Tuesday, June 23, 2015

From Ian:

Michael Lumish: The Jewish Ghetto in Hebron
The city of Hebron (or Hevron) is among the most ancient of Jewish cities and is the home of the Tomb of the Patriarchs where Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca, and Leah are said to be buried.
Today Jews inhabit about 3 percent of this old Jewish town and the Arab residents very definitely do not want them there.
My friend Yosef, of Love of the Land, alerted us to this:
Jews peacefully confronted this racial and religious persecution, showing their objection by leaving their ghetto which comprises approximately 3-percent of the city to walk quietly through the marketplace. They were faced with threats, physical and verbal intimidation, followed by stones -- for no other reason than that they dared to cross the line in protest of apartheid. Israeli residents then left the market as the hostile population chanted Allah Hu Akbar, pushing against the gate which protects the Jewish population from their neighbors. Stun grenades afterward were necessary to scatter the threatening mob.
The video below is a production of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) and therefore in its opening blurb suggests that Jews walking through Hebron represent some sort-of assault on the great Arab majority in that city. Those Jews were protected by Jewish soldiers, which is why the video focuses on soldiers.
At about the 40 second mark the Arabs start chanting "Alahu Akbar! Alahu Akbar!" which, given recent history - if not ancient history - is essentially a call for violence.
Establishing a Palestinian Islamist State
The United Nations' verdict of guilty to Israel, in its "Schabas Report," issued yesterday, was written even before the trial began.
Only the wide-eyed West still does not believe that Mahmoud Abbas is telling the truth when he assures the Palestinians of his intent to destroy Israel.
All public opinion polls in the Palestinian Authority (PA) indicate that if elections were held today, Hamas -- whose only openly-stated reason for existing is to destroy Israel -- would win in a landslide, as in 2006. Gaza has already been lost to Hamas and perhaps soon to ISIS. All evidence reveals that to establish a Palestinian state now would turn it into an Islamist terrorist entity.
Abbas thought that forming a Unity Government with Hamas would give the PA a unified front with which to harvest more money and diplomatic concessions from Europe. But last summer, Abbas was informed of a Hamas murder plot against him.
Jewish Home revives bill limiting foreign funds for left-wing groups
Knesset member Yinon Magal (Jewish Home) on Tuesday presented a new version of a controversial bill aiming to limit foreign funding for organizations that support the prosecution of IDF officers in international courts or campaign for boycotts of Israeli institutions or products.
The proposed legislation stipulates that Israeli non-government organizations receiving funding from foreign governments of over $50,000 will pay a 37 percent tax on the contribution, the Walla news site reported. The bill also adds that Israeli government ministries and the army must avoid collaboration with such NGOs.
“It is important to remember that the law is supposed to maintain our identity as a sovereign state that acts according to the will of the majority and not the agendas of foreign governments or on behalf of organizations that spend tens of millions in order to tarnish our reputation,” Magal said, according to Walla.
The bill, Magel continued, aimed to “make it difficult for those organizations that voluntarily serve the perceptions of foreign governments, those organizations that submit information to the haters of Israel, who make a fortune from tattling on settlers and IDF soldiers and slander Israel’s name in the world.”
Uri Ariel Cancels National Service Volunteers for Leftwing NGOs
It’s turning into a banner day for Bayit Yehudi in the Knesset as they take on the leftwing NGOs.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Uri Ariel (Bayit Yehudi), who is also in charge of Sherut Leumi (National Service), instructed the managing director of the Sherut Leumi Authority Sar-Shalom Gerbi to cancel all national service programs for NGOs who acted against IDF soldiers, according to a report in Srugim.
Ariel’s decision came in response to the UN’s Schabes anti-Israel report that relied on reports and testimony from dozens of leftwing NGOs.
Ariel explained that the whole point of National Service is to serve the state of Israel and its citizens. He explained he will not allow a situation where Israel finances programs that act against Israel’s own soldiers.

SMS loans fund Syria terror trips from Sweden
Investigators working for the security service told Sveriges Radio that there had been a rise in people taking trips to the Middle East to fight alongside terror organisations such as Isis (also known as IS) over the last year, with growing numbers of visits funded by loans taken out in Sweden.
