Thursday, August 18, 2016

From Ian:

Israeli Ambassador to Ireland: Outsiders Fuelling Propaganda War Against Israel Are Not Helping to Bring Peace
Sir, – As someone who worked closely with the late Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin during the early days of the Oslo peace process, I can scarcely recognise the argument put forth by Ben Ehrenreich “The Arab-Israeli conflict in 10 points” (August 16th).
Ben Ehrenreich blithely ignores the deep historic connection of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel going back 3,000 years. While noting the 700,000 Muslim Arabs who fled the fighting in 1948, he says nothing about the expulsion of nearly a million Jews at the same time from Arab countries and that whereas Israel absorbed Jewish refugees and gave them equal rights, Arab countries kept Palestinian refugees in camps to be used as political fodder against Israel.
In reference to the 1967 Six-Day War, Ben Ehrenreich does not clarify that UN Security Council resolution 242 which called for the withdrawal of territories acquired by Israel also required the Arab states to recognise Israel’s right to exist. They refused, that is until the signing of the peace treaty between Israel and Egypt in 1979.
It is wrong to say the security barrier built along the West Bank border was designed to seize Palestinian land. The barrier was a response to the murder of 1,100 Israeli civilians by terrorists who easily crossed from the West Bank into Israel during the Second Intifada. The purpose of the barrier is entirely to protect the lives of Israeli civilians, and the Supreme Court, which adjudicates in territorial disputes regarding the barrier, sometimes in fact decides against the Israeli government.
Nor is it fair to call the peace process in the 1990s “the peace that wasn’t”. Israel, under Mr Rabin and his successors such as Ariel Sharon, was desperate to find a partner for peace on the Palestinian side. Time and again Israel made concessions on land, giving up parts of the West Bank and in 2005 the whole of Gaza, but every concession made by Israel resulted only in more terrorism from the other side. Israel still hopes to find a partner for peace so that there can be a final agreement based on bilateral negotiations resulting in two states for two peoples, the State of Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people and a Palestinian state for the Palestinian people.
The ‘Altruistic Evil’ of Social Justice for the Palestinians
As yet another indication that the university campus has become “an island of repression in a sea of freedom,” last March a pro-Israel group, Hasbara Fellowships Canada, was barred from participating in a “Social Justice Week” event organized by the Student Association of Durham College and University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT). The stated reason for the exclusion? The student association (which, not coincidentally, had just approved a pro-BDS resolution against Israel) informed the Hasbara group that since the “organization seems closely tied to the state of Israel . . . it would be against the motion to provide any type of resources to your organization.”
While the term “social justice” has a seemingly benign and positive connation—and certainly to those who so vigorous fight for it—the reality is that, as columnist Jonah Goldberg observed in his book, The Tyranny of Clichés: How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas, social justice is actually “an empty vessel to be filled with any and all leftist ideals, and then promptly wielded as a political bludgeon against any and all dissenters . . . .”
So while social justice warriors on campus are quick to welcome a collection of perceived victim groups into their tent—Muslims, African-Americans, gays, Hispanics, women—they have been decidedly more hostile when dealing with the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, the result being that pro-Israel groups (such as the Hasbara Fellowships in Ontario) are regularly excluded as being part of the oppressor class responsible for such evils as imperialism, colonialism, racism, and sexism.
What are the defining characteristics of those well-meaning, but often misguided individuals who promiscuously proclaim their commitment to social justice? A number of tactics and behaviors are common to their efforts:
IsraellyCool: Facebook Is For Terrorists
While Facebook has banned Zahava and myself, lets take a look at who continues to operate freely on Mark Zuckerberg’s social media site.
  • The Facebook presence of Ahlam Tamimi’s weekly TV program, beamed throughout the Arabic speaking world, widely watched on every continent, and devoted to glorifying the Palestinian Arab terrorist prisoners and their unspeakable deeds.
