Thursday, January 21, 2016

From Ian:

Progressivism’s New Hate on Campus
The deck has long been stacked against Israel on America's college campuses. The Left's BDS movement-the subject of this report-aims at Israel and Israel alone. BDS seeks to cripple the Jewish state whose creation gave refuge for the world's Jews after Nazi Germany's Holocaust incinerated six million of them. The B, D, and S are the non-military weapons-boycotts, divestments, and sanctions-that Israel-haters use to undermine America's strongest Middle East ally.
The movement's activists mostly live on university campuses, dress themselves in moral garments, and self-righteously denounce Israel as racist, even genocidal, because it defends itself vigorously and refuses to die. No other country gets scolded by the nations of the world for protecting itself from aggression or for using "disproportionate" force-itself, a dubious concept-against its enemies. Those who abhor Israel ignore the fact that it is surrounded on all sides by Muslim nations, many of which would drive the Jews "into the sea" if they could.
Yet in the United States, anti-Israel campaigners appear as occupying the moral high ground. Fighting for its existence continuously since 1948, the media depicts Israel as a bully and a regional hegemon. Radical pseudojournalist Max Blumenthal capitalized on this perception in his 2013 book, Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel, which portrayed Israel as the "Little Satan," compared to the "Great Satan" (America). This kind of propaganda is the norm when it comes to Israel.
The BDS movement has managed to accomplish so much with so little money (or at least, so little money discoverable by the usual means). The movement is amazingly well organized. Its activists stir up much controversy, media coverage, and undergraduate angst, draining activist energy away from more worthwhile causes. The money the movement gets its hands on comes from relatively obscure foundations and from anonymous donors through donor-advised funds. We can only speculate whether Muslim oil barons overseas are secretly underwriting BDS operations.
Fred Maroun: Inside the minds of racists: the “war crimes” accusers of Israel
In June 2015, Israeli MK Tzipi Livni avoided arrest in London over accusations of war crimes. In August 2015, a petition with almost 112,000 signatures was presented to the British parliament demanding the arrest of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for war crimes. In December 2015, a retired IDF soldier was detained for questioning in Britain over allegations that he was involved in war crimes.
The accusers of Israeli politicians and soldiers claim that Israel did not take adequate precautions to avoid civilian casualties during the Gaza wars and that Israel chose to wage wars when none were necessary.
These accusations are phony. As Colonel Richard Kemp, former commander of all British forces in Afghanistan, said, “No other army in the world has ever done more than Israel is doing now to save the lives of innocent civilians in a combat zone”.
A good friend of mine, who is a former IDF soldier, wrote to me, “Thousands of rockets and multitudes of incursions have come from Gaza which Israel left to promote peace. Despite this, no army in any conflict has done more than the IDF to alert civilians and avoid deaths: dropping leaflets, spending thousands of man-hours meticulously cataloguing cell phones from residents living in apartment blocks, training legions of Arab speakers to call residents and warn them, and developing “noise maker” munitions as a last resort to warn people to leave the premises before they are to be bombed. No other army has ever done this. No other army anywhere else in the world has willingly given up the element of surprise just to save lives on the enemy side, knowing very well that the warnings also reach the terrorists.”
Israeli Medical Association Says British Doctors Trying to Boot Israel From World Medical Association
British doctors have submitted a request to the World Medical Association to have the Israel Medical Association expelled, Israeli news website nrg reported on Wednesday.
Dr. Ze’ev Feldman, a representative of the Israel Medical Association, said 71 British doctors had reached out to the WMA asking for Israel’s membership to be revoked. He said British medical journals have published letters to the editor carrying accusations against Israeli doctors, including malpractice against Palestinian patients.
The information was brought to light during a hearing for the Knesset Science and Technology Committee, which discussed the academic boycott initiatives adopted by the American Studies Association, the American Anthropological Association and those considered by other groups.
