Tuesday, November 17, 2015

From Ian:

Matti Friedman: Book Review Winning the War of Words: Essays on Zionism and Israel
In my favourite piece here Wilf recounts a conversation with a Lebanese colleague, a Christian, who tells her, ‘We miss you’, meaning not that he misses her personally but that the Arab world misses the nearly one million Jews pushed out of the lands of Islam in the 20th century. From our vantage point in 2015 it seems that what happened to the Jews of the Middle East was only the first fissure in the regional landscape, only the first erasure of an ancient regional minority; others have followed and are following, the Christians among them, without a state of their own to flee to. ‘It is never really about the Jews,’ Wilf writes. ‘That is why it never ends with them. Hatred of Jews is about those who hate – not about those who are hated.’
That analysis, with which I must agree, is why I have my doubts about another of Wilf’s observations about intellectual efforts on behalf of Israel: ‘while victory in this battle, as in others, is not likely to be swift, with the proper resources, organization, and determination it is within reach.’ I don’t think this is the case, just as I don’t think that eloquent explanations in the 1920s could have convinced Germans that Jewish bankers were not manipulating the financial markets for their own devious gain, or that skilful essays or speeches could have countered the idea in capitalist countries that Bolshevism was a Jewish plot. No ‘war of words’, however skilful, can defeat the anti-Jewish obsession that crops up with unfortunate regularity in world history, of which today’s anti-Israel fixation is merely the most recent incarnation. Explanations of Israel’s complexities in the real world will have a limited effect not just because they are necessarily complicated, but because the Israel obsession – in the manner of obsessions – isn’t really about Israel at all, or about the real world. These pathologies can perhaps be tempered on the margins but cannot be made to go away.
An involvement with the Jewish state ‘is not for the fainthearted,’ Wilf writes: the country never promised to make it easy for anyone and indeed has never done so, like ‘a high-maintenance girlfriend,’ at once impossible and irresistible. ‘In return for never-ending efforts to woo her, not a trace of gratitude is to be offered – barely an appreciative smile.’ Wilf seems tough enough to keep it up nonetheless. Her efforts are crucial, and there is no reason to expect them to be less necessary or easier anytime soon.
“Zionism is Racism” Ideology Lives on at the United Nations
Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said at the event commemorating Chaim Herzog’s speech denouncing the “Zionism Is Racism” resolution that the “reputation of the United Nations was badly damaged by the adoption of resolution 3379, in and beyond Israel and the wider Jewish community.” He noted how Mr. Herzog had spoken up “forcefully in defense of Zionism, the Jewish national movement.”
Yet on the same day he made his remarks in recognition of the moral strength of Mr. Herzog’s “defense of Zionism, the Jewish national movement,” Ban Ki-moon nominated an individual to serve as the new United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, who showed hostility to Israel in his previous position as Commissioner-General of UNRWA. Filippo Grandi, Ban Ki-moon’s nominee, has advocated policies that would completely undermine the continued viability of a Jewish state.
“A bid for statehood does not in and of itself address the plight of the refugees,” Grandi said back in 2011. “There is no doubt in my mind that there can be no just and durable peace in the Middle East unless some five million refugees are brought out of their 63-year state of dispossession and exile.”
Less than one-sixth of this five million figure had actually experienced “dispossession” – which often was the result of a voluntary choice. Using the five million “refugee” figure, Grandi was advocating that all of these Palestinians classified as “refugees” before Palestinian independence would retain that classification even after the creation of an independent Palestinian state and the achievement of complete Palestinian self-determination. In other words, these five million Palestinians would get to choose whether to stay in the new state of Palestine or relocate to the adjoining state of Israel en masse and potentially destroy Israeli self-determination to remain a Jewish state.
In sum, while the evening commemorating Chaim Herzog’s historic speech was filled with stirring words recognizing Zionism as a positive and legitimate expression of self-determination for the Jewish people, business-as-usual at the United Nations continues to support the Palestinians’ victimhood narrative wrapped up in lies and rejectionism.
No truth to Gaza ship warrants of arrest – South African police
South African authorities have not issued warrants of arrest against officers in the Israeli military in connection with the so-called “Freedom Flotilla” of ships attempting to break a blockade in the Gaza strip region in 2010.
This is contrary to claims earlier on Tuesday by the Media Review Network (MRN) and BDS South Africa.
National police spokesman‚ Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi‚ denied the MRN claims.
"There is no truth to this. No arrest warrants have been issued for any of the people mentioned‚” he said. “We have checked with our Interpol and our Crimes Against The State officials and they deny any such thing."

What to know about Jonathan Pollard’s upcoming release
Jonathan Pollard, the American spy for Israel sentenced to life in prison in 1987, is due to be released on parole on Saturday, 30 years after his arrest.
The former U.S. Navy analyst’s exit from a federal prison in Butner, North Carolina (where he reportedly befriended Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff), follows three decades of intrigue that have included charges of anti-Semitism against top U.S. officials, allegations that Pollard offered his services to other countries and his becoming a card in Middle East peace talks.
While those close to Pollard, 61, say security considerations keep them from revealing details of his release — and U.S. government officials are not returning calls about it — an examination of recent interviews with Pollard’s lawyers reveals some tangible details about the life Pollard will lead outside of the prison walls.
