Monday, August 24, 2015

From Ian:

I Saw Hamas' Cruel and Selfish Game in Gaza
Polish reporter Wojciech Cegielski spent a month in Gaza during last summer's war. He has no doubt Hamas used people as human shields.
I spent a month in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge. It was one of the worst and deadliest months I have seen in my life. The reality there was much more complicated than was seen from a safe distance in Europe or the United States.
Yes, Israel bombed Palestinian houses in Gaza. But Hamas is also to blame for its cruel and selfish game against its own people. I do not have hard evidence but for me, spending a month in the middle of this hell, it was obvious that they were breaking international rules of war and worst of all, were not afraid to use their own citizens as living shields.
The first incident happened late in the evening. I was in the bathroom when I’ve heard a loud rocket noise and my Spanish colleague, a journalist who was renting with me a flat near the Gaza beach, started to scream. He wanted to light a cigarette and came to one of the open windows. The moment he was using his lighter, he saw a fireball in front of his eyes and lost his hearing.
From what our neighbors told us later, a man drove up in a pickup to our tiny street. He placed a rocket launcher outside and fired. But the rocket failed to go upwards and flew along the street at ground level for a long time before destroying a building. It was a miracle that nobody was hurt or killed.
When we calmed down, we started to analyze the situation. It became obvious that the man or his supervisor wanted the Israel Defense Forces to destroy civilian houses, which our tiny street was full of. Whoever it was, Hamas, Iz al-Din al-Qassam or others, they knew that the IDF can strike back at the same place from which the rocket was fired. Fortunately for us, the rocket missed its target in Israel.
Gaza Strip’s middle class enjoys spin classes, fine dining, private beaches
Alongside the Hamas training camps and bombed-out neighborhoods, there is a parallel reality where the wafer-thin Palestinian middle class here is wooed by massage therapists, spin classes and private beach resorts.
Media images beamed from the Gaza Strip rightly focus on the territory’s abundant miseries. But rising from the rubble of last summer’s devastating war with Israel are a handful of new ­luxury-car dealerships, boutiques selling designer jeans and, coming soon to a hip downtown restaurant, “Sushi Nights.”
This is the Gaza outside the war photographer’s frame, where families of the small, tough, aspirational middle class will splurge on a $140 seaside villa with generator power to give their kids a 20-hour staycation with a swimming pool and palm trees.
This is the sliver of Gaza, a coastal enclave with the highest unemployment rate in the world, with personal trainers, medium-rare steaks, law school degrees and decent salaries.
The surviving bureaucrats, doctors, factory managers and traders in the middle class who haven’t abandoned Gaza often say they are squeezed between the Israeli blockade, with its tight restrictions on travel and trade, and the Palestinian leadership, including the Islamist movement Hamas, which has controlled the strip since 2007 and has fought three fruitless wars with Israel in six years.
Western Media Discovers '5-Star Gaza'
Western media has often been criticized by Israel for only on rare occasions presenting Gaza as anything other than an open-air prison suffering from Israeli blockades, but an unusual glimpse into the glamorous life of Gaza's middle class made its way to light on Sunday.
Articles such as an Economist expose in 2012 detailing golden Porsches and Hummer's cruising the streets of Gaza under corrupt Hamas rule were joined by a Washington Post report, revealing on Sunday how the "other half lives" in the terrorist enclave.
The article begins by noting how under-reported the middle class aspect of Gazan life is in Western media, commenting, "this is the Gaza outside the war photographer's frame."
Leading BDS writer courageously condemns Matisyahu ban (then post disappears)
Benjamin Norton is a leading author who favors the boycott movement (BDS) against Israel.
Norton writes for the anti-Zionist Mondoweiss website, as well as a slew of other places on the topic of how bad Israel is. While I don’t agree with most of what Norton says, he certainly is prolific and an upcoming opinion-leader in that sphere.
So when I saw Norton pen a column severely criticizing the ban on American Jewish musician Matisyahu at the behest of a Spanish branch of the BDS movement, I was, well, surprised. All the more so because leading American BDS activists like Ali Abunimah and Max Blumenthal were seeking to justify the ban because Matisyahu was too pro-Israel.
Norton wrote at his own website, Cancellation of Matisyahu’s Performance Blatantly Defies BDS
While I disagree with some of the characterizations — for example, in reality BDS does boycott individuals, and it is not a peaceful movement which seeks justice for all — the overall point was pretty much the point that Zionist supporters of Matisyahu are making: Keep politics out of music, and don’t single out Jews for extra political scrutiny.
