Tuesday, August 25, 2015

From Ian:

The short road from anti-Westernism to anti-Semitism
Corbynmania has unleashed a great feeling of hope and change in the British public, especially among people hoping to wipe Israel off the face of the earth. Whether or not Jezza can be blamed for his links to activists with fascinating, esoteric views of the second world war, the accusations have focused attention on one particular aspect of 21st century politics: anti-Semitism on the left.
My colleague, Hugo Rifkind, raised the issue last week and has since enjoyed a lot of light-hearted, knock-about anti-Semitic banter. For example, here and here. Great stuff guys! I laughed, but anti-Semitism can be darkly funny as long as it’s spoken by the powerless and ineffective. Borat is amusing because Israel’s military strength prevents middle eastern anti-Semitism from ever being too effective; Borat with a German accent wouldn’t work quite so well.
The prejudice currently popular in Britain is a sort of Arabised version of the European original. Revived hostility is clearly spurred by large-scale migration from Islamic countries, and the influence of Islamists on the European hard left, with whom they have a lot of contact. Technology also allows people to find like-minded individuals and spread rumours about Israelis snatching human body parts and controlling birds of prey or whatever insanity it is this month.
But there is a less discussed cultural trend creating the perfect conditions for anti-Semitism to flourish: the idea of equality.
Anti-Semitism differs to most forms of racial prejudice in that it is aimed not at a group deemed to be inferior but one believed to be superior, or at least more financially or politically powerful. This is what makes it so dangerous, since market-dominant minorities have historically faced the worst violence. (We think of eastern European Jews arriving in Britain before the first world war as being impoverished, which they were, but to Poles, Ukrainians and Romanians back home they were seen as a privileged, educated minority.)
.Elliott Abrams: What Do Jerusalem Arabs Want?
There are many logical reasons for such views on the part of Jerusalem residents who happen to be Palestinian Arabs. Israel is a democracy, while the future Palestine may not be. Israel is a reasonably rich country with decent medical insurance and old age pensions, while Palestine may not be. Israel has an international airport and beaches, while Palestine will not have those. No surprises.
But the basic finding is worth some reflection. Palestinians who live in Jerusalem would rather live in Israeli Jerusalem than Arab or Palestinian Jerusalem. They have, it is logical to assert, a more positive view of the actually existing Israel than of the future Palestine. In part, this is presumably because Israel exists and its commitment to democracy and its level of social and economic development are clear, while Palestine may if it ever comes into existence be just another Arab dictatorship. Given all that, it isn’t surprising that so many Jerusalem Arabs would prefer to live in Israel.
So what do we learn from this? First, that American and Western–and Israeli– refusal to demand that the Palestinian Authority respect civil and political rights, and build democratic structures, is well recognized by Jerusalem Arabs. They want the creation of a Palestinian state, but they are well aware of its likely nature and prefer to live in a Western-style democracy. Second, that the typical Arab and European denunciations of Israel as a racist society where Arabs are treated so badly is plain false. Those who live under Israeli law–with all its imperfections and failures–know better.
Thomas Friedman's Career is Built on a Lie
Israeli Army officials reportedly are furious that New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman has accused the IDF of massacring Arab civilians. But what else is new? After all, Friedman's entire career has been built on lying about Israel--including rewriting his own biography in order to smear the Jewish State.
In his August 12 column, Friedman wrote: "Israel plays, when it has to, by what I’ve called 'Hama rules' — war without mercy…it will not be deterred by the threat of civilian Arab casualties…" The Times of Israel notes that "While the term ['Hama Rules'] itself comes from Friedman’s book From Beirut to Jerusalem, in his new article he offered no history of the event or explanation for the comparison, apparently assuming the reader would understand the context."
Friedman's sense of self-importance is legendary; evidently he assumes that everyone has read and memorized his book. But for those who have not, the term 'Hama Rules' was his little nickname for the policy of then-Syrian tyrant Hafez Assad when he massacred tens of thousands of civilians in the Syrian city of Hama in 1982.
So Friedman sees no difference between Israeli and Syrian policy regarding civilian casualties. Israel drops warning leaflets in neighborhoods it plans to strike, individually telephones residents of apartment buildings in the area, and cancels bombing raids if civilians are likely to be harmed. And Syria slaughters people anywhere, anytime, with whatever weapons it has handy. But it's all the same to Thomas Friedman.
Such lies should not surprise anyone familiar with Friedman's track record.
