Sunday, June 19, 2016

From Ian:

1974 Ma’alot Massacre – My search for the brother and sister in the iconic photo
As Legal Insurrection readers know, my recent trip to Israel was intended to give me a chance to meet and help document the stories of the victims of the recent so-called Knife or Stabbing Intifada, such as the family of Yaakov Don.
Because my trip was cut short from two weeks to three days due to a family health emergency, I didn’t get to meet any of the victims or their families.
I also intended to document the victims of past terrorism, as I did in 2015 when I met with a survivor of the 1971 rocket attack on a school bus at Moshav Avivim, and the families of Edward Joffe and Leon Kanner, killed in the 1969 supermarket bombing masterminded by Rasmea Odeh.
In particular, I planned on focusing on the Ma’alot Massacre, the May 1974 takeover of a school in the northern Israeli town of Ma’alot by Palestinian terrorists who infiltrated from Lebanon. Of the over 100 hostages, 25 were killed including 22 students.
Chloe Valdary: 21st Century Zionism: The Importance of Place & Homeland in Popular Culture
As a Tikvah Fellow at the Wall Street Journal, I’ve spent the last 9 months researching the world of pro-Israel advocacy in the campus space — namely what works, what doesn’t, and how to make it better. What I’ve discovered in part is that we as a community don’t understand what Zionism actually is. We reduce this philosophy — to which there have been many contributions from an array of philosophers and thought leaders — to discussions about UN resolutions and media bias. But this is not the sum and substance of Zionism; the ideas at the core of Zionism have nothing to do with the BDS movement or other anti-Israel campaigns. Instead, Zionism is defined by concepts that inform the way we as human beings create meaning in our lives and shape a sense of identity. These tendencies are found in every society and are, in addition to being particularly Jewish, profoundly human. My comments below explore just how much the Zionist idea is found in the way we express ourselves in today’s popular culture.
When discussions about Israel arise in our inner circles, we often take the concept of “homeland” for granted. We reduce “homeland” to something that exists purely for political purposes — something to be divided or retained as Oslo, or American policymakers see fit.
Yet a homeland is not simply a pile of dirt and dust that exists to do the bidding of foreign diplomats. It is a physical space that plays a prominent role in the flourishing of a community. It satisfies that community’s need for rootedness — a concept central to the productive development of one’s identity. In many cultures, a homeland should not be held in high esteem merely for the sake of utility, (the production of goods and services), but for the cultivation of the community ontologically speaking, and for the sanctity of the individual who understands that he or she belongs to something: A place, A people, a history, and therefore a purpose and a destiny.
Islamist Apologetics
The Arab Spring was hailed as a movement that would finally bring democracy to the Middle East and an end to authoritarian rule from Tunisia to Syria. But as is often the case in the region, disappointment was swift to follow. In Egypt, the first free elections in 2012 brought to power the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood and President Mohamed Morsi. But after only one year, the Egyptian people demanded he step down and called on the army for a coup to retake the country from the Islamists. This history encapsulates the tensions between Islamists and secularists in the democratic process, which is the topic of Shadi Hamid’s latest book, Islamic Exceptionalism: How the Struggle Over Islam Is Reshaping the World.
Hamid, a senior fellow in the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution, ends his book with a discussion of the dynamics between liberalism and Islamism in the Middle East, and the difficult democratic process after a revolution. He explains how democracy is struggling to gain ground in the region because the people often elect Islamists, which causes liberals to revolt and stage a coup. Islamist participation in the democratic process is polarizing because of the fears that it provokes (although Hamid doesn’t seem to think these fears are legitimate). This leads him to an interesting and thoughtful discussion of how to draft a constitution, who should write it, how much public involvement there should be, and how to craft nonnegotiable “supraconstitutional principles,” like our Bill of Rights, that limit what a democratic majority can do. This is a useful reflection on the complications inherent to the region because of its religious history and the relatively recent introduction of secular government there in the 20th century.
