Wednesday, December 21, 2016

From Ian:

Down with the Norwegian occupation!
Norway’s third largest city, Trondheim, has announced a boycott of all Israeli goods originating in areas beyond the 1967 line.
Ironically, however, the policies of occupation, colonization and discrimination that these Norwegians are accusing Israel of imposing, have been practiced for centuries by Norway against its own indigenous minority.
Long before there was such a thing as Norway, the northern part of that country was the homeland of an indigenous people known as the Sami. While the Norwegians’ first king, Harald Fairhair, ruled in the 9th century CE, the roots of the Sami nation are much deeper – going all the way back to prehistoric times, according to archaeologists.
The name “Sami” first appeared in recorded history in the writings of the Roman historian Tacitus in the year 98 CE. Coincidentally, that was at almost the same time that the Romans tried to wipe out all memory of the Jewish inhabitants of Eretz Yisrael by renaming the country “Palaestina.”
Giving the Land of Israel a new name did not, however, change the ethnic, religious or national identity of the inhabitants, and claims of a “Palestinian” nation would not be heard until the late 20th century. In the meantime, in far-off Scandinavia, the poor Sami were enduring long centuries of mistreatment at the hands of their Norwegian occupiers.
In the 15th century CE, Norway began encouraging its farmers to establish settlements in the Sami region, an area the indigenous people call “Samiland” but the Norwegians renamed “Finnmark.”
Joel Pollak: In Attacking David Friedman, J Street Condemns Itself
J Street president Jeremy Ben-Ami writes in the Washington Post that David Friedman, chosen by President-elect Donald Trump as the next ambassador to Israel, is unfit to serve.
He begins by sharing how wounded he feels that Friedman has referred to “me and Jews who share my politics on Israel as ‘worse than kapos’ and not really Jews.”
What crocodile tears.
For several years, Ben-Ami and his group have tried to bully everyone less radical than J Street — which is to say, most of the rest of the American Jewish community.
It’s not enough to support the two-state solution — which Ben-Ami, disingenuously, claims to be the reason Friedman attacked J Street. No — J Street has cast even supporters of the two-state solution as enemies of peace if they dare to expect Palestinian concessions.
In 2010, J Street ran an advertisement describing supporters of the two-state solution like Alan Dershowitz and Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) as part of the “chorus of no.” Unless you pressured Israel, you weren’t part of the “community of yes.”
Then Ben-Ami and his organization began pressuring the U.S. Treasury to investigate Jewish charities — and only Jewish charities — whose beneficiaries may have included Jews living across the 1949 armistice line, i.e. in East Jerusalem or the West Bank.
Students Supporting Israel: JStreet Do You Even Support Israel?
Yesterday Jeremy Ben-Ami published an article titled "MOVING THE US EMBASSY TO JERUSALEM IS STILL A BAD IDEA". In his article, Ben-Ami mentioned three points that should hold back the move of the U.S. Embassy: The Situation on the Ground, Danger to US Interests, Misunderstanding the American Jewish Community. After I read the article,
I would like to let Jeremy Ben-Ami know what my view on the issue is.
Let's start with the following: Until the embassy won't be moved I won't be excited about it. Many Presidents had the chance to move it and until today no one has done so. That day, and if it will move at all, I will make sure to get excited about the issue.
Now let's get to the point.
J Street is not a pro-Israel organization. An organization that backs up its decisions and articles in paragraphs like "Danger to US Interests, Misunderstanding the American Jewish Community," cannot say they are pro-Israel. Maybe J Street isn't anti-Israel like others but they are not pro-Israel.
An organization that is pro-Israel will first worry about Israeli interests before they will worry about how the American Jewish community will be seen and judged here; they should worry about how their cousins in Israel won't be killed by their other cousins in the Middle East. J Street = not a pro-Israel organization.



Eugene Kontorovich: Israel’s Settlement Regulations Bill and International Law
Not surprisingly, those who argue international law forbids such action fail to cite any state practice outside of Israel for this proposition. To be sure, the payment of compensation by belligerent occupiers is probably quite rare, as typically long-term occupiers seem to simply take what they want without bothering about compensation. The entire question of eminent domain – which involves a transfer of title – will only arise in prolonged occupations. In the typical short-term occupation envisioned by the Hague and Geneva treaties, the occupier has no need or interest to change the title to land, which is always about long-term policies.
