Wednesday, January 08, 2020

From Ian:

Netanyahu: I won’t let settlements be uprooted in any diplomatic plan
Settlements will not be evacuated in any peace plan while Benjamin Netanyahu is prime minister, he vowed on Wednesday amid talk that the Trump administration may present its peace plan within weeks.

“I will not let any settlements be uprooted in any diplomatic plan. This idea of ethnic cleansing...It won’t happen,” Netanyahu said at the Kohelet Forum’s conference on the US decision that settlements are not illegal.

His remarks came as diplomatic sources say the Trump administration is strongly considering releasing its plan for peace between Israel and the Palestinians in the coming weeks, before the March 2 Knesset election.

“There is a window of opportunity. It opened, but it could close,” Netanyahu added, warning of “weak leadership” that will “hit rewind,” in an apparent reference to his election rival Blue and White leader Benny Gantz.

Netanyahu expounded on Jewish rights to live in Judea and Samaria, pointing to its anchoring in legal documents from the San Remo Conference and the League of Nations.

“There was no West Bank separate from the rest of the land. It was seen as the heart of the land. We never lost our right to live in Judea and Samaria. The only thing we lost temporarily was the ability to exercise the right,” Netanyahu explained.
PM Netanyahu: "Israel is Completely Beside the United States"
Israel's caretaker Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised US President Donald Trump for authorizing the drone strike that killed Qasem Soleimani, the powerful commander of Iran's Quds force. In his speech at a summit in Jerusalem, Netanyahu said Soleimani was behind deaths of "countless" innocents and sowed "fear, and misery, and anguish" -- and was planning to do even worse.

Pompeo 'disavows' Carter-era anti-settlement policy
The US rejects a 1978 memo determining that Israeli settlements in the West Bank violate international law, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday in a video statement to the Kohelet Forum’s conference on his settlement policy.

Pompeo said the US is “disavowing the deeply flawed" the Carter-era memorandum, written by then-State Department Legal Adviser Herbert Hansell, which called all Israeli settlements beyond the 1949 armistice lines to be illegal.

This goes a step further than Pompeo’s statement in November that the US “no longer recognize Israeli settlements as per se inconsistent with international law.”

“It’s important to speak the truth that the facts lead us to, and that is what we have done,” Pompeo said in his video message. “We are recognizing that settlements do not inherently violate international law.”

As such, he added, the US is returning to a more “balanced” policy, “advancing the cause of peace between Israelis and Palestinians.”
Professor Eugene Kontorovich of the Kohelet Forum said: “For decades, the obscure Carter-era memo was used as justification for anti-Israel policies...Secretary Pompeo’s statement makes clear the US’s wholesale rejection of the legal theory that holds that international law restricts Israeli Jews from moving into areas from which Jordan had ethnically cleansed them in 1949.”

Bennett: Area C of West Bank belongs to us, we’re waging a battle for it
Israel is waging a “real battle” against the Palestinians for control of Area C of the West Bank, Defense Minister Naftali Bennett said on Wednesday, as he declared “officially" that the territory belongs to Israel.

“Our objective is that within a short amount of time, and we will work for it, we will apply [Israeli] sovereignty to all of Area C, not just the settlements, not just this bloc or another,” Bennett told the Kohelet Policy Forum in Jerusalem.

Bennett, who heads the New Right party, added that he intended to make that demand part of his coalition agreement to enter the new government after the elections.

The second goal, Bennett said, was to ensure through the promotion of settlement construction to ensure that within a decade a million Jews will live in Judea and Samaria.

In the interim, Bennett said, “We are embarking on a real and immediate battle for the future of the Land of Israel and the future of Area C. It started a month ago and I am announcing it here today.”

Trump Addresses Nation After Attack: No Lives Lost; Iran ‘Appears To Be Standing Down’
President Trump addressed the nation Wednesday morning following ballistic missile strikes by Iran Tuesday targeting two Iraqi bases where U.S. and coalition troops are stationed. No American or Iraqi lives were lost in the attack, Trump announced, and Iran appears to be “standing down.” Trump also announced that the U.S. will “immediately” impose new sanctions on Iran.

“As long as I am president of the United States, Iran will never be allowed to have a nuclear weapon,” Trump began.

“I am pleased to inform you, the American people should be extremely grateful and happy: No Americans were harmed in last night’s attack by the Iranian regime,” he continued. “We suffered no casualties, all of our soldiers are safe, and only minimal damage was sustained at our military bases.”

“Our great American forces are prepared for anything,” he underscored.

“Iran appears to be standing down, which is a good thing for all parties concerned, and a very good thing for the world,” said the president.

“No American or Iraqi lives were lost because of the precautions taken, the dispersal of forces, and an early warning system that worked very well,” he said. “I salute the incredible skill and courage of America’s men and women in uniform.”

“For far too long, all the way back to 1979, to be exact, nations have tolerated Iran’s destructive and destabilizing behavior in the Middle East. Those days are over,” Trump declared. “Iran has been the leading state sponsor of terrorism, and their pursuit of nuclear weapons threatens the civilized world. We will never let that happen.”