Technion President and chairman of the university presidents board Professor Peretz Lavie said during the discussion, “We have no complaints about the academic leadership around the globe. Our problem is on campuses. When it started it was on marginal campuses, but quickly it spread to the leading US campuses. The students who are exposed to these kinds of actions, will be the next generation’s senators, and herein lies the great danger to the long term.”
“The American Anthropological Association wrote in a report that we are apartheid universities. The association decided to put to referendum a boycott of Israeli academia. We must reach each of the 12,000 members of this association. This is a symptom, and if we do not act the fire will spread. There needs to be one place to focus the issue,” he said.

Hidden Damages
After his daughter died in a terrorist attack, Stephen Flatow won a historic judgment against her killers. But to collect the funds, he first had to battle his own government.
On the morning of April 9, 1995, three friends, American students studying in Israel, boarded a bus at the central station in Jerusalem. It was a few days before Passover, and they were headed to Gush Katif, a popular beach resort in Gaza, to swim and tan. The bus traveled southwest to Ashkelon, a small city on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, just eight miles north of the Gaza Strip. There they transferred to the number 36, a bright red bus, with 60 or so passengers. Many of them were young Israeli soldiers headed to beach resorts or to their jobs on military bases.
Alisa Flatow, one of the young Americans, had long, wavy brown hair and wore a denim skirt, a white shirt, and sneakers. She sat behind the bus driver, next to the window, beside her friend Kesari Ruza. The third girl, Chavi Levine, sat behind them. The red bus left Ashkelon and headed south on Highway 4 toward the Gaza Strip. Shortly after the bus crossed the unmarked border, two Israeli military armored vehicles pulled alongside to escort it through the Palestinian territory. The girls dozed as the bus passed plowed fields and greenhouses. They neared an Israeli settlement called Kfar Darom. Located between two military posts, it had a fence around it, like a compound.
Years later, Kesari would recall the moments that followed as a stream of blurry footage with a few sharp scenes. A loud and dull explosion. The window beside her broken. Was it rocks? Alisa falling toward her, eyes open, hands strangely curled. The bus kept rolling, and Chavi stood up in her seat and asked what was going on. Kesari told her to get down, and they both dropped to the floor.
NY Post: The other refugees: Why Jews are leaving Europe
Here’s the least surprising news story of the still-young year: Jewish immigration to Israel from Western Europe reached an all-time high in 2015.
According to the Jewish Agency, as a link to the global Jewish community, 9,880 European Jews left their homes for Israel — the vast majority, close to 8,000, from France. That’s twice the level of just two years ago.
The reason’s obvious. Much of Western Europe has seen a definite and disturbing rise in anti-Semitism over the past 15 years. And nowhere more so than France — scene of a growing number of anti-Jewish attacks.
Just last week, in fact, a machete-wielding teen attacked a Jewish teacher in Marseille. And last year saw the attacks on a kosher grocery store and the magazine Charlie Hebdo in which 17 died.
Jews make up less than 1 percent of France’s population, yet 51 percent of all hate-crime attacks there last year targeted Jews.
How many Arab refugees were there in 1948? Maybe 300,000 - or less
It is a common misconception that around 650,000 Palestinian refugees were created because of fighting that took place in 1948. But a closer look at both the population data and statements made by UN officials at the time suggest that the true figure is much lower, possibly as low as 270,000.
The conventional figure of 650,000 cannot be true for more than one reason. Firstly, there were fewer than 660,000 Arabs living in the part of Palestine that eventually became Israel; and secondly, UNRWA (the United Nations Relief and Works Agency), either through incompetence or deliberate manipulation, handed out multiple identity cards to the same persons, some of whom were not refugees at all but permanent residents who took advantage of the aid offered by UNRWA. This is attested by UNRWA officials.
Before taking a look at UNRWA’s role in the invention of the Palestinian refugee problem, it is worthwhile examining the population data of Eretz Israel/Palestine prior to the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.
