Wednesday, February 19, 2014

From Ian:

Israelly Cool: Who Finances BDSM Against Israel?
Today in the Knesset there is a committee meeting session looking into the financing of the anti-Israel movements. Who pays for the kind of lies and propaganda that lead naive people (for example those in Australia who sell the Cinematic Strings software) to think that boycotting Israelis will somehow help Palestinians and lead to a better world.
The author, Edwin Black, has a book “Financing the Flames” discussing how tax exempt and public money fuel a culture of confrontation and terror in Israel. He’s appearing in front of the Knesset session today.
He appeared on Israeli TV (speaking in English) a few days ago: the introduction is in Hebrew but the main interview is all in English.


There's No Profit in Peace
I was in the Knesset today, listening to Edwin Black, author of Flanning the Flames.
He describes in his book that activists get paid more or only if there is violence that is worthy of being photographed and reported aborad to damage Israel's image, violence that is initiated and planned with malice aforethought by so-called "human rights campaigners". If there would be peace, no money for them.
He also pointed out that had the SodaStream factory and similar had been set up in Kosovo or Cambodia by church-affiliated groups, they may have won international recognition and gratitude for fostering peace and reconciliation. But the double standard is at work with Israel.
Israel’s UN Ambassador Unanimously Nominated to Chair UN Human Rights Committee Election
Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Ron Prosor, was unanimously nominated to chair a UN Human Rights Committee election on Tuesday, Israel’s UN mission said in a statement. 170 countries voted for Prosor, including members of the Arab bloc.
The selection of Israel’s representative to chair the vote, which was for one of the 18 positions on the Committee, is the latest sign of progress for Israel at the UN, a mission spokesperson told The Algemeiner. It comes just a short while after the Jewish State rejoined the Human Rights Council in Geneva and just days after Israel was admitted into JUSCANZ, the UN’s core coordinating group on human rights.



