Saturday, March 25, 2017

From Ian:

Anne Bayefsky: Say what?! UN Human Rights Council declares Israel world's No. 1 human rights violator
According to the U.N.'s top human rights body, Israel is the worst human rights violator in the world today. That’s the result of the latest session of the UN Human Rights Council which wrapped up in Geneva on Friday by adopting five times more resolutions condemning Israel than any other country on earth.
President Trump’s administration is currently a member of this reprehensible body. To borrow Elie Wiesel’s counsel to President Reagan not to pay his respects at a German graveyard containing Nazi SS remains: “That place, Mr. President, is not your place.”
The Bush administration refused to join the Council when it was created in 2006.
On March 31, 2009, President Obama – fully aware of its entrenched anti-Israel and anti-Jewish bias – made jumping on board one of his very first foreign policy moves. Moreover, in an unscrupulous attempt to control his successor, the former President obtained yet another three-year term for the United States on the Council that began on January 1, 2017.
If President Trump were to choose a swift departure from the Council as one of his very first foreign policy moves, it would demonstrate a principled reset of American values and priorities on the world stage. March 31, 2017, the anniversary of Obama’s decision, would be an auspicious date to make that point.
The reasons for leaving are many. Here are a few:
After London terror attack, UK blasts UNHRC anti-Israel bias
The United Kingdom blasted the United Nations Human Rights Council for its biased treatment of Israel and for failing to condemn Palestinian terrorism in a strongly worded speech it delivered in Geneva on Friday.
“Today we are putting the Human Rights Council on notice,” UK Ambassador Julian Braithwaite told the UNHRC as it wrapped up its 34th session. He spoke just after the 47 member UNHRC had approved four resolutions that condemned Israeli actions against the Palestinians and one that called on it to return the Golan Heights to Syria.
The UK supported two of the resolutions, abstained on another two, and voted against the one with regard to the Golan Heights. Out of a similar concern with regard to bias, the US, traditionally has been the only country to consistently vote against all UNHRC resolutions that involve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the Golan Heights. In this session, the US and Togo, voted against those texts.
But Braithwaite warned that it would follow the US in rejecting all resolutions on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, if the UNHRC did not treat Israel proportionally.
In this session out of the 10 condemnations issue against individual countries, five were leveled at Israel.
“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,” Braithwaite said.
He spoke just two days after a terrorist attack in London claimed the lives of five people, including the assailant.
Statement from family of Edward Joffe on Rasmea Odeh plea deal
Yesterday we reported that Palestinian terrorist Rasmea Odeh had agreed to a plea deal in her immigration fraud case, Terrorist Rasmea Odeh cops plea deal, to leave country.
Under that plea deal, Rasmea would avoid prison time, but would require her to forfeit her U.S. citizenship and be deported (likely to Jordan initially). Her plea hearing will be held on April 25, 2017 at 2:30 PM, at federal court in Detroit.
The plea on immigration fraud resulted from Rasmea’s failure to disclose on her visa papers (in 1994) and naturalization papers (2003) that she had been convicted in Israel in 1970 of the bombing of the SuperSol supermarket in Jerusalem, killing Hebrew University students Edward Joffe and Leon Kanner.
The family of Edward Joffe, two brothers and a sister, provided me with this statement on the plea deal:
“Although Odeh will not serve further prison time for the Immigration Fraud crimes of which she is guilty, we believe that after a long and difficult trial and appeal, it is time for her to be stripped of her US citizenship and deported without further delay.
While it would have been helpful to have seen some kind of repentance for her horrendous acts, her plea does show admission of guilt in our eyes. We hope that her misguided supporters will now recognize her guilty plea for what it is, and desist from pretending she is a victim.
The true victims are the two young men Edward Joffe and Leon Kanner whom she murdered.
We want to commend the US Department of Justice and especially US Attorneys Barbara McQuade and Jonathan Tukel for resolutely prosecuting this case with exceptional competence and professionalism.”

Melanie Phillips: Could Trump have been… you know… er, not wholly wrong?
An 18 year-old Jewish teenager, born in the US and living in the Israeli town of Ashkelon, has been arrested on suspicion of issuing dozens of fake bomb and other threats to Jewish communities in the US, Europe, Australia and New Zealand over a period of six months.
The suspect reportedly used very complex methods to prevent himself from being caught so that law enforcement agencies had to use their own complex methods to find him.
