Wednesday, January 20, 2016

From Ian:

Richard Millett: Disruption at Kings College shows there’s no ‘safe space’ for Israeli Jews at UK universities
I was patiently queuing for Ami Ayalon’s joint KCL and LSE Israel Society’s’ talk outside the Norfolk Building of King’s College, London tonight. I had arrived early and was near the front of the queue but soon the doors were closed as the room held only 50.
Some 50 to 60 people were left shut outside on the street, among them 15 fuming anti-Israel activists who had planned to get in and disrupt the talk.
These activists from SOAS, KLC and LSE Palestine Societies had already handed out leaflets attacking Ami Ayalon and Israel. But with their being shut outside chaos ensued, and the police had to be called.
Ayalon was head of Israel’s Shin Bet between 1996 and 2000 and then served as a Labour MK. He also launched a peace initiative called The People’s Voice. He’s now in the UK being whisked around by Yachad to give various talks, the gist of which seem to be Israel needs to mend its ways.
The activists’ leaflets, after incriminating Ayalon and Shin Bet in war crimes, accused Ayalon of being “overtly racist” for supporting a two state solution because this implies “Israeli Jews must always be a majority…due to a fear of losing the ethnic and colonial supremacy Israel has enjoyed since 1948”.
As soon as the doors shut the frustrated anti-Israel activists pounded the doors and the windows looking into the talk. They screamed “Free Free Palestine”, “Viva Viva Palestina” and “From the River to the Sea Palestine will be free” and smashed a window.
They then climbed the windows to unfurl a banner. A fire alarm was set off and eventually police vans and police cars pulled up and 20 police constables protected the building.

Assassin's aid: British taxpayers' cash given to group accused of helping Middle East death squads
BRITISH AID was paid to left-wing activists in the Middle East accused of helping death squads torture and kill Palestinians, The Sun can reveal.
The Foreign Office were under fire last night after giving £227,988 of taxpayers’ cash to the B’Tselem group – who are accused by the Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu of sending “innocents” to “torture and execution”.
An activist from the “human rights group” was exposed for helping the Palestinian Authority’s secret police detain, beat up and even kill Palestinians caught selling land to Israeli Jews.
But last night the British government came under attack for funding the group who are at the centre of a political storm in Israel following an TV exposé of their activities.
Secret footage of B’Tselem employee Nasser Nawaja and another activist Ezra Nawi was broadcast last week by Israel’s Uvda programme.
In the explosive film, Nawi boasted he would send “pictures and phone numbers” of Palestinians who sold land to Israelis “to the Palestinian security services,” who “catch these guys and they kill them”.
Chillingly, he added: “But before it kills them, they get beat up a lot.” (h/t Bob Knot)

Shocker: ‘Death To Israel’ Prof Investigated As Possible ISIS Recruiter
A professor at Kent State University (KSU) in Ohio famous for his anti-Israel outbursts is now being investigated by the FBI for possibly being an Islamic State recruiter.
An unnamed FBI special agent told KentWired, KSU’s student newspaper, that associate history professor Julio Pino has been under investigation for about a year and a half.
According to KentWired, several faculty members and over 20 students have been interviewed about Pino’s behavior. The FBI is looking into possible connections between Pino and ISIS, as well as allegations that Pino attempted to recruit Kent State students to join the extremist group.
The investigation was confirmed by a Kent State official.
In 2002, Pino, a convert to Islam, wrote a column praising a teenaged Palestinian suicide bomber as a martyr, saying her actions should be “pronounced ‘justice’ and spelled C-O-U-R-A-G-E.'” At the time, a colleague of Pino’s noted that he enjoyed wearing military-style camouflage around town, but described it as a “fashion statement.”
In 2011, Pino attracted national attention when he shouted “Death to Israel!” during a lecture on campus by an Israeli diplomat.

Fighting the new-age hatred – anti-Zionism and the age-old hatred – anti-Semitism
In fact, modern anti-Zionism reflects postmodern identity politics’ hijacking of universal human rights language to create a simplistic world of evil Western oppressors who can do no right versus virtuous non-white victims who can do no wrong. In this polluted political atmosphere, any Israeli shortcomings eclipse all its liberal democratic values, while any Palestinian suffering forgives all Palestinian sins. It is not what you say or what you do that counts, but who you are – or actually who you are perceived to be and whether the identity ayatollahs place you in political protective custody.