“Last week, we took decisive action to stop a ruthless terrorist from threatening American lives,” Trump explained in the address. “At my direction the United States Military eliminated the world’s top terrorist, Qassem Soleimani. As the heads of the Quds Force, Soleimani was personally responsible for some of the absolutely worst atrocities. He trained terrorist armies, including Hezbollah, launching terrorist strikes against civilian targets. He fueled bloody civil wars all across the region. He viciously wounded and murdered thousands of U.S. troops, including the planting of roadside bombs that maim and dismember their victims. Soleimani directed the recent attacks on U.S. personnel in Iraq that badly wounded four service members and killed one American, and he orchestrated the violent assault on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. In recent days, he was planning new attacks on American targets, but we stopped him.”
TranscriptTrump, full text: The days of tolerating Iran’s destructive behavior are over
UN panel has no authority to declare Israel apartheid state, US says
The US questioned the legitimacy of a UN committee on racism’s plan to probe a Palestinian claim that Israel is an apartheid state.
The remarks came two weeks after the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) accepted an inter-state communication from the “State of Palestine” against Israel. While the text of the Palestinian complaint has not been released, an Israeli diplomatic source said it calls Israel an apartheid state and claims its treatment of the Palestinians is a form of racism.

In 2014, when the Palestinians became party to the international convention establishing CERD, Israel told the committee that it does not recognize Palestine as a state, and as such “does not consider ‘Palestine’ a party to the convention and regards the Palestinian request for accession as being without legal validity and without effect upon Israel’s treaty relations under the convention.”

Following the Palestinian petition against Israel last year, CERD asked the UN Office of Legal Affairs whether it has jurisdiction on the
matter, and was told that it does not under international treaty law.

However, in late December, CERD decided that treaty law does not apply here, because its convention is for “the common good.”

Andrew Bremberg, US Ambassador to International Organizations in Geneva, expressed his country’s “profound disappointment” in the decision.
“The Committee’s disregard for treaty law raises serious questions about the legitimacy of this process,” Bremberg stated. “The US will continue to advocate for fair treatment for Israel in this and other international fora.”
Germany's anti-Israel UN votes in 2019 - a wakeup call
The Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) in Los Angeles publishes an annual list of the ten worst global antisemitic and anti-Israel incidents. In 2019, Christoph Heusgen, Germany’s UN Ambassador, is in seventh place. Germany is currently a member of the UN Security Council.

In its explanatory text, the SWC quoted an editorial from Germany’s largest daily Bild. Heusgen cast 16 anti-Israel votes at the UN in 2018, abstaining once. In 2019, he voted for nine anti-Israel resolutions, including one labelling Jerusalem’s holiest sites as “Palestinian Occupied Territory.” He abstained three times and opposed only one anti-Israel resolution.

In explaining one of his anti-Israel votes, Heusgen made a statement at the UN, which was both nonsensical and vile: “We believe that international law is the best way to protect civilians and allow them to live in peace and security and without fear of Israeli bulldozers or Hamas rockets."

Heusgen made a statement at the UN, which was both nonsensical and vile: “We believe that international law is the best way to protect civilians and allow them to live in peace and security and without fear of Israeli bulldozers or Hamas rockets."
In March 2019, Bild wrote a response to Heusgen’s statement comparing Palestinian rockets with Israeli bulldozers. It said: "This equivalence is pure malice. That in a week in which the Israeli population frequently had to flee for rocket shooting by Hamas terrorists. Referral to the bulldozers, however, is a measure which the Israeli government takes against illegal building which concerns mainly Palestinians, but also Israeli settlements.”

After Heusgen’s name appeared on the SWC list, the German Government tried to whitewash him. A spokesperson said that it was absurd to connect Heusgen to antisemitism. She pointed out that when Heusgen votes on resolutions about Israel, he does so upon instructions from his government. Furthermore, she claimed that Heusgen is a diplomat who "over the years and with great passion has taken a position against antisemitism."
Anger in Warsaw as Russia’s Putin Slated to Speak at Auschwitz Commemoration in Jerusalem, But Not Poland’s Duda
A new controversy between Israel and Poland over the commemoration of the Nazi Holocaust was ignited on Tuesday as it emerged that the Polish president, Andrzej Duda, had not been invited to speak alongside Russia’s leader at a major event in Jerusalem on Jan. 23 to mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz extermination camp.

In an interview on Sunday with Polish state television, Duda made it clear that he would not attend the 5th World Holocaust Forum — hosted at Yad Vashem, Israel’s national memorial to the Nazi genocide — if he was not permitted to address the event.

“It turns out that the Presidents of Russia, Germany and France — whose government collaborated with Nazi Germany at the time — will speak, but the organizers do not agree to a speech by the President of Poland,” Duda told the broadcaster. “I absolutely do not agree to this.”

