Saturday, November 05, 2016

From Ian:

African-American Christian Zionist: ‘Israel gives expression to human condition’
Chloe Valdary is a committed Zionist. She launched pro-Israel groups at her alma mater, the University of New Orleans; has written articles for national publications defending Israel; and toured the U.S., advocating for the Jewish state.
Considering her resume, it’s somewhat surprising to learn that Valdary, in fact, isn’t Jewish.
An African-American and a Christian, Valdary said she believes her placement in what she terms “Jewish/pro-Israel space” was inevitable growing up as she did. She is a Seventh Day Adventist, the Protestant denomination that celebrates the Sabbath on Saturdays and advocates adhering to kosher dietary laws.
“I grew up with Jewish values and what would be referred to as ‘Jewish time’ informing and shaping my own identity,” wrote Valdary in an-email interview from Israel. “Though not Jewish, I grew up observing Shabbat, kosher style, and the holy days. So the frame of reference through which I view the world was shaped by Judaism. So to engage with Israel, the Israeli people, etc., is to engage with myself and my own sense of belonging and culture.”
Valdary will bring her message to New Brunswick on Tuesday, Nov. 15, in an event sponsored by JerusalemU, an organization dedicated to strengthening the emotional and intellectual connection of young Jews to Judaism and Israel.

SJP brings extremism to campus
Palestinian poet, writer, and activist Remi Kanazi, Students for Justice in Palestine’s (SJP) latest guest, compares Jews to the KKK. He poses in support of terrorists and advocates violence. His presence is part of a focus-grouped and incubated hatred, which is intellectualized, digitized and repeated ad nauseum. SJP targets you as the consumer for that hatred. They’ve weaponized discrimination in the form of victimhood. This is my fourth year of witnessing and addressing it. I’m tired.
SJP is part of a well-financed campaign to bring this hatred to our campus. Every year it comes and goes, and students are bombarded with distorted images, oversimplifications and lies.
Just consider the bias in the narrative SJP force-feeds us. Fanatic after fanatic, zealot after zealot, SJP poisons our well by bringing radicals to Kenyon. Two years ago the group brought a professor who justified the killing of teenage Israeli Jews (he called them ‘settlers’) who live in the West Bank while also claiming that, in some demented way, antisemitism could be seen as “honorable.” SJP brought an artist, Amer Shomali, who glorified convicted terrorist and plane-hijacker Leila Khaled. One student member of the group compares Zionism (the belief in the right to self-determination of the Jewish People) to Nazism, a comparison the U.S. State Department deems anti-semitic. One can be a just activist for the Palestinian cause without supporting radicals and without condoning codified Jew-hatred.
Bringing Remi Kanazi to campus is SJP’s latest move in their twisted game of delegitimizing and demonizing Israel. Kanazi, however, doesn’t just reserve his contempt for Israel; he saves some for the U.S. too. Kanazi writes that “Hillary Clinton is a racist, violent, corporate shill,” and “Obama is a butcher.” Clearly, Kanazi is a radical who preaches hate. In reference to Israeli Jews, he says, “they were hooded in the South,” comparing Israeli Jews to the KKK. He lauds and poses for photos with convicted terrorist Rasmea Odeh, whose family even admitted to her role in the killing of two innocent Jews in a supermarket bombing in Israel.
Leading Jewish Group: UNESCO Chief Must Condemn Antisemitism on Display at UAE Book Fair at Which Her Organization is Guest of Honor
The head of UNESCO must condemn the antisemitism on display at a major international book fair currently taking place in the United Arab Emirates, a leading US-based Jewish human rights organization said on Friday.
The ten-day Sharjah Interantional Book Fair — at which the global cultural body is the official guest of honor — features an “unprecedented number of antisemitic titles,” Dr. Shimon Samuels — the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s director for international relations — said in a letter to UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova.
