Monday, February 20, 2017

From Ian:

NGO Monitor: The need to regulate the lucrative ‘war crimes’ industry
Israeli military and political officials are also subject to campaigns seeking to criminalize counter-terrorism. In 2010, Judge Richard Goldstone acknowledged that an inquiry into the 2008-2009 Gaza conflict that he chaired under the auspices of the United Nations Human Rights Council, was based on invented allegations. After putting his name on a 500-page report that recycled rumors and unverified “testimony,” Goldstone wrote that there was no evidence to support claims of deliberate killing. His reputation and career were destroyed.
Goldstone’s bogus report, like the UK scandal, was the product of the lucrative and well-funded “war crimes” industry, led by dozens of powerful non-governmental organizations (NGOs) claiming to promote human rights. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch (HRW) are among the main culprits. Founded to campaign for political prisoners, neither had any knowledge of the complexities of counter-terrorism when they reinvented themselves as experts on war crimes and interpreters of the law of armed conflict.
This agenda is the basis for large grants from government officials and private foundations, and also fits the radical anti-Western and anti-democratic ideologies of NGO leaders. The ranks of Amnesty, HRW and the numerous local groups that focus on the Arab-Israel conflict are filled with individuals who fervently believe that the world is divided automatically into colonialists and “victims,” with the democratic West as the former, and everyone else as the latter. NGO “research reports,” often based on rumors or lies, as in the case of the UK soldiers in Iraq, are taken at face value. Since few journalists and government officials understand international humanitarian law, and even fewer are able to verify any of the “war crimes” claims related to anti-terror operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Gaza, and elsewhere, the NGO version of events is generally repeated without challenge.
In order to prevent abuses, the leaders of the “war crimes” industry, and government funds they receive, must be subject to much closer regulation and oversight. Journalists have the professional obligation to independently examine evidence before giving the allegations and reports credence. Similarly, diplomats and members of parliaments would be well advised to examine the accusations closely, and ensure that international legal structures, created for exceptional cases of bringing murderous dictators to justice, are not exploited and trivialized.
New wave of bomb threats at Jewish centers across US
At least 10 Jewish community centers across the United States were targeted with bomb threats on Monday, for the fourth time in five weeks.
The threats have been called in to JCCs across the country, according to Paul Goldenberg, the director of Secure Community Network — an affiliate of the Jewish Federations of North America that advises Jewish groups and institutions on security.
News reports indicated that threats were received by JCCs in St. Paul, Minnesota; Houston, Texas; Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Birmingham, Alabama.
The threats were called in on Monday morning. It is not known if they were live calls or recorded.
Israel's Public Relations: The Problem and the Solution
It is worth noting that the Jewish State was effectively created through the efforts of the countries of the world in San Remo and Geneva years prior to the Holocaust.
Jerusalem, except for fewer than 200 years in the 11th and 12th Centuries, when it was the capital of a short-lived Crusader State, has only been a capital city under Jewish rule. At other times since the Roman conquest it was not even considered by Muslims, or anyone else, a provincial city of consequence.
In the War of 1948-49, Jordan illegally seized Jerusalem, ethnically cleansed its Jewish inhabitants, destroyed all the synagogues and on top of the ancient sacred Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives, after taking ancient Jewish headstones to use as the floor of latrines, Jordan built a hotel.
The aggression by Egypt, Syria and Jordan in June 1967 was overturned by Israel. Israel liberated Jerusalem, took control of the Golan Heights, from which Syrians had been shooting down at Israeli farmers, and entered the West Bank, which was under illegal Jordanian occupation.
Anti-Apartheid movements in South Africa wanted equal political and other democratic rights for all -- irrespective of race -- but never advocated the destruction of South Africa.



NGO Monitor: New Interactive NGO Foreign Funding Database
Prof. Gerald Steinberg, President of NGO Monitor, explained, “The unique and disproportionate funding that a small group of Israeli NGOs get from European governments is used to influence Israeli politics and society. Over the past four years alone, 34 Israeli NGOs have received nearly a quarter of a billion shekels. Our new database brings this essential information directly to journalists, the public and decision makers, increasing transparency in a clear, comprehensive, and user-friendly way.”
