Saturday, June 18, 2016

From Ian:

Jeffrey Goldberg: What Obama Actually Thinks About Radical Islam
It is not only Obama’s seven-year war against jihadist organizations that calls into question Trump’s claim that he is working to advance the interests of ISIS (or, to put it another way, if Obama is indeed an ISIS agent, he’s doing a very bad job of it). It is also his publicly and frequently articulated demand, made of all Muslims, to fight harder against those who refract their faith through the prism of arid and merciless textual literalism. “There is ... the need for Islam as a whole to challenge that interpretation of Islam, to isolate it, and to undergo a vigorous discussion within their community about how Islam works as part of a peaceful, modern society,” Obama told me.
He immediately pivoted from this statement, though, by addressing Donald Trump—not by name, but his target was obvious. “I do not persuade peaceful, tolerant Muslims to engage in that debate,” he said, “if I’m not sensitive to their concern that they are being tagged with a broad brush.”
This represents the core of Obama’s anti-Trump argument. John Brennan, the CIA director, described to me the tightrope Obama walks on Muslim extremism this way: “The goal is not to force a Huntington template onto this conflict.” Brennan was referring to the political scientist Samuel Huntington, who posited the existence of a “clash of civilizations” between Islam and the West.
The fundamental difference between Obama and Trump on issues related to Islamist extremism (apart from the obvious, such as that, unlike Trump, Obama a) has killed Islamist terrorists; b) regularly studies the problem and allows himself to be briefed by serious people about the problem; and c) is not racist or temperamentally unsuitable for national leadership) is that Trump apparently believes that two civilizations are in conflict. Obama believes that the clash is taking place within a single civilization, and that Americans are sometimes collateral damage in this fight between Muslim modernizers and Muslim fundamentalists.
Bold, Brave, and Right
Ayaan Hirsi Ali defends—and embodies—the American Idea.
Perhaps we should put less stock in politically correct Islamic exegesis and listen instead to Ayaan Hirsi Ali. She spent her formative years living under Sharia in Africa and the Middle East, where she joined the Muslim Brotherhood. As is the custom in many such locales, she was subjected to female genital mutilation. Rather than submit to an arranged marriage in Canada, Ali escaped to the Netherlands, where she applied for political asylum. She won a seat in the Dutch parliament. In effect, she reasoned her way out of the Islamic-supremacist ideology once she arrived in the West by comparing the teachings of the core Islamic texts to those of the Western canon, which she found far superior.
Today, Ali lives under the threat of death from her former coreligionists. She is protected by around-the-clock security. For her unwillingness to accept a Western progressive’s distorted vision of Islam, she is censured and often censored. It must baffle Ali that, even as she speaks in defense of Western civilization, her fellow Westerners often seem to reject the principle of free speech.
I had the privilege of interviewing Ali prior to the Burke gala. She told me that she doesn’t wish to be treated as a hero. Speaking the truth, she said, ought to be the norm rather than the exception. She was troubled by the West’s lack of confidence in its own ideas. Free expression, she said, is the great deterrent to the global jihad.
In her devotion to classical liberal ideals and her willingness to die in defense of them, Ali is in many ways more American than those who were born here. She sought to become an American citizen because she studied intently and embraced wholeheartedly the American Idea. America is more than a landmass; it is an exceptional belief system that enables human flourishing. Islamic supremacism is not only incompatible with America but also seeks its destruction.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s life is a testament to the notion that ideas matter, and great ideas are worth defending. If America is to remain the last, best hope on Earth, we must heed her words.