Poll: Israel still most favorably viewed Mideast country among Americans
A random sample of 1,023 respondents revealed that 72 percent held a "very favorable" view of Israel, a 6-percent jump from a year ago.
The poll also revealed that Americans have an even more favorable view of Egypt and the Palestinian Authority compared to a year ago.
Last year, 15 percent of Americans viewed the Palestinian Authority favorably, compared to 19 percent this year.
UN Watch: UN’s 9/11 denier accuses Israel of “inhuman acts” and “apartheid”
A controversial United Nations human rights investigator is accusing Israel of “inhuman acts,” and calling on the body world to support a “legitimacy war” against the Jewish state.
A new report by Richard Falk, which he will present next month to the UN Human Rights Council as its special rapporteur on the Palestinian territories, demands that the world court examine whether Israel is guilty of the international crimes of “apartheid” and “ethnic cleansing,” and urges the UN to investigate corporations that profit from “unlawful Israeli activities.”
Falk, who will be lecturing today at Princeton University, has been condemned by world leaders on multiple occasions for spreading 9/11 conspiracy theories, and for anti-Semitic acts such as his endorsement of a book that praises Adolph Hitler.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights releases another Israel-bashing report
The report alleges that Jihad Aslan and Younis Jahjouh "were shot and killed as they threw stones at the [IDF] soldiers" and that UNRWA employee Ruben Zayed, "was shot and killed on his way to work by the Israeli security forces as they were leaving the [Qalandia refugee] camp." It concludes that "In all of these cases, those killed or injured presented no threat to the lives of the soldiers."
In fact, while apprehending an arms dealer in the Qalandia refugee camp, the IDF was "confronted by scores of young Palestinian men who attacked them with Molotov cocktails, stones, cinder blocks and various other objects and shot at them." In response the soldiers fired shots at the rioters. After the investigation the IDF concluded that there was no excessive use of force because the violence the soldiers encountered was "extreme and unusual". In addition, the funeral of the three Palestinians was attended by Hamas leader Jamal al-Tawil. Also present was a member of Fatah's Central Committee, who called on the Palestinians to set up "human shields" to "protect the members of the resistance [i.e., terrorist organizations] and guard the homeland".
An objective report would at least include both accounts of this event.
Why is US church sending Jews to the trash-heap of history?
Presbyterian churches are teaching that their Jewish neighbors are inherently racist and prone to abusing the rights of others.
That’s the key message of PCUSA’s new congregational study guide, “Zionism Unsettled.” Released by its Israel-Palestine Mission Network, the guide “explores the theological and ethical exceptionalism of Jewish and Christian Zionism, which have been sheltered from open debate despite the intolerable human rights abuses rooted in their core beliefs.”
To be clear, this is no mere attack on Israeli policies, but rather on the very legitimacy of the Zionist enterprise.
The rise of PENIS cancer: Cases soar by 20% amidst fears that symptoms are being misdiagnosed as STDs
The number of men being diagnosed with cancer of the penis has soared by 20 per cent in the last 30 years, according to new figures.
Experts believe the main reasons for the increase may be changes in sexual behaviour, greater exposure to sexually transmitted HPV (human papilloma virus) and decreasing rates of childhood circumcision.
NGO Monitor: Evaluating Funding for Political Advocacy NGOs in the Arab-Israeli Conflict: The European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR)
Our analysis shows: For the years 2007-2010, local projects directed to Israel, local projects to “OPT,” and projects that address Israel and “OPT” jointly (Israel/OPT) received €11,472,593 in EIDHR grants –more than any other country.
44 projects were funded in these frameworks, which ranks fifth highest in terms of the number of projects.
Israel and the “OPT” were the only recipients that received funding for 9 out of the 10 EIDHR focal themes.
Israel and “OPT” received a majority (57%) of EIDHR funding directed at the Middle East, while Syria, Iraq, Iran, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the UAE received no funding for EIDHR projects directed at specific countries.
Heads of NGO Monitor Visit EU Parliament, Present Findings
At a parliamentary session on Monday, under the auspices of the European Union Delegation for Relations with Israel, the NGO Monitor group launched a new report on EU funding for political advocacy NGOs in the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Prof. Gerald Steinberg, President of NGO Monitor, and Jody Sieradzki, head of NGO Monitor's Europe research, presented the findings, saying, "NGO Monitor's research documents major failures in EU policy and process. EU initiatives that claim to promote peace, human rights, democracy, and other moral values have become instruments for the immoral objectives of anti-Israeli political warfare."
Deutsche Bank Flatly Denies Boycott of Israeli Bank
Deutsche Bank, Germany’s largest bank, has flatly denied reports that it offered investors a portfolio that excluded Israel’s Bank Hapoalim.
In fact, a spokesperson for the bank told Arutz Sheva that far from boycotting the Israeli bank, Deutsche Bank has a number of actively managed funds which invest in Bank Hapoalim.
Earlier Tuesday it was reported that the bank offered an Exchange Traded Note (ETN) following an index of “moral” stocks which left out the Israeli bank.
Music industry comfortably numb to Roger Waters’ bigotry
The reason other artists don’t join Roger Waters in his cultural boycott is simple: He’s dead wrong. Israel is the only democratic country in the Middle East — and the only country that recognizes women’s rights, gay rights and equal rights for all minorities including Arabs and Christians. While many people in Israel may disagree with the Israeli government, Israelis (including Arab citizens) have the full right to speak out against their government and change it by voting out their elected representatives.
The many artists that have performed for the Israeli people— people of all ethnicities and religions — include Rihanna, Paul McCartney, Cyndi Lauper, McCoy Tyner, Elton John, the Black Eyed Peas, Alicia Keys, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Seal and Akon.
I don’t expect Waters to change his views — but I’m appalled that no one calls him out on his rancid hate.
Cinematic Strings Back Down On BDS Against Israeli
For any who think we can’t fight BDS: here’s a result. Within hours of the original blog post kicking off a Facebook viral avalanche from our readers, the company behind Cinematic Strings has, at least technically, backed down.
As I was writing a follow up post, the owners of Cinematic Strings posted the following in various places on Facebook and in emails (my emphasis). They appear to have backed down on refusing a discount to an Israeli.
