Thursday, May 26, 2016

From Ian:

Dershowitz: Not Surprising ‘Ignoramus’ Bernie Sanders Tapped ‘Professional Israel-Hater’ for Democratic Policy Committee (INTERVIEW)
The Palestinian activist appointed by presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders to the Democratic Platform Drafting Committee is a “professional Israel-hater,” internationally acclaimed legal mind Alan Dershowitz told The Algemeiner on Tuesday.
Dershowitz, a fierce defender of Israel and avowed supporter of the Democratic Party, was referring to Arab American Institute (AAI) President James Zogby, whom Sanders tapped on Monday to help draft party policy.
Dershowitz, who said he’s debated Zogby on numerous occasions, explained why he is “not surprised” that the senator from Vermont contending for the Democratic nomination picked him to fill such an influential position. “Bernie Sanders is an ignoramus when it comes to the Middle East, and he is very strongly biased against Israel. He gets his information from hard-Left, anti-Israel sources, and he doesn’t think for himself,” he said.
Regarding another of Sanders’ anti-Israel appointees to the committee — philosopher Cornel West, a BDS proponent who wrote that the crimes of Hamas “pale in the face of the US-supported Israeli slaughter of innocent civilians,” and accused President Obama of being “most comfortable with upper middle-class white and Jewish men who consider themselves very smart, very savvy and very effective in getting what they want”– Dershowitz said, “Putting two Israel-bashers on the committee risks dividing the Democratic Party over an issue on which they’ve always been united.”
Michael Lumish: Israel is Insane
If there is one issue that genuinely pisses me off it is Israeli policy concerning the Temple Mount. How is it possible that someone like Moshe Dayan could be so naive as to think that handing over the holiest site of the Jewish people to Arabs would somehow placate them?
It did the exact opposite as should have been entirely predictable.
Instead of being grateful to the Jewish people for their generosity, the Arabs use the Temple Mount as a club and Israel allows this despite the fact that it need not do so.
They have even made it a rule that no member of the Knesset shall be allowed to go up there.
I do not know what to say. The stupidity is just breathtaking.
By preventing non-Muslims from praying on the Temple Mount Israel sends a message to the world that Jerusalem is not really a Jewish town. Maintaining the "status quo" is the same as maintaining the idea that Jerusalem actually belongs to the Arabs and, therefore, Jews are nothing more than land thieves.
The problem that Jews have with the Temple Mount is the same problem that Jews have with the notion of "Israeli Occupation of the West Bank." If Israel is illegally occupying someone else's land, including the Temple Mount, and thus Jerusalem, in general, then we might as well pack it in and say goodbye.
If Jewish people think that we stole land from others and if they think that we should not even be allowed to pray at the site of the Temples then what is the point of Israel? I understand that much of the rabbinate, for theological reasons, believe that Jews should not go up to the Holy of Holies, period, but that is not the point.
The point is the question of Jewish sovereignty.
Caught in a web of hate
An undercover investigation by Jewish News this week sheds light on the anti-Semitic “lynch mob” active online, and details the extraordinary ease with which pro-Palestinian activists can descend into a world of hate.
Our reporter, who created fake anti-Israel internet profiles to gain access to secret groups, reveals how anti-Semites connect with one another and feed off group members’ anger, in a self-reinforcing “spiral of extremism”.
Crucially, our investigation also outlines how the technology and algorithms underpinning social media tilt and “taint” search results towards the perceived political persuasion of the user, showing how hate builds on hate.
Moreover, it reveals how savvy bloggers manipulate this technology, with a “correlation between the level of venom and the likes/shares they receive”.
Describing this murky and “truly frightening” cyber Twilight Zone, ‘Mr X’ reveals the anti-Semites’ source of “news” on Israel, the legal loopholes they exploit and the use of ‘memes’ – images edited to affect emotion or ridicule.
Brace yourselves for a cold, hard look at those no longer able or willing to hear cold, hard facts about the Jewish people and the democratic State of Israel – and the mind-warping processes that assist them. (h/t Alexi)

NGO Monitor: NGOs and the False Home Demolition Campaign in Europe
NGOs, UN agencies, and Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have intensified their campaign on the subject of home demolitions by Israeli security forces. Contrary to their distorted narrative of “impunity,” these demolitions are undertaken after strict legal review and with judicial supervision. And many of these “homes” are actually small outbuildings, animal enclosures, and illegal shacks.
