Wednesday, June 24, 2015

From Ian:

Israeli NGO: ‘UNRWA causes more damage than good’
According to a position paper published recently by an Israeli non-partisan NGO, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA), is “actively being counterproductive to a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
The paper which was published by the independent political think-tank, the Institute for Zionist Strategies (IZS), argues that UNRWA facilities have been used for terrorist activity against civilians, UNRWA employees often are members themselves in terrorist groups, raising sever doubt on UNRWA’s neutrality.
Additionally, the paper claims that UNRWA is financially and politically dependent on the continuation of the status-quo in the conflict and therefore is not motivated by an actual desire to solve the problems of refugees.
The paper was composed and researched by Lt. Col. Nir Naaman, currently a Doctoral Student at Bar-Illan University, for IZS. He cites news articles from the last decade, UN resolutions, national and governmental databases and related academic literature as resources.
Citing instances in which UNRWA was allegedly “caught” turning a blind eye to terrorist activities or even being fully involved in such activities, dating as far back as 1968, when an UNRWA camp was used as a training base for the PLO, then still an official terrorist organization.
US, allies ready to offer Iran nuclear equipment, document reveals
The United States and its allies are willing to offer Iran state-of-the-art nuclear equipment if Tehran agrees to pare down its atomic weapons program as part of a final nuclear agreement, a draft document has revealed.
The confidential paper, obtained by the Associated Press, has dozens of bracketed text where disagreements remain. Technical cooperation is the least controversial issue at the talks, and the number of brackets suggest the sides have a ways to go, not only on that topic but also more contentious disputes, with less than a week until the June 30 deadline for a deal.
However, the scope of the help now being offered in the draft may displease U.S. congressional critics who already argue that Washington has offered too many concessions at the negotiations.
The draft, titled "Civil Nuclear Cooperation," promises to supply Iran with light-water nuclear reactors instead of its nearly completed heavy-water facility at Arak, which would produce enough plutonium for several bombs a year if completed as planned.
Reducing the Arak reactor's plutonium output was one of the main aims of the U.S. and its negotiating partners, along with paring down Iran's ability to produce enriched uranium -- like plutonium, a potential pathway to nuclear arms.
WikiLeaks Saudi cable: Iran sent nuclear equipment to Sudan
Saudi diplomats in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, believed Iran shipped advanced nuclear equipment including centrifuges to Sudan in 2012, according to a document revealed last week by WikiLeaks and said to be a cable from the embassy.
"The embassy's sources advised that Iranian containers arrived this week at Khartoum airport containing sensitive technical equipment in the form of fast centrifuges for enriching uranium, and a second shipment is expected to arrive this week," said the document, dated February 2012 and marked "very secret."
WikiLeaks last week released more than 60,000 cables and documents which it says are official Saudi communications, and plans to release half a million in total. Saudi Arabia said the documents might be faked and has not commented on specific documents.
If the cable is authentic, it does not provide details on the source of the embassy's information or any further evidence of the shipment.
There have been no previous reports of Iran sending nuclear equipment to Sudan, which has no known nuclear program.



Khamenei Refuses To Halt Iran’s Nuclear Research, Demands Immediate Sanctions Relief
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said he would refuse to allow a halt his nation’s nuclear research, and demanded an immediate end to sanctions upon signing a nuclear deal with the West, Reuters reported Tuesday.
“Freezing Iran’s Research and Development (R&D) for a long time like 10 or 12 years is not acceptable,” Khamenei said in a speech broadcast live.
Disputes over how much transparency Iran should offer to ease suspicions that it has covertly sought to develop nuclear bombs, and the timing and pace of relief from sanctions imposed on Tehran, have been two major sticking points to the final deal.
“All financial and economic sanctions imposed by the U.N. Security Council, the U.S. Congress or the U.S. government should be lifted immediately when we sign a nuclear agreement,” Khamenei said.

Khamenei also categorically ruled out international inspectors accessing military sites or interviewing nuclear scientists. Such actions are necessary to establish the extent of Iran’s past nuclear research and ensure that Iran cannot secretly develop a nuclear weapon.
Britain, France Call for “Robust” Deal, Demand Verification That Iran’s Nuke Program is Civil
Philip Hammond and Laurent Fabius, respectively the top diplomats of Britain and France, called for Iran to submit to verification of its nuclear program to ensure that it is peaceful, Agence France-Presse reported yesterday.
