Thursday, October 30, 2014

From Ian:

International Law is Not a Suicide Pact
It is always tempting for those who know absolutely nothing about international law to lash out viscerally at Israel. Yet, trained legal scholars do understand the profound jurisprudential significance of context. Correct judgments under international law are never made in isolation.
It is apparent, then, that any seemingly disproportionate use of force by the Israel Defense Forces during Protective Edge was the outcome of prior perfidy committed by Palestinian terrorist forces in Gaza. Also noteworthy is that in any careful comparison to the current U.S. led war on ISIS terror, Israeli counter-terrorist operations have remained substantially limited.
International law is not a suicide pact. Faced with Palestinian terrorists in Gaza who still make no secret of their genocidal intentions, Israel still displays persistently marked restraint. In contrast to the witting indiscriminacy of Arab terrorists in Gaza, and to undisguised Palestinian perfidy, Israel takes very great care to minimize civilian harms. This self-imposed Israeli limitation on armed force is codified and followed as IDF "Purity of Arms," even when the consequent risks to Israel's soldiers are multiplied and enlarged.
In the manner of every other country in world politics, Israel maintains an unqualified right under international law to protect its citizens. Until now, in exercising this fully "peremptory" right, Jerusalem's use of military force has remained closely measured and controlled. It follows that the international community should finally begin to shift its allegedly jurisprudential concerns from the crudely deceptive mantras of "lawfare," and focus instead on the still-escalating criminality of Palestinian terrorism.
5 Facts That Prove Jerusalem Was NEVER A Muslim Holy City Or An Arab Capital!
Let’s play a game of association.
What is the first thing that comes to mind when I say JERUSALEM?
If your answer was “Holy City”, then you are either Jewish or you believe in the Jewish connection to the city of Jerusalem. If you are Christian, Jerusalem is holy to you because Jesus, who was a Jew, lived there. Therefore, it is holy as the Jewish capital and the home of the two Jewish Temples that stood in Jerusalem.
If you are a Muslim, I am sure you are probably offended by the mere suggestion that Jerusalem was NEVER a Muslim holy city or an Arab capital of any kind, but since you cannot hurt me or blow me up, you’re going to have to face these historical truths and be content with writing violent reactions in the comments section below.
While Threats to Israel Surge, So Does Christian Zionism, Says CUFI’s Hagee
While anti-Semitism in Europe and anti-Zionism on U.S. college campuses are on the upswing, how is American Christian support for Israel trending? Stronger than ever, says the founder of the country’s largest pro-Israel organization.
“I can assure you that the evangelical Christians of America support Israel right now in a more aggressive mood than at any time in my lifetime,” Pastor John Hagee, national chairman of the 1.8-million member Christians United for Israel (CUFI), said in an interview with
Hagee’s assessment of the pulse of Christian Zionism came one day after 5,000 people attended the 33rd annual “A Night to Honor Israel” at Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, TX. CUFI’s goal is to facilitate that same program in every major U.S. city.
“We want to send the message to the world and to the Jewish people that Christians are standing up for the state of Israel and the Jewish people at home and abroad,” Hagee said. “It’s not conversation. It’s action.”
Christian priest tells UN: "Israel is the only Mideast country not persecuting Christians"

Why the Mastermind Behind Leon Klinghoffer’s Murder Went Free
Amid the ongoing controversy over the Metropolitan Opera’s performance of “The Death of Klinghoffer,” little has been said about the Palestinian leader who masterminded the attack in which Leon Klinghoffer was murdered.
The decision to hijack the Achille Lauro cruise ship in 1985 was made by Muhammad Zaidan, also known as Muhammad Abbas or Abu Abbas, leader of the Palestine Liberation Front. (Not to be confused with his comrade-in-arms Mahmoud Abbas, the current president of the Palestinian Authority.)