He was a junior reporter on the New York Times staff when he was sent to cover the Israel-Lebanon war in 1982. He was catapulted to fame by a series of articles blaming Israel for the Lebanese Christians' killings of Palestinians in the Sabra and Shatilla refugee camps, which he then parlayed into a best-selling book, the aforementioned From Beirut to Jerusalem.
The major theme of the book, and the many interviews he gave about his time in Lebanon, was disillusionment. He set out, he claimed, as a passionate supporter of Israel ("insufferably so"). He believed "that all the right [was] on one side, and all the wrong on the other, that Israel always behaves in a way that's morally upstanding…I had seen Israel as a sort of utopian society…" But these illusions were shattered "in my experiences as a reporter…I went through a period of disillusionment during my experience of Lebanon and Sabra and Shatilla."
But that was a lie.
Friedman did not become a critic of Israel in 1982. He was strongly pro-Palestinian at least eight years earlier, as a leader of a Brandeis University student organization called the "Middle East Peace Group." When the arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat, gun on his hip, spoke at the United Nations that fall, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin strongly protested and hundreds of thousands of outraged New Yorkers held a "Rally Against Terror."
Friedman and his Peace Group colleagues published an open letter in The Brandeis Justice (the student newspaper) on November 12, 1974, to denounce the rally and oppose Prime Minister Rabin's stance.

Why WAS Mel Gibson at a Jewish film festival? Actor was leaving a FRENCH movie when he ran into a 'less than impressed' Israeli film crowd - moments before clashing with photographer
Mel Gibson was coming out of a French art house film when he stumbled into an Israeli film festival crowd during his controversial Sunday night at the movies, festival organisers said.
Gibson, 59, and his partner Rosalind Ross, 24, had planned a quiet movie night at the Palace Verona cinemas in trendy Paddington, Sydney, watching the acclaimed drama Far From Men.
But the couple's evening famously ended with a photographer alleging Gibson had pushed, spat at and swore at her.
The pair exited the theatre at the same time moviegoers were spilling out of an Israeli screening and some were reportedly upset to see him.
'Our screening of (Israeli film) Matti Caspi - Confession came out exactly at the same time as Far From Men,' festival artistic director Richard Moore said. 'So talk about wrong place, wrong time.'
Citing reports he had received from a reporter and others at the scene - and stressing detailed accounts of the incident were hard to come by - Mr Moore said he understood some Israeli film festivalgoers were displeased to see Gibson.
'You can imagine some of them would be a little upset', he said.
'Most South Africans Love Israel' Pro-Israel South African MP, Rev. Dr. Kenneth Meshoe
Rev. Dr. Kenneth Meshoe, a courageous pro-Israel voice in South Africa, who is visiting Israel, told Arutz Sheva that despite misconceptions, most South Africans love Israel, and noted that many South African churches have “Israel” and “Zion” in their names.
However, he explained, the anti-Israelis are better financed and tend to be louder than supporters, whereas Israel's supporters are more shy.
Rev. Meshoe, and MP for the African Christian Democratic Party and Chairman of the South African Israel Allies Caucus, emphasized the ridiculousness of charges that Israel is an “apartheid state.”
To the contrary, he said, Israel is the only democratic state in the Middle East. He explained that if Israel were truly an apartheid state, Arabs could not vote, could not have freedom of movement or live in Jewish areas, could not use the same hospitals as Jews – whereas in Israel you see Arab teachers teaching Jewish children, you see Arab doctors treating Jewish patients, and an Arab even serves as a Supreme Court judge.
"Most South Africans Love Israel"

Ben-Dror Yemini: A double-edged boycott
If it seemed for a moment that the battle against the BDS campaign is lost, now’s the time to look again. Signs of new thought processes are popping up in Europe, of all places. First, attempts to sabotage the “Tel Aviv beach” on the banks of the river Seine in Paris failed miserably. Those opposed to it managed to generate a lot of noise on social media, but many, many more people came to celebrate at the beach rather than protest against it.
Second, the boycott against singer Matisyahu in a Spain music festival became a boomerang. The organizers demanded that the American singer declare his support for a Palestinian state. He refused. It turned out that this was only demanded of him because he’s Jewish. And here, the connection between the boycott organizers and anti-Semitism is revealed in all its wretchedness. Even the Spanish, who aren’t especially fond of Israel, understood that that was that: The government clarified that it is opposed to the boycott, the public responded with heavy criticism and the festival’s organizers apologized and re-invited Matisyahu.
