Tuesday, January 10, 2017

From Ian:

PMW: Incriminating PMW Report calls on FIFA to show Jibril Rajoub the red card
At the FIFA council meeting in Zurich this week, the world football's governing body is expected to come to a decision regarding a Palestinian bid to expel Israeli football clubs based in the West Bank. Chairman of the Palestinian Football Association (PFA) Jibril Rajoub has led this anti-Israel campaign for months.
However, this Palestinian Media Watch report indicates that Jibril Rajoub is the last person who should be talking about violations of FIFA’s statutes. The Rajoub File has been sent to the following FIFA officials:
President Gianni Infantino
Secretary General Fatma Samoura
Tokyo Sexwale, Chairman of the FIFA Monitoring Committee Israel-Palestine
Cornel Borbély, Chairman of the FIFA Independent Ethics Committee
The 20-page report exposes Rajoub’s incitement and glorification of terror over the past five years. The report argues that Rajoub's current bid at FIFA is motivated by his overt anti-Israel and anti-peace ideology. Statements by Rajoub to mainstream Palestinian media include Antisemitic references to Jews as "Satans" and "Zionist sons of bitches."
Rajoub’s terror promotion during the terror wave that took place in Israel from 2015-2016 is highlighted in the PMW report. In an interview on Palestinian Authority TV, Rajoub described these terror attacks as “individual acts of bravery,” adding, “I am proud of them. I congratulate everyone who carried them out.”
Meryl Streep Insults Martial Arts Practitioners in Anti-Israel Speech
Julia Child impersonator Meryl Streep defamed football fans and the martial arts community in the midst of her anti-Israel speech to the 2017 Golden Globes, a Washington Free Beacon analysis reveals.
The star of The River Wild said she and the rich actors surrounding her “belong to the most vilified segments of society right now” as she accepted the Cecil B. DeMille lifetime achievement award.
“What is Hollywood, anyway?” Streep asked. “It’s just a bunch of people from other places.” The Hillary supporter went on to name the birthplaces of prominent actors, including Amy Adams, born in Venice, Italy; Ruth Negga, born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Dev Patel, who was born in Kenya; and Ryan Gosling who, “like all the nicest people,” was born in Canada.
When Streep mentioned Natalie Portman, however, she simply said the star of Black Swan and the Star Wars prequel trilogy was born in “Jerusalem,” omitting the country in which Jerusalem is located: the Jewish State of Israel.
Severing Jerusalem from Israel is a tactic of anti-Zionists who advocate for a Palestinian State with East Jerusalem as its capital. The Obama administration stripped “Israel” from the dateline Jerusalem in an official communication from the funeral of former Israeli president Shimon Peres last fall.
Bahraini youths ‘clean’ site of king’s menorah-lighting party
A group of Bahraini youths posted a video showing the “cleansing” of a site in Manama where a menorah-lighting ceremony had been held, sanctioned by the king of the small Muslim monarchy.
A video from the ceremony, in which kaffiyeh-wearing sheikhs can be seen dancing with Orthodox Jews to Hasidic music, went viral on Facebook. The menorah-lighting was held on the first night of Hanukkah and was attended by Jews, businesspeople and other Bahrainis.
The video of the clean-up operation, filmed late last month and posted this week by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), shows the youths sweeping and scrubbing the floor where the ceremony was held, while wearing what look like lab coats bearing dates considered landmarks in Bahraini-Palestinian ties and support for the Palestinian cause.
While they are cleaning, unseen speakers vow to “redeem Palestine” and “wipe this stain on the shining history of our lands,” while adding that “we, the youth of Bahrain, will not forget our cause, and we will keep marching on this path until Palestine is regained — in its entirety.”



FBI reopens investigation into 1973 murder of Israeli diplomat
The FBI has reopened the investigation into the July 1973 assassination of Israeli diplomat Col. Joe Alon, The New York Times reported Sunday.
Alon, who was the assistant to the military attache at the Israeli Embassy in Washington, was fatally shot in just outside his home in Chevy Chase, Maryland.
In an article Sunday, The Times' Adam Goldman said the decision to relaunch the investigation was made based on information originating with Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, the terrorist known as Carlos the Jackal, who is imprisoned in France.
