Thursday, February 25, 2016

From Ian:

Netanyahu to Cameron: If not for Israel, terrorists would destroy Jerusalem’s holy places
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu waded into an escalating row with Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron on Thursday, accusing him of “forgetting” that only Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem is keeping Islamic extremism at bay and safeguarding the city’s holy places from destruction by terrorists.
Cameron, long a firm public supporter of Israel, on Wednesday castigated Israel in remarks in the House of Commons for its “shocking” construction of Jewish homes in and around contested East Jerusalem, at the expense of the Palestinians.
Netanyahu, hitting back, said Cameron had evidently forgotten that “only Israeli sovereignty prevents Islamic States and Hamas from setting aflame the holy places in the city, as they are doing across the Middle East.”
Furthermore, Netanyahu added, “only Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem ensures the rule of law for Arab residents and for all.”
Netanyahu made his comments at a parlor meeting with a local council chief, rather than in an official statement, but ensured that they were recorded on camera, Israel’s Channel 2 reported. Israel’s Foreign Ministry had refused to respond to Cameron’s remarks throughout Thursday, because of the British prime minister’s long record of friendship with Israel, and because he had been answering a “provocative” question raised by a Muslim member of Parliament, the Israeli TV report said.
David Collier: Israeli Apartheid week: The shame of UK students
During these weeks across the UK, universities are holding ‘Israeli apartheid week’. I have sat and viewed with revulsion as images have emerged of students on campus being fed raw radical Islamic propaganda. It has turned into a show, with each of the universities trying to outdo each other. This year Cambridge received praise for placing a military checkpoint in the centre of the Sidgwick lecture site at the University. Did I just call it raw Islamic propaganda? Yes, I did, but more on that later.
Just last night (24th Feb) I was at SOAS to hear yet another incessant and libellous attack against Israel. The usual tales were told, replete with examples of how Israel is randomly shooting at people in the street. The evening started with the host boasting about being able to recognise Zionists in the crowd and deliberately not letting them have the microphone when questions are tabled. They actually took photos at one event on Monday of a person they identified as ‘Zionist’ who had his hand up constantly. What they did is take pictures of him and Photoshopped different things into his hand and shared it amongst themselves. What type of university believes this is acceptable? SOAS does, we know Kings does too. In Oxford we have seen claims of rabid antisemitism. In Cambridge they simply want to intimidate the Jewish presence into submission first. In Westminster and others across the land, I’ve spoken to Jews, Zionists and Israelis who hide their identity whilst in University. This is the ‘safe space’ that has been created on UK campuses in 2016; safe to intimidate, safe to scare, safe to shout down, safe to silence, safe to lie and safe to hate.
Likud MK: Revoke BDS founder's permit to live in Israel
Omar Barghouti, the founder of the anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, should no longer be permitted to reside in Israel, MK Nava Boker (Likud) wrote in a letter to Interior Minister Arye Deri Thursday.
“Barghouti spends most of his time lecturing around the world and calling to isolate Israel and boycott it,” Boker wrote. “I ask you to use your authority to revoke Mr. Barghouti’s permanent residence status.”
The Interior Ministry has, in recent months, revoked citizenship and permanent residence status from non-citizens who helped terrorists attack.
Barghouti, was born in Qatar, grew up in Egypt and married an Israeli Arab woman, gaining permanent residence status, studying at Tel Aviv University, and living in Jaffa and Acre, according to media reports.
He founded the BDS movement in 2005 and supports the end of the State of Israel and the creation of one state between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, in which Palestinians from all over the world will have the right to live, and Jews will be a small minority. Barghouti often compares Israel to apartheid South Africa and the Nazis, and has refused to cooperate with Israelis who are sympathetic to his cause. In fact, he has accused Palestinians who engaged with Israelis of “moral blindness,” calling them “clinically delusional” in a 2005 article.

Ryan Bellerose: Why Are We Losing?
I believe it’s simple: we are not organised, unified or coherent in our messaging. We have too many voices all demanding to be heard and we do not all pull together for a common goal.
I think it’s really simple. Imagine a tug of war. If both sides are relatively equal, the side that will win is the side who pulls hardest. But now imagine both sides are equal in number, but on one side you have a few people pulling in different directions. That side will lose.
