Sunday, June 28, 2015

From Ian:

Netanyahu: The enlightened world is battling dark forces
After nearly simultaneous terrorist attacks in Tunisia, Kuwait and France kill dozens of people, PM Benjamin Netanyahu calls for unity in fight against radical Islamic terror • Interpol chief: Attacks show global dimension of current terrorist threats.
"The brutal murders in France, Tunisia and Kuwait again underscore that the enlightened world is struggling against dark forces," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Friday, after dozens of people were killed in three attacks that followed a call to violence by the Islamic State group. "The fight against the murderous terrorism of extremist Islam requires unity, the beginning of which is the unequivocal condemnation of the murderers and those who support them."
In the deadliest of Friday's attacks, a young man pulled a Kalashnikov assault rifle from a beach umbrella and sprayed gunfire at European sunbathers at a Tunisian resort, killing at least 39 people.
The shootings in the Tunisian resort of Sousse happened at about the same time as a bombing at a Shiite mosque in Kuwait and an attack on a U.S.-owned factory in France that included a beheading. It was unclear if the violence was linked but it came days after Islamic State urged its followers "to make Ramadan a month of calamities for the nonbelievers." In all, the assailants killed at least 65 people in Friday's attacks.
The SITE Intelligence Group reported later that IS claimed credit for the Tunisia attack on its Twitter account and identified the gunman as Abu Yahya al-Qayrawani.
PMW: PMW responds to UN: Hamas used civilians as human shields in 2014 war
In response to the United Nations Independent Commission of Inquiry report which cites that the high number of Palestinian civilians killed during the 2014 Gaza war indicates that “possible war crimes” were committed by Israel, Palestinian Media Watch is re-publicizing the PMW reports released during the war, documenting that Hamas actively used civilians as human shields.
PMW’s documentation explicitly showed that Hamas openly and intentionally demanded that civilians ignore Israel’s warnings prior to bombings of areas in which there were civilians. Instead, Hamas insisted they endanger their lives and even welcome death, so that Hamas could use them as human shields for their fighters and rocket launching positions.
When Israel warned Palestinians who lived near the Israeli border in the Northern Gaza Strip, an area from which Hamas launched long-range missiles, to evacuate their homes to areas of safety before Israel would bomb the launching sites, Hamas told civilians to remain in their homes in spite of the danger.
Expose UNRWA's absurdity
The U.N. report on Operation Protective Edge was predictable. The harsh and one-sided criticism of Israel, the turning of a blind eye to Hamas' war crimes and the piercing remarks against Israel proved that nothing has changed in regard to the U.N.'s lack of fairness and fairness.
The Israeli government's response to the report, ranging from disregard to criticism, was legitimate, but not something that would change the balance of the relationship between Israel and the U.N. The extent of the condemnation Israel has endured from the U.N. and several of its subsidiary bodies is enough to understand the biased rules of the game the U.N. is playing.
It is time to pass the ball to the court of our adversaries, in this case the U.N., and expose its hypocrisy and double standards. Most importantly, we must highlight the fact that the U.N. is the entity largely responsible for the suffering of the Palestinians, by means of the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees.
For this reason, the Jerusalem Institute of Justice has decided to launch a campaign calling for the dissolution of UNRWA and the absorption of its powers by the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees. The campaign will mainly address members of the U.S. Congress. In a video we produced, we present the absurdity of UNRWA's activities.
UNRWA and UNHCR both work with displaced persons. UNHCR is responsible for integrating refugees in their host countries, while UNRWA focuses solely on refugee aid. In effect, UNRWA helps Palestinians preserve their refugee status and pass it on from generation to generation, contrary to the logic and policy of UNHCR.



Guy Bechor: Is France betraying Israel in favor of Qatar?
Is the strange French initiative to impose a Security Council resolution on a Palestinian state some kind of secret payment to the Gulf emirate, which has turned France into its playground?
While both former French President Nicolas Sarkozy and incumbent President Francois Hollande present themselves as "friends of Israel," evidence is growing that behind the scenes they are actually betraying Israel, under an influence that smells very bad.