Four of Abu Abbas’s agents seized the ship, terrorized the passengers, and murdered the wheelchair-bound, 69 year-old Klinghoffer. They also demanded the release of 50 Palestinian terrorists being held in Israeli prisons. When the Israelis refused to negotiate, Abbas’s gang forced the ship to sail to Egypt. The Egyptian government arranged for them to flee by plane, but the U.S. air force intercepted the plane and forced it to land in Italy. The Italians, however, refused to extradite the terrorists to America, and instead put them on trial. All four were convicted, but two were set free in just six years; the other two were released in 2008 and 2009.
‘Profoundly Abnormal’: Photos of an Israeli Kindergarten Say a Lot About Life on Gaza Border
Though they endured weeks of constant Hamas rocket attacks this summer, residents of a southern Israeli community are determined to create as normal a life as possible for their children, as seen in a new mural painted on the fortress-like walls surrounding their neighborhood kindergarten.
“You visit these places and you’re struck by how profoundly abnormal life is in southern Israel,” Avi Mayer, a spokesman for the Jewish Agency, told TheBlaze from southern Israel Tuesday.
The Nahal Oz kindergarten is now decorated with a pastoral mural displaying trees, grass, a river and a hot-air balloon.
The effort of one of the communities most targeted during the summer hostilities to beautify its surroundings suggested how despite living under constant terror from next-door Gaza, residents are determined to remain optimistic. (h/t Sophie 44)
Malala to donate $50,000 children’s prize to Gaza schools
Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai said Wednesday she is giving her entire winnings from a children’s rights award to help rebuild schools in war-ravaged Gaza.
The UN Palestinian refugee agency UNRWA, which has launched a massive $1.6 billion appeal for aid for Gaza, said she would be donating all $50,000 of her World’s Children’s Prize.
“This money will totally go to the rebuilding of schools for children in Gaza, so I think it will definitely help those children to continue their education, to get quality education,” the 17-year-old Pakistani told a press conference in Sweden at the awards ceremony.
“We already know how children have suffered in Gaza from conflicts and war, so those children need our support right now, because they are going through many difficult situations.”
The money will be donated via UNRWA to help rebuild 65 schools in the Gaza Strip. (h/t Sophie 44)
Discrimination should be unwelcome in California
“I refuse,” Groucho Marx wrote in the late 1940s, “to join any club that would have me as a member.” A proud Jew, Groucho uttered these immortal words at the height of anti-Jewish restrictions in American country clubs, hotels, restaurants, schools and exclusive neighborhoods.
Thankfully, times have changed and Jews are welcome in all precincts of American public and private life.
But a new, more invidious kind of discrimination has arisen in recent years that threatens to exclude certain Israelis from public accommodations in California on the basis of their national origin.
The story begins last December, when the American Studies Association (ASA) formally passed a resolution boycotting Israeli universities in an apparent effort to pressure the Jewish state into reaching a peace accord with the Palestinians.
Israel university will confront ASA boycott in LA
The saga of the American Studies Association’s Israel boycott continues to get more dramatic. The ASA has recently significantly retracted (or reinterpreted) the academic boycott of Israel it adopted earlier this year. It now claims that Israeli scholars and representatives of Israeli institutions are welcome at its annual conference.
The University of Haifa is putting this to the test. The school is sending an official representative to the conference, which will be held at the Westin Bonaventure in Los Angeles, Nov. 6-9.
SodaSteam to close West Bank factory
SodaStream representative Nirit Hurwitz said that the decision to move the factory to Lehavim in Israel’s southern Negev region was for “purely commercial” reasons and was not connected to pressure from pro-Palestinian activists who had boycotted the company because of its location.
A pro-Palestinian boycott movement has targeted businesses that operate in the West Bank, saying they benefit from Israel’s occupation of the territory, which was captured in 1967 and is claimed by the Palestinians. The Palestinian boycott campaign welcomed Wednesday’s announcement, saying its boycott caused retailers to drop SodaStream, known for its machines that allow users to make their own carbonated beverages.
Hurwitz said the new location received a $20 million grant from the Israeli government. The new location “will become our flagship manufacturing site and is expected to deliver operational excellence and result in savings of 2 percent across our entire cost base.” she said. The move is expected to be complete by the end of next year.
