Sunday, June 28, 2020

From Ian:

Jonathan S. Tobin: Anti-Semitism gets you fired by Labour, but hired by NYT
It turns out The New York Times has lower standards when it comes to those who spread anti-Semitic canards than even Britain's controversial Labour Party. Tweeting an anti-Semitic blood libel about Israel being responsible for teaching American cops the tactics that led to the killing of 46-year-old George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer led to the firing of a member of parliament from the opposition party's leadership. Yet tweeting a similar lie about Israel training American cops to commit human-rights abuses was no bar to a journalist being hired this month to be one of the American newspaper's top editors.

The fate of the two figures in question – Labour MP Rebecca Long-Bailey and Charlotte Greensit, the NYT new managing editor of its Opinion section – does indicate that Britain's opposition party may be serious about wanting to change course after becoming a home to Jew-hatred under its former leader, Jeremy Corbyn. But it also shows that the NYT, which has a lamentable history when it comes to Jewish issues, is heading down a path in which it is being bullied into taking radical stands that are antithetical to liberal values.

Long-Bailey got into hot water this week when she retweeted an article about Maxine Peake, a British actress who is also a fervent opponent of Israel, as well as being one of Corbyn's biggest fans. Peake is a respected actress, best known for roles in British films and television series like "Silk." In her youth, she was a member of the Communist Party. In recent years, she has been a vocal public supporter of Corbyn, the leftist anti-Semite who led Labour to a catastrophic election defeat in December.

In an interview with Britain's Independent newspaper, Peake, who says that she was "in Palestine, liaising with activists" before having to go home because of the coronavirus pandemic, claimed that "the tactics used by the police in America, kneeling on George Floyd's neck, that was learnt from seminars with Israeli secret services."
The notion that Israelis teach Americans tactics used to kill blacks is a big lie that has been championed in recent years by BDS supporters like Jewish Voice for Peace and other anti-Semites. American cops and first responders get training in Israel that teaches them better community policing tactics, as well as how best to deal with medical emergencies, natural disasters and terrorist attacks – not how to kill people.

BDS groups plan anti-annexation ‘Day of Rage’ across the US
Pro-Palestinian organizations across the US plan to hold demonstrations against Israel on Wednesday, the earliest date that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu could bring to a cabinet vote the extension of Israeli sovereignty to parts of the West Bank.

The demonstrations are set to take place in Chicago, San Diego, Brooklyn, Los Angeles and San Francisco, as well as in Toronto, Madrid and Valencia. Among the groups organizing the events are Students for Justice in Palestine, Jewish Voice for Peace, and American Muslims for Palestine.

The Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, one of the organizers, called for "direct actions and popular mobilizations in [Palestinian] refugee camps, cities and villages," and professed "loyalty to the martyrs" – euphemisms for terrorists and terrorism – on its call to organize events.

Another, Al-Awda - The Palestinian Right to Return Coalition, accused Israel of "72 years of genocide, ethnic cleansing and dispossession," and peppered the site with works by the antisemitic cartoonist Carlos Latuff, a second-place prize winner in Iran's Holocaust Cartoon Competition.

Al-Awda also tied their demonstrations to the protests against anti-Black racism in the US and beyond.

"We demand the defunding and dismantling of US police alongside the defunding and dismantling of Zionist colonialism and racist Israeli apartheid," the group's website reads.
JCPA: The Battle over BDS – Trends, Lessons, and Future Trajectories
Download pdf
Executive Summary

For the first 10 to 15 years after the crystallization of the modern BDS movement at the turn of the 21st century, the global BDS campaign enjoyed a comfortable operating environment. While the counter-BDS community’s response to specific challenges was, at times, successful, it largely failed to disrupt the BDS momentum. During this period, and especially following the Goldstone Report and the Mavi Marmara flotilla incident in 2009- 2010, the counter-BDS community developed its capacities, built its network, and learned by trial and error.

This capacity-building process is coming to fruition. On the one hand, the BDS movement continues to be highly-active, even managing to make headway in certain areas. Yet, it is becoming increasingly clear that the counter-BDS network is succeeding in disrupting BDS momentum and forcing the BDS movement out of its comfort zone.

Increasingly, the BDS movement finds itself on the defensive. It faces exposure of its terror-links, credible accusations of anti-Semitism, and national and municipal legislation and resolutions that attack its legitimacy. The BDS campaign is finding it increasingly difficult to achieve major victories, and even those it achieves are often reversed.

Nevertheless, it would be a grave mistake to assume that the battle over BDS is over. The BDS movement has shown itself to be highly adept at pivoting to new strategies, building influential alliances, and identifying emerging There continue to be numerous arenas in which it faces little effective resistance.

