Saturday, February 25, 2017

From Ian:

Alan Dershowitz: Why I Will Leave the Democratic Party If Ellison Is Elected its Chairman
Tomorrow the Democratic National Committee (DNC) will have to choose the direction of the Democratic Party, as well as its likely composition. It will be among the most important choices the DNC has ever had to make. There has been a powerful push from the hard-left of the Democratic Party, led by senator Bernie Sanders, to elect Keith Ellison chairman. If he is elected, I will quit the party after 60 years of loyal association and voting. I will become an independent, continuing to vote for the best candidates, most of whom, I assume, will still be Democrats. But I will not contribute to the DNC or support it as an institution. My loyalty to my country and my principles and my heritage exceeds any loyalty to my party. I will urge other like-minded people – centrist liberals – to follow my lead and quit the Democratic Party if Ellison is elected Chairman. We will not be leaving the Democratic Party we have long supported. The Democratic Party will be leaving us!
Let me explain the reasons for this difficult decision on my part. Ellison has a long history of sordid association with anti-Semitism. He worked closely with and supported one of a handful of the most notorious and public anti-Semites in our country: The Reverend Louis Farrakhan. And he worked with Farrakhan at the very time this anti-Semite was publicly describing Judaism as a “gutter religion” and insisting that the Jews were a primary force in the African slave trade. Ellison has publicly stated that he was unaware of Farrakhan’s anti-Semitism. That is not a credible statement. Everyone was aware of Farrakhan’s anti-Semitism. Farrakhan did not try to hide it. Indeed he proclaimed it on every occasion. Ellison is either lying or he willfully blinded himself to what was obvious to everyone else. Neither of these qualities makes him suitable to be the next Chairman of the DNC.
Moreover, Ellison himself has made anti-Semitic statements. A prominent lawyer, with significant credibility, told me that while he was a law student, Ellison approached her and said he could not respect her, because she was a Jew and because she was a woman who should not be at a law school. This woman immediately disclosed that anti-Semitic and anti-feminist statement to her husband and friends, and I believe she is telling the truth.
The upside-down moral universe of BDS supporters and the UN
BDS campaigners and the UN love to target Israel, but their hypocrisy only increases as these self-proclaimed defenders of human rights ignore the atrocities in Syria.
IT’S WIDELY known that Israel is often singled out for criticism and held to an unfair double standard. Nowhere is this more evident than in the relentless Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaigns seeking to vilify Israel and in the annual adoption of numerous one-sided anti-Israel UN resolutions.
Now, when compared to the worsening atrocities in Syria, the assault on the Jewish state may have surpassed all previous levels of hypocrisy and absurdity.
In December, in my hometown of Portland, Oregon, for example, local pro-BDS groups were actively mobilizing. They were galvanized by what they consider to be the most serious human rights issue in the world, comprising, they say, the destruction of communities, homes and lives.
You’re probably thinking this urgent problem must be the humanitarian crisis in Syria and that this was a call to action against a despotic genocidal regime. You would be wrong, however.
This campaign wasn’t about Syrian President Bashar Assad or his Russian and Iranian enablers. Rather, it was a call to action targeting the American corporation Caterpillar Inc. and, by extension, Israel, which uses Caterpillar bulldozers for military purposes.

French minister expresses ‘indignation’ over saw attack on Jewish brothers
French Interior Minister Bruno Le Roux on Friday expressed “indignation” over an attack on two Jewish brothers earlier this week, and said all means will be used to find the perpetrators.
According to French paper Le Parisien, the brothers, 29 and 17 years old, who were wearing kippot (yarmulkes), were attacked in Bondy, a northeastern suburb of Paris.
They were driving in a car when they were drawn into an argument with the travelers of another car — reportedly a father and son — at a red light.
One of the occupants of the other vehicle yelled at them “I will kill you, you dirty Jew,” the victims said, according to French media reports.
They were forced to a stop outside a bar, where five or six others came to help their assailants, one of the brothers told Israel’s Channel 2 news.