“Britain wants a robust and verifiable deal with Iran that ensures that its nuclear programme in the future is exclusively civil,” Hammond said after talks in Luxembourg with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif, Fabius, Germany’s Frank-Walter Steinmeier and EU foreign affairs head Federica Mogherini. …
“There is a lack of trust on both sides and only full verification… to confirm that both sides are in compliance with their agreements is going to regenerate that trust in the future.”

Fabius added, “A robust agreement is one which includes an extensive verification element, including if necessary visits to military sites and automatic re-introduction of sanctions if Iran violates the accord.”
Opposition Leader Herzog: “No Daylight” Between Himself and Netanyahu On Iran Nuke Deal
Israeli opposition leader Isaac Herzog said that there is “no daylight” between his position on the emerging nuclear deal with Iran and the position of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in an interview with The Telegraph published today.
If the US Administration hoped that Mr Herzog might dilute Israel’s visceral suspicion of an imminent nuclear deal with Iran, however, then he seems likely to disappoint. …
“There is no difference between me and Netanyahu in reading the threat of Iran. There is no daylight between us on this issue at all,” said Mr Herzog. “I do not oppose the diplomatic process. However, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. We want to know ‘what is the deal?’ What’s the best deal possible that can be reached and would it change the region in a better direction? And here we are worried.”
What the Obama worshippers missed
It is not surprising that former Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren is now in the sights of the Obama Defenders Corps, a collection of U.S. administration officials, sycophantic journalists and other obsessive critics of Israel.
The former ambassador has revealed in his new book what most Israelis and many Americans now know to be true: that U.S. President Barack Obama abandoned Israel ever since the beginning of his term in 2009, and that the breach in U.S.-Israel relations is primarily his doing. In fact it was a deliberate policy to create distance between the United States and Israel, since the president was far more interested in making nice to the likes of Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood, and the Muslim world in general. Close U.S. ties with Israel presented an obstacle in Obama's path toward accomplishing these other goals.
In essence, Obama had swallowed the message of Professors Steven Walt and John Mearsheimer in their book: "The Israel Lobby" in its entirety. Obama was also educated in Third World/academic perspectives on international conflicts, which always tend to favor the weaker or non-Western party. So it was predictable that he would come into office believing Israel was primarily at fault in its conflict with the Palestinians, and so pressure needed to be applied to them.
Isi Leibler: The blowback from the Oren revelations
I predict that when the dust settles, nothing will change with the far-Left liberals, whose veneration of Obama is almost messianic. But among more open-minded pro-Israel Democrats, Oren is likely to have a profound impact and will hopefully encourage some of them to review their position. The conservatives will of course claim that they were always on the side of the angels and that Oren is merely stating what they have been saying for years.
What is more important is what impact Oren’s public revelations will have on the Jewish leaders. Many of them are deeply distressed by Oren’s outbursts. As of now, aside from the Anti-Defamation League’s retiring chief, Abe Foxman, dismissing Oren’s views as “conspiracy theories with an element of pseudo psychoanalysis,” little is being publicly said, but there is undoubtedly intense discussion taking place behind the scenes.
Many claim that this will drive the administration into a frenzy and intensify the anti-Israeli diplomatic moves. There is a case for this attitude but surely – especially in light of the additional revelations by Oren – quietly sitting on the sidelines has proven to be and remains the wrong approach. Now, albeit belatedly, is the time to speak up, promoting the case for Israel and respectfully, honestly and publicly rebutting Obama’s distorted and one-sided approach.
Hopefully it will strengthen and unite the committed Jewish community, and it may even have a major positive impact on Congress as the Iranian capitulation policy comes to a head. For many Americans and congressmen Oren’s revelations will come as a shock.
It is too early to tell, but Oren’s intervention may have long-term positive repercussions on the balance of Obama’s term of office as well as American foreign policy. We can only pray that will be the outcome.
