Tuesday, May 02, 2017

From Ian:

Edgar Davidson: Tuvia Tenenbom: "The Lies They Tell" review
Tuvia Tenenbom is a writer who manages to entertain at the same time as exposing evil and prejudice (mostly antisemitism). His previous book "Catch the Jew" was a devastating indictment of the antisemitism driving Europe's funding of anti-Zionist organisations in Israel. This latest book is an equally devastating exposure of ignorance and antisemitism in America. Tuvia is especially adept at exposing the hypocrisy of the left. However, contrary to what many people assume, Tuvia is certainly not 'a man of the right' or a conservative in any sense of the word. This is something I return to at the end of my review, along with some criticisms (that I think have been missed despite there having been some very good in-depth reviews of the book already, such as this one by Phyllis Chesler).
Before stating my reservations I want to make it clear that I think this is a brilliant and must-read book for anybody concerned not just with antisemitism but also with the increasingly damaging effects of 'political correctness' which, in America, has eroded free speech and created a highly authoritarian society - a process massively accelerated by 8 years of Obama. A recurrent theme of the book is the lack of critical thought and predictable consistency of leftists: the two things they are invariably obsessed with are climate change and 'Palestine'. Indeed Tuvia notes that there is a perfect correlation between opinions on climate change and opinions on Israel. Those who believe in man-made climate change are anti-Israel while those who don't are generally pro-Israel. Tuvia highlights the obsessive and irrational anger that leftists have for Israel which seems to be based on complete ignorance, such as:
  • The Quakers in Pennsylvania who love Obama but only worry that he is 'too friendly to Israel' and 'not supportive enough of the Palestinians'. They care deeply about the plight of the Palestinians but not local blacks whose neighbourhoods are more dangerous than Gaza.
  • Bryan from Texas whose main interest is in foreign affairs and who proves this interest by saying how Israel must 'stop settlement building in Gaza'.
  • Jason - the first person he meets in Fargo Dakota - who introduces himself as 'pro-choice, pro gay marriage, pro-environment and pro-Palestine.'
The “Occupation” Tour
On my last visit to Israel, I thought it would be interesting to take a tour of the West Bank from the perspective of critics of Israeli government policy. I went with MachsomWatch, an organization of Israeli women who, among other things, monitor checkpoints. The guide, Daniela, said the tour would not be political, but it was essentially a day long diatribe against Israel’s efforts to defend itself against terrorists.
The Orwellian logic of the tour began just outside the Palestinian town of Qalqilya. We could get a good view of the security wall separating the town from Israel. Roughly five percent of the security barrier consists of a wall rather than a fence and the reason for this stretch of concrete is that Palestinians