This far Left disdain for liberal Israel is stoked by some radical Jews whose anti-Zionism absolves Israel’s enemies of their anti-Semitism. The cosmopolitan, anchorless “non-Jewish Jew” has become the anti-Jewish Jew, attacking today’s greatest Jewish collective project, Israel, nastily, globally, blindly, disloyally.
In 1958, the philosopher Isaiah Berlin explained that most Western Jews were so busy juggling modernity and Judaism, they “lost too great a part of their original, undiluted national personality.” Even “Hitler’s onslaught” did not make German Jewry Zionist. Zionism succeeded because Russian, Polish and Sephardic Jews translated their communal autonomy into modern nationalism. Ironically, these oppressed, imprisoned, impoverished Jews enjoyed “greater... moral and spiritual integrity... than that of their more prosperous and civilized, and altogether grander brothers in the West.” Considering that “Subjective feeling plays a great part in communal development,” these ghettoized but proud Jews could build a proud, secure, Jewish state.
Berlin’s “Jew Jitsu” from the negative to the positive models the proper Zionist response to anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism. Israel must address its problems to serve its citizens, not to soothe liberal Jews. Berlin’s insight – and Wisse’s analysis – caution that government commissions to fight boycotts or delegitimization will fail if they just focus on PR and branding.
The fight against Israel should be understood as one battlefield in the larger war against free thought in universities and elsewhere, which triggered liberal sniveling this fall, not leadership. We should assemble our best minds to assess where the Western world is going ideologically, asking what can be done to affect that drift.
US LGBTQ group backtracks, will hold event with Israeli leaders
The reception was originally scheduled for this Friday as part of the task force’s “Creating Change” conference in Chicago this week.
But on Sunday, National LGBTQ Task Force deputy executive director Russell Roybal issued a statement saying: “We canceled the event as we were concerned about the possibility of this reception becoming intensely divisive rather than a casual and fun social event.”
Activists critical of Israel had been pressuring the organizers of the conference to cancel the event.
“We are aware that our original decision made it appear we were taking sides in a complex and long-standing conflict, which was not the intention, and that in canceling the reception we deeply offended many people, and our reversal will offend others,” Carey said.
“In reversing the decision today, we want to make it quite clear that the Creating Change Conference will always be a safe space for inclusion and dialogue for people with often widely different views.
“It was not at all our intention to censor representatives of the Jerusalem Open House or A Wider Bridge at Creating Change and I apologize that our actions left people feeling silenced.”
In response to the news, Arthur Slepian, founder and executive director of A Wider Bridge, thanked Carey for reinstating the event.
Putin to European Jews: Come to Mother Russia!
On Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin invited Jews facing anti-Semitism in Europe to return to Russia.
The comments, reported by the RBC, a Russian media outlet, took place during a meeting in Moscow with a delegation from the European Jewish Congress, which expressed concerns over the culture of anti-Semitism in Europe, “the worst since World War II,” said its president Viatcheslav Moshe Kantor. In reponse, Putin said: “During Soviet times they left, so let them return.”
Putin then made a “come here” gesture with his forefinger and, in an uncharacteristically gentle manner, instructed the Jewish delegation and the Jews of Europe, saying: “Here, to us. They should come to us.”
‘That is a fundamentally new idea,” said a surprised Kantor, who reportedly showed signs of experiencing visible difficulties in containing his laughter. All six fellow Jewish delegates sitting around Kantor likewise giggled.
“I have seen those reports of the situation in European countries and of people even attempting to hide their nationality,” said Putin. “People are even afraid of wearing their Kippah in public.”
The Russian President added that the situation of Russian Jews was currently the best of any place in Europe.
Poll: 43% of French Jews interested in aliya
More than 40 percent of French Jews are interested in making aliya to Israel, according to a new poll released this week.
Pollsters at the Institut français d’opinion publique spoke with more than 700 self-declared Jews, asking them about their preferences regarding a range of issues.
Among the findings: 43% are thinking, or have thought about, immigration to the Jewish state.
Given France’s approximately 700,000 Jews, that means that around 200,000 people are mulling aliya.
The same percentage of respondents also reported having thought about moving to Great Britain, Canada and the United States, although it is quite possible that there is significant overlap between the two groups.
German Jewish leaders: We are no longer safe here
The spokesman for Hamburg’s Jewish community, Daniel Killy, said deteriorating security in Germany has led to a highly dangerous situation for Jews.