No hate crime charges in robbery of French Jewish couple
French prosecutors decided to omit any reference to hate crimes from the indictment of four men suspected of rape and robbery at a suburban Paris home they acknowledged was targeted because it belonged to Jews, JTA reported on Wednesday.
The incident occurred in 2014 in Creteil, when the men who were armed with a pistol and a shotgun stormed the home of a young Jewish couple, raped the woman and stole jewelry and bank cards while uttering anti-Semitic insults.
Both Prime Minister Manuel Valls and Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve saw the incident as anti-Semitic. Valls wrote on Twitter that “the horror of Creteil is a deplorable example of how the fight against anti-Semitism is a constant fight.”
Cazeneuve said in a statement following the incident that the "anti-Semitic nature (of the attack) seems proven," adding that the assailants "started with the idea that being Jewish means having money."
But despite all signs pointing to the attack being anti-Semitic, the handling judge of inquiry decided against including hate crime charges.
On Anti-Semitism, Difficult Questions and Contested Answers
In these times, it is dangerous to suggest thought experiments, but I will throw caution to the wind. I wonder if those who agree with Steven Goldstein of the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect, when he said that Trump’s Feb. 21 condemnation of anti-Semitism was a “band-aid on the cancer of anti-Semitism that has infected his own administration,” would have similar qualms about Linda Sarsour, the Palestinian-American activist in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign who is rapidly achieving iconic status in the protest movement that has coalesced around Trump’s election.
Sarsour and her Muslim activist colleagues raised more than $100,000 for the repair of the desecrated Chesed Shel Emeth cemetery in St. Louis, earning plaudits from nearly every mainstream media outlet and winning the endorsement of Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling. In publicity terms, it was an unbelievably smart move; by the time news of Sarsour’s initiative broke, her critics were immediately placed in the uncomfortable position of questioning her motives at just the time that she reached out to the Jewish community.
But if Kenneth Marcus is right that patterns of speech and action determine what constitutes anti-Semitism, then Sarsour’s past denunciations of Zionism, and her support for a solution to the Palestinian issue based on the elimination of Jewish sovereignty, at least warrant a critical examination of the politics behind her cemetery gesture. It is easy, after all, to be empathetic and kind to dead Jews and their memories, whether in Poland or Missouri—and far harder to deal with the ones who are still alive, and who regard Sarsour’s “one state of Palestine” fantasies as sinister code for a solution that would need to be imposed, in all likelihood through violent conquest, on the Jews of Israel.
Can the enemies of Israel be, at the same time, the friends of Jewish communities outside the Jewish state? Conversely, do friends of Israel get a pass when they play down or outright deny the presence of anti-Semites among their political allies? Why should Sarsour be acceptable to the Jewish community, but not Richard Spencer, the pudgy racist at the helm of the so-called National Policy Institute? Are we that easily taken in? I fear the answer is yes.
Who is Woman's March Organizer Linda Sarsour, Really? - mrctv
Have you ever heard the name, Linda Sarsour? If you don’t know who this woman is, you should.
Sarsour is a Palestinian-American activist, and the executive director of the Arab-American Association of New York.
Sarsour is one of the women who organized the Women’s March on Washington back in January. She is being championed as a beacon of light for women’s rights and a new leader of the modern feminist movement.
Sarsour has been endorsed by the likes of Amnesty International, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), Black Lives Matter (BLM), Sen. Bernie Sanders, Rep. Keith Ellison, Van Jones, Sally Kohn, Susan Sarandon, Mark Ruffalo, Shaun King and Russell Simmons.
But who is Linda Sarsour, really? Some interesting facts and statements from and about her can be unearthed with some digging.
As soon as Sarsour realized that she was going to be put forth as a leader of the modern feminist movement, she began deleting tweets that she had previously posted to Twitter.