On May 17, 2016, MEPs held a debate on “West Bank demolitions and displacement,” in which various accusations were leveled against Israel, including that “since January, more than 500 Palestinian homes and other structures have been bulldozed by Israeli authorities”; “thousands of Palestinians, including thousands of children are deprived of their homes,” and that “Israel destroyed hundreds of homes, schools and clinics, leaving thousands of Palestinians homeless.”
The source for these claims appears to be a dubious document published by UN Organization for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the occupied Palestinian territory (OCHA-oPt). The March-April 2016 “Humanitarian Monitor” claims that Israel has destroyed schools, agricultural buildings, and more, and that since the beginning of 2016 “the Israeli authorities have demolished or confiscated nearly 600 Palestinian structures and displaced over 800 people.”
NGO Monitor research has documented the degree to which OCHA depends on and coordinates closely with highly politicized NGOs that lack credibility, including a number that are very active in promoting BDS (boycotts, divestment and sanctions) and “lawfare” campaigns against Israel. Some also engage in blatantly antisemitic activities. OCHA regularly parrots the false and distorted claims of these groups, thereby seeking to give credence and credibility to highly misleading accusations, which are in turn quoted by MEPs as well as other EU officials.
Edgar Davidson: Catch a Jew: the most revealing book about Israel's enemies
I finally got round to reading all of Tuvia Tenebom's book last week having had it for a few months and only previously read a few extracts. The book exposes the total corruption and lies of the multiple NGOs (non Government Organisations) and charities who operate in Israel/Palestine and who are massively funded by foreign governments (especially the EU) to deligitimize Israel, and organise Palestinian 'resistance' and propaganda.
Even for a seasoned 'activist' like myself (who has dedicated much time to investigating and exposing the anti-Zionism of the Western narrative and media, anti-Semitism of Palestinians, and who spends a lot of time in Israel), the overall message of the book was shocking and deeply depressing. It shows on the one hand that the irrational antisemitism that underpins the universal anti-Zionist narrative is even more deeply rooted than I feared; and on the other hand that most Israelis are even more oblivious of this than I suspected.
I think this is one of the most important - and in many ways brilliant - books I have read. Crucially, the reviews and extracts I had read did not do the book justice and in many respects were quite misleading. For a start, the popular narrative that Tuvia is a right-wing Zionist is itself a lie. This lie is promoted by those (including many who call themselves Zionists**) who are uncomfortable when their liberal ideas are blown apart by facts, especially when the person who reveals those facts is a Jew using unconventional methods. Rather than confronting the evidence that Tuvia presents (and it really is more clear-cut and damning than most of what you will have seen elsewhere) critics fall back on the 'right-wing Zionist' (or even 'racist') slur to discredit the fact finder and close down the debate (take a look, for example, at this review of the book in Tablet Magazine). In fact, Tuvia is not a 'rightest' in any normal sense of the word and nor, it seems, a Zionist. Some of his harshest criticism is reserved for ultra-orthodox Jews and 'right wing extremists'. The fact that he refers to the Israeli Labour party as 'centrist' indicates that he is naturally a man of the left. Indeed, both Netanyahu and Lieberman refused interviews with him since (in Tuvia's words) "both their teams have concluded that I am a leftist troublemaker" and his Bohemian lifestyle puts him socially in the extreme liberal category.
Douglas Murray: Why does the US’s new counter-extremism strategy ignore the only salient issue?
The USA has a new CVE (Countering Violent Extremism) strategy. It is a typically curious document. I wonder in fact if the key to it does not lie in the foreword by John Kerry, which is accompanied by a photograph of the Secretary of State looking strangely stoned.
Although in that foreword Secretary Kerry claims that ‘our challenge is dynamic’, he seems to have got that all the wrong way around. Certainly America’s enemies are dynamic. But on the evidence of this document the US government is quite supremely blissed-out.
For instance, readers will be unsurprised to learn that in this 12-page document purporting to deal with one of the great security issues of our time, the word ‘Islam’, let alone ‘Muslim’, does not appear once. Why should it when, as this strategy says:
‘Violent extremists speaking a variety of languages, born of many races and ethnic groups, and belonging to diverse religions continue to recruit, radicalize, and mobilize people — especially young people — to engage in terrorist acts.’
IsraellyCool: Know Your History: The Fleeing Arabs, May 1948
A series where I use history to debunk common misconceptions about the Middle East conflict.
In my last history post, I looked at a New York Times article from 1966, which, among other things, mentioned palestinian Arab refugees as having fled (as opposed to the claims of haters that we expelled them). It also mentioned the Jewish claims that they had fled due to orders by their Arab leaders.
Thanks to commenter Curt, I have located a Time Magazine article from May 3rd, 1948 – right during Israel’s War of Independence, and less than 2 weeks before the critical phase of it when five regular Arab armies from neighboring countries launched a simultaneous, coordinated assault on the new state of Israel, with overwhelming land and air superiority.