The Statistical Abstract of Palestine in 1944-45 set the figure for the total Arab population living in what would become the Jewish-settled territories at 570,800. Another set of figures based on a census taken in 1944 suggests there were 696,000 Arabs living in what would become Israeli-controlled territory. Tsvi Misinai, an Israeli researcher and historian, believes the figure to even lower. He believes that prior to the 1948 war, there were 390,000 Arabs living in areas that would fall into Israeli hands. (None of these figures include the number of Arab Palestinians residing in east Jerusalem, Gaza and Judea-Samaria. Figures vary, but the number of Arabs in those areas was probably 600,000, which brings the total number of Arabs residing between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea to 1.2 million).
1948, American Antisemitism and Corrupt Politicians
Above and Beyond is a documentary produced by Nancy Spielberg that makes for fascinating and quite scary viewing. It tells the story of Jewish American pilots who, in 1948, secretly helped find armaments for Israel wherever they could, and also fought for the Jewish state in its war of independence. Israel had no air force — not one plane — whereas Egypt, Jordan, Iraq and Syria did indeed have both fighter planes and bombers. It was a time when every world power refused to sell Israel the arms it needed to defend itself against the invasion of five well-armed Arab armies (generously supplied by Britain, France, Russia and the US).
Those few amazingly determined pilots found unwanted secondhand aircraft parts scattered around the US. They clandestinely assembled whatever cannibalized parts they could and patched together barely serviceable flying machines. Then, avoiding bans, surveillance and opposition, they flew them along circuitous routes across the Atlantic, around Europe, and finally into Israel, where their impact was more psychological than real.
Not only that, but the US State Department and FBI did whatever they could to prevent anyone from helping Israel and they actively, maliciously prosecuted many of those volunteers for years afterwards. The film is well worth watching, both for the history and the lesson.
KCL's Student Israel society attacked by demonstrators
The meeting had to be stopped and the building evacuated, with eyewitnesses reporting two police cars, two vans and more than 15 officers attending.
Esther Endfield, from KCL Israel Society, wrote on Facebook: "Never did I ever think that I would have to write a post like this, but in life sometimes you do things that you never expect."
She added: "Protests by KCL Action Palestine at this event was inevitable but it was never inevitable that it would turn violent, not to the point that I have reported being assaulted to the police, which is also being investigated as under a hate crime."
Esther continued: "When did it become so unsafe in one of the global universities in the world that we can no longer hold an event without being scared of our safety.
"What if KCL Action Palestine would have come to the event with questions and challenged the speaker in a respectful and peaceful manner?"
A Met Police spokesman confirmed that officers attended following reports that demonstrators had gained access to the building but added that no arrests were made.
Yachad's attempts to delegitimize Israel fail to save it from attack by antisemites at London University
So Yachad - whose members are normally among those protesting when Israelis speak in the UK - found themselves on the receiving end of the Israel haters' venom. Richard Millett provides an eye witness report of what happened. The story has even been picked up by some main stream media and a Government spokesmen has condemned the disruption.
But if you think that this kind of brutal exposure of the futility of Yachad's policy (of adopting the narrative and lies of Israel's enemies) has been a wake-up call then you will be disappointed. Their Facebook page is actually trying to downplay what happened. Their report says
Whilst some of what happened at the event has already been documented on social media, some important details have been left out.
Except their report contains much less detail than Richard Millett's. The only 'detail' seems to be the following assertion that attempts to downplay the significance of what happened:
These 20 something protesters were incredibly small in number
UK ministers blast violent anti-Israel riot at London university
Britain's Universities and Science Minister Jo Johnson blasted the activists for their "violent intimidation," telling the UK's Jewish News that "Britain and Israel share many important academic links and speakers must be able to address meetings peacefully."
"Our universities should be safe spaces for students to expand their minds, and there can be no justification for violent intimidation that curtails free speech," she stressed.
Baroness Shirley Williams, Britain's Communities Minister, also tweeted her condemnation: "Appalled to hear reports of violent protests at Kings College Israel Society meeting yesterday. Totally unacceptable."
The Israeli Embassy in the UK was similarly appalled calling the violence at the event both "shocking and shameful," adding that "it reflects the fear that groups centered around hatred of Israel harbor toward those who promote dialogue and a peaceful solution in our region.”
