Thursday, October 13, 2016

From Ian:

Bob Dylan wins Nobel Prize for Literature
Bob Dylan has won the Nobel Prize for Literature "for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition," the Swedish Academy said on Thursday in awarding the 8 million Swedish crown ($927,740) prize.
Literature was the last of this year's Nobel prizes to be awarded. The prize is named after dynamite inventor Alfred Nobel and has been awarded since 1901 for achievements in science, literature and peace in accordance with his will.
Born Robert Allen Zimmerman and raised Jewish in Wisconsin, Dylan has maintained Israel ties throughout his life. He visited the country several times in the late 1960s and 1970s and even took steps toward joining a kibbutz. He played three shows in Israel in 1987, 1993 and 2011. The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement pressed him to cancel his most recent performance — to no avail.
Even more recently, Israelis can thank Dylan for the 2014 Rolling Stones concert in Tel Aviv, the band’s first visit to the country. According to Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood, Dylan gave them the idea.

YouTube Blacklists Dennis Prager
Another Progressive machine decides to limit free speech by denying easy access to the educational videos of Prager University: YouTube.
I guess we shouldn’t be surprised. YouTube has decided that 21 Prager University videos need to be placed on “restricted mode,” a category meant for inappropriate and objectionable adult and sexual content. The videos all run only five minutes or less.
Dennis Prager filed a formal complain to try to stop this censorship (which YouTube insists is not censorship), but Prager finally felt he had no option but to go public.
The YouTube video series, known as Prager University, has enjoyed wide success and for good reason. In each video, a noted academic, media personality, or other well known person, addresses a particular issue in a practical and straightforward way, usually in five minutes or less.
There is nothing controversial about the videos, certainly nothing that requires an age rating for viewing so it’s very strange that YouTube would restrict them in any way.
Included in the list are:
Why Don’t Feminists Fight for Muslim Women?
What ISIS Wants
Why Are There Still Palestinian Refugees?
Islamic Terror: What Muslim Americans Can Do
Did Bush Lie About Iraq?
Israel: The World’s Most Moral Army
Radical Islam: The Most Dangerous Ideology
Why Do People Become Islamic Extremists?
Israel’s Legal Founding
Pakistan: Can Sharia and Freedom Coexist?
IsraellyCool: Know Your History: Farid Kassab, First Arab To Use Term “Palestinian”, Praised Zionists
A series where I bring to you news from the newspaper archives and historical documents to debunk common misconceptions about the Middle East conflict.
I am currently reading a great book – Semites & Anti-Semites by Bernard Lewis.
At one point in the book, when discussing antisemitism in the late Ottoman period, Lewis mentions an antisemitic piece by an antisemitic Maronite Christian called Negib Azoury. Azoury is described as “one of the first to see in Zionism a serious threat to the emergent Arab nation.”
Two important phenomena, of the same nature but opposed, which have still not drawn anyone’s attention, are emerging at this moment in Asiatic Turkey. They are the awakening of the Arab nation, and the latent effort of the Jews to reconstitute on a very large-scale the ancient kingdom of Israel. Both these movements are destined to fight continually until one of them wins. The fate of the entire world will depend on the final result between these two peoples representing two contrary principles”
Note how despite being an antisemite and anti-Zionist, Azoury is acknowledging an ancient kingdom of Israel. He does not write “supposed” or “mythical.”
But even more interesting, in my mind, is Farid Kassab, a Greek Orthodox Arab from Beirut, who responded to Azoury’s piece with a pamphlet that supported the Ottoman Empire and Jewish settlement in Palestine while rejecting Azoury’s idea of an Arab nation.

