Tuesday, February 24, 2015

From Ian:

Zoabi relative, despite threats, makes the decision to join the IDF
Mohammad Zoabi, the Muslim Israeli Arab who has repeatedly come out in support of Israel and has advocated for his fellow Israeli Arabs to do national service, will be joining the IDF soon, according to his personal Facebook page.
Zoabi, a cousin of anti-Zionist Arab Knesset member Hanin Zoabi, just finished "Gadna", the week-long program where future soldiers are given a taste of life in the field.
"Today i feel proud. Proud to be Israeli...proud that i was able to survive a week of living in an army base in the middle of nowhere."
Zoabi relayed some of his experiences via social media, describing some of the joys that "Gadna" entails.
"It was, indeed a difficult week. Sleeping with more than 14 people in the same room, eat army food and worse was, seeing gigantic bugs that i have never believed they existed in a small country like ours."
Mondoweiss and the “Antisemitism Strawman”
I know that Weiss basically thinks I’m a Palestinian baby killer. I know that he and his friends probably think I’m chomping at the bits, waiting for the next war so we can finally demolish Gaza (spoiler alert: I’m not). He blames me for living in a country that isn’t mine to live in. He blames me for enabling an apartheid government, which is insulting to those who actually lived through apartheid.
Guess what else he blames me and my country for?
The rise in attacks against Jews. Yes, ladies, gentlemen and others. Antisemitism is not at play, just like, if Obama is to be believed, radical Islam has nothing to do with ISIS. Jews the world over aren’t being targeted because of their Jewy goodness but because they somehow represent an extension of Israel and her policies.
That is like saying a woman’s rape in Iran is unrelated to mysogyny and in fact has everything to do with women in New York dressing provocatively. The wrongness of this sentence is layered, like an onion. First, it finds fault in a tangentially related group. Secondly, and more importantly, it insidiously implies that a man is justified in committing rape if the female in question is scantily clad.
 Prosor at UNSC: "And the Oscar goes to...."
“If the Oscars for Maintenance of International Peace and Security were given at the UN, I would not be surprised if these candidates were awarded a prize:
In the Best Actor Category – for acting like a peace loving country while developing nuclear capabilities, denying the Holocaust, and threatening the destruction of another member state… the Oscar goes to Iran.
In the category for Best Supporting Actor – for its unrelenting support to the Assad Regime in killing hundreds of thousands civilians… the Oscar goes to Hezbollah.
In the category for Best Visual Effects – for making women disappear from the public sphere, the Oscar goes to… surprise surprise… Saudi Arabia. No competition there.
And finally, for rewriting history, the Oscar for Best Editing goes to… the Palestinian Authority. But the truth is – the Palestinian Authority already received enough prizes from this institution.”
Watch an excerpt of Ambassador Prosor’s speech at a Security Council Session devoted to maintaining international peace and security, marking the UN’s 70th anniversary (h/t Bob Knot)

Bernard Goldberg: You Cannot Defeat An Enemy You Do Not Admit Exists
What President Obama either doesn’t understand or just won’t say out loud is that they don’t call it the Islamic State for nothing. As a piece in Atlantic magazine put it, “The reality is that the Islamic State is Islamic. Very Islamic. Yes, it has attracted psychopaths and adventure seekers … but the religion preached by its most ardent followers derives from coherent and even learned interpretations of Islam.”
So why can’t President Obama walk and chew gum at the same time? Why can’t he hold two distinct thoughts in his head simultaneously? Why can’t he acknowledge that while most Muslims aren’t savages, some Muslims are. And there is something in their reading of Islam that justifies, in their twisted minds, the mayhem they commit.
Islam, whether President Obama likes it or not, is not simply an innocent bystander in all of this.
At some level, the president may know it. But that’s not enough. He also needs to speak it.
Khaled Abu Toameh: Empowering Women, Palestinian-Style
While a woman in Gaza is barred from smoking in a café, or walking in public unaccompanied by a male relative, she is permitted to join a military training camp. In the next war, Hamas and its allies will not be able to claim that these are civilians killed by Israel.
It is also worth noting that Hamas and the other armed groups always find the money to buy weapons and ammunition and run military training camps.
