Wednesday, June 17, 2015

From Ian:

Pierre Rehov - Beyond Deception Strategy
Beyond its deception strategy, BDS has one goal : the destruction of Israel and, on the long run, the extermination of Jews. Among BDS supporters, deceived losers, neo-Nazis, Islamists, terrorists. This organization must be stopped. It always begins with the Jews, and then, you are next !


Ben-Dror Yemini: Evil spirit of BDS growing stronger in US
The BDS deniers say it's a marginal matter. There is no cause for concern. These are small groups with no influence. But the anti-Semitic incident at UCLA is repeating itself in the leading US media. This time we're already talking about a presidential candidate. The mud thrown at Beyda has reached Sanders. In both cases it’s not their views, it's just the fact that they are Jewish.
We can present, once again, surveys showing that the sympathy towards Israel is at its peak in the American public opinion. But that's an illusion. Because there is a crawling process of change taking place in the centers of power and knowledge. The evil spirit of BDS is already controlling some of the lecturer and student organizations. Among young people, Jews and non-Jews, the support for Israel is dropping.
The regular choir will continue arguing that it's all because of the occupation. Claims can be made against the Israeli policy. Some claims are true. But understanding or justifying the evil spirit of BDS under the excuse of "the occupation" is sort of like justifying racism against black people by claiming that there are violent black people.
So the evil spirit of BDS is racism which is also infiltrating the press. And no, it's not in the margins. It's growing stronger.
Suspect in 1982 Paris attack arrested by Jordan, released on bail
Jordan said Wednesday that the suspected mastermind of an attack on a Paris Jewish restaurant in 1982 that killed six people and wounded 22 had been arrested but was out on bail and banned from leaving the country.
Official sources said Zuhair Mohamad Hassan Khalid al-Abassi, who goes by the nom de guerre “Amjad Atta”, was “arrested on June 1 under an international arrest warrant. A court imposed a travel ban pending a decision on whether he will be extradited,” an official source told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.
A source in the security services said the 62-year-old suspect was released on bail.
Amjad Atta was one of three men for whom France issued an international arrest warrant earlier this year.
Overall, between three and five men are thought to have taken part in the attack, which was blamed on the Abu Nidal Organization, a Palestinian terrorist group.
The other two main suspects in the 1982 attack have been named as Mahmoud Khader Abed Adra, alias “Hicham Harb,” who lives in Ramallah in the West Bank, and Walid Abdulrahman Abu Zayed, alias “Souhail Othman,” a resident of Norway. (h/t Alexi)



Livni dodges war crimes arrest in London
Zionist Union MK Tzipi Livni was forced to use a legal loophole in order to avoid possible arrest over alleged Israeli war crimes when she attended the Fortune Most Powerful Women International Summit this week in London.
Anti-Israeli activists applied to have an arrest warrant issued for Livni, who was foreign minister during the 2008-2009 war in the Gaza Strip.
In 2009, ahead of a planned visit by Livni, a British court issued a warrant for Livni over alleged war crimes committed by the IDF during the three-week conflict. In the end Livni did not go through with the trip, and the threat of an arrest kept her out of the UK until authorities in 2011 granted automatic immunity to all Israelis on official visits to Britain.
However, Livni’s attendance at the recent women’s summit could have been considered a personal visit, leaving her vulnerable to arrest. To preempt the problem Livni, whose party leads Israel’s opposition, arranged to meet with senior UK government officials, enabling the Knesset speaker to approve her travel as an official visit, the Hebrew-language daily newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth reported on Wednesday.
As a result the UK courts rejected a request for a new arrest warrant, citing Livni’s immunity.
BBC to Livni: “Would You Describe Your Parents as Terrorists?
Credit to Israeli opposition politician Tzipi Livni for keeping her cool during an interview for BBC Newsnight. Evan Davis asks her a series of leading questions including this with reference to Livni’s parents who were members of the Irgun group fighting the British military in 1940’s Mandate Palestine:
They were imprisoned by the British, they were part of the Irgun, which was a movement. Would you describe your parents as terrorists?
