Sunday, February 14, 2016

From Ian:

David Collier: The schizophrenia of Palestinian NGO’s
These days, barely an hour goes by without a piece of news about the brutal ‘Israeli occupation’. 1000’s of outlets, whether NGOs, reputable media sources or random blogs, have their output disseminated on social media by an active group of people who simply hate Israel.
With this crowd displaying an insatiable thirst for the gruesome and inhumane, market pressures result in a spiral towards higher quantity and lower quality. With Israel already guilty in their minds, little of the readership care about the veracity of the individual claims. So bad has this become, that any article that fails to hit the ‘high note’ in claims about ‘Israeli war crimes’, does not even get passed around. If you want to make the grade as a writer on the conflict these days, the only way you will get ‘shares’ or ‘retweets’ is by casting aside any worries about accuracy and striving for the ever-more shocking.
As the permanently hungry anti-Israeli crowd swallowed any brutal occupation story they could find, the Palestinian groups that deliver the stories soon realised nobody was questioning their output. Whatever they say, whatever they claim, becomes news, and the tastier the story, the more chance it has of going viral. It has become a virtual feeding frenzy of stories that are for the most part, simply full of lies.
The NGOs operating in Palestinian areas face a particularly complex situation. These aid agencies are in a constant competition for attention, driven by the clamour for donations and funding. In essence the situation has to be dire for them to justify existence, and a failure to continually convince people of the urgency of their cause would result in financial disaster. ‘Palestinians’ have to stay on the front pages.
In the real world, for 68 years, the humanitarian aid agencies have perpetuated the Palestinian suffering. Firstly, by acquiescing to the Arab regimes refusal to push the refugees towards a permanent solution, then by accommodating the ‘no-to-normalisation’ banner. For the last 30 years it has got progressively worse, and almost all of these organisations have become politically active on the Palestinian’s behalf. Staffed on the ground almost exclusively by Palestinians and with nobody worrying about the veracity of the output, many of these NGOs have simply become another mouthpiece for highly politicised and ever-increasingly dubious claims.
PEN Canada ignores Max Blumenthal’s antisemitism and support for terrorism
Under the title “Embattled Truths: Reporting on Gaza with Max Blumenthal,” PEN Canada recently announced on Facebook that on February 24, they will host “acclaimed US journalist Max Blumenthal, author of The 51 Day War: Ruin and Resistance in Gaza on the challenges of sifting truth from propaganda when reporting on conflict in the Gaza Strip.”
The announcement further asserts: “Searching for truth within the fog of war is particularly consequential in dispatches from Israel’s occupied territories. Depending on where we get our news, Gaza is either a terrorist haven and a legitimate military target, or a zone of unjustified violence against a captive civilian population.”
So PEN Canada isn’t quite sure what to think of Gaza, but they are apparently sure that Max Blumenthal is the right person to help with “searching for truth.” In an additional post, PEN Canada responded to some critical reactions to their decision to host Blumenthal: “As an organization that advocates for free speech, we are committed to open dialogue. Max Blumenthal has been invited to speak due to his extensive experience as a journalist in Gaza with articles appearing in the New York Times, the Guardian, the Nation, and Al Jazeera English.”
It seems PEN Canada could use some help in their search for truth – and since I have extensively documented Max Blumenthal’s antisemitism and support for terrorism in the past few years, I will try to help out with a short summary of relevant information and links.
Suspect in restaurant machete attack was on FBI’s radar
Police have identified the suspect who was shot and killed following a violent machete attack at a northeast Columbus restaurant.
Police say Mohamed Barry, 30, walked into the Nazareth Restaurant and Deli on North Hamilton Road and attacked four people using a machete. He then fled the scene in a white vehicle.
A police helicopter located the vehicle, and officers were then able to maneuver the suspect off the road. Sgt. Rich Weiner said Barry then attempted to get out of the passenger side of the vehicle, and an officer Tased him with no effect.
When Barry lunged at an officer with a machete and a knife in his hand, Columbus Police Officer John Johnson, a 25-year veteran of the force, fired two shots from his duty weapon, striking and killing Barry.
Law enforcement officials say the FBI was looking at Barry for expressing radical Islamic views four years ago. For an unknown reason, the FBI moved on from him in their investigation.

