Saturday, September 26, 2020

From Ian:

MEMRI: Al-Jazeera Network Documentary About The Hamas Missile Industry: Iran Sends Kornet, Fajr Missiles To Gaza; Hamas Produces Missiles From Unexploded Israeli Munitions And Shells From Wrecked WWI Ships
On September 13, 2020, Al-Jazeera Network (Qatar) aired a documentary about the Hamas missile manufacturing industry. The reporter explained how Hamas' Al-Qassam Brigades have been reclaiming unexploded Israeli munitions from 2014's Operation Protective Edge, metal water pipes left behind by Israel when it withdrew from the Gaza Strip in 2005, and cannon shells from the wrecks of British warships that sank near Gaza during World War I. The documentary featured interviews with the commanders of the Al-Qassam Brigades' Military Production Units, Engineering Corps, Artillery Corps, and Frogmen Unit, who described the process of reclaiming these munitions and turning them into functional missiles.

The report also showed exclusive footage of this process, including footage of divers retrieving underwater shells, of metals being processed, of explosives being prepared, and of missiles being tested. Furthermore, the reporter and the interviewees explained that Iran has been shipping Kornet anti-tank missiles and Fajr missiles to Gaza by land and by sea. Abu Ibrahim, the Commander of the Military Productions Unit, said that Hamas has hundreds of warheads, dozens of tons of explosives and propellants, and enough metal water pipes to produce thousands of rockets.

"Various Types Of Weapons Have Arrived To Gaza From Iran... Other Countries, like Syria And Sudan, Have Also Played A Role In Arming The Resistance"

Narrator: "In this footage, which is being shown for the first time, members of the Al-Qassam Brigades can be seen reassembling the parts of a Fajr missile that arrived in a new shipment of long range Iranian missiles. The resistance in Gaza [received] them despite the tightening of the siege. In these exclusive images, Kornet anti-tank missiles can be seen."

Abu Ibrahim, Commander from the Military Production Unit of the Al-Qassam Brigades: "The weapons came to us, by land and by sea, from hundreds and thousands of kilometers away.

"Various types of weapons have arrived to Gaza from Iran. The resistance fighters in Gaza were in dire need of these weapons, such as the Kornet and Fajr missiles, and many other types of modern weapons, which are still very much in use on the battlefield.

"Other countries, like Syria and Sudan, have also played a role in arming the resistance."

"Under This Rubble, There Are Unexploded Israeli Missiles And Shells[;] They Have Become A New Source For The Weapons Of The Resistance"

Narrator: "Under this rubble, there are unexploded Israeli missiles and shells. They have become a new source for the weapons of the resistance. The Al-Qassam Brigades are revealing a multi-phase project to transform the remnants of the Israeli war into modern missiles."

Abu Ibrahim: "At the beginning, we decided to collect those munitions from the ruined houses and fields, because they constituted a direct threat to the lives of the inhabitants and the farmers. During the process of removing [these duds], large and diverse quantities of munitions were accumulated by our brothers in the Engineering Corps."

Abu Salman, Commander of the Engineering Corps of the Al-Qassam Brigades: "After the 2014 war, the Engineering Corps dealt with many munitions throughout the Gaza Strip: bombs, mines, explosive devices and 155mm Howitzer shells. There were also hundreds of MK 84 bombs, each of which contains 470 kilograms of tritonal, a highly explosive material that is more powerful than TNT.

"We started by surveying all the unexploded munitions. We established a committee of specialized engineers. Our strategy was to recycle these munitions and make optimal use of all their parts. Our idea was to turn this crisis into an opportunity."

"We Dug Into The Ground And Pulled Out The Pipes, So That They Could Be Used In Our Military Industries"
Ocasio-Cortez withdraws from Rabin memorial event after backlash
Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Friday withdrew her participation from an event commemorating former prime minster Yitzhak Rabin on the 25th anniversary of his assassination.

The decision, which came after backlash from pro-Palestinian activists, was confirmed to The Times of Israel by a spokeswoman for the congresswoman, a rising star in the progressive wing of the Democratic party.

The about-face came a day after Americans for Peace Now announced that Ocasio-Cortez would be joining the October 20 virtual event emceed by Mandy Patankin, the star of the Showtime series Homeland, and a vocal critic of the current Israeli government’s policies in the West Bank.