SodaStream has defended the factory in the past, saying it employs hundreds of Palestinians and gives them equal benefits as Israeli workers. Most of them are from nearby West Bank towns.
Sodastream Stock Surges as PepsiCo Announces 10-Week Trial
SodaStream and PepsiCo have cut a small deal that will see the giant soda company testing new flavors in the make-your-own beverages market via Israel’s at-home carbonation specialist. At the SuperBowl earlier this year, SodaStream’s commercial for Game Day was banned because of a jab at Coke and Pepsi. But it now seems the giant soft drink makers want a cut of the homemade drinks market. The SodaStream-Pepsi deal comes in the wake of Coca-Cola announcing a contract with Keurig Green Mountain, which plans to introduce a SodaStream rival. “At-home, make-your-own beverages represent an emerging category that has generated interest among some consumers,” Pepsi said in a statement. SodaStream shares surged upon news of the Pepsi deal. The make-your-own Pepsi products are being geared towards health-conscious buyers and will be sweetened with sugar and stevia. The 10-week trial for new drinks – including Pepsi Homemade and Sierra Mist Homemade — will launch in the next few weeks in Orlando and Tampa, according to a Pepsi statement.
Maureen Lipman Stands Up For Israel
Maureen Lipman, the actress, has announced she is ending five decades of support for the Labour Party, as she furiously denounced Ed Miliband’s stance on Israel.
Mrs Lipman said she will vote for “almost any other party” until Labour is “once more led by mensches” – the Yiddish word for a person of integrity.
In a deeply personal attack on Mr Miliband, Mrs Lipman said his support for a motion recognising the state of Palestine “sucks” at a time of rising anti-Semitism in Europe.
Maureen Lipman has a long record of supporting Israel, and is even on record as having launched this zinger at Miriam Margolyes:
Miriam Margolyes has been accused of having a big mouth by Maureen Lipman.
The star of the Harry Potter films publicly stated that she was unhappy that the Habima, Israel’s national theatre company, was performing at the Globe in London as part of its Cultural Olympiad event. Margolyes felt it will associate the revered theatre with the “policies of exclusion” practised by the Israeli state.
“Come on Miriam,” retorts Lipman. “You’re not short of a loud opinion. You must have an answer to allowing China to play at the Globe, but not the only democracy in the Middle East. The Jewish community waits with oft-baited breath.”
Anti-Semitism on campus
The current forces aligned against Israel on campus fuel an atmosphere of hatred and disdain, which must be rejected immediately.
While groups such as Students for Justice in Palestine openly promote evil, the more ostensibly moderate must be challenged as well.
Evil is evil, as in the case of SJP. But it is also evil to actively work to elevate groups and people, under a guise of legitimacy, that promote a form of global collectivism that curiously enough leaves room for everyone and every state but the Jewish one. Groups such as J Street must be held to account for this behavior.
In his October 14 article in The Wall Street Journal, Bret Stephens wrote that “[n]ature abhors a vacuum, and so does power: American retreat means someone else – someone we don’t like – is going to step in.” While Stephens warned of a geopolitical climate absent an active and functioning US foreign policy, the threat of a vacuum jockeyed by inimical voices looms large on college campuses. If we leave an opportunity for those with misguided and insidious ideologies to take over the narrative, manipulate the truth and dictate the tone of the atmosphere on campus, they will.
Those on campus interested in Israel’s cause have a moral responsibility to speak out and demand the presence of a moral compass – insisting on the elevation of humanity and modernity over barbarism. Are we prepared to handle the repercussion of a generation of college students familiar with the concept of justice solely absent a rigid definition? We shouldn’t test it.
Standing against anti-Semitism in the UK
The Manchester community, working with the local council and police, has successfully mobilized in support of the Kedem store. Representative bodies and grassroots groups have shown that when they work together, they can achieve much. We can all learn from them.
