Tuesday, October 27, 2015

From Ian:

Vic Rosenthal: When do we stop ignoring the information war?
How did Israel allow herself, with all of her alleged intellectual muscle, to get into this situation? How could there have been such a massive failure to tell our story – our true story to the world? Can it be turned around?
Israel is failing at hasbara for two main reasons:
First, the state suffers from a massive oversupply of homegrown critics, who attack it with as much or more vigor than outsiders. I think if we had a way to measure the pro- and anti-Israel output of our media, academics and cultural figures, we would find that the negative far outweighs the positive. Naturally when an Israeli criticizes Israel, a listener is prepared to credit what he says much more than when it comes from an outsider. Anti-Israel Israelis are helped in this by the large fraction of Diaspora Jews who, for whatever reason, are always found among Israel’s most vehement critics. There is no comparable phenomenon among Arabs and Muslims, who maintain admirable message discipline.
Not only is this pervasive self-deprecation damaging to our image, it may be responsible for the fact that we don’t even try to project a positive one.
Second, like the whore in Catch-22 who hits Captain Orr over the head repeatedly with her shoe, our critics are getting paid to beat us up. Molding the way the world thinks about a subject isn’t cheap, and our enemies haven’t spared the expense. Here are just some ways anti-Israel dollars from governments and wealthy individuals (George Soros) are effectively employed as information weapons:
Honest Reporting: HonestReporting at the Gaza Border
The reality of life in the Israeli towns and communities that border the Gaza Strip is rarely in the news, particularly during supposedly “quiet” times when “only” the odd rocket is fired from Gaza.
With that in mind, HonestReporting led a one-day trip to the Gaza border with military expert Elliot Chodoff to explore the issues Israel faces in dealing with this extremely problematic area. The trip is a snapshot sample of the week-long HonestReporting Mission that takes place in the Spring and Fall every year.
Along the way, Major (res.) Chodoff discussed the complexities of first defining and then dealing with terrorists. When a group like Hamas arms itself with military weapons and tactics, it becomes harder for a state to defend itself according to traditional military doctrine. The laws of war become less clear when a terrorist group embeds itself within civilian communities and hides behind civilian targets. Policy makers must decide whether attacks against military personnel qualify as terrorism as opposed to attacks against civilians which is more clearly defined.
Ben-Dror Yemini: Boycott is the enemy of peace
In an article in The Washington Post, Steven Levitsky and Glen Weyl claim they support the boycott against Israel for their love of Israel. But one cannot reach a peace agreement by supporting a campaign that opposes any peace agreement.
“When we say '67 borders, we know that the greater goal is the end of Israel… Don't say these things to the world. Keep it to yourself" - Abbas Zaki, Senior PLO official, Al-Jazeera, Sep. 2011.
"Muslims' destiny is to kill Jews. Resurrection will come only after Jews are killed by Muslims" - the principal Palestinian Authority religious leader, the Mufti Muhammad Hussein, Jan. 2012. The authors admit that Israel "is hardly the world’s worst human rights violator". They even admit that "boycotting Israel is double standard". But they excuse it with their love for Israel.
This is an interesting argument. When haters demand a boycott, they do it because they deny the right of Israel to exist. When lovers of Israel do it, they suffocate Israel with their love. The result is the same. But what is more interesting is that there is no Palestinian or Arab movement that will demand self-responsibility from the Palestinian leadership. No calls for a boycott of the Palestinian Authority even if time and again the Palestinian leadership refused any settlement based on the idea of two states for two peoples. No calls for a boycott of the Palestinian Authority even though it makes monthly payments to terrorist murderers of Jews, including members of Hamas, who are sitting in prisons. There is no call for a boycott against the PA that continues to fund anti-Semitic incitement against Israel.
There is something very racist about the absolute exemption from criticism granted to the Palestinian side, but obsessive criticism, directed to the Israeli side. The day when supporters of peace understand that the Palestinian side has some responsibility; the day when they demand that Palestinians end incitement and terrorist funding - will be a better day for the prospect of peace.
