Tuesday, September 23, 2014

From Ian:

Taking on the Terror Trio: Israel’s Strategy vs. Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic State
Following Israel’s Operation Protective Edge this summer, Hamas continues to control the Gaza Strip and openly considers any truce with Israel as a time to re-arm for the next conflict. Across Israel’s northern border, Hezbollah has been fighting to preserve the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, but still poses a danger to the Jewish state. Meanwhile, the Islamic State has exploded across Iraq and Syria in a spectacle of unprecedented brutality that could one day also knock on Israel’s door.
What should Israel’s strategy be regarding this triumvirate of terror groups? JNS.org took the pulse of three Middle East and terrorism experts on the issue.
Where things stand with Hamas, Hezbollah, and Islamic State Hezbollah and Hamas “pose a very particular threat to Israel but also a very special dilemma,” said Natan Sachs, a fellow at the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution.
Students For Justice In Palestine At Rutgers Calls For 'Intifada'
The Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) chapter at Rutgers University tabled in accordance with the "International Day of Action" against Israel and called for an intifada. Palestinian intifadas have included bus bombings, suicide bombers and the murders of hundreds of men, women and children by Islamic extremists.
The sign calling for an intifada read, "From Ferguson to Gaza, Intifada Intifada" while a second sign falsely accused Israel of being an apartheid state in the same vein as South Africa.
SJP's table on campus also encouraged the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel which attempts to isolate the Jewish state and strangle its economy.
Demonstrators protest Klinghoffer opera at Met season opening
Protesters calling for the Metropolitan Opera to cancel its production of “The Death of Klinghoffer” rallied outside the Met on its opening night Monday.
“We are going to be back here — everyone here and many, many more — every night of the Klinghoffer opera until the set is burned to the ground,” Rabbi Avi Weiss said in an address to demonstrators.
A coalition of groups in a statement called for the Monday afternoon protest at Lincoln Center, across from the Lincoln Center Plaza in Manhattan. Organizers say thousands are expected for the demonstration against a production that they contend promotes terrorism and anti-Semitism.
The opera depicting the 1985 murder by Palestinian terrorists of Leon Klinghoffer, a 69-year-old Jewish-American man in a wheelchair, is set to premiere in October.
A letter written by Judea Pearl, the father of journalist Daniel Pearl, who was kidnapped and murdered by militants in Pakistan in 2002, will also be read.
It reads, in part: “Choreographing an operatic drama around criminal pathology is not an artistic prerogative, but a blatant betrayal of public trust. We do not stage operas for rapists and child molesters, and we do not compose symphonies for penetrating the minds of ISIS [the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, also known as the Islamic State] executioners.”



The NY Met To Present 'Jihad John'' Next 9/11
The Islamic State militant, a.k.a Jihad John, who beheaded American and British journalists, James Foley, Steven Sotloff and John Cantlie, on a video broadcasted over the internet is now being celebrated by the NY Metropolitan Opera as a hero, a freedom fighter and a caring human being.
The new production titled, “John, The Freedom Fighter”, will open next 9/11 in Lincoln Center to a jam-packed auditorium filled with celebrities and dignitaries from all over the world. These will include Saddam Hussein’s widow (her husband is unable to come. She has not talked to him for over a year), Osama Bin Laden’s second wife (her husband is unable to come. He is too busy attending to his 72 virgins), and several “freedom fighters” from Yemen, Somali, Libya, Hamas, Hezbollah, the UK, Germany and the US.
The new opera explains the reasons that justify the recent beheading of the journalists, showing how Islamist grievances against the governments of the US and the UK play a cameo role in justifying the beheading. The principal reasons comprise the actions of American and British citizens, missionaries and humanitarian workers who come to the Middle East to spread their religious infidelity and western culture of human rights to all (really, to all? treating even infidels?). The opera makes it unambiguous; the evidence sings like Pavarotti—these Americans are evil incarnate. Unquestionably, these journalists are worthy of the ultimate punishment.
