Sunday, November 02, 2014


From Ian:

NGO Monitor: A deal with the devil: When aid supports terror groups
Two weeks ago, under the headline “US Humanitarian Aid Going to ISIS,” a Daily Beast exposé described how non-governmental organizations (NGOs), funded by the United States and European governments, were paying bribes “disguised and itemized as transportation costs” to gain access to areas of Syria controlled by Islamic State (IS or ISIS).
In addition to monetary contributions to IS, the article noted “fears [that] the aid itself isn’t carefully monitored enough, with some sold off on the black market or used by [IS] to win hearts and minds by feeding its fighters and its subjects.”
In other words, NGOs, ostensibly committed to human rights and guided by humanitarian values, have been supporting IS on multiple levels.
Similar challenges of delivering aid to areas controlled by violent, repressive terrorist groups also exist in another conflict zone in the Middle East: the Gaza Strip. Hamas, recognized as a terrorist organization by the US, EU and Canada, is the de facto ruling body in Gaza.
As became all too evident during this summer’s war, Hamas has been systematically weaponizing construction materials intended as assistance for the people of Gaza. Concrete, metal piping and electrical wiring have been diverted to build tunnels and rockets.
In the aftermath, NGOs and other international political actors are moving to rebuild the areas of Gaza devastated by Hamas’ tactic of conducting military operations from civilian areas. Preventing the exploitation of aid is paramount. Bribing IS or collaborating with Hamas poses a thorny moral quandary.
EU tantrums hurt Palestinians more than Israel
Today, it is estimated that up to 70 percent of Palestinians in the disputed territories financially depend in some way or other on agriculture, either by working in settlements or farming their own land.
It should be noted that poultry and their related products from settlements account for under 5% of all such products in Israel. That’s not to diminish the impact it will have on settlers, but the new European rules will not have much practical impact from an economic standpoint on Israeli agriculture as a whole.
Who it will undoubtedly hurt are the many thousands of Palestinian workers on settlement farms, as well as the thousands of freehold farmers in the territories who needed the ministry certification to export their goods.
So, just as the BDS managed to ensure that 900 Palestinians lost their job at Sodastream, the EU, in a fit of pique, is making the same mistake on a much, much bigger scale.
Sometimes during a tantrum, the child ends up hurting themselves. The EU is hurting its own credibility, and its standing internationally, by such pointless partisan actions.
It needs to grow up. And fast.
November 2, 1917: The Balfour Declaration
Among the speakers was the eminent Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook from the city of Jaffa who due to circumstances related to the war was in London at the time. Rabbi Kook’s message was quite different, “I have not come here to thank the British nation, but even more, to congratulate it for the privilege of making this declaration. The Jewish nation is the ‘scholar’ among the nations, the ‘people of the book,’ a nation of prophets; and it is a great honor for any nation to aid it. I bless the British nation for having extended such honorable aid to the people of the Torah, so that they may return to their land and renew their homeland.”
Rabbi Kook offered recognition to the British but not thanks. If Britain offered the pledge, then it fulfilled a role for which it was destined.
He believed the British need not be thanked for giving the Jews what has been rightfully theirs for over three thousand years, or for offering the Jews the land which was taken from them by Roman conquerors 1800 years earlier.
Furthermore, the British issued the declaration, but they had not yet delivered on its promises of Jewish Statehood. Despite the euphoria, Britain would soon abandon its promises.
By 1919, members of the Jewish Legion who fought valiantly with the British to expel the Turks from Palestine in 1918 were prohibited from entering Jerusalem on Passover. One year later, during Passover, an Arab pogrom broke out in Jerusalem. Five Jews were murdered and hundreds were wounded, eighteen of them critically. Synagogues were desecrated, shops were looted, and homes were ransacked.
The British military authorities rejected the Jews’ demands to dismiss the Arab police who participated in the pogrom. The Jews as a whole condemned the response by the British, and accused them of complicity in the pogrom. Accusations were also subsequently leveled that the British incited the violence.



Elliott Abrams: US policy, viewed from the Middle East
It's natural that in the United States we see the Middle East from our own perspective, but it is very useful to step away from that perspective for a moment to try to see the region as our closest allies there do. By closest allies I refer to Israel and to Arab states such as the UAE, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.