However, a press release from Yad Vashem on Tuesday confirmed that of the “over forty royals, presidents, prime ministers and parliamentary leaders from Europe, North America and Australia” expected in Jerusalem, only five country representatives would actually speak at the event — not including Duda but featuring, to the chagrin of the Polish government, Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The other leaders who will speak at the event include French President Emmanuel Macron, HRH Prince Charles of the United Kingdom, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli President Reuven Rivlin.

Relations between Israel and Poland have been decidedly frosty in recent years because of Holocaust-related disputes. In 2018, existing Polish legislation on Holocaust commemoration was controversially amended to outlaw public discussion or acknowledgement of Polish complicity in the Nazi slaughter of the Jews.
Israel unveils breakthrough laser to intercept missiles, aerial threats
Israel's Defense Ministry has announced that it has made a technological breakthrough in the development of lasers to intercept a variety of aerial threats, including against rockets and anti-tank guided missiles.

Defense Minister Naftali Bennett said on Wednesday evening that new laser technology “makes the security apparatus more lethal, more powerful, and more advanced.”

Speaking about this new addition to the existing tools of war employed by Israel, the minister said that “we will add a laser sword when dealing with threats from the North or the South.”

“The enemies of Israel better not test our resolve,” he said, “or our abilities.”

“We are entering a new age of energy warfare in the air, land and sea. The R&D investments made by the DD [Directorate of Defense] R&D in recent years have placed the State of Israel among the leading countries in the field of high-energy laser systems,” said Brig.-Gen. Yaniv Rotem, Head of the Ministry’s Directorate of Research and Development.
PMW: PA: No Arab "normalization" with Israel - Top PA official demands implementation of Arab boycott of Israel in sports
This week, Jibril Rajoub demanded the implementation of all the boycott clauses prohibiting “normalization” with Israel in sports as agreed upon by the Council of Arab Ministers for Youth and Sports in October 2019. Rajoub, who is Head of the PLO Supreme Council for Youth and Sports and Fatah Central Committee Secretary, publicized at the time the definitions of the prohibited “normalization with the occupation”:
“A. No Arab will participate in any sports activity in Israel. In other words, one that Israel hosts.
B. We reject that any Arab or Islamic state host any championship with the participation of Israelis.
C. Any athlete who advances a stage and an Israeli is competing against him will not meet him.”
[Facebook page of Jibril Rajoub, Oct. 15, 2019]

Now, adding his blessings to Arab athletes who have already refused to compete with Israelis, Rajoub is demanding of the entire Arab world to implement all of the clauses defining the prohibited “normalization” with Israel in sports:

“Rajoub… demanded to implement the clauses of the Executive Office's decision that are relevant to normalization in the field of sports and that were approved in advance: To refuse to participate in any event that the occupation state hosts; To refuse to host any event in which Israeli groups participate; and for every Arab athlete to refuse to compete against an Israeli athlete. He conveyed blessings to all of the Arab athletes who have refused to compete with Israeli athletes."
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 5, 2020]

Rajoub first announced the Arab sports world’s boycott decisions as defined by the Executive Office of the Council of Arab Ministers for Youth and Sports at a dinner in October 2019 hosted by the PA presidential institution in honor of the visiting Saudi Arabian national football team, as reported by Palestinian Media Watch. Attendees included the PA Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh, government ministers, members of the PLO Executive Committee and the Fatah Central Committee, commanders of the PA Security Forces, and leaders of the private sector.

Finally, Rajoub also holds the position of Chairman of the Palestinian Football Association which is a member of FIFA. Rajoub’s call for continued boycott of Israel is in direct violation of FIFA rules. PMW has submitted multiple complaints to FIFA about Rajoub, one of which led to Rajoub’s suspension from Palestinian football and all FIFA activities for a year. Rajoub was furious and publically blamed PMW:

Palestinians in Syria: Another Year of Death and Misery
The world, including the United Nations, Europe and other international human rights and "pro-Palestinian" organizations, have not moved to help the Palestinians of Syria in the past nine years -- so, why should this year be any different?

How has this terrible dismissal come to pass? Simple: Because these Palestinians' problems cannot be blamed on Israel. They are being killed and tortured in an Arab country, by their own brothers, and as far as the world is concerned, as long as there is no way to hold Israel responsible, it is fine for Arabs to commit atrocities against their Palestinian brothers.

The Arab countries have long proven that their sole interest in the Palestinians is to use them as puppets to serve the interests of Arab dictators and corrupt Arab regimes. The Palestinians in Syria have long known that, for them, no Arab country is a safe haven.
Why the Jersey City official who called local Jews ‘brutes’ has not resigned
Terrell-Paige’s comments came five days after the Dec. 10 shooting, in which two attackers entered a kosher supermarket and killed three people after having already killed a policeman. In response to an article in Insider NJ titled “Faith and Hope to Fight Hate,” Terrell-Paige wrote that Jewish residents of Jersey City were harassing and intimidating their black neighbors, threatening to bring drug dealers and prostitutes to the neighborhood. She referenced a case from 2009 in which a Jewish man named Solomon Dwek pleaded guilty to participating with rabbis in a scheme involving the illegal sale of kidneys.