NY Congresswoman 'Backed Out of Klinghoffer Protest'
Nick Di iorio, Republican nominee for Congress (NY-12), slammed U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney’s "poor record on Israel" Monday and what he said was her decision not to speak in a protest against the Metropolitan Opera’s anti-Semitic “The Death of Klinghoffer” production.
Offered the chance to speak out against the anti-Semitic production, Maloney first agreed before backing out at the last moment, he said.
Di iorio stated: “Maloney's decision to cancel today's protest appearance shows her true priorities do not lie with the Israeli community. In the past, Maloney has posed as a friend of Israel, in the hopes constituents would forget she refuses to speak out against Obama’s deserting Israel in its time of greatest need. Maloney poses as pro-Israel to her constituents, but she’s silent on Israel in Washington.”
London Billboard, Public Transport Agencies Reject Pro-Israel Ad Campaign as ‘Too Controversial’
The British Zionist Federation (ZF) on Monday said several London-based companies have turned down ads for an over $19,000 campaign promoting Israel, in the wake of the IDF’s Operation Protective Edge against Hamas missile salvos and attack tunnels from Gaza.
“During Protective Edge,” according to ZF Director, Alan Aziz, “we heard over and over again from our supporters that they wished there was some way to get Israel’s message out to the general public, given the inability of the media to explain how Israel was doing the best it could to avoid civilian casualties whilst facing a vicious terrorist enemy.
“This inability bolstered the perception that Israel was committing ‘war crimes’ and ‘massacres’ – misconceptions that directly fueled the explosion of antisemitism we experienced this summer,” Aziz emphasized in a statement.
However, Transport for London (TfL), as well as several local billboard companies, all refused to take ZF on as a client for the campaign, terming the ads as “too political.”
According to the advocacy group, “the decision to launch the advertising campaign was made in response to the unprecedented level of anti-Israel hostility in the UK following the start of the Gaza conflict.”
The posters were designed to show similarities between Hamas and other terrorist groups such as ISIS.
Reservists called up for next Hamas frontline — US campuses
The day before Rosh Hashanah, students at universities across America will have the opportunity to ring in the Jewish new year en masse. Instead of sounding the shofar, however, participants are much more likely to use megaphones in resounding choruses of “Free Palestine.”
Leading anti-Zionist organization American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) has called for massive protests on campuses to mark September 23 as the International Day of Action. Its stated goal: to “make Free Palestine and Ending the Siege on Gaza part of campus education by holding teach-ins, rallies, sit-ins, civil disobedience, and push for BDS activities.”
According to the event’s Facebook page, there are already organizers at work at colleges including Berkeley, SFSU and UCSF in California, Rutgers in New Jersey, University of Texas at Austin and Purdue in Indiana.
Labour party candidate suspended over tweet branding Israel 'evil'
Vicky Kirby, Labour's candidate for Woking, Surrey, made a series of comments attacking Israel on Twitter, according to the Sunday Times.
Ms Kirby reportedly posted: “We invented Israel when saving them from Hitler, who now seems to be their teacher.”
Another comment apparently read: “I will never forget and I will make sure my kids teach their children how evil Israel is!”
She also allegedly tweeted: “Apparently you can ask IS/ISIS/ISIL questions on ask.fm. Anyone thought of asking them why they’re not attacking the real oppressors #Israel?”
Ms Kirby also reportedly said that Adolf Hitler may be the "Zionist God".
She was told of her suspension while on her way to the Labour party conference in Manchester yesterday.
BBC News website silent on Labour PPC suspension over anti-Israel Tweets
The Sunday Times, the Independent, the Mirror, the Express and the Jewish Chronicle have all reported over the last couple of days that a prospective Parliamentary candidate for the British Labour Party has been suspended following a series of offensive anti-Israel Tweets. Even Ha’aretz, the Jerusalem Post and Press TV are carrying the story.
And the BBC? Well, nothing on the topic currently appears on the BBC News website page devoted to the county in which Vicki Kirby’s prospective constituency is located.
Do British Jews Deserve Their Leaders?
At the end of August, just as Hamas had finally agreed to stop its indiscriminate rocket attacks against Israeli civilians, the elected leadership of the UK’s Jewish community decided to do something astonishing.