Lying about Oslo, European Edition
In an obituary for the late Shimon Peres, the international edition of the New York Times referred to “an era of good feelings” that supposedly existed in 1994, when Peres received the Nobel Prize along with Yitzḥak Rabin and Yasir Arafat, but was then “shattered” when Ariel Sharon visited the Temple Mount in 2000. No mention is made of the wave of suicide bombings in 1996, although these led to Peres’s loss in the elections of that year. Evelyn Gordon comments:
[The obituary’s distortion of the truth] wasn’t an innocent mistake stemming from ignorance. The online version actually does include a paragraph about the bombings and the election, right after the paragraph about the Nobel Prize. It also correctly says that the violence “accelerated” after Sharon’s visit to the Mount, rather than depicting this visit as shattering a nonexistent calm.
In other words, some editor in the Times’ European offices deliberately distorted the obituary writer’s facts to present a false picture of how the Oslo Accords collapsed. He or she cut any mention of the 1996 bombings, substituted the false sentence about “the era of good feelings”—which doesn’t appear in the online version—and then replaced the “acceleration” of the conflict with the false assertion that Sharon’s visit “shattered” the peace.
B’Tselem under fire for planned UN presentation on settlements
The Israeli human rights group B’Tselem faced criticism Thursday for its scheduled participation in a United Nations Security Council forum debate on Israeli settlements, where it says it will “lay out the reality of the occupation.”
The meeting, set to be held on Friday at the United Nations headquarters in New York, is titled “Illegal Israeli Settlements: Obstacles to Peace and the Two-State Solution,” and will include presentations from B’Tselem executive director Hagai El-Ad, Lara Friedman of Americans for Peace Now and Prof. Francois Dubuisson of the Free University of Brussels.
Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon slammed B’Tselem’s planned presentation at the forum, saying the group would be “providing moral cover for anti-Israel activities at the UN.” In a separate statement, Yesh Atid party chairman Yair Lapid described the group’s participation as “a declaration of divorce” from Zionism.
The forum will be hosted by Malaysia along with Egypt, Senegal, Angola and Venezuela, and will focus on “a wide range of issues emanating from or caused by the Israeli settlement activities,” according to Malaysian media sources. The meeting was reportedly requested by the Palestinian delegation to the UN.
Israeli charity suspected of being front for financing terrorism
Israeli authorities are investigating possible donor fraud by an Arab association which allegedly posed as a nonprofit group while funding a Palestinian terrorist organization.
The Registrar of Associations in Israel is reportedly pursuing the liquidation of the east Jerusalem-based "Lajnat al-Amal al-Zarai," or the Committee of Agricultural Work, for allegedly funneling millions of dollars to the Gaza Strip-based Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
The alleged donor fraud was uncovered by the International Legal Forum, headed by attorney Yifat Segal.
According to ILF findings, the CWA defrauded foreign entities and individuals into thinking they were donating funds for humanitarian relief in the Gaza Strip, but instead the funds were diverted to terrorist activities
"The Committee of Agricultural Work has been using its RAI certification to approach foreign governments, entities, and individuals and raise funds for the PFLP, and is thereby indirectly funding terrorism," a letter sent to the Registrar of Associations in Israel by the ILF said.
'Israel was created by the Rothschilds, not God,' Labour member's post reads
A British Labour Party activist has posted an antisemitic meme on his Facebook page in the latest scandal to hit the party, which has been plagued by antisemitic incidents under the leader of Jeremy Corbyn.
The Labour Party member in question, Andy Slack, a councillor from Chesterfield, shared a graphic featuring a hook-nosed IDF soldier with a bloody mouth and reading "Israel was created by the Rothschilds, not God."
The UK political website Guido Fawkes brought Slack's September 30 post to light and it was subsequently deleted from his page.
"And what they are doing to the Palestinian people now is EXACTLY what they intend for the whole world," the post adds.
The post originally appeared on antisemitic website It warns readers, "Today it is a Palestinian child, soon it will be your child."
Fawkes quoted a source in the Labour Party as saying "it is the worst we have ever seen."
Honest Reporting: The “Palestinian” Link
The article could have included these details by adding a hyperlink. If the words “shooting attack” were linked to an external article, then the readers would have the facts at their fingertips.
Instead, the article links the word “Palestinian.” A reader clicking on that link would have a new window open up containing:
News about The Palestinian Authority, including commentary and archival articles published in The New York Times.
Here are some of the stories in this section:
  • West Bank Settlers Prepare for Clash with Israeli Government
  • For Mahmoud Abbas a Gesture. For Critics, a Betrayal
  • Mahmoud Abbas to Attend Shimon Peres Funeral, but Thaw with Israel Unlikely
  • Netanyahu and Abbas at UN General Assembly
  • Mahmoud Abbas: Out to Push Palestinian Agenda Back to Top of Agenda
Scroll a bit further and you even get:
  • Mahmoud Abbas Claims Rabbis Urged Israel to Poison Palestinians’ Water.
How are these articles relevant to the original AP story? Those who want to know more about why Israel is demolishing Elewi’s home only get a selection of the struggles of the PA President.
Instead of being a useful tool for readers, the link in this story is just a distraction, shedding no more information on the subject matter of the article.
No part of an article should be automatically generated. Links within articles are as important as graphics, sidebars, and headlines. Together, they should provide the reader with all the important details and context.
Defining Bias #7: Distortion of Facts
Thanks to today’s technology, anyone from a professional journalist to an amateur passerby with a smart phone can instantly post breaking news online. But in the rush to be first, fact-checking often gets short shrift.
Another reason for the decline in substantiating info is the rise of what’s called “the journalism of assertion.” That’s the idea that reporters can ease up on independent verification if the information can be attributed to someone — anyone — whether it’s an eyewitness, a government official, or even a report published in a different newspaper. Again, it comes back to the 24-hour news cycle — there isn’t time to double check the facts.
Watch Haviv Rettig Gur of the Times of Israel, and Michelle Chabin of USA Today and other papers discuss with HonestReporting the problem of journalists distorting facts.
Distortion of Facts: HonestReporting's 8 Categories of Media Bias, Video#7 of 8

