Wednesday, December 14, 2016

From Ian:

The United Church of Christ: Knowingly Silent on Terrorism
The United Church of Christ (UCC) published a guide to Israel-Palestine affairs in August and again in September 2016. Entitled, "Promoting a Just Peace in Palestine-Israel", this toxic document is a desperately one-sided, inaccurate, and counter-factual exercise in futile politics. It most certainly does not favour justice or peace in the Holy Land, as its contents show on every page.
The naïvety of the UCC is particularly striking in its choice to take at face value the Palestinian statement that if Israel ended its occupation peace would follow as day follows night. When, after 1949, Gaza was occupied by Egypt and the West Bank by Jordan, no one protested, no one attacked Egyptians or Jordanians. In other words, Israel occupied only itself. But Palestinian terrorism against Israelis continued up to 1967, right through the period of Israeli non-occupation. There were no "settlements" then. Rather, the Palestinians have always regarded all of Israel as one big "settlement." Just look at any Palestinian maps; they cover both the entirety of Israel and the Palestinian territories.
Unfortunately, the Palestinians have a history of regarding every retreat by Israel as a triumph of aggression over diplomacy, as if to say: We shoot at Israelis and they leave; so let's keep doing it.
In its introduction, the UCC, knowing full well that Israel has not occupied Gaza since 2005, still speaks of "the Israeli military occupation of the Occupied Palestinian Territories: the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza."
The UCC Guide states flatly that "Israeli settlements in the West Bank are identified as illegal by the international community" -- even though international law says exactly the opposite. The West Bank and Gaza were both occupied as a result of a defensive war against Egypt and Jordan in 1967, in which the Israelis were victorious. It is never illegal to occupy territory obtained in defensive military action.
Ohio State Terror, The Media, and Israel

Enough’s enough – it’s time for Labour Jews to call it quits
Week after week, we read of insidious outbursts emanating from individuals within the Labour Party, from all levels. The statements are often dressed up as anti-Zionist. However, some are so extreme and outrageous that they can only be construed as blatantly anti-Semitic.
Anti-Semitism within the Labour Party is not new, but it was latent and unexpressed.
The cause of its eruption so severely during 2016 can be summed up in two words: Jeremy Corbyn.
Corbyn is the first leader of any major British political party to hold views which, if not directly anti-Semitic, are considered hostile by the overwhelming majority of Jews in this country. His antipathy towards Israel, his embracement of the Palestinian viewpoint and his friendship with Arab terrorist groups has characterised his Parliamentary career for decades – long before the nightmare of his leadership of the Labour Party was remotely contemplated.
Labour ’s report into anti-Semitism, led by Baroness Chakrabarti, was a farce. In the words of the Home Affairs Select Committee commenting on the report, it “was clearly lacking in many areas”, the party having become “a safe place for those with the most vile of opinions”.