Here’s a tweet that she sent out in 2011. Besides the tweet being severely anti-woman - the one thing that people should take into account is who Sarsour is talking about: Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Ali is the founder of the AHA Foundation. The foundation focuses on women’s rights and Ali actively campaigns against the very thing Sarsour said she wanted to do to Ali...female genital mutilation.

"There is no Jewish future in Sweden"

Congressman Protests Trump by Standing Next to Convicted Terrorist and Murderer
The media is ignoring a growing and disturbing trend amongst left-leaning Americans as they form unholy alliances with anti-Semites. According to the Observer's Paul Miller, even lazy reporters wouldn't have to look too far to find evidence of such partnerships. After all, the leftists obviously don't try to hide it; in fact, they do it right out there in plain sight.
First, meet Rasmea Odeh, a convicted terrorist who spent ten years in prison after masterminding a terror plot that killed Hebrew University students Edward Joffe and Leon Kanner in Jerusalem. After spending ten years in prison, she was released in a prisoner swap and later convicted of trying blow up the British consulate. But that didn't stop these things from happening:
1. Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-Illinois) stood next to this convicted terrorist while discussing President Donald Trumps travel ban in Chicago.
2. Morehouse College's Professor of African American Studies, Marc Lamont Hill, allied with Odeh and Dream Defenders, which “embraces anti-Semitism and engages with terrorists.”
3. Next month, the anti-Israel advocacy group Jewish Voice for Peace will feature Odeh at their National Member Meeting.
US Vice President Pence: ‘Israel’s Fight Is Our Fight, Her Cause Is Our Cause’
During the Donald Trump era, America “will stand with Israel,” Vice President Mike Pence vowed on Thursday during his address to the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland.
“Israel’s fight is our fight, her cause is our cause and her values are our values,” Pence said, prompting a standing ovation. “I’m proud to stand with the president, who stands with our most important ally, the Jewish state of Israel.”
Pence’s CPAC appearance came a day after he stopped at a recently vandalized Jewish cemetery in Missouri and lent a helping hand in the cleanup effort.
One panel discussion at CPAC on Thursday was titled, “Is BDS BS? The Left’s Attack on Israel.” It was moderated by Ned Ryun, the CEO of the American Majority organization.
“BDS isn’t about taking Israel out of business,” Lisa Daftari — editor-in-chief of The Foreign Desk — said, according to the Legal Insurrection blog. “It’s about taking Israel off the map.”
Mike Pences Twitter blunder: US VP uses wrong flag to represent Israel
US Vice President Mike Pence took to Twitter on Saturday morning to express his country's support of its long-standing ally.
Stating that the White House administration intends to extend its support of Israel past US borders (and probably alluding to American backing of Israel at the UN as well as in the on-going discussions regarding Arab-Israeli negotiations), Pence penned a Twitter post that excited Israeli officials as well as pro-Israel activists worldwide, especially in light of the wave of antisemitic incidents that have plagued the US in recent weeks.
Pence's post was received warmly, until multiple of his 2.9 million followers noticed an embarrassing mistake in the post. The vice president used an emoji meant to represent the Israeli flag, but had instead posted an emoji of the Nicaragua flag.
"Our support for the Jewish people doesn't end at our nation's border," Pence wrote and promised that "under POTUS, the world will know America stands with Israel."
The View | Breitbart Senior Editor Joel Pollak On Bannon's Relationship with Trump

How Congress Can Boost Haley at the U.N.
Congress could back her up. Last year $9.2 billion of American tax dollars went to the U.N.-$659 million to cover 22% of the U.N.'s annual operating budget, $2.6 billion toward peacekeeping and a 'voluntary' contribution of $5.9 billion...
A new U.S. administration and new U.N. secretary-general provide a golden opportunity to help the U.N. return to its core values, challenge its inefficiency, and halt its frequent attacks on American values and allies. The message should be clear: the U.N. must reform or the U.S. could cut its funding. An action plan along these lines involves three stages:
• Transparency. Ms. Haley should appoint a special delegate to the U.N. budgetary committee, to monitor the purposes for which the U.N. and its agencies are using American funding. The U.N. currently has no obligation to provide its funders with detailed annual reports on the use of their funds based on global accounting standards and supervised by a third-party auditor. The relationship is based on 'expectations' to report and 'appreciation' of efforts. That's not good enough for a small business filing its taxes. For an organization spending billions it's ridiculous.