Pollard could be out by Shabbat.
According to the website of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Pollard is slated to be released on Nov. 21. But that falls on a Saturday – Shabbat – and Pollard is now a Sabbath observer. Pollard’s lawyers have suggested in interviews that they have secured the parole commission’s agreement to allow Pollard to leave the day before.
His dream is to make aliyah.
Eliot Lauer, a Pollard lawyer, told the Israeli daily Yedioth Acharonot last month that Pollard’s dream is to immigrate to Israel. But he’ll need President Barack Obama’s say-so, and that’s not happening in the near term.
Congressmen: Let Pollard make aliyah in exchange for citizenship
Two senior Democratic Congressman have written a letter to the US Department of Justice urging "fair consideration" of Jonathan Pollard's wish to emigrate to Israel upon his release this week.
On Friday, Congressman Jerrold Nadler (NY-10), Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet; and Congressman Eliot Engel (NY-16), Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, appealed directly to US Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch to consider Jonathan Pollard's "expressed desire to reunite with his family in Israel following his 30 year prison sentence."
In their letter, they noted that authorities have acknowledged that there is "no reasonable probability" that the convicted spy would commit any future crimes after his release. However, reports suggest President Barack Obama will not intervene to wave a five-year ban on Pollard leaving the United States after his release. Given Pollard's poor health, many campaigners have warned such a lengthy ban could preclude him from ever being reunited with his wife.
"Pollard understands that, as a condition of being permitted to move to Israel, he may need to renounce his American citizenship," the Congressman wrote. "Despite the serious consequences that may follow such a decision, including being permanently barred from returning to the United States, he is willing to undertake this extraordinary measure."
Engel and Nadler noted that there was a recent precedent to honoring such a request.
First French-Jewish Families Arrive in Israel After Paris Terror Attacks
The first two French Jewish families to move to Israel since Friday’s ISIS terrorist attacks arrived Monday. “After the attacks, people tried not to leave their homes – it was scary,” said Daniel Ventura, who came with his wife and two young girls. “For two years we’ve lived with insecurity and wanted to make aliyah. I would not want my children to live, learn and get married in France.”
The two families were met by representatives of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews at Tel Aviv’s Ben-Gurion Airport. The foundation is involved in helping more Jews from France immigrate to Israel.
Over the weekend, IFCJ founder and president, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, said his organization would help any French Jew who wants to make aliyah. At the same time, the fellowship announced it was expanding emergency security aid to French-Jewish communal institutions.
“Alongside millions of Christian supporters of Israel, we stand with the beleaguered Jews of France, whether by helping bring those who want to start new lives in Israel, or better protecting the French-Jewish community and its institutions,” said Eckstein. “The fellowship is committed to protecting Jewish communities in need around the world and to helping those seeking to immigrate.”
Shin Bet Says October Was Worst Month for Terrorism in Jerusalem, West Bank in Last 9 Years
Last October saw the greatest number of terrorist attacks in Jerusalem and the West Bank of any other month over the last nine years, Israel’s domestic intelligence agency announced on Monday according to Channel 10 news.
According to the Shin Bet figures, some 602 terrorist attacks were committed in October, more than in the months around the last three Israeli Defense Forces operations in the Gaza Strip against Hamas: Protective Edge, Pillar of Defense and Cast Lead.
At the same time, the number of Israeli casualties has also been higher than in previous years: 11 Israelis were killed in Palestinian terrorist attacks in October, as opposed to five people in all of 2013.
Also, more Israelis – civilian and security personnel – were wounded in October than in entire previous years: 80 individuals suffered moderate or serious injuries in terrorist attacks throughout October of this year, while the number was 63 in 2014, and 42 in 2013.
The report noted that this represented the most serious month, in casualties from terrorist attacks against Israelis, since the building of the so-called security barrier separating Israel and much of the West Bank.
UN accuses Israel of 'excessive force' in fighting terror
Israeli security forces have used "excessive force" and "may have carried out summary executions against Palestinians," UN experts claimed Monday, blaming the terror war against Israelis and Jews on the victims.
"Cases of excessive use of force by Israeli forces against Palestinians, including some which appear to amount to summary executions, continue to be reported," said the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in the Palestinian Territories, Makarim Wibisono, and the expert on summary executions, Christof Heyns.
They called for an "end to the violence by all and strict compliance with international law," AFP reports.
"We urge the authorities to carry out independent, thorough, prompt and impartial investigations into all suspected cases of extra-judicial, arbitrary and summary executions, and to provide compensation to the victims or their families," the UN experts said.
The UN condemnation follows damning statistics published earlier Monday proving October to be the worst month for terror in Israel since 2006.
Khaled Abu Toameh: Poll: Majority of Palestinians support third intifada against Israel
More than half of the Palestinians support a third intifada against Israel, according to a public opinion poll published on Monday.
The poll, which was conducted by the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion, also found that 48 percent of respondents would like to see Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas quit.
The poll, conducted between November 12 and 18, covered some 1,000 Palestinians.
About 50% of respondents said that the current wave of violence paves the way for a third intifada.
Thirty-two percent described that violence as an intifada.