Yet in several prominent cases, long-term occupiers have used compensated takings, and the international community appears to have acquiesced, and certainly did not declare it illegal. Examples include the Turkish occupation of Northern Cyprus, where a compensation scheme aimed at permitting Turkish settlers to remain in Greek properties was approved in 2005 by the European Court of Human Rights. Similarly, the Russian occupation of Crimea takes private property with compensation (often in the form of other land), even for highly controversial projects like the Kerch Bridge, which will serve to deeply entrench the occupation and facilitate the transfer of settlers. Yet while many aspects of Russia’s occupation of Crimea have been denounced as illegal by the international community, the use of eminent domain has not. In particular, the ICC Prosecutor’s report on possible Russian crimes in Crimea makes no mention of it. The fact that many aspects of Russia’s Crimean occupation have been explicitly criticized on international law grounds, but this one ignored, suggests that it is not seen as illegal.
Indeed, property owners who have been compensated have no injury to complain of. As the French Government wrote in its submission to the International Court of Justice in the Wall Case, “international law… requires compensation which effectively makes good the entire injury suffered by the owners of the property in question. Indeed, claims of violations of international law are often accompanied by demands for compensation. This may be the first case where it is the payment of above-market compensation is claimed as an international law violation.
In short, prior to the introduction of the Israeli “Regulations” bill, neither the consensus of commentators nor any state practice supported the view that the prohibition on confiscation or seizure of private property in occupied territories applies to land-use regulations accompanied by the payment of complete compensation.
Isi Leibler: European meltdown threatens Jews
There are probably around 1.4 million Jews in Europe. What sort of life as Jews can ‎they expect for their children and grandchildren when they live under such conditions and all ‎indicators suggest an increase in anti-Semitism? While many are likely to remain, their ‎communities are likely to shrink dramatically. ‎
Those who wish for their children to maintain pride in their heritage and not be brought up in ‎an atmosphere where they are under social pressure to conceal their Jewish identity or turn ‎against their own people would be well-advised to consider emigrating. If they are unable to ‎do so, they should encourage their children to leave. ‎
They are fortunate that today they do not need to beg for entry visas; the Jewish state ‎provides a haven for all Jews.‎
Whereas in Israel their Jewish future is almost assured, sadly, many decide to emigrate to ‎other Diaspora Jewish communities where there is no guarantee that they will maintain their ‎Jewish identity.‎
One of the main reasons for this is that the Israeli government and the Jewish Agency have ‎failed to provide adequate facilities for middle-class and professional immigrants. Israel has ‎one of the most successful economies in the world and failure to make maximum efforts to ‎absorb more of these immigrants will be recorded as a tragic lost opportunity. Rectifying this ‎situation must become a top priority for the government.‎
Alas, the European situation for Jews is dismal and we must hope that many will leave and join ‎us in Israel and participate in the historic renaissance of our people. ‎
Ruthie Blum: Ban Ki-moon’s Last Hypocritical Hurrah
The outgoing secretary-general of the United Nations outdid himself this week. In his final briefing ‎to the Security Council on Friday, Ban Ki-moon said, “Over the last decade, I have argued that ‎we cannot have a bias against Israel at the UN. Decades of political maneuvering have created a ‎disproportionate number of resolutions, reports and committees against Israel. In many cases, ‎instead of helping the Palestinian issue, this reality has foiled the ability of the UN to fulfill its role ‎effectively.”‎
Listening to the head of the international body that long ago ceased to fulfill any role other than that ‎of providing a platform for despots, one might have mistaken him for an innocent bystander whose ‎voice has been drowned out by the cacophony against the Jewish state.