A thick book titled "Une France sous influence: Quand le Qatar fait de notre pays son terrain de jeu" (A France under influence: How Qatar turned out country into its playground") exposed last year the very personal relations between the French and Qatari regimes during these two presidents' terms, and asserted that since 2007, France has in fact become a satellite of Qatar, which has bought it and its discretion.
The writers, Vanessa Ratignier and Pierre Péan, demonstrate how Qatar has clearly influenced both Sarkozy and Hollande's decision making.
In an attempt to save its sinking economy, France provided its foreign policy as a guarantee to an Arab dictatorship in the Persian Gulf, which is the most hostile Arab state towards Israel and one of the supporters of terror in Syria and Iraq. Qatar invests some $50 billion in France, and the book exposes how it funded Sarkozy's personal divorce settlement with his wife Cecilia, at a total of €3 billion, when he chose to marry Carla Bruni.
Seeing few gaps, upbeat New Zealand to push for Israeli-Palestinian talks
New Zealand will use its leadership role in the United Nations Security Council to push for direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians in the coming months, Wellington’s top diplomat said in an interview published Sunday.
Foreign Minister Murray McCully said New Zealand was cognizant of Jerusalem’s jitters regarding efforts by the Security Council to impose conditions on Israel, and his country would not push in that direction when it takes up the Security Council presidency later this week.
“I think what they’re really allergic to is the idea that the Security Council might start the process by imposing a whole lot of conditions, conditions in their view that would favor the other side,” McCully told New Zealand’s TV3. “I think they’re less allergic to the notion that the Security Council might try and bring the two parties together, and that’s the sort of thing that we’ve got in mind.”
The remarks were likely a reference to a French Security Council proposal that would call for peace talks within an 18-month timeframe, after which Paris would unilaterally recognize a Palestinian state.
Netanyahu outraged at world powers’ concessions to Iran
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed outrage Sunday at world powers for backtracking on terms they’d set for themselves during nuclear negotiations with Iran.
Netanyahu’s remarks at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting came as representatives of the P5+1 and Iran met in Vienna to try and reach a final nuclear deal before the June 30 deadline.
“We see before us a clear diversion from the red lines set by the world powers recently and publicly,” the prime minister said. “Iran tramples on human rights, spreads terrorism, and is building a huge military infrastructure, yet the talks with [Iran], despite these reports, continue as usual.”
Negotiations between Iran and the US enter a “critical phase” Sunday with tensions rising just three days from a deadline to nail down a deal thwarting any Iranian nuclear arms drive. Netanyahu, for his part, asserted that there was no reason to sign an agreement which was “becoming worse with every passing day.”
Elliott Abrams: Obama on Iran and Syria: See no evil
The slaughter in Syria and the awful human rights violations in Iran cannot be denied by ‎the Obama administration, but they sure can be downplayed and ignored.‎
On the Iran point, consider the release yesterday, four months late, of the State ‎Department's annual human rights reports. The reports were presented by Secretary of ‎State John Kerry and Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights Tom Malinowski. The Iran report is ‎tough. Here's an excerpt:‎
"The most significant human rights problems were severe restrictions on civil liberties, ‎including the freedoms of assembly, speech, religion, and press; limitations on the citizens' ‎ability to change the government peacefully through free and fair elections; and disregard ‎for the physical integrity of persons, whom authorities arbitrarily and unlawfully detained, ‎tortured, or killed.‎

Iran is of course an important country, so how much of this did Kerry and Malinowski ‎mention in their own opening remarks? Not a word. Not one. Kerry mentioned about 10 ‎countries and "the LGBTI community," but not Iran. Malinowski mentioned about 20 ‎countries, but not Iran (until pressed by reporters). Do we think this is accidental, that ‎neither man mentioned Iran? How likely is that?‎
Amid intense talks, US and Iran shift from foes to frenemies
US allies also aren’t entirely pleased as the warming to Iran has coincided with a fraying of some of America’s long-standing partnerships in the region. Washington clearly remains light years closer to Middle East allies such as Saudi Arabia and Israel, but their coolness or outright hostility to the Iran talks has taken a toll. For the Obama administration, it has created the strange dynamic of sometimes finding it easier to discuss nuclear matters with Tehran.
