Friday, March 24, 2017

From Ian:

Jewish Voice For Peace Defends Jew-Killing Palestinian Terrorist
Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), an anti-Semitic group masquerading as a pacifist organization, wrote a press statement on March 23 defending Rasmea Odeh, a convicted Palestinian-Arab terrorist who slaughtered two Jews in a Jerusalem supermarket bombing in 1969. Odeh, who lied to U.S. immigration authorities about her conviction and imprisonment in Israel for the bombing, will be deported back to Jordan instead of facing prison time for committing fraud.
In response to her imminent deportation, JVP wrote the following statement:
When a leader like Rasmea Odeh who fights for justice chooses to leave a fight, she knows the game is rigged.
Rasmea is leaving the U.S. court system, weighed down by the ever-present shadow of Israeli military regime which has already punished and tortured her.
Does Rasmea, Palestinian leader and seeker of justice, have a real chance for a fair trial in the current political climate and courts?
In the context of a Justice Department led by racist attorney general Jeff Sessions, a prosecutor with a record of demonizing Rasmea and her supporters, and a new indictment that turns her immigration trial into a repeat of the false charges of terrorism against her, Rasmea has made the difficult decision to leave the home and community she has built in the U.S. over the last 20 years.

JVP not only defends Odeh over the Justice Department rightfully pursuing the immigration fraud case against her, but it also labels her a freedom fighter and a "seeker of justice." It blames the "racist" Jeff Sessions for calling for her deportation based off "false charges of terrorism" against her. However, former Palestinian-Arab terrorist Aisha Odeh (no relation) implicated Rasmea in the same supermarket bombing that she was arrested, convicted, and imprisoned for.

This Ongoing War: Our daughter's smiling killer: "Shocked" that US "decided to go after her for no obvious reason"
The following article was published by Al Jazeera in Arabic on Wednesday and in English yesterday (Thursday). It's an entirely uncritical account of a notably vicious convicted murderer's version of why she should be left alone and not have to face justice. The reporter does not challenge a single one of her claims.
Our comments are interspersed below.
Ahlam al-Tamimi: 'We only wanted freedom'
Al Jazeera speaks to freed Palestinian prisoner, wanted by the US for helping in a Jerusalem cafe bombing 16 years ago | Ali Younes | @ali_reports |
Amman, Jordan - Ahlam al-Tamimi, 37, never imagined that the quiet life she led for several years in Jordan would be turned upside down when the United States Department of Justice filed criminal charges against her demanding her extradition from Jordan and placing her on the FBI's most wanted list.
Our comment: She was freed via an extorted commutation of sentence. Israel was extorted by the Hamas terrorist regime which illegally held captive and incommunicado an Israeli combatant, Gilad Shalit, for five years, eventually trading him for 1,027 convicted Arab terrorists imprisoned by Israel. Tamimi was one of them. Not a single prisoner received a pardon. Instead, their sentences were conditionally commuted - with the conditions including an undertaking never to engage again in terrorism or incitement to terrorism.
Tamimi was serving 16 life terms after confessing to being the mastermind of the Sbarro pizzeria massacre, an especially sickening and horrific terror attack that targeted children and woman. Tamimi was the one who did the actual targeting and, as she has boasted repeatedly, picked the target with great care. She brought the bomb by bus and taxi from a PA-controlled town in the Samaria district into Jerusalem. That bomb was a young newly-religious fanatic from well-to-family: not poor, not uneducated, not living in misery and despair: a human bomb. He was equipped with an explosive-laden, purpose-built guitar case on his back. Tamimi walked him to the central Jerusalem intersection where the Sbarrro pizzeria stood and where, after giving her time to flee to safety, he exploded while standing next to our 15 year-old daughter and her closest friend, the 16 year-old daughter of our neighbours. Both girls, and 13 other innocent victims, were killed. About 130 others, many of them on the street outside the pizzeria, suffered often horrendous, life-changing injuries.
Omar Barghouti Lying With A Straight Face
A group called BDS Norway have uploaded to YouTube this interview with BDS movement founder Omar Barghouti, filmed not too long before he was arrested for being a tax cheat.
The video is an exercise in “counting-the-lies” – the fact he can say what he does with a straight face makes more understandable how he could also cheat on his taxes.
Note in particular:
  • His claim his “refugee background” was a reason he got involved in BDS. As a reminder, he was born in Qatar, before moving to Egypt, the US and only to Israel after marrying an Israeli-Arab woman.