We can assume the authors have good intentions. They strive for peace. But their way is wrong. One cannot reach a peace agreement by supporting a campaign that opposes any peace agreement. One cannot stop the occupation by ignoring Palestinian rejectionism of the two states for two peoples solution. You cannot support a campaign that opposes the existence of Israel and claim that this is due to your love of Israel.
Peace is the enemy of the boycott campaign, and the boycott campaign is the enemy of peace.

The ‘lifelong Zionists’ who called for an Israel boycott
An Op-Ed co-written last Friday by two American Jewish professors has stirred Internet controversy, with the focus largely on their use of four words: “We are lifelong Zionists.”
Professors Steven Levitsky and Glen Weyl began their Washington Post Op-Ed with those words before launching into a nuanced call for an economic boycott of Israel.
Some of their points, such as their accusation that Israel “permanently denies basic rights” to Palestinians, are well-worn mantras of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (although Weyl later stated that he and Levitsky are not fans of the BDS model). Others, such as their idea of consciously applying a double standard to Israel to induce change, are more original.
But most of the responses in the Post and beyond addressed the professors’ Zionist disclaimer. Many people challenged the idea that the status of Levitsky, of Harvard University, and Weyl, of the University of Chicago, as “progressive” Zionist Jews lent weight to their critique of Israel.
Israel “Lovers” Promote BDS in the Washington Post
David Bernstein (credit to the Washington Post for hosting his critical comments) makes an important point while demonstrating that Levitsky and Weyl represent a tiny, fringe proportion of American Jewry:
Yet The Post (which hosts this blog) and even more so the New York Times feel the need every so often to publish an “I’m a left-wing Jewish academic and I’m disgusted and fed up with Israel” article, even by people who have no particular expertise in the subject beyond what you might find from any interested American Jew you picked at random. I’m not sure what finding a Jew or two here or there out of 6.5 million to articulate an anti-Israel position is supposed to prove, but apparently the opinion editors think there’s a substantial market for such pieces.
HonestReporting Managing Editor Simon Plosker adds:
Steven Levitsky and Glen Weyl are the equivalent of child abusers who claim to love their children while at the same time beating them for their own good. This is just the type of love that leads to harm for both the abuser and the victim.
By promoting BDS on the pages of the Washington Post, Levitsky and Weyl have surrendered their right to call themselves Zionists or supporters of Israel. That the Post has chosen to give two token Jewish BDS supporters the time of day merely demonstrates that both the aforementioned academics and the newspaper are divorced from reality.
How is it that something like this can be published at the same time that Israelis are suffering from an appalling Palestinian wave of terror?
A Complete Guide to "Normalizing"
For the Palestinian activists and their hard left enablers: A guide to "normalizing", from the extremist PACBI.
Don't you dare humanize anyone who disagrees with you. Don't even think it.
Its about "institutions", not "individuals'. This will give you a convenient out if you are accused of "McCarthyite" tactics and blacklisting. (But shhhh. You know as well as I do that its about individuals that disagree with you.)
There can be no solution to the conflict that leaves Israel intact. Treat anyone who disagrees as an enemy.
Justice = Just us. Just us. Just us. Just us. Got it? Good.
More advice for Palestinian activists and enablers:
Avoid genuine peace-seekers. Treat sincere attempts at dialog as an existential threat to your dignity. Speaking outside of your usual echo-chamber may subject you to inconvenient truths, and therefore should be avoided. Complain loudly about being silenced while refusing to talk to anyone who disagrees with you. That's the battle-cry of an authentic Palestinian activist.
IsraellyCool: Teach Jews Some Arabic
The Jerusalem Post has a report that the education system here wants to get serious about teaching Arabic to all kids. I love this idea. I wish they’d properly teach English, Arabic and Hebrew to every kid here.
You know what I think would happen if all Israelis learned Arabic? Israelis would notice how much they really hate us on their official media channels and they’ll notice that they rarely hate Zionists and often hate Yehud. We wouldn’t have to wait for MEMRI and PMW to translate everything.
