Wednesday, April 19, 2017

From Ian:

U.N. Fair and U.N. Balanced
Sengupta’s implication in the third example is that the UN Security Council’s obsession with Israel is no big deal because it also discusses Yemen and Syria. But those countries are active war zones, sites of terrorism and foreign intervention and humanitarian crises. Is the New York Times seriously likening the situation in Israel to what’s happening in Yemen and Syria? To do so would be to commit the same gross moral equivalence of which the UN stands condemned.
Moral equivalence between Israel and its adversaries might as well be part of the Times style guide, I suppose. What’s remarkable about Sengupta’s piece is that even as she clumsily attempts to provide left-wing “context” to Haley’s appearance at the Council on Foreign Relations, she can’t bring herself to mention that the charge of corruption against the UN Human Rights Council is a long-standing bipartisan element of U.S. foreign policy.
Saint Hillary Clinton herself, when she announced that America was rejoining the council in 2009, said her goal was “improving the UN human-rights system,” and in a subsequent speech she chided its anti-Israel bias. “It cannot continue to single out and devote disproportionate attention to any one country,” Clinton said.
Haley’s charge is obviously true. The council exists only because its ancestor, the UN Human Rights Commission, had become so monopolized by autocrats, dictators, anti-Semites, anti-Americans, and chronic human-rights violators that it was dissolved upon American withdrawal in 2006. Its replacement is little better, since any human-rights body whose members do not recognize rights within their own borders is not worthy of the name. Last November, the nonprofit UN Watch reported that the autocratic socialist government of Venezuela used hundreds of fraudulent groups to whitewash its record before the council. What’s the word for that? Right: corruption.
Nikki Haley has the clarity of vision and political gumption to call corruption by its name. No wonder the Times finds her so unusual.
It’s fact and fiction at TOI event with two Jerusalem-based authors
Both immigrants from North America, Matti Friedman and Haim Watzman now live and write in Jerusalem. As reporters, they both observed Israeli life with the detachment of a foreigner — and the keen eye of an insider. Now, as authors, this insider-outsider perspective continues as seen in their recently published work.
On Tuesday, April 25, the pair will discuss their new books in English for The Times of Israel Presents. The event is part of the monthly series, Personal Pages: Meet the Authors, and take place at the Tower of David.
Former The Times of Israel staff writer Friedman hails from Toronto. His first book, “The Aleppo Codex,” an investigation into the strange fate of an ancient Bible manuscript, won several awards including the 2014 Sami Rohr Prize and was translated into seven languages. His latest book, “Pumpkinflowers: A Soldier’s Story,” based on his military service in an isolated Israeli army outpost in Lebanon, was chosen as a New York Times notable book and one of Amazon’s 10 best books of 2016.
His reporting, mainly for the Associated Press, took him from Israel to Lebanon, Morocco, Moscow, the Caucasus and Washington, DC. Critical essays he wrote for Tablet and The Atlantic about foreign media coverage on the 2014 Gaza War gained worldwide attention.
Yemen minister says fate of country’s last 50 Jews unknown
Yemen’s information minister said his government is unaware of the fate of the country’s few dozen remaining Jews, most of whom reside in the Houthi rebel group-controlled capital of Sana’a, Israel Radio reported.
Speaking to an Israel Radio reporter on the sidelines of a conference on the civil war in Yemen in Paris, Moammer al-Iryani also said Saturday that the Houthis view the tiny remaining Jewish population as an enemy and are engaged in a campaign of ethnic cleansing that includes ridding Yemen of its Jewish community.
Approximately 50 Jews are believed to remain in Yemen, 40 of them living in Sana’a in a compound adjacent to the American Embassy. Despite the ongoing civil war, they have refused to leave the country.
The Iranian-backed Houthis, who took control of large parts of the country in an offensive beginning in 2015 alongside forces loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, have long incited against Jews and Israel. The group’s slogan is: “Death to America. Death to Israel. Curse upon the Jews. Victory to Islam. Allahu Akbar.”

Douglas Murray: UK: War on Free Speech at the National Union of Students
It is interesting to consider what would happen were anyone to demand the same standards of these campaigners against free speech as they demand of others. The people who make such claims rarely if ever exercise the same civic hygiene they demand of everybody else.