The data compiled in the database are sourced entirely from NGOs’ quarterly submissions to the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits, in accordance with the “Law and Disclosure Requirements for [Groups] Supported by a Foreign Governmental Body” (2011).2 To stay current, the database will be updated on a regular basis.
Prof. Steinberg concluded, “The availability of this detailed online database marks an important step after many years in which large scale European government funding was highly secretive and the limited information that was released was delayed and incomplete. In Israel, the consequences of this funding for political NGOs and the impact on democracy are subject to intense debate. I encourage the Israeli public, as well as European officials, journalists and others to utilize this important tool.”
The NGO funding database can be accessed at: www.ngo-monitor.org/funding-database/
New database offers information on foreign-funded leftist groups
The data shows that some 250 million shekels ($67.5 million) in foreign donations have been funneled to left-wing groups over the past four years.
The new database is based on information available from the Registrar of Associations in Israel. Users can filter their search by fiscal quarters, organizations' names, donors' names, and years or amounts of donations.
It currently includes 35 of the 128 organizations listed with the registrar that are legally required to report on any foreign donations, including B'Tselem, Peace Now, ACRI, Breaking the Silence, the Adalah legal aid group, the Public Committee against Torture, Machsom Watch, Yesh Din, and the Center for the Defense of the Individual.
"We have developed a unique and first-of-its-kind database that allows the public to exercise their right to know more about the phenomenon of foreign funding," NGO Monitor President Professor Gerald Steinberg said.
Eyeless in Gaza: HR Co-Sponsors New York Premiere Screening
Eyeless in Gaza is an award-winning documentary that follows journalists who covered the 2014 Gaza conflict, exposing the biased narrative told by international media through authentic footage and interviews with journalists willing to acknowledge the real story behind the stories.
“They’re calling it a massacre.” “Children and civilians comprised the vast majority of the 200 killed.” “Israel is targeting… hospitals.” These quotes come directly from international media reports on the 2014 Gaza War. All of them are incorrect, yet they were used to create the narrative that the world, to a great extent, accepted. A narrative that saw Israel as the aggressor. Interviewing Israeli and Palestinian combatants, administrators and civilians, along with analysts, journalists and aid agency officials on the ground, Eyeless in Gaza sets out to find out how this narrative arose… and arrives at a very troubling conclusion.
HonestReporting has been at the forefront of addressing the distorted media coverage of the Gaza conflict and anti-Israel media bias more generally. So it was a natural fit for our New York office to partner with Eyeless in Gaza’s producer Robert Magid for a series of pre-release screenings in the New York City area.


2016. A year of BDS fails
The Electronic Intifada's "Rah Rah BDS is on a roll" end of the year list was particularly subdued this year. (No, I don't link to hate sites)
Electronic Intifada claims: Activists rose up against Hewlett Packard. Campaigners in dozens of cities across six continents participated in an international week of action against Hewlett-Packard...
Yes, some cities had as much as a half dozen people holding signs. And there was a hashtag. And a petition, too. The net result? See for yourself.
Electronic Intifada claims: Spanish municipalities declared themselves “apartheid-free zones.” More than 50 cities across Spain now declare themselves free of Israeli products in a campaign that began in July 2014...
Oops. The Electronic Intifada left out a crucial bit of BDS fail information. From the October 5, 2016 J Post
In a massive blow to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, a Spanish High Court of the Asturias region, upheld a decision last week, declaring a Langreo City Council agreement to boycott Israel illegal.
Bill to curb V-15 political activity up for first Knesset reading
The Knesset plenum is expected to approve the V-15 bill in its first reading Monday evening.
Initiated by Likud MK Yoav Kisch, the bill is designed to address foreign-funded groups that attempt to influence the outcome of Israeli elections by treating them as organizations subject to the restrictions of the Campaign Finance Law.
A loophole in the current law gives groups like V-15, which campaigned against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the 2015 election, a free hand.
