail guards give Nazi salute
West Virginia plans to begin training its corrections department staff about the Holocaust after a photograph of correction officer cadets giving Nazi salutes led to dozens of firings and widespread outrage, officials said Tuesday.

A spokesman for the West Virginia Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety said the leader of the regional Anti-Defamation League chapter has agreed to draft the training materials and coursework. He said the agency is “committed to taking all steps necessary to accomplish this.”

The move comes a day after Gov. Jim Justice announced that more than 30 trainees seen in the photo were being fired. He made the announcement after a report was released detailing how their instructor, Karrie Byrd, “reveled” in the salute and encouraged the class to perform the gesture. Byrd was fired earlier in the month.

“This kind of behavior will not be tolerated on my watch in any agency of state government,” Justice, a Republican, said in a statement Monday.

The photograph, which shows the trainees with their arms raised and faces blurred, was released in early December as officials promised a swift probe of the matter. The image also includes a line of text that reads “Hail Byrd,” a reference to their instructor.

On Monday, the state released a a summary of its internal investigation, which found that an unspecified number of trainees in Academy Class 18 began using the gesture early on in their training “as a sign of respect” for Byrd. Soon after, other class members also began flashing the salute.
MEMRI: Higher Secondary School In Pakistan's Abbottabad City Under Fire For Allowing Israeli Flag At A United Nations Model Conference
In the Pakistani city of Abbottabad – where Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was killed by U.S. Navy SEALs in a night raid on May 1, 2011 – a higher secondary school has come under fire for allowing the Israeli flag to be put up alongside other nations' flags for a United Nations model conference. UN model conferences are held in schools and colleges across the world where students debate global issues and learn how the UN functions.

According to a report in the Urdu daily Roznama Ummat, a press statement was issued by the deputy commissioner of Abbottabad saying that the administration had not permitted the city-based Modern Public School and College to organize the "American model" conference.[2] The statement says: "It has been learnt from social media that the Israeli flag was also put up alongside the flags of other nations for the preparation of a function at the school" and "the police have been ordered to conduct an inquiry and submit a report."[3]

Asad Javed Khan, a local resident, also filed a police case, saying: "The organization known as Model United Nations... is misleading the youth in the name of the United Nations. In this connection, Israel's flag was also hoisted at a function alongside the flags of other nations... At this point, extreme sadness and anger is raging among the residents of Abbottabad. A case of treason should be registered against the organization and the organizers of the function."[4]

According to the report, the organizers issued a statement in which they argue: "Hoisting the Israeli flag was an error that must not have occurred... Some people are giving it a negative twist. They have their national and international objectives in it, while the program was only a positive program which was on the model of the United Nations."[5]

A picture of the Israeli flag at the school's preparatory event was posted on social media and attracted comments from Pakistani youth.[6] Sheikh Asad wrote "shame on the parents and faculty" for allowing this to happen; Inam Khan commented that these "shameless people should be punished"; Usama Ahmed blamed "this young f***g generation"; Samo Awan wrote: "This is terrible"; Syed Atif said: "We should raise voice against such acts"; Nouman Saeed Awan commented: "Still can't deny the fact that Israel is a member of UN."[7]
255,000 from 150 nations moved to Israel in 2010-2019
From the beginning of 2010 through the end of 2019, more than 255,000 people moved to Israel from 150 countries, according to Jewish Agency Chairman of the Executive Isaac Herzog.

The countries of origin of the largest numbers of immigrants this decade include Russia, Ukraine, France, the United States and Ethiopia.

The year with the largest number of immigrants was 2019, when about 34,000 immigrants arrived, according to the Jewish Agency. That’s an 18 percent increase over 2018.

More than half of the immigrants arriving over the last decade (about 130,000 people) came from the former Soviet Union.

More than 55,000 came from Europe (including more than 38,000 from France); around 32,000 were from the United States; 13,420 from Latin America (with around 4,320 from Brazil and around 3,150 from Argentina); nearly 10,500 from Ethiopia; more than 3,800 from Canada; about 2,560 from South Africa; and more than 1,950 from Oceania, the majority from Australia.

Some 1,700 immigrants came to Israel from the rest of Africa and Asia, among them around 1,180 from India and more than 190 from Hong Kong and China. The report also shows that over 3,040 new immigrants moved from other Middle Eastern states and other countries with which Israel does not have diplomatic relations.
Jewish Fertility Rate Outstrips Arab One for the First Time in Israel’s History
The Jewish fertility rate overtook the Arab rate in 2018 for the first time in the history of the State of Israel, according to data released by Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) on the last day of 2019.

The Jewish fertility rate hit 3.05 children per woman in 2018, compared to 3.04 for Arab women. Only Israeli citizens were included in the survey.

Israel’s overall fertility rate in 2018 was 3.08 children per woman, down from 3.11 in 2017. The OECD average in 2017 was 1.65.

The CBS also reported that Israel began 2020 with 9,136,000 citizens, of which Jews accounted for 6,772,000 people (74.1 percent) and Arabs 1,916,000 million (21 percent).

In the past decade Israel’s population has grown by 17.8 percent, and is expected to top 10 million by the end of 2024.