Brendan O’Neill: Orlando has exposed the poison of identity politics
This discomfort with the idea that the massacre was both homophobic and an attack on humanity is captured again and again in the strange and bitter post-Orlando commentary. A British journalist slams those ‘portraying the massacre as an attack on humanity’. A writer for the academic magazine the Conversation spells it out even more clearly. He says the 49 dead should be remembered as ‘queer lives’ rather than ‘“human” lives’ (those are his quote marks around human). We must ‘reiterate the queerness of our dead brothers and sisters’, he says, and refuse to allow them to be talked about as ‘disembodied, undifferentiated and abstract “human” lives’. Read that again. He is saying we must actively, consciously, avoid referring to the victims as humans – or ‘humans’, to use his preferred punctuation – and just refer to them as ‘queers’. This is ugly. A few decades back, if gay people were killed you might expect homophobes to say, ‘They were only queer, not real humans’; now, alarmingly, and in a sign of how depraved identity politics has become, it is supposedly pro-gay people who say this, who effectively say: ‘Remember them not as people but as queers.’
The end result – the end result of all identity politics – is that people are dehumanised. They are reduced from complex beings to symbols; from messy, brilliant members of the human family that other humans can relate to and empathise with, despite being different, to mere identities, mere characteristics, mere sexual preferences, mere genders, mere skin colours. I would say that the victims of Orlando have suffered a double dehumanisation. First they were dehumanised by Omar Mateen, who clearly viewed them as less than human, as ‘faggots’, deserving of nothing more than violent death. And now they are dehumanised by the identity-politics narrative, which explicitly demands that we siphon them off from ‘generalised’ discussions of humanity and discuss them as ‘queer lives’ rather than as ‘human lives’. In a more PC, less apocalyptic, violence-free way, the mainstream purveyors of the politics of identity are repeating Mateen’s dehumanisation of these 49 people; they echo his foul belief that these people were queer first and human second.
The post-Orlando discussion should be of concern to anyone who considers himself a humanist. For it has confirmed the entrenchment of the politics of identity, and exposed how thoroughly it has usurped, or perhaps replaced, the older, more progressive politics of human solidarity. It shows that there is no escape from the identities we’re branded with. You are ‘born this way’, and you die this way, and you will be remembered this way: as an identity rather than a human. We must challenge this. We must insist that the Orlando massacre, this slaughter of gay people, was an outrage against humanity. And we must make the case that what we have in common with the people who were murdered in that nightclub – a desire for freedom; a shared humanity; a capacity for autonomy and empathy – outweighs every single difference between us that is currently being cynically talked up by a media and political set in thrall to the corrosive politics of identity. Those 49 people were humans first, and every human should rage against their destruction.

How Israel stays a ‘well-regulated militia’ with so many guns around
One of the first things visitors to Israel notice is the ubiquity of young people with automatic weapons. Yet Israel suffers the tiniest fraction of the mass killings the United States does. Daniel Gordis, writing last year in a Bloomberg column, reported that Americans are 33 times more likely to kill each other with guns than Israelis. How is that possible?
The answer is couched in that front seat the Egged bus driver kept empty for a soldier.
It may not be immediately obvious, but the Israelis you see armed on the beach or at the cafe are just as subject to the army hierarchy and its regulations as they would be if they were on the front line or a base.
Calev Ben-David wrote an op-ed this week about the differences between gun use in the US and Israel. He noted that just 4 percent of guns in Israel are not military issue.
This means that the use of 96 percent of guns is governed by army rules of conduct. As a soldier, you’re answerable to a military tribunal if you break army rules and use a gun without orders — or if you fail to use a gun when you’re under standing order to do so. For example, if a terrorist boards the bus you’re being forced to stay awake on.
Terror is Terror. Omar Mateen
While the nation grieved for its fallen in Orlando, Israeli haters rushed to the web to blame the murders guessed it....Israel.
They, of course, ignore Orlando terrorist Omar Mateens' own words in support of the terror group ISIS They also ignore Mateen's support of that other bastion of terror, "Palestine" .
Check him out, wearing his festive "I Love Palestine " keffiyeh. Photo originally appeared in the NY Daily News.
From the attack on civilians in Tel Aviv's Max Brenner sweet shop, to the attack on the LGBT community in Orlando, terror is terror. Mourn for the dead. Fight for the living. And do your best, collectively and individually to prevent it from ever happening again.