Martin Frimansson, an expert on terrorist funding at Säpo, explained that while some Swedes had borrowed money from banks or using Swedish credit cards, others had paid for their travel using SMS loans (money borrowed via text message from private companies) or made their way to Syria and Iraq using cars rented in Sweden.
According to Frimansson, a “clear majority” of trips were made possible due to loans, although he did not give any specific figures.
He suggested that some Swedes were also taking out loans in order to raise their status within Isis or other terror groups. (h/t Olterigo)
IS drowns, decapitates ‘spies’ in brutal new video
An Islamic State group video released Tuesday showed the jihadists murdering 16 men by drowning them in a cage, decapitating them with explosives and firing a rocket-propelled grenade into a car they were riding in.
The video, apparently shot in Iraq’s Nineveh province, was one of the most brutal in a series released by the jihadists showing the killings of opponents in areas under IS control.
IS has executed hundreds of people by gunfire, dozens by beheading, stoned some to death, thrown others from buildings and burned a captured Jordanian pilot alive — and released videos to the world showing the acts.
Videos of the killings are a key propaganda tool of the jihadists, used to shock and terrify their enemies as well as to draw in new recruits seeking the most brutal and active militant group.
The men killed in the latest video are said to be “spies,” with some of them making recorded “confessions.”
'ISIS enforces Ramadan fast by crucifying two children'
Two boys under the age of 18 were crucified by ISIS in the streets of the Syrian city of al-Mayadin for not observing the laws of Ramadan, watchdog group the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported on Monday.
The children, who were charged with the crime of "not fasting on Ramadan," had placards around their necks announcing their crime was committed "with no religious justification," The Independent reported.
Founder of the watchdog group, Rami Abdel Rahma, told The Independent that the boys had reportedly been caught eating, and their bodies were found "hanging on crossbars" near the ISIS police headquarters. The boys were reportedly hung from their wrists, and their bodies were left on display until late Monday evening.
This is not the first time ISIS has crucified its citizens for breaking Sharia law.
The cost of ongoing incitement
Whether the terror attacks that took place on Sunday at Damascus Gate in Jerusalem and on Friday in Samaria are defined as lone-wolf attacks or the actions of a terrorist cell, they illustrate once again the great motivation among Palestinians to kill Jews. That motivation does not come out of nowhere.
While Israel makes its best effort to put on trial every person who takes the law into their own hands and hurts innocent Palestinians, the Palestinian Authority continues to incite against Jews. In the past, the Palestinians compared Israeli soldiers to Nazis, but the latest trend from Fatah and the PA is to compare Israel to the Islamic State group and Israeli soldiers to the group's armed operatives. Whoever follows the Palestinian media would certainly notice that comparison and the many caricatures drawn about it.
Palestinian Media Watch does holy work in following, monitoring and reporting about the ongoing incitement on official PA websites and social media accounts. For example, they revealed what is posted on the Palestinian National Security Forces Facebook page: greetings to its followers with pictures of "occupied Jaffa," "occupied Acre," and the "Hula Lake in occupied Palestine."
The PA uses every outlet in its control to broadcast the message that there is only room for "one Palestine from the river to the sea," and that "all of Israel is occupied and will be returned to the Palestinians in the future." This message is broadcast on PA Radio for most of the day, it is broadcast online, on TV, and through every other possible means. And the phrase "what was taken by force will be returned with even more force," plays a starring role on Palestinian social media.
State Department Report Minimizes Palestinian Incitement to Violence
The U.S. State Department’s Country Reports on Terrorism 2014 issued on Friday minimizes official Palestinian incitement to violence against Israel, and completely overlooks Palestinian glorification of terrorists.
The annual report lists major terrorist incidents worldwide and outlines each country’s counterterrorism efforts and legislation. Terrorism attacks and their resulting deaths spiked last year, the report found, an increase largely driven by attacks by the Islamic State and Nigeria’s Boko Haram terrorist groups.
With respect to the Palestinian Authority (PA), the report praises the PA for taking “significant steps to ensure that official institutions in the West Bank that fall under its control do not create content that leads to incitement to violence.” The report acknowledges that “some instances of inciting taking place via official media” still occur, listing only three examples. However, the report diminishes the fact that incitement to violence is a systematic and institutionalized PA phenomenon.