In some recent travel to the region and conversations in Washington and New York with Arab and Israeli officials, I heard a view that is chiefly remarkable for its uniformity: Arab and Israeli leaders stating the same views, almost interchangeably at times. The flippant remark that "the Obama administration has achieved just one thing in the Middle East: to draw Israel and the Arabs closer together" turns out to carry a great deal of truth.
As the officials with whom I spoke described the regional situation, they face two enormous challenges: Islamist extremism of the variety touted by al-Qaida and the Islamic State group, and the rise of Iran. As to the latter, they all perceive the U.S. government as not only conceding to Iranian hegemony in the region but even promoting it as a something positive.
Kuwaiti writer: We’ve ignored it, but Jews played important part in country’s history
A Kuwaiti columnist, Nasser Bader al-Eidan, published an article in the daily Al-Rai tracing the history of the Jews in his country and its positive contributions to its economy and culture.
According to a report by MEMRI (the Middle East Media Research Institute), Eidan stated: “Kuwaitis of old were a shining model of interfaith coexistence and tolerance. Nowadays such tolerance doesn’t exist [even] among members of the same faith, same homeland and same destiny.”
“The presence of Jews in Kuwait began in the late 18th century. Most of them came from Iraq because of the Ottoman regime, which imposed the [jizya] poll [tax] upon them and undermined their trade activity,” explained Eidan. “The history of the Jews in Kuwait is important, but most of our generation knows nothing about it, and our textbooks ignore it.”
Eidan observed the important role Jews played in Kuwait’s modern history “whether we like it or not,” as they contributed to trade, arts and the sciences.
Spitting, head butting and lasers shone in players' eyes: Ugly scenes in Saudi Arabia mar the Western Sydney Wanderers' victory in Asian Champions League football final
Bitter losers Al Hilal reacted badly to their loss at fulltime, instigating a raging fight.
Enraged Al Hilal forward Nasser Al-Shamrani spat at Wanderers' player Matthew Spiranovic before lunging at him, provoking a brawl between the two sides before they were separate
Moments earlier, during the added five minutes of injury time, Al-Shamrani appeared to also deliberately headbutt the Wanderers' defender which was not pulled up by the referee.
Throughout the game, Wanderers' goalkeepers Ante Covic had lasers flashed at his eyes in a dirty tactic from fans in the 70,000-person strong crowd.
Despite the confrontation, the Wanderers were ecstatic about the victory.
'To come such a long way in the short history of this club and win a title like this ... I'm so proud,' said Wanderers goalkeeper Ante Covic, who was named player of the tournament.
'Tonight is very special and it's not going to be forgotten.'
Jerusalem optimistic over EU's new foreign policy chief
The European Union’s new foreign policy chief urges the rapid creation of a Palestinian state. She sees the EU’s role as exerting “political pressure” on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. And she believes that it is “right to engage Iran,” a state that may just be “part of the solution” to the conflicts in the Middle East.
Yet officials in Jerusalem are hopeful that Federica Mogherini will be better for Israel than her predecessor.
On Saturday, Mogherini will succeed Catherine Ashton as the union’s high representative for foreign affairs and security policy. Less than a week later, she is scheduled to arrive in Israel and the Palestinian territories for her first official visit in her new capacity.
“I will surely bring with me to Brussels a very strong engagement for the Middle East,” she said Tuesday at a conference on Syria in Berlin.
ADL: Swedish Recognition of Palestine 'Reward for Intransigence'
Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, responded to the declaration:
"We are appalled by Sweden’s reckless and woefully misguided recognition of a state of Palestine, which was unwise, untimely, unhelpful and unserious. It will do nothing to promote Israeli-Palestinian cooperation, nor bring about a real Palestinian state. The only effect will be negative, encouraging the Palestinian strategy of circumventing direct negotiations with Israel.
"The government of Israel and the vast majority of Israelis favor a mutually negotiated two-state solution, understanding that it will require hard decisions on borders, settlements and other complex and deeply emotional issues.
"More responsible governments have made clear to the Palestinian leadership that recognition will be the result of successful negotiations, which will require hard decisions on complex and deeply emotional issues."
Recognizing Palestine? Recognize Ladonia!
The Palestinian Authority has been granted non-member state status at the United Nations and just last week was recognized as an independent sovereign country by Sweden’s new prime minister.
So why not the tiny nation of Ladonia?