Now I want you to ask yourselves, is it really productive to argue about minutiae when people are trying to kill you? Because I honestly see the pro-Israel side as sitting in a burning house arguing about what color the drapes are.
The ridiculous thing is that the Arabs have created an identity that they formed in the 1960s, yet you see how firm they are in that identity, going so far as to perform amazing feats of mental gymnastics in order to maintain that identity in the face of fact and truth. These people don’t understand that their identity is almost entirely stolen or crafted from a false narrative, BUT IT DOESN’T MATTER BECAUSE THEY BELIEVE IN IT. They easily deny their own actual history while recreating it because it’s secondary to their identity. It’s that simple. They have no facts, no history, and yet they are strong in the identity they created from nothing.
Argentine prosecutor suggests AMIA investigator Nisman was murdered
Argentine prosecutor Ricardo Sáenz on Thursday told judges at the Criminal Court he believes that special prosecutor Alberto Nisman was murdered, and demanded a federal investigation of the case.
Nisman was found dead in his apartment on January 18, 2015 — a day before he was scheduled to testify about the deadly 1994 bombing at the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires and accuse then-president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner of covering up Iran’s role in the attack.
In a letter to the court, Sáenz said the federal courts should be given jurisdiction over the probe of Nisman’s death given the suspicions of homicide, according to local reports.
An attorney for Nisman’s daughters praised Saenz’s announcement, saying that to date there hasn’t been a single judicial official who had come out for the hypothesis that the prosecutor had been murdered, the Infobae news site reported.
NGO Monitor: HaMoked and B´Tselem´s Torture Allegations: EU-Funded Demonization
On February 24, 2016, two Israeli NGOs, HaMoked and B’Tselem, released a report “Backed by the System,” alleging “Abuse and Torture” in “at the interrogation facility run by the Israel Security Agency (ISA) at Shikma Prison in Ashkelon, southern Israel.” The claims come from terrorists and suspected terrorists who were at the facility in late 2013 and early 2014, and who were referred to HaMoked by their relatives (pg. 6). In contrast to the impression created in this report, only 14 of the 116 prisoners complained about “physical violence” during interrogation, and these cannot be independently confirmed.
Given the political and ideological agendas of these organizations and their previous distorted allegations, this publication appears to be again motivated by factors outside the realm of human rights.
- As with many NGO publications, including those by the two groups, there is no meaningful research methodology. The report consists entirely of “testimonies” that cannot be and have not been verified, from individuals who have incentive to lie. No evidence is provided to corroborate the claims of the prisoners.
- The “testimonies” in the report come from individuals convicted or suspected of security offenses and terrorism, who have political and personal reasons to falsely claim “torture.” Both Jewish and Palestinian terrorists have repeatedly used the tactic of alleging torture in order to garner sympathy and deflect from their heinous crimes.
Richard Millett: At London College, Speakers Spread ‘Rumors’ That Israel Harvests Organs of Palestinians (VIDEO)
Earlier this week, SOAS lecturer Rafeef Ziadah hosted SOAS’ first “Israel Apartheid Week” panel event in front of 300 students, and it wasn’t long before the sickening propaganda started flying.
Sahar Francis of Addameer, a prisoner support group, said that Palestinian hunger striker Islam Hamed was threatened with rape by his guards and that Israel’s prison authorities hoped he would die so the courts would implement a “forced feeding bill.”
She continued, saying that Israel has been rumoured to harvest organs from its own car accident victims and from dead Palestinians. However, she said, she couldn’t confirm this.

Iowa House votes to keep state funds from companies boycotting Israel
The Iowa House of Representatives voted Tuesday to block the state from investing in companies that are publicly boycotting Israel.
A group of Palestinian political groups, unions and others in 2005 began encouraging companies and government entities to boycotts goods produced in Israel and divest from financial holdings there.
The bill Iowa House members passed Tuesday would prevent state agencies from investing in or contracting with companies that have publicly boycotted Israel.
Rep. Quentin Stanerson, R-Center Point, ran the bill on the floor and said that right now there are no U.S. companies currently boycotting Israel.