The bill aims to define for the first time what constitutes an "active body during elections," and to limit such groups under the Campaign Finance Law. The bill would mandate that such groups report to the state comptroller, much like political parties.
'Stop Trump' Rally Hijacked By Anti-Semites and Extremists
If you are going to organise a rally protesting against Donald Trump, you should probably try to make sure it isn’t hijacked by cranks, extremists and anti-Semites. Alas, the speakers at this afternoon’s “Stop Trump” rally in Westminster are a roll call of wrong ‘uns…
While a Respect Party councillor in Birmingham, Yaqoob infamously refused to join applause for George Cross-winning war hero Lance Corporal Matt Croucher. L/Cpl Croucher threw himself on top of a Taliban grenade in Helmand in 2008, saving the lives of his colleagues. As decorated Croucher entered the council chamber, Yaqoob sat with her arms crossed.
Malia Bouattia (NUS President)
Disgraced Bouattia says the government’s anti-terror programme Prevent is fuelled by a “Zionist lobby“, has ranted about the “Zionist-led media” and has described the University of Birmingham as a “Zionist outpost“. She also refused to acknowledge the right of the State of Israel to exist during a Channel 4 News interview last year. Professor Carol Baxter, the NHS’s former head of equality, diversity and human rights, carried out a probe into Bouattia’s comments and found they “could be reasonably capable of being interpreted as anti-Semitic”. Rumours are circulating that she could be ousted from the NUS this week.
Guardian whitewashes charges of antisemitism against Malia Bouattia
Here are some of the comments in question:
  • Bouattia ‘accused’ the University of Birmingham of being “a Zionist outpost in British higher education”, citing her concerns about their “large Jewish Society”.
  • Bouattia condemned “Zionist-led media outlets”.
  • Bouattia (beginning at 1:10 of this video) seemed to characterize Zionism as a form of “white supremacy”.
  • Bouattia expressed support for Palestinian terrorism and was critical of those who support ‘merely’ non-violent forms of resistance to occupation.
  • Bouattia claimed that the Government’s anti-terror programme was fuelled by “Zionist and neo-con lobbies”.
The journalist’s decision to quote Bouattia expressing her view that “blatant antisemitism should not be tolerated in our universities” without even mentioning the current row over her own use of antisemitic tropes is a classic example of how the Guardian can whitewash antisemitism even when putatively taking such hatred seriously.
Complacency towards the Far-Right will only help spread antisemitism on campus
Reports of a spate of swastika graffiti and Holocaust denial leaflets discovered on university campuses across the UK over the past week raises serious concerns, and highlights the challenge faced by universities as they seek to protect students from extremism.
At the University of Cambridge, two swastikas were found on a map and flyers supporting the Holocaust denier, David Irving, were seen at the university earlier this month. Leaflets spreading Holocaust denial at University College London led the Jewish Society to release a statement condemning the “trivialising of Jewish history”, while a swastika and a “Rights for Whites” sign were discovered at the University of Exeter.
Increasingly, universities have strong policies to mitigate the risks posed by extremist speakers on campus, but these incidents pose an entirely different threat – one which is far harder to deal with through risk assessment procedures for a number of reasons.
The first of these is that it is extremely difficult to ascertain who is behind racist incidents on campuses due to their open nature. Unlike schools, hospitals and community centres which are usually smaller, enclosed spaces likely to be patrolled by private security, universities often open onto busy streets in major cities and are easily accessible to the public. This in turn has attracted extremist groups, and universities have been grappling with this problem for a number of years.
A Journalist’s Blind Hatred of Israel
And this is the crux of Kenny’s polemic – that how Israel treats Palestinians or even non-Jews is driven by racism. As he says:
A place where rights are dependent on race and religion. Where uniformed Israelis young enough to use acne cream stroll absent-mindedly through shopping malls and bus stations, machine guns dangling from their shoulders.
The image is meant to portray Israel as a military society. That young Israelis serve in the IDF is a direct result of the security threats that Israel faces. And while Kenny pays lip service to Palestinian terror, the onus is still on Israel as if the terror merely provides an excuse for Israeli behavior:
Where Palestinian suicide bombings, murderous drive-throughs and random stabbings create a siege mentality, licensing the constant ratcheting up of the existential threat and thus the further militarisation of Israel itself.