Irrespective of how many civilians they’ve murdered or heads severed from bodies in Islamic State style, the BBC has an enormous problem describing any number of vicious extremist organizations as “terrorists.” The BBC’s own Editorial Guidelines stress avoiding the use of the word “terrorist” and also state:
The value judgements frequently implicit in the use of the words “terrorist” or “terrorist group” can create inconsistency in their use or, to audiences, raise doubts about our impartiality.
Evan Davis’s question, albeit a crude attempt to get Livni herself to use the word “terrorist,” indeed raises serious doubts about his impartiality. Why is it only Jews and Israelis that can be described as terrorists in the eyes of the BBC and its reporters?
London Nazi Rally to Stand in 'Solidarity' With Palestinians
One of the organizers of a neo-Nazi demonstration targeting the heart of London's Jewish community has said protesters plan to desecrate Israeli flags and Jewish holy books in solidarity with the Palestinians and against the State of Israel.
Joshua Bonehill - a fascist activist with numerous convictions for petty crime and racism - initiated the anti-Semitic campaign earlier this year, to target British Jews by holding so-called "anti-Jewification" rallies in areas of London with sizable Jewish communities.
The campaign has since been picked up by a coalition of neo-Nazis and other far-right groups, who recently held a small protest in Stamford Hill, which is home to one of the largest concentrations of Orthodox Jews in Europe.
The anti-Semites' next target is the neighborhood of Golders Green in northwest London, at the heart of the British capital's Jewish community, with an upcoming rally scheduled for two weeks' time on July 4 - the first Shabbat of the month.
Melbourne Jewish community warned of ‘imminent attack’
An Australian Jewish organization put the community in Melbourne on high alert Wednesday, saying an attack by a “radicalized person” could be imminent.
The Community Security Group cited “new intelligence” in raising the alarm, but offered few other details, the Australian Jewish News reported.
“No particular facility or organization has been identified and no particular timeframe has been specified,” CSG was quoted by the website as saying in a letter addressed to Jewish communal organizations.
According to the letter, the CSG conveyed the information to Victoria Police and other Australian security agencies.
CSG “is working in collaboration with those organizations to verify its authenticity and respond accordingly,” the website reported. The organization called on the community to also take their own safety measures.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali: A Problem From Heaven
The task of backing Islamic reform cannot be carried out by the government alone; civil society has a crucial role to play. Indeed, all the major U.S. charitable foundations committed to humanitarian work can help Islam reform. The Ford Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the MacArthur Foundation—all of which boast endowments in the billions of dollars—have done almost nothing in this area. There have been many grants for the study of Islam, but almost none to promote its reform. The same goes for the United States’ leading universities, which are currently paralyzed by their fear of being accused of “cultural imperialism” or, worst of all, “Orientalism.”
I am not an Orientalist. Nor am I a racist, although like most critics of Islam, I have been accused of that, too. I do not believe in the innate backwardness of Arabs or Africans. I do not believe that the Middle East and North Africa are somehow doomed to a perpetual cycle of violence. I am a universalist. I believe that each human being possesses the power of reason, as well as a conscience. That includes all Muslims. At present, some Muslims ignore both reason and conscience by joining groups such as Boko Haram or the Islamic State, citing textual prescriptions and religious dogma to justify murder and enslavement. But their crimes are already forcing a reexamination of Islamic Scripture, doctrine, and law. This process cannot be stopped, no matter how much violence is used against would-be reformers.