They picked a widely discredited, somewhat marginalised Muslim group with a shady background and wrote a joint statement. The Leadership of the Board of Deputies of British Jews then issued this joint statement.
They had chosen to work with the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB). At one time this group was feted by the UK’s government, lavished with funds and seen as a bulwark against obvious, growing extremism within the UK’s Muslim communities. That all changed and today the UK’s government at best ignores the MCB and is probably investigating their links to Jamaat-e-Islami and the Muslim Brotherhood.
As Report Elucidates Fracas on Anti-Israel Texts, Boston-Area School District Remains Silent
After a contentious debate lasting several years on the presence of anti-Israel texts in the public school curriculum of Newton, a Boston suburb, an independent third party has issued a comprehensive 152-page report to try to bring some clarity to the situation. The local school district, however, has refused to respond to the report and remains silent on the matter.
The Florida-based Verity Educate non-profit, which was approached by concerned parents and community members about Mideast-related educational materials distributed to students in Newton North and Newton South high schools, this month released “Middle East Curricula in Newton Public Schools,” a report addressing more than 300 specific points of inaccuracy and inconsistency in the school district’s curricula. Between May and September, Verity Educate analyzed 26 individual pieces of educational material used in Newton schools, include handouts, assignments, readings and one video.
Verity Educate’s stated mission is “to address the growing problem of bias and inaccuracy in education by providing non-partisan, independent information on the content of textbooks and curricular material.” In a summary of its Newton report, the organization said its primary finding was “a demonstrated lack of subject matter expertise in the creation and oversight of these Middle East curricula, and the vast majority of materials used do not originate from authoritative sources or are so altered as to have lost their authority.”
The Media and Anti-Semitism
As I wrote earlier this month, the Wall Street Journal’s coverage was textured, original, investigative, and informative. The “paper of record,” the New York Times, offered just the opposite: coverage that essentially followed Hamas’s PR strategy. European media had similar coverage with even more violent results: attempted pogroms broke out in Paris and anti-Semitic protests could be found all over Western Europe.
The anti-Semitism is blamed on Israel’s actions, which the rioters see through the prism of the media. An excellent example of this vicious cycle is Human Rights Watch’s director Ken Roth. Jonathan Foreman wrote about Roth’s obsessively anti-Israel Twitter feed for the current issue of COMMENTARY. But even more noxious is the group’s role in pushing an anti-Israel narrative that supposedly comes with the credibility of a “human-rights” group.
It goes like this: HRW researchers get quoted by the New York Times accusing Israel of indiscriminate violence and targeting noncombatants–information that is crucial, in the Times’s own acknowledgement, in forming “the characterization of the conflict.” Then the Times tries to boost HRW’s flagging credibility–lest more people notice the group can’t be trusted–by crediting HRW as a key source in understanding “the Damage and Destruction in Gaza.” Along the way, HRW will be cited in a Times opinion piece on how American support for Israel is unethical.
Slow news days in Israel? Guardian plays ‘Catch the Jew”
Now, we turn to the Guardian where, on Sept. 22nd, the paper continued to ignore Palestinian riots in east Jerusalem, as well as the widely cited AP story on growing evidence that Hamas used human shields during the war, but instead devoted space on their Israel page to “catching a Jew doing something bad”, publishing the following.
The Guardian’s Paul Walker explained that “Drek, a company that organises some of Tel Aviv’s more popular gay party events” used promotional images for a club night last week that included “homoerotic reinterpretations of the fanatical Islamist group’s [ISIS] videos”, some of which, he added, “provoked an angry reaction on Drek’s Facebook page”.
Whilst Walker’s claims that the images – some of which reference recent ISIS beheadings – would be deemed offensive by relatives of ISIS’s victims is fair, it should also be obvious that ISIS is a pathologically antisemitic and homophobic movement, and that the intentionally provocative depictions by Drek were all but certainly meant to mock ISIS jihadists, not their victims.