Great tension remains between the US and Iran.
Only last week, many Iranian parliamentarians chanted “Death to America” as they passed legislation that would bar nuclear inspectors from visiting military sites — a key US and international demand.
Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has delivered a series of speeches sharply denouncing U.S. intentions and tactics in the nuclear talks and on broader geopolitical matters.
In recent days, the State Department has issued reports that included condemnations of Iran for its “undiminished” support of terrorist groups and for human rights violations at home, including hanging people without due process and systematic repression.
Why Germany is the weakest Western link in nuclear talks with Iran
With the Iran nuclear talks entering the final stretch in Vienna, Germany’s role in the negotiations to end Tehran’s illicit nuclear weapons program has largely escaped scrutiny.
The negotiations coincide with this year’s celebration of 50 years of diplomatic relations between Israel and the Federal Republic of Germany.
First the sphere of economics: Dr. Michael Rubin, a foreign policy expert at the American Enterprise Institute, captured Berlin’s lack of backbone: “Germany has always put mercantile considerations above human rights and a quest for peace. It has long played a double game on Iran and sanctions, but there was only so far Berlin would go to seek short-term profit when the international community still upheld sanctions on Iran.”
He added, “But with Obama signaling an end to sanctions – even if he says their suspension is conditional – Germany is moving in to rake in the big bucks from Iran’s ayatollahs.”
Since the world powers – Germany, France, US, UK, China and Russia – reached a tentative agreement with Tehran in 2013, there has been no shortage of German politicians and businesspeople bending over backward to court Iran’s regime.
Last month, the Islamic Republic’s oil minister Bijan Zangeneh met with Germany’s Economics Minister Sigmar Gabriel to discuss investments in Iran. As vice chancellor, Gabriel is the No. 2 political leader after Chancellor Angela Merkel. Business representatives from Volkswagen and the engineering giants the Linde Group and Siemens also held talks with Zangeneh.
The burst of commercial activity in May prompted a spokeswoman from Stop the Bomb, an organization opposed to Tehran’s nuclear program, to denounce flourishing Iran-German relations.
PreOccupied Territory: EU Enlists Rufus Scrimgeour To Pretend To Handle Islamist Threat (satire)
The European Union has engaged the former Minister of Magic to help the alliance create the impression that they are actually doing something about the increasing threat of radical Islam.
Rufus Scrimgeour, who headed the Ministry of Magic after Cornelius Fudge, specializes in policies aimed at maintaining calm and the appearance of effective action while actually accomplishing little, if not directly abetting those who seek to undermine the system and sow terror. His term as Minister of Magic saw the imprisonment of innocents such as Night Bus conductor Stan Shunpike, and several failed attempts to persuade Harry Potter to allow the Ministry to use him to give the impression that he was working for them in the fight against Lord Voldemort. That experience, said EU representatives, will prove invaluable in the ongoing European effort to make a show of confronting radical political Islam while actually despairing of accomplishing anything but delaying the inevitable.
Scrimgeour, 54, headed the Auror Office in the Department of Magical Law Enforcement prior to his becoming minister, and is widely regarded as tougher than his predecessor Fudge. However, Scrimgeour, like Fudge, often prioritizes calm over truth, and therefore represents what European leaders call the ideal Continental mixture of bluster and incompetence.
“Mr. Scrimgeour brings to the table what most of us can only dream of,” said EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini. “While others indulge in the rhetoric of multiculturalism, tolerance, and the need to be wary of stoking Islamophobia, Rufus, whom I am glad to call a friend, uses the language of law, order, and stability. It’s exactly the kind of cosmetic change that we at the EU have always preferred when addressing fundamental, even existential, challenges.”