Inside Obama’s Head With Michael Oren
Equally egregious were other press attacks. In the Forward, Larry Cohler-Esses claims Oren wasn’t truthful when he relates a damning conversation in his book with New York Times editorial page editor Andrew Rosenthal. Oren said that Rosenthal defended his decision to allow Mahmoud Abbas write a piece that, “suggested that the Arabs had accepted the U.N.’s Partition Plan in 1947 while Israel rejected it.” To Oren’s surprise and incredulity, the editor said this historical fact was a matter of opinion. Cohler-Esses then offers a link to the Abbas piece and says Oren’s charge was untrue and that Abbas had made no such claim. Those who don’t click on the link may accept the writer’s conclusion and agree that other facts in the book might be similarly suspect. But Oren is correct. Abbas speaks of the United Nations passing a partition plan that was followed by an Israeli invasion of Palestinian land and expelling the Arabs. The passage not only omitted that the Arab and Muslim world declared war on the partition resolution and that five Arab armies invaded Israel on the day it was born. He also clearly implied that it was the Israelis who rejected the UN vote and the Arabs who were its supporters. The only person whose credibility — or reading comprehension — that is at fault here is Cohler-Esses. Oren’s charge against the Times and Rosenthal stand up to scrutiny. But for some liberals attacking the Times is just as offensive as calling out Obama for his policies.
Another such example comes from Haaretz’s Barak Ravid, who writes that Oren compared former New Republic editor Leon Wieseltier’s antagonism to Prime Minister Netanyahu to anti-Semitism. But, here again, the critics are distorting the truth. It was Wieseltier who admitted that his attitude was “pathological.” Ravid tries to paint Oren as attacking all liberal Jews as self-hating or fearful when the book says nothing of the kind, but does point out that some on the left had abandoned Israel, a statement so obviously true that it doesn’t need any defense.
The point here of these attacks on Oren by the left as well as groups that clearly fear the wrath of the administration is that they are not content to argue against the former ambassador’s straight-forward and painfully obvious thesis about Obama. Some on the right, like Israel Hayom’s Ruthie Blum, think Oren is far too soft on Obama. Oren absolves him of any feelings of hatred toward Israel and often cites examples of his support in what seems like a self-consciously even-handed approach to the subject. But for the sin of pointing out the president’s clear decision to distance the U.S. from Israel and to unsuccessfully embrace the Muslim world and trying to find a reason for this decision, Oren’s must be not merely be criticized by the left, the historian-turned-diplomat-turned-Knesset member must be destroyed.
Charles Krauthammer: There is a military strategy against Islamic State - this is it
It’s time for a new strategy in Iraq and Syria. It begins by admitting that the old borders are gone, that a unified Syria or Iraq will never be reconstituted, that the Sykes-Picot map is defunct.
We may not want to enunciate that policy officially. After all, it does contradict the principle that colonial borders be maintained no matter how insanely drawn, the alternative being almost universally worse. Nonetheless, in Mesopotamia, balkanization is the only way to go.
Because it has already happened and will not be reversed. In Iraq, for example, we are reaping one disaster after another by pretending that the Baghdad government -- deeply sectarian, divisive and beholden to Iran -- should be the center of our policy and the conduit for all military aid.
Look at Fallujah, Mosul, Ramadi. The Iraqi army is a farce. It sees the enemy and flees, leaving its weapons behind. “The ISF was not driven out of Ramadi. They drove out of Ramadi,” said the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Our own secretary of defense admitted that the “the Iraqi forces just showed no will to fight.”
US to Legalize Private Ransom Payments to Terror Groups
The decision is part of a broad review of US hostage guidelines due to be released Wednesday afternoon.
The review was ordered last fall after Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists began killing American hostages, including journalists Steve Sotloff and James Foley and aid workers Peter Kassig and Kayla Mueller. Two others, Warren Weinstein and Luke Somers, were killed in Pakistan and Yemen, respectively.
The families of some of the hostages have complained to the press that Washington had threatened them with criminal proceedings in the event they attempted to contact their loved ones.
Two anonymous insiders stated to AP that there will be no formal change to the law. The US will instead clarify that no criminal proceedings were threatened or will be filed against families who pay ransom to terrorist groups - even though providing money to terrorists is explicitly forbidden by US law.
IS destroys ancient Muslim mausoleums in Syria’s Palmyra
Islamic State fighters have destroyed two ancient Muslim mausoleums in the historic Syrian city of Palmyra, also known as Tadmur, the country’s antiquities director said Tuesday.
Maamoun Abdulkarim said IS jihadists blew up the tombs of Mohammed bin Ali, a descendant of the Prophet Mohammed’s cousin, and Nizar Abu Bahaaeddine, a religious figure from Palmyra, three days ago.