In fact, Ban is a prominent ‎member of the Israel-bashing choir he has been conducting for the past 10 years, taking every ‎opportunity to equate the only democracy in the Middle East with the forces bent on its destruction ‎and on the subjugation of the West. ‎
Indeed, he even performed this feat in his farewell address, admonishing both Israel and the ‎terrorist organization that rules the Gaza Strip in the same breath. Israel, he warned, “needs to ‎understand the reality that a democratic state, which is run by the rule of the law, which continues to ‎militarily occupy the Palestinian people, will still generate criticism and calls to hold her accountable.” ‎Hamas, with its “anti-Semitic charter, which seeks to destroy Israel,” he said, should “condemn ‎violence once and for all and recognize Israel’s right to exist.”‎
Aaron Klein: PolitiFact Failed to Disclose Possible Conflicts of Interest in Israel Election 'Fact Check'
PolitiFact, which is part of a new group that will help Facebook flag “disputed” stories, last year rated as “Mostly False” a claim that the U.S. funded an election effort in Israel via the nonprofit One Voice aimed at defeating Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
PolitiFact left out of its declaration on One Voice that Craig Newmark, the founder of Craigslist who lists himself as an adviser and donor to PolitiFact, documents on his personal website that he has been “helping out” One Voice, where he writes he also serves as an adviser.
Also missing from PolitiFact’s rating about the One Voice claim is that One Voice is partnered with Google, which also happens to be a donor to the Poynter Institute for Media Studies, which owns the Tampa Bay Times. PolitiFact is a project of the Tampa Bay Times.
A senate investigation in July concluded that the State Department did not do anything illegal in funding One Voice to the tune of nearly $350,000 in 2013, but that the infrastructure created by One Voice at the time of the State Department financing could have been used last year in the anti-Netanyahu campaign.
While PolitiFact noted that its March 25, 2015 “Mostly False” designation “may change as more evidence comes to light,” it did rely largely on One Voice’s word on the matter while failing to note the ties between PolitiFact and the partners of One Voice.
Honest Reporting: The 2016 Dishonest Reporting Awards
The year began amid a wave of Palestinian car-ramming, stabbing and shooting attacks. But Israel was largely a peripheral part of the year’s biggest stories: Donald Trump, Brexit, Russia’s rise, violence in Syria, and Islamic terror attacks in Europe.
We thank our readers for their nominations and thoughts on 2016. Here are the runner-up winners. As for the overall Dishonest Reporter of 2016 chosen by HR readers, we’ll announce that next week, so stay tuned!
The 2016 Dishonest Reporting Runner-Up Awards
1. Most Distrusted Reporter: Luke Baker, Reuters
2. Most Malicious Media Outlet: The Independent
3. Most Anti-Semitic Editor: Leila Hatoum, Newsweek Middle East
4. Worst Celebrations of Special Days: AFP
5. Best Example of a Blood Libel’s Half Life: Sydney Morning Herald
6. Best Glimmer of Hope: National Public Radio
Most Distrusted Reporter: Luke Baker
As Reuters bureau chief in Jerusalem, Luke Baker was already on HonestReporting’s radar. But Baker really came to the fore in 2016.
At the height of the wave of Palestinian terror attacks and the resulting rash of appalling headlines and faulty news reports, Baker — in his capacity as then head of Israel’s Foreign Press Association (FPA) — was invited (not forced) to give testimony to a sub-committee meeting of the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee examining the impact of media bias.
Douglas Murray: Here we go again – but this time, Je suis Berlin
If it is then we will all have to watch out closely for the swiftly ensuing ‘Muslim good news story’. I haven’t seen one yet. But perhaps a small group of Muslims somewhere in Europe could be found, holding a banner saying ‘Not in my name’ or ‘The driver was not Muslim’ or ‘Prophet Mohammed was always against attacking markets, on the Monday before Christmas, in the Berlin area, with this particular make of truck.’ More likely is that we will see a return of the modern European tradition whereby a group of Ahmadiyya Muslims make everyone feel unsuitably pacified about the troubles of the Muslim world. I hereby predict that by Christmas Day at the latest a group of the world’s most persecuted and peaceful Muslim sect will turn up at Mass somewhere in Germany (as some Ahmadiyya Muslims did after some non-Ahmadiyya Muslims slaughtered a French priest at his altar last summer). The ensuing, very beautiful and moving photos will appear across the world’s press with the attendees described as simply ‘Muslims’. Then we can all forget the dead bodies and focus on the Muslim good news story, taking away the only viable lesson which is: ‘Anyone acting violently in the name of Islam = nothing to do with Islam; small sect behaving nicely in the name of Islam = true Islam, and who are you to say otherwise? Bigot.’