Ramirez wrote Goldman that he had knowledge of "the unusual manner in which 'Operation Alon' came to be" but noted that "contact with the volunteers who executed the operation in Washington was lost long ago."
"There was one catch: Mr. Ramirez wanted money in exchange for information. I declined to pay him and moved on to other stories. The FBI had other plans," Goldman wrote.
Alberto Nisman Lost His Life. But He May Win His Case.
The July 18, 1994 bombing of Israeli Mutual Association, known by its Spanish acronym AMIA, was the deadliest terror attack in Argentina’s history. It left 85 dead and injured hundreds in Buenos Aires, but its perpetrators, and their true motives, have never been fully revealed. The following are excerpts from Argentinian journalist Daniel Santoro’s book-length exposé, Nisman Must Die.
Asked who the AMIA assassins were, Cristina reiterated that Nisman’s charges were part of a U.S. right-wing and Israeli conspiracy opposed to Obama’s nuclear agreement with Iran. She volunteered that should the Iran pact be found constitutional, she—and eventually Scioli—will ask Iran to ratify it in its parliament so Judge Canicoba Corral could interview the five accused Iranians and carry out other matters agreed in the pact.
When she was asked about the marketing firm Ipsos’ poll in January 2015, that 70 percent of Argentines believed Nisman had been assassinated and 82 percent saw merit in his charges of her covering up, she responded: “I don’t believe in polls. Nobody knows who’s being polled and where they publish the results. … Sincerely, I’ve heard that some Iranian commandos did it, I’ve heard that it was angry criminals, but I’ve never heard anybody say to me or can believe that I really had absolutely anything to do with this.”
Cristina had already won the fight against the dead prosecutor, meaning that she beat the dead man in the media battle to destroy the image of her public and private life. The debate over the constitutionality of the Iran pact was, therefore, in political terms, the last “fight” between Nisman and Cristina. Until now, it has not reached its final round.
Enemies and economics: Doing business at the Israel-Gaza border
In his disquisition on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on Dec. 28, Secretary of State John Kerry referred to the “dire” humanitarian situation in Gaza. On this point, he was accurate, noting that “Gaza is home to one of the world’s densest concentrations of people enduring extreme hardships with few opportunities.”
Kerry added that “1.3 million people out of Gaza’s population of 1.8 million are in need of daily assistance. … Most have electricity less than half the time and only 5 percent of the water is safe to drink.”
He rightly blamed Hamas, which, instead of building economic infrastructure and taking care of its people, “continue to re-arm and divert reconstruction materials to build tunnels, threatening more attacks on Israeli civilians that no government can tolerate.”
What Kerry failed to mention — though he made a passing reference to the “closing of crossings” that have choked off supplies from Gaza — is that for the past decade, Israel has consistently and judiciously provided for Gaza’s needs, through an import-export nexus at their border, known as Kerem Shalom.
Since 2006, when Israel imposed an air, land and sea blockade on Gaza — a response to Hamas launching rockets into southern Israel — Kerem Shalom, nestled on the border between Israel, Gaza and Egypt, became a lifeline for the 1.8 million living in the strip. Much of the time, Israel is solely responsible for the flow of goods going in and out of Gaza. This is not either country’s wish, of course; but Israel took measures to protect itself, and ever since, has had to face the unique predicament of providing for her enemy.
Over the past decade, Israel and Egypt tried sharing responsibility for this effort, but Egypt has proven a temperamental partner and often closes its Rafah border crossing with Gaza, shutting down trade completely.
IDF: Palestinian killed trying to stab soldiers during arrest raid
The Israeli military said early Tuesday morning that a Palestinian man had been shot, later dying of his wounds, while trying to stab IDF soldiers who were conducting an arrest raid in the West Bank overnight.
Troops from the elite Duvdevan unit were on an operation in the Palestinian village of Far’a, northeast of Nablus, to arrest wanted suspects, the military said.
The Palestinian, identified in the Palestinian media as 32-year-old Muhammad a-Salahi, rushed the soldiers with a knife in hand and did not heed calls to stop, according to the IDF.