This is a most bizarre and disturbing development. Details of this young man, and of his father who has also been arrested, are currently scarce. One can only speculate therefore about the motive in this troubling case.
The significance of this arrest, however, is rather broader. For President Donald Trump was accused of antisemitism when, asked to comment about the wave of attacks said to be taking place against Jewish targets across America, he reportedly replied: “Sometimes it’s the reverse, to make people — or to make others — look bad.”
This was seized upon as recycling the ancient antisemitic canard that the Jews fabricate attacks upon themselves to gain the unwarranted sympathy of others. His remark was held to be proof positive, therefore, that Donald Trump was an antisemite.
Yet now a Jew has indeed been arrested for dozens of these threats. The only other person to have been arrested in connection with these reported attacks is a black leftist.
Top Obama Administration Officials Show Total Lack of Self-Awareness on Twitter
And rounding out this Twitter Tri-Force of Bewilderment, Samantha Power weighed in on the recent revelation of a mass grave discovered near Mosul, found after coalition forces retook the area from ISIS.
“And there are so many more horrors yet to be unearthed.” Power moralized while quote-tweeting Human Rights Watch. For those who need a reminder, Power was the United States Ambassador to the United Nations from 2013 to 2017. Apparently Power needs to be reminded of this as well, as during her four-year tenure, the words “horror” and “ISIS” barely found a way to cross her lips and into a speech.
What horrors specifically is she referring to? Does she know of other horrors waiting to be unearthed? Because it would be amazing if Power was ever in a position of *coughs* power, to stop all of that, or bring an international body in on it. Why was she allowed to sit idly by for four years while these atrocities went unspoken for in front of the UN? A bystander to the world but now totally woke and self aware on Twitter.
Power was so negligent in her duty that it took human rights attorney Amal Clooney speaking on behalf of her client Nadia Murad, an ISIS victim of human trafficking, to bring the governing body to their feet.
“Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, what is shocking here is not just the brutality of ISIS but how long those who know about it can remain passive. If we do not change course, history will judge us, and there will be no excuse for our failure to act,” Clooney declared. “Not one ISIS militant has faced trial for international crimes anywhere in the world… Why is it that nothing has been done?”
Good question, Amal. Her twitter handle is @samanthajpower.
American court won't allow terror suit against PA
A federal appeals court in the United States ruled on Friday that the families of Jewish worshippers who were killed or wounded during a 2011 attack in Joseph’s Tomb will not be allowed to sue the Palestinian Authority (PA) for damages in U.S. courts.
The decision upheld a lower court ruling to dismiss the case, according to The Associated Press.
The attack, which was carried out by a PA security guard, killed Israeli citizen Ben-Yosef Livnat, nephew of former Likud Minister Limor Livnat.
Also wounded in the same attack were Americans Yitzhak Safra and Natan Safra.
The families sued under the federal Anti-Terrorism Act, saying the shooting took place at the behest of the Palestinian Authority and was directed at the U.S.
The U.S Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, however, said there was no evidence that the attack targeted the U.S.
Terror victims have been successful in suing the PA in the United States in the past. In 2015, the PA and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) were found liable by a court for their role in encouraging and inciting terror attacks during the Second Intifada.
Ex-Israeli Supreme Court President: World Is Learning From Jewish State About Protecting Human Rights During Times of Terror
The Jewish state is a global human rights leader that is serving as an example to others as terrorism continues to plague the world, a prominent former Israeli Supreme Court president said this week, the Hebrew newspaper Makor Rishon reported.
“I was invited to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, and 300 judges there asked me how to defend human rights in a period of terror,” retired Justice Aharon Barak recounted at an event at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. “They are at a loss.”
“In Israel,” he went on to say, “we have been able to manage better than others to protect human rights. Even though we have security problems, we — Israeli society, the Knesset and the courts — have always been able to recognize the existence of human rights. All of the major Supreme Court rulings have followed this line, and today they are being studied around the world.”
“Toward the end of the 20th century, there was a tremendous blossoming of human rights, but today I’m worried about the future of human rights in the world,” the 80-year-old Barak — who headed the Israeli Supreme Court from 1995 to 2006 — noted. “The issues of refugees and terror [have] a great chance of harming human rights. Constitutional and supreme courts [in other countries] still do not know how to deal with them.”
