Friday, May 30, 2014

From Ian:

Khaled Abu Toameh: Palestinians: BDS Activists Are Troublemakers, Criminals
At university campuses in the US, Canada, Australia and Europe, they are hailed as heroes campaigning for Palestinian rights. But in Ramallah, ironically, activists belonging to the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions [BDS] movement are seen by the Palestinian Authority [PA] as trouble-makers and law-breakers.
For some PA officials, BDS is a movement that acts against the true interests of the Palestinians. They say that the actions of those promoting BDS make the Palestinians appear as if they are not interested in peace and coexistence with Israel. BDS activists in Ramallah have succeeded in preventing several planned meetings between Israelis and Palestinians in Ramallah and east Jerusalem.
The Palestinian Authority is also worried that BDS is harming the Palestinians' relations with other countries. The most recent example of BDS efforts to damage Palestinians' relations with friendly countries occurred a few weeks ago, when the "anti-normalization" activists tried to disrupt a performance by an Indian dance troupe in Ramallah.
A journey through Twenty-First Century antisemitism
Some Of My Best Friends: A Journey Through Twenty-First Century Antisemitism, by Ben Cohen
Review by Karl Pfeifer
This well-edited volume contains selected thought-provoking articles by Ben Cohen, written in this century. His subject is the crude, violent “Bierkeller” antisemitism and the polite, modulated, ostensibly reasonable antisemitism, called nowadays “anti-Zionism” and so often expressed in the “progressive” camp.
Ben Cohen is not making sweeping judgments about the Left, but he calls a spade a spade and does not spare the rhetorical rod from those who engage in any form of antisemitism.
There is a foreword by Anthony Julius, the lawyer who successfully defended Deborah Lipstadt when she was sued by the Holocaust denier and antsemite David Irving.
Sarah Honig: A Small Tragedy
These verses were recited to Pope Francis when he visited Yad Vashem this week. He was also given a replica of a painting by the underage poet, an inmate of the Lodz Ghetto. He shook hands with several Holocaust survivors, including Abramek’s stepbrother Eliezer Gyrnfeld.
Sarah Honig was the first to publish Abramek’s story back on July 7, 1989 in the Jerusalem Post. Here is the feature exactly as it appeared then:
At 13, Abramek was writing bright and beautiful poetry, far in advance of his years. He, and his words, came to an end in Auschwitz. By chance, some small memory of him was salvaged.
What child doesn’t, at some point in time, indulge in day-dreams of flying, of satisfying an as-yet unjaded curiosity to see and explore the wonders of the world?
David Singer: Palestine – Pope’s Political Power Play Promises Pandemonium.
The visit of Pope Francis to Amman, Bethlehem and Jerusalem this week proved that His Holiness is just as fallible – and gullible – as a host of other world power brokers like US President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Kerry and the negotiators representing the Quartet – the European Union, the United Nations, Russia and America.
All had plunged into the political mire that constitutes the 130 years old Arab-Israel conflict believing they could resolve it – but ultimately discovered it was destined to become their political graveyard.
The Pope’s descent into the political hell-hole that comprises former Palestine was totally unnecessary.
Regrettably the Pope chose to turn what should have been a purely spiritual pilgrimage to the Holy Land into a highly contentious political one.

Pope’s Western Wall note leaked to press
The pope wrote out the Lord’s Prayer in Spanish on a note that he left between the ancient stones of the Western Wall during his visit to Jerusalem earlier this week. The Western Wall Heritage Foundation published the contents of his handwritten note on Thursday.
The text of the letter pulled from the wall is the Spanish translation of the Pater Noster, one the central prayers in Christianity:
B’nai B’rith Refuses to Meet With Anti-Israel Archbishop Desmond Tutu in Canada
Frank Dimant, the CEO of B’nai B’rith Canada, said he is refusing to meet South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu during his visit to Canada this week due to Tutu’s anti-Israel views.
Tutu, 82, who won a Nobel Peace Prize for his work against apartheid in South Africa, has become involved in the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. As part of his visit to Canada, Tutu will speak at a conference opposing the Oil Sands project and Keystone XL pipeline in the Canadian province of Alberta, and will address Native American rights in the region.
“One need only look at the record of Archbishop Desmond Tutu to see that he is clearly not a friend of Israel, or the Jewish people,” Dimant said in a statement.
A new Europe with the old anti-Semitism
The Jews of Brussels have a hard time feeling safe these days, and they're not the only ones. Almost a week has gone by since the anti-Semitic attack at the Jewish Museum of Belgium in Brussels, but instead of answers, there are only more and more questions. The country's authorities are still helpless regarding the incident, which ended in the murder of four Jews, including an Israeli couple from Tel Aviv, Emanuel and Mira Riva, who were laid to rest in Israel this week. The fact that the murderer -- according to some indications, a professional, cold-blooded assassin -- is still at large definitely adds to the uneasiness. There are almost no leads in the investigation. The only bits of evidence come from on-site security cameras. The camera the killer had strapped to his chest presumably contains more information, but it has not been found.