A spokesperson for King's College said the university was launching an "urgent investigation" into what had happened, stressing it would "not condone the use of any form of violent protest."
Sherman, Amidror at odds whether all options ‘available’ against Iran
Just days after implementation of the Iran nuclear deal, former State Department official Wendy Sherman, who was instrumental in negotiating the deal, said that if Iran cheated, “all options that the United States has, that we all have, remain completely available.”
However, these comments, during an address to the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) in Tel Aviv, were rebutted by former National Security Council head Yaakov Amidror, whom Sherman said she “adored.” Amidror participated in a panel discussion that followed Sherman’s address.
After adding the caveat “nothing personal,” Amidror – who dealt directly with Sherman for years – said: “We learned through the process that there are some areas in which our interests and the interests of the United States are not the same.
“We might face this situation in the future, and because of that we cannot trust that all the options that everyone is speaking about – and that no one really believes are there – will be taken by the Americans if there is a need,” he said, adding: “I’m not sure there will be a need.”
Furthermore, he said, the agreement was “not as good” as what was described by Sherman, who had given a very upbeat assessment of the deal, saying it was good for the US, the world and Israel.
Are North Korea and Iran in secret NUCLEAR plot to WIPE OUT Israel? Expert warns of threat
An expert on the Middle East said that the rogue states' history of working with Iran means the risk of nuclear co-operation is real.
It comes just after North Korea claimed to have successfully tested a hydrogen bomb, reawakening fears over its nuclear arsenal.
Warnings about the two nations - both determined to end Western world leadership - were made by Middle East analyst Dr Theodore Karasik.
Dr Karasik described the history of collaboration between the rogue states in an article for the Saudi-backed Al Arabiya News network.
He said: "Iran’s ballistic and cruise missiles are a danger to the region and beyond, and Pyongyang is in our minds constantly, even in the hotbed of the Middle East."
The expert argued that unhinged dictator Kim Jong-Un could be using chaos in the Middle East as a distraction to make quietly make huge advancements with his own nuclear agenda.
99% of Iran’s reformist parliamentary candidates rejected
Conservative-dominated Guardian Council approves only 30 of over 30,000 reformist candidates to run in February election
Iran’s long-sidelined reformist movement on Monday demanded a review after only one percent of its parliamentary election candidates were approved, prompting allegations turnout would suffer.
The vast rejection of candidates — monitors said about 60 percent of more than 12,000 would-be MPs were barred — could damage the credibility and legitimacy of the February 26 ballot, analysts said.
Those seeking to become lawmakers in Iran must first be screened by the Guardian Council, a conservative-dominated committee of clerics and jurists, before running.
The vetting procedure has been contentious for months, as the poll is an opportunity for reformists and moderate politicians to make gains against a currently dominant conservative camp in parliament.
Iran bans use of the word 'wine' and names of 'foreign animals' in books
Iran’s culture ministry has decided to censor the use of the word “wine” and the names of “foreign animals” and dignitaries from any books published in the Islamic Republic.
The new rules are designed to protect Iranians from what the regime calls a “cultural onslaught” by the West.
Mohammad Selgi, the head of book publishing at the ministry of culture and Islamic guidance, said: “When new books are registered with us, our staff first have to read them page by page to make sure whether they require any editorial changes in line with promoting the principles of the Islamic revolution, effectively confronting the Western cultural onslaught and censoring any insult against the prophets.”
Mr Selgi added: “Words like wine and the names of foreign animals and pets, as well as names of certain foreign presidents are also banned under the new restricting regulations.”
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader, has urged the culture ministry to “focus on producing appealing books and films, designing video games, and developing attractive and meaningful toys” to counter a “Western cultural invasion of Iran that seeks to destroy Islamic identity”.
