Sunday, May 22, 2016

From Ian:

NYTs: As Hamas Tunnels Back Into Israel, Palestinians Are Afraid, Too
Residents said they had heard thudding noises below an incongruous-looking nearby shack that they think covers a tunnel entrance. They said they were too afraid to ask the truck drivers or other men they see around the shack what was going on.
“How can we say they are helping when they are building tunnels?” a woman asked of Hamas, tapping the rubble under her feet.
Naji Sarhan, the deputy housing minister in Gaza, denied that Hamas was taking construction material, particularly cement, intended for reconstruction, instead accusing vendors of illegally selling their supplies on the black market. He said Hamas had “its own ways” to obtain building materials.
In Beit Hanoun’s “Caravan Quarter,” a cluster of donated mobile homes where hundreds have been camped since the war’s end as they wait to rebuild, the anger was palpable.
“We have a Gaza City under the ground, and we have nothing up here,” said one 23-year-old in the camp, who spoke on the condition he be identified only as Akram, and said he made a living delivering groceries.
A neighbor who is 29 and goes by the name Abu Mohammad, said that the danger of nearby tunnels made him reluctant to rebuild. “I give it 99.5 percent that our house will be destroyed again,” he said. “I go crazy thinking about it.”

Simon Wiesenthal Center denounces ‘Israel-bashing’ Romeo and Juliet play
A new adaptation of William Shakespeare’s famous play Romeo and Juliet was denounced by the Simon Wiesenthal Center for its perceived “Israel-bashing.”
The play, currently in previews at Theatricum Botanicum in California’s Topanga Canyon, is set in contemporary East Jerusalem and includes uniformed Israeli soldiers lording over Palestinians. In the play, a character depicting an Israeli soldier executes an unarmed Palestinian woman at close range.
“Shakespeare’s classic love story has been hijacked to demonize the State of Israel,” Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the Jewish NGO’s associate dean, said in a statement. “We do not believe in censorship, but this production has degraded a classic play into a heavy-handed, anti-Israel propaganda platform.”
“As currently staged, Romeo and Juliet is a ‘lose-lose’ proposition,” Cooper continued. “The play loses, the public loses and the truth loses. The genius of Shakespeare should be used to illuminate the human condition and promote understanding of issues, not the distortion of reality,” he concluded.
IsraellyCool: Roger Waters Narrates And Pimps For Anti Israel Propaganda Movie
This next video is 24 minutes, which is 24 minutes of your life you won’t get back. But it does show how utterly dishonest the anti Israel side are. As well as Roger Waters sprouting his BS while wearing a keffiyeh. Just in case you did not already know on whose side of the conflict he stands.
Waters joins the executive producer of the propaganda film Sut Jhally, who looks a bit like Doc Brown. But think big shmuck rather than great Scott. His face also looks like it is suffering from an illegal occupation by his eyebrows.
Waters acts as narrator for the film, which seems to be about how the “Israeli public relations campaign to influence U.S. public opinion.” Which sounds a hell of a lot like those antisemitic tropes about Jews being behind the media.

Netanyahu at Jpost Conference: PA inciting to kill Jews
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the 2016 Jerusalem Post Annual Conference in New York through a pre-recorded taped speech Sunday, warning of growing anti-Semitism throughout the world and the threat the Jewish state faces in the Middle East.
Addressing the audience, Netanyahu lamented the moral failure of countries, institutions and individuals in not consistently condemning anti-Jewish sentiments throughout the globe whenever and wherever it rears its ugly head.
"Words that should be condemned everywhere and always, are not condemned everywhere and always," Netanyahu said
Netanyahu also highlighted the threats facing the Jewish state, especially concerning hostility emanating from Iran and notorious terror organization Hamas.
Al Aqsa TV, a channel controlled by Hamas, is "responsible for much of the violence you see today" against Israel, Netanyahu noted.
"This incitement to kill Jews" and destroy the Jewish state "is the ideology Hamas, Iran and I hate to say, the Palestinian Authority," he added.
'Facebook, Google are part of the problem in Israel's war on terror'
The Israeli government will pass legislation against social media and Internet giants like Facebook and Google if they do not take steps to curb anti-Israel “incitement,” Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan told The Jerusalem Post Annual Conference in New York on Sunday.