All this is not to say that the political class will not go into action. If this does prove to be an Islamist attack then in the coming days I would expect Angela Merkel to reiterate her recent call to ‘ban the burka’. The Dutch Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, will also doubtless once again back up this call. Meantime, most of the candidates for the French Presidency will publicly ponder whether the Berlin attack might have been stopped if the driver of the lorry had been banned from wearing a burkini.
At the same time the non-violent Islamists who work in European politics and the media will insist that we look at the root causes which make people drive trucks through Christmas markets in Berlin (‘Islamophobia’, Germany’s brutal foreign policy, trucks of certain designs) while non-Muslim commentators who haven’t paid attention over recent decades will insist that we find out ‘what the terrorists want’, with the unmentioned follow-on that once we work this out we can give them some of it. So drive enough trucks into crowds and sooner or later we can whittle down the number of Christmas markets, Jews, gays, polytheists, etc.
Of course for the foreseeable future anybody suggesting that importing millions more Muslims into Europe isn’t wise will continue to be regarded as a way-out-there crank who is in a very real sense actually causing the trucks to go into the Christmas markets. Leading us back once again to the logical conclusion that the only respectable response to importing millions of Muslims into Europe is to import millions more Muslims into Europe.
Brendan O'Neill: Just because you disagree with someone, it doesn’t make them a ‘fascist’
The fascist slur was a central part of the Stalinist propaganda armoury. Arthur Koestler, the Hungarian-British writer who left the Communist Party of Germany in the 1930s after becoming disillusioned with Stalinism, later writing the classic anti-totalitarian work ‘Darkness at Noon’, wrote about this. One of the main ways Stalinists kept people in line was by deploying the fascist tag, he said:
In Party parlance, everybody who was not on our side was a Fascist. The Socialists were Social-Fasicts, the Catholics were Clerical-Fascists, the Trotskysits were Trotsky-Fascists, and so on.
George Orwell, another great 20th-century critic of totalitarianism, likewise noted the Stalinist fashion for using the ‘F-word’ as code for deviant thinker. In Spain in 1936, Orwell fought in the Trotskyist Workers’ Party of Marxist Unification (POUM). The Stalinists involved in the Spanish war were agitated by POUM’s radicalism, so they demonised and repressed it. How? By calling it fascist. Orwell wrote of being branded a ‘Trotsky-Fascist’; POUM was ‘tarred with the Trotsky-Fascist brush’. It was this experience of being libelled and harried by Stalinists that encouraged Orwell to devote himself to the cause of anti-totalitarianism. He later wrote that ‘the word ‘fascism’ is almost entirely meaningless’. We should ‘use [this] word with a certain amount of circumspection and not, as is usually done, degrade it to the level of a swearword’, he said. Brexitphobes, take note.
Stalinists continued their fascist-slur antics during the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. This wasn’t a people’s stab for freedom, they said: it was a ‘Fascist-Hungarian counter-revolution’, driven by ‘fascist-reactionary elements’. The Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB), to its historic shame, backed the Stalinists’ crushing of the Hungarian uprising, again on the basis that the uprising had been a ‘fascist’ one. The British Marxist Peter Fryer slammed the CPGB for ‘smearing’ the revolt, painting the ‘courageous struggle of the Hungarian working class for democracy’ as a ‘fascist-inspired, fascist-led counter-revolution’. Sound familiar? Today, British people’s instinct to take back democratic control from the EU — which is no USSR, no, but it is a rotten bureaucracy — is likewise slammed by certain leftists as a fascist-tinged revolt against all that is decent.
Stalinists’ use of the fascist slur to maintain political order reached its nadir with the building of the Berlin Wall in 1961. GDR officials referred to the Wall as the ‘Anti-Fascist Protection Rampart’. West Germans were fascists, you see, as were East Germans who longed to join them in enjoying democratic and liberal rights. Later, in the 1970s and 80s, leftish fascist talk became farcical. The NUS banned neo-fascists from campus, later extending the ban to include anti-migration Conservatives and Christian fundamentalists — what the old Stalinists might have called Tory-Fascists and Clerical-Fascists. Now the fascism libel is back, with a vengeance, this time aimed at everyone from the Welsh to Rust Belt Americans to leading Brexiteers and Trump’s cabinet.