Col Kemp: Khalid Masood simply doesn't fit profile for jihadists and reality is the police and MI5 can't monitor everyone
Britain sustained its first Islamic terrorist attack in July 2005 when I was responsible for coordinating the national intelligence agencies in support of COBRA.
Following COBRA’s meeting on the day of the London attack this week, the emergency committee will have met several times.
One of the key issues under discussion has been the profile of the terrorist, his known associates and whether he was working alone.
The members of COBRA would have quickly realized that 52-year-old Khalid Masood did not fit the usual profile for jihadists active in this country.
The average age is just 22 – often impressionable hotheads who are easy prey for radical preachers like Anjem Choudhray, himself now in prison for terror-related crimes.
Masood seems to come from a relatively well-to-do background. This is not uncommon, contrary to the popular misconception that most jihadists are from poor families, marginalized and cast aside by society.
Saudi embassy confirms UK terrorist had been in Saudi Arabia
The man who killed four people outside Britain’s Parliament was in Saudi Arabia three times and taught English there, the Persian Gulf country’s embassy said.
Khalid Masood taught English in Saudi Arabia from November 2005 to November 2006 and again from April 2008 to April 2009, a Saudi Embassy statement released late Friday said.
Masood had a work visa during those times, and then he returned for six days in March 2015 on a trip booked through an approved travel agent, the embassy said. Saudi security services didn’t track him and he didn’t have a criminal record there.
Before taking the name Masood, he was known as Adrian Elms. He was known for having a violent temper in England and had been convicted at least twice for violent crimes.
Ohio: Accused Killer Nasser Hamad Invokes 'Islamophobia' Defense in Double Homicide
An ongoing domestic dispute fueled by Facebook threats from an accused killer led to an ambush by Nasser Hamad. This resulted in the shooting deaths of two victims and the wounding of three others:
Now Hamad has attacked the victims in court, saying that they were a "terroristic group set firmly against Hamad because he was an Arab and a Muslim":
The killings occurred on February 25 outside Hamad's home in Warren, Ohio. He fired into the van occupied by the victims. There is no indication the victims had a weapon of any type:
Family dispute sparked fatal Howland shooting …
Earlier this month, a Trumbull County judge set bail for Hamad at $5 million, despite Hamad's claims he was being charged solely on the basis of his race. But his bond was later revoked at the request of prosecutors:
During the bond hearing, he asked an assistant prosecutor if he was a "Zionist Jew":
UN urges countries to avoid ties with 'settlements'
The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on Friday adopted four resolutions on the Israeli-Palestinian Authority (PA) conflict, including a motion condemning Israel for its construction in Judea, Samaria, eastern Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, Haaretz reports.
The last motion calls on states and firms to avoid both direct and indirect ties with the “settlements”, according to the report. The four resolutions are only declarative in nature.
36 member states voted in favor of the resolution criticizing Israeli construction, including Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Portugal, Slovenia, Switzerland, China, India, Japan, South Africa, Nigeria and Brazil.
Nine states abstained: United Kingdom, Latvia, Croatia, Albania, Georgia, Hungry, Panama, Paraguay and Ruanda. Only two countries – the United States and Togo – opposed the resolution.
Israel, along with the United States, had in recent days tried to persuade other countries to vote against these resolutions, specifically the one condemning “settlements”.
A senior Foreign Ministry official admitted that Israel failed to thwart the resolution, but said it was successful in softening significant parts of it, as well as convincing almost half of the European Union member states to abstain.
“Considering the circumstances, this is an achievement,” he said, according to Haaretz.
In letter to Trump, 191 House members urge support for two states
Signed almost entirely by Democrats, missive wants president to reaffirm ‘longstanding, bipartisan commitment’ to two-state solution
Almost 200 House members sent an open letter to President Donald Trump Friday asking him to reaffirm US support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“For decades, American presidents and Israeli prime ministers of all political parties have publicly supported and worked toward attaining a peace agreement that recognizes Israel’s right to exist as a democratic, Jewish state and establishes a demilitarized Palestinian state, coexisting side-by-side in peace and security,” the letter stated.
Facilitated by Virginia Rep. Gerry Connolly and North Carolina Rep. David Price, both Democrats, the letter comes just before the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee’s annual policy conference, where Vice President Mike Pence and US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley will speak.
