Wednesday, June 03, 2020

From Ian:

Melanie Phillips: The opportunity to develop a United Democratic Nations
Before Covid-19 struck, Boris Johnson had decided to invite the Chinese tech giant Huawei to provide parts of Britain’s 5G communications network. Now, with China condemned for causing the pandemic through its reckless behaviour and then behaving like a gangster state in resorting to lies, threats and manipulation, the government is proposing an alliance of ten democratic nations to develop alternatives to Chinese technology.

This “D10” would be composed of the G7 nations — the US, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Canada and Japan — plus Australia, South Korea and India. It’s an idea that is not only excellent in itself but encapsulates an insight with far-reaching potential to restructure global institutions.

What’s actually outdated is the idea that peace and justice can only be advanced by the world acting as one big united family. This belief in the brotherhood of man lay behind the foundation of the United Nations in 1945. Yet the UN has not only failed to live up to its ideals of confronting aggression, preserving peace and defending human rights, but has in fact helped thwart them.

Given that most countries are tyrannies, kleptocracies or rogue states, a global body which brings them all together will inevitably be dominated by their unsavoury characteristics.

What’s needed instead is a United Democratic Nations. This is an idea that has often been floated wistfully by critics of the UN but dismissed as quixotic. The D10 proposal, however, could be the launchpad for just such a body. Going beyond the issue of Huawei and 5G technology, democracies should band together to defend freedom and justice by standing up to the depredations of regimes that seek to extinguish them.

The UN might have been created as a result of the shattering impact of the Second World War. It was founded, however, on a starry-eyed denial of the fact that if a lion lies down with a lamb, the lion doesn’t turn vegan but the lamb gets eaten.
From Disillusioned Muslim to Christian Arab Zionist
I am a Jordanian Arab from a Muslim family. I was born in 1989. In 2010, I decided to leave Islam after becoming fed up with all the jihadist violence and intolerance and persecution of non-Muslims. What made my decision final was the realization that this violence and hatred was justified by verses of the Koran and Hadith.

From 2010-2012, I was an atheist, though I continued to seek the truth regarding God and religion, even visiting Buddhist temples in Amman.

I was a university student at the time, and announced my newfound atheism through social media, which immediately turned many friends and colleagues against me. They felt I was backwards in my thinking, and I came to feel the same about them.

As you are no doubt aware, atheism is detested in the Arab and Islamic world. I faced a lot of hurtful opposition from those around me, but I kept my head down and focused on completing my university studies. It wasn’t easy. There were those who tried to have me kicked out because of my stance against Islam, but they failed.

In 2012, I decided to visit a church and learn more about Christianity. I was curious about Jesus. After four months of investigating, I joined an international church under the auspices of an American priest. On the very first day, I was asked to pray for salvation, after which one of the Christian brothers gave me weekly Bible lessons. Shortly after, I was baptized in the Jordan River.

Jordan is seen by many as a moderate Arab Muslim country. But even here, it is illegal to leave Islam. The civil courts are still governed by Sharia law, and to have someone complain against you for rejecting Islam can result in criminal punishment.

This didn’t deter me, and in 2012, I made an online video telling people in Arabic about how I’d become a Christian. Several days later, I was attacked by three radical Muslims. I also received threats from a radical Salafi movement under the leadership of Jarrah Rahahleh, an international terrorist, who used to send jihadists to Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan, and was arrested many times by Jordanian authorities. Further threats came from others.
Jewish Vengeance
Thus it was that the group that would come to be known as the “Nakam,” Hebrew for “Avengers,” was born. In the spring of 1945, a Passover gathering of survivors in Bucharest was addressed by Abba Kovner, the young leader of the Jewish uprising in the Vilna ghetto. Kovner was born in 1918 in Sebastopol, Russia, and spent his high school years in Vilna, where he joined Ha-Shomer Hatzair youth movement. When the Germans invaded and occupied Lithuania, they rounded up the Jews and put them in a ghetto. Kovner pleaded with Vilna’s Jews to join the partisans in a popular uprising, but they refused. After briefly fighting the Germans, Kovner and other partisans fled to the forest. While there, they destroyed 180 miles of train tracks, five bridges, 40 enemy train cars and killed 212 German soldiers. He returned to Vilna with the Red Army on July 7, 1944, capturing the city from the Germans on July 13, 1944. After the war, he and 50 other partisans attempted to poison thousands of Nazi and SS prisoners in a Nuremberg POW camp. It is unknown how many Germans were killed. In 1961 he testified at the trial of Adolf Eichmann. In 1970, he won the “Israel Prize” in literature for his poetry.

