Wednesday, August 07, 2013

From Ian:

Vatican op-ed slams anti-Semitism at pig-flying musician’s concert
“The spirit and the style of the Werchter Rock festival was visible, with the fans who had every right to listen to music that they enjoy,” Cristiana Dobner wrote in a weekend edition of Osservatore Romano, referring to the July 20 concert. “But did they also have the right to draw the Star of David on the back of a pig and not be reported? … We continue to talk about the respect for every religion and every human being, yet we keep falling into these shameful situations.”
The op-ed, headlined “Unrestrained anti-Semitism at a rock festival,” did not mention former Pink Floyd front man Waters, 69, by name. In his act he used a huge inflated balloon in the shape of a wild boar. A Star of David was prominently visible on it, as were other symbols, including a hammer and sickle, crosses and a dollar sign.
Carol Hunt: I'll ask this only once: What has Israel ever done to us?
You see, I've read all the histories, so I am aware that after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, Britain and France divided up the Middle East – creating Syria, Lebanon and Iraq. I know that in 1921 80 per cent of what was called the "Palestinian Mandate" was made into (Trans) Jordan (where currently two million Palestinian refugees live yet only 167,000 are allowed citizenship or are eligible for education and healthcare).
I am aware that in 1948 the UN voted to halve the remaining 20 per cent; Israel was born and immediately invaded by five neighbouring Arab countries whose objective was – and still is – to annihilate it. In 1967, when tiny Israel was forced to pre-empt a massive Arab invasion, the West Bank was occupied by Jordan and the Gaza Strip by Egypt. I know that all current facts and statistics show that Palestinians are treated far better by Israel than other Arab nations –where they are subjected to apartheid discrimination. And I'm aware that if I am to be accepted in polite, liberal society I should keep my mouth shut and just agree – Israel bad, Arabs good.
But in all conscience I can't. I need to know why so many Irish politicians and groups are only "pro-Palestinian" "against Israel", as it were, and say, not Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan or the Arab League?
Embarrassment as Anti-Israel Claims Debunked
Last week, Electronic Intifada, a blog aligned with the BDS movement, announced its latest "victory," claiming that Delta Air Lines had decided to stop serving a snack produced in the Barkan Industrial Zone, due to its location in Samaria. Electronic Intifada claimed that the decision was made after a complaint was lodged by a member of the far-left "Coalition of Women for Peace," publishing what it said was the text of an email in which the airline said that it would be dropping the product. The blog's editor, Ali Abunima, claimed that "Delta Air Lines lawyers ruled that Israeli settlement-made snacks should not be served."
Veteran Israeli activist Avi Mayer, however, was unconvinced, and promptly discovered that claims of a boycott were completely false.
Watchdog Group: Soros Funding Conflict in Israel
OSF also funds Al Haq, an Arab organization based in the Palestinian Authority-controlled city of Ramallah, north of Jerusalem. NGO-Monitor’s researchers described Al-Haq director Shawan Jabarin as “a human rights campaigner by day and a terrorist by night,” who is among the senior members of the PFLP terrorist group.
The extreme-left Israeli group B’Tselem also receives OSF funds. B’Tselem is notorious for publishing one-sided reports, and for inflating Arab civilian casualty figures. For example, the group included hundreds of Hamas policemen in Gaza as “non-combatants,” and counted Sheikh Ahmed Yassin – then the leader of Hamas – as not a definite combatant.
Wal-Mart pushes SodaStream profit up
SodaStream International Ltd. says its second-quarter net income jumped 36%, boosted by strong demand fueled by its launch at Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
The company raised its revenue and profit outlook, pushing shares higher in morning trading.
SodaStream makes beverage carbonation systems that enable consumers to easily transform tap water into carbonated soft drinks and sparkling water.
CiF Watch prompts correction to Guardian publication claim about Israeli immigrants
Per our communication with The Observer’s Readers’ Editor, EPA Photo Agency researched the matter and promptly issued the following the correction:
Attention editors, on July 23rd, 2013 we moved a set of images showing immigrants arriving from New York to Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv. We have been made aware of that the part of our caption saying ‘… New immigrants predominately move to Israeli settlements in the West Bank,..’ is wrong and is not supported by figures of the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics that we have received.
BBC Weather doesn’t know in which country Jerusalem is located
If you happen to be looking for the weather forecast for Tel Aviv, you will naturally also be offered the option “Israel”.
But if your search was for Israel’s capital city, well…that city is not located in any country at all according to the BBC.
Arab MK Attends Post-Ramadan Dinner on Marmara
The Turkish IHH organization, which was responsible for the 2010 flotilla aimed at breaking the naval blockade on Gaza, recently hosted a delegation aboard the Mavi Marmara ship, including one elected Arab Israeli Member of Knesset.
The Mavi Marmara is currently docked in Istanbul, where it arrived in December of 2010 after the incident during the flotilla, in which IDF soldiers who were forced to board the ship when it refused orders to change course and head towards the Ashdod Port, were attacked by the IHH activists on board with clubs and knives. The soldiers had no choice but to open fire, leaving nine Turks dead.
Over 50% of Palestinians back peace talks, survey finds
More than half of Palestinians support the resumption of peace talks with Israel, according to a public opinion poll published Tuesday.
The poll – conducted by Alpha International, an organization that aims to help decision-makers take “effective” decisions – also found that jailed Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti would win in a presidential election if Mahmoud Abbas does not run for another term.
SWC to Greek President: Politician’s Swastika Tattoo is Grounds for Banning the Symbol Nationally
Jewish human rights group the Simon Wiesenthal Center on Tuesday called on Greek President Karolos Papoulias to ban the public use of the Swastika after photos surfaced of a high-profile Greek politician sporting a tattoo of the offensive symbol on his shoulder.
The front page of the August 4th edition of Greek’s largest newspaper, Poto Thema, featured the photo, obtained from the Greek Helsinki Monitor, of Golden Dawn Party Member of Parliament and Spokesman, Elias Kasidiàris, on his beach vacation last week.
VIDEO: Muslim IDF Soldier Keeps Watch Over Gaza Border
Watch our exclusive interview with Staff Sergeant Ahmed Inaim, a Bedouin soldier who guards Israel's Gaza border. Staff Sgt. Inaim's brother, who also served as an IDF soldier, was killed in combat several years ago. In 2006, Hamas terrorists injured another one of his brothers when they attacked Israel and kidnapped Gilad Shalit.
Despite his family's sacrifices, Staff Sgt. Inaim remains determined to serve his country. Last week, he spoke with us as he patrolled the Gaza border.