  • His father being one of the founders of terror group PLO in 1964, 3 years before the so-called occupation
  • Him speaking about a “long heritage of non-violent palestinian popular resistance.”
  • “We never lie about our goals.” You just did.

UK blasts UNHRC’s bias, after it adopts 5 anti-Israel resolutions
The United Nations Human Rights Council adopted five resolutions critical of Israel on Friday, despite opposition from the US and an unprecedented critique from the UK.
Britain supported two of the five resolutions, but threatened to vote against any future such motions against the Jewish state because of the “bias” by the UN body.
“We are putting the Human Rights Council on notice,” Britain warned in a statement. “If things do not change, in the future we will adopt a policy of voting against all resolutions concerning Israel’s conduct in the Occupied Syrian and Palestinian Territories.”
The 47-member council passed five resolutions on alleged Israeli human rights abuses: 1) a vote on “Human rights in the occupied Syrian Golan” passed with 26 in favor, 3 against and 18 abstentions; 2) a resolution called “Ensuring accountability and justice for all violations of International law in the Occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem” garnered 30 votes in favor, 2 against and 15 abstentions; 3) 43 members voted for a resolution called “Right of the Palestinian people to self-determination,” while 2 voted against and 2 abstained; 4) the resolution “Human Rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem garnered 41 votes in favor, 2 against and 4 abstentions; 5) a resolution condemning Israeli had 36 in favor, 2 against and 9 abstentions.
The Unites States and Togo consistently voted against the five resolutions.
The UK broke with the other European countries, voting “no” on the resolution condemning alleged human rights abuses in the Golan Heights. It voted in favor of two of the resolutions “according to long-standing policy” and “serious concerns” about Israeli settlement activity, demolitions and the use of administrative detention, and abstained on two others.
The UK mission to the UN issued a statement saying that while it voted “no” on the Syria resolution, this did not signal a recognition of Israel’s annexation of the territory in 1981.
The British mission also blasted the UN body as biased and overly focused on Israel.
“Nowhere is the disproportionate focus on Israel starker and more absurd than in the case of today’s resolution on the occupation of Syria’s Golan,” the UK statement read.
Alan Dershowitz: The Origin of "Fake News" in Holocaust Denial
"Fake news" has become a subject of real news. But there's nothing new about "fake news." Holocaust deniers have generated fake news for decades. The deniers have funded "research" "institutes," "journals," books, magazines, videos, websites, newsflashes – all designed to provide a patina of academic respectability to demonstrable falsehoods.
This entire enterprise is devoted to proving that the holocaust – the systematic murder of more than six million Jews in gas chambers, mass shootings, mobile killing units and other means of implementing the carefully planned genocide – simply did not occur. It was made up whole cloth out of "The Jews" for financial and political gain.
No reasonable person with a modicum of intelligence can actually believe that Hitler and his Nazis co-conspirators did not plan the mass extermination of Jews at the Wannsse Conference, and that they did not carry it out at death camps, such as Treblinka, Sorbibor, Majdanek and Auschwitz, Birkenau, as well as by SS mobile killing units that gathered Jews in such places as Babi Yar and the Ponary Woods.
Yet, thousands of people, many with academic degrees, and some with professorial positions, persist in denying the undeniable. These professional liars are given legitimacy by some reputable scholars such as Noam Chomsky, who not only champions the right of these fake historians to perpetrate their malicious lies, but who actually lend their names to the quality of the "research" that produce the lies of denial. In a widely circulated petition signed by numerous scholars, Chomsky and the other signatories actually described the false history of the notorious denier, Robert Faurisson, as "findings" based on "extensive historical research," thus giving them an academic imprimatur.
Canada: Bring on the Islamization!
Imams in Canadian mosques have been inciting the killing of "infidels", primarily Jews, for years. This agitation appears to have had no visible impact on Canadian parliamentarians, evidently too busy with petitions and motions banning alleged "Islamophobia".
In 2009, for example, Toronto-area imam Said Rageah, at the Abu Huraira Centre, called on Allah to "destroy" the enemies of Islam from within and "damn" the "infidel" Jews and Christians.
"Allah protect us from the fitna [sedition, affliction] of these people; Allah protect us from the evil agenda of these people; Allah destroy them from within themselves, and do not allow them to raise their heads" prayed the imam.
In 2012, Sheikh Abdulqani Mursal, imam at Masjid Al Hikma mosque in Toronto, explained that Jews are destined to be killed by the Muslims. Citing text from a hadith, he said:
"You will fight against the Jews and you will kill them... Muslims [will] kill them until the Jews [will] hide themselves... and a stone or a tree [will] say: Muslim... there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him...."