At that gathering, Kovner spoke passionately and invoked Psalm 94, in which God promises that he shall deal with the enemies of the people of Israel. “He will turn upon them their own violence and with their own wickedness destroy them.” This, Kovner suggested, was the fate that should be meted out to the Germans. And if the courts of international justice would not do it, then the Jews should do it themselves.

Calmly, the group set about implementing the death sentences they themselves had passed. First, they would identify a Nazi who had melted back into civilian life. They would then stage an arrest and spirit the German away. Some of these ex-SS men were strangled, others hanged. The deaths of those who were hanged could be passed off as suicides. Hangings might take place in a garage, with the subject forced to stand on a car roof while his neck was placed in the noose attached to an overhead beam. An Avenger would drive the car away and the man would be strangled. These efforts endured into the 1950s. The executioners kept their mouths shut and took their secrets to their graves.

The Nakam went to Spain, Latin America, Canada, and other places where Nazi murderers found refuge. In one such operation, the Nakam tracked down Alexander Laak, responsible for the deaths of 100,000 Jews at the Estonian concentration camp of Jagala. One evening they waited for Laak’s wife to leave for the movies, went to his home, and confronted him with his crimes and their intended punishment. They gave him a choice: They would kill him, or he could do it himself. He hung himself.

Benjamin Levi, one of the avengers, recalled that period in his life saying, “I saw a lot of things. I saw very noble people become animals. And very plain people become noble.” He had joined the partisans during the war and helped to liberate Vilna. He and his comrades rounded up Lithuanians who had collaborated with the Germans and shot them on the spot. “We didn’t keep prisoners,” he said. “There was no discussion. It was a normal thing.” All enemies were immediately shot. “The moment I start to think about this more and more memories come,” he said to a later interviewer. “We don’t talk about this anymore. But it’s alive inside.”

After the founding of the State of Israel, the Mossad, Israel’s national intelligence agency, undertook the task of tracking down former Nazis and killing them, and in some cases, putting them on trial. But that’s another story.

Why Western Media is Biased Against Israel
Many foreign journalists seem to see the conflict along the lines of "good guys (Palestinians) versus bad guys (Israel)." They wake up every morning and search for any story that reflects badly on Israel. The foreign correspondents then hire Palestinians to assist them in spreading lies about Israel.

What is particularly disturbing about the dismissal of Hamad is that the Associated Press knew one of its Palestinian workers was engaged in anti-Israel activities, but failed to stop him. Hamad even ignored repeated warnings from his employers against pursuing political activities.

If Hamad had "repeatedly" violated AP policies by engaging in anti-Israel political activities, why was he allowed to continue covering Palestinian affairs even though his anti-Israel sentiments were known to his employers and everyone else?

The incident also shows that international news organizations evidently have no problem hiring anti-Israel activists as reporters and cameramen.

The AP evidently knew that Hamad was engaged in political activities. It nevertheless chose to turn a blind eye because Hamad was directing his hate only against Israel. As far as the AP is concerned, the moment Hamad spoke out against the brutality and repressive measures of the Palestinian Authority security forces, he crossed a red line. That is when he was informed of the decision to terminate his employment.

The problem is, there are many more Palestinian journalists like Hamad working for the international media in the Middle East. These journalists see themselves as soldiers serving the Palestinian cause, and their as duty bashing Israel on a daily basis.
The Pessin Affair
A Review of Salem on the Thames: Moral Panic, Anti-Zionism, and the Triumph of Hate Speech at Connecticut College By Jonathan Marks

At Connecticut College, in the Spring of 2015, Andrew Pessin, a professor of philosophy was grossly mistreated. He was grossly mistreated by student and faculty activists, by faculty members who went along with the activists, and by Connecticut College’s administration, who encouraged and rewarded Pessin’s tormentors. By the 2015-16 academic year, when protests swept across campuses and received obsessive media coverage, Andrew Pessin had already taken medical leave. He had been driven out in part as a result of stresses caused by the tarnishing of his good name, by multiple betrayals on the part of a community of which he had long been a valued member, and by death threats. He would not return until Fall 2017.