We must win allies, because we Jews cannot fight anti-Semitism alone. And that is why we greatly appreciated the presence of our friends at the rally, including Jim Murphy MP, Christians for Israel, the Kurdish community, Rev. Mike Fryer and all who showed their support. The address by Chancellor George Osborne that was read out was greatly appreciated, too, and showed that the government retains a zero tolerance attitude to any form of anti-Semitism.
When it was all over, the crowd simply refused to go home. They danced and sang to the music and simply enjoyed the coming together. It was a genuinely uplifting moment. The Manchester and northern communities set an example to us all.
The Board, on behalf of the 300,000-strong UK Jewish community, shall continue to remind government, opposition and everyone in the public space that prejudice may start against the Jews but it never ends with the Jews. As Lord Sacks has said, a society that cannot tolerate difference loses its humanity.
Haaretz Cartoon: Offensive to Israel, Offensive to the U.S.
The above is how Haaretz chose to illustrate the tensions in U.S.-Israel relations.
This cartoon by Amos Biderman is offensive on multiple levels.
Stripped of context, it could easily have been produced on a 9/11 conspiracy site, where Israel and the Mossad are still falsely held responsible for the destruction of New York’s Twin Towers.
It equates Israeli PM Netanyahu with Al-Qaeda terrorists.
But ultimately, it trivializes and makes a mockery of one of the greatest catastrophes in U.S. history.
Just how low can Haaretz go?
In a telephone interview with The Times of Israel, cartoonist Amos Biderman explains that he truly believes that the current crisis in U.S.-Israel relations is on a par with the terrorist murder of thousands in New York:
Cartoonist Turns Tables on Ha’aretz Anti-Netanyahu Pic
A satiric cartoon in the leftist Ha’aretz daily, slamming Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, has been turned around on the newspaper by a Zionist cartoonist of equal talent.
The cartoon showed the prime minister flying a plane named “Israel” heading directly into New York’s Twin Towers at the now-fallen World Trade Center, destroyed in a similar manner by Al Qaeda on Sept. 11, 2001.
It was a crude and tasteless way in which to attack the country’s leader.
Orit Kopel redrew the cartoon, however, to instead depict the “Character of the Day” flying the plane, labeled “Ha’aretz” (in Hebrew) directly at the Twin Towers decorated as the State of Israel and flying the Israeli flag.
Why Does Peter Beinart Still Think We Occupy Gaza?
So Beinart’s problem is that Gaza never took off, and Israel is to blame. Tell you the truth, Israel isn’t so happy about how Gaza is developing either. But Beinart buried a key point in the parentheses. Israel never did – never could – lay siege to the Strip, as it borders Egypt. And clearly Egypt felt as Israel did, and wanted to manage the human traffic in and out of Gaza. So Israel and an Arab nation shared a policy toward Gaza, which limited Gazans’ self rule. This alone should give us pause: exercising some control over the borders seems to be an entirely acceptable position when evacuating an unstable, violent, hostile region.
Furthermore, I don’t think there is a functional country in existence which does not monitor its border traffic. So when Beinart accuses Israel (and Egypt) of “[controlling] whether Gazans could enter or exit the Strip,” I am not sure what the problem is. The United States practices the same policy on its Canadian border, and the Canadians return the favor. In fact, Gaza controls its ports of entry as well; not everyone who wants to enter Gaza is permitted access.
Whatever Israeli ‘siege’ Beinart is intent on believing in did not begin with Israel’s retreat from Gaza – in fact it may be that it was not Israel that controlled the Rafah border but the EU. In fact, Israel actually made an agreement with the PA allowing Palestinians to move about more freely. It was not until the terrorist organization Hamas took over Gaza that Israel imposed stricter monitoring on the Gaza Strip.
BBC recycles an AP inaccuracy
However, as noted here in a previous post, the accusations did not come from “Egyptian media”, but from a senior Egyptian official speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat.
“Maj. Gen. Sameeh Beshadi, who was formerly in charge of security in the North Sinai governorate where the attacks took place, said there was “no doubt that Palestinian elements had taken part in the attacks,” which killed at least 30 soldiers, according to security and medical officials.