  • The Facebook page of “Princess of the Free” (alternative translation: “Princess Liberal”) The avatar is a drawing of Izzadin Al Masri, the human bomb planted by Tamimi at the Sbarro pizzeria – the explosion murdered 16. This account was fully active as of 17-Mar-16, the last time I checked.
  • This is the Facebook page of “Ahlam Tamimi | Public Figure”. It seems to have stopped being active in 2012 but might have come back.
  • Another of Ahlam Tamimi’s Facebook personae, under the name “Princess Liberal” (which is a play on the name of her TV program). When I checked a few months ago, it was then-currently active.
Then there’s this
The Facebook presence of the convicted and unrepentant murderer/terrorist Nizar Tamimi, Ahlam Tamimi’s first cousin and also her husband, released like Ahlam Tamimi without pardon by the Israelis and without any expression of remorse by the prisoners in the extortionate Gilad Shalit transaction of 2011.

Anne Frank movie shot in Gaza clandestinely shown in Iran
A film featuring Palestinian and Israeli girls reading excerpts from “The Diary of Anne Frank” that was partly shot in Gaza during the 2014 war has been shown in Iran, although details of the event are being kept quiet to avoid possible backlash from authorities in Tehran.
“Anne Frank: Then and Now” shows 10 girls — two Israeli and eight Palestinian — reading lines from the journal penned by the young Dutch Jewess while she was in hiding during World War II.
Narrated in Arabic, with English subtitles, the film by Croatian director Jakov Sedlar was made to introduce Frank’s story to the Arab world and the Middle East, where the Holocaust is denied by many, including Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
The clandestine screening of the film in Iran was followed by a lengthy talk from Sedlar, who urged the audience to find out more about the Holocaust, the Deadline Hollywood website reported Wednesday.
Sedlar praised the person — not identified in the report — who arranged the showing.
The blame game
‘Black Lives Matter,” so they say. But apparently, black integrity, black honesty or black knowledge of geopolitical affairs doesn’t matter all that much. At least that’s the conclusion one would have to draw from the recent visit of these foreign troublemakers, who came to Israel to meet in solidarity with their Palestinian “brothers” and trash the “apartheid-loving” Jews. (Tell me, please, why is it that our government refused to allow the Beatles into the country in 1965, yet these lowlifes march in like they own the place?!) Never mind that Jews have a long history of supporting civil rights, even when it wasn’t fashionable. Never mind that we marched hand-in-hand with Blacks on countless freedom marches.
Never mind that the quintessential voice of Black pride, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., spoke out strenuously in praise of Zionism and the Jewish state, or that Muslims have treated Blacks as slaves and infidels for centuries.
None of that matters a whit – it’s now the “in thing” to accuse Jews and Israelis of every crime imaginable, and place at our feet every conceivable ill of society.
Yet in a way, I understand completely why these “activists” – ooh, that’s such a soft and sanitized euphemism, isn’t it? – have found a kindred spirit in the “poor Palestinians”: both are truly proficient at playing the blame game.
Top 5 most egregious anti-Israel headlines in the international media
Over the years, several headlines from major international news organizations have sparked an uproar, and have many times been changed or taken down after numerous complaints.
Here our some of the most well-publicized instances of the anti-Israel bias playing out in media headlines:
1) Following a terror attack in Tel Aviv's Sarona market on July 8 that left four people dead and 16 wounded, CNN inspired outrage with its headline when it put the word "terrorists" in quotations on its Facebook page.
Additionally, the news outlet failed to mention terrorism even once in the article reporting the ordeal.
Similarly, the British news network SKY also neglected to use the word "terror" or "terrorism" in their report of the attack at Sarona.
The BBC's headline, "Tel Aviv shooting: Three killed in attack in shopping center" was also markedly void of the keywords.
Know Your History: Palestinian Arab Identity And Jewish Presence In Palestine (The Sentinel March 21, 1919)
A series where I use history to debunk common misconceptions about the Middle East conflict.
Back in 1919, shortly after WWI where there was much talk about re-establishing a Jewish homeland in Palestine, The Sentinel (a newspaper for Chicago Jewry) included this report from Palestine on March 21.