Hamas wants the international community to fund the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip under the pretext that it does not have the resources to participate in the effort. But when it comes to arming and training women and teenagers, Hamas and other Palestinian groups always seem to find enough money.
Yet this does not stop Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority from pursuing their effort to convince the world to support a Palestinian state where women and teenagers are being trained to become the next "martyrs" in the fight to destroy Israel.
Legal group calls for disqualification of UN Gaza probe
The Legal Forum for Israel wrote a letter to the U.N. Human Rights Council urging the disqualification of the inquiry into Operation Protective Edge, reasoning that the resignation of academic William Schabas as the probe team's head over allegations of anti-Israel bias is not enough to ensure a fair report.
Sent by the forum's International Action Division, the letter raises serious legal claims about the probe committee's ability to function properly and demands that its findings be nullified and not be published due to doubts that the committee is capable of creating an objective and unbiased report.
The letter explained that despite Schabas' decision to resign following Israeli allegations of bias due to consultancy work he did for the Palestine Liberation Organization, the report that he initially spearheaded would still bear his influence. Schabas resigned after the crucial evidence-gathering phase as well as the initial phase of drawing conclusions for the report.
"Schabas' resignation is not enough to retroactively remove his influence from the committee's work, and you cannot sweep under the rug the harm done to the committee's independence and objectivity," said attorney Yifah Segal of the Legal Forum for Israel.
Jennifer Rubin: GOP’s support for Israel soars
It is equally clear that with the development of a well-organized, vast and committed pro-Zionist Christian community, Republican support for Israel has become a litmus test for national office. There is alas no such force of comparable size and influence on the left for whom Israel is a priority that trumps other issues. Moreover, when a group such as J Street, which consistently takes stances hostile to the state of Israel, markets itself falsely as pro-Israel, the left’s support for the Jewish state becomes suspect.
Either way, the Democrats’ complaint that the Republicans are making Israel a “partisan” issue is off-base. Republicans would have nothing to make hay over if Democrats’ support matched their own and if the president had the same sort of relationship with Israel as had past presidents of both parties. Democrats are in effect saying that it is bad form for Republicans to point out that the president’s relationship with Israel is so poor, that his White House leaks insults about the Israeli prime minister on background and that Democrats have rallied to the president rather than standing up for their self-declared principles (as when Democrats refused under then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to vote on sanctions against Iran).
Democrats have a chance to improve their pro-Israel bona fides by deploring overt White House hostility to the elected government of Israel, denouncing comments like those of former negotiator Martin Indyk, who laid blame on Israel when the Palestinians refused to engage in peace talks (subsequently going to the United Nations Security Council and to the International Criminal Court), and refusing to engage in stunts such as boycotting the Israel prime minister’s speech. More important, liberals should be as committed as conservatives to combating anti-Semitism and the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement on college campuses. But most of all, they should demand more of their elected leaders. When Hillary Clinton sits down for a softball interview with big donor Haim Saban, why is she not pressed on sanctions? On the administration’s relations with Israel? One would think Democrats’ concern for Israel is pro forma, hardly on a par with abortion rights or global warming.
Gallup: Democrats Deserting Israel
Gallup surmises that Democrats loyal to Barack Obama are disenchanted with Israel because of the tension between him and Israeli Benjamin Netanyahu, but Gallup ignores the increasing hostility among Democrats toward Israel that has been present for years. At the 2012 DNC, the Democrats stripped language from their platform including:
The United States and its Quartet partners should continue to isolate Hamas until it renounces terrorism, recognizes Israel’s right to exist, and abides by past agreements.
Stripping this sentence would allow for Obama to grant Hamas legitimacy, which he has done.
The creation of a Palestinian state through final status negotiations… should resolve the issue of Palestinian refugees by allowing them to settle there, rather than in Israel.
Stripping this language allows the Palestinians to flood Israel with everyone the UN deems as refugees.
Don’t Blame Bibi for Decline in Democrats’ Support for Israel
But whatever the reason, the lack of sympathy for Israel on the part of many Democrats is no secret. The appalling spectacle at their 2012 national convention when a clear majority of those on the floor expressed opposition to pro-Israel resolutions were being pushed through is just a tangible example of the hostility that many on the left have for Zionism. With intellectual elites in academia and the mainline Protestant churches embracing economic warfare against Israel in the form of BDS—boycott, divest, sanction—resolutions, it is little surprise that the party such groups have more influence over would see Israel in a bad light.