If it furthered their political and other goals then Malia Bouattia and the National Union of Students (NUS) would most likely be currently calling for arrests and prosecutions for incitement, "hate speech" and more. Of course, nobody could be so ill-mannered as to play this political game back at them. But if they were to, they would certainly find far greater evidence of cause and effect than Bouattia and her colleagues have produced to date in their war on free speech.
It could be said that Bouattia engaged in "hate speech" as well as "racist speech" when she said the words she did. It could further be claimed that what Bouattia said in fact constituted "incitement" and an "open invitation to violence". It could be argued that the words which came out of her lips led directly to a Palestinian man thinking that a British student could be killed on a tram in Jerusalem in a legitimate act of "resistance" against a representative of a "Zionist outpost."
UK campus anti-Semitism and the state of free speech
A talk with Lesley Klaff, Senior Lecturer in Law at Sheffield Hallam University and a member of UK Lawyers for Israel, an NGO that provides pro bono legal advice and representation to victims of anti-Semitism.
“Many problems are due to the fact that academics in the UK confuse the principle of freedom of speech with that of academic freedom. Academic freedom means, first of all, the right of universities to be free from state and political interference. Furthermore, university academics are free to test received wisdom and to express controversial views without being fired. Academic freedom also includes the right of universities to appoint staff and admit students, and decide what to teach them and what research to undertake.
“Yet, the perception of many academics - that academic freedom is the same as absolute free speech - is false. This confusion between academic freedom and free speech means that anti-Semitic views of Israel, Judaism, and Jews are often regarded as merely controversial or offensive.
“Many UK universities fail to comply with the legal constraints placed on them by the Education (No. 2) Act 1986. Its section 43 requires the university to ensure freedom of speech on campus, within the law, for its members and visiting speakers, as well as for its students and employees. This means that there is no duty to allow known hate speakers onto campus in the name of academic freedom or free speech, and that there is a duty to conduct a risk assessment in those cases. It also means that the university should ensure the security and freedom of speech for a visiting Israeli speaker.
“Until recently, there was another major problem: no generally accepted definition of anti-Semitism existed. However, in December 2016 the UK became the first country to officially adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism. The Government recommended the definition for use by the police, councils, universities and public bodies, to help those bodies decide if an incident is anti-Semitic or not. UK police forces already use it for this purpose. One should hope that if adopted by universities, the definition will make it much easier for Jewish students to bring successful complaints of anti-Semitic harassment on campus. In case of rejection, they can take the case further to the OIA.”
How academics portray Islam as a’ victim’ of oppression — even as they defend violent Islamists
What ends in law often begins in academia. And the Berkeley conferences are ground zero in North America for hardline theories around Islamophobia. This cadre does not shy away from definitions of Islamophobia, unlike those who promoted and voted for Motion 103, championed by Liberal MP Iqra Khalid and recently passed by Canada’s Parliament. The motion calls for a committee to “study” how to develop a “a whole-of-government approach” to reducing and eliminating Islamophobia, specifically. That word, Islamophobia, left truculently undefined by all politicians supporting its inclusion, glows with radioactive intensity.
Does M-103’s “Islamophobia” mean expressed hatred of people — the West’s normal definition of hatred — or hatred of a belief system, normally a protected category of expression here, as religious Christians know to their chagrin? Canadians have no idea if their right to express distaste for Islam would still be protected in a bill premised on the recommendations of this “study.”
I therefore contacted Jasmin Zine, who teaches race, ethnic, gender and postcolonial studies at Wilfrid Laurier University. She is a regular — and ideologically representative — participant in the Berkeley Islamophobia conferences, including this one.
I asked her to define Islamophobia for me, which she promptly did: “Islamophobia is a fear and hatred of Islam and Muslims that translates into individual, ideological and systemic forms of oppression.” This is quite an insidious, though admittedly clever, definition. Note that it puts “fear and hatred” of Islam, not Muslims, at the centre of the phobia. And the word “translates” is a masterstroke.
No room in my tent: The anti-Semitism of anti-Zionist Jews
In the age of identity politics, the thorny issue of anti-Zionist Jews presents itself time and again. One’s identity does not necessarily confer credibility or make one’s opinions more correct or valid, but when attempting to understand the oppression faced by a particular group, it is important to defer to the voices within that group.