Firstly, note how these Arabs referred to themselves: The Musselman-Christian Committee of Jaffa.” Not “The Palestinians.” That is because the Arabs in then Palestine were not referring to themselves as such, nor was anyone else. In fact, the previous month, the Congress of which they were part adopted the following resolution:
“We consider Palestine as part of Arab Syria, as it has never been separated from it at any time. We are connected with it by national, religious, linguistic, natural, economic and geographical bonds.”
Palestinian Arab nationalism started forming later, after the failure of Faisal to establish the Kingdom of Greater Syria.
British Journalist Paul Martin Relives Hamas Captivity
In 2010, British journalist Paul Martin was detained by Hamas for 26 days. Here he talks about his harrowing ordeal.
Interestingly, this is from a news report about his release.
Mahmoud Zahar, a Hamas leader, had alleged that Mr Martin “was working on defaming the image of the Palestinian people by saying that they smuggle weapons through tunnels”, referring to hundreds of border tunnels that bypass the blockade of Gaza imposed by Israel and Egypt
This just goes to show you how Hamas are constantly lying.
Journalist kidnapped by Hamas tells his story | Movers & Shakers | J-TV

Does World Vision’s Entanglement with Hamas show Naiveté or Malice?
The Evangelical Christian charity known as World Vision was founded in 1950, to become World Vision International (WVI) in 1977 and currently serve 97 countries worldwide. Their humanitarian work has become the hallmark of Christian love and aid over the decades, so much that their yearly revenue nears $3 billion. Their published mission statement says “World Vision is an international partnership of Christians whose mission is to follow our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in working with the poor and oppressed to promote human transformation, seek justice, and bear witness to the good news of the Kingdom of God.”
In early August 2016, Israel’s internal security service (Shin Bet) accused World Vision Gaza office manager, Mohammed El Halabi of using up to $50 millions of charity funds to pay Hamas fighters, build tunnels and buy weapons. He was arrested in June and detained for fifty days before the accusation was made public. The Shin Bet claims to have more than sufficient proof that will be produced in court. If this accusation turns out to be true and indeed Mr. Halabi did funnel funds from World Vision that had been donated by well intentioned Christians globally, it would take years for World Vision to recover if at all possible.
If the verdict exonerates WVI, the damage will remain, and it raises many questions about WVI methods for fund-raising, accountability and financial integrity. World Vision claims that the total budget allocated to Gaza is about half of what Mr. Halabi has been accused of funneling to Hamas. But does the amount really matter? When the truth is finally out, will it matter if fifty, twenty or even one million where funneled? What will really matter will be the motives of Mr. Halabi and/or World Vision.
Corbyn to Attend Momentum Event With Vile Internet Troll
Jeremy Corbyn is to attend a Momentum event at Labour Party conference alongside an internet troll who called for a Jewish journalist’s throat to be cut. Among the advertised speakers at Momentum’s “World Transformed” event in Liverpool is Richard Seymour, a far-left keyboard warrior and all round nasty piece of work. Last year Seymour said of a Jewish journalist reporting on Israel-Palestine, “f**k him, they should cut his throat”.
Momentum say “the event will be a space of inclusive and respectful debate”. Do they think it’s “respectful” to host a man who said he hoped a Jewish journalist’s throat was cut? Corbyn says “I’m going to be there, because I want to see a world transformed”. Does he think it’s appropriate to share a platform with Seymour?
Florida senator riles pro-Israel activists by linking Black Lives Matter with Palestinians
Pro-Israel activists in the Miami area plan to protest a Florida state senator active in the Black Lives Matter movement who visited the West Bank as the guest of a group that backs the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.
Organizers of the protest against Dwight Bullard said they object to the groups and people he met while visiting the region in May under the aegis of a Miami-based civil rights group, Dream Defenders. His delegation met with a founder of the anti-Israel BDS movement and were led by a tour guide identified with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a State Department-designated terrorist group.
The outcry against Bullard’s participation is one of several recent signs of emerging tensions between the Black Lives Matter movement and the mainstream Jewish community.