UN envoy: Israel not stopping 'settlements'
UN Middle East envoy Nickolay Mladenov on Friday criticized, saying it has not taken steps to halt “settlement construction” as demanded by UN Security Council Resolution 2334 which was adopted in December.
"The resolution calls on Israel to take steps 'to cease all settlements activities in the occupied Palestinian territory including east Jerusalem.' No such steps have been taken during the reporting period," Mladenov told the council, according to Reuters.
Israel's Ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, dismissed Mladenov’s remarks.
"There can be no moral equivalency between the building of homes and murderous terrorism. The only impediment to peace is Palestinian violence and incitement. This obsessive focus on Israel must end," said Danon.
The 15-member council adopted Resolution 2334 on December 23, 2016, after the United States, in one of the final moves by former President Barack Obama, abstained in the vote and allowed it to pass.
Current President Donald Trump and his UN envoy, Nikki Haley, have taken a different approach regarding the UN and have called it out over its anti-Israel bias.
Egypt's ambassador to Israel Peace between Egypt and Israel is strong, stable
Forty years since Egyptian President Anwar Sadat made his historic visit to Jerusalem and 38 years since the signing of the peace treaty between the two former enemies, Egypt’s Ambassador to Israel said that the peace between the two countries is stable, strong and will continue to remain such.
“The channels of communication between both countries are open and there is ongoing constructive dialogue to achieve our mutual goals in achieving stability and prosperity in the region and defeating terrorism,” said Ambassador Hazem Khairat at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv marking the occasion.
Khairat said that Sadat’s visit to Jerusalem “not only paved the way for four decades of bilateral peace but also initiated the entire peace process to solve the Arab-Israeli conflict.”
“Forty years ago no-one thought Egypt and Israel could reach peace but we did,” Khairat said, adding that “our peace is just like a leaf of tree that needs to be taken care of in order to grow and flourish.”
Addressing the current situation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict Khairat said that a two-state solution was “the only possible way forward” and warned against continued settlement growth.
“A viable Palestinian State cannot happen with continue with settlement expansion,” he said, adding that the continued building of settlements “threatens Israel's security as desperation and extremism is only fueled when this happens. The absence of hope increases tensions and could lead to violence which would only benefit the extremists on both sides.”
Fear of Iran and mistrust of President Trump have been pushing the Gulf states closer to Israel
Fear of Iran and mistrust of President Trump have been pushing the Gulf states closer to Israel.
By this time it is a commonplace to mention that because of a common fear of Iran, Israel and the countries of the Arabian Peninsula, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States, organized in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) are improving their relations, particularly in the spheres of defense and security, albeit quietly and with no publicity, so as not to disturb the "Arab Street", which by and large continues to demonize the "Zionist Entity".
In addition, during the presidential campaign last year, Donald Trump excoriated the GCC countries for not pulling their own weight in the fight against ISIS and al-Qaida, despite their oil riches. This followed the eight years of the Obama administration, which ended the bi-partisan support for the GCC countries.
Fear of Iran, neglect by the US and the fall in oil prices had convinced the GCC states that they needed to diversify their external contacts and look for security and defense support in places other than the US and Europe, generally thought of as "The West." Russia and China were approached and at least in the case of Russia, responded with alacrity, supplying weapons systems to supplement or replace those no longer obtained from "The West." Those contacts could be openly engaged in and their fruits openly acknowledged.
Report: US, Russia agree to help Israel 'expel' Iran from Syria
The United States, Russia and Israel have reportedly reached a consensus on the need to restrict and eventually expel pro-Iranian forces from gaining influence in Syria, the Kuwati daily newspaper Al-Rai reported Saturday.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, according to the Arab outlet, has reached an understanding with Washington and Moscow that pro-Iranian forces, including Lebanese terror organization Hezbollah, constitute an "existential threat" to the Jewish state.
This threat, therefore, necessitates Israeli action in Syria, including conducting airstrikes and other assaults to keep weapons and advancing militias as far as possible from Israel's northern border.
According to anonymous US officials who spoke to the Kuwaiti publication, Israel's targeting of pro-Iranian forces in the South of Syria is being accompanied by Russian pressure in the center and North to help stabilize the country. Russia is also reportedly open to withdrawing its forces in certain areas, leaving the Syrian army loyal to President Bashar Assad to take over.