These numbers don’t negate the fact that a plurality of Democrats back Israel and that some of their stalwarts in the House and the Senate are its most able advocates. Democratic Senator Bob Menendez, who personally stood up to President Obama to object to his slanders against pro-Israel members of Congress, is just one example.
But however you want to spin it, there’s no getting around the fact that Republicans are far more likely to be pro-Israel than Democrats and that this long predates any squabbles about the Netanyahu speech. If pro-Israel Democrats don’t like the notion that the Israelis seem to be more in sync with Republicans like House Speaker John Boehner than with the president, the fault lies with their party, not the Jewish state.
Insecurity Plagues European Jewry as Fear of Next Attack Looms
Omer added that the fear which plagues the Jews of Europe prevents them from wearing kippot in public, or Stars of David around their necks. If they do, they are immediately met with looks of hatred. She added that the latest attacks in Paris, “are not the last. The question is only when the next one will happen.”
Lana Posner-Korosi, 58, of Sweden is the President of the Jewish community in that country. She said that she doesn’t even consider making aliyah to Israel, despite the fact that in the last few months she and her community members have received threats and there have been attacks from Muslim immigrants in the country. She said the situation worsened after last summer’s Operation Protective Edge, when the Jews of Sweden became an easy target for Muslims who wanted to exact revenge for the IDF’s operations in Gaza.
Posner-Korsi says she received bomb threats, threats via e-mail, and has even been subjected to curses in the street. Some of the young community members were threatened and were called “murderers” on Facebook, Posner-Korsi said.
Similar sentiments of fear and insecurity were echoed by Jewish community leaders and members from Poland, Bulgaria and Greece, according to the report. Threats from extremists among Muslim immigrants and the resurgence of the right, as well as a feeling that the governments were not doing enough to combat antisemitism added to the feelings of insecurity.
Good News? European Governments Unite Behind Jews
This past week saw a host of encouraging statements by European leaders in the wake of growing anti-Semitism and Islamic terrorism. It remains to be seen whether the words will be followed up with actions.
The Danish government will spend nearly $148M over the next four years to fight local terrorism, Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt announced Thursday. "Our security level is high," she said at a press conference, "and preparedness is high. But we are also challenged. Militant Islamists are constantly developing new ways of challenging our security.”
At last week's funeral of Copenhagen's Jewish terror victim Dan Uzan, Thorning-Schmidt said that "an attack on the Jews of Denmark is an attack on Denmark."
In France, President Francois Hollande said his country would protect Jews with full force. Leading a ceremony last week at a Jewish cemetery where hundreds of graves were vandalized, he said, "I know some are asking if they can live in peace in their country, and who will protect them against those who wish them harm." He continued, "One more time, I want to give the Republic's response – that it will protect you with all its force."
The day before, Hollande dismissed Prime Minister Netanyahu's call for Jews to move to Israel. "Jews have their place in Europe and particularly in France," he said.
Copenhagen Terror Victim Buried Under Heavy Security
Over 1,000 mourners turned out Tuesday for the funeral of the first victim of the Copenhagen terror attacks, amid reports the filmmaker had died trying to stop his killer from firing at other people.
At least 40 heavily armed police officers guarded the church in the northwest of the city as Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt joined the mourners to bid farewell to 55-year-old Finn Noergaard.
Organizer Kirsten Weiss Mose told AFP 1,200 people attended the ceremony, including representatives of Denmark's Muslim and Jewish communities.
Noergaard was shot dead outside a cultural center on February 14 during a seminar on free speech and Islam in the first of two attacks by a Danish Arab terrorist who also murdered a Jewish man outside a synagogue.
Charlie Hebdo Survivor Targeted by ISIS Supporters
Islamic State (ISIS) supporters have put a target out on Zineb el-Rhazoui, a Franco-Moroccan cartoonist for the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.
El-Rhazoui, also a human rights activist and a journalist, is one of the survivors of the brutal terror attack on the magazine's offices in Paris last month.
Supporters of the terror organization ISIS have begun calling on Twitter for lone-wolf attacks against the cartoonist, Vocativ reported.