It isn’t fascism that has been revived in 2016; it’s the vicious, authoritarian tactic of using the word fascist to pathologise those who think differently or who kick against the political order. Today’s fascist libel is driven by the same authoritarian impulse as that noted by Koestler and Orwell: it’s about saying ‘everybody who is not on our side’ is wicked and unfit for political life. The F-word is a weapon. It’s a silencing tactic. Its aim is not to describe but to denounce. It speaks to the baleful influence of Stalinist thought on the British left that it can so naturally reach for the insult once used by Soviets to criminalise those who agitated for greater freedom in Spain, Hungary or Russia, and use it now against Brits who prefer national democracy over EU illiberalism. Oh, the irony: in promiscuously using the 20th-century term ‘fascist’ against their enemies, they demonstrate their own similarity to another nasty 20th-century creed: Stalinism.
Legal Group Threatens Action Against Modern Language Association Over BDS Motion That Counters Academic Organization’s Tax-Exempt Status
A Jewish civil rights organization threatened a prominent academic body with legal action on the grounds that an anti-Israel motion it is considering runs counter to the group’s founding principals and tax-exempt status, The Algemeiner has learned.
Lawyers from the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law (LDB) issued the warning to the president and executive director of the Modern Language Association (MLA) in a recent letter concerning a Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) resolution — spearheaded by MLA Members for Justice in Palestine — which is scheduled for a vote at the upcoming MLA 2017 Convention.
The MLA BDS resolution states that the “US materially supports Israel’s ongoing violations of human rights and international law” and “these violations include the systematic denial of academic freedom and educational rights for Palestinian scholars and students.” In addition, according to the motion, faculty and students have the right to “advocate for the boycott of Israeli academic institutions, without retaliation.”
The LDB said that the motion “seeks unprecedented action from the MLA that is far beyond the capacity and powers set forth in the MLA’s corporate charter” and is “also inconsistent with the mission and programs that the MLA reports to the IRS.”
Ryerson U Israel Activist: Student Leaders ‘Put Their Money Where Their Mouth Is’ for Jewish Peers by Passing ‘Holocaust Education Week’ Initiative
Student leaders at Toronto’s Ryerson University “put their money where their mouth is for their Jewish peers” on Monday, a campus activist told The Algemeiner, referring to the passage of a Holocaust education initiative that was recently boycotted by anti-Israel groups.
Tamar Lyons, a vice president of advocacy group Students Supporting Israel (SSI) and a StandWithUs Emerson Fellow, said that the decision by the school’s student union (RSU) to formally adopt “Holocaust Education Week” — after its attempted derailment earlier this month by Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and the Muslim Student Association (MSA) — points to a genuine effort “to ensure that the Jewish minority is properly represented on campus.”
“We are very happy to know that the RSU is taking our concerns seriously and have come to realize that we have not been receiving the proper support,” Lyons said. “The president of the RSU, Obaid Ullah, personally met with us to ask how he could be of assistance.”
Ullah, Lyons said, also shot down the proposal by anti-Israel activists to change the motion to an “All Genocide Education Week” — in an attempt to downplay the atrocities perpetrated specifically against Jews during the Holocaust — calling it an “inappropriate suggestion.”
Kasich signs Ohio state law banning boycotts of Israel
Ohio Governor John Kasich signed into law a bill targeting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel.
The legislation, which prohibits the state from contracting with companies that engage in boycotts of Israel, including firms located outside the state, and also requires companies to explicitly state in contracts that they are not boycotting or divesting, was signed Monday. It makes Ohio the 14th state to enact such a law.
States that have passed such anti-BDS legislation include Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and South Carolina.
“With Governor Kasich’s signature, Ohio becomes the latest state to stand up against the discrimination based on national origin inherent in efforts to boycott, divest or sanction Israel. It’s also a stand in support of free trade and academic freedom,” Howie Beigelman, executive director of Ohio Jewish Communities, which represents eight Jewish federations and their constituent agencies, said in a statement.
