Sunday, June 21, 2015

From Ian:

Who was Danny Ganon?
Such is the routine we have fallen into in the Holy Land. The media were all over this latest terror attack. They reported what happened and a couple of sound bite heavy statements made by politicians.
But they said little about Danny.
I didn’t know Danny. The first I heard of him was when his life was taken so cruelly.
I know he was from Lod, one of five brothers. His uncle was reported as saying the following about him:
Danny was the best kid in the world. A flower. He was the family’s support column,”
I’d like to know more about him. I’d like to know more than how he died. I’d like to know how he lived.
It’s too easy for a life lost to become a statistic. Israel has lost over two dozen sons and daughters to terror in the last year alone. Who were they? What were their dreams and aspirations? What did their world look like? Who loved them, who did they love? What did they love?
We should do more to talk about the way victims of terror lived and not just about the way they died.
Israeli killed in West Bank shooting attack laid to rest
About one thousand people were attendance when Gonen was laid to rest, among them a friend of his, Netanel Hadad, who was wounded in the attack.
In her eulogy, his mother, Devora Gonen, praised her son’s integrity and his love of the land.
“Danny, my dear, beloved son,” she said. “I cannot believe that we’re standing here now and talking about you in the past tense. You were a source of immense pride for me, a pillar to your brother and sisters. You were a devoted son to me, and when I needed it, a friend too. And you supported me in everything. You lived your life as a free Jew in your country. You loved the land and you loved the truth. The truth was your banner and you lived by it.”
Gonen, 25, was an electrical engineering student and the eldest of five siblings.
Murdered Hiker's Mother Rejects Fear Mongering
Devorah Gonen, the mother of slain 25 year-old hiker Danny Gonen who was murdered in cold blood on Friday, has rejected all statements calling to avoid the region where her son was killed.
"This is the land of Israel - what do I have to fear?" Gonen's mother said in an interview with Army Radio. "We should not be afraid, those who need to be afraid are those who will be taken care of by security forces and the people."
Gonen had been hiking in the Dolev area, in Judea and Samaria - but Devorah insisted that last Friday was the same as any other Friday hike.
"So this Friday it was in Dolev - last Friday he hiked in place A and the Friday before that in place B," she said.
"Does that mean I have to be afraid living in Lod, as well as afraid visiting my in-laws in Beit El? No, we have nothing to be afraid of."
Danny Gonen’s Family to Donate Organs
The family of terror victim Danny Gonen who was murdered on Friday afternoon by Arab terrorists near Dolev — has donated some of his organs for transplant recipients in Israel.
Gonen had signed the “ADI” organ donation card (which also allows for transplant after coordination with a religious authority) and his family complied with his wishes for his organs to be donated.
May his memory be a blessing… and may G-d avenge his death.

 Not exactly a 'lone wolf' attack
The recent series of sporadic terror attacks are taking place for reasons that are more or less always the same. While Hamas and Islamic Jihad don't necessarily sanction the attacks, they provide the inspiration behind them.
The stabbing attack at the Damascus Gate on Sunday morning has the makings of another one of those "lone wolf attacks" - an incident that is seemingly unpredictable and for which Israeli security forces cannot be prepared on the intelligence and operational fronts. An incident that appears to derive of a sudden urgent. But it is in fact not the case.
Even these sporadic attacks are taking place on a similar backdrop and for reasons that are more or less always the same. In this case, as in the murder of student Danny Gonen on Friday, there are three reasons motivating the Palestinian attackers.
The main reason is the religious fervor among the Muslims on the holy month of Ramadan. It is not just a matter of the sermons they hear, or of their religious inclinations, but also the lengthy fast, the extreme changes to daily lives and maintaining their day-to-day routine while not sleeping at night - all of these create a situation in which the Muslim street all over the world, including in the Palestinian Authority, sensitivity and anger run high. This psychological analysis is important because it explains a significant amount of attacks that seemingly reveal no rational reason for the murderer to choose to risk his life and his surroundings.