“Where was all this faith and hope when Black homeowners were being threatened, intimidated and harassed by I WANT TO BUY YOUR HOUSE brutes of the jewish community?” Terrell-Paige wrote, according to a screen shot of her post that was circulated on social media. “They brazenly came on the property of Ward F Black homeowners and waved bags of money.”

Referring to the shooters, she asked: “Are we brave enough to explore the answer to their message? Are we brave enough to stop the assault on the Black communities of America?”

Terrell-Paige wrote that she was speaking as a private citizen, not in her capacity as an elected official, and later deleted the post. She has not responded to multiple calls and emails for comment.

Calls for her resignation came quickly, and the governor tweeted that “We will not let anti-Semitism and hate go unchallenged in our communities.” Thomas, the Board of Education president, said he would introduce a resolution asking for Terrell-Paige’s resignation at a Dec. 19 meeting.

But then Thomas announced that the meeting would be canceled for “security” reasons. Some 50 children were scheduled to perform at the meeting and Thomas said the cancellation was “made in their best interests.” Both supporters and opponents of Terrell-Paige were planning to attend and voice their concerns, according to the Hudson County View, a local paper.

Meanwhile, support began to coalesce behind Terrell-Paige.

“Rather than hastily demanding her resignation, this was an ideal moment for our locally elected to sit down with Mrs. Terrell, clarify her statements, and be prepared to demonstrate empathy,” said John Flora, a Democratic candidate for Congress, according to Insider NJ.

The Hudson County Democratic Black Caucus said Terrell-Paige had rightly drawn attention to important issues.

“While we do not agree with the delivery of the statement made by Ms. Terrell-Paige, we believe that her statement has heightened awareness around issues that must be addressed and should be a topic of a larger conversation by two communities that have already and must always continue to coexist harmoniously,” the caucus said in a statement posted to Facebook and signed by several local and state lawmakers.
NYPD to Include Hate Crimes in CompStat Reports
Police Commissioner Dermot Shea announced Tuesday (Jan. 7) that the New York Police Department (NYPD) will incorporate hate crimes into CompStat) Crime Stats reports for the first time, negating the need for a City Council bill proposed by City Council member Chaim Deutsch and the NYC Jewish Caucus.

“I am thrilled to learn that the NYPD has agreed to incorporate hate crime numbers in their Compstat reporting,” Deutsch said in a response posted on Twitter. “This is an excellent move, and something I have been pushing for months. I am grateful to Police Commissioner Shea, and NYPD Legal Affairs Commissioner Oleg Chernyavsky for their partnership,” he added.

“You can’t begin addressing the problem of hate violence on the street until you can track it, identifying its source and its frequency and where it is occurring,” the NYCPBA Legal Division said in a statement.

“It’s a big win for City Council member Chaim Deutsch in ensuring the issue is publicly reported … and addressed in the light of day.”

Deutsch said Compstat has proven to help reduce crime.
American Leaders Aren't Doing Enough to Combat Antisemitism
Student Activist from George Washington University joins i24NEWS Benita Levin to discuss the rise of antisemitism in the United States

PreOccupiedTerritory: Jews Selfishly Hogging Limelight By Getting Killed (satire)
American social justice activists voiced annoyance again today at members of the Hebrew persuasion for claiming all the compelling roles of victim for themselves by getting shot and stabbed to death, while other minorities must settle for being the targets of mere epithets, graffiti, or threats.

Prominent progressive and intersectional advocates expressed continued frustration Wednesday at the nerve of Jews to upstage others in victimhood, forcing those without the good fortune of facing thousands of years of genocide, persecution, expulsion, and dehumanizing to settle for types of discrimination that command far less attention in the public consciousness.

On social media, activists decried the Jewish insistence on getting killed or permanently maimed in hate crimes such as the recent stabbings in Monsey, NY, or the shooting in Jersey City last month. “Slumlords of any ethnicity are a far more pernicious danger to black people than any threat to Jews right now,” protested Ben Faulding, who uses the @TheHipsterRebbe tag on Twitter. “Those Jews can’t go around pretending they’re victims when we blacks are the ones confronted by the real hate.”

“When was the last time Jews had their ancestors enslaved?” challenged Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (D-MI). Upon remembering forced labor camps under Nazi and Soviet rule, she added, “OK, bad example, but you get the point. It’s not fair that they get all the sexy victimhood while the rest of us have to manufacture concepts such as ‘Islamophobia’ to get attention.”
Valerie Plame Returns to Twitter After Blaming Social Media Site for Spread of Anti-Semitic Screeds
Democratic congressional candidate Valerie Plame returned to Twitter on Sunday several months after blaming the social media website for her own anti-Semitic tweets.

Plame, a Democratic candidate for Congress in New Mexico's Third Congressional District said the risk that President Donald Trump would drive the country into war based on "fabricated intelligence" compelled her to reactivate her account.