Another interesting incident: an editor at the Libération newspaper, known for its anti-Israeli tendencies, published an article critical of Israel a few days ago. Nothing new so far. But the article’s second half dealt with the BDS campaign. And it turns out that the real arguments against BDS were stated, one by one, in this surprising article: The BDS campaign isn’t for peace or a two-state solution, but aims to make Jews a minority in a single state. And actually, the BDS’s solution is Hamas’s solution. One big country. Bingo. So it’s okay to criticize Israel, but there’s no need to fall into Omar Barghouti’s trap.
Honest Reporting: Matisyahu Faces Down BDS Campaign
Why was Matisyahu singled out by the BDS movement? Was it because he is an Israeli settler? No. Was it because he is an Israeli? No. He lives in America. The only reason he was singled out is because he is a Jew who supports Israel. That's because the real aims of the BDS movement are not to create peace in the Middle East or a 2 state solution. Their goal is the delegitimization of Israel and to pressure Jews who support the state.

The PLO’s Mahmoud Abbas Searches for Legitimacy
As expected, the head of the PLO, Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) announced his resignation from the PLO leadership, in the expectation that the Palestinian parliament, the Palestinian National Council (PNC), will renew his leadership mandate. The PNC will reconvene in the coming month, at which time Abu Mazen plans to be able to resume his leadership, distance his opposition, and also clear a pathway for his renewed opposition to Israel’s legitimacy in the United Nations. The problem that perhaps Abu Mazen has not considered properly is that the prospect for convening another Parliament session has worsened because of the continuing Arab upheavals and the ongoing schism with Gaza.
Abbas, who sits in Ramallah, estimated that it may not be possible to assemble the required legal quorum for the parliament; so he declared that the Council will indeed convene – just without the necessary quorum. However, there are serious questions about the implications of a “no-quorum” council, including questions about the extent of its power. The question remains over a “no-quorum” council and whether or not the turnout will prove to be enough to renew the legitimacy of Abbas’ leadership.
With respect to Gaza – several facts are clear – one of which is Hamas will not allow the PLO representatives to travel from the PLO offices in Gaza to Ramallah. Among the Palestinian political leadership in Syria this upcoming conference in Ramallah does not interest them at all. Palestinians in Syria are currently fighting for their very lives and are not impressed with the happenings in Ramallah or if anyone in Ramallah cares about them. In Lebanon, there currently is a war between the PLO and Al-Qaeda, and much like in Syria, the Palestinians there don’t care much for Abbas’ leadership issues.
Prominent Abbas Rival Calls to Oust Him as PA Chief
Mohammed Dahlan, once a leading figure in Abbas's Fatah party but now in exile in Dubai, took to his Facebook page to criticize the PA president.
His comments came after Abbas resigned Saturday as head of the Palestine Liberation Organisation's Executive Committee in a bid to force new elections for the top body.
His resignation along with more than half of the 18-member committee will only take effect with a meeting of the Palestine National Council.
The PNC is a congress of 740 members representing those who live in Judea, Samaria, Gaza and elsewhere in the region. It has not met since 1996.
The opposition saw Abbas's move as a political maneuver aimed at empowering his allies and marginalizing opponents ahead of the 80-year-old's eventual retirement.
Dahlan, Fatah's former strongman in Gaza, however said the resignation of Abbas must be accepted and the future congress should "declare null and void all decisions by Abbas and his allies because they are illegal."
Zahar: Hamas not near a truce with Israel, should focus on taking over the West Bank
Hamas is currently focusing its energy's on taking power in the West Bank, a senior official in the organization said Monday.
Mahmoud Zahar told Hamas's Al Aksa TV that the organization should build on its successes in legislative and municipal elections in the West Bank and move to consolidate its power.
Zahar denied reports that there was progress in talks with Israel to bring about a long-term truce between Hamas in Gaza and the Jewish State.
Former UK prime minister Tony Blair has reportedly been trying to broker a long-term truce between the sides in recent weeks. Zahar said that Hamas turned down an invitation from Blair to send its representatives to London in order to discussed the proposed agreement.
Nationalists Ask Court to Raze Illegal EU Buildings
Jewish land rights group Regavim and the community of Kfar Adumim filed a motion to the High Court Monday in an attempt to halt illegal construction of structures by the European Union in Judea and Samaria.
