Monday, April 24, 2017

From Ian:

Who Does the Anne Frank Center Represent?
The center’s transformation was no accident. It recently got a new board chair, a private-wealth manager named Peter Rapaport, and he brought on Goldstein, who has a background in political organizing. It shuttered its small museum and disbanded its board of advisers comprised of Holocaust experts. All of the staffers who were working there when Goldstein arrived have left.
With just its famous name and a savvy social-media strategy, the Anne Frank Center has transformed into a putative authority on anti-Semitism and American politics. But it’s not at all clear the organization speaks for anybody other than its own leaders—not Holocaust scholars, Anne Frank’s family, or the Jewish community. Ultimately, by politicizing Anne Frank, the group may undermine her legacy.
And it’s acted accordingly. Over the last year and a half or so, all of the former employees, who mostly had backgrounds in museum work, have left. At least one was fired, said Rapaport. In an email, Yvonne Simons, the former executive director, said only that “the board of directors choose a different path for the Anne Frank Center and changed its mission after my 10-year tenure.” Several longtime board members have also departed.
In other words, it is a tiny organization in the process of reinventing itself. The Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect and Understanding may not be a Holocaust organization, a Jewish organization, or one founded by Anne Frank’s father. Its may not have leaders with a scholarly background, a mass membership, or institutional standing among Jewish groups and Holocaust museums. But because it talks a big game and wields the name of Anne Frank, the media has awarded it authority it never earned.
The Recent Discovery of Heinrich Himmler’s Telegram of November 2, 1943, the Anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, to Amin al-Husseini, Mufti of Jerusalem
Himmler’s telegram, the Mufti’s response, and the demonstrative political rally of protest on the anniversary of the Balfour Declaration show Nazi Germany’s positive support of the Palestinian Arabs and their reciprocally warm feelings. With the benefit of recent scholarship, we may better appreciate the nature and extent of this type of collaboration.
In his recent article in this journal, Johannes Houwink ten Cate cited the Swiss historian and journalist, Werner Rings, who identified four different forms of collaboration, according to their degree of identification with the ideology of Nazism, as follows: “tactical, neutral, conditional and unconditional collaboration.” Using these categories as his standard of comparison, Ten Cate concludes that Amin al-Husseini was one of the few unconditional collaborationists because of his ideological collaboration with the Waffen-SS. Separately, Barry Rubin and Wolfgang Schwanitz list examples of the Mufti’s contributions to the cause of Nazi-Germany. These include, “… fomenting a pro-Axis revolt and a massacre of Jews in Iraq; collaborating with Hitler; gathering intelligence for the Germans; recruiting Muslim army units for the German army and SS; preparing a Middle East Holocaust against the Jews; promoting pro-Axis revolts in Egypt and elsewhere; and conducting pro-Nazi propaganda by every means at his disposal.”
Any discussion of Amin al-Husseini’s ideological collaboration must also point out his remarkable claim that Nazism and Islam have a basic affinity. Examples of such shared values are the “Führer Principle,” discipline, and obedience which, according to him, find clear expression in the Koran. Rubin and Schwanitz observe that “… Islamists did not need to take ideas from German Nazis or Italian fascists. As al-Husaini had argued in the 1930s and 1940s, they had a parallel yet symbiotic world view, drawn from their own societies’ political traditions, history, and religion.” Such views clearly indicate that the Mufti’s commitment to the principles of National Socialism represented a form of unconditional ideological collaboration.
One should not overlook the essential fact that this ideological collaboration was reciprocal. The Nazi elite had a special respect and great admiration for Islam. Although these views have been documented, they have not yet been placed in context. In his recently published study, Islam and Germany’s War, David Motadel describes the admiration of the Nazi elite for Islam, an admiration which frequently predicated the rejection of Christianity. According to Motadel, who cites the scholarship of Peter Longerich, “The man who was perhaps most fascinated with the Muslim faith and enthusiastic about what he believed to be an affinity between National Socialism and Islam, was Himmler.” Himmler’s doctor, Felix Kersten, wrote an entire chapter on his patient’s “Enthusiasm for Islam,” which was excluded from the English translation. According to Kersten, “Himmler saw Islam as a masculine, soldierly religion.”