The initial announcement on Thursday indicated Ocasio-Cortez’s willingness to engage with some of the more left-leaning elements of the pro-Israel world in Washington, which had not been the case since she was elected to represent New York’s 14th Congressional District last year.

But the Americans For Peace Now post was quickly ridiculed by pro-Palestinian activists, who called the congresswoman’s decision “disgusting” and showed “total contempt for Palestinian lives” by honoring Rabin.

A reporter pointed out on Twitter earlier Friday that, while Rabin is lionized as a peacemaker in the US for his participation in the Oslo Accords with Palestinian Liberation Organization chairman Yasser Arafat in the mid-1990s, “Palestinians remember him for his brutal rule suppressing Palestinian protest during the First Intifada, as someone who reportedly ordered the breaking of Palestinian bones.”

Ocasio-Cortez said in response to the post, “This event and my involvement was presented to my team differently from how it’s now being promoted. Thanks for pointing it out. Taking a look into this now.”

On Friday evening, following talks with organizers from Americans for Peace Now, the congresswoman’s office confirmed her withdrawal from the event altogether.

The spokeswoman for Ocasio-Cortez’s office declined to elaborate on the decision.

A source with knowledge of the talks said the Congresswoman’s office did not realize the event would be framed around commemorating Rabin, as opposed to an opportunity to offer Ocasio-Cortez’s polices for the region.

Americans for Peace Now declined to comment on the record.
AOC Cancels Event Honoring Arafat After Learning he Visited Israel (satire)
New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has backed out of an event honoring former Palestinian Liberation Organization chairman Yasser Arafat after one of the representative’s Twitter followers pointed out that Arafat had visited and negotiated with Israel.

Ocasio-Cortez was set to attend Jewish Voice for Peace’s Yom Kippur brunch, which will be held on Monday to honor Arafat and his contribution to the peace process. But Twitter user @MelGibsonfan69 blasted her for celebrating Arafat despite his efforts to normalize relations with Israel.

“Yasser Arafat shook hands with Jews and talked about making peace with Israel,” he tweeted. “Why are you honoring someone who couldn’t even boycott Israel, AOC? What are you, some kind of Zionist?!?”

The congresswoman quickly responded that the event was “presented to my team differently from how it is now being promoted,” and that she would reconsider her commitment to attend.

“I thought that, like, [former Prime Minister Yitzhak] Rabin was good, but then people were like, no, he’s bad. And then people said, like, Arafat is good, and now they are like, no, he’s like, also bad?” Ocasio-Cortez explained. “This Middle East conflict really is complicated!”


Toward a Transformational Peace in the Middle East
Both Arab countries and Israel will benefit immensely.

Palestinian leaders are suddenly discovering that, as the Arab saying goes, "The dogs bark but the caravan moves on" – possibly without them.

"We [realists] understand that only defeat will convince Palestinians like Mrs. Ashrawi, and through them Iranian, Turkish, Islamist, leftist, fascist, and other anti-Zionists, that the century-plus conflict is over, that Israel has prevailed, and that the time has come to give up on futile, painful, and genocidal ambitions." — Daniel Pipes, Middle East Scholar.

If President Trump is able to continue following the bold, unconventional path he has traced, he will most likely succeed where all his predecessors have failed. What he has accomplished already -- in less than four years, with so many forces determined to undermine him... is extraordinary.

"Trump has done more for peace in the Middle East in four years than any other American President in seventy-two years." — Meyer Habib, member of the French National Assembly, i24 News, September 14, 2020.
How working across borders has unlocked opportunities in the Middle East
For the past two decades I have crisscrossed the Middle East, helping companies and organizations tap into the region’s incredible dynamism and economic growth potential. This has included support for the development of 21st century cities in Saudi Arabia, positioning the United Arab Emirates as a center for renewable energy and guiding the world’s largest tech companies in their investments in Israel.

My travels have also shown me the deeply entrenched challenges to accelerating regional socioeconomic development. The ground-breaking Abraham Accord, which seeks to normalize diplomatic and economic relations between Israel and the UAE and Bahrain, marks a major first step on a new path to a raft of new business possibilities.

After founding APCO Worldwide in 1984, where I remain executive chairman, we first launched our operations in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region in 2006 through our Dubai office. Over the next 14 years, we’ve grown at an impressive rate, opening branches across the Gulf in Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, while in parallel, being the only international public affairs agency to maintain a fully owned presence in Israel.