Although this incident received some coverage, most prominently from David Bernstein for the Washington-Post-hosted Volokh Conspiracy blog, it has not received the attention it merits. Salem on the Thames, edited by Richard Landes, remedies that deficiency. Landes, a historian by trade, does not pretend to be an investigative reporter. He adopts “the perspective of the victim,” Andrew Pessin, who, to this day—Landes plausibly assumes that there is a non-disclosure agreement—has not been properly heard. But if Landes and the other contributors to this volume make no bones about whose side they are on, their account is supported by extensive documentation—emails, public statements, newspaper articles—that readers can examine for themselves here. In addition to providing a detailed account of events, Landes and his co-contributors consider the Pessin affair as a “microcosm of events in the current global academic community,” reflection on which “offers important lessons to that community.” Landes’s fellow contributors include Ashley Thorne of the National Association of Scholars, John Gordon, Professor Emeritus of English at Connecticut College, and Fred Baumann, Professor of Political Science at Kenyon College. Asaf Romirowsky, of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, provides the Introduction.

Let’s begin with the account of events, which is the most shocking and effective part of the book. To understand what happened at Connecticut College, one starts with the August 11, 2014 Facebook post, by Andrew Pessin, that set things in motion. Here it is:

“I’m sure someone could make a cartoon of this, but one image which essentializes the current situation in Gaza might be this. You’ve got a rabid pit bull chained in a cage, regularly making mass efforts to escape. The owner, naturally keeps the thing in the cage, but being kind-hearted or something, regularly feeds it, waters it, takes care of its health needs, etc. But liberal hearted world is outraged at the cruelty of keeping in in the cage, keeps pressuring the owner to let it out. Every so often the man relents under pressure, opens the cage a crack, and the pit bull comes roaring bounding out, snarling, going for the throat. A short battle ensues, the pit bull gets put back in… and almost immediately liberal world pressure starts complaining about the cruelty to animals and insisting he open the cage.
Netanyahu determines to keep schools open as COVID-19 infections spike
Any educational institution that finds someone infected with the coronavirus will be instantly closed, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday.

Education Minister Yoav Gallant had already earlier this week ordered the closure of educational institutions in which coronavirus patients were discovered, on the backdrop of a noteworthy increase in the number of infections in schools.

“Prime Minister Netanyahu instructed the minister of education to continue to work on protection and remediation solutions for students and teaching staff,” a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office read, following a meeting with Gallant and National Security Council head Meir Ben Shabat.

Health Minister Yuli Edelstein had been pushing to close all middle and high schools in Jerusalem.

Meanwhile, coronavirus cases continue to surge across the country, especially plaguing Israel’s schools.

According to the updated data by the Education Ministry, around 3,000 more students and teachers went into isolation Wednesday – from 4,925 to 7,898.

Moreover, 261 students and teachers are sick with coronavirus and there are now 51 schools closed.
Greek, Cyprus leaders to visit Israel to discuss resuming flights
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is expected to visit Israel on June 16 to discuss the resumption of flights between the two nations. This will be the Greek prime minister's first trip abroad since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, N13 reported on Wednesday.

On June 23, Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades is expected to visit Israel with a delegation of ministers to discuss tourist relations between the two countries and possible cooperation with Greece and Israel regarding Turkish complaints concerning oil drilling in the eastern Mediterranean. Malta announced Israelis, Danes, Finns and Czechs, will be able to visit it and will not be forced into quarantine starting July 1, Walla reported.
Auschwitz Memorial appealing for donations following coronavirus lockdown
The Auschwitz Memorial is appealing for donations after it was forced to close to visitors as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, putting its financial situation under severe strain.

The Memorial preserves the Auschwitz death camp set up on Polish soil by Nazi Germany during World War Two. More than 1.1 million people, most of them Jews, perished in gas chambers at the camp or from starvation, cold and disease.

The Memorial has been closed to visitors since March 12. Last year it was visited by around 2.3 million people. It hopes to re-open at the beginning of July.

"In these difficult moments, we cannot squander our previous achievements or slow down our work to maintain and build remembrance that is the
only remedy for future years," the museum's Director Piotr Cywinski said in a statement.

The Memorial said it needed donations to continue educational and research projects, after its 2020 budget "collapsed." In 2019 it had a total budget of 113.9 million zlotys ($28.90 million).
Former Obama Intelligence Official Helps Secure Bail for Molotov Cocktail-Throwing NYC Lawyer
A former Obama administration intelligence official who worked in both the Departments of State and Defense has guaranteed bail for a human rights lawyer accused of firebombing a police vehicle in New York City.

The former official, Salmah Rizvi, told a judge the alleged firebomber is her "best friend." Rizvi, now an attorney at the D.C.-based law firm Ropes & Gray, helped secure the release of fellow lawyer Urooj Rahman by agreeing to be a suretor for her bail. That means Rizvi is liable for the full cost of the $250,000 bail if Rahman fails to obey the court's orders.