While the anti-Israel camp refuses to apply that principle to Jews, it also vaunts the anti-Zionist (read: anti-Semitic) Jew. The only time those on the far left deign Jewish opinions on anti-Semitism and Israel valid are when those opinions gel with their hatred of Israel.
These Jews are trump cards in the anti-Israel arsenal. Their value as people in the eyes of the BDS camp is derived from their identity, but they are not just tokens; they are weapons. We have made it clear that Israel and Jews are inseparable, and perversely, it is this connection that has lent credence to their anti-Semitic ramblings.
Madrid deputy mayor hosts event in solidarity with Palestinian terrorists
A deputy mayor of Madrid hosted in a municipal space an event honoring Palestinian terrorists from Hamas and other groups who are imprisoned in Israel.
The event, titled “International Day of Palestinian Prisoners,” was hosted Monday at the main municipal space of the district of Retiro in the southeastern part of the center of the Spanish capital and drew harsh condemnations from representatives of the city’s Jewish community, the Libertad daily reported Tuesday.
A poster advertising the event listed Deputy Mayor Mauricio Valiente of the Izquerda Unida far-left party first among four speakers, introducing him by his municipal title and as an expert on human rights.
Another speaker, introduced as a “television journalist and Palestinian former political prisoner,” was Mus’ab Muhammad Nimr Bashir, a 36-year-old Gaza native who had admitted to using his position in 2007 with Doctors Without Borders for planning to assassinate an Israeli official together with other terrorists from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
Another speaker, Ana Sanchez De Mera, was introduced as an activist for “the boycott on Israel.”
Court: Discrimination case by Israeli company against National Lawyers Guild can advance
The National Lawyers Guild is a left-wing lawyer organization that, among other things, actively provides legal advocacy in support of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. NLG also advocates against Israel on a variety of international issues.
NLG is a “proud member” of the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation (since rebranded as U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights), the group that is so toxically anti-Israel that not a single congressman or congresswoman would sponsor its intended Capitol Hill event.
NLG also has filed legal briefs and provide other legal support in support of convicted terrorist Rasmea Odeh, who recently agreed to plead guilty to immigration fraud.
In July 2016, the National Lawyers Guild, Inc. and the National Lawyers Guild Foundation, Inc. (collectively, “NLG”) were sued by Bibliotechnical Athenaeum, an Israeli company.
The lawsuit alleges that NLG refused to accept an advertisement from Bibliotechnical to be placed in an NLG Dinner Journal for an event. Bibliotechnical alleged that the ad was rejected because Bibliotechnical is an Israeli company.
Daphne Anson: "We're Not Racists, We're Not Fascists, & We're Not Far Right" (video)
"We need to put voices like mine in the House of Commons." So declares British campaigner against Islamic misogyny and creeping sharia Ann Marie Waters, and who, having heard her calmly delivered yet urgent message, spoken earlier this year, can blame her?

We need more voices like hers in influential positions in the West in general, of course, people who tell the truth about Islamic misogyny and refuse to jump through politically correct hoops on its behalf, people like American Professor Phyllis Chesler, whose recent shameful and ludicrous treatment has been well-described by Professor Richard Landes here
People who can respond to and neutralise the apologetics for Islam such as characterises this BBC report by Clarissa Sebag-Montefiore entitled "Urban Burqa: An artist's striking critique of Islamophobia"
People like Australia's most widely read columnist Andrew Bolt, who today absolutely demolishes preposterous claims by Islam's apologists, following this weekend's airing of an embarassing (to Islam and its leftist allies) Hizb ut-Tahrir video, that violence against women in Islam is not allowed:
Teacher at Muslim school says student called Boston bombers ‘Jews’
A public teacher working in a private Queens Muslim school was shocked when kids called the Boston Marathon bombers Jews.
Nina Kossman, who taught English at the Razi School in Woodside, once asked her students: “Do you know what happens when people start hating each other for their differences?”
One student answered, “My parents said they [the Boston bombers] were bad people. They were Jews.”
“I was shocked,” said Koss­man, who was removed from Razi last month after she told students the Adam and Eve story is a myth.
Vote in Belgium to ban kosher shechita
The parliament in the Walloon/Wallonia province of Belgium is scheduled to vote Tuesday on a measure to ban shechita, the ritual slaughtering of animals, which is performed without their being stunned first.