In 2014, imam Sayed AlGhitawi, at Al Andalous Islamic Center in Montreal, prayed for success in jihad and the total destruction of the Jews:
"O Allah, give victory to our brothers who engage in jihad... destroy the accursed Jews... make their children orphans and their women widows... kill them one by one... do not leave any of them [alive]".
Anti-Semitic post uploaded to social media every 83 seconds
Posts with anti-Semitic content are uploaded to social media an average of 43 times per hour, or every 83 seconds, according to a new study by the World Jewish Congress, an excerpt of which was released on Friday.
In a joint research project with the Israeli monitoring firm Vigo Social Intelligence, the WJC analyzed millions of posts uploaded in 2016 in 20 languages on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, blogs and other forums, mining for anti-Semitic sentiments, memes, images and so on.
More than 382,000 of the posts were found to have been anti-Semitic. Posts critical of Israel or its policies were not included in the study.
The study found that a majority, some 63 percent, of all anti-Semitic content online can be found on Twitter. Blogs made up 16%, Facebook 11%, Instagram 6%, YouTube 2% and 2% on the other forums.
Will the West Please Stop Siding with Criminals?
Why has no one -- especially politicized, self-absorbed women's groups -- come to help? Instead, as in the recent Women's March, they have been advocating for more women's imprisonment.
The notion that a hijab or a conservative lifestyle is a matter of choice for Muslim women might sound sympathetic to Westerners. It is not. In reality, there is no choice. The supposed choice is, in fact, a one-way street from which trying to exit can cost a woman her life.
These extremist Muslims need to be taught by society itself that they must respect individual freedoms and equality -- by law.
Many liberal women, doubtlessly well-intended, seem love to wearing hijabs supposedly "in solidarity"; what they do not understand is that for millions and millions of Muslim women, who dare not say so, it is not a symbol of freedom and "protection" -- like a slave-owner "protecting" his property -- but of repression and imprisonment. It is forced upon women, now even in the West, and, worse, with the wholehearted complicity of the West.
It is also a time for governments purportedly in favour of human rights no longer to sweep these mafia tactics under the carpet.
It is time for politicians, governments, policy-makers, clerics, human rights groups and "liberals" to stop siding with criminals who commit assault, battery, and even murder, and to start protecting their citizens.
Two-thirds of UN Member States Sponsor Anti-Israel Resolution On Women's Rights, Ignore Women in All Other States
At a meeting of the UN's top women's rights body, 133 of 193 UN member states have backed a move that would condemn only one country in the world for violating women's rights - Israel. The action comes in the form of a resolution of the UN's Commission on the Status of Women, introduced by Ecuador on March 22, 2017. Ecuador is acting on behalf of a coalition of developing countries known as the "Group of 77 and China." No resolution or expression of concern has been, or will be, introduced on any other country. Nothing on the mass enslavement of Yazidi women by ISIS or the repression of women in countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia. The resolution is scheduled for a vote on March 24, 2017, where it is expected to be overwhelmingly endorsed.
In Ecuador's words:
"On behalf of the Group of 77 and China, it gives me pleasure to introduce the draft resolution E/CN.6/2017/L.3, entitled 'The Situation of and Assistance to Palestinian Women." As has been emphasized in the Secretary-General's report, the dire humanitarian and socioeconomic crisis in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, have significantly affected Palestinian women in the most detrimental way. The continuing difficulties faced by Palestinian women, and the need to provide them with assistance in overcoming the obstacles to their development and advancement are essential to this draft resolution.
The draft resolution contains 20 preamble paragraphs and 9 operative paragraphs. These paragraphs are identical to the ones contained in last year's resolution, with only 2 technical changes regarding the date in the early part of preamble and the last OP on the Secretary-General to report to the next CSW session.