Bin Ali’s burial place is located in a mountainous region four kilometres (almost three miles) north of Palmyra, in central Syria.
Photos published by IS depicted two armed men carrying cannisters, apparently filled with explosives, walking up the rocky hill to the site.
Abu Bahaaeddine’s tomb, nestled in a leafy oasis about 500 meters from Palmyra’s ancient ruins, is said to be more than five centuries old.
ISIS to Turn Biblical Prophet Jonah's Tomb into a 'Fun Park'
After destroying the Tomb of Jonah (Yonah), one of the Jewish prophets from Biblical times, shortly after conquering Mosul in Iraq where the tomb is located last July, the brutal Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist organization is now planning to construct a park over the important site.
Al Arabiya reported on Saturday that local sources in Mosul had revealed the day before that ISIS is beginning to level the area of the tomb and transform it, noting a budget has been allocated for the project and "specialized companies" have been tapped to commence building.
Responding to the reports, Iraqi Deputy Minister of Antiquities and Tourism Qais Hussain told the local Al-Sumaria News that ISIS apparently intends to transform "the tomb into a park and fun city which is another crime against Iraqi heritage."
The ministry has "a plan after liberating conquered cities from ISIS," he said, adding that there is "a committee that is currently working to minimize damages being done to heritage sites."
PreOccupied Territory: Islamic State Fighters Fear Shortage Of Virgins To Rape (satire)
Newly arrived Islamic State trainees from other countries are worried that the region is running out of virgin girls upon whom to perpetrate brutal rapes, recruits say.
The onslaught of Islamic State conquests has featured bloodshed and brutality directed not only at captured enemy fighters, but at the civilian populations in conquered areas. Murder and torture have been the order of the day for anyone accused of insufficient Islamic piety, most recently and graphically in the crucifixion of several boys for not fasting properly during Ramadan. However, even strict adherence to Islam does not spare women and girls from being treated as chattel, and the only thing distinguishing the fate of the “right” kind of Muslim girls from others is the level of brutality in their treatment. However, the efficiency and scale of the rapes has severely depleted the supply of virgins in the territory controlled by the Islamic State.
Sexual slaves are easy to obtain in IS-ruled areas, but the thrill of forcing oneself on a virgin remains elusive for many recruits, says Mustafa Hymen, who came to Syria two months ago from Toulouse, France, specifically to partake of the kind of brutal sexual cornucopia unavailable in France. “In communities abroad, liaisons of every sort outside marriage are frowned upon. Here in the Dawlah,” he continued, referring to the Islamic State, “we are not only allowed to, but encouraged, to assert our masculinity by taking girls and doing to them as we please, in the name of Allah. But our blessed soldiers have been so effective and conscientious in that aspect of our divine mission that the newer recruits are lucky if they can rape a virgin maybe every two months.”
Mad Mads Feted in The Guardian
Norwegian physician Mads Gilbert is a familiar face to anyone who has covered Israel’s military operations in Gaza going back to Operation Cast Lead in 2008/09.
Time and time again, however, Gilbert has been exposed by HonestReporting and others as a radical Marxist anti-Israel propagandist rather than a credible and objective medical practitioner. Yet he continues to appear in the international media and is even credited as a source in the UN’s report into the 2014 Gaza conflict.
Now, Mad Mads has published a book. Unsurprisingly, The Guardian runs a full-length feature on Gilbert, even promoting the book on its Guardian Bookshop service.
According to the article:
The book contains dozens of harrowing photographs, many of badly injured children, taken by Gilbert during his stay in Gaza last summer, although the most graphic were excluded. He describes his camera as “my Kalashnikov”, saying that this kind of medical documentation of war is a powerful weapon – and one that is feared by Israel.
Considering the Kalashnikov or AK-47 is the weapon of choice for terror groups and dictatorial regimes the world over, this hardly comes as a surprise.
New York Councilor Petitions to Ban Roger Waters from US Long Island
Blakeman is also a strong supporter of Israeli rights in Judea and Samaria. In a visit last year, he stated, "As one who headed one of the largest aviation networks in the world, I feel that the U.S., after the events of 9-11, must understand Israel's security needs regarding aviation. Having toured Samaria, it is clear to me that strategically, the State of Israel cannot cede this area."