Rahman was released to home confinement over the objections of government attorneys after her arrest on Saturday for throwing a lit Molotov cocktail through the window of an NYPD vehicle. Evidence presented by prosecutors included images of Rahman holding a Molotov cocktail in the passenger seat of a van that was later found to be full of the necessary materials for making the explosive devices.

Rizvi entered the legal field after a career in the Obama administration's intelligence community, where "her high-value work would often inform the President's Daily Briefs," according to her bio at the Islamic Scholarship Fund. The group gave Rizvi a law school scholarship sponsored by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a radical anti-Israel organization that has been tied to the funding of global terror networks.

During Rizvi's time at the New York University School of Law, she was a fellow at Ramallah-based legal organization Al-Haq, which was founded to challenge the "legal status of Israel as an occupying power." The group is best known for filing lawsuits aimed at delegitimizing Israel and providing legal backing for the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement against the Jewish state.

The group has been criticized for its defense of the "right to resist" by Palestinian terrorist organizations and its defense and promotion of violent actions taken against Israel.

Rizvi was also provided a scholarship toward her law degree by the Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans, which was started by the now-deceased older brother of liberal billionaire George Soros.
Brakes on a Plame
Valerie Plame's congressional bid came to an end on Tuesday when the former CIA operative, who has battled accusations of anti-Semitism and carpet bagging, was defeated in a Democratic primary.

Plame finished second in a field of seven candidates battling to replace outgoing congressman Ben Ray Luján (D., N.M.), who is running for Senate. Local attorney and activist Teresa Leger Fernandez won the race with 42.6 percent of the vote, nearly doubling Plame's 23.1 percent total as the AP called the race early Wednesday morning.

Plame was the only candidate in the race with a national political profile. Her campaign launch video played up her career as a CIA agent and falsely accused former George W. Bush official Scooter Libby of blowing her cover.

Having decamped to New Mexico from Washington, D.C. in 2006, Plame battled accusations of carpet bagging. It did not help that her campaign was fueled predominantly by out-of-state donors, including several Hollywood celebrities and the Holocaust denier Pete McCloskey. Ultimately, roughly 89 percent of her contributions came from outside New Mexico, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Prior to her congressional run, Plame made national headlines in 2017 when she shared on Twitter an article from a discredited anti-Semitic website arguing that "America's Jews are driving America's wars." The story she shared, from Unz Review, asked, "Shouldn't [American Jews] recuse themselves when dealing with the Middle East?"

After urging critics to read to the end of the article, she ultimately apologized, saying that she was in the midst of a move and had merely "skimmed" the piece herself.

A spokesman for the Republican Jewish Coalition, Neil Strauss, celebrated Plame's defeat but expressed concern that Democratic leadership "supported an anti-Semite."

"Valerie Plame has frequently trafficked in and promoted anti-Semitic messages. The fact that prominent Democrats and celebrities, Chuck Schumer chief among them, chose to support her in a crowded field shows that Democrats aren't committed to combating left wing anti-Semitism," Strauss told the Washington Free Beacon.
Iowa Republicans oust Rep. Steve King, shunned for incendiary remarks
Republicans in northwest Iowa ousted US Rep. Steve King in Tuesday’s primary, deciding they’ve had enough of the conservative lightning rod known for making incendiary comments about immigrants and white supremacy throughout his nearly two decades in the US Congress.

The nine-term congressman, shunned by his party leadership in Washington and many of his longtime supporters at home, lost to well-funded state Senator Randy Feenstra in a five-way GOP primary. The challengers argued that King’s loss of clout, even more than his continuous string of provocative and racially-charged statements, was reason enough for turning on him.

“I said from day one that Iowans deserve a proven, effective conservative leader that will deliver results and I have done that in the Iowa Senate, being in the Iowa Legislature for the last 12 years, and I promise you I will deliver results in Congress,” Feenstra said during a Facebook Live appearance with his family behind him.

Iowa Democrats also chose a challenger for Republican freshman Senator Joni Ernst in a race earlier thought to heavily favor Ernst until her approval shrank over the past year. Des Moines businesswoman Theresa Greenfield, who raised the most money and garnered the widest cross-section of the Iowa Democratic coalition of elected officials and labor unions, won the nomination over three others.

But the focus was on the 4th District primary featuring King, the lone Republican in Iowa’s US House delegation.