In recent years, foreign diplomatic elements – and most prominently, the EU – have been heavily involved in building illegal outposts in areas designated under “Area C” in the Oslo Accords. This is especially true in the Gush Adumim area east of Jerusalem.
Despite numerous requests to the Defense Ministry and the IDF Civil Administration, the illegal construction continues unabated and serious enforcement is nowhere to be seen.
In their motion, Regavim and Kfar Adumim ask the court to tell the prime minister and defense minister to explain why they are not enforcing the law against the EU's illegal construction in areas that are under full Israeli control – both civilian and military.
The motion details the situation on the ground, in which the EU supplies the local Arabs with hundreds of permanent structures that are placed illegally on state lands, with the aim of helping the Arabs take over land that does not belong to them and to act in contravention of local and international law.
The petitioners want to court to issue temporary orders to block the EU's activities.
Arab Leader Decries Jewish 'Settlement' - in Jaffa
An Arab community leader on Monday gave an interview to the Hamas-backed Palestine newspaper complaining about a new Israeli “settlement."
"We will fight this 'Judaization' of our area,” said Abed al-Khader Sattel. “This settlement will attract settlers, and the worst of them. We will not allow it to happen.”
The “settlement” Sattel is referring to is not on a barren hilltop in Samaria, however; it's in the middle of Jaffa (Yafo), which was incorporated into the Tel Aviv municipality when the State of Israel was established in 1948.
Jaffa has a substantial Jewish population, and is home to numerous important Israeli institutions – among them the broadcasting headquarters of Army Radio.
In his comments, Sattel used the same terminology to describe Jaffa – far behind the 1949 Armistice Lines, and thus, ostensibly, “legal” - as critics of Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria.
The “settlement,” said Sattel, consists of 63 apartments that are to be built in the predominantly Arab Ajami neighborhood.
Hamas official: Israel, Arab states in cahoots against us
A senior Hamas official has told a Turkish news outlet that three Arab countries are working “in coordination with Israeli security forces” to arrest members of the Gaza-based terror organization, Israel’s Ynet website reported Tuesday.
The official — who did name the countries in question — said that Hamas operatives only work abroad with the full consent of the host nation.
The comments come days after Hamas accused Egypt of abducting four of its fighters from a bus as they traveled to Cairo airport from the Rafah Border Crossing between Gaza and Sinai.
Egypt said the four were kidnapped by Islamic State-affiliated terrorists, but The Times of Israel learned that they were likely arrested by the Egyptian military, after Cairo’s intelligence officials were alerted that they were en route to train in Iran for training.
BDS impact on American college campuses is exaggerated, study finds
Reports that the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement is “taking over” American college campuses are exaggerated, the Israel on Campus Coalition said in the annual report it issued Monday.
That's the good news.
The bad news, however, is that if “the current trends on campuses nationwide persist, the result could be dangerously close to that reality.”
According to the report drawn up by the organization – an umbrella of pro-Israel groups active on campus – “While there was a significant increase in campus BDS campaigns this academic year, the rate at which BDS campaigns were defeated on campuses nationwide remained relatively static.”
However, the report concluded, “there is no doubt that Israel’s detractors are increasing their efforts on college campuses across the country. They are using new tactics and in some cases reaching broad swaths of the campus population, simplifying a complex Middle East reality and latching on to other progressive social causes. They have also found success recruiting and supporting pro-BDS student government candidates who then introduce and pass anti-Israel legislation.”
Campus Support for Israel is Up, Say US Activists
The good news in the annual report by the Israel on Campus Coalition (ICC) is that there is a surge in pro-Israel activity in the US. The bad news is that anti-Israel activities are also up.
During the 2014-2015 academic year ICC tracked 1,630 anti-Israel events at 181 colleges and universities nationwide and 3,753 pro-Israel events at 213 schools. However, in the wake of Operation Protective Edge in the summer of 2014, the number of US campuses with anti-Israel activity jumped by 31.2 percent, from 138 during the 2013-2014 academic year to 181 during the 2014-2015 academic year.
Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) established a presence on more than 40 new campuses, bringing the total number of campuses on which it operates to more than 150, and Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) established its first-ever student chapters at 14 colleges and universities.
Calls for anti-Israel boycotts, divestment initiatives, and sanctions continued to rise on college campuses, particularly on the West Coast and in the Midwest, but were defeated at approximately the same rate as the prior academic year. The anti-Israel boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement (BDS) ran 44 campus campaigns, a 132 percent increase over the 19 campaigns seen during the 2013-2014 academic year.