Ladonia a square kilometer that surrounds a set of sculptures – declared its independence from Sweden in 1996. Although Sweden has not recognized the independence of Ladonia, the constitutional monarchy is currently ruled by Queen Carolyn I and President Christopher Matheoss. Dr. Lars Vilks, the cartoonist of “Mohammed characterizations” fame – is the State Secretary.
PreOccupied Territory: It’s So Cute How You Think Anti-Israel Stances Will Make Us Love You By Mustafa Abu Bakr, Muslim Immigrant to Sweden (satire)
Cynics will point to Sweden’s recognition of the State of Palestine this week and accuse Stockholm of pandering to the country’s large and growing Muslim population. To which we Muslims say: you’re not being cynical enough. The fact is, no amount of anti-Israel rhetoric, policy, or politicking will ever make us think well of you. It’s adorable that you Europeans assume otherwise.
We’ll certainly show our displeasure in the absence of such policies and measures, make no mistake. But you have this inexplicable tendency to think that adopting measures calculated to hurt Israel – even if couched in terms of helping the Palestinians – will change how we perceive you: dhimmis-in-waiting. Actually, by enacting those very policies you demonstrate how well you wear your dhimmitude. It’s so cute. Keep practicing.
Jordan's King Abdullah: We will prevent Israeli unilateralism in Jerusalem
Jordan's King Abdullah said Sunday that the Hashemite Kingdom would continue to battle "Israeli unilateralism in Jerusalem" and to maintain Islamic and Christian places of worship in the city.
The king's comments came during the opening of the second regular session of Jordan's National Assembly and days after Israel closed down the Temple Mount in Jerusalem for the first time since the second intifada amid fears of rioting.
The monarch also accused Israel of "brutal aggression" during Operation Protective Edge, vowing to mobilize international efforts to rebuild Gaza.
He called for the relaunching of final status Israeli-Palestinian peace talks as a way of preventing future bloodshed in Gaza.
Arab League to hold emergency meeting on Jerusalem
Aziz al-Dihani said Kuwait called for the meeting to focus on the situation in Jerusalem amid “violations against the al-Aqsa Mosque” by Israel, the summer’s conflict in Gaza and the attack on Egyptian soldiers that left 31 dead, according to the Palestinian Ma’an News Agency.
Ongoing violence in Iraq would also be discussed, according to the Kuwait news agency KUNA.
Tensions over the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism and which contains the al-Aqsa Mosque, have ramped in recent days amid calls by Palestinian officials to “defend” the site against visits by Jewish Israelis.
Israeli officials closed the site to both Jewish and Muslim worshipers on Thursday in a bid to calm tensions after the shooting of an activist who lobbied for Jewish rights on the site, drawing condemnation from Palestinians and others.
Venezuela to send aid for Gaza rehabilitation
A plane loaded with tons of supplies designated for the rehabilitation of the Gaza Strip was set to take off from Venezuela Sunday, as Caracas became the latest capital to offer aid to the embattled Palestinian territory.
The Venezuelan Foreign Ministry said the goods would be sent directly to the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and then be transferred to the Hamas-ruled coastal enclave in the coming days, the Palestinian Ma’an News Agency reported.
The report came as Israeli officials said the two crossings into Gaza would be closed Sunday in response to rocket fire aimed at southern Israel on Friday.
It was not clear if the transfer had been coordinated with Israel. Venezuela, which is one of the Palestinians’ staunchest allies in the Americas, maintains only low-level ties with Israel.
Watch: Hundreds Pray in Jerusalem for Yehuda Glick's Recovery
Hundreds gathered on Saturday night at Jerusalem's Safra Square by the Municipality building to pray for the recovery of Temple Mount activist Yehuda Glick, who was shot four times last Wednesday in the capital city by an Islamic Jihad terrorist.
Doctors at Shaare Tzedek Hospital in Jerusalem where Glick is undergoing intensive treatment said on Saturday night that his status continues to improve, although he remains in critical condition.
"Dad, we are waiting for you next to the hospital room, they tell us that you are in a stable condition but you haven't come out of danger yet. They tell us that you are getting better but the condition is still bad," said Yehuda's young son Shahar Glick at the prayer rally.
"Father in Heaven," said Shahar addressing G-d in a moving prayer, "we are here below praying to you, we know that you see and know all and can have him heal. But more than everything, only you know the answer to the question - what (recovery) can be expected from him in this critical condition?"
Glick has already had two surgeries, in which parts of his lungs and intestine were removed; he is to undergo a third surgery on Tuesday.