David Singer: United Nations Rewrites Balfour Declaration Parliamentary Debate Records
An official United Nations document published by the Division for Palestinian Rights of the United Nations Secretariat contains a deliberately altered record of a 1922 parliamentary House of Lords debate on the Balfour Declaration.
The Balfour Declaration – dated 2 November 1917 – called for the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people – it being clearly understood that nothing would be done which might prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.
The Balfour Declaration was subsequently written into international law after being incorporated into the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine on 24 July 1922.
The upcoming centenary of the Balfour Declaration has prompted a concerted international campaign calling on the British Government to apologise for another Government’s decision taken 100 years ago. Baroness Anelay – Minister of State (Foreign Commonwealth Office) – told the House of Lords on 3 April 2017 that no such apology would be forthcoming.

NGO Monitor: United Nations Human Rights Defenders 2017
At the 34th Session of the UN Human Rights Council (February 27 – March 24), a common theme was “growing challenges” and “shrinking space” for human rights defenders (HRDs). Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and “Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967” Michael Lynk repeatedly demonized Israel as non-democratic for supposedly attacking HRDs and interfering in their human rights work.
As defined by the United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner, an HRD is “a term used to describe people who, individually or with others, act to promote or protect human rights.” At a minimum, an HRD must accept the universality of human rights and partake only in peaceful action.
So, who are the HRDs being championed by NGOs and Lynk?
It turns out that the NGOs and Lynk celebrate individuals whose actions epitomize the opposite of universal human rights and peace. They falsely label as “HRDs” virulent antisemites, individuals convicted of terrorism, and someone who has allegedly funneled millions of dollars away from humanitarian causes and towards violent extremism.
In his report, Lynk further relies on the claims made by politicized NGOs that receive funding from European governments. Information provided in a November 2016 joint letter to Lynk by Addameer, Al-Haq, Defense for Children International – Palestine (DCI-P), BADIL, Al-Mezan, and more is echoed in the UN Rapporteur’s report, and both documents name many of the same controversial individuals as HRDs. Addameer, Al Haq, and DCI-P are linked to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist organization.
Hearing the Politics of Despair For Ourselves: HR’s Field Trip to the Gaza Border Region
On April 19, 40 people, many of them visiting Israel for the Passover holiday, spent a unique day with HonestReporting, focusing on the policy, economics, infrastructure, society and security of the Gaza Strip, both from a historical perspective, current issues, and what to expect from the future.
The tour was led by former Head of the Civilian Department in the IDF’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) unit, Colonel (Ret.) Grisha Yakubovich.
Field tour participant Brenda Yablon is an award winning journalist who divides her time between Tel Aviv and Vancouver and gives her thoughts on the day here.
“There are over a million people in Gaza today under the age of 18. They are taught to hate us, and that Israel is the cause of all their problems.”
This was one of the many disturbing facts related by IDF Colonel (Ret.) Grisha Yakubovich who was giving a group of us an intensive crash course in the history of Gaza since 1967, and the enormously complex problems inherent in governing it. As a member of COGAT – the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, the body charged with implementing the policies of the Israeli government in civilian matters in the West Bank and Gaza, and as a former mayor of Gaza City, Yakubovich is intimately acquainted with the inherent challenges and frustrations which often make governing next to impossible.
UN Secretary-General: Denial of Israel's Right to Exist Is "Modern Form of Anti-Semitism"
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres vowed to take action to end anti-Semitism and called the denial of Israel’s right to exist a modern form of anti-Jewish hatred.