WATCH: People Say Republicans Are More Responsible Than Islam For Orlando Attack
Filmmaker Ami Horowitz this week asked people in New York City if Islam “played a role” in the Orlando terrorist attack. All those in this video said “no.” He then took it a step further and asked them if Republicans or Islam were more to blame for the attack. Incredibly, several people said Republicans were more to blame. You have to see it to believe it:

Experts: Tank returned by Russia was not the one used by missing soldiers
One of his achievements on a recent trip to Russia, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu noted earlier this week, was to persuade Moscow to return an Israel Defense Forces tank seized by Syria during First Lebanon War, apparently the one manned in the infamous battle of Sultan Yacoub by three soldiers still considered missing in action.
There is one problem, however: Experts said it is the wrong tank.
While the Russians did indeed give Israel a tank it used in the 1982 Lebanon War and which has been housed in a Russian museum for several decades, the experts noted that the newly returned armored vehicle has no marks showing that it was hit — and therefore could not be the one that Netanyahu asked for.
The tank manned by MIAs Zvi Feldman, Yehuda Katz and Zachary Baumel — which the prime minister asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to return — was seized during the June 11, 1982 battle that is considered one of Israel’s worst failures in the war. A total of 30 IDF soldiers were killed in the fight, and the three who were assigned to the Magach-3 tank disappeared.
Palestinians Use United Nations to Stake Claims In Mediterranean Sea
The New York Times reports:
The Middle East peace process is stalemated in part because of disagreement over the appropriate land borders for Israel and a future state of Palestine. Now the Palestinians are taking the first steps toward establishing what their state would claim at sea.
The Palestinian ambassador to the United Nations, Riyad H. Mansour, said Friday that his government had begun preliminary negotiations with Egypt to define the extent of Palestinian-claimed territory in the Mediterranean off the roughly 25-mile-long coast of Gaza, the strip bordering Israel and Egypt where roughly 1.8 million Palestinians live.
Mr. Mansour said the negotiations, which he described as having begun recently, were possible because of the Palestinian territories’ United Nations status as a nonmember observer state, which the General Assembly recognized in November 2012.
Fatah- Hamas reconciliation talks set to take place in Egypt next week
A Hamas delegation was expected to head to Cairo next week for talks on reconciliation with Fatah, according to Palestinian news agency, Maan.
The talks are a part of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's larger plan of renewing direct talks between Israeli and Palestinian parties, the agency reported.
Fatah and Hamas have both expressed their support of Egypt's initiative.
Sisi made his appeal for the renewal of Israeli- Palestinian peace talks spur-of-the-moment in May, calling on both Israelis and Palestinians to make the historic steps towards peace, as his country did in 1979.
“I ask Israeli factions and the Israeli leadership to please agree on finding a solution to the crisis, and this should be in return for nothing but good for the current, future generations and children,” Sisi said.
Sisi added: “I say to our Palestinian brothers, you must unite the different factions – and I won’t add anything else to this point – in order to achieve reconciliation and quickly.”
Hamas Leader Under Fire for Praising Iran’s Support
Hamas has come under fire from Palestinian and Syrian pundits and social media users after deputy leader Moussa Abu Marzouk lauded Iran for its support for Palestinian resistance movements.
In an official statement, Abu Marzouk said that no other country matches Iran in terms of the financial, logistical and military aid it has given the Palestinians.
It is yet unclear whether the statement marks a change in the movement’s relationship with the Islamic Republic. Hamas has been mostly cautious in recent years to keep its distance from Iran in part because of larger ideological conflicts along the Shiite-Sunni divide brought to head by the so-called Arab Spring.
Abu Marzouk was criticized left, right and center for his pro-Iran comment.