Jewish WorldJewish Agency Sends Delegation to Brussels in Show of Support
Chairman of the Executive of The Jewish Agency for Israel Natan Sharansky visited Brussels Thursday, in a solidarity visit to the local Jewish community after Saturday's horrific shooting attack that left four dead.
Sharansky met with Jewish community members and communal leaders and heard their concerns following the attack. Several European Jewish leaders, as well as Sharansky, have voiced strong criticism over what many perceive to be the EU's lackluster handling of the investigation - and have called for permanent protection for the Belgian Jewish community.
Israel's UN Envoy Welcomes Condemnation of Belgium Attack
Prosor said in a statement that it is important that anti-Semitism be dealt with by the United Nations.
“The members of the UN Security Council joined Secretary General Ban Ki-moon last night in condemning the terrorist attack against the Jewish Museum in Brussels that left four civilians dead,” he said.
“The Security Council's statement is a necessary step for the international community to acknowledge the rise of anti-Semitism, in all its forms. It is fitting for this issue to be dealt with by the United Nations, an organization that was founded directly after the greatest anti-Semitic event in world history.
Temple University Will Not Condemn Professor in Anti-Semitic Row
Adjunct Temple University Professor Alessio Lerro came under fire from Jewish scholars after he and other professors were caught on a secret listserv engaging in highly inflammatory anti-Semitic discourse about a resolution by the Modern Language Association (MLA) to boycott Israel.
Lerro accused “Jewish scholars” of having “humungous influence” over the entirety of academia and stated, “It is time that Zionists are asked to finally account for their support to the illegal occupation of Palestine since 1967,” according to message left on the listserv.
It further came to light that Lerro, in a now deleted Facebook posting, also questioned the deaths of 6 million Jewish people in the Holocaust.
Asked to comment on Lerro’s discourse and accusations by Jewish leaders that the rhetoric amounts to anti-Semitism, Temple University spokesman Brandon Lausch told the Free Beacon that the university welcomed his controversial views on campus.
“Temple University promotes open discussion and expression among its diverse community of scholars,” Lausch said after being informed of Lerro’s comments. “The exercise of academic freedom necessarily results in a vigorous exchange of ideas.”
Divestment Fails at the University of South Florida
Wednesday, May 28, the USF Foundation rejected demands by Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) to divest from companies doing business with Israel.
SJP said they gathered 10,000 signatures on a divestment petition, but the USF Hillel Rabbi says that SJP wasn't up front in explaining what the petition was about when collecting signatures.
This came after SJP repeatedly failed to bring divestment to the student government.
A perfect illustration of how the PA fools the UK media into believing they’re ‘pro-peace’
Wonderful, isn’t it? Mahmoud Al-Habbash, the PA minister of Religious Affairs, has come out strongly and unequivocally against Hamas-style violence and incitement.
Except that, well, that doesn’t seem to accurately represent Al-Habbash’s true views – as we revealed in a post back in February.
Here’s Al-Habbash saying something very different about violence – in Arabic of course – in front of an audience which included President Abbas:
"Whoever wants resistance, whoever wants Jihad, the direction for Jihad is well-known and clear… Those who send young people to Syria or elsewhere to die for a misdirected cause must stop and understand that Jerusalem is still waiting. Jerusalem is the direction, Jerusalem is the address"
Did the BBC recycle a Gaza report from a Saudi-owned website?
Suddenly, the BBC’s whimsical tale of a Gaza honey industry bouncing back despite the big, bad Israelis is not quite as straightforward as it first seems. But perhaps that is what happens when Britain’s national broadcaster bases its content on the recycling of a report from an outlet based in a country which Freedom House described in 2013 as having a media environment “among the most repressive in the world”.
Licence fee payers might be very interested to know whether or not there is more where that came from: is the recycling of news items from media outlets in repressive Gulf states which do not respect press freedoms a regular event at the BBC?
Former Brooklyn Cop Arraigned on 39-Count Indictment for Anti-Semitic Vandalism in Borough Park (VIDEO)
Michael Setiawan, 36, a former New York City police officer, was arraigned on a 39-count indictment charging him with multiple counts of fourth-degree criminal mischief as a hate crime, criminal mischief, and making graffiti, in connection with an anti-Semitic graffiti spree in Borough Park earlier this month, Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson said in a statement on Tuesday.
“Hate crimes such as these are hurtful and must not be tolerated in a civilized society, particularly in Brooklyn, where we embrace diversity,” the DA said.
University entrance exam in Norway calls for naive cynicism about Israel
The mandatory, short-form essay this year was to present an analysis of the communication methods employed in two pieces.
One was Banksy grafitti on the separation barrier near Bethlehem:
The other was an SMS message transmitted by Norwegian medical doctor Mads Gilbert, who snuck into Gaza December 31, 2008, volunteered to help at the hospital and Shifa. Gilbert is a noted anti-Israeli activist in Norway.