SJP and its allies continue to deepen their involvement with “social justice-oriented” organizations on campus. This year saw efforts by anti-Israel groups to build coalitions with “progressive” campus organizations that deal with issues such as LGBT rights, fossil fuel divestment, private prison reform, racial discrimination, and immigration reform. SJP supports these social justice groups in their causes and in turn receives support from these campus organizations and their supporters.

Controversy erupts over Holocaust-Nakba event planned at Jerusalem think-tank
Im Tirtzu and The Van Leer Jerusalem Institute exchanged letters over an event planned at the institute promoting a book that commemorates together the Holocaust and the Palestinian “Nakba.”
The book titled, The Holocuast and the Nakba: Memory, National Identity, and Jewish-Arab Partnership, is set to be promoted at an event at the Jerusalem institute on September 7. The institute is also listed as one of two publishers of the book.
“The book invites the readers to think of ways to remember and discuss the Holocaust and the Nakba together, and investigate the possibility of such combined thought—not because the events are identical or even similar, but because they are both traumatic and identity-constructing,” stated the event page on the Van Leer website.
Im Tirtzu, which describes itself as a pro-Israel grassroots movement, responded to the announced program by sending a letter to Prof. Gabriel Motzkin, the institute’s director, demanding cancellation of this event.
Bar-Ilan University Prof. Gerald Steinberg, head of the Jerusalem- based NGO Monitor, told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday that the fact that the German government funded Heinrich Boll Stiftung Foundation, which is affiliated with the German Green Party, is supporting the event, is “very disturbing.”
It highlights “the urgent need for a widespread Israeli discussion and guidelines on the role of foreign funds manipulation of the public discourse,” he said.
If Corbyn wins
Corbyn’s claim not to indulge in personal abuse deserves closer examination. The Corbyn campaign tends not engage directly with the examples, evidence and argument which its opponents raise. It prefers to respond with a counter-charge of bad faith, saying that people who make these wicked accusations are enemies of the progressive; they have hidden political motives. The worry is not only that the Corbynistas fail to recognize and to oppose totalitarian politics around the world. The worry is also that in their response to mounting criticism here in Britain, the Corbyn campaign is happiest denouncing its critics – as Tories, neo-liberals, Zionists or Blairites. It prefers to de-legitimize opponents than to relate rationally to their criticism.
In other words Corbyn’s supporters are tempted by totalitarian methods and practices, as well as alliances and worldviews.
Some Labour activists believe that if Corbyn wins then this will condemn Britain to decades more Tory government. They imagine the dismal fate of a Labour candidate in a general election who is associated with people who hope for the death of British soldiers, with anti-Semites, with homophobes and with woman-haters. But we should not entirely discount a more troubling possibility. Perhaps Corbyn could be successful in knitting together the resentments and the prejudices of those who feel all at sea in today’s frightening world: those who are anti-European Union, anti “Westminster elite,” isolationist, anti-banker, anti-Zionist, anti-American, anti-democracy and pro-conspiracy theory.
Corbyn’s supporters should be honest
The charge levelled by many at Jeremy Corbyn is not that he is anti-Semitic. He himself has said little to draw that damning conclusion. The charge levelled, with evidence increasing by the day, is that he endorses anti-Semites and attends events organised by anti-Semites. The charge levelled, therefore, is he views anti-semitism as insufficiently worrisome, and, at times, views anti-Semites as even praiseworthy – particularly anti-Semites who hide under the cover of anti-Zionism. This is dangerous in itself. Racism, even when couched in terms that may draw your ideological sympathy, merits outright condemnation. Nothing else. This is especially true if your raison d’être is social justice and equality. Instead, opposition to Israeli policies – not in itself anti-Semitic, and at times morally justified – has blinded some people to clear expressions of bigotry. Corbyn suffers from this disabling myopia to a remarkable degree.
Those who defend Corbyn rely on two arguments: firstly, that guilt by association – attending the same event as anti-Semites – is an insufficient base on which to build a critique against him. Secondly, that opposition to Israeli policies doesn’t entail anti-semitism, and consequently those that criticise Corbyn are doing so from a position of bad faith; out of a wish to shield Israel from legitimate criticism or part of a general right-wing agenda. Both arguments are strawmen that rely on a misapprehension of most people’s motives and inattention to their arguments.