JPost Editorial: 'Lone Wolf' Attacks
Instead of engaging in obligatory low-key denunciation of the orchestrated brainwashing under Abbas’s auspices, Israel’s leaders ought to make this their central issue. This should go as far as boldly spurning any foreign diplomatic initiatives so long as Israelis and Jews are dehumanized by their insincere peace-partners and singled out as targets for bloody termination.
There is nothing unpredictable about the recurrent terrorist attacks and they are not entirely unpreventable.
There is no point pretending that the Ramadan zeal coupled with the veneration showered upon homicidal acts – such as the point-blank assassination of student Danny Gonen near Dolev on June 19 – do not inspire copycats to emulate the sadistic examples so exalted everywhere around them. The cries for blood ring in our ears.
Any attempt to downplay the resultant terrorism as a chance accrual of unrelated, inconsequential incidents – especially against the current chaotic and explosive Middle East backdrop – offers no hope of lowering the flames. Not only that: it has every chance of fanning the flames, because it imparts the impression of a hesitant and apprehensive Israel, shy of confrontation and tolerant of smallscale bloodshed.
While on our side the goal is to avoid major confrontation by stomaching attacks of a limited scope or degree, on the other side our tentativeness is interpreted as weakness. In our region the weak get no breaks.
Given the Palestinian daily diet of hate dished out liberally in the school system, mosques, press and broadcast media, our weakness foremost boosts the belligerence of predatory wolves – even of the conjectured lone variety. The Israeli public can afford no delusions about what Abbas willfully encourages against us.
No injuries as Israeli ambulance in West Bank takes fire
Unknown assailants shot at an Israeli ambulance near a West Bank settlement late Saturday night, damaging the vehicle but not causing any injuries.
Officials said between 15 and 19 shots were fired at a Magen Daven Adom emergency vehicle between the settlement of Beit El and the neighboring outpost of Givat Asaf north of Ramallah, with at least four bullets hitting the van.
Israeli security forces were dispatched to the nearby Palestinian village of Beytan to search for suspects, according to Hebrew media reports.
MDA head Eli Bean said he was sure security forces would catch those involved and work to prevent further attacks.
“MDA, Israel’s national rescue organization, regards this as a severe incident that crosses a red line in an attempt to purposefully attack a vehicle meant to care for and evacuate the sick and wounded,” Bean said in a statement.
The attacker apparently shot from next to a new road recently built to connect Beytan to Ramallah, according to the Ynet news website.
Third Time Today: Rocket Alert in Golan Heights
Residents of Israeli communities in the northern Golan Heights rushed to their shelters for a second time in a matter of minutes Monday afternoon, after rocket alert sirens sounded.
In the first incident, sirens were heard in towns and villages including in Odem, Al-Rohm, Bukata, Majdal Shams, Misada, Neve Ativ, Ein Kaniyeh, and Nimrod.
Shortly after, sirens sounded once again.
According to the IDF, the alarm was sounded as a result of "spillover" from the Syrian conflict, as rebels and regime forces battle it out across the border.
The army is carrying out a sweep of the area, and security sources say so far no signs of a rocket or any other projectiles have been found.
Palestinian woman caught at security fence with rifle, claims links to Hamas
A Palestinian woman with a rifle was caught trying to cross the West Bank security fence, from the Kalkilya area, into Israel on Sunday.
The woman told security forces she had been sent by Hamas to carry out a shooting terror attack.
The IDF declined to provide further details on the incident.
The incident was the latest in a number of recent attempts to carry out terror attacks in the West Bank and Jerusalem.
This past weekend, a lone terrorist attempted an attack in the Jordan Valley. The terrorist was shot dead after attempting to shoot at reserve soldiers stationed at the Bik'ot checkpoint.
Last week, a Palestinian stabbed a border policeman in the neck near Jerusalem’s Damascus Gate, critically injuring the officer.
The officer was able to shoot the assailant before collapsing from his wounds.