Speaking Sunday night at the World Jewish Congress’ Plenary Assembly in New York, Guterres said he could not control all expressions of bias against Israel at the United Nations. But he said Israel has the right to be treated like any other U.N. member state.
“A modern form of anti-Semitism is the denial of the right of the State of Israel to exist,” Guterres said. “As secretary-general of the United Nations, I can say that the State of Israel needs to be treated as any other state, with exactly the same rules.”
Israeli and U.S. officials, along with supporters of Israel, have long accused the United Nations of irredeemable bias against Israel. According to U.N. Watch, a pro-Israel group that monitors the international body, the U.N. General Assembly condemned Israel 20 times in 2016, compared to six condemnations for the rest of the world combined.
But Guterres emphasized that treating Israel fairly “does not mean I will always be in agreement with all the decisions made by any government position taken by any government that sits in Israel,” but adding he supports “the absolutely undeniable right of Israel to exist and to live in peace and security with its neighbors.” He also advocated the establishment of a Palestinian state.
'It's like making an arsonist the fire chief': Saudi Arabia joins UN women's group
Saudi Arabia has been appointed to the United Nations body responsible for the "promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women", despite its reputation as one of the least women-friendly countries on the planet.
The Islamic kingdom, where every woman must have a male guardian, usually the father or husband, was elected to the UN's Commission on the Status of Women for the 2018-2022 term, according to UN Watch, a Geneva-based human rights group.
Among the many restrictions on women's rights in Saudi Arabia, dubbed "the world's most misogynistic regime", is a ban on them driving and a strict Islamic dress code that requires by law nearly the entire body to be covered.
Violations of the law in Saudi Arabia are sometimes met with corporal and even capital punishment, including whipping and beheading.
"Electing Saudi Arabia to protect women's rights is like making an arsonist into the town fire chief," said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch. "It's absurd."
U.N. elects Saudis to woman rights body, but U.S. forces recorded vote

U.N. elects Saudi Arabia to women's rights commission - Hillel Neuer on i24 News
The Geneva-based human rights group UN Watch condemned the U.N.’s election of Saudi Arabia, “the world’s most misogynistic regime,” to a 2018-2022 term on its Commission on the Status of Women, the U.N. agency “exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women.”

Bill O’Reilly to Chair UN Women’s Rights Commission (satire)
Days after electing Saudi Arabia as a member, the UN Commission on the Status of Women has chosen former Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly to take over as the group’s chair.
“Here at the UN, we are always looking for alternative perspectives on human rights,” one commission representative noted. “We think the Saudis have some really unique interpretations on women’s issues, like not letting women drive, and we want to encourage other countries to explore these kinds of arrangements.”
Commission members said that they were shocked to find a high-profile figure like O’Reilly available.
“We even heard that in his last position, he made women uncomfortable in the workplace,” one commission delegate said. “Given that our newest member doesn’t believe women should be working, these two additions come together really nicely.”
Report: Adelson angry at Jerusalem embassy move delay
American Jewish businessman Sheldon Adelson has recently expressed indignation at President Trump's conduct with respect to his promise to transfer the Israeli embassy to Jerusalem, Politico reported Monday. Edelson, who is considered one of Trump's biggest campaign contributors, reportedly said this to three of his closest associates.
The three also said that Adelson "is despairing of the chaos in the Trump administration," in their words, in relation to the various appointments and general conduct. However, an Adelson spokesman, Andy Abboud, said that "Trump is not angry at all," and that he is satisfied with the conduct so far. "Adelson is waiting patiently for real action on transfer of the embassy," he added.
At the end of last week, a special report was published in the United States revealing the extent of donations to Trump's inauguration. According to the report, Adelson gave Trump five million dollars for the swearing-in ceremony, the largest contribution in US history to a presidential inauguration ceremony.
France’s next leader: Centrist Macron vs. far-rightist Le Pen
Centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-right populist Marine Le Pen advanced Sunday to a runoff in France’s presidential election, remaking the country’s political landscape and setting up a showdown over its participation in the European Union.
