Friday, January 01, 2021

From Ian:

Caroline Glick: Pollard and the great Jewish divide
The rift between Israeli and American Jews is palpable almost everywhere you turn today. The most glaring disparity surrounds how they view President Donald Trump. The vast majority of Israelis adore Trump. The vast majority of American Jews despise him.

But Trump isn't the only thing or even the main thing that separates them. The main issue that separates Israelis from American Jews is the issue of exile. Israelis by and large hold to the traditional Jewish view that all Jewish communities outside of Israel are exile – or diaspora – communities. American Jews, by and large, believe that the exile exists in all Jewish communities outside Israel except in America. This disagreement is existential. It goes to the heart of what it means to be a Jew.

The divide between Israeli and American Jews is more apparent today than it was in the past but it has been around since the dawn of modern Zionism. But if one date marks the point it became an irreversible rift it was November 20, 1985, the day Jonathan Pollard was arrested outside Israel's embassy in Washington, DC.

From the day of his arrest, Pollard became both the symbol and to a degree, the cause of the divide. That divide was unmistakable on Wednesday morning when the news broke that in the middle of the previous night, Pollard and his wife Esther had landed in Israel.

Israelis celebrated the Pollards' arrival. Many wept watching the footage of Pollard kiss the ground on the tarmac.

In contrast, American Jews bristled both at the news and the happiness with which Israelis greeted Pollard's arrival.
Melanie Philips: Lessons from Britain’s Brexit breakthrough
From Iran to North Korea, from China to the Palestinians, rogue states, terrorist regimes and other aggressors have been able to continue their murderous, expansionist activities because they think that, however much the West may threaten them, it won’t follow through.

So the Palestinians never believed the West meant it when it told them they had to accept the right of Israel to exist. Why should they have believed this, when until 2016 at least the West never stopped excusing, funding and incentivizing their aggression?

The one exception to this has been U.S. President Donald Trump, who called the Palestinians’ manipulative bluff. Told by the rest of the West that moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem would provoke the Arab world to violence, he ignored this and moved it anyway.

Not only was there no such uprising, but now the Palestinians have been marginalized by an Arab world that’s increasingly making its peace with Israel in a way that was previously unthinkable.

That’s largely due in turn to Trump taking the United States out of the Iran nuclear deal and reimposing sanctions on the regime. He thus showed that, unlike former President Barack Obama or the British and the Europeans, when he said he intended to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons, he really did mean it.

Now there are fears that President-elect Joe Biden may reactivate the Iran deal and start pumping money again into the regime’s nefarious activities; or he may once again incentivize the Palestinians’ agenda of destroying Israel; or he may allow China to walk all over him in its drive to dominate the West.

This is based on the fear that Biden may behave as the left always behave. They have no red lines of principle over stopping aggressors and protecting their victims. Instead, their doctrine of moral equivalence means that they make no such value judgments between aggressor and victim. Their red line is instead merely to keep negotiations and peace processes going. The result is that they excuse and empower aggressors just to keep them from walking out of the talks.

So when they claim to be against tyranny, racism and oppression, the world’s tyrants, racists and oppressors know they don’t mean what they say.

Britain now faces more battles with the E.U. The free world faces more battles with Iran, China, Russia, Islamic jihadists and other lethal foes. The Jews face their interminable battle against those who wish to destroy them.

What the Brexit deal reminds us is that hypocrites are dismissed with contempt as paper tigers; and that for freedom, justice and democracy to win against aggression, injustice and tyranny, the leaders of the free world must not pay mere lip-service to defending the former but actually mean what they say.
16 African country lawmakers discuss strengthening ties with Israel
Lawmakers from 16 African countries participated in a two-day Zoom conference this week hosted by Israel Allies Caucus to discuss strengthening ties with Israel. Those who participated in the conference are chairmen or members of the Israel Allies Caucus in their respective countries.

Knesset Speaker Yariv Levin and Deputy Speaker of the Zambian National Assembly Mwimba Malama opened the conference with remarks. Levin thanked participants saying, "Your consistent daily efforts standing for Israel and for our common values is what ensures the strength of our ties and allows us to continue having a positive impact together.”

Malama touched on the changes in Israel and Africa's relationship over time saying that the relationship has not always been strong which means that "it is therefore gratifying to note that in recent years, a number of sub-Saharan countries have re-established diplomatic relations with Israel."

Malama went on to say that "the State of Israel has made remarkable contributions to world development in general and Africa in particular. I have no doubt in my mind that as the Israel - Africa alliance continues to strengthen, the continent of Africa, and Zambia in particular, will greatly benefit in sectors such as agriculture, security, science and technology.”