Blakeman has strong words against the BDS boycott-Israel campaign, which he feels must be treated like a military battle: "As a councilman in the largest township in America, I am writing to the Secretary of State to ask that Roger Waters not be allowed to enter the U.S." Blakeman explained that Waters, one of the leaders of the BDS movement, commits in Europe what the U.S. considers to be hate crimes against Jews.
"The BDS is a group of celebrities and academics, pro-Palestinian anti-Semites," Blakeman affirmed, "who want to destroy Israel. We must not be timid in our approach to BDS, and we must fight it with all our might, just as if it were an army against Israel."
Brazilian crooners won’t bend to BDS
Brazilian singers Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil are known equally for their bossa nova tunes and ardent political activism, and neither is caving to pressure to cancel their upcoming Israel concert in July.
Both were asked by former Pink Floyd band member Roger Waters to cancel the July 28 show, as part of the ongoing cultural boycott campaign waged by Waters to protest what he terms the human rights violations against Palestinians in Israel.
Veloso and Gil refused.
“I’ll sing in Israel and watch what is happening there,” said Veloso in a letter published by Brazilian newspaper O Globo.
IsraellyCool: The Biggest Mistakes Pro-Israel Advocates Make #10: How To Not Let Your Brains Fall Out
One of the last strings that attached me to the radical left was my guilt. Guilt over the suffering of the world that the West caused. Guilt from believing what the Social Justice Warriors (SJWs) told me, that if I don’t support Palestine, that I’m spitting in the face of Social Justice and therefore a bad person. Guilt over the fear that by supporting Israel, I was condoning the suffering of millions of innocent Palestinians and supporting their oppressors. When I gradually discovered that being pro-Israel and not supporting Palestinian suffering were far from mutually exclusive, the leftist Tower of Babel fell. When I was able to escape the tentacles of guilt that sought to return me to the clutches of leftism, I finally felt like a true liberal. I felt set free.
My message to you, dear reader? Avoid falling for the colossal guilt trip that is leftist antizionism. It is like quicksand – hard to escape without everyone making you feel like a bad person. I recall how in college the left was seen as a whole package that included antizionism, a package you could either take (and therefore be a good person) or leave (and therefore be a greedy evil capitalist who wanted to steal money from poor people). Reject one tenet of the package and you were seen to be rejecting the entire package, therefore a traitor to Social Justice and ostracized by anyone who claimed to support what they saw as all that is good in the world. This way of thinking ultimately feels wrong to me, the true antithesis of liberalism. Since leftism was seen as all or nothing, by being pro-Israel, I was seen as automatically choosing nothing. Over time I learned not to care about what people who pretended to be open-minded to different points of view thought.
Nowadays I look at each issue individually, and don’t define myself as right or left, even though I still support many of the left-wing values I did as a radical leftist (albeit watered-down versions). Putting yourself into a box is putting yourself in shackles. In order to truly set your mind free, you have to open your mind to points of view that you think ring true, regardless of where they fall on the political spectrum.
But don’t open your mind so much that your brains fall out.
Burger King Returning to Israel
The Burger King franchise will be returning to Israel.
Burger King arrived in the Israeli market in 1994, but cancelled the contract with Rikamor Ltd. following a worldwide boycott by Muslim groups, after Rikamor opened a Burger King branch in the Israeli city of Maaleh Adumim.
By 2010, all the Burger Kings in Israel were shut down.
Orgad Holdings bought the branches and converted them into the Israeli-based Burger Ranches.
Now, Tunisian-born businessmans, Pierre Besnainou, is planning to open 50 Burger King outlets around Israel over the next 5 years, with an initial investment of $12 million.
The first branch is scheduled to open in August, and 5 more by December.
Defying BDS, Top European Hotel Managers Convene in Israel
As international anti-Israel groups clamor for a boycott of Israel, 45 top general managers of InterContinental Hotels and Resorts from Europe convened this week at the David InterContinental Hotel in Tel Aviv for an annual event.
This is the first time Israel has been chosen for the event and comes on the heels of the global luxury brand’s selection of the David InterContinental as only one of three hotels that represent the “futurist look of the brand,” as determined by the managers themselves.
The three-day conference plays host to the brand’s entire senior leadership team and some general managers running IHG’s flagship InterContinental hotels across Europe.
Conventioneers will, of course, be staying at the hotel, and will visit sites around Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Discussion sessions will focus on everything from brand strategy to tech innovation in the hospitality sector, and much more.