“This massive ‘low-tech’ injection of Jew-hatred at Arab government-sponsored fairs creates a vicious circle of incitement to violence, targeting Jews and Jewish institutions,” Samuels wrote. “The circle continues with Arab governments — now captive to the hate they have instigated — relentlessly pressing UNESCO resolutions to delete Jewish heritage in the Holy Land… the circle ends with the cajoling and even the intimidating of member-states to support these outrageous resolutions.”
Samuels praised Bokova — who criticized the recent UNESCO resolutions that ignored Jewish and Christian history in Jerusalem — for her “firm stand against hate, especially antisemitism.”
“We thus urge you to condemn these dangerous displays at Arab book fairs and remove UNESCO from the current Sharjah fair,” Samuels concluded.

How archaeology became an Israeli-Palestinian battleground
In its more than 3,000 years of habitation, Jerusalem has known many masters, including Canaanites, Judeans, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, Hasmoneans, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Crusaders, Mamluks, Ottomans and Brits. Both Israelis and Palestinians consider Jerusalem the historic center of their national identity and claim it as their capital.
Excavations in Jerusalem, particularly around the Temple Mount, have provoked protests from both sides. Israelis contend that maintenance projects carried out by the Muslim organization that manages the contested site have resulted in the destruction of artifacts and the geological strata critical to modern archaeology. The Palestinians, in turn, claim that Israeli excavations south of the site ignore Muslim history in the pursuit of Jewish artifacts that could be used to lay claim to the Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan in East Jerusalem.
As it happens, just as Unesco was passing its controversial resolution, the Israel Antiquities Authority was holding its annual conference, which focused on new archaeological discoveries around Jerusalem. The finds announced at the gathering included artifacts from limited excavations on the Temple Mount carried out over the past decade in concert with Islamic authorities and a 2,700-year-old papyrus bearing the oldest known reference to Jerusalem in Hebrew outside the Bible.
Although some scholars have raised questions about the authenticity of the ancient text, Israeli politicians immediately pointed to it as incontrovertible proof of the ancient Jewish link to Jerusalem—Unesco be damned. An Israel Antiquities Authority spokeswoman insisted that the timing of the announcement was coincidental. “There is no connection whatsoever, no relevance,” she said. “The conference was planned months in advance.”
Holocaust scholar tests Poland’s freedom of speech, and its WWII narrative
Poland’s nationalistic leadership is refusing to give up a fight against a Polish-American scholar who has claimed that more Jews than Germans were killed by Poles during World War II, a hugely controversial statement in a nation proud of its resistance against the Nazis.
The question is whether Princeton professor Jan Tomasz Gross publicly insulted Poland, a crime punishable by up to three years in prison. A prosecutor recently ordered a yearlong investigation be continued until April, overriding a lower-ranking prosecutor who recommended dropping the case after finding no intent to defame Poland.
Gross’s lawyer, Agnieszka Wardak, said she thinks the chance he will face criminal charges is small, noting a similar case in the past was dropped. Although Gross lives in the United States, he did return willingly to Poland this year for questioning.
The case is seen as a test of freedom of speech under a right-wing government that has been centralizing power. Government critics believe the ruling party is using state institutions to intimidate Gross, who has Jewish roots and left Poland in the wake of an anti-Semitic purge in Poland in 1968. They fear the authorities’ moves will discourage other Holocaust scholars from freely pursuing historical truth.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Jewish human rights group, called the decision to continue the investigation “alarming” and said it “bears all the hallmarks of a political witch-hunt.”
House of Kurds
In the treacherous landscape of the Middle East, American foreign policy has come to rely ever more on alliances with “the Kurds.” They are the pro-American ones, the Good Guys of the neighborhood, the ones who love democracy and stand firm against jihadism. In Iraq, the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) provides a stable base for American operations against the Islamic State, even hosting an expanded local CIA headquarters near its capital of Erbil. In Syria, the only ally the United States has managed to achieve any meaningful impact with is the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, or YPG. Accordingly, the U.S. has praised these groups, armed them, feted their leaders, and provided them air support going back as far as 1991.