• Diligence. A decade ago, after revelations of systemic abuse, the U.S. launched the U.N. Transparency and Accountability Initiative. It turned out to be all bark, no bite. Things got worse. Institutions like the Human Rights Council remained hijacked by human-rights violators like Cuba, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. Congress should reinvigorate the initiative, launching a new phase under which it will work alongside an independent investigator to ensure that U.N. agencies are upholding their mission statements in keeping with U.S. standards, interests and values.
• Accountability. The idea that the U.N. can police itself is a fantasy, but the states that fund it can demand a higher standard. The U.S. should flex its financial muscle. Where performance is lackluster, inefficient, corrupt or abhorrent, America could demand rapid reform. If there is no improvement, Congress must be able to withdraw funding..."
Liberman: UNHRC 'the Council of Hatred of Israel'
Israeli politicians on Friday blasted the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) after its representative criticized the sentencing of soldier Elor Azariya, who was convicted of manslaughter for shooting a wounded terrorist and was sentenced to 18 months in prison.
UN human rights spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani said the sentence imposed on Azariya was “excessively lenient.”
"We are deeply disturbed at the lenient sentence given by the Tel Aviv Military Court earlier this week to an Israeli soldier convicted of unlawfully killing a wounded Palestinian in an apparent extrajudicial execution of an unarmed man who clearly posed no imminent threat," she told a news briefing in Geneva.
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman blasted the comments later on Friday.
"The twisted moral compass of the Human Rights Council is proven yet again. One bullet fired by Azariya at a terrorist is more serious than the millions of bullets that are used to murder innocent people in Syria, Libya, Iraq and Yemen. As usual, it is the Council of Hatred of Israel and not the Human Rights Council," said Liberman.
Russia to veto UN resolution on Syria chemical weapons
Russia is ready to veto a draft resolution calling for sanctions against Syria over the use of chemical weapons on civilians, its deputy UN ambassador said on Friday.
"There is an argument that the resolution itself contradicts the fundamental principle of presumption of innocence before the investigation is over," said Vladimir Safronkov after a Security Council meeting to discuss the text, according to Reuters.
A diplomat said on Thursday that the Security Council will likely vote on a resolution sanctioning Syrian officials over chemical weapons attacks as early as next week.
The resolution, if it passes, would blacklist 11 Syrian military commanders and officials and also seeks to ban the sale or supply of helicopters to the Syrian government, as well as blacklist 10 government and related entities involved in the development and production of chemical weapons and the missiles to deliver them.
Iran requests 950 tons of uranium from Kazakhstan
Iran’s nuclear chief said Saturday that the country had requested to buy 950 tons of uranium concentrate from Kazakhstan over the next three years to help develop its civil reactor program.
The request has been made to the body that oversees the nuclear deal signed between Iran and world powers in 2015.
Ali Akbar Salehi, head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation, told the ISNA news agency that the purchase was supposed to happen “within three years.”
“650 tons will enter the country in two consignments and 300 tons will enter Iran in the third year,” he said.
Death threats against Arab Christian IDF soldiers
A Christian IDF soldier has received death threats from opponents of the service of Arabs in the IDF, the Mako Hebrew news site reported.
The soldier received a threatening message on his Facebook page. "We know who you are, where you serve and where your parents live. When you finish your patrol of the old city, we will wait for you at the mosque, where we will stab you."
Other Christian and Arab soldiers have also faced incitement and threats. A recently opened Facebook page features Christian Arab soldiers, along with the personal details of the soldiers and their families. The soldiers become victims of incitement and harassment, including being called traitors to the Arab community. The harassment can include death threats.