British Parliament Member Suggests Boycotting Orange in Response to CEO’s Comments on Israel
British Member of Parliament Robert Halfon suggested boycotting French mobile carrier Orange in response to remarks made recently by the company’s chief executive in favor of cutting business ties with Israel, the UK’s Jewish News reported on Tuesday.
The deputy chairman of the British Conservative Party blasted Orange CEO Stephane Richard for saying he would terminate a licensing agreement with Israeli carrier Partner Communications “tomorrow morning” if he could.
Halfon, while speaking at the UK-Israel Shared Strategic Challenges Conference in London, organized by the Jewish News, called Richard’s comments “incredibly damaging and incredibly distressing” considering that Orange has provided service to Israel for several years but now wants to increase its business with Arab countries.
He also said Richard’s subsequent apology “doesn’t matter.”
Study by German commission: Schoolbooks biased against Israel
German schoolbooks present a one-sided view of Israel as an aggressive, warlike country while ignoring that the Jewish state is the only functioning democracy in the Middle East, according to a new study by a joint Israeli-German commission reported on Monday by the daily Tagesspiegel paper.
“Pupils connect Israel with a warmongering society,” said Simone Lässig, director of the Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research.
The institute sponsored the work of the commission, made up of German and Israeli academics and pedagogical experts. The Tagesspiegel reported the results of the analysis from 1,200 history, geography and social studies textbooks covering five German states – Bavaria, Berlin, Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia and Saxony.
The study examined 94 articles relating to the depiction of Israel and 25 chapters from history books addressing the Holocaust. The commission also analyzed 44 Israeli schoolbooks.
The commission said Europe’s influence in the region should be part of the curriculum, as well as the role of the Arab League.
New Webpage Documents Over 100 Testimonies of Antisemitism on US Campuses; Jewish Students Report Feeling Targeted, Terrified
A new webpage was launched on Monday featuring over one hundred personal testimonies from Jewish students who have experienced antisemitism on campuses across the U.S. over the past year-and-a-half.
Behind the project is the non-profit campus watchdog AMCHA Initiative, which gathered the extensive testimony from public reports, and students at 47 colleges and universities in 20 states.
In their reports on the site, some students said they felt intimidated and frightened. Others said they wanted to hide their Jewish identities for fear of being targeted by classmates. One student from University of Washington said that after seeing his Star of David, some people “brand me as someone toxic, someone worthy of their disdain and vitriol.”
A University of North Carolina student said he was taunted by antisemitic classmates who also made racist references to the Holocaust. He admitted: “I feel like I am being attacked because I wear my Star of David out in public.”
“I wear shirts with the word Israel on it or shirts with Hebrew lettering, I have Israel stickers on my laptop… [I have been] spat at,” the student continued. “I have been called a terrorist, baby killer, woman killer, [told that] I use blood to make matzah and other foods, Christ killer, occupier, and much more… [a female student] looked at me with a straight face and said to ‘go burn in an oven.'”
I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Ice Cream
Roger Hearing‘s piece. The ice-cream maker of Gaza could be written off if it was only yet another BBC magazine colour piece designed to show spunky Gazans (aren’t they all?) creatively surviving. but does that excuse him and the BBC failing, yet again, as journalists? Is it possible the BBC adds the boilerplate and doesn’t bother reading what the correspondent has written when they do it?
Aashraf Abushaban had just been on a course in Tel Aviv! about making Italian ice cream. Hadn’t he ever heard of the blockade and Gaza being the world’s biggest open air prison?
Roger Hearing will have to remind him. A bit of research shows the course was sponsored by Italian ice cream makers, Mec3 which licensed him to produce their products. This suggests strongly that he didn’t have to import their machines through tunnels.
Nor his other equipment. The business was started by his father in the 1950s something openly acknowledged by Hearing. He was in fact the owner and manager of the celebrated Kazem Ice Cafe, purveyor to Gaza, for more than half a century. Surely a large part or even most of his pre 2007 equipment is still functioning and didn’t need to be smuggled?
Ever wonder where Gaza icecream manufacturers get their milk?
Planned neo-Nazi rally provokes outrage in London’s Jewish heart
Despite requests from local Jews, the police declined to ban the rally, which some see as an effort to intimidate Jews in the heart of their community.