Thousands of user have attached the hashtag, translated from Arabic as, #MustKillZinebElRhazouiInRetaliationForTheProphet, over the past 24 hours.
"Where are the lone wolves of Morocco? Where are the foreigners who are thirsty to slaughter?" one of the tweets reads.
Hollande: No place for anti-Semites in France
French President Francois Hollande said his country must offers protection and affection to the Jewish community as anti-Semitism is on the rise in France.
“Jews are at home in France, it’s the anti-Semites who have no place in the Republic,” Hollande said in a speech Monday at a prestigious annual dinner of the country’s main Jewish organization.
Many French Jews feel increasingly worried about anti-Semitism, particularly coming from young Muslims who embrace radical ideology propagated online.
France has Europe’s largest Jewish population, about half a million. More than 7,000 emigrated to Israel last year.
Earlier Monday, France’s Muslim leaders decided to boycott the dinner, angry over comments by a Jewish leader associating young Muslims with violence.
Roger Cukierman, head of the CRIF Jewish council, was denouncing a growing number of acts against Jews in France. He specified that he was talking about a “very small minority” of Muslims.
The French Muslim Council (CFCM), in a statement denounced Cukierman’s comments as unfounded, including his use of the expression “Islamo-fascism.”
Charlie Hebdo celebrates 2.5 million copies comeback with 'Here we go again' cover
Charlie Hebdo celebrates its comeback with a cover that pays tribute to its tradition of stirring controversy through satire in the second issue of the magazine to hit the stands since members of its staff was killed by Islamist shooters in Paris in January.
The next edition of the French paper is to appear on 25 February and will mark its weekly return after six weeks of suspension that followed the release of the "survivors' issue" published days after the attack.
Revealed by newspaper Liberation, whose offices have been hosting Charlie Hebdo staff since the killings, the front page cartoon depicts a dog representing the magazine, chased by a mob of its usual critics, including Marine Le Pen, Nicolas Sarkozy, the Pope and a jihadist fighter - also portrayed as dogs.
"Here we go again!" the caption reads.
Apartheid and Genocide in the Middle East
You are going to hear a lot in the coming weeks. You are going to hear that Israel is an apartheid state, and you will likely hear it accused of genocide. These accusations are part of the message of Apartheid Week, a university-based movement that “seeks to raise awareness about Israel’s apartheid policies towards the Palestinians and to build support for the growing Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign.” We, the members of Wesleyan United with Israel, are fully prepared to acknowledge Israel’s faults, but we must take care when selecting our terminology. The words ‘apartheid’ and ‘genocide’ carry a lot of weight. In the case of Israel, they grossly misrepresent the situation, and thus inhibit meaningful discourse on our campus.
Apartheid refers to a “system or practice that separates people according to color, ethnicity, etc.” Apartheid policies involve “economically and politically oppressing an entire population” (dictionary.com). The most famous example occurred in South Africa. In Israel, there have been 69 Arab members of Parliament. Each citizen has an equal opportunity to vote. In the West Bank and Gaza, the local populations elect their own governments. Israel supports the West Bank and Gaza by helping to supply power and other necessities daily. Jews and Muslims serve side by side in the Israeli army. These few examples alone demonstrate how Israel is easily distinguishable from an apartheid state.
Genocide refers to the “deliberate killing of a large group of people, especially those of a particular ethnic group or nation” (dictionary.com). Two of the most famous examples are the Holocaust and Armenian genocide. In Israel, there are no policies in place that come close to deserving the word ‘genocide.’ The Israeli government is not trying to eliminate the Palestinian population, nor would it have any incentive to do so. On the contrary, it engages in consistent efforts for peace talks with Palestinian leadership, and even goes to unprecedented lengths to protect the lives of Palestinian civilians. For example, before the counterterrorist Operation Protective Edge this summer, hundreds of Israeli Arabic-speaking technicians recorded phone messages that were dialed into the phones of more than 160,000 Arabs in the Gaza Strip, warning them to evacuate. The IDF willingly surrendered the element of surprise as it warned Hamas of the precise timing and location of the operation. In addition, Israel delivers truckloads of aid to the citizens of Gaza, even during wartime, when there is a risk of the aid ending up in the hands of Hamas.