As APCO’s presence in the Middle East has continued to grow in size and influence, I’ve consistently encouraged all of my colleagues to collaborate across borders whenever the right opportunity has arisen, despite the long-standing challenges and market volatility presented by the region.

We were early adopters of the technologies that teams need to connect from anywhere at any time of the day, and our management teams in the region meet regularly to shape a mutual cross-border understanding among our colleagues who otherwise wouldn’t have ways to connect and work together.
Seth Frantzman: Can Trump’s ‘transactional’ diplomacy get more wins in the Middle East?
A growing sense in the Middle East that Israel ties can be a gamechanger for states that are in need of more clout in Washington, or that they can be traded for various agreements and deals, is central to the current Trump doctrine. This “transactional” aspect of the current US administration is unique in US history. Probably not since US President Calvin Coolidge has there been such an open focus on “business” as a nature of US policy. The most recent focus on Sudan’s possible normalization of relations with Israel is part of this trade-off between advancing US interests an getting a win for the Trump administration, with a byproduct that also aids Israel relations with the wider region.

In one sense this transactional diplomacy is not entirely foreign to the nature of US foreign policy over the last two hundred years. The Gulf War was largely seen as a conflict over US interests in oil, while US involvement in the First World War related to issues such as free trade. America’s “Dollar diplomacy” prior to the First World War and the Atlantic Charter of 1941 enshrined the same concepts. After decades of high minded talk about a “new world order” and humanitarian intervention, the Trump administration’s focus on a more utilitarian foreign policy has left states in the Middle East trying to figure out which transactional incentives will make Washington happy.

Sudan, which has a relatively new government and has gone through a political transition in the last year, wants a victory it can show its own people. One desire of Khartoum is to be removed from the US list of states that support terrorism. However, despite rumors over the last month, the country has rejected tying this to Israel relations. That doesn’t mean the two issues could happen at the same time. However it appears a bit questionable for a government of a country like Sudan to argue it traded these two issues. The issue of removing Sudan from a list of state sponsors of terrorism appears to be a right for Khartoum, since it no longer supports terrorism. Relations with Israel are a controversial issue in a country that has in the past been hostile to Israel.

There are many factors at work here. Not the least of which is an anti-Israel agenda being pushed by Turkey which opposes countries normalizing relations with Israel. Turkey has relations with Israel but its current regime is one of the most hostile to Israel in the world. Turkey until recently was hoping that it could be the country deciding Sudan’s future, with massive investments and even leasing an island in the country an sending military advisors. That is part of Turkey’s overall support for Muslim Brotherhood-linked groups in the region. Qatar may be involved in trying to subvert Sudan-Israel ties as well. The Brookings Institution ran a piece over the weekend asserting that “normalizing Sudan-Israel relations now is a dangerous game.”
Sudan rejects linking removal from US terrorism list with Israel ties
Sudan does not want to link its removal from a US terrorism list that is hindering access to foreign funding for the country’s economy with a normalization of relations with Israel, Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok said on Saturday.

However, Sudan’s leaders have not ruled out establishing ties with Israel as part of a US offer of $300m. in economic aid, as well as $3 b. in debt relief and investments.

Chairman of the Sudanese Sovereignty Council Abdel Fatah al-Burhan, who is in the position during a transition period after ruler Omar al-Bashir was toppled last year, favors ties with Israel in exchange for the US aid package, and his No. 2, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, supports him as well.

Both view normalization as a step worth taking to promote Sudan’s broader interests.

Hamdok and Burhan met with UAE and US officials in Abu Dhabi this week to discuss their removal from the state sponsors of terror list and US aid, and returned to Khartoum empty-handed.

Sudan’s designation as a state sponsor of terrorism dates back to 1993, under Bashir’s rule, and makes it difficult for its new transitional government to access urgently needed debt relief and foreign financing.

Hamdok said Sudan told US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during a visit last month it was necessary to separate the removal from the US list from the normalization of relations with Israel.
Qatar’s media campaign against the UAE-Israel deal
In the weeks since US, Emirati, and Israeli leaders announced a historic normalization agreement on August 13, Qatari media have leveled major criticism of the deal. Yet the motivations for this criticism seem to reflect direct competition between Qatar and the United Arab Emirates as much as genuine critique.