As for freedom of movement:
Where traffic snarls last for hours at check-points policing internal borders.
Where even professional Palestinians, academics with PhDs, or top-level business people are required to queue up for monthly permits simply in order to move between cities or attend work.

Checkpoint traffic is certainly not snarled for hours as Israeli journalist Ami Horowitz found out for himself when he went on a “road trip.” In fact, it is usually extremely efficient during times of relative quiet.
BBC’s ME editor ditches impartiality in portrayal of ‘international law’
On February 15th a report by Jeremy Bowen concerning that day’s meeting between the US president and the Israeli prime minister was broadcast on BBC One’s ‘News at Ten’. Revisiting the ‘blank cheque’ theme he promoted days earlier on BBC 5 live radio, in that report, Bowen told viewers that:
“Before he was elected president Mr Trump seemed ready to give Israel a blank cheque on the Palestinians. Mr Netanyahu authorised thousands more homes for Jews in the occupied territories, in defiance of international law, within days of Mr Trump’s inauguration.”
BBC audiences are used to reading and hearing the BBC narrative on international law which goes along the lines of:
“The settlements are considered illegal under international law, although Israel disputes this.”
In this case, Bowen not only did not bother with the qualification “Israel disputes this” but, despite his remit of “providing analysis that might make a complex story more comprehensive or comprehensible for the audience”, failed to inform viewers of the existence of alternative legal opinions on that issue.
Moreover, when challenged on Twitter, Bowen appointed himself legal expert, ruling that alternative views to the narrative he chooses to promote are false.
BBC News website’s explanation of the two-state solution falls short
The BBC’s decision to reuse that insert in the same format raises additional points.
1) The claim in the first paragraph that the two-state solution is the “declared goal” of Palestinian leaders is inaccurate and misleading because it does not clarify to BBC audiences the repeated refusal of Palestinian Authority leaders to recognise Israel as the Jewish state – a necessary condition for fulfilment of the concept of “two states for two peoples”. That claim also of course conceals the fact that Hamas and additional Palestinian factions reject the two-state solution outright.
2) The reference to ‘East Jerusalem’ conceals the fact that – as the BBC itself reported in 2003 – the text of the ‘Roadmap’ compiled by the United Nations, the European Union, the United States and Russia (the Quartet) defines the two-state solution as including:
“…a negotiated resolution on the status of Jerusalem that takes into account the political and religious concerns of both sides, and protects the religious interests of Jews, Christians, and Muslims worldwide…”
As we see, an insert ostensibly intended to help BBC audiences understand the concept of the two-state solution in fact fails to provide the full range of information necessary for that aim to be achieved.
PreOccupiedTerritory: News Media Object To Portrayal In News Media (satire)
In a sign of growing frustration with their troublesome image, news media outlets staged a demonstration yesterday to protest the way the news media portrays them.
At a press conference outside City Hall, representatives of FOX News, ABC News, NBC and CNN told reporters they were “sick and tired of you guys willfully distorting everything we do.” The journalists lambasted the assembled crowd of reporters, calling into question their integrity as human beings, their worth as journalism professionals and their ability get even the simplest things accurate.
“Nobody knows better than we do that you’re capable of doing some amazing things,” said Chuck Scarborough, a seasoned NBC anchor. “But your sloppy work and your unabashedly biased reporting have left our reputations in tatters.”
“Edward R. Murrow is turning is his grave,” added CBS reporter Scott Pelley. “Geraldo Rivera? Really?” he said, shaking his head in disgust.
Jewish Group Calls on Canadian Government to ‘Finally Get Serious About Addressing Antisemitism’
The Canadian government must “finally get serious about addressing antisemitism,” the CEO of the country’s branch of a prominent Jewish organization said on Friday.