The article is stunning, not only in its description of the Jewish takeover of Haifa, but what it says about the refugees. It says it in black and white – the Arabs there fled “partly by fear, partly by orders of the Arab leaders.” A confirmation of the Jewish narrative, at least when it came to the Arabs of Haifa. Note also the description of a Jewish army celebrating Passover in the fields for the first time in 1800 years.
For photogenic Jerusalem, a look at how locals first captured their city
That photographic heritage is the subject of a new exhibit, “The Camera Man: Women and Men Photograph Jerusalem 1900-1950,” opening Thursday, May 26, at Jerusalem’s Tower of David Museum.
It was European visitors to the ancient city who were the first to photograph Jerusalem’s ancient sites and walls, and their own agendas colored those early photos, said curator Shimon Lev.
The tourists were photographers, archaeologists and devout Christians drawn to the perceived mysteries of the Orient, often inspired by a desire to prove that the events told in the New Testament had happened, and taken place in Jerusalem.
They were followed by the period of “Zionist photography” in the 1920s and 1930s, when professional photographers found paid work through the Jewish National Fund. It was a period of political and ideological photography, depicting tanned young men with bulging muscles pushing plows and athletic young women dancing the hora.
That photography was ambivalent toward Jerusalem, which, at the time, represented many of the Jewish ills which Zionism was supposed to upend, said Lev. (h/t Elder of Lobby )
David Singer: Politicians pushing propaganda lose their credibility
Senator Lee Rhiannon - a member of the Greens Party holding a pivotal position in Australian politics - authorised and printed a deceptive and misleading pamphlet which was distributed at a protest rally addressed by her last Sunday in Sydney “against Israeli Apartheid and commemorating Al Nakba 68 years on.”
The pamphlet purported to quote a statement by Israel’s then Defense Minister Moshe Dayan in 1969:
“We came to a region of land that was inhabited by Arabs and we set up a Jewish State … Jewish villages were built in the place of Arab villages “
What Dayan actually said – which Senator Rhiannon was apparently not prepared to disclose – was:
“We came to a region that was inhabited by Arabs, and we set up a Jewish state. In many places, we purchased the land from Arabs and set up Jewish villages where there had once been Arab villages.”
God forbid that those present should learn that Jews had actually purchased land from its Arab owners. Better to maintain the canard repeated in Palestinian text books and media that “the Zionist gangs stole Palestine”
Moroccans refuse to play Israel in wheelchair tennis World Cup
Politics reared its ugly head in sports once more on Thursday, this time at the World Team Cup wheelchair tennis event at the Ariake Colosseum in Tokyo.
Israel was scheduled to face Morocco in a Men's World Group 2 tie for positions 5-8, but the Moroccans never showed it, being ordered to do so by their local paralympic committee.
"This is a sad day for sports, and an even sadder day for paralympic sports," said Israel coach Nimrod Bichler. "Politics have mixed with sports in the past, but paralympic sports were always different." Israel's team, which includes Amir Levi, Adam Berdichevsky and Asi Stokol, was awarded a default 3-0 victory.
A total of 51 teams from 29 countries are competing in Tokyo in four categories: men, women, quad and junior. Israel began the tournament in Pool D, beating Hungary but losing to Malaysia, which showed up for the tie despite the lack of diplomatic relations between the countries. Israel finished the group in second place to progress to the playoff for 5-8 positions. Israel will face Poland for fifth place on Friday.
20 Israelis behind massive US academic boycott vote
A new report compiled by Dr. Shahar Golan of right-wing group Im Tirtzu has revealed that some 20 Israeli academics are encouraging the American Anthropological Association to boycott Israel in a vote that is expected to be tallied at the end of the month.
The AAA is the world's largest professional body for anthropologists, with some 10,000 members, and it has just opened the polls for a vote on whether to sever all ties with Israel.
The 20 Israeli academics supporting the boycott are university lecturers and faculty members, some of whom receive their salaries from Israeli tax dollars, meaning that they are essentially supporting a boycott against themselves.
The boycott would end all cooperation with Israeli researchers, which could significantly damage the field in Israel. This in turn could have serious consequences on the economy and on Israeli industry, also affecting the country's status on a global scale.
In an effort to stop the boycott motion, the Israeli Anthropological Association wrote a letter to its American counterpart. However, two weeks later, 20 Israeli academics who belong to various left-wing groups expressed support for the boycott in a second letter.