Do remember that a sizeable number of Jews do come from homes that used to speak Arabic, I know the children of current generations of Sephardic and Misrachi Jews have declining Arabic but some still learn it (or learn to understand it). And these are often the right leaning voters the left are scared of.
So be careful what you wish for, happy-clappy, coexisters: I’m far from convinced that if we understand our neighbours better, we’re more likely to be able to live peacefully.
JCPA: Secrets under the Al-Aqsa Mosque: A Photographic Essay
The 1927 Earthquake Revealed More about the Mosque
The current Mufti surely knows that the Al Aqsa Mosque suffered a major collapse during an earthquake in 1927. Renovation took several years, and in that period at least two Christian photographers, including British archeologist Robert Hamilton, ventured into and under the mosque. Hamilton, from the British Archaeological Authority, “photographed, sketched, excavated and analyzed” what he saw, according to Nadav Shragai, a scholar on Jerusalem, writing in Yisrael HaYom. But Hamilton promised the Islamic Authorities, the Waqf, that he would make “no mention of any findings that the Muslims would have found inconvenient” such as findings from the time of the Jewish Temples. The photographers documented the mosaics, passageways, cisterns, and lumber that apparently were part of the Temples.
Many of Hamilton’s photos may be viewed today on the site of the British Authority’s successor, the Israel Antiquities Authority. Other pictures may be found in the Library of Congress’ archives of the American Colony photographers.
Under the Al Aqsa Ruins
The two photographers documented what they found under the al Aqsa ruins, on the other side of the sealed “Double Gate” (Sha’arei Chulda) along the interior of the southern wall of the Temple Mount. The American Colony photographer captioned this picture, “The Temple area. The Double Gate. Ancient entrance to temple beneath el Aksa.”
Puncturing the False Hopes of Peace
The recent murder campaign demonstrates that Palestinian national identity remains inextricably tied with the effort to deny Jews any rights to any part of the land as well as the holy places. That may change someday if the Palestinians undergo a sea change in their thinking about the conflict that will enable them to get beyond the blood lust and anti-Semitism that still dominates, as the New York Times reported last week, their popular culture.
Until then, what Israelis and their friends need are cool heads and continued determination to prosper and grow in strength, in spite of the continued conflict as they have for the last 67 years since gaining independence. Whether he eventually changed his mind about the peace process or not, Rabin would never have been able to force the Palestinians to make peace if they had no desire to do so. Neither can Netanyahu.
Rabin’s successor will be criticized for his gloomy prediction of Israel having to still live by the sword. But he’s still right that it is impossible for Israel to make peace by itself while Palestinians remain mired in their hate-filled fantasies and led by weak, cynical inciters like Abbas. Though it wasn’t what a lot of people, especially here in the United States want to hear, Netanyahu told us more sense about the conflict than all the high-flown rhetoric about the need for Israelis to honor Rabin’s memory by re-dedicating themselves to the cause of peace that was said elsewhere.
Ya’alon: There is no West Bank settlement freeze
Israel plans to continue to build responsibly in Judea and Samaria, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said on Sunday, attempting to dispel rumors that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had promised the Americans he would stop Jewish building in the West Bank.
“We haven’t frozen construction,” Ya’alon told Israel Radio. “No decision was taken to do so.”
The only freeze Netanyahu has ever imposed was a moratorium on settlement starts for ten months from November 2009 to September 2010. That moratorium was the result of American pressure, but in the end, it didn’t lead to anything, Ya’alon noted.
“Since then we have been building,” he said.
One of the Palestinians’ criteria for the resumption of talks with Israel is a freeze on settlement construction and Jewish building in Judea and Samaria. It has also turned to the International Criminal Court, which has yet to make a decision on the issue.
The US has termed such construction as harmful to the peace process, but Ya’alon said he didn’t believe that halting building over the pre- 1967 lines would move the peace process forward. “The Palestinians didn’t come to the [negotiating] table even when we froze construction,” Ya’alon said.
