Friday, May 23, 2014

From Ian:

BDS Movement to Boycott Billionaire George Soros for Investing in SodaStream
Yesterday the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement called for a boycott of billionaire investor and activist George Soros.
The statement appearing at the BDS Movement website began:
"The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), the largest coalition in Palestinian civil society that is leading the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement for Palestinian rights, called today for a boycott of the Soros Fund Management and the Open Society Foundations due to the recently announced – first-quarter 2014 — investment by Soros in SodaStream stock and increased investment in Teva Pharmaceuticals, both Israeli companies that are deeply involved in violations of international law."
Top Chinese official: Arab boycott fears over
Official China is very impressed with Israel, officially. According to Yongjie Chen, deputy general secretary of the China Center for International Economic Exchanges and a member of the Chinese Communist Party’s ruling body, the Politburo, Israel is “the best place in the world for China to invest” to acquire the technology the country needs to solve its environmental and social problems.
If China was reluctant to fully embrace Israel in the past for fear of angering Arab countries, things have changed, said Chen. Speaking to the Times of Israel in an exclusive interview, Chen said that there had been a significant change in the Chinese approach to the Middle East in the past 10 years.
“It’s true that, in the past, the government favored the Arab side more, but in recent years the emphasis of the government has been on rapid technology development,” said Chen, “and that is why cooperation with Israel, which has that technology, is growing.” Chen could not promise that China would always vote Israel’s way on UN Security Council resolutions, “but you can see that, in recent years, we have conducted a much more positive political policy towards Israel.”
The numbers behind BBC promotion of the ‘Israel lobby’
Now a study on lobbying of the US government has been published which might be of help to members of the public making similar complaints in the future and, as Yair Rosenberg explains, the results are very interesting.
“If you estimated the amount of money a country spends on lobbying the United States based on critical media coverage of that lobbying, you’d probably put Israel at the top of the list. But a new study by the Sunlight Foundation reveals that not only isn’t Israel a big spender, it practically doesn’t even make the list. Of the 84 countries surveyed, Israel ranked 83rd, spending just $1,250 to lobby America in 2013. (The only country that ranked lower was Mali, which spent nothing at all.) By contrast, other key American allies unloaded massive sums to influence the U.S. government. Topping the list is the United Arab Emirates with $14.2 million. It is followed by Germany ($12 million), Canada ($11.2 million), and Saudi Arabia ($11.1 million).”
Readers may be interested to learn too that the eternally cash-strapped, donor supported Palestinian Authority spent $1,110,769.59 on lobbying the US via the PLO in 2013.

Melanie Phillips: As I See It: Israel’s new Christian friends
In the West, Christianity is in decline. Even in the US where the churches are still relatively strong, the culture war is being lost to the forces of galloping secularism. With the Islamic world exploiting this civilizational vacuum, Britain and Europe are steadily being Islamized. At same time, the developing world is becoming Christianized. The face of Christianity is thus changing color, from white to (its original) brown and black.
This growth is a huge opportunity for Israel because these new Christians are free from the poisonous hostility towards it of the Western churches. Encouragingly, Israel has come to view these new allies as a strategic asset, but it needs to invest in them much more, helping improve their economies and living standards, to cement this friendship and use it to transform Israel’s leverage at the UN.
It’s not true that time is running out for Israel. Time is running out for the West. It’s not true that Israel is friendless.
It has many friends. Just different ones. And it has to nurture them more carefully.
This pope seems also to be a friend, apparently wanting to put relations between the Vatican and the Jewish people onto a different footing. The ugly protests at his visit from ultra-Orthodox hooligans are sickening. Let’s hope Israel hugs Pope Francis close.
JPost Editorial: The papal visit
While visiting Yad Vashem, Francis will undoubtedly articulate his unconventional – and surprisingly Jewish – theological approach to the Holocaust. In correspondence with an atheist Italian journalist, Francis admitted that he “questioned God, especially when my mind went to the memory of the terrible experience of the Shoah.”
An especially warm, expressive and sensitive pope is on the way to the Holy Land to embrace Israel. A process begun 50 years ago of reconciliation between the Catholic Church and the Jewish people continues.