Linda Sarsour and liberal Jews’ hard choices
It is not a wise move from an otherwise media-savvy woman, given that she now runs ‎the risk of alienating an important ally and squandering all the goodwill she has racked ‎up over the past weeks with her interfaith outreach. Liberal Jews who ‎marched with her and defended her gave Sarsour much-needed credibility. Given ‎her somewhat checkered political past, showing her cards could prove costly. ‎
But more important than any of Sarsour's future endeavors is the future of Zionism ‎within the American Jewish community, and judging by the legitimate outrage I have seen ‎since Sarsour's statements, some hard choices need to be made, based on a ‎simple set of questions.‎
If you believe in Israel's right to exist, in its right to defend itself from external and internal ‎threats, then there is no right- or left-wing Zionism -- only Zionism, itself. The description of ‎the world that I have seen from liberal Jewry and its Zionist branches is ‎beautiful but fails to match up to reality. We cannot build ‎bridges if our partners insist on burning them to the ground and a coalition in which one ‎gives and the other takes is no coalition at all but rather an abusive relationship based on ‎anything but understanding, love and respect. ‎
Liberal Jews can take solace in the fact that they did not close the door on this ‎partnership, nor did they rescind any offers. Sarsour did, by choosing to so ‎narrowly define the struggle and thereby leave Zionists with no means of entry. It is a ‎sad fact, but a good thing for Zionism, as we now have been given a chance to make our ‎own definitions and finally focus our considerable strengths. ‎
Foreign Min. cadet course to include first Muslim woman
31-year-old Rasha Uthmani from the northern city of Baqa al-Gharbiyye is the first Muslim woman to be accepted to the Foreign Ministry's cadet course. Uthmani is currently nominated to be Israeli Embassy in Turkey's spokesperson. She had previously represented Israel in a delegation to the United Nations.
Uthmani passed the cadet course's rigorous selection process and was accepted together with 21 other cadets. In the past, Israeli Christian Arabs and Muslim men have been accepted to the course, which is considered to be akin to the IDF pilot's training course in terms of difficulty, selectiveness and prestige. Rania Joubran, the Christian daughter of Surpreme Court Justice Salim Joubran, was accepted to the course, but quite after three and a half years. Muslim men have previously served as Israeli ambassadors, though never a Muslim woman.
Uthmani is a Psychology graduate from the Hebrew University who currently resides in Jerusalem. Toward the end of her studies, she joined the university's Model UN club and represented Israel at the (actual) UN Human Rights Council for three months.
Just how out of Touch is BDS?
Even if they have suffered some recent setbacks among academic umbrella groups, the Boycott, Divest, and Sanctions (BDS) movement is an increasingly loud presence on university campuses and among activist organizations in Washington, D.C.
As Middle Eastern prime ministers, foreign ministers, and defense ministers descend on Washington for the anti-Islamic State summit, it’s been a useful reminder that the hatreds upon which BDS feeds are increasingly out-of-date in the region itself.
Far from being a pariah state, Israel has never been so broadly accepted in the Middle East. Its relationship with Egypt has never been better, and its relationship with Jordan is stable. The looming threat of a nuclear Iran—one at best delayed but not resolved by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action—has brought Israel and Saudi Arabia and the various Gulf emirates closer together than they have ever been. Morocco and Tunisia also maintain informal relations with the Jewish state.
Over the last few days, I have had the opportunity to sit down with Arab ministers and officials from a variety of states. Each recognizes Israel’s permanence and envisions Israel as a Jewish state better integrated into the region. Each favors a two-state solution. Whatever their views of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, they recognize internal Israeli politics are not their business.
Taking the war to the BDS activists
Israel is in a war against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement that includes using preemptive measures to curb the potential impact on the Jewish state, Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan told The Jerusalem Post in a wide-ranging interview on Wednesday.
Erdan rejected criticism of his ministry’s actions saying, when at war, a plan is needed to put the other side on the defensive.
His strategy seems to be working and has rattled BDS activists and their sympathizers.
“We are trying to gather information and intelligence on BDS activists around the world because of the need to predict what they will do,” said Erdan, who will be addressing the annual Jerusalem Post Conference in New York City on May 7.
His main modus operandi: Move rapidly from a defensive posture to an assertive, offensive approach.
Recent examples of that strategy include blocking entry to Israel of the hardcore British BDS activist Hugh Lanning, who reportedly has links to the terrorist organization Hamas. Another example is the use of publicly available information to identify a tiny group of Israelis conducting economic warfare against the state.
One tool used to stymie BDS unleashed criticism in an article and editorial in Haaretz.
House and Senate introduce bipartisan bills combating Israel boycotts
Republican and Democratic leaders in both houses of Congress introduced legislation on Thursday that would penalize international governmental organizations and foreign countries seeking to boycott, divest and sanction the state of Israel for its handling of its conflict with the Palestinians.
The bill, supported by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, would amend the Export Administration Act of 1979 to include in its prohibitions on boycotts against "allies of the United States" those fostered by NGOs against Israel. The bill also directs the US Export-Import Bank to combat boycotts against the Jewish state.