Hamid’s titular goal, to point out how Islam is “exceptional,” is also helpful in understanding Islam’s relationship to the law and the state. He spends the first part of the book explaining that Islam is fundamentally different from both Judaism and Christianity in its relationship to the state and governance. Christianity, he argues, didn’t have a “positive conception of divinely mandated governance,” because its founder, Jesus, was a dissident, while Judaism had a similar body of laws as Islam, but not the context for governing (Jews lived under non-Jewish rule for eighteen hundred years). Islam, on the other hand, is a juridical religion created to dictate every aspect of life, and was founded by Mohamed, who became the head of a state. Thus, unlike Judaism, Islam had both the body of law, and the context to implement those laws—until the fall of the Ottoman Empire in 1923. This discussion is important in understanding politics in the Middle East, especially in the wake of the Arab Spring.

Obama: Anti-Anti-Terrorist
Sharia supremacists are not only shielded from scrutiny by U.S. intelligence but welcomed into the national-security apparatus.
Barack Obama has spent his presidency cultivating Islamists, particularly from the international Muslim Brotherhood and its affiliates in the United States. As we saw this week, he chafes at the term “radical Islam” — as do his Islamist advisers. At their insistence, he had instructional materials for training government agents purged of references to Islamic terms that illuminate the nexus between Muslim doctrine and jihadist terror.
Obama’s vaunted national-security strategy, “Countering Violent Extremism,” is Orwellian. The term CVE supplants identification of our jihadist enemies with the wooly notion that “violence” can be caused by any form of “extremism” — it has nothing to do with Islam. By transferring security responsibilities from government intelligence agents to Muslim “community leaders” (often, Islamist groups), CVE actually encourages violent extremism.
These steps have been reckless. They have made our nation more vulnerable to the kind of jihadist atrocities we saw last weekend in Orlando. So obvious is this that many Obama critics have gone from thinking the unthinkable to saying it aloud: The president of the United States seems to be intentionally betraying our national security; even if not squarely on the side of the terrorists, Obama is such an apologist for their Islamist grievances that he might as well be.
I don’t buy this. Oh, I believe Obama is betraying our national security, but I do not think he is doing so intentionally. Instead, he has the good intentions, such as they are, of a left-wing globalist. The president sees security as a matter of international stability, not of a single nation’s safety — not even of that single nation that has entrusted him with its security.
Why the ‘lone-wolf’ terrorist is a myth
President Obama says don’t worry, the Orlando terrorist was just another “lone actor” operating in isolation, unconnected to any larger group of supporters. In fact, these so-called “lone wolves” are running in packs, and suggesting otherwise gives the public a false sense of security.
Yet Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson echoed Obama, saying Omar Mateen was “self-radicalized” without any religious, ideological or operational support from friends, family or others in the Muslim community.
“What we do know at this point is it appears this was a case of self-radicalization,” Johnson said. “He does not appear to have been part of any group.”
A more accurate picture is that Mateen, an Afghan-American, was part of a disturbingly large Muslim family of sympathizers, supporters and even co-conspirators.
For starters, his wife could face criminal charges in the attack on the gay Orlando nightclub, the deadliest act of terrorism in the US since 9/11. Noor Zahi Salman, who wed Mateen in 2011, reportedly told the FBI she knew about her husband’s planned attack and even drove him to the site of the massacre as part of a scouting operation. She also is said to have helped him case the Disney Springs shopping complex. What’s more, Salman allegedly was with Mateen when he bought ammo and a holster used in the attack.
Prosecutors have convened a grand jury to present evidence against Salman, a [child of ] Palestinian immigrant[s], who ultimately could be indicted as an accessory to the murders of 49 people and the attempted murders of 53 others. Possible other charges include failing to report a terrorist attack and lying to federal agents.
It appears the seeds of Mateen’s hatred were planted at home.
The FBI’s failure in Orlando
An extremist Muslim who had been under the FBI radar for two years for carrying out activities that endangered the security of American citizens on American soil succeeded in legally procuring a weapon, entering a club and opening fire on hundreds of innocent civilians.