StandWithUs: The video BDS doesn't want you to see
WATCH: The video BDS doesn't want you to see!
BDS co-founder Omar Barghouti admits that their goal means the end of Israel.

AP Corrects US Embassy Not in Tel Aviv After All
The Associated Press, a leading news agency which boasts “world-class journalism” and “global expertise” which “expand the reach of factual reporting” with “the power of facts,” has been embroiled in a number of recent gaffes in its coverage of Israel and the Palestinians. Last month, the wire service absurdly stated as fact that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas “has always been opposed to violence,” despite an overwhelming pile of evidence showing otherwise. The impression that AP shamelessly jettisoned journalistic professionalism in order to cater to the Palestinian Authority was subsequently reinforced with a report that the Jerusalem bureau chief fired a veteran Palestinian cameraman allegedly due to his criticism of Palestinian security forces.

AP’s factual reporting was further compromised last week with a series of photo captions which laughably designated the tiny Gaza Strip, with its population of less than two million, as the “world’s largest Muslim nation.” The error originated, and was reproduced by AP’s clients around the world, when an AP staffer, with all his/her global expertise, simply copied the information from captions pertaining to Indonesia, which is, in fact, the world’s largest Muslim nation, with 220 million Muslims.

In the latest lapse of factual reporting, AP yesterday published a series of photo captions which wrongly placed the U.S. Embassy to Israel in Tel Aviv. Two years ago, amid amid great fanfare, controversy and news coverage, President Donald Trump moved the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Israel’s capital. Yet, in an apparent time warp, AP’s captions yesterday had the embassy back in Tel Aviv. A sample of the erroneous captions follow:
Protesters hold signs and shout slogans during a protest to decry the killing of George Floyd in front of the American Embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel, Tuesday, June 2, 2020. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

Yesterday’s protest took place outside of the Tel Aviv Branch Office of the American Citizen Services of the U.S. Embassy.

In response to communication from CAMERA today, AP quickly amended the captions. The more than half a dozen corrected captions now appear in AP’s photo archive with the following correction:
CLARIFIES THAT LOCATION IS THE U.S. EMBASSY BRANCH OFFICE TEL AVIV: Protesters hold signs and shout slogans during a protest to decry the killing of George Floyd in front of the U.S. Embassy Branch Office, in Tel Aviv, Israel, Tuesday, June 2, 2020. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

Unfortunately, AP’s erroneous caption still appears on the web sites of many of its clients including Haaretz, The Houston Chronicle, ABC, The Seattle-Post Intelligencer, and more. CAMERA is reaching out to AP’s clients to alert them to the correction and ask them to follow suit.
Harper’s Magazine Echoed Palestinian Propaganda Condemning Israel And America
Writing in Harper's, Kevin Baker condemns the U.S. Middle East peace plan [“The Striking Gesture,” Easy Chair, May 2020], mischaracterizing it as, “Give up all your [Palestinian] hopes and your holiest places, embark on a terrible civil war with your brothers, hand over all your weapons …”

First, it’s not true that the Palestinians would be giving up their “holiest places.” Nowhere is it indicated in the peace plan that Muslims would lose any holy places.

Furthermore, the writer fails to inform readers why it would be dangerous to fail to limit the arming of a Palestinian state: There were the wars of 1948 and 1973 caused by attacks aimed at destroying the Jewish state by armies of Arab nations allied with the Palestinians. There was the war in 1967 precipitated by the hostile actions of Egypt, an ally of the Palestinians, endangering Israel. This had been preceded by an increase of Palestinian terrorist attacks upon Israelis.

Then, during the 1980s, 1990s and in 2000-2005, West Bank Palestinians perpetrated organized terrorist intifadas which killed over a thousand Jews.
UK newspaper apologises for antisemitic letter
We argued that the letter clearly suggested that the treatment of Palestinians by Israeli Jews today demonstrates that Jews haven’t “learnt” from their history (that is, the systemic murder of six million Jews during the Holocaust), and are repeating crimes on par with Nazi atrocities. We noted that this morally odious charge evokes the Nazis-Israel analogy deemed antisemitic by the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism.

A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism released the following comment:
“Equating Israeli policies to those of the Nazis is antisemitic under the International Definition of Antisemitism. Newspaper editors are under no obligation to print letters and, while letters do not necessarily represent the views of the editors, the choice to print an antisemitic letter reflects the editors’ ignorance of the manifestations of anti-Jewish racism. The editors must apologise to readers and clarify what steps are being taken to avoid a repeat in future.”