Now the post, however, is gone.
That’s a shame. It was a good post.
And it stands in contrast to Norton’s subsequent post at Mondoweiss, which uncritically repeats the party-line by the leader of the BDS movement, Omar Barghouti, that cancellation of Matisyahu’s appearance was justified because Matisyahu allegedly is a “bigot” (i.e., he is Zionist and supports Israel):

Defining Antisemitism for Jews
A wonderfully Orwellian way of making sure that pro Palestinian campaigners can’t be antisemitic is by defining for Jews what antisemitism is and what we’re allowed to find offensive. This is the BDS way.
When it comes to Israel everyone loses their ability to think. In London, and I guess all over Europe, it’s particularly ridiculous, perhaps a better word is tragic. The farce over Matisyahu, the American Jewish reggae artist has already been all over the news and blogs. The theory being that because he was a Jew he needed to denounce Israel. When he refused, those who had called on him to do so felt doubly justified in insisting that he bend the knee and bow to the opinions they declare he must hold in order to perform.
In the end it all turned into a farce. The backlash in favour of Matisyahu turned out to be stronger than the force calling for him to be barred from the festival, so now he’s playing again. My question is how many Palestinians were helped by this fiasco? How many would have been helped had Matisyahu been denied the opportunity to perform? (h/t NormanF)
I know what apartheid was, and Israel is not apartheid, says S. African parliament member
A South African member of parliament said in an interview with Channel 10 Monday that Israel does not resemble the apartheid regime he grew up under, and spoke out against the BDS movement in the wake of a recent controversy involving Matisyahu.
Kenneth Rasalabe Joseph Meshoe, President of the African Christian Democratic Party, who is currently on a week-long visit to Israel, expressed his great admiration for the Jewish State in a brief interview with channel 10 and explained why it was inaccurate to call Israel an apartheid state.
"There are many Christians that support Israel, but they don't come out...Those who know what real apartheid is, as I know, know that there is nothing in Israel that looks like apartheid," Meshoe said, adding that those who voice support for Israel are usually faced with threats and "intimidation."
Meshoe went on to say that calling Israel an apartheid state "is an empty political statement that does not hold (any) truth," adding,"You see people of different colors, backgrounds and religions," interacting with each other everyday.
NY Post Ed: Denying the Israel-basher — kudos to Oprah and other principled stars
In Spain, Jewish-American reggae singer Matisyahu did indeed perform Saturday at the Rototom Sunsplash festival. The organizers re-invited him after they’d canceled — a disinvitation pushed by the BDS crew, which had insisted he endorse Palestinian statehood.
An international uproar forced the festival’s hand — after all, organizers (and BDSers) hadn’t insisted on a litmus test for any non-Jewish performers.
No less than Oprah Winfrey stood up to the thugs, too. A BDS “delegation” showed up at her magazine’s New York offices this month, carrying a letter urging Oprah to publicly reject Israeli jeweler Lev Leviev’s products.
The star had worn Leviev diamonds on the cover of O magazine’s May issue, the 15th anniversary edition. But the BDSniks smear Leviev with charges of stealing Palestinian land and committing human-rights abuses in Angola.
Neither Oprah nor her executives would even meet with the agitators. They even refused to accept the letter.
In October, New Jersey’s second-favorite native sons, Bon Jovi, will end their current tour in Tel Aviv — rejecting BDS pressure to cancel the concerts after the dates were announced in the spring.
Across the globe, too many in media, the arts and politics are happy to go with the flow and pile on Israel. It’s refreshing to see stars — especially American ones — standing up to the bullies by taking truly principled stands.
UN Watch: UN chief must act on UNRWA’s anti-Semitic, terror-inciting cartoons
Following is a letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, with a copy to U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power and the ADL, sent by the Geneva-based non-governmental organization UN Watch.
Dear Mr. Secretary-General,
UN Watch is gravely concerned that the UN’s special relief agency for Palestinians, which received some $400 million from the U.S. last year in exchange for its signed promise to refrain from supporting terrorism and to uphold neutrality, is nevertheless disseminating crude, anti-Semitic caricatures on the Internet that incite to the murder of Jews. We respectfully demand that you take action immediately to remove the images, apply accountability to the highest levels of UNRWA, and apologize.