UK to ban public bodies from boycotting Israel
The British government is to announce measures aimed at preventing local councils, unions and other public institutions from launching boycotts against the State of Israel this week.
Cabinet Office Minister Matthew Hancock told The Times the new guidelines were important to prevent discriminatory boycotts against the Jewish state, which he said both stoked anti-Semitism and harmed the UK's valuable trade relations with Israel.
The guidelines would enable the government itself to take action against organizations which boycott Israel, as well as empowering other bodies to take boycotters to court.
They would prevent any public body from promoting a boycott of country signed up to the World Trade Organization's government procedural agreement, the paper reported.
Recent years have seen far-left-dominated unions and several local councils embarking on highly politicized, controversial campaigns to boycott the Jewish state - campaigns Jewish rights groups say have helped fanned anti-Israel hysteria which often spills over into acts of anti-Semitism.

IDF unit shoots dead 2 West Bank terrorists in exchange of fire
An IDF unit shot dead two armed Palestinians after being fired upon in the northern West Bank on Sunday.
The incident began when an IDF lookout position spotted two Palestinian hurling rocks near the security fence located north of Jenin, in the area of Arake village.
A unit deployed to the are came under fire. It crossed the security fence to the Palestinian side, and fired on two terrorists, one armed with an automatic rifle and the second with a knife, army sources said. Both terrorists were shot dead in the incident.
"The unit acted to neutralize the immediate threat," the IDF Spokesman Unit said.
According to Israel Radio, Palestinian sources identified the attackers as Nihad and Fuad Waked, both aged 15, from Arake. Israel handed their bodies over to the Palestinian side, according to a Palestinian report.
Police thwart attempted stabbing in Hebron
Border Police officers thwarted an attempted stabbing near the Tomb of Patriarchs shrine in the West Bank city of Hebron Sunday evening, police said.
The alleged assailant, a Palestinian girl initially identified as 14 years old, was shot and critically wounded.
Police said the teen arrived at a checkpoint near the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron, took out a knife and attempted to stab a Border Police officer.
The officer pushed her away and shot her, a police spokesperson said.
“She appears to have died,” the spokesperson said, though one rescuer said she was in critical condition.
CAMERA Expert and Journalists Collide at Knesset Meeting
CAMERA Testifies, Reuters Misleads, at Knesset Meeting
Tamar Sternthal, the director of CAMERA's Israel office, was invited to represent the media-monitoring world, and testified with examples of bias. Also invited were foreign correspondents in Israel, who responded to the invitation with outrage — and with misleading assertions.
Even before the event convened, Luke Baker, Reuters' bureau chief in Israel and head of the country's Foreign Press Association, slammed it as a "witch hunt — though after the event he acknowledged that "the Israeli Knesset asks polite questions." That a body known for its raucous squabbling came across as "polite" suggests the hearing was anything but a witch hunt.
Defending his own employer's coverage, Baker insisted during his testimony that Reuters has run (and subsequently corrected) only one problematic headline out of 700 it published since the wave of Palestinian violence began.
In truth, Reuters has repeatedly published distorted headlines that were nearly identical to the one retracted by CBS — which, it should be noted, even Baker admitted was "horrible."
"Israeli Forces Shoot Dead Five Palestinians as Violence Rages On," a Reuters headline stated. This, though, was not a story about Israeli soldiers shooting faultless victims. One of the Palestinians was killed after stabbing two ultra-Orthodox Jews; another was shot after stabbing an Israeli soldier; another was killed while shooting at an Israeli police officer; and two were killed during violent riots targeting soldiers who were defending the fence between Israel and the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.
Newborn Arab Twins Named after Har Nof Massacre Terrorists
A pair of twins born in the Deheishe refugee camp just south of Bethlehem recently, were named after the terrorists who committed the massacre at the Har Nof synagogue in Jerusalem, Divuakh Rishoni reported Sunday morning.
On the morning of 18 November 2014, two Arab cousins, Uday Abu Jamal (22) and Ghassan Muhammad Abu Jamal (32), from Jerusalem, entered the Kehilat Bnei Torah synagogue in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Nof, and attacked the praying congregants with axes, knives, and a gun. They killed four worshippers and critically wounded a Druze Israeli police officer, who later died of his wounds. They also injured seven worshippers, one of whom never woke up from a coma and died 11 months later. The two attackers were then shot dead by police. It was the deadliest terror attack in Jerusalem since the Mercaz HaRav massacre in March 2008. Even the UN Security Council condemned the “despicable terrorist attack.”