Erdan made the remarks during a speech in which he outlined the challenges faced by Israel and its supporters in dealing with the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement.
“Social media companies are happy to use the data they collect on all of us to make money, but unfortunately not to help stop terror,” the minister said.
Earlier this year, the Foreign Ministry called on governments around the world to regulate social media in order to combat anti-Semitism and violent incitement, reiterating the government’s support last year for Internet censorship during an anti-racism conference.
Erdan admits massive company caved in by boycotting Israel
Minister equates BDS activists with terrorists.
Public Security and Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan admitted at Sunday's Jerusalem Post Conference in New York that G4S, the world's largest security company, stopped doing business in Israel because it caved in to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.
In March, the company revoked its contract with Israel following a campaign asking the United Nations to drop its contracts with the firm. The company has claimed that the decision was among many it had taken around the world, but Erdan disputed that claim.
"While almost all companies ignore the intimidation, a tiny minority give in," Erdan said. "For example, BDS was a factor in the decision of security company G4S to sell their operations in Israel. The company is now trying to convince everyone that BDS was not a factor. Don't listen to them. Giving in to BDS was a mistake, both morally and financially. Companies that take such politically-motivated decisions must pay a price, and they will."
Erdan took a risk in exposing G4S, a British multinational security services company that has operations in around 125 countries. His announcement could be cited by BDS activists as a victory after international credit agencies said BDS had not harmed the Israeli economy. But now G4S could be prevented from doing business in US states that have anti-BDS legislation, such as Illinois, South Carolina, Florida, and Iowa, which could deter other companies from making such decisions.
Lauder: Some BDS movements are little more than Muslim Brotherhood recruiting tools
In a passionate speech at The Jerusalem Post conference on Sunday, President of the World Jewish Congress Ronald S. Lauder said that there has never been a better time to forge a peace agreement with the Palestinians, and recalled Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s 2009 Bar Ilan speech in which he expressed support for the two-state solution.
Speaking at the conference in New York, Lauder said that he has spoken with many Arab leaders who have told him they want a peace accord and said that the the possibility of such an agreement is still strong.
“I agree with the Prime Minister [Netanyahu]. I believe deep in my bones that peace is possible. In fact, I believe there has never been a better time for peace…Indeed, the makings of a peace deal are clear to those who are willing to listen.”
Alongside his call for peace, Lauder condemned the UN as “an anti-Israel cartel,” and described the Boycott Divestment Sanctions movement against Israel as an international campaign designed to isolate Israel.“The UN today is a hotbed of anti-Israel hatred—a place where the world’s worst human rights abusers are given a platform to denounce Israel,” he said, and condemned the disproportionate attention paid by the organization to Israel. Lauder said that if this attitude persists the US should “re-evaluate” the level of funding it provides to the UN.
America’s next president and the war on terrorism
The Israelis have never asked other countries to endanger the lives of their military personnel to defend the Jewish people. As it now stands, Israel has only to be concerned with the safety and security of its own people and not the lives of foreign troops stationed on Israeli soil.
Currently, government leaders of both the US and Israel are discussing a new MOU (memorandum of understanding) that determines how much defense aid will be allotted to Israel over the next decade. (The current MOU ends in 2018.) The Israeli government is asking for $10b. more than is allowed under the current agreement, billions more than the Obama administration is willing to consider. Israel is seeking a guarantee that missile defense projects so vital to that country’s security will continue to be funded.
The next president of the United States will either learn from the past or repeat it. Israel does not need the help of the US to wage war on terrorism.
The US, however, does need a strategic base in Israel to protect our troops and effectively wage war on radical Islam. The Israelis have the knowhow to go into battle with the US to win the war. To pretend that oil-rich dictators are America’s allies when they finance terrorism with one hand and pretend to fight it with the other is sheer insanity.
Report: Arab states willing to amend 2002 Saudi peace initiative
Arab leaders are hoping that possible amendments to the 2002 Saudi peace initiative could lead to the renewal of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, according to a Channel 10 report.
The Arab League endorsed the Saudi initiative in 2002 and again in 2007.
The Channel 10 report said Arab countries have indicated some of the clauses in the initiative are open to negotiation, including the ones related to the demands that Israel withdraw from the Golan Heights and grant Palestinian refugees a "right of return."