Furthermore, the international environment in which BDS operates has the potential to shift dramatically within a relatively short period toward the creation of more favorable conditions for BDS.

Therefore, the counter-BDS campaign must continue to develop the capacities and synergies necessary to meet new and evolving BDS strategies. At the same time, it must increase its efforts to put BDS on the defensive and to distance it from mainstream audiences, including those critical of Israel.



The Left’s obsession with Israel grows more bizarre by the day
In the words of Sir Keir, this was “an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory” – and he sacked Ms Long-Bailey for sharing the article that contained it. Later in the day, Ms Peake tweeted a statement, conceding that her “assumptions” had been “inaccurate”. Israel, she now accepted, had not been involved in any way. She added that she finds “racism and anti-Semitism abhorrent”.

I don’t doubt it. Odd how common such misconceptions are among the modern Left, though. The sheer number of them who appear to find Israel to blame for every injustice under the sun. It doesn’t matter how far from Israel an injustice occurs, or how scant the evidence. They somehow manage to detect the Zionist hand at work.

Stubbed their big toe? Mossad must have put that table there. Gained five pounds? The IDF spiked their yoghurt with lard. Football smashed their greenhouse window? Clearly the work of some shadowy globalist puppet-master.

One day, someone on the Left will probably claim that all conspiracy theories about Israel were secretly invented by Israel in a plot to make the Left look paranoid.


UK Labour calls to ban settlement imports in response to annexation
UK Labour’s leadership called for a ban on imported goods from settlements if Israel applies its sovereignty to parts of the West Bank.

Labour’s shadow foreign secretary Lisa Nandy called for “concrete action” in response to sovereignty moves in an interview with The Observer published Saturday, with the reported support of Labour leader Keir Starmer.

Nandy, a former head of Labour Friends of Palestine, called Israel’s plans “a shameful proposition to which the UK cannot be a silent witness.” She accused the UK government of being “conspicuously absent from [the] global response,” though its Ambassador to the UN has spoken out repeatedly and the took part in a demarche by 11 countries against the plan.

“This is now urgent,” she said. “The government must be clear with the Israeli coalition government that concrete action will follow, including a ban on goods entering Britain from the illegal settlements in the West Bank.”
CAA calls out bigoted claim by Black Lives Matter UK that “Zionism” has “gagged” Britain
Campaign Against Antisemitism has called out the UK chapter of Black Lives Matter (BLM) today after it claimed that “Zionism” has “gagged” Britain.

BLM’s official UK account tweeted this morning: “As Israel moves forward with the annexation of the West Bank, and mainstream British politics is gagged of the right to critique Zionism, and Israel’s settler colonial pursuits, we loudly and clearly stand beside our Palestinian comrades. Free Palestine.”

Campaign Against Antisemitism responded: “The Black Lives Matter movement should embrace solidarity from Jews. There have been calls for violence against us from prominent BLM supporters with no official condemnation. Now from the official UK BLM account, we hear the lie that fighting antisemitism has ‘gagged’ legitimate debate.

“Zionism is the movement for the self-determination of Jews. The right to the ‘self-determination of peoples’ is universal and enshrined in Article 1 of the UN charter. So-called ‘anti-Zionism’ exclusively denies Jews that universal right and is therefore antisemitic.

“BLM should aspire to be a movement against racism that unifies people and achieves lasting change, not a movement that spreads hatred and achieves lasting division.

“Educate yourselves. You cannot fight prejudice with prejudice.”

As social media swiftly divided amongst those who firmly backed BLM and those who were appalled by their bigotry, BLM chose to entrench its position, issuing further tweets that ‘gaslight’ Jews and seek to redefine what antisemitism is.


Activists call for St. Louis to take down statue of its anti-Semitic namesake
On top of a hill in front of an art museum in the biggest park in St. Louis stands a statue of an anti-Semite.

The monument to the Missouri city’s namesake, the medieval French king Louis IX, depicts the king astride a horse, wearing a crown and a robe and holding a sword in his right hand. Erected 116 years ago in Forest Park, it is one of the city’s best-known monuments.

Now, a coalition of activists want it taken down because Louis IX persecuted Jews, presided over a notorious mass burning of the Talmud, issued an order of expulsion against his Jewish subjects and led two Crusader armies in unsuccessful offensives in North Africa.

At a time when statues of Confederate leaders and other figures condemned for racist actions are coming down across the country, activists in St. Louis want the Louis IX statue to come down too. A petition launched last week is calling on the city not only to take the statue down, but to change the city’s name.

A group of local Catholics is defending the statue, and a group of far-right protesters are planning to rally for the statue on Saturday.

“The impossible is becoming possible,” said Umar Lee, a local activist who started the petition and also took part in a successful drive to remove a nearby Confederate monument in 2017. Lee is not Jewish but started the petition because of Louis IX’s anti-Semitism.