But the U.S. should never mistake the groups that represent the Kurds of Syria and Iraq as a solid foundation on which Mideast policy can be built. Kurdish internal politics is a twisted mess that spans four countries, involves tens of millions of people, and requires the mastery of more than a dozen three-letter abbreviations to understand. The Kurds contain multitudes, and the stability that has existed in recent years is now threatened from both within and without. In the KRG, fissures between the Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) are widening substantially, with the pendulum of Kurdish power threatening to tip back towards the latter. In Syria, the YPG, our allies, are trying to chart a course that preserves their autonomy, which has been allowed in the short term but ultimately contradicts the goals of Turkey, which is also our ally.
The U.S. remains hampered by one simple fact: At no point in the last two decades has the government articulated a consistent, coherent vision for the Kurdish people. The Kurds have frequently been viewed as tools, and their groups’ political objectives not taken at face value. American support has empowered Kurdish actors like never before—but without stepping back and taking the long view, without thinking too long and too hard about the consequences tomorrow of choices made today. The looming result is this: The delicate Kurdish balance that America has come to depend on could soon come crashing down like a house of cards. And America’s enemies may get the first shot at rebuilding.
Ruthie Blum: Lame-duck Obama's last hurrah
U.S. President Barack Obama is rumored to be planning a lame-duck anti-Israel move after the election of his successor next Tuesday, and before the handing over of his White House keys in January. In other words, there is reason to believe that the outgoing leader-from-behind of the free world is set to recognize a Palestinian state.
Though, as the Syrian civil war proves, bolstering one party to a conflict does not always translate directly into attacking the other, in the case of Jerusalem vs. Ramallah, the dichotomy is crystal clear.
By now, only extremists refuse to acknowledge that Hamas, the terrorist organization running Gaza -- while running it into the ground -- is not a statehood-yearning entity willing to forfeit its aim of annihilating all infidels in its path, Israel chief among them.
But there are still many diehard two-state-solution seekers, both in Israel and abroad, who cannot relinquish the fantasy that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party -- the guys ruling the West Bank -- are still potential partners. Even those who blast the PA for inciting youth to violence; denying Israel's ties to the Jewish holy sites in Jerusalem; and now launching a campaign to sue Britain for the 100-year-old Balfour Declaration -- which expressed support for the Zionist enterprise, well before the establishment of the Jewish state in 1948 -- conclude that it is "urgent" to create a Palestinian state. And that Israeli settlements are an obstacle to that imperative. (h/t Elder of Lobby)
Palestinians v. Mass Transit?
The Palestinians already had a long list of grievances against the state of Israel. Some are understandable, albeit a function of the conflict they have refused to end. Some are not reasonable. Their objection to the expansion of Jerusalem’s light rail system falls into the latter category. The thinly-veiled threats of terror from Palestinian Authority officials, who claim that the extension of mass transit to the Old City and the Western Wall will “explode” Jerusalem, are not just irrational. They are yet another sign that the PA considers any excuse for exacerbating the conflict a higher priority than what is good for the city’s residents. It’s also a clear sign of their intentions for the city’s future, which ought to send a chill down the spines of those who imagine a two-state solution would bring peace.
The light rail project, which was begun in the 1990s, has been a remarkable success for Israel’s capital. It has made getting around the congested city more manageable and has, as The Tower noted in August, done much to improve the lives of both its Jewish and Arab population. Though Israel has been rightly criticized for not providing the same level of municipal services to Arab neighborhoods as to Jewish ones—an unfortunate truth that is, in part, the result of Arab nonparticipation in local government—the light rail is an example of a project that works for both communities. Even the left-wing Haaretz newspaper reported that it had contributed greatly to social cohesion and integration of Jews and Arabs in the city, as well as to the entire city’s economic well-being.
But that is perhaps exactly why Palestinian leaders have consistently opposed it. The light rail became the target of sabotage and arson from Palestinian terror groups specifically because it united the entire city. Even though affordable and convenient mass transit brought economic benefits to Arabs as well as Jews, the PA and Hamas regard it as a symbol of the “occupation” and a threat to efforts to re-partition the capital.