BBC Business covers one terror banking story, ignores another more close to home
Another notable point about this report is that it (or any other currently appearing on the BBC News website) does not inform readers that the same court in the United States ruled on the same day that a similar case is to be reinstated. As Reuters and the WSJ reported:
“The Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday that a federal district judge got it wrong when she threw out legal claims by about 200 U.S. victims of Hamas attacks who claimed that National Westminster Bank PLC provided banking services to a London-based charity with alleged ties to the group.
The lawsuit, which the Second Circuit sent back to federal trial court in Brooklyn, was filed under the Antiterrorism Act, a 1990 law that gives victims of international terrorism recourse in U.S. courts. […]
In the lawsuit, NatWest, part of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group, is accused of maintaining bank accounts and transferring funds for the Palestine Relief & Development Fund, also known as Interpal, which the plaintiffs allege solicited funds for and otherwise supported Hamas.”
David Brooks’ Son Is In the Israeli Army: Does It Matter?
One of the more interesting nuggets buried in a long, Hebrew-language interview with New York Times columnist David Brooks in the recent Ha'aretz magazine is the revelation, toward the very end, that Brooks's oldest son serves in the Israel Defense Forces.
"Brook's connection to Israel was always strong," the article reports. "He has visited Israel almost every year since 1991, and over the past months the connection has grown even stronger, after his oldest son, aged 23, decided to join the Israel Defense Forces as a "lone soldier" [Ed. Note: a soldier with no immediate family in Israel].
"'It's worrying,'" says Brooks, 'But every Israeli parent understands this is what the circumstances require. Beyond that, I think children need to take risks after they leave university, and that they need to do something difficult, that involves going beyond their personal limits. Serving in the IDF embodies all of these elements. I couldn't advise others to do it without acknowledging it's true for my own family.'"
Is ISIS Mainstreaming Hezbollah?
One of the side effects of the rise of ISIS has been to boost the diplomatic position of Iran, one of the terror group’s chief adversaries. But just as Iran is reaping benefits from its opposition to ISIS, so, too, may Tehran’s chief terror auxiliary: Hezbollah. Evidence of this is provided in today’s New York Times in which the Lebanese terror group seeks to boost its reputation certain of a responsive audience in the West.
Iran and Hezbollah have much in common with ISIS in terms of hostility to the West, support for terror, and Islamist ambitions. But the Shia-Sunni religious schism makes them implacable foes as well as being on opposite sides of the ongoing wars for control of Iraq and Syria. This also places them, at least in theory, on the same side as the United States as it now haltingly attempts to fight ISIS. That awkward juxtaposition has convinced the Iranians that the West is no longer serious about stopping their drive for nuclear weapons. This conclusion is well supported by the latest pathetic rumblings from the Obama administration about a “face-saving” proposal to help conclude another weak nuclear deal. The bottom line there is that Iran has good reason to believe it can now either defy the West entirely and push on to fulfillment of its nuclear goal or sign a deal that can be easily evaded to the same end.
Expert: ISIS Changing the Entire Middle East
Pardo first related to the Iranian nuclear question, noting that cooperation with the US on the diplomatic front "is inconvenient to the Iranian regime," which opposes the US's Middle-Eastern policies in the first place.
"They say American proposals are not serious and that ISIS was established by the US by aiding the Syrian opposition," Pardo said.
He believes that Tehran is sharpening its positions and aggrandizing its power to clarify to Washington and the West - as well as its regional neighbors - that a nuclear deal will not work unless it is a major player in its final form.
"For the Iranians, ISIS is less of a threat than in the Sunni world," he noted. "This is because ISIS cannot conquer Iran - which is both strong and Shi'ite, so too with Jordan and Saudi Arabia."
ISIS may still prove a threat in the long run, however, through a "war of attrition" the terrorist organization is waging by overwhelming Iran's regional partners, Syria and Lebanon.
Could mutual enemy ISIS bring Saudis and Iranians together?
Saudi Arabia has also backed mostly Sunni Syrian rebels fighting Iran's ally, President Bashar Assad, whose government is dominated by members of the Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shiite Islam. Both Riyadh and Tehran have accused each other of fuelling the bloodshed.
Nonetheless, Rouhani pledged after his election to improve ties with Iran's Gulf Arab neighbors as well as the West.