PMW: Suicide bombings are “free collective death rides for the Zionists,” on Palestinian social media
Last month was the anniversary of the death of Hamas bomb-builder Yahya Ayyash - "the engineer" - who launched the strategy of mass killings of Israelis in suicide bombings on buses, in malls and cafes. Having built bombs that killed dozens of Israelis and injured hundreds, he was killed by Israel on Jan. 5, 1996 by a bomb that was planted in his cell phone and detonated in his hand. Like all Palestinian terrorists who have succeeded in murdering Israelis, Ayyash is seen as a hero, and years ago the PA named a street in Jenin and a town square in Ramallah after him, as documented in Palestinian Media Watch's report on terrorists as role models.
His sustained status as a role model was evident this past month on social media, where individual posts praised him, according to a report by the independent Palestinian news agency Donia Al-Watan.
One post hailed him as:
"The first to arrange free collective death rides for the Zionists" [Donia Al-Watan (independent Palestinian news agency), Jan. 5, 2016]
PreOccupiedTerritory: Inigo Montoya Advises Palestinians To Attack Using Capoferro (satire)
Cliffs of Insanity, Guilder Frontier, February 14 – A famed Spanish sword fighter weighed in today on the recent phenomenon of Palestinians perpetrating stabbing attacks on Israelis, and suggested that the assailants might achieve better results if, instead of simply lunging at their targets with a blade, the Palestinians would employ the techniques of a Spanish fencing master of the late sixteenth and early seventeenth century.
Inigo Montoya, who has spent much of his life mastering the techniques and art of fencing, recommended to Palestinians planning to engage in a stabbing attack on Israelis to follow the instructions of Ridolfo Capoferro, whose swordsmanship manual published in 1610 was long considered the best guide to fencing in many circles. Montoya believes that with the application of the proper techniques, and adherence to certain principles, the “Stabbing Intifada” would enjoy more success.
“It looks amateurish to me, what they are doing, the Palestinians,” explained the fencing wizard. “They seem not to know exactly what they’re after. If it’s a state, they’re doing a lousy job creating the institutions necessary for one. Their recognized leadership also claims their resistance to Israel in non-violent. I do not think that means what they think it means.”
“If they are serious about the bladework, Capoferro’s work can really help them,” he continued. “Believe me, I know what it’s like to be part of a decades-long blood feud. It’s been nearly seventy years for them – they must be starting to lose confidence. Fortunately, they have the UN, UNRWA, and slews of international donors who require no work of them in return, so they don’t have to work for Vizzini to pay the bills.”
IsraellyCool: Three Myths About Israel, Exposed
Once again, the international anti-Semitic hate-fest known as Israel Apartheid Week is almost upon us. Last year around this time, I debunked some of the slanders about Israel spread by the BDS movement. If you missed it then, I hope you’ll read it now.
This year, I will discuss three fallacies that have become deeply embedded in the ideology of the American left. These fallacies are frequently embraced unquestioningly by both Jews and non-Jews. First is the assertion that the settlements are an “obstacle to peace;” second is that the BDS movement is the result of the “occupation;” and third is the idea that prior to the reconstitution of the State of Israel, Jews and Muslims lived together peacefully. None of these are accurate.
1. The Settlements Are Not The Obstacle To Peace
The assertion that the settlements are an obstacle to peace is an example of something that has become widely accepted by dint of nothing more than sheer repetition. But it rests on blind acceptance of an extremely sinister premise: that there are certain areas in the world in which Jews should not be permitted to live simply because they are Jews.
EU backs down from product-labeling bid
The Foreign Ministry reported that relations with the European Union are "close and friendly" again after tensions arose last year over the bloc's decision to label Israeli exports manufactured beyond the Green Line.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said the sides had "overcome the crisis" after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini spoke by phone Friday.
He said Israel received assurances the move "is not a political step to determine future borders or to boycott Israel."
The conversation between Netanyahu and Mogherini followed a negotiation process on the issue led by Foreign Ministry Director General Dore Gold. After the agreement was reached, Mogherini invited Netanyahu to Brussels, an offer which he accepted.