He said the assailants had entered Sinai via the tunnels linking the region with the Palestinian territories, and that the assailants had prepared the booby-trapped vehicle which Egyptian authorities say was used to carry out one of the attacks while inside Egyptian territory. [...]
NY Times Corrects Misquote by Ali Abunimah, Robert Mackey
The New York Times yesterday corrected an article by its journalist Robert Mackey, who had approvingly relayed a misquotation by anti-Israel extremist Ali Abunimah.
Shortly after three Israeli teens were kidnapped in the West Bank, Mackey shared on his New York Times blog Abunimah's allegation that a popular Israeli Facebook page called for the arbitrary murder of Palestinians. "Kill a Palestinian ‘every hour,' says new Israeli Facebook page liked by 18,000," Abunimah claimed on Twitter.
New York Times editor admits holding Palestinians to a lower standard
Why this discrepancy?
Times opinion editor Matt Seaton today provided a window into the mindset of the editors in his response to a query by this media analyst about whether readers “can expect two hit pieces on Palestinian racism in the next month” in keeping with the pace of the publication of (error-ridden) screeds about Israeli racism, both real and imagined.
Seaton, a former editor at the Guardian, known for its hostile treatment of Israel, tweeted back that The Times opinion pages would cover Palestinian racism as “soon as they have [a] sovereign state to discriminate with.”
The Guardian’s “Reputed” Jewish Temple
The Temple Mount is back in the news with regular disturbances by Arab residents of Jerusalem and the attempted assassination of Rabbi Yehuda Glick on Wednesday night.
According to The Guardian:
US-born Glick is closely associated with the Temple Mount Faithful, a religious rightwing group that seeks to rebuild a Jewish temple at the religiously-important site that contains the al-Aqsa mosque and where the ancient second Jewish temple reputedly once stood.
Has Peter Beaumont of The Guardian joined the ranks of Palestinian “Temple Deniers”?
Economist deceives in citing partial quote by Israeli MK about the Temple Mount
Unless they have another source that we weren’t able to find, the passage in The Economist is extremely misleading as it fails to include a key part of the quote, as well as vital context about the scope and motivation of Feiglin’s demands. He evidently was referring to visiting rights for Muslims during Sukkot, and only in reaction to the police decision to ban Jews during the holiday due to Muslim riots.
(Alternately, according to his Facebook page, Feiglin was even more narrowly calling for the removal of only Muslim rioters from the site.)
Times of London falsely reports apartheid-style “bus ban on Palestinians”
Indeed, Carlstrom – unlike other sites which covered the story, including Haaretz – didn’t include even one statement from an Israeli official contradicting his characterization of the proposed new rule, or explaining its rationale.
It would be quite fair to say that the new policy, if implemented, would have the effect of making it extremely less likely that Palestinians in the West Bank entering Israel via Eyal will use Israeli bus lines to return from work in Israel. However, to state, as the Times of London article did, that Palestinians will be “banned” from Israeli bus lines is false. No such rule has been proposed.
Indeed, whilst commentators can reasonably take issue with the new proposed rules, and the injurious impact it may have on Palestinian laborers, based on what’s been reported thus far there is no reason to believe that even one Palestinian will be denied service on Israeli bus lines – the necessary condition to claim that there’s a “ban”.
JPost Editorial: Hung jury
Reyhaneh Jabbari, 26, – was hanged from the gallows at Tehran’s Evin Prison last Saturday.
Her crime was self-defense. She struck down an attacker as he tried to rape her when she was still a teenager in 2007.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who won election last year on a liberal reformist platform, failed to intervene and commute the death sentence imposed back in 2009.
This tragedy underscores the gaping chasm between the regime’s make-nice affectations toward the international community and the unchanging face of the ayatollahs’ harsh rule.
Jabbari’s sad story exposes Iranian hypocrisy and double-dealing vis-à-vis the West, which could barely contain its alacrity to ease sanctions on Tehran as soon as Rouhani was sworn in.
According to American and EU pronouncements, the supposedly less hard-line Rouhani (despite the ayatollahs’ suspicion-arousing backing) is a harbinger of change for both the repressive theocracy domestically and for his country’s nuclear ambitions.