** Umar Lee h/t MtTB
Muslim who once threatened to behead a rival with “the sword of Islam” launches petition to rename city of St. Louis
Health Ministry directives: Limit gatherings at event halls, synagogues
Health Minister Yuli Edelstein laid out his ministry’s recommendations for stopping the spread of the coronavirus in Israeli: limiting attendance at religious events, how many people pray together at synagogues, and how many people gather in general; asking universities to administer final exams remotely; and requiring public sectors workers to do their jobs from home whenever possible.

“We are in the beginning of the second coronavirus wave,” Edelstein said at an evening press conference. “From today, Sunday, I decided not to be the most right-wing person and to make all the decisions considering both the health and economic needs of the country. I worked in conjunction with all the relevant ministers to open the event halls, cultural events, public transportation and more. But I always emphasized that if we will not carefully maintain all the guidelines it will lead to things being closed.”

He said that “not enough people listened” and even though he “led steps to increase enforcement” the virus has continued to spread.
“Whoever does not listen to the directives causes damage not only to himself but everyone around him, and he could do damage to the entire economy,” Edelstein stressed.

Now, he continued, the goal must be “to maximize benefit and minimize damage.”
50% of COVID-19 patients suffer from weakness, distress after recovery
More than half of patients diagnosed with coronavirus exhibit general weakness and respiratory distress even several weeks after recovery, according to a new study by Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center.

The study, which was conducted by the hospital’s pulmonary institute and based on preliminary data gathered from dozens of patients who suffered from COVID-19, found that over 50% of patients displayed symptoms of respiratory distress whether they had a mild, moderate or serious case of the disease.

“Within the symptoms that we checked for, we revealed general weakness among the majority of patients alongside shortness of breath, sustained cough and other complex breathing and pulmonary issues,” said Prof. Gabriel Izbicki, director of the institute. “The majority of patients are not back to the level and shape they were in before their hospitalization.”

He noted, however, that these results should be seen as preliminary.

“This is a study of only a few dozen patients,” Izbicki told The Jerusalem Post. “It is very frightening and that is why we published it. But we are looking to have a few hundred patients and then we will see if our research is confirmed or not.”

He added that the goal of the research is to better adapt the hospital’s treatment programs to address these symptoms better and to gain information that could “help the entire coronavirus community worldwide.”
Infectious disease head: Israel 'about to lose control' of pandemic
The head of the Israeli Society for Infectious Diseases warned the Health Ministry on Sunday that Israel is “about to lose control” of the coronavirus pandemic, and that “we are close to the point of no return where there will be mass infection and burdens of severely ill patients.”

Miri Weinberger made the comments in a letter sent to newly appointed Health Ministry director-general Chezy Levy, hours before the coronavirus cabinet convened to consider a set of new regulations to help stop the spread of the virus. The cabinet, which met for two hours, left the meeting without coming to any conclusions, despite the continued rise in the number of new patients.

According to the Health Ministry, 76 Israelis were diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 overnight. There have been 23,497 people diagnosed with the virus and there are currently 6,160 active cases, among them 45 people in serious condition.

The ministry data shows that the positive testing rate hit a new record of 4%.

For the past three weeks, the ministry has screened fewer patients over Shabbat, but more of those screened have tested positive.

Moreover, the Coronavirus Knowledge and Information Center released a report on Sunday showing that it is taking around eight days to double the number of new daily patients and that the daily average growth rate is inching toward 10%.
Daniel Pipes: Explaining Israel's security establishment
Israeli security services do not want again to rule directly over the West Bank or Gaza; fearing a collapse of the Palestinian Authority (PA) or Hamas, they treat these deferentially. They see the PA under Mahmoud Abbas, for all its deficiencies, as a useful security partner. True, it incites murder domestically and delegitimizes the State of Israel internationally, but better to endure these aggressions than to punish Abbas, induce his downfall, and re-live the nightmare of walking the streets of Nablus. So, he gets away with literal murder.

A combination of Palestinian military weakness and intense international scrutiny has caused Israel's security establishment to see Palestinians more like criminals than soldiers; dealing with them has morphed the IDF into a police force, with a defensive mentality viewing stability as a goal in itself. Generals do not enter battle with the goal of saving the lives of their soldiers; but police chiefs want the struggle with criminals to break no laws and leave no one harmed. Generals seek victory, police chiefs seek quiet.

Finally, an exaggerated sense of morality interferes with effective action. In 2018, IDF chief of staff Gadi Eizenkot justified passivity vis-à-vis the balloon arsonists for the eye-popping reason that "dropping a bomb on people flying balloons and kites" runs counter to his "operative and moral position."