Isi Leibler: I stand by my critique of ADL’s Jonathan Greenblatt
Jonathan Greenblatt’s response to my criticism of his embrace of J Street, alleging that I distorted his message, is disingenuous and reaffirms my assessment.
Invoking clichés “that there are steps Israel can take to ensure the viability of a two-state solution” are ill-becoming the head of a major Jewish organization whose contact with Israel has been minimal. It only serves to encourage US President Barack Obama and the heads of other governments to intensify pressure against us. Greenblatt is surely aware that there is a consensus in Israel supporting immediate separation from the Palestinians, but also a recognition that further unilateral concessions in the absence of a genuine peace partner would endanger our security.
Greenblatt explicitly condemned Jews who deny the rights of “marginalized Palestinians” and fail to recognize the legitimacy of “the Palestinian narrative.” When he condemned “those who place blame on one side instead of putting forward solutions that acknowledge the role and responsibility of both sides”, he provided grist for the propaganda mills of those applying moral equivalence to Israelis and the Palestinians who sanctify terrorism and are bent on our destruction. Greenblatt now reiterates (as I initially stated) that in his address to J Street, he also made remarks supporting Israel and condemning anti-Semitism. So what?
Jewish communists, the antecedents of J Street, also described themselves as “pro-peace” and defended Soviet anti-Semitism while portraying themselves as “pro-Jewish.” Likewise, J Street claims to be “pro-Israel” despite raising funds to support anti-Israeli congressional candidates, lobbying the Obama administration to exert further pressure on Israel, accepting generous funding from George Soros to support the government’s appeasement of Iran, and constantly condemning the security policies of the Israeli government.
Greenblatt cannot refute this. Does he really believe that Jews, whose principal objective is to undermine and demonize Israel and encourage foreign intervention, should still be considered members of the mainstream of the Jewish community and included in the big tent? Would the ADL seek to address and engage in dialogue with Jews promoting racism or homophobia?
B'nai Brith Canada to combat BDS
B’nai Brith Canada is planning to take measures against the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, following the Ontario parliament’s failure last week to pass a bill banning public institutions from doing business with companies which support BDS.
“We are preparing further measures to counteract the movement at this time,” Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer of B’nai Brith Canada, told the CIJNews website.
“This is a very serious issue. We have been working with students across Canada on this and we will continue to combat this movement because it is so deeply offensive to the Jewish community,” he continued.
Mostyn would not elaborate on what the organization is planning “because it’s just a bit too premature at this moment,” but added, “Everyone will know what we are planning in the near future. Our plans will have teeth and get positive results. We can’t just sit back and allow this movement to continue.”
“Boycott and Sanctions is a toxic movement that has been recognized by politicians across the political spectrum as anti-Semitic in nature,” he stressed.
Understanding the Enemy
With regard to strategy, anti-Israel advocates themselves have spelled theirs out pretty clearly by labeling their project the “Apartheid Strategy,” one which involves “branding” Israel as the successor to Apartheid South Africa through endless accusations of racism and human rights crimes, with the implication that what befell the white regime in Pretoria (dismantling) should be applied to the Jewish state.
With goals and strategy spelled out, we finally arrive at BDS which is revealed as simply a tactic in service to the Apartheid Strategy, designed to achieve the “movement’s” militant goals. Given that the fall of Apartheid was preceded by well-known institutions (churches, universities, governments) boycotting, divesting from and sanctioning Apartheid South Africa, the theory behind the BDS tactic is that if those same organizations can be recruited to target Israel with similar economic punishments, this will demonstrate to the public the accuracy of the boycotter’s accusations.
There is a lot more to be said regarding the effectiveness of BDS and other tactics, as well our opponent’s overall strategy and goals. With that knowledge in place, we can then use what we know to plan effective counter-tactics, above and beyond “naming and shaming” Israel’s enemies by pointing out their true militant nature.
Before doing so, however, we need to understand our goals, our strategies and our tactics as well as we now understand our opponent’s. In other words, before going into battle it’s best to answer the question: Who are we?
Backdoor BDS
For many on the Jewish academic Left, the question of whether, and how far, to embrace the BDS agenda has become the defining issue of their careers, perhaps even their identities. Given the extraordinary pressures they face to disavow Israel, advocating “bds” is for some a defensive move that allows them to fit in without jumping on the bandwagon. Others suffer from what Dr. Kenneth Levin calls the Oslo Syndrome: “the recurring propensity among segments of the Jewish population to take to heart the indictments of besiegers and persecutors, and to ascribe to themselves the power to change dramatically the attitudes of their enemies by self-reform.”
Whatever their rationale, I respect their choice.