“No, we are no longer safe here,” Killy told the news outlet on Tuesday. He said the disintegration of state power, excesses of the extreme right-wing, the loss of political credibility, and “the terrible fear of naming Islamism as such” have contributed to an insecure environment for Jews. Hamburg’s Jewish community has nearly 2,500 members.
Germany has absorbed over one million refugees from mainly Muslim-majority countries.
German Jewish leaders have warned about rising anti-Semitism because the refugees are socialized in countries that are steeped in hatred of Jews and Israel.
The detailed report, which was authored by Patrick Gensing, an expert in extremist ideologies, wrote that anti-Semitic sentiments have diverse manifestations in Germany. He cited studies that point to “historical defensive guilt [about the Holocaust], obsessive criticism of Israel, National Socialist racism, Muslim anti-Semitism [and] Christian anti-Semitism.”
A Moral Vacuum in Which ISIS Thrives
To be aware of the abuses and depravity being carried out inside the Islamic State is to recognize the shallowness of Westerners who once professed that such insults to human dignity must never again be tolerated. “We must not be left to utter the words ‘never again’, again and again,” U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on the eve of the explosion of ISIS fighters across the Syrian border into Iraq in the spring of 2014. He spoke then of the genocide of Rwandans 20 years prior, but he might have been talking about any number of atrocities committed in places that haunt the minds of Westerners who nevertheless failed to end the horror. From the killing fields of Cambodia to the mass graves in Srebrenica to the deserts of Darfur, “never again” rings utterly hollow. The contorted faces of the gassed in al-Anfal haunted a generation of well-meaning Western liberals, but not enough to prevent the repeat of this a ghastly horror in Ghouta. This is to say nothing of the appalling war crime of robbing a child of his youth and committing him to the bloody work of war.
For those who fancy themselves possessed of boundless powers of empathy, these revelations will inspire great emotive displays. Beyond that, prepare to be underwhelmed. To commit to stopping these atrocities now, after so much intellectual energy has been spent ignoring them, means committing young Western men and women to battlefields characterized now by the use of chemical weapons by all sides of the conflict. It means preparing American soldiers to kill children before those children can kill them. Instead, a familiar cast of characters will wax mournfully about the plight of the condemned a half a world away. Perhaps in a few years, they will make a movie about their suffering and the critics will call it “brave.” Maybe they will pledge that, this time, “never again” will finally mean something. Then they will pour one another a second glass of pinot and forget.
GATES: Don't expect the nuclear agreement to lead to a more moderate Iran
Former defence secretary Robert Gates isn’t optimistic that the landmark July 2015 nuclear deal with Iran will lead the country to halt any of its disruptive policies in the Middle East or its support for terrorist groups.
In an interview with Business Insider, Gates, who spent nearly 27 years in the CIA and the only cabinet secretary to have served under both Barack Obama and George W. Bush, said that he didn’t believe the nuclear deal would have a moderating impact on Iranian behaviour or lead Tehran to become a more responsible international actor.
“The notion that betting that this regime is going to temper its behaviour in the region because of this nuclear deal I think is mistaken,” Gates told Business Insider.
“I think that will not happen.”
In the six months since the nuclear deal was reached, Iran has tested two nuclear-capable ballistic missiles in violation of UN Security Council resolutions, fired live missiles within 1500 yards of a US aircraft carrier, and continued its support for the Assad regime in Syria and for Shi’ite militia groups in Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon.
Before Jason Rezaian’s Release, Iran Seized His Mother, Wife
The wife and mother of Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian were seized by Iranian authorities and held incommunicado for hours before his release, nearly causing U.S. officials to cancel the deal to free Rezaian and four other American hostages held by the Islamic Republic, The New York Times reported Monday.
Rezaian was preparing to fly out of Tehran along with fellow dual American-Iranian citizens Amir Hekmati and Saeed Abedini when his wife, Yeganeh Salehi, and mother, Mary Rezaian, disappeared. They two were held for hours in a separate room at a Tehran airport with no means of contacting their families.
“They had disappeared,” said an anonymous American official. “Nobody could find them, and they were not answering phones. The Iranians then said there were legal issues that would prevent either from leaving the country.”
Iranian authorities tried to convince U.S. and Swiss officials, who were working together to secure the freedom of the American captives, to have the three depart without Rezaian’s mother or wife. Brett McGurk, the American in charge of the negotiations, refused and insisted that Rezaian’s family members be permitted to leave.