“But Ohio went a step further than anyone else. They included an opportunity for positive investment by the state and county treasurers in certain foreign bonds — including Israel’s — allowing our state to stand with Israel in a meaningful way, helping to create even more business, trade, and research opportunities.”
Shirley Temper Denied Visa For US Propaganda Tour
Days after video from her father’s attempts to indoctrinate third graders in Ithaca, NY was released, comes news that Ahed Tamimi (aka Shirley Temper) has been denied a visa to enter the US for an indoctrination tour of her own.
Dear Friends,
It is with great sadness that we share that the U.S. Consulate has failed to provide a visa for Ahed Tamimi to travel to the United States at this time. Though we will continue to advocate for Ahed to gain access to the United States for future speaking opportunities, it does not at present look as though Ahed will be able to join us in person for the Living Resistance Tour.

Incidentally, her father Bassem’s visa was revoked earlier this year.
By the way, the tour flyer states her age as 15. As I have pointed out before, this is likely yet another lie.
BDS BOY GETS TASTE OF OWN MEDICINE
A familiar face stared dopily from Monday morning’s copy of the Jerusalem Post.
It was none other than Australian anti-Israel activist Antony Loewenstein, whose entire adult life has been dedicated to disproving the stereotype of Jews as intelligent, creative and literate.
Lately Loewenstein has been based here in Jerusalem, after being granted a press card nine months ago. Now he faces being boycotted, divested and sanctioned - and Ant isn't happy about it:
A journalist who has allegedly engaged in activity supportive of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement may not be able to remain in Israel, the Government Press Office told The Jerusalem Post exclusively on Sunday.
GPO director Nitzan Chen said he was leaning against renewing the press card of Antony Loewenstein, a Jerusalem-based freelance reporter who writes for The Guardian and other publications. If the card is not renewed when it expires in March, the Interior Ministry will not allow him to remain in Israel.”

Loewenstein’s response:
“In a free and open country, free speech is essential, as it is in normal democracies.”
Loewenstein uses his free speech to threaten the right of Israelis to run their businesses, trade overseas and generally live as citizens of a free and open country. Honest Reporting managing editor Simon Plosker investigated the failed former Fairfax trainee:
WATCH: BDS Failures Of The Day
A group of BDS-holes whose average age looks like it is approaching 70, enter a Vancouver wine store that apparently sells Israeli wine.
Bagpipes? Check
Harassing the owner? Check
Out-of-key singing? Check
Getting kicked out of the store and ending up continuing your protest in the freezing cold weather? Likely
Orlando Nightclub Shooting Victims’ Families Sue Facebook, Twitter, and Google
The families of the Orlando nightclub shooting victims filed a federal complaint against the web giants for allegedly providing “material support” to ISIS and helping terrorist Omar Mateen “radicalize”, according to an exclusive report by Fox News.
Why not sue Mateen’s internet service provider? Or the manufacturer of the web-enabled devises he used to “radicalize” himself? This is akin to blaming the gun for the actions of the shooter.
From Fox News:
In a complaint filed in the Eastern District of Michigan, the families of Tevin Crosby, Javier Jorge-Reyes and Juan Ramon Guerrero argue that the three web platforms “provided the terrorist group ISIS with accounts they use to spread extremist propaganda, raise funds, and attract new recruits.”
“Without Defendants Twitter, Facebook, and Google (YouTube), the explosive growth of ISIS over the last few years into the most feared terrorist group in the world would not have been possible,” the lawsuit states.
Mateen, a 29-year-old security guard who pledged allegiance to ISIS, opened fire inside Orlando’s Pulse nightclub back in June; killing 49 people and wounding 53 others before being killed by a SWAT team to end the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
“Life has not been easy for me or my whole family,” Juan Guerrero, the father of one of the victims, told FoxNews.com. “It is something I remember and have to live with every day.”
Wall Street Journal Omits Important Context on Jerusalem Embassy Issue
The Wall Street Journal on Monday December 12 ran an article entitled, “Trump: Moving U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem ‘Very Big Priority.’” Indeed, David Friedman, who is poised to become the new U.S. ambassador to Israel, has stated that he intends to work in “the US embassy in Israel’s eternal capital Jerusalem.”
Reporter Felicia Schwartz omitted several essential facts.
