Tuesday, June 21, 2016

From Ian:

The ​Time Has Come for UNRWA Reform: A Solution to the Palestinian Refugee Dilemma
This reality can be changed. Instead of just throwing money at UNRWA, donors could advance policies to improve ​the living conditions of UNRWA refugee residents and offer a​n​ alternative to the current “refugee status in perpetuity” and “right of return” mantra drummed into the minds of half a million UNRWA student​s. A new reform initiative could galvanize donor nations ​to overhaul six UNRWA ​policy challenges​:​
  1. Ask for an audit of donor funds given to UNRWA. This would address widespread documented reports of wasted resources, duplicity of services and the undesired flow of cash to Gaza-based terror groups, which have gained control over UNRWA operations there for the past 18 years.
  2. Introduce UNHCR standards to UNRWA, to advance the resettlement of Arab refugees after 67 years. Current UNRWA policy is that refugee resettlement would interfere with the “right of return” to Arab villages that existed before 1948.
  3. Cancel the new UNRWA curriculum, which incorporates principles of jihad, martyrdom and a the “right of return” by force of arms.
  4. Cease paramilitary training in all UNRWA schools. Should UNRWA, as a UN agency, not demonstrate a renewed commitment to UN principles to “peace education”?
  5. Insist that UNRWA dismiss employees who are affiliated with Hamas, in accordance with laws on the books in western nations, which forbid aid to any agency that employs members of a terrorist organization.
  6. Since UNRWA has recently hired a “youth ambassador” — Mohammad Assaf — to travel the world and encourage insurrection and violence, would this not be the appropriate time for donor nations to ask that UNRWA cancel that contract with a promoter of war?
​At a time when Israel is pressed to launch a new diplomatic initiative, this is an opportunity to remove the stain of “Arab refugees in perpetuity” as a source of intergenerational incitement.
Remove the Arab refugee issue from the Middle East agenda, and you remove a root cause of violence in the Middle East.

An End-of-Semester Report Card for BDS-Supporting Students
Now that the academic year is over, it is high time to grade the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. Like most evaluations, this one is subjective—but it should withstand close scrutiny.
Full disclosure: I am a committed Zionist. I believe Israel is a country that should proudly take its place among the world’s nations. However, I criticize Israeli policies regularly. I disagree with how Israel has handled its occupation of the West Bank. But, as a world citizen, I try to prioritize my rage at the world’s injustices. I try to maintain an intellectual rigor when it comes to oppression and violence. I do not believe the BDS movement does that. To the contrary, I believe the BDS movement allows Tibetans to languish under a brutal Chinese occupation, the Copts to be institutionally discriminated against in Egypt and the Kurds to remain oppressed and stateless—not to mention the systematic injustices against many others.
Now to the grades.
Historical Accuracy: D-
The BDS movement is premised on a historical accounting that contains cleverly construed omissions and distortions. Recently, I listened to an NPR broadcast on Nakba Day. (Nakba means “catastrophe” in Arabic; “Nakba Day” is a commemorative day observed every year by Palestinians on May 15, the day Israel was declared an independent country). In the discussion of the Palestinian loss of land, not once was it mentioned that the United Nations had voted in 1947 to partition Palestine into a Jewish and Arab state. In explaining the 1948 War, there was another omission: the attack on the newly born state of Israel by five Arab armies. The BDS historical narrative espoused by students on campus depicts the birth of Israel as an unprovoked, imperialist land grab. According to this erroneous reading of history, in 1967 another unprovoked Jewish attack seized even more land (rather than this capture of land being the result of a war). Other territorial partitions accepted by the international community, such as that of India and Pakistan, are ignored. If quizzed on what happened in 1947, 1948 or 1967, I imagine 90 percent of BDS-supporting students would have no clue about these basic historical facts. (h/t messy57)
JCPA: Anti-Semitism and Anti-Zionism: Same Idea, New Cloak
This correlation is substantiated in the findings of the AMCHA initiative report of 2016 about U.S. colleges. That report shows:
  1. Strong correlation between anti-Zionist student groups such as “Students for Justice in Palestine” (SJP) and anti-Semitism,
  2. Strong correlation between the presence of faculty who have expressed public support for an academic boycott of Israel and anti-Semitism,