U.S. Military: Sailors Captured by Iran Were Held at Gunpoint
The United States military said that the 10 American sailors who were seized along with their two boats by Iran last week were held at gunpoint, Reuters reported on Monday.
According to a statement released by the United States Central Command (CENTCOM), which is the fullest account of the incident to date, the sailors were taken at gunpoint to a port facility on Farsi Island, where they were detained for around 15 hours. The Iranians were also revealed to have confiscated SIM cards from two satellite phones that the sailors had in their possession.
The news comes in the wake of charges that Iran’s actions during the seizure of the American vessels and their crews, who U.S. authorities say wandered into Iranian waters due to a mechanical failure, violated international law.
The Wall Street Journal reported last week that “under international maritime law, such innocent passage’ should have brought an instruction to leave those waters, not a seizure and detention, according to Navy manuals citing the international standards.”
Hating Americans Is Official Saudi And Qatari Policy
Jihadi hate for non-Muslims is not limited to the Islamic State, which U.S. leadership dismisses as neither a real state nor representative of Islam. Rather, it’s the official position of, among others, Saudi Arabia — a very real state, birthplace of Islam, and, of course, “friend and ally” of America.
Saudi Arabia’s Permanent Committee for Islamic Research and Issuing Fatwas — which issues religious decrees that become law — issued a fatwa, or decree, titled, “Duty to Hate Jews, Polytheists, and Other Infidels.” Written by Sheikh Abd al-Aziz ibn Baz (d. 1999), former grand mufti and highest religious authority in the government, it still appears on the website.
According to this governmentally-supported fatwa, Muslims — that is, the entire Saudi citizenry — must “oppose and hate whomever Allah commands us to oppose and hate, including the Jews, the Christians, and other mushrikin [non-Muslims], until they believe in Allah alone and abide by his laws, which he sent down to his Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings upon him.”
Former Harvard President Calls BDS Efforts ‘Deplorable’
Former Harvard President Larry Summers called recent initiatives by US academic associations to boycott Israeli universities and academics deplorable, during a comprehensive discussion with The Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol.
Discussing his own 2012 confrontation with students and faculty who sought to remove all Israeli investments from Harvard’s endowment, he warned against such a move.
“The idea that Israel should be singled out as a human rights abuser was morally insensate,” he said. “It seemed to me that there wasn’t much question that if an African country was singled out for censure and there was no clear grounds for why that African country was worse or different than a number of European or Asian countries, I had no doubt that it would be seen in many quarters as racist.”
“I chose words that were carefully selected,” he said. “I said that the proposals, if they were implemented, would be antisemitic in their effect, even if not because I believe the people who proposed them were well-intentioned if misguided, even if not antisemitic in their intent, so I said antisemitic in effect if not intent.”
Larry Summers on Political Correctness and our Universities

American Colleges Ignore Violence Against Jewish Students in Israel and the U.S.
When New Jersey lawyer Stephen Flatow sent an email to some history professors earlier this month he may have hoped for a different response. The American Historical Association was preparing to vote on a resolution accusing Israel of “impeding instruction at Palestinian institutions of higher learning,” citing the fact that Palestinian students are sometimes delayed “15 minutes or more” at security checkpoints erected to keep Israelis from being blown to pieces or stabbed to death. The resolution was not merely misleading; it contained fundamental inaccuracies. And Mr. Flatow noted that his daughter Alisa was one student the checkpoints might have saved. A college junior on a semester in Israel in 1995, Alisa was blown up by a Palestinian suicide bomber.
If Mr. Flatow believed this would cause the resolution’s proponents to engage in self-reflection, he was to be disappointed. Peter Kerstein of St. Xavier University rejected Mr. Flatow’s plea for fairness, signing his email to the father who lost a child to Palestinian terrorists with the Arabic phrase “Salam Alaikum.” Boston University’s Norman Bennett, knowing Mr. Flatow was not allowed to participate in AHA proceedings, sent the clever response: “So make a resolution.”
‘Only against Israel can we find ourselves so powerful. We have, let us face it, no shame.’
Though the AHA’s members defeated the anti-Israel resolution this time, a number of faculty associations have embraced the anti-Israel fashion metastasizing in circles holding themselves out as progressive. In so doing they have both reflected and fueled an ugliness spreading on American campuses.