About Jerusalem, Schwartz wrote that “both Israel and the Palestinians have claims to the contested city.”
They may both have “claims,” but the Jewish case rests on international law as well as archeological evidence of historical Jewish sovereignty over the city. And, while there may be a religious connection between Islam and Jerusalem, there is no historical or legal basis for a specifically Palestinian claim on Jerusalem, as there has, for one thing, never been Palestinian sovereignty over the city.
Schwartz continues, “the U.S. has held that Jerusalem’s final status should be the subject of broader international negotiations aimed at resolving the long-simmering dispute.” In fact, the US position is that the status of the city should be decided by direct negotiations between the parties. In December of 2009, the State Department issued a statement saying that,
Prague subway worker allegedly threatened to behead Jewish passenger
The company operating Prague’s subway is investigating a complaint alleging one of its employees threatened to “cut off the head” of a Jewish passenger wearing a kippa.
The incident was reported last week by a member of Prague’s Bejt Simcha Reform Community, the president of the Federation of Jewish Communities in the Czech Republic, Petr Papousek, told JTA on Tuesday.
The Prague Public Transit Company, he said, “is taking the complaint very seriously, and is investigating the details of the incident in order to draw conclusions on the behavior of the employee in question,” Papousek said. He did not identify the complainant, who requested anonymity.
A man wearing the transit company’s uniform earlier this month harassed the alleged victim in the presence of witnesses aboard the B line, which runs through the Czech capital and its Old Town, the Jewish news website ZTIS reported. According to the account, the uniformed man told the Jewish passenger: “When we meet next time, Jews, it’ll be to cut off your head.”
Swastikas, hate graffiti found throughout Long Island, NY
Several incidents of red spray-painted swastikas and other hate incidents have been reported in neighborhoods in Long Island, New York.
Police are investigating the incidents that occurred throughout the neighborhoods through December 16 as hate crimes, the New York Daily News reported. Among the places where the incidents occurred are the towns of Merrick and Mineola in Nassau County.
The incidents include a sidewalk outside of a private home vandalized with multiple red swastikas and “Make America White Again”and swastikas and other anti-Semitic graffiti painted on a wall outside of a 7-Eleven in Merrick.
Swastikas were drawn in the snow in Merrick and Mineola on Sunday, according to reports.
In addition, several swastikas were discovered by a professor at the Nassau Community College campus in Garden City on Friday, on top of swastikas drawn in campus restrooms earlier this month as well as on three separate occasions in October.
A Berlin Woman Who Has Spent 30 Years Spray-Painting Hearts Over Nazi Graffiti Said She Has No Intention of Stopping, Despite Police Warnings
A Berlin woman has spent the last three decades spray-painting over neo-Nazi and other forms of racist graffiti with images of hearts, CNN reported on Saturday.
Irmela Schramm has removed or covered up more than 130,000 offensive signs across Germany and in six other countries, including Poland and Austria. The 70-year-old walks around scouring the streets for offensive graphics with a scraper, nail polish remover and a can of red spray paint in hand. According to the report, she spends up to 17 hours each week transforming such “art.”
“I’m really concerned by this hate propaganda. And I want to take a stand,” said Schramm, who calls herself a”Polit-Putze,” or a “political cleaner.” She told CNN, “I could look at that swastika and and say, ‘Oh, that’s awful’ and walk by… Well, I don’t want to wait for someone else to do something about it.”
Schramm said her personal mission began 30 years ago, when she used her keys to scratch out a flyer supporting convicted Nazi war criminal Rudolph Hess, which was posted on her bus stop. “I just scrubbed the hate away until it was all gone,” she said. “It was a fantastic feeling afterwards. The mind pollution was gone.”
Schramm said she has been criticized for her actions, even receiving death threats from neo-Nazi groups. Police have warned her that she could be fined for her “provocative” defacement of public property. But she said that she intends to continue anyway.
Moroccan king attends rededication of Casablanca Jewish sites
King Mohammed VI of Morocco attended the rededication ceremony of the Ettedgui Synagogue in Casablanca last week.
The synagogue and the adjacent El Mellah Museum, which retraces Jewish history in Morocco, were reopened Friday. They were restored as part of the second phase of a government program aimed at rehabilitating Casablanca’s old city.