The measure attempts to bypass a local constitutional court ruling upholding shechita as a matter of human rights and freedom of religion. Because Tuesday is the last day of Passover outside Israel, Chief Rabbi of Belgium Abraham Gigi expressed hope before the start of the holiday that the vote would be postponed until Thursday to allow Jewish input before the vote. Others fear that the input will only be a formality before the measure is approved.
"The heads of the parties, representatives of the Belgian Consistoire and the head of the Belgian Mahzikei Hadas in Antwerp stated that they would conduct a discussion of our request to allow community members to express their position to parliament members before they vote and to postpone the vote to Thursday as today is a holiday for Jews," Gigi said.
However he added that the community is pessimistic about the outcome of the vote. "Even if our request is approved and we are allowed to express our opinion, we are pessimistic and think is will be a mere formality as they are determined to pass the law."
PreOccupiedTerritory: I Didn’t Realize It Would Be THIS Easy To Sanitize My Jew-Hate As A Progressive (satire)
When I joined the progressive movement, I knew it would not be difficult to use it as a defense against accusations of antisemitism, but I must admit I had no idea it would be nearly this easy.
To the casual observer, a progressive attitude welcomes identity groups of all kinds and strives for equality for all. Being a deep loather of Jews, especially Jews who believe they can self-determine in their historic homeland as if they are like everyone else, I naturally assumed the inclusiveness might force me to at least pretend I hold views other than the ones I really do hold, but that has not been the case. As it turns out, the one group you’re allowed, even encouraged, to hate, is the Jews. You just have to couch it in other terms. I had found an ideological home.
Of course in retrospect I should have been able to see how rife the movement is with antisemites, closet or not. Most ideologies need an enemy, and why create a new one when the Jews are so conveniently there already? But the key lies in always painting the Jew, and of course the Jewish State, as irredeemably oppressive of the less-powerful, and all others’ violations in that regard, no matter how heinous, get a pass. It’s a silly trick, and it shouldn’t work so well or so frequently, but it does. Perhaps I underestimated the level of underlying Jew-hate that already persists in the media. Because damn, this is easy.
The Post Attacks Israel While Reporting Jerusalem Terror Attack
A Washington Post report on an April 14, 2017 Palestinian terror attack omitted important context about the international community’s anti-Israel bias. In so doing, the paper used the occasion of a terrorist attack to gratuitously attack the Jewish state.
In a dispatch (“Woman fatally stabbed in Jerusalem amid Good Friday gatherings,” April 14, 2017), Post reporter Ruth Eglash detailed the fatal stabbing of a 21-year-old British exchange student, Hannah Bladon, by a Palestinian attacker named Jamil Tamimi. Bladon was murdered while she was riding the light rail in Jerusalem.
The Post described the incident as “the latest in a spate of stabbing, shooting and vehicular attacks by Palestinians over the last 18 months.” But then the paper alleged:
“Israel has been accused internationally of being too heavy-handed in response to the attacks, which have left nearly 50 Israelis and more then 200 Palestinians dead. Israel says most of the Palestinians killed were attempting to carry out attacks against Israeli civilians, soldiers or police officers.”
Identifying the BBC’s anonymous “mother of a Palestinian inmate”
So who is this “mother of a Palestinian inmate”? A clue to that question comes in a video that appears on the BBC Arabic website and is also embedded in an Arabic language article titled “More than a thousand Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails begin hunger strike” that, like its English language equivalent, promotes the notion that Palestinian “detainees” might be seen as “political prisoners”.
The woman extensively profiled in that BBC Arabic video is called Najat al Agha and she lives in Khan Younis in the Gaza Strip. Mrs al Agha is by no means publicity shy: she recently told a very similar story to the one promoted by ‘Newsday’ to ‘Amnesty International’ which, predictably, is supplying publicity for the current Fatah hunger strike.
Moreover, Najat al Agha – who actually has had two sons serve time in prison in Israel – appears to come forward to tell her story quite frequently and – perhaps not unrelatedly – has been the recipient of ‘honorary gifts’ from the Palestinian Authority and the PLO.