"This will end in murder," one Christian soldier said in a report on the campaign of incitement against Christians who serve in the IDF two years ago. "The state has to wake up and prosecute those agitators who threaten [Christian soldiers] before it's too late."
PA accuses Israel of 'terrorism' against schools
The Palestinian Authority (PA) on Thursday blasted as “terrorism” Israel’s decision to close an Arab elementary school in Jerusalem due to its spreading of incitement.
The Al Nkhba School in the Sur Baher neighborhood of eastern Jerusalem was ordered to be closed after it was discovered that the school had been established by officials affiliated with the Hamas terrorist organization, and that the curriculum included severe incitement against the State of Israel.
The PA’s public diplomacy bureau said in response that the closure was yet another part of Israel’s “terrorist activities”, adding that Israel’s claims that there was incitement in the school’s curriculum were “lies”.
The statement claimed that Israel is systematically working against Palestinian Arab educational institutions as evidenced by demolition of buildings, attempts to impose the "poisonous" Israeli curriculum on the schools, breaking into school buildings, and killing and detention of teachers and students.
Former senior PA official: 'Hamas is willing to go back to '67 borders'
Ashraf al-Ajami, the former Palestinian Authority's minister for Prisoners Affairs, said on Saturday that the terror organization currently ruling in the Gaza Strip was "willing to go back to the 1967 borders."
Al-Ajami made this statement as a guest and a speaker at a cultural event held in the city of Acre and hosted by the Keshet NGO, an Arab-Jewish nonprofit organization he helped found.
"I'm speaking here on behalf of the PLO [Palestinian Liberation Organization]- the exclusive representative of the Palestinian People," al-Ajami opened by saying, and went on to add that the Palestinian Authority was "willing [to accept] a demilitarized and unarmed state, a normalization of the relations and an end to the conflict."
Elaborating on the Palestinians' willingness to collaborate with Israel for the joint purpose of reaching a solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict, al-Ajami also said that the diplomatic inclination for a dialogue was not limited to the Palestinian Authority, and also extended to Hamas. "Hamas, too, is willing to go back to the '67 borders. We'll reach an agreement for two states, the Palestinians will go into elections, Fatah as well as Hamas, and there will be one rule."
Hamas blames Egypt for deaths of 3 from toxic gas in Gaza tunnel
Hamas has accused the Egyptian military for the deaths of three Palestinians in a tunnel beneath the Gaza-Sinai border on Saturday.
The three died in a smuggling tunnel between the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula early Saturday, and five were injured, after the group inhaled toxic gas during attempts to repair the tunnel.
The tunnel was destroyed in an Egyptian army border operation in Rafah, and the Palestinians were working to rebuild it when they were exposed to the gas.
Hamas condemned the “Egyptian operation” in a statement, saying the eight were part of a group trying to renew operations in the tunnel.
“There’s no no justification for the use of such dangerous methods against civilians under siege,” the terror group said.
Israel walks back barring Human Rights Watch worker from country
Israel said an American employee of Human Rights Watch may enter the country on a tourist visa and should reapply for a work visa, days after barring his entry for alleged anti-Israel bias.
“This is to clarify that the HRW representative may enter Israel with a tourist visa,” said Itai Bar-Dov, the spokesman for the Israeli embassy in Washington. “With regard to the working visa, this may be reconsidered if the organization appeals the Ministry of Interior decision.”
The Interior Ministry issued its ruling this week, some six months after Human Rights Watch asked for permission for its New York-based Israel and Palestine director, Omar Shakir, to be able to work in the country.
The decision was Israel’s latest step against human rights groups and other advocacy organizations that it accuses of bias against the Jewish state.
Israeli Spokesman: Attempts by BDS Movement to Paint False Image of Success Indicate ‘Desperation and Lack of Integrity’
An Israeli government representative slammed the BDS movement on Friday for falsely implying that a prominent US literary society had decided to boycott the Jewish state.