Latin American Christian Clergy Mission Visits Syrian Refugees in Israeli Hospital
An interfaith Latin American clergy mission visited the Ziv Medical Center in Tsfat, Israel, donating supplies to refugees who had been wounded in the Syrian civil war and evacuated to the Israeli hospital.
More than 293 Syrian patients have been treated at Ziv Medical Center. The clergy mission came to the hospital as a sign of interfaith goodwill just prior to Pope Francis’s May 24-26 visit to the Jewish state.
“This mission is one of the reflections of Pope Francis’s spirit when coming to the Holy Land next week; it shows how religions can work together to repair a broken world,” said a statement by David Nekrutman, executive director of the Center for Jewish-Christian Understanding and Cooperation (CJCUC), according to the World Jewish Congress (WJC).
Israel Welcomes Pope Francis Stamp Issue
A unique official souvenir to mark the visit of the Pope to the Holy Land in May 25-26 2014. Pope Francis chose Israel for his first international visit.
The product is in three languages: English, Hebrew and Spanish and includes:
Special stamp sheet with 12 postage stamps and 12 images of important Christian Holy Sites in Israel. (h/t Bob Knot)
U.K. Silent on Pope’s Meeting With Mufti Who Wants to Kill Jews
Though the U.K. media often characterize mainstream Israeli politicians who are on the right side of the political spectrum as “ultra-nationalist,” “far-right,” or even “extreme”, it seems certain that journalists working for the Independent, Guardian, Economist, Telegraph, or other newspapers covering Pope Francis’s visit to Israel, will fail to use similar pejoratives when reporting on his meeting with the PA Mufti who incites Palestinians to kill Jews.
As was demonstrated recently by a Guardian op-ed’s shameful justification for unparalleled anti-Semitism within Palestinian society, such egregious double-standards in moral accountability (the bigotry of low expectations) continue to skew the media’s coverage of the region, and deny news consumers the opportunity to fairly assess those dynamics which truly represent the ‘root cause’ of the conflict.
PA art exhibit for Pope presents Palestinians as Jesus
For Pope Francis' visit to Israel and the Palestinian Authority next week, the PA has commissioned an art exhibit that includes works of art portraying Palestinians as Jesus.
The exhibit consists of visual displays merging classical paintings of biblical scenes with photos of Palestinians and have been "designed by the Palestinian Museum at the request of the Presidential Higher Committee for Church Affairs." [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, May 20, 2014]
As Palestinian Media Watch has documented, the PA has misrepresented Jesus for years, claiming he was not a Judean as in Christian tradition, but rather a "Palestinian," thereby claiming a Palestinian history dating back to the time of Jesus. This exhibit reinforces the pretense that Jesus was a Palestinian by visually merging the image of Jesus in classical art with pictures of Palestinians.
Anti-Israel bias continues to poison UN Health Assembly
The World Health Assembly adopted yesterday a resolution critical of Israel entitled “Health conditions in the occupied Palestinian territory, including east Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan.” This is the only country-specific resolution in a week-long meeting of health expects which is meant to address issues such as diabetes, heart disease, cancers, tuberculosis, hepatitis, newborn health, nutrition and vaccine-preventable diseases.
Syria had the audacity to claim that “the health conditions of the Syrian population in the occupied Golan continue to deteriorate,” because of Israel’s “inhumane practices.” This, at a time when more than 160,000 are estimated to have been killed in the country, and millions of others are denied basic health services and food, for which there is no WHO resolution.
UN Headquarters screens film depicting Israel as green monster
The "Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People," who organized the event, was created in 1975 to implement the infamous Zionism-is-racism General Assembly resolution. The screening of "Flying Paper" was held at UN headquarters in New York City, and was advertised by the UN as "a documentary on Palestinian youth in the Gaza Strip."
The trailer for the documentary says "it's a story about Palestinian's creative resilience". More specifically, its creative antisemitism includes: "In one [segment] - which accompanies interviews with a fisherman from the Gaza seaport, who pleads with the Israeli navy to stop destroying his livelihood - the Israeli vessels are replaced with a giant, dragon-like sea monster which bites and lunges at the kite."