Since Professor Braiterman objected to my recent characterization of him as one of Syracuse University’s “visible advocates of BDS,” I will henceforth refer to him as a “visible advocate of bds.”
But make no mistake, the growing numbers of backdoor BDS advocates are, wittingly or unwittingly, advancing the BDS cause. All of these “bds” currents implicitly accept the foundational premise of BDS – that Israelis and/or Jews should be singled out for unique treatment. After all, “individual sanctions” are tools applied only to the world’s most odious regimes, and Open Hillel treats the one Jewish group on college campuses in a way that no other identity group is treated. As Andrew Pessin points out, no one would expect African-American groups to accept white supremacists to their ranks in the name of “intellectual inquiry” or “balance.”
Singling out Jews in small ways only makes it easier to single them out in bigger ways. Haven’t we learned this yet?
Pleading Israel’s case on campus? It helps if you’re not Jewish
As a Muslim Israeli-Arab woman, 21-year-old Lian Najami is not the pro-Israel speaker traditionally brought in by Jewish campus groups.
But last fall, she visited US campuses to discuss activism, community organizing, and what she pointedly calls “shared existence” — as opposed to co-existence — in Israel.
“Based on my experience, I think that hearing stories about Israel and life in Israel from a non-Jew has something powerful to it,” said Najami in a recent interview with The Times of Israel. The Haifa-raised Najami attended a Christian high school and volunteered at an Arab-Jewish co-existence center for many years.
“Americans and the rest of the world are used to hearing arguments from Jews and sometimes tend to ignore them,” said Najami. “We can present arguments and stories from someone who is not a Jew, and yet strongly explain and deliver the truth about Israel,” she said.
Currently a student of political science and international relations in Hamburg, Germany, Najami wears several activist hats, including being open about a chronic nervous system disorder which affects her mobility. But as an Arab woman from a liberal Muslim family, she did not realize her experiences in Haifa were anomalous until spending time outside the city.
Campus Watchdog: UC Irvine Chancellor in ‘Hot Seat;’ Must Take Immediate Action Against Antisemitism
The chancellor of the University of California, Irvine (UCI) must “face antisemitic incidents happening on his campus right now and take steps to implement policies against them,” the head of a Jewish watchdog group told The Algemeiner on Wednesday.
Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, co-founder of the AMCHA Initiative — which is dedicated to combating, monitoring and documenting antisemitism at institutions of higher education in America — made her comment following the release of an open letter on Wednesday calling on UCI Chancellor Howard Gillman to implement the two-month-old University of California Regents “Statement Against Intolerance,” which asserts that antisemitism and antisemitic forms of anti-Zionism “have no place at the University of California (UC).”
The letter — spearheaded by AMCHA and signed by 36 Jewish and civil rights organizations — came in response to recent incidents against Jewish and pro-Israel students at UCI. “Acts of anti-Jewish violence and aggression do not occur in a vacuum. They often grow out of a campus environment steeped in hateful anti-Zionist expression that uses classic antisemitic tropes to demonize and delegitimize the Jewish state and those who support it,” the letter states.
Over the last two weeks, UCI played host to two major antisemitic and anti-Zionist events. As part of “Anti-Zionism Week 2016,” anti-Zionist ultra-Orthodox sect Neturei Karta member Yisroel Dovid Weiss was invited to address students. “Weiss’s talk had clear and classic antisemitic allusions that were also used with respect to Zionism and Zionists, straight out of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” Rossman-Benjamin told The Algemeiner. “Two weeks later, after being incited to act against Jewish students, a real violation of Jewish student life at UCI takes place. Jewish students are attacked for watching a pro-Israel movie. These two recent incidents, coupled together, exactly highlights the harm of antisemitism in all its forms.”
Students Supporting Israel: Bullying
I have never in my life seen a hate group like Students for Justice in Palestine that in many cases defends terrorists, calls for the end of the Jewish State, calls for the murder of Israeli soldiers, shouts down events on campus and still gets away with that...
In Hebrew there is a saying" Im Ain Ani Lee, Mi Lee?" If I won't defend myself, who will defend me, and I can see this happening on our college campuses. If the Pro Israel students won't stand together as a united voice, will keep being divided, and will let SJP control the conversation we won't get anywhere, we should be each other’s support system, we will solve our problems and the attacks on us, no one else will.
We have red lines too, I have never in my life been more proud to be Israeli and to support Israel than my time on campus where I faced that hate, antisemitism, and ignorance that was supported by students, professors, and followers of SJP. At the same time, we were willing to step up and defend Israel against hate and racism, we have red lines too, we won't sit around and do nothing about it.