  3. BDS activity strongly correlates with anti-Semitic activity,
  4. Presence of SJP, faculty boycotters and BDS are strong predictors of anti-Semitism,
  5. Anti-Zionism permeates and is inseparable from contemporary campus anti-Semitism.
Yet, a deeper analysis of the similarities and the differences between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism requires thorough understanding of the broad perspective and context of the effort to delegitimize the existence of the nation state of the Jewish people in its ancestral homeland, which is the purpose and the realization of Zionism. The complex DNA and the ideological and political substructure of this delegitimization campaign, one of whose expressions is the BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) movement, is constituted on the one hand in the Palestinian leadership’s 100 year old terror and ideological warfare against Zionism and its realization in the state of Israel and on the other hand in the extreme radical thinking and the ongoing anti-Semitic feelings in certain radical groups in the West.
As a matter of fact, delegitimization of Israel represents two ideas which are not mutually exclusive. First, it is a manifestation of a modern form of anti-Semitism. In the past hatred of the Jews and their discrimination and persecution were justified by false religious and later on racial argumentations, which are totally inconceivable today. Nowadays this attitude is justified by national argumentation claiming that the Jews should be treated differently from all other nations and that their state represents evil because of both the injustice embedded in its creation and prolonged existence and the horrible nature of the Jews who live there, and therefore its existence is unjustified and illegitimate.

Vic Rosenthal: Ten propositions
I am a nationalist, Zionist, tribalist and hawk.
Here are ten things I believe:
  1. ‘Israel is the Jewish state’ has a concrete meaning: the owners of the land of Israel are the Jewish people, not all its citizens.
  2. Arabs who live in Israel should have full civil rights, but they should understand that they are living in someone else’s homeland. It’s natural and correct that the flag, national anthem, primary language and other symbols are those of the Jewish people.
  3. It is not a civil right to call for the destruction of the state or the murder of its people.
  4. Israel should not welcome non-Jewish migrants.
  5. Everyone in Israel should have freedom of religious worship and be able to visit their holy places. But the government of Israel should be sovereign over every inch of the land of Israel, in particular the Temple Mount.
  6. Everyone should be able to follow their own religion or lack thereof without coercion. But the official religion of the state of Israel should be Judaism.
  7. Israel and the Jewish people have an absolute right to defend themselves.
  8. Collective guilt justifies collective punishment.
  9. Nobody has the right to try to kill Jews or Israelis, even if their means are ineffective.
  10. There should be a death penalty for murderous terrorism.
These ten propositions mark me as anti-democratic, even racist and fascist to many, doubtless including the two former Defense Ministers who recently made speeches decrying what they believe is decay in Israel’s collective morality and accusing the Netanyahu government of being responsible for it.
IsraellyCool: Know Your History: The Occupation Of Jerusalem (NY Times Dec 20, 1917)
A series where I use history to debunk common misconceptions about the Middle East conflict.
In a New York Times article from December 20th, 1917 about Turkish mistreatment of Christian priests before the end of World War I, a striking sentence appears – something you would never see in the New York Times today.
Note: I cannot provide a link to the full article since it is only available to those who have purchased a NY Times subscription. But I have provided a screenshot below. As usual, click on the screenshots to enlarge.
Top historians take down Ken Livingstone’s claim that ‘Hitler supported Zionism’
The former mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, has again refused to apologize for his remarks about Hitler and Zionism, insisting he was “misquoted” after a radio show in the UK in April.
But Livingstone, in an hour-long interview late last week with the Jewish cable channel J-TV, was put on the spot by the interlocutor, historian Dr. Alan Mendoza, who systematically took the Labour politician’s thesis apart, forcing him to admit he had a hazy grasp of facts and that his source, the left-wing journalist Lenni Brenner, had been selective in his interpretation.
In April, Livingstone, a close ally of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and himself a former MP, was suspended from the Labour Party after going on a BBC radio station and declaring that Hitler had supported Zionism. Livingstone was asked on the show to defend the party after a number of Labour members were suspended for social media posts deemed anti-Semitic.
But Livingstone was ultimately suspended himself after declaring, “Let’s remember, when Hitler won his election in 1932, his policy then was that Jews should be moved to Israel. He was supporting Zionism – this before he went mad and ended up killing six million Jews.”
The fall-out from Livingstone’s inflammatory remarks led to extraordinary scenes in Westminster as the Labour MP John Mann, who is the chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism, challenged Livingstone outside TV studios and called him “a Nazi apologist.”