Israel's ambassador to Zambia, Gershon Kedar emphasized the number of African countries who vote against Israel in the UN despite the countries' support of Israel. “Israel has many good relations with individual African countries, but it is time to turn these bilateral relationships into a multilateral one by strengthening Israel’s ties with Africa as a whole in international forums," said Kedar.

UC Merced opens inquiry into professor’s antisemitic tweets
The University of California, Merced has launched an inquiry into the conduct of a teaching professor at its engineering school whose Twitter account featured a pattern of antisemitic posts.

Abbas Ghassemi’’s tweets included a photo of a “Zionist brain” with labels such as “frontal money lobe,” “Holocaust memory centre” and “world domination lobe.” The same image can be found on the website Jew World Order, which peddles antisemitic conspiracy theories.

Ghassemi also tweeted about the U.S. government, media and banking all being controlled by Zionists and Israel on 10 separate occasions between October and December. He also frequently referred to the State of Israel as “IsraHell.”

The account, launched in 2019, had tweeted over 2,220 times before it was deactivated.

“The opinions presented in this Twitter account do not represent UC Merced or the University of California,” Chancellor Juan Sánchez Munoz wrote in a letter posted to the university’s website Tuesday evening. “They were abhorrent and repugnant to us and to many of our colleagues and neighbors; they were harmful to our university, our students, and our years of work to build an inclusive and welcoming community.

“We have called upon the dean and department chair to work with the Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Personnel to conduct an inquiry into potential violations of our standards, the UC Faculty Code of Conduct or other policies of the university, to determine what consequences are appropriate,” the letter stated.

Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Gregg Camfield also signed the letter.
An overview of the BBC News website’s main Israel stories in 2020
Although the Coronavirus pandemic was obviously the big story of 2020, the BBC News website gave considerable coverage to three other topics throughout the year.

In January almost 40% of the reporting appearing on the BBC News website’s ‘Middle East’ page concerned the US administration’s ‘Peace to Prosperity’ proposal and in February 47.6% of the items published concerned the same topic.

Our review of that coverage noted that:
“Many of the reports promote talking points also evident (including before anyone at the BBC had actually read the proposal) in BBC radio and television coverage:
- Description of the proposal as a “surrender document” for the Palestinians which does not meet their demands.
- Presentation of the document as fully meeting Israeli demands.
- Presentation of the timing of the launch of the document as being related to political and legal processes in the US and Israel.
- Amplification of the talking points of the PLO and political NGOs, including the ‘apartheid’ trope.
- Portrayal of the Palestinians as having no agency and predictions of ‘inevitable’ violence.”

In May 20% of the Israel related reports published on the BBC News website’s ‘Middle East’ page promoted pre-emptive framing of the theoretical application of Israeli civil law to parts of Area C. In June the percentage rose to 35.7% and in July 35.3% of the items appearing related to the same story.
KKK recruitment flyers distributed in Northern California town
Recruitment flyers for the Ku Klux Klan that also espoused false claims made by US President Donald Trump alleging fraud in November’s election were found last weekend outside more than a dozen homes and businesses in a small Northern California town.

The flyers, which were discovered over the weekend in Tulelake, advertised the Loyal White Knights sect of the hate group. They were weighted down in rice-filled Ziploc bags and tossed into front yards, Police Chief Tony Ross said.

“This is the second time that it’s occurred since I’ve been chief,” Ross said Wednesday. “The last time was about 10 years ago. They threw 20, 25 of ’em into different yards in town.”

The Loyal White Knights, a virulently racist and anti-Semitic group based in North Carolina, is “perhaps the most active Klan group in the United States,” according to a 2016 report from the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism titled “Tattered Robes.”

The flyers, first reported by the local newspaper, the Herald and News, said “The KKK Wants You!” with a picture of a hooded klansman pointing a la Uncle Sam. They advertised a weekly call-in talk show and the web address for the Loyal White Knights.

“The radical Left,” the flyers read, “is giving Your hard earned money To countries and programs That are benefiting their Communist agenda instead Of Helping the American people Keep a roof over their heads.”
Acquitted AMIA bombing suspect says Israel kills ‘kids in Palestine’
A week after being acquitted of being involved in the 1994 AMIA Jewish center bombing in Buenos Aires, an Argentine car dealer tweeted about how Israel kills “kids in Palestine.”

