Thursday, February 02, 2017

From Ian:

UN Watch: 130-page report: UNRWA teachers incite terrorism & antisemitism
Before a joint subcommittee hearing today of the U.S. Congress concerning the U.N., Israel, and the Palestinians, the director of the independent monitoring group UN Watch will testify and present a new report showing 40 alarming new cases of UNRWA school teachers in Gaza, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria whose Facebook pages incite to Jihadist terrorism and antisemitism, including by posting Holocaust-denying videos and pictures celebrating Hitler.
UN Watch sent letters this morning to U.N. chief António Guterres, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and U.S. envoy to the U.N. Nikki Haley, urging them to take action and demand U.N. and UNRWA condemnation of the incitement, and the immediate termination of the implicated employees.
“We need to see zero tolerance in the U.N. for terrorism and antisemitism,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of the Geneva-based UN Watch.
Click here for the PDF of the report.

The Cautionary Tale of Samantha Power
T here are two situations in the world that should shame Power, the anti-genocide activist. The first, and less obvious one, is Burma. The Obama administration cites this country as one of its foreign-policy successes, because the ruling junta took steps toward liberalization in return for lifting some sanctions against it. But then everybody seems to have forgotten about it, and in doing so forgot about the Rohingya, an ethnic Muslim minority currently being subjected to an unmistakable genocide—among the clearest examples ever to emerge in real time. This is genocide on Power’s watch, and we don’t hear a peep about it.
The other, of course, is Syria. Whether or not the Assad regime has fully crossed over the line to having committed genocide, America’s inaction already flunks Power’s test. As longtime Levant correspondent Michael Totten has written, we’ve seen the warnings. The first was Assad’s use of chemical weapons, a chilling callback to Saddam’s gassing of the Kurds. Another was the credible reporting of Shiite Iranian militias’ ethnically cleansing Sunni Arabs in core cities, atrocities that were then repeated in other strategic areas.
If Power would station troops in Israel because she worries the Palestinians could plausibly be victims of genocide in the near future, what could she possibly say about Syria? Well, she’d likely say, “We tried.” President Obama declared that Assad’s use of chemical weapons would be a “red line” that, once crossed, would earn American military intervention. When it became public that Assad had deployed chemical weapons, Obama put the word out: As the Germans used to say during World War II, the Amis are coming.
Daniel Pearl was murdered 15 years ago today
“My father is Jewish, my mother is Jewish. I am Jewish.”
In my memory, there are certain place markers in the history of terrorism that led to where we are today.
The 1972 Munich Massacre of Israeli athletes (1972); the bombing of the Beirut Marine Barracks (1983), the World Trade Center attacks (1993 and 2001); the Jerusalem Sbarro Pizza bombing (2001) and the videotaped beheading of Daniel Pearl, February 1, 2002.
I don’t diminish the significance and horror of other attacks, it’s just that these are memory reference points for me.
In searching our archives, I can’t find a post we devoted to providing what happened to Daniel Pearl, though we have mentioned him. Shame on us.
This article from The Telegraph in May 2004 relates some of the basic details, Daniel Pearl ‘refused to be sedated before his throat was cut’



‘Remember the 11 million’? Why an inflated victims tally irks Holocaust historians
“Five million non-Jews died in the Holocaust.”
It’s a statement that shows up regularly in declarations about the Nazi era. It was implied in a Facebook post by the Israel Defense Forces’ spokesperson’s unit last week marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day. And it was asserted in an article shared by the Trump White House in defense of its controversial Holocaust statement the same day omitting references to the 6 million Jewish victims.
It is, however, a number without any scholarly basis.
Indeed, say those close to the late Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal, its progenitor, it is a number that was intended to increase sympathy for Jewish suffering but which now is more often used to obscure it.
The White House statement sent waves of dismay through the Jewish community, including among groups that have been supportive of President Donald Trump.
By mentioning the “victims, survivors, [and] heroes of the Holocaust” without mentioning the Jews, said a host of Jewish organizations, the January 27 statement risked playing into the hands of the European right, which includes factions that seek to diminish the centrality of the Jewish genocide to the carnage of World War II.
When towering rivals Rabin and Nasser met for lunch - in Rabin’s own words
In the midst of a furious Middle East war nearly 70 years ago, a group of Israeli and Egyptian officers put down their guns, ate lunch together and discussed the prospects for peace in the region, according to a documentary film that premiered in New York last month.