Anwar Gargash, a former UAE minister and a detractor of Iran, tweeted: “Dr Moussa Abu Marzouk’s comments about Iran’s support brings back Iranian influence on the movement to the agenda at a very sensitive regional crossroad, just when Hamas’ position seems confused and conflicted.”
Major Setback in Murder Investigation of Argentine Prosecutor
An Argentina high court said on Thursday that there is not enough evidence to prove that prosecutor Alberto Nisman was murdered, kicking the case back to a lower court judge, which is expected to rule that his mysterious death last year was a suicide.
“At the moment, it’s not possible to determine, with reasonable evidence, that the death of prosecutor Natalio Alberto Nisman was due to the actions of a third party,” said the ruling by the Criminal Cassation Court on Thursday.
The case will be returned to Judge Fabiana Palmaghini, according to the Buenos Aires Herald. Palmaghini had previously recused herself amid accusations of bias and the expectation that she would rule Nisman’s death was a suicide.
Nisman was found dead in his apartment on Jan. 18, 2015, just hours before he was set to present evidence to the Argentine congress of a sweeping corruption case against Argentina’s then-president Cristina Kirchner. Nisman, who had been investigating Iran’s role in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in Argentina, clashed with Kirchner, who was pushing for greater economic and diplomatic ties with Iran.
Documents found after Nisman’s death indicated that he was preparing to pursue charges against Kirchner. The prosecutor had been compiling a case that the Kirchner administration had agreed to cover up Iran’s involvement in the 1994 bombing in exchange for lucrative trade deals with the regime.
Dutch Lawmakers Pass Motion Against BDS
A non-binding motion to defund organizations involved in the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement was passed in the Dutch parliament’s lower house on Thursday.
“Parliament requests the government to end as soon as possible direct or indirect funding for organizations which, according to their mission statements or activities, work to achieve or promote a boycott of Israel, and especially for those organizations that play a leading role” in the BDS movement, stated the motion written by Kees van der Staaij of the Reformed Political Party, a Protestant Christian party, the Jerusalem Post reported.
Three Dutch lawmakers signed the motion, including van der Staaij, Joel Voordewind of the Christian Union party, and Han Ten Broeke, spokesman for the parliament’s Commission on Foreign Affairs and chair of its Defense Committee.
Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders of the Dutch Labor party has said that pro-BDS advertising is protected under freedom of expression, but the Dutch government is officially opposed to boycotting Israel.
CAMERA Op-Ed in Washington Jewish Week: The Greatest Threat to Palestinian Arab Youth
On May 19, 2016 The Hill, a Washington D.C.-based newspaper covering Congress, other governmental agencies and related activity, published a one-sided, anti-Israel Op-Ed entitled “Obama must act to protect Palestinian youth” by Brad Parker of Defense for Children International-Palestine (DCI-PS). Parker, claimed a special envoy for Palestinian children would “ensure that Palestinian children's rights are not abused.” His commentary obscured the greatest threat to Palestinian Arab youths: manipulative Palestinian leaders promoting anti-Jewish incitement.
Parker claimed “recent violence” is due to “hopelessness” Palestinian youth feel over Israel's “violent military occupation.” He omitted the fact that the overwhelming majority of Palestinian-Israeli violence since September 2015 has consisted of Arabs attacking Israelis, including children, with rocks, vehicles, knives and guns.
Hamas, the U.S.-designated terrorist group ruling the Gaza Strip and whose charter calls for the destruction of Israel and genocide of Jews, disagrees with Parker's assessment.
Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said as much in a speech at a rally on Jan. 19, 2016: “This intifada is not the result of despair. This intifada is a jihad, a holy war fought by the Palestinian people against the Zionist occupation [meaning Israel, which unilaterally withdrew from Gaza in 2005].”
Comparing BBC reporting on English and Israeli football hooligans
BBC audiences have also been told that the actions of a specific group of fans from one particular club prompt general “Football racism fears in Israel”.
Interestingly, the not entirely novel behaviour of a group of English football fans in Marseille this last week were not deemed by the BBC to prompt ‘football violence fears in England’ or ‘football inebriation fears in England’.