West Bank killing: Pre-planned or opportunistic?
The manner in which the assailant carried out his attack — a lone gunman with a handgun — indicates that it might have been the work of an opportunistic young Palestinian who knew the area and was able to make a quick getaway. He might have also been aware that Israelis frequent the area on weekends to go swimming and hiking. Getting a weapon would not have been difficult.
But other questions arise. Did he expect an Israeli vehicle to venture so far off the main highway to the isolated spot where the shooting took place? Was there an organizational infrastructure behind the attack?
There has been a claim of responsibility, though such claims have been used to hinder investigations in the past (such as when last year’s kidnapping and killing of three teens near Alon Shvut was falsely claimed by an Islamic State-affiliated group).
The shooting attack took place on the first day of Ramadan, immediately after Israel announced it would ease travel restrictions on the local population for the holiday. It does not seem as though the goal of the attack was to create a crisis between the Israel and the Palestinian Authority by getting those travel restrictions reimposed, as this is not the sort of attack that would convince Israeli security forces they needed to change tactics or to close roads and impose travel restrictions.
Israel at UN: Palestinians Responsible for 'Heinous Crime'
In the wake of Friday's murderous terrorist attack in Samaria, Israel’s UN Ambassador Ron Prosor fired off a scalding letter to the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, and the UN Security Council, urging that the UN abandon its “so-called balanced response that is calling on both sides to show restraint. Only one side is responsible for this heinous murder,” he added, and that is the Palestinian side.
The ambassador recounted the details of the murder near Dolev: “on the eve of Shabbat, a Palestinian man shot two 25-year-old Israeli civilians at close range, killing one of them. The terrorist attracted the attention of his victims by asking for their assistance. When they approached to help him, the terrorist pulled a gun out of his bag and shot the two in cold blood. This terrorist took advantage of the compassion of these young men to commit this heinous crime.”
Amb. Prosor then explained that the Palestinian terror-murder of Israelis is not part of a no-fault “cycle of violence” but rather, “These violent acts are ignited by the constant incitement by the Palestinian leadership. Instead of leading their people towards peace, these leaders are leading the whole area into instability.”
Further, Amb. Prosor related that while, “During this period of Ramadan, Israel has taken steps to reduce tensions, removing restrictions in order to allow Palestinians to celebrate, and enjoy maximum freedom of movement for the holiday prayers,” the international community had a special obligation to “insist that the Palestinians prevent violence, and refrain from inciting emotions during this sensitive period.”
Victim gives first-hand account of Friday’s fatal terror attack
Netanel Hadad, who was moderately injured in a Friday terrorist attack near the settlement of Dolev in the West Bank, on Sunday described the course of events surrounding the killing of his friend Danny Gonen.
The 25-year-old Hadad, who like Gonen is a resident of Lod, is still undergoing treatment in the Sheba Medical Center for the wounds he sustained in the shooting, but he left the hospital briefly Saturday night to attend his friend’s funeral.
Gonen and Hadad wanted to go swimming in a natural spring called Ein Buvin near the settlement, Hadad told reporters.
When the pair reached the spring they saw “suspicious vehicles” and noted that the only other bathers at the site were Arab, “so we turned around,” Hadad said.
Driving away, the two were flagged down by a pedestrian as they reached a nearby intersection.
Shin Bet taking over Dolev terror investigation as IDF ground search proves fruitless
The IDF ended localized searches and the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) took the lead in the investigation on Sunday into a deadly Palestinian terrorist shooting, which claimed the life of a 25-year-old Israeli in the West Bank on Friday.
IDF searches over the weekend did not result in the arrest of suspects, and by Saturday evening, the army had ended attempts to capture the gunman around Palestinian villages that circle the settlement of Dolev, west of Ramallah.