The State Department assessment also ignores the direct participation of senior PA officials in praising terrorists and inciting violence against Israelis and Jews.
The Iran Deal’s Fatal Flaw
PRESIDENT OBAMA’S main pitch for the pending nuclear deal with Iran is that it would extend the “breakout time” necessary for Iran to produce enough enriched uranium for a nuclear weapon. In a recent interview with NPR, he said that the current breakout time is “about two to three months by our intelligence estimates.” By contrast, he claimed, the pending deal would shrink Iran’s nuclear program, so that if Iran later “decided to break the deal, kick out all the inspectors, break the seals and go for a bomb, we’d have over a year to respond.”
Unfortunately, that claim is false, as can be demonstrated with basic science and math. By my calculations, Iran’s actual breakout time under the deal would be approximately three months — not over a year. Thus, the deal would be unlikely to improve the world’s ability to react to a sudden effort by Iran to build a bomb.
Breakout time is determined by three primary factors: the number and type of centrifuges; the enrichment of the starting material; and the amount of enriched uranium required for a nuclear weapon. Mr. Obama seems to make rosy assumptions about all three.
Most important, in the event of an overt attempt by Iran to build a bomb, Mr. Obama’s argument assumes that Iran would employ only the 5,060 centrifuges that the deal would allow for uranium enrichment, not the roughly 14,000 additional centrifuges that Iran would be permitted to keep mainly for spare parts. Such an assumption is laughable. In a real-world breakout, Iran would race, not crawl, to the bomb.
U.S. Sharing Iraqi Base with Iran-Backed Militias that Previously Killed American Soldiers
Rogin and Lake note that a number of the militias that will be sharing the base have previously targeted and killed American troops, including the League of the Righteous, which executed five American soldiers in 2007. A spokesman for the group has boasted that it was behind the deaths of even more American troops. The militias are headed by Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, who was designated in 2009 by the Treasury Department for his role in destabilizing Iraq and “[posing] a significant risk of committing acts of violence against Coalition and Iraqi Security Forces.”
In addition, a number of these militias are accused of committing human rights violations and sending fighters to support the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Al-Muhandis, who has been accused of bombing the French and American embassies in Kuwait in 1983, is close to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Qods Force commander, Gen. Qassem Soleimani.
Despite the enmity of the militias towards the United States and the possible negative consequences of the alliance, The New York Times reported in March that the United States had become “increasingly dependent on Iranian fighters,” to combat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
State Spokesman Says Iranian Parliament Chants of ‘Death to America’ are ‘Not Helpful’
State Department spokesperson John Kirby said Monday that the Iranian Parliament chants of “Death to America” are ‘not helpful.’
Iranian Parliament recently voted to ban access to military sites, documents, and scientists as part of any nuclear agreement with the United States. During the vote, some Iranian lawmakers chanted “Death to America.”
On Monday, Associated Press reporter Matt Lee asked the State Department if the “Death to America” chants were a cause for concern for the nuclear negotiations or just political grandstanding.
“It is certainly not helpful,” Kirby said. “But is it going to have a major impact on the negotiating teams in Vienna? No.”
The Obama administration had a different view about U.S. lawmakers who wanted input on the nuclear deal.
Back in March, 47 Republican lawmakers sent an open letter to the Iranian government. The purpose of the letter was to point out that any deal that is agreed up without Congress would face opposition in the United States.
Ahmadinejad: US is after Hidden Imam
Former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad accused the United States of seeking to apprehend the Hidden Imam, who according to Shi’ite belief vanished in the 10th century and will reappear in the end of days as the ultimate savior of humankind.
Speaking on Sunday to clerics at a speech marking the beginning of the holy Muslim month of Ramadan, Ahmadinejad claimed that members of US academic institutions were engaged in tedious studies aimed at locating the Imam, Radio Free Europe reported.
“They’ve done so much research about the Hidden Imam in the human science universities of the United States that I am not exaggerating by saying that it is a thousand times more than all the work done in the seminaries of Qom, Najaf, and Mashhad,” he said, referring to three Shiite holy cities, according to a transcript posted on the website Dolatebahar.com and translated by Radio Free Europe.