Slovenian chain succumbs to BDS, pulls Israeli fruits
Slovenia’s largest supermarket chain has succumbed to pressure from the anti-Israeli Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, and pulled Israeli produce off its shelves, the Ynet news website reported Tuesday.
The Israeli produce carried by the Mercator chain consisted largely of citrus fruits, avocados and dates.
The decision marks a fresh victory for the BDS movement, which seeks to isolate and delegitimize Israel internationally.
According to the report, Jerusalem summoned Slovenian Ambassador Alenka Suhadolnik to the Foreign Ministry, where senior officials notified her of the gravity of the move.
US backs European move to distinguish Israel from West Bank
The US State Department came out in support of a European Union move to distinguish West Bank settlements from Israel proper, and said that settlement product labeling is not tantamount to a boycott.
“Our longstanding position on settlements is clear,” State Department spokesman John Kirby said at the department’s daily press briefing Tuesday.
“We view Israeli settlement activity as illegitimate and counterproductive to the cause of peace,” he said. “We remain deeply concerned about Israel’s current policy on settlements, including construction, planning, and retroactive legalizations.
“The US government has never defended or supported Israeli settlements, because administrations from both parties have long recognized that settlement activity beyond the 1967 lines and efforts to change the facts on the ground undermine prospects for a two-state solution,” Kirby added. “We are no different.”
NY State presents bill similar to Israel’s NGO bill - and silence
Israel, a small democratic nation surrounded by enemies devoted to her destruction has proposed a new bill which would mandate NGO’s receiving more than half of their funding from foreign governments declare it in all their official reports, while their representatives should wear a special badge during visits to parliament.
While Israel’s Minister of Justice maintains that the bill aims to ensure "transparency and clarity", opposition comes from the United States Government, who “expressed US concern over the "chilling effect" of the bill”, the European Union's ambassador to Israel who compared Israel to authoritarian regimes and others.
Hence, given the world’s opposition to this bill, imagine my shock and horror at reading in the New York media today that New York’s ethics watchdog is requiring PR firms “to register as lobbyists—not only if they talk to government officials on behalf of a client, but even if they communicate with the press.” PR agencies will be forced to report activities to the government.
NGO Monitor Hopes for Transparency with Database on Foreign Support to Israeli NGOs
NGO Monitor, an organization seeking to promote accountability and transparency of NGOs dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, is providing the public with an online database displaying the amount of foreign support for 27 Israeli NGOs, from 2012 to 2014.
“The information in this database is crucial for the advancement of democratic transparency and accountability,” said President of NGO Monitor, Professor Gerald Steinberg.
In light of an already high level of awareness among the Israeli public to the phenomenon of foreign governments financially supporting and influencing a number of Israeli NGOs, NGO Monitor aims to shed some more light on the subject.
“From NGO Monitor’s perspective, the past few weeks have shown that people in Israel at all levels are extremely interested in understanding how the NGO infrastructure works and who is behind some of their activities,” said Aaron Kalman, NGO Monitor’s foreign media relations adviser, to Tazpit Press Service (TPS).
The Problem Is the EU, Not the NIF
NGO Monitor has just published an important study of the funding of Israel’s premier left-wing “non-governmental” organizations. The first fact that arises from the study is no surprise to anyone who has been following the issue: Far from being “nongovernmental,” these groups are wholly-owned subsidiaries of the European Union and its member states. But the second fact did surprise me: The New Israel Fund, which has become the bête noire of pro-Israel activists both in Israel and abroad in recent years, is actually a comparatively minor donor to these groups. If it closed up shop tomorrow, its grantees would still manage just fine.
The study examined the funding of 27 organizations from 2010 to 2014, using the financial reports the groups filed with Israel’s registrar of nonprofit organizations. It also compiled a complete database of all donations to these groups during those years. The groups in question are the usual suspects, including B’Tselem, Breaking the Silence, Adalah, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, Physicians for Human Rights-Israel and many others whose main activity nowadays seems to be trying to tarnish Israel’s name overseas.
Overall, the report said, these groups raised more than 261 million shekels in 2010-2014; at current exchange rates, that comes to $66 million (all dollar conversions are my own). Of this, a whopping 65 percent – some $43 million – came from foreign governments (primarily European), either directly or indirectly.
Twenty of the 27 groups received more than 50 percent of their funding from foreign governments, and three of them – Yesh Din, Terrestrial Jerusalem, and Emek Shaveh – received over 90 percent of their funding from these governments. The largest governmental donor was the EU, followed by Norway and Germany.