Forty-nine American citizens paid for this failure with their lives.
US law does not allow the authorities to question someone for applying for and receiving a license to carry a gun. The Americans – including President Barack Obama – do not seem to be able to internalize the fact that they are dealing with Islamic, jihadist terrorism, not just random outbursts of violence. Obama cannot even bring himself to say the words “radical Islamic terrorism.” As a result, the American security forces’ hands are tied, which just inspires more terrorists to carry out attacks against innocent people.
Terrorism knows no boundaries, has no political aspirations, or demands for independence or money. Islamic terrorists murder for the sake of murdering. They are animals acting in blind faith to destroy everything and everyone not compatible with the world of an Islamic caliphate. If we ever hope to get the upper hand, we must change our tactics and adapt ourselves to the rule of the jungle.
But in order to accomplish this, we need courageous leaders who have a clear vision, and who are willing to fight hard to fulfill their goals. Such a leader, however, does not currently exist in the West.
How Obama’s blackout on ‘radical Islam’ leads to dots going unconnected
Here’s a painful truth: Nearly 15 years after 9/11, US counterterror efforts failed to thwart the Orlando attacker. As they failed to prevent San Bernardino, Calif., Garland, Texas. Boston. Fort Hood . . .
And yet, in every one of those cases, the feds had their chance. Is something hobbling federal counterterror efforts?
Years before Omar Mateen’s bloodbath at Pulse, the FBI had him on its watch list — twice. He also made two trips to Saudi Arabia. Yet officials couldn’t link him definitively to any plot to commit mayhem.
Add to this unconfirmed reports of more recent warnings to the FBI — from Disney World, after he and his wife seemed to be casing the site, and from the owner of a gun shop where the killer tried to buy level-3 body armor.
Were these dots that went unconnected?
Only the killer is to blame. But Orlando was hardly an isolated failure.
According to the ABC's Waleed Aly, the Orlando massacre was caused by dangerous freedom. Nothing to do with Islam.
Australia - Waleed Aly and Scott Stephens present a taxpayer funded show on ABC Radio National.
They fix the world with smart-arse psycho-babble fronted by the two better-boys - better read, better educated, better jobs and much, much better paid than you and me.
It's excruciating listening. Thankfully it's also mostly irrelevant and wholly inconsequential (save for the costs). But Mr Aly's growing influence as a Turnbull-endorsed poster boy for Islamism changes that. Aly has a prime-ministerially approved profile and he's using it.
Last week The Minefield set out to answer this lofty question.
Firstly a synopsis of what that model moral response from Aly and his mate did not include. Naming the shooter, naming his motivation, naming Islam, acknowledging the victims. A moral response has nothing to do with Islam because according to the celebrity Muslim Aly the terror attack itself had nothing to do with Islam.
Aly's moral response to Orlando? Get rid of freedom, not Islam.
"Freedom (is one of those narratives that) doesn't work any more" he said. This was just hours before he sat down to a taxpayer funded Ramadan dinner with Prime Minister Turnbull.
I wonder what divinely ordained system Mr Aly could have in mind to replace the dangerous freedom that's been ruining the world?
VIDEO: Is Europe Doomed by Migrants?
Most of the millions of overwhelmingly male migrants who have come to Europe in the past two years are not refugees fleeing war zones. Douglas Murray, in our latest video, discusses the total failure of Germany and other countries to integrate the migrants, and what the consequences will be. "If you have jobs in Germany that need filling, why on earth wouldn't you fill them with the young people from Italy, Greece, Portugal and other European countries, who are unemployed at the moment?"

To Israel’s dismay, EU ministers expected to back French peace push
The European Union’s foreign ministers are to meet Monday to vote in support of the French peace initiative, a proclamation expected to bolster Paris’s efforts to kick start Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
Earlier this month, representatives from 28 Arab and Western countries, the Arab League, European Union and the United Nations met in Paris to discuss ways in which the international community could help advance the Palestinian-Israel peace process.