“To quote a friend, they’ve completed a case against the Hidden Imam, and closed it also for his arrest… the only [evidence] they lack is his picture,” he added.
New Gaza Flotilla Sets Sail, Hopes UN Report Will Deter Israel
Extremist activists aboard a flotilla of boats are to soon set sail for Gaza in a fresh bid to break Israel's limited blockade of the Islamist-held territory, five years after a similar attempt ended in a deadly raid.
The so-called Freedom Flotilla III - a convoy of ships carrying anti-Israel activists, including at least one European lawmaker and an Arab-Israeli MK - will try to reach the shores of the Gaza Strip by the end of the month.
Their campaign comes as Israel faces international pressure over its military operation last summer to stop rocket attacks from Gaza-based terrorist groups, with a UN report released Monday saying both the Jewish state and Palestinian terrorists may have committed war crimes during last year's conflict in the coastal enclave.
"We're not alone in considering the blockade to be inhumane and illegal," Staffan Graner, an activist who is sailing aboard Swedish trawler the Marianne of Gothenburg, told AFP.
"What we want to do... is to keep up international pressure that the blockade should end," he said.
Flotilla of illusions
Ghattas further stressed that Israel will not be the one to determine what can and cannot enter Gaza, and that it is inconceivable that children in Tel Aviv would go about their pleasant lives while the victims of Israeli violence were under siege in the Strip.
What was the esteemed MK referring to? Gaza's borders were once wide open courtesy of the smuggling tunnels, but Hamas wanted to do more than transport goods underground and used them to smuggle weapons and missiles. Rather than improve Gazans' quality of life, Hamas constructed a grid of murderous terror tunnels meant to kill Israelis, including children in Tel Aviv.
It never occurred to Ghattas, not for one minute, to condemn that situation. For that matter, in never occurred to Joint Arab List MK Hanin Zoabi either, as she found Hamas' defeat in Operation Protective Edge very disappointing.
Egypt has destroyed the smuggling tunnels on its side of the border, stunting Hamas' cash and arms supplies nearly in their entirety and leaving it to rely on Israel and its harbors, though which it cannot smuggle missiles, for the supplies entering Gaza.
Ghattas simply cannot accept this situation, and when he speaks of "breaching the siege" he is echoing the doctrine preached by his counterparts in the Palestinian Authority, who speak of the "right of return." Ghattas, unfortunately, is in for yet another disappointment.
Anti-Israel activists have long called for the blockade - ruled as entirely legal by a UN commission - to be lifted, claiming despite the ruling that it is "illegal."
Knesset votes to punish MK over plans to join Gaza flotilla
The Knesset House Committee voted Tuesday to strip an Arab lawmaker of his immunity from prosecution over his plans to join a protest flotilla to the Gaza Strip in the coming days.
Lawmakers voted 10 in favor, two against to strip Joint (Arab) List MK Basel Ghattas of some parliamentary privileges.
Still, the committee lacks the authority to implement such a move, and the motion will now transferred for a hearing by the Knesset Ethics Committee.
The Joint List parliamentarians at the debate vowed to bring the issue before Israel’s High Court of Justice — so the actual probability of Ghattas being penalized in the near future is slim.
Antisemitic London Rally in Disarray After Conflict Breaks Out Among Organizers Over Jewish Speaker
A white supremacist behind an antisemitic rally set to take place in a London suburb said he fired the event’s organizer after the latter invited a Jewish speaker to appear at the demonstration, the U.K. publication Ham & High reported on Monday.
Joshua Bonehill-Paine orchestrated an “Anti-Jewification demonstration” in Golders Green, set to take place on July 4, but has allegedly been banned from entering London by Metropolitan Police officers investigating allegations of inciting to racial hatred. The 22-year-old, who was also behind an antisemitic rally in Stamford Hill, posted on his blog a picture of a letter he received from police stating the bail conditions.
Bonehill-Paine invited anti-Israel, British former MP George Galloway to speak at the rally, he announced Monday on his website. He also called attention to the “underlying Jewish problem which requires immediate attention” in the U.K., and urged for the creation of an “antisemitic coalition” made up of international antisemites calling for “global action against Jewry.”