Rep. Dennis Cohoon, D-Burlington, served on the subcommittee for the bill and said there had been discussion about whether it was necessary. He said the three-person subcommittee agreed it was a good idea to act preemptively should this become a problem. (h/t Cliff)
Honest Reporting: Sacrificing The Truth For Comedy
The Toronto Star has posted a video featuring ‘comedian’ Scott Vrooman explaining Canada’s motion condemning BDS, titled ‘Parliamentary Debate on Israel Misses The Point.’
In fact it is Vrooman who misses countless points. In a previously posted video on the Star’s website, critiqued by HonestReporting Canada, Vrooman completely distorted the facts to portray Israel as deliberately killing unarmed Palestinian civilians.
His latest video is another failed attempt that sacrifices the truth for a lame attempt at comedy.
Vrooman suggests that the BDS movement can’t possibly be anti-Semitic because, as he sarcastically comments, it is supported by “thousands of apparently anti-Semitic Jewish people.” This absurdly implies that if a Jew shared the exact same views of a non-Jewish anti-Semite, the Jew could not be accused of anti-Semitism. This also ignores the fact that BDS, by its very nature, encourages anti-Semitism irrespective of the background of those supporting it.
World Council of Churches Starts Seven Weeks of Brainwashing
Palestinian propagandists constantly disseminate false accusations that Israel steals Palestinian water. Those allegations have been thoroughly refuted many times and are to be catalogued under the rubric of typical Palestinian propaganda lies.
If General Secretary Tveit seriously wants to help Palestinians, he should explain why Israelis enjoy so much more water per capita -- to contrast the brilliance of Israel's elimination of its former water problems with the utter incompetence of the Palestinian Authority to deal with its own problems. And to exhort the Palestinians to learn from Israel instead of vainly slandering Israel.
Israel now recycles 80% of waste water. Desalination plants have been erected along the Mediterranean coast, so that now Israel has an abundance of water. All this costs money, so Israelis pay more for their water and there is a punitive water price for anything above a legally defined level of domestic per capita water. Under the Palestinian Authority, it is the opposite. Up to 30% of their water has been estimated to go lost in their water delivery systems. Waste water is released to pollute the PA's land, and some flows downhill to pollute Israel as well. Large numbers of Palestinians either do not pay water bills or simply steal water by illegal connections.
BDS vote stirs up hostilities on McGill campus
Some students on the “No” side of the controversial Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) vote at McGill University this week say the suddenly hostile climate on campus has become unbearable for them.
Since the contentious vote on Monday in support of boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel, many students are saying they have been targeted for their opposition and that social media is now chock-full of anti-Semitic remarks that make them very uncomfortable.
“Little Zionist jewboys not happy that McGill students don’t support their genocide,” reads one post on messaging site Yik Yak, to which users centred around a geographic area can post anonymously.
“No” side campaigner Miled Hill said he knows of at least 10 students who sought counselling to help with intolerable situations. One student was going to police on Wednesday after there was an attempt to hack his Facebook page. One student speaking about the vote after the results were announced was later followed home and verbally harassed.
“There has been name-calling and intimidation,” said Harvey Levine, executive director of the Quebec region of B’nai Brith Canada. “These votes inevitably lead to anti-Semitic events … It’s disgraceful that 500 students can hold an entire university hostage.” (h/t alexi)
McGill’s Pro-Israel Community Fearful of ‘What’s to Come’ After BDS Victory
Another important difference between this year’s result and that of previous years, Halevi-Wise said on the listserv, was: “Our students are in the midst of writing midterms this week. If they take the time to fight the BDS onslaught, their grades suffer. If they do nothing, BDS wins the day. Not many dare to take time off from their studies to come out, semester after semester, to fight this ridiculous emotional battle.”
Halevi-Wise had heard from a number of students who were “quite distraught about the results” of Monday’s vote.
The student activist above was also disturbed by the aftermath of the vote. The passage of the motion, she told The Algemeiner, “sadly will affect the students and campus atmosphere. [There was] a barrage of antisemitic messages on both Yik Yak [an anonymous online chatroom] and Twitter,” she said, adding that these “illustrate [the] unfortunate and expected consequence of a pro-BDS motion passing on campus.” Such “hateful rhetoric,” she concluded, “make[s] me fear for what is to come.”
Monday’s student government vote must still be ratified by the larger student body. That vote will occur within the week, according to The McGill Daily.