V15 is still alive – and now it’s campaigning for peace
V15-ONEVOICE’S management spoke to the Post before the current wave of Palestinian terrorism spread beyond Jerusalem and the West Bank and stabbings became a daily occurrence, but it still admitted that its latest campaign could be an uphill battle, with widespread Israeli skepticism about the Palestinians’ willingness to make peace.
Bronstein said the NGO’s “message today is that Israel has to choose its future. It has to act today and be active today in choosing a reality of two states."
"We can’t choose our partner.There will never be an ideal partner on the other side, and if we wait for one, we’ll have terrorism forever.”
"Even if a final peace settlement is unrealistic in the short term, OneVoice proposes preparatory unilateral steps, like evacuating isolated settlements, to work toward an eventual two-state solution, Bronstein explained.
“We can send signals that we’re prepared for two states,” she said.
“It builds trust on the other side, prepares Israel for the reality and shows what our endgame is: We don’t want one state from the Jordan to the sea. We want two states, one of which is the nationstate of the Jewish people, our state. We have a real concern that managing the conflict will lead to one state, which will stop being the Jewish nation-state.”
Speaking on Tuesday, after a bloody morning of four terrorist attacks, Basson said V15-OneVoice’s latest project is as relevant as ever.
“In this cycle of bloodshed, we have to initiate and not just respond. That is what we always believed,” he said.
In break, top EU official moots Israel-Palestine ‘confederation’
The Israeli-Palestinian could be solved either through a two-state solution or a “confederation,” a top European Union official said last week, in what appears to be a suggestion in sharp contrast to official EU policy.
“Peace in the Middle East is possible only if the mother of all conflicts, the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, is resolved and both peoples live together in two states or a confederation,” Martin Schulz, the president of the European Parliament, said Thursday during a speech in Düsseldorf, according to a report in a German Jewish weekly.
It is unclear what exactly Schulz meant when he invoked the term “confederation” (Staatenbund in German) as an alternative to a two-state solution. Staatenbund usually refers to a league of states in which each state retains full sovereignty.
The EU’s declared foreign policy unambiguously calls for a two-state solution. “A negotiated two state solution is the only way to bring the lasting peace and security that both Israelis and Palestinians deserve,” EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said earlier this month.
European Union briefly invokes ‘State of Palestine’
A statement published by the union’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, initially referred to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas “the President of the State of Palestine Mahmoud Abbas.”
The European Parliament and parliaments from several EU member states have recognized a Palestinian state, as has the government of Sweden.
But the union’s External Action Service – its foreign policy branch – has not followed suit, avoiding any mentioning of the phrase “State of Palestine.”
A few hours after Mogherini’s statement was posted on the EEAS website it was amended to refer to the Palestinian leader as “Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.”
Responding to a question as to whether the EU had recognized a Palestinian state, the Twitter feed of the EU’s mission in Israel explained that “this was just a technical error that has already been corrected.”
At Rabin memorial, Netanyahu blames PA for failed peace efforts
Addressing the Knesset during a special session honoring the late prime minister Yitzhak Rabin on the 20th anniversary of his assassination, Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday blamed the failure of peace talks on the Palestinians’ refusal to recognize the right of the Jewish state to exist.
Netanyahu said that the prime minister’s death “joins a list of traumatic events in the history of our people, which stemmed from fanaticism and the pitting of a man against his brother.”
But the focus of the prime minister’s speech, his second on Monday honoring Rabin, focused on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that his predecessor sought to end.
“There is a profound reason why we didn’t achieve peace,” said Netanyahu, who, as Likud leader, was a vocal opponent of the Oslo Accords during the last Rabin government. “[The Palestinians] aren’t prepared to recognize once and for all the national state of the Jewish people, they are not truly prepared to end the conflict and give up the dream of returning to Haifa, Jaffa and Acre.”
Arab members of the Knesset walked out of the plenum in response to Netanyahu’s remarks.
J.K. Rowling defends decision to oppose cultural boycott of Israel
J.K. Rowling has defended her decision to oppose a cultural boycott of Israel in a post on her Twitter account.