Carlos Telleldin had been accused of providing the van that would explode at the Jewish center, killing 85, and served 10 years in prison for his involvement. But in a second trial, a federal court decided “to acquit Carlos Alberto Telleldin for the facts that he was accused” without providing further explanation. Outraged Jewish Argentine institutions have vowed to appeal.

On Sunday, Telleldin wrote a cryptic tweet about his innocence.

“Some opt for fiction, others choose truth. The historical truth is reconstructed in courts for a sentence, and for the rest, I recommend reading E A poe,” he wrote, referencing the writer Edgar Allan Poe.

A day later he added: “Read, inform yourself about ignorant people who want to teach us? They want to give us lessons about morality and kill kids in Palestine.”

Israel was not involved in the AMIA bombing. Iran and Hezbollah, the Lebanese terrorist group it funds, have been tied to the attack, which also injured hundreds.
Israel performs first-ever augmented reality, 3D eye socket surgery
“The future is already here,” according to Prof. Masad Barhoumm, director-general of Galilee Medical Center, after a team of Israeli doctors from his medical center successfully completed the first-ever repair of a fracture in the floor of an eye socket using augmented reality (AR) and three-dimensional technology.

The surgery, which was performed on a 31-year-old resident of the Galilee, was led by Prof. Samer Srouji of Galilee Medical Center’s Center for Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery in partnership with doctors from Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer.

The patient had been severely injured in his face, fracturing his left eye socket, resulting in double vision and impairing the aesthetics and symmetry of his eyes.

“The innovative technology utilizing a 3D printer and augmented reality resulted in both a particularly accurate execution of the operation, and a significant reduction in time,” said Srouji.

To perform the surgery, the medical center designed a plate according to the patient’s computerized tomography (CT) scan. The plate accurately reproduced the shape of the floor of the eye socket, according to the “projection” of the healthy side on the injured side, through use of software to build a three-dimensional model of his skull.

The plate was printed on titanium and prepared for insertion. To accurately position it under the patient’s eye, doctors used AR.
Jewish life in 2020: A year in pictures In spite of everything, Jewish life continued. Here’s what the year looked like in photos.
For the Jewish community, 2020 has been historic, turbulent and revelatory. The year began with 25,000 people, Jews and non-Jews, marching across the Brooklyn Bridge to take a stand against antisemitism, and it seemed this could be a year of growing awareness of the fight against Jew hatred — a year of possibility during which America’s political landscape could change.

Then COVID-19 hit and the community moved indoors. By April, most colleges and synagogues were closed. By June, Zoom had become a staple for most Jewish households. By September, some rabbis were doing High Holiday Services on Zoom, while others were praying alone in their homes.

In spite of everything, Jewish life continued. Here’s what the year looked like in photos.

Israel zooms past 1 million vaccinations in sprint to vanquish pandemic
Israel has vaccinated 1 million people against COVID-19, more than a tenth of its population, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Friday, as the country’s inoculation drive cemented its status as the world’s most rapid thus far.

Netanyahu was on hand to mark what he said was the millionth Israeli to receive a vaccine, in the Arab town of Umm al-Fahm.

Netanyahu called it a moment of “great excitement.”

“We are breaking all of the records. We brought millions of vaccines to the State of Israel,” he said. We are ahead of the entire world… with our excellent HMOs.”

Arabs make up around 20 percent of Israel’s population and have been relatively slow to embrace the vaccination campaign, prompting Netanyahu to launch a series of visits to Arab localities, his first in years, in what is also seen by many as an attempt to score political points ahead of the March elections.

Netanyahu said that “it’s important for me that the Arab public in Israel will get vaccinated quickly” as “it’s saving lives.” He delivered the same message at a vaccination center in Tira, another Arab town, on Thursday.

The Jewish state has so far greatly outpaced other countries, per capita, with 11.55% of the population inoculated, according to statistics from the Our World in Data website operated by Oxford University. Second place is held by Bahrain with 3.45%, followed by the UK with 1.39% (though the latter’s data is a few days old). The US stands at 0.84%. The world average is 0.13%.

Israel is currently in its third nationwide lockdown to contain the outbreak. It has reported more than 426,000 cases and at least 3,338 deaths since the pandemic began.

Related: Small wonder: How Israel rolled up its sleeves and became vaccination nation

Health Minister Yuli Edelstein said in a statement earlier Friday: “Yesterday we broke a new record and vaccinated 153,430 people. Today we’ll pass one million.”

Israel started vaccinating on December 20, with a focus on healthcare workers and then on those over 60 and at-risk sectors.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend 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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