"The United States should bring its foreign policy and its economic institutions, its relationships, and its leverage to bear to combat boycott, divestment, and sanctions actions against Israel," Senator Ben Cardin (D-Maryland) said in a statement, introducing the bill alongside Rob Portman (R-Ohio). "We should not stand idle when foreign countries or international governmental organizations use BDS tactics to isolate one of our key allies. We cannot allow these attempts to bypass direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians to go unchecked."
Cardin and Portman introduced a similar bill last year. But they now enjoy companion House language as well as the attention of AIPAC, which will encourage swift passage of the bill at its annual policy conference in Washington next week.
De Anza College Student Government Passes BDS Resolution in Effort to Keep School ‘Neutral’ on Palestinian-Israeli Conflict
The student government at a Cupertino, California college passed a resolution last week demanding the school divest from companies profiting from Israel’s “human rights violations,” in an effort to keep the campus “neutral” on the Palestinian issue, student paper La Voz News reported Tuesday.
The De Anza Associated Student Body (DASB) Senate motion called on the college to cut ties with firms supposedly benefiting from Israeli “apartheid,” including Caterpillar, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Motorola Solutions and security services company G4S, according to the report.
One of the chairs of the group behind the motion, Students for Justice, told the paper, “By asking De Anza to divest, you are asking them to no longer take a side in this conflict that undermines a two-state solution.”
“Please don’t force Palestinian students on this campus to fund the bombing of children back home, and don’t force them to fund the bulldozing of their homes and occupation of their people,” a student said in support of the motion at the senate meeting.
Those opposing the resolution were reportedly not given an opportunity to present their case.
According to La Voz, the resolution passed 12-1, with four abstentions. It was based on a similar 2015 resolution passed by San Jose State University’s student government.
Canadian University Investigating ‘Jews Are Rodents’ Facebook Post Rejects Student Group’s Charge of ‘Witch-Hunt, Racial Profiling’
A Canadian university investigating a Facebook post comparing Jews to rodents rejected the charge that it was conducting a “witch hunt” involving “racial profiling,” a spokesperson told The Algemeiner on Thursday.
University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) vice president of external relations Susan McGovern said the inquiry into an online celebration earlier this month by suspected members of the school’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), following the covering up of an Israeli flag with its Algerian counterpart at an on-campus multicultural language festival, was “being done according to university policies.”
McGovern said part of the “democratic investigation process includes bringing in people from both sides, to ensure that we hear both sides of the story,” and that the administration has not made SJP and the Arab Students Association “subjects of racism and intimidation,” as SJP alleged in a statement posted Wednesday on Facebook.
In its statement, SJP also rejected that it or any of its members had any “part in the events that unfolded” at the festival or later on social media, where a Jewish student was told to “go back to Palestine,” according to the Jewish human rights group B’nai Brith Canada.
“We are speaking to those students identified as relevant,” McGovern explained. “And without speaking to everyone believed to be connected with this issue, we couldn’t get to the real face of the matter and determine if our university’s code of conduct has been breached.”
Did Nazi That Coming Ken Livingstone Name-Drops Hitler AGAIN
Surely he’s not Goering to do it again, you thought, but he did: Ken Livingstone name-dropped Hitler this morning in a radio interview where he called for mandatory re-selection of Labour MPs. Red Ken also said those Labour MPs who have “been most over the top” should be “suspended“. Pushed on whether he meant Tom Watson, Ken said “Tom is not bad“. He continued:
“I’m particularly talking about Chuka Ummuna, Wes Streeting, it’s the same group of MPs who were screaming that I said Hitler was a Zionist… the simple fact is they are consciously undermining Jeremy…”
Yvette Cooper was also mentioned. Ken may well have gone full tonto but this will still go down like a bucket of cold sick with the PLP…
Pro-Len Unite Insider Sending Anti-Semitic Tweets to Coyne
Well this is certainly a curious one. An anonymous Twitter account going by the name “Union bloke” has been sending Red Len’s rival Gerard Coyne a slew of anti-Semitic tweets. You might think anonymous anti-Semitic abuse is part and parcel of hard-left politics, yet there is something different about “Union bloke”. Other tweets from the account include internal union documents which Unite sources say would only be available to serving, high-ranking officials in the union. A Unite source tells Guido:
“@1UnionBloke is internally believed to be a senior official in the Unite union. He has also tweeted details of the location of Gerard’s home, including a picture, which is particularly sinister.“
Screenshots taken before the account was deleted also reveal it was followed by senior Unite officials and activists including Len McCluskey’s baby momma Jennie Formby. It would appear that someone relatively senior in Unite is sending racist abuse to opponents of Red Len…
MSN News Promotes Anti-Israel Water Libel
Israel isn’t even responsible for the flow of water to the Palestinians. This is the responsibility of the Palestinian Water Authority, which has, over a long period of time, refused to cooperate with Israel to upgrade and repair its leaky infrastructure in the West Bank.