The group included two men who would become leaders of their respective countries and fierce rivals – Yitzhak Rabin of Israel and Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt. But on that day, the young officers interacted warmly and forged at least a modicum of trust.
The details emerge in a 1994 interview with Rabin, then prime minister, that is the centerpiece of “Shalom Rabin,” director Amos Gitai’s new film about Rabin’s bid for peace with the Palestinians.
In the film Rabin says that based on the chance encounter with Nasser months after Israel’s founding in 1948, he had high hopes Nasser’s overthrow of Egypt’s monarchy in 1952 would lead to Arab-Israeli peace.
Rabin says Israeli officers invited their Egyptian counterparts after surrounding their brigade at the Faluja enclave. Rabin was a leader of the elite Palmach fighting force.
"He (Nasser) was a major. I was a lieutenant-colonel,” Rabin says. “We offered them to come and have lunch at (Israel’s) Kibbutz Gat and they came.”
The Israelis gave their word the Egyptians would return to their brigade safely.
War and Palestine
In the years 1943-44, as a soldier in the American Army, I spent time in what was then officially called Mandatory Palestine, the area mandated by the League of Nations to the British after World War I. Most Europeans just called it Palestine. The Jews who had settled there called it Land of Israel. The Arabs who lived there preferred Palestine or, for some of them, Southern Syria. I knew nothing of this and cared less. I was a correspondent for Yank, the Army weekly magazine and, although I am sure it was not its intent, the Army had cut me orders that allowed me to join the war wherever I saw fit. Flashing them successfully before any baffled officer who questioned me, I would hitchhike my way to the action, catching rides in planes or trucks or the occasional jeep. In those days, the war for me was the campaigns in Sicily and Italy, where I would temporarily join various units and write about them. The soldiers were bemused that I was there at all when I didn’t have to be. They thought I was crazy. But I had had infantry training and carried a gun along with my Olivetti typewriter and a bedroll and so could be temporarily useful, and for much of the Sicily campaign I hooked up with a reconnaissance unit at the tip of our advance. The reason I was at the tip was that the Army was feuding with Yank and didn’t want a Yank correspondent in Sicily. If found, I would be deported back to North Africa. I had decided that nobody would be dumb enough to look for me where there was a chance they might be shot. Mostly my little group advanced without incident while the Germans retreated, but not before mining everything in sight. We would hear a popping sound in the distance and know some unwary soldier had picked a cactus pear or an apple from a tree and it had gone off in his face. We liberated a hill town after a brief and bloody skirmish and I saw my first corpse, an Italian soldier lying in a ditch. He looked lightly asleep, as if a nudge would awaken him. I was not sure what I felt. Nothing seemed adequate. I was learning the uses of denial. Death could not possibly happen to me. But I had the immense luxury of leaving the war on my own terms and so, from time to time, I would repair to the more welcoming haven of Palestine or the lush pastures of Cairo and lie to myself that I needed rest and recreation.
In those days, Palestine was an R&R area for American soldiers, particularly the airmen. They were flown in from their various bases along the Mediterranean, deposited in hostels and taken to beaches during the day and nightclubs at night. There was little or no contact with the local population, whether Arab or Jewish. The Army felt this would expose the soldiers to exotic sexual practices or disease, the one inevitably following the other. This was true wherever the Americans went. The idea was to create a little bit of America to make soldiers feel a little less homesick. Everyone agreed this was a good idea. There was fresh milk to be drunk and sheets to sleep under, and after what they had been through, the airmen considered Palestine a fine and friendly place, a respite from killing or being killed.
Anti-Trump protest morphs into 'anti-Israel' rally at UCI
University of California, Irvine students loudly condemned President Trump for his alleged hostility toward refugees Tuesday night, even as they professed to be “anti-Israel” and “anti-Zionism.”
In video footage obtained by Campus Reform, a crowd of students on hand for UCI’s version of the “No Ban, No Wall” protest movement begins a chant of “say it loud/say it clear/refugees are welcome here,” after several iterations of which a female student takes the stage to challenge them for focusing their rage solely on Trump’s recent executive order temporarily blocking refugees from seven countries he claims are “sources of terror.”
“I want you guys to be anti-Israel because Trump didn’t come up with these things on his own.”
According to The Telegraph, six of the seven countries affected by the order (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen) themselves ban any traveler with an Israeli passport, with five of those six countries (Iran, Libya, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen) going so far as to ban any traveler with evidence of previous travel to Israel on their passport.