However, officials in Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' office told Israel Hayom they were unaware of potential changes to the Saudi initiative.
PM vows wider coalition will still seek peace, holds out hope for Zionist Union to join
After snubbing the largest opposition party for the ultra-nationalist Yisrael Beytenu, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday said that he was still holding onto hope that the Zionist Union would decide to join the government.
Netanyahu told his cabinet members that he would not appoint anyone to fill the empty foreign minister chair as he was holding that as a bargaining chip to entice the Zionist Union faction into the coalition, according to several reports.
Netanyahu spokesman David Keyes confirmed to The Times of Israel that Netanyahu would hold onto the post.
Last week Netanyahu shook up Israeli politics by jilting the dovish Zionist Union, which he’d been courting to create a unity government, and striking a deal with hawkish former foreign minister Avigdor Liberman instead.
'Liberman backed Kerry while Ya'alon was insulting him,' Indyk says
Avigdor Liberman, whose official appointment to the position of defense minister is by all indications imminent, has a surprising supporter – Martin Indyk, the former US ambassador to Israel.
Indyk tweeted on Sunday that while the departure of Moshe Ya’alon has been a source of lament on the part of commentators and political observers in Israel and abroad, it was Liberman who publicly supported his boss, US Secretary of State John Kerry, during his aborted attempt to jumpstart the peace process.
“Liberman says reprehensible things but I remember that he supported SecState Kerry's peace efforts when Ya'alon was insulting him,” Indyk tweeted.
Liberman said to drop demand for death penalty for terrorists
Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman on Saturday reportedly dropped his demand for the revival of a draft bill allowing the sentencing of convicted terrorists to death, a request he had previously raised with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as part of a deal for having his five-seat right-wing party join the governing coalition.
Under the coalition agreement, expected to be finalized Sunday, Liberman will become defense minister.
The original bill proposed that convicted terrorists could be sentenced to death with a simple majority of judges, rather than the unanimous decision required under current law.
Last year, the Knesset overwhelmingly voted down a bill, proposed by Yisrael Beytenu, that would have enabled judges to sentence a terrorist to death, with Netanyahu ordering lawmakers from his Likud party to oppose the bill, saying it needed further examination from a legal perspective.
The Sunday Times Confuses a Proposal for Policy
Under the headline “Israel plans death penalty for Palestinian militants,” The Sunday Times (UK) makes the following claim:
Israel is poised to introduce the death penalty for Palestinian militants after Benjamin Netanyahu invited an ultranationalist party to join his coalition government.
There are not one, but two major problems with this headline and article text.
The first is the use of the word “militants.” Militants can describe almost anyone with extreme views. Is Lieberman really proposing the death penalty for any Palestinian deemed to be an extremist?
No. The proposal that Lieberman supports is capital punishment for convicted terrorists. While still controversial, the concept sounds less extreme when accurate terminology is used. (See our Red Lines media bias article and video on Misleading Terminology.)
But the most misleading part of the headline and the article is the assertion that the State of Israel is actively planning this legislation. That is simply not true.
Sanders: Democratic platform must better reflect Palestinian hopes
Seeking to sway policy as any realistic chance of winning the presidential nomination further erodes, Bernie Sanders reportedly wants the Democratic Party to make Palestinian rights more of a priority in its platform.
According to the Washington Post, the Vermont senator wants to see changes that would better reflect Palestinian aspirations for statehood.
Sanders, the only Jewish candidate to ever have won any major party primaries, has throughout the campaign defended Israel’s right to security, but also has called for an end to settlement expansion and criticized what he has said has been Israel’s disproportionate response to Palestinian attacks. He recently came under criticism for claiming that Israel killed 10,000 Palestinians in the last round of fighting in Gaza, a figure that is five times greater than even the Hamas statistics, and one Sanders later walked back.
The Democratic platform as approved in 2012 refers to aspirations for a “just and lasting” agreement that would result in two states. Much of its 300 or so words are otherwise given over to protections for Israel’s security and a demand that Palestinians “recognize Israel’s right to exist, reject violence, and adhere to existing agreements.”
French prime minister visits Israel in peace plan push
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls arrived in Israel Sunday to advance his country’s plan to restart Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts in the face of opposition from his counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu.