Iran's tone has been far less confrontational than under his predecessor, but overcoming decades of suspicion will take more than a meeting of foreign ministers.
"It's a good sign that they met, and maybe through Iraq there can be a bit of movement on Saudi-Iranian relations," said Mohammed al-Zulfa, a former member of the Saudi Shoura Council, appointed by King Abdullah to advise the government on policy.
"But ... we will have to wait and see if they really arranged something in this meeting in New York."
US targets Nusra, Khorasan terror groups in Syria
A US-led coalition carried out airstrikes against positions of al-Qaeda Syria affiliate al-Nusra Front on Tuesday, as well as the Islamic State group, a monitoring organization said.
At the same time, US planes took unilateral action against the shadowy Khorasan group of former al-Qaeda members to thwart a planned terror attack, American officials said.
US Central Command said American warplanes launched eight airstrikes “to disrupt the imminent attack plotting against the United States and Western interests” by a network of “seasoned al-Qaeda veterans” — sometimes known as the Khorasan group — who have established a haven in Syria. It provided no details on the plotting.
Central Command said that the separate bombing mission was undertaken solely by US aircraft and took place west of the Syrian city of Aleppo. It said targets included training camps, an explosives and munitions production facility, a communication building and command and control facilities.
ISIS Spokesman Calls on Muslims in the West to Kill Americans, Europeans, Australians, Canadians


A look at what makes American jihadis tick
A common assumption is that jihadist groups recruit members from poor, desperate populations. Why are young people who grow up surrounded by the comforts of the U.S. willing to die in the name of extremist Islam?
A look at four Americans who became jihadis, and what motivated them to fight:
Moner Mohammad Abusalha, who liked to cuddle cats, blew himself up in May in Syria. He was the first American suicide bomber in that civil war.
Abusalha, 22, was a community college student who grew up playing basketball in Vero Beach, Florida. But Abusalha, the son of a Palestinian father and Italian-American mother, became increasingly consumed with religious fervor.
He said he was influenced by a close, radical friend, according to a video he made before he killed himself and 16 others while fighting with the Nusra Front, al-Qaida's branch in Syria.
Both decided that jihad was for them, but when it was time to go, the friend backed out.
Syrian rebels freed ISIL militants for the release of Turkish hostages
Syrian rebel group Liwa al-Tawhid released 50 members of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), including the family of a late leader, in a swap deal that ended with the release of 49 hostages abducted from Turkey’s consulate in Mosul.
The wife and children of Haji Bakr, an ISIL leader killed in Aleppo in February, were among the released ISIL members in the simultaneous exchange for the Turkish mission, a source told Hürriyet.
A total of 49 Turkish embassy staff were held hostage by ISIL for 101 days and were freed on Sept. 20.
The source said Liwa al-Tawhid, a group that split from the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and fights against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, agreed to free the ISIL members after rounds of talks.
IS said to destroy Armenian Genocide memorial
Fighters from the Islamic State reportedly desecrated an Armenian Genocide memorial complex in the eastern Syrian city of Deir ez-Zor, near the site where vast numbers of Armenian refugees were forced to march to their deaths in the early 20th century, Lebanese media outlet Al Mayadeen TV reported.
The Der Zor Memorial Church contains the remains of victims of the Armenian Genocide and is often compared to the Auschwitz death camp in Poland.
Hundreds of thousands of Armenians were said to have died during the march to Deir ez-Zor, which was ordered by Ottoman Turk soldiers.
In Depth: How Did John Cantlie Come to be Captured Twice by ISIS?
Cantile himself is unusual as he was relatively well known to security and counter-terrorism observers before his appearance in the film, as he had already been abducted and escaped jihadist captivity in 2012, and returning to the UK amid media attention.
His capture was especially newsworthy at the time because during his captivity he was treated for gunshot wounds by a jihadi fighter who spoke with a British accent and claimed to be an NHS doctor. Upon his return to the UK, Cantlie was debriefed by the security services and a court case ensured against the alleged jihadist Doctor, Shajul Islam, who has also returned to the UK. Cantlie was to be a star witness.