A schoolboy's vivid memories of the Farhud
On the eve of the 73rd anniversary of the outbreak of the Farhud pogrom in Iraq, Point of No Return is posting this vivid extract from the memoirs of Shmuel Moreh, who was then a Baghdad schoolboy. Some 179 Jews were killed and thousands wounded in the two days of anti-Jewish mayhem which swept through Iraq's cities on 1 and 2 June 1941.
"The year 1941 was one of the most tragic years in the life of the Jews of Iraq. It was a year of quick changes in the political, economic and social relations between Arabs (Muslim and Christian) on one side and Jews on the other side.
Never-Before Seen Color U.S. Army Footage Shows Horrors of Dachau (VIDEO)
Never-before seen color footage shot by a Hollywood filmmaker during World War II has revealed the U.S. Army’s discovery of the Dachau concentration camp.
In several graphic clips, the film documents troops as they came upon piles of emaciated bodies of Jews laying in and alongside boxcars in the notorious death camp.
Some were lying frozen in the snow. Others were strewn on the ground near still-burning fires in structures, possibly those of ovens where they were to be later burned.
MobileOCT wins prize for cancer screening program
MobileOCT, an Israeli medical technology start-up, is the winner of a prestigious prize distributed by international communications giant Vodafone for conducting a program to help residents of the US-Mexican border area detect cervical cancer. The venture, run in conjunction with San Diego-based nonprofit health care system Scripps Health and Tijuana-based community organization Fronteras Unidas Pro Salud, placed first in the 2014 Vodafone Americas Foundation Wireless Innovation Project. The award was presented Thursday night, May 29, in a ceremony at the Social Innovation Summit at the United Nations Plaza in New York City.
Mega-Concert in New York to Support Israel
With just a few days to go until the 21st Annual Israel Day Concert in New York's Central Park, executive producer Dr. Joseph Frager shared with Arutz Sheva his excitement over what will likely be an impressive show of strength by pro-Israel Americans.
In particular, the appearance of Senator Ted Cruz (R-Tx) - a possible presidential candidate for the Republican party - is being seen as a major coup by event organizers.
Amar’e Stoudemire Pronounces Love for ‘Clean’ Kosher Food (VIDEO)
New York Knicks forward Amar’e Stoudemire trumpeted his love for Judaism on Tuesday night in an interview on Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live, asserting that he loves eating “clean” kosher food.
During a guest appearance on the show, the athlete, 31, was asked by a caller what he likes most about his Jewish identity. The six-time NBA All-Star responded, “just eating clean… eating a kosher, clean diet.” WWHL host Andy Cohen responded in jest, “you would be fun to break the fast with.”
Israeli Hamburger Wows Jessica Biel as Justin Timberlake Wows Tel Aviv
As Justin Timberlake readied to rock an incandescent musical performance Wednesday night, his actress wife Jessica Biel took off to take a personal bite out of the “Big Orange.”
While Timberlake prepped at the soundcheck at Hayarkon Park, Beil and Co., with bodyguards in tow, headed over to downtown Tel Aviv’s highly rated Abraxas North baristo-bar.
While hubby was busy ironing out the setlist, Biel tweeted fans a B&W selfie as she plowed through a big juicy burger, with the caption, “Abraxes. In Tel Aviv. Best burger I ever had.”
Rolling Stones to start Israel show later to enable observant Jews to attend
The Rolling Stones will begin their Tel Aviv performance on June 4 at 9:15 p.m., later than planned, to enable religiously observant fans to attend the Park Hayarkon show after the Shavuot holiday.
An announcement released by promoter Shuki Weiss said that following many requests from observant fans, his office and the Tel Aviv Municipality agreed to to extend the 11 p.m. curfew on public performances.
Ethiopian Jewry commemorates the fallen of mass exodus to Israel
As Israelis flocked to the capital to celebrate Jerusalem Day, hundreds of Ethiopian Israelis came together on Mount Herzl on Wednesday to commemorate loved ones who died during their mass exodus to Israel.
The annual Memorial Day for Ethiopian Jews Who Perished on Their Way to Israel commemorates the estimated 4,000 Ethiopian Jews who died while making the perilous journey from Ethiopia through Sudan in the 1980s and early 1990s.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres attended the ceremony near the memorial for fallen Ethiopian Jews, which resembles an abandoned Ethiopian village with the names of some 1,500 dead etched in stone.
Shimon Peres: China and Israel, a shared search for a better world
On my recent state visit to China, I encountered this spirit of progress and innovation in a wide range of fields. I was proud to launch my Sina-Weibo page and was pleased to make so many new friends in such a short span of time. For me it presents yet another avenue through which to enhance the ever-increasing dialogue between the peoples of our two countries.
The launch of The Times of Israel Chinese news website is a fitting continuation of the journey between our peoples, taking the relations between our two civilizations into the digital age. To the readers in China I say, we await you here in Israel with open arms and our home is open to you.

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