While their past efforts to undermine improvements to the city’s insufficient infrastructure contradicted their other complaints about the unequal resources devoted to Arab neighborhoods, the threats about the Western Wall expansion represent the kind of incitement that could lead to mass bloodshed.
‘When Possible, Don’t Shoot Female Palestinian Terrorists; Neutralize Them With Krav Maga,’ New IDF Tutorial Instructs Soldiers Stationed in West Bank
An official IDF tutorial video instructing soldiers to avoid shooting female terrorists whenever possible is being distributed to the rank and file of the Israeli military, the Hebrew newspaper Makor Rishon reported on Friday.
The purpose of the clip, produced by the Samaria Brigade, is to provide clearer guidelines to those serving in the West Bank, who have been encountering the growing phenomenon of Palestinian girls and women attempting to commit stabbing attacks
According to Makor Rishon, the clip gives a glimpse into the complexity of the situation, and illustrates why some soldiers have been complaining that their instructions are often too vague, and their room to maneuver too broad, which at times has put them at risk.
The clip explains in subtitles — below a montage of TV news broadcasts reporting on various terrorist attacks — that because the threat posed by female perpetrators is smaller than that posed by males (which is borne out by the unambiguous success at neutralizing them) their deaths at the hands of soldiers has been sparking an even greater desire in the Palestinian public for revenge. In view of this fact, the video stresses, thwarting attacks by women through early detection and Krav Maga “is preferable” to shooting them.
The video nevertheless concludes by reiterating that soldiers are permitted to shoot terrorists, as they must never put their own lives at risk unnecessarily.
“No change has been made in the rules of engagement,” the IDF spokesman told Makor Rishon.
Gary Johnson says he would be ‘hands off’ on Israel
Over the summer, I had the chance to ask Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson about a subject he rarely spoke about in public: how he would address the Israeli-Palestinian conflict if elected president.
“Hands off,” he replied. “Israel understands the situation, and they’re the ones that are going to deal with this. And for us to pretend otherwise, I think, is just wrong.”
And if the country continued building settlements, I pressed? Would he exert American pressure?
“I think it’s wrong for us to interject ourselves in that at all,” he answered. “This is Israel, and I have been there. And I have visited. And I’ve seen this, and they’re the ones that understand this better than anyone else.”
Clinton's charity confirmed Qatari gift while she was Secretary of State
The Clinton Foundation has confirmed it accepted a $1 million gift from Qatar while Hillary Clinton was US secretary of state without informing the State Department, even though she had promised to let the agency review new or significantly increased support from foreign governments.
Qatari officials pledged the money in 2011 to mark the 65th birthday of Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton's husband, and sought to meet the former US president in person the following year to present him the check, according to an email from a foundation official to Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign chairman, John Podesta. The email, among thousands hacked from Podesta's account, was published last month by WikiLeaks.
Clinton signed an ethics agreement governing her family's globe-straddling foundation in order to become secretary of state in 2009. The agreement was designed to increase transparency to avoid appearances that U.S foreign policy could be swayed by wealthy donors.
If a new foreign government wished to donate or if an existing foreign-government donor, such as Qatar, wanted to "increase materially" its support of ongoing programs, Clinton promised that the State Department's ethics official would be notified and given a chance to raise any concerns.
Clinton Foundation officials last month declined to confirm the Qatar donation. In response to additional questions, a foundation spokesman, Brian Cookstra, this week said that it accepted the $1 million gift from Qatar, but this did not amount to a "material increase" in the Gulf country's support for the charity. Cookstra declined to say whether Qatari officials received their requested meeting with Bill Clinton.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Man Accused Of Leaking Disputation Questions To Nachmanides (satire)
In the aftermath of Rabbi Moshe ben Nachman’s success in his disputation with an apostate Jew before the king of Aragon, ecclesiastical figures are claiming that one of their number provided some of the debate questions to the Rabbi ahead of time, giving him an unfair advantage in the showdown.