Arabs Stalking MK Moshe Feiglin on Temple Mount
Likud Knesset member Moshe Feiglin, who heads the ‘Manhigut Yehudi‘ (Jewish Leadership) faction of the party, is also a very familiar face around town, having long been active as an advocate for Jews to freely enter and pray on the Temple Mount.
Feiglin visited the holy site this morning (Sunday, Nov. 2), the first time in nearly a week that the Temple Mount was open to Jews.
It was discovered over the weekend that the MK is also now being stalked by Arabs with cameras.
Photos of Feiglin snapped by various Arabs have reached the Tazpit news agency after having emerged on Arab web and social media sites.
Arabs were seen today (Sunday, Nov. 2) photographing and distributing pictures of MK Moshe Feiglin on the Temple Mount.
Dumb Edit of the Day: Jews and Al-Aqsa Mosque
The Scotsman’s report on the temporary closure of the Temple Mount on Thursday includes the following paragraph referring to the attempted murder of Yehuda Glick:
"Mr Hejazi was suspected of shooting and wounding Yehuda Glick, a far-right religious activist who has led a campaign for Jews to be allowed to pray at the al-Aqsa mosque."
But neither Glick nor anybody else has ever “led a campaign for Jews to be allowed to pray at the al-Aqsa mosque.”
While it might seem a minor error in terminology, it is nonetheless important. Some Jews are campaigning for the right to pray on the Temple Mount and not in a Muslim house of worship.
After contacting the journalist behind the piece, Reuters’ Luke Baker, to draw his attention to the error, he stated that The Scotsman itself had edited the original Reuters piece.
'I Can't Breathe'; Chilling Last Words of Murdered Shelly Dadon
Nazareth District Court this morning heard the chilling last phone call made by Israeli murder victim Shelly Dadon, just moments before she was brutally murdered earlier this year.
Relatives of Danon wept as recording was heard for the first time during the trial of taxi driver Hussein Khalifa, who stands accused of stabbing the 20-year-old to death in the back of his own taxi.
The following is the transcript of the brief call made by Dadon to her cousin, Tal Peretz.
Dadon: Hello. What's up? Is everything OK? Where are you?
Peretz: I'm just walking - I'll call you back soon.
Dadon: One second, listen...
Peretz: When did you leave?
Dadon: Ima'le (Hebrew slang, literally "mummy"), what a scary taxi! I left at a quarter to seven. I can't breathe...
At that point noises which sound like someone being choked can be heard, and the call eventually cuts off.
Prosecution say that this was the moment Khalifa attacked his victim, first strangling her before stabbing her 17 times.
Ministers okay bill jailing stone throwers for 20 years
The amendment to the penal code would impose a jail sentence of up to 20 years on rock throwers, as officials grapple with a wave of unrest in some of Jerusalem’s Arab neighborhoods.
The move came as police said there were two rock throwing attacks in East Jerusalem Sunday, one directed at a bus on Suleiman Street near the Old City and another in East Talpiot, on the city’s southern edge.
Two minors were arrested in the latter incident.
Israel closes Gaza crossings in response to rocket fire
A senior Hamas official rapped Israel for closing the crossings into the Gaza Strip on Sunday, two days after a rocket was fired from the coastal enclave at southern Israel.
“This is irresponsible behavior and contrary to the understandings reached at the beginning of the ceasefire,” said Moussa Abu Marzouk, who was part of the Palestinian negotiating team in Cairo during the summer conflict between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
An Israeli army spokeswoman said that “the crossing points for people and goods, Erez and Kerem Shalom, have been closed until further notice except for humanitarian aid.”
She added that the measure was taken after a rocket fired from Gaza hit the Eshkol area of southern Israel on Friday, without causing any casualties or damage.
It was the first to strike Israeli territory since September 16, and the second since the end of the 50-day war in late August.
'Gaza War Number Four is Just a Matter of Time'
According to Chaim Yelin, chair of the Eshkol Regional Council, it's only a matter of time until the next operation against Hamas, of which Protective Edge was already the third since Israel's 2005 withdrawal from the Gaza Strip.
"It doesn't make a difference to us who fires," Yelin told Arutz Sheva. "Hamas or rebellious groups; we demand a military response against rocket fire on the residents of the state of Israel."
Yelin said he is convinced that rockets will soon be pummeling the center of the country as they did during the operation, saying "the hourglass has already turned ahead of the next war."