The Guardian wants your refugee story.
Do you have a compelling story to tell about the Jews who fled Arab or Muslim countries as refugees in the years following WWII? If so, The Guardian wants your story. Yes, I kid you not - The Guardian. Why? Because it does not feel it gave a fair shout to some refugees in its timeline by Mona Chalabi published recently (expertly ‘fisked’ by CiF Watch here). That timeline omitted 800,000 Jewish refugees from Arab countries altogether. This is your chance to help set the record straight. But hurry – the deadline is in less than two weeks. Register as a commenter and write-up your story in no more than 250 words.
Treblinka Uprising 70th Anniversary Ceremony Features Last Living Survivor Samuel Willenberg
The site of the Treblinka concentration camp, in Poland, played host to a ceremony this past Friday commemorating 70 years since the Jewish prisoner revolt at the camp that became known as the “Treblinka uprising.”
The ceremony featured Samuel Willenberg, the last living survivor of the uprising, and Israel’s Deputy Minister of Education MK Avi Wortzman.
Yehuda Lev, who smuggled Holocaust survivors to Palestine, dies
Yehuda Lev, an iconoclastic journalist and veteran of World War II and Israel’s War of Independence who established a European underground route to smuggle Holocaust survivors to Palestine, has died.
Lev died Aug. 3 in Providence, Rhode Island, after a prolonged illness. He was 86.
Coke, Yoplait monitor water with Israel’s Blue I products
Israel’s Blue I (pronounced blue eye) had already defined the space for online water-quality monitoring in the early 2000s, before most people heard of smartphones.
Now the company, officially founded in 2003, boasts tens of thousands of its “smart” water systems in factories and municipalities around the world. Blue I smart boxes, based on electro-optics, are about to be installed in several American cities, and are found in about 150 locations throughout Barcelona.
Clients include Yoplait yogurt in France; BASF, the largest chemical company in the world; and 25 Coca-Cola bottling plants — including in India and Israel. Israel’s national water company Mekorot is another Blue I client, as is Israel’s Oil Refineries.
Stand With Us: Israel - Small Country, Big Ideas


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