We call your attention to two of the ten first items appearing on the UNRWA Facebook page of the Rameh school, based in the Jaramaneh camp outside Damascus, which are cartoons celebrating Palestinian car attacks against Israeli Jewish civilians.
One of the cartoons posted by UNRWA resorts to classic anti-Semitic imagery, depicting a hook-nosed ultra-Orthodox Jew dressed in black, with a Star of David marked on his black hat:
Did Avi Dichter Call For Separate Roads for Jews, Arabs? Haaretz Corrects
In a column last week liked over 44,000 times on Facebook, Haaretz columnist and senior editor Bradley Burston relied, in part, on an oft-repeated falsehood about separate West Bank roads "for Jews and Arabs" to argue: "Our Israel is what it has become: Apartheid" ("It's Time to Admit It: Israeli Policy Is What It is: Apartheid," Aug. 17.)
"Apartheid means Likud lawmaker and former Shin Bet chief Avi Dichter calling Sunday for separate, segregated roads and highways for Jews and Arabs in the West Bank," Burston alleged, helpfully providing a link to a Times of Israel article on Dichter's statement.
The Times of Israel article does not, in fact, support Burston's claim that Dichter called for separate roads "for Jews and Arabs in the West Bank."
To the contrary, the Times of Israel article clearly states that Dichter called for separation between Israelis and Palestinians, not Jews and Arabs. The Times of Israel article states:
Likud MK Avi Dichter said that separating Israeli and Palestinian drivers on West Bank highways was an inevitable move. . . .
Segregating roads, he declared, would ensure that Palestinian vehicles wouldn't be able to enter Israeli settlements and Israel vehicles wouldn't be able to enter Palestinian cities or villages.
Israel has killed perpetrators of 1994 Buenos Aires bombing, says ex-envoy
The AMIA (Argentine Israelite Mutual Association) bombing, carried out by a Lebanese suicide bomber who drove a car bomb at the multistory building, destroying it, killed 85 people and wounded hundreds. The bomber was subsequently identified as Ibrahim Hussein Berro, an operative of the Iranian-backed Hezbollah terror group, and he was allegedly assisted by other Hezbollah and Iranian operatives.
In an interview with Agencia Judía de Noticias — or AJN, a Spanish-language Jewish news agency — Yitzhak Aviran, Israel’s ambassador to Argentina from 1993-2000, revealed that many of those involved in the attack had been targeted by Israel.
“The large majority of those responsible are no longer of this world, and we did it ourselves,” an AFP report quoted Aviran as saying.
Aviran castigated the Argentinian leadership, and claimed little had been done to bring to justice the Iranian authorizers and planners of the 1994 attack, or of a 1992 bombing of the Israeli Embassy in the Argentinean capital, in which 29 people were killed.
“We still need an answer [from the Argentine government] on what happened,” he said. “We know who the perpetrators of the embassy bombing were, and they did it a second time.”
 Report: Retired Saudi General Makes it His ‘Personal’ Goal to Achieve Saudi-Israeli Peace
Anwar Eshki, a retired major general in the Saudi armed forces, has made it his personal goal to strike peace between Saudi Arabia and Israel, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.
A former top adviser to the Saudi government, Eshki raised eyebrows in June when he appeared alongside Israeli Foreign Ministry Director-General and longtime confidant of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Dore Gold at a conference held by the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington DC, espousing desires to build a Saudi-Israel peace, especially to counter the regionally destabilizing expansion of Iran.
“The main project between me and Dore Gold is to bring peace between Arab countries and Israel,” said Eshki.
The former general noted that while the initiative is “personal,” Riyadh “knows about the project” and “isn’t against it, because we need peace.”
Eshki said Israeli and Saudi plans for their shared principal enemy Iran do not completely align, especially regarding an Israeli strike against Iran. He added, however, that Israel would be interested in dealing first with the threat posed by Iran’s proxy in Lebanon and Syria, Hezbollah, before committing its military to countering the much larger and imposing threat of Iran.
US judge: Palestinians to pay $10m to secure terror verdict
Palestinian authorities found liable in a high-profile lawsuit over Americans killed in terrorist attacks must pay $10 million in cash — and an additional $1 million monthly payment while the case is on appeal — to secure the hundreds of millions awarded by a jury, a US judge said Monday.
In ordering the security payment, Manhattan federal Judge George B. Daniels said he had given significant thought to a motion filed this month by the US State Department, which intervened in the case via the Department of Justice to argue a high bond could threaten the stability of the region by straining the cash-strapped Palestinians.