The direct competition between the UAE and Qatar, combined with the broader boycott of Qatar by the Arab Quartet – the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Bahrain – helps contextualize vocal, conflicting media responses to the deal, as Qatari, Saudi and Emirati media have some of the broadest reach and largest influence regionally.

In Qatar, both semi-official and government-backed media have come out strongly against the deal, emphasizing Palestinian outrage and criticizing the UAE directly for the diplomatic move. The pro-Qatari government Al Sharq newspaper mischaracterized the accord with a headline quoting Turkish President Recep Erdogan, writing, “History won’t forgive the UAE for signing a deal with Israel.”

The same newspaper also ran the headline, “[Saudi Crown Prince] MbS is ready to establish open relations.... The mediator is the Jew Haim Saban.”

State-owned Qatar TV claimed that Israel had deceived the UAE and is not planning to stop annexation. It has featured images of Israeli police stopping Palestinian protesters from burning the Emirati flag, and images of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed (MbZ) inside al-Aqsa Mosque to claim that Israelis are protecting Emiratis from Palestinian outrage.
British MP seeks crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood, Hezbollah, Real IRA
The prominent MP Ian Paisley sparked a discussion in the British parliament on Monday about the interplay between the terrorist organizations Hezbollah and the Real Irish Republican Army, as well as demanding that the UK proscribe the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist entity.

Paisley, who is from Northern Ireland, directed his questions to the British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace on Monday: “Operation Arbacia has exposed international terror links…from Iran to Ireland to Hezbollah to the Real IRA, when will the government be in a position to proscribe the framework operation of that organization…?”

Paisley also asked on Monday when the British government plans to outlaw the Muslim Brotherhood.

Wallace responded that “The malign of activity of Iran has not stopped. And for those people that think it does not get back to us on our streets should look at that latest operation which showed the New IRA reaching out in Lebanon , or working with Hezbollah and other members potentially aligned to Iran, to potentially inflict murder and death on the streets, either here or in Northern Ireland. We shouldn’t forgot that. Old habits die hard."

Paisley asked the foreign office in a written query on September 17: “what discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on the activities of the Muslim Brotherhood.”

James Brokenshire, the minister of state in the foreign office, wrote back that “the work in relation to the Muslim Brotherhood is a matter for the Home Office, so we are responding on behalf of the Ministry of Defence.”

“There has not been formal inter-Ministerial engagement on the Muslim Brotherhood," he said. "The Government keeps under review the activities of those associated with the Muslim Brotherhood in the UK in accordance with the five commitments included in the former Prime Minister’s statement to Parliament.”
Biden likens Trump to Nazi Goebbels, says ready for debate ‘lies’
US Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said he expects “personal attacks and lies” from Donald Trump in their first televised debate on Tuesday, comparing the Republican president to Nazi propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels.

“It is going to be difficult,” the former vice president acknowledged in an interview broadcast Saturday on MSNBC.

“My guess is, it’s going to be just straight attack. They’re going to be mostly personal. That’s the only thing he knows how to do,” he said of Trump.

The debate Tuesday in Cleveland, Ohio will be the first time the 77-year-old veteran politician has faced the president he has promised to unseat. The men will meet again for two more debates before the November 3 election.

But some of his supporters fear that Biden, who is prone to blunders and slip-ups, may waver in these televised duels under the rhetorical blows of the Republican billionaire — who is also prone to blunders and slip-ups, but who is far more aggressive.

“He doesn’t know how to debate the facts. He’s not that smart,” Biden also claimed. “He doesn’t know much about foreign policy, he doesn’t know much about domestic policy. He doesn’t know much about the detail.”

As a result, Biden predicted, “it’ll be mostly personal attacks and lies; but I think the American people are on to him.”
Paris cleaver attack suspect says he acted over Charlie Hebdo cartoons
A man suspected of wounding two people with a meat cleaver near the former Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo magazine has admitted to the attack, linking it to the republication of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed by the satirical weekly, sources said Saturday.

The man, who said he was born in Pakistan and is 18, “takes responsibility for his action,” which came three weeks into the trial of suspected accomplices in the 2015 massacre of the newspaper’s staff, a source close to the investigation said.

The man said during questioning he places his actions “in the context of the republication of cartoons” of the Prophet Mohammed in Charlie Hebdo, the source said.