Together, we will put an end to SJP intimidation, hate and racism. Together, we will change the conversation on campus, because not even one person will come to our events and shout them down, without consequences to their actions. Not even one campus will host an Anti Zionism week, a week of overt racism and anti-Semitism against the national movement of the Jewish people, and get away with it.
Stop the hate. Stop the racism led by SJP. Stop the calls for terror on our campuses. ‪#‎BeThere_SSI.
Another hard left turn for BGU
Ben-Gurion University is yet again embroiled in controversy over its association with the far Left. Last week, Israeli news outlets reported that BGU will be sponsoring a conference at the end of May featuring the highly controversial NGO Breaking the Silence.
The conference, which according to the university will address the historical and current aspects of whistle blowing, is being organized by BGU’s Department of Jewish History and will be featuring Breaking the Silence (BtS) CEO Yuli Novak, as well as the organization’s public relations coordinator, Nadav Weiman, who is scheduled to present his “personal testimony.”
Following a letter sent by Im Tirtzu to BGU president Rivka Carmi, which charged that the university’s sponsorship of the conference is in violation of the Council for Higher Education in Israel’s stand on politicization in academia, the university replied that the conference is “academic” in nature and “promotes and enables an open and diverse dialogue and does not seek to espouse a particular political viewpoint.”
However, a quick look at the conference schedule reveals that the vast majority of speakers are affiliated with the radical and anti-Zionist Left. In addition to participants from BtS, the conference is replete with lecturers who support, inter alia, refusing IDF service, encouraging international pressure on Israel and refusing to work over the Green Line.
Jimmy Carter to step down from ‘front-line’ work with rights group
Jimmy Carter is stepping away from his “front-line role” as a member of The Elders, the global human rights group announced Wednesday.
Former South African president Nelson Mandela founded the small group of former global leaders in 2007, and the former US president participated in its first mission later that year in Sudan, focusing on Darfur.
The organization said Carter has “played a key role” in every delegation in the Middle East, including trips last spring to Israel and the Palestinian territories as well as a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow.
The statement gave no specific reason for the change in Carter’s status. The group also announced that former Brazilian president Fernando Henrique Cardoso will step down and become an honorary member with Carter on June 1. The Elders already list Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who stepped down in 2013, as an emeritus member.
IsraellyCool: Der New York Times Strikes Again
The New York Times has perfected the art of downplaying or outright ignoring Palestinian Arab incitement and the glorification of violence. The Times ignores the celebrations at the funerals of Palestinian Arab murderers, and the public squares named after them. The Times ignores the ongoing incitement documented by Palestinian Media Watch and MEMRI. In September, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said that “Every drop of blood spilled in Jerusalem is pure, every shahid [martyr] will reach paradise, and every injured person will be rewarded by God. . . . The Al-Aqsa Mosque is ours. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is ours as well. They have no right to desecrate the mosque with their dirty feet, we won’t allow them to do that.” The Times ran the headline “Amid Jerusalem Clashes, Israeli and Palestinian Leaders Try to Make Their Case,” and omitted from his quote the language about blood and martyrs.
But when I saw this morning’s headline, “A Window Into the West Bank’s ‘Wildest, Most Violent’ Areas,” I thought that perhaps the Times for once was showing the truth about Palestinian incitement.
Boy was that dumb!
AP Writes About Problems in Gaza, Doesn’t Even Mention Hamas
The Associated Press, one of the largest news agencies in the world, wrote a short article about Gaza, just 309 words. Not a single one of those words was “Hamas.”
That’s like talking about Syria and not using the words “Islamic State” (ISIS) or talking about the September 11 attacks and not mentioning “Al Qaeda.” It’s more than surreal, it’s bad journalism.
Why Should the AP Mention Hamas?
- Hamas controls the Gaza Strip.
- Hamas is designated as a terror organization by: Australia, Canada, Egypt, the European Union , Israel, the United Kingdom, and the United States, yet the article also fails to mention the word “terror.”
- Hamas’s rockets and attack tunnels are responsible for immeasurable suffering in Gaza and in Israel, including wars in 2009, 2012 and 2014, yet the article fails to mention the words “rocket” or “tunnel.”
- The Hamas Charter calls for the total destruction of Israel and the murder of all Jews, yet the AP story did not include any mention of these concepts.
- Most of all, Hamas’s ongoing war against Israel and the Jewish people is the reason why Israel’s security measures are necessary in the first place, and it is the root cause of suffering endured by both Palestinians and Israelis. The AP mentions none of this.
So what words does the AP use?
The article does include words such as “specter of violence,” “chronic realities,” and the phrase “Palestinians in Gaza are growing ever more desperate.