Forty-two percent of respondents support an armed intifada, as opposed to 30% who want it to be “peaceful.” Another 29% said they were completely opposed to any intifada against Israel.
Police raid Red Crescent offices in East Jerusalem
Members of the Israel Police on Tuesday evening raided an office belonging the Palestinian Red Crescent rescue service in East Jerusalem.
Police spokeswoman Luba Samri said the objective of the raid could not currently be revealed.
According to social media accounts, the raid took place at a PRC office in Silwan. It is not clear if any arrests were made.
After a shooting attack on Friday that killed Rabbi Yaakov Litman and his 18-year-old son Netanel, the family’s 16-year-old son called Israel’s emergency service to report the attack, and told the Magen David Adom operator that a Red Crescent ambulance happened to be driving by and saw the injured family, but declined to stop and help them.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday demanded an explanation from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) as to why the ambulance ignored the wounded Israelis.
Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon told UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday that the Palestinian ambulance had effectively aided the terrorists.
Terror orphan Sarah announces huge wedding
Sarah-Tehiya Litman, 21, whose father and brother were murdered by terrorists on Friday, and who was supposed to get married to Ariel Bigel on Tuesday, has announced that the wedding will only be postponed by nine days – and that the entire nation of Israel is invited. The wedding will be held at Binyanei Hauma in Jerusalem.
The invitation-announcement is preceded by the phrase – "Do not rejoice over me, my enemy, for I have fallen but I have gotten up" (Michah 7:8).
"This evening, instead of wearing the bridal dress, I will sit on the floor with a torn shirt," Sarah told the newspaper Yediot Aharonot Tuesday. "But very soon, we will marry in a large and happy wedding. We will go on and be happy as Father and Netanel always were. We will not be crushed."
"This will be the million-person wedding," the couple said. "Multitudes will come to make us happy."
Her groom-to-be Ariel, said Sarah, has become a father for her orphaned siblings before he became a husband. "Now he will fill the space left by my father and brother. My angel in white has a difficult mission."
CNN's Amanpour Blasts Obama's Answers: His Strategy Is Not Working, ISIS Is Not Contained
If you've lost Amanpour ...
CNN gave Obama a hard time today over ISIS, as we noted earlier, and the most surprising part of that surprising hard time was from Christiane Amanpour, who basically flat-out called the President a big fat liar.
Well, not quite, but she certainly said he was dead wrong, as the video above shows.
"He said something that was pretty incredible according to many of the military experts here and around the world that I've spoken to, that our strategy is working. People do not believe that to be the case."
Absolutely right, and with good reason: it isn't working. Amanpour goes on to say that the only strategy that does work is the one he dismisses, which is the use of ground troops. "This is a fact," she says. Then she lays into his preposterous claim that ISIS is contained.
"He's saying that ISIS is contained. This also is not actually true."
Maher: 'Lots of Mainstream' Muslims 'Share Ideas' With Terrorists, Liberals Need To Declare 'No Quarter' for Radicalism
HBO’s “Real Time” host Bill Maher argued that terrorists “share ideas with lots of mainstream people who follow the Islamic religion” and liberals have to declare “No quarter” for those ideas on Monday’s broadcast of CBS’ “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”
He added, “you can’t wipe people out, off the map. That’s not going to happen. What you have to do is wipe out the idea. It would be one thing if the terrorists did not share ideas with lots of mainstream people who follow the Islamic religion, but they do. Unfortunately, if I said to you, ‘Well, if only ISIS believed that anyone who leaves the religion should be killed.’ Well, maybe then we can finally kill all of ISIS, but what if that’s 20, 30, 40% of all Muslim people in the world> You’re not going to kill all of them, are you?”
Maher concluded, “We have to change those ideas, women as second class citizens, gay people don’t deserve to be alive. these are mainstream ideas, unfortunately. And liberals have to say, ‘No quarter, no quarter for those kind of ideas.'”
Legal Action Against Newspaper Which Published 'Islamic Bastards' Paris Attack Front Page
Campaigners are attempting to take down an Italian newspaper after it published a front page reacting to the Paris attacks of Friday night, calling out “Islamic Bastards” for the killing.
Right-wing national daily Libero led on Saturday morning with the headline ‘Bastardi Islamici’ above a story about the Paris terror attacks. Anger about the headline quickly spread on social media, the editor of the paper is being sued, and is the subject of a petition to have him stripped of the ability to work as a journalist in Italy.
Hard-left agitator, sometimes United Nations-backed aid worker and former editor of the now defunct PeaceReporter ‘news’ website Maso Notarianni announced his legal challenge against Libero on Saturday, reports Il Fatto Quotidiano. Posting his legal documents to Twitter, Mr. Notarianni articulated his view that the front page reporting the murder of over 120 civilians by Islamic terrorists had been “criminal and dangerous”.
Liberals #PrayforSyria: Condemn French Airstrikes As 'Terrorism'
The hashtag #PrayforSyria is trending across Europe and into the Middle East as liberals bemoan France’s retaliatory strikes on Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria. Many of the tweets feature images of children apparently killed by the military strikes, but sources within the city have reported zero civilian casualties.