Highlights: Ken Livingstone gets grilled on J-TV: The Global Jewish Channel

Ken Livingstone discovers Jewish roots, takes name “Ken Ben Zona” (satire)
Former Mayor of London Ken Livingstone took time out of his busy schedule of claiming that Hitler was a Zionist to discover that he may very well be Jewish. “Greville Janner used to drive me home from the House of Commons at night. We would chat away about the Middle East. He would speculate about whether or not I was Jewish because my grandmother’s name was Zona.” (Reader Alert! He really really said this! He also said that some of his best friends are Jewish!)
Mr. Livingstone continued to describe his mystical journey. “I felt that the best way to honor my heritage would be to bestow myself a Jewish name. Henceforth, you can address me as Ken Ben Zona!”
The UK’s Jewish Community responded wholeheartedly to the news. Local businessman Darren B. was very excited. “The next time somebody accuses Mr. Livingstone of being against the Jews, I’m going to tell them that Ken’s not an Anti-Semite, he’s a Ben Zona!”
In order to get a Legalistic view of this exciting development, the Daily Freier traveled to Golders Green and spoke to Rabbi Chaim L., who explained that since Judaism has a matrilineal tradition, “Ken’s been Ben Zona the whole time, even if he only discovered this now!”
In a follow-up phone interview, Mr. Livingstone took the time to patiently explain that he was not in fact a Time Traveling Android sent from the future to destroy the Labour Party through farce.
Shmuley Boteach: Gays in Muslim countries face destruction
We continue to learn new information about Omar Mateen, the man who carried out the massacre in the Orlando nightclub, but many questions remain unanswered. We don’t know at this point, for example, if he took the teachings of Islam about homosexuals literally and acted on them or if he had some other motivation. Nevertheless, this tragedy must bring out into the open the serious anti-gay bigotry and persecution of homosexuals found in much of the Islamic world.
British filmmakers went undercover at the London Central Mosque, considered one of the most prestigious in Britain, to see if they preached something different privately than the moderate image projected in public. The documentary exposed imams “teaching the faithful that God orders them to kill homosexuals.”
This was taught in Western Europe.
Imagine what Muslims learn in madrassas in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia produces textbooks used inside and outside the kingdom that teach the punishment for homosexuality is death. One book quotes Ibn Qudamah, who said, “The companions of the Prophet were unanimous on killing, although they differed in the description, that is, in the manner of killing.
Some of the companions of the Prophet stated that [a homosexual] is to be burned with fire. It has also been said that he should be stoned, or thrown from a high place.”
When Terrorists Can’t Be Muslims
According to Barack Obama, “ISIL is not Islamic.” According to the Daily Beast, “reports indicate” that Orlando shooter Omar Mateen “was not that pious a Muslim.” Progressives downplaying the role of Islam in terrorism is old news. Here’s something new: According to NPR’s Dina Temple-Raston, it seems as if “the motive for this attack had very little—or maybe nothing—to do with ISIS.” Why? Because intelligence officials have “yet to find any indication that [Mateen] became noticeably more religious.”
See the problem? If ISIS isn’t a true representation of Islam and if Omar Mateen wasn’t a particularly devout Muslim, wouldn’t that make him—by progressives’ own logic—an exemplar ISIS terrorist?
Apparently not. As it turns out, Islamist terrorism is for confused Muslims only until a confused Muslim commits mass murder in the name of Islam. When that happens, Islamist terrorism turns out to be for the serious and devout, after all.
One wonders what Dina Temple-Raston thinks of Mohammad Atta, who hit a few topless clubs before flying a passenger plane into the World Trade Center. Not devout enough to be a real member of al-Qaeda? Once we stop taking our enemies at their word, who’s to say what we’re up against and how, therefore, we prevail?
Obama recently asked what purpose it would serve to call radical Islam by its proper name. For starters, it would align with reality, which would be the beginning of clarity. From there, maybe we could face squarely what we need to do to win.
But there’s a better question: What’s the benefit of deceiving on the matter of radical Islam? The answer is, it allows us to avoid our responsibilities and tell soothing stories while the world burns.
If we called things by their proper names, maybe we wouldn’t have spent the week after a terrorist attack straining and contorting in a national effort to deny the obvious. There’s dignity in facing the truth. Frankly, that’s benefit enough.