Israeli Apartheid Week: Anti-Semitism 101
Ignoring the fact that terrorist groups in Gaza fired more than 11,000 rockets into Israel since the evacuation of all Jewish civilians and military personnel from the territory in 2005, Pappe wrote in July 2014 that “Israel’s present assault on Gaza alas indicates that this policy [of “incremental genocide”] continues unabated.” Needless to say, Pappe also ignores the fact that his genocide fantasies are all the more absurd in view of the finding that the “Palestinian territories have one of the fastest growing populations in the world” and that particularly the massive population growth in Gaza is widely seen as problematic; indeed, one Palestinian official has described it as “excessive,” noting that between 2000 and 2013, “the number of Gazans increased by more than 687,000 people.”
The fact that this year’s IAW organizers have decided to feature Pappe’s revolting fantasies about an Israeli “policy” of “incremental genocide” of Palestinians so prominently provides an excellent illustration of the willingness of so-called “pro-Palestinian” activists to slander the Jewish state in ways that echo age-old anti-Semitic tropes. But the adoption of such tropes is almost inevitable for a movement that is devoted to demonizing Israel in the service of a cause that defines “justice” not as establishing a Palestinian state alongside Israel, but as replacing the world’s only Jewish state with yet another Muslim Arab majority state.
Kayla Mueller Charity to Support Anti-Israel Organization
The family of Kayla Mueller, the American hostage and humanitarian who was killed by ISIS earlier this month, has launched a new 501(c)3 charity in her memory. The charity, Kayla’s Hands, was announced by the family in an interview with NBC News that aired on the Today show Monday morning. It links to a website that promotes causes with which Mueller had worked, including the International Solidarity Movement, a radical pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel organization.
The International Solidarity Movement (ISM) campaigns to isolate and demonize Israel by bringing volunteer activists from abroad to stage anti-Israel demonstrations on behalf of Palestinians. In 2003, two terrorists from Britain attacked a pub in Tel Aviv after reportedly using ISM contacts to establish their presence in the country (a charge ISM denies). In 2007, ISM leaders launched the “Free Gaza Movement” in an attempt to open shipping to Hamas-controlled Gaza.
US college campuses face rising rates of anti-Semitism
More than half of current American Jewish college students have personally witnessed or experienced an anti-Semitic incident, according to a new study.
Some 54 percent of Jewish college students participating in a survey released Monday by the Louis D. Brandeis Center and Trinity College said they had experienced or witnessed anti-Semitism within the past academic year. The survey was taken in the spring of 2014, prior to the outbreak of hostilities last summer in Gaza.
The online survey of 1,157 students, conducted by Trinity College Professor Barry Kosmin and Associate Professor Ariela Keysar, found that percentages of students reporting encounters with anti-Semitism were relatively consistent across gender, religious outlook and geographical region.
Students who affiliate with the Conservative and Reform movements were more likely to report such experiences than Orthodox students, with 69% of Conservative students, 62% of Reform students and 52% of Orthodox students responding that they had reported anti-Semitic encounters.
Columbia Leads List of America’s Top 10 Colleges ‘With Worst Antisemitic Activity’
New York’s Columbia University is home to the worst antisemitic activity in the United States, according to a list compiled by the David Horowitz Freedom Center, a conservative think-tank based in California.
The Center unveiled its first list of the 10 US campuses with the worst antisemitic activity in 2014 as part of a new campaign entitled “Jew Hatred on Campus,” aimed at bringing awareness to antisemitism at colleges and universities throughout the nation. The group also says it seeks to encourage university administrators to withdraw privileges from the groups that spread hate on the campuses.
According to the Center, Columbia University is listed first because it is home to the “most well-known antisemitic professors in the nation such as Rashid Khalidi and Joseph Massad, who has been accused of harassing Jewish students on multiple occasions. In addition, it is home to a highly active SJP chapter that has recently brought BDS founder Omar Barghouti and disgraced antisemitic professor Steven Salaita to campus.”