The shooting victims, residents of Lod, were in the area to bathe in a local spring. The fatality, 25-year-old Danny Gonen, was buried in the Lod Cemetery Saturday night.
Security forces said the gunman flagged down the victims' car, asked them a mundane question, and opened fire with a 9 millimeter handgun.
Israel Radio reported on Saturday that Hamas's military wing claimed responsibility for the shooting, citing a statement released by a terrorist cell named for Hamas operatives Marwan al-Kuasma and Amar Abu Aisha who kidnapped and murdered three Israeli teens last year.
Palestinian wounded near site of fatal West Bank attack
According to Palestinian medics, the woman was taken to hospital but her condition was "not very bad". A spokesman for the Israeli army confirmed they had received a report about the incident and dispatched a medical team, but the woman was evacuated before it arrived.
The stone-throwing took place near Ras Karkar, a village northwest of the Dolev settlement, near which on Friday 25-year-old Israeli Danny Gonen was shot dead in his car by a Palestinian gunman, after hiking with a friend in the area.
Palestinians said Saturday's incident could have been an act of revenge by settlers for Gonen's death, although the stones could also have been thrown by Palestinians mistaking the woman's vehicle for an Israeli one.
Guardian report leaves false impression that Israeli terror victim was a ‘settler’
First, Beaumont fails to name the Israeli victim, despite the fact that his name was known – and was being reported elsewhere – at the time the Guardian report was published.
Also, since Beaumont doesn’t mention that the victim was from the Israeli city of Lod (within pre-1949 boundaries), a sentence in his report may likely be construed by most Guardian readers as indicating he was from a settlement.
The sentence “Shootings of settlers in the West Bank have tapered off in recent years…” in conjunction with the lede sentence, explaining that the victim was shot “at in the occupied West Bank near the settlement of Dolev“, without noting that Gonen was from Lod, suggests that he was in fact a settler.
As social-media activist Avi Mayer suggested on Twitter, shortly after news broke of the terror attack in Dolev, Israelis who live on the ‘wrong side’ of 1949 armistice lines are often not treated with the same amount of compassion by foreign journalists as those who live on the “right side” of the boundary.
Though Beaumont didn’t explicitly claim that Gonen lived in a settlement, the totality of the text in the report certainly seems to leave that (false) impression.
Abbas Silent on Palestinian Authority Terrorist’s Murder of Soldier
The United States express its condolences, while the United Nations envoy to the Middle East, Nickolay Mladenov simply condemned the murder and stated:
On this second day of Ramadan and at the start of the Shabbat, I call on all sides to exercise the utmost restraint, to maintain calm and promptly bring the perpetrators to justice.
When State Dept. spokesman John Kirby was asked about the murder at the daily press briefing on Friday, he answered:
We have scant information. First of all, our condolences go out to the family of what we understand to be at least one of those individuals who was killed in this deadly shooting. Certainly, our thoughts and prayers go out to them. And the second thing I’d say is, as always, we condemn any violence against civilians there, completely unacceptable.
And on the Palestinian Authority side?
No regrets. No condolences. No renouncement of terror.
Border policeman seriously hurt in stabbing outside Jerusalem’s Old City
A Palestinian man stabbed and seriously injured an Israeli Border Police officer Sunday outside Jerusalem’s Damascus Gate, police said. An officer on the scene shot the suspected assailant.
The suspect was identified as an 18-year-old Palestinian man from the West Bank, who was named by Arabic media as Yasser Yassin Tarwa of Hebron. He was seriously injured and sent to Hadassah Hospital.
The officer suffered multiple stab wounds to the neck and chest and was taken to Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Hospital after receiving treatment on site. The man was on life support in serious condition.
Police said they closed off the area after the incident and deployed large numbers of reinforcements across the city.
Jerusalem police chief Chico Edry told reporters on the scene that “The officer acted heroically.” He added that, “In any incident in which police officers or civilians are attacked, the terrorist should be killed at the scene and the incident ended as quickly as possible.”