French politicians on the left and right immediately urged voters to block Le Pen’s path to power in the May 7 runoff, saying her virulently nationalist anti-EU and anti-immigration politics would spell disaster for France.
“Extremism can only bring unhappiness and division to France,” defeated conservative candidate Francois Fillon said. “As such, there is no other choice than to vote against the extreme right.”
The selection of Le Pen and Macron presented voters with the starkest possible choice between two diametrically opposed visions of the EU’s future and France’s place in it. It set up a battle between Macron’s optimistic vision of a tolerant France and a united Europe with open borders against Le Pen’s darker, inward-looking platform that called for closed borders, tougher security, less immigration and dropping the shared euro currency to return to the French franc.
With Le Pen wanting France to leave the EU and Macron wanting even closer cooperation between the bloc’s 28 nations, Sunday’s outcome meant the May 7 runoff will have undertones of a referendum on France’s EU membership.
French Jews worried over Le Pen’s success in presidential vote’s 1st round
Leaders of French Jewry had mixed reactions to the success of Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron in the first round of the French presidential elections.
“Satisfaction and concern,” Francis Kalifat, president of the CRIF umbrella group of French Jewish communities, wrote on Twitter Sunday after exit polls showed that Macron, a centrist independent candidate, won the first round with 23.8 percent of the vote, followed by Le Pen, the far-right leader of the National Front, with 21.7 percent.
Kalifat has called Le Pen, who will run against Macron in the final round on May 7, a “candidate of hate.” He called on voters to elect Macron regardless of their opinion of his policies just to make sure Le Pen does not become president, in a pattern known in France as a “republican front,” which has been used to keep the National Front out of power.
Such a vote is “indispensable” in the second round, Kalifat wrote.
Kalifat said he was “worried to see National Front making it to the main event of French democracy,” but “satisfied to see a republican in the lead” — a term which means a person who is attached to the French nation’s founding values.
Sharpton Guest: Jesus was a “brown-skinned Palestinian man who understood he needed to resist”
Jesus: social justice warrior? Apparently so, if you believe Jacqui Lewis, senior minister of the very liberal Middle Collegiate Church in NYC. During her appearance on Al Sharpton’s MSNBC show this morning, Lewis described Jesus as a “brown-skinned Palestinian man who understood he needed to resist.”
The notion that Jesus was Palestinian has been thoroughly debunked. He was Jewish, after all. But that hasn’t stopped anti-Semites like Barack Obama’s former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, from also making the claim.
Claiming that “America has forgotten what it means to be Christian,” Lewis said that “Jesus can be too white and too empired for us to understand.”
And was Lewis alluding to Jews, sometimes referred to as the Chosen People, when she said “the Jesus that is created by the white church . . . believes that because, quote, folks are chosen, that they have more money, more assets, more wealth, better education”?
Anti-Semitic fliers found posted at Princeton
Fliers with anti-Semitic, racist and anti-immigrant messages were posted on the campus of Princeton University.
The fliers were discovered in at least four areas of the campus on Thursday, the Daily Princetonian student newspaper reported, including on the door to the main entrance of the campus Center for Jewish Life.
The person posting the fliers was wearing dark clothing and a ski mask, the Daily Princetonian reported.
The fliers were from a white nationalist organization called Vanguard America, which bills itself as a group for “White Nationalist American youth working to secure the existence of their people.”
Among the charges made on the flier: “Jews are 10% of Princeton’s students, an overrepresentation of 500%,” and 80 percent of the first Soviet government was Jewish.”
The flier also was posted on the group’s Twitter feed on Thursday, the anniversary of Adolf Hitler’s birthday.
The fliers were removed after a complaint was called in to the university.
Iqra the Eliminationist?