Plame was roundly criticized in 2017 after she shared with her Twitter followers several anti-Semitic articles from the fringe site the Unz Review, including one accusing "American Jews" of "driving America's wars" and another titled "Why I Still Dislike Israel."

Plame defended herself last September when CNN anchor Chris Cuomo asked what she liked about the anti-Semitic website, noting she had shared nine of its articles.

"Sometimes all sorts of things come across, as you know, in social media that you don't read all the way through," Plame said. "That's why I'm not on Twitter anymore."

Five face charges as Scotland Yard sends files on Labour ‘anti-Semitism’ to CPS
Police investigating alleged anti-Semitism by members of the Labour Party have passed five files on to the Crown Prosecution Service, Scotland Yard chief Dame Cressida Dick said today.

Lawyers will now decide whether to bring criminal charges against former party members accused of committing hate crimes.

The Met Commissioner told LBC radio that six people were arrested last year as part of the inquiry, and that five files have now been handed to the CPS.

An investigation was prompted by an internal Labour dossier detailing anti-Semitic messages on social media allegedly posted by Labour Party members, which was obtained by the radio station in September 2018.

It was claimed the documents included details of 45 cases, including one which allegedly read: “We shall rid the Jews who are a cancer on us all.”

Specialist Met officers assessed all the material provided and launched a criminal investigation into some of the allegations.

Dame Cressida told host Nick Ferrari today: “It is for the CPS to decide. It is a very complex crime type, to be honest — there is a lot for them to look at and a lot for them to consider as to whether there is either sufficient evidence to charge and whether it is in the public interest so to do.”
Watch Met Commissioner tell LBC she’s waiting for CPS to charge Labour members arrested by police after CAA reported them, as she also concedes “we have seen more” antisemitic crime
Host Nick Ferrari also asked the Commissioner if she was concerned about a resurgence of antisemitic crime in London and nationally, to which she responded that “we have seen more” and that “it is really pernicious”.

The Commissioner also made reference to the antisemitic graffiti daubed on a synagogue and numerous commercial establishments in Hampstead last month, describing it as a “horrible event” and noting that it came “hard on the heels of the terrible attacks in the United States”, alluding to the violent intrusion into a rabbi’s house in Monsey, NY during a Chanukah celebration. She acknowledged that the graffiti has “shaken people in the local area and wider community” and insisted that the police have a zero tolerance approach to antisemitic crime. Commissioner Dick said that the police were “taking that investigation extremely seriously” and that “it is progressing well”.

Commissiner Dick’s intereview can be watched in full below, with the discussion of antisemitism beginning at 16:50.

Campaign Against Antisemitism’s analysis of Home Office statistics shows that an average of over three hate crimes are directed at Jews every single day in England and Wales, with Jews almost four times more likely to be targets of hate crime than any other faith group.

UPDATE: The CPS has commented: “We’ve received a file of evidence from (the Met) in relation to antisemitic hate crimes. We are reviewing this material to consider further charging decisions.”

Sadiq Khan Says Labour ‘Deserved’ To Lose to Boris Johnson Blaming Cobynism and Anti-Semitism
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has admitted that the Labour Party under far-left leader Jeremy Corbyn deserved to lose to Prime Minister Boris Johnson in last month’s general election.

London’s leftist Mayor Sadiq Khan blamed the Labour Party’s “catastrophic” election defeat on the outlandish socialist spending promises of Jeremy Corbyn and the party’s failure to tackle anti-Semitism.

“Hand on heart, did we deserve to win the general election? Probably not, so the British public got it right”, Khan told The Times.

Khan rejected the Corbyn’s post-election statement that Labour had “won the argument” despite losing 60 seats, saying that the party had in fact “lost the argument”.

“What Jeremy and those around him should have the humility to recognise is [they] let Corbyn be Corbyn, and we got pasted,” he says.

Khan said that the Labour Party needs to make structural changes if it stands any chance of winning elections, saying: “It’s not just about changing the lead singer, it’s the whole band”.

“I probably knocked on more doors than any candidate, and people didn’t have confidence in the party and our values. They thought we were making promises just to win votes”, Khan added.

The London Mayor also took aim at the party’s “failure to tackle anti-Semitism”, saying that voters saw Labour as a “racist party”.
Court Upholds Anti-BDS Law in State of Arizona
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Arizona’s anti-BDS law on Monday, vacating the preliminary injunction against the 2016 measure, which underwent changes in early 2019, making the plaintiff’s suit moot.

The original law was blocked by a federal court in September 2018, citing a possible violation of the First Amendment. The modified version, enacted the following April, applied to state contractors with more than 10 employees and those that receive a contract that is at least $100,000.

The plaintiff was attorney Mikkel Jordahl, who boycotts the Jewish state due to “Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories,” according to the ACLU, which opposed both versions of the Arizona law.