Israel hopes, with the help of Russia and the United States, that this pressure will help weaken pro-Iranian military entities to the point where they can be removed from the battle-scarred nation.
Police believe suspect began JCC hoax bomb campaign because army rejected him
The Israeli-American teenager arrested Thursday on suspicion of phoning in over 100 hoax bomb threats against Jewish institutions across the US and elsewhere reportedly began making the calls after the army refused to accept him for military service, apparently on medical grounds.
Quoting Israeli police sources, Israel’s Channel 10 news said the army rejection infuriated and depressed him, and made him determined to show “what he was capable of.”
Parts of the case, including the 18-year-old suspect’s name, remain under a gag order in Israel.
The TV report said that the suspect was tracked down following an initial tip from New Zealand, one of several countries along with the United States to which he had telephoned hoax bomb threats to Jewish organizations.
FBI investigators are in Israel questioning the suspect along with Israeli police.
His father is also in detention, reportedly on suspicion that he knew what his son was doing, while his mother has disappeared.
Hamas terror official assassinated in Gaza; Israel blamed
Mazen Faqha, a Hamas official freed as part of the 2011 deal to release captive IDF soldier Gilad Shalit and deported to Gaza, was assassinated on Friday evening by unknown gunmen. Hamas said Israel was to blame and vowed revenge. Israel had no comment.
Faqha, who was jailed for life for organizing a 2002 suicide bombing, was released along with more than 1,000 other Palestinian prisoners in exchange for Shalit, who was held by Hamas for five years.
Faqha was shot dead near his home in Tel el-Hawa, a neighborhood in southwestern Gaza City, by assailants using a weapon equipped with a silencer. He was hit by four bullets to the head, Gaza reports quoted by Army Radio said.
The identity and motive of the assailants was not immediately clear. There was no official comment from Israel on his killing.
“Hamas and its (military wing) hold (Israel) and its collaborators responsible for this despicable crime… (Israel) knows that the blood of fighters is not spilled in vain and Hamas will know how to act,” Hamas said in a statement reported by Reuters.
Khalil al-Haya, Hamas’s deputy chief in the Gaza Strip, said only Israel would have had something to gain from the death, Reuters added.
Hezbollah blames Israel for assassination of slain Hamas terrorist
The Lebanese terrorist organization Hezbollah on Saturday condemned the assassination of Mazen Faqha, a senior Hamas official and accused Israel of masterminding the killing.
The organization asserted in a statement that the assassination was riddled with “Zionist fingerprints,” and added that its fight against Israel would continue, according to a report in the Al-Manar website, which is tightly associated with Hezbollah and serves as the group’s mouthpiece.
Faqha, who was jailed for life for organizing a 2002 suicide bombing, was released along with more than 1,000 other Palestinian prisoners in exchange for Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who was held by Hamas for five years.
He was shot to death on Friday near his home in Tel el-Hawa, a neighborhood in southwestern Gaza City, by assailants using a weapon equipped with a silencer. He was hit by four bullets to the head, Gaza reports quoted by Army Radio said.
Thousands of Hamas supporters on Saturday called for “revenge” during Faqha’s Gaza funeral, as leaders of the terror group continued to blame Israel for his killing and threatened retribution.
Thousands attend funeral of slain Hamas terrorist as group vows revenge
Thousands of Hamas supporters on Saturday called for “revenge” during the Gaza funeral of a top terrorist, as leaders of the terror group continued to blame Israel for his killing and threatened retribution.
“Revenge, revenge!” called participants at the procession for Mazen Faqha, 38, who was shot dead by unknown gunmen in the Gaza Strip on Friday.
Hamas-nominated attorney general Ismail Jaber blamed Israel for the killing, who was freed as part of the 2011 deal to release captive IDF soldier Gilad Shalit and deported to Gaza.
“This assassination has the clear marks of Mossad,” he said, referring to the Jewish state’s spy agency.
Faqha is believed to have been responsible for cells of Hamas’s military wing in the West Bank.
Hamas Prime minister Ismail Haniyeh and Yahya Sinwar, the new leader of Hamas in the Gaza Strip, headed the procession from the Shifa morgue to the Omari mosque, an AFP photographer said.
Khalil al-Haya, a deputy to Sinwar, promised retaliation.