The son she names in the ‘Newsday’ clip is Diya Zakariya Shaker Al-Agha “Al-Faluji”. He was convicted of the murder of Amatzia Ben Haim from Kibbutz Yad Mordechai in a greenhouse in Ganei Tal in October 1992.
UKMW prompts Guardian correction – editors acknowledge there’s no wall around Haifa
We recently posted about a Guardian article (I’m the only trip-hop artist in Palestine! The musicians shaking up the occupied territories, April 11th) so error-ridden that editors temporarily removed it from their website “pending review”. We complained to the Readers’ Editor office about several errors, two of which – an erroneous Palestinian unemployment statistic and a suggestion that the IDF engages in “summary killings” – were promptly corrected once the piece was restored.
However, they failed to address the most egregiously inaccurate claim we had complained about, that the Israeli city of Haifa – yes, Haifa! – is surrounded by 8 metre high walls.
This morning (a week after the article was published), we saw that the false claim still hadn’t been corrected. So, we had some fun with it on Twitter.
After contact from CAMERA, The Washington Post Corrects on 'Jewish-Only' Roads
CAMERA's Washington D.C. office has prompted a correction of the March 27, 2017 commentary in The Washington Post entitled “Is Israel Losing its Soul?”
Columnist Richard Cohen initially claimed that “Israel has…built roads that only Jewish Israelis may use…”
However, as CAMERA told Post editors and staff, there are no roads that only Jewish Israelis may use. On April 14, 2017, The Post’s editorial page editor informed CAMERA that a correction would be forthcoming.
Indeed, on April 17, 2017 The Post issued a printed correction, in addition to an online correction that appears at the top of the article. It states:
Correction: An earlier version of this column incorrectly said that Israel reserves some roads for Jews. The country closes some roads to virtually all Palestinians, but they are open to all Israeli citizens and to other nationals, regardless of religious background. This version has been updated.
Times of London headline fail – in search of “Hamas Doves”
Last week, we came across this headline at Times of London.
As we wrote in our complaint to editors, the April 11th article by Gregg Carlstrom doesn’t support the headline. There are no references to Hamas “doves” in the text, only a sentence which includes “comparatively moderate politburo” highlighted below.
After a decade in power in Gaza, the militant group Hamas is at war with itself, in a rupture that could have profound implications for Palestine and Israel.
The group’s leadership will meet this spring to debate an overhaul of its founding charter, drafted in 1988.
Hamas has long refused to accept Israel’s existence, but a draft version of the revised document would accept a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza — implicitly acknowledging a second state across the border. It would also jettison some of the worst antisemitic language from the original charter, which speaks of a “struggle against the Jews”.
The proposed changes are the latest sign of a widening split between Hamas’s hawkish military wing and its comparatively moderate politburo. The latter is keen to reach a détente with Israel before another war makes it impossible.
Antisemitism Out of hibernation and traveling at warp speed
After a hiatus of relative calm, antisemitism has been accelerating at an alarming pace across the globe. Its most ominous surge is in Europe, Australia and North America – those traditional bastions of equal rights. All is not quiet on the Western front. Global antisemitism rose 30% in 2013 and 40% in 2014; in Europe, it increased sevenfold from the 1990s to the 2000s.
“These are the worst times since the Nazi era,” German Jewish leader Dieter Graumann told The Guardian. “It’s pure hatred against Jews, nothing else.” Last year, antisemitism exploded exponentially, prompting US Jewish leader Malcolm Hoenlein to warn of a “pandemic in formation.”
Europe is the seedbed of global antisemitism. Its roots are so deeply embedded in European culture and institutions that any type of spark can trigger a fire. Sparks fly from rightwing and left-wing extremists, nationalist political parties, radical Muslim refugees and allies, the Israel-Arab conflict, society’s discontented fringe elements, social media use – all these play a role. But antisemitism boils down to hatred – irrational, double-minded and deluded. And in the hands of institutional power elites – governments, academia, media, corporations or misled religious institutions – it’s increasingly dangerous.
Like locusts lying dormant for years before emerging as a destructive horde, resurgent European antisemitism should surprise no one. Nazi Germany alone did not spawn the Holocaust – sympathizers in Western and Eastern Europe plundered and murdered scores of Jews. Despite dormant periods, antisemitism never disappeared in Europe. It just went underground.