Valls, who arrived on Saturday night, was to meet Netanyahu on Monday before traveling to Ramallah on Tuesday to hold talks with Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah.
On Sunday, Valls’s itinerary was mainly devoted to economic and cultural issues.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has welcomed the French initiative to hold a meeting of foreign ministers from a range of countries on June 3, without the Israelis and Palestinians present.
PreOccupiedTerritory: France Delays Mideast Peace Conference Amid Double Standard Shortage (satire)
French Minister of Foreign Affairs Jean-Marc Ayrault announced today that his country would postpone the Middle East peace conference originally scheduled for the end of this month, to allow for the manufacture and delivery of a sufficient quantity of double standards to apply to Israel.
Ayrault told reporters at a press conference this morning that the conference would take place not beginning May 30, as originally planned, but several weeks later, a delay that would give producers enough time to supply the European, American, and Arab participant nations with the number of double standards they are accustomed to applying to Israel, but of which inventories had been running low. The depletion of the double standards, said the minister, occurred because of improper oversight of double standard stockpiles, a factor that allowed almost anyone to seize and apply double standards with little or no oversight.
“We have had media outlets and international organizations making profligate use of double standards for Israel, seemingly without regard for the quantity of such resources available to the rest of us,” he explained. “On top of the everyday bias against Israel’s legitimacy or concerns, we had UNESCO denying Jewish history, the EU funding illegal Palestinian construction in areas under Israeli control as per Oslo – while condemning Israel for building homes – the hypocritical singling out of Israel as practicing torture – and that was just over the last couple of weeks. Add to that tendentious media coverage and the ongoing use of a unique, cynical, inhumane definition of ‘refugee’ only for Palestinians, and it’s no wonder we’re running low.”
Beware the Echo Chamber, Fear the Media Savvy Left, Stick to the Truth
I’m not sure which is more worrisome: the ease with which the media, politicians and public opinion were manipulated by the White House and by Ben Rhodes and his associates, or the fact that Ben Rhodes and his associates not only do not care care that their methods have been exposed, they are openly proud of how they did it and are apparently just waiting for the next opportunity and client, so they can do it again.
The Ploughshares Fund was one of the most egregious abusers of the public’s right to receive good, unbiased information, when, during the critical period leading up to the Senate vote on the Iran nuclear deal, suddenly new organizations and experts began popping up out of nowhere, filling up the internet and social media with their distorted information.
Ploughshares used their money to network and amplify the voices of 86 organizations and 200 individuals during the Iran Debate, creating, what Ben Rhodes described as an “echo chamber” effect, where it looked and sounded like the voices on their side of the public debate were the overwhelming majority, always making a point to be there to oppose any conflicting opinion.
But this isn’t the first time we’ve seen this technique being used.
Remember V15 in Israel? A previously unknown group which popped out of nowhere during the 2015 elections and tried to oust PM Netanyahu, claiming to be a “grassroots” organization, yet flush with suspiciously copious funds, enough to make a lot of noise. Now we know V15 was connected to OneVoice, which had received a $233,500 grant from the US State Department in 2013, according to NGO-Monitor, and, by their own admission, other money from overseas Jews, including S. Daniel Abraham (Founder of Center for Middle East Peace) and Daniel Lubetzky (Founder of PeaceWorks, which created OneVoice Movement). They also hired Jeremy Bird, President Obama’s 2012 campaign director, to help in their anti-Bibi campaign.

NGO: No protection for Israeli banks with PA ties in terrorism lawsuits
Shurat Hadin, an Israeli NGO that focuses on litigating terrorism cases, wrote a letter to Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon last Tuesday arguing that any Israeli banks that cooperate with the Palestinian Authority or its banks should not be protected against anti-terrorism lawsuits.
If Kahlon agrees, it could lead Israeli financial institutions to sever ties from Palestinian banks and the PA for fear of lawsuits, and severely damage the Palestinian economy.
“Any encouragement or support given by the state, by the Finance Ministry, by you, or by those acting on your behalf, to any Israeli or international bank in order for them to continue their engagement with the Palestinian banks, let alone any guarantee of protection against anti-terrorism suits, are liable to put relevant persons in breach of many legal provisions,” including those against financing terrorism and money laundering, the group wrote.