None of the plethora of BBC articles and reports on the topic alleged a link between the rioting fans and any particular UK political party and neither did they suggest linkage between the violent fans’ political views and their actions. And of course no BBC reporter tried to paint the behaviour of a few hooligans as being representative of English society as a whole.
In fact, BBC audiences were told that “there is a small minority who drink too much and get involved in some anti-social behavior”, that “only a “handful” of England fans had been involved” and that “the England fans had done nothing wrong”. In addition, BBC audiences learned that “reports of England football fans being involved in fights in Marseille have been “blown out of proportion” and that “it’s just a small minority who go to cause trouble really”.
Egyptian court hands ex-president Morsi another life sentence
Egypt's former president Mohamed Morsi was handed another life sentence on Saturday, after a court found him guilty of espionage and leaking state secrets.
Morsi, leader of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, has already been sentenced in three other cases, including the death penalty for a mass jail break during the 2011 uprising against former president Hosni Mubarak and a life sentence for spying on behalf of Palestinian group Hamas.
The court on Saturday also said the death penalty had been approved for six others accused alongside Morsi, including three journalists sentenced in absentia. Two other defendants that had worked in Morsi's office were sentenced to life in prison.
The sentences are the latest in a crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood since an army takeover stripped Morsi of power in 2013 following mass protests against his rule.
Obama: Blowing Smoke on ISIS
On Monday, President Obama spoke to the country after meeting with his national security team about ISIS and the threat of terrorism. His purpose was to reassure the nation that the battle with the ISIS terrorists was being won, and described a conflict in which the Islamic State was on the run everywhere. He even praised the shaky cease-fire in Syria and expressed optimism that a political solution to the Syrian civil war was possible.
But on Thursday, Americans got a sobering dose of realism. Speaking in a rare public hearing of the Senate Intelligence Committee, CIA Director John Brennan said that, despite some of the setbacks of which the president had spoken, ISIS’s “terrorism capacity and global reach” had not been reduced. He said the group was training terrorists for operations beyond the territory it still controls in the Middle East. He also noted that the Assad government in Syria was stronger than it was a year ago and showed no signs of losing power.
Which view is correct?
In a strict sense, nothing the president said was inaccurate. ISIS has lost ground, and many of its leaders have been killed. As Brennan said, the overall number of their fighters also appears to have declined. The U.S. is conducting air strikes and aiding Iraqi forces fighting the terrorists. Secretary of State John Kerry also continues to work to make the Syria cease-fire hold. But Brennan’s sober analysis of the group’s continuing strength and ability to strike the West put the president’s optimism in its proper context.
Opinion: Did the White House Ever Fully Grasp Russia’s Role in Syria?
David Hazony’s attempt to enter the mind of the president is gripping all the way through, well-structured, and as persuasive as it’s possible to be given the limited evidence and the space constraints. But it is not the only plausible way to interpret the evidence.
I have no theory about Barack Obama’s mind, or even strong intuitions. I note the following only to point out that the policy Obama pursued does not necessarily suggest that “the destruction of Syria is a direct, predictable, and entirely preventable product of Obama’s vision.” It is also possible that his vision was the product of the unpreventable destruction of Syria.
I had no knowledge at all of a secret channel to Iran preceding the public negotiations over its nuclear program. Nonetheless, during the early stages of the Syrian conflict, I came to the conclusion that American intervention was highly unlikely. From the moment Bashar al-Assad gunned down peaceful protesters, I believed Syria was doomed to a horrific civil war that would set the region alight, suck in its neighbors, and threaten European security. I could see no way to stop it, given the constraints under which Obama was operating.