The payment also mirrored the amount proposed by a lawyer for the Palestinian Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority, who argued that forcing the Palestinians to front an expensive bond payment would have dire human costs for the people living in the territories.
“Respectfully, a million means a lot to the Palestinian Authority,” Mitchell Berger told the judge, noting that the amount could cover welfare for 9,500 families or build one school in Gaza.
Kent Yalowitz, a lawyer representing victims and survivors of attacks that killed 33 people and injured hundreds more, had asked that the Palestinians pay $20 million, describing the ordered payment as a “rounding error” for them. He has said the Palestinian Authority has more than enough funds to make a higher bond payment, arguing it spends $60 million annually on paying terrorists held in Israeli prisons.
 PA says it asked EU to ban entry of settlers into its member states
UK petition calling for Netanyahu's arrest during London visit gathers nearly 80,000 signatories
The Palestinian Authority has requested that the European Union block access to Israeli settlers and their products from its member states, Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki said Sunday.
Following his meeting with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius last week, Maliki told Saudi Arabia’s London-based newspaper Asharq al-Awsat that the time had come to pressure Israel to put a stop to its settlement activity in the West Bank by blocking the entry of Israelis living beyond the Green Line into Europe’s 26 Schengen Area countries.
Jewish settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem are considered illegal under international law, and many countries say that they are one of the main obstacles to achieving a lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
“If the EU argues that settlement products should be ‘discriminated against,’ settlers are among those products and should be viewed the same way,” Maliki said during the interview with Asharq al-Awsat.
Mudar Zahran: If Abbas leaves, who will fill the void?
Abbas may never have a strong successor, and thus the PA territories are likely to fall ‎into various levels of turmoil once he leaves. Common sense dictates that Hamas will ‎try to infiltrate the West Bank further, as it has been doing, slowly but surely.‎
All of this leaves Israel with no options for the PA, which means that Israel may have to take over ‎the PA areas if endless unrest breaks out.‎
If that ever happens, I can authoritatively confirm: While the Palestinian public hates Israel, it prefers the lifestyle that Israel once brought to the West Bank over the PA's corrupt rule. This is what ‎their leaders, tribal figures, intellectuals and even students told me in extensive ‎interviews that I conducted over a two-month period last summer, which I have published.‎
One thing is certain: For the PA and the West Bank, you can expect the unexpected.‎
Stephen Daisley: Jeremy Corbyn is not an anti-Semite. It’s so much worse than that
If only Israel allowed Hamas to build up its terror statelet in Gaza unimpeded, angry Muslim youths wouldn’t riot in the French banlieues. If only Jews were driven once again from Kfar Etzion and Giv'on HaHadasha — this time not in blood but in cushioned, air-conditioned UN buses — there would be no more 9/11s. If only Jews had no national homeland, returned to rootlessness and the kindness of Christian and Islamic hosts, synagogues would no longer be daubed in swastikas and Free Gazas.
As the left-wing Israeli novelist Amos Oz wrote: "When my father was a little boy in Poland, the streets of Europe were covered with graffiti, 'Jews, go back to Palestine', or sometimes worse: 'Dirty Yids, piss off to Palestine'. When my father revisited Europe fifty years later, the walls were covered with new graffiti, 'Jews, get out of Palestine’.”
To be an anti-Zionist is to say the Jews alone have no national rights. The Left are committed internationalists; they just make an exception for every country in the world besides Israel. Today a European leftist is someone who sees "Jews, get out of Palestine" on a wall and tuts, before scoring out "Jews" and writing "Zionists" above it.
Jeremy Corbyn is not an anti-Semite and nor are most people on the Left. He is a petition-signer who never reads the small-print, a sincere man blinded as so many radicals are by hatred of the United States and Western power. But his ascendancy comes at a time of great upheaval and populist torrents battering the centre-left and centre-right. It is a storm in which the organisation of politics against the Jews could once again prove an anchoring force in Europe.
Corbyn has declared: "We all have a duty to oppose any kind of racism wherever it raises its head, in whatever form it raises its head." When he is elected Labour leader next month, Corbyn will become a pivotal figure on the international Left. He should use that office to mature his own politics and shepherd his comrades towards a civil and tolerant radicalism. (h/t Rabbi Burns)
Another Holocaust Denier Linked to Corbyn
Jeremy Corbyn has been a Patron of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign since at least 2003. The Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) was founded in 1982 but almost collapsed in 1998. One of its executive members, Francis Clark-Lowes, helped “resuscitate” it by serving as its National Chair between 1998 and 2001. Later he served as one of its Directors.