Friar Miguel Dominguez stands accused of sneaking a copy of several disputation points to the Rabbi, also known as Nachmanides, in the confrontation with Pablo Christiani, who converted to Roman Catholicism from Judaism. Nachmanides demolished the claims of his opponent, who set out to prove not merely that Jesus was the prophesied Messiah, but that even the sages of the Talmud could be shown to have acknowledged it. In thorough fashion, the rabbi demonstrated the logical inconsistencies, distortions, and outright falsehoods inherent in Christiani’s premises and arguments, to the point that King James I awarded Nachmanides a substantial monetary sum and gave an address in a Barcelona synagogue, an unprecedented move in Europe.
“There is no way the Jew should have won,” explained Father José Miro, a Church representative who was present at the disputation. “Under normal circumstances these disputations have clear rules that forbid a Jew from uttering anything objectionable to the Church, which guarantees the desired outcome. But in this case, for some unknown reason the king granted the rabbi freedom of speech. That was a problem, but not an insurmountable one – my colleagues and I believe the outcome was prejudiced by Friar Miguel, who was known to have handled some of the preparation but whose absence the night before the event remains unaccounted for.” Dominguez maintains his innocence, and that he had taken ill and was resting in his quarters that evening.
Belgium to extradite suspect in Jewish museum shooting
A Belgian court Thursday backed the eventual extradition to France of the suspect in a deadly attack on a Jewish museum in Brussels in 2014, prosecutors said, according to AFP.
French national Mehdi Nemmouche, 31, is also suspected by Paris of being among the captors of four French journalists who were kept hostage in Syria.
"This morning, the pre-trial chamber of the Brussels court of first degree has declared enforceable the European Arrest Warrant that had been issued by the French judicial authorities against Mehdi Nemmouche," the Belgian federal prosecutor said in a statement quoted by AFP.
He can be sent to France "when Belgium no longer needs him" in relation to the Jewish Museum attack in which four people were killed, a spokesman for the prosecutor told the news agency.
On May 24, 2014 a gunman opened fire in the entrance hall of the museum in the center of the Belgian capital, killing two Israeli tourists, a French volunteer and a Belgian museum receptionist.
Nemmouche was arrested six days later in the southern French port city of Marseille and sent to Belgium two months later, where he faces trial at an unspecified date in the future.
Sting to reopen Bataclan on anniversary of Paris terror attacks
Sting will re-open Paris’ Bataclan concert hall on November 12, a day before the anniversary of the jihadist attack that left 90 people dead there, the British rock star said Friday.
The former frontman of The Police said he had agreed to the highly-charged gig “to remember and honor those who lost their lives in the attack a year ago, and second to celebrate the life and the music that this historic theater represents.”
The announcement is a major boost for the venue which had reportedly been struggling to attract big names back to perform there, fearful of the emotional weight of the occasion.
“In doing so we hope to respect the memory as well as the life affirming spirit of those who fell. We shall not forget them,” he added in a statement on his website.
All revenues from the show will be donated to two charities working with victims of the Paris attacks, Sting’s statement added.
On the day of the anniversary itself, survivors of the attack and the US rock group Eagles of Death Metal — who were on stage when the massacre began — will attend the unveiling of a plaque in front of the concert hall, according to French rolling news channel BFMTV.
To My Younger Siblings, Scared About College
Both of you: be aware, always. Monitor the conversations happening on campus about Israel and arm yourself with the facts. Remember that the truth is on our side. Don’t question your core values or doubt yourself when vehement anti-Zionists get theatrical with their activism. Just because someone screams their opinion doesn’t mean they’re right, so try not to be intimidated out of your beliefs.
Not everyone is going to agree with you, and that’s going to have to be okay; but you can shape and influence the conversation if you get involved, and you can certainly ensure that your campus remains a safe place for Zionist and Jewish students. Never be idle when anti-Semitism manifests itself, especially in political conversations.
This is a lot to think about, and it won’t be easy on top of the increased workload and social challenges of adjusting to a new school. But I know you both can rise to the occasion.
UK Universities Regulator Strikes Blow Against Campus Anti-Semitism
The UK’s leading universities regulator has ruled in favor of a Jewish student’s complaint concerning harassment by pro-Palestinian activists at Sheffield Hallam University in the north of England.