It shocks me not in the least that the MP who sponsored that anti-blasphemy anti-"Islamophobia" motion would be hobnobbing with, and accepting an award from, the eliminationists of Palestine House (h/t MW):
Liberal MP Iqra Khalid attended on Saturday, April 15, 2017 the annual Gala of the Palestine House marking the Land Day that symbolizes the Palestinian commitment to defend the land and to “liberate” Palestine. Fadlu Michael, the chairperson of the Palestine House awarded MP Khalid a “thanks and appreciation” plaque.
On January 18, 2016, MP Khalid met with senior members of the Canadian Palestinian community and board members of the Palestine House including its deputy chairperson Dr. Nazih Khatatba who serves also as the editor of Meshwar newspaper.
The Palestine House was de-funded in 2012 by the federal government for what then Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Jason Kenney referred to as a “pattern of support for extremism.”

How do we know that that's bollocks and that Palestine House is playing the eliminationist game? Its own logo--a map of Israel + the Palestinian Territories covered "from the river to the sea" in an Arafat kefiyah print--is proof of its bad intentions.
IsraellyCool: Mark Bryce, Owner Of Cold Steel Piercing, Defends His “No Israelis” Sign
It’s purely about the Palestinian issue, and it has nothing to do with race or religion,” he said.
“We support the BDS movement.”

The worldwide Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement advocating boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel. Supporters say BDS is a nonviolent movement for Palestinian independence, but Israel says it aims to delegitimise the Jewish state.
Mr Bryce said his sign had been erected above his counter for 10 years, illiciting few complaints until now.
“We don’t want the sign misinterpreted, so we’ve taken it down and we’re going to replace it with one that says we support the BDS movement,” he said.
“I don’t hate anybody, but this issue, it’s affected me.”

I am glad Bryce wants to mention his support for the BDS movement while banning Israelis from his store, because more people need to realize BDS is a manifestation of antisemitism.
And if you do not agree with me about his ban, consider for a second if there was a sign in the store saying “No Palestinians”, with Bryce explaining he opposes rocket fire on Israeli civilians. No-one would contest the bigotry inherent in such a move.
UKMW prompts improvement to Indy headline suggesting there’s an Israeli wall around Gaza.
The text is clearly misleading, as Gaza shares a border with Egypt as well as Israel. The security fence (“wall”) separates Israel and Gaza, but can’t reasonably be characterised in a way suggesting it’s completely surrounding the territory. The error is not insignificant, as the words “around Gaza” (intentionally or otherwise) reinforce the oft-repeated narrative falsely suggesting that Gaza is a “an open-air prison”.
Though the response from Indy editors was delayed, we recently learned that the headline has been corrected. Here’s the new headline, which uses the more accurate word “along”, instead of “around”.
(The other problem with the headline not addressed by editors is the use of the word “wall” to characterise what is clearly a fence. CAMERA has called out multiple media outlets for their erroneous use of terms in reference to Israeli security fences.)
Additionally, the article included the following passage, erroneously suggesting that Gaza borders the West Bank.

Inaccuracies unchallenged in BBC ‘Hardtalk’ interview on UN ‘apartheid’ report
The April 17th edition of the BBC programme ‘Hardtalk‘ was devoted to an interview with Rima Khalaf – the former head of UN ESCWA.
The programme was broadcast on BBC television channels and a clip from the filmed version was promoted on the BBC World News website under the title “Non-Jewish Israelis ‘cannot challenge’ their status”.
“The former head of a UN agency has said that under current laws, non-Jewish citizens of Israel “cannot challenge their subordinate status”.
Rima Khalaf was the executive secretary of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) until March 2017.
She resigned in March 2017, after the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres asked her to withdraw a report categorising Israel as an apartheid regime.”

Audiences certainly did not hear an honest account from Khalaf of her own motives or those of the member states of the UN agency she headed. They did however hear presenter Stephen Sackur challenge her robustly on that topic as well as on the issue of the controversial choice of authors for the report and on the use of the term ‘apartheid’ in connection with Israel.