“If the enemy thinks that this assassination will change the power balance, then it should know the minds of [Hamas] will be able to retaliate in kind,” he said. On Friday al-Haya said that only the Jewish state would have had something to gain from Faqha’s death.
Syria threatens to fire Scud missiles at Israel — report
The Syrian leadership has sent messages to Israel warning that any further strikes by the IDF on targets within Syria’s borders would be met with Scud rockets fired deep into the Jewish state, the Lebanese newspaper Al-Diyar reported Saturday.
The Assad regime conveyed the message to Israel via Russian mediators, the report said.
According to the report, Syria warned that Israeli strikes on Syrian military targets would be met with the firing of Scud missiles capable of carrying half a ton of explosives at IDF bases, while an attack on civilian targets would see Syria launching a counter strike on the Haifa port and the petrochemical plants in the area.
The report warned that Syria has over 800 Scud missiles and that Syria would not issue any warnings before the missile strikes because Israel does not warn before it hits.
On Wednesday, Israeli jets were reported to have carried out airstrikes near the Syrian capital of Damascus, hours after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to continue hitting weapons convoys and rebuffed claims Russia had ordered the strikes halted.
Coalition says it hit Mosul site where mass civilian casualties reported
The US-led coalition against the Islamic State group said Saturday that it struck a location in west Mosul where dozens of civilians were reportedly killed by aerial bombing.
“An initial review of strike data… indicates that, at the request of the Iraqi security forces, the coalition struck (IS) fighters and equipment, March 17, in west Mosul at the location corresponding to allegations of civilian casualties,” it said in a statement.
Iraqi officials and witnesses say that strikes in west Mosul have killed several hundred people in recent days, but the number of victims could not be independently confirmed, and the toll from the specific strike referenced by the coalition was unclear.
The coalition said at the beginning of this month that “it is more likely than not, at least 220 civilians have been unintentionally killed by coalition strikes”, while other incidents were still under investigation.
Hundreds of thousands more are still in danger inside the city, where Iraqi forces have recaptured a series of neighborhoods since the operation to retake west Mosul from the Islamic State group was launched last month.
Both Iraqi aircraft and those from an international US-led coalition are carrying out strikes in the Mosul area.
President of Ireland’s Only On-Campus Israel Society Assaulted at ‘Peace Week’ Bake Sale
The president of Ireland’s only on-campus Israel student group was assaulted on Thursday while manning a kosher bake sale booth for charity, The Algemeiner has learned.
Alan Lyne — founder of the Israel Society at the almost entirely non-Jewish Maynooth University — said Friday, “I’m still in shock,” after an individual believed to be a student pushed and shoved him during the pro-Israel “Peace Week” event.
The bake sale table was set up in the middle of a major student hub, when the attacker “came up and started hurling abuses at me, yelling at us to ‘get out of here,'” Lyne said.
“At first it was just the usual stuff — he was shouting, ‘F*** Israel,’ ‘Free Palestine’ — but then he got very close to me. He didn’t listen when I told his to step away, so I took out my phone to start recording. Then, suddenly, he was on me,” Lyne said.
“I was stunned. My face and hands went numb,” he continued. “I can’t remember exactly what happened next, but it seems a couple of bystanders pulled him off me and pinned him against the wall. Somehow, he got away, grabbed my phone out of my hands and smashed it against the wall.”
Lyne said he and many others recognized the individual responsible from around the campus, but his name remains unknown. He called on any of the dozens of students in the vicinity during the incident to come forward and speak with campus or local police.
NGO Monitor: Statement in Response to the National Service Law
In response to the passing of a law revoking national-service positions in organizations that receive the majority of their funding from foreign governments, NGO Monitor reiterates its long-held opposition to restrictive legislative approaches.
As a research institute, NGO Monitor has shown that restrictive laws are counterproductive and ineffective. Time and again, NGOs have exploited such measures to create a perception of being persecuted, damaging Israel’s international reputation and strengthening NGO fundraising efforts. Rather than weakening politicized NGOs, this increases their ability to disproportionately influence the public debate.
Funders that want to continue to support political activity in Israel can easily establish alternative mechanisms to bypass the laws. In addition, the proposals tend to only apply to a handful of Israeli NGOs, and do not address the more serious problems from Palestinian and international groups that operate outside Israel’s jurisdiction, transparency law and reporting requirements.