This security establishment, and not a weakened Left, mostly stands in the way of resolving the Palestinian issue; time and again, its appeasing views have prevailed. Fortunately, the security establishment has dissidents and they speak out, especially after leaving active service. Gershon Hacohen calls for political leaders not to let the military leadership make their decisions; Yossi Kuperwasser calls for an Israel Victory; Uzi Dayan wants the military giving the country's leaders the means to achieve victory. Even the trio of chief-of-staffs who formed the Blue and White party called for tough action.

Resolution of the Palestinian problem requires an end to the split in Israel's defense establishment and the return to a unitary force dedicated to winning, to convincing the Palestinians that the conflict is over, they lost, and they should abandon their war goals.
Former Ambassador Dan Shapiro Warns Israel Over Annexation Plans


Ahead of possible Israeli annexation, Abbas said to refuse call from Pompeo
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas reportedly refused a phone call this week from US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and threatened to gather weapons from the PA security forces and turn them over to the IDF if Israel moves forward with its plan to annex parts of the West Bank.

The Kann public broadcaster reported Saturday that CIA representatives met this week in Ramallah with Palestinian officials in a bid to convince them to open a dialogue with the White House about US President Donald Trump’s peace plan, but these efforts were unsuccessful. Sometime over this past week, Pompeo phoned Abbas but he refused to receive the call, according to the report

The Ramallah-based PA has boycotted the Trump administration since the US president recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in 2017 and has rejected his peace plan which designates some 30 percent of the West Bank for Israel and the rest for a prospective Palestinian state.

Kann also says the PA told US and European officials it’s planning to gather weapons from its security forces and turn them over to the Israeli military in a bid to force Israel to take over security is PA-controlled areas. Palestinians officials cited by the broadcaster describe such a move as a “judgement day weapon.”

“We’ll bring the weapons and ammunition in trucks to the headquarters at Beit El if there’s annexation. We’ve already prepared lists of all the weapons. Israel will be responsible for security in the [West] Bank,” the Palestinian officials are quoted as saying.

The threat is being taken seriously, according to the report.
Why Israel’s Warming Gulf Ties Will Survive Annexation
Even as the UAE raps the West Bank plans in public and presented itself as a champion of the Palestinians by delivering two planeloads of protective gear to help control the coronavirus in the Palestinian-inhabited parts of the West Bank, it dealt Abbas an embarrassing slap by sending the aid on two Etihad Airways flights to Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion International Airport, the first noncovert flights by a Gulf airline to Israel. The mortified leader rejected the shipments, even though they displayed the Emirati flag and were brightly labeled as aid to fight the pandemic in Palestine.

Such an insult would never have happened in the past when Yasser Arafat was in charge and support for the Palestinians against Israel defined Arab political unity. In part, the support has ebbed through diplomatic fatigue as the Palestinians have rejected one peace initiative after another since the 1993 Oslo accords. Ebbing support for the Palestinians is also generational, as Arab millennials who chat online with young Israelis about gaming and software apps find their parents’ dogmas boring.It’s also generational, as Arab millennials who chat online with young Israelis about gaming and software apps find their parents’ dogmas boring. A final factor is intra-Palestinian intrigue. The COVID-19 airport episode seems to bear the fingerprints of Mohammed Dahlan, a political rival whom Abbas drove into exile. Dahlan now lives in Abu Dhabi, where he is a close friend of the crown prince, advising him on real estate purchases in Eastern Europe, handling the Palestinian leadership, and more.

In Washington, Otaiba keeps a ritual Jewish shofar on display in his spacious embassy office. The son of a former OPEC president, he has developed an unusually warm relationship with the Israeli ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer. In conversation, Otaiba is disarmingly comfortable talking about the mutual benefits of closer ties with Israel, as well as the UAE’s impatience with the Palestinians.

If Otaiba’s boss, the UAE’s foreign minister, was speaking in candor, then even Israel’s ambitions to annex up to 29 percent of the West Bank, including the strategic Jordan Valley border area, can be decoupled as a political disagreement from strategic cooperation, business and technology deals, and the growing comfort with Israelis and Jews. For both sides, it appears, the diplomatic carrots are just too enticing. Netanyahu is confident that the UAE and its Gulf neighbors will keep the tsimmes simmering, that sticks amount to mere twigs, and that they represent little long-term threat to Israel.
US envoy urges condemnation of Muslim Brotherhood’s call to kill gays
The former US ambassador to Germany and high-profile member of the Trump administration on Friday urged all American agencies and officials to condemn a Muslim Brotherhood member for declaring that homosexuals should be murdered.

Richard Grenell tweeted that “Every US government agency and official must speak clearly that this is unacceptable.”