The Harry Potter author was criticized by a number of her fans on social media after she was announced as one of the 150 British artists who signed an open letter, published by The Guardian last week, espousing the value of cultural engagement with the Jewish state over a cultural boycott.
On Monday, Rowling addressed “a number of readers asking for more information about why I am not joining a cultural boycott of Israel,” stating that she had “never heard of a cultural boycott ending a bloody and prolonged conflict.”
Rowling argued on Twitter that the impact of a cultural boycott would be felt predominantly by ordinary Israelis and not by the Israeli administration who would be able to affect change, writing that she has “deplored most of Mr Netanyahu’s actions in office,” referring to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Guardian publishes pro-BDS ad by privileged Britons hostile to #Israel’s existence
If you want to see the propaganda which informed the British academics’ decision to boycott the Jewish state – and only the Jewish state – go to their Frequently Asked Questions page, which contains libels and falsehoods more befitting Electronic Intifada and Mondoweiss than the manifesto of putatively serious commentators.
Such agitprop passing for serious thought includes the charge that Israel operates under a rubric of (Apartheid South African-style) racial laws, that there are “settler-only” roads and that the state is engaged in a campaign of “ethnic cleansing” of the Palestinians.
In responding the question of why they would target the nation’s academics (a group disproportionately on the left side of the Israeli political spectrum) they quote extremist commentator Gideon Levy of Ha’aretz arguing that every Israeli institution is tainted by the occupation.
They also respond to accusations that a boycott of the Jewish state is antisemitic. After citing a quote by Omar Barghouti, a leading figure in the boycott movement who rejects Israel’s existence within any borders and who’s on record supporting the Palestinian ‘right’ to violent resistance, claiming that BDS is an inherently anti-racist movement, they then attempt to turn the table on their Jewish critics with the following smear:
The clear intention of many allegations of antisemitism is to deflect criticism of Israel, to intimidate critics and to silence serious debate.
Of course, that’s the dictionary definition of the Livingstone formulation – essentially an ad hominem attack on the Jewish community, and one which imputes bad faith and malevolence to anti-racists who note the antisemitic pedigree of such boycott movements.
David Collier: The *dangerous* idiots of academia
In telling Palestinians not to negotiate, boycotting Israel is part of the ongoing war against the Jewish state. Forget the fact that Arabs openly call to kill Jews, forget the fact that the Arabs are refusing to negotiate, forget the fact that in the last few weeks, deliberate religious incitement has been used to reignite the conflict, forget all of that; just by using the overtly flawed logic they use, anyone, and I mean anyone, who entertains the notion that BDS is a cause of peaceful protest is either an antisemite or an idiot.
Last week at SOAS in the middle of what was supposed to be an academic exercise, there were several references to upcoming surprises, or ‘initiatives’ as the anti-Israeli academic activists described them. I call them anti-Israeli activists rather than pro-Palestinians for a simple reason; it is the focus of their attention. Although they were at a meeting for ‘Palestine’, all they talked about what how much they hated Israel. I heard not a single productive word in two entire days on anything that would actually help a single Palestinian – thus these people are ‘anti’ rather than ‘pro’. Theirs is an activism driven by hate.
In any event, today (27/10) in the Guardian was yet another letter signed by anti-Israeli activists, all academics working in jobs that teach our children. This I suppose was one of the ‘initiatives’ Ilan Pappe had promised us at SOAS. 343 signatures in total, although as it specifcally states, the advert is also a clear call for more to join their cause. 26 of these original 343 come from SOAS, a university specifically named and shamed as a university that gives the floor to extremist speakers.
Daphne Anson: In Britain, A Scholarly Roll of Shame
The well-known left-leaning Zionist academic David Hirsh of Goldsmith's College, London University, who runs the Engage website, had this to say when a Guardian journalist contacted him for comment:
"The campaign to single out Israelis for exclusion from the global academic community is highly menacing.