Iran Hires Btselem To Out Homosexuals (satire)
To enhance its ability to identify and apprehend homosexuals, the Islamic Republic of Iran has contracted with the human rights organization Btselem, following revelations two weeks ago that the group engaged activists who reported Palestinians to the Palestinian Authority for selling land to Jews, a capital offense under Palestinian law. Homosexuality is similarly banned under pain of death in Iran.
A spokesman for Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s Supreme Leader, announced the arrangement this morning after the latter conducted a series of conversations as to the terms of the contract and the methodology to be employed. Hangdeh Fagzai convened a press conference to inform the public of the deal, which will begin as a pilot program for six months. If both parties to the agreement find it satisfactory, said Fagzai, the contract calls for the arrangement to continue until 2020.
“Btselem is a leader in discovering and publicizing activities that are an affront to people of conscience,” proclaimed Fagzai. “Since homosexuality is an affront to God and to any moral human, it was only natural that we would seek to engage them in our own pursuit of a more moral, clean society.”
A representative of Btselem sounded a similar tone. “Our organization has long envisioned cooperative ventures with like-minded bodies across the region,” said Malshin Sokel, Btselem’s Director of International Projects. “Iran has emerged as the region’s most important power, and we relish the opportunity to work with them, since our values dovetail in several major respects.”

US should help Argentina solve terrorism case
Will the presidential victory of Mauricio Macri in Argentina finally bring justice to the victims of the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish community center in Buenos Aires? Will it solve the murder of the AMIA investigation’s special prosecutor, Alberto Nisman, one year ago? Or will Nisman’s revelations of Iran’s role in terrorism in the Western Hemisphere die as he did?
To be sure, the defeat of Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s preferred candidate, Daniel Scioli, was met with a global sigh of relief for those concerned about Argentina’s rapprochement with Iran, including a secret backchannel exposed by Nisman.
Since taking office in December, Macri has signaled a significant change of course from his predecessor’s position on Iran. In less than two months, Macri has revoked the controversial Memorandum of Understanding with the Islamic Republic, appointed a new cabinet- level official and bureau to oversee the AMIA investigation, and re-opened the probe into Nisman’s suspicious death. He has also said he would revisit Nisman’s investigation into the previous Argentine government’s alleged plan to expunge Iran’s involvement in the attack in exchange for closer bilateral diplomatic, economic and perhaps even nuclear ties.
Pessin Affair Exposes Connecticut College Antisemitism
A pro-Israel professor won’t be on campus at Connecticut College when classes start Monday, missing the second straight semester since his 2014 Facebook post criticizing Hamas led to death threats and ostracism.
Andrew Pessin “requested and received a sabbatical for the Spring semester to continue his studies in Jewish philosophy and Israel studies,” Connecticut College spokeswoman Pamela Serfes said in an email last week. “He has been and continues to be a valued member of the Connecticut College faculty.”
The vague and misleading response glosses over the intensity of the campaign against Pessin — he first took a medical leave last spring as a smear campaign against him was at full throat. The controversy exposed an administration unwilling to enforce its own honor code to protect a professor against anti-Israel activists and a student journalist responsible for covering the very controversy she had joined.
It started with an August 2014 Facebook post written as Israel and Hamas fought their latest war, in which Pessin referred to “a rabid pit bull chained in a cage, regularly making mass efforts to escape.”
BDS fruitless as Slovenian supermarket brings back Israeli produce
Slovenia’s largest supermarket chain has reportedly reversed a decision to pull Israeli produce from its shelves, just two days after the apparent boycott was exposed by Israeli media.
Following strong opposition by Israel’s Foreign Ministry, the Mercator chain has renewed orders for Israeli-grown pomelos and avocados despite pressure from the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions movement, the Ynet news site reported Thursday.
Earlier in the week it was revealed that the store had removed Israeli products from its shelves – including citrus fruits, dates and avocados, following calls to do so from the BDS movement. The decision marked a victory for the movement, which seeks to isolate and delegitimize Israel internationally.
Jerusalem had reportedly summoned Slovenian Ambassador Barbara Susnik to the Foreign Ministry, where senior officials notified her of the gravity of the move.