PLO Holds Unity Government Talks With Hamas, Islamic Jihad
A Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) committee launched talks with Hamas and Islamic Jihad on Saturday with the objective of forming a new unity government, after Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas dissolved the dysfunctional previous one earlier this month.
PLO Executive Committee member Hanna Amireh told the Palestinian Arab Ma'an News Agency about the talks, and said that they were meant to include the two terrorist organizations in the new government.
The move comes despite the fact that Abbas told French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius last Sunday that Hamas should not be included in the new government.
Amireh said that if talks with Hamas fail, a government headed by an individual of Abbas's selection could be formed without the group.
The PA torpedoed the last round of peace talks by sealing a rapprochement deal with its rival Hamas last April, showing how its goals are aligned with the organization that has the genocide of all Jews written into its charter.
Abbas Accused of Deliberately Trying to Weaken Gaza
Yahia Moussa, chairman of the Palestinian parliament's Committee of the Audit and Human Rights, has accused PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas as well as the Palestinian establishment in Ramallah of a deliberate policy to weaken Gaza economically.
In an interview with Palestine magazine, Moussa asserted the policy seeks to punish Gaza, because it is controlled by Palestinian terror organization Hamas - rivals of Abbas' Fatah party.
This punishment, Moussa claims, is an attempt to bring about the collapse of public services and cause internal chaos in Gaza.
Moussa named discriminatory policies, reflected primarily in relation to public sector workers, as proof of this policy.
According to the chairman, 18,000 civil servant jobs were approved for creation between 2008-2014 in Palestinian areas of Judea and Samaria, while Abbas eliminated 25,000 such jobs in Gaza during the same period.
Prisoner dies in PA police custody in Bethlehem
A prisoner held in a Palestinian Authority detention center in the southern West Bank city of Bethlehem died overnight Saturday.
Palestinian police spokesman Luay Irzeikat said that the prisoner had "committed suicide."
He identified him as Hazim Yasin Mahmoud Udwan, 29, from the town of al-Eizariya east of Jerusalem, and said he had been held on several charges.
The Bethlehem district attorney appointed a special committee to investigate the man's death.
In 2014, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights issued a report sharply criticizing conditions inside Palestinian detention centers.
The report said that "the use of torture has been commonplace in Palestinian detention facilities in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank for many years."
Hamas masses troops on Israeli border, trains for new round of fighting
Something relatively new is happening on the Gaza-Israel border, and it’s visible even to the naked eye: More and more armed Hamas troops are on the move just a short distance from the border fence, perhaps in an effort to accustom Israelis to their presence there.
It is hard to know why they are there. Some of the Hamas troops are carrying out ongoing security tasks, while others are training in camps very close to the border, such as the one established on the ruins of Dugit, a Jewish settlement evacuated in 2005.
One can’t rule out the possibility that Hamas’s purpose in getting troops on the Israeli side used to seeing armed Hamas men just 300 meters away from the border is to prepare for a surprise raid inside Israeli territory in case of war or escalation. Or perhaps the goal, particularly regarding the training that is going on inside the Hamas camps, is to create deterrence with Israel.
Whatever the purpose may be, it is clear that Hamas has been training its troops recently for more than launching rockets or carrying out commando attacks from the sea, as they did during last summer’s war. Hamas’s military wing has been conducting infantry and urban warfare exercises at the levels of platoon, company and even division. In other words, it is possible that together with its operating methods during the war — commando raids from tunnels, sea and air — Hamas will attempt in the next war to raid an Israeli community or army base, killing as many civilians or soldiers as possible.
Hamas Publishes Confession of 'Israeli Spy'
Shadi, who Hamas claims is married with two children and works for one of the Hamas government institutions, received several years ago a phone call from a man who introduced himself as an intelligence officer of the Palestinian Authority (PA) government in Ramallah.
The caller told him that Shadi is a potential candidate for gathering information about government officials working in the Hamas government to take legal action against them. For the cooperation, he promised Shadi tenure and career advancement.