David Cameron, the British prime minister, said in Parliament earlier this month that the neo-Nazis had a right to free expression, though he also condemned the rally and said any “harassment or threatening behavior … should be prosecuted.”
“The far right isn’t a big concern, much weaker than it used to be in the 1980s,” Lever told JTA late on Saturday as he waited to buy pastry at Carmelli. “But it’s still upsetting because it builds on the anti-Semitism that’s already out there and compounds that aggression by Muslim extremists.”
At the bakery, three activists from Campaign for Truth handed out fliers for a counter-protest to entering customers, whom the activists invited to wear blue and white — the colors of the Israeli flag. Hundreds, if not thousands, are expected to show up for the counter-protest.
Ambrosine Shitrit, one of the group’s coordinators, said the rally is a “troubling sign of growing intimidation against Jews and other supporters of Israel in Britain.”
UK MPs Decry 'Talmud Burning' London Neo-Nazi Rally
A group of British MPs have called for "every measure" to be taken to protect a Jewish community in London from an impending neo-Nazi demonstration planned on July 4, the first Shabbat of the month.
Hampstead and Kilburn MP Tulip Siddiq led a motion in the UK Parliament backing those calling to ban the demo, reports the Jewish Chronicle. Her constituency borders the neighborhood of Golders Green in northwest London which is the heart of the Jewish community in the city, and the target of the rally.
Siddiq, along with Conservative MP Peter Bottomley and others, called on Home Secretary Theresa May to take action against the demonstration.
The motion highlighted that the "rally is due to take place on Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath, in an area in which 40% of the population is Jewish." It praised "the public activism in opposition to the rally – and particularly the change.org petition to ban it, and the work of Hope Not Hate and the London Jewish Forum, under the umbrella of the Golders Green Together campaign, to promote solidarity and celebrate diversity in the local area."
Poll finds worrying rise in anti-Semitism in US, UK, Germany
Nearly 150 million Europeans think Israel is an apartheid state and even uses Nazi methods, a recent poll submitted to the Knesset Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Committee indicates.
Professor Gustavo Perednik, who lectured on anti-Semitism at South American universities, presented the findings.
Diplomats from various Western countries discussed the findings and troubling anti-Semitic trends. German Deputy Ambassador Monica Leverson admitted that the number of anti-Semitic incidents in Germany was up by 25%.
U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission William Grant told the committee that in 2013, over 50% of U.S. hate crimes had targeted Jews.
More Germans worried about Islamophobia than anti-Semitism, new poll finds
A new survey conducted by the European Jewish Association claims that just one in four Germans believe the European Union should do more to eradicate anti-Semitism.
The results of the survey, which were released by the EJA on Wednesday, also indicate that more Germans are worried about the rise of anti-Muslim animus than hostility toward Jews.
Nearly four in 10 Germans believe that the authorities are doing an adequate job of combating anti-Semitism on the Continent, while 15 percent said that the government should be doing less.
Rabbi Menachem Margolin, director of the EJA, said the results of the survey are a disconcerting sign that Germans have failed to adequately internalize the lessons of the Holocaust.
“The German public is simply unaware of the rising tide of attacks motivated by anti-Semitism,” Margolin said.
Queen Elizabeth II to visit Bergen-Belsen complex
Queen Elizabeth II is leaving Tuesday on a state visit to Germany that will include her first trip to a former concentration camp site.
She and her husband Prince Philip plan to visit the Bergen-Belsen camp where diarist Anne Frank and her sister Margot died just weeks before the British liberated it on April 15, 1945.
She will visit a memorial dedicated to the sisters and to meet with aging survivors and liberators of the camp.
“It is fitting the queen should go,” said Bernard Levy, 89, who helped liberate the camp as a young soldier and has been asked by the queen to attend the wreath-laying ceremony.
“Holocaust education is so paramount, and many kids of today don’t really know about it. The queen going there lends credence.”
With microchip implant, doctors can administer meds remotely
In-body microchips that deliver medicine in doses either pre-determined or controlled by doctors from outside the body could be the next big thing in drug delivery, and Teva Pharmaceuticals has jumped onto the bandwagon.
The company announced last week a new partnership with US firm Microchips Biotech to deliver Teva-made drugs to patients using the American company’s implanted microchip. It’s the first deal for Microchips Biotech – and the first ever that seeks to commercialize what some consider to be a controversial technology.