An Analysis of Lonely Planet's Israel Travel Guide
Lonely Planet is the brand name of a line of travel guides covering popular destinations worldwide. Several years ago, CAMERA was alerted to potential bias in Lonely Planet's guide to Israel and the Palestinian Territories. CAMERA member Richard Shulman has undertaken the task of reviewing travel guides page by page for accuracy and contextual bias. The Lonely Planet guide is the first review to be published by CAMERA.
The following report is an analysis of the 2015 edition of Lonely Planet's guide book on Israel and the Palestinian Territories. An earlier edition from 2012 was also reviewed in order assess trends in accuracy. Our assessment is that Lonely Planet has made improvements, correcting some of the more obvious bias, but there is still work to be done. It is the nature of such evaluations that problem items outnumber positive items. While Shulman's evaluation found many problems, CAMERA does not offer an overall judgment about the quality of Lonely Planet's guide. Many of the items uncovered are commonly encountered in popular media. Until other guides have been subjected to a similar level of scrutiny, it is premature to rate Lonely Planet's guide or make comparisons with others.
The following report identifies specific items in the 2015 and 2012 editions of Lonely Planet's Israel and the Palestinian Territories. Those items that accurately convey important information and demonstrate balance are preceded by a "+". Those items that convey inaccurate information and bias are preceded by a "-".
Volkswagen pumps $300 million into Gett
Auto giant Volkswagen has announced a $300 million investment into Israeli ride-hailing startup Gett (formerly Get Taxi). The strategic investment comes on the heels of Toyota’s announcement of an undisclosed sum in US ride-hailing app, Uber.
In January, General Motors injected $500 million into Lyft, another US ride-hailing app.
VW wants “to go beyond vehicle ownership,” Gett founder and CEO Shahar Waiser told Business Insider.
In fact, the three carmakers’ investments seem to show they are focusing on new technology and the future of personal transport.
Waiser said that Gett’s big data and predictive algorithm technologies could help VW in the development of self-driving vehicles.
More Positive Signs for the Israel-China Relationship
Welcome to the beauty of Chinese-Israeli cultural relations. Seen against the backdrop of solid loathing of all things Israeli that so dominates the European cultural establishment, the relations between China and Israel almost seem like something out of a dreamlike alternate reality.
The good news is that there is nothing imaginary about them. The story of popular Israeli children’s writer Yanetz Levi, author of the series “Adventures of Uncle Arie,” which has sold more than 700,000 copies in Israel, is a good example of this.
Levi arrived in China this week and was received like a rock star. Fifty thousand copies of his books sold in China before he arrived, and since his arrival tens of thousands more have been sold. In one school alone, 5,000 copies were purchased. While that may not seem like much for a country the size of China, with a population of more than 1 billion, it is still very impressive for a children’s writer from small Israel. The Chinese children greeted him like a superstar, shouting “Lioooshushu” (the equivalent of “Uncle Arie” in Chinese) as he came to their schools. What is there not to love? Evidently, Chinese children are not raised on a BDS-infused diet of lies and hatred.
MK sees bright future for Israel-African cooperation
MK Avraham Neguise (Likud), chairman of the Aliyah Committee and founder of the Lobby for Relations Between Israel and African Countries, welcomed a delegation of prominent women representing 10 sub-Saharan African nations to the Knesset on Monday.
The delegation, which included 27 government officials, representatives of NGOs, political leaders, journalists and academics, met with Neguise to discuss the future of cooperation between Israel and their home countries.
”I believe that the meeting between Israeli technology and the fertile African soil can effect change in Africa and strengthen the ties between Israelis and Africans,” Neguise told the delegation.
Neguise noted Israeli technological advances in irrigation, desalination, tourism, medicine, education and solar energy.
“If we develop cooperation in these fields, both Israelis and Africans will benefit.”
Israeli cos develop 3D bioprinter for stem cells
Nano Dimension and Accelta have successfully lab-tested a proof of concept 3D bioprinter.
Israeli 3D print electronics developer Nano Dimension Ltd. (Nasdaq: NNDM; TASE: NNDM) today announced that it has successfully lab-tested a proof of concept 3D Bioprinter for stem cells. The trial was conducted in collaboration with Haifa-based Accelta Ltd., which that has developed proprietary technologies for the unique production of high quality media, stem cells, progenitors and differentiated cells for drug discovery, regenerative medicine and research.
The feasibility study confirmed that the combined know-how and technologies of the companies enabled printing of viable stem cells using an adapted 3D printer.