In contrast, the NIF accounted for only 12 percent of these organizations’ total funding, less than a fifth of what they received from their governmental sponsors. Indeed, the EU alone – not including its member states – provided more than two and a half times as much as the NIF did. The NIF isn’t even the largest private-sector donor. That honor, unsurprisingly, goes to a European group: the Sigrid Rausing Trust, a London-based foundation started by a Swedish philanthropist, which provided the groups in question with 14 percent of their funding.
Washington Post Erases Nearly One Million Jews From History
In an act more reminiscent of magician Harry Houdini than a major U.S. newspaper, The Washington Post omitted—and refused to correct—nearly one million Jewish refugees from Arab lands in its infographic “A visual guide to 75 years of major refugee crises around the world” (Dec. 21, 2015).
The graphic, claiming to provide a “brief guide to the major refugee events in recent history,” offers short descriptions of various refugee crises throughout the last 75 years. The displacement of persons from World War II to the ongoing Syrian civil war are noted as “major” events. Inexplicably, the more than 800,000 Jewish refugees who fled Arab lands in the Middle East and North Africa in the period following Israel's War for Independence seemingly does not qualify.
No mention is made of the plight of Jews forced to flee countries or territories, including Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Aden (now part of Yemen).
Ron Prosor, Israel's immediate past ambassador to the United Nations, has written, “At the end of World War II, 850,000 Jews lived in Arab countries. Just 8,500 remain today. Their departure was no accident. After Arab leaders failed to annihilate Israel militarily in 1948, they launched a war of terror, incitement, and expulsion to decimate their ancient Jewish communities.”
Diaa Hadid Pokes a "Hornet's Nest"
However, when we examined the action filed by the "new landlord" - an Israeli trust – it is clear that their main claim against Ms. Maswadi, contrary to the Times' version, is that she has not produced documents showing her right to live in the apartment and, more importantly, has not paid rent – even after she was asked to do so by the trust. To repeat, is not paying rent now deemed by the New York Times to be an "arcane violation" of a lease?
The question of whether Mr. Maswadi was alive or not came up only in passing as a commentary on a letter that the trust received from Mr. Maswadi's lawyer and was not a reason cited for her to be evicted.
The Economist: “Israelis seem especially susceptible to hysteria”.
So, what are we to take-away from the example of the Israeli bus driver?
Well, for starters, most who truly understand Israel would see the incident as a reflection of the fact that Israelis – who face terror, jihadism and existential threats on a scale far and beyond what most in the West can conceive of – are complex and don’t always respond perfectly to every situation.
However, the response to the current terror wave – as with wars and intifadas throughout their history – has, on the whole, been measured and proportional to the threat. Despite the fact that, since Sept, 13th, 29 people have been killed and nearly 300 injured in 108 stabbings, 37 shootings and 22 car rammings (acts mostly committed against Israeli Jews by Arab Muslims), day-to-day interactions between Jews and Arabs have largely carried on as usual. Though there have been some calls for Israeli security forces to adopt more draconian measures, the sobriety and moderation of the broad Israeli center – the overwhelming majority of the population – continues to set the parameters of the debate.
Reasonable people can of course raise questions about the behavior of some Israelis on board the Aegean Airlines flight, as they may question the wisdom of Netanyahu’s policy towards Iran. However, we’d hope that contributors to a journal which claims to offer “authoritative insight and opinion” on international news would avoid such crude, intellectually lazy characterizations of an entire nation.
TIME says 'settlers' run 'plantations'
Veteran news publication TIME Magazine used the word "plantation" Tuesday to describe Jewish-owned farms in Judea and Samaria, doubtlessly evoking the image of slave plantations in the pre-Civil War American South for many readers.
The article by Karl Vick focused on the latest report by Human Rights Watch (HRW), which called on companies to make sure their goods have not come from about 1,000 firms doing business in Judea and Samaria. These firms operate in "Israeli-owned industrial zones, on plantation-style farms and quarries on Palestinian land," he wrote.
How and why Israeli farms – which are generally considered to be among the most advanced in the world – are like "plantations" was never explained.
The new report stops short of calling for a general boycott of Israeli firms.
Turkish synagogue vandalized following first prayer service held in 65 years
Vandals spray-painted hate graffiti on the Istipol Synagogue in Istanbul just days after a one time prayer service was held, the first to be held in 65 years, the Turkish publication Today's Zaman reported Tuesday.