Bonehill-Paine, who has called the Holocaust “comical” and “hilarious,” said on his blog that additional rallies were planned for later this year in Finchley, Stamford Hill and several other locations as part of an “anti-Jewification initiative,” Ham & High reported. He added that the demonstration in July will feature a burning of holy books and the destruction of flags.
He also said July’s demonstration would feature a ritual burning of Jewish holy books and destruction of flags. He said “copies of the Talmud books will be burnt in recognition of its racist anti-white teachings.”
Heavily Armed Soldiers Photographed Guarding Jewish Wedding in Paris
Heavily armed soldiers stood guard outside a Jewish wedding in Paris over the weekend, photos posted Sunday on Twitter showed.
Journalist Greg Dyett, of SBS World News in Australia, uploaded two images showing armed police and security officials lined up on the street with weaponry on hand in case of a possible attack.
Dyett said the Jewish wedding took place in Paris’ La Marais area.
France has mobilized thousands of troops to protect Jewish targets since a kosher supermarket was targeted by an Islamist militant in January. Four Jewish shoppers were killed in that attack.
Former Spanish PM defends Israel against boycott campaign
Aznar, a center-right politician for the People’s Party who presided as prime minister for eight years until 2004, made the assertion in a foreword he wrote for a newly released book by Jerusalem-based researcher Manfred Gerstenfeld on the delegitimization of Israel and the Jews.
Israel’s significance to Western culture “is why it is under constant attack, and why we should do everything in our power to allow Israel to remain strong, free, and prosperous,”
Aznar wrote in the book titled “The War of a Million Cuts,” which was launched Monday during a panel discussion at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.
Earlier this week, Aznar told the Ma’ariv daily that the while the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel declares “its aim to put pressure on the Israeli government,” in reality “BDS does not only want to change the government’s policy, it wants to empty the country of Jews.”
The Judean People's Front: Calling BS on DBS - Why "Apartheid"
The biggest weapon in the arsenal of BDS is the "Israel = Apartheid" charge. This has completely overtaken the "anti-occupation" trope that previously characterized much of the "pro-Palestinian" movement.
In his book One State, Two States, renowned Israeli historian Benny Morris notes:
Over the past few years, against the backdrop of the Second Intifada and Israel's efforts to suppress Arab terrorism, Palestinian spokespeople have stepped up their designation of Israel's policies as "apartheid." Without doubt, the definition "sells" well in the West and serves the Palestinian goal of delegitimizing Israel much as South Africa's apartheid regime was delegitimized in the West before it's collapse. But Israeli journalist Sever Plutzker (in "Who Favors a Partition Plan?" Y-Net, 3 January 2008) had pointed out that these years have also witnessed a gradual replacement, among Palestinian spokesmen, of "the discourse of occupation" with the "discourse of apartheid" because the focus on berating the "occupation" leads, or should lead, to Israeli withdrawal from the territories, opening the way for a two-state solution, whereas the talk of "apartheid" with its stress on human rights and their absence, should lead, eventually, to ameliorating the situation of the oppressed within the geopolitical framework. Plutzker points out that this shift of emphasis corresponds to the shift among Palestinians from advocacy of a two-state solution to advocacy of one-statism; talking of ‘apartheid serves the “one state” purpose. (n1 p. 203-4.)
Honest Reporting: “Shooting Teenagers” and Other Hostile Headlines
Hear about the latest array of inaccuracies in the international press. HonestReporting’s Yarden Frankl joins VOI’s Josh Hasten in-studio to discuss this week’s headlines: A Palestinian “teen” was killed in Jerusalem yesterday, after “allegedly” attacking a border policeman with a knife; a Palestinian is “killed” by an IDF jeep — with no mention of the firebomb he threw at soldiers, or of the fact that his death resulted from his losing control of his vehicle.
A British journalist notices the Egyptian blockade of Gaza
CAMERA, in two blog posts earlier in the year, cited examples of how media outlets find inventive ways to avoid mentioning the fact that the “total Egyptian blockade has isolated the Gaza Strip far more than the Israeli blockade, under which goods and people do cross“.