To some, an in-body chip that delivers drugs automatically and eliminates the need to measure out meds – or to even to remember to take them – sounds like the height of convenience and safety, perfect for the elderly and others who often miss doses.
Others – including libertarians concerned over a further erosion of privacy by digital devices and technologies, as well as Christians who are opposed in principle to implanted microchips, are likely to be aghast over what the two companies are doing.
IsraellyCool: Sarah Zoabi, Mother of Muhammad, On Master Chef: I Am A Proud Zionist
Regular readers would know I’m a big fan of Muhammad Zoabi, a young Arab-Israeli whose pride and support for his country are something even most Jewish Israelis could learn from.
He gets that from his wonderful mother Sarah, who has just appeared on the Israeli version of MasterChef – already known for its “apartheid”.
Here’s the video. We will hopefully have it with English subtitles, but suffice for now to say that Sarah sings the praises of Israel. Big time.
My name is Sara Zuabi, Arab, Muslim, Israeli, proud Zionist
from Nazrat Ilit (upper Nazereth)
Chaim Cohen: you said Arab, Muslim, Israeli, proud Zionist – explain please..
Sara: I’m Arab, I’m Muslim, Zionist – for I believe in the right of the Jewish people to have their own country, which is the state of Israel, the holy land.
I’m sure that the people who hear me will say: “what, have you lost your mind? How can you say you are a Zionist?”
I want to say to all the Arabs of Israel (Israeli Arabs) to wake up. We live in paradise. Comparing us to other countries, to Arab countries – we live in paradise.
I, personally, don’t have another state and I don’t have another flag. With all due respect to my nation (meaning arab, muslim), it doesn’t mean its treason. I never harmed any one…
Masada opera festival a cultural oasis in the desert
Some call it the oldest opera house in the world, a towering rocky plateau rising above the Dead Sea named Masada.
Yes, the palace fortress built 2,000 years ago by Herod the Great, where close to 1,000 Zealots reportedly committed suicide rather than submit to their Roman conquerors, has become the floodlit backdrop for the Israeli Opera’s annual festival.
Each year for the past five, a temporary stage has been set up in the desert near the mountain’s base, along with bleachers for 7,000 people, and every June visitors from all over Israel and abroad congregate for an operatic experience like no other.
Opera in the desert? Outdoors? And amplified? The sheer improbability of it all is breathtaking. But then, so is Masada, as anyone who takes a cable car or walks to the ruins on its summit quickly appreciates.
We know the story of what happened there thanks to the ancient historian Josephus, who recorded how the mountaintop became a refuge for families fleeing Jerusalem following the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 A.D.
Those refugees held off a siege by 15,000 Roman soldiers for five months, becoming a potent symbol of Jewish resistance to persecution down through the ages. Indeed, members of the Israeli Defence Forces visit the site each year to swear “Masada shall not fall again.”
And you wonder why the Israeli Opera decided to venture beyond its handsome modern theatre in Tel Aviv to a place fit for camels? Cultural tourism has been embraced by this beleaguered and divided nation as a means of generating some good news headlines and the effort seems to be paying off.
Jews and Muslims celebrate Iftar feast after Turkish synagogue reopens
In celebration of the recent restoration of the Great Edirne Synagogue, Turkey's Jewish community hosted a fast-breaking Iftar supper that saw over 700 Jews and Muslims come together earlier this week, Turkish daily Hurriyet reported.
With the help of the Directorate General of Foundations, head representative of the Jewish community in Turkey, Ishak Ibrahimzadeh, wanted to show his appreciation and "thank Endirne's residents" through an Iftar meal.
"We thought that the most convenient way to thank people in Edirne was to share an Iftar meal with them" Ibrahimzadeh said, adding "We thank them all very much. We returned to Edirne and found a more beautiful home than our own," speaking in regards to the northwestern province.
After a lengthy restoration period, and a little bit of controversy, the historic Edirne Synagogue was re-opened on March 26.
The synagogue had become the center-point in a political dust up between Edirne Govenor Dursun Ali Şahin and its Jewish community after Sahin told reporters that the synagogue would not be reopened to worship, as planned, but instead be turned into a museum. The comments were made in response to what Hurriyet called "retaliation for the Israeli military raid on Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa Mosque at the time."
Sahin later apologized for his remarks, claiming that his comments were not intended toward Turkey's Jews.


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