"Today it's in Eshkol, tomorrow in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, and the military and diplomatic response needs to be appropriate," said Yelin. "The military achievement of Protective Edge is dissipating, with no national outline to give true quiet to the residents of the south and residents of the state of Israel."
PLO Flags Waved at Rabin Memorial in Tel Aviv
Hundreds gathered in Tel Aviv's Rabin Square Saturday night, marking 19 years since former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was murdered at the site - in a memorial event in which the flag of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) that has never renounced terrorism was waved.
Former President Shimon Peres made remarks at the event, saying "there are those who turned the word 'peace' into a derogatory word. And there are those for whom the expression 'peace supporter' is a term for hallucinatory people."
"Against all those, I say here in a loud voice: one who despairs of peace - he is the hallucinatory one. One who submits and stops searching for peace - he is the naive one, he is the one who isn't a patriot," claimed Peres.
The statement comes after the Palestinian Authority (PA) signed a unity deal with Hamas torpedoing talks in April, after PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas encouraged terrorism in Jerusalem last month, and after the PA continues to laud terrorists.
PreOccupied Territory: Slow Download Speeds Hampering Access To 72 Virgins (satire)
As a stopgap measure the number of virgins provided to each new shaheed was reduced to twelve three years ago as the supply issues became apparent, but even then the bottleneck has not subsided. Ongoing Muslim violence in Egypt, Gaza, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, and China continues to produce martyrs, but the infrastructure can no longer guarantee each heavenly arrival even one virgin apiece, with some virgins being shared by up to six men at a time.
“It’s inhuman,” laments Muataz Hijazi, who arrived in heaven last week after a firefight with Israeli security forces in Jerusalem. “Not that I’m going to submit a formal complaint about this for myself, because after all, I didn’t actually succeed in killing that Rabbi, but as you can see, it’s awkward to have to take turns like this.” He expressed hope that the technological side of things would be worked out soon, but it was probably the Jews’ fault.
In the meantime, heavenly efforts have been concentrated on alternative processes by which virgins are provided, with mixed success. Emissaries to the Earthly realm have arranged for the increased provision of virgins to men who have yet, technically, to become shaheedin, a process that accounts for the mass rape of Kurdish, Yazidi, and other women in areas conquered by the Islamic State. Tight controls do not exist, meaning that a good number of the women being provided are not in fact virgins, but so far the recipients have not complained. Gabriel hopes that the fighting will reach a relative stalemate soon, so that the situation stabilizes and the current backlog can be addressed.
“I suppose we could just go back to interpreting the word in the Koran as ‘white grapes’ instead of ‘virgins,’” he mused.
What does it say about BDS activists when the loss of 500 Palestinian jobs is a ‘victory’?
So, the BDS statement is in effect saying that, by virtue of the fact that the new SodaStream factory will be located some 9 km from one of the towns which would become home to thousands of Bedouins (in the context of a plan to relocate Bedouin to developed), planned communities), the company is somehow “complicit” in human rights violations. Even though the company will be moving its factory to within Israel’s pre-67 boundaries, BDS will not end their anti-SodaStream campaign.
Indeed, the broader point should be familiar to anyone with even a basic understanding of the malevolence of the BDS Movement. BDS seeks the right of “Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties”, goals which undermine the fundamental right of the Jewish people to self-determination. BDS leaders have made their opposition to the continued existence to the Jewish state (within any borders) quite clear.
The promoters of the SodaStream boycott are so zealous in desire to isolate, delegitimize, and demonize Israel, that they are unburdened by the fact they’ve harmed a thriving factory, one which provides a livelihood to hundreds of Palestinian workers and has served as a rare model of co-existence between Arabs and Jews.
Of course, the definition of an ‘extremist’ is one for whom the real-world moral consequences of his or her actions are of little concern, especially in comparison to the imperative of maintaining fealty to a rigid – and often destructive – political ideology.
The BDS: Damned by their own words….
In one tweet, (please see below) only 22 words long, the BDS totally prove that their intentions are not to help the Palestinian cause BUT TO DESTROY ISRAEL!