Ben-Dror Yemini|: Israel losing public opinion support in US
Op-ed: The American public’s growing support for anti-Israel sanctions over the ongoing expansion of settlements is setting off alarm bells, but the Israeli government couldn’t care less.
The Israeli government has decided it couldn’t care less about the American administration, governments in Europe and the public opinion. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu knows that the Regulation Bill is dangerous and could lead Israel to The Hague, but he once again a puppet in the hands of Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett.
One of the illusions is we not only have the new American administration by our side, but the public opinion as well. Different surveys do point to significant differences between Americans and Europeans. A BBC poll, for example, found that 52 percent of Americans have a positive attitude towards Israel compared to 36 percent who have a positive attitude. In Britain, only 19 percent have a positive attitude and 72 percent have a negative attitude.
But American sympathy is towards Israel, not towards the Greater Land of Israel. It’s not certain that the Yesha Council has the new Trump administration in its pocket. It is certain that contrary to what too many people in Israel believe, the American public is becoming less and less tolerant of the ongoing expansion of settlements. In November 2015, 37 percent of them were in favor of imposing economic sanctions on Israel for the ongoing construction in the settlements. A year later, that view is already shared by 47 percent. The American public supports Israel, but it is making it clear that on the most controversial issue – among the Israeli public and between Israel and the United States – it is changing its stance.
Feds expand immigration fraud indictment of convicted terrorist Rasmea Odeh
This is an extremely important expansion of the Indictment, even though it doesn’t expand the number of charges.
The entire line of PTSD defense — which never should have been permitted but was in the order granting a new trial — only addresses Rasmea “filtering” out her conviction and imprisonment because of alleged torture (which the government disputes). But she told other lies on her immigration forms that had nothing whatsoever to do with the alleged torture and PTSD, namely her membership in a terrorist organization. That lie is provable by the government without even getting into her conviction of the bombings.
Similarly, referencing engaging “in a terrorist activity” is much broader and easier to prove, and does not depend on the legitimacy of her Israeli conviction.
So, this is a very important move for the prosecution, and makes the PTSD defense much less critical to the case. It also signals that the attempts by Rasmea supporters recently to bully the US Attorneys office with a flood of phone calls had no effect. The prosecution appears ready to see this case to the end.
New York Arabs protest Trump's consideration of Giuliani
Just prior to the electoral college's vote on December 19, New York Arabs are protesting President-elect Donald Trump's consideration of former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani for a top cabinet position.
"In light of the surge of violent attacks by white supremacist vigilantes... and the promise of intensified state surveillance, violence, and repression, we respond to the urgent need to redouble our struggle against US imperialism from within the belly of the beast," wrote New York City Students for Justice in Palestine.
"In mapping out what the right to resist looks like from Eastchester in the occupied Bronx to East Jerusalem in occupied Palestine and beyond, we are reminded that the incomplete if it is not situated as part of the broader fight against US empire.
"As...Rudy Giuliani, former New York City mayor and champion of broken windows policing, is being considered by Trump for a top cabinet position, we reaffirm the right of all oppressed peoples to resist by any means necessary...
"We call on all comrades and allies in the struggle against Islamophobia, white supremacy and zionism [sic] to join us in collectivizing our insights, experiences, and resources in the consolidation of our movements into a united front against fascism."
IsraellyCool: Huawei Job Ad Wipes Israel Off The Map (Updated)
Chinese multinational networking and telecommunications equipment and services company Huawei are searching for a Customs Clearance Manager in Israel.
So they posted this job advertisement on LinkedIn.
We have seen before companies list Israel or parts of Israel as Palestine, but this seems even more egregious – they are referring to Israel proper as Palestine! (not just territories recaptured in 1967). It seems like an overt political statement.
The question is: is this the work of a rogue employee or company policy?
Either way, we need to let them know this is not ok.
Haaretz Corrects: Fighter in Aleppo Waves Palestinian, Not Syrian, Flag
CAMERA's Israel office today prompts correction of a photo caption in Haaretz's English web site which wrongly identified a Palestinian flag in the hands of a pro-Assad regime fighter in Aleppo as Syrian.
The erroneous photo caption (screen shot follows) stated: "A member of the Syrian pro-government forces walks holding a Syrian flag in the old city of Aleppo on Dec. 13 2016 after they captured the area."
The caption accompanies a photograph from Agence France Presse. AFP's caption, as it appears in AFP's photo archive (screen shot below), correctly identified the flag as Palestinian.
Following communication from CAMERA staff, Haaretz editors promptly corrected the caption. It now correctly identifies the flag as Palestinian.
Rapper Lupe Fiasco allegedly ending music career after antisemitism controversy
Recording artist Lupe Fiasco has cancelled the release of his newest album and has decided to end his music career after being accused of antisemitism, the rapper told his Twitter followers, Tuesday night.
Shortly after the tweet the rapper made his Twitter account private, however, he has since made the account public again.
Earlier this week the Fiasco released a track titled N.E.R.D which included the line "Artists gettin' robbed for their publishing / By dirty Jewish execs who think that it's alms from the covenant". The line caused an uproar on social media with many tweeting criticism directed at the rapper, including Anti-Defamation League CEO, Jonathan Greenblatt.
The track as since been removed from the SoundCloud audio platform.
The 34-year-old denied allegations of antisemitism by tweeting, "I've walked inside the ovens of Auschwitz" and claiming to have "studied the Hebrew bible."
Lupe Fiasco, a known supporter of the Palestinians has carried the Palestinian flag at his concerts and condemned Israeli actions in the West Bank and Gaza.
The rapper has also criticized Obama for his pro-Israel stance. In his song, “Words I Never Said,” Fiasco states, “Gaza strip was getting bombed, Obama didn’t say shit/ That's why I ain't vote for him, next one either/ I’m a part of the problem, my problem is I’m peaceful/And I believe in the people.”
Israel's Gal Gadot removed as UN role model for her 'impossible proportions'
Wonder Woman's battle for equality for women and girls at the United Nations has come to a untimely end.
The scantily clad, curvaceous comic book superhero has had her appointment as a United Nations honorary ambassador cut in less than two months following protests.