The troops “began an arrest process, and when the suspect kept advancing toward them, he was shot and was later pronounced dead,” the IDF said in a statement Tuesday.
A-Salahi had served time in Israeli jail, according to Israeli news site Walla.
Netanyahu: IDF crippling weapon workshops in West Bank
Not only does the Palestinian Authority not condemn terror attacks, but inside Fatah there are those who praise them, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday.
Netanyahu's comments came at a briefing he held at the IDF's Judea and Samaria headquarters in the West Bank's Bet El. The PA did not condemn the attack in Jerusalem that killed four soldiers, and injured 15.
The security forces displayed for Netanyahu some of the more than 450 weapons that were rounded up in Judea and Samaria over the last year. In addition, some 40 weapons workshops were discovered and dismantled.
“In 2015, almost no workshops were discovered,” he said. “In 2016, 43 of these were found – equipment was impounded, arrests of those responsible were made, the workshops were closed. There are great efforts on our behalf to prevent the manufacturing and distribution of weaponry.”
Judea and Samaria-based Hamas smuggling ring exposed
A Judea and Samaria-based Hamas smuggling ring was exposed in December in a joint operation carried out by the Shin Bet security agency, Israel Police and military, the Shin Bet revealed Monday.
The suspects allegedly smuggled multipurpose equipment, including hundreds of cameras, toy airplanes and electrical cables, from Judea and Samaria into the Gaza Strip via the Kerem Shalom border crossing. Some of the equipment was earmarked for use by Hamas.
Gaza resident Nader Masalmeh and West Bank resident Nofal Abu Sraya, the key players in the ring, were arrested in December and were indicted Monday at the Beersheba Magistrates' Court.
According to the Shin Bet, on several occasions in 2016, Sraya smuggled banned equipment into Gaza, delivering it to Masalmeh and an associate, who owns a security camera business.
The equipment was smuggled inside televisions, refrigerators and washing machines.
Egyptian Cleric Ali Qassem: The Jewish "Cancer" Gnaws Away at Our Nation
All Muslims Rejoiced at the Recent "Divine" Fires Inflicted upon the Jews
Egyptian cleric Sheikh Ali Qassem recently said that the Jews, the "brethren of apes and pigs," were "the most base, contemptible, and despicable nation upon the Earth," adding that the "Jewish germ" was a cancer gnawing away at the body of the Islamic nation.
He praised the recent fires that raged through Israel, saying that the Muslims were united in their loathing of the Jews and in their rejoicing at the harm inflicted by "divine winds and heavenly destructive fires."
The lecture was posted on the "Path to Allah" YouTube channel on December 5.


Bomb-laden garbage truck attack in Sinai kills 10
It is not beyond the realm of the impossible that an overweight, out-of-shape, 82-year-old would have a heart attack and die in the hospital. But, sometimes the conspiracies which surround such occurrences provide significant insight into the society in which such events occur.
According to political activists Mitra Yekta and Goli Ebrahimi, Rafsanjani’s son Mehdi Hashemi addressed the crowd gathered in front of the hospital where Rafsanjani died. He kept screaming “They killed my father” and then explained, “My father had a meeting with a group of IRGC commanders and drank a cup of tea or something that gave him instant heart attack.” He asked for an autopsy but Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei vetoed the request. Supposedly, the funeral for Rafsanjani will be in Mashhad instead of the capital Tehran in order avoid any chance for protests in the Iranian capital.
Even if Rafsanjani died of natural causes, the episode is important because it exposes the deep cleavages in Iranian society.
First, there is little trust between the clergy and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps which retains its power under President Hassan Rouhani’s regime and, indeed, has only grown more powerful because the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action has enriched it disproportionately in comparison to the rest of Iranian society.
Nuclear Watchdog Group: Approval of Russian Shipment of Natural Uranium to Iran is 'Reckless Unilateral Concession' by Outgoing Obama Administration
The news that the US and five other world powers have approved a Russian shipment of 116 metric tons of natural uranium to Iran is “only likely to spark a greater backlash” by the new Congress and President-elect Donald Trump against the July 2015 nuclear agreement, a top official with an anti-deal advocacy group told The Algemeiner on Monday.