Yes, the main responsibility for the Muslim Reformation falls on Muslims themselves. But it must be the duty of the Western world, as well as being in its self-interest, to provide assistance and, where necessary, security to those reformers who are carrying out this formidable task, just as it once encouraged those dissidents who stood up to Soviet communism. In her final testimony before Congress in January 2013, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton got it right. “We’re abdicating the ideological arena,” she said, “and we need to get back into it.” Either that, or the problem from heaven will send the entire Muslim world—if not the entire world—to hell.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali Wants To Know If Ben Affleck Would Play Muhammad
Ali's question for Affleck is in reference to a semi-notorious segment from Bill Maher's HBO show Real Time in which Affleck battled Maher and religious critic/atheist activist Sam Harris on whether criticism of Islam is racist or bigoted. (It should be noted that no one suggests Harris' criticisms of, say, Roman Catholicism, do not face the same branding issue. )
And I will give him one point, which is this: so Muhammad, an individual who is influencing over one fifth of humanity, he is the only really historical figure we cannot draw anymore. We can't discuss him without saying "peace be upon him." So, a very powerful historic figure. A historical figure whose power comes into the 21st-century and is upsetting geopolitical structures.
Would Ben Affleck play the part? He can play Batman, but would be playing Muhammad? And the answer to that question tells me he needs a second chance to think these things through. Any actor in Hollywood who is very successful who is not willing to act that part should not go around making accusations of bigotry to others.
Would Ben Affleck Play Mohammed? Ayaan Hirsi Ali Wants to Know


Western anti-Semitism is not a phenomenon of the past. It is very well alive
How can we understand the interest, if not the obsession, of the West for anything Jewish. The symbol of Jews is less a specific religion, Judaism, but a national one in its Israeli expression. Israel is therefore treated as the archetype of anything bad and evil in the world. No word is strong enough to condemn Israel.
This obsession is so ingrained that many Western decisions are self-defeating. The European Union, for instance, recognizes the vitality of Israel’s economy, research and development, and sign treaties for joint endeavours, a normal way of dealing with national interests. Such is the case for inviting Israel to become a member of OECD, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development in 2010, or to become a partner in CERN, the first and only non-European member of European Organization for Nuclear Research in 2014.
But why threaten to impose special labelling for Israeli products manufactured in the West Bank, when not such a treatment is even considered for products from Chinese-occupied Tibet or Turkish-occupied (half of) Cyprus.
How can we understand the French proposition, encouraged by many European Union members, to impose a solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict, and declare that Jerusalem, the Holy City of Judaism before there was Christianity or Islam, is Palestinian? Even more striking is the attitude of the Vatican. Christians constitute a dwindling population in the Middle East, except in Israel. They are massacred, their churches burnt down. The Holy See, in response, signs a treaty putting its own churches in Jerusalem under the tender loving care of the Palestinian Authority. It could be the reaction of a Catholic Church frightened by an unpleasant reality, it is also a demonstration of self-defeating anti-Semitism: we hate you, Jews, more than we love ourselves.
If You Support NIF, You Support a Boycott of Israel
In the recent Israeli elections, Isaac Herzog, Yair Lapid, and Benjamin Netanyahu represented the left, right, and center of Israeli political views. These political players often cannot even agree that the sky is blue.
However, on the issue of a boycott of Israel, they all stand united in opposition. The American Jews who fund the heinous New Israel Fund (NIF) must realize that by funding NIF, they support a boycott and oppose the State of Israel.
Isaac Herzog, the left-wing leader of the Labor Party, noted last week, “For years, I’ve devoted efforts in the fight against the boycott movement. We will fight to protect Israel’s good name. This is a diplomatic intifada being waged by the haters of Israel.” Yair Lapid, regarded as a centrist, said that the boycott “… is not about policies, or about the settlements, or about the peace process; this is classic anti-Semitism in a modern disguise.”
Prime Minister Netanyahu recently said that, “The boycott generators do not see the settlements in Judea and Samaria but the settlements in Tel Aviv-Jaffa, Beersheba, Haifa, and of course, Jerusalem, as the focus of the conflict.” Netanyahu continued, “We must not cave into the pressure, [we must] expose the lies and attack the attackers. We shall unite forces in Israel and abroad, expose our enemy’s lies, and fight for the Israeli citizen’s right to live their lives peacefully and safely.”
American Jewry must heed the call of our brethren across the political spectrum in Israel and stand against those who boycott Israel, like the New Israel Fund. Political dissent is part of politics – and certainly part of Jewish life – but boycotts of Israel are blatantly unacceptable.