At least one major national pro-Israel group, the Israel Project, is backing the protest of Bullard.
“Any Florida state legislator who would go to Israel and choose to meet with those groups, it’s more than troubling, it’s deeply disturbing,” said Ken Bricker, the Israel Project’s Southeast Regional director. “I have to wonder if the constituents in his district [are] aware of who he is and what he believes in.”
Bullard’s trip is unusual in that it joins a lawmaker from a district with a substantial Jewish population – the Democrat represents a chunk of Miami-Dade country – with a cause, BDS, considered anathema for most of the mainstream Jewish community.
Israel should not be treated as an exceptional US ally, Green Party candidate says
Washington should halt its aid to Israel so long as it continues occupying the Palestinians, Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate for president of the United States, told a cable-televised town hall on Wednesday night.
At the event, hosted by CNN in New York, the third-party candidate repeated her call for a boycott of the state: "We will not continue to give you eight million dollars a day when the Israeli army is occupying land in Palestine," she said.
Stein– who herself was raised Jewish and who says she has family members living in Israel– was asked by an attendee why she plans to boycott Israel over its policies, and not other nations in the Middle East performing human rights abuses on a massive scale.
She said that, in fact, she does plan on boycotting the governments of Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Israel would simply be in this category going forward, under a "Green administration."
Ministers looking at banning hate preachers from mosques and universities to curb radicalisation after Anjem Choudary conviction
Hate preachers will be banned from entering mosques and universities under plans by Theresa May to ensure Anjem Choudary's radicalisation of young Britons can never be repeated.
Ministers are looking at whether they can order blanket bans to stop extremists addressing large groups in public as an additional measure to clamp down on radicalisation.
The government is also considering what more can be done to force social media sites to take down extremist messages and videos posted online.
The changes go further than anything brought into law by David Cameron and could form the centrepiece of a new Extremism Bill due to be placed before Parliament by May.
It was Britain's hopeless tolerance which allowed Anjem Choudary's hate to thrive
When the offence he so noisily sought to give was duly taken, Choudary would gleefully call it “Islamophobia”. His regular TV appearances on news programmes with an indiscriminate appetite for ugly racist sound bites (so long as they were against white people), combined with the absence of more moderate Islamic spokesmen, did incalculable damage to relations with the Muslim population. In our very British attempt to be tolerant, intolerance metastasised.
This will sound strange, but you know who Anjem Choudary reminds me of? Alf Garnett. Just take a look at Warren Mitchell sounding off as that cocky Cockney. There is an uncanny resemblance, both vocal and mental, between the two foaming bigots. Except, for Choudary, Till Death Us Do Part was the goal for radical Islam, not a sitcom title.
Now he is in jail at long last, the question for tortured liberals is should the cunning devil be allowed to mix with and radicalise fellow prisoners? Putting him in solitary confinement for 10 years is not the British way, one QC insisted yesterday.
Oh, really? Personally, I reckon the very, very rude Mr Choudary has had more than his fair share of tolerance from the country which he hates and we love. What would happen to him under his beloved Sharia law, I wonder. Solitary confinement? In the unimprovable words of Jeremy Paxman: “Off you go, then, matey.”
Anjem Choudary's wife now faces police investigation
Anjem Choudary’s wife is being investigated over allegations that she has been running an extremist female cell in east London.
The 42-year-old mother of five was caught on camera apparently praising Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) as she preached to Muslim mothers and young children at a secretive meeting.
Rubana Akhtar, who is the self-declared leader of the women’s wing of her husband’s banned Al-Mouhajiroun (ALM) movement, was also recorded apparently making anti-Semitic remarks, including referring to “filthy Jews”.
Going by the name Umm Luqman, she delivered a weekly two-hour lecture to a group of female followers in London touching on many of her husband’s favourite topics.
In one anti-Semitic rant she said: “The audacity and the arrogance of these Jews and they encourage killing of Muslim children and Muslim women.