France launched extensive airstrikes against Islamic State strongholds in Syria on Sunday night, following a deadly terrorist attack on Paris on Friday night which claimed the lives of 129 people. Over the weekend, the hashtag #PrayforParis went viral as heart-breaking accounts of the violent attacks made headline news worldwide
But in the early hours of this morning Twitter again erupted – in an outpouring of anger against the French government for daring to hit back. Over the last 12 hours #PrayforSyria has been trending across countries including France, the UK and even Egypt.
Salon: Paris Was Wearing A Short Skirt
We have only ourselves to blame for the Paris outrage, Salon has argued, again – just in case it failed to offend enough people the first time it salivated over the ISIS atrocity as payback time for the West and conservatives especially.
This time the preening apologist for terror is one Patrick L Smith, Salon’s “foreign affairs columnist” and a “longtime correspondent abroad, chiefly for the International Herald Tribune and The New Yorker” as well as “an essayist, critic and editor”.
His piece is headlined:
We brought this on ourselves: After Paris, it is time to square our “values” with our history
The West’s behaved horrifically in Middle East for decades. We can’t be surprised by Paris. Let’s look in a mirror

Smith has certainly stared long and hard into the mirror. And it’s clear he’s infatuated with what he sees.
INDEPENDENT: Showing Solidarity With France Is ‘Corporate, White Supremacy'
Just when you thought the left could not get any more silly in its reaction to the Paris attacks, the Independent newspaper has shown a unique disdain for those showing solidarity with 130 people murdered in cold blood.
Apparently, if you changed your Facebook profile image to a French flag after the Islamist massacre, you’re a white supremacist. Lulu Nunn writes:
If you’ve been on Facebook since last Friday’s attacks in Paris, you could be forgiven for thinking you’d stumbled into the Front National’s image bank – the social media site is currently hosting a flood of French flags, applied via a function enabled by Facebook in the immediate aftermath of the attacks which is, frankly, deeply problematic.
The Ecologist: Paris Massacre May Scupper Climate Talks
Despite the 129 dead and the hundreds more wounded, The Ecologist has cut through all the emotive nonsense about the Paris massacres and identified the real victim of this grisly affair: why, the forthcoming UN climate change conference, of course!
Some would argue that with France in a state of emergency, Paris terrorized, and with many of the bodies so hideously mutilated they haven’t yet been identified, that perhaps it’s a bit too early to make extremely tenuous links between an act of Islamist terrorism and global warming.
But The Ecologist’s Oliver Tickell – son of Margaret Thatcher’s former climate adviser Sir Crispin Tickell – has no such qualms.
He asks:
Is it a coincidence that the terrorist outrage in Paris was committed weeks before COP21, the biggest climate conference since 2009?
HuffPo: Combating Climate Change Is ‘Best Way to Fight ISIS'
The French edition of the Huffington Post went full-Guardian with its response to Friday’s massacre in Paris, insisting there were “several undeniable links between these barbaric and fascist acts by radical Islamists and the climate”.
Mass casualty terror attacks seem to have a strange side effect of sending the leftist Twitterati into a spin, leaving them totally off-note and publishing inappropriate, tone-deaf nonsense. Salon was dishing up family size portions of it almost immediately, rushing out a Saturday editorial linking Islamist murder in Paris with the American right and Fox news and #BlackLivesMatter.
No doubt many will have been upset that Al Gore’s live podcast about climate change from the top of the Eiffel Tower had to be cancelled because of the attacks. Keen not to let this incredibly important narrative be lost in the panic and stress of terrorism, the French Huffington Post have stepped up to the mark with an article they considered so important it has now been ported to the U.S. site:
Trevor Noah: ‘We Know’ Muslims Are Peaceful Because They Haven’t Killed Us All Yet
In the wake of last Friday’s deadly Paris terror attacks, Daily Show host Trevor Noah is defending Islam as a peaceful religion by pointing out that all of Western civilization has yet to be annihilated by Islamic terrorists.
According to Business Insider, during Saturday’s New York Comedy Festival at New York’s Town Hall theater this past weekend, the 31-year-old South African native dedicated a significant portion of his standup routine to discuss a perception of Islam as a religion prone to violence.
“Immediately people say it’s Muslims,” said Noah of the Nov. 13 massacres, which left more than 120 people dead, and another 350-plus wounded in a series of coordinated terrorist attacks in the French capital.
“’It’s Islam. I hate that religion.’” Noah mockingly said of critics of the religion. “It’s not the religion. Islam means peace. I’m not even Muslim, but I’m not even comfortable with this. Islam means peace. It’s so easy now to label it as a terrorist religion.”
While Noah has previously proven that some races and religions, particularly Jews, will receive no quarter from jokes and criticism, the Daily Show host, who is currently overseeing a dramatic decline on overall viewers for Comedy Central, clarified he believes Muslims are overall peaceful.
Presenting the fact that his New York audience was “still alive” as evidence of this argument, Noah refused to connect Islamic jihad with Islam:
Hollywood Retreat: Premiere for Film on Paris Islamic Terror Plot Cancelled, TV Programming Reshuffled
In the aftermath of Friday’s deadly Islamic terror attacks in Paris, the entertainment industry is scrambling to reshuffle projects and premieres, including the premiere of a French film about an Islamic terrorism plot hatched in Paris, which has now been cancelled altogether.