To those who want to push Israel off campus: you will fail
This obsessive hostility toward Israel and its supporters often morphs into explicit anti-Jewish hatred.
While SJP would like us to believe that they are a grassroots movement and that their campaigns spring up from campus activism, the truth is that they are supported by off-campus organizations including the fringe Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), and American Muslims for Palestine (AMP). JVP and AFSC jointly run a BDS “summer camp,” and AMP gives campus activism workshops. AMP and Palestine Legal publish guidebooks offering strategy promoting BDS, and AFSC staff drafts ready-made student government divestment resolutions enabling SJP to lobby student governments. All these groups endorse the global BDS campaign against Israel, which opposes its right to exist.
Another anti-free speech tactic is SJP’s disruptions of pro-Israel campus programming.
SJP at State University of New York at Binghamton has a policy calling for “engaging in non-violent disruption” of “Zionist” events. Further, this policy proscribes contact with Jews by declaring off limits all interaction with every campus Jewish group SJP deems to be pro-Israel – from Hillel to Chabad to J Street U.
Disruptions of pro-Israel events have become a regular feature around the country, from the University of Texas to Goucher College to the University of Pittsburgh and others. Palestine Legal advises activists on how to avoid prosecution when disrupting.
This extremist strategy is to make Israel appear so radioactive on campus so as to intimidate Israel’s supporters into silence. By declaring its goal to “end the Zionist influence on our university campuses,” SJP makes this clear.
Israel’s campus detractors, however, will fail. The answer to this long-evident attempt to intimidate and muzzle pro-Israel campus voices is to increase already flourishing pro-Israel programming. The response to hateful disruptions will be more pro-Israel events. University administrators will come to realize that they must provide more oversight to ensure that events are not disrupted.
If SJP and its allies refuse to engage civilly with the wide range of pro-Israel campus voices, we are confident most students will gladly do so regardless or in spite of SJP’s hate campaign. This is exactly what SJP is afraid of and why the group attempts to intimidate and silence pro-Israel campus voices.
SJP doesn’t know it yet, but it will fail.
Canadian university to vote on Israel boycott
Students at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, will on January 25 vote in a referendum on whether to demand that the university administration cease cooperation with Israeli universities.
Students will be asked as follows: “Do you think the University of Waterloo should sever ties with the following institutions due to their complicity in violations of human rights of Palestinians: University of Haifa, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, Tel Aviv University, and the Weizmann Institute of Science?”
The vote at Waterloo would not be the first time that a boycott of Israel has been voted upon at a Canadian university.
In 2014, the student union at Toronto’s York University voted to join the BDS movement. It was preceded by Windsor University in Ontario.
Ryerson University that year also voted to join the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement against Israel, and last year, the student union at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, also voted in support of the BDS.
Guardian’s love letter to Haaretz helps explain their failure to understand Israelis
Of course, one of the main problems with viewing Israel and its people through the Haaretz prism is that, except for the English foreign edition, Haaretz is an extremely marginal publication, read by a small number of actual Israelis – garnering a 6.1% market share within the national print media according to research in 2013.
Whilst the paper may remain popular with the cultural and political elite, it’s gradual drift ideologically to embrace the delegitimizing – and at times even antisemitic – radical left, coupled with an increased propensity towards errors, mischaracterizations, falsehoods and mistranslations renders it increasingly irrelevant to a decidedly news-obsessed Israeli society.
Contrary to the Haaretz narrative, most Israelis don’t question the strength and durability of their democracy, and in fact take immeasurable pride in its democratic institutions, the independence of its press and judiciary and commitment to civil rights. Moreover, most Israelis understand that “end the occupation” is merely a slogan, not a serious policy proposal to deal with extraordinarily difficult political and security issues.
As Times of Israel senior analyst Haviv Retig Gur summed up the significance of Herzog’s speech on Twitter, “Herzog tries to be taken seriously by a skeptical public by redefining ‘left’ as an aspiration rather than a policy”.