Major Jewish Organization Demands CUNY Investigate Anti-Israel Student Group’s ‘Hateful, Divisive, Antisemitic’ Activities
Jewish students face a hostile and intimidating climate across the campuses of The City University of New York (CUNY), according to a letter that a pro-Israel advocacy group wrote to CUNY this week and shared with The Algemeiner.
The 14-page letter, penned by the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), documented incidents at four of the 23 CUNY campuses, attributing them and the pervading anti-Jewish atmosphere to local chapters of the national group, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP).
In the letter, the ZOA urged that SJP be “fully investigated,” and if found to be in violation of campus rules, have its permission to operate on any of CUNY’s campuses rescinded. The ZOA also made several recommendations, including that CUNY (1) publicly condemn the group and “its hateful, divisive, and antisemitic actions;” (2) publicly state that “there will be zero tolerance for antisemitism at CUNY;” and (3) “educate the CUNY community about the many forms that antisemitism takes today.”
The ZOA concluded: “By threatening Jews with violence, harassing and intimidating Jewish students, engaging in name-calling, and marginalizing and excluding Jewish students, the SJP’s conduct is antisemitic… Such bigotry would never be tolerated by CUNY if it were being directed against another ethnic, racial or other targeted group.”
Why Are American Jews Funding a Rachel Corrie Memorial Program?
Never put it past Jews in the Diaspora to shoot themselves (or at least their own people) in the foot, or worse. Now we learn that Jews are giving money, through a Jewish organization, to help fund an educational initiative to honor the “great humanitarian activist” Rachel Corrie.
Several years ago a brouhaha was raised about the Jewish Communal Fund, which is wholly-owned by the Jewish Federation of New York, because it was revealed to be distributing money to anti-Israel groups such as the New Israel Fund and Jewish Voice for Peace.
The response from the Federation was first that it is not connected to the Jewish Communal Fund, they are separate entities. But The UJA Federation is the “sole owning member” of the JCF, the JCF is a wholly-owned subsidiary. The claim by the Federation is like saying Pepsico and Frito-Lay are separate entities. They are, but Frito-Lay is wholly-owned by Pepsico.
And put aside the question why people who want to contribute to anti-Israel groups choose to do it through the Jewish Communal Fund. That one we can’t fathom, though frankly we can’t fathom why anyone with any seichel wants to give to JVP or NIF anyway.
California State University LA Bans Ben Shapiro
Conservative author and speaker Ben Shapiro has been banned from making an appearance at California State University Los Angeles by the school’s president.
Shapiro would apparently present too great a threat to the safe spaces of CSULA’s sensitive snowflake students.
Christine Rousselle reported at Townhall:
Conservative Writer Ben Shapiro Banned from CSULA
Early Tuesday morning, conservative writer Ben Shapiro revealed on Twitter that his planned speech on February 25 at California State University-Los Angeles had been canceled by the university’s president.
Corbyn's obsession with following "anti-Israel" twitter accounts that do not hide their antisemitism
Interesting to discover Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn is a Twitter follower* of an account called "Israel Apartheid". To get a feel for how antisemitic this account is check out the very top followers in the above screenshot. But that's nothing compared to the antisemitism of an account called "Jew4Palestine", which coincidentally, Corbyn also follows. As you can see from the screenshot below the latest tweets on that account are actually all about the terrorist murders last December in San Bernandino committed by ISIS husband and wife Farooq and Tashveen Malik. "Jew4Palestine" clearly sympathizes with the terrorists and repeats the lie that Farooq was 'bullied at work" by a "Zionist Jew" But in typical confused and paranoiac antisemitic style you can see that "Jew4Palestine"also believes the Jews support ISIS....

But these are by no means an aberration. I just checked the other 2000 or so accounts that Corbyn follows. I counted about 130 'Palestine' related sites that are primarily focused on boycotting Israel and pumping out anti-Israel propaganda. Most of these also contain virulent antisemitic blood libels. Moreover, Corbyn's anti-Israel obsession is not balanced with an interest in any other foreign country. Apart from a handful of accounts supporting communist or socialist parties in countries such as Venezuela, Corbyn has no interest at all in any foreign affairs other than his hatred of the Jewish State.