“I just want to remind you guys that this is about Muslims being targeted these are Muslim-majority countries that are being banned,” the student rebuked her classmates, complaining that “none of these chants kind of even say the word ‘Muslim’ and that's very upsetting to me because it is directly affecting us.”
Labour party linked to increase in anti-Semitic incidents, according to charity report
Anti-Semitic incidents within the Labour party contributed to a record rise in attacks on Jews in the UK last year, a charity report has found.
The Community Security Trust (CST) warned that anti-Semitism increased to “unprecedented” levels between 2014 and 2016 following a string of high-profile problems in Jeremy Corbyn’s party.
The charity revealed its highest monthly total for attacks came in May last year, just days after Naz Shah, a Labour MP, was suspended from the party alongside Ken Livingstone the former London mayor.
Tom Watson, the deputy Labour leader, vowed to fight against anti-Semitismin the party as a result of the findings, while MP John Mann said the report must act as a “stark warning that something must change”.
The Jewish community was targeted at a rate of more than three times a day last year, the CST found. It recorded 1,309 anti-Semitic incidents nationwide during 2016. This was a 36 per cent increase on 2015 and surpassed the previous highest annual tally of 1,182 in 2014.
New Report: Attacks on UK Jewish Students, Faculty Doubled in 2016
Attacks on Jewish university students and faculty in the UK nearly doubled in 2016, according to a report released on Thursday.
According to the Community Security Trust (CST) report, last year there were 41 antisemitic incidents, compared with 21 recorded in 2015, with about half of them occurring on campuses. Two of the incidents were assaults, one was a case of property damage and the overwhelming majority were categorized as “abusive behavior.” Most of the off-campus incidents took place on social media.
One example cited in the report was the case of a Jewish student “having a political discussion” with a Turkish peer on their London university campus, when the latter said she was “not surprised that Jews were killed in the Holocaust, as Jews are troublesome people.”
The report also referred to the targeting of Jewish children, with 30 incidents of harassment or abuse occurring while they were on their commute to or from school. Another 37 occurred on the premises of “Jewish faith schools.” Fourteen of the 83 total school-related incidents were categorized as assault.
T-Shirts Promoting Terrorism Sold, Distributed at National Conference of Notoriously Anti-Israel US Student Group
T-shirts promoting Palestinian terrorism were a key feature at an anti-Israel campus event in Fairfax, Virginia in November, The Algemeiner has learned.
In photos of its sixth annual conference, recently uploaded to social media by the notoriously anti-Zionist group National Students for Justice in Palestine (NSJP), a stand is seen where the shirts were on sale, with keffiyeh-clad students smiling next to the items.
These included a shirt with a photo of Leila Khaled — a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), the terrorist organization responsible for a series of airplane hijackings — holding a rifle, with the caption, “Resistance is not terrorism.”
Another carried a slogan appearing to refer indirectly to a spate of vehicle-ramming attacks in Israel and Europe. “They used to say Palestinians fight like heroes. Now they say heroes fight like Palestinians,” it read, in an apparent wink to the jihadists, such as those from ISIS, mimicking the tactics of Palestinians in their latest terror surge against Israelis.
IsraellyCool: WATCH: Latest Palestinian Attempt To Appeal To Black Lives Matters Supporters
AJ+, AL Jizz’s “trendy” offshoot, have posted this video of three palestinian teenage girl rappers.
Within the first 20 seconds of the video, one of the teenagers mentions their commonality with the “black people in America.” I guess their lousy attempts at rap are also a manifestation of their desperation to appeal to this constituency.
Also of note: the t-shirts they are wearing: the quaint “1948” one (a nice hint as to which parts of Israel they want), and the “New York” one (another attempt to show they are just like Black Americans), as well as the lies and exaggerations (“The Israeli soldiers regularly come into the camp and raid all the camp and always throw bombs, tear gas, they always shoot and we always end up with people injured”).
Cartoon of IDF soldiers on NY state exam called ‘anti-Israel propaganda’
A political cartoon dealing with Israel’s conflict with the Palestinians appeared on the New York state Regents exam, reportedly causing some students discomfort.
The cartoon that appeared on the exam administered Jan. 24 shows three Israeli soldiers — identified by a Star of David on the back of one — huddling behind an overturned table with guns drawn as one of the soldiers says, “I knew this peace table would come in handy someday,” the New York Post reported.