Netanyahu denies EU claim he backs new peace push
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denied on Saturday that Israel had been consulted about plans for a European Union-led report that would recommend steps to reach a two-state peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.
The report would be carried out by the Middle East Quartet, including the US, Russia, the EU and the United Nations, according to a Saturday announcement on the official blog of EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini.
“I gathered the Middle East Quartet in Munich yesterday – John Kerry for the US, Sergei Lavrov for Russia, Jan Eliasson representing Ban Ki-moon of the United Nations,” Mogherini wrote.
America’s UN envoy lands in Israel to push two-state solution
US Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power reiterated Saturday her country’s commitment to advancing a two-state solution as well as a peaceful resolution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as she arrived in Israel for a series of high-level diplomatic talks.
“[I] will meet Israeli and Palestinian leaders… to discuss US commitment to two states side by side in security and peace,” Power tweeted upon her arrival.
Power, whose post makes her a cabinet member in the US, and who is considered a close adviser to President Barack Obama, was originally slated to visit Israel and the Palestinian Authority on January 15, but canceled the visit as world powers sought to coordinate a response to a nuclear test by North Korea.
Power last month condemned recent Palestinian terror attacks in the West Bank, as well as incitement to violence within the Palestinian Authority. She also condemned a recent Israeli announcement on the establishment of a new settlement in the Etzion settlement bloc, Israel Radio reported. She added that while the United States “strongly opposes settlement activity,” it nevertheless believes that “settlement activity can never in itself be an excuse for violence.”
Open letter to UN Amb. Samantha Power on your visit: An Opportunity to Reform UNRWA policies.
Dear Ambassador Power,
Welcome to Jerusalem!
At a time of continued deadlock in political negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, you can use the leverage of the US, which donates $400 million to UNRWA each year — 33% of the UNRWA budget, to launch an effort to find solutions to the humanitarian plight of the five million of descendants of the refugees from the 1948 war who still live around UNRWA facilities. Instead of just throwing money at UNRWA, The US could assert its leadership amongst donor nations to advance UNRWA policies that could improve living conditions of UNRWA refugee residents…and offer a realistic humanitarian alternative to the “right of return” mantra that has been drummed into the minds of half a million UNRWA students… as an excuse to allow for the status quo of UNRWA refugee status for perpetuity. In that context, you, as the US ambassador, to address six UNRWA challenges, which could guide UNRWA policy reform.
- The US could work with all donor nations to ask for an audit of donor funds that flow to UNRWA. This would address widespread documented reports of wasted resources, duplicity of services and the undesired flow of cash to Gaza-based terror groups, which gained control over UNRWA operations in Gaza over the past 18 years.
- The US, as the largest donor to UNRWA, could introduce UNHCR standards to UNRWA, to advance the resettlement of Arab refugees, after 67 years. Current UNRWA policy is that refugee resettlement would interfere with the “right of return” to Arab villages that existed before 1948.
Vice President Biden set to visit Israel in 2 weeks
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden is expected to visit Israel in two weeks, Israel Hayom has learned.
Last month, Biden met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Meanwhile, the Middle East Quartet announced on Friday it was preparing a report on the current situation between Israel and the Palestinians with an eye toward resuming peace talks.
After meeting Friday in Munich, representatives of the United States, United Nations, European Union and Russia said the report would include "recommendations that can help inform international discussions on the best way to advance the two-state solution." The group lamented the fraught state of relations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority as "unsustainable" which it said is "dangerously imperiling" the goal of an independent Palestinian state.
IDF Source: Russian Involvement Enables Hezbollah to Down Israeli Planes
Israeli Air Force routine missions over Lebanon’s airspace have been confronting in recent months a new kind of nuisance: Hezbollah provocations. According to security apparatus sources in Israel speaking to Walla, since the Russian military has begun its operations in Syria, including building military bases, Hezbollah has begun to lock its anti-aircraft missiles’ radar across Lebanon on incoming Israeli warplanes.
Those same IDF sources estimate that the increased Hezbollah provocations are the result of the tightening relationship between Russia and Hezbollah, as part of the campaign against ISIS in Syria. “The ties between Hezbollah and Syria and Russia have completely changed the rules of the game in the region — despite the [Russian-Israeli] coordination. Hezbollah is signaling to Israel that it’s prepared for the next phase,” the source said.