Justice minister said gearing up to sue Israel boycotters
Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked is reportedly going on the offensive against international initiatives to boycott Israel and is preparing to file lawsuits against activists who call for blacklisting the Jewish state.
The tactic came after a review by the international department of the Justice Ministry found that although boycott activists have appealed to many courts in Western countries for sanctions against Israel, they have never succeed in a obtaining a ruling in their favor, the Hebrew-language NRG news site reported on Wednesday.
Ministry officials believe that legal circumstances present the option of suing activists with civil and criminal law suits for damaging Israeli trade, for discrimination and racism, based on the laws in various countries, the report said.
Shaked was said to be putting together a plan of action and has already instructed that the number of positions in the international department be doubled so that it can push ahead with the program as soon as possible.
The legal campaign is to be integrated with a wider plan to combat the “delegitimization” of Israel being put together by Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, who also serves as Information Minister.
Proposed Bill to Scrutinize Foreign-Funded NGOs
The purpose of the so-called “NGO bill” is to clamp down on what Smotrich sees as illicit foreign intervention into Israel’s domestic policies under the guise of support for civilian organizations.
“We have a situation in which foreign countries are financing agents within Israel,” Smotrich’s spokesman told Tazpit News Agency. “It is important that citizens be informed of this phenomenon.”
In a statement quoted in the Israeli press, Smotrich used similarly strong language, describing what he referred to the “erosion of the Jewish character of the State of Israel” by foreign countries masquerading as civilian groups.
“All we are demanding is transparency,” Smotrich’s spokesman continued. “As a Knesset member, when a lobbyist comes up to speak to you, you want to know who you are dealing with, irrespective of their political outlook,” he said, referring to a section of the bill that requires members of relevant NGOs to wear ID tags when meeting with government representatives.
“It is perfectly legitimate to receive funding from abroad,” he explained. “The problem is when the money comes from a foreign government. In such cases, the NGO – whose function is to mediate between the government and the public – intrudes into the sphere of relations between governments, allowing foreign countries to influence Israel’s domestic affairs through indirect channels,” he said.
Portugal to Push 'Palestine' as Independent Tourist Destination
Just six month since Portugal's parliament voted to recognize the Palestinian Authority as an independent "State of Palestine," the Portuguese government is set to launch a new drive aimed at promoting "Palestine" as an independent tourism destination - despite it not being a legal state or having any defined borders.
Portuguese Tourism Minister Adolfo Mesquita Nunes told the Bethlehem-based Maan News Agency that tourism companies in his country would "vamp up" marketing "Palestine" as a tourism destination.
Nunes said he would be personally "recommending Portuguese people to visit Palestine," including the thousands of Portuguese Christian pilgrims who visit Israel - including Christian sites in Bethlehem and elsewhere.
The minister hopes that by doing so, Lisbon could gain from reciprocal tourism from Palestinians.
Grumpy Cat Trumps BDS on Facebook
Here is one way of gauging the appeal of the BDS — boycott, divestment, and sanctions —movement against Israel. Over at the Times of Israel, Jason Langner recently reported, with concern that the official Facebook page of the Palestinian BDS National Committee now was on its way to having 100,000 “likes.” Indeed, it has now reached that milestone.
I have written with concern about the BDS movement frequently here. Yet there is something to Mitchell Bard’s contention that the actual success of the movement, especially in the United States has been underwhelming.
One hundred thousand sounds like a big number. But it sounds less big when you consider that the BDS movement, including its Facebook page, has been around since 2005, is allegedly on a roll, yet has fewer likes over the course of the history of its page than National Geographic Magazine garnered in the past 30 days (270, 405, according to Quintly, a social media analytics site). Over a similar period, the Facebook page of “The Official Grumpy Cat” the spokescat for Friskies, has added over 136,000 new likes to its 7 million. This startling development has, as far as I can tell, had no impact on the international cat community.