It is also interesting to note that, with the exception of accounts relating to Left wing organisations and people (including the Communist Party), the only other 'political' accounts he follows are those of Islamic charities, and commentators known for their obsessive hatred of Israel.
BDS is Failing: a continuing series (March 2016)
Here’s the latest installment in our monthly round-up of BDS fails.
Economic BDS Fails
Israel selected to host Forbes 600 under 30
Forbes has announced its first Under 30 Summit EMEA, (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) and has selected Jerusalem and Tel Aviv for the inaugural event.
The Under 30 Summit EMEA is hoping to attract 600 young entrepreneurs and game changers from across the world: 200 from Europe, 200 from the US and 200 from Israel.
“We look forward to bringing our successful Under 30 Summit to the EMEA region, and there is no better place than Start-up Nation, where innovation is at the core of everything that is going on,” said Randall Lane, editor of Forbes magazine.
Munich-based DAB Bank is slated to discontinue the account of one of the top BDS campaign websites in Germany
Dr. Jürgen Eikenbusch, the spokesman for DAB Bank Munich, wrote the [Jerusalem] Post by email on Tuesday: “Because of bank secrecy [financial laws] we cannot provide you with concrete information about the account. We took the information very seriously and are examining the topic and are taking, if necessary. the corresponding measures.”
DAB Munich is the German branch of its French mother company bank, BNP Paribas. French law outlaws BDS activity targeting the Jewish state.
WATCH: That Moment Canadian Parliament Passed Motion Condemning BDS
You may recall I posted a couple of great speeches against BDS by Canadian Parliamentarians.
It turns out the Canadian Parliament ended up passing a historic motion condemning the BDS movement by a vote of 229-51.
Here is it happening. Remember the names of these people standing up for what is right

“Peace & Conflict” studies to be downgraded.
Christian Kerr writes in the The Australian newspaper today that University of Sydney has foreshadowed a downgrading of its controversial Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, following a drop in student enrollments.
The centre and its director, associate professor Jake Lynch, have been embroiled in a string of public squabbles over recent years, attracting claims of antisemitism.
At a lecture being given by retired British military officer Colonel Richard Kemp, a world-renowned expert on armed conflict, the Middle East and a prolific media commentator, protesters, including Jake Lynch, disrupted a lecture, fighting with security guards, at the University of Sydney.
In November 2012, Lynch declined a request by an Israeli academic, Professor Dan Avnon, to name him as a University of Sydney contact on his application for a Sir Zelman Cowen fellowship, which underwrites exchanges between the University of Sydney and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He cited that he believes in the BDS and therefore was boycotting Israeli universities and academics.
Israel blasts German city council for €10,000 prize to pro-BDS group
Israel slammed a Bavarian city council on Thursday for awarding a tolerance prize to the radical US NGO Code Pink, which rejects Israel’s right to exist and has ties to Holocaust deniers in Iran.
“The Israeli Embassy in Berlin and the General Consulate in Munich acted to prevent the awarding of the ‘Wilhelmine-von-Bayreuth’ prize to the organization ‘Code Pink,’” the Israeli embassy said in a statement issued Thursday.
“It is shocking that in Germany, of all places, a decision was taken to award, in the name of tolerance and humanitarianism, an organization which openly denies the right of the State of Israel to exist,” said Israel’s Ambassador to Germany Yakov Hadas-Handelsman. “It seems that in Bayreuth, the definition of tolerance and humanitarianism means cooperating with Holocaust deniers in Iran, boycotting Jews and rejecting the right of Israel to exist.”
The city council of Germany’s Bayreuth on Wednesday overruled the mayor’s opposition by a vote of 23-18 to award 10,000 euro to Code Pink. The decision prompted sharp criticism in Germany, Israel and the US.

Why The Independent Recycles ‘Apartheid’ Week Op-Ed
Pretty weak of The Independent to recycle a 2013 commentary by Matt Hill on whether Israel’s an apartheid state. An editor’s note at the bottom of the commentary acknowledges this, without explaining why. I’ll get to my theory in a moment.
It’s Israel Apartheid Week in the UK, and Hill’s dusted-off argument is that the apartheid libel is true, but only in the West Bank. The A-word, he acknowledges, doesn’t apply to Israel’s treatment of its own Arab citizens.
How kind.