While there is a country called Israel still on this planet, while 8 million people live in democracy and are free to practice a religion of their choice. While there is a small patch of land in the Middle East that you can be openly gay or be considered an equal irrespective of your gender, the BDS will not rest. Whilst there is one shining beacon of all that is good and fair and right, while there is still one country in the region that is not gripped in lawless, genocidal, Islamic fundamentalism and slaughter, the BDS will not rest. FOR AS LONG AS JEWS HAVE A HOMELAND THAT THEY CAN LIVE IN WITHOUT FEAR OF PERSECUTION, INTIMIDATION OR AGGRESSION THE BDS WILL NOT REST! The BDS’s motives are not born out of a love for the Palestinian people, it is pure, unadulterated, unmitigated, evil, hate for the state of Israel and a Jewish homeland.
Ladies and Gentlemen: the BDS, unequivocally, undoubtedly and without question….anti-Israel and most certainly NOT pro-Palestinian. Who said so, the BDS themselves! (and I didn’t even mention the anti-Semitic word!)
Egypt convicts eight for alleged same-sex wedding
An Egyptian court on Saturday convicted eight men for “inciting debauchery” following their appearance in an alleged same-sex wedding party on a Nile boat, sentencing each of them to three years in prison.
The Internet video shows two men exchanging rings and embracing among cheering friends. The eight were detained in September when a statement from the office of Egypt’s chief prosecutor said the video clip was “shameful to God” and “offensive to public morals.”
Egypt is a conservative majority Muslim country with a sizable minority of Christians. Homosexuality is a social taboo for both communities and only in recent years have fiction and movies included gay characters. Consensual same-sex relations are not explicitly prohibited, but other laws have been used to imprison gay men in recent years, including “debauchery” or “shameless public acts.” Same-sex marriage is unheard of in Egypt.
Egyptian Minister of Religious Endowment: Zionism Sponsors Homosexuality, Atheism in Egypt


After losing 1,000 men in Syria, Hezbollah builds ‘security zone’
In other words, this is not the 1990s Hezbollah, and not even Hezbollah from the last decade. The Shi’ite organization no longer operates solely as a terrorist or guerrilla group. It does that as well, but Hezbollah has adopted the modus operandi of nothing less than a conventional army in its efforts to keep Sunni fighters out of Lebanon.
This initiative has been taking place alongside and in coordination with the Lebanese Army, which this week completed its takeover of Islamist strongholds in the northern city of Tripoli. After heavy fighting in the city’s neighborhoods, the Lebanese Army announced on Monday afternoon that it had finished cleaning out the city.
Despite these achievements, the conflict between Sunnis and Shi’ites in Lebanon is far from over. And Hezbollah has also suffered a number of defeats to the east, on Syrian soil.
According to a senior Israeli official, the organization has lost more than 1,000 fighters in the fighting alongside President Bashar Assad’s forces to date. This is a huge figure, far higher than previous estimates of Hezbollah casualties in Syria.
Retired Lebanese General: ISIS an American-British-Israeli Conspiracy


Iranian-British Woman Jailed for Protesting Ban Against Women
An Iranian-British woman was arrested and jailed for a year for spreading anti-state propaganda after attending a demonstration in Tehran against the ban on women attending certain male sporting events, according to Iranian media.
Iranian women in the Islamic Republic are banned from being spectators at male sporting events such as football (soccer) and volleyball.
Ghoncheh Ghavami, 25, was arrested on June 20 outside Tehran's Azadi Stadium. She and a group of other protesters were demanding that women be allowed in to watch the volleyball match between Iran and Italy.
Ghavami was released soon after her arrest in June but was re-arrested several days later when she was called back to the precinct to reclaim personal belongings the authorities had confiscated.
Jewish leader warns Swiss museum not to take gift of Nazi-looted art
A top Jewish leader Saturday warned a Swiss museum against accepting a priceless set of art works including Nazi-looted paintings from the estate of reclusive German collector Cornelius Gurlitt.
Such a move “would open a Pandora’s Box and cause an avalanche of trials” by rival presumed heirs of the stolen art, Ronald Lauder, the head of the World Jewish Congress, told the German weekly Der Spiegel.
In the same interview, German Culture Minister Monika Gruetters said the government was in talks with Bern’s Museum of Fine Arts over the 1,280 paintings, drawings and sketches by Picasso, Monet, Chagall and other grand masters.
Athens Holocaust memorial desecrated for second time
The Athens Holocaust Memorial was desecrated for the second time this year, when vandals spray painted the logo of an ultra-nationalist group on it.