The question on the multiple choice exam is: “What is the main idea of this cartoon?”
One 10th-grade student told the Post that a Jewish classmate told a teacher that he felt targeted.
This political cartoon depicting three armed Israeli soldiers using an overturned table as a shield appeared on a 10th grade examin New York.
This political cartoon depicting three armed Israeli soldiers using an overturned table as a shield appeared on a 10th grade examin New York.
“The entire class said it was offensive, but the teachers told us it was a random question found online and put it in the test,” the unnamed student said. “A Jewish kid then told the teacher he felt insulted. He said he felt like they were putting the blame on his religion.”
Palestinian Authority, Hamas, Hezbollah Express Support for Berkeley Riots Against Milo Yiannopoulos (satire)
The leaders of the Palestinian Authority, along with Hamas and Hezbollah expressed their support this morning following the violent riots at Berkeley triggered when professionally angry man Milo Yiannopoulos was scheduled to speak on the last night of his “Dangerous Faggot” tour.
Berkeley students decided to express their right to free speech against what Yiannopoulos had to say by burning things, pepper spraying people at random, and violently assaulting people attending the event.
The leader of Hezbollah Hassan Nasrallah expressed support for the riots claiming that “all faggots are dangerous” and a Hamas spokesperson, upon hearing that, in addition to being Conservative, Milo was also gay and Jewish was quoted to say: “Oh of course, you burn it down, that’s a no-brainer.”
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas expressed the Palestinian people’s support for Berkeley students to riot and protest saying that “Berkeley is basically their Al-Aqsa” and that it if it is being violated by a dirty Jew, then riots were the most logical response.
IsraellyCool: Nope, Anti-Israel Rocker Bryan Adams Is NOT Performing in Israel
A few days ago, I posted how Hebrew news site Walla reported Canadian rocker Bryan Adams would be performing in Israel in March. I expressed surprise, given his vehemently anti Israel views, which I exposed in 2014.
Occasional Israellycool contributor Jono went a step further and actually checked his official website (wish I had thought of that!). It indicates he won’t be coming to Israel at all, but will manage to visit human rights champions like UAE, Lebanon, Bahrain and Qatar.
My guess is someone looked at the tour map on his site, and thought the arrow pointing at Lebanon was actually pointing at Israel.
The Independent, Ben White and Alternative Facts
The famous Senator, the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan, once said, “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.”
And yet, anti-Israel activist Ben White deliberately distorts facts and creates his own alternative facts in his op-ed in The Independent, “Shocked by Donald Trump’s ‘travel ban’? Israel has had a similar policy for decades.”
Using Trump’s name to create unrelated drama, White launches into a diatribe of fake “facts” about Israel.
Ben White has a long standing reputation as an obsessive anti-Israel extremist. The author of “Israeli Apartheid: A Beginner’s Guide,” White has claimed “I do not consider myself an anti-Semite, yet I can also understand why some are.” He has made racist statements and supports racist statements of others. White advocates for a one-state solution and the end of Israel as a Jewish state.
BBC continues to push its monochrome US embassy story
Since mid-December 2016 the BBC has produced numerous reports which have included portrayal of the story of the proposed relocation of the US embassy to Jerusalem.
To date, all the corporation’s coverage of that topic has unquestioningly amplified the position expressed by Palestinian Authority and PLO officials, according to whom such a move “will be the destruction of the peace process“, “would […] destroy the two-state solution“, would be “an end to the peace process, an end to the two states” and so on.
As we have noted here on previous occasions, BBC audiences have yet to hear any alternative viewpoint – as editorial guidelines concerning ‘due impartiality’ demand – and the BBC has to date repeatedly refrained from asking any of its Palestinian interviewees why they object to the relocation of the US embassy to an area of Jerusalem to which – according to the BBC’s presentation of the issue – the PA does not lay claim.
In late January viewers of BBC World News saw a filmed report by the BBC’s Turkey correspondent Mark Lowen in which, like Yolande Knell and Tim Franks, he too visited what has recently become a ‘go to’ site for BBC journalists: a plot of vacant land next to the US Consulate in the Jerusalem neighbourhood of Talpiot.
BBC WS ‘Newshour’ misleads on EU statement on Iran missile test
January 31st saw the appearance of BBC reports concerning reactions to a recent Iranian ballistic missile test.iran-missile-test-art-31-1
Visitors to the BBC News website found an article titled “Netanyahu: Iran missile test must not go unanswered” and the evening edition of the BBC World Service radio programme ‘Newshour‘ also included an item on the topic.