Of course, if there were no Palestinian terror, unpleasant security measures wouldn’t be necessary, and if the Palestinian leadership would negotiate in good-faith, they might actually get a state.
If Hill expects a unilateral end of the “apartheid regime,” we could theoretically offer Israeli citizenship to the West Bank Palestinians, but that would amount to annexation, which is another dirty A-word.
So why did The Independent recycle this op-ed?
My guess is that the editors felt a need to balance out a nastier Israel “Apartheid” screed by Ben White, but couldn’t or wouldn’t find someone willing to write a fresh commentary.
BBC interviewee selected to comment on antisemitism story convicted of antisemitism
As was noted here at the time, in spite of BBC editorial guidelines on impartiality no effort was made to inform audiences of the far-right background and political agenda of the interviewee selected to supposedly enhance their understanding of the story.
Paxman: “I began by asking him what on earth it [the quenelle gesture] meant.”
Alain Soral: “It’s a gesture against the system, against the powers that be in France. It has only recently become – since it’s a gesture that’s been around for almost ten years – only recently the most powerful Jewish organization in France, the CRIF, decreed that it was an anti-Semitic gesture. So basically, their idea is that an anti-system gesture is an anti-Semitic one. So at the end of the day, is that simply an improper accusation? Or is there a deep link between the system of domination that Mr Dieudonne is fighting against and the organized Jewish community? Well that’s the question.”
Paxman: “But you don’t deny that Mr Dieudonne is an anti-Semite, do you?”

AS: “The problem is that this word has become a word used to scare people. A long time ago Dieudonne had a partner – a young Jew called Eli Simoun – but all of these accusations started arriving the day he did a sketch on Israeli settlers. So today we have a very powerful Zionist lobby in France which treats anyone who doesn’t subscribe to its vision of the world and to its politics as antisemitic.”

Although the BBC’s funding public never did find out why in the first place ‘Newsnight’ editors considered the airing of Soral’s antisemitic conspiracy theories and whitewashing of the racism of his ‘close friend’ to be of any contribution to the public’s understanding of the issue under discussion, the news that Soral has now been convicted by a French criminal court in a case relating to antisemitism should surely prompt some belated self-examination of the editorial decisions made in the run-up to the airing of that interview.
‘Mein Kampf’ Is a No. 2 Bestseller in Germany; Dalai Lama’s Book Comes in at No. 3
Now that the (Bavaria-held) copyright has expired on Adolf Hitler’s anti-Semitic volume, Mein Kampf is back in stores in Germany. Republication of the Hitler’s hateful work, which he wrote in prison in 1923 (it was published in 1925) has been banned since the author’s death in 1945. The new version, a near-2,000-page annotated version, sold out within the first week of its publishing this year. (15,000 advance orders were made).
Now, Mein Kampf is a bestseller in Germany, where it sits at No. 2 on Der Spiegel’s bestseller list. For what it’s worth, the Dalai Lama’s Ethics Are More Important Than Religion comes in at No. 3 on the list. (In 2014, Mein Kampf was a hot iTunes seller.)
Survey: Record Number of Israeli Teens Witnessing, Experiencing Online Antisemitism
A record number of Israeli Jewish teens faced antisemitism on the Internet in 2015, according to a survey released on Wednesday by US Jewish organization the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).
A poll of 500 Israeli teenagers aged 15-18 revealed that nearly four in every five encountered online antisemitic abuse last year. Eighty-four percent of the teens reported witnessing overtly antisemitic content online in 2015, and 16% said the content was personally directed at them. Most of the teens surveyed said they came across antisemitic content at least once a month, sometimes weekly or even daily.
The figures constitute the highest level of online abuse recorded in three years, according to the ADL.
In 2013, 69% of Israeli Jewish teens said they encountered antisemitic content online, and 13% said the content had been personally directed at them. Nearly 40% of those who encountered antisemitism in 2015 said they took no action to report or counter the online hatred, higher than the 33% who said the same thing in 2013.
Malmö Jews offended by actor who cited anti-Semitism
A leader of the Jewish Community of Malmö, Sweden, reacted badly when a Jewish TV star revealed he had quit a successful series because of the discomfort he felt when filing in Malmö.