Francis Clark-Lowes is a Holocaust Denier and was obsessed with “Jewish power” from the beginning of his involvement with the PSC.
In January 1999 he wrote to his fellow members of the PSC committee urging the PSC to recruit more Jews because “non-Israeli Jews in the West are, as a body, an extremely potent force”. In the same note he complained that:
only rather bland statements follow about the unworthy use of ‘the holocaust’ [his quotation marks], and anything which might conceivably be construed as revisionism is avoided like the plague.”
Col. Richard Kemp: Jeremy Corbyn insult to our heroes
Jeremy Corbyn thinks the betrayal of our Armed Forces is a price worth paying to persuade the Labour Party’s disaffected anti-war activists to support his leadership bid.
That is what his proposed apology for the British involvement in the Iraq war would amount to: a betrayal of the 197 British troops killed, the hundreds wounded and the thousands who bravely fought for their country in Iraq.
He would not only be telling those troops and their families their sacrifice was for nothing but also their actions were illegal, immoral and dishonourable.
Of course the war remains deeply controversial but Mr Corbyn’s unsubstantiated, rabblerousing declaration that it was illegal does not make it so and Britain’s involvement was not, as he alleges, based on deception.
Edgar Davidson: Corbyn's son: ignorant brainswashed obsessive Israel-hating Marxist bigot
They say the apple doesn't fall far from the tree - and that is certainly the case with Jeremy Corbyn's son Ben. All of the images below are screenshots from Ben Corbyn's facebook page (note the very positive response from his father Jeremy to the anti-Israel posting at the bottom).
He actually works as a coach at Watford Football Club, so many of his posts and photos are football related. However, these are interspersed with links to standard Marxist/Islamist stuff praising dictators like Fidel Castro and Islamic supremacists like Reza Aslan. But most of all his obsession is about the "Palestinians" - or to be more accurate the Palestinians of Gaza since he never expresses any concern about the many more thousands of Palestinians being massacred in Syria and elsewhere by fellow Muslims. And, as is standard by these sorts of brainwashed jerks, this obsession involves pushing the inevitable lies and blood libels against Israel (perhaps they need to go to 'Palestine' to discover the reality like this guy did).
Isn't it curious that people like Corbyn who think "Zionists" control everything have absolutely no worries about posting terrorist supporting material and lies on their public facebook pages even though they have a very public position. Yet, if another employee of Watford FC started posting publicly pro-Israel material there would an immediate campaign to boycott the club until the employee was sacked.
Edgar Davidson: Update: Letter to Watford FC about employee Ben Corbyn's blood libels against Israel
Dear Watford FC
I would like to bring to your attention some of the facebook postings of one of your employees Ben Corbyn that are highlighted in the article here:
While the Facebook page clearly publicizes Corbyn's Watford FC affiliation and activities, it is interspersed with many postings that are deeply offensive not just to Jewish people, but anybody who does not support terrorists and Marxist dictators.
The postings push anti-Israel blood libel stories which have proven to be false, including the particularly offensive story about Palestinian children killed in a school. Like the related stories of Israeli attacks on hospitals, that incident turned out to be the result of a misfired rocket by Hamas (and if you choose to ignore the many Israeli reports at the time proving the rockets were from Hamas, then see this report in the Times, based on evidence from Amnesty International)
As a private individual Ben Corbyn has every right to say or write what he likes providing it is within the law, but his facebook page is also clearly being written as part of his Watford FC persona. If he wishes to push his political views then they should be somewhere else and NOT on a page where there is a clear Watford FC affiliation, since Watford FC (and others interested in football) should not be subject to such propaganda when they are looking for Watford FC related material.
Richard Millett: The Independent apologises for Yasmin Alibhai-Brown’s “mortifying blunder”.