Though CAMERA in those particular cases was citing reports by Agence France Presse (AFP) and The New York Times, British media reports on the deprivation in Gaza also routinely ignore the Egyptian blockade. (These reports also fail to inform readers that Israel’s blockade is only partial, and allows into Gaza, on a daily basis, large quantities of food, consumer goods and construction material, despite the fact that much of this “humanitarian aid” is diverted by Hamas for military purposes.)
All of this renders the following June 22nd Times of London report (paywall) by Gregg Carlstrom quite extraordinary.
The Times of London article focuses on a woman in Gaza who needs specialist medical care in a Cairo hospital, but is denied the right to cross the border by Egyptian authorities.
It’s a sad commentary on the state of British media coverage of Israel that the mere acknowledgement, by one reporter, of the undeniable fact regarding Egypt’s ‘disproportionate’ role in the oft-reported “siege of Gaza” represents such a huge leap forward.
Why is the BBC definition of a ‘human rights activist’ different from all others?
Susan Abulhawa is a writer and a political activist and her politics include the negation of a basic human right for a particular group of people. That information is critical to understanding her words and her work in their correct context but, rather than meeting the BBC’s own editorial guidelines on impartiality by disclosing Abulhawa’s ‘standpoint’ to listeners, this programme used the ‘halo effect’ of the misapplied label ‘human rights activist’ in order to whitewash the political agenda behind both the interviewee and her book.
Perhaps the BBC would care to tell its funding public why its use of the term ‘human rights activist’ does not embrace the accepted principle of the universality of human rights.
BBC’s ‘Hardtalk’ provides propaganda platform for Erekat yet again
The “agreements” and “contracts” signed between the Palestinians and Israel are the Oslo Accords. In contrast to the misleading impression given to viewers of this programme, nowhere in those agreements is any restriction placed on building in Israeli towns and villages in Judea & Samaria or Jerusalem and nowhere do they state that the 1949 Armistice Lines – or “67 lines” as Erekat calls them – would be the final borders between Israel and a Palestinian state. That, of course, is precisely why the subject of borders is one of the issues to be discussed in final status negotiations.
“We’re willing to engage seriously on the basis of the agreed terms of reference specified in the Quartet’s statements saying that negotiations should be on the basis of two states on 1967.”
The Quartet’s February 2015 statement makes no mention of “1967” and neither does its 2003 roadmap stipulate that Erekat’s much-touted “1967 lines” are a basis for negotiations.
“The fact that Palestine became and has gained the legal status for observer state meant that it’s a state under occupation. The West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem is identified as now as a Higher [sic] Contracting Party to the four Geneva Conventions of 1949. […] Palestine has a status of a state under occupation like what countries like Norway, Belgium, Holland, France, Korea, the Philippines were in the Second World War under German and Japanese occupation [Badawi: sure, sure…] so the Israelis cannot say it’s disputed territories…”
Legal experts contacted by BBC Watch in connection with Erekat’s claim that the 2012 granting of the status of UN non-member observer state automatically confers High Contracting Party status advised us that “neither joining the Geneva Conventions nor receiving observer status in the General Assembly are procedures for assigning territorial sovereignty, and neither action could give “Palestine” sovereignty over the territory of “West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem.”
“Zeinab, settlements in the West Bank including East Jerusalem are illegal settlements. Actually, in accordance with the 4th Geneva Convention these settlements are war crimes.”
Suspect who assaulted US Jewish leader charged with hate crime
Charges against a New York man suspected of assaulting the head of the Brooklyn Young Men’s Hebrew Association have been upgraded to include a hate crime charge.
A grand jury upgraded the charges against Shawn Schraeder, 25, of Queens, on Thursday, CBS New York reported.
Schraeder is accused of punching Leonard Petlakh, the executive director of the Kings Bay Young Men’s Hebrew Association, following an exhibition basketball game October 7, 2014, between the Brooklyn Nets and Israel’s Maccabi Tel Aviv at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Fans verbally sparred inside the arena as the game was ending when pro-Palestinian protesters began shouting slogans and a pro-Israel fan grabbed a Palestinian flag from one of them, Petlakh told JTA at the time of the incident.
Disputed new Greek Holocaust memorial vandalized
A disputed Holocaust memorial in Greece was desecrated two weeks after its dedication.