NGO Monitor emphasizes the need for dialogue with European governments on the basis of agreed-upon policy and funding guidelines that will prevent organizations that are active in anti-Israel or antisemitic campaigns, deny Israel’s right to exist, or support terrorism from receiving funding. Bills that would halt funding to anti-Israel NGOs, as well as other parliamentary interventions in Switzerland, the Netherlands, the UK, and elsewhere, demonstrate the utility of this approach.
BBC News silence on PA terror rewards continues
As has been noted here before, the issue of the Palestinian Authority’s payment of salaries to convicted terrorists is a topic which is serially excluded from the view of BBC audiences.
That subject is obviously of interest to governments and tax payers alike in the many countries that donate aid to the Palestinian Authority – including of course the BBC’s funding British public. Familiarity with the issue is also key to understanding of both the eternal PA budget deficit and the background to Palestinian terrorism.
The Palestinian National Fund (PNF) – which was established in 1964 as part of the PLO and is now controlled by the Palestinian Authority – was blacklisted by Israel’s Minister of Defence last week.
“Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, today (Thursday, 16 March 2017), pursuant to his authority under Article 3 of the 2016 Fight Against Terrorism Law, declared the “Palestinian National Fund” (hereinafter “the fund”) to be a terrorist organization.
The decision to declare the fund a terrorist organization stems from its continuing and ongoing activity in providing massive support for elements responsible for committing severe acts of terrorism against Israel.
The fund serves – inter alia – as a significant financial pipeline for tens of millions of shekels that are transferred on a monthly basis to security prisoners held in Israel for committing acts of terrorism and to members of their families. In effect, the longer the sentence, the greater the payments to the prisoner and his family.
The fund also supports family members of terrorists who were wounded and killed while perpetrating acts of terrorism against Israel.
Nudists slaughter a sheep at Auschwitz; Polish police not sure why
Eleven men and women in their twenties on Friday slaughtered a sheep and took their clothes off at the former Nazi German death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, according to police and the museum at the site in southern Poland.
The individuals aged 20 to 27, whose identities and motives are unknown, then chained themselves together in front of the camp’s infamous “Arbeit macht frei” (“Work makes you free”) gate, the museum said in a statement.
Regional police spokesman Sebastian Glen said the seven men and four women draped a white banner with the red text “love” over the infamous gate.
They also used a drone to film the incident, according to local media.
Museum guards at the site in the southern city of Oswiecim immediately intervened, and police said all those involved have been detained.
They include six Poles, four Belarusians and one German, according to Glen.
“We don’t know how and when the sheep was killed — whether it was killed on the spot, its throat slit, or whether the animal was brought over already dead,” Glen told AFP.
Freemasons boss assaulted in suspected anti-Semitic incident in Paris
A leader of the Freemasons in France said he was assaulted on the street by a woman carrying a hammer who called him a Jew.
Christophe Habas, the master of the Grand Orient of France, suffered superficial wounds in the incident Wednesday night as he was walking to a metro station in the French capital, the Le Parisien daily reported Thursday. The assailant shouted “Jew” three times as she hit him with the hammer before fleeing.
The report did not say whether Habas is Jewish, but according to Le Parisien he recently returned from a trip to Israel that received considerable coverage in the media in France, where the Freemasons movement has 50,000 members.
The Freemasons are members of societies, or lodges, who engage in secret rituals that promoters of the movement say “instill in its members a moral and ethical approach to life.” The rites include “a series of ritual dramas – a progression of allegorical two-part plays which are learnt by heart and performed within each Lodge,” as the British lodge describes them on its website. They “follow ancient forms, and use stonemasons’ customs and tools as allegorical guides.”
During the Nazi occupation of France and under the country’s pro-Nazi puppet state, Freemasonry was banned.
Holocaust Survivor a Bar Mitzvah at 85
Leon Asner never got to celebrate becoming a bar mitzvah when he was 13 years old. The Nazis and World War II made that impossible for the native of Belgium.
Now 85 and a retired tailor, he finally celebrated becoming a Jewish man during a special service Sunday, March 19, at the Marcus Hillel Center at Emory in front of nearly 100 people, most of them Emory students who did not know him until that afternoon.
“Today you have fulfilled the last commandment and have proven to everyone that it is never too late to be the person you want to be and to do the things that we think will make us complete,” said Anat Granath, who has worked with Asner for years through Jewish Family & Career Services’ Holocaust Survivor Services.