A United Nations spokesman said the character's role at the 193-member state organization would end on Friday despite plans for Wonder Woman to be used in an empowerment campaign for women and girls into 2017.
The move came after the Oct. 21 appointment of the superhero to fight for gender equality sparked heavy criticism, with nearly 45,000 people signing an online petition asking UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to reconsider selection of the character.
"Although the original creators may have intended Wonder Woman to represent a strong and independent 'warrior' woman with a feminist message, the reality is that the character's current iteration is that of a large breasted, white woman of impossible proportions," the petition read.
Wonder Woman, a DC Comics Inc. heroine, first appeared in 1941, fighting villains, rescuing victims and unearthing evil plots.
Dozens of UN employees protested at the UN headquarters in New York City on the day of the appointment when Diane Nelson, president of DC Entertainment, said the Wonder Woman campaign would feature various initiatives "over the course of the next year."
EU-Funded Israeli Research Discovers Way to Personalize Cancer Drugs with Genetic “Barcodes”
Tiny “barcodes” made of synthetic DNA can help determine the suitability of specific anticancer drugs to a specific patient before treatment even begins, according to an Israeli study recently published in Nature Communications.
The new diagnostic technology was developed by Technion-Israel Institute of Technology researchers, led by Assistant Prof. Avi Schroeder of the Faculty of Chemical Engineering and the Technion Integrated Cancer Center.
“The medical world is now moving towards personalized medicine, but treatments tailored only according to the patient’s genetic characteristics don’t always grant an accurate prediction of which medicine will be best for each patient,” explained Schroeder. “We, however, have developed a technology that complements this field.”
Together with doctoral student Zvi Yaari and other researchers, Schroeder created what amounts to a safe, miniature lab in each patient’s body to examine the effectiveness of a specific drug in that individual patient.
They attach synthetic DNA sequences to minuscule quantities of anticancer drugs, which they then pack inside specially designed nanoparticle vehicles for delivery to tumors. After 48 hours, a biopsy is taken from the tumor, and the tags serve as “barcode readers” of each drug’s activity in the cancer cells, showing how many malignant cells were killed.
Nevada, Israel Sign Landmark Water-Innovation Deal
The US state of Nevada and the state of Israel signed a memorandum of understanding on water-use innovation, marking what is reportedly a first-of-its-kind collaboration agreement between an American state and a Middle East country.
The deal, between Nevada’s WaterStart public-private joint venture and Israel’s National Technological Innovation Authority, was made at Monday’s BusinessH2O Summit, a day-long conference in Las Vegas organized by the US Chamber of Commerce, and paves the way for Israeli water technology companies to eventually set up research and production facilities in the notoriously arid state of Nevada.
“Our private sector needs to partner with water-advanced countries like Israel to adopt new technologies and best practices in water management, which will help create jobs and grow our economy,” said Myron Brilliant, executive vice president and head of international affairs for the US Chamber of Commerce, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
The Israeli-American Coalition for Action (IAC for Action), a non-profit that advocates to policymakers on behalf of the Israeli-American community, said the memorandum of understanding “provides new opportunities for cooperation that will benefit both Nevada and Israel by broadening and deepening research and development collaboration in the critical area of water management and conservation.”
2,100-year-old wine press unearthed in Ashkelon
A real history lesson: An archaeological survey by the Israel Antiquities Authority in preparation for the construction of a new elementary school in Ashkelon has revealed a 2,100-year-old wine press dating from the Hellenistic Period.
The wine press is the oldest one found to date in the area. Alongside the press, excavations uncovered the remains of a large building. The findings appear to indicate that a sizeable farm existed and operated there during the late Hellenistic Period.
The square wine press consists of a flat surface where people trampled wine grapes with their bare feet to extract the juice; a pit used to separate the grape skins from the grape juice; and a collecting vat into which the filtered grape juice was piped. All sections of the press were covered with a thick layer of white plaster mixed with seashells to prevent the liquid from leaking out.
Excavation director Ilan Peretz explained that the building discovered next to the wine press appears to have been used for storing wine jugs and for housing workers.
Rabbis honor Spanish king for efforts to restore Jewish life
King Felipe VI of Spain on Tuesday was awarded a top prize from Europe’s mainstream Orthodox rabbinic body for the country’s recent efforts to restore its Jewish communities.
The Conference of European Rabbis honored Felipe with the 2016 Lord Jakobovits Prize for European Jewry in a Tuesday ceremony at the at El Pardo Palace in Madrid.
According to a statement on the website of the World Jewish Congress, of which CER is an affiliate, the group praised the Spanish monarch in particular for his “immense contribution that the king has made in his willingness to embrace the many religious faiths present throughout the continent.”
Spain last year passed an unprecedented law granting citizenship to the descendants of the hundreds of thousands of Jews who fled Spain after 1492, when the Catholic Church and the country’s royal house instituted a campaign of persecution, forced conversion to Christianity and dispossession against Jews known as the Spanish Inquisition.
Spanish officials have said they enacted the Sephardic law of return to rectify a historical wrong. To date, 4,538 applicants for Spanish citizenship have been naturalized since the law went into effect last year.
First cousins who thought entire family died in Holocaust united in Israel
Two pairs of Polish Jewish siblings, who each believed their entire families died in the Holocaust, met for the first time at the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum in Jerusalem.
The tale started earlier this year when one of the siblings, Fania Blakay, found a testimony in the Yad Vashem database about her father. The testimony had been filled out by her father’s brother-in-law, who Blakay had been told had died.
The brother in-law, it turns out, had actually survived the Holocaust and immigrated with his wife and daughters to Israel. The daughters — Blakay’s cousins — were living in Israel.
On Tuesday, Blakay and her brother Gennadi Band — both of whom also live in Israel — were united with their first cousins Henia Moskowitz and Rywka Patchnik.
“I am deeply moved and very happy,” Blakay said, according to a statement. “My father always searched for members of his family and dreamed of finding them. He was alone. But ultimately, in this meeting today, his dream has finally come true.”
Moskowitz said that when she initially received a call from Yad Vashem, she did not believe the news.

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