A day later, Shadi received another phone call in which he was asked to find out information about Hamas government officials, and in other conversations to provide financial information about people and buildings used by the Hamas government, the presence of a vehicle facing one of the houses in his neighborhood, and more. Shadi was offered $300 for that information.
During Operation Cast Lead (December 2008 - January 2009), Shadi was asked to go to one of the orchards and check to see if there are people or other signs of life there. He reported what he saw, and was instructed to immediately leave the area; it was bombed shortly thereafter by Israeli Air Force (IAF) planes.
Shadi then called the Ramallah government official and told him about the Israeli attack soon after he reported what was happening in the field. The official then admitted, for all intents and purposes, that he was an Israeli intelligence official, and that the cooperation is important into order to stop terrorism and promote peace and security.
Hamas closing Gaza's mobile phone company over 'tax dodge'
Hamas authorities ordered Friday the closure of the offices of Jawwal, the only mobile phone company operating in the Gaza Strip, accusing it of tax dodging.
This could mean a shut-down of all mobile telephone services in the Mediterranean coastal enclave.
"Public prosecutor Ismail Jabr has issued an order for the closure of the Jawwal company's headquarters as a preliminary measure against it for tax evasion," his office said in a statement.
It warned that all other "tax dodgers will be pursued in earnest," a possible reference to banks operating in Gaza, which is controlled by the Islamist movement.
It was unclear when the offices would be closed.
An executive from Jawwal, one of the principle telecoms providers in the Palestinian territories, insisted that "the company is not avoiding any of its (payment) commitments."
Business analyst Omar Shaaban said the closure could mean cessation of all mobile phone services in Gaza.
ISIS Executed More than 3,000 People in One Year in Syria Alone
The Islamic State group (ISIS or IS) has executed more than 3,000 people in Syria, including hundreds of civilians, in the year since it declared its self-described "caliphate," a monitor said on Sunday.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based group monitoring Syria's conflict, said it had documented 3,027 executions by IS since June 29, 2014.
Among those executed are 1,787 civilians, including 74 children, said the Observatory.
Members of Sunni Shaitat tribe account for around half of the civilians murdered.
IS killed 930 members of the clan in Deir Ezzor last year after they rose up against the extremist Sunni Muslim group.
The toll also includes recent mass killings by IS in the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobane, which the jihadist group re-entered briefly this week after being expelled in January.
The monitor said it had counted at least 223 executions in the border town this week.
CNN mistakes sex toy flag for ISIS banner at London gay pride parade
A CNN report went viral this weekend when reporters mistook a flag depicting sex toys with the flag belonging to the Islamic State terrorist group.
"This man dressed in black and white was waving what appeared to be a very bad mimicry but very clear attempt to mimic the ISIS flag, the black-and-white flag with the distinctive lettering," CNN correspondent in London Lucy Pawle reported live Saturday from a Gay Pride parade in the English city.
"If you look at the flag closely it's clearly not Arabic, in fact it looks like it could be gobblygook (gibberish). But it's very distinctively the ISIS flag," Pawle told anchor Suzanne Malveaux in the CNN studio.
"Anyway, I seem to be the only one who spotted this, and none seems to be raising any questions or pointing it out," continued the call-in "exclusive" about the flag that both journalists seemed to have not been looking very closely at.
BBC Monitoring euphemises terror, whitewashes antisemitism, claims Egyptian Jews ‘vanished’
On June 18th an article appeared in the features section of the BBC News website’s Middle East page under the title “Ramadan: Historical TV dramas break with past in Muslim world“.
But how does the “break with past” described in the article’s headline manifest itself? The only very vague clue to that comes in this section of the report:
“Egypt goes further with historical dramas breaking tradition with a drama sympathetic to Egypt’s vanished Jewish community.
The Jewish Quarter depicts a time when Jews and Muslims lived together harmoniously.”

What BBC Monitoring refrains from telling readers is that in many cases, the television dramas produced for Ramadan are rife with antisemitic content and anti-Israel messaging. And whilst this new Egyptian series ‘The Jewish Quarter’ [Haret el Yahood] may indeed be “sympathetic” to Egyptian Jews – who did not mysteriously ‘vanish’ as this article suggests but were actually expelled or coerced to emigrate by Egypt – it too is apparently not without a specific political slant.