It seeks to punish Israeli scholars for the crimes, both real and imagined, of their government in a way that is quite inconsistent with our usual attitude to fellow scholars and with our own relationships to our own governments.
We have learnt that the drive to punish Israelis brings in its wake antisemitic exclusions and antisemitic ways of thinking here on UK campuses. We have seen Jews who don't support the boycott denounced as Nazis and racists.
The boycott campaign sets up a presumption that Jewish academics are in some sense collaborators, a presumption which pressurises Jewish colleagues to keep quiet, to put on displays of political cleanliness or to stand in the dock for Israel.
The boycott campaign rejects the politics of peace, a politics in which Israeli academics have always been central. Instead it embraces the politics of silencing, the politics of war by other means, the politics of waving one national flag against the other. We ought to build links between UK universities and Palestinian and Israeli ones, not try to smash them; we ought to communicate more, not less; we ought to be for peace not for war.
British academics call for Israel boycott in Guardian ad
The Israeli embassy in the UK published a scathing response to the ad, saying, "Boycott movements only aim to sow hatred and alienation between the sides, rather than promoting coexistence.
"The only path to advancing peace between Israelis and Palestinians passes through the negotiation room. Israel has called time and again for the renewal of talks immediately, without any preconditions. Those who call for a boycott against Israel during a month which saw 45 stabbing attacks- in which more than 100 Israelis were wounded, and 10 were murdered – blatantly ignore the lives of Israelis, and the conditions necessary for peace," the statement concluded.
In light of the ad, not a single British University has formally boycotted Israel. British Ambassador in Israel, David Quarrey, responded to letter saying, "The British Government firmly opposes calls to boycott Israel. We are deeply committed to promoting the UK’s academic and scientific ties with Israel, as part the flourishing partnership between the two countries. The reality is one of rapidly strengthening trade and tech links between Britain and Israel. As David Cameron has said, the UK Government will never allow those who want to boycott Israel to shut down 60 years worth of vibrant exchange and partnership that does so much to make both our countries stronger."
British ambassador: We firmly oppose calls to boycott Israel
Britain’s ambassador to Israel on Monday evening stressed that the UK is opposed to boycotts of Israel, after a group of 343 British university professors signed a letter supporting such a boycott, which will appear as a full-page advertisement in the Guardian newspaper on Tuesday.
“The British Government firmly opposes calls to boycott Israel. We are deeply committed to promoting the UK’s academic and scientific ties with Israel, as part the flourishing partnership between the two countries,” Ambassador David Quarrey said in a statement.
“The reality is one of rapidly strengthening trade and tech links between Britain and Israel. As David Cameron has said, the UK Government will never allow those who want to boycott Israel to shut down 60 years worth of vibrant exchange and partnership that does so much to make both our countries stronger,” he added.
Expert Urges Israeli Government to Fight the Media War
Manfred Gerstenfeld: The War of a Million Cuts is not limited to a description and analysis of the essence of the entire delegitimization process and its impact. It also presents a practical plan of action to fight this process. The book begins with an explanation of how contemporary anti-Israelism and the two classic types of anti-Semitism, religious and ethnic, overlap, especially insofar as similar motifs are concerned.
The core hate theme of all three types of anti-Semitism is that Jews, and nowadays Israel, represent absolute evil. In our times, ‘absolute evil’ in a country or a people is commonly portrayed as Nazi-like behavior. Over 40% of the European Union’s adult population think that Israel is Nazi-like in its attitude toward the Palestinians. This finding of many polls is a well-hidden secret in both Europe and Israel.
My book furthermore describes and analyzes the main hate messages against Israel. It presents a breakdown of the main perpetrator groups including media, academics, the extreme left and right, NGOs, social democrats, certain church leaders, trade unions etc.
This is followed by a description of how the anti-Israeli hatemongers get their messages to the public and how much damage they have already done to the Jews and Israel. The greatest innovation of the book, however, is that there is a long chapter on how to fight anti-Israelism.