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat said after arriving at the Damascus Gate that life in Jerusalem must continue as normal. “I call on all residents of the State of Israel to continue visiting Jerusalem and strengthen it,” he said.
Hamas took to social media after the stabbing to hail the actions of Tarwa as “heroic.”
'We Immediately Gave Border Policeman Medical Treatment'
Magen David Adom paramedic Aharon Adler, one of the first to arrive at the scene of the terror stabbing in Jerusalem on Sunday morning, spoke to Arutz Sheva about the first moments after the stabbing.
"I arrived at the scene and saw two people lying on the ground," Adler recounted. "One, I was told by the security forces in the area, was the terrorist, and next to him was a young man of about twenty with several stab wounds in the upper body."
"We approached and I and number of other paramedics that arrived began to give him emergency treatment."
"After a very short amount of time," Adler continued, "an Intensive Care Unit from MDA arrived and together with them, we continued treatment before evacuating him to Shaare Zedek."
According to Adler, the border policeman remained unconscious from the moment the paramedics arrived to the point where he was evacuated to the Jerusalem hospital.
Stabbed Policeman's Condition Slightly Better
There has been a slight improvement in the medical condition of the Border Policeman who was stabbed Sunday morning at the Shechem (Damascus) Gate in Jerusalem's Old City.
According to the Director of the Trauma Unit at Shaare Tzedek Hospital in Jerusalem, Dr. Ofer Merin, the wounded police officer has emerged from the operating room. However, his condition is still serious.
Border Police Commander Major General Amos Yaakov arrived at Shaare Tzedek Hospital and visited the wounded officer.
Yaakov praised the officer's quick action. “A fast, professional and resolute response ended the event, before the terrorist could continue to carry out his plans,” he said. “With extraordinary courage, despite the serious injury, he strove for contact and neutralized the terrorist. Border Police fighters prove time after time that they deserve the nickname – 'the country's bulletproof vest.'”
Netanyahu: I’ll ‘fiercely reject’ foreign ‘diktats’ on conflict
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday he would “fiercely reject” any international proposals meant to bring about a unilateral solution to the conflict with the Palestinians against Israel’s will.
“The need to prevent these attacks exists all the time,” Netanyahu said, alluding to the stabbing of a Border Police officer in Jerusalem earlier in the day, “but international proposals suggested to us, in essence they’re trying to force upon us, have no true consideration for the security needs of Israelis or other national interests of ours.”
Netanyahu made the remarks ahead of a visit by French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius. France has said it would propose a resolution in the United Nations Security Council with a framework for negotiations toward resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“The way to reach an agreement is only through negotiations and we will fiercely reject attempts to impose international diktats,” Netanyahu told his weekly cabinet meeting.
“They’re just trying to push us into borders which are indefensible, while completely ignoring what will be on the other side of the border.”
US Court Maintains IRS Discriminated Against Zionist Group
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) lost an important lawsuit on Friday, after the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a pro-Israel non-profit organization was wrongly discriminated against.
Z Street has accused the IRS of violating the First Amendment by putting pro-Israel organizations that apply for tax-exempt status to a more stringent review than other organizations.
The non-profit organization Z Street, which opposes Israeli withdrawals, compromises with terrorists and supports Jewish rights over Judea, Samaria and Gaza, applied for tax-exempt status in 2009.
The group reports than on July 19, 2010, an IRS agent assigned to their case told them that the IRS gives "special scrutiny" to groups connected to Israel, especially those with views that "contradict those of the administration's." The group was given to understand that such cases are sent to a special IRS unit.
In a formal Opinion released Friday, the court ruled that unanimously that Z Street's application was a legitimate claim, not just a means of evading taxes; that the IRS is not entitled to Sovereign Immunity; and that this case falls under injunctions preventing the IRS from discriminating against specific viewpoints or organizations.