The regulator, called the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA), cited the European Parliament’s Working Definition of Antisemitism in determining that material circulated by Sheffield Hallam’s Palestine Society “crossed the line” from criticism of Israel into anti-Semitic invective. The Working Definition lists a number of ways in which attacks on Israel can be construed as anti-Semitic—for example, by comparing Israeli policies towards the Palestinians to the Nazi genocide of the Jews, or by holding all Jews collectively responsible for Israel’s actions.
Palestinian solidarity activists in both Europe and the U.S. have loudly opposed this definition, complaining that it conflates anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism and hate speech. But the OIA found the definition to be pertinent as it investigated not only the substance of the student’s complaint, but the circumstances that led to its original rejection by the authorities at Sheffield Hallam University in 2014.
The complaint was grounded in anxiety generated by the Palestine Society’s social media posts. “I started to see Jewish caricatures on Twitter, as well as claims that Israel was an apartheid state and references to blood libel,” the student, who does not wish to be named, told the Jewish Chronicle. “I knew this kind of vitriol was out there, but I had never seen anything like it before.”
Media Watchdog Calls Out Reuters for False Reporting on West Bank Water Shortage Story
A major international news agency falsely blamed Israel for water supply issues in a Bethlehem-area Palestinian village in an article published earlier this week, a US-based media watchdog group exposed on Thursday.
The Reuters piece in question alleged that Mekorot — Israel’s national water company — was “responsible for supplying water to Palestinians” in the West Bank. Furthermore, the article highlighted claims by Al Jab’a village residents that the Mekorot system “supplies water only intermittently and at low pressure” and their fears that their community’s illegally-built reservoir could be demolished by Israel.
This, the HonestReporting watchdog group said on Thursday, painted an inaccurate picture of the true water situation in the West Bank. HonestReporting cited a March 2016 NGO Monitor report, which noted that — according to the 1995 Oslo II Agreement — the Palestinians are “free to build any and all components of the water and sanitation sector, subject to the approval of the JWC [Joint Water Committee.] Once approved, Israel has no further authority over projects in Areas A and B (Palestinian military and/or civil control). Palestinian water projects in Area C (Israeli civil and military control) require permits from the Israeli Ministry of Defense Civil Administration (CA). However, in most cases, implementation of the projects is the responsibility of the PWA (Palestinian Water Authority).”
Furthermore, the NGO Monitor report said, “[t]he Water Agreement allows the Palestinians to dig and maintain their own wells, and the majority of wells in the West Bank are owned and operated by the Palestinians. Mekorot drills in the West Bank, as agreed upon by the Palestinians in the JWC, in order to provide water to both Palestinians and Israelis regardless of nationality.”
CNN's Amanpour Uses Shimon Peres' Passing to Malign Israeli Policies
Christiane Amanpour, CNN's chief international correspondent and host of the network's flagship global affairs program, Amanpour, used Shimon Peres' passing on September 28, 2016 at age 93 as an opportunity to heap blame on Israel for the failure to achieve an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement. Two Amanpour broadcasts on CNN International featured Israeli and Palestinian guests opposed to Israel's policies toward the Palestinians. The guests for the September 28 broadcast were Yossi Beilin, left-wing Israeli politician and PLO's Ghassan Khatib, a former Palestinian Authority (PA) cabinet member. The September 30 broadcast presented former Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni, left-center politician, and a cameo appearance by Mustafa Barghouti, former minister of information for the PA and member of the PLO Central Council.
Beilin, a former deputy foreign minister, was architect of the 1993 Oslo Accords peace effort. At the 10th anniversary of the Accords in 2003, he blamed Israeli leaders Benjamin Netanyahu and Ariel Sharon for the collapse of the peace effort. Beilin is still blaming Netanyahu. Ghassan Khatib has mendaciously accused Israel of "continuous killing," of "brutal reaction" and more. Mustafa Barghouti's lack of credibility has been demonstrated by his numerous falsehoods including falsely claiming that Jesus, a Jew from Judea, was a Palestinian.