“The amount of Muslim children – I won’t even use the word Palestinian – Muslim children that are in custody of those filthy Jews.”
The comments were broadcast on Channel 4 last November, but because Choudary was facing trial, her identity could not be revealed for fear of prejudicing his chances of a fair hearing.
BBC coverage of Choudary conviction ignores his BBC appearances
Like many other UK media organisations, the BBC produced considerable coverage of the story of the conviction of British Islamist extremist Anjem Choudary which broke on August 16th.
BBC audiences heard reports on Radio 4’s ‘Six O’Clock News‘, ‘The World Tonight‘ and ‘PM‘. Listeners to the BBC World Service heard a report on ‘Newshour‘. Television audiences also saw reports on the story – for example here and here. Visitors to the BBC News website found reports on its UK page – for example here and here – and an article by the BBC’s home affairs correspondent titled “How Anjem Choudary’s mouth was finally shut” appeared in its magazine section.
As is the case in some of the other reports, in that article Dominic Casciani referred to Choudary’s relationship with members of the media.
Anti-Israel “Hate Group” Conference Coming to Public University in Virginia
A group accused of providing support for terrorists is holding their national conference at George Mason University, a state-funded Virginia institution. Students for Justice in Palestine will hold a two day conference on the Fairfax campus of George Mason University. The conference announcement states:
The conversations we have will be important and pertinent to the student movement, so we want to see as many faces as possible! Let's keep growing and building together as we strive for a free Palestine.
The organization is also seeking donations to pay for travel for students from around the country to travel to Virginia for the conference. The national conference is set for November 4 to 6, 2016.
Students for Justice for Palestine has been branded a “hate group.” The Anti-Defamation League says “SJP has consistently demonized Israel, describing Israeli policies toward the Palestinians as racist and apartheid-like, and comparing Israelis to Nazis or Israel to the Jim Crow-era U.S.”
After Outrage, German University Reluctantly Cancels Mandatory Anti-Israel Course
A German university has cancelled a course on “The Social Situation of Young People in Palestine” that for the past decade has falsely presented Israel as a dehumanized society guilty of ethnic cleansing, genocide, torture, and stealing Palestinian organs.
For at least a year, the University of Applied Sciences and Arts (German acronym HAWK) in the Germany city of Hildesheim had refused to deal with criticism surrounding the course, insisting until recently that accusations of anti-Semitism were “unjustified and indefensible.”
According to a detailed op-ed by Die Welt columnist Alan Posener, the course was instituted in 2006 as a mandatory counterpart to a course on “Jewish Life in Germany and Israel,” which had been offered since 2000. From its inception in 2006, the new course was taught by Ibtissam Köhler; her qualifications are unclear, since the HAWK website has no publicly accessible information on her and requests for information from German media have been rejected by the university administration as a breach of Köhler’s privacy. However, Posener noted, the university did divulge that Köhler has “Palestinian roots” but “does not know” (i.e. presumably, has not visited) Israel or the Palestinian territories. Efforts by German media to interview Köhler have so far been unsuccessful.
The official syllabus of Köhler’s course listed sessions on “The Palestinian Catastrophe/The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine;” “Intifada I and II,” focusing on Israel’s treatment of Palestinians while largely ignoring Palestinian terrorism; “The Israeli Apartheid Wall,” which was described as an “instrument of terror;” and a session depicting Israeli society as violent and dehumanized.
Celtic fans fly Palestinian flags during Hapoel match
Fans of Celtic FC flew hundreds of Palestinian flags while cheering from the stands against Hapoel Beersheba in a Champions League match in Glasgow on Wednesday.
The display was done despite a ban by officials in the Scottish stadium. Scottish police, too, had urged fans not to bring in Palestinian flags, under threat of arrest, according to the Daily Record.
Organizers of the group Palestine Alliance also handed out flyers on the creation of the State of Israel in 1948, which Palestinians call the Nakba, or “catastrophe.”
The defiant move by the Celtic supporters was hailed by Palestinian Twitter users and activists online.