“No part of the JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] obligates the P5+1 to gift the Iranian regime tons of natural uranium, which can be further enriched to build bombs,” United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) Executive Director Matan Shamir said. “This is one more reckless unilateral concession that the Obama administration should forgo, particularly amid reports that Iran has been close to exhausting its domestic deposits.”
According to The Associated Press, the shipment is meant to “compensate” Iran for 44 metric tons of heavy water it has exported to Russia since the implementation of the nuclear deal began.
David Albright, head of the Washington, DC-based Institute for Science and International Security think tank, was quoted by AP as saying the material could be used to make 10 simple nuclear bombs — “depending on the efficiency of the enrichment process and the design of the nuclear weapon.”
The fate of the nuclear deal after Trump takes office on Jan. 20 remains unclear.
What Rafsanjani Hagiography Exposes
Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani died of a heart attack yesterday at the age of 82. No sooner was his death announced then the whitewash of his record bordering on hagiography started pouring in. The New York Times Tehran bureau chief, for example, tweeted, “The death of Rafsanjani… is a major blow to moderates and reformists in Iran.” Reuters described him likewise. National Public Radio labeled him “a leading voice for reform.” The U.S. State Department remembered him as a “prominent figure.”
The whitewashing of Rafsanjani’s record is akin to praising Pol Pot for improved statistics on eyesight in Cambodia, Fidel Castro for free health care, or Jim Jones for raising the prominence of the Kool-Aid brand. At the American Enterprise Institute and elsewhere, I detailed Rafsanjani’s record. COMMENTARY alum Sohrab Ahmari did likewise at the Wall Street Journal. In short, Rafsanjani signed off on attacks like the 1994 bombing of the Jewish cultural center in Buenos Aires and assassinations of Iranian dissidents worldwide. He not only helped birth Iran’s covert nuclear weapons program but, on December 14, 2001, speculated that it could be for offense rather than defense since, unlike Israel, Iran’s had strategic depth to absorb a retaliatory strike. While he was willing to talk to Americans and Europeans, this had less to do with a desire for rapprochement than a recognition that dialogue could relieve economic pressure on the Islamic Republic and win it what it needed for the fulfillment of its indigenous military programs.
Was Rafsanjani a moderate or even reformer? Too often, diplomats and journalists analyze Iranian politics along a single spectrum ranging from hardline to reform. In reality, it is useful to think about the Islamic Republic’s politicians as falling between two axes: one with regard to social attitudes and tolerance and the other with regard to a belief in state-centered economies versus economic liberalism. Rafsanjani sought to reduce the centralized command structure of Iran’s economy, so he might have leaned more toward economic pragmatism. Even during his presidency, though, he was unsuccessful in implementing significant economic reform. When it came to social reform, however, Rafsanjani’s more moderate rhetoric did not translate into any desire or real effort to blunt the edge or fervor of the Islamic Revolution.
Was Rafsanjani Murdered?
It is not beyond the realm of the impossible that an overweight, out-of-shape, 82-year-old would have a heart attack and die in the hospital. But, sometimes the conspiracies which surround such occurrences provide significant insight into the society in which such events occur.
According to political activists Mitra Yekta and Goli Ebrahimi, Rafsanjani’s son Mehdi Hashemi addressed the crowd gathered in front of the hospital where Rafsanjani died. He kept screaming “They killed my father” and then explained, “My father had a meeting with a group of IRGC commanders and drank a cup of tea or something that gave him instant heart attack.” He asked for an autopsy but Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei vetoed the request. Supposedly, the funeral for Rafsanjani will be in Mashhad instead of the capital Tehran in order avoid any chance for protests in the Iranian capital.
Even if Rafsanjani died of natural causes, the episode is important because it exposes the deep cleavages in Iranian society.
First, there is little trust between the clergy and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps which retains its power under President Hassan Rouhani’s regime and, indeed, has only grown more powerful because the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action has enriched it disproportionately in comparison to the rest of Iranian society.
Who Will Talk About Iran's War Crimes in Syria?
With this in mind, it is clear that the ultimate victor is Iran. There, Qassem Soleimani plots the IRGC’s ongoing campaign to expand its sphere of influence. With Russian backing at the UN, the Iranians are virtually bulletproof in Syria, and Aleppo has proven that fears about the scale and scope of war crimes committed in the conflict were completely justified.