In that item (from 30:10 here), presenter James Coomarasamy interviewed Israel’s ambassador to the UN. During the conversation (32:16) Coomarasamy said to Danon:
“You’ll be aware that the European Union has said that it does not believe that these tests were in violation of that UN Security Council resolution; that this was a…not under the nuclear agreement.”
So did EU foreign policy spokesperson Nabila Massrali really say that the test did not violate UNSC resolution 2231? Not according to ABC:
Holding The Los Angeles Times To Its 'Trusted Journalism' Pledge
With the new year, The Los Angeles Times, much like The New York Times, has unrolled a marketing campaign leveraging the proliferation of "fake news." The message is that unlike those "shady news" sources that "sound legit" but carry clickbait, The Los Angeles Times provides "trusted journalism," "truth," and "stories that deliver."
Meanwhile, last week CAMERA flagged a Los Angeles Times news story which discussed how "Members of Netanyahu's coalition are pushing for a parliamentary bill to annex [a large West Bank settlement called] Maale Adumim," but which never revealed the fact that Prime Minister Netanyahu, backed unanimously by his Security Cabinet, shelved the bill. The article also noted newly issued Jerusalem building permits, but only mentioned those for Jewish neighborhoods, completely ignoring those granted for Arab neighborhoods. Shady news or trusted journalism? A story that delivers? An editor defended the article as "factual and fair."
This week, a Los Angeles Times review of a new book by George J. Mitchell and Alon Sachar (A Brief History of Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations and a Way Forward in the Middle East) also falls short of the standards that one would expect from trusted journalism ("Hoping peace will find a way; A book by George Mitchell, who spent two years negotiating with Israel and Palestine, outlines his ideas").
‘The Jews Are More Honorable Than All Arab Regimes,’ Declares Iraqi Muslim in Viral Video
An Iraqi Muslim who said he fled his country due to its volatile security situation professed his love for Israel and the Jewish people last week in a video that went viral on social media, the Hebrew news site nrg reported on Tuesday.
In the clip — posted on Facebook by “Friends of Gabriel Naddaf” last Wednesday — Saad Fayyed Salman al-Iraqi announced: “I love my Jewish brothers and sisters; love those people. Look at how people in Israel live, and [compare that to the] situation in the Arab world. Look at the condition of Palestinians in Arab countries, particularly in the Gulf States, where they are humiliated. I swear to God that if I were Palestinian, I would shake the hands of the Jews. The Jews are more honorable than all the Arab regimes.”
The clip so far has garnered nearly 200,000 views and more than 4,000 shares.
Gabriel Naddaf is an Israeli Greek Orthodox priest and spokesman for the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem. A supporter of the integration of Christian Arabs into all Israeli institutions, including the IDF, he has been threatened by Arabs for his stance.
Amid growing ties, Israel-India mark 25 years of diplomatic relations
This week, India and Israel celebrate 25 years of bilateral diplomatic ties. On January 29, 1992, foreign ministers from Israel and India signed an agreement establishing diplomatic relations between the two countries. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to visit Jerusalem in June or July to highlight the significance of this growing bilateral relationship, India’s envoy to Israel Ambassador Pavan Kapoor confirmed.
“The time is ripe for our two countries to explore the full potential of commonality and the complementary nature of our respective economies and work in tandem for the mutual benefit of our peoples,” Indian Embassy in Tel Aviv said in a statement marking this occasion.
Since 1992, trade between Israel and India has grown from $200 million to around $5 billion. Israel-India cooperation spans across wide-ranging areas from agriculture to space exploration; from city planning to defense manufacturing and medical research. In 2008, Indian space agency ISRO launched Israeli reconnaissance satellite TechSAR aboard its satellite launching vehicle (PSLV). A missile defense system (Barak 8) jointly developed by India’s defense research agency (DRDO) and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has recently been inducted into Indian naval arsenal. Last summer, around 150 Israeli and Indian start-ups teamed up to develop healthcare solutions for rural India — a low-margin segment often ignored by healthcare giants and big pharma.
How do Israel’s tech firms do Business in Saudi Arabia? Very quietly
Over the course of 30 years working in Israeli intelligence, Shmuel Bar immersed himself in the hermeneutics of terrorism. Using techniques of literary analysis more familiar to Koranic scholars and Bible critics, he came to recognize the distinctive language and religious phrases that suicide bombers used in their farewell videos. “Victory is with the patient” appeared frequently in the martyrdom declarations of Hamas recruits. Al-Qaeda adherents favored the call “God, count them, kill them, and don’t leave any of them.”