Israel’s warnings that the West wily-nilly allows Iran to develop nuclear weapons are scornfully ignored abroad. The hanging of a woman for the crime of fighting off a sexual predator further gives the lie to claims of Iranian liberalization. Nevertheless, there is no meaningful outrage in the international community, save for scarcely audible official lip-service and obligatory denunciation from Amnesty International.
UN concerned about Iran’s ‘surge of executions’
At least 850 people have been executed in Iran in the past 15 months as part of a worsening human rights situation under reformist President Hassan Rouhani, a UN official said Monday.
Ahmed Shaheed, the rights rapporteur for Iran, described a “surge in executions,” giving Iran the world’s highest death-penalty rate per capita.
“The range of capital crimes is shocking,” Shaheed told journalists. “We have seen a person executed for making a donation to a foreign organization.”
The rapporteur said he was “shocked” by the hanging over the weekend of 26-year-old Reyhaneh Jabbari who was convicted of murdering a former intelligence officer who, she claimed, had tried to sexually assault her.
Iran's non-Muslims face prison, execution, despite 'reform' claims, says new UN report
Iran’s regime conducted a raid on an Easter service and arrested Christians, subjected Christian converts to death threats and psychological abuse and shut down licensed churches, according to a UN report that will be submitted to world leaders on Tuesday.
While persecution of religious minorities is nothing new in the Islamic Republic, the 28-page catalog of horrors compiled by Ahmed Shaheed, the UN’s Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Right in the Islamic Republic of Iran, undermines the claim that President Hassan Rouhani has ushered in a new era of tolerance.
“At least 49 Protestant Christians are currently detained, many for involvement in informal house churches,” the report states. “In April 2014, security forces reportedly raided an Easter service in a private home in southern Tehran and detained six individuals.”
Iran Arrests Journalists Who Reported Acid Attacks
Iran arrested four journalists from the Isna news agency after they reported the acid attacks against women in Isfahan. Isna was one of the first to reach out to the attacked women. The reports caused international outrage.
The four journalists are not named. Police arrested and released “Zahra Mohammadi, the head of Isna’s office in Isfahan, and Sanam Farsi, its social affairs editor.” Isna’s photographer Arya Jafari was also arrested. He photographed a protest in Isfahan. AFP and Getty Images quickly picked up these pictures. It did not take long for them to go viral around the world.
“This case deals with everything Iranian hardliners can’t stand: critical media coverage, street protests, women’s rights and government accountability,” said Jason Stern from the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). “So they have turned yet again to their tired practice of arresting journalists in a failed attempt to prevent Iranians and the world from knowing what is really happening in Isfahan. All of the arrested journalists should be released immediately.”
Iran wants sanctions lifted before nuclear deal
The announcement came amid intensifying efforts to conclude a definitive pact. The six powers in the talks with Iran -- Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States plus Germany, known as the P5+1 -- have set November 24 as the deadline.
The chairman of the Iranian parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Alaeddin Boroujerdi said the US proposal of a gradual lifting of sanctions was "unacceptable."
"If we want a definitive accord on November 24, there must be an immediate lifting of sanctions," he told a news conference in Paris.
Iran says foils attempt to sabotage nuclear heavy-water tanks
Asghar Zarean, deputy chief in charge of nuclear protection and security at Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, was quoted by the Tehran newspaper Arman as saying the bid to damage tanks at the Arak heavy-water production plant occurred two weeks ago.
"There were attempts to cause disruption in storage tanks due to carry heavy water. But these attempts were discovered and foiled before the tanks were filled with heavy water at Arak," Zarean was quoted as saying.
"A foreign country was behind the attempt," he said, without elaborating. Iranian officials could not be immediately reached for further comment.
The Arak plant has been producing heavy water to operate a planned 40-megawatt research reactor nearby that Iran says is intended to make isotopes for cancer and other medical treatments.