While the Iranian regime has proven that it can silence its own population online, the Syrian opposition, particularly those involved in the documentation of the recent battle over Aleppo, can never be silenced. The power of social media has given not only a voice to the voiceless, but a lens through which those of us in the privileged world can see the brutally dark reality of the Syrian civil war. As the West contemplates its next steps, it must look carefully through this lens, because it will mean the life or death of millions of innocent people.
At the same time, there is a strong force, based in Moscow, Tehran, and Damascus, that seeks to distort the realities of the Syrian conflict. As recently as December 15, amid the stalled evacuation crisis, RT claimed that the fearful Aleppo civilians posting their last messages on social media were nowhere near Aleppo. The story even went on to question the existence of seven-year-old Bana al-Abed, who recently arrived safely in Turkey. Her stories of watching Harry Potter movies and wanting to read books became relatable narratives to Western audiences that, for the most part, had turned a blind eye to the Syrian conflict.
Whether or not the war crimes committed by Iran and its proxies in Syria will be brought to the ICC in the near future should not matter, because we can no longer sit idly by while crimes against humanity are committed and documented on the very same social media platforms we use in our everyday lives. At the end of the day, we must remember, “For evil to flourish, it only requires good men to do nothing.”
How refreshing! MLA rebukes BDS crowd
It is said that when a dog bites a man, that isn’t news, but when a man bites a dog … well, that’s a story.
Last weekend’s decisive vote by the Modern Language Association’s governing Delegate Assembly rejecting a resolution calling for an academic boycott of Israel is just such a moment. In fact, given the MLA’s history of promoting anti-Israel measures, it was like anti-Israel forces losing a vote in Gaza City.
The MLA boasts 25,000 members — academics in literature and language. At its annual meeting two years ago in Chicago, the pro-boycott side, working in tandem with MLA leadership, used tactics right out of former Chicago Mayor Richard Daley’s machine playbook to narrowly win Delegate Assembly approval of an anti-Israel resolution. Boycott opponents were blocked from making their case to members either in person or even by distributing informational materials to them.
But when the resolution then went to the full MLA membership for ratification, it failed to garner the necessary votes.
Jewish Academic Uses Nazi Imagery to Attack Peers Successful at Defeating BDS Motion at Modern Language Association Conference
A Jewish academic used Nazi imagery to attack fellow scholars who were successful in preventing a BDS motion from passing at a conference over the weekend, according to a recording of the proceedings reported on by conservative blog Legal Insurrection.
During the Modern Language Association (MLA) Delegate Assembly vote Saturday on a resolution calling for an academic boycott against Israel, Nassau Community College professor Barry Fruchter announced, “I’m sick to death of hearing the divisive politics of those members of my ethnic group…It’s the same thing that people like you did back in the days of the Judenraten [Jewish administrative councils imposed by Nazis in ghettos] in World War II, where you stood up for yourselves against your fellows. It’s the same thing as those of you did in the 1950s, who made apologies for the McCarthyists. And it’s the same thing you always do and we’re calling you short on it.”
Fruchter then blamed the “hounding and policing of self-appointed Zionist and Orthodox monitors” for his decision to quit his position as the coordinator of Nassau’s Jewish Studies program. “I couldn’t take it then and I can’t take it now,” he said.
New Program Aimed at Combating Ignorance, Hostility Towards Jews, Israel Launched on Four New York Campuses
The head of a new program aimed at combating ignorance about — and hostility towards — Jews and Israel on the part of students from different ethnic and religious backgrounds described for The Algemeiner on Monday how he sees the initiative taking hold.
Rabbi Yehuda Sarna, the Skirball Executive Director of the NYU Bronfman Center, said that the Interfaith Entrepreneur Fellowship, which was launched in September at four City University of New York (CUNY) colleges — Queens, Hunter, Baruch and John Jay — seeks to enhance collaboration and cultivate personal relationships between Jewish students and non-Jewish peers who have tended to view the religion and the state of the Jews in a negative light.