In February, The Jerusalem Post’s sister paper Maariv reported that Bank Hapoalim and Discount Bank were considering severing ties from Palestinian banks due to fears that the funds would be used to fund terrorism, and expose the Israeli banks to lawsuits both in Israel and abroad.
‘Post’ poll: Israelis think Trump would be better than Clinton at fighting terrorism
More Israelis believe Donald Trump would be better than Hillary Clinton at fighting terrorism, but even more believe the former secretary of state is more qualified than the real estate mogul to serve as president, according to a poll for The Jerusalem Post.
Thirty-eight percent of respondents said Trump would be a better president to lead the fight against terrorism, as opposed to 21% who chose Clinton. In addition, 36% said Trump was more likely to improve relations between the Israeli and US governments, slightly more than the 34% who chose Clinton.
That said, 40% responded that Clinton is more suited to be president, as opposed to 29% who chose Trump.
Eight percent of respondents answered “neither;” only 3% chose Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), who is competing for the nomination of the Democratic Party; and 7% said they favor Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who has suspended his campaign.
King David Hotel orders Jewish band to remove kippot, tzitzit
One of Jerusalem's top hotels barred a band from wearing yarmulkes and tzitzit, i.e. Jewish religious garb, out of fear of offending its Arab workers.
The King David hotel invited the Inbalim band to play for its workers, Army Radio reports - the vast majority of whom are Arab.
As such, the band adapted its repertoire to suit its audience, including many songs from Umm Kulthum and Farid al-Atrash. But half an hour before the show, the producers banned the band from wearing their yarmulkes, "because it will hurt the feelings of our Arab workers."
The band's director, secular Israeli Noam Cohen, refused to order his musicians to remove their yarmulkes, but offered to have them wear baseball caps as a compromise.
Despite this, half an hour after the show began, the director demanded one musician remove his tzitzit, forcing the band manager to confront hotel management over the demands.
Clashes between Hamas and Fatah renewed after Hamas official slights Yasser Arafat
Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Zahar accused Arafat of cowardice during the battle of Karameh, a major skirmish between Fatah militants and IDF forces that took place in the Jordanian town of Karameh in 1968.
"When he saw the Israeli tanks heading toward Karameh, Abu Ammar (Arafat's moniker) fled on his Vespa and did not participate in the fighting. Arafat went to Amman and held a press conference only after the victory in the battle," Zahar claimed.
Zahar's criticism of the late leader is noteworthy because of the importance Palestinians attribute to this battle. The victory claimed by Fatah in Karameh was a turning point in the history of the Palestinian national resistance movement, since it drew the Arab world's attention to the Palestinian issue, and turned Fatah and its leader Yasser Arafat into champions of Palestinian resistance.
The senior Hamas leader further smeared Arafat, stating: "Abu Ammar fought against us, confiscated our weapons, jailed us, tortured us and had security coordination with Israel."
"Arafat is the one who started the security coordination between the Palestinian Authority and Israel, and he is the one who renounced 80% of Palestinian land," Zahar added.
Zahar's allegations enraged many Fatah supporters, who launched a social media campaign calling on Palestinian Authority President and current Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas to put Zahar on trial for "attacking Palestine's martyrs and their forefather, Yasser Arafat."
Israel to allow cement into Gaza after 6-week freeze
Israeli authorities are renewing the transfer of cement to the Gaza Strip’s private sector on Monday after freezing imports for over a month over the claim Hamas was siphoning it off for building tunnels.
Sunday’s decision by the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories was confirmed by Israeli and Palestinian sources.
COGAT halted the import of cement and other building materials at the beginning of April after an undisclosed amount of cement intended for the rebuilding effort of the beleaguered Strip was “taken by Imad al-Baz, deputy director of Hamas’s Economic Ministry,” the Defense Ministry body said on its Arabic Facebook page at the time.
Deliberations between Israeli and UN officials, including Nickolay Mladenov, the UN’s special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, yielded an agreement to allow cement to be imported anew. Stipulations included al-Baz’s dismissal and an increase in the number of Palestinian inspectors on the Gaza side of the Kerem Shalom border crossing, according to the sources.
At the epicenter of BDS
Over the last 68 years, since the establishment of Israel, we have seen how the Arab world has tried to eliminate Israel through conventional warfare and then by way of intifada and terrorism. But to date, the most effective Arab tactic has been the campaign of demoralization and delegitimization.