Made in France, a film about a terrorist plot in Paris, was scheduled to debut on Wednesday; however, that premiere has been canceled, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The Pretty Pictures/Radar Films production follows a French Muslim journalist who infiltrates a terror cell in Paris to find out about a jihadist plot.
Due to the nature of the Friday’s attacks and the film’s storyline, Made in France has been postponed until further notice.
“Following the tragic events of last night, the distributor Pretty Pictures and producer Radar Films have immediately decided to postpone the release of the film to a later date,” filmmakers said in a Saturday statement to THR.
Fans Launch Campaign to Get Eagles of Death Metal to Top of UK Singles Chart Following Paris Attack
Fans of the rock group Eagles of Death Metal have launched an online campaign to push the band to the top of the UK singles chart following the deaths of the band’s fans and a crew member in last Friday’s Paris terror attacks.
The band was playing at Paris’s Le Bataclan concert hall on Friday, Nov. 13, when Islamic terrorists attacked as part of a series of strikes again the French capital. While the band’s members were able to make it away safely, their merchandise seller Nick Alexander and 89 fans were killed.
CNN reports that a group of the band’s fans in the UK are uniting to honor the victims of the attack by pushing the band’s single “Save A Prayer” to the top of the charts as a statement of support.
You can listen to the song, which is a cover of the Duran Duran single of the same name, below:
Russia confirms bomb brought down Egypt plane, vows revenge
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin vowed vengeance after Moscow on Tuesday confirmed that a bomb attack brought down a passenger jet over Egypt last month, killing all 224 people on board.
“It is not the first time that Russia confronts barbarous terrorist crimes,” Putin said in a meeting late Monday with his security chiefs.
“The murder of our people in Sinai is among the bloodiest crimes in terms of victims. We will not wipe away the tears from our soul and hearts. This will stay with us forever but will not stop us finding and punishing the criminals,” he said in comments released Tuesday.
“We will search for them anywhere they might hide. We will find them in any part of the world and punish them,” he said, calling the attack “one of the bloodiest crimes.”
Russia’s security chief, Alexander Bortnikov, told Putin that the passenger jet was brought down over the Sinai Peninsula by a bomb with a force equivalent to one kilo of TNT.
Report: Iran Considers Russian Operations in Syria Threat to Islamic Republic’s National Security
An Iranian official purportedly said that Russian involvement in Syria now poses a national-security threat to Iran, the Saudi-owned daily Al Arabiya reported on Monday.
According to the report, Iranian student news agency ISNA quoted Iranian Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi as saying in a press conference that the “pressure of Russian military operations in Syria has pushed our enemies into doubling their efforts to destabilize Iran’s security.”
Disagreements between Iran and Russia began surfacing recently, with Tehran feeling that Moscow has begun sidelining its role in Syria, particularly with respect to the fate of the Assad regime and future of Iranian influence in the country.
Syrian President Bashar Assad is one of Iran’s most important regional proxies, not least because his country acts as a link between Tehran and its Lebanese proxy, Hezbollah. Accordingly, Iran has thrown its weight and that of its proxies behind Assad in the Syrian civil war to ensure the dictator’s survival.
Hardline Cleric: Nuclear Deal A Plot To Infiltrate Iran
The Iranian leadership’s anti-U.S./anti-Israel sentiment was put on full display during this weekend’s regime-led prayers in Tehran.
Friday Prayers leader Hojjatoleslam Kazzem Seddiqi called on the Iranian people and their government to be wary of “plots hatched by the U.S. officials to influence and penetrate into the country’s decision-making bodies through the recent nuclear agreement between Tehran and world powers,” the state-run Fars News reports.
“As the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei has stressed, we should have watchful eyes to block the enemies’ penetration into the country’s decision-making centers,” Seddiqi told his religious congregation, which will from time to time break out into chants of “Death To America” and “Death to Israel” during Friday prayers.
“Penetration is very dangerous and for the same reason Ayatollah Khamenei has issued a timely warning in this respect,” the religious authority added.
Israeli Cabinet Outlaws Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement
Israel’s security cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, on Monday decided to declare the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel an unlawful organization. The announcement means that any association or individual who belong to this organization henceforth, and any person who gives this organization service or work under its auspices commits a criminal violation and will be subject to imprisonment. In addition, the decision permits confiscation of all property belonging to the organization.
The Islamic Movement in Israel began as an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood during the 1936–39 Arab revolt in British governed Palestine. It was spurred by the cooperation between the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, and the Brotherhood. The group lay dormant during the early years of the State of Israel, when the Arab population lived under martial law, from 1949 to 1966. It came back to life in the 1970s, born by new ties between Israeli and Judea and Samaria Arabs. During the 1980s, the movement experienced a rapid increase in its support. After the Oslo Accords, the movement split between the northern branch which opposed the agreement, siding with Hamas, and the southern branch which supported the accords. The northern branch is dominated by Raed Salah Abu Shakra, former mayor of Umm al-Fahm, Israel, who is about to start serving a prison sentence for incitement to violence during the “Knives Intifada” that began in early September, 2015.
Northern Wing of Islamic Movement outlawed, its offices raided
The Minister of Defense has signed a decree to this effect. This means that any person or body that offers services to the organization or operates within it will be breaking the law and can expect to be jailed.