UN Year of Solidarity with Palestinian People Meeting becomes anti-Israel free-for-all
Mohamed Barakeh, Member of the Knesset, Jerusalem, pointed to the creation of Israel as the real problem, claimed that the Israelis are conspiring to destroy Muslim and Christian holy sites and advocated violence. In his words: "May 1948 was the date of 'the disaster'. In commemoration of that date, there will be numerous demonstrations and political events , which will stress the effects of 'the disaster' which practically transformed all of the Palestinian peopled into "a state of deported people...There are terrorist cells, which are operating under the sponsorship of the Israeli authorities, small groups that were responsible for making the Muslims of Jerusalem pay the price. The Head of the Israeli Secret Services acknowledged that Israel could annihilate these terrorist groups, if the decision to do this is taken. These groups are working to destroy both Muslim and Christian Holy Sites. .. There has to be an initiative to give new impetus to popular resistance in Jerusalem."
Ottawa Jewish Federation condemns art exhibit at City Hall
The federation, however, says it has been disturbed by a display it says “glorifies Palestinian terrorists.”
Responding to one specific criticism, Nazzal says the inclusion of Dalal Mughrabi — a Palestinian behind an attack that killed more than 30 Israelis, according to reports — is because she is part of the collective memory of the Palestinian people.
Despite opposition, the city says the exhibit will remain until it was scheduled to end June 22.
Was Israel "erased" from the Map at UCLA?
Bruins for Israel Requests Apology from Empowered Arab Sisterhood for Erasing Israel at World In-Sight Fair
On Tuesday May 21, at UCLA's World In-Sight fair, a festival meant to expose UCLA students to the globe's diverse cultures, the Empowered Arab Sisterhood (EAS) disseminated maps asking students to "Find All The Middle Eastern Countries"
The EAS listed 17 countries among the list of Middle Eastern states to choose from (including Palestine) but conspicuously omitted the State of Israel. This glaring omission effectively eliminated the Jewish state from the Middle East. When confronted, EAS members chose to cross out "Middle Eastern" in the title and replace it with "Arab" instead (see below). BFI is concerned that, given the recent prevalence of anti-Zionist bigotry on campus, EAS' initial erasing of Israel was deliberate.
J Street Lies, Smears Republican Candidate in GA
The blog Elder of Ziyon received this email and investigated the allegations leveled against Kingston, specifically the legislation he sponsored in 2011:
Elder of Ziyon also notes that "I cannot find any statement of support for this resolution on the J-Street website" but says "I suspect that they were against it."
Despite J Street's attempt to smear Kingston and paint him as an extremist, his voting record on Israel related issues indicates that he is a strong advocate and friend of the Jewish state, unlike J Street. provides a guide to pro-Israel legislation that he has supported:
Poll: 81% of Israelis oppose anti-Israel Hayom bill
Public opposition to the Bill for the Promotion and Protection of Printed Media in Israel, which was initiated to target Israel Hayom by prohibiting the free distribution of daily newspapers, is growing, according to a survey conducted this week by Israel Hayom through the New Wave Research institute.
This week's survey indicates that 80.8 percent of Israelis say they oppose the anti-Israel Hayom bill, with only 9.5 percent in favor of it. In the previous survey, 76 percent opposed the bill and 13 percent were in favor of it.
42 years on – no change in BBC’s reluctance to use the word terror
Forty-two years after the Lod Airport massacre the BBC still will not use the word terror to describe the politically motivated indiscriminate murder of twenty-six civilians and the wounding of some eighty others.
In the misdated article (the attack took place on May 30th rather than May 29th) which appears in the ‘On this Day’ section of the BBC News website under the title “1972: Japanese kill 26 at Tel Aviv airport” the word terror does not appear once and the PFLP – which organised the attack – is not defined as a terrorist organisation.
That word also does not appear in the synopsis to a filmed item from the BBC World Service’s ‘Witness’ series which appeared in the BBC News website’s ‘Magazine’ section and on its Middle East page on May 21st with the heading ‘I survived the Israeli airport massacre’.
Bondi attackers of Jews in Court.
Robert Tamaki Clifford, 26, appeared at Central Local Court on Thursday charged with affray and assault occasioning grievous bodily harm over an alleged attack of a Jewish family in Bondi last year.
The 26-year-old has pleaded not guilty to the charges and has been in custody since his arrest in November.
Clifford was allegedly part of a group of males who attacked the Behar family and two family friends as they were walking home from a Jewish Sabbath dinner after midnight on October 26.