Kim Bodnia, the Danish-Jewish star of the Scandinavian crime drama "The Bridge" ("Broen / Bron" in Danish and Swedish) had said he quit the show in part because he did not feel safe filming in the Swedish town of Malmö.
He left the TV series after two seasons playing police investigator Martin Rohde, and in an interview with Israeli website Walla, said anti-Semitism “is growing, especially in Malmö where we shot it.”
It’s not very comfortable to be there as a Jewish person. So of course this has something to do with why it’s easy for me to say no to working in Sweden," he added.
The Jewish Community of Malmö responded by saying that the Jews have "no interest in being used in a politicized discussion on the situation for us Jews in Malmo," wrote Freddy Gellberg, Deputy Chairman of the Jewish Community of Malmö, in Expressen.
"We take this issue too seriously to contribute to the simplifications and generalizations. "It is of course true that there is anti-Semitism in Malmo, argued Gellberg, but the problem is not unique to Malmö. "Anti-Semitism is everywhere – even in Kim Bodnia's hometown of Copenhagen; yes – even in Stockholm."
Israel's natural gas potential triple what was thought
The Energy Ministry has tripled its estimate of the volume of still-undiscovered natural gas in Israeli waters.
Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz, has been presenting to international energy companies the new assessment of a potential 2,100 billion cubic meters (BCMs) of natural gas, in contrast to the 680 BCMs that the Tzemach Committee relied on to examine the government's policy regarding the natural gas market. The Tamar and Leviathan gas fields have already yielded 750-950 BCM of natural gas.
The ministry based its new assessment on a report prepared by French consulting firm BeicipFranlab. It found that the seabed has four relevant layers that potentially contain geological structures that could contain gas. According to the report, the potential amount of petroleum is estimated at 6.6 billion barrels.
After years in which the search for gas and oil was essentially frozen, mainly because of regulatory delays, the Ministry of Energy now hopes that – if the High Court of Justice does not interfere – the endeavor can be restarted.
Armed with these new figures, Steinitz has been attempting at an international conference held in Houston, Texas to convince companies to come search for oil and gas in Israel. A likely obstacle in this effort will be the decline in oil and gas prices worldwide and the problems this has caused for many fuel companies. The report's data also appear in an official promotional flyer that the representatives of the Ministries of Energy and Finance presented at the conference.
Is your life too stressful? There may soon be a blood test to find out
Adult life can be stressful, and many of us are not sure what to do about it. Well-meaning advice from friends and acquaintances like “just relax!” doesn’t necessarily help because the more we try to relax, the more stressed we get when we don’t succeed. Taking a seaside vacation is not always an option. Yet the stakes are high: Chronic stress raises our risk of infection, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, arthritis and pain.
A recent study by researchers at Tel Aviv University has confirmed that for many of us, stress is not something we can simply snap out of. About 40 percent of a group of healthy young patients had trouble regaining their composure 20 minutes after a stressful event in a laboratory. This lingering stress was not merely subjective but rather a physiological response clearly visible in fMRI scans and blood tests.
The Tel Aviv team, led by Cognitive Neuroscience professor Talma Hendler and Dr. Noam Shomron of TAU’s Sagol School of Neuroscience and Sackler School of Medicine, says that the study’s findings can be used to develop a blood test measuring how well a patient regulates stress. If the blood test discovers that a person regulates stress poorly, the researchers expect to develop methods to train them to “just relax” at will.
Boy, 7, finds 3,400-year-old statuette in Beit She’an Valley
During a trip to Tel Rehov in northern Israel with several friends and an adult earlier this week, a 7-year-old boy made a remarkable discovery.
The boy, Ori Greenhut, from the communal settlement of Tel Te’omin in the Bet She’an Valley, said he suddenly came upon a small figure covered with soil while they were climbing up the archaeological mound in the area.
After rubbing the dirt off the object, an unusual clay statuette was revealed.
His mother, Moriya Greenhut, said Ori was excited when he came home to present her with the mysterious ceramic figurine of a woman standing naked.
“We explained to him that it was an antique, and that the Antiquities Authority maintains its findings for the general public,” she said on Thursday.
In short order, the family reported the finding to the authority, and Amihai Mazar, professor emeritus at Hebrew University, and expedition director of the archaeological excavations at Tel Rehov, inspected the statuette.

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