We complained to the paper’s managing editor and encouraged our supporters to the do the same.

After several follow-ups, they agreed to publish an apology:

Though we would have preferred if they acknowledged that the letter included racist rhetoric, such mea culpas are extremely rare in the media, so we commend the managing editor for disavowing the views expressed by the letter writer and apologising for the offence.
Serbia Joins Ranks of Countries Who Have Adopted International Antisemitism Definition
Serbia has become the latest country to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism.

The Israeli Embassy in Belgrade tweeted on Monday, “We welcome the decision [of the] @SerbianGov to accept the working definition of anti-Semitism of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance @IHRA which will help Serbia in recognizing and prosecuting cases of this dangerous phenomenon.”

B’nai B’rith International tweeted, “We commend Serbia for joining the growing list of countries and organizations that have adopted @TheIHRA definition of #antiSemitism. We have to define anti-Semitism to be properly able to fight it.”

Before World War II, Serbia had a Jewish population of over 30,000 people. The community was decimated by the Holocaust, with 2/3 of its members murdered by the Nazis.

After the war, most of the survivors emigrated from the country, largely to Israel.

Fewer than 1,000 Jews live in Serbia today.

The IHRA definition says, “Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”
Czech Jewish Community Highlights Major Increase in Online Antisemitism in New Report
Antisemitic incidents doubled in the Czech Republic in 2019, a new report by the country’s Federation of Jewish Communities (FZO) disclosed on Wednesday.

None of the 694 incidents involved physical violence, however, with 95 percent of them occurring on the internet.

An additional nine incidents involved verbal insults or the destruction of property — including the vandalism in June 2019 of a monument in Prague to Sir Nicholas Winton, a British citizen who saved hundreds of Czech Jewish children from the clutches of the Nazis.

The online material targeting Jews included “theories about the global Jewish conspiracy, about the power and influence that Jews use to control the world, the media and all important socio-economic processes, including migration flows,” the FZO report noted.

Antisemitism was visible in both its far-right and anti-Zionist forms, according to the report, especially on “the websites of extreme right-wing entities and in the speeches of activists supporting the BDS movement.”

More than 15 percent of the incidents recorded involved standard anti-Zionist tropes, such as comparing Israel to Nazi Germany and denial of the Jewish state’s right to exist.
Youths attack Jewish boy, remove his skullcap, chase him and throw stone at him in Stamford Hill
A female witness was shocked to see three youths attack an observant Jewish boy by removing his kippah (skullcap), chasing him and throwing a stone at him.

The incident occurred on 31st May on Lynmouth Road in Stamford Hill and was reported by Stamford Hill Shomrim, the Jewish volunteer neighbourhood watch patrol.

If you have any more information, please contact the police on 101 or Stamford Hill Shomrim on 0300 999 0123, quoting reference number: CAD7352 31/05/2020.

A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “Acts of antisemitic intimidation and violence against Jewish minors in Stamford Hill are staggeringly common. We applaud Stamford Hill Shomrim, the Jewish volunteer neighbourhood watch patrol, for their role in reporting these crimes and deterring many more, and we are grateful to the police for their cooperation. If Jewish children are to have the same freedom as other kids to walk down the street unmolested, the culprits must be brought to justice.”

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 crimes than any other faith group.
Drop Dua Lipa songs from Israeli radio, petition demands
A petition is calling for songs by British pop star Dua Lipa to be banned on Army Radio and Galgalatz, after the singer shared on her Instagram account an anti-Israel post claiming IDF soldiers shoot children, among other anti-Israel claims.

Over 3,000 people had signed the petition as of Wednesday morning.

The Im Tirzu organization contacted Culture Minister Chili Tropper and Defense Minister Benny Gantz. “In light of the incitement against IDF soldiers, the antisemitism, the blood libel, conspiracy theories and the blatant lies in the post that the singer shared, it is not fitting that a radio station affiliated with the IDF continue to broadcast her songs,” wrote Im Tirzu in a letter to the two ministers.

“It is inconceivable that a military radio station will continue to promote someone who goes out against IDF soldiers,” said Dov Trachtman, digital media manager of Im Tirzu. “It’s time that the defense minister and culture minister put an end to this absurd theater in which antisemites like this singer continue to be broadcast on military radio waves.”

The post shared by Dua Lipa read: “While everybody’s in the mood to talk about human rights, this is what happens EVERYDAY in Palestine, paid for by our taxpayer dollars.”