Following a one-time prayer service held in the synagogue located in the largely Jewish neighborhood of Balat, vandals wrote "Terrorist Israel, there is Allah," on the external walls of the structure in white paint.
“Writing anti-Israel speech on the wall [outside] of a synagogue is an act of anti-Semitism," İvo Molinas, the editor-in-chief of the Jewish community's weekly newspaper Şalom, said in an interview with Today's Zaman.
"There is widespread anti-Semitism voiced in Turkey and it gets in the way of celebrating the richness of cultural diversity in this country,” he added.
Two suspects arrested in murder of French Jewish politician
French police have arrested two suspects in the murder of a French Jewish politician in a suburb of Paris, Haaretz reported Tuesday.
The politician, 73-year-old Alain Ghozland, was found dead last week at an apartment owned by his mother in Creitel.
Police traced DNA found at the crime scene to one of the suspects, while the other suspect's spare mobile phone revealed he had been at the site during the murder.
The suspects, aged 21 and 23, were arrested on Monday, have criminal records and have committed various crimes together in the past,” according to Haaretz. The autopsy revealed Ghozland was beaten all over his body, but was killed by suffocation.
Police sources said it is too early to determine whether the murder was motivated by anti-Semitism or whether it was strictly criminal.
British Jewish philanthropist Lord Weidenfeld dies at 96
Jewish British publisher and philanthropist George Weidenfeld, who devoted himself to improving understanding between faiths and peoples, died Wednesday in London. He was 96.
A statement from his office said Weidenfeld died in his sleep after a brief illness.
Weidenfeld was a member of the House of Lords who had recently launched an initiative to help save Christians facing persecution at the hands of Islamic State extremists in the Middle East.
On the eve of Nazi Germany’s annexation of Austria in 1938, 19-year-old George Weidenfeld escaped Vienna for the United Kingdom to avoid Nazi persecution of Jews. He began work at the British Broadcasting Corporation and within ten years had co-founded the publishing firm Weidenfeld & Nicholson.
The former refugee was long been associated with Jewish and Israeli charities, but most recently came to the aid of 42 Syrian Christian families, funding them to leave their war-torn home and make the journey to Warsaw.
Hands-free phone for everyone who needs it
Sesame Enable, the developers of a touch-free smartphone designed specifically for people with mobility impairments, has teamed up with Google and Israel’s Beit Issie Shapiro – a global advocacy group for people with disabilities — to distribute its revolutionary technology free of charge to every Israeli who needs it.
Sesame Enable’s innovative technology lets people operate smartphones and tablets with head movements and gestures, so that users can independently do everyday activities like make a phone call, send an SMS, surf the Internet, and download and play apps.
“It’s rare that an initiative can address the needs of an entire cohort,” says Oded Ben-Dov, cofounder and CEO of Sesame Enable. “We are thrilled to improve the lives of so many people who have until now been shut out of the smartphone revolution. The Sesame Phone empowers people with limited or no use of their hands to gain independence and privacy and become digitally connected – things many of us take for granted in the digital age.”
7 of the coolest gadgets for your cat
While cats continue to rule the Internet with their cute videos, they’re also clawing their way into the billion-dollar pet pampering market.
According to the 2015-2016 American Pet Product Association National Pet Owners Survey, US citizens own a total of 312.1 million pets – including 85.8 million cats and 77.8 million dogs.
Entrepreneurs are constantly coming up with new pet technologies, clever cat supplies and newfangled ways to pamper four-legged furry family members. After all, the American Pet Product Association reports that US pet owners spent some $60.59 billion on their animals in 2015 alone.
ISRAEL21c brings you seven Israeli technologies and services that really are the cat’s pajamas. Some are also purrfect for dogs.
First look: New footage of Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman released
The first look at the new Wonder Woman movie starring Israeli actress and fashion model Gal Gadot was unveiled in a short teaser during Tuesday's the Dawn of the Justice League special on The CW .
DC Comics chief creative officer Geoff Johns gave a hint about the format of the film explaining that movie goers will get a chance to learn about Wonder Woman's back story.
When it comes to Wonder Woman, "People don't know her origin like they know Superman's origin or Batman's origin," said Johns. "What we want to do in the film is really tell people who she is, where she comes from, and why she does what she does.
“We are going to see her coming of age, the entire history, what’s her mission,” Gadot explained.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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


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