The Maghreb Arab Press, the official Moroccan state news agency, wrote that the renovation project “reflects the special interest” of the King of Morocco “in the cultural and spiritual heritage of the Moroccan Jewish community.”
A government grant of about $844,000 funded the restorations, according to the Maghreb Arab Press.
In First, Two Ethiopian-Israeli Women Sworn In as Judges
Two Israeli women of Ethiopian descent were sworn in as judges by President Reuven Rivlin on Tuesday, marking a first in the country’s history.
Esther Tapeta Gardi will serve on the Haifa District’s Traffic Court while Adenko Sabhat-Haimovich will sit on the Magistrates’ Court.
The ground-breaking appointments of the two attorneys were announced by the Judicial Nominating Committee in late September. At the time, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked said the appointments helped realize the wishes of late Israeli President Shimon Peres, who authorized the covert evacuation of thousands of Ethiopian Jews to Israel in 1984 while serving as prime minister.
Attorney and former member of Knesset Pnina Tamano-Shata, a long-time advocate for nominating judges of Ethiopian heritage, hailed the appointments as “an important step for the legal system, which belongs to everyone regardless of religion, color or gender. This is an exciting moment, and I have no doubt that the two new judges are a source of pride and a contribution to Israeli society as a whole.”
“We need to thank the Israel Bar Association, which lent its backing to the appointments, and also to the justice minister and MKs. But in the end, the candidates were appointed based on their legal talents and achievements, and weren’t ‘given’ anything — just like the rest of the appointees,” Tamano-Shata added.
After Scoring Game-Winning Goal in German League Match, Israeli Player Reveals Shirt Declaring Faith in God
An Israeli soccer player put his Jewish faith proudly on display after scoring a crucial goal during a German Bundesliga match on Sunday.
FC Ingolstadt midfielder Almog Cohen — also a member of Israel’s national soccer team — netted what would prove to be the game-winning goal during the 73rd minute of a 2-1 upset road victory over Bayer Leverkusen.
During his post-goal celebration, the 28-year-old Cohen lifted up his jersey to reveal a shirt underneath, bearing the Hebrew words, “Hashem hu ha-elokim” (Hashem is the one God).
“I’m a man of deep belief,” Cohen told the Israeli sports media outlet ONE. “Everyone complimented me on the shirt. Even my German teammates asked me what was written there and I explained it to them.”
StandWithUs: The Link Middle School Curriculum
WHAT IS LINK?
A cutting-edge, digitally-interactive, experiential curriculum.
In addition to the on-line application, students will work in pairs and teams, engaging in hands-on, project-based activities as well as educational board games and scavenger hunts.
Explores students’ thousands-year-old historical connection to Israel and empowers them to establish their own, unique modern connection.
Designed to create a relationship of love, pride and respect between middle school students and Israel.
THE LINK CURRICULUM:
Helps students to see themselves as part of the evolving and vibrant story of the Jewish people and Israel.
Engages students as they “put a face on” Jewish continuity in Israel.
Helps students to understand Israel’s demographic realities in a tangible way.
Explores how Jewish values inform Israel’s actions.
Empowers students to define and articulate their individual Israel connection.


Israeli Wonder Woman Gal Gadot whips out her lasso of truth, asking UN, 'seriously?'
Israeli actress Gal Gadot spoke out this week about the abrupt removal of Wonder Woman, who she has played on screen, as a United Nations Honorary Ambassador for the Empowerment of Women and Girls.
“There are so many horrible things that are going on in the world, and this is what you’re protesting, seriously?” Gal Gadot retorted in an interview with Time Magazine.
“When people argue that Wonder Woman should ‘cover up,’ I don’t quite get it,” she said. “They say, ‘If she’s smart and strong, she can’t also be sexy.’ That’s not fair. Why can’t she be all of the above?” Gadot asked Time.
The scantily clad, curvaceous comic book superhero had her appointment as a United Nations honorary ambassador cut in less than two months following protests and an online petition.
Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman. Credit: FacebookGal Gadot as Wonder Woman. Credit: Facebook
A United Nations spokesman said the character's role at the 193-member state organization would end 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.



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