Neither Israeli nor Palestinian representatives were invited to attend the meeting, which aimed to lay the ground for a full-fledged peace conference to be held by the end of the year.
The Palestinians have welcomed the French bid but Israel has said the initiative would go down in history as having “pushed peace further away.”
Israeli officials told the Haaretz daily that the Foreign Ministry failed to prevent the EU foreign ministers’ motion from being passed, and that it’s now focusing efforts on getting them to soften the announcement’s language.
Archbishop Tutu’s Nobel Nominee: Arab Murderer Of Christian Monk
An unrepentant Palestinian terrorist convicted of murdering a Christian clergyman has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize – by one of the world’s most prominent Christian clergymen.
In a letter to the Nobel Prize committee in Norway, Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa announced his nominee for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize: Marwan Barghouti, currently serving five consecutive terms of life imprisonment for five counts of murder, including masterminding the murder of a Greek Orthodox monk, Georgios Tsibouktzakis, near Ma’ale Adumim in 2001.
Father Tsibouktzakis is one of the many victims of Palestinian terrorism whose name has long been forgotten by most people. Born in Saloniki, Greece, Tsibouktzakis decided at an early age to devote his life to study and prayer. Patriarch Deodoros I of the Greek Orthodox Church sent him to Jerusalem in 1990 for his training. He was ordained a monk in December 1993, and assigned to the St. George Monastery. In 2000, he was elevated to the priesthood. Situated on a ledge in Wadi Kelt, in the Judean desert just outside Jerusalem, St. George’s Monastery was an ideal place for a life of quiet contemplation and worship.
According to the Israeli Foreign Ministry, Father Tsibouktzakis was well known and admired by residents of the area and, especially by hikers who frequent Wadi Kelt. A Ma’ale Adumim police spokesman recalled how the monk once used his jeep to help retrieve the body of a tourist who died after falling into the wadi. On another occasion, he helped the police when two Israeli youths were murdered in the wadi by Palestinian terrorists.
Ahead of Release From Hospital, Israeli Hero Wounded While Confronting Palestinian Perpetrators of Tel Aviv Terrorist Attack Recounts Ordeal (VIDEO)
An Israeli hero wounded in the shooting attack at Tel Aviv’s Sarona Market while confronting the terrorists — thus prevening larger-scale carnage — described his experience to Israel’s Channel 2 on Sunday, just before being released from the city’s Ichilov Hospital.
Haggai Klein, 32, recounted the fateful night on June 8, when two Palestinian men dressed in black suits went on a shooting spree, killing four people. This was as Klein happened to be eating a meal at Benedict, a restaurant in the upscale complex.
“Suddenly, I noticed a man shooting, so I tried to topple him… even though I knew it could cost me dearly,” said Klein, whose actions were documented by surveillance cameras on the premises. The footage shows Klein throwing a chair at the terrorists and causing them to pause – and one of them to drop his weapon – while other diners flee the premises.
“My family and I were showered with widespread support and love,” Klein said. “I would like to extend my condolences to the families of those who were killed.”
“He did his duty,” Klein’s father said last week, after viewing the footage of his son trying to fight off the terrorists. “It moved me very much to see that.”
'She resisted as I stabbed her to death'
When Dafna Meir was murdered in her home in Otniel in January, she went down fighting, according to the teenage terrorist who murdered her in front of her children.
Meir, a mother of six who worked as a neurosurgical nurse in Soroka Hospital in Be’er Sheva, struggled against her killer, a fact that may have saved the lives of other potential victims.
According to transcripts of the interrogation with the terrorist, which were recently publicized by Walla News, Meir struggled with the killer during the fatal encounter. When he plunged the knife into his victim, the terrorist was unable to remove it and continue his killing spree.
“She struggled against me,” the terrorist told interrogators. “I stabbed her until I was unable to remove the knife from her body, and [when] I saw another woman coming, I ran away and went back home and watched a Saudi film.”
Had he been able to remove the knife, however, the killer says he would have continued to murder Jews until he “died a martyr’s death”.