IsraellyCool: Chilling Reactions To Chilling, Previously Unseen Interview With Terrorist
James Carleton, the son of deceased, Israel-bashing Australian journalist Richard Carleton, is excited to have uncovered this previously unseen interview his father did with PFLP terrorist Ghassan Kanafani.
Notice how unrepentant Kanafani is about using terrorism.
Just as chilling are the reactions of many to this video.
And how did I find out about this? From someone familiar to us, who retweeted it admiringly.
Incidentally, Richard Carleton actually asks the terrorist some difficult questions – as opposed to his time at Channel Nine when he came off as decidedly pro Palestinian/anti-Israel. Which perhaps gives us insight into just where son James stands.
BBC WS presenters fail to challenge politically motivated narrative
In neither of these ‘Newsday’ programmes did BBC presenters bother to provide listeners with the crucial context concerning Operation Grapes of Wrath in general or the Qana incident in particular. The escalation of Hizballah missile attacks against civilian communities in northern Israel that triggered the operation was completely erased from audience view. The fact that Hizballah forces had fired missiles and mortars from the vicinity of the UN compound in Qana (with no intervention by UNIFIL) on several occasions in the hours before the tragic accident goes completely
‘Newsday’ listeners were however not the only ones left with inaccurate impressions concerning the Qana incident. For example, the writer of an article by BBC Monitoring titled “Mixed reaction to Peres’ legacy in world media” (which was published on the BBC News website on September 28th and promoted as a link in several other reports) found it appropriate to give context free amplification to propaganda from a semi-official Iranian regime news agency.
“Fars news agency says: “Shimon Peres is dead; Butcher of Qana dies following two weeks in coma” in a reference to the 1996 shelling of Qana in southern Lebanon that killed over 100.”
There is of course nothing surprising about the fact that elements such as the Iranian regime or anti-Israel campaigners of various stripes would try to exploit an Israeli statesman’s death for the promotion of an inaccurate, politically motivated narrative about an historic event. The problem is that the BBC – supposedly the “standard-setter for international journalism” committed to editorial values of accuracy and impartiality – provides an unchallenged platform for such exploitation.
Shell awards top prize to Israeli tire technology
An Israeli electro-optic sensor technology for gauging tire pressure and wear and tear won the Shell Bright Energy Ideas Challenge, beating 218 mobility startups from all over the world focused on the subject of cars, motorization and vehicles.
British-Dutch energy giant Royal Dutch Shell awarded Neomatix, the developer of the sensor, a €25,000 cash prize and a €100,000 loan. Shell will also help the Israeli startup to improve its product and provide it access to industry experts for the future commercialization of its technology, which combines sensors and algorithms.
“Neomatix was selected together with other 13 companies to participate in the Texchange program for Israeli startups,” said Yoni Dolgin, sector manager specializing in mobility at the UK Israel Tech Hub. “This program helped Neomatix find out about Shell’s challenge and to get in contact with them.”
The UK Israel Tech Hub is part of the British Embassy in Tel Aviv, and its goal is to promote bilateral cooperation between English and Israeli technology, bringing several Israeli startups to the United Kingdom every year.
Ex-NBA star’s faith leads to personal promised land
The big man sat in a chair after practice, ice packs taped to his knees, and spoke about an upcoming basketball season that promises to be far different from the many others he has known.
Amar’e Stoudemire was in Jerusalem, half a world away from the bright lights of New York City, where a Times Square billboard once heralded the former NBA star’s arrival.
He was happy to be here, he stressed, having chosen to play where he feels he has a spiritual connection after a career — and a life — filled with struggle.
“I have no regrets,” the towering 33-year-old American said the day before the first league game of the season with his new team, Hapoel Jerusalem.
Stoudemire, who followed a winding path from poverty to professional basketball fame in the United States, has embarked on a new journey.
After an NBA career that began with great promise was cut short by injuries, Stoudemire has decided to make Jerusalem his home, becoming the most famous name to ever join the Israeli league.
Caracal Battalion welcomes first female company commander
Israel Defense Forces Lt. Gal Brownstein will soon become the mixed-gender Caracal Battalion's first female company commander. Brownstein, 35, from Rishon Lezion, is also the first female officer from Caracal to complete the company commanders course with honors.