The trial collapsed and Islam went free after Cantlie was unable to give evidence. The reasons for this were initially unclear, however a feature in the Independent last week with a journalist who knew Cantlie appears to throw light on the matter. Even as the court case that could have convicted a leadinng British jihadi was collapsing, Cantlie was preparing to go back to Syria.
Algeria: ISIS-Linked Group Threatens to Kill French Hostage'
An Algerian Islamist terrorist group linked to the "Islamic State" (also known as IS or ISIS) on Tuesday claimed responsibility for the kidnapping of a French citizen, and threatened to execute him if their demands are not met.
The "Soldiers of the Caliphate" released a video in which they announced they would execute 55-year-old Hervé Gourdel within 24 hours if France did not end its involvement in the ongoing US-led military intervention against IS.
Sitting in between two masked, armed men, Gourdel addressed President Francois Hollande directly: "This armed group has asked me to demand that you do not intervene in Iraq. They are holding me hostage. I beg you, Monsieur Président, to do all in your power to get me out of here."
The French government has confirmed the authenticity of the video.
Italy's Berlusconi says Israelis back nuking ISIS in Iraq/Syria (not satire)
At a highly sensitive moment with ISIS hostages in Iraq/Syria under threat of death, former Italian leader Silvio Berlusconi has said he has secret information that Israelis would fire nuclear weapons at the Islamist terror group (also known as ISIL and IS) if it became necessary.
“I can’t reveal my sources, but I can tell you with certainty that at the moment the majority of Israeli citizens are thinking it’s correct to defend themselves with the atomic bomb,” Berlusconi was quoted in Corriere della Sera as saying. (Translation courtesy of The Local)
Whether that means Israeli officials have told him that or not was unclear.
ISIS Launches New Push to Put Pants on Goats
Then they moved on to goats.
"The northern Syrian city of Raqqa is at the centre of an intelligence gathering operation to find Jihadi John.
Dubbed the ‘heart of evil’ by Special Forces, it is effectively capital of the self-proclaimed Islamic State.
Smoking is now forbidden, women must wear the full veil and there have been reports of people being stoned to death.
Even goats have had their genitals covered.
It is said that if you are on the streets at prayer time, you risk your life."

The goat pants story appeared earlier in Der Spiegel.
Way To Go Muslims! Islamic States Are 37 Of Top 50 Nations That Persecute Christians In 2014
Top 50 Nations That Persecute Christians - 2014
Majority Muslim States comprise 37 of the top 50 nations that persecute Christians according to World Watch.
Next time some apologist tells you that "the Majority of Muslims live in peace" ask him; Where?
You could add 3 non-Muslim majority states to the total, Central African Republic, Kenya and Eritrea, where Muslims, as is the norm, are making life miserable for Christians, but for the purposes of this exercise I counted only Muslim Majority states.
Ahmad Al-Tayeb, Sunni Islam’s Pope: “Global Zionism” (=Jews) Responsible For Jihad Terror Groups in the Middle East
Tantawi’s successor, Ahmad Al-Tayeb, current Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, publicly reiterated this sacralized, Jew-hating bigotry. During an interview with Al-Tayeb, which aired on Channel 1, Egyptian TV, October 25, 2013, he gave a brief explanation of the ongoing relevance of the Koranic verse 5:82 which has been invoked—“successfully”—to inspire Muslim hatred of Jews since the advent of Islam:
"A verse in the Koran explains the Muslims’ relations with the Jews…This is an historical perspective, which has not changed to this day. See how we suffer today from global Zionism and Judaism…Since the inception of Islam 1,400 years ago, we have been suffering from Jewish and Zionist interference in Muslim affairs. This is a cause of great distress for the Muslims. The Koran said it and history has proven it: “You shall find the strongest among men in enmity to the believers to be the Jews…”
Now, less than a year later—consistent with his belief in (and promulgation of) Islam’s “sacralized,” conspiratorial Jew-hating canon—Grand Imam al-Tayeb is insisting that the scourge of jihad terrorism, ravaging the Middle East, epitomized by IS/IL, is due to the machinations of “Global Zionism,” i.e., Jews. During a televised statement which aired on Channel 1 Egyptian TV, September 8, 2014, al-Tayeb intoned:
"All the [fundamentalist terrorist groups] are the new products of imperialism, in the service of global Zionism in its new version, and its plot to destroy the [Middle] East and tear region apart."