“I would have kept on stabbing her, and if I would have seen another Jew I would have stabbed him to death [as well]. If I had managed to take out the knife from her body, I would have continued to murder Jews until I died a martyr’s death," said the terrorist “Every Muslim hopes to die a martyr’s death,” he added. “I want to enter heaven and have 70 virgins.”
PA prime minister vows to up payments to terrorists families
Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah has vowed to increase benefits for the families of terrorists killed while carrying out deadly attacks against Israelis.
Speaking at an iftar meal to break the Ramadan fast on Friday in Ramallah, Hamdallah said the PA and its institutions would continue providing a wide range of benefits - including financial rewards - to terrorists' families, and would work to up its support for them.
Hamdallah - who is regularly touted as a moderate in the West - went on the praise "all the martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the struggle," and praised those terrorists imprisoned in Israeli jails for attacks, including deadly attacks on innocent civilians, as "heroes."
Among the benefits the PA already provides are monthly salaries paid to terrorists serving time for attacks in Israeli prisons. Imprisoned terrorists receive a hefty salary, calculated based on the length of their sentence - and hence the seriousness of their offense.
The use of foreign aid to pay terrorists has recently come under increased scrutiny in Europe, and particularly the UK.
Palestinians held after M-16 rifle found in car
Security forces arrested three Palestinians late Saturday after they were caught at a West Bank junction with an M-16 rifle hidden in their car.
Border Police stopped the vehicle as it passed through Tapuah junction, a major West Bank intersection near a number of Israeli settlements south of Nablus.
The men, said to be in their twenties, were from Ramallah and Nablus and were detained on suspicion of arms dealing. Troops had been dispatched to the site to search for the three after intelligence on them was received, according to police.
A search of the vehicle uncovered the rifle, which had been broken down into parts and concealed in different parts of the car. The suspects were detained for further investigation by security forces
Four Arabs arrested for hurling firebombs at Armon Hanatziv home
A home in Jerusalem’s Armon Hanatziv neighborhood was struck by four firebombs Thursday night thrown by four Arab suspects from the West Bank who were illegally residing in the adjacent neighborhood of Jebl Mukaber.
No one in the building on Meir Nakar Street was wounded during the attack, which resulted in damage to an exterior wall and garden, police said. All four suspects were apprehended by Border Police dispatched to the area, and remain in custody.
“Police immediately set up roadblocks in the area for security measures and opened an investigation into how the suspects got into Jerusalem,” said police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld.
Armon Hanatziv, also called East Talpiot, has been a flashpoint for violence since the wave of Palestinian terrorism began last October. Since then, residents of Jebl Mukaber have murdered four Jews.
The latter neighborhood is a haven for Hamas sympathizers and operatives.
Ethiopian envoy on Israel: 'Why isolate a country contributing to human development?'
Ethiopia, like much of Africa, is looking to Israel to help extricate itself from poverty and backwardness, that country's ambassador Helawe Yosef Mengistu told The Jerusalem Post last week on the eve of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's upcoming historic trip to Africa.
It is also looking to Israel for assistance in its relentless battle with the al-Qaida linked al-Shabab from neighboring Somalia.
“We have our own terrorist problems,” Helawe said. “Al-Shabab is a notorious force. Terrorism is really a problem in that part of the continent. Our army in 2006 went to Somalia to fight, as this was for us a serious danger. They threatened to march into Addis Ababa and pray at the Great Mosque. Eritrea is supporting these elements, trying to wage proxy war with us.”
Helawe said that this fight against terrorism “is one of the issues that is binding the ties with Israel,” though he stressed it was “not the only issue, or the main one.”
Netanyahu is scheduled to travel to Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda and Ethiopia from July 4 to July 8 for the first visit by an Israeli prime Minister to Sub-Saharan Africa, since Yitzhak Shamir went to four west African countries in 1987: Togo, Cameroon, Liberia and the Ivory Coast. Netanyahu’s visit will take place on the 40th anniversary of the Entebbe raid in Uganda.