Does the State Department Terror Report Contain a Subtle Slap at Israel?
In an overview describing activities in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, and Jerusalem, the State Department detailed the 50-day conflict last summer dubbed Operation Protective Edge in which Israel conducted 5,240 airstrikes in Gaza and carried out a 20-day military ground operation.
"According to publicly available data, the conflict led to the deaths of 2,205 Palestinians and 74 persons in Israel, among them 67 soldiers, six Israeli civilians, and one Thai civilian," the State Department report said. "The Israeli government estimated that half of those killed in Gaza were civilians and half were combatants, while the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) recorded 1,483 civilian Palestinian deaths – more than two-thirds of those killed – including 521 children and 283 women."
While unremarkable on its face, the disparity between figures reported by the Israeli government and figures compiled by the U.N. was highly unusual, as was the inclusion of a breakdown of civilian casualties – particularly women and children – among the Palestinians.
Consider the overview in the same State Department report in 2009, the first produced under the Obama administration. That document outlined the beginnings of the 22-day military campaign called Operation Cast Lead that started on Dec. 27 – but it did so with far less detail.
"By some reports, Israeli military operations in 2008 killed an estimated 782 Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, including at least 315 by year's end as a result of Israeli Air Force (IAF) airstrikes."
The next year, the administration in its overview detailed even less about Palestinian casualties in the conflict.
Israel removes satirical clip on press coverage of Gaza war
The Foreign Ministry pulled an animated 50-second video clip it uploaded last week which ridiculed foreign correspondents for their coverage of last summer’s Israel-Hamas fighting.
The video sparked complaints from the foreign press. The Foreign Press Association said it was “surprised and alarmed by the Israeli Foreign Ministry’s decision to produce a cartoon mocking the foreign media’s coverage of last year’s war in Gaza.”
“It is disconcerting that the ministry would spend its time producing a 50-second video that attempts to ridicule journalists reporting on a conflict in which 2,100 Palestinians and 72 Israelis were killed,” the FPA said.
Ronen Polak, the diplomatic correspondent for Israel Radio, said Sunday, “The Foreign Ministry decided to remove the facetious video, supposedly there to ridicule the journalists of the Foreign Press Association for the nature of their coverage of Operation Protective Edge. In the Foreign Ministry, they’ve understood that it wasn’t a successful joke.”
The World Mourns Charleston but Condones the Slaughtering of a Jew
Nine American Blacks have been targeted and killed for being Blacks by a White suprematist idiot inside a Methodist Church.
The South Carolina governor immediately suggested the death penalty for him. The American press rallied around the Afro-American community and preached moral sanctimony about the US and its never-ending racism. The liberal organizations asked for gun control.
A few hours later, an Israeli citizen named Danny Gonen was slaughtered and targeted for being a Jew inside his car in the Biblical Binyamin area by an Arab-Islamic suprematist idiot.
But the 9 Blacks and Gonen blood did not have the same specific value. Nobody called for the death penalty of the “Palestinian” terrorist who shot at 25 year old Danny Gonen. The Israeli press blamed the fact that Gonen, who lived in the pre-1967 Armistice Line city of Lod, was hiking near a “settlement” and nobody blamed Arab racism. The liberal organizations didn’t ask how the Arab terrorist got the weapon to kill a Jew.
As if the 9 Blacks’ blood is holy while Israel’s sins had to be washed away by Gonen’s Jewish blood.
And the world? Well, the world simply ignored the news that a Jew was killed for being a Jew. Not Obama, not the United Nations, not the European Union sent condolences to Gonen’s family. As if the 9 Blacks’ blood is holy while Israel’s sins had to be washed away by Gonen’s Jewish blood.
Obama: US gun violence 33 times that of Israel
In the wake of a shooting at a South Carolina church last week, US President Barack Obama on Saturday called for action to reduce US gun violence, noting that the homicide rate in America was far higher than other developed countries, and 33 times that of Israel.