ADL ‘repulsed’ by anti-Semitic Venezuelan magazine cover
The Anti-Defamation League expressed its disgust on Wednesday over a Venezuelan magazine’s use of anti-Semitic imagery on its cover last week.
On August 12 the popular magazine Las Verdades de Miguel (“The Truths of Miguel”) reported on alleged illicit use of foreign exchange by companies it said were run by people of “Israelite origin.”
The image emblazoned on the magazine’s cover featured a picture of an ultra-Orthodox Jew with a Star of David made of dollar bills, with the headline “The Rabbis of Cadivi” — refering to Venezuela’s government body which deals with currency exchange.
“For several years, we have seen anti-Semitic accusations and themes appear in Venezuelan public discourse,” said ADL chief Jonathan A. Greenblatt. “This shockingly graphic manifestation of anti-Semitic imagery on full display on Venezuelan newsstands is unacceptable and repulsive.”
Venezuela has been gripped by a severe economic crisis in the past couple of years, exacerbated by a plummet in the price of oil. Venezuela’s economy is projected to contract 8 percent this year after a 5.7 percent fall in 2015, with food and medical supply shortages and rampant triple-digit inflation burdening most citizens.
Czech bus owner to remove Auschwitz design
The owner of a Czech tour bus that advertised the Auschwitz extermination camp as an emotion-packed holiday destination will remove the vehicle’s controversial design showing oversized pictures of inmates from the Nazi extermination camp and a massive yellow Star of David.
The action comes following an outcry from Czech Holocaust survivors and Jewish leaders.
“I’m taking it off today and tomorrow, and it will be gone,” the owner of the tour company that operates the bus, Svatopluk Strava, told JTA on Thursday. “Most of it has been removed already.”
The design completely covered the vehicle. Along with the inmates’ photos and the Star of David, it featured a picture of the notorious Arbeit Macht Frei (Work Sets You Free) inscription as well as the slogans “Let’s Go to Auschwitz,” “A Journey through Emotions” and “Our Guides Speak Czech.”
Poland signs law to prevent return of post-WWII property
Polish president Andrzej Duda has signed a bill into law, which would make it difficult for owners to reclaim property which was confiscated under the communist regime in Poland after World War II.
In 1945, immediately after the end of the Second World War, Poland's communist leader, Boleslaw Bierut, ordered the confiscation of tens of thousand of buildings from their legal owners, nationalizing them "for the good of the state."
A large portion of those buildings belonged to Jews who lived in Poland before the war. Estimates put the number at around 24 thousand buildings throughout Poland.
After communism fell in 1989, the rightful owners were allowed to sue for the return of their property. As of now, Poland's president has signed a law which states that the city of Warsaw is allowed to reject such property claims which were nationalized and are being used for public purposes, such as schools or kindergartens.
Schindler's factory could be turned into Holocaust memorial
A factory in the Czech Republic once used by Oskar Schindler could be made into a Holocaust memorial, the German news agency dpa reports.
The site was bought by the Endowment Fund Memorial of Shoah and Oskar Schindler, according to the report. The Czech foundation is now looking at ways to finance the project, which includes restoring the dilapidated building in the eastern Czech village of Brnenec.
"Our main goal is to restore the building and the surrounding area back to its original historical condition, including the watch towers and the hospital," foundation head Jaroslav Novak was quoted as saying.
Novak added that he was optimistic that the group would receive public funding for the project, since the renovated building could become a tourist magnet.
Schindler is credited with saving the lives of some 1,200 Jews employed in his factories during World War II. He died in anonymity in Germany in 1974 at the age of 66.
The industrialist's story was the focal point of director Steven Spielberg's Oscar-winning film "Schindler's List" in 1993.
50 foreign construction cos bid to work in Israel
Six foreign companies will be chosen to work in Israel and each will be allowed to bring 1,000 building workers.
There has been impressive demand from foreign construction companies eager to work in Israel as part of the Ministry of Construction and Housing's call, which has just expired. 50 foreign construction companies have submitted bids to work in Israel, the Ministry of Construction and Housing reports. The bidders include Chinese, Spanish, Greek, Turkish, Russian, Ukrainian, Portuguese, and Vietnamese companies.