Shimon Mercer-Wood — spokesman and consul for media affairs at the Consulate General of Israel in New York — was referring to an Adalah-NY press release that heralded the lack of Israeli government funding for PEN America’s 2017 World Voices Festival — an annual New York event that Israel had been a sponsor of in recent years.
Adalah-NY claimed that this was the result of “a campaign and a call supported by leading literary figures asking the organization to reject Israeli government sponsorship.”
PEN America has faced pressure from pro-Palestinian activists to forgo Israeli funding. However, there is no evidence that BDS had anything to do with this year’s sponsorship setup and PEN America has publicly stated its opposition to boycotts.
“Attempts to single-out and discriminate against one country and its people, by restricting freedom of speech and stifling cultural dialogue, are occasionally made even in a multicultural and tolerant city like NYC,” Mercer-Wood told The Algemeiner. “Fortunately, PEN has made very clear its opposition to such attempts. The repeated and pathetic attempts of the so-called ‘boycott movement’ at creating an illusion to the contrary speak to their desperation and lack of integrity.”
Ben White’s talk at UCLAN cancelled
It was recently revealed that the University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN) had cancelled a panel discussion featuring Ben White which had been scheduled to take place as part of ‘Israel Apartheid Week’. Here’s is the explanation:
But a spokesperson for the university said “Debunking Misconceptions on Palestine” contravened the definition of antisemitism adopted by the government and was “unlawful”.
In a statement on behalf of the university in Preston, Lancashire, the spokesperson said: “The UK government has formally adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s new definition of what constitutes antisemitism.
“We believe the proposed talk contravenes the new definition and furthermore breaches university protocols for such events, where we require assurances of a balanced view or a panel of speakers representing all interests.”
He added: “In this instance our procedures determined that the proposed event would not be lawful and therefore it will not proceed as planned.”
Canadian Terror Experts: Is Muslim Student Association a Recruiter for Extremism?
The Terrorism and Security Experts of Canada (TSEC Network) published a report titled "Is the Muslim Student Association of Canada/USA a Recruiting Point for Extremism?," in which they ask and answer the questions, "What is the Muslim Student Association? Where did it come from? Who founded it? Is it just a coincidence that so many extremist have come from its alumni? Or is something going on?" Their conclusion? Something's going on.
The report begins by noting that the Muslim Students Association (MSA) of the United States and Canada was established in 1963 by members of the Muslim Brotherhood at the University of Illinois:
Its creation was the result of Saudi Arabia-backed efforts to create a network of international Islamic organizations in order to spread its Wahhabist ideology. It was essentially “an arm of the Saudi-funded, Muslim Brotherhood-controlled Muslim World League. Since its inception, the MSA has emerged as the leading and most influential Islamic student organization in North America. Today, there are nearly six hundred MSA chapters in the United States and Canada.
The report goes on to investigate the key principles of the MSA and to establish "its clear nexus to the MB and its adherent organizations." It proceeds to examine the MSA's "rampant anti-US, anti-Semitic and anti-Israel rhetoric both on and off campus" and to "analyze the manner in which the MSA provides material support to terrorism travel." It demonstrates conclusively that "current and former members of the MSA account for a significant share of individuals who have left home to join in terror related activities abroad."
‘Punch a Zionist’ tweeter quits McGill student government
Igor Sadikov, the student politician who called on his Twitter followers to “punch a Zionist today,” stepped down as a director of McGill University’s student government one day after the university’s Arts Undergraduate Society voted against impeaching him.
The 22-year-old political science student blamed “interference” by the McGill administration, he said in a statement Thursday.
“My continued membership on the [Board of Directors] is, at this juncture, a legal liability for the Society,” he said in the statement.
Sadikov’s decision buoyed the spirits of pro-Israel students and Jewish organizations. The Twitter controversy continued to roil the campus for nearly three weeks, with the pro-Israel side saying Sadikov incited violence with his tweet while Sadikov characterized the controversy as a “misguided joke.”