“We are pleased to have played a leading role in helping the Jordahl case meet its end. States like Arizona have created laws that carefully regulate commercial activity and not the conduct of private speech,” said IAC for Action Executive Director Joseph Sabag in a statement. “Anti-BDS laws are narrowly tailored, anti-discrimination laws, similar to many other anti-discrimination laws that protect, among other categories of people, women, racial minorities and LGBTQ individuals.

“There is a direct connection between the BDS movement and antisemitic crime and discrimination. Sadly, the BDS movement has no greater asset today than the sophisticated legal support it receives from the ACLU,” he continued. “Their cynical cultivation of the Jordahl case was a prime example of that fact. Thankfully, with the release of so much evidence and documentation of BDS’ antisemitic nature, it’s becoming more difficult for the ACLU to exploit deficiencies in judicial and legislative understanding of the matter.”
BDS-supporting faculties bring politics to class - AMCHA discovers
University faculties that support the boycott movement are using their classrooms to promote a political agenda, a study by the AMCHA Initiative suggests.

“Academic Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions-supporting instructors had an average of 78% of their course readings authored by BDS supporters, whereas non-BDS-supporting instructors had an average of 17% of their course readings authored by BDS supporters,” the AMCHA Initiative, a watchdog that seeks to investigate, document, educate and combat antisemitism on US university campuses, said on Wednesday

The report, titled “Bringing BDS into the Classroom,” looked at 50 syllabi at 40 public and private colleges and universities over an 11-year period.

The lead authors of the research are Leila Beckwith, a professor emeritus at UCLA and the co-founder of the AMCHA Initiative; and AMCHA Initiative director and co-founder Tammi Rossman-Benjamin.

Another important finding that the authors of the research made was that the two groups of instructors were found to be “qualitatively distinct from one another with respect to the selection of course readings, with almost no overlap of the groups.”
University of Toronto Union Condemned for Targeting Jewish Progressive, Calling Jewish Groups ‘Foreign’ Agents
A Canadian Jewish civil rights group is calling out a labor union at the University of Toronto over a series of “anti-Israel and antisemitic tweets,” following recent comments targeting a Jewish Twitter user and past accusations that Canadian Jewish groups were foreign agents.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 3902 (CUPE 3902) represents some 9,500 contract academic workers at U of T, including teaching assistants, student and postdoctoral course instructors, and sessional lecturers, among others. It operates under the umbrella of CUPE, Canada’s largest labor union.

On Friday, the union’s official Twitter page replied to a Jewish user who criticized a statement by Jagmeet Singh, leader of Canada’s New Democratic Party (NDP), on the recent killing of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, by writing, “Looks like @theJagmeetSingh’s recent rejection of the #BDS movement is paying dividends with the zionists!”

The tweet referred to comments made by Singh last month at a round-table with Canadian Jews, when he noted that BDS “is not the path to peace” and “has perhaps the opposite effect in creating more tensions, more division.”

After the Jewish Twitter user, Brian Appel, responded by expressing concern over Singh’s foreign policy, the union claimed Appel was advocating for “a more murder-based approach to promoting peace in the Middle East.”

The two tweets feed into a pattern of “hair-raising statements” issued by CUPE 3902, B’nai Brith Canada suggested.

Los Angeles Times Covers Up Near Fatal Terror Attack
A Los Angeles Times review of a documentary film covered up a 2015 terror attack in which a 13-year-old Israeli boy was nearly killed and a second Israeli civilian was also seriously injured, referring to a Palestinian teen “who chased people with a large, ornamental knife with the intention of scaring them.” The piece does not at all mention that two Israelis were severely injured in the Oct. 12, 2015 Jerusalem attack carried out by two Palestinian cousins, Ahmad (also spelled Ahmed) and Hassan Manasrah.
In a glowing review of “Advocate,” a documentary about Israeli lawyer Lea Tsemel who defends Palestinian terrorists, Kenneth Turan wrote (“Review: ‘Advocate’ Reveals A Rebel With a Lost Cause,” in print Jan. 3, “Winning portrait of a losing lawyer. . . “, page E1):
The most heart-rending case, and the one we follow from start to finish, is the story of Ahmad, a 13-year-old who chased people with a large, ornamental knife with the intention of scaring them but ended up being charged with attempted murder.

Among the quandaries Tsemel has to deal with is whether to plead Ahmad guilty to the attempted murder charge she knows is a fiction before the boy turns 14, in an attempt to get him a lighter sentence.

Nowhere does the description of the event even mention that 13-year-old Naor Shalev Ben-Ezra and 25-year-old Yosef Haim Tuito were gravely injured, despite the fact that the documentary itself does note that two civilians were injured in the incident.

European Rabbis Condemn Proposed Holocaust Whitewash Legislation in Lithuania
Europe’s leading rabbinical association added its voice on Tuesday to the growing condemnation of legislation tabled in the Lithuanian Parliament that whitewashes the role played by Lithuanian collaborators during the Nazi Holocaust.

