Sunday, May 25, 2014

From Ian:

The 'Ryan Mervin Bellerose' Talk In Israel
On the 19th May 2014, Metis and Pro-Israel activist Ryan Mervin Bellerose, gave a talk to a room full of Pro-Israel activists who are pictured and mentioned in my previous article here.
The talk was about 1 hour and 40 minutes and included a short Q&A section, as well as a final story from a terror attack survivor named Kay Wilson. Due to the length of this talk, I have split it up into 4 parts below. If you would like to hear the entire talk in one, then see the MixCloud file below these videos.
Meeting Ryan Mervin Bellerose - Part 1 of 4 - Indigenous Beginnings

Soros’ SodaStream Stake Riles BDS Bullies
In fact, an argument can be made that the BDS, not settlements, is the real obstacle to peace in the region because it shuts down any chance for peaceful co-existence and dialogue.
The BDS movement, of course, reacted predictably to the news of Soros investment, which also included a large number of shares in Teva, another Israeli company that has come under BDS attack. The movement’s National Committee (BNC) called for a boycott of the Soros Fund Management and his Open Society Foundations, which has funded numerous progressive NGOs.
According to NGO Monitor, the Open Society Foundation has contributed to a number of NGOs that have been strongly critical of Israel, including Breaking the Silence. It will be interesting to see if these fund recipients follow through with the BDS call to pressure Soros or refrain from seeking additional funds.
In the meantime, Soros’ investment in SodaStream and Teva speaks volumes about what he thinks about the BDS. And now, it appears, the feeling is mutual.
More Pallywood from the Middle East Monitor
The Middle East Monitor is using a photo from a demolished mosque in Angola to illustrate the alleged demolition of a mosque in the Negev.
But if the Middle East Monitor can't tell the difference between a mosque in Angola and a mosque in the Israel why would we believe anything they've written?
Seattle anti-Israel Blogger Richard Silverstein, notorious for his failure to fact check has jumped on the bandwagon to spread this fraudulent misrepresentation far and wide.
The ‘conquest-over-occupation’ season opens
In about a week from today, millions of Turks will take to the streets, with colorful fanfare and fireworks, to celebrate the 561th anniversary of the conquest of Constantinople from Byzantium – the same Turks who are angry that Jerusalem is under occupation. When the same cheerful Turks celebrate the conquest, do they not know that conquest means taking another nation’s/tribe’s land by force? They certainly do. And they are proud of it. Celebrating “the Conquest” is acknowledgement of an undisputed historical fact, that Istanbul belonged to another nation before “the conquest.” Right? Right.
Then why do Mr. Davutoğlu and the conquest-fetish Turks mourn over “the occupation of Jerusalem?” Let’s recall. In 2012, Turkey’s top Muslim cleric, Professor Mehmet Görmez said: “After [the powerful Muslim caliph] Omar conquered al-Quds [Jerusalem] he was invited to pray at a church [since there were no mosques in Jerusalem]. But he politely refused because he was worried that the [conquering] Muslims could turn the church into a mosque after he prayed there.”
Conquering Jerusalem? Did the top cleric not acknowledge the fact that Jerusalem was not a Muslim city before its “conquest?” He did. So, how can the occupation of a non-Muslim city, Constantinople, be a “conquest” but the occupation of a non-Muslim city, which was once occupied by Muslims, be “occupation”?