In addition, all property belonging to the group can be seized.
Following the declaration, shut-down orders have been delivered to and pasted on the offices of 17 Islamic Movement-affiliated NGOs throughout Israel. Thirteen of these offices were searched as well.
The raids took place in Umm el Fahm, Yafo, Nazareth, Kafr Kana, Turan, Be'ersheva and Rahat. Computers and cash were seized, and the NGOs' bank accounts were frozen.
"For years, the Northern Wing of the Islamic Movement has been leading a campaign of deception under the headline 'Al Aqsa is in danger,' which falsely accuses Israel of intending to damage the Al Aqsa mosque and break the status quo," the Cabinet decision said. "Within this framework, the Northern Wing established an array of paid activists – the murabitun / murabitat – for the purpose of initiating provocations on the Temple Mount. This activity has led to a meaningful escalation in tensions on the Temple Mount. Many of the terror attacks carried out recently were executed against the background of this incitement and propaganda."
Arab MK denounces Islamic Movement ban as ‘declaration of war’
Arab Israeli lawmakers and regional council heads have joined representatives of Israel’s Islamic Movement in opposing a government decision to outlaw the radical Northern Branch of the group, with one MK calling the move “a declaration of war.”
After an emergency meeting held Tuesday morning, the Higher Arab Monitoring Committee called for nationwide protests to be held this weekend.
The Shin Bet security agency is worried the ban could provoke an adverse reaction from the Arab Israeli public, potentially sparking further violence, the Ynet news site reported.
The Haaretz newspaper reported that Shin Bet chief Yoram Cohen told the security cabinet during a hearing on banning the Northern Branch that the agency had no intelligence evidence directly linking it to terrorist activity.
Family of Palestinian terror suspect deny they turned him in
Family members of Hebron resident Shadi Ahmad Matua, the alleged perpetrator of a deadly terror attack in the West Bank last week, have denied reports that his father and brother turned him in to Israeli authorities in an effort to prevent the family home from being demolished.
Matua, aged 28 and married with two children, is suspected of fatally shooting Rabbi Yaakov Litman, 40, and his 18-year-old son, Netanel, in the West Bank on Friday.
The Shin Bet security service on Sunday said that Matua’s father and brother had informed Israeli authorities of his involvement, to avoid a possible razing of the family home.
Jordan: Teacher fired for teaching Hebrew 'to know Israel'
A teacher who taught a beginners' Hebrew course at Jordan's Petra University was fired from his post this week, after he told his students that Hebrew language would help them understand Israeli culture, Army Radio reports Monday.
When questioned why they should get to know Israeli culture, the teacher replied that "Israel is a neighboring country and we have a peace agreement with it."
One of 22 students in his class, Ayman al-Ma'mun, was particularly incensed about the remarks; al-Ma'mun told him that he had come to learn Hebrew so that if he wanted, he could carry out an attack against Jews and Israelis.
The clash devolved into a loud argument, in which al-Ma'mun boasted he could still stay at the university for years despite his views.
The student was subsequently removed from class, but then took the issue to his Facebook page, blaming "Zionism" and complaining about the teacher to the university's administration.
Democratic House Members Valorize Anti-Israel Activists, Intifada Supporter
A coalition of Democratic House lawmakers are collecting signatures on a new letter that valorizes anti-Israel activists and an intifada supporter, praising them as agents of peace between Israel and the Palestinians, according to an advance draft of that letter viewed by the Washington Free Beacon.
The letter, which is currently being circulated on Capitol Hill and is addressed to Israeli and Palestinian leaders including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, comes amid a wave of violence committed by Palestinian terrorists that has claimed the lives of at least a dozen Israelis and wounded 172 more.
The letter—which is being spearheaded by Reps. Keith Ellison (Minn.), John Yarmuth (Ky.), and Debbie Dingell (Mich.)—calls on the leaders to follow the examples of others in making peace.
The letter praises Robi Damelin, an anti-Israel activist, and Bassam Aramin, a former Palestinian militant and intifada supporter, as well as Yitzhak Rabin, the former Israeli prime minister.
The emphasis on Damelin and Aramin has drawn criticism from pro-Israel activist groups and victims of Palestinian terrorism. These critics view the pair as biased sources that promote an anti-Israel narrative.
Can Israel sue the European Union before the WTO over the labeling crisis?
Further, despite all of the above, The Jerusalem Post has learned that there are likely strong voices within the government that view the WTO idea as counterproductive, with a softer power behind-the scenes approach being more effective for resolving the issue.
In other words, Israel has been willing to push back at the EU with softer measures such as temporarily suspending diplomatic dialogue and summoning the EU ambassador, but some would view suing before the WTO as too blunt an instrument and one that would not produce results anyway.
Further, the issue has only arisen publicly as an option very recently, so there has not been much time for contrary academic opinions to form.
For now, though, suing before the WTO is another idea on the public agenda that is likely to be debated in terms of how to address the EU settlement labeling dispute.
Shaked to European Justice Ministers: Ignore EU labeling directive
Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked called on her European counterparts to not label products from the West Bank, Jerusalem and Golan Heights, in an effort that bore fruit on Monday.