“The big bad tough guys of the #IDF thoroughly enjoy beating and shooting children,” the post continued. “They even have shirts that depict a pregnant Palestinian woman with a sniper scope on her stomach that reads ‘1 shot two kills.’

“But don’t worry,” the post continued. “They’re all terrorist so it’s all good. We totally understand.
Argentine gov’t under fire for glorifying Nazi admirer
The Argentinian government honored a doctor who glorified the Nazi movement on a new peso note in May, prompting sharp criticism from Israel's ambassador as well as human rights campaigners.

Ramón Carrillo, the pro-Nazi doctor, was the advisor who accompanied former president Juan Domingo Perón as Secretary of Health during his first two terms.

Carillo provided refuge to the Danish fugitive and Buchenwald camp doctor Carl Peter Vaernet, permitting him to continue experiments on homosexuals to "heal" them.

Israel’s ambassador in Argentina, Galit Ronen, criticized the decision on Twitter, writing that, “When we say 'nunca más' ("never again") in reference to the Holocaust, there is no point in commemorating someone who sympathizes with this [Nazi] ideology."

Dr. Shimon Samuels and Ariel Gelblung, directors of International Relations for Latin America at the Wiesenthal Center, said: "We emphatically reject the choice of such a character, which will sully Argentina with his image on its highest denomination banknote."

Vaernet was a war criminal who was wanted for the medical experiments he performed on gay prisoners in Nazi concentration camps. He served the head of the Gestapo, Heinrich Himmler, to find ways to eliminate homosexuality.

Peter Tatchell, the LGBTQ activist and human-rights campaigner, told The Jerusalem Post: "Argentina is supposed to be a democracy. Why is it honoring a man who sympathized with Nazi ideas of eugenics and who sheltered and aided a Nazi war criminal?

“Vaernet conducted experiments on gay prisoners in Buchenwald concentration camp, in a bid to develop medical procedures to erase homosexuality," he continued. "He acted with the personal approval of the head of the Gestapo, Heinrich Himmler, who was committed to the total elimination of what he denounced as ‘abnormal existence.’"
Former Vice-Chancellor of Austria Accused of Penning Antisemitic Dedication in Nazi-Era Book
A former vice-chancellor of Austria was accused on Tuesday of having penned a handwritten dedication railing against the “Jewish lust for power” on the title page of an antisemitic screed from the Nazi era.

An investigation by the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper concluded that the handwriting — inside a book that was given as personal gift during the early 1990s — belonged to Heinz-Christian Strache, the 50-year-old former leader of Austria’s far-right Freedom Party (FPO).

Strache served as the deputy of the current Austrian chancellor, Sebastian Kurz, in a right-wing coalition government that lasted from December 2017 until May 2019.

A handwriting expert who examined the dedication told the Süddeutsche Zeitung that he was “99.99 percent certain” that the handwriting belonged to Strache.

The dedication appeared on the title page of the book “Jewish confessions from all times and lands” — a propaganda tome written by Hans Jonak von Freyenwald and published in 1941 by the viciously antisemitic Nazi tabloid Der Stürmer.

The dedication reportedly written by Strache described Jews as “opponents” with a “lust for power.” He also transcribed a quote from Ernst Moritz Arndt, an antisemitic German historian, and a poem by the Austrian Nazi Joseph Heiss. The dedication signed off with the flourish “Heil Jul!” — a reference to the Nordic “Yule” festival.

The recipient of the book, who has not been named, is said to have been another far-right politician.

Speaking through his lawyer, Strache denied knowledge of both the book and the handwritten dedication inside. He distanced himself from the sentiments expressed “without reservation,” adding that he rejected antisemitism “out of deep conviction” and pointing to his record of support for the State of Israel.

Alibaba unit uses Israeli tech to offer shipping services to US businesses
A unit of China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba said Tuesday it has launched three new services and products to help US small and medium-sized businesses get through the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

One of the services launched, Freight, will help American companies secure sea and air shipping for their orders. The service uses technology developed by Israeli startup Freightos, which has created an online market place for international freight that enables users to compare prices and manage their shipments in real time.

The freight service will help small and medium-sized businesses simplify organizing their bulk shipments, giving them “the ability to instantly compare, book, manage and track ocean and air freight in real time online, effectively modernizing the analog, opaque and historically slow process for arranging cross-border logistics,” Alibaba said in a statement.

“ Freight’s extremely user-friendly interface takes what is usually a daunting and extremely complicated task, and turns it into a simple, concise step-by-step process without allowing you to make any mistakes before you move on to the next step,” said Casey Heim, founder and CEO of Hoxie, KS-based WAKE 10, a manufacturer and seller of equipment in the wake surfing and boating industry and early user of Freight.