Ministers give green light to pump NIS 82m into settlements
Opposition incensed as cabinet approves aid package to beef up security, economy over the Green Line; Palestinian negotiator slams plan as ‘slap in the face’ to peace efforts
The government on Sunday approved a financial aid package for West Bank settlements of over NIS 82 million ($21 million) because of the “security situation.”
Speaking at the weekly cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the government would push for the large effort aimed at pumping millions into settlements across the West Bank.
“This is a multi-ministry effort aimed at strengthening security, aid small businesses, encourage tourism and more,” Netanyahu said.
“Israeli settlements in Judea and Samaria are experiencing a unique daily security situation because of their geographic location and the make up of life in the region,” the cabinet said in a statement after the vote. The eight-month spike in terrorist attacks in the West Bank has had “a variety of effects on life, particularly sociological and psychological effects and economic damage to businesses which require redress and special services.”
Isaac Herzog spokesman calls settlers ‘murderers,’ apologizes
The spokesperson for the Zionist Union has been at the center of a media storm since Saturday night, when he called West Bank settlers murderers and accused them of “building swimming pools on the blood of murdered children.”
Ofer Newman offered an apology for the comments Sunday, but not before they drew torrents of criticism, including from one lawmaker who called for him to be thrown in prison.
Newman said later that he posted his condemnation of the settler movement on his Facebook page after having watched the documentary film “The Settlers,” which focuses on the far-right fringe elements within Jewish West Bank communities.
In his post, Newman, who also serves as personal spokesman for Zionist Union leader Isaac Herzog, wrote: “The settlers built swimming pools on the blood of children they murdered.
“What kind of a twisted moral basis enables these people to stride along on a path toward the deaths of thousands of Israelis without anyone saying to them: ‘You have gone too far! You are lowly murderers. You belong in prison!’
PMW: Abbas’ Fatah photoshops Israeli Defense Minister Liberman with Jihadi John
The above photoshopped image (left) of Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman holding a jagged knife was posted today on one of Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah Movement's websites. The image (right) is made up of Liberman's face pasted on the body of Jihadi John - the Islamic State's executioner, who is holding the jagged knife that he used to behead his victims.
The caption accompanying the picture says: "LibermanISIS"
[Website of Fatah's Information and Culture Commission, June 19, 2016]
Gaza factions vow response to underground border wall
Hamas and other Palestinian terror groups on Saturday vowed a tough reaction to reported plans by Israel to build an underground cement barrier along the Gaza border.
The Hebrew daily newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth reported Thursday that security chiefs had decided to go ahead with a multi-billion-shekel project for a concrete wall above and far below the entire 60 kilometers of the Israel-Gaza border in order to block Palestinians from digging their way into the country and carrying out attacks.
Senior Hamas official Ismail Radwan told the Hamas-affiliated news site al-Resalah, “The resistance is able to adapt to all circumstances for the sake of continuing its project to liberate [Palestine].”
He also claimed the reported plans were a sign of Israel’s “failure to face the tunnels,” and stressed that the procedures would “not limit the resistance’s ability to defend our people.”
UN Blames Israel For Lousy Mobile Reception In Hamas Tunnels (satire)
United Nations officials issued harsh criticism of Israel today for the sorry state of wireless connectivity and reception in the tunnel Hamas uses to move men and materiel through the Gaza Strip.
UN Human Rights Council President Wai Fai of China, who holds the position on a rotational basis, called the failure of Israel to provide adequate mobile communications technology infrastructure for people moving through Hamas tunnels a violation of Palestinian rights. “We have the misfortune of being witness to yet another way in which Israel tramples the rights of Palestinians in Gaza,” said Wai.
Council representatives interviewed hundreds of Hamas operatives and forced child laborers in the tunnels over the last two years since the last round of fighting between Hamas and Israel, and found that conditions in the cramped tunnels have not improved. In many cases, said delegation spokesman Mol Ratt, the lack of wireless infrastructure has cost lives when tunnels collapsed on the fighters inside them and the trapped Hamas personnel were unable to signal for help, and those who were not crushed to death immediately were also rendered unable to play online games to keep occupied as they suffocated.