The Phone-Call Transcript Follies
The initial explanations from Attorney General Lynch for redacting the transcript would have made sense if Mateen’s comments were some sort of mad, irrational rant that no one but his psychiatrist could decipher. But his specific invocation of ISIS and praise for its commander Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi made his motivations crystal clear. The notion that making this known would have “re-victimize” the dead and injured from this horrific attack makes no sense. No does the idea that letting the public know about his beliefs would “further his propaganda.” The fact that he murdered 49 people in the worst terror attack on U.S. soil since 9/11 had already given his ISIS role models the kind of gruesome propaganda victory they get from the release of snuff videos of beheadings and other mass slaughters they perpetrate in the Middle East.
But knowing that this crime was a product of Mateen’s faith undermines the administration’s longstanding message that such terrorists not only do not represent the majority of Muslims but (as Abe Greenwald noted) are not to be considered good Muslims. It also undermines the advocacy of gun control measures that almost certainly would not have stopped Mateen had they been in effect. There has also been a concerted effort to lift this act out of the context of Islamist hate and lump it into with non-violent opposition from religious conservatives to gay marriage. If Orlando becomes merely another story about why assault weapons should be illegal or discrimination against gays is terrible, then we need not give much thought to the epic struggle that is being waged by large numbers of Islamists around the globe who inspire people like Mateen to act on their impulses in the name of their faith. Nor would we have to think more about why they seek to murder adherents of different faiths or, for that matter, any gay person they can lay their hands on. Take ISIS out the mix and the Obamans can steer the debate about Orlando in such a way as to back up the administration’s adamant refusal to name the ideology of the enemy or to deploy the sort of forces that might be necessary to decisively defeat them in Iraq and Syria.
But even if we were to ignore the broader implications of this debate, it is still is a good thing for Americans to know what Omar Mateen said. That unedited transcript doesn’t tell us everything we need to know about this individual or what led him to mass murder in that particular place. But all of us, including the millions of loyal Americans who are Muslims, are better off facing the enemy and knowing who he is. Mateen was not alone in looking to ISIS and other terror groups for motivation. If we are to grasp the nature of the threat of home-grown terror, we cannot pretend that is indistinguishable from differences about the culture wars or that it’s merely another argument about the Second Amendment. To the contrary, if Americans are ever to summon the will to decisively defeat radical Islam they must understand what it is and why it kills.
Document Reveals Omar Mateen’s Father Tied to Radical Islamist Group
The father of Orlando mass shooter Omar Mateen has longstanding connections to prominent Islamist groups in the U.S., a document discovered by the Investigative Project on Terrorism shows. Seddique Matin is listed as president of a then-newAmerican Muslim Alliance (AMA)chapter in Fort Pierce in a July 1997 announcement archived by the IPT.
The AMA sponsored several radical conferences in the U.S. and its leader, Agha Saeed, has spoken in defense of convicted terrorists, including Aafia Siddiqui (a.k.a “Lady al-Qaida”), Palestinian Islamic Jihad board member Sami Al-Arian, and Pakistani intelligence lobbyist Ghulam Nabi Fai.
The Fort Pierce chapter is among 10 new AMA chapters opened, the announcement in an AMA bulletin says.
AMA was incorporated as a nonprofit organization in California in 1994 “to educate the Muslim community and others on the history and laws of the United States and on affirmative participation in civic activities on a non-partisan basis.” AMA’s political activist wing, the American Muslim Political Coordinating Council (AMPCC), includes leading Islamist organizations in the U.S. including the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), and the American Muslim Council (AMC).
Textbooks taught at some Canadian Islamic schools: homosexuality is punishable by death
CIJnews has learned that some Islamic private schools in Canada use textbooks produced by the Saudi Ministry of Education.
Textbooks obtained by CIJnews contain chapters dealing with the wisdom of the capital punishments in Islam in cases of major sins.
In two textbooks for the school year 2014 and 2015-16, homosexuality is depicted as a “major sin” and as “one of the most heinous sins” punishable by death for both partners to the sexual act. The punishment is similar to that inflicted on the people of Lut, meaning by stoning and/or by fire.
Homosexuality is prohibited, one of the textbooks explains, because this behavior interferes with the natural state of human beings and spreads moral corruption and diseases like HIV.
The textbook suggests that early marriage and executing the fixed punishments on homosexuals can protect the society from homosexuality.