The Independent has apologised for mistakes in Yasmin Alibhai-Brown’s article Fling mud if you must, but don’t call Jeremy Corbyn an anti-Semite in last week’s Independent (read our piece about it here). Lizzie Kirkwood, the Independent’s Readers’ Liaison Assistant, wrote in response to my email to the Indy:
“I am sorry you felt that Yasmin Alibhai Brown’s piece was inaccurate. In regard to your first point that Ms Brown ‘intimates that the Jewish Chronicle called Jeremy Corbyn “anti-Semitic”’ – to clarify, she doesn’t actually state in the piece that the Chronicle has called him ‘anti-Semitic’. It is clearly her analysis that the sum of their repeated criticisms and warnings about Mr Corbyn should he become Labour leader amounts to the fact that she believes they regard him as possessing anti-Semitic sentiments due to his associations with certain individuals. As such, I do not believe that we need to amend this aspect of the piece.
However, in regard to your second and third points – you are correct about both. We have amended the text to clarify who exactly expressed that point about Carlos Latuff in the Jewish Daily Forward. The third point is slightly more embarrassing – you are quite right that Ken Loach is not Jewish. Ms Brown was in fact referring to Mike Leigh. I can only apologise for this rather mortifying blunder, and I am grateful to you for bringing it to our attention.”
Edgar Davidson: What leftists believe
With all the hooha surrounding the apparent inconsistencies in Jeremy Corbyn's stance on racism (such as his 'commitment to fight antisemitism' while spending 25 years embracing fanatical antisemites) I thought I'd update my post on what leftists believe. In case anybody thought otherwise, the following chart makes it crystal clear that there is absolutely no inconsistency or hypocrisy in what leftists believe (especially with respect to Islam and Israel)
BBC’s Hamas ‘spy dolphin’ story raises a serious question
Apart from ignoring it, there is of course not much to do with such a silly story other than poke fun at it. However, the fact that the BBC clearly recognizes this latest Hamas claim for what it is and correctly places it within the context of the regional penchant for Israel-related animal conspiracy theories prompts a much more serious question.
Only a year ago the BBC was uncritically quoting civilian casualty figures supplied by the same terrorist organization which now wants us to believe that it has captured a well-equipped spy dolphin.
So how does the BBC explain to its audiences – and more crucially, to itself – its obvious cognitive dissonance concerning the reliability of Hamas as a source of credible information? Why can the BBC see a fishy story about a marine mammal on a mission of espionage for what it is but fail to acknowledge the need to independently verify other claims and allegations produced by the same source?
Why is Huffington Promoting Muslim Brotherhood Media?
The Huffington-Khanfar partnership is curious. In 1997, Khanfar published a dissertation on “The Israeli Policy in Africa,” the introduction to which warned of “The Zionist project… [as] an expansionist project that seeks to establish a ‘Greater Israel,’ stretching from the head of the Nile to the mouth of the Euphrates in order to establish a presence across the African continent.” Khanfar warned of Israel’s looming “return to Africa…to drain it of its bounties and exploit its natural resources and use them to grow its industrial machine, and to fulfill its aspirations to dominate the region.” For most, such loony conspiracies would be a red flag. Huffington appears either not to care or to be unaware. Either way, the partnership is deeply troubling. Nor is Khanfar shy about his Hamas ties. While in South Africa, he shared an address with the Al-Aqsa Foundation, which the U.S. Treasury Department designated “a critical part of Hamas terrorist support infrastructure.” Such linkage to Hamas seems to be more rule than exception. Wadah’s brother Mahdi appears to be a Hamas activist, and two other brothers—Fahmi and Hakim—have been arrested for Hamas activities.
It was in South Africa that Khanfar joined Al Jazeera. In 2001, he transferred with the company to Afghanistan, and he became Iraq bureau chief in 2003. Huffington opposed the Iraq war, but her alliance with the Al Jazeera bureau chief at the time is curious. After all, on several occasions during Operation Iraqi Freedom, U.S. servicemen received anonymous tips drawing them to specific locations, only to find Al Jazeera reporters manning positions around what they later determined to be a massive booby-trap. Watching American servicemen murdered might make good ratings, but Al Jazeera at the time seemed to cross the line between journalism and terrorism.
Dutch man offers money on Facebook to kill ‘devilish’ Jewish neighbor
A Dutch man offered on Facebook to pay 10,000 euros, or about or $11,500, to anyone willing to kill his Jewish neighbor.
The man posted the message recently, along with anti-Semitic statements, in connection with his long quarrel with his apartment building neighbor, Gabriela Hirschberg, and her partner, The De Telegraaf daily reported. The report did not name the man.
“I have one desire in my life: To tear out this nest of devils,” he wrote in reference to Hirschberg’s apartment. Naming his neighbors, he added: “Each head is worth 10,000 euros to me.”