Netanyahu: Anti-Israel ‘slander and lies’ caused Brussels attack
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said Saturday that a shooting attack at the Brussels Jewish Museum that killed three people and critically injured a fourth was caused by anti-Israel attitudes in Europe.
“This act of murder is the result of constant incitement against Jews and their state,” Netanyahu said in a statement hours after the attack. “Slander and lies against the State of Israel continue to be heard on European soil even as the crimes against humanity and acts of murder being perpetrated in our region are systematically ignored. Our response to this hypocrisy is to constantly state the truth, continue a relentless fight against terrorism and build up our strength.”
Liberman added that the attack in Brussels, as well as previous attacks on Jewish targets in Toulouse, France, and in Kansas City, “are a large, blinking warning light to all those who, consciously or not, collaborate with this incitement when they are so quick to condemn Israel, time and time again, and compare the construction of a house for a Jewish family in our ancestral land to murderous and cruel terror attacks carried out by villainous anti-Semites and terrorists, whether in Gaza or in Brussels.”
Israeli victims of Brussels shooting named as Mira and Emmanuel Riva
The two Israelis killed in the deadly Saturday attack at a Jewish museum in Brussels were identified late Sunday morning as Tel Aviv residents Mira and Emmanuel Riva, who were on an organized, private walking tour of Brussels when the shooting took place.
Authorities have notified their family, and the Foreign Ministry said it was in contact with local police and that their bodies would be flown to Israel for burial as soon as they were no longer required by the investigation. Emmanuel was 54 and Mira was 53. They have two teenage daughters.
Brussels police hunt for lone gunman in Jewish Museum attack
Prosecutors on Sunday said they are looking for a lone suspect in the lethal weekend shooting spree at the Brussels Jewish Museum that left three people dead and one in critical condition.
Deputy prosecutor Ine Van Wymersch said the suspect “probably acted alone, was armed and well prepared.”
Police had detained one suspect late Saturday but he was soon released and is now considered a witness.
Belgian police release video of attack on Jewish Museum
The man, whose face is concealed under a cap, can be seen in one video entering the building, taking a Kalashnikov automatic rifle from a bag and opening fire on his victims — an Israeli couple, a French woman and a young Belgian man.
A second video shows the man walking outside the museum.
“We call on the whole population to help identify this person,” Deputy prosecutor Ine Van Wymersch said.
Anti-terror expert: Brussels museum attack follows Toulouse pattern
Claude Moniquet, a former agent of the France’s DSGE spy agency, told JTA that Saturday’s slaying of three people in Brussels “is reminiscent of Toulouse and Montauban killings and resembles other similar attacks, including by Islamists.”
In 2012, Mohammed Merah, a 23-year-old French Islamist, killed four Jews at a Jewish school in Toulouse several days after he killed three soldiers in the suburb of Montauban. French authorities believe Merah, who was killed ina shootout with police, was aided by his brother Abdelkader Merah and possibly a few other accomplices.
Wiesenthal Center: European Leaders Must Act Following Belgian Attack
“The Simon Wiesenthal Center condemns the murderous terrorist attack today at the Jewish Museum in Brussels that left four innocents dead and a community in shock,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate Dean of the leading Jewish human rights NGO, who will be addressing an international Conference on Anti-Semitism starting this Sunday at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University.
“While Belgian authorities have raised the terror alert to level 4 ( highest), the fact is that a terrorist—who shot—to kill—all too accurately, remains on the loose, leaving a shocked Jewish community deeply shaken,” Cooper said.