Anjem Choudary: Put Practicing Gays To Death Wherever They Are
Gays should be put to death under sharia law whether the Islamic doctrine is implemented in Muslim countries or the West, exclaimed Britain’s most notorious radical Islamist preacher, Anjem Choudary, during an interview.
Asked whether gays who were confirmed to have engaged in homosexual acts should be stoned under sharia law, Choudary replied:
They would be wherever you are, whether in the East or the West, if we had the Sharia implemented, as you say, with a judiciary, with a legitimate leader and the courts, etc., were there. Then yes. They will face capital punishment. I mean, people differ about the way that punishment would be implemented, but it would be the death penalty.
Choudary was speaking in a joint interview with Breitbart News and this reporter’s Sunday night weekend national talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.”
Obama Administration Has History of Scrubbing Allah from Transcripts
Monday’s release of the text of Orlando terrorist shooter Omar Mateen’s 9-1-1 call is not the first time the Obama administration purportedly scrubbed “Allah” from a transcript.
To this day, the official White House transcript of a Rose Garden ceremony with the father of released soldier Bowe Bergdahl transcribes every word besides Robert Bergdahl’s Arabic declaration of “Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim.” That means “In the name of Allah, the merciful, the compassionate.”
The White House website provides a video of the ceremony, at which the controversial prisoner swap for Berghdahl in exchange for five Taliban members who were being held at the detention center at Guantanamo Bay was announced.
In the video, Robert Bergdahl can clearly be heard making the declaration to Allah.
Yet, here is the relevant portion of the official transcript, as provided by the White House:
I’d like to say to Bowe right now, who is having trouble speaking English — (speaks in Pashto) — I’m your father, Bowe.
The “Pashto” is actually Arabic.
CAIR Propaganda Targets Familiar--and Effective--Anti-Jihadis
The best defense being a good offence, today CAIR released a study that documents the mega-bucks--$205 million, to be exact--that "33 Islamophobic groups had access to...in total revenue between 2008-2013."
Ooo, scary, right?
Well, no, not exactly. In fact, the "Islamophobic" groups and individuals listed on CAIR's islamophobia.org website include many of the most familiar and respected names in anti-jihad ranks.
These "Islamophobes," so called, include, for instance:
  • Bill Maher
  • Ayaan Hirsi Ali
  • Brigitte Gabriel
  • Robert Spencer
  • Daniel Pipes
  • Frank Gaffney; and
  • Zuhdi Jasser.
Not one of these individuals "hates" Muslims. Each one, however, is active in speaking out against jihad, sharia, ISIS, Islamic supremacism, the Caliphate, and all the rest of that wonderful stuff.
NGO Monitor: UK Government Memo on Peace Now (1982)
NGO Monitor has obtained an official document from the British embassy in Tel Aviv, detailing a meeting with Peace Now activists in 1982. The document sheds light on how the UK government (which will eventually fund Peace Now) perceives the role of the NGO in Israeli society, and on the potential detrimental impact of foreign government funding for an Israeli movement.
This document comes in addition to a leaked EU document from 1999, revealing grants to the “Four Mothers” movement (250,000 Euros) and to Peace Now (400,000). The objectives of EU funding for Peace Now in the context of the 1999 general elections included “outreach” to immigrants from the former Soviet Union, “groups that traditionally have anti-peace views and vote Likud.”
“I think we need a little more time to consider whether there is anything we can do to nourish “Peace Now”….British funds would probably act like a weed-killer; but sponsored visits (perhaps by members of the Knesset who support the movement) could be a possibility”
Southern Baptist Convention Passes Resolution in Support of Israel
The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) adopted a resolution reaffirming the church’s support and prayers for Israel as well as condemning the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
The resolution declared that the BDS movement “seeks to isolate the nation of Israel economically and socially,” while also expressing concern about the “ongoing anti-Israel activities in this country within certain university campuses, academic and professional associations, and popular culture.”
“We support the right of Israel to exist as a sovereign state and reject any activities that attack that right by promoting economic, cultural, and academic boycotts against Israel,” the SBC resolution said, adding that “at this critical time when dangerous forces are mounting up against the nation of Israel, we recommit ourselves to pray for God’s peace to rule in Jerusalem and for the salvation of Israel.”
Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, a non-profit that promotes religious freedom and family issues, stressed the importance of the resolution’s timing.
“There has never been a more important time for Christians to support Israel and its right to exist as a sovereign nation,” he said.