Perhaps Israelis and their supporters abroad would have more respect for Haaretz and the Guardian if they didn’t seem to possess such contempt for the hard-earned skepticism and undeniable sobriety of the overwhelming majority of Israelis who – like Bougie Herzog – long passionately for peace, but see the world and the region as it is, not as they’d like it to be.
Three year old allegations from BBC’s Yolande Knell shown to be untrue
Ha’aretz subsequently corrected the article upon which Knell’s report was based but no amendment was made to the BBC’s article, which still remains available online.
Israel’s State Comptroller (Ombudsman) has now completed an investigation into the allegations.
“There is no evidence that Ethiopian women who immigrated to Israel were required to take birth-control shots against their will, State Comptroller Joseph Shapira wrote this week in a letter obtained by Haaretz.
Shapira wrote that he had concluded his investigation into the allegations, which surfaced in December 2012, and that “no evidence could be found for the claims raised that shots to prevent pregnancy were administered to Ethiopian women under pressure or threats, overt or covert, or in any way that was improper.””

Yolande Knell’s ugly smears never had any verified, factual basis but nevertheless the BBC allowed her inaccurate article to become “historical record“. Obviously, it is high time for the BBC to make amends by appending a note to the article which explains that its content is inaccurate and misleading.
'Terrorist Israel' scrawled on Turkish synagogue
Anti-Semitic vandals scrawled graffiti on the wall of Turkish synagogue, accusing Israel of terrorism and praising Allah (God), Today's Zaman reported earlier this week.
The words "Terrorist Israel, there is Allah" was recently found on the outer walls of the Istipol Synagogue in Istanbul's Balat neighborhood.
The synagogue reopened for a one-time prayer service earlier this month for the first time in 65 years.
Ivo Molinas, the editor-in-chief of the Turkish Jewish community's weekly newspaper Salom, expressed frustration over widespread anti-Semitism in Turkey as well as attempts to link the Jewish community to Israel.
Brazilian Jews welcome ban on publication of ‘Mein Kampf’
A Brazilian publisher canceled the release of a new printing of Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” autobiography, after strong pressure from the Jewish community and scholars. The move was welcomed by the Jewish community.
Editing company Edipro reportedly decided Thursday to call off a first printing run of 1,000 copies, saying it was an old translation to Portuguese from the 1930s, with no commentary. The release was slated for late January.
Paulo Maltz, the vice president of the Brazilian Israelite Confederation and also president of the Rio de Janeiro Jewish Federation, said that legal procedures are under discussion to prevent national distribution of the autobiography.
“The book is Nazi propaganda and, under Brazilian law selling it is a non-bailable crime,” added Osias Wurman, an honorary consul for Israel in Rio.
Former Auschwitz medic, 95, to go on trial next month
A 95-year-old former medic at the Auschwitz death camp will go on trial next month on at least 3,681 counts of accessory to murder, German authorities said Monday.
Hubert Zafke was a medical orderly at the camp from August 15, 1944 to September 14, 1944. During this time, 14 trains carrying prisoners — including the teenage diarist Anne Frank — arrived at Auschwitz-Birkenau where many would eventually be killed in the gas chambers.
Ahead of proceedings due to begin February 29, prosecutors said Zafke was “aware of the purpose of the Birkenau camp as an extermination camp” as well as of its structure.
“Given his awareness, the accused lent support to the organisation of the camp and was thereby both involved in and advanced the extermination,” said prosecutors in an earlier statement as they charged Zafke for complicity in the “cruel and insidious killings of at least 3,681” people.
Holocaust survivor gives ‘freedom shoes’ to Auschwitz
Ninety-year-old Auschwitz survivor Batszewa Dagan on Wednesday said she had donated a pair of miniature shoes that helped her live through the Holocaust to the museum at the site of the former Nazi German death camp.
The Polish-born Israeli received the tiny, handmade good luck charm from a fellow inmate at the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp in southern Poland during World War II, when she was just a teenager.
“(The woman) was sad and she was talking about her daughter, how she missed her, and was thinking if she would ever leave this place,” Dagan said in a statement released on the museum website.