Days before Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said his country would not follow the EU labeling guidelines, Shaked sent letters to him and the justice ministers of Germany, Romania and Estonia with that request.
In her letter to Hungarian Justice Minister László Trócsányi dated November 12, Shaked wrote that “serious concerns about the legality, necessity and appropriateness of [the labeling] imperative notice have been raised by European legislators and international law scholars.”
Shaked wrote that the European Commission “justified labeling as a necessary measure to properly inform consumers.
However, it is our position that this action is instead a political measure, which does not advance any political process between Israel and the Palestinians and may even have a harmful effect.”
Wanted: Safe spaces for Jews at CUNY
As we arrived back in front of Hunter, the shouts of hatred and threats escalated. Many of the nearly 100 protestors began berating us four pro-Israel students as we stood holding our signs.
“Zionists out of CUNY!” and “There is only one solution: Intifada Revolution!” emanated from the crowd. Protestors called us racists and white supremacists. One attacked our signs. In the background, another demonstrator yelled, “Jews are racist sons of bitches!” Another spewed lies, such as that Israel is euthanizing and sterilizing her Ethiopian citizens, and that Israel is committing genocide. In spite of this onslaught, we stood strong against the shouting, cursing, lies and anti-Semitic hatred directed against us.
As I left the rally, someone yelled, “We should drag the Zionists down the street!” It took a few seconds to register that I was a Zionist walking down the street. A CUNY public safety officer protected me from being attacked. He made sure I made it to the subway safely. Although I was not physically harmed, I took this verbal attack the hardest. Somebody hates me so much for my beliefs that he threatens to harm me because of them.
I thank the Hunter administration for condemning the anti-Semitic comments made at the rally and reiterating CUNY’s commitment to creating a place of “inclusion, not exclusion.”
I hope that we as a Hunter community can make Hunter a place where all students feel safe, and important issues can be debated constructively not hatefully. I hope we can create an environment where groups and individuals who care about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are civil toward each other and can work together to construct a vision of peace and respect, not hate and violence. (h/t Cliff)
Anti-Israel students target UT-Austin Israeli Studies prof after disrupting his speech
The intimidation of Israeli and pro-Israeli speakers on campuses continues unabated.
We recently covered the disruption of a speech by an Israeli professor at the University of Minnesota Law School, and of an Israeli diplomat at the University of Windsor.
It just happened again at UT-Austin on November 13, 2015, but the video has just been posted. Twelve members of the Palestine Solidarity Committee (PSC) disrupted a public event hosted by Professor Ami Pedahzur of UT’s Institute for Israeli Studies titled “The Origin of a Species: The Birth of the Israeli Defense Forces’ Military Culture.” The invited guest speaker was Dr. Gil-Li Vardi from Stanford University.
The protesters and the anti-Israel propaganda machine including the national Students for Justice in Palestine are trying to turn the perpetrators into victims, with a video release being shared on Facebook and YouTube. The students not only disrupted the speech, when Prof. Pedahzur and another person (not clear if a professor or just a member of the audience) tried to get them to stop, they increased the volume of their chants calling for the destruction of Israel and “Long Live the Intifada”.
This video was prepared by the anti-Israel group to try to present them as the victim. The person grabbing the flag is NOT Prof. Pedahzur:
StandWithUs: LDB and StandWithUs Urge University to Condemn Mistreatment of Israeli Lecturer
On Friday, The Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law (LDB) and StandWithUs issued a joint letter to President Eric W. Kaler of the University of Minnesota expressing concerns regarding free speech and anti-Semitism at the law school. LDB, a national civil rights organization based in Washington, D.C., is best known for its work fighting anti-Semitism in higher education. StandWithUs, an international non-profit Israel education organization, is dedicated to informing the public about Israel and to combating extremism and anti-Semitism.
The letter was based on the following: Two weeks ago, Moshe Halbertal, an Israeli scholar and professor at New York University School of Law and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, was invited to speak at the University of Minnesota Law School to discuss the ethics of war. Anti-Israel extremist protestors, including some University of Minnesota students, stormed the lecture and began yelling anti-Israel slurs for nearly forty-five minutes. The protestors chanted, “From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be Free,” and called for the destruction of the Jewish State of Israel. Their actions made it impossible for Professor Halbertal to deliver his lecture, and it was only after police removed the protesters and locked the doors to prevent more protests that Professor Halbertal could proceed. Several of the protestors were reportedly arrested for disturbance of a public meeting.
LDB and StandWithUs respect the rights of all members of a university community to express their opinions in accordance with the First Amendment but maintain that prohibiting another from expressing his or her views is a violation of that person's free speech. In their joint letter, LDB and StandWithUs urged the President of the University of Minnesota to condemn this violation of free speech and explain how such actions can cross into anti-Semitism in a strong public statement; to further investigate the actions of the student and student groups involved; and to follow up with the prosecutor's office to ensure that students who allegedly committed a misdemeanor are prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
ALERT: Faculty Association anti-Israel Boycott season has started
The academic year in progress features several Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) resolutions to boycott Israeli universities by major academic professional organizations, as well as preparatory boycott activity to lead up to votes in future years.