The black marble monument, which commemorates the 1,484 Jews from the northern port city of Kavala who were murdered by the Nazis, was discovered Monday to be covered in blue paint, according to The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece.
“It is with sadness that we learned of the desecration of the Holocaust Memorial of Kavala, just two weeks after it was inaugurated … at the site where in 1943 the Jews of Kavala were arrested and detained before being deported to the death camps,” said a statement from the board.
The monument became a source of contention after Kavala city officials postponed its original dedication, saying they opposed the Star of David on the memorial. The ceremony was held on June 7 following pressure from the Greek Jewish community, the Greek government and international groups on Kavala’s mayor.
On Monday, the Jewish community expressed its satisfaction with the Kavala municipality for its “immediate intervention to clean and restore the monument.” The community called on Greek authorities to apprehend the vandals.
Two British teens held for stealing artifacts from Auschwitz
Two British teenagers were arrested on suspicion of stealing artifacts from the former Nazi death camp at Auschwitz, Polish police said Tuesday.
A spokesman for the site, which is now home to a museum, told AFP that guards on Monday caught the teenagers digging in the ground in an area where there were once barracks used to sort the personal items of arriving prisoners.
“They detained them and discovered that they were in possession of shards of glass, buttons, a hair clipper and bits of metal,” he told AFP.
Regional police spokesman Mariusz Ciarka said he expected prosecutors to make a decision regarding possible charges against the pair later in the day.
Ciarka said the Britons born in 1997 and 1998 could get up to 10 years in prison for stealing objects of historical value from the site in the southern Polish city of Oswiecim.
Augmented-reality tech fills your living room with virtual furniture
When shopping for clothes, most consumers insist on trying them on before buying — but that hasn’t usually been an option when shopping for furniture. Now it is — except that, instead of buying a sofa and having it delivered to see how it looks, consumers can use technology by Israel’s Cimagine to virtually visualize how a piece of furniture will fit in with their décor.
At last week’s Augmented World Expo in Silicon Valley, Cimagine unveiled a new version of its augmented-reality shopping platform — a system that lets users virtually “furnish” an empty room from an online catalog using their mobile device. With the system, users can see an array of virtual products positioned at various locations in the same room.
For example, interior decorators could design an entire room with pieces of furniture, lighting fixtures and appliances all at once, and get a realistic portrayal of what the finished room would look like.
‘Soup Nazi’ sings praise of Israeli foods
US actor Larry Thomas, the notorious soup Nazi from the hit series “Seinfeld,” roams the streets of Tel Aviv in a new Pepsi Max commercial, striking fear into the hearts of Israeli salesmen and women as he searches for the perfect meal and demands a suitable beverage to quench his thirst.
The YouTube ad begins with two visibly frightened individuals at a typical grilled meat joint as they carefully serve Thomas “one steak with pita, with tahini and harif (spicy flavoring), and one “kruvit (cauliflower) with salsa.”
The two sidle up to Thomas cautiously as they offer him the dishes, apparently so as not to rise his ire, and wait for his approval as he tastes the food.
“This is yummy!” Thomas, dressed in a cook’s uniform, finally yells in a characteristically stentorian voice, to the relief of all those around him.
Pepsi Max Presents: This Falafel Is Making Me Thirsty!

Chris Brown on his way to Israel
Grammy-award winning rapper Chris Brown is due to arrive in Israel next month as part of a world tour.
He will perform at the Rishon Lezion Amphitheater in Live Park on July 27. Tickets are reportedly going for NIS 259 ($69), or NIS 399 ($106) for front-row seats.
The artist is scheduled to perform in Jakarta and Hong Kong before arriving in Israel. He will continue on to Cyprus before returning to the United States.
The 26-year-old rap star released his first album in 2005. He has several platinum-selling albums and has won several Billboard and People’s Choice awards.
Jay Leno's Serious Appreciation for Israel (h/t IsraellyCool)
Comedic giant and TV superstar Jay Leno, on his second trip to Israel to MC the prestigious Genesis Award ceremony, makes VOI's Molly Livingstone laugh. Seriously.

Jerusalem like you never seen before (h/t IsraellyCool)

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