“The draft bill proposed by a committee of the Lithuanian Parliament seeks to deny the involvement of Lithuanian citizens in the Holocaust,” Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt — president of the Conference of European Rabbis — said in a statement. “This is a direct affront to hundreds of thousands of Lithuanian Jews whose murders were aided and abetted by Lithuanian political and military leaders, as well as local Lithuanian populations.”

The bill will be titled, “The Lithuanian state, which was occupied in 1940-1990, did not participate in the Holocaust,” according to Arunas Gumuliauskas, the legislation’s sponsor. He is a member of Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis’ Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union party.

“The Lithuanian state did not participate in the Holocaust because it was occupied, just as the Lithuanian nation could not participate in the Holocaust because it was enslaved,” Gumuliauskas said last week. “But individual representatives are obviously involved and it is up to the court to decide.”

Countered Rabbi Goldschmidt: ‘The Lithuanian government must face up to its history, not seek to ignore or deny it. The facts are clear: under Nazi occupation, the provisional Lithuanian government, Lithuanian paramilitary battalions and local Lithuanian populations were complicit in the slaughter of more than 90 percent of approximately 220,000 Jews living in Lithuania.”
Jewish cemetery in southwest France vandalized
About a dozen graves were vandalized in a Jewish cemetery in southwest France.

The vandalism took place over the weekend in the Jewish cemetery of Bayonne, in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques area.

The damage was discovered on Sunday by Déborah Loupien-Suares, the president of the Jewish community of Bayonne and Biarritz, who was visiting the graves of her grandparents.

She tweeted that she was “angry and indignant” after seeing the desecration of the cemetery and called for those responsible to be punished.

She told local media that “significant damage” was inflicted on the gravestones and that several were smashed and broken. A commemorative plaque for a girl who was deported during World War II also was smashed, according to the French daily LeParisien.
Musical about anti-Semitism ‘postponed indefinitely’ by Point Park
Point Park University’s spring production of “Parade,” a musical that tells the true story of Leo Frank, a Jew lynched in Marietta, Georgia in 1915, has been “postponed indefinitely” following protests by some Conservatory Theatre students.

The Tony Award-winning show was scheduled to be performed in April and was to be directed by Rob Ashford, a Point Park alumnus and Tony-Award winning choreographer who worked on the Broadway production of “Parade” in 1998.

Frank was a Jewish factory manager who was wrongly accused, convicted and sentenced to death for the alleged raping and murdering of 13-year-old Mary Phagan in Atlanta in 1913. After several appeals failed, his sentence eventually was commuted to life in prison by Georgia Governor John Slaton, citing evidence not presented at trial.

In 1915 Frank was kidnapped from prison by a group of men and lynched in Phagan’s hometown. He was pardoned posthumously by the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles in 1986.

Frank’s trial, conviction, appeals and death garnered national media attention and inflamed anti-Semitic feelings throughout the country. Both the reformation of the then-defunct Klu Klux Klan and the creation of the Anti-Defamation League have been attributed to the case.

Last fall, in anticipation of producing “Parade,” Steven Breese, artistic director of Point Park’s Pittsburgh Playhouse and dean of the university’s Conservatory of Performing Arts, praised the musical, saying its message was timely.
Chelsea partners with street artist to paint Holocaust memorial on stadium
The Chelsea football club is partnering with renowned British-Israeli street artist Solomon Souza to commemorate Holocaust Remembrance Day at Stamford Bridge.

Souza will be painting a commemorative mural of Jewish football players and British POWs who were sent to Nazi camps, to mark Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27. The artwork will be painted and displayed on the West End Wall of the Stamford Bridge stadium.

The art installation is part of Chelsea FC’s “Say No to Antisemitism” campaign and funded by club owner Roman Abramovich.

“Millions of people were murdered during the Holocaust. As the living memory of the Second World War fades, the more important it becomes to remember the horrors that took place to ensure they are never allowed to happen again,” said Bruce Buck, Chairman of Chelsea. “By sharing the images of these three individual football players on our stadium, we hope to inspire future generations to always fight against antisemitism, discrimination and racism, wherever they find it.”
Auschwitz visited by record number of 2.32 million people in 2019
A record 2.32 million people from around the word visited the sites of the former Nazi camps Auschwitz and Birkenau in 2019.
The total is about 170,000 more than in 2018, which also had broken previous records, the Auschwitz memorial reported on Tuesday.

Eighty-one percent of the visitors availed themselves of one of 340 guides who conduct educational tours in 21 languages.

According to the memorial’s online reservation system, some 396,000 visitors were from Poland, 200,000 from Great Britain, 120,000 from the United States, 104,000 from Italy, 73,000 from Germany, 70,000 from Spain, 67,000 from France, 59,000 from Israel, 42,000 from Ireland and 40,000 from Sweden.

In addition, over 900,000 follow the Auschwitz Museum’s Twitter account, more than 300,000 use its Facebook page, and 80,000 follow it on Instagram.
Israeli treatment on cusp of FDA approval to delay deadly effects of ALS
The Israeli company Kadimastem says it hopes to soon be in discussion with the Food and Drug Administration to advance the company’s AstroRx cells, after demonstrating promising results with cohort A of its Phase 1/2a clinical trial for the treatment of patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).