Perhaps you will have the patience to scroll all the way through the Quintly rankings to reach BDS. I gave up at the page ranked 6860 (bear in mind that Quintly does not list every page), “I Will Go Slightly Out of My Way to Step on a Crunchy Looking Leaf,” which has over 1,680,000 likes. Now that’s a movement.
UK Labor Leadership Candidate Hosted Hezbollah in Parliament
A far-left British politician who invited Hezbollah and Hamas terrorists to the Houses of Parliament is among four UK Labor Party MPs vying for leadership of the party.
MP Jeremy Corbyn - a longtime anti-Israel activist and patron of the extremist Palestine Solidarity Campaign - was the last of the candidates to announce his intention to run as party leader Monday, securing the required 35 MPs' endorsement just two minutes before yesterday's noon deadline.
Corbyn is not a front runner, but he is the preferred candidate of the hard-left within Labor, and particularly many among the powerful trade unions - whose votes provided key in the surprise victory by former party head Ed Miliband.
Corbyn's extremist views have already come in for scrutiny, however, in particular his support for extremist Islamists and even terrorist organizations.
Guardian characterizes terror group sympathizer Jeremy Corbyn MP as a “leftwinger”
In the context of the Guardian’s coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, the word “rightwinger” is essentially meaningless, as it is often merely a pejorative meant to signify views their contributors personally find distasteful. Interestingly, even Nick Watt, Guardian chief political correspondent acknowledged that “quite often on the left the term rightwing is just used to mean ‘bad’”.
Of course, most Guardian editors and correspondents characterize Israeli politicians such as Binyamin Netanyahu, Naftali Bennet and Avigdor Lieberman as “right-wing” – or even, in the case of Bennet and Lieberman, “far-right“.
However, even self-identified left-wing journalist Ben-Dror Yemini was recently described by the Guardian’s Jerusalem correspondent as “rightwing”. Yemini’s “rightwing” sin seems to be that he takes the delegitimization campaign against Israel – an industry which the Guardian is heavily invested in – very seriously.
Yet, tellingly, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas – and other leaders within the Fatah movement who praise suicide bombers – are sometimes described as “moderate”, and rarely if ever characterized as “rightwing”.
Terrorists from Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah are typically described in the Guardian as “militants“.
So, how then should they characterize supporters of these two “militant” groups?
Enter Jeremy Corbyn MP, who was the focus of this June 15th Guardian article:
An open letter to Jeremy Corbyn
On that basis you will secure the votes of many party members and trade unionists.
But you won’t get my vote.
You won’t get it because Labour’s best traditions also include anti-fascism and internationalism while your support – to me, inexplicable and shameful – for the fascistic and antisemitic forces of Hezbollah and Hamas flies in the face of those traditions. In particular, your full-throated cheer-leading for the vicious antisemitic Islamist Raed Salah is a deal-breaker.
Why did you lend your support to Raed Salah? No, he is not a ‘critic of Israel’, but a straight-up Jew hater.
You said in 2012, ‘Salah is far from a dangerous man’, even though the left-wing, anti-Netanyahu Israeli newspaper of record, Ha’aretz, reported that Salah was first charged with inciting anti-Jewish racism and violence in January 2008.
You said ‘Salah is a very honoured citizen’, even though Salah was found guilty of spreading the blood libel – the classic antisemitic slander that Jews use the blood of gentile children to make their bread. He did so during a speech on 16 February 2007 in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Wadi Joz.
AFP Reports IDF Killed Palestinian Man With Jeep, Leaves Out Critical Piece Of Information
It’s well known that the mainstream media loves to vilify the State of Israel for their ongoing defensive struggle against terrorist groups residing in Gaza and the West Bank. This weekend they sunk to a new low when Yahoo! News ran a report from the Agence France-Presse with the headline “Israel army kills West Bank Palestinian.” The article then began with “Israeli soldiers killed a Palestinian man Sunday by hitting him with their jeep.” Accompanying the report on this supposed atrocity was a picture of a young protester with a toy slingshot.
It’s only after painting this picture of brutal repression that a more nuanced picture was painted with this single sentence in the third paragraph of the report: “An army spokesman told AFP that a Palestinian had died after he threw an incendiary device at a jeep and the vehicle overturned on him.”