Jeremy Corbyn’s “very good friend” Ibrahim Hewitt
A Very Good Friend
Watch Jeremy Corbyn hailing his “very good friend” Ibrahim Hewitt, the chairman of the British charity Interpal.
This is no courteous nod to an unfamiliar man at a meeting. On the contrary, Corbyn says he has “got to know Ibrahim Hewitt, the chair, extremely well” and salutes him for doing a “fantastic job” at Interpal. Indeed, here he is with Hewitt in Gaza on a trip paid for by Interpal.
The video clip above comes from an Interpal conference featuring some of Britain’s very worst extremists, including Lauren Booth, Uthman Lateef, and Yvonne Ridley. Perfect company for Corbyn!
For a flavour, try Lauren Booth’s speech at the conference, where she spits about “Jewish terrorism”.

Interpal is a cause very close to Corbyn’s heart. Of course it is – Interpal serves Hamas.
Here is Hewitt with his fellow Interpal leader Essam Mustafa and their master Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas.
Edgar Davidson: The Corbyns: their anti-Israel hatred is a hereditary compulsive obsessional disorder
UPDATED It's a hat-trick!! All three of Corbyn's sons suffer from the same disorder as their father:
For anti-Semitic Israel haters the (soon to be) Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and his family really are the gift that keeps on giving. Following on from the revelation that Ben Corbyn - Jeremy's son - uses his Facebook page to disseminate blood libels against Israel, it turns out that both his other sons Tommy and Seb have the same compulsive urge to spew anti-Israel hatred in public. Although it seems Tommy has (since yesterday when Fair Brit tipped me off about this) changed read access to his Facebook posts to 'Friends only' his profile picture (still visible as shown above) tells you all you need to understand the depths of his Israel-hating obsession. And (update!) I can now confirm we have a hat-trick and full-house. Seb Corbyn's banner facebook profile - like his brother's - spews the destroy Israel "Free Palestine" message and, additionally for good measure, throws in the blood libel that Israel is massacring Palestinians and calls for sanctions against Israel.
Those who still maintain that Jeremy Corbyn "does not have an antisemitic bone in his body" might wish to explain why the one thing in the world that he and ALL his children actually seem to think and dream about more than anything else is the destruction of the tiny Jewish state, a place they all know nothing about and which has done them no harm?
No BBC follow up on PIJ cell it promoted as ‘civilians’
As readers no doubt recall, on August 21st the BBC promoted a claim aired on Syrian state TV according to which the people killed in an Israeli strike on members of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad cell which fired four missiles into Israel the previous day were “five civilians”.
On August 23rd Israel’s Channel 10 News reported that the five men were members of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Syria and residents of the Al Wafdin refugee camp north-east of Damascus. The report named the men as Mohammed Taysir Shehadeh, Yousuf Fathi al Hatib, Abdo Hishan, Mohammed Hishan and Jiat Abu Aishe, adding:
“On Syrian state television it was claimed that the vehicle targeted by the IDF was a civilian vehicle belonging to residents of the Quneitra district. However a check of the vehicle’s licence plate, number 494882, indicates that it belongs to the Damascus district which is known to host the headquarters of the Islamic Jihad and the headquarters of Iran’s liason with the Syrian intelligence.”

Despite having promoted the PIJ’s denial of involvement in last week’s missile fire on Israeli civilian targets and subsequently having also amplified the claim regarding “civilians” made on Syrian state TV, the BBC has to date shown no sign of having carried out any further investigation into this story in order to present its audiences with accurate information which would improve their understanding of the story.
Half the News That’s Fit to Print
When Benjamin Netanyahu’s opponents accused him of excessive personal spending earlier this year, it was headline news in The New York Times. Guess how much space the Times allotted to the recent news that the Israeli prime minister’s spending has reached a five-year low.
When Netanyahu was under fire for supposedly lavish spending by the staff of the prime minister’s official residence, the NYT‘s Jerusalem bureau chief, Jodi Rudoren, could barely contain her delight at the opportunity to tarnish Netanyahu’s image.
The fact that the “story” broke at the height of Israel’s election campaign probably filled Rudoren with hope that she might be able to contribute to the downfall of a prime minister whose policies she obviously despises, despite her claim to be an objective journalist.
Rudoren’s extensive February 17 dispatch on the subject was nearly 1,000 words long, ranging over 16 paragraphs. She detailed such outrages as the suspicion that the Netanyahus had spent too much money on ice cream. Rudoren even sarcastically noted the favorite ice cream flavors of the prime minister and his wife.