Steven Salaita Imagines a Palestinian Garden of Eden
Salaita's fictions support his slanderous depiction of an Israeli Jewish state fundamentally foreign to its region. Absurdly, this supposed nature lover criticized the JNF in Israel because it "facilitates development" and "plants trees" to create "geostrategic gentrification" in an "Orientalized theme park" for "those of a certain ethnic background." In incomprehensible jargon he asserted that "incongruities of biological determinism" created modern Israel, whose Jewish people supposedly revived the Hebrew language to sound artificially like Arabic. "Zionists play Arab to inscribe themselves as indigenous to a foreign geography," he ranted, while condemning a Virginia Tech Hillel presentation on Israel for using a camel as Middle Eastern "orientalist imagery." Yet Camels, brought to the region by ancient Egypt, are not at all foreign to Judaism's biblical scriptures.
Equally hostile to the United States, Salaita compared Israel to an "American landscape . . . still undergoing a process of colonization." Therefore, a "squandering," capitalistic "commodification of natural resources" is a "central feature" of colonialism everywhere. He ignored considerable evidence for the benefits of efficient market societies on the environment, as exhibited in Israel's environmental ratings, which are superior to its Arab neighbors'. Israeli know-how, for example, has improved the region's water economy and benefitted Palestinians, which contradicts Salaita's repetition of the canard that Israel deprives them of water.
Despite his politicized, counterfactual assertions, Salaita maintains credibility and influence within great swaths of academe. One audience member bemoaned how Salaita was "really discriminated against for his views" when rejected by the University of Illinois. Reflecting upon the lecture, the audience member quipped that "nobody's perfect" when discussing whether Palestinian groups like Hamas or Israel better represent "American values" like democracy. In a shocking display of moral equivalence, he criticized the "power imbalance" between Hamas terrorists and Israeli democracy.
Salaita admitted to being at times a "terrible classroom student"—a fact no one subjected to his intellectually vacuous, poorly delivered lecture could doubt. Nonetheless, his tired, cliché-ridden theme of evil Westerners exploiting indigenous peoples and environments—narratives now applied to Jews and Arabs in the Holy Land—are common in academia and beyond. The depressing, undeserved respect enjoyed by Salaita and his ilk in academe deserves exposure to a wider audience.
Academic boycotter doesn’t like being boycotted
The impact on UI-UC of the academic boycott almost certainly is overstated — the institution will survive Salaita, regardless of court outcome.
But the academic boycott has driven home to at least one UI-UC pro-Salaita faculty member the destructiveness and ultimate futility of academic boycotts.
In The Chronicle of Higher Ed, Susan Koshy, an associate professor of English, Asian-American studies, and South Asian and Middle Eastern studies at UI-UC, confronted this problem.
Koshy writes, When You’re the Target of a Boycott You Support
This could be a story about an academic who realized, now that her university is on the receiving end, that little good and much bad comes from shutting down academic interactions and the application of collective academic punishment.
Perhaps most important, the claim of anti-Israel boycotters that they only boycott institutions, not people, is laid bare. There is no distinction in reality, as Prof. Koshy’s column attests.
But the story doesn’t stop there.
It turns out that Prof. Koshy herself has endorsed the academic boycott of Israel, signing an August 4, 2014 statement:
Growing antisemitism in Scotland
IN GIFFNOCK, the heart of Scotland’s long-established Jewish community, where matzos and potato latkes are sold in kosher sections of all the major supermarkets and no-one takes a second glance at traditionally dressed Hasidic Jews out shopping, life appears to be ticking along pretty much as normal. Services at the synagogue are well-attended and customers are flocking back to the kosher deli and café, which recently re-opened at its old site after a fire ripped through the premises.
Yet explore a little more deeply, and you quickly detect an air of unease that wasn’t there before; simmering below the surface of still-welcoming community is a slight air of defensiveness, which is growing in the face of a perceived rise in antisemitism across Europe and attacks on Jewish targets in Paris, Belgium and Copenhagen.
Though there is no intelligence to suggest Glasgow’s Jews are at particular risk, security outside Jewish buildings has been stepped up; there are now police patrols during services at the synagogue – a squat, square building decorated with a large black menorah – to bolster the protection provided by the Community Security Trust. Police officers are also regularly in attendance at Scotland’s only Jewish primary school where children are no longer allowed to line up in the playground in the mornings.
West Ham vow life bans for any fans that 'behaved in an inappropriate way' after video emerges of anti-Semitic chant on train
West Ham have vowed to ban for life any supporters who ‘behaved in an inappropriate way’ after a video emerged online of a group of fans singing an anti-Semitic chant on the London Underground.