September 28
After eulogizing Shimon Peres, Amanpour brought in Yossi Beilin to criticize Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's policies. Citing statements by Ehud Barak, a former Israeli prime minister, Amanpour asked Beilin if "[T]he Likud government, particularly some of what he [Barak] calls the ‘extremists in Likud,' have kind of hijacked the process and are not interested in a two-state solution. Do you believe that's true?"
While acknowledging Palestinian "use of force and terrorism," Beilin replied that, "Yes, it is possible. Actually what happened in '96 when it was almost a tie between Peres and Netanyahu, and eventually Netanyahu became the prime minister, Netanyahu as head of the opposition, said that once he's the prime minister, he will actually abolish the Oslo agreement. And when he became the prime minister, in his deeds, he did it."
German prosecutors investigate possible Facebook incitement case
German prosecutors are investigating a lawyer’s complaint against Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and others, a case reportedly involving accusations of them being accessories to incitement.
Munich prosecutors said Friday they will look into whether any crime was committed, whether German law is applicable and whether they’re responsible for the case.
They didn’t detail the accusations, but Der Spiegel magazine reported that the criminal complaint by a Bavaria-based lawyer alleges Facebook managers have tolerated threats of violence among other things.
Facebook has faced criticism in Germany for what critics say is an insufficient response to hate speech.
German art exhibit compares swastika with Star of David
The display of a Star of David set side-by-side with a swastika at an October art fair in the city of Cologne prompted sharp criticism last week.
“To compare Israel with Nazism is clearly antisemitic. It is illegal to display the swastika in Germany, but not in an artistic context. This exhibit abuses that exception in order to blatantly traduce Israel,” Jonathan Hoffman, a London-based campaigner against antisemitism who complained about the exhibit, told The Jerusalem Post on Friday.
The artist, Juraj Kralik, responded to the criticism of his project, saying, “Le Quattro Stagione – Stolen Geometry I installation, which juxtaposes the symbols of David’s Star and the Nazi swastika, presented at Art Cologne last month, is part of this series of works. This canvas, as is the case with the rest of the series, does not aspire to comment on an individual/isolated ideology, religion or faith.”
He added, “It does, however, aspire to be this artist’s memento of their clash, resulting in 60 million casualties, be it on the battlefield, in the concentration camp, while escaping the war zone or perhaps hiding in one’s own cellar. My emotions were the strongest while creating this piece, and I recall my hands shaking on many occasions thinking of the suffering and atrocities caused.”
Gerd Buurmann, a theater director who has written extensively on antisemitism and visited the exhibit in Cologne, wrote on his blog Tapfer im Nirgendwo, “My reply is: no, no, no! The Jewish Star of David and the Nazi swastika don’t merely symbolize ideologies. The one ideology isn’t comparable to the other. Judaism is not Nazism. Israel is not Nazi Germany.
“There is a clear, qualitative difference between the Jewish Star of David and the Nazi swastika. Moreover, the two symbols were not in conflict with each other! Rather, it was those who ganged up behind the swastika who wanted to annihilate without exception all the people – the men, the women, the children, the infants – who stood behind the six-pointed star.”(h/t Elder of Lobby)
Sydney Cleric Sheikh Youssef Hassan: The Hearts of Jews Are Harder Than Stones; Halloween is Haram
Australian Sheikh Youssef Hassan, asked by a child whether it was permitted to celebrate Halloween, said that Halloween is haram, but that children may hand out chocolate and collect donations for the mosque.
Speaking at the Quakers Hill Mosque in Sydney, Australia, Sheikh Hassan also said: "The Jewish heart is very hard. They don't have mercy.
They don't have anything in their hearts. They have got only envy and hatred."
His statements were posted on the YouTube account of the Quakers Hill Mosque on October 28, 2016.

Afghan migrant who admired Hitler in court for abusing girlfriend with iron bar
The Afghan defended what had happened, saying: "I asked her to come back. I do not know why things went downhill so much."
He has also allegedly sent naked photos of Sonja to her parents to try to blackmail them.
Sonja's father said: "He wanted €1,000 EUR (£890) and threatened us with the Hells Angels."