The president’s remarks on Twitter came days after 21-year-old Dylann Roof allegedly entered a historic African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina and shot nine worshipers dead, and injured a tenth. An online “manifesto” ascribed to him rails against African-Americans and “Jewish agitation of the black race.”
“Here are the stats,” Obama said on Twitter. “Per population, we kill each other with guns at a rate 297x more than Japan, 49x more than France, 33x more than Israel.” (h/t Yenta Press)
South Carolina killer: Jews wouldn't be a problem if we could destroy their identity
A manifesto allegedly linked to the killer of nine people at a historically-black church in South Carolina on Wednesday revealed a twisted outlook on different racial groups in the US and links to the American Jewry throughout.
The racist essay focused on the black community, however it also has sections on several racial groups. Jews are mentioned throughout.
In the section focusing on the Jewish community specifically, it was written that "the issues with Jews is not their blood, but their identity."
"I think that if we could somehow destroy the Jewish identity, then they wouldn't cause much of a problem."
A point was made to differentiate himself from other white supremacists by considering American and European Jews "white."
"The problem is that Jews look White, and in many cases are White, yet they see themselves as minorities. Just like n****rs, most Jews are always thinking about the fact that they are Jewish."
The document allegedly written by the 21-year-old killer, Dylan Roof, posted on his personal website said that black Americans are "always thinking about the fact that they are black. This is part of the reason they get offended so easily ... The other reason is the Jewish agitation of the black race." He does not elaborate further.
Shaul Mofaz lands in London without incident
Former defense minister Shaul Mofaz landed in London’s Heathrow Airport Saturday night without incident, after fears his lack of diplomatic immunity could make him vulnerable to possible arrest for alleged war crimes upon his arrival.
The Foreign Ministry and the Israeli Embassy in London scrambled Saturday evening to arrange immunity for Mofaz ahead of the visit, since he is no longer a member of Knesset and his visit would have been of a private nature. Mofaz arrived in London to attend a conference Monday which will also include the presence of Interior Minister Silvan Shalom, Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid and head of the Israeli opposition Isaac Herzog.
Two diplomats from the Israeli embassy were sent to the airport to greet Mofaz, a former defense minister and IDF chief of staff, and deal with any situation that could have arisen.
Mofaz, the former head of the now-defunct Kadima party, did not arrange for immunity ahead of the trip, according to Channel 2. He quit politics in January.
Before the flight, Britain’s Ambassador to Israel Matthew Gould told Mofaz and the embassy that his efforts to obtain immunity for Mofaz were unsuccessful. Mofaz decided to go ahead with the trip regardless, said the Channel 2 report. (h/t Yenta Press)
IAF Chief: 'No Restraint' in Next Lebanon War
The Israeli Defense Forces will practice "no restraint" in attacking civilian areas in Lebanon should another war break out with Lebanese terror group Hezbollah, a senior military official told German newspaper Die Zeit.
According to Israeli Air Force (IAF) chief Major-General Amir Eshel, Israel will not hesitate to attack military command centers located inside civilian areas and buildings.
Eshel stressed Israel "will not show restraint due to the immoral war tactics of our enemies."
"Years ago, Hezbollah began to transfer military infrastructure to residential areas, thereby turning the population into a human shield,” Eshel said, backing up recent assertions made by a number of Israeli defense officials.
"Many villages in Lebanon are built anew to turn into army bases with underground missile sites and ammunition storages. This is how things are in some areas of Beirut as well," Eshel noted.
Hezbollah claims Israel targeted crashed drone in Bekaa
An explosion that was heard Sunday in the western Bekaa Valley was caused by an Israel airstrike targeting a drone that crashed in the western Bekaa Valley, according to Hezbollah’s Al-Manar.
The drone crashed overnight Sunday near Mount Saghbin, according to the report.
However, photos of the reported drone published on media websites show Cyrillic script on a piece of the wreckage, indicating that the drone may have been manufactured either in Russia or Eastern Europe.