Looming Presbyterian assault on Israel
America’s City of Roses is hosting the biennial Presbyterian Church (USA) General Assembly (PCUSA), and once again an unfair and counterproductive report targeting Israel is headed for public discussion and a likely vote. It comes a month after the United Methodist Church, which also convened in Portland, Oregon for its General Conference, defeated several boycott resolutions calling for divestment from companies doing business with Israel.
Divestment, however, is not on the agenda for this week’s PCUSA gathering the way it was two years ago when the Church narrowly approved a measure to divest its interests in three US companies doing business with Israel. More than any other denomination, PCUSA has been obsessed with initiatives against Israel since 2004.
For anti-Israel proponents within the PCUSA, boycotts are not enough. Its new initiative this year seeks to raise doubts about the viability of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and lay the foundation for support of a one-state formula. “Realism requires us to call the current entity, ‘Israel-Palestine,’” states the report to be officially presented in Portland.
The report, “Israel-Palestine: For Human Values in the Absence of a Just Peace,” was authored by the Church’s Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy (ACSWP), which concluded that “the door to a viable Palestinian state is closing rapidly, if it is still open at all.”
Independent and Times of London make only superficial revisions to water libel stories
On June 16th, we posted on the latest version of the frequent smear that Israel uses water as a weapon against Palestinians, cruelly denying the population an adequate supply. Both the Independent and Times of London, last week, amplified erroneous Palestinian claims that Israeli authorities intentionally cut off water to Palestinians during Ramadan.
We demonstrated, based on our communication with both COGAT (the Israeli authority in the territories) and Mekorot (Israel’s water carrier), the following facts:
  1. There have indeed been water shortages since the start of Ramadan, but these were caused naturally by an increase in demand during the hot weather months and a shortage of supply from the mountain aquifer.
  2. This water shortage has affected both Jewish and Palestinian communities in the West Bank.
  3. Israel actually increased the water supply to Palestinians in Hebron and Bethlehem, and to all Palestinian communities at night, to accommodate Palestinian Muslims observing the holiday of Ramadan.
Unfortunately, following our complaints to editors at both publications, only minimal and relatively superficial revisions to the original stories were made. The Independent added Israel’s denial to the strapline, while Times of London added text to note a relatively insignificant cut water line in the West Bank.
Why Won't The Independent Remove This Article?
They published a story claiming that Israel had cut off water to Palestinians. Just one problem: the whole thing was a lie. And now they won't fix it! Outrageous!

Israel solves fake West Bank water crisis by opening fake dams by Gaza. (satire)
In a true win-win for everyone, Israel responded to a fake accusation of cutting off water to the West Bank during Ramadan by opening the fake dams that Hamas says Israel opens every Spring to flood the Gaza Strip.
The UK Independent wrote an article accusing Israel of cutting off water to Israel based on the testimony of an employee of the Palestinian Authority, who also have some novel concepts of what ingredients go into matzoh. A spokesperson for the Israeli government told The Independent there is “no truth” in the claims, and noted that the shortages were down to faulty water lines, with video provided.
On the other hand, this Spring Gaza’s Hamas rulers blamed floods on Israel opening dams that don’t actually, like, exist and stuff. Upon being corrected, some news outlets retracted the story, including the notorious Zionist outlet Al-Jazeera (Really! They did a good job too!), while others such as AFP were too busy catching up on Game of Thrones or something to fix the mistake.
So it was just amazing when these two make-believe ideas cancelled each other out. Moti C, a spokesperson for the Israeli Water Board, explained the move to the Daily Freier. “We figured we’ve been operating fake dams in Southern Israel for so long, we can afford to divert some fake water to fix a fake cutoff of water supplies. That’s why we’re calling this “Operation Costanza“.
BBC Trust: ‘it ain’t what we say; it’s what we meant to say that matters’
One can only hope that the bolded statement above does not suggest that the BBC subscribes to or accommodates the narrative of ‘Temple denial’ propagated by some PA officials and others.
The complainant then appealed that decision by the Adviser and an ESC panel subsequently rejected his appeal.
“Trustees agreed that if they took this matter on appeal they were not likely to uphold a breach of the Editorial Guidelines given that:
  • the BBC had said it was the wrong wording, i.e. that it was inaccurate
  • an apology was given. The BBC had said “we’re sorry for this error”
  • the matter had been resolved. […]
Trustees decided not to take the appeal, on the basis that it would not be appropriate, proportionate or cost-effective since there was no reasonable prospect of the appeal succeeding.”