As for the second MSN News claim that the “crisis is further exaggerated during times of strife when water pipelines can get shelled and damaged,” this is presumably referring to Israeli operations against Hamas in Gaza.
To be clear – Israel has not shelled Palestinian water pipelines and has not and would never intentionally damage Gaza’s water infrastructure. While there is undeniably a water crisis in Gaza, the JCPA notes, however, that it has been created completely by Hamas, and the Palestinian Authority before it.
MSN News also claims that Israel “has discriminatory water-sharing agreements with Palestine.” As NGO Monitor points out, water issues are dictated by the mutually agreed 1995 Oslo II Interim Agreement. In addition, COGAT (the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories) told HonestReporting in November 2016:
New York Times Falsely Suggests Israelis Want War With Jordan
A New York Times news article falsely suggests that Israelis oppose peace with Jordan.
The article, about Jordan’s decision to release from prison the person convicted of murdering seven Israeli schoolchildren, reports:
The Israeli-Jordanian peace has proved firm and lasting, but it still exists mainly at the government level and has not been popularly embraced.
There’s little evidence that the Israeli-Jordanian peace “has not been popularly embraced” by Israelis. If there is any such proof, the Times doesn’t offer it in its story.
Some 100,000 Israeli tourists reportedly visit Jordan each year; in some years, there have been as many as 200,000. There’s no significant political movement in Israel that calls for scrapping the peace treaty with Jordan, and I’ve yet to meet an Israeli who says, “Gee, I really wish we were at war with Jordan.”
It is true that there are some Jordanians who, like a variety of other Muslims and Arabs, haven’t yet accepted the idea that Israel will continue to exist as a Jewish state. They reject the idea of peace with Israel. But there’s no similarly widespread feeling in Israel.
CAMERA Prompts Washington Post Correction on 'Occupied Gaza'
After contact from CAMERA, The Washington Post has changed inaccurate wording in a March 3, 2017 online report.
That article,by reporter Colby Itkowitz, initially referred to the Gaza Strip as "occupied Gaza" and inferred that Israel occupied the Gaza Strip.
Yet, as CAMERA pointed out to Post editors and staff, Israel unilaterally withdrew from the Gaza Strip in 2005. Although Israel, like Egypt, has maintained security measures, including blockades, the Jewish state does not occupy the Gaza Strip, which is ruled by Hamas, a U.S.-designated terrorist group whose charter calls for the destruction of Israel and the genocide of Jews.
On March 22, the dispatch was commendably changed to read "Gaza" and a note was appended stating that the article had been updated.
Toronto Star Columnist Smears Israel as an “Apartheid” State
In a column published in the Toronto Star today, Azeekha Kanji’s smearing Israel as an “apartheid” state is baseless, lacks substantive argumentation and is wholly disingenuous. Kanji employs empty rhetoric to tarnish Israel’s reputation and to isolate only the Jewish state with boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaigns.
Don’t Israelis deserve justice? Faced with relentless Palestinian terror in the form of thousands of deadly rockets fired at its cities, which endures daily car-ramming and stabbing attacks of the likes that we saw at the British parliament yesterday, and whose many foes (Hamas, Hezbollah, ISIS and Iran) are committed to its destruction.
Importantly, Prime Minister Trudeau’s principled support for Israel is deserving of praise, not opprobrium by Kanji. Trudeau’s standing with Israel and confronting systemic bias at the United Nations, condemning the BDS movement, and deploring the pernicious rise of antisemitism, should be lauded – not lamented.
Untold by Ms. Kanji (a self-proclaimed “legal analyst”), the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) report was written by notorious antisemite Richard Falk, whom she regards as an “academic expert”. According to UN Watch, Falk was denounced on repeated occasions by former UN chief Ban Ki-moon and other world leaders for espousing 9/11 conspiracy theories, blaming the U.S. and Israel for the Boston Marathon bombing, and for spreading antisemitism. Even the Palestinian leadership considers Falk “a partisan of Hamas.”