The Syrian refugees I interviewed in July 2011 agreed. We believed this not because we imagined Obama was secretly courting Tehran, but because we assumed Russia, the United States, and Europe feared—reasonably—that should Assad lose power, chaos would ensue. In addition, Syria was a long-term Russian client and of great strategic import to Moscow. I couldn’t imagine Putin surrendering a key client regime in the Mediterranean, nor could I imagine the U.S. entering another conflict in the Middle East if this would put it in direct contact with an increasingly aggressive and hostile Russia. Russia is a country with nuclear weapons and prone to making casual threats of using them. It has revised the borders of Europe by force. It is headed by a man who is not only a risk-taker by temperament, but who needs to keep taking these kinds of risks to survive.
Russia Admits It Doesn’t Know Who It’s Bombing In Syria, But Does It Anyway
The Kremlin readily admitted Friday that it has not been able to distinguish between terrorist groups and the so-called moderate Syrian rebels when engaging in air strikes.
The comments came from Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov in response to allegations for an unnamed high-ranking U.S. defense official who accused Russia of striking U.S.-backed officials.
“Our air force operation is continuing in Syria,” said Peskov during a conference call with reporters. “It is not a secret for anyone that the continuing mingling in places of the so-called moderate opposition with Al-Nusra is a really serious problem.”
Peskov said that the so-called “mingling” is “complicating anti-terrorist action.”
Another unnamed defense official confirmed to Reuters Friday that Russian warplanes have struck U.S.-backed rebels fighting the Islamic State near al-Tanf, a city in southeastern Syria. Traditionally, Russia has engaged in air strikes against rebels fighting its ally, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Assad Regains Enough Strength To Arm Israel’s Enemy
Syria has restarted heavy weapons production for the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah, the head of Israeli Military Intelligence said June 15.
The Syrian regime is currently in one of the strongest battlefield positions since the Syrian civil war began five years ago. With the support of the Russian military, the regime has regained the upper hand against other rebel groups, allowing them to refocus on strengthening their partners.
IHS Janes reports the weapons include guided rockets with a range of nearly 186 miles. Hezbollah’s guided rockets are significantly more powerful than the smaller rockets Hamas routinely launches into Israeli territory, and pose a grave threat to the Israeli population should war erupt between Israel and Hezbollah again.
Israeli General Herzi Halevi warned the new surge in Syrian weaponry to the terrorist group, combined with existing Iranian support could easily ignite another war. Israel and Hezbollah went to war in 2006 after Hezbollah launched an attack on Israeli soldiers patrolling the Israeli-Lebanese border and then kidnapped two Israeli soldiers. After a 34-day war, the United Nations brokered a ceasefire and negotiated a prisoner exchange, returning the dead remains of the captured Israeli soldiers.
Israeli food aid winds up in Syria
Over the last few months, Israeli food aid has been reaching Syrian rebels fighting in the southern Qunietra region on the border with the Golan Heights. However, not all Syrians are happy with the aid from the 'Zionist Entity'
Israeli produced food is showing up on the frontlines in Syria, and has been causing a firestorm in Arabic media and social media.
The food has been showing up in Qunietra province which is on the border with the Israeli Golan Heights, specifically in areas controlled by rebel groups. While many of the rebel groups seem to be happy with this aid, there are others who are not too pleased with it, saying "it is a disgrace to be receiving food from the Zionist Entity which has stolen the Golan."
The pictures were also found on rebel social media pages and even some social media pages affiliated with the Syrian regime – pages which use the food aid as "proof" of Israeli cooperation with the rebels.
The food pictured is usually Israeli produced rice, flour, and sugar. However, when the food was brought to Syria, who brought it, and to whom it was given to is unknown.
New Turkey PM extends hand to Israel, other regional foes
Turkey’s new prime minister on Friday stretched out a cautious hand of reconciliation to Turkey’s regional foes, saying he wanted no permanent tensions with Black Sea and Mediterranean neighbors after serious ruptures with Egypt, Israel, Russia and Syria.
Binali Yildirim, a close ally of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, took over the premiership in May from Ahmet Davutoglu who had spearheaded a policy of projecting Turkish power in the region.