Egyptian TV host Hala Samir said on June 16 in a monologue on her show on Watan TV (Turkey-based Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood) that "Ibn Abbas quoted the Prophet Muhammad as saying: 'If you find men engaged in a homosexual act – kill the active one as well as the passive one.' Don't start asking: 'Are you active or passive?' Just kill both.”

The NGO Middle East Media Research Institute first reported Samir’s anti-gay comments and translated her remarks into English.




CNN Slams Israel’s Thwarting Of Car Ramming Attack As ‘Controversial’
In response to accusations that Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian without justification, Israel Border Police released security footage from the suspected car-ramming attack in the West Bank. On June 26, CNN ran with this story, opening the network’s report of the incident with this headline:

Controversial? See the video and judge for yourself.

Clear Act of Violence
Check out the video of the incident and this is what you’ll see: a car being driven by Ahmad Moustafa Erekat approaches a checkpoint in Abu Dis, near Jerusalem. He abruptly accelerates and turns toward a group of police. His car then rams into a female officer — who is knocked into the air — before colliding with a booth and coming to a stop.

The attacker stopped, aimed, and sped at the border officers while ignoring their warnings. He then swiftly exited the vehicle, possibly in a bid to attack other soldiers. No doubt about it: Ahmad Erekat, nephew of senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat, was caught on tape attempting to perpetrate a clear act of violence.


Correction salvages Sky News's car crash headline on Palestinian ramming attack
Yet, despite the clear video evidence, and testimony from the victim, here’s the headline Sky News used in their June 25th article about the incident:

It’s an especially biased and misleading headline given that the article actually included the clip of the attack we embedded above.

An accurate headline would have focused on (or at least mentioned!) that the person Israel “killed” was a Palestinian attacker. Instead, editors totally ignored this fact, and instead highlighted the Palestinian attacker’s relationship to Saeb Erekat.

After our complaints, the headline was revised to the following, which, as you can see, is nearly as problematic as the original:
Demands for investigation after Israel releases CCTV of death of top PLO official’s relative

But, the headline – which amplifies Saeb Erkekat’s call for an investigation over what he’s quoted as characterising as the soldiers’ murder of his nephew – wasn’t the only biased element of the piece.

The Sky News article also cites an op-ed at Haaretz by the attacker’s cousin, Dalal Iriqat, who claimed that the Israelis “left [his cousin] bleeding for more than an hour” and that “the occupation army prevented an ambulance from getting to him”. Then, in his own voice, the Sky News reporter writes the following, which serves to lend credibility to Iriqat’s allegations:

Video of the moments after the incident shows the man moving on the ground and confirms that no medial assistance was given to him at that point.


Why terrorism continues to plague us amid the pandemic
During the coronavirus crisis, Israel has devoted great resources to helping the Palestinian Authority and the people of Gaza fight the pandemic. Nevertheless, the increased need for Israeli humanitarian assistance has not led to a decline in Palestinian Arab obstinacy, terrorism and incitement to violence. Recently, P.A. leader Mahmoud Abbas ended all security coordination with the State of Israel, despite the threat that the pandemic and Hamas pose to his society.

Furthermore, Palestinian Media Watch reported that the P.A. daily Al-Hayat al-Jadida recently published an op-ed proclaiming, “Palestine is from the [Jordan] River to the [Mediterranean] Sea. It is the Palestinian people’s historical homeland, and the status of Acre [i.e., an Israeli city] is the status of Nablus [biblical Shechem], and the status of Jaffa [i.e., an Israeli city] is the status of Hebron.” In other words, the P.A. does not recognize Israel’s right to exist within any borders. As the Fatah Constitution states in Article 12, the goal of the Fatah movement “is the complete liberation of Palestine and the eradication of Zionist economic, political, military and cultural existence.”

Pandemic or no pandemic, neither the Palestinian Authority nor Hamas is reconsidering their political ideology, which is inherently hateful towards the State of Israel. Their desire to destroy Israel is uncompromising and no humanitarian need will change it. As prominent Middle East scholar Dr. Mordechai Kedar stated in an interview, “The whole raison d’etre of the P.A. entity is negating the right of Israel to exist as the nation state of the Jewish people. Their philosophy is based on not how to live side by side with Israel, but how to establish another Arab state on the ruins of Israel. They never gave up on their aspirations to return millions of people into Israel.”

“They speak about establishing a state in Judea/Samaria and Gaza, but they never show the borders,” he added. “In every illustration of their land, Palestine includes Israel entirely. They have never started to teach or to educate their young generation about peace with Israel. On the contrary, they keep teaching false narratives, as it is stated in their school books that Haifa, Acre, Nazareth are all part of Palestine.”

As bad as Fatah is, Hamas ideology is even worse.