Exhibit trains overdue lens on secret record of life under Nazis
In the spring of 1945, Henryk Ross, one of the few survivors of the Lodz ghetto, unearthed a box containing some 6,000 photo negatives. He’d snapped the photos while confined to the ghetto over the past four years. A few months prior to its final liquidation, he’d buried them.
“I buried my negatives in the ground in order that there should be some record of our tragedy… I was anticipating the total destruction of Polish Jewry. I wanted to leave a historical record of our martyrdom,” he wrote four decades later, from his home in Jaffa, Israel.
Ross, who died in 1991, had been a professional photojournalist before the Nazi occupation of Poland. He was one of two Jews in the ghetto, along with Mendel Grossman, who took official photographs for the Statistics Department of the Judenrat, the Jewish Council, set up under Nazi rule.
Ross’s official duties required him to take identification photographs of ghetto residents as well as photographs of the factories. These images were used as propaganda to promote the productivity of the ghetto’s slave labor workforce.
But at great risk to his own life, Ross ventured beyond his official duties. Often accompanied by his wife, Stefania, he clandestinely took thousands of additional photographs.
Israeli President Rivlin Witnesses Jewish State’s Technology in Action in Vietnam
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin this week visited the Southeast Asian nation of Vietnam, where the countries signed an agreement on collaboration in the fields of industrial research and development.
“When the state of Israel was very young, we, the Israelis, called ourselves ‘sabras.’ Sabra is the fruit from the cactus plant and only grows in the desert. Like the sabra, we managed to provide water and food to make us flourish even when we didn’t have enough water. We did it by becoming experts in making the most out of every drop. We have a shared vision, and we must let this vision grow together. Only together can we face global challenges,” Rivlin said at an Israeli-Vietnamese business conference.
The Israeli leader made a stop Thursday in the bustling metropolis of Ho Chi Minh City. Rivlin and his wife, Nechama, visited the Dairy Demonstration and Experimental Farm, a joint project established in 2013 between the city’s Agriculture and Rural Development Department, the Israeli Embassy in Vietnam and MASHAV, Israel’s international development cooperation agency. The farm, which holds around 200 cows, was modeled after Israeli dairy farms and utilizes advanced dairy technology developed in Israel.
The Rivlins also visited Nguyen Van Troi Elementary School, which uses Israeli technology to educate more than 1,000 students in the fields of science and technology.
Israel, China Sign $10 Million Deal to Open Three Artificial Intelligence Centers
Three Israeli-Chinese artificial intelligence technology centers are to be constructed in Israel and China with an initial investment of $10 million, according to an agreement signed March 20 in China by the University of Haifa, the Hangzhou Wahaha Group, and the Institute of Automation at the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
The Israeli center will be located in Haifa, while its Chinese counterparts will be based in Hangzhou and Beijing. The institutes will aim to develop and industrialize cutting-edge application technologies from the University of Haifa and the Chinese Academy of Sciences, including vision tracking through mobile devices, image processing and big data for medical applications, 3D image learning, chip technologies, biometric identification, and more.
The initiative will be financed by Zong Qinghou, chairman and CEO of the Hangzhou Wahaha Group, an umbrella of private companies and the largest beverage producer in China. The agreement with University of Haifa is its first step in fostering academia and research, with construction of the institute set to be completed within the next two years.
The deal was inked while a delegation including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli Minister of Economy and Industry Eli Cohen, and University of Haifa President Ron Robin was in China for a three-day trip to boost business ties and celebrate 25 years since Israel and China established diplomatic relations.
In First, Israeli Students to Receive Prestigious Rhodes Scholarship
The first two Israeli students to receive the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship to study at Oxford University will be announced next week, following a years-long campaign to let Israelis join the list of eligible nationalities.
The Israeli students will participate in the program along with the first Rhodes Scholars from Syria, Jordan, the Palestinian Authority, and Lebanon, The Jewish Chronicle reported. The program, established by the Rhodes Trust in 1902, was originally open to students from English-speaking British colonies, the United States, and Germany. Since then, it has expanded to include candidates from West Africa, China, the United Arab Emirates, and Malaysia, among others.
The campaign to include Israel was led by Gary Pickholz, chairman of the Weird Science Lab at Oxford University.
“We are ecstatic at the decision to include Israel in the most prestigious scholarship awarded,” Pickholz said. “We are also delighted that Israel will become a regular annual candidate country. This should significantly assist the UK’s academic research at the most elite level.”
Pickholz’s efforts were reportedly met with resistance from proponents of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions campaign, which aims to demonize and isolate Israel until it accedes to a number of unilateral Palestinian demands.