A man armed with a meat cleaver critically wounded two people on Friday near Charlie Hebdo’s former offices in the French capital’s 11th district.

He was arrested not far from the scene later Friday.

French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said Friday the attack was “clearly an act of Islamist terrorism.”
Egypt returns bodies of 2 Gaza fishermen shot by its navy
The bodies of two Palestinian fishermen killed by Egyptian naval forces in Mediterranean waters were returned Saturday to the Gaza Strip, the territory’s Hamas-controlled Interior Ministry said.

Hamas, the Palestinian terror group ruling Gaza, has called on Egypt to investigate the incident, condemning it as violence targeting “those hunting for a living for their children.”

The shooting occurred Friday as three fishermen were fishing near the Gaza-Egypt maritime frontier, said the Palestinian fishermen union, noting the three were brothers. The third brother was receiving treatment in Egypt.

There was no immediate comment from Egyptian officials, but the union said fishermen usually work near the border and the Egyptian navy is aware of their presence.

“Even if they happen to exceed the limit, shooting and killing them is unjustifiable,” said Nezar Ayyash, head of the fishermen union. “They could have stopped them, because their boat’s engine is weak and can’t run faster than the naval boat.”

Egypt sent the bodies via the Rafah crossing point, Gaza’s main gate to the outside world, on its 13-kilometer-long border with the Gaza Strip Saturday evening.
The Lebanese are Human Shields for Hezbollah
An arms depot belonging to Hezbollah exploded in southern Lebanon on Tuesday, injuring several people and causing considerable damage in the area as shown by a rare video circulating on social media. According to Reuters the explosion rocked the village of Ain Qana in south Lebanon, a region that is a political stronghold of the heavily armed and politically powerful Hezbollah which has fought wars with neighboring Israel.

The Lebanese army and Hezbollah imposed a security cordon around the site of the explosion, and ambulances and civil defense vehicles rushed to the town. Media were banned from entering the zone of the explosion.

Contradictory reports at first appeared in the local media as to the cause of the explosion. Reports at first said the explosion was caused by a fire erupted in the village gas station. The director of the Media Center, Salem Zahran, close to Hezbollah tweeted at first that the explosion took place at a weapon depot belonging to Hezbollah and that there were no casualties. Minutes later he erased his tweet and said: "The Ain Qana fire was caused by the explosion of a center for the collection of remnants of war." Sources close to Hezbollah denied to local Lebanese Media that Israel had targeted Ali Al Roz, one of its high-profile commanders. The Secretary-General of the Red Cross, George Ketteneh, said the initial information indicates that there were no injuries. Hezbollah admitted later the site belongs to “Peace Generations Organization for Demining”which it said used the site to store old mines and unexploded ordnance, pending proper disposal.

This is not the first mysterious explosion that takes place in the south of Lebanon in one of Hezbollah’s weapons depot. From 2009 and onward a series of explosions shook the South and the Bekaa regions like in Kherbit Selem or in Tair Felsi. The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) were always denied access to the site of the explosions.

UNIFIL forces according to the resolution 1701 requires them to assist the Lebanese government and its armed forces “to disarm all armed groups in Lebanon.” Also, it would accompany the LAF in the country’s south to ensure this area was “free of any armed personnel, assets and weapons other than those of the Government of Lebanon and of UNIFIL.” While Ain Qana explosion is not in the UNIFIL area of operation, the mandate of these forces does not allow them to conduct a thorough investigation in accordance with the 1701 resolution.
Abrams: Sanctions Have Kneecapped Iran
Special envoy for Iran and Venezuela Elliott Abrams testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Thursday, telling senators Iran’s economy lays in shambles due to American sanctions.

"Our efforts to disrupt the regime’s ability to carry out its malicious agenda have met with real success," Abrams said in his testimony. "By any measure, the Iranian regime is weaker today than when President Trump took office. The regime faces unprecedented and worsening economic and political crises that are exacerbated by the poor choices the regime makes in an effort to advance its radical ideology."

Abrams outlined statistics from the International Monetary Fund that reflect Iran's economic crisis. Iran has suffered consecutive years of GDP loss, with the economy shrinking by 5.5 percent in 2018 and 7.6 percent in 2019. Predictions for 2020 suggest that the trend will hold: Iran is likely to lose another 6 percent of its economy.