In 2019, 177,000 babies were born in Israel, 34,000 people immigrated to the country and 45,000 people died.
Israeli Exports Increased by 160 Percent in the Last Decade
Israeli service exports, notably high-tech exports, have increased by 160 percent over the last decade from $21.5 billion in 2009 to almost $56 billion in 2019, the Foreign Trade Administration announced on Monday.

This year alone, service exports increased by approximately 11.7 percent and represented approximately 49 percent of all exports from Israel.

The number of Israeli exports of services and goods are predicted to break a record this year as full-year revenues for 2019 head toward $114 billion. The forecasted export value represents a 4.5 percent increase from 2018 and is some 68 percent higher than 2009 when exports totaled approximately $67.7 billion, according to The Jerusalem Post, which also noted that over the past decade, exports have increased by an annual average of 5.3 percent.

“The export data for the past decade is proof of the good health of the Israeli economy,” said Economy Minister Eli Cohen. “Israeli exports are of great importance to the Israeli economy. It is the driver of economic growth and a central source of stable employment, and economic and social prosperity.”
The Tikvah Podcast: Best of 2019 at the Tikvah Podcast
In 2019, 40 different guests came on the Tikvah Podcast to engage in serious conversations about Jewish ideas, Jewish texts, and Jewish public affairs. This year we covered everything from diplomacy to defense, from Jewish philosophy to Jewish food, from anti-Semitism to Jewish heroism.

On this retrospective episode, you’ll hear highlighted selections from our conversations with Israel’s U.N. Ambassador, Danny Danon, Hudson Institute foreign-policy analyst Michael Doran, Swedish journalist Annika Hernroth-Rothstein, author Matti Friedman, philosopher Micah Goodman, professor Jacob Howland, Rabbi Meir Soloveichik, commentator Jonah Goldberg, editors Avital Chizik-Goldschmidt and Batya Ungar-Sargon, and Secretary Pompeo’s special envoy to combat anti-Semitism, Elan Car
John Podhoretz: Gertrude Himmelfarb, 1922-2019
Irving Kristol told this story about his courtship of his wife Bea—they met and they knew and he asked her what she wanted in life and she said she wanted to publish ten books. They married. When I heard Irving relay this story, they were both in their eighties, and he proudly announced that she had just published her tenth. In 2017, when she was an astounding 95 years old, Bea Kristol—better known as Gertrude Himmelfarb—published her sixteenth. That number does not include the eight books on which she served as an editor. When she told Irving of her ambition, Bea was 20 years old. She died on Tuesday at the age of 97.

She was small and slight, Bea was, and in her very person served as proof that being formidable has nothing to do with height or bulk. She was, in all settings, utterly and completely herself, and her steely blue eyes were the windows to a brain of astonishing capacity and a spine of iron. A no-nonsense type of person she was; I’ve never met anyone with a greater disdain for bullshit of any kind. She was a believer in, indeed maybe the foremost American intellectual expostulator, of the highest of human sentiments—the ones that come in tandem with a deep reverence for tradition. But she disdained sentimentality; she rolled her eyes at grandiloquent pronouncements whose purpose was to demonstrate the pronouncer’s nobility of character. Her life’s work was dedicated to the proposition that true character is expressed in doing—and that the greatest intellectual flaw is the one that confuses thinking or feeling for moral action.Her deep study of the writers and thinkers of Victorian England had a dual virtue; their work became her great subject and she learned from them how to write prose that was always limpid and often gorgeous.

You could not do better in getting an education in the work of Gertrude Himmelfarb than in reading the essays she published in this magazine, beginning in 1948. We’ve collected links to them here. Yuval Levin has written a brilliant exegesis here that explains Bea’s journey from being a historian of moralism to becoming a moralist herself.

She was a proud Jew and a proud American; American Jewry should be proud to have produced such an extraordinary and exemplary scholar and sage. What a life she led! May Bill and Liz and their spouses and their children and great grandchildren be comforted among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem. (h/t IsaacStorm)
Welcome to 2020 from the staff at ISRAEL21c
Over the last decade we've bought you stories about breakthrough technologies, amazing aid organizations, unique innovations, but mostly we've bought you stories about people, the exceptional people of Israel. In 2020, expect all that, and more!

‘Corner of God’s Altar in Shiloh’ takes 2nd place in 2019 top discoveries
A 2,600-year-old bulla (seal) from the Kingdom of Judah bearing the inscription "[belonging] to Nathan-Melech, Servant of the King," unearthed in Jerusalem's City of David earlier this year, has topped the list of top ten discoveries in biblical archaeology in 2019, compiled by the Bible Archaeology Report.

Both the title 'Servant of the King' and the name 'Nathan-Melech' appear in the Hebrew Bible, the latter in II Kings 23:11, where he is described as an official in King Josiah's court.

According to the Bible Archaeological Report, epigrapher Christopher Rollston, who the publication says is known for his "cautious approach" to inscriptions, concluded that the “data converges to make it probable that the figure of the Bible and the figure of this bulla are one and the same… as for me, I am entirely comfortable considering it most likely, or virtually certain, that 2 Kings 23:11 and this bulla refer to the same person.”

The discovery of a horn purported to be one of the four corners of God's ancient altar, as described in the biblical book of Kings, took second place on the 2019 list.

The horn was found in the West Bank town of Shiloh in August by a team of 200 archaeologists and volunteers under the guidance of Dr. Scott Stripling, director of excavations and head of the Associates for Biblical Research.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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


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