Israeli Agriculture Ministry Unveils Plan to Use Country’s $5 Billion of Food Waste to Feed the Needy
In Israel, about 18 billion shekels ($5 billion) of food is wasted each year, which is the equivalent of 1.6 percent of the state’s gross domestic product. The estimate—calculated during a study conducted last year by the non-profit food rescue organization Leket Israel in conjunction with the BDO consulting group—includes food lost at all stages of production and distribution, from the farm to food retailers’ shelves to consumers’ homes. For comparison, about 33% of domestically produced food is wasted around the world.
As a solution, the Jewish state’s Agriculture Ministry has developed a program to support the harvesting of produce that farmers do not typically collect due to low financial turnaround. The ministry will then distribute these fruits and vegetables to families in need. Another component of the plan calls for the agricultural industry to use packaging that will increase the shelf life of fresh produce and sell cosmetically-flawed but safe-to-eat items at a lower price. A consumer education campaign is also in the works.
According to Leket and BDO’s projections, the ministry’s proposed program could help reduce Israel’s food waste by half if consumers also use up leftover food from processing plants, restaurants, and hotels and food on the cusp of expiration that would otherwise be thrown out by retailers before being sold.
“Food loss is a substantial problem not only [elsewhere] in the world but also in Israel,” Uri Tzuk-Bar, the deputy director general for research, economics and strategy at the Agriculture Ministry, told Haaretz. Around 18 percent of the Israeli population faces moderate to severe food insecurity, he added.
Israel works to lead $50 billion medical marijuana market
Israel, a leader in marijuana research and health technology, is attracting international investment as it tries to position itself as a cutting-edge exporter in the rapidly growing market for medical-grade cannabis.
With estimates that the global market for medical marijuana could reach $50 billion by 2025, the Israeli government is set to allow the local industry to start exporting, and it projects annual revenues in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
Medical cannabis is a relatively new field with no universal clinical standards. Israel aims to fill the void by combining its expertise in agriculture, technology and cannabis-based medicine, said Yuval Landschaft, head of the Health Ministry's medical cannabis unit.
"In the United States, for example, they use recreational marijuana for medical use -- that's like making chicken soup when you have a cold," Landschaft told Reuters. "We're the ones making the antibiotics."
The strategy is to create medical-grade cannabis with quality and efficacy ensured along the entire supply chain, from cultivation to manufacture and distribution.
Israeli-American partnership launching cannabis sleep aid
The American pharmaceutical company CannRx and accelerator iCAN:Israel-Cannabis have partnered to launch a sleep aid, called ican.sleep, made from cannabis extracts. The product will be the first pharmaceutical grade cannabis formulation for sleep on the market, and could be a boon for the pharmaceutical industry in Israel, said Bill Levine, the executive chairman of CannRx Technologies.
The product will consist of a precise cannabis formulation that will be inhaled by users for a rapid onset. The formulation will also determine the duration of users’ sleep.
“You take a puff or two, depending upon the dosage, and basically within ten minutes you’ll be drowsy enough to sleep,” Levine said. “We can give you a predictable, dose dependent response every single time.”
The companies announced the new product at the CannaTech medical cannabis conference in Tel Aviv this week. CannRx and iCAN plan to launch the sleep supplement globally following patent trials this year.
After bureaucracy battle, 9 Venezuelan converts immigrate to Israel
It’s not quite Moses’ 40 years in the desert, but for a group of nine struggling Venezuelan converts to Judaism their torturous journey to a better life in the promised land finally brought them to Israel on Thursday.
They immigrated under the Law of Return, which gives Jews the world over the right to settle in Israel.
The journey almost fell apart late last year when, after seven months of correspondence with officials in Israel, they were denied entry over concerns they weren’t involved enough with Venezuela’s Jewish community and were looking to take advantage of Israel’s immigration policies to flee the troubled South American nation.
But that decision was reversed in January. As part of a face-saving deal worked out by liberal Israeli lawmakers and ultra-Orthodox officials, the group marked their conversion — for the second time — with a ritual immersion last Sunday at a synagogue in Colombia before picking up their visas and setting off for Israel.
“May you find your heart’s desire, healing and peace with all of your brothers in Israel — those who are traveling with you and those you’ve yet to meet,” Rabbi Juan Mejia said as leaned his forehead against Jackson Marrone’s, offering him a blessing for a safe journey. Shouts of “mazel tov” echoed off the sanctuary’s high ceiling.

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