9 Iran-backed fighters killed in 2nd raid in Syria in 24 hours — monitor
Airstrikes targeting positions of Iran-backed militias in eastern Syria killed nine fighters on Sunday in the second such raid in 24 hours, a war monitor said.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Israel was “likely responsible” for the strikes near the Iraqi border.

The strikes took place in Al-Siyal desert in the Albukamal countryside, east of Deir Ezzor, the monitor said.

They came hours after a similar raid killed six other Tehran-backed fighters, raising the total toll to 15 killed in 24 hours, according to the monitor.

The fighters killed in the early Sunday raids were mostly Iraqi nationals, according to Observatory head Rami Abdul Rahman.

There was no official comment from Israel.

Israel has launched hundreds of strikes in Syria since the start of the civil war in 2011. It has targeted government troops, allied Iranian forces and fighters from the Lebanese Shiite terror group Hezbollah.
Syrian chemical weapons agency sought illicit WMD tech in Germany
Syria’s Scientific Studies and Research Center (SSRC), an agency the US government says builds chemical weapons for the regime of Bashar Assad, made attempts last year to obtain illegal weapons of mass destruction technology in the German state of Baden-Württemberg.

According to an eye-popping section reviewed by The Jerusalem Post in the new domestic intelligence report for the German state of Baden-Württemberg, the authorities wrote that “There are indications that the Scientific Studies and Research Center (SSRC) has resumed its procurement activities, including for companies in Baden-Württemberg.”

The intelligence document said that “The SSRC is considered the main carrier of the Syrian weapons of mass destruction program. In one case, laboratory equipment from a company in North Baden was to be procured and forwarded to Syria via Lebanon and China. The German export authorities were able to prevent the delivery.”

The report did not identify the company. Both Syria and Iran seek to procure illicit nuclear, biological and chemical weapons of mass destruction technology in the southern German state, according to the report, because there are scores of hi-tech companies and advanced engineering firms in the state.
US ambassador appears on Lebanese TV despite court-imposed ban
Lebanese media broadcast interviews with the US ambassador on Sunday, ignoring a ruling by a judge who banned the diplomat from television for a year over remarks that criticized the powerful Shi'ite movement Hezbollah.

Hezbollah is the main political force behind the Lebanese government. Washington considers the heavily armed pro-Iran movement to be a terrorist group.

In an interview with Saudi-owned Al-Hadath television on Friday, US ambassador Dorothy Shea said Hezbollah's behavior was preventing Lebanon from properly dealing with a deep economic crisis.

A Shi'ite judge in the southern city of Tyre ruled on Saturday that Shea's comments had incited sectarian strife, and banned broadcasting interviews with her for a year. State-owned National News Agency (NAA) said media that violate the ban would be fined $200,000.

But the government has repudiated the court ruling, while criticizing Shea over the remarks that had prompted it.
Iran ‘World’s Worst State Sponsor of Terrorism,’ U.S. State Department Report Says
The Islamic Republic of Iran remains the “world’s worst state sponsor of terrorism,” the U.S. State Department’s annual Country Reports on Terrorism declared. Tehran was “directly involved in plotting terrorism” though its armed wing, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps IRGC and other state-controlled agencies, and had carried out terrorist “plots in recent years in North and South America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Africa,” found the counter-terrorism report released on June 24.

Identifying IRGC and Lebanon-based Iran-sponsored terrorist group Hisbollah as leading actors in the regime’s global terrorism network, the report highlighted Tehran’s terrorist footprint in Europe. “Iranian government continued supporting terrorist plots to attack Iranian dissidents in several countries in continental Europe,” the report said.

In April 2019, President Donald Trump designated the IRGC as a foreign terrorist organization, calling it “Iranian government’s primary means of directing and implementing its global terrorist campaign.” The IRGC, which acts as the military wing of the Iranian regime, owns the country’s oil assets, banks, and airlines. Tehran uses the organization to crush democratic dissent at home and to carry out terrorist operations abroad.

In a major blow to Iran’s global terrorist operations, a U.S. airstrike in early January eliminated Qassem Soleimani, the chief of IRGC’s Qods Force. Soleimani was directly responsible for the killing of hundreds of American servicemen stationed in Iraq, the U.S. Defense Department confirmed.

“We designated the IRGC, including its Qods Force, as a terrorist organization, the first time the authority has ever been used on a foreign government,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said while releasing the report at a press event on Wednesday.
Iran 'mystery' explosion may have been at a secret ballistic missile site
But what really happened?

Al-Ain media in the Gulf speculates on numerous holes in Iran’s official story.

Images show a burned field. It may have been an “external cyberattack aimed at sabotaging the facilities.”

The attack is noteworthy, Al-Ain says, because it is not the first of its kind. This reveals details about a previous mysterious explosion at a military barracks that killed one of the co-founders of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' missile program in 2011.