According to his girlfriend, Yama W. wanted to fight against the West in Afghanistan and had been speaking about jihad a lot.
One policeman has clarified in court that the Afghan migrant is a big fan of Hitler and owns a large DVD collection with movies about the Fuehrer.
Yama W. allegedly said: "Hitler was a great man because he was the only one who managed to kill many Jews."
According to local media, the Afghan tried to blame his behaviour on alcohol, marijuana and cocaine.
A verdict is expected to be reached today.
Israeli hackers show light bulbs can take down the internet
A team of researchers at Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science has shown how hackers can use the simplest of household devices, like light bulbs, to potentially take down sections of the internet or launch a full-scale attack on a country’s infrastructure.
The researchers focused on hacking into ordinary devices which are connected to the internet, the so-called “Internet of Things,” to show how easy it is to take control of the devices and employ them for the kind of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack that took down wide swathes of the internet last month for several hours.
The experiment, carried out by four researchers, Eyal Ronen, Colin O’Flynn, Adi Shamir and Achi-Or Weingarten, focused on simple Philips Hue wifi-connected smart bulbs and showed how the bulbs can “infect each other with a worm that will spread explosively over large areas in a kind of nuclear chain reaction.”
“The attack can start by plugging in a single infected bulb anywhere in the city, and then catastrophically spread everywhere within minutes,” the researchers’ paper said.
No gas, no problem at Israel alternative fuel expo
What would a world look like without fuel? Tel Aviv caught a glimpse of a fuel-less utopia filled with silent electrical bicycles, cars, buses and even airplanes on display at Tel Aviv’s Habima Theater this week for the annual Israel Fuel Choices Initiative Summit.
The initiative, sponsored by the Prime Minister’s Office, aims to connect government ministries to startups and corporations involved in finding alternative fuels.
“We want to reduce 60% of fuel use by 2025, turn Israel into a center of technology, and build global cooperation for the same goal of reducing fuel use,” said Eyal Rosen, head of the Fuel Choices Administration, a division of the Prime Minister’s Office. With its NIS 1.5 billion ($400 million) budget, the six-year-old department supports more than 200 research groups and has overseen an increase in the number of fuel-related startups from a few dozen to more than 500.
At the summit the Habima courtyard was filled with a smorgasboard of electric scooters and bicycles, a prototype of a car that is as thin as a motorcycle, and even a completely electric airplane, which is expected to start production in the coming year.
“We stand at the cusp of an energy revolution,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a video address to the summit. “The monopoly of crude oil will end, and as a result, we’ll have a safer, cleaner, more sustainable world.”
Ethiopian-Israeli Beauty Queen: World Must Learn How ‘Unique and Diverse’ Jewish State Is
The world must learn how “unique and diverse” the Jewish state is, an Ethiopian-Israeli beauty queen told The Algemeiner on Friday, amid a week-long US college campus speaking tour.
“There are Americans who I meet who are surprised that I’m Jewish and that I was an officer in the IDF and won Miss Israel,” 25-year-old Yityish ‘Titi’ Aynaw said in an interview with The Algemeiner while in New York City. “It’s weird for them. They don’t understand my story. Everything good that I represent, they don’t realize that these are things that can happen in Israel.”
Aynaw — whose current US tour was organized by the Jewish National Fund and Media Watch International — was born in the Gondar region of Ethiopia. Left parentless at the age of 12, she and her brother soon moved to Israel to live with their grandparents in the Mediterranean coastal city of Netanya. After finishing high school, Aynaw enlisted in the IDF and served as an officer in the Military Police Corps.
In February 2013, Aynaw rose to fame when she became the first Ethiopian-Israeli to be named Miss Israel. The next month, she was a guest at the state dinner held at the late President Shimon Peres’s residence during US President Barack Obama’s first official visit to Israel.
Aynaw’s current speaking tour marks the fifth time she has traveled to America to tell her story.
“I love visiting the US,” she said. “Whenever I’m here, I feel like it’s the land of dreams and I love to dream.”

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