However, Sackur was apparently less able or willing to challenge the numerous falsehoods promoted by Khalaf throughout the interview, with the result that audiences were highly likely to go away with numerous inaccurate impressions.
A new BBC ‘explanation’ for its double standards on terror
Once again we see that the BBC chooses to deliberately conflate means with ends, putting forward the obviously flawed argument that if a person commits an act of violence against civilians with the purpose of furthering a political or religious agenda in a country in which there is “an ongoing geopolitical conflict”, that is not terrorism but if he does the exact same in a country where there is no such ongoing conflict, it is.
The bottom falls out of that argument when we recall that the BBC did use the term ‘Jewish terrorists’ to describe the perpetrator/s of the arson attack in Duma, despite the existence of an “ongoing geopolitical conflict”.
The corporation’s complaints department also appears to have tried to find a way of dismissing the fact that UK forces are involved in the military campaign against jihadists in Iraq and Syria by means of use of the term “direct physical combat”. Notably, the BBC is apparently not inclined to promote the notion that those actions of a state fighting terrorism might be “considered as terrorist acts”.
While there appears to be no limit to the ‘creativity’ of BBC Complaints when challenged on the issue of the corporation’s double standards and lack of consistency when reporting acts of terror, audiences are of course likely to remain unimpressed by these repeatedly contorted excuses.
Times of London misleadingly suggests Israeli blockade causes Gaza health crisis
One of the most significant problems disrupting Gaza’s healthcare system, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross and recent reports at the The Washington Post and CNN, is fuel disruptions stemming from a power struggle between Hamas and the PA over the collection of taxes. (Fuel is required to run electricity plants, and Hamas claims it can’t afford to buy a sufficient amount of fuel due to taxes imposed by the PA.) A spokesman for the Gaza Ministry of Health told CNN on April 17th that, “if the issue will not be solved, then we will have to cancel between 200-250 surgeries a day”.
Carlstrom failed to so much as mention the fuel crisis. Nor, did he note that Israel provides Gaza with 30% of its electricity needs and, despite the fact that the state often isn’t paid for the electricity it provides, announced that their contribution was to increase to address the power needs of Gaza’s new sewage treatment facility.
Moreover, the broader, ongoing problem of Hamas stealing humanitarian aid – medical or otherwise – and using it for military purposes has been widely reported.
Once again, we see how the media’s default narrative, regardless of the particulars, is to hold Israel responsible for every conceivable social and political ill within Palestinian society, while downplaying or ignoring the role its leaders play in perpetuating their suffering.
British Labour Leader Corbyn Stung by Former Aide Over ‘Inability to Understand’ Why He’s Viewed as Antisemitic
As the United Kingdom prepares for general elections in June, the embattled leader of the opposition Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, is once again facing damaging allegations about his personal attitude toward the antisemitism that has swelled in Labour’s ranks.
Writing in the Sunday Times this weekend, Harry Fletcher — who served as Corbyn’s aide during his first year as head of Labour — declared that Corbyn and his colleagues suffered from an “inability to understand why they’re perceived as anti-Semitic.”
Scandals involving antisemitism have plagued Labour ever since Corybn took the helm of the party in 2015. Earlier this month, British Jewish leaders, along with 42 Labour members of the British Parliament, slammed Corbyn’s decision not to expel his ally Ken Livingstone — a former mayor of London — from the party over his repeated claim that Nazi leader Adolf Hitler was a supporter of Zionism.
In 2016, Labour launched an internal inquiry into antisemitism triggered by the remarks of both Livingstone and Naz Shah, a Labour MP who urged during the 2014 Gaza war that Israel be “relocated” to the United States. However, the inquiry was dismissed by many in the Jewish community as a whitewash for playing down the extent of antisemitic attitudes in the party, and for conceding only that “there is an occasionally toxic atmosphere.”