Surely the most cost-effective way of dealing this complaint would have been for the BBC to issue a prompt correction nine months ago when the clearly inaccurate statement was made. Nevertheless, the valuable lesson we learn from this case is that what a BBC journalist later claims to have meant to have said – but didn’t – is grounds for the rejection of a straightforward complaint concerning an obviously inaccurate statement.
Is it really any wonder that members of the public find the BBC complaints system so ‘through the looking glass’ frustrating?
New York Times Misrepresents Israel’s Security Barrier
The New York Times published a feature article “Smugglers in West Bank Open Door to Jobs in Israel, and Violence” examining how Palestinians are able to breach Israel’s security barrier looking for work inside Israel or in order to carry out acts of terror.
Throughout the story, the security barrier is referred to as a “wall”:
The wall, which Israel began building more than a decade ago to thwart the suicide bombers of the second intifada, is supposed to prevent Palestinian residents of the occupied West Bank from entering into Israel outside military checkpoints where their papers can be examined.
But the Palestinian man perched in a gap in the concertina wire that tops much of the snaking 400-mile route of the wall.

Readers are left with the mistaken impression that the barrier, 400 miles of it, is a wall. In fact, the security barrier is over 90% chain-link fence and sections of wall are to be found in specific locations only.
While those sections of the barrier that the New York Times focuses on are walled, the paper should make it clear that this is not the case elsewhere.
‘Argentine’ man splurges at Nazi relics auction
A buyer who said he came from Argentina spent over 600,000 euros on Nazi memorabilia, including one of Adolf Hitler’s uniform jackets, at a controversial auction in Germany, a report said Monday.
The mystery buyer, dressed in dark clothes and wearing a baseball cap, spent 275,000 euros ($312,000) on the jacket alone and 3,000 euros for a set of Hermann Goering’s silken underwear, among over 50 items he purchased, reported Bild daily.
Using the number “888,” the man outbid others on most items and dominated the Munich auction, reported Bild, which had sent an undercover reporter to the event that was formally closed to the press following a public outcry.
The number evokes the neo-Nazi code “88” that marks the eighth letter of the alphabet and stands for the banned greeting “Heil Hitler.”
Last week the Central Council of Jews in Germany had appealed to the auction house Hermann Historica to cancel the event, charging it was “scandalous and disgusting” to make money with Nazi relics in such an auction.
IsraellyCool: German Hamas-Supporter Martin Lejeune Creates Nakba Event By Holocaust Memorial
An Israel-hating German journalist by the name of Martin Lejeune has created an event “against the military, financial and political support of the United States to Israel.”
Right by the Holocaust memorial.
Google Translation:
The place of mourning ceremony for the forgotten Gaza victims between the Holocaust Memorial and the US Embassy, to protest against the military, financial and political support of the United States to Israel. The US is complicit in the genocide in Gaza.
Since there is no Nakba Memorial in Berlin, the memory of the forgotten victims in Gaza can not take place before such a Nakba memorial unfortunately.
Germany is morally responsible and politically guilty for the Nakba. Therefore, it is the duty of the German government to build a Nakba Memorial in Berlin.
Moreover, Germany must work immediately by all means for a just peace in Palestine.
This means that all agreements with Israel stop and close to the German Embassy in Israel.
Immediately, the federal government may no longer supply weapons to Israel.
Germany, Israel must sanctioning. #BDS
Dutch family faces anti-Semitic abuse for flying Israeli flag
A Dutch Jewish man said he suffered sustained anti-Semitic abuse after he posed in his yard holding an Israeli flag.
The 47-year-old executive, who works as an account manager, said the abuse occurred in the city of Almere, 15 miles east of Amsterdam, on Monday. Passers-by saw him holding the flag for the photo with a schoolbag slung over its pole to celebrate his son’s graduation from high school.
Across the Netherlands, it is customary for graduates’ families to hang schoolbags from the pole of the Dutch flag and other flags they affix to exterior walls for the duration of graduation week. The account manager told The Post Online that he removed the Israeli flag after taking a picture of it with his son.
But several motorists who saw the flag circled the Jewish family’s home while honking and shouting anti-Semitic slogans, said the man, who spoke to The Post on condition of anonymity.