“Jews have a lot in common with other minorities, where feeling discriminated against is concerned,” Sarna said. “But out of ignorance or stereotyping, these other groups can make the profound mistake of assuming that Zionism and Jews who support Zionism are the same as white supremacists or people who support apartheid.”
Sarna explained the impetus behind his “interfaith” initiative — funded by a UJA Federation of New York grant — as one he felt necessary, due to the growing feeling of isolation among Jewish students. When he realized it was becoming “more and more difficult to find co-sponsors for any campus events held by Jewish groups, not only those pertaining to Israel,” he said he decided it was a serious issue that must be rectified. It was then that Sarna established the fellowship, during the course of which participants undergo “intensive training” to formulate a plan of action for “challenging and fixing a problem in their current landscape.”
Islamic funded British universities and how they foment anti-Semitism
Consider what has happened over the last two months: the student organization of the University of Manchester voted to boycott Israel, the University of London invited a speaker to talk about the “Nazi Israel” and at University College London a rally prevented a meeting of Jewish students. It is not the Germany of 1933, but the England of 2016.
“Some of the leading universities in Britain are becoming ‘no-go areas’ for Jewish student”, denounced Baroness Ruth Deech, former rector of St Anne’s College, Oxford, in her report. Her comments came after a series of high-profile incidents at the best universities where Jewish students claim to have suffered hatred, verbal abuse and have been physically attacked. Deech gave the names of English universities that a Jewish student should avoid: “Surely the School of Oriental Studies, Manchester, Southampton, Exeter and so on”.
“Some of the leading universities in Britain are becoming ‘no-go areas’ for Jewish student”, denounced Baroness Ruth Deech.
Alex Chalmers, a history student at Oxford University and president of the Labour Student Union that exists there since 1919, resigned in a dramatic gesture of protest against what he denounced as a flood of anti-Semitism at his university. At Southampton University, one of the most prestigious public universities, an international conference was going to question not the policy of Israel, but its “right to exist.” (It was cancelled.) The Queen Mary Students’ Union has been twinned with the University of Gaza, a Hamas base in the war against the Jewish State.
Former MP George Galloway refused to debate a student at Oxford, Eylon Aslan Levy, when he discovered that he had an Israeli passport. This is the climate that culminated in the election of Malia Bouattia as President of the National Student Union, the first woman and first Muslim to hold the office, who said that the boycott against Israel is not enough, it distracts from the true Palestinian Arab resistance against Israel.
Israeli advocacy group sues Twitter over ISIS propaganda
An Israeli advocacy group has filed a lawsuit against social media giant Twitter for allowing Islamic State propaganda to flourish on its platform.
The Shurat Hadin Israeli Law Center filed the suit with the Federal Court for the Southern District of New York, arguing that Islamic State uses Twitter to recruit operatives, disseminate jihadi propaganda and promote terrorist attacks, such as the Brussels airport bombing in March 2016 and the November 2015 Paris attacks, which together claimed nearly 200 lives and left hundreds of people wounded.
"This is the first lawsuit that details how Twitter has played a key role in making Islamic State the most formidable terrorist organization in the world today, and how Islamic State uniquely used Twitter in the context of two of the most serious attacks to take place in Europe recently," Shurat Hadin Chairwoman attorney Nitsana Darshan-Leitner explained Monday.
Compared to other social media platforms, she noted, "Twitter is unique in that it has adamantly refused to block terrorists from using its services, citing 'freedom of tweeting,' even if this directly spell mass murder."
Fairfax false news prompts antisemitic comments
Fairfax journalist, Pattrick Smellie, claimed that Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, had declared war on NZ in a piece entitled “How Israel could wage ‘war’ on New Zealand”. Smellie’s false claim had previously been debunked by Fran O’Sullivan in the NZ Herald. Smellie’s article has since been partially edited in line with the facts. Evidently an unnamed diplomat reportedly told Israeli media that Netanyahu had told New Zealand Foreign Minister, Murray McCully, that
However, the Fairfax/Stuff story still reads as though Israel declared war on New Zealand for sponsoring and voting for the anti-Israel resolution at the United Nations. The misleading title remained unchanged.