BBC’s Connolly contorts Israeli – and British – history to fit his political narrative
But Connolly’s politically motivated framing of the story reaches its zenith in his inaccurate portrayal of the history of Jerusalem.
“Even the British – eternally torn between the desire to have an empire and the desire to have an empire on the cheap – left some kind of mark.”
“British rule lasted more than thirty years in the Holy Land.”

Mandate Palestine was not of course part of the British Empire, as Connolly implies in those two proximate statements. Britain indeed administered the Mandate for Palestine, but that mandate was established (along with several others) by the League of Nations with the specific aim of reconstituting a Jewish national home: a task which the administrator did not complete in the years before it returned that mandate to the League of Nations’ successor, the United Nations, on May 14th 1948.
Having distorted one very relevant part of the history by erasing the Mandate for Palestine from audience view, Connolly then goes on to promote a blatant factual inaccuracy.
“The British left in 1948, leaving the Arab kingdom of Jordan in control of East Jerusalem and the Old City and West Jerusalem in Israeli hands.”
The uninformed listener would obviously take that statement to mean that Jordanian control over parts of Jerusalem was both recognised and perfectly legitimate: the result of their having been handed over to it by the previous ‘landlord’.
Despite having erased from the picture the fact that Jordanian occupation of parts of Jerusalem actually came about by means of a belligerent invasion of Israel by Jordan (together with four other Arab nations) immediately following Britain’s abandonment of its role as administrator of the League of Nations mandate and Israel’s declaration of independence, Connolly goes on to include a demilitarized zone (surely unexplainable according to his version of events) in his story.
PR Man: Leftist NGO Got WSJ to Print Piece on 'Racist' Israel
A Wall Street Journal report Monday that underplayed the savagery of the current Arab murder campaign against Israelis, and focused instead on alleged Jewish "racism," was engineered by a New Israel Fund-financed NGO, according to an Israeli media expert.
The report highlighted the tragic event that played out when a Bedouin security guard mistook an Eritrean national for a terrorist in the course of Sunday's savage terror attack in Be'er Sheva, and shot him. The mistake appears to have been made because the real terrorist, also a Bedouin Arab, had a dark complexion.
Media expert Nisan Ze'evi provided a behind-the-scenes account of the preparations for the WSJ report on his Facebook age Monday, hours before the report aired.
"In the morning hours," Ze'evi related, "I am contacted by a Wall Street Journal reporter. Let's call him Rudy. Rudy is the Middle East reporter, and is usually stationed in Dubai."
BBC News gets Israel’s capital city right – and then ‘corrects’
The saga of the BBC’s persistent refusal to tell its audiences that the capital city of Israel is Jerusalem is of course already long. Its most recent chapter began with a television report broadcast on BBC Two’s ‘Newsnight’ on October 14th.
As seen in the video below, diplomatic correspondent Mark Urban rightly referred to Jerusalem as “Israel’s capital” towards the end of the report (6:57).
Two days later, the following announcement appeared on the BBC’s online ‘corrections & clarifications’ page.
EU lawmakers fined for Nazi salutes, images in parliament
The European Parliament has sanctioned an Italian lawmaker who wore a T-shirt with an image combining Adolf Hitler and German Chancellor Angela Merkel during a plenary session two weeks ago.
The assembly said in a statement on Tuesday that it fined Gianluca Buonanno 3,060 euros ($3,378) and suspended him from activities in parliament for 10 days.
He is still allowed to vote.
During a later debate with Merkel present, Buonanno wore a Hitler-style mustache and gave a Nazi salute.
Polish deputy Janusz Korwin-Mikke received the same sanction for using a Nazi salute in the assembly in July.
Polish church decrees anti-Semitism a sin
The Polish Episcopate has declared Anti-Semitism is a sin just ahead of the 50th anniversary of the issuance of a Papal proclamation that revolutionized Catholic- Jewish relations.
According to Radio Poland, the local branch of the Church issued a pastoral letter asserting that “anti-Semitism and anti-Judaism are sins against the love of thy neighbor” and that “Christian-Jewish dialogue must never be treated as ‘the religious hobby,’” but rather “should increasingly become part of the mainstream of pastoral work.”