Telegraaf did not specify the anti-Semitic statements that the paper reported he attached to that message.
The neighbor also wrote: “Anyone may come along as long as I have the pleasure of punching the lights out.” Facebook followers offered to come and help find “a final solution” to the problem — language that echoes Nazi rhetoric about Jews during the Holocaust.
Streak of Anti-Semitic Violence in Illinois Continues
The nine-foot menorah outside the Chabad Jewish Center at the University of Illinois (UI) was vandalized for the second time this year after being upended by a single assailant.
University and local police are investigating the incident with the help of security footage which caught the culprit on tape at around 6 a.m. last Wednesday.
UI police also released still images and a video of a man pushing the menorah several times until it toppled over. They have called on the public to help identify the suspect.
Damage is estimated at over $2,000 because the menorah was ripped off at its base.
Rabbi Dovid Tiechtel of the Chabad Jewish Center said he is raising money to replace the vandalized menorah with one that is both larger and stronger.
Anti-Semitic vandalism has been on the rise in Illinois in the past year with synagogues, universities and Jewish institutions all targeted.
 First autism research center in Middle East established at Hebrew U
Autism, according to scientists, has in recent years grown by epidemic proportions, rising some 600% in the US alone since 1978. Today, one out of 68 children – and one out of 42 boys – are diagnosed with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD), a range of conditions from mild to debilitating that all focus on symptoms associated with autism.
Part of that increase, experts believe, can be explained by better diagnosis techniques – but many believe there is something more going on. What, exactly, is not clear, but a new center established by Hebrew University and the Hadassah Medical Center hopes to find out.
This week, the two institutions announced the establishment of the first interdisciplinary university-based autism center in the Middle East. The Autism Center is a collaborative and interdisciplinary effort bridging several faculties within both institutions, anchored in the Hebrew University’s Faculty of Medicine.
 The Most Important Lesson From Hungary’s Jewish Past
When my father died, he left me his prayer books and a beautifully bound tabletop book, entitled “The Gold Album”- printed in Budapest, Hungary, in 1938.
Feeling nostalgic, I recently read that book cover to cover.
By the time I was done, I understood why my father left it for me.
In my view, it is a most extraordinary document that is also an important lesson for life.
Turning the pages, what I learned shook me more than my recent visit to the gas chambers, crematoria, and mass graves and ash fields of Auschwitz – where my entire family was murdered.
So what is so special about this heavy, beautifully bound book?
Jewish Lebanese expat funding Sidon cemetery makeover
A rundown Jewish cemetery in southern Lebanon marked by a tangled mess mess of uncut weeds, barbed wire, garbage and cracked gravestones inscribed in Hebrew, Arabic and French is in the process of rehabilitation thanks to an anonymously funded initiative.
Restoration of the Sidon cemetery after decades of neglect is a new project funded by a Lebanese-Jewish expat, al-Jazeera reported on Sunday.
The cemetery is located on the outskirts of the coastal city and is home to over 300 tombs scattered over 20,000 square meters, with some dating back to the 18th century.
Nagi Zeidan, a Lebanese Christian historian writing a book on the Jews of Lebanon, says he is leading restoration efforts on the donor’s behalf.
“This is not being done by the municipality,” said Zeidan, who has been using local birth and death records to research Lebanon’s Jewish community since 1995.
“This is paid for by one man from the Jewish community here, and I have been sent to oversee it,” he said.
Shanghai showcases role in saving Jews during Holocaust
China is heavily promoting Shanghai’s role sheltering European Jews from the Nazis as part of its commemorations for the 70th anniversary of victory over Japan, which will culminate in a huge military parade.
As the “port of last resort,” China’s commercial hub provided a home to tens of thousands of Jewish refugees who fled persecution in Europe during the 1930s and 1940s.
Nazi Germany’s wartime ally Japan took the city in 1941, and later moved 20,000 Jews into a “designated area” — called a ghetto by some — in the northern district of Hongkou, where they lived alongside Chinese residents.
Despite cramped living conditions and mistreatment by the Japanese authorities, they were spared systematic extermination, in defiance of requests from Berlin.
“Shanghai saved our lives,” former Jewish refugee Judy Kolb, who lived in the ghetto as a child, told AFP.
A new exhibition launches this week at a museum dedicated to Jewish refugees, along with a recreation of a historic cafe, and next month a musical, “Jews in Shanghai”, and a memorial park will open.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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