Furthermore, the article posits an extreme and completely fabricated scenario of a possible cyber attack by Israel on New Zealand’s critical infrastructure. This claim is reckless and irresponsible and has no basis in fact. If it was intended to be satirical, it seems a lot of people missed the joke.
For at least 24 hours the uncorrected version was read by people via Facebook. This prompted an outpouring of antisemitic comments, which has made the Jewish community feel especially vulnerable. Once more, anti-Israel libels promote antisemitism.
Two Facebook pages, in particular, had the most vile comments from users: the official stuff.co.nz page and the Wake-Up-NZ page.
Philly synagogue’s stained-glass windows smashed for 2nd time in 2 months
The stained-glass windows of a Philadelphia synagogue were shattered by rocks for the second time in two months.
Rocks the size of a baseball were thrown through three windows at Temple Menorah Keneseth Chai, a nearly century-old Conservative synagogue in the city’s historic Tacony neighborhood, shortly before 7:30 p.m. Friday, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
On Dec. 2, a rock was thrown through one of the same windows in the second-floor sanctuary just before the start of Friday night Shabbat services, according to the report.
No one was injured in either attack.
The building is clearly marked as a synagogue.
Non-Jewish Poles don yarmulkes to protest anti-Semitism
On a quiet Thursday evening, Café Foksal in central Warsaw suddenly filled up with about 50 people wearing kippahs.
The event was unusual for a city with very few observant Jews and an insignificant number of Israeli tourists. What made it exceptional is that almost none of the yarmulke wearers were Jewish.
It was the latest twist in a media storm that has brewed around Café Foksal since a bartender was accused of anti-Semitic behavior toward two patrons, who were ejected allegedly for discussing Israel.
The New Year’s Day incident, which surfaced originally in an unsigned post on the Gburrek blog, was amplified in the mainstream media and on social networks. Amid counter allegations that the complainants provoked the bartender with anti-Christian rhetoric, the affair highlighted the polarization between liberals and conservatives that is dividing Polish society. It was also the latest public rejection by a critical mass of people of any form of hate speech, anti-Semitic or otherwise.
Led by Ryszard Schnepf, a former ambassador of Poland to the United States, the kippah wearers – journalists, activists and others — came to Café Foksal aiming to defuse the tensions stoked by the media’s publication of the allegations, which the bartender claims are false.
18 million travelers pass through Ben-Gurion Airport
Anyone who has flown in or out of Tel Aviv can surely attest to the congestion felt at Israel’s Ben-Gurion International Airport. A recent Israel Airports Authority report shows an increase of 1.6 million passengers passing through the transportation hub on international flights in 2016 as compared to 2015 figures.
According to the Israel Airports Authority, 17,387,971 passengers passed through Ben-Gurion Airport on international flights last year.
Five airlines created nearly 50% of all traffic at Ben-Gurion Airport: El Al (5.5 million passengers); Turkish Airlines (932,000 passengers); EasyJet (719,000 passengers); Aeroflot (704,000 passengers); Arkia (650,000), and Israir (548,000 passengers).
“The market share that has really grown this year is connecting flights at Ben-Gurion Airport. The is a profound change in the activity at Ben-Gurion Airport that has become attractive for airlines that are matching their networks to the flight schedule at Ben-Gurion Airport. Companies like Turkish [Airlines], Pegasus and Aeroflot lead today’s market of connecting flights from Ben-Gurion Airport to Europe and naturally, the countries that have led the growth of 1.6 million passengers this year were Ukraine, Turkey, the Netherlands, and Cyprus,” said Ben-Gurion Airport Director Shmuel Zakai.
The Israel Airports Authority also said that 36% of passengers check in from home and 9% of passengers check in at the airport’s interactive kiosks.
Israel tech raised record $4.8b in 2016, up 11% from last year – report
Israeli high-tech companies raised an all-time annual high of $4.8 billion in 2016, 11 percent above the $4.3 billion raised in 2015, a new report by IVC Research Center and attorneys Zag-S&W shows.
The average financing round, which has been constantly rising over the past five years, reached $7.2 million in 2016, 19% above the $5.1 million five-year average.