In a letter to group members, B’nai Brith Canada’s Michael Mostyn wrote, “Over the last few years, several clear instances of antisemitic hate crimes have occurred throughout the country, though appropriate charges were never laid. [We have] been diligent in reporting these hate crimes and demanding that the perpetrators be brought to justice. However, lawmakers have been silent when it comes to prosecuting these promoters of hatred and antisemitism.”
One case noted in the letter was the call for the destruction of the Jewish people issued by an imam at an Islamic center in Montreal.
“When will the Canadian government finally take hate speech against the Jewish community more seriously?” Mostyn asked.
Supplications at Masjid Toronto Mosque: “Slay them one by one and spare not one of them”
The following are some of Shihab’s views as presented in articles and Islamic rulings posted on Onislam.net:
  • The solution to the global violence, extremism and oppression is Islam
  • Qaradawi’s book “Jurisprudence of Jihad” should serves as a guidance to Muslims
  • Thieves’ hands should be chopped off no matter their social status
  • Person who underwent gender reassignment surgery should return to his original gender
  • Muslims should avoid gays as homosexuality is evil and succumbing to the temptations of the Satan
  • Wife should not reject her husband’s call for having sex
In 2016, imams (religious leaders who lead the prayers) at the mosque recited supplications to Allah in support of the “mujahideen (those of engage in jihad) everywhere”, the total destruction of the enemies of Islam and the purification of Al-Aqsa Mosque from the “filth of the Jews.”
Daphne Anson: North of the Border, Up Montreal Way (video)
"Destroy the accursed Jews! ... Allah, kill them one by one ... Grant victory to our brothers waging jihad in Palestine ..."
Here's one of those barmy Olde Tyme preachers, spewing some bloodcurdling sentiments.
But this youthful representative of the 7th century-inspired antisemitic species calling for genocide of the Jews is not doing so in some Middle Eastern backwater.
He's doing it in Trudeauland.
His name's Imam Sayed al-Ghitawi and his hangout is the al-Andalous (here's looking at you covetously, Spain!) Islamic Center, Montreal:
Austrian woman found guilty of Holocaust denial
An Austrian woman who questioned the Holocaust was found guilty of violating an Austrian law that makes Holocaust denial illegal.
The woman, 53, was given a suspended jail sentence and fined $1,280 by a court in the western Austrian city of Feldkirch on Friday, the Associated Press reported.
She criticized a post on Facebook which showed a German soccer team commemorating the liberation of the Auschwitz Nazi camp, in which she accused the team of “spreading lies,” according to the AP.
During a search of her home a sign was discovered over her toilet reading: “This Hitlerine needs a clean latrine.” It also is illegal in Austria to praise the Nazi era.
Hitler's personal phone sells at auction for $243,000
A red telephone owned by Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler was sold for $243,000 at an auction on Sunday to an unnamed buyer who bid by phone.
According to Alexander Historical Auctions in Chesapeake City, Maryland, where the phone was auctioned, the phone was originally a gift to Hitler from the Wehrmacht, the unified armed forces of Nazi Germany, to be used in vehicles and trains as well as Hitler's field headquarters.
The Seimens W38 red telephone is embossed with the Nazi party eagle and swastika, and has Hitler's name engraved on the back.
The phone was discovered by Soviet soldiers after they stormed Hitler's Berlin bunker in 1945. Soviet officers gave the phone to a British officer, Sir Ralph Rayner, during a visit to Hitler's bunker in Berlin.
Israel plans to send largest ever delegation to 2018 Winter Games
Israel is planning to send its largest delegation ever to the Winter Olympics that begin in PyeongChang, South Korea, on Feb. 25, 2018.
Israel wants to expand the number of its participants in four sports: figure skating, speed skating, Alpine skiing and bobsled. In PyeongChang, for the second time in Olympic history, team figure skating will be an event and will include the 10 best teams in the world. If the Israeli skaters receive a sufficiently high adjusted calculated score from the World Championships and other competitions, they will qualify for the team event.
Ironically perhaps, most members of the Israeli delegation do not live in Israel and speaking Hebrew is often a struggle for them. Israeli-based members of the delegation are mainly management personnel who travel to seminars abroad and visit Israeli training camps throughout the United States and Canada, sometimes even without knowing the athletes they are traveling to evaluate.