Masked Islamist stabs Jewish man in Tunisian market
Gabriel Uzon, 38, a father of four, was stabbed in the chest by a masked Muslim assailant at the Jewish market in the city, Israeli media outlet NRG reported.
According to eyewitnesses, the attacker yelled “The nation of Muhammad returns for vengeance,” before charging Uzon. The two then engaged in a struggle, which resulted in the stabbing.
Bystanders were eventually able to subdue the attacker and transfer him to police. (h/t Bob Knot)
Belgium: "When a Jewish politician is not identified as anti-Israel he is soon considered to be 'Zionist scum'"
Whenever the situation deteriorates between Israel and Palestine, it reflects back on her, as a Jewish MP. Teitelbaum singles out the Socialists and Greens in particular for their violent parliamentary speeches. When she dared say in parliament that Israel was a democracy, she was whistled down from the extreme right to the extreme left, she couldn't even finish a sentence.
When she says she is a Jew with links to Israel, she gets hostile reactions: insults and threats. On the internet her election poster was photoshopped with the head of a pig and the words "Zionism no!".
Whenever a Jewish politician doesn't identify as anti-Israel, he is immediately seen as 'Zionist scum'.
Merah affair: Terrorist’s sister might have joined jihadist forces in Syria
Souad Merah is a Salafi, a follower of rigorous Islam. She has been arrested twice in the past, the first time for inciting terrorism after being secretly recorded saying she was proud of her young brother.
Muhammad Merah killed seven people in March 2012 in the Toulouse region: Three French soldiers and four Jews – three of them children, and the father of two of them. The special anti-terrorist unit of the French police later shot him dead.
The older brother of the killer, Abdelkader, is under arrest for the past two years for his participation in the preparation of the attacks.
Anti-Semitism Illustrated: David Duke Working on New ‘Protocols of the Elders of Zion’
White supremacist David Duke has a new book coming out, of sorts – a repackaged and “illustrated” version of the notorious anti-Semitic hoax, “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.” But unlike previous editions of the text – all of which attempted to claim that the book was a genuine transcript of a gathering of wealthy Jews who conspired to bring about the enslavement of Western civilization – Duke is taking a different tack.
“The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” Duke now claims, is in fact a work of fiction – which means, he says, that the hoax issue is moot. Instead, as he explains in his promotional video for the book, the text is like all “great literature” – a work of art whose value lies in the greater truths it supposedly reveals about the world.
Synagogue demolished during 1948 war to be rebuilt
With Jerusalem Day falling next Wednesday, the government has made plans to allocate 50 million shekels ($14.3 million) for the reconstruction of Jerusalem's Tiferet Yisrael Synagogue, which was destroyed by the Arab Legion during the War of Independence in 1948.
An official government announcement about the revival of the Old City landmark is expected to be made during a special meeting on Wednesday.
During the 1948 battle over the Old City, the Jordanians were determined to prevent Jewish organizations from returning to areas that had been conquered, and made the decision to destroy Jewish sites such as synagogues.
First Batch of 250 Members of 'Lost Tribe' Arrive in Israel
A group of 40 Bnei Menashe made Aliyah today from India, the first batch out of a total of 250 immigrants from the Lost Tribe that are slated to arrive over the coming month.
The immigrants, who hail from the northeastern Indian state of Manipur, were brought to Israel by Shavei Israel, which received permission from the Israeli government last October to bring 900 Bnei Menashe to the Jewish state by 2015.
Earlier this year, Shavei Israel brought 160 Bnei Menashe on Aliyah from the Indian state of Mizoram.
Hunting Down Jewish Stories in Africa
Accord­ing to Merker, the Masai maintained that their ancestors were slaves in the land of the Nile and escaped through a parted sea, pursued by a vicious ruler. Long before the arrival of missionaries, Merker stated that the Masai knew the tales of Adam and Eve, and Noah and the Great Flood, though under different names.
“I regard the Masai as being descended from the nomadic Semites to whom the oldest Hebrew pastoralist belong,” pronounced Merker in his study. In the early 1900s, British Colonial Secretary Sir Joseph Chamberlain suggested to Theodore Herzl, leader of the Zionist movement, that parts of “Masailand” could be handed over to persecuted Eastern European Jews. (h/t Alexi)

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