Alibaba also launched on Tuesday Payment Terms to provide businesses with cash flow control and Online Trade Shows USA to connect US manufacturers and wholesalers with business buyers in an engaging and live online format.
Israel plans 80 new nature reserves by 2040
Israel Hayom has learned that for the first time, Israel's National Planning and Construction Authority has decided on an action plan to preserve Israel's open areas as part of its overall strategy for the year 2040.

The plan includes the location and mapping of some 500 wet and dry natural habitats, the location of some 400 biodiverse areas, and proposals for 80 new nature reserves to protect them. Additionally, some 55 of the country's existing nature reserves are slated for expansion.

The plan will also promote plans to establish "ecological corridors" – contiguous open areas that link nature spots – and the mapping of about 100 "bottlenecks," or narrow corridors between areas of construction that, if closed, will cut off links between open spaces, in order to provide these locations with more protection.

Recently, the National Planning and Construction Authority was presented with a program for the next two decades that addresses the issues of housing, infrastructure, and transportation. For the first time, these plans take open natural spaces – and their preservation – into account. The plan is slated to be promoted in conjunction with various government departments and ministries, as well as the Israel Nature and Parks Authority and the Jewish National Fund.

Dotan Rotem, an ecologist with the INPA who took part in writing the program, told Israel Hayom that "the plan begins from a healthy perspective for the country, which has become more relevant after people have been isolated at home these past few months, longing for accessible open spaces, both near their homes and in wider spaces."

Dr. Iris Bernstein, a planning administration official noted that "the current vision, which takes open spaces into account, reflects a focus on all our natural resources, which are being degraded at an accelerating rate."
Tel Aviv from Above: Stunning Aerial Photos Shot during Lockdown
My two-week vacation in Tel Aviv was going as planned when the pandemic swept in, seemingly out of nowhere. It brought with it an order for new arrivals to retroactively quarantine that sent me into confinement for a week. Widespread border closings followed shortly after, making it apparent that I wouldn’t be flying back to Spain — where I live as an expat Brit — anytime soon.

While the coronavirus tore through Israel for a time, causing people to fear for their health and livelihoods, Israelis are nothing if not resilient. Before long, the denizens of Tel Aviv were back on the streets.

Determined to document the positive side of things, I set out with my drone in my backpack, looking to capture what I’d previously taken for granted: The freedom to enjoy the diverse array of activities that this city has to offer. The photos I shot are part of an ongoing project I’d started earlier called “Tel Aviv From Above.”

Vibrancy, energy and vitality are my rubber-stamped impressions of Tel Aviv. When I close my eyes and think of the White City, I smell the sea breeze, feel the Mediterranean heat, and sense continual motion. This always gives me the burning desire to be outdoors for as long as possible.

Though I’d recently decided to take a hiatus from photographing sports, the Tel Aviv municipality’s recent push to offer even more free sporting opportunities made it tempting to revisit the topic. In fact, all of my drone shots in Tel Aviv happen to be sports related.

‘Setting the clock’ for ancient Jerusalem, scientists finally date elusive arch
A revolutionary radiocarbon-dating technique can now securely pinpoint when monumental structures in Jerusalem’s Old City — including the famed Wilson’s Arch — were constructed.

By meticulously collecting organic material in each excavated stratified layer and carbon-dating minuscule samples taken from ancient mortar, an interdisciplinary team from the Weizmann Institute and the Israel Antiquities Authority can now lay to rest abiding debates on when ancient Jerusalem structures were constructed. For a change, scientists are stepping out of the laboratory and into the field.

The specific focus of the project was Wilson’s Arch, which supported one of the main pathways to the Second Temple. It has been dated by three previously prevailing theories of its construction: early Roman (before 70 CE), mid-Roman (1st-2nd century as Aelia Capitolina), or even the early Islamic periods, some 600 years later.

Wilson’s Arch was named after 19th-century British geographer Charles William Wilson who documented the site in a survey of Jerusalem.

According to the results of the new radiocarbon study, Wilson’s Arch was actually constructed in two phases — first around the time of the rule of Herod the Great (circa 37-4 BCE), the bridge was constructed to be 7.5 meters wide. A few decades later in the first century CE, the bridge’s width was doubled to 15 meters.

The reason behind the doubling in size still remains a mystery, IAA archaeologist Dr. Joe Uziel told The Times of Israel.

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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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