The Jerusalem Post reported that protesters set up a rock barrier, then attacked the IDF jeep with Molotov cocktails. The jeep overturned onto one of the attackers after the startled driver attempted to veer away from the ambush.
AFP Corrects Regarding 17 'Journalists' Killed in Gaza
As noted yesterday on CAMERA's Snapshots blog, the influential wire service initially did not attribute this figure to any source, but stated it as fact. The number is a Palestinian (Hamas) claim, disputed by the Israeli Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, which has documented that eight of the 17 on the Hamas list were Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror operatives or worked for Hamas or Islamic Jihad media outfits.
According to the Meir Amit center ("Examination of the Names of 17 Journalists and Media Personnel Whom the Palestinians Claim Were Killed in Operation Protective Edge," Feb. 11, 2015):
About a week after the end of Operation Protective Edge the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate issued a list of 17 names, allegedly of journalists who had been killed in [the summer 2014 Gaza] operation. The list was published by the PA's Wafa News Agency, which received it from the Hamas-controlled Gaza office of the ministry of information.
AFP promptly followed up by republishing the article. Commendable changes include the attribution of the figure of 17 journalists killed to Hamas, as opposed to just reporting it as fact, and the addition of the fact that the Meir Amit center disputes Hamas' figure. The amended article states:
The Hamas-run ministry of information said 17 journalists were killed covering the July-August Gaza war . . . .
That statistic is disputed by the privately-run Israeli Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Centre, which says Hamas-linked media operatives or combatants were counted as journalists in Palestinian figures.
The International Federation of Journalists says at least 13 media workers were killed.
Even in Describing Ministries, NY Times Treats Israel Differently
Let's consider some examples of how The New York Times has referenced government ministries responsible for conveying and controlling information. It won't be hard to notice the recent exception:
- About Myanmar: “Photographs posted online by the Myanmar Ministry of Information showed scores of men crowded inside a wooden boat…” (May 23, 2015)
- About Liberia: “The Information Ministry issued a statement saying… (March 21, 2015)
- About India: “A senior official in the Information and Broadcasting Ministry denied…” (January 17, 2015)
- About the PA: “The Palestinian Authority's Information Ministry issued a statement…” (September 28, 2009)
- About Israel: “The government’s ministry of Hasbara — responsible for what Israel calls public diplomacy and its critics call propaganda…” (June 15, 2015)
Myanmar, Liberia, India, and the Palestinian Authority each have their fair share of "critics," of course. Plenty have charged those countries with propaganda? So why are only Israel's critics given the opportunity to define, in disparaging terms, the country's efforts at commutations and advocacy?
Note also that Robert Mackey, the author of the language about Israel above and perhaps the most biased journalist at the newspaper, refers to the (now defunct) Ministry of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs as the "ministry of Hasbara." The New York Times doesn't refer to India's ministry of Sujna, or the Palestinian ministry of El Yaalan. So why, when it comes to Israel, do we read about the capital-h Hasbara ministry?
BBC audiences get comment on Israeli report on 2014 conflict from man who urged Gazans to be human shields
Moreover, the article promotes the following statements from the spokesman of a terrorist organization:
“The militant group Hamas, which dominates the Gaza Strip, called the Israeli report worthless. […]
A spokesman for Hamas said the Israeli report was “valueless”.
“Israeli war crimes are clear because they were committed in front of live cameras,” Sami Abu Zuhri said.”

Apparently (seeing as it avoided reporting on the topic at the time) the BBC believes that its reputation as a serious news outlet is not compromised by quoting Abu Zuhri on the subject of ‘war crimes’ despite the fact that immediately after the commencement of the conflict he appeared on Hamas TV to urge civilians in the Gaza Strip to act as human shields.
Aliyah from France Soars 25 Percent
Aliyah to Israel from France has soared 25 percent so far this year, from 4,000 to 5,100, according to figures supplied by French Jewish officials.