Lutheran pastor says Jews to blame for destroying Christian values after US approves gay marriage
Mark Dankof, a Lutheran pastor and political activist, declared the Jews to blame for the Supreme Court's ruling on Friday which declared any law to ban gay marriage unconstitutional.
Speaking to reporters from Iran's Press TV, Dankof insisted that Jewish influence and money were being used to destroy Christian culture and values globally.
"It should not be ignored that the victories for abortion on demand and LGBT rights are reflective of the disproportionate influence of Jewish power, money, and activism in the United States," he declared.
“The key Jewish role played in the mainstreaming of abortion, LGBT, and pornography in the United States may be documented in Google search, especially in looking at the Frankfurt School and its Institute for Social Research,” added Dankof.
Dankof declared that Russian President Vladamir Putin is one of few national leaders who recognize the threat of Jewish power.
Paris mayor urged to remove swastika mosaic from building
A French anti-Semitism watchdog urged the mayor of Paris to order the removal of a mosaic floor featuring swastikas that the group identified in a residential building.
The floor of the entrance of the building in Paris’ six arrondissement, an affluent and central quarter comprising the touristic Saint-Germain-des-Pres area, contains dozens of swastikas made of black mosaic and incorporated at regular intervals into the floor’s pattern, the National Bureau for Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism, or BNVCA, wrote Thursday in a statement.
“BNVCA does not understand how these illegal symbols have been allowed to exist, probably for a very long time, in this building without being flagged by a single person,” the statement by BNVCA read. “BNVCA deplores how the residents of this building seemed to accommodate these symbols when their presence is intolerable.”
BNVCA, which photographed the lobby floor, asked Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo to “intervene with the owners or other legally responsible parties” to remove the tiles.
Unless the symbols are removed, “BNVCA will file a complaint with the Prosecutor’s Office,” BNVCA said, noting that displaying Nazi symbols is illegal in France.
Watch: How Do Londoners React to Anti-Semitism?
Anti-Semitism is on the rise throughout Europe, leaving some European Jewish communities to question their very future in the continent.
While not as bad as in countries on mainland Europe such as France or Belgium, the UK has also seen a worrying increase in anti-Semitic incidents. Next week's neo-Nazi rally in the heart of London's Jewish community is just the tip of the iceberg; incitement and anti-Israel hysteria has created a situation where some parts of the country - particularly those with large Muslim populations - are impossible to travel in safely as an identifiable Jew.
Amid the grim statistics, one group of amateur documentary-makers conducted a social experiment to see how average Londoners would react to open anti-Semitism:
The results are fairly positive; in both cases bystanders intervene to help the Jewish victim out, despite his tormentor being physically intimidating.
But it is notable that the two incidents caught on camera took place in upper class areas of central London, not areas where anti-Semitism and anti-Semitic sentiment are usually documented - as captured in a different hidden camera experiment back in March:


Morocco to rehabilitate Marrakesh Jewish quarter
The Moroccan government plans to rehabilitate the ancient Jewish quarter of Marrakesh.
The Jewish quarter renovation, estimated to cost $20 million, is part of a larger $32 million city rehabilitation effort jointly funded by Morocco’s housing ministry and the City of Marrakesh, Morocco World News reported.
Marrakesh’s Jewish quarter, known as the Mellah, was built in the 16th century, according to Morocco World News. The area remained heavily Jewish until the middle of the 20th century, when the majority of Morocco’s Jews left for Israel.
The 40-acre historic neighborhood is surrounded by high walls that once separated the Jewish and Muslim communities.
Plant world to get Israeli Internet of Things tech
Phytech, an Israeli agritech firm that is bringing the Internet of Things to the plant world, has teamed up with ADAMA Agricultural Solutions to sell its plant-alert system to farmers in North and South America.