Israel sees 16% rise in number of new immigrants
Israel saw a 16% increase in new immigrants in 2015 from the previous year, according to data released by the Central Bureau of Statistics.
A total of 27,908 immigrants from around the world moved to Israel last year, along with 6,461 Israelis who returned to the country.
About 53% of the new immigrants were from Russia, Ukraine or other countries of the former Soviet Union, while 24% were from France and 9% from the United States.
According to the data, 6,632 immigrants came from Russia in 2015, a 44% leap from the previous year. And 6,886 came from Ukraine, a 20% increase from 2014.
The number of French immigrants rose by just 1% in 2015 to 6,628.
Most immigrants moved to Israel's larger cities, with 12% settling in Tel Aviv, 11% in Jerusalem, 8% in Haifa and 6% in Ashdod.
‘Big Bang Theory’ Star Mayim Bialik Tweets About Jewish, Health Causes Close to Her Heart
Jewish actress Mayim Bialik reached out to Twitter followers this week to draw attention to the plight of Holocaust survivors — and to advocate for an Israel-based initiative that helps children suffering from heart disease.
The Big Bang Theory star called on her followers on Wednesday to support a project “close to [her] heart.” The Last Survivors – Echoes From the Holocaust is a television special focusing on the last remaining Holocaust survivors in Eastern Europe and the efforts of the Survivor Mitzvah Project, an organization that provides emergency aid to thousands of survivors in eight countries. The charity was founded by Zane Buzby, the director of Bialik’s former sitcom, Blossom, and by Bialik, whose grandparents were Holocaust survivors.
Earlier this week, Bialik, who portrayed a young Bette Midler in the hit film Beaches, tweeted, “You can save a child’s life. Help bring dying children to Israel for life-saving heart surgery,” and included a link to a donation page for the organization Save a Child’s Heart (SACH). The non-profit provides free heart treatment to children from developing countries by bringing them to the Wolfson Medical Center in Holon for life-saving cardiac care. SACH also offers “comprehensive training” to medical professionals from these countries.
Netanyahu reveals his roots go back to Spain
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed Tuesday night that although his family hailed from Eastern Europe before immigrating to Israel decades ago, he is in fact part Sephardic, tracing his family back to Jews from Spain.
Netanyahu explained his family tree’s varied roots during the opening of a new wing at Beit Hatfutsot, the Diaspora-themed Museum of the Jewish People.
During the ceremony, Beit Hatfusot chairwoman Irina Nevzlin presented Netanyahu with a copy of his family tree. The prime minister took a quick look and said it needed to be corrected.
“My brother, Ido, is a writer and doctor,” Netanyahu explained. “He was approached by people who build family trees using DNA.”
“Their thesis was that the Jews of Lithuania, and us, came from a Lithuanian family descended from the Vilna Gaon, which has a Sephardic Jewish foundation,” he continued, referring to the 18th century Rabbi Eliyahu ben Shlomo Zalman, a landmark figure in Ashkenazi Jewish history.
How the threat of war shaped Israel’s technology industry
Unit 8200 is Israel’s most mysterious agency. No one outside knows exactly how it operates, who works there, or how they learn. All the public knows for certain is that Unit 8200 has been the beating heart of Israel’s spectacular—and in many ways unmatched—technology boom.
At its most basic level, Unit 8200 resembles the National Security Agency (NSA) in the U.S. It’s an elite branch of the Israel Defense Forces, or IDF, that specializes in computer security and murkier, more controversial stuff, such as espionage and cyber attacks. For about 25 years, veterans of Unit 8200 have gone on to found security startups, making both the software and hardware that protect corporate computing systems throughout the world. Graduates of 8200 invented the firewall and early VPN technology and have started dozens of security companies such as Check Point Software Technologies, Palo Alto Networks, and CyberArk Software—all multibillion-dollar operations.
It’s not that surprising that the IDF would give rise to clever, interesting tech startups. Much of technology today is the result of military research into hardware and software. What’s remarkable is how Israel has turned its soldiers into entrepreneurs. Today, Israel has about 5,500 startups, and it added 1,400 new ones just last year. It has become a world leader not just in security but in chip, printing, biotech, and corporate software, as well.
This episode of Hello World delves into the IDF to discover how it became such an efficient technology engine. My trip starts in Ashkelon, a coastal city that sits near the Gaza Strip, where up close I see the Iron Dome defense shield, which can intercept missiles and rockets midflight, and chat with some of the young soldiers in the IDF. Then I travel to a bustling market in Tel Aviv and meet with Shlomo Kramer. He’s a former member of Unit 8200 and now one of the legendary entrepreneurs and investors in Israel.

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This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 19 years and 40,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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