Other economic metrics signal Tehran’s dire straits. Iran’s budget deficit is a whopping 26 percent of its already shrinking GDP, with little prospect for recovery. As a result of robust oil export sanctions on Iran, the Islamic republic has lost 90 percent of its oil export revenue, totaling roughly $70 billion.

The economic recession has had impacts well beyond GDP and employment. Iran is the largest state sponsor of terror in the world, and the sanctions-induced downturn has forced major cutbacks to its ability to keep afloat terror groups that have long plagued regional stability.

Hezbollah and Hamas are now implementing austerity plans, Abrams said, which limit their capacity to commit violence and retain legitimacy with local governments that they have overtaken.
Rouhani accuses US of ‘atrocity’ over sanctions, blames ‘Zionists’ for woes
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Saturday accused the US of committing an “atrocity” for sanctions that have inflicted damages of $150 billion, and urged the Iranian people to blame the White House for recent financial woes, in a televised address on Iranian state TV.

The United States imposed fresh sanctions this week on Iran’s defense ministry and enforced an arms embargo under a United Nations authority that is widely contested.

“The people should curse the White House for the shortages… the main source of all the crimes and pressures against the Iranian nation is the White House,” Rouhani said.

Rouhani went on to blame the ails of Iranian society on “Zionism, reactionary approaches, and US extremists.”

In his closing remarks, Rouhani said that he had “no doubt the US administration will bow down before the Iranian nation.”

Tensions between the US and Iran have escalated since US President Donald Trump pulled out of the 2015 deal aimed at capping Iran’s nuclear activities in return for sanction relief, and unilaterally reimposed sanctions on Iran in 2018.
US Jewish group campaigns for Iran Olympic ban over abuse, killing of athletes
The American Jewish Committee announced a campaign on Thursday to ban Iran from the 2021 Olympic Games over its “abysmal” abuse of its own athletes.

“Iran’s record of abuse in sports is just one area of an elaborate tapestry of wholesale violations of basic human rights carried out by the Islamic Republic against its own citizens,” stated the public letter to International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach.

“To allow Iran to participate in the Tokyo Games would be to signal approval of the country’s gross and systematic violations of human rights,” the AJC said. “Barring Iran would send a powerful message: that athletes are to be protected, that sport is to be practiced freely, and that discrimination and abuse by any country that is part of the Olympic family will not be tolerated. Only thus will the Olympic spirit, a spirit of peace, freedom, and coexistence, truly be upheld.”

The letter listed a number of well-known incidents including the hanging earlier this month of an Iranian wrestler, an execution that triggered international outrage.

Navid Afkari, 27, who had won national competitions, was hanged September 12 after being convicted of murder during demonstrations two years ago in the southern city of Shiraz. The execution was preceded by worldwide appeals for clemency, including from US President Donald Trump.
CAMERA SENDS OPEN LETTER TO IVP IN THE U.S. AND UK
The Committee for Accuracy and Middle East Reporting and Analysis sent the following open letter to InterVarsity Press in the United States and Inter-Varsity Press in the United Kingdom.

These publishing houses have published and promoted a number of texts over the past two decades that portray Jewish self-defense as a greater problem than attempts to deprive Jews of their lives and rights. CAMERA has produced a number of articles about these texts.

This open letter is an attempt to put the issue onto the agenda of editorial staffers (and other leaders) at the two publishing houses, which produce and distribute texts in tandem in both the United States and the United Kingdom.

The open letter, written by CAMERA staffer Dexter Van Zile, was sent via email on September 25, 2020.

An Open letter to Ed Gilbreath and Caleb Woodbridge – September 25, 2020

Inter-Varsity Press, UK

Dear Ed Gilbreath and Caleb Woodbridge:

I write to you from the offices of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis (CAMERA) in Massachusetts. We are a media-monitoring organization supported by 65,000 members in the United States. A member of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, CAMERA promotes fair and accurate coverage of the Middle East. CAMERA has done this work since its founding in 1982 because we believe that a well-informed public is a pre-requisite for enlightened public policy.

Our work has taken on a troubling urgency over the past few years. Recent events have demonstrated that dishonest and biased media coverage about Israel puts Jews in harm’s way. When media outlets and civil society institutions falsely portray the Jewish state as a murderous, marauding, and genocidal nation singularly responsible for the suffering in the Middle East, they implicitly portray Jews throughout the world as enemies of human rights and democracy. This occurs whether the misinformation is broadcast in the Middle East or outside of the region. Misinformation about Israel incites violence toward Israel’s Jewish citizens and diaspora Jews throughout the world.