The article claims that this area is home to a wide variety of explosives, missiles and military equipment. Analysts, however, have not studied the clips of what happened.

Al-Ain says that this reveals that the Khojir area is of great importance but has been overlooked due to a focus on the nuclear program and Parchin.

Khojir plays a key role in Iran's ballistic missile program. The mountainous region, near a nice national park that belongs to the state, is festooned with Iranian Defense Ministry posts linked to Iran’s Space Industries Organization.

The Shahid Bagheri Industrial Group and Shahid Hemat Industrial Group are linked to this organization as subsidiaries. The first of these groups builds the solid fuel for the rockets that Iran uses while the second makes the liquid fuel for Iran’s ballistic missiles, the report claims.




Iran FM: We will never forget US, Europe complicity with Saddam Hussein
The ongoing war of words between the United States and Iran continued on Twitter on Saturday night when the Iranian Foreign Ministry tweeted a message to commemorate 33 years since the chemical bombing of Sardasht during the Iran-Iraq War.

The Twitter account of Iran's Foreign Ministry wrote, "It's been 33yrs since chemical attack in Sardasht. We did & will never forget the support & complicity of US/Europe in the horrible attack by Saddam. We did & will never forget the UNSC silence on this heinous crime. We rebuild whatever they destroyed."

They completed their message with the hashtag #AmericanHumanRightsWeek - an Iranian creation intended to highlight US human rights abuses.

On Saturday, Iranian Foreign Minister Javid Zarif attended a parliamentary congress entitled, “Honoring the War Veterans and Martyrs of Chemical Weapons and Honoring the Victims of American Human Rights,” Iran's Mehr News Agency reported.


BDS Movement Dealt a Blow at Lawyers Guild
After nearly four years of litigation, the National Lawyers Guild — a non-profit organization that purports to be a storied network of human-rights activists — succumbed to pressure to settle a lawsuit that, ironically, stemmed from the Guild’s flagrant violation of long-existing human rights laws. The settlement is a watershed moment for Israeli and Jewish civil and human rights. It represents a harsh blow to the BDS campaign designed to economically isolate Israelis and the Jewish state (i.e., to discriminate in commercial activities based on national origin).

The Guild, which has chapters across the United States, has long been a staunch adherent of the hateful BDS campaign. The Guild specifically cited its support for BDS, which outwardly calls for violations of human rights and anti-discrimination law, in the very organizational policy that resulted in legal action. The lawsuit was filed by David Abrams, executive director of the Zionist Advocacy Center, represented pro bono by the Lawfare Project.

The lawsuit arose in 2016, after Bibliotechnical Athenaeum, an Israeli company, sought to purchase ad space in the Guild’s annual gala “dinner journal,” an offering that was open to the public at large without restriction. Shortly after paying the $200 fee, Bibliotechnical received an email, signed by the Guild’s National Office, informing them that the sale would not be completed because the Guild had an organizational resolution barring it from accepting funds from Israelis. In other words, this self-proclaimed champion of human rights refused to do business with another party purely because of the latter’s national origin.

Such a refusal is explicitly forbidden under New York state’s Human Rights Law (and a nearly identical New York City law), enacted in 1976 in response to boycotts of Jewish businesses related to the Arab League Boycott of Israel. Under these laws, it is unlawful to boycott, refuse to buy from, sell to, or otherwise discriminate against anyone based on national origin, just as it would be illegal to discriminate against anyone based on race, religion, or other protected statuses.




Israel cancels 'God TV's Evangelical Christian channel
The license for Shelanu TV, the Hebrew-language Christian evangelical TV channel which has been accused of seeking to proselytize in Israel, has been suspended.

Shelanu TV, owned by parent company God TV, began broadcasting in Israel on the Hot cable network at the end of April after it received a license from the Council for Cable and Satellite Broadcasting earlier this year.

But when exposure of the kind of content broadcast on God TV, including comments by channel CEO Ward Simpson about the importance of bringing people to embrace Christianity as well as a strong reaction by then communications minister David Amsalem, the council threatened to suspend Shelanu TV’s license, pending a review by the council into Hot’s contract with the channel.

God TV, which reaches some 300 million homes around the world, is dedicated to preaching the Christian gospel and the task of the “Great Commission,” a doctrine in Christian theology to gain disciples for Christianity and to preach the religion.

Proselytizing, seeking to convert people to another religion, is not illegal in Israel, although the law prevents proselytizing to minors without their parents presence or consent, and promising any monetary or material compensation for converting to another religion.


Hate crime investigation opened after Jewish biracial woman set on fire
Police in Madison, Wisconsin, are currently investigating an incident where an 18-year-old biracial woman was burned with lighter fluid earlier this week in a hate crime, the department announced on Thursday.