A sharp increase in the number of Jews moving to Israel from France also was recorded in 2013 following the escalation of violent anti-Semitism.
This past Januury was particularly bloody for Jews in Paris, where four Jews were murdered in an attack on a kosher deli and a Jewish cartoonist was among 12 victims in the attack on the offices of Charles Hebdo satirical magazine.
Absorption minister estimates that 9,000 Jews will have moved to Israel from France by the end of this year, compared with 7,100 in 2014.
India’s Young Jews Eye Israel
One of the most densely populated cities in the world, Mumbai, formerly Bombay, is home to the majority of India’s Jewish population. Among the 12 million people that make up the city, some 4,000 Jews live in the city.
While many of India’s Jews have immigrated to Israel, the United States, Great Britain, and elsewhere, around 5,000 Jews continue to live in the ancient community, which according to some sources dates back to the time of King Solomon.
A group of 22 young Indian Jews, mostly from the Mumbai area recently visited Israel on a free Taglit-Birthright Israel educational trip for 10 days (June 5-14) to explore the Jewish state and meet with their Israeli peers, some of Indian origin as well.
“It was an amazing trip,” said Adina Tambde, 21, from Mumbai in an interview with Tazpit News Agency. “I didn’t feel like a tourist here; I felt very at home. Israel is very welcoming,” she told Tazpit. “The moment when we first landed was very special.”
“It’s easier to keep kosher here – you can eat almost anywhere,” Tambde told Tazpit. “Although 10 days, without spicy food was a bit hard,” she joked.
Indian Columnist: Israel is India’s ‘Most Trusted Ally’ in the Middle East, Among Top Friends in the World
Israel is India’s most trusted Middle East ally, and one of its closest friends in the world, an Indian columnist wrote over the weekend in The Asian Age.
“Israel is India’s most trusted ally in West Asia and one dare say among the three or four closest friends India has anywhere in the world,” wrote Ashok Malik, in light of a recent announcement by the Indian External Affairs Ministry that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would become the first Indian premier to visit the Jewish state.
“It is not merely a key defense equipment supplier, but is willing to make serious investments in manufacture of military hardware in India, a prospect that has the potential to revolutionise India’s economy,” he wrote.
Additionally, Israel has helped India develop its agrotechnology, from dairy production to drip irrigation and horticulture across several Indian states. India and Israel share the Indo-Israel Agricultural Cooperation Project, which entered into its third phase this year, and Israeli experts in a variety of fields continue to work across Indian states, such as water-saving techniques in mostly arid Rajasthan.
Some critics of Modi’s visit to Israel argue that it must occur within the larger context of an outreach to the Arab-Muslim Middle East as well, with stops in the Palestinian territories, Egypt and Jordan, among others.
But Malik suggested that the Israel trip be considered a “standalone,” saying it would be “clumsy and discourteous to link a Modi visit to Israel to one to Muslim/Arab countries as well.”
NPR: Israel Bringing Its Years Of Desalination Experience To California
Taking the salt out of seawater helped Israel move from the constant threat of drought to a plentiful supply of water, but Israel has learned that desalination is not the only answer.
Ben Gurion University's Institute for Water Research is deep in Israel's Negev desert and away from the sea. Prof. Jack Gilron, head of the Department of Desalination and Water Treatment, and other researchers here test concepts in desalination to see if they might hold promise for industrial development.
Israel has long sought solutions to the threat of drought. Commercial desalination here began in the 1970s, in the city of Eilat, on the Red Sea. The first desalination technology used there, in a short-lived pilot project, froze water to remove the salt, then melted it to make fresh water.
But Israel seriously embraced desalination in the late 1990s, after a particularly bad drought. The government decided to build five new plants along the Mediterranean, as fast as it could.
With four of those up and running and the fifth about to open, more than one-quarter of Israel's fresh water is now created through desalination.
An Israeli company is now building a desalination plant near San Diego, to aid in California's historic drought.
1st Arab modern art museum in Israel to open
Israel’s first Arab museum of modern art will open tomorrow in Sakhnin.