Some analysts have suggested that Davutoglu made way for Yildirim to allow a more reconciliatory foreign policy that would allow Turkey to mend bridges with its enemies and return to its former dictum of “zero problems” with neighbors.
“Israel, Syria, Russia, Egypt… we cannot have permanent enmity with these countries which border the Black and Mediterranean Seas,” Yildirim said in his first major interview with Turkish reporters, quoted by the Hurriyet daily.
Islamists attack Radiohead fans in Turkey
British rock group Radiohead on Saturday condemned “violent intolerance” after Islamists brutally attacked customers at an Istanbul record store attending an album release party, angered that the event coincided with Ramadan.
A group of about 20 men accosted and beat up customers and employees at the Velvet IndieGround music store in the city’s hip Tophane district on Friday night for drinking alcohol while listening to music during the Muslim holy month.
They trashed the store, hurled insults and broke up the release party of the album “A Moon Shaped Pool.”
At least two people were injured, witnesses told Turkey’s Dogan news agency. Police have started an investigation into the violence.
Images filmed during the altercation and widely circulating on social media show the attackers hurling barstools and wrecking the store.

Qataris Outraged After Rape Victim Gets Only a Six-Month Prison Sentence (satire)
Residents throughout Qatar are demanding the resignation of a federal judge after a rape victim was given only a six-month prison sentence.
“It’s unconscionable that while an innocent rapist will have to live with the traumas he caused himself for the rest of his life, his victim will be free in less than a year,” a petition, which demanded the judge be recalled for handing down such a lenient sentence, stated. “This sends the disturbing message that rape victims will not be held accountable for their crimes.”
Qatar usually takes a hard stance against rape, with victims given lengthy prison sentences.
“We must create a climate where men feel safe knowing that if a woman seduces them into committing rape, she will be severely punished,” Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad told The Mideast Beast. “Otherwise, these victims will act with impunity.”
Swastika posters left in north London playground for days
Police are stepping up their presence in a Haredi Orthodox Jewish neighborhood of London after swastika posters were placed in a playground there four days in a row.
London’s Jewish Chronicle reported Friday that local police have increased patrols in Stamford Hill and are investigating the matter.
The local branch of Shomrim, the Jewish volunteer security group, first reported the posters to police Monday, and they have appeared every day since then. The playground is next to a Jewish senior home, many of whose residents are Holocaust survivors.
Stamford Hill Shomrim’s Shulem Stern told the Chronicle the posters have sparked “a sense of anxiety and fear amongst local parents.”
“The daubing of Nazi symbols in a place where Jewish children study and play is an act of racism intended to spread fear and alarm,” Marie van der Zyl, vice president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, told the Chronicle.
Swedish Muslim fights anti-Semitism
Siavosh Derakhti, 24, a young Muslim of Azeri origin who lives in Malmö, Sweden, well-known for openly fighting anti-Semitism in his country, is currently visiting Israel.
"If you are a Jew, people blame you for everything going on in Palestine. Everybody hates Israel. I don't accept this and do everything I can to build bridges between Jews and Muslims through education,” Derakhti stated.
Derahkti, director of Young People against Antisemitism and Xenophobia, is considered very unusual in Sweden. Among his activities are organizing demonstrations in support of Jews and organizing delegations of young Swedes—including Christians, Muslims and Jews—to the Nazi death camps. He has a good relationship with the Israeli Embassy in Sweden and even takes part in various programs run by the embassy.
"It is absolutely terrible to be Jew today in Malmö", said the Swedish Muslim. "Anti-Semites believe in conspiracy theories that (Jews) rule the world. I organized pro-Jewish demonstrations and helped protect our cousins. If Jews can’t live in Sweden I feel it's a personal failure."
30-minute clip of lost Jerry Lewis Holocaust film surfaces
A 30-minute cut of Jewish comedian Jerry Lewis’s lost Holocaust movie has surfaced online, months after the BBC aired a documentary about the film the comedian had vowed no one would ever see.