Brussels, Hotbed of Jew-Hatred
And as the illiberal and coercive Belgian society presumes to strip Judaism of its ability to define itself in religious terms, Jewish students at the European school, the most prestigious in Brussels, where children of European representatives are sent, are harassed over their support for Israel.
It’s notֲ coincidental that the U.S. ambassador to Belgium blamed Israel for anti-Semitism among Muslims. Howard Gutman said “a distinction should be made between traditional anti-Semitism, which should be condemned, and Muslim hatred for Jews, which stems from the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinians”.
This is the atmosphere which led to the attack in front of Jewish museum.
Most of the public comments on Israel by Belgian officials read like Hamas communiques.
Israel Thrives: More Dead Jews in Europe
Many people I know are well meaning, but ignorant. They can say without hesitation that claims of persistent and increased antisemitism are overblown. So many of them are not Jewish and exempt from feeling it, and they are immune from most other ills that trouble humankind. They are insulated and from their safe perch it's hard for them to see Jew hatred unless it shows its violent side. Even then, they are apt to call it a reaction to Zionism or occupation or due to oppression or poverty.
Ironically, lots of these same people call themselves "anti-racist" and are ever so quick to find the slightest whiff of "microaggression" when directed toward others not Jewish. They see no disconnect in the way they apply ideas. To them the tiny Jewish minority is among the privileged, the oppressors like themselves. Discrimination toward Jews is just not the same as with other minorities.
Two Jewish men attacked, badly hurt outside Paris synagogue
Two Jewish men were assaulted Saturday night outside a synagogue in Créteil, a Paris suburb.
According to Paris police, the two men, who are brothers, were attacked by two other men, one of whom fled on foot and the other on a bicycle.
The two men, who were reportedly beaten with brass knuckles, suffered multiple contusions and were hospitalized and listed in serious but not life-threatening condition.
French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, who noted the victims were “of the Jewish faith,” condemned the attack with “utmost severity” on Sunday.
What I'd like to hear from the pope
Pope Francis should and will receive a warm welcome in Israel today. That said, I think it incumbent on the pope to take further strides toward Israel and Jews when he speaks in Jerusalem.
I'm tired of hearing the Vatican talk mainly about justice for the Palestinians, without demanding any concrete, responsible behavior from the Palestinian Authority. It is time for the pope to call upon the Palestinians to recognize Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people. It is high time for the pope to publicly acknowledge Israel's magnanimous stewardship of Jerusalem. And it would be appropriate for the pope to explicitly distance Rome from the radical Protestant churches that seek to boycott Israel and that deny the Jewish people's innate connection to the Land of Israel.
MK calls for Vatican archives to be opened
Yesh Atid MK Aliza Lavie called on Pope Francis to open the Vatican archives and make available documents pertaining to the Catholic Church's relationship to the Jewish people through the generations, its activities during the Holocaust and Jewish texts and artifacts that are held by the Holy See.
"I call on the pope to allow access to information held in the Vatican archives and its Libraries, information that is relevant to the heritage of the Jewish people and to its relationship with the Vatican through the generations," Lavie said.
A turning point for Israel’s minority relations?
On May 25, Maronite Bishop Bishara al-Rahi became the first Lebanese Christian patriarch to set foot in Israel since its establishment as he accompanies Pope Francis on a three-day Holy Land tour. Al-Rahi’s decision has since set off a political firestorm in Lebanon following the announcement of his visit on May 3.
Lebanon is technically at war with Israel, with nearly every one of its 18 religious sects largely unified in their opposition to the Jewish state following two wars and 18 years of military occupation. Hezbollah, the most powerful Lebanese faction, whose militia is increasingly on the cusp of war with Israel, recently organized a political delegation to persuade al-Rahi to reconsider.
The As-Safir newspaper called the visit a “historic sin,” warning that it sets a precedent for normalization of ties with Israel, and arguing that, at the very least, the coordination required for the visit is tacit recognition of the enemy Israeli government.
There is no denying, however, that al-Rahi’s decision to accompany the pontiff to the Holy Land is historic, a reality that both his defenders and critics seem to admit.
DePaul students approve Israel divestment in referendum
DePaul University’s student body voted in a referendum to approve a divestment resolution targeting Israel.
The student government ballot initiative passed with 54.2 percent of the vote, with 45.8 against, The DePaulia student newspaper reported Friday.
A total of 2,908 votes were cast by students at the Chicago Catholic university
J Street Must Cease Its Mishagas
Here’s my question for Jeremy Ben-Ami: Would you put effort into ending a dispute with your neighbor after he becomes best friends with a raging anti-Semite bent on your annihilation? If your answer is no, then you are demanding Israel to do something that you would not do, which is completely hypocritical. The Jewish people have spent millennia trying to stay clear of anti-Semitism. That is why Zionism was founded in the first place. However, you and your group of seemingly “pro-Israel” colleagues are undermining the very mission that Theodore Herzl had in store for the Jewish people. Instead of defending the Jewish people from anti-Semitism, you are demanding that the only Jewish state continues to make peace agreements with anti-Semites who would rather see Israel destroyed than to live in coexistence! If that is not the classic definition of “counterintuitive,” then I have no idea what is.
If J Street wants to be part of the discussion regarding Israel’s future, then it must cease its mishagas, halt its anti-Israel attitudes, and start taking accountability for its actions. Since it has not figured out by now that its conduct has been inconducive to its efforts to reach the front lines of pushing policy, it needs to take in a slice of humble pie, swallow its undeserved pride, and put an end to its arrogant approach on how to solve the conflict.
Is the EU deploying a double standard toward Israel? (h/t Yoel)