SFSU Student Continued Posting Violent Threats Against IDF, Jews
Something that AMCHA found particularly troubling was that Hammad revealed his excitement about being made the president of SFSU’s General Union of Palestine Students (GUPS), because then, he wrote, he hopes “to radicalize half of our population and bring them back with me as fighters.”
Although Robert Nava, SFSU’s vice president for university development, initially told The Jewish Press by telephone that SFSU was engaged in the process of discipline with respect to Hammad, he later called back to provide a far more definitive statement.
Nava said that the student we had been discussing – Mohammad Hammad - “is no longer a student on campus.” Hammad no longer is in student housing and he is no longer enrolled at SFSU.
The BBC, the British Council and BDS: what Simon Cox didn’t report
However, Radio Alwan is far from being the sole organization with British Council and BBC links which directly or indirectly supports and promotes the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement which aims to delegitimize Israel into extinction.
As we noted here only recently, the British Council has a “partnership” with the BDS supporting ‘Palestine Festival of Literature’ – or PalFest. Among the British Council’s partners in Israel is the Mossawa Centre and among its partners in the Palestinian controlled territories are the Maan Development Centre, Miftah and ‘Palestinian Vision‘ which employs a media spokesman who is a veteran of the BDS campaign and in its 2010 annual report (scroll down for English) noted inter alia that its activities include the organization of quiz nights with the theme “Judaizing of names in the city” [Jerusalem] and included the illustration below.
In addition to Miftah and ‘Palestinian Vision’, the British Council’s partners in its ‘Tajaawob‘ project include Oxfam and the BBC’s own charity ‘BBC Media Action’ which gets over 40% of its funding from departments of the British government.
Guardian text & image almost suggest Israeli culpability in Egypt bus bombing
As you can see, following the headline and image – which evoke the recent terror attack in the Sinai – we immediately learn that Israeli Mossad agents were arrested by Egyptian authorities. Then, with no transitional text, we learn that “earlier in the [same] day”, there was an attack near the Israeli border.
So, we’re left with two completely different stories which almost seem connected based on the report.
Combatting anti-Semitism in Europe
Last week, Jerusalem and Diaspora Affairs Ministry released a report titled "Anti-Semitism in 2013: Trends and Events."
Yet, there was barely a scarce mention about it in the media and Jewish community, perhaps because this was the umpteenth report released in recent times about the state of anti-Semitism around the world, and in particular in Europe.
In essence, the report underscores what we have known for some time now: that anti-Semitism in Europe has reached alarming levels, in many parts, such as Hungary and France especially, even unprecedented since the end of the Holocaust, a point also stressed this week by Anti-Defamation League chief Abe Foxman.
Norwegian comedy skit satirizes ‘Jewish clause’
The sketch broadcast Sunday on NRK, the Norwegian government-owned radio and television broadcaster, was part of celebrations to mark the constitution’s 200th year. The clause banning Jews from entering Norway was part of the constitution enacted in 1814 and was lifted in 1851.
“It is shocking and embarrassing to create humor from this clause, which shut the Jews out of our country,” said Dagrun Eriksen, deputy chairman of the Christian Democratic Party, according to TheLocal.no. “The Jewish clause is part of our dark history. As a nation we must take responsibility for this and not make flippant skits out of it.”
Charlo Halvorsen, entertainment editor for NRK, told TheLocal that the sketch was meant to ridicule the founding fathers who wrote the Jewish clause, not Jews.
Dutch diplomat to be honored Monday for saving Jews
A Dutch diplomat who died in a Nazi concentration camp will receive Israel’s special honor for non-Jews who helped Holocaust survivors escape the genocide.
The medal and title of Righteous Among the Nations will be conferred posthumously on Joop Kolkman on Monday at a ceremony in The Hague, the Dutch foreign ministry and Israel’s embassy in the Netherlands said in a statement.
Once a dump, Sharon park officially opens near Tel Aviv
The Ariel Sharon Park near Tel Aviv, named after the late prime minister, was officially inaugurated with a public ceremony on Tuesday morning. The event was attended by several of Ariel Sharon’s grandchildren, who planted saplings from the late leader’s Sycamore Ranch.
The massive park, which has been under construction for several years, is due to open in stages and will be three times the size of New York’s Central Park when completed. Built from cutting-edge environmental designs, the park is situated on top of the Hiriya, a massive public landfill that was used as a dumping site from the 1950s until 2000.
'Green and clean' tech Finland looks to Israel for inspiration
Finnish Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen is determined to overhaul his economy, and cites Israel's success as a "start-up" nation brimming with high-tech innovation as his model.
With just 5.4 million people, a world-class education system and an international mindset, Finland can be more nimble than many of its competitors at a time when its industrial output is in decline and productivity falling.
"We have to reinvent our country," Katainen told Reuters, discussing Finland's tendency for 20-year economic cycles, the end of the last marked by Nokia's decline after a decade of global domination.
Why Google loves Israel
It is no small coincidence that Google, among others, sees Israel as a powerhouse for attracting investments when it comes to R&D innovations. Beset on two borders with hostile enemy nations, and on two more with divided, hostile populations, Israel has long relied on its brainpower to come up with technological solutions to overcome its massive disadvantages of population size and material resources. In order to succeed in its mission of defending the people and the State of Israel, the IDF itself acts as a national incubator of R&D breakthroughs. So at this point, you should not be surprised to know that SlickLogin’s CEO, Or Zelig, served in the IDF, developing advanced military computer security devices.
This reliance on tech to improve national security concerns has led to an almost inevitable establishment of a culture of engineering and problem-solving with leading-edge creativity in invention. Additionally, the unique blend of the population, stemming from so many nations on Earth, include the prowess of Russian engineering and American business know-how. On top of that, you have the subtle, more nuanced business acumen coming from Israelis of a European background.


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