Early Sunday, a security source told The Daily Star that the explosion was caused by a drone that crashed on the outskirts of the town of Saghbin.
Media reports also claimed that military planes were seen flying over the Rashaya towns of Kfar Qouq and Aija minutes before the explosion was heard nearby.
Welcome to the new Blue Beach Resort in Gaza
Gaza rebuilds.
A brand new resort has opened up in Gaza this month
The Blue beach resort boasts 2 swimming pools, a Jacuzzi, and a computer and video game hall for the kids
Blue Beach Resort overlooks the Mediterranean Sea from the west and Al-Rasheed Street from the east, located on the other side of Al-Mashtal Hotel.
Blue Beach Resort is one of PRICO’s (Palestine Real Estate Investment Company) investments, which has been established in 1994 as a public limited shareholding company. Blue Beach is a luxurious resort and one of the finest of its kind in Palestine. The resort has been specifically designed to be the ideal escape for family vacations and for recreational and relaxation purposes, away from the daily life hustle and bustle.
The total area of the resort is 21,000 square meters, within which 15,000 square meters are built areas consisting of four buildings for chalets and one for leisure services and facilities, whereas the remaining 6,000 square meters are green areas, consisting of two swimming pools, a Jacuzzi and family sitting areas. The entrance has been designed to be accessed from the fifth floor, as the land -where the Resort are built- are higher from the sea level.
More heart rendering scenes from Gaza, "the world's largest open air prison".
Swedish ship sets sail from Italy in bid to break Gaza blockade
A flotilla carrying pro-Palestinian activists is heading to Crete en route to the Gaza Strip in a bid to break the Israeli and Egyptian-imposed blockade on the Palestinian enclave.
The Marianne of Gothenburg, a Scandinavian fishing boat, traveled from Sweden through the waters of Norway, Germany, France, Spain and Portugal before reaching Messina, Italy, last week.
“The short stop in Messina was an intensive one with meetings with peace activists and a press conference at the city hall,” the group noted on its website.
On board the ship are Swedish journalist Kajsa Ekis Ekman, Swedish-Israeli composer Dror Feiler, Spanish Member of the European Parliament Ana Maria Miranda Paza, and others.
Arab MK to join third Gaza-bound flotilla, warns Israel not to intercept it
Balad MK Basel Ghattas wrote Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon on Sunday that he would be joining the Gaza-bound flotilla and that there is “no reason” to prevent it from reaching its destination.
Ghattas plans on joining the flotilla of Palestinian activists in Athens.
“I will be on deck together with many participants including dozens of members of parliament and public figures from around the world,” said Ghattas in the letter.
The “flotilla of peace” seeks to break the siege on Gaza and turn the world’s attention to the 1.8 million Palestinians that are living in “prison conditions,” he continued.
South African president who helped end apartheid opposes boycott of Israel
The former South African president said that only through dialogue can a change in policy come. "Dialogue and negotiation and interaction between leading countries of the world and South Africa would have achieved a much better result, and would have inspired earlier reforms and changes in the South African situation," he said.
De Klerk rejected the comparison of apartheid South Africa and Israel, saying, "I think comparisons are odious and I wouldn't like to draw direct comparisons. I prefer dialogue and negotiation as a way to get governments to change their attitude."
De Klerk's comments came as the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel has gained steam in recent weeks, drawing frequent comments from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other politicians.
Israeli envoy to Germany asks if Breaking the Silence spreads anti-Semitism
In a statement on Tuesday, however, Cologne said it will show the exhibit after all, as a standalone presentation in spring 2016. It will be presented “in an appropriate context,” the municipality said. In reference to the cancellation, the statement continued, “There were rising voices that warned the City of Cologne of adverse effects, especially in terms of propagating anti-Israel and anti-Semitic resentment, which looked misplaced in the anniversary year and during the celebrations.”