“It would have been more humane to enable the doomed people trapped in those tunnels to play, for example, Candy Crush,” explained Ratt. “But once again, we have gathered extensive evidence of Israel’s disregard for the needs of Hamas fighters.”
Refusing to compete against Israeli rival, Syrian boxer quits international tournie
Ala Ghasoun, a Syrian boxer, quit Saturday the world boxing championship taking place in Azerbaijan this week for refusing to compete against an Israeli rival.
The bout between Ghasoun and the Israeli fighter was scheduled for the first round.
Participation in the tournament was a precondition in qualifying for the upcoming 2016 Olympic games that will take place in August in Rio de Janeiro.
"I quit the competition because my rival was Israeli, and I cannot shake his hand or compete against him while he represents a Zionist regime that kills the Syrian people," Ghasoun told Arab media over the weekend.
"If I fight against him, it would mean that I, as a athlete, and Syria, as a state, recognize the state of Israel."
Rhode Island legislature passes anti-BDS law
The Rhode Island legislature has joined numerous other states in passing legislation prohibiting the state and its subdivisions from contracting with entities involved in discriminatory boycotts, which would cover the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. Signature by the Governor is expected.
The recognition that boycotts based on religion and national origin are discriminatory is a prime focus of such legislation. There is no doubt that Israel is singled out because it is majority Jewish and that Israelis are singled out because of national origin.
Such boycott anti-discrimination laws have been on the books for decades in New York and California. The New York law caused the GreenStar Food Coop in Ithaca to reject a BDS resolution, and the California law forced the BDS-compliant American Studies Association to abandon its annual meeting policy of excluding representatives or officials of Israeli universities.
Haaretz's Amira Hass Sweeps Away the Facts
Haaretz's Amira Hass last week claimed that Israel "sweep[s] away" the Palestinian population ("Israel's Right to Sweep Away Palestinians," June 8).
With evocative phrases, Hass introduced various examples of Israel allegedly "sweeping away" Palestinians. Under the heading "The right to dismantle a kindergarten," for example, Hass recounted the alleged fate of the Hamadin Bedouin community of Sateh al-Bahr. According to Hass, on June 5, Israel’s Civil Administration in the West Bank dismantled "six prefab houses and one prefab [caravan] that served as a kindergarten for 12 children." As a result, she wrote, "Twenty-six people, including 13 children, lost their homes."
What facts did Hass omit in this apparently dramatic and heart-wrenching story? In fact, the real story is neither dramatic nor heart-wrenching. In response to an inquiry by Presspectiva, CAMERA's Hebrew department, Israel's Civil Administration noted that the illegal buildings were built only four days before they were dismantled. On the morning of June 2, Regavim, an Israeli NGO, informed the authorities of the illegal construction. Three days later, Israeli authorities dismantled the structures.
To avoid detection, Bedouin covered the "prefab" buildings with clothe to disguise the buildings as tents. The pictures below document the buildings as they appeared before dismantling:
Add Your Name to Our Letter: Israel Did Not “Cut Off” Palestinian Drinking Water
Please sign our letter to Doug Wills, Managing Editor of The Independent
To Doug Wills, Managing Editor, The Independent:
We are writing to demand that The Independent retracts a story that falsely accused Israel of deliberately cutting off drinking water to Palestinians during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. A burst pipe — quickly fixed by Israel — was the reason for the temporary shortage. There was not a shred of evidence that Israel in any way deliberately blocked water supplies. The premise of the article was based on unsubstantiated Palestinian claims. While The Independent references Israeli government denials, why was this smear deemed newsworthy in the first place?
We demand that The Independent retracts this libelous and factually incorrect story.
In Attack on Jewish Neighborhood Watch Group, the New York Times Can’t Bother to Distinguish Between Commandment and Blessing
As is becoming an unfortunate habit with New York Times attacks on Jews, this one is released on a day when observant Jews are limited in their ability to respond. If the Times op-ed published on Shavuot attacking Governor Coumo’s pro-Israel action against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement was the opinion journalism version of the Yom Kippur War, this news article, scheduled for print publication on Shabbat, is the Times metro section’s variation on the same theme.