The Israeli Olympic Committee's Elite Sport Department is aiming for a historic medal in short track speed skating. Vladislav Bykanov, a potential medal contender in the 1,500-meter race, will have to wait until the end of the year to know whether he is heading for PyeongChang. Bykanov, 27, competed at the Sochi games in 2014, but finished in 25th place. However, he has since won a bronze medal at the European Championships and has shown considerable improvement recently.
Why US corporate giants like Intel need fresh Israeli tech
To understand the strong and rising impact of Israeli startups on the US tech scene, consider this month’s Super Bowl LI.
Intel and FOX Sports unveiled a 360-degree “Be the Player” replay technology giving viewers an unprecedented, immersive player’s-eye view on the football championship.
The groundbreaking technology was developed in Israel by eight-person Replay Technologies in collaboration with Intel, which bought the 3D video technology startup in March 2016 as the cornerstone of its new Intel Sports Group.
The California-based multinational has been supporting and acquiring Israeli companies since 1974.
“Many of Intel’s core products are developed in Israel,” said Joel Fisch, Intel’s director for EMEA Ecosystem Innovation Development, speaking at a press event at the OurCrowd Global Investor Summit in Jerusalem on February 16. Representatives of some 200 multinationals were there to scout out Israeli talent and build on existing relationships.
Fast Company spotlights Israel on 2017 innovation list
Eleven Israeli companies ranked in the Top 50 of Fast Company’s 2017 World’s Most Innovative Companies list for “changing the way we shop, eat, play, work, and live in 2017.”
The 10th edition ranking includes companies that “tap both heartstrings and purse strings and use the engine of commerce to make a difference in the world.”
The Top 50 list is broken down into sub-sectors. Alongside Education, Enterprise and Finance categories, there’s also a sector dedicated specifically to Israeli companies.
The top Israeli companies making a difference in the world, according to Fast Company, are: Unbotify, Waze, Argus Cyber Security, EarlySense, Freightos, WeissBeerger, Itamar Medical, Neomatix, Colu and Syqe Medical.
Unbotify is highlighted for its cybersecurity solution which uses behavioral biometrics analysis to detect bots—and counter cybercrime.
US Kalytera buys Israel medical cannabis firm Talent for over $10m
US firm Kalytera Therapeutics, Inc. said it has completed the acquisition of Talent Biotechs Ltd, a privately held Israeli company that develops cannabis-based therapies for medical needs, for over $10 million.
Talent is currently studying the use of cannabidiol (CBD) — an antioxidant extracted from the cannabis plant — to prevent and treat Graft versus Host Disease (GvHD), a life-threatening condition that can occur after stem cell or bone marrow transplantation. Kalytera, whose shares are traded on the TSX Venture Exchange in Canada, is a developer of CBD therapeutics. Dr. Raphael Meshchloum, an Israeli researcher and pioneer in the field of cannabis research, is co-chair of Kalytera’s Scientific Advisory Board.
GvHD is a rare disease that can arise following hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HCT), a procedure in which the stem cells of the bone marrow or peripheral blood of a donor are transplanted into a new host after chemotherapy or radiation. While HCT is a lifesaving procedure for many diseases of the blood and bone marrow including leukemia and Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma, it poses dangerous side effects, including infection and GvHD. GvHD is a major cause of illness and death following HCT.
IsraellyCool: NFL Players Who Touchdown In Israel Seem To Be Having A Ball
It was supposed to be a trip consisting of 12 NFL players. But thanks to some poor judgment from Minister of Strategic Affairs and Public Diplomacy Gilad Erdan, who bragged about the trip, Michael Bennett dropped out, followed by 6 others. Then there were 5.
Not ideal, and some may say a PR disaster. But at least those who have come – Calais Campbell of the Arizona Cardinals, Dan Williams of the Oakland Raiders, Cameron Jordan of the New Orleans Saints, Delanie Walker of the Tennessee Titans, and Philadelphia Eagles player Mychal Kendricks – seem to be having a ball, judging by their social media posts.



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