During the 2006 Second Lebanon War, Hezbollah managed to hit only one Israeli aircraft — a Yasur helicopter that was hit by a ground-to-air missile. At the time the gap between the IAF and the operational capacity of Hezbollah prevented the latter from seriously threatening Israeli planes. But after the war Hezbollah launched an intensive process of absorbing advanced Iranian anti-aircraft weapons systems.
Report: Minister's comments lead to Egypt canceling Netanyahu meeting
Egypt has canceled a scheduled meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Cairo, Arab media reported Sunday.
The announcement comes after Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said earlier this month that Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ordered the flooding of several Hamas tunnels linking Egypt to the Gaza Strip, to a certain extent, "due to Israel's request."
The minister affirmed that security cooperation between Israel and Egypt is "better than ever," and asserted that "flooding is a good solution" for the challenge of tackling Hamas' intricate tunnel system used for smuggling purposes.
The security establishment was furious with the Energy Minister at the time when he made the comments, concerned with Egypt's reaction to the public revelations. Their fears were confirmed after Egyptian media reported that the Sisi government took exception to the statements.
New Gaza Terror Tunnel to Sinai Discovered by Egypt
A smuggler tunnel under construction was discovered this weekend by Egyptian security personnel snaking under the Gaza border into the Sinai Peninsula.
The tunnel interior was 1.20 meters in height. It was located 35 meters from Sinai to Gaza, according to Egyptian sources.
It was already fitted with cables for electricity, lighting and telecommunications. Weapons and ammunition were found inside the tunnel as well.
Osama Ghazali Harb: Rejecting the Partition Resolution Was a Mistake, Hamas Tunnels Are a Cancer
In an Internet TV interview, researcher and politician Osama Ghazali Harba said that the Arabs had committed a "historic mistake" regarding the Palestinian cause by rejecting the 1947 partition resolution. "We should form normal relations with Israel, and through these relations, we should insist on the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people," he said in the interview, which aired on Copts United TV on January 30. The Hamas tunnels "have proven to be a cancer in the land of Sinai," he said, adding that Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood in Gaza played a "pivotal role" in creating fertile ground for terrorism.

Libyan Information Minister: Britain, U.S., France, Zionism behind Terrorist Groups in Libya
In a recent TV interview, Libyan Information Minister Omar Qweri said that the groups fighting in Libya were steered "by a single entity" - by the foreign intelligence services of Britain, America, and France. Speaking on the Egyptian Al-Tahrir TV channel, he further said that "Zionism is behind the entire conspiracy in the Arab world" and that Qatar was "a mere tool" in the hands of Israel. The interview aired on February 8, 2016

PreOccupiedTerritory: For Valentine’s Day, Russia Dropping Heart-Shaped Bombs On Aleppo (satire)
To celebrate what has become a lovers’ festival, the Russian Air Force plans to mark St. Valentine’s Day on Sunday with special heart-shaped munitions deployed against the rebels fighting Basher Assad’s regime in the strategic city of Aleppo.
Sukhoi fighter-bomber squadron chief Colonel Ivan Bloderhedzov issued orders for Sunday’s sorties to use bombs and other ammunition whose shape reflects the great love Assad has for Aleppo, an ancient city with a rich cultural history and diverse population. Russian aircraft, he explained, would be delivering the important packages in honor of Valentine’s Day because at the moment Aleppo and Damascus are not on speaking terms, and Russia hopes to play a part in removing the barriers that have sprung up between the two in nearly five years of strife in the country.
“We have unique experience and expertise in delivering these kinds of messages of love and affection,” boasted Bloderhedzov. “And it will not be restricted to heart-shaped bombs. Cluster munitions have been reconceived as bouquet munitions, and napalm will be called ‘fanning the flames of desire.’ And Cupid’s arrow will now take the form of 20-mm cannon shells, which pierce hearts, lungs, limbs, and many other vital organs.”