Trial starts for Danish girl planning bomb attack against Jewish school
The trial of a 17-year-old Danish girl suspected of planning bomb attacks against two schools has begun near the Danish capital, Copenhagen.
Police arrested the girl, who was 15 at the time, in January of last year. The girl, who was not allowed to be named, has been kept in custody since her arrest.
Prosecutors have said her targets were her previous school west of Copenhagen and a Jewish school in the capital.
Charges against a 25-year-old man, initially believed to have been an accomplice, have been dropped.
Jewish woman sues Daily Stormer website founder over hate campaign
A Montana Jewish woman, backed by the Southern Poverty Law Center, is suing a neo-Nazi white supremacist for launching a harassment campaign against her and her family.
Tanya Gersh, announcing her lawsuit Tuesday against Andrew Anglin, the founder of the Daily Stormer website, said in a conference call that she has lost income and has suffered because of the attacks unleashed on her after Anglin posted her personal information on his neo-Nazi website in December.
“We got terrorized,” she said, describing multiple death threats, including photoshopped pictures of her and her 12-year old son being murdered by Nazis, and phone calls that included gun shots.
“I’m no longer working, I’m in trauma therapy twice a week, I’m losing my hair,” she said. “I’m having anxieties I never had before. Most importantly, I’m never feeling safe.”
At times during the conference call organized by the SPLC, a hate groups watchdog, she broke down.
Nazi propaganda appears on screensavers in Petah Tikva school
Pictures and captions containing Nazi symbols appeared on screensavers in computer labs in a Petah Tikva school. Police opened an investigation during which they conducted searches in the school.
One of the screensavers included a picture of Hitler with the caption: "Now allow me to show you the showers."
Police reported that last week during the Passover festival, swastikas were found plastered on two locations in Petah Tikva. Police believe there may be some connection between the two incidents.
The municipal website stated that the Nazi symbol was spray-painted on Ein Ganim Street and in the nearby Mahane Yehuda Market. One of the offending symbols was found on a map of the city, while the other was found near a nearby synagogue.
Fake Bernard Henri-Levy quote triggers anti-Semitic Twitter storm
A satirical article suggesting that the French-Jewish philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy plans to emigrate if a far-left politician is elected president triggered a slew of anti-Semitic comments on Twitter.
In the fake interview published last week on the satirical website NordPresse, Levy, one of the country’s best-known celebrities, is quoted as saying, “If Melenchon is elected, I’m leaving France.”
Jean-Luc Melenchon, who is the presidential candidate of the French Communist Party and several other far-left groups, has made considerable gains in polls ahead of the first round of the presidential elections on April 23.
Using the hashtag #BHL — the Jewish philosopher’s initials — hundreds of Melenchon supporters circulated the fake interview on Twitter, adding anti-Semitic comments about it.
“Welcome to Europe’s 4 capitals of anti-Semitism"
If I wrote from the point of view of my personal interest as a non Jew, I would tell Europe’s Jews: stay here, on our side, because your departure would bring irreparable harm. If I look at what better serves the interests of the Jews, it would not be so unthinkable to advise them to pack and leave for Israel, as thousands are doing every year.
If the Jews want to live in a healthy, free, democratic, tolerant and modern Europe, they have to fight for Israel. Separating the fate of European Jews from that of Israel is the greatest deception of the anti-Semites, from the Iranian ayatollahs to the leftist radical chic.
Israel appears strong, very strong. Its economy is wealthy. It produces Nobel Prize winners. It is the second most educated country in the world. It tops all the happiness indexes. It is the “start-up nation”. Its army is unrivaled in the region.
But there is an invisible danger harder to stop than missiles: Anti-Semitism. And this in Europe today has four capitals: Paris, London, Brussels and Geneva. In the next decade, it is there that the war will be fought for Israel and Europe itself.
Azerbaijan wants pan-Arab summit with Israel, envoy says
A US-led summit gathering Israel’s prime minister and the Palestinian Authority president on one stage with Levant and Gulf leaders would greatly benefit the region, and likely advance a stalled peace process, Azerbaijan’s envoy said in an interview with The Jerusalem Post.
Israeli officials told the Post last month that the Trump administration is exploring the feasibility of such a summit, which would bring Israel and Sunni leaders from Saudi Arabia and neighboring nations together for the first time.