“You are an inspiration, not just to all those who witnessed you just now, but to all those who are fortunate enough to know you,” said Granath, who arranged for the bar mitzvah service after Asner approached her with the idea several months ago.
Rabbi Claudio Kaiser-Blueth presided over the ceremony, read Torah and guided Asner through the necessary blessings.
UN Commission Adopts Israeli Resolution Aimed at Ending Workplace Sexual Harassment, Marking ‘Noteworthy’ Diplomatic Achievement for Jewish State
An Israeli resolution aimed at eliminating workplace sexual harassment has been adopted by consensus by the UN Commission on the Status of Women.
“The adoption of this resolution at the UN is a noteworthy achievement and an additional step towards the realization of Israel as a significant player at the UN,” Israeli UN envoy Danny Danon said in a statement on Friday. “Israel is proud to promote this important cause as we strive to put an end to this unacceptable scourge. The struggle against sexual harassment, and the successful promotion of women in the workplace, are of utmost importance and deserve suitable attention at the UN.”
Nelly Shiloh — the head of the Israeli UN Mission’s Human Rights Division who was in charge of promoting the resolution — stated, “We thank all the member-states who supported this important resolution as part of the effort to put an end to this dangerous menace and support women around the world. Israel is proud to fight for human rights and against sexual harassment from the UN.”
According to Israel’s UN Mission, the resolution “denounces sexual harassment in the workplace and encourages UN member-states to adopt a number of steps aimed at combating the phenomenon. The resolution also focuses on education and raising awareness, and it calls on the secretary-general to issue a comprehensive report on the topic.”
Archbishop of Canterbury to visit Israel in May
The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby will travel to Israel for a 12-day visit in May, the Guardian has reported.
It will be Welby’s first visit to the region since 2013.
During his visit Welby is planning to meet with Christian leaders in Bethlehem as well as Israeli and Palestinian leaders. He plans to hold interfaith events to advance peace and coexistence.
Welby will also tour religious sites in Israel including Jerusalem, Nazareth and the Galilee.
During his previous visit Welby stressed Israel’s legitimacy and right to security, and also spoke of the persecution of Christians by Islamists in the Middle East.
Welby, raised by a Jewish father, is the leader of the Church of England and of 80 million Anglicans worldwide.
20 Zionist motorcyclists making trip from London to Maccabiah Games
Ahead of the 20th Maccabiah Games in Israel, 20 motorcyclists from Europe will ride from London to Jerusalem to express solidarity with the Jewish state.
The inaugural Ride for Solidarity initiative is scheduled to depart from the British capital on June 13 and reach Israel in time for the opening of the Maccabiah, which is often labeled the “Jewish Olympics,” on July 4, according to trip organizers.
In Israel, the riders plan to travel from the Golan Heights in its very north to Eilat in the south while carrying the Maccabiah torch, delivering it in time for the opening ceremony in Jerusalem as per an agreement with the event organizers at Maccabi World Union, Jozsef Horvath, a Hungarian member of Maccabi and a co-organizer of the bike ride, told JTA.
The itinerary includes stops in France, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Greece, according to Maximillian Marco Katz, a biking enthusiast from Bucharest and an activist against anti-Semitism in Romania who initiated the solidarity ride.
IsraellyCool: Famous Supporters of Israel: Danny Kaye
Many of you are likely aware that American actor, singer, dancer, comedian, and musician Danny Kaye was Jewish. But did you know he was a huge Israel supporter?
As UNICEF’s First Celebrity Goodwill Ambassador, he came to Israel in the mid 50s.
He later came in 1967 to entertain Israeli troops during the Six Day War.
“Because I believe so deeply in the young I have offered my services. In recent months the youth of Israel have defended their young nation against an attempt at total annihilation. Their courage is on record for all to see. Nor can they now afford to relax. Israel must rebuild and reconstruct. And Israel must at the same time keep her door wide open to Jews from all over the world, especially those who come as refugees from persecution.
The youth in Israel embodies all that Israel stands for—vitality, creativity, independence and the ability to turn to the things of the spirit. Many of the young Israelis are themselves refugee immigrants. To their credit they have turned away from the sorrows of the past. They are free of bitterness and face the future as it can only be faced by those young in heart and spirit.
I am proud and happy to be able to join them.”

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