Most, if not all, of the rebels fighting in and around Aleppo are unlikely to observe Valentine’s Day, a Christian holiday established to honor an ancient saint who risked his life to bring together Christian men and women at a time when the faith was still banned by the Roman Empire. Even for the few Christians among the rebels, the timing of the festival will be off, since the eastern Churches still follow not the Gregorian, but the Julian Calendar, which lags behind the Gregorian by twelve days. Nevertheless, even non-Western societies have taken to celebrating Valentine’s day, even to the point that certain Islamic countries have felt compelled to ban it out of concern for the “moral depravity” that accompanies its celebration in the West. Thus, Russia’s observation of the holiday fits into a wider global trend, says Middle East scholar Kammen de Nomnater.

Denmark marks year since Copenhagen attacks
Denmark on Sunday marked a year since a gunman killed a filmmaker and a Jewish security guard in twin attacks in Copenhagen, honoring the victims under tight security.
Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen left flowers outside the cultural center and the synagogue targeted on February 14, 2015, by Omar El-Hussein, a 22-year-old Dane of Palestinian origin.
“The Danes have shown that we insist on living our peaceful life,” Rasmussen told journalists.
“And that is perhaps the most important message we can send here today — that we will never give in, we will never give up.
“We’re in a situation where there is still a serious terror threat against Denmark — that is unchanged. But it is also a situation where we have acted… We have equipped our intelligence service, we have equipped our police.”
Survivors torn as Eagles of Death Metal return to Paris
As Eagles of Death Metal return to Paris on Tuesday to ‘finish’ their fateful November rock concert that ended with jihadi gunmen killing 90 of their fans, survivors are torn over whether to go to the gig.
Many fans who lived through the carnage will be there, including some still being treated for their injuries. But one told AFP he was unsure if he could bear to go, even though he has tickets to see the American band.
“I want to go,” said Guillaume Munier, who escaped the gunmen with a friend by hiding in a tiny upstairs toilet for two hours.
“I’m going to at least go to the Olympia, but I really don’t know if I’ll be able to go inside,” he added. “I don’t know if I’ll have the strength.”
Another survivor, Helene, said she is not at all worried and hopes it will help bring her closure.
Israel has the right to defend itself against extremist NGOs
Israel’s government is pursuing the approval of the law on transparency for NGOs working in Israel. There is no scandal or attack on democracy, as the Western newspapers, full of anti-Israel resentment, have repeated in the last few weeks. It is, more simply, to ask for transparency if an NGO receives contributions from foreign countries. Israel aims to expose the groups which are ostensibly only dedicated to the cause of civil rights but which receive funds from abroad to wage a war of delegitimization on the Jewish State.
Take groups such as Breaking the Silence, which took 42 thousand euro from Holland after Operation Cast Lead to provide 90 testimonies by former Israeli soldiers on “war crimes” in Gaza. When I visited Hevron last year, I did see apartheid, but not that claimed by Breaking the Silence: I saw Jews barred from walking in certain areas just because they were Jews. That is apartheid.
Former Soviet dissident Nathan Sharansky, who with his battle to be released from prison was the cause taken up by large NGOs such as Human Rights Watch, said that many of these organizations are now “a tool in the hands of dictatorial regimes to fight democracies”. Why should Israel not ask for transparency if the Norwegian embassy in Tel Aviv, the European Union, a Dutch association or the Saudi sheiks are paying an NGO to say that Israel’s “apartheid state” is committing “crimes against humanity”?
NGO Monitor: Pro-BDS Backgrounds of MEPs in Letter to Knesset on NGO Foreign Funding Legislation
On February 8, 2016, a letter initiated by MEP Julie Ward (UK) and signed by 49 MEPs, addressed to members of the Israeli Knesset, was published, immediately prior to a preliminary vote on legislation pertaining to foreign funding of Israeli NGOs. The MEP letter urged Knesset members “to refrain from legislative measures,” asserting that the proposal “is framed in a manner that delegitimises and demonises NGOs who promote and defend human rights, as well as the European states and institutions that fund them.”
In sharp contrast to their stated concern for Israeli “organisations, artists, writers, and thinkers” and Israel’s “standing in the world,” several of the signatories have frequently participated in clear demonization, such as BDS and similar anti-Israel initiatives, including campaigns to suspend the EU-Israeli Association Agreement. The discriminatory BDS actions would prevent appearances and activities by the Israeli artists that this letter purports to protect.