Hadas-Handelsman said, “Anti-Semites use the possibility to criticize Israel in order to spread their anti-Semitic ideas. They say, ‘I have nothing against the Jews, nothing against Israel, only something against the Israeli government.’” The critics’ protestations are suspect because they slam every Israeli government and support product boycotts purportedly targeting the settlements that would not affect the settlers, but rather the State of Israel, he said.
German journalist Alex Feuerherdt, who regularly covers modern anti-Semitism, wrote that the Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger and Süddeutsche Zeitung dailies, which support the Breaking the Silence exhibit in their commentaries, blame Jews for anti-Semitism instead of the anti-Semites. The newspapers give “the irrational anti-Semitic resentment a rational basis” by claiming that Cologne subjugated itself to the power of the Jewish state when it had pulled the plug on the exhibit, he wrote.
Teeth found near Tel Aviv point to a new prehistoric human species
Researchers found four teeth in the Qesem Cave near Rosh Ha'ayin (not far from Tel Aviv), and they were astonished at test results that conclude the fossils to be some 400,000-years-old. The significance of this is that it's possible that the origin of prehistoric man is in Israel, and not in East Africa. And an additional surprise is that prehistoric man was mainly vegetarian and not carnivorous.
The cave is 10 meters deep and its surface area is approximately 300 square meters. Researchers have been sifting through it for some 15 years to discover remains from prehistoric times. The ancient teeth were discovered by scientists from Tel Aviv University and other research institutions in the world.
Their examination revealed that they belong to a type of prehistoric man that lived in Israel, and that until now no one knew existed. Science has until now held that humans originated in Africa (Homo Sapiens who developed there about 200,000 years ago.)
Another prehistoric species was the Neanderthal, who became extinct, and originated in Europe about 300,000 years ago. It is estimated that the teeth found in the cave in Israel belong to more ancient species of human, who was in fact the father of Homo sapiens and Neanderthals.
Tests of the tartar from the teeth revealed remnants of seeds and coal particles which indicate that this species, which science has still not named, was mostly vegetarian. He did eat meat but in very small quantities.
In Honor of Ramadan, Israeli Charity Provides Help for East Jerusalem Families
In honor of Ramadan, which began on Wednesday evening, June 17, food vouchers totaling 1 million NIS will be provided to 2,600 needy families in the Arab community by the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ), headed by Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein.
Welfare departments throughout 69 municipalities, which the IFCJ provides assistance to on a regular basis, will distribute this aid.
Mr. Hamed Elian, Assistant Director of the Welfare Office in East Jerusalem stated that: “The support we receive from IFCJ throughout the year is what saves these families from hunger. It is a light at the end of the tunnel for our population, a population in deep poverty, and economic and social need.”
“This aid helps return hope to the lives of the people and is the only assistance that the residents of East Jerusalem receive,” he added.
Fasting on Ramadan began on Thursday, June 18, and the holiday will conclude in mid July. Ramadan is followed by most of the 1.6 billion Muslims across the world.
In first, Israel sends Egypt Ramadan greetings
Ambassador Haim Cohen’s message was the first of its kind in the 36 years of bilateral relations, Army Radio reported.
“On my behalf and that of the people of Israel ahead of the blessed month of Ramadan, we wish the Egyptian people a ‘Ramadan Kareem,'” the ambassador said, using the traditional Arabic salutation for the Muslim holy month.
Israel and Egypt established formal relations in 1980 following the signing of the Camp David Accords the year before. However, while formal diplomatic ties have held, public sentiment in Egypt is considerably less cordial.
Last week, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu extended good wishes to Israeli Muslims ahead of the annual Islamic holy month.
“Israel is the only state in the region that respects the freedom of religion and worship for members of all faiths,” Netanyahu said in a statement. “You are an inseparable part of Israel.”
Amb. Koren's Ramadan Greeting to the people of Egypt

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 18 years and 38,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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