He said among the insults heard outside the house were ”Rotten Jews, we’re going to get you,” “cancer Zionists” and “rotten Zionists.” The man said he filed a complaint about the incident with the Center for Information and Documentation on Israel, or CIDI, a Hague-based watchdog on anti-Semitism, and also intends to report it to the police.
‘Merchant of Venice’ to Be Staged for First Time in Italian Jewish Ghetto as Area Marks 500th Anniversary
William Shakespeare’s play “The Merchant of Venice” will be staged for the first time ever in the city’s Jewish ghetto on its 500th anniversary, which coincides with the 400th anniversary of the famous playwright’s death.
Six performances will take place in the Jewish Ghetto, between July 26 and July 31, in English and other languages. On the second day of the play’s run, a mock court hearing will be held with real lawyers and a jury, led by US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The productions are organized by Compagnia de’ Colombari, an international collective of performing artists based in New York, and the Ca’Foscari University of Venice. Sponsorship is provided by the NGO Beit Venezia, according to The Economist.
The set of performances in July are part of the official program of the Ghetto Quincentennial, which consists of various independent activities that mark the anniversary of the formation of the Jewish Ghetto of Venice. The main event is an exhibition titled “Venice, the Jews and Europe, 1516–2016,” which aims to describe the process that led to the “creation, implementation and transformation of the first ‘fence’ for Jews in the world,” according to the exhibit’s website. The display opened on Sunday at the Doge’s Palace in Venice.
Helen Mirren to present Genesis Prize and appear at Jerusalem Cinematheque
Oscar-winning British actress, Dame Helen Mirren will come to Israel to emcee the 2016 Genesis Prize award ceremony, which will take place on June 23 in Jerusalem. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will present the 2016 Genesis Prize to Itzhak Perlman, acclaimed violinist, educator and advocate for individuals with disabilities.
Mirren will appear at the Jerusalem Cinematheque on June 22 to discuss her life and career with the director, Benjamin Freidenberg. The event is free but seating is limited.
Perlman has been recognized many times for his contributions to music and humanity. On November 25, 2015, US President Barak Obama awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and two other US presidents – Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton – recognized Perlman with the Medal of Liberty and the National Medal of Arts in 1986 and 2000, respectively. Perlman said he would donate his $1 million award to philanthropic projects in the fields of music and support for individuals with special needs.
On wings of El Al, biblical sheep to end 3,000-year exile
A flock of sheep from Canada is even closer to making “baa-aliyah” after El Al agreed this week to heavily subsidize the cost of flying the 113 sheep from Toronto to Tel Aviv. The holy land-bound sheep belong to Gil and Jenna Lewinsky, and are called “Jacob sheep” because they sport the markings of “spots and speckles” that also characterized the sheep forefather Jacob took from his father-in-law, Laban, in the book of Genesis.
Gil Lewinsky said that El Al had agreed to subsidize approximately 90 percent of the cost of bringing the heritage sheep in special cargo boxes.
In late May, the Canadian government’s Food Inspection Agency and the Israeli Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said they would allow the importation of live sheep to Israel on a one-time basis. According to the agreement, the sheep must undergo a two-week quarantine in Canada and an additional quarantine in Israel.
The Lewinskys are still working to secure land, likely in the Golan Heights, where they hope to house them in an educational farm that will be open to visits from the public.
Coins of the Jewish Revolt against the Romans
When the great Jewish revolt against Roman rule in Judea began in 66 CE, the rebel leaders almost immediately began issuing their own currency as a demonstration of national independence. David Hendin discusses these coins—and those issued by Rome a few years later to commemorate its victory over the Jews—explaining their inscriptions and symbols.

Air force takes flak for elaborate Google flyby stunt
The Israel Air Force came under fire from critics Tuesday for deploying dozens of soldiers for a complex video welcoming former Google CEO Eric Schmidt involving elaborate choreography and the use of two jets, with some saying the film involved improper use of the troops.
Over 100 airmen formed the Google logo standing between two trainer fighter jets on the tarmac at the Hazerim Air Force base near Beersheba and were filmed from overhead with a drone in honor of Schmidt’s recent visit.
The film was leaked by Israel Radio reporter Carmela Menashe late Monday, unleashing a firestorm of criticism.
A father of a serviceman who partook in the video said that last Monday the troops were ordered to muster on a promenade and arrange themselves for the filming.

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