London Airbnb Host Turns Away Israeli Guest For 'Occupying Lands'
A London host on the room-sharing website Airbnb refused to rent a Marble Arch apartment to an Israeli guest because of his nationality, arguing that Israelis are “occupying lands” and do not respect “basic human rights.”
Ben Kelmer, a photographer from Tel Aviv, reserved a room in the London flat for a stay in March but was subsequently turned down after asking questions about transportation. He faced a strong rejection in a message from the host named only as Mario on the site.
In reaction to the incident, Airbnb said they have removed Mario from their platform. “Discrimination has no place on Airbnb and we have removed this host from our community," the company said in a statement released to Newsweek. "We are proud to have one of the most open, trusted, diverse and transparent communities in the world and investigate any claims we receive." (h/t Yenta Press)
'A true fighter' From MMA champ to Border Police squad commander
Noy Peles has been training for combat for the last ten years.
Peles is a skilled former MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) champion, but last March she enlisted in the IDF and chose to do her service in the Border Police despite the impact her choice would have on her martial arts career, reports Walla on Sunday.
Now, she'll be using her sharply-honed skills for a fight a very different kind: the struggle to stop Arab terrorists from slaughtering Jewish citizens in Jerusalem
"Even though the strict training regimen doesn't allow me to continue taking part in professional competitions, I have no doubt that I've achieved my true dream," said Peles, who now holds the rank of lance corporal.
After finishing basic training with outstanding marks, she now serves as a squad commander in a patrol unit stationed in Jerusalem, which has been a focal point in the recent Arab terror wave since last September.
Survivor of anti-Semitic stabbing in France joins elite IDF brigade
Jonathan Weinberg was only 13 when he fell victim of a violent anti-Semitic attack by a group of French youths. Today, Weinberg is 24, an Israeli citizen, and last Thursday he received the purple beret reserved for new members of the Israel Defense Forces' Givati combat infantry brigade.
Eleven years ago, Weinberg was living in Versailles with his father. "I came back from synagogue wearing a kippah and a group of eight youths jumped me, stabbed me in the stomach, beat me in the head while shouting 'Jewish son of a bitch' and other anti-Semitic slurs," Weinberg recalls.
He was hospitalized for a month in very serious condition.
"I was unconscious and on a respirator, and it was really tough. I was in shock from what had happened," he says.
Weinberg says it took him two months to recover from the attack, "and then I realized that in a situation like that of brutality against Jews for being Jews, France was no place for me."
Avigdor "Yanush" Ben-Gal, hero of Yom Kippur War, dies at 79
Maj.-Gen (res.) Avigdor “Yanush” Ben-Gal, a hero of the Yom Kippur War, died on Saturday evening at the age of 79. He is survived by his wife and seven children.
Ben-Gal was born in Lodz, Poland, in 1936. After the Germans invaded, his family fled to Siberia in the Soviet Union.
His parents died on the way, and he and his sister made their way to Iran, and then, in 1943, to Israel, part of the Tehran Children. They were raised by a distant cousin.
He joined the IDF, and fought in the Suez War in 1956. Having planned to become a physician, Ben-Gal decided to stay in the army.
During the Six Day War, he was the operations chief of a brigade that broke through Egyptian fortifications in Sinai. His jeep struck a mine, and he lost half his right foot. He then commanded a battalion during the War of Attrition with Egypt.
During the Yom Kippur, Ben- Gal commanded the 7th Armored Brigade on the Golan Heights, including in the Battle of the Valley of Tears, holding out against much larger Syrian forces, until reserve forces arrived at the front.
He led the IDF’s Northern Command from 1977 to 1981.
IsraellyCool: Michael Douglas & Natan Sharansky Discussing Their Jewish Journeys
The new “odd couple” – Michael Douglas & Natan Sharansky – recently spoke at Hillel at Stanford University.
It is worth taking the time to hear the entire thing. But in any case, I will point out a few parts of particular interest, at least to me.
From 24:38, where Michael Douglas speaks of his first time in Israel and notices the stark contrast between the “irrigated lands” he saw in Israel and the deserts beyond
From 26:55, where Michael Douglas speaks about his son Dylan wanting to be Jewish and have a Bar Mitzvah
From 43:47, where Michael Douglas speaks about his son’s antisemitic experience, followed by mentioning the BDS movement
From 57:38, where Natan Sharansky receives and answers a question about Breaking the Silence

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