And that is just the beginning of the problems with it. For one thing, the Times article is a nearly word-for-word recap of a story that appeared a month ago in the Daily Beast. Same names, same anecdotes, same facts, even the same photograph. It does include a few additional interviews and some re-ordering of the content. When I asked the Times reporter, Alan Feuer, whether he felt he should have credited the Daily Beast’s article, he responded by recommending that I contact the author of that article. “Thanks for your concern,” he said on Twitter, apparently dismissively. (Later, Mr. Feuer clarified that he had tried to get the Times to hire the Daily Beast writer as a freelance contributor, but that it “didn’t pan out.” He said he had spoken to her and “apologized in advance that my piece would cover some of the same ground as hers.” He said he had begun working on his piece before he read the Daily Beast article.)
The Times article carries this passage:
Mr. Daskal, the safety patrol leader in Borough Park, said the shomrim got nothing from their bonds with the police. “Maybe a mitzvah” — a blessing — he said, “or a feeling that our community is safe.”
This has the makings of a classic future Times correction. It might read: “Commandment is the English translation of mitzvah; bracha is the Hebrew for blessing. A Times article published on Shabbat incorrectly confused the two.”
New Android game invites users to 'play in Auschwitz'
A disturbing new application was displayed in the "Google Play" store that invites users to "play in Auschwitz" Italian newspaper The Repubblica reported on Sunday.
Campo di Auschwitz Online, which the developers said was designed with a goal of enjoyment, was made available on the Android platform and received online reviews of 3.1 stars out of 5.
The homepage of the application features a Star of David alongside train tracks with the words "Auschwitz Concentration Camp" superimposed above.
As a graphic of what can only be assumed to be a Jewish person escaping from the camp appears alongside the disconcerting mantra of the game appears in letter over an image of the concentration camp's gate: Live like a real Jew in Auschwitz Concentration Camp.
Is it music or is it theater? It’s Alice Cooper
Renowned for raising the dead, Cooper quickly recovered and performed a series of four covers in memory of some of his closest friends. With a gravestone image of each musician unveiled at the outset of each song, Cooper warmed up with The Who’s “Pinball Wizard” in memory of Keith Moon and “Fire” by Jimi Hendrix. But he reached peak performance in powerful versions of David Bowie’s “Suffragette City” and Motörhead’s “Ace of Spades,” in memory of Lemmy Kilmister.
Amping the show up one final notch, the band performed “I’m Eighteen” and everyone’s favorite, “School’s Out.” In the latter, the refrain of Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall” were seamlessly integrated as the crowd took great solace in another nail in the coffin of Roger Waters’ BDS efforts.
Cooper’s apolitical stance was even more evident in the encore. With an image of the stars and stripes in the background, Cooper bounded on stage with a T-shirt promoting his “Make America Sick Again” campaign for the US presidency.
Accompanied by a confrontation between The Donald and HRC that ended in a passionate kiss yet a more impassioned version of “Elected,” the finale left no doubt that with Alice Cooper, music always trumps theatrics.
Israel sends firefighting planes to help battle Cyprus blaze
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Saturday evening ordered Israeli firefighting aircraft to assist Cyprus authorities struggling to put out a massive wildfire raging on the island’s coast.
“Efforts are currently underway to organize the dispatch of a rescue team as well as additional firefighting aircraft,” the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.
According to a report in the Cyprus Mail, the emergency assistance from Israel came at the request of Nicosia, after local firefighters were unable to control the blaze that had burned five square kilometers of vegetation in the Paphos region by Saturday afternoon.
Fire department spokesman Leonidas Leonidou told the paper strong winds were hampering firefighting efforts, and the blaze would likely continue into Saturday night.
No injuries have been reported, and Leonidou said no area homes were in immediate danger.
Local reports said the fire was the biggest Cyprus has seen in recent years.

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