As any psychologist would tell you, the human body is capable of miraculously repairing physical wounds, but psychological damage often lasts a lifetime. This psychological campaign is currently underway in many battlefields, including forums of international jurisdiction -- the United Nations, the International Criminal Court of Justice and the International Red Cross, to name a few. However, the most brutal battlefield today is the average U.S. college campus, and some of the leaders of this movement happen to be Jewish students, particularly those lacking adequate knowledge of the history of what happened to our people over the last two centuries.
For many of these students, all of Judaism boils down to the words "tikkun olam" -- repairing the world. They see Judaism exclusively as a social justice movement. Lacking the context of what our people went through that necessitated a national liberation movement, and having heard only stories of Israel's successes in high-tech and medicine, their compassion immediately goes to the underdogs, which, to them, are the Palestinians. In fact, their identification with the Palestinian cause may even make them feel like they are being "good Jews."
About a decade ago, Natan Sharansky wrote that "American university campuses are islands of anti-Semitism within the United States," and that "American Jewish college students are the new Jews of silence." In the ensuing years, the situation got much worse. Many of those college students have graduated and have assumed positions of leadership within the U.S., and their commitment to Israel's survival has been waning.
Jewish Woman Forced to Hide From Anti-Israel Activists at UC-Irvine
An event hosted by a pro-Israel student group ended abruptly Wednesday night as police were called to protect attendees from an angry mob that had gathered. One student who never made it inside the venue called 9-1-1 as she hid in fear from anti-Israel activists who chased her into a building on the University of California-Irvine campus.
Sophomore Eliana Kopley had just left a Holocaust-related event when she was walking toward the facility featuring a screening of “Beneath the Helmet,” a documentary about the Israel Defense Forces. As she arrived at the event hosted by Students Supporting Israel, Ms. Kopley was met by an angry crowd pounding on the doors and windows—engaged in violent chants targeting the Jewish state.
“I was terrified. There is no other word to describe how I felt,” Ms. Kopley told the Haym Salomon Center.
As the mob tried to gain entrance to the event, one protestor shouted, “If we’re not allowed in, you’re not allowed in!”
With the crowd physically forbidding Ms. Kopley from attending the event and chants inciting violence against Jews and Israel such as “Intifada, Intifada—Long live the Intifada!” and “F**k Israel!” Ms. Kopley walked away from the scene.
But she was not alone. A group of female students followed her as she escaped to safety in the room nearby.
“When I turned back, at that moment, I looked at one of the girls and wanted to hide and cry,” Ms. Kopley said.
Throughout this entire time, Ms. Kopley never hung up the phone with her mother, who was anxiously fearful on the other end of the line.
Forward promotes 'Jews of Color' idiocy
What has happened to the Forward? Lately that revered institution of American-Jewish life seems to have been serving as a platform to some radical leftist views. Take this letter from a group calling themselves JoC (Jews of Color), which appeared on 17 May. See my comment below:
'We are a group of JOC in solidarity with Palestine who are organizing in partnership with JVP (Jewish Voice for Palestinians). For us, “Jews of Color” includes Sephardi and Mizrahi Jews, and other Jewish people, like Romaniote Jews, who are minoritized under white Ashkenazi-dominated Jewishness.
We share a commitment to the liberation of Palestine and an end to the occupation. We say “organizing in partnership with JVP,” rather than as JVP, because our work is distinct in that it centers racial justice, challenges Ashkenazi-centrism, and because we are autonomous from JVP even as we receive JVP support. '

My comment: it is a shame that these young Jews, unrepresentative of the great majority of the community, have allowed themselves to be co-opted into a pan-Arab imperialist narrative that whitewashes the plight of 'colonised' Mizrahi Jews under Muslim domination, while spreading pseudo-colonial smears against 'white' Ashkenazi Jews. But then, even Stalinism had its fellow travellers and 'useful idiots'.
BBC Trending ignores antisemitic Tweets from featured selfie snapper
The article’s author seemed to be particularly captivated by the story, which was also promoted by additional media outlets.
However, some social media users pointed out that Ms Belkhiri’s Twitter account included messaging (since deleted) rather less representative of “joy and peace” or coexistence.