AMOCA, the Arab Museum of Contemporary Art, is a joint initiative of Israeli sculptor Belu Simion Fainaru and artist Avital Bar Shai and the Sakhnin Municipality. Fainaru and Bar Shai will be managing directors at the museum.
The AMOC A will present local and international contemporary works of art, with an eye to promoting peace and dialogue through artistic activity.
A ceremony inaugurating the museum will be attended by the wife of President Reuven Rivlin, First Lady Nechama Rivlin, and Sakhnin Mayor Mazen Gna’im, on Wednesday at 5 p.m. at the AMOCA building, near the Doha Stadium in Sakhnin.
Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones visit Jerusalem's Wailing Wall as they enjoy a break in Israel before Genesis Prize award ceremony
Earlier this year he was awarded the $1 million Genesis Prize award, popularly dubbed the 'Jewish Nobel Prize,' for his efforts to promote Jewish culture.
And Michael Douglas, 70, arrived in Israel with his wife Catherine Zeta Jones on Monday, ahead of the ceremony where the presentation will take place on Thursday.
Michael and Catherine,45, who confirmed their reconciliation last year after a temporary separation with a trip to Israel with their children, visited the Wailing Wall, situated on the western side of the Temple Mount in the old city of Jerusalem.
The Wailing Wall is a 187-foot-high section of the ancient wall of Herod's Temple, the second temple built on that spot.
It has been a venue for pilgrimage and prayer for Jews since the 16th century.
Catherine kept cool in the heat with a white lace dress and wore her long dark hair loose around her shoulders.
Michael, who had a huge smile on his face as he walked around, wore a lilac polo shirt and white slacks, along with a baseball cap.
Greed is good, but Gaza tunnels are bad - Michael Douglas tours the Southern front
It’s certainly a long way from Wall Street.
Actor Michael Douglas, the man who played Gordon Gekko, took a tour on Tuesday of the tunnels built by Hamas underneath the border with Gaza.
The tour was given by the Israel Defense Forces. Douglas was joined by his wife, actress Catherine Zeta-Jones.
The Hollywood star is in Israel to receive the Genesis Prize.
We Hear You, Michael Douglas
In America, pop culture IS culture, and when Israel can find only one or two friends within the Hollywood elite, somebody else must step up.
Let it be Michael Douglas.
Or let it be David Mamet. This Pulitzer Prize winner is our foremost playwright and a top-notch screenwriter. One day he decided that enough was enough. He quit toying with the façade of being “a brain-dead Liberal” and announced himself squarely as a Conservative and staunchly on the side of Israel.
He lost friends. You should have heard the geshrei in The New York Times.
Nobody said it would be easy. These are tough days and tough times to be Jewish, and it’s even tougher to be pro-Israel.
We can’t wait for an end to anti-Semitism. This will always be with us. But for a start to reinvigorate Jewish pride, Jewish muscle, there is only this…
Love of Zion.
Let’s hear it expressed resolutely from voices that count – while we still have a voice. Yes, before it’s too late.
10 things you must do in Jerusalem
It’s impossible to run out of things to do in Jerusalem, Israel’s largest municipality and possibly the most famous city in history.
Well known for its historical and religious sites for the three major religions, Jerusalem also boasts 60 museums, 2,000 archeological sites, 12,212 guest rooms and nearly 1,600 public parks (the net area of Jerusalem’s green spaces is larger than all of Tel Aviv.) There are two outdoor markets (Machane Yehuda and the Old City shuk), 10 shopping malls and eateries offering everything from gourmet fare to ethnic fast food.
A Tourism Ministry survey during 2013 revealed that three-quarters of all visitors to Israel put Jerusalem on their itinerary, and the five leading free tourist destinations are situated in or near Jerusalem’s Old City: the Western Wall, the Jewish Quarter, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, Via Dolorosa and the Mount of Olives.
ISRAEL21c suggests these 10 not-to-be-missed experiences in Israel’s iconic capital. If you have ideas of great places to visit in Jerusalem, please add them to the comments below.


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