Here is the schedule, in chronological order, based upon what we now know:
1. National Women’s Studies Association (Boycott Resolution Voting Now through Nov. 25)
2. American Anthropological Association (Denver, November 20)(Boycott Resolution Vote)
3. Middle East Studies Association (Denver, November 21-24, 2015)(Boycott Activity)
4. American Historical Association (Atlanta, January 7-10, 2016)(Boycott Resolution Vote)
5. Modern Language Association (Austin, TX, January 7-10, 2016)(Boycott Activity)
Each of these boycott resolutions adopts the general PACBI dictated BDS guidelines.
FBI Reports That Majority of ‘Religious Bias’ Crimes in US Last Year Were Against Jews
Jews and Jewish institutions were the target of a majority of last year’s religiously motivated crimes in the US, according to an FBI report released on Monday.
According to the FBI, 58.2 percent of “religious bias” crimes recorded in 2014 were against Jews and Jewish institutions.
The 2014 FBI Hate Crime Statistics Act (HCSA) stated that hate crimes motivated by religious bias accounted for 1,092 offenses reported by law enforcement officials last year. The majority was anti-Jewish, followed by 16.3% anti-Islamic and 6.1% anti-Catholic.
The report also documented that for the second year in a row, there is a decrease in the total number of reported hate crimes in the US. The 5,479 hate crimes reported to the FBI in 2014 went down from the 5,928 hate crimes reported in 2013. Last year’s figure is the lowest number of hate crimes recorded since 1991, the first year data was collected by the FBI.
Anti-Israel, anti-Semitic images now a ‘Facebook feature’
A new feature recently adopted by Facebook allows users to add little animated images to their Messenger posts, like a smiley face, a cute picture of a cat – or an obscenely anti-Israel or anti-Semitic image.
The images are drawn from one of the largest suppliers of GIF (Graphics Interchange Format) images in Messenger, called GIPHY, and are visible to all, both inside the messaging program and at the GIPHY.com website.
Users can search for any term in the Messenger box (clicking on the GIF label below the message area brings up a search box), and a search for the term “Israel” brings up one that doesn’t seem to have anything to do with Israel. It has what appears to be a missile being fired by the Statue of Liberty at the World Trade Center, in lower Manhattan.
Nothing, that is, unless you subscribe to the well-worn conspiracy theory that “Israel was behind 9/11.” According to this theory, the “missiles” in the image are not coming from the Statue of Liberty, but apparently from behind it – on the shores of New Jersey, where, according to the theory, five Israelis stood that day and “did something” to cause the World Trade Center to crumple and collapse, and were then seen “dancing and shouting for joy” (video of this allegedly exists but somehow has never surfaced online)
Pope Francis to visit Rome synagogue for first time
Pope Francis will make his first pontifical visit to Rome's Great Synagogue next year, the Vatican and the city's Jewish community said in statements on Tuesday.
Francis, who had a good relationship with the Jewish community in his native Argentina, will go to the synagogue on the bank of the Tiber River on Jan. 17 for the first time since he was elected pope in 2013.
He will be the third Roman Catholic pontiff to visit the seat of Rome's Jews after his predecessor Benedict and John Paul II.
Spielberg, Itzhak Perlman to get presidential medal of freedom
Director Steven Spielberg, Israeli violinist Itzhak Perlman, singer Barbra Streisand, and playwright Stephen Sondheim were among the 17 recipients of the 2015 Presidential Medal of Freedom announced on Monday.
The honorees will receive the highest civilian honor from President Barack Obama at the White House in a November 24 ceremony.
Rounding out the list of winners are: Gloria Estefan, James Taylor, Bonnie Carroll, Emilio Estefan, Lee Hamilton, Katherine G. Johnson, Willie Mays, Barbara Mikulski, and William Ruckelshaus.
Yogi Berra, Shirley Chisholm, Billy Frank Jr. and Minoru Yasui will be honored posthumously.
Don’t Think Israel is a Luxury Destination? Check Out These 6 Spots
While Israel is a common destination for cultural and religious pilgrimages, travelers seeking the best hotels, fine dining, and upscale relaxation less often find themselves in the Holy Land.
Yet in recent years, the country’s burgeoning tech scene has attracted a business crowd accustomed to ritzy accommodation. Besides, the permanent summer of Tel Aviv and Eilat makes them prime destinations for European vacationers.
Israel’s populace managed to tame the swamps and irrigate the desert — so going luxury should be a cinch. Here are six ways to travel Israel in style.
OMG! Jews in Montana
You might have heard about the El Al jet forced to make an emergency landing in Montana, but you may not have heard the whole story.
Engine trouble forced the Boeing 777, El Al flight 5 on its way from Tel Aviv to Los Angeles to make an emergency stop in Billings Montana 6 a.m. on Sunday morning.
The 300 passengers were stranded for hours, awaiting a new plane, flying in from New Jersey.
Word traveled fast among the 1300 member Jewish community of Montana, and they mobilized to help
From Chabad:
Hillel Fuld of Beit Shemesh, Israel, says that somehow, Rabbi Chaim and Chavie Bruk—co-directors of Chabad-Lubavitch of Montana in Bozeman—got news of the situation and set about immediately to offer assistance. With her three young children in tow, Chavie Bruk drove a car full of kosher food 150 miles to Billings Logan International Airport, where passengers had been waiting for nearly 10 hours.

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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 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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