In the fourth quarter of 2016, there was an 8% decline in investments compared with the same period a year earlier, along with a drop in the number of transactions. In Q4 2016 high-tech companies raised $1.02 billion in 151 transactions, compared with the $1.11 billion garnered in 202 deals in the last quarter of 2015. The average financing round stood at $6.7 million in Q4 2016, similar to the past two-year quarterly average of $6.6 million.
While capital-raising reached new heights in 2016, there were fewer financing rounds compared to 2015. There were 659 financing deals that closed in 2016, marginally above the five-year average of 657 deals but 7% below 2015’s record 706 deals.
Coldplay aims to play Dead Sea peace concerts
Coldplay, one of the world’s leading rock bands, will reportedly come to the holy land in November 2017 to play two joint “peace concerts” for Israelis and Palestinians.
The unprecedented joint concerts have been scheduled for November 3 and November 4, at an outdoor location north of the Dead Sea, and tickets will be sold both in Israel and in the Palestinian territories, Israel’s Channel 2 reported on Monday night.
The goal of the concerts is to promote human rights and to bring people together, the report said.
Ex-Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters played a concert at the Israeli Jewish-Muslim peace village Neve Shalom in 2006, and Leonard Cohen tried in vain to arrange a concert in the Palestinian areas when he played in Israel in 2009, but the Coldplay plan to perform for a joint Israeli-Palestinian audience is unprecedented for an act of its stature and drawing-power.
French doctors visit Israel to learn emergency protocols
A delegation of French doctors arrived in Israel to learn about emergency protocols for hospitals in situations of mass casualties and terrorist attacks, French media reported.
The doctors and the accompanying press team visited the ninth floor underground at the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, where there is a sheltered emergency room. The Israeli medical staff explained to their French counterparts that all 800 patients in the hospital, along with the medical equipment, can be relocated to the underground sheltered floors in less than an hour.
The hospital's underground space, which opened in 2011, spans 56,000 square meters (about 600,000 square feet) on four floors. The underground hospital is designed to withstand nuclear, chemical and biological warfare, as well as long-range missile attacks. All four floors are connected to water and electricity lines and have oxygen and ventilation systems operated by external fuel tanks, which allow the hospital to operate even if there are power and water outages.
"We test the hospital's [emergency] preparedness at least twice per year," Sourasky Emergency Medicine Director Dr. Pinchas Halpern told the visiting doctors and reporters. "Only a quick, carefully coordinated response allows as many lives as possible to be saved."
France, forced recently to deal with a series of large-scale terrorist attacks, has expressed more interest in learning how Israel deals with mass-casualty attacks.
From Arab stonethrower to IDF
'I studied in an Israeli-funded school where the teachers taught us how to become terrorists.'
Mohammad was also influenced by this. His cousin committed a terror act and was considered by his peers to be a shahid, a martyr. Mohammad felt that he too wanted to be a martyr. At the age of 16 he took part in demonstrations against Israel, throwing stones at Border Policemen.
At 14 Mohammad left his house and went to live with his paternal grandfather, eventually working in construction. Then he met a Jewish person who put on Tefillin every day. One day the Jew came up to him and said he was happy to see that Mohammad respected him and did not disturb his prayers. Mohammad replied that because his mother was Jewish, he respects Jews. The man then told him that if his mother is Jewish, he himself is Jewish.
Mohammad dismissed this as a fabrication but after doing internet research, he discovered that he was registered as a Jew in the Interior Ministry. The Yad Le'Achim organization which helps Jews who wish to escape from Arab villages helped him to contact his Jewish grandmother. Two months ago he met her after a 15-year hiatus. "I hugged her and she began crying. She told me how my father had cut her off from seeing me and how he changed telephones so that she couldn't maintain contact."
Meanwhile Mohammad has changed his name to an Israeli name and is trying to join the IDF. "I wish to join the Border Police. After I fought them and threw stones at them as a kid, I want to be on the other side and protect my people. This job is made for me. I'm not scared. I know Arabic and am familiar with all the alleyways in the Old City."
Mohammad's Muslim family view him as a renegade and have even physically assaulted him. Yet this does not deter him. "They say I'm a dog and a collaborator with Jews, but I escaped from there to enlist and live as a Jew."



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