The deal, said Phytech CEO Sarig Duek, is a key one for the company. “We believe that ADAMA’s grower-focused approach will ensure the successful implementation of the technology for the benefit of growers worldwide,” he commented.
ADAMA is the new name for veteran Israeli company Makhteshim-Agan — once one of the world’s largest supplier of insecticides and herbicides, and today a part of even-bigger ChemChina, which acquired the Israeli firm in 2014. ADAMA still operates as an independent unit, and is as dominant in the business as ever; the company’s 2014 revenues were about $3.2 billion, up $200 million from the previous year.
As a result, Phytech should have no problem reaching customers globally for its PlantBeat service, which equips crops with sensors that record information about the growing environment. The system keeps track of how much water the plants have been getting, how moist the soil is, the soil temperature, and other data. The sensors upload the information to a cloud server, where it is analyzed and migrated to a mobile app that Phytech users download. The app indicates how healthy a plant is, and what to do to improve its performance.
Your face on a latté? Israeli start-up makes it possible
An expert barista can design a creamy leaf or a heart as the topping for a cup of latté. But can he write “I Love You” or “Happy Anniversary” in the foam? What about creating an image of the customer’s significant other?
He can with a new Israeli invention called the Ripples coffee “foam printer.” It’s a machine, said Yossi Meshulam, the CEO of the company behind the device, that “for the first time brings a sense of style to a cup of coffee. With Ripples, you don’t just get coffee – you get a piece of artwork.”
Meshulam’s firm, SteamCC, is equal parts tech start-up and design studio, with experts from both sides joining together to create what might be the biggest innovation in the coffee business since Mr. Coffee made home brewing easy and automated.
The Ripple Maker, as the device is properly called, works by combining patented 3D printer mechanics with ink-jet printing technologies using a natural coffee extract, called Ripple Pods, to create the ripples – the actual “printed” foam content that tops a cup of coffee.
Israeli judoka takes gold medal at European Games in Baku
Israeli judoka Sagi Muki took home gold at the European Games in Baku, Azerbaijan on Friday, becoming the country’s first gold medalist at the inaugural games.
The 23-year-old won the medal after defeating his Georgian rival Nugzari Tatalashvli in the final round in the under 73-kilogram weight class.
Later on Saturday, Israel nabbed a second gold medal when swimmer Ziv Kalontarov won the 50-meter freestyle heat in an impressive 22.16 seconds. His time automatically qualifies him for the 2016 Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro.
“I still can’t believe that I’m going to be in Rio,” Kalontarov told Israel’s Olympic Committee. “But the most important thing is that I broke my own record by a lot and I’m so proud of myself for that,” he said.
Also qualifying for the 2016 Olympics is former European shooting champion Sergey Richter, who took bronze for the 10-meter air rifle event after scoring 185.5 in Sunday’s final.
Israeli judoka Ori Sasson won the silver medal in the over 100-kilogram weight class on Saturday. After four consecutive wins, Sasson was defeated in the finals by his Georgian opponent Adam Okruashvili.
Send the #FreedomFlotilla to Syria
I was thinking, what’s the most productive way Israel could handle this latest Hamas supporting flotilla to Gaza.
Presumably the IDF will simply bring them to Ashdod, where they’ll then be allowed into Gaza (assuming they’re allowed into Israel) via one of the open land crossings that ships in humanitarian supplies every single day.
But that’s not really the most effective use of these anti-Israel activists who must love their Islamic terrorists.
With so much killing and misery in the region, there are far better places the flotilla could go.
Obviously We could send them to a beach in Tunisia and ask them to help the tourists hoping to escape the Islamic terrorists, but the tourists might be on wrong side of their equation.
So the best move would be to send them to Syria. There they can select whichever Islamic group they want to help… Hezbollah, ISIS, Al Qaida, all of them even… there’s so many to choose from over there.
And with a few hundred thousand Syrians dead, the flotilla fools won’t even have to look like the hypocrites and anti-Semites they are.
LATMA: Flotilla Choir presents: We Con the World


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