The club have urged anyone who witnessed discriminatory behaviour before or after the 2-2 draw with Tottenham to report it to the club, anti-discrimination group Kick It Out or the police.
It is understood the chanting started after a group of Hasidic Jews got on a train before the game.
A West Ham spokesman said: ‘If any individual is found to have behaved in an inappropriate way the club’s simple, zero-tolerance policy dictates they will face the strongest possible action, including the option of a life ban from the Boleyn Ground.’
Tottenham also called for tough action to be taken against anyone found guilty of discrimination.
Germany sued by Jewish claimants in US over Nazi-acquired treasures
Jewish claimants sued Germany in US courts over medieval relics worth millions of dollars acquired by the Nazi's, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The WSJ reported that a suit was filed Monday by two Jewish claimants against the German government and a museum in control of the "Guelph Treasure," a collection of 42 medieval works purchased in 1935 by the government and gifted to Adolf Hitler.
According to the claim, the artifacts were sold by the claimants' ancestors under coercion to the then-Prussian government for 4.25 million Reich marks ($1.7 million) - a sum significantly lower than the 6 million Reich marks paid in 1929 by a consortium of Jewish dealers for the treasure.
In defense, the museum has claimed that the 1935 sale was consensual and issued at fair market price for an era burdened with an economic crisis.
This suit, the Wall Street Journal reports, is the latest in a series of artwork restitution suits that have plagued the German government since its early 2014 pledge to make the reparation process more transparent and efficient.
Ukraine grave of Breslover founder’s daughter torched, vandalized
The grave of a daughter of the Breslover movement’s founder, Rabbi Nachman, was set on fire and daubed with a swastika.
The 1831 grave in the central-Ukraine city of Kremenchuk was set ablaze sometime after the completion last month of its renovation by the Oholei Tzadikim association, which works to restore Jewish burial sites throughout the region. It was discovered on Feb. 16, the association wrote in a statement.
“The damage is very extensive,” Rabbi Shimon Buskila of the World Breslov Center told JTA on Sunday. “They destroyed the structure that was only recently erected.”
Pictures of the site supplied by Oholei Tzadikim showed the charred interior of a small structure constructed around the headstone. A swastika was drawn in black ink on the exterior of the structure along with a face and the words “Office Man Serega” in Latin.
Holocaust-Themed Film ‘Ida’ Wins Oscar, Israel’s ‘Aya’ Falls Short
The Holocaust-themed film Ida won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film on Sunday night, while the Israeli film Aya failed to grab the Oscar for Best Live Action Short Film.
Set in Poland in 1962, Ida tells the story of a young woman who was orphaned during the Holocaust and is considering taking vows as a Catholic nun, only to discover from her aunt that her parents were Jewish. The two women then travel to the Polish countryside to explore their family’s history. Directed by Paweł Pawlikowski, Ida is the first Polish film to win the foreign language Academy Award.
Aya, directed by Oded Binnun and Mihal Brezis, centers on a random encounter between a Scandinavian music critic and an Israeli driver who picks him up from the airport. Their encounter soon evolves into a deeper relationship. The Phone Call, a British film, won the live action short Academy Award over Aya and three others nominees.
Device could help solve Third World cervical-cancer woes
An Israeli medical device to check for the presence of cervical cancer could be an important factor in reducing the rate of death from the disease in the developing world.
Biop Medical founder and CEO Ilan Landesman believes that his examination device — the only one that provides instant readings and results on whether a woman is suffering from cervical cancer — could be a boon to women everywhere, especially in places like Africa.
“The Biop device is perfect for any setting, especially for doctors and nurses in rural areas who don’t have — and can’t afford — the fancy equipment usually needed to test for cervical cancer,” said Landesman. “It’s a big-data solution that can replace traditional methods of examining for cervical cancer.”
Cervical cancer is the fourth-biggest cancer killer of women worldwide, but where in the world a woman lives is a very important factor in whether or not she will survive the disease. As with so many other major diseases, early detection is an important factor in cures. But the vast majority of women in the world do not have access to doctors to even begin the process of checking for cervical cancer — much less the numerous follow-up visits that are necessary.
A mic that works by watching your face
Though “voice recognition” may be one of the cooler functions we have on our digital equipment, it is often quite faulty due to a number of factors, chief among them background noise. But there’s good news on the horizon.