“We plan on having discussions this year in order to get regulatory clarity as to the next steps of our trial and in hopes that the results of this study will support the advancement to the next multi-center clinical trial in ALS,” said Hadas (Dasy) Mandel, Kadimastem’s director of business development.

Kadimastem’s AstroRx has the ability to replace the functioning of damaged cells using Allogeneic (off-the-shelf) stem cells.

“While cells are unable to directly replace diseased motor neurons, stem cells can be differentiated into central nervous system-supportive cells, such as astrocytes,” a release by the company explains. The astrocytes, also known as nervous system support cells, secrete neurotrophic factors and remove toxic substances surrounding malfunctioning neurons, thereby providing neuroprotection that can slow degeneration of motor neurons.
Japanese investments in Israel surge in 2019
Japanese investments in Israel surged in 2019, with 53 new deals amounting to $815 million, according to data released by Harel-Hertz Investment House. This is the largest number of investments in deal terms since at least 2001, according to the data.

In 2018, there were 28 deals valued at some $710 million, the data showed. 2017, with 37 deals and more than $2 billion invested by Japanese firms in Israel, was the record year in terms of deal valuations. Mega deals that were inked that year included the sale of pharmaceutical firm NeuroDerm to Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma for $1.1 billion in cash, in one of the biggest-ever purchases of an Israeli firm outside the tech field, and the $627 million acquisition of a 22% stake in geothermal energy firm Ormat by Japan’s ORIX.

Since the year 2000, Japanese investments in Israel have totaled over $7.2 billion in 233 investment deals, the data showed. The level of investments surged after 2015, following high-level visits by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Japan in May 2014 and Japanese leader Shinzo Abe’s visit to Israel in January 2015. In May, El Al, Israel’s flagship airline, said it would start offering direct flights to Tokyo from March 2020.

For years, Israel-Japan trade stuttered and was kept under wraps, with the very conservative Japanese reluctant to embrace Israel because of traditional fears of upsetting its Arab oil suppliers, or because of cultural differences.
Israeli tech firms raise record $8.3 billion from investors in 2019
Israeli tech firms raised a record $8.3 billion in 2019, a 30 percent rise from 2018, in 522 funding deals, a report by IVC Research Center (IVC) and law firm Zag-S&W shows.

For the period of 2010-2019, Israeli tech firms raised a total of $39.1 billion — with the 2019 figure representing a “whopping” 400% rise in dollar value, and a 64% surge in the number of deals, compared with 2010 figures, the report showed.

In 2018, Israeli tech firms raised $6.35 billion in 532 deals, and in 2010 Israeli tech firms raised $2.1 billion in 319 deals, the IVC figures show.

VC-backed deals totaled a record amount of $6.4 billion in 2019 compared to $4.75 billion in 2018 and $1.13 billion in 2010. Deals with VC participation captured 60% of the total number of deals in 2019. The dollar volume of deals in which VCs took part captured 77% of the total raised in 2019.

“2019 marked a record year, capping a decade of successive increases in capital invested in the Israeli high-tech industry,” said Shmulik Zysman, managing partner and tech industry leader at Zysman, Aharoni, Gayer & Co. (ZAG-S&W) in a statement.

The growth in figures is partly due to the growing foreign capital invested in the Israeli tech industry, and investments are in a wide range of fields, from software and the internet through life sciences to semiconductors.
Five Years After Act of Heroism During Kosher Market Attack, French TV Pays Tribute to Muslim Rescuer Lassana Bathily
Five years after an Islamist terrorist murdered four Jews at a kosher supermarket in Paris during a week that also witnessed a bloodbath at the offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, French television has broadcast a documentary about the Malian immigrant worker who helped other shoppers in the store escape to safety.

“Lassana Bathily: A Hero Despite Himself” was broadcast on Tuesday night on France’s Channel 2 as the country commemorated the fifth anniversary of the four shooting attacks in the Paris area from Jan. 7-9 2015, which took the lives of 17 people.

Bathily, the subject of the documentary, worked as an assistant at the Hyper Cacher market in eastern Paris that was attacked by Islamist gunman Amedy Coulibaly on Jan. 9.

Bathily, who is a Muslim, bravely ushered terrified customers into a basement storeroom, telling them to remain calm and keep silent. He then made contact with the police outside by sneaking out of the building through a fire escape. Thinking that he was an accomplice of Coulibaly, Bathily was seized by the police, who placed him in handcuffs for the next 90 minutes before he convinced them that he was trying to assist the hostages. Thanks to the information about the store’s layout which Bathily provided, police were able to end the siege without further endangering the hostages.

Bathily later reflected, “We are brothers. It’s not a question of Jews, of Christians or of Muslims. We’re all in the same boat, we have to help each other to get out of this crisis.”

In Tuesday’s documentary, Bathily reflected on the fact that both he and Coulibaly were of Malian origin.

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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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