ADL slams Spanish government for allowing 'half hour of pure anti-Semitism' on state radio
The Anti-Defamation League is calling out the Spanish government after an anti-Semitic show was played on a state-owned radio station owned by RTVE, the world's largest Spanish-language broadcaster.
The ADL says that RTVE allowed over 30 minutes of "unadulterated anti-Jewish conspiracy theories" during a show titled From the Inferno — The Jewish People: Propagator of the Satan Cult.
Presenters quoted from the 1962 book Plot Against the Church which linked demonology and the Satanic cult to Jews.
The synopsis on RTVE’s website for the show, part of its A La Carta series, stated: “The Jewish founders of the occult and masonry society introduced the cult of Lucifer” to some organizations.
In a letter to Spain’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo, the ADL urged the Spanish Government to condemn the broadcast and punish "RTVE’s poisoning of the airwaves with pure anti-Semitism”
Kansas JCC shooter’s opening anti-Semitic diatribe cut short by judge
A white supremacist accused of killing three people at Jewish sites in suburban Kansas City, made it only a few words into his opening statement, which included an anti-Semitic diatribe, before a state attorney objected and jurors were removed from the courtroom.
Frazier Glenn Miller, who is representing himself, had told Judge Thomas Kelly Ryan earlier that he twice offered to plead guilty to first-degree murder if prosecutors would take the death penalty off the table, but they refused. He started to tell jurors of those failed offers before assistant District Attorney Chris McMullin spoke up.
“If he wants to confess, that’s fine, but we can’t talk about things not in evidence,” the prosecutor said after jurors left the room. “If the state said that, there would be an immediate mistrial. We don’t want a mistrial.”
He also said he will prove that Jews control the media, and that he has photos and videos to prove his claims, the Kansas City television station KSHB reported.
‘Iranians welcome’ at wiki hackfest, says Israeli organizer
The wiki world will gather in Jerusalem next March to discuss better ways to get the free information offered by the Wikipedia family of sites to people around the world and improve the way data is delivered, displayed, and discussed.
And Iranians are cordially invited, said Itzik Edri, chairperson of Wikimedia Israel. “Wikimedia does not have an official organization in Iran, as it does in Israel, the US, and most European countries, but we know of individuals and groups in Iran who work with and maintain Wikipedia pages.
“We would be happy if they, as well as hackers from Arab countries, would attend.”
The Israel Wikimedia Foundation is the proud host of the upcoming Wikimedia Hackathon 2016, with hundreds of volunteer code writers, information managers, and tech lovers expected to converge on Jerusalem for a weekend of programming, hacking, and tinkering with the apps and websites that carry the wiki label.
Intel Israel team mates gestures and 3D in one device
Augmented reality, 3D gaming and apps are coming to Android phones – courtesy of a team at Intel’s Haifa development center, which mated Intel’s RealSense technology together with the 3D capabilities of Google’s Project Tango.
The result was a demo smartphone used last week by Intel CEO Brian Krzanich at a major Intel event in San Francisco to show off augmented reality/3D games on a smartphone. While there are other 3D devices on the market, as well as devices that understand gestures, there aren’t any that do both, as the Intel-Google device will.
According to Intel, the new Intel RealSense Smartphone featuring Project Tango “represents the best in depth and motion sensing technology integrated into a sleek and thin smartphone form factor. The prototype will allow Android developers to create new applications and experiences for the Intel RealSense technology and Project Tango ecosystems including 3-D scanning, indoor navigation, depth-enabled photography and video, measurements and immersive augmented reality and virtual reality.”
Intel has been trying for years to catch up in the smartphone game – so far with less than stellar success. While there are several notable Intel-inside smartphones on the market from Lenovo, Motorola, and others, the lion’s share of smartphones run on chips developed by ARM and Qualcomm. The phone demonstrated last week at the Intel Developers Forum (IDF) sported an Intel Atom x5 Quad-Core Z8500 processor, with the phone running a specially developed version of the Android Lollipop operating system.
Israeli Startup That Turns Manure Into Fuel is Changing the Lives of Rural Palestinians and Bedouin
An Israeli startup is making the lives of Palestinians in rural areas of the West Bank and Bedouins in Israel’s Negev desert easier and healthier.