The letter admitted that the Nazi genocide of Jews on Polish soil was “sometimes met with indifference among certain Christians” and that “if Christians and Jews had practiced religious brotherhood in the past, more Jews would have found help and support from Christians.”
“The love of thy neighbor, and the spiritual bond with our older brothers in the faith obliges us to care for the places that bear witness to the centuries-long presence of Jews in Poland and the memory of their contribution to the culture of our multi-national and multi-religious country,” the letter stated.
Wednesday will mark 50 years since Pope Paul VI issued the Nostra Aetate, which stated that “God holds the Jews most dear for the sake of their Fathers” and absolved the Jews from culpability in the death of Jesus.
15 Israeli wearable techs that will disrupt our lives
Google bombed with Glass, and Apple Watch sales are sluggish so far. Yet the success of many other wearable devices such as Fitbit attests that we’re living in the era of wearing, rather than holding, our connected devices. By 2018, the global wearables market is expected to reach a value of $19 billion.
Israeli companies are right in the thick of it, pioneering core technology and retail products for this market. One prime example is Pebbles Interface of Kfar Saba, a virtual- and augmented-reality technology for wearable gaming devices, acquired last July by Facebook’s Oculus Rift.
“I think a lot of the wearables will come out of Israel,” predicted American tech evangelist Robert Scoble at Israel’s inaugural WearableTech Conference in May 2014. Scoble singled out Omek Interactive gesture-recognition software bought by Intel and PrimeSense motion-tracking chip technology acquired by Apple.
Here are 15 of the Israeli wearables already revolutionizing how we monitor our health and the well-being of our children, and how we play games.
Michael Bolton makes first visit to Israel
Crooner Michael Bolton landed in Israel Monday, according to his Twitter account, but with no hints as to why he’s here.
The singer-songwriter posted a photo of himself in front of the entrance to the terminal of Ben Gurion International Airport, commenting that it’s his first time in Israel and that he was excited to be here, even for a short trip.
The comments on his tweet varied from welcomes and wishes for a good trip to questions as to why Bolton would visit Israel, support an apartheid terrorist entity and fail to support the Boycott Divestment and Sanction movement.
Bolton, known for his tender, heartfelt ballads, didn’t offer any answers, except to ask fans what place is on the top of their travel list.
Sean Penn to Visit Israel for Conference on Haiti as Guest of IsraAID
Hollywood actor Sean Penn, 55, will visit Israel in November as a guest of the Israeli humanitarian organization the Israel Forum for International Humanitarian Aid (IsraAID) to participate in a conference on rebuilding Haiti after the 2010 earthquake that occurred in the island nation.
Penn has visited and volunteered in Haiti along with Israeli volunteers several times. In one visit, he met with former Israeli president Shimon Peres, according to Yedioth Ahronoth.
“I think that the power that the U.S. gave to Israel has made it a powerful country and has thus pushed peace further away,” Penn, whose later father was Jewish, has previously told Israeli media.
Major Rainstorms in Israel Lead to Discovery of 1,500-Year-Old Winery
The recent severe rainstorms that swept through the Sharon region of Israel have led to the discovery of a 1,500-year-old winepress, The Jerusalem Post reported Monday.
Archaeologist Alla Nagorski said that the site was discovered several weeks ago when excavation at a site for for natural gas lines was halted by flooding.
When water was pumped from the site, Nagorski said the well-preserved winery was found, which she described as impressive and rare.
“It is evident that great thought was invested in the engineering and construction,” she said. “The winepress is huge – 3 meters in diameter and 2 meters deep, and could accommodate 20 cubic meters of wine.”
Nagorski said numerous other winepresses have been exposed in the Sharon area, where the wine industry once thrived. In addition to the winepress a warehouse was discovered housing jars, Nagorski added.

Earlier this year, 5,000-year old Egyptian pottery used to make beer was found at a Tel Aviv construction site.

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This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 19 years and 40,000 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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