Egypt and Jordan are reportedly on board with the initiative, as long as Israel informally freezes settlement activity outside of established blocs, the officials said.
Elin Suleymanov, who sat down for a discussion shortly after speaking at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s annual conference, acknowledged Baku’s limited role in the storied Middle East peace process.
But as an ally of Israel with warm diplomatic ties around the Muslim world, the Azerbaijani government sees itself as a potential voice of encouragement, if not one with much leverage.
Programmed proteins may make malaria vaccine possible
Despite decades of malaria research, the disease still afflicts hundreds of millions and kills around half a million people each year – most of them children in tropical regions.
The best deterrent would be a vaccine composed of some of the parasite’s own proteins. However, those proteins identified as most promising for a malaria vaccine are unstable at tropical temperatures and require complicated, expensive cellular systems to produce them in large quantities.
Yet the vaccines are most needed in areas where refrigeration is lacking and funds to buy vaccines are scarce.
Ahead of World Malaria Day (April 25), a new approach developed at Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science and tested at England’s University of Oxford shows promise as the basis of a future inexpensive malaria vaccine that can be stored at room temperature.
Warsaw Jews bury old Torahs on ghetto uprising anniversary
Warsaw’s Jewish community on Wednesday held a burial of damaged Torah scrolls in the Polish capital, an ancient ritual that some believe had not been carried out since the war.
Poland’s chief Rabbi Michael Schudrich said the meaning of the ceremony was “about remembering that for us the Torah scroll is so important, is so holy, that when it’s no longer usable we bury it as if it was a human being.”
The community buried fragments of the pre-war scrolls inside two enormous clay jars at the city’s Jewish cemetery on the occasion of the 74th anniversary of the start of the Warsaw ghetto uprising.
Around 7,000 Jews died in the month-long uprising — Europe’s first urban anti-Nazi revolt — most of them burned alive, and more than 50,000 were deported to the Treblinka death camp.
Israeli company set to launch flying electric car
Metro Skyways, a subsidiary company of Israeli company Urban Aeronautics based in Yavne, intends to launch the design and development of a four-passenger, vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) flying car.
The company said development of the CityHawk will take five years. The electric car will be based on Urban Aeronautics' internal rotor, "Fancraft" technology.
CityHawk will at first be powered by jet fuel. However, it will be possible to convert it to run on liquid hydrogen fuel and also 700-bar compressed hydrogen. This depends on waiting for the infrastructure and technology to mature. The vehicle may even employ a system in which hydrogen is fed directly into a specially designed turboshaft engine, eliminating the need for fuel cells or electric motors.
The CityHawk is based on the Cormorant, a military craft developed by Tactical Robotics to ferry wounded soldiers from the urban battlefield. In the case of any airborne malfunction, all CityHawks will be equipped with a standard rocket-deployed parachute to bring them down safely.
The Cormorant has thus far performed over 200 test flights.
The Jewish pyramid of Adullam
The rare pyramid is built of huge ashlar stones that were hewn in the vicinity. In ancient times it was easy to see the unique structure proudly overlooking the area from the top of the hill and today, the remains of the pyramid are hidden in vegetation.
Archeologist Dr. Orit Peleg-Barkat of Hebrew University is studying the pyramid and describes the structure's size as rare and monumental.
"The length of the base sides of the pyramid are 10 meters and the height is about 3 meters," said Dr. Peleg-Barkat. "The pyramid was built near a Jewish settlement from the time of the Second Temple and there is a high probability that it is a Jewish cemetery."
While ancient peoples all over the world have built pyramids, what is the connection to Jews?
According to archaeologist and Prof. Boaz Zissu of Bar-Ilan University, after the establishment of the empire of Alexander the Great, which conquered and unified the region geographically and culturally, Second Temple era Jews were influenced by the dominant Hellenistic culture.
Israel's 69th Birthday
With Passover behind us we look forward to May 2017 when we will celebrate Israel's 69th birthday.
We don't know if our next year will be as wild and as memorable as this one, but you'll be able to remember Israel's 69th year with this collectible Dry Bones commemorative mug! They cost $17.79 each. They are large ceramic mugs (a hefty, 15 oz.) with big, comfortable easy-grip handles. The mugs are dishwasher and microwave safe. If you don't get one now, you'll be kicking yourself next year.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.

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