The rough clip was put together using YouTube videos made from footage grabbed from a German documentary on the film Lewis once described as “bad, bad, bad.”
The 1972 ‘The Day the Clown Cried’ movie was about a non-Jewish German circus clown, played by Lewis, who is imprisoned in a Nazi concentration camp for mocking Adolf Hitler in a bar. In the camp, he insists on performing for Jewish children, who become his biggest fans. The SS guards use the clown to help load the children onto a train to Auschwitz, but he accidentally ends up on the train. He is assigned to lead the children to the Auschwitz gas chambers, and eventually insists on joining them in the chamber to entertain them as they are killed.
Lewis visited Dachau and Auschwitz before the film, which was shot in Paris and Sweden in 1972, and lost 40 pounds for the part. It was expected to be shown at the 1973 Cannes Film Festival, but Lewis, at first passionate about the project, hid all of the footage, saying that he was too embarrassed to show it.
New App Revives Jewish History of Crete
The Canadian and Israeli embassies in Greece this week launched a new mobile phone application teaching users about the Jewish history of Crete, including the remnants of the Etz Hayyim Synagogue.
“This free tourist application constitutes an important tool, allowing users immediate access to the rich history of the Jewish community of Chania and Crete,” said Julie Crôteau the Chargé d’Affaires of the Embassy of Canada in Greece, Haaretz reported.
The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Centre of Hellenic Studies at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada, developed the app.
The app was launched on the same day the embassies commemorated the destruction of the 2,300-year-old Jewish community of Crete during the Holocaust.
In June 1944, the Nazis boarded the 265 Jews living on the Greek island, along with hundreds of Greek and Italian prisoners of war, on the Tanais ship heading to Auschwitz. But the ship was sunk by a British submarine and all aboard were killed.
Latin pop star Ricky Martin to play in Israel
Joining a dozen or so music heavyweights performing in Israel this year, Puerto Rican pop star Ricky Martin has announced a show in Tel Aviv this coming September.
With 70 million English and Spanish-language albums sold in his 30-year career, the 44-year-old Latin pop sensation will bring his 2016 One World tour to the Holy Land for a single performance at Tel Aviv’s Sports Palace on September 14.
Martin, who began his career with the popular Puerto Rican boy band Menudo in the mid-1980s, is widely credited for bringing Latin pop to the forefront of the US music scene in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
He shot to international fame in 1999 after releasing “Livin’ la Vida Loca,” a single from his self-titled debut English album that remains the singer’s most popular song.
Polish ad man creates buzz with his pro-Jewish graffiti
Anti-Semitic graffiti is so common in Poland that it hardly makes the news, except maybe when it’s on Holocaust sites or Jewish cemeteries.
But huge philo-Semitic slogans painted in the national colors and confessing a sense of loss over the destruction of Polish Jewry in the Holocaust are somewhat more remarkable. Which is why Polish media is abuzz this week with reports about a graffito reading “I miss you, Jew” that an artist painted on a main street in Lodz.
Rafał Betlejewski, who is not Jewish, coordinated with local Jews and others before painting the attention-grabbing inscription on June 11 on Piotrkowska Street, a main artery. The graffito was part of a series he began in 2005. The founder of an advertising firm, Betlejewski, 48, has painted or helped paint the message dozens of times at sites with a special place in the history of Polish Jewry.
One such site was Brzeska Street, which used to form one of the boundaries of Warsaw’s Jewish ghetto. Another, in 2010, was Jedwabne, where local Poles killed hundreds of Jews in 1941. Betlejewski also set up a display there of a burning barn in memory of the Jews who were burned alive by their Christian neighbors. It was this dark episode in Polish history — the epicenter of the acrimonious debate in Poland over Holocaust-era complicity — that got him thinking about Polish-Jewish relations in the first place, he said in interviews about his work.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 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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