The companies will now be examined by a committee headed by the Ministry of Construction and Housing Elad Bamberger who will investigate if the companies meet the threshold conditions set by the ministry. He will award the proposals points after examining the quality of their work.
The plan to bring in foreign companies was approved by the housing cabinet several months ago. The aim is to allow up to six foreign companies to work in Israel and each bring up to 1,000 workers to build residential projects. The companies approved can either work independently or in collaboration with an Israeli contractor for up to five years. If required, there is an option to extend operations in Israel by a further three years.
By this method, the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Housing hope to build 60,000-70,000 homes per year. (h/t Yenta Press)
Budget approval brings Jews in Ethiopia a step closer to Israel
Activists campaigning to bring Ethiopia’s Jews to Israel inched closer to their goal during a 21-hour marathon budget approval last Friday, but they are waiting to see what will happen before breaking out the champagne.
In the 2017-2018 budget, the Finance Ministry allocated a budget that would enable 1,300 Ethiopians to move to Israel, to be divided among a number of entities, including the Interior Ministry, the Absorption Ministry and the Jewish Agency, among others, according to MK David Amsalem (Likud) spokesman Nimrod Eliran Sabbah.
Immigration to Israel could resume as soon as November 2016, and continue at a rate of approximately 100 people per month. There are approximately 90 people in Ethiopia who were already approved by the Interior Ministry three years ago but did not come to Israel because there was no budget for their absorption, including housing allowances for at least two years in an absorption center and a NIS 400,000 grant to buy an apartment. That group of 90 people could begin arriving within the month, though it is unlikely.
There are approximately 9,000 Jews still living in Ethiopia who were not allowed to immigrate to Israel because the Interior Ministry determined they were not Jewish. Ethiopian Jews counter that the process to determine Jewish identity was poorly executed and inaccurate, dividing families. At least 80% of the Jews in Ethiopia have first-degree relatives living in Israel.
IDF welcomes Jewish Native American soldier
Benjamin Barmeyer of Texas, 22, of Native American descent, is among the diverse pool of young people from abroad who have chosen to join the Israel Defense Forces and enrich the military with their variety.
Barmeyer, who came to Israel with the Garin Tzabar program, found out about his heritage only recently. He was adopted as a baby by Larry and Don Barmeyer, who raised him as Jewish and held a bar mitzvah ceremony for him.
"I found out I am Native American a few weeks ago," Barmeyer said. "For years, I had a feeling that I was half Native American, but only after I did the tests did I receive confirmation. I am very curious about my roots. But I grew up as a Jew. That is my identity and that is what brought me to Israel.
"I had the privilege of having a warm, supportive home and parents who raised me in an amazing way. I couldn't ask for better parents. The adoption process and living together at a time when it was not common at all [as a same-sex couple] required a great deal of courage from my parents, and I really admire them for that."
Barmeyer's fathers completely support his choice to join the IDF, though they are, of course, worried about him.
His non-Jewish friends, however, were very surprised by his decision.
Bringing Campus Battle Skills to Front Lines of Jewish State, US College Grads Enlist in IDF
A group of US college graduates is taking its fight on behalf of the Jewish state from the campus battlefield to Israel’s front lines, a number of them told The Algemeiner during their flight to Tel Aviv on Tuesday.
The 75 new grads, who all decided to immigrate to Israel and enlist in the IDF, landed on Wednesday morning and will be donning their military uniforms within a few weeks — turning them officially into “lone soldiers,” a term for those no immediate family members in the country.
Rebecca Glanzer, who recently graduated from Columbia University, told The Algemeiner that her Israel-advocacy experiences in college helped enforce her desire to do something greater for the Jewish state.
“When I first went to Israel, I felt like it was really my home,” the 22-year-old New Yorker said. “I knew that once I graduated from college, I wanted to do something more beneficial for Israel. That’s why I decided to join the army.”

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