“And she made me a surprise. She made these tiny shoes for me. She said, ‘Let them carry you to freedom’,” she added of the slippers barely a centimeter (half an inch) in length.
The woman, whose name and fate are lost to history, was a German Jew who had been deported to Auschwitz while her policeman husband and daughter stayed behind.
'JeruZalem' horror film looks to spread to audiences world wide
The zombie apocalypse is upon us, and ground zero for end times is Jerusalem's Old City.
That's the plot to the new English-language horror film "JeruZalem" directed by Israeli-born Yoav and Doron Paz, who have received multiple awards from numerous festivals for their big-screen scare flick.
Released last year to limited audiences, the movie has since garnered the attention of not only horror-film fanatics but larger, mainstream movie-goers as well.
The film first opened in July of 2015 at the Fantasia Fim Festival held in Montreal, Canada. Shortly thereafter, it made its US debut at Bruce Campbell’s Horror Film Festival in Chicago on August 23.
Douglas, Sharansky to talk anti-Semitism on US campuses
American actor Michael Douglas and Jewish Agency chairman Natan Sharansky will visit three US university campuses in the coming weeks to talk about Israel and modern anti-Semitism.
The two will visit Brown University on Jan. 28, Stanford University on Feb. 2 and the University of California at Santa Barbara on Feb. 3. They will also address the issue of tolerance and inclusion in the Jewish community worldwide.
The program, “Jewish Journeys: A Conversation with Michael Douglas and Natan Sharansky,” is co-hosted by the Genesis Prize Foundation, Hillel International and the Jewish Agency for Israel. Douglas, who won the 2015 Genesis Prize, pledged to use his platform and $1 million in prize money to improve outreach to intermarried families.
Sharansky is a former Soviet refusenik and political prisoner and the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal.
Douglas Murray: George Weidenfeld was one of the great advocates for high European culture
I am far abroad at the moment but have just learnt the sad news from home of the death of George (Lord) Weidenfeld, at the age of 96. As a publisher, philanthropist, convener, guru and friend he was one of the most extraordinary people in 20th and 21st-century Britain.
Born in Vienna in 1919, he fled the Nazis and came to the UK in the 1930s where he was housed and looked after by a Christian family. Throughout the extraordinary life and career that followed he constantly acted on the gratitude he felt towards the country and people that had taken him in. Only last year he set up a fund to help save Christian children from the fighting in Syria. Asked in a BBC interview why he was prioritising Christian children, he stated with typical clarity that it was because these were the children most under threat.
As a publisher and mentor he knew and helped almost everybody. His friendships with statesmen, writers and other public figures were legendary, and apart from his warmth, kindness and huge encouragement, one of the great pleasures of knowing him was to spur him to reminisce. It was always a profound opportunity to hear him talk of pre-war Austria. But it was equally extraordinary to hear him speak of almost everything that had happened in the world of culture and politics since. No one else could speak with such insight and with such personal experience of Nabokov, Picasso, Isaiah Berlin and a thousand others besides. Before one recent dinner I mentioned a book by Stefan Zweig that I had been reading. ‘Ah, yes, Stefan Zweig’ George began. Of course he had known him in London when Zweig too was in flight from Hitler. I’m sure I can’t have been the only friend of George’s to worry that he may have been not just one of the greatest receptacles and advocates for high European culture, but also perhaps one of the last.
Flag from iconic ‘Exodus’ refugee ship to dock in US museum
The flag of an iconic ship that tried to take Jewish Holocaust survivors to what would later become Israel is destined for a museum in the United States, an auction house said Thursday.
The SS Exodus was the most famous of hundreds of ships that sought to transport European Jews to the land that later became the nation of Israel immediately after World War II.
The Israeli flag that flew from the ship was sold in Jerusalem for $144,000 to two Jewish American brothers in the real estate business, the auction house involved in the sale confirmed.
The flag was to be auctioned publicly, but was removed after the brothers reached an agreement to buy it and then donate it to the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington.

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