Althea Bernstein is a biracial, African-American individual whose family identifies as both culturally Jewish and Unitarian, according to the Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle, quoting a family spokesperson.

She currently works as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), and is enrolled at Madison College, studying to be a paramedic and firefighter.
The four unidentified suspects, all white men, allegedly approached her driver-side window – which was rolled down at the time – when she was stopped at a red light on W. Gorham Street, according to Bernstein.

After yelling a "racial epithet," the men then proceeded to use a spray bottle to project lighter fluid on the woman's face, afterwards throwing a flaming lighter at her and igniting the fluid on her face and neck, causing third-degree burns.

"I haven't really slept, and I don't really have an appetite. I don't want anyone to ever feel this way," Bernstein said on Good Morning America (GMA).
Jenrick accused of breaching planning guidance over Holocaust memorial
Baroness Ruth Deech has accused Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick of breaching “the guidance on planning propriety” over his management of an application to build a national Holocaust memorial in Westminster.

The JC reported how the government department headed by Mr Jenrick had taken control of the application for a memorial in Victoria Tower Gardens - a grade II listed park near the Palace of Westminster - following objections to the development from the local council.

Mr Jenrick – who is embroiled in a “cash for favours” planning row over his decision to approve a £1 billion development proposed by Richard Desmond - is now facing questions after it emerged that he had met two of the project’s chief backers, and their lawyer, days before the application was called in by a senior member of his department.

Official records show the minister met the Community Security Trust chair Gerald Ronson, who sits on the board of the UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation, on October 7.
Tel Aviv, Jerusalem nab sixth place in list of 150 best global tech ecosystems
Tel Aviv and Jerusalem are ranked together as the sixth most attractive ecosystem for startups and innovation by a global survey held by research firm Startup Genome. The study maps the global startup industry in over 150 cities worldwide.

The two Israeli cities are tied with Los Angeles, which also takes sixth place on the list.

California’s Silicon Valley maintains its first-place position in this year’s report, followed by New York City and London, which are tied. Beijing and Boston rank fourth and fifth, respectively.

The Startup Genome Ecosystem report, published annually since 2012, is a comprehensive study of the global startup scene, and comes this year as 40 percent of the startups across the globe report disruptions to their operations due to the COVID-19 spread.

The higher the ranking the better the shot of an early-stage startup at building global success, according to the Startup Genome’s model.

For the 2020 ranking, the research firm measured six success factors: performance, which takes into account the number and growth of exits and how many startups succeed; access to and quality of funding; market reach, or the ability to tap global markets; how easy it is to recruit top talent; how connected startups are to others in the ecosystem; and knowledge, a measure of publication impact and patents.
New York is now home to nine Israeli-founded unicorns
Over the past year, four private Israeli-founded companies based in New York surpassed the billion-dollar valuation milestone, bringing the state’s total number of Israeli unicorns to nine, according to the New York – Israel Business Alliance (NYIBA).

Riskified, Sisense, VAST Data and Via joined Compass, Lemonade, Payoneer, Taboola and The We Company in the prestigious club of privately held Israeli companies valued at $1 billion or more.

“It’s remarkable that the number of Israeli-founded unicorns based in New York has nearly doubled over the past year,” NYIBA president Aaron Kaplowitz said. “As Israel transforms from the Start-Up Nation to the Scale-Up Nation, New York is becoming more and more indispensable to Israel’s innovation ecosystem.”

In November, Riskified, a provider of ecommerce fraud prevention headquartered in Tel Aviv and Manhattan, raised $165 million at a $1 billion valuation. In January, Sisense, a business analytics company, announced a $100 million round that pushed its valuation over $1 billion.

In March, ride-sharing service Via secured a $200 million investment that catapulted its valuation to $2.25 billion. And in April, data storage company VAST Data closed a $100 million round based on a $1.2 billion valuation.
YouTube series addressing 3,000 of Jewish history premiers June 29
A YouTube series addressing 3,000 years of Jewish history will be premiering on the online video-sharing platform June 29th.

The series titled The Jewish Story Explained created by OpenDor Media (formerly Jerusalem U) in collaboration with Unpacked Media, will tackle three millenniums of Jewish history through the span of 42 episodes, lasting 10 minutes each.

"We're shooting a video series about the Jewish story, Jewish history. You know, how we got from point A to point B, because there are a lot of gaps in common knowledge. Here, we are just filling in the gaps," OpenDor Media said in their teaser video.

The first fifteen episodes (season one) will be released on the June 29 premier date, and will cover ancient Israel from 586 BCE until the Jewish dispersal in 1,000 CE.

Season two intends to address the Middle Ages, antisemitism and assimilation in the lead up to modern Judaism.

The third season will discuss contemporary Judaism, from the 20th century until now.






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

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