Coldplay, visiting Israel and West Bank, denies planning November concerts
Confirming that its members are in Israel, Coldplay nonetheless denied a TV report Friday that the band was here finalizing plans for shows for Israelis and Palestinians this coming November, saying no concert was scheduled and that no contract had been signed.
Chris Martin tweeted Friday on the Coldplay account that he and his bandmates were “in Israel and Palestine to listen and learn, that’s all.”
Channel 2 reported Friday that Martin was visiting Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Jericho and Rawabi to finalize venues for the shows and that tickets would go on sale soon.
Coldplay had last month said through a representative that earlier reports on upcoming shows in Israel or the West Bank were false. Channel 2 had reported that unprecedented joint concerts were scheduled for November 3 and November 4, at an outdoor location north of the Dead Sea, and that tickets would be sold both in Israel and in the Palestinian territories.
Martin said Friday that “there is no concert scheduled; we are just having an enlightening trip to learn about the area.”
“The articles suggesting that we have a signed contract are incorrect,” he wrote.
Report: Number of Female Soldiers Serving in IDF Ground Forces Jumped 350% in 2016
The number of female soldiers serving in combat roles in the IDF Ground Forces jumped 350% from 2015 to 2016, Israel Defense reported on Thursday.
The IDF, the report said, has been seeking ways to boost its number of female fighters. A total of 1,300 women now serve in Ground Forces combat units, according to the report.
Figures unveiled at a Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee meeting last month showed that 2,800 women were set to serve in combat roles throughout the entire military in 2017.
Brig. Gen. Eran Shani — head of the Planning Brigade and Manpower Administration in the IDF Personnel Directorate — told committee members, “As we are an army of the people, we aspire to integrate all population sectors and allow the greatest possible equality of opportunities. We have expanded the number of roles open to women, which now comprise 90 percent of all service positions in the IDF.”
The military, Shani noted, was working to establish its first-ever training base for mixed-gender battalions.
Israeli Pride Times Two: LGBT and female combat soldiers
Another member of the project, Limor Sevillia, served in the IDF for 5 years as a combat engineer and came out as a lesbian in front of her soldiers. Sevillia, who still serves in the reserves as a company commander, told The Post that she is passionate about helping other LGBT and female combat soldiers and that she plans to be one of the mentors for LGBT and female combat soldiers.
Regev Barak, another member of the organization, told The Post following the event that the challenges facing women and LGBT members are “tougher than what others face.”
“We need to make sure that the best people protect the state of Israel, in the best roles that they are suited for. It’s all about abilities. If a woman has the ability and qualifications to be a high-ranking officer in the army, she should. It’s the same with LGBT soldiers. It’s all about a person’s ability, not gender or sexual orientation.”
And that’s exactly what Nahmany and the project hopes to get across to those who are working to keep LGBT or women out of the army.
“The LGBT community has come along way in 20 years,” Nahmany told The Post, “we are serving in the army, we are dying for our country and now it’s time to take our country back.”
“For the first time we are saying that the LGBT community and women are strong. We are not asking for any help. We are fighting extremism and anyone who wants to do the same, you are welcome to join us.
TripAdvisor Ranks Eilat Hotel Best in Middle East, 25th Worldwide
A luxury hotel in the southern Israeli resort town of Eilat was ranked first in the region and 25th internationally by a well-known travel website that provides reviews from tourists around the world.
The Herods Vitalis Spa Hotel headed TripAdvisor‘s 2017 list of the “Top 25 Hotels in the Middle East,” ahead of hotels in Tel Aviv, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and elsewhere.
In addition, Eilat is the only Mideast location to make the website’s “top 10 destinations in the world on the rise” list. The city is described by TripAdvisor as follows:
Charming Eilat is one of Israel’s most popular resort cities. Nestled at the northern tip of the Red Sea, Eilat’s warm, clear waters are a huge draw for divers, while the reefs of Coral Beach Nature Reserve are perfect for snorkelers. Above sea level, the ancient copper mines of Timna National Park are begging to be explored, as are the shops, bars and restaurants of the seaside promenade.

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