In his Sunday Times article, Fletcher revealed that he had frequently advised the Labour leader to speak out in support of the British Jewish community, but that Corbyn “just couldn’t see it at all.”
Complaint: Rep. Hank Johnson Violated Rules Assisting Former Aide Jon Ossoff
FACT charges in its complaint that Johnson, who has previously compared Jewish people to termites, is disregarding ethics rules.
"Representative Johnson has simply disregarded the rule and is blatantly using his official website for partisan purposes and campaign related activity," wrote FACT's Matthew Whitaker in his letter to congressional investigators. "Not only is it troubling that Johnson has breached a basic rule that ensures the public’s confidence that our House Members are working for the citizens and not for their own personal political gain, but he has misused taxpayer funded resources."
Ossoff worked for Johnson first as a part-time staffer while he was a student at Georgetown University and then full-time after he graduated. He has used the experience frequently on the trail in attempts to illustrate that he is qualified to run for office despite his young age.
Johnson has officially endorsed his former aide.
'The Promise': A Film Has Finally Been Made About The Armenian Genocide And You Need To Watch
Last year, during the Toronto International Film Festival, the filmmakers behind The Promise premiered their film before an audience of 1,500 and were met with a standing ovation. Yet at the same time, the film was being given thousands of single-star reviews through IMDb.
Films should always be given a chance and many times, given internet culture, people unfairly and impulsively despise or support films. This concerted effort looked different than a trending issue for the internet’s next bandwagon. The negative reviews, which climbed to a massive 85,000 before the film was even released, looked like clear sabotage. It came to light this was a cyber plan put together by the Turkish government and executed through a horde of internet trolls.
With enough negativity, any critical response can bury a film and wreck its release. Look at last year’s flop, The Light Between Oceans, which had many bad reviews premature to its release, thus steering audiences away. To similar effect, the Turkish government’s intent with The Promise was to ruin the release because they claim the movie is propagandizes a false history.
The Promise is an epic drama that tells the tragic and appalling story of the Armenian Genocide. During WWI, the Republic of Turkey and all of the surrounding nations existed as the Ottoman Empire. The empire was a Muslim Turkish majority but there were multiple minorities of Christians in the state, predominantly the Armenian population.
During World War I, the Ottoman Empire started to destabilize; the days of sultans ruling the nation came to an end as a radical, new political party called the Committee of Union and Progress, known as The Young Turks, came into power. They preached reforming the Empire’s political structures from a monarchial system to a democratic, constitutional government. The Committee's agenda was to create a government by the people and for the people in order to achieve more liberty.
The Armenian inhabitants were initially excited about the big changes but The Young Turks were a nationalistic group; their meaning of “the people” didn’t include everyone. The Young Turks’ perspective of reuniting the Ottoman Empire was returning it to the former glory days of being a purely Muslim nation.
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.
Sisters win video contest on how Israel inspires
A poetic video exploration made by two sisters about their decision to live in Israel won the $8,000 first prize in an “Inspired by Israel” contest hosted by the Israel Video Network.
Called “Olah Chadasha” (“New Immigrant”), the video was made by sisters Sivan Felder and Batsheva Shachnovitz, and shows Shachnovitz, a twelfth-grade high school student, walking through Jerusalem, in the Mahane Yehuda market, past Yad Vashem and Mt. Herzl, at a bus stop where soldiers wait.
In the video, it is Shachnovitz’s voice reading the words that her sister wrote, using simple, expressive language to describe their feelings of safety and comfort in Israel.
The sisters’ video, and the other winning videos in the contest, are love letters to Israel, whether showing off Israel’s innovations in Africa, its athletes, or the daily lives of regular Israelis, with Israeli soldiers featuring prominently in many of them.
Judges chose the winners from the 10 submissions with the most votes garnered during a 10-day period of public voting hosted on the Israel Video Network.

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