The PR war front
In the classic battle for information, the media tends to quickly endorse the Palestinians, not the credibility of the IDF. On this battlefield, the IDF must not wait. It must bring forth the information as soon as it has it and fight for the top of the news. The IDF's media monopoly is over.
The public diplomacy arena has become complex and complicated. Non-government organizations have taken the place of countries or international organizations. They can leverage events without any diplomatic restrictions on the Internet and beyond it, embarrassing Israel. Recently, such groups have recommended that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas take Israel to the International Criminal Court in The Hague. Ever since the first Durban Conference in 2001, such groups have proved their power and their prejudice against Israel in a number of tests. However, they must in no way be dismissed or ignored.
The current incident must be investigated with urgency; the information is available, witnesses are willing to speak and the matter is in the headlines. Yes, right now. It would be a delusion to think that if we don't face it, it will blow away. Events collect and are perpetuated in databases and information channels and can reappear at any time. It is best to reach the truth now and handle the story while it's fresh.
Bloomberg: Abbas-Hamas Deal Puts Palestinians on Brink of Financial Collapse
Bloomberg’s Tel Aviv-based reporter Jonathan Ferziger this week conveyed assessments indicating that a recently inked unity deal between the Palestinian Fatah faction and the rival Hamas organization – which is aimed at paving the way for a single government agreed to by both sides – may trigger the financial collapse of the Palestinian Authority (PA) as blackletter U.S. laws and European Union disenchantment lead to cutbacks in aid.
The report is one in a long line of similar write-ups, but it was particularly blunt in specifying the amounts at stake: over $2 billion total:
Hamas brainwashes children: "There is no Israel - only Palestine"

Beirut Synagogue to Remain Closed Despite Renovation for Lack of Benches, Rabbi
Beirut’s Maghen Abraham Synagogue was nearly destroyed during the country’s civil war and despite a nearly complete five-year, $5 million renovation, the Lebanese Muslim lawyer, the mukhtar, who represents the 400 remaining Jews in the country, said the community lacks a rabbi and there are no immediate plans to re-open the synagogue.
Israeli chocolatiers take three prizes at International Chocolate Awards
The culture of chocolate in Israel was shining brown specks at the International Chocolate Awards in Florence, Italy recently. Ika Chocolate and Bruno Chocolate took three top prizes at the 2014 European plain/origin bar Semi-final and European Open competition at the Palazzo Gaddi.
Tel Aviv’s chocolatier Ika Cohen – who won a bronze medal for a lemon praline in 2012 — won a gold medal in the flavored dark ganaches and truffles category with a Za’atar Ganache.
“It was a praline that was talked about a lot, because most of the judges were not familiar with za’atar. They liked the way the salt balanced it and the harmony of the praline,” Cohen told Haaretz.
'I am a lone soldier, but I feel at home in Israel'
Ron Abukrat served as a combat soldier in the French army. His twin brother is a police officer in Paris and his older brother was a fighter pilot in the French Air Force. At only 24, Abukrat has already completed a B.A. in economics and an M.A. in international relations from the University of Paris. Less than a year ago, he decided it was time for the real thing: to contribute to Israel's security.
Abukrat left his parents and two brothers behind in France, immigrated to Israel, and was drafted into the Golani Brigade's reconnaissance unit. On Thursday, he and his comrades stood at attention facing the Israeli flag and the stones of the Western Wall in Jerusalem. He swore loyalty to the Israel Defense Forces and to the State of Israel, and said he was full of pride and gratitude that he had the privilege of serving the country.
"I found my love for Israel after my bar mitzvah," he said. "I started to take an interest, read about it, follow news from Israel. I understood that Israel was under attack and that it wasn't easy to live there, but I knew that the information was not really accurate and not favorable. I decided that I had to go to Israel myself to see what was really happening there."
Today in History: IDF Airlifts 14,500 Ethiopian Jews to Israel
“Next year in Jerusalem” are words spoken by Jews all over the world. For the Jews of Ethiopia, this dream was a promise.
Exactly 23 years ago today, the IDF carried out Operation Solomon, a massive airlift that brought Ethiopian Jews to Israel. After 34 planes and 36 hours, the Israel Air Force safely carried 14,500 Jews to Israeli soil. The mission remains the largest aerial expedition in Israel’s history.
In the 1970′s, the Israeli government made the decision to authorize the use of the IDF to enable the immigration of thousands of Jews who were living in Ethiopia, a country that at the time prohibited its citizens from emigrating to Israel. Beginning in 1984, the IDF brought Ethiopian Jews to Israel in three airlift operations, the last of which was Operation Solomon in 1991.

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