HomeBioGas, based in the Beit Yanai moshav in central Israel, has invented a portable “anaerobic digester” that turns kitchen waste and livestock manure into cooking-gas.
“Families in these areas not only live off the grid,” HomeBioGas sales manager Ron Yariv told The Algemeiner. “But they dwell in tents or tin huts.” This, he said, forces them to burn wood from trees or goat manure to generate fire for cooking.
“This is arduous and dangerous,” he said, adding that more than four million people across the world die annually from the toxic fumes emitted during this process. “It is also very harmful to the environment.”
So far, the company has installed 37 systems, one per family. Most of these are in the Palestinian village of al-Awja in Jordan Valley, with a smaller number provided to Negev Bedouins. In two months, another 37 will be delivered.
The portable product is 1.6 by 1 meters, as unobtrusive as the individual gas tanks commonly used in Israel, hooks up to the stove, also provided by the company, with a pipe.
Jewish NFL star Julian Edelman visits Israel
A video released Monday showed Super Bowl champion Julian Edelman traveling through Israel, where he spent nine days exploring his Jewish heritage in June.
In the video released by trip organizer Combined Jewish Philanthropies Edelman can be seen calling out “Yalla,” a Hebrew expression meaning “Let’s go,” as he travels through Israel, including the Old City of Jerusalem, the Negev and the Dead Sea.
“This was an amazing, memorable, once-in-a-lifetime experience for me, made possible by CJP and this amazing work they do,” Edelman said. “I was so lucky to be able to share it with an incredible group of people who made this 
experience even more memorable.”
“Exploring my heritage is something I started in the past few years and seeing Israel for the first time, really getting a sense of its history and culture – I now truly understand why it’s so special,” he added.
Larry King comes to Israel, opines on US Jews
TV presenter Larry King is in Israel for his first visit in 20 years.
The 81-year-old arrived as the special guest of the education department in the central Israeli city of Holon. King, who never attended university, will take part in a discussion about the Jewish educational system in the US and the influence of the Jewish lobby on Israel-US relations.
His groundbreaking show, CNN’s “Larry King Live,” went off the air in 2010. He now hosts a web series, “Larry King Now.”
While King grew up in a Modern Orthodox household, he calls himself an atheist. He did appear in a recent Chabad telethon wearing a velvet kippah.
IsraelDailyPicture: A Major 19th Century Photo Collection Rescued and Digitized by the British Library's Endangered Archives Program
Three thousand pictures taken by the Maison Bonfils photographers of Beirut from 1867 to the 1910s are part of the private Fouad Debbas collection in Beirut. Last year, the collection was digitized and posted online by the British Library's Endangered Archives Program.
We have posted several Bonfils' photographs in the past from the Library of Congress, Getty, and New York Public Library collections. But nowhere in the world has such an extensive collection of Bonfils' photographs been collected and made public. We thank the Debbas family and Ms. Jody Butterworth, the curator of the British Library's Endangered Archives Programme, for their efforts.
We present here just a preview of this very important collection:
Jews praying at the "Wailing Wall"
Rachel's Tomb on the way to Bethlehem
Elsewhere in the Debbas Collection this picture is captioned "Village of Sanur in the modern-day West Bank."
Obviously, it is another Bonfils photo of Rachel's Tomb.
At ancient Israel’s capital, politics and neglect squelch historical resonance
Sebastia is situated just a few kilometers northwest of Nablus in the northern West Bank. Known in Hebrew by its biblical name Shomron, the city was capital of the northern Israelite kingdom in the 9th and 8th centuries BCE, founded by the sixth Israelite king, Omri.
Fragments of houses, walls and a palace from the Iron Age remain. After its destruction by the Assyrians in 721 BCE, the city became the provincial capital of the conquered region. Under the Greeks it again flourished, but was destroyed by Hasmonean ruler John Hyrcanus. Then his son Alexander Jannaeaus rebuilt the city and repopulated it with Jews.
During the Roman era, King Herod renamed it after Augustus Caesar — Sebaste is Augustus in Greek. At its height, Sebastia was a major city and entrepôt; the remains of its Roman theater, temple, palaces, forum, hippodrome and marketplace are still visible today.
In the centuries of its long decline, Sebastia was a major Christian site, as underlined by the ruins of a Byzantine church dedicated to St. John the Baptist, where legend says he was executed and his head interred. A Crusader cathedral-turned-mosque still stands in the nearby modern Palestinian village, a vestige of the Crusader city’s former glory that shares the same name.

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