The logo of the group known as the Unaligned Meander Nationalists was spray painted on the monument in blue paint on Oct. 30. The same group, which describes the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party as “moderates,” vandalized the Holocaust Monument on the island of Rhodes in October 2012.
The Greek Jewish community condemned the act and called on Greek authorities to effectively protect the monument.
London Man Who Shouted 'Burn the Jews' Jailed
A man who hurled anti-Semitic abuse at Jewish travelers on a packed London bus has been jailed, the Jewish Chronicle reports.
Ian Campbell, 42, was handed a 16-week prison sentence for a racially aggravated public order offence.
The abuse was reported in September by journalist Rosa Doherty, who saw Campbell threaten to "burn the bus" and "the Jews" on a packed 102 bus travelling through Golders Green.
Jewish schoolchildren were on board at the time, noted the Jewish Chronicle.
The police were called but said they were unable to attend unless the driver stopped, which he refused to do.
British Opposition Leader Condemns 'Vile' Anti-Semitic Campaign
Ed Miliband, Leader of the British Labour Party and the Opposition in Parliament, has come out against the "vile" campaign of anti-Semitic abuse targeting colleague, Labour MP Luciana Berger.
Berger, Britain's Shadow Health Minister, has received hundreds of anti-Semitic messages and pictures on Twitter over the past 10 days since the conviction and imprisonment of Garron Helm.
On August 7, Helm published a tweet featuring a Holocaust-era yellow star superimposed on the MP’s forehead with the hashtag “Hitler was right”.
Helm pled guilty to sending an offensive, indecent or obscene message and was sentenced to four weeks in jail. He was also ordered to pay an £80 ($129) victim surcharge as the crime was racially motivated.
The prosecution against Helm is believed to be the first for anti-Semitic activity on Twitter and has been lauded as a new weapon in the battle against online racism.
Israel To Help California Combat Worst Drought In History Following Losses Of $2.2 Billion
The Israelis know a thing or two when it comes to managing dry arid lands, and making them flourish, even when the rains don’t fall “in their time.”
So when it came to getting some help for the poor farmers of California, who have suffered massive financial losses as a result of the dry weather, California Governor Jerry Brown contacted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the two men signed a strategic cooperation agreement earlier this year as part of which Israel, a world leader in the field of water, would help out the arid state.
The droughts have already purportedly cost the state’s economy a whopping $2.2 billion and has left more than 500,000 acres of fields fallow in its wake.
Being that California is the source for more than 50 percent of US fruit, vegetables and nuts, and almost 90 percent of America’s strawberries, olives, broccoli, nectarines and garlic, it’s vital that the state finds ways to cope with the rainless situation they are faced with.
Israeli Film Festival in Vietnam to Mark 20 Years of Diplomacy
A five-day film festival in Vietnam organized by Israel’s embassy opened Saturday at the National Cinema Centre in Hanoi, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported. The festival will then move on November 6 to the BHD Star Cineplex ICON68 in Ho Chi Minh City.
The first-time festival, announced by the embassy on its Facebook page earlier last week, will mark 20 years of Vietnamese diplomatic relations with Israel.
According to Israeli ambassador Meirav Eilon-Shahar, the festival will introduce Vietnamese audiences to such Israeli films as “Foreign Letters,” “Broken Wings,” “The Matchmaker,” “Someone to Run With” and “Something Sweet.”
The movies are meant to connect the two nations’ citizens and boost Vietnam's understanding of Israeli culture, Eilon-Shahar told news site vietnamnet.vn.
Israeli-made sterile tent helps combat Ebola
Israeli-made inflatable isolation tents are now being sent to African nations, in an attempt to combat the deadly Ebola virus. The sterile tents are being made in Or Akiva by SYS Technologies.
“SYS Technologies goal is to develop, produce and distribute breakthrough products in the field of clean air technology in order to enable medical caretakers to improve the quality of medical treatment for patients and casualties,” reads the company’s mission statement.
According to a Hebrew media report, Guinea recently installed the mobile field hospital tents.
“There is currently no effective treatment for Ebola, so the principal weapon against it is to isolate the patients so that others aren’t infected,” entrepreneur Yossi Yonah, who is marketing the Israeli solution, told YNet. “Our units are far more readily available than other mobile structures, and they are hermetically sealed and protect the surroundings from the patients.”
According to reports, SYS Technologies has also received orders from other African countries trying to deal with halting any possible outbreaks of the Ebola virus.


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