In the course of my work at CAMERA, I have discovered a strange and troubling contradiction on the part of many people who write and opine about the Arab-Israeli conflict (and about Jews in general).
Police drop Wiley antisemitism probe after learning he was abroad at time of alleged offences
A police investigation into the rapper Wiley’s antisemitic rants on social media has been dropped after it emerged he was not in the UK at the time the alleged offences took place.

The JC understands that the grime artist - whose real name is Richard Kylea Cowie – was in Rotterdam, Holland, when he posted a stream of comments on Twitter and Facebook in July, including tropes about Jewish power and one message in which he said that the community deserved to "hold some corn."

"Hold some corn" is used as street slang for the firing of bullets.

Following Wiley’s actions in July, the Metropolitan Police confirmed they were reviewing the messages following the allegations of antisemitism.

"The Met takes all reports of antisemitism extremely seriously,” they said. “The relevant material is being assessed.”

But after gaining intelligence on Wiley’s location when the messages were posted and confirming he was in Holland the police have now dropped the investigation.

A spokesperson for The Community Security Trust, confirmed: “It is one of the loopholes of the internet that a British person can post so many antisemitic tweets and posts, clearly intended for a British audience and doing so much damage to community relations in this country, but because he was not in the UK at the time he can’t be prosecuted here.
Why does a Google search for ‘Jewish baby strollers’ yield anti-Semitic images?
The Google results are shocking: Do an image search for “Jewish baby strollers” and you’ll see row upon row of portable ovens — an offensive allusion to the Holocaust.

Google says it’s looking into the search results and wants to improve them, but according to researchers, the results may not be an accident. It’s possible that they’re the result of a coordinated extremist campaign on a fringe website to produce those specific images.

The Network Contagion Research Institute, which studies the way hate speech spreads online, located a series of posts on the 4chan message board, dating back to 2017, that purposefully pair images of ovens on wheels with the term “Jewish baby stroller.” There were at least a dozen such images turned up in one search, dating from August and September 2017. That means these results may have been in place for years, even though they drew attention Friday.

Posting that specific term next to the image may have manipulated Google’s search algorithm, such that it promoted those images when users search the term, says Joel Finkelstein, the institute’s director.

“What happens is they trick Google into putting that stuff up top,” Finkelstein said. “They paste the image with the words so that when you search those words, the image comes to the top.”
A Jerusalem museum ventures into VR and 3D imaging to open new exhibit
Since the start of the coronavirus, museums have struggled to find ways to virtually capture their audience.

One museum, Musrara, the Naggar School of Art and Society in Jerusalem, recently took the plunge with its latest exhibit — a virtual photographic and video look at the Native American world with the help of 3D developer Tal Haring, who created VMUMU, a new virtual space at Musrara for exhibits.

“There’s been a lot of video done with curators, and it’s a solution, but it’s not the most engaging,” said Haring, who teaches three-dimensional and interactive video at Tel Aviv University and other institutions. “It basically ends up being like a Google Street View of the museum.”

In Haring’s VMUMU, users use their computer mouse (or keyboard arrows) to explore three galleries of Musrara’s historical structure, where the museum students and artists portrayed their video and portrait works. The digitized entrance to Jerusalem’s Musrara museum, now using 3D imaging to show a new exhibit to visitors (Courtesy Musrara)

The exhibit itself almost becomes an aside in this experimental method of museum visit (which involves a good amount of trial and error on the part of the user).

Maneuvering around takes some getting used to, but once one is accustomed to using the computer mouse or arrows on the keyboard to move around the screen, it’s easier to focus on what’s on display — in this case, the portraits, sounds and symbols of the Native American society.


Israel Defense Forces: MEXICO: From Tragedy To Hope
On September 19, 2017, Rosh Hashana eve, a 7.1 Magnitude earthquake shook Mexico. The following day, on September 20, 2017, Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, an IDF delegation of approximately 70 men and women departed for Mexico to aid in earthquake relief efforts.

Today, Major Karin, who served in the IDF Search and Rescue Brigade, looks back on her mission in Mexico:



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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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The EU's hypocritical use of "international law" that only applies to Israel

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