Brownstein finished the prestigious course along with 70 other officers from elite commando units such as the Maglan special forces unit, Egoz reconnaissance unit and Nahal infantry brigade.
"I honestly don't know why they chose me," she said. "Perhaps it is my perseverance and strong will to be treated equally. I worked hard to prove myself. Not because I am a girl, as I do not think women need to work twice as hard to succeed. But as far as I am concerned, as long as I continue to push my limits and strive to give more than 100%, it will eventually show. I am a perfectionist and find it hard to settle for mediocrity,"
According to Brownstein, many of her comrades have never received orders from a female commander, nor have they commanded female subordinates.
"For some of the guys here, this was their first time training with a woman, the first time they had to answer to a woman and the first time they were given orders from a female combat soldier. I was treated fairly and did not once feel that I received preferential treatment," she said.
My Name is Israel
In the second of our successful series of DIY exhibitions, ISRAEL21c today launches its new exhibition on Israeli aid worldwide.
My Name is Israel, which you can share online, or download, print and stage anywhere, is a remarkable account of the work of Israeli individuals, nonprofits and governmental organizations, in the wake of humanitarian crises and disasters all over the world.
In our 15 full-color slide exhibition, we share with you some of the most unforgettable stories about Israeli aid, bringing these inspiring reports together for the first time ever in one place.
In the exhibition, find out how:
• Four medical facilities in northern Israel have treated more than 1,200 Syrians wounded in the civil war since 2013, and the number continues to rise.
• A delegation of 150 doctors and nurses from the Israel Defense Forces treated 2,686 patients over a period of nearly two weeks after a deadly typhoon in the Philippines in 2013.
• Nearly 5,000 children from 51 countries including Syria, Iraq, Pakistan, Gaza, China, Ukraine and Sudan have received lifesaving heart surgery thanks to the Israeli charity Save a Child’s Heart.
9 of the most beautiful sukkot in Israel
Right after Yom Kippur is over, the sound of hammers rings throughout Israel as people begin building temporary “huts” called sukkot (sukkah in singular).
The week-long harvest and thanksgiving festival of Sukkot (Tabernacles), this year from nightfall October 16 through October 23, brings many Israelis and tourists outdoors to dine (and sometimes sleep) in the sukkah with the stars peeking through the roof of branches, lumber or bamboo in keeping with biblical tradition.
People typically decorate their sukkah with posters, paper chains, colored lights and hanging fruit. In fancy sukkot you might even see chandeliers and draperies.
Here are nine impressive sukkot found from north to south. Tell us about your favorite Israeli sukkah in the comments section below.
The glorious, reviving silence of Israel’s Yom Kippur
There’s something about an empty highway, a ribbon of black cutting through the night, that will move you deep in your soul. Kerouac knew this, as the miles of empty asphalt spooled under his wheels. But there is nothing as magical and spiritual as the empty highways of Israel on Yom Kippur, a silence that fills up every corner of your being.
As a journalist, covering the wounds and scars of this country, you can find yourself dripping in sarcasm and cynicism, questioning why you chose to move to this loud, angry, hate-filled place. Nothing is holy in the Holy Land: everything is political, steeped in divisive conflict. Everything you say or write will somehow cause anger, heartache, hatred.
Yom Kippur is not free from conflicts. There are the teenagers in Jerusalem who yearly throw rocks at Arab cars on Hebron Road, and there were the 2008 riots in Acre when an Arab man drove through a religious Jewish neighborhood blaring music.
During the past two years, Yom Kippur also coincided with Eid al-Adha, when Muslims typically drive from family party to family party, meaning that just as the Jews stop driving, eating and listening to music for religious reasons, the Muslims did the exact opposite. This usually happens once ever 33 years, but quirks of the Jewish leap year and the fact that the faiths use different lunar calendars meant it happened twice in a row in 2014 and 2015. Due to the confluence of the holidays, religious and interfaith leaders tried to encourage both sides to be tolerant of their neighbors in unprecedented statements from Jewish and Muslim leaders.
But aside from the sporadic incidences of rock throwing and riots, Yom Kippur is separate from the rest of a year, alone on a pedestal. The fact that almost no Jewish Israelis drive on Yom Kippur shocks me every year. Really? No one drives? Israelis hold nothing sacred. Except, perhaps, this.
For one day a year, everyone stops. The roads that we hurry down become empty scrolls, open to adventures and play.
Yom Kippur 2016 in Tel Aviv

Yom Kippur 2016 in Jerusalem

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