An Israeli startup called VocalZoom Systems has just made a technological breakthrough that is about to put an end to this particular frustration. Even its president and active chair Yechiel Kurtz, a serial angel investor with many exits under his belt, calls the innovative gadget a “bit like science fiction.”
In its laboratory in Yokneam, the VocalZoom team – with funding from the 3M Corporation, Motorola Solutions and Jerusalem-based VC OurCrowd – has been working since the company’s inception in 2010 to develop a microphone built to eliminate extraneous noise from the source.
It is a highly specialized group of professionals. Founder and CEO Tal Bakish is a VLSI (very large-scale integration) engineer with a background in physics; Reuven Elhamias is an electronics engineer with expertise in signal processing algorithms; operations VP Jaron Peleg has experience in system and mechanical engineering; Mark Raipel is a voice DSP (digital signal processing) algorithm expert; Dr. Tal Fishman is an expert in physics, chemistry, optics and lasers, electronics and material processing.
The world’s largest and cheapest reverse-osmosis desalination plant is up and running in Israel.
On a Mediterranean beach 10 miles south of Tel Aviv, Israel, a vast new industrial facility hums around the clock. It is the world’s largest modern seawater desalination plant, providing 20 percent of the water consumed by the country’s households. Built for the Israeli government by Israel Desalination Enterprises, or IDE Technologies, at a cost of around $500 million, it uses a conventional desalination technology called reverse osmosis (RO). Thanks to a series of engineering and materials advances, however, it produces clean water from the sea cheaply and at a scale never before achieved.
Worldwide, some 700 million people don’t have access to enough clean water. In 10 years the number is expected to explode to 1.8 billion. In many places, squeezing fresh water from the ocean might be the only viable way to increase the supply.
The new plant in Israel, called Sorek, was finished in late 2013 but is just now ramping up to its full capacity; it will produce 627,000 cubic meters of water daily, providing evidence that such large desalination facilities are practical. Indeed, desalinated seawater is now a mainstay of the Israeli water supply. Whereas in 2004 the country relied entirely on groundwater and rain, it now has four seawater desalination plants running; Sorek is the largest. Those plants account for 40 percent of Israel’s water supply. By 2016, when additional plants will be running, some 50 percent of the country’s water is expected to come from desalination.
World War I in the Holy Land. Kiwi Soldiers Describe their Encounter with Jews
The British pushed on toward Jerusalem, and the New Zealand troops were sent westward toward Jaffa.
The following are excerpts from THE STORY OF TWO CAMPAIGNS: OFFICIAL WAR HISTORY OF THE AUCKLAND MOUNTED RIFLES REGIMENT, 1914-1919, a collection of battle reports and diaries.
The following morning [November 15, 1917] the village of Ayun Kara [near Rishon Lezion] was reported clear of the enemy, and, with a company of "Camels" on
the left and the 1st Light Horse on the right, the brigade moved forward towards Jaffa, meeting with no resistance. On the way they passed through the village of Richon le Zion, where for the first time they met Jews. One member of the community was a brother of Rabbi Goldstein, of Auckland. The joy of these people at being freed from the tyranny of the Turks was unbounded. They treated the New Zealanders most hospitably—an exceedingly pleasant experience after the tremendous effort they had just made, and the harsh hungry times spent in the south with its hostile Bedouins.
Rare Video Footage of the Chafetz Chaim
Rare footage posted online Sunday appears to show one of European Jewry's greatest Torah scholars, Rabbi Yisrael Meir Kagan - more popularly known as the Chafetz Chaim - attending the First World Congress of the World Agudath Israel in Vienna.
The 10-day Congress took place in 1923, making the video nearly 100 years old.
An elderly Chafetz Chaim can be seen arriving at roughly 57 seconds in, alongside other leading Ashkenazic rabbis and community heads of his generation.
The Chafetz Chaim was perhaps the most important codifier of contemporary halakha (Jewish law) in the Ashkenazic world, and his magnum opus - the Mishne Berura - is still used today by many as a basis for halakhic rulings.
"Chafetz Chaim" was in fact the name of another of his more famous works, a masterpiece of Jewish ethics concerning the Torah's laws of speech that is widely read throughout the Jewish world.


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