There has to date been no response from BBC Trending.
BBC Trending has now published a follow-up article titled “Anti-Semitic statements of ‘joy and peace’ selfie star“.
Fighting the Fight for Free Speech
Last week, I left this comment at an article published at the web site of The Economist:
Since the PLO came into existence in 1964, when there was no “occupation” nor “settlements,” either there must be some other reason for Arab savagery and terror or those who are pro-Palestine simply don’t want Jews to reside anywhere in the Middle East in their own country.
I then received this letter:
Dear Yisrael Medad,
The attached comment, posted under the pen name Rightworder, has been deleted from The Economist online.
The comment was removed because it breaks our comments policy:
We remind you that repeated violation of our comments policy may result in your being blocked from posting comments on The Economist online.
Yours sincerely,
Comments Moderator The Economist online
ISIS calls for attacks on West during Ramadan
A new message purporting to come from the spokesman of Islamic State calls on followers to launch attacks on the United States and Europe during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, which begins in early June.
"Ramadan is coming, the month of attacks and jihad, the month of conquest so be prepared and be on alert, and make sure that everyone of you spends it (Ramadan) in the name of God on the attack. Requesting from God that it (Ramadan), God willing, be a month of calamity on the non-believers anywhere, especially by those soldiers and supporters of the caliphate in Europe and America," said the message, suggesting attacks on military and civilian targets.
The authenticity of the audio clip, purporting to be from Abu Muhammad al-Adnani and distributed on Saturday by Twitter accounts that usually publish Islamic State statements, could not be verified.
Iranian commander: We can destroy Israel ‘in under 8 minutes’
A senior Iranian military commander boasted that the Islamic Republic could “raze the Zionist regime in less than eight minutes.”
Ahmad Karimpour, a senior adviser to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ elite unit al-Quds Force, said if Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei gave the order to destroy Israel, the Iranian military had the capacity to do so quickly.
“If the Supreme Leader’s orders [are] to be executed, with the abilities and the equipment at our disposal, we will raze the Zionist regime in less than eight minutes,” Karimpour said Thursday, according to the semi-official Fars News Agency.
A senior Iranian general on May 9 announced that the country’s armed forces successfully tested a precision-guided, medium-range ballistic missile two weeks earlier that could reach Israel, the state-run Tasnim agency reported.
Cyber-crooks meet their match with Israeli-developed GPS protector
Far more than a tool for Waze users to figure out the best routes to their destinations, the Global Positioning System is used in a wide variety of endeavors and industries.
Among them, to name a few, are agriculture, to help farmers determine the ideal spots to plant crops; shipping, to guide ships across the ocean; retail sales, to help companies keep track of their products; aviation, to ensure that planes are able to get to their destination; and defense, to position systems to ensure response to attack.
With so many industries dependent on GPS, hackers have been trying to take advantage of the system – in some cases, to disable a country’s defenses in order to carry out an attack, but more commonly to extort money from companies by threatening to immobilize them by interfering with their GPS operations unless they pay up.
It’s to defend those victims of GPS hacking that Israeli communications firm Focus Telecom has developed GPSDome, what it says is the first low-cost solution to GPS jamming. The system, according to the company, “is designed to neutralize GPS jammers, which are available at low cost today. The unique aspect of GPSDome is that it, too, is inexpensive, much cheaper than the solutions currently on the market.”
LA girl realizes decade-long dream of joining IDF combat unit
For 10 years, Alisa Sheldon couldn't shake her dream of moving to Israel and serving in the IDF as a combat soldier. Two months ago she realized that dream, joining the ranks of the Lions of the Jordan Valley Battalion.
On Saturday, the 25-year-old Sheldon stood at attention with her male and female comrades, swearing their allegiance to the IDF and the State of Israel.
The Lions of the Jordan Valley Battalion, a relatively new infantry outfit, was established in 2015. Its mission is to carry out routine security operations in the Jordan Valley region and defend Israel's eastern border.
"When I was 15, I visited Israel for the first time, studying abroad for a semester through my school in Los Angeles," she told Israel Hayom. "The semester lasted four months and I stayed another three months; and I understood that Israel is home.
"Basic training isn't easy for me. I'm with girls who are six or more years younger than me. But what's most important is being a combat soldier and contributing to the state."

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