Both Tantawi’s and his successor Ahmad Al-Tayeb’s career trajectories to the apogee of Sunni Islamic religious education, despite their own public endorsements of virulent, if “sacralized” Islamic Jew-hatred, reflect the profound moral pathology at the very heart and soul of mainstream, institutional Islam.
Remembering Martin Luther King, Jr. – The Man and the Mission
African American-Jewish civil rights cooperation had roots dating back before World War I from the founding of the NAACP in 1909. Jewish lawyers like Jack Greenberg helped draw up the briefs that Thurgood Marshall presented in 1954 to the U.S. Supreme Court which outlawed Jim Crow schools. Jews—including Stanley Levison, a member of MLK’s inner circle—were crucial to the success of the SCLC. In 1963 at the March on Washington, young Jews carried signs reading in Hebrew and English the biblical quotation inscribed on the base of the Liberty Bell: “Proclaim liberty throughout the land.” As many as a third of the white Northern college students who risked their lives to join 1964’s Mississippi Freedom Summer to register black voters were Jews. Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner were lynched beside black Mississippian James Earl Chaney. Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, who fled Hitler’s Germany and became a close friend of MLK, marched with him hand-in-hand in Selma in 1965 for voting rights because he believed that “the Exodus is far from completed.”
MLK became a “Jewish hero” not least because the Jewish state of Israel always remained central to his vision. Almost a year after 1967 Sixth Day War, he declared: “I see Israel, and never mind saying it, as one of the great outposts of democracy in the world and a marvelous example of . . . how desert land almost can be transformed into an oasis of brotherhood and democracy.”
But it was not only his consistent support for Israel that attracted so many young, and generally clueless young Jews. Many of us were angry about the injustices we saw around us, by the still open wound of 6 million dead European Jews and by the failure of the Jewish Establishment to save them or to speak out for 3 million Jews trapped in a spiritual dead-end known as the Soviet Union.
We Played Jazz in the Hell of the Holocaust
The fascinating story of the 'Ghetto Swingers' – a jazz ensemble active during the Holocaust – reveals one of the lesser known aspects of European Jewry's age of horror • Composer and musician Fritz Weiss, played jazz in the Theresienstadt concentration camp and even smuggled out arrangements to Emil Ludwick's band in Prague • 70 years ago, he was taken to the gas chambers at the age of 25 • Saxophonist Shai Brenner tells of the lost jazz legend
I am a soprano saxophonist, and have been playing for twenty years now. Two years ago, I started to have an interest in the connection between the Jewish people and jazz music in the time of the Holocaust. It was then that I learned of the chilling and tragic story of the Jewish jazz band the 'Ghetto-Swingers' and the musician who headed it, Fritz Weiss. As a member of a holocaust surviving family myself, the story excited me so much that I decided to dedicate a special musical project in their memory.
Israeli firm looks to keep solar power generators running at night
The direct generation of electricity by photovoltaic (PV) solar panels is a far more common way to convert solar energy than by using solar heat to fuel thermal power plants, which take up more space and are not suitable for small-scale applications such as residential homes.
But a row of parabolic mirrors now tracks the sun at Brenmiller's research site in the searing Negev desert, concentrating the rays to generate the steam needed to drive a turbine for producing electricity.
It is a technique that has been used for years but in addition to immediately generating steam some of the solar heat is also conducted by a fluid into a novel storage system buried beneath the mirrors which operates at 550 degrees Celsius.
Toyota to run connected car hackathon in Israel
A Toyota hackathon next month will be the first tech event put on by a large Japanese corporation in Israel, allowing programmers and entrepreneurs here to present ideas on improving car safety and performance, the company announced Sunday, looking for inspiration for a whole new kind of vehicle, the “connected car.”