Bar, a tousle-haired 62-year-old with a wry sensibility, emerged from government service in 2003 amid the proliferation of global terrorism, and in the rising sense of doom he saw a business opportunity. He founded a company called IntuView, a miner of data in the deep, dark web—a sort of Israeli version of Palantir, the Silicon Valley security contractor. Tapping engineering talent in Israel’s startup hub of Herzliya, he adapted his analyst’s ear for language to custom algorithms capable of sifting through unending streams of social media messages for terrorist threats. He sold his services to police, border, and intelligence agencies across Europe and the U.S.
Then, two years ago, an e-mail arrived out of the blue. Someone from the upper echelons of power in Saudi Arabia, Bar says, invited him to discuss a potential project via Skype. The Saudis had heard about his technology and wanted his help identifying potential terrorists. There was one catch: Bar would have to set up a pass-through company overseas to hide IntuView’s Israeli identity. Not a problem, he said, and he went to work ferreting out Saudi jihadis with a software program called IntuScan, which can process 4 million Facebook and Twitter posts a day. Later, the job expanded to include public-opinion research on the Saudi royal family.
Israeli Cybersecurity Conference Draws 10,000 Professionals from Around the World
As computer devices and the “Internet of Things” continue to break new boundaries and create changes to our lifestyle, new cybersecurity mechanisms to defend our tech-savvy lives are crucial.
“Not many years ago, computers were far away. Then they came to our desktops, then to our laptops, and then to our pockets; now they’re in our clothes and, for some, in our body — medical devices. All this needs to be defended,” Erez Kreiner, CEO of Cyber-Rider and former director of Israel’s National Cyber Security Authority, told a press gathering at this week’s Cybertech 2017 conference in Tel Aviv.
He noted that Israel is the place to find many of the best cybersecurity products.
Last year saw 65 startups created in Israel’s cyber space, according to the nonprofit organization Start-Up Nation Central. Altogether, the country boasts about 450 companies specializing in cyber, according to a Reuters report.
Israel’s venture-capital funding in the cyber sector, according to Start-Up Nation Central, is a record $581 million, second only to the United States.
Israel works on ‘digital Iron Dome’ for cyberdefense
Israel is working toward creating a “digital equivalent of the Iron Dome” to protect its government, public and private institutions from the increasing intensity of cyberattacks, Eviatar Matania, director general of Israel’s National Cyber Directorate, said.
Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system has been used in recent years to intercept and destroy rockets launched by Hamas from the Gaza Strip. It has proven highly effective in protecting civilian populations from the rocket threat.
The defense shield Israel would like to install to protect its cyberspace “will not just be one system, but a combination of several systems that together will enable us to be in a much better place” vis-a-vis cyberattacks, Matania said Monday at a briefing with reporters at the CyberTech 2017 Conference in Tel Aviv. “In several years, I think we will be in a much different position, with all the systems working together.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in 2012 that Israel was developing a “digital Iron Dome” system to protect against daily cyberattacks, noting that it would take time.
500 years after being wiped out, Sicilian Jewish life is reborn
Growing up in the small Sicilian coastal town of Palma di Montechiaro, Angelo Leone knew that his family was different. His great-grandmother Giovanna Milano would never go to church, lit candles every Friday afternoon, and baked unleavened bread around Easter.
“Moreover, my family celebrated Christmas and other holidays with a lot less participation than what happened in other households,” the 49-year-old professor of histology at the University of Palermo says in a phone conversation with The Times of Israel. “The truth is that there was always some sort of awareness that we weren’t really Christian.”
His story is not an isolated case.
The first traces of Jewish presence in Sicily date back to the first century CE, and in the 15th century there were already between 25,000 and 40,000 Jews living on the island, spread out over dozens of communities — more than in the numerous states and kingdoms on the Italian peninsula at that time combined.
This Jewish reality came to an end on January 12, 1493, with the Edict of Expulsion by the monarchs of Spain, who had control over southern Italy. Many Jews left and many pretended to convert to Christianity while maintaining a Jewish life in secret. Generation after generation, certain traditions did not fade away, although their meaning was often lost.



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This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 12 years and over 25,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.

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