Reports Show Iran Reasserting Its Influence in Iraq
The rapid advances by ISIS forces led Iran to send weapons to Kurdish militants in northern Iraq and to send military advisers across the border. An Iranian ground forces commander, Ahmad Reza Pourdestana, even said Iran will attack ISIS fighters inside Iraq if they advance near the border. According to some reports, there are already Iranian forces inside Iraq.
Iran is mainly worried about the safety of Shi’ite religious cities and shrines that are located inside Iraq, such as Karbala, Samarra and Najaf. Iranian media outlets report on a regular basis about the death of Iranian “volunteers” that were killed in Iraq while protecting Shi’ite holy places.
But Iran’s involvement in Iraq is no longer covert. Iranian military officials visit different places in Iraq and make ​​it clear that without the help of Iran, Iraq as a whole would be conquered by ISIS. Iranian television recently published a rare picture of its elite Quds Force chief on an Iraqi battlefield.
Jewish cemetery in Norway vandalized
A Jewish cemetery in the north of Norway was desecrated, local media said.
The incident was discovered on October 25 at the Jewish cemetery of Trondheim, the Norwegian daily newspaper Aftenposten reported.
Several tombstones were vandalized with purple paint and the words “Der Furher,” a reference to Adolf Hitler, were painted on a nearby building.
Police are patrolling the area but have no suspects, Aftenposten reported.
Morocco’s Unlikely Keepers of Jewish Culture
In the grand sanctuary of Manhattan’s Congregation Shearith Israel last Thursday, a group of more than 200 people gathered to hear from the leaders of Mimouna, a group of Moroccan Muslims dedicated to preserving Jewish Moroccan culture. This particular Jewish experience began with, of course, the food; a wide array of Moroccan kosher delicacies, including fig liqueur.
Afterwards, the crowd headed upstairs for remarks and a panel discussion. Moroccan Counsel General Mohammed Benabdeljalil kicked off the event by wishing everyone a belated “Shana Tova” and highlighted Moroccan efforts to preserve national Jewish landmarks.
Mimouna is an organization founded seven years ago by Elmehdi Boudra with the purpose of teaching young Muslim college students about the rich history of unity between Jewish and Muslim Moroccans. The organization, which has grown to include chapters on four college campuses in Morocco, is named after the holiday celebrated by Moroccan Jews the day after Passover, in which many families would invite their Muslim neighbors for a feast signifying the end of the holiday. The group now offers Hebrew classes on campuses, fosters interfaith dialogue amongst students, and holds a Moroccan Jewish day with authentic kosher cuisine, music, and a mini-museum of artifacts.
Breakthrough paves way for DNA-based electrical circuits
An Israeli-led international group of scientists has announced the most significant breakthrough in a decade toward developing DNA-based electrical circuits. The new research could reignite interest in the use of DNA-based wires and devices in the development of programmable circuits.
The international group led by Prof. Danny Porath, the Etta and Paul Schankerman Professor in Molecular Biomedicine at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, reports reproducible and quantitative measurements of electricity flow through long molecules made of four DNA strands, signaling a significant breakthrough towards the development of DNA-based electrical circuits.
The research was published in the prestigious journal Nature Nanotechnology under the title “Long-range charge transport in single G-quadruplex DNA molecules.”
Robbie Williams set to rock the Holy Land
After much speculation, rumors and anticipation, British pop sensation Robbie Williams will perform in the Holy Land for the first time.
In a leaked YouTube video, Williams, sporting the heavy glam rock makeup he wore in his 1997 hit "Let Me Entertain You" music video, gleefully sing-songs the list of cities that will make up his upcoming tour. The last name the singer mentions is none other than Israel's White City.
"Let me entertain you! Some of the towns and far off places I've never played before and others I've played for ages," he sings, paraphrasing the lyrics to the famous song.
"You'll hear some of my favorite songs, it'll sell out so don't be be long, mon cher," he continued, making one final gleeful plug for what is sure to be a tour that will do well at the box office.
The concert scheduled for May 2, 2015 at Park HaYarkon will be announced at an official press conference in London later today, Ynet reported.

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