Toyota’s ITC (InfoTechnology Center), an important R&D arm of the Japanese car giant, will host the event on October 23 and 24 in Tel Aviv. Israeli entrepreneurs, programmers, tinkerers, and hackers are invited to showcase concepts to enhance road safety, vehicle performance, and engineering improvements, with an emphasis on the use of Big Data.
Among the most important aspects of development for the company in the coming years, Toyota said, is the perfection of the connected car — a vehicle that uploads and downloads information to and from the cloud, enhancing safety and the driving experience. Participants will utilize Toyota’s WebAPI, which will supply data about trial connected vehicles the company already makes. Hopefully, Toyota said, “participants are going to hack and create new services.”
Israel's tourism sector expected to recover quickly post-Gaza war
Israel's tourism industry is expected to recover after it suffered a severe setback during Operation Protective Edge this summer, Tourism Minister Uzi Landau said on Monday.
"Incoming tourism dropped between 20 to 30 percent during the month of Operation Protective Edge," Landau told Reuters. "Much of that has been off set by special domestic tourism campaigns that we have just quickly brought-up. Now we are again coming back to the routine way of life, to the routine day to day tourism that is picking up. We hope it will take between three, to four, to six months ... to put everything back on track."
New Jerusalem Project to Provide 50,000 Jobs
Jerusalem's “front gate” is set to get a major upgrade in the coming years. At a joint press conference Monday, Minister of Finance Yair Lapid, Minister of Transport Yisrael Katz, Minister of Housing Uri Ariel, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat and the head of the Israel Lands Authority, Benzi Lieberman, signed today a development agreement that will see major development of the western edge of Jerusalem, with new housing and business projects.
The project will include construction of malls, business parks, and leisure areas that will include 130,000 square meters of hotel rooms and shopping space (with a total of 2,000 new hotel rooms) 230,000 square meters for industry and business, and 49,000 square meters for recreation and leisure. Additionally the project includes expanding the Israel Convention Center (Binyanei Ha'uma), bringing it up to international standards, and modernizing the neighboring buildings housing the Zionist Archives.
Former Israeli President Shimon Peres Goes Job Hunting


Poll finds Israelis satisfied going into new year
Seventy-five percent of Israelis are satisfied with their personal situation in life going into the new Jewish year 5775 and only 25% are unsatisfied, according to the monthly Peace Index poll released Tuesday that is co-sponsored by the Israel Democracy Institute (IDI) and Tel Aviv University.
This poll of 600 respondents who constitute a representative sample of the adult population of Israel was conducted last week and had a margin of error of ±4.1%.
When asked how they thought their overall situation would change in the coming year, 45% of Jewish Israelis said they expected their overall situation to remain the same in the coming year, 38% expect it to be better, and eight percent expect it to be worse. Among Arab Israelis, 37% expect their overall situation to be better in the coming year, 33% expect it to remain the same, and 24% expect it to be worse.
NJ breaks Guinness shofar record
More than 1,000 people gathered at a New Jersey Jewish institution to break the Guinness World Record for largest shofar ensemble.
The participants blew together on the shofars for five minutes at the Alex Aidekman Family Jewish Community Campus in the “Great Shofar Blowout” sponsored by the Partnership for Jewish Learning and Life, NJ.com reported.
The previous shofar ensemble record was held by Swampscott, Massachusetts, which blew 796 shofars on the beach in 2006.
Israel Daily Picture: Happy New Year! Jews Will Blow the Shofar (Ram's Horn) in Synagogues on Thursday and Friday
"Blow the Shofar at the New Moon...Because It Is a Decree for Israel, a Judgment Day for the God of Jacob" - Psalms 81
Jews around the world prepare for Rosh Hashanna this week, the festive New Year holiday when the shofar -- ram's horn -- is blown in synagogues. 
The American Colony photographers recorded a dozen pictures of Jewish elders blowing the shofar in Jerusalem some 80 years ago. The horn was also blown in Jerusalem to announce the commencement of the Sabbath. During the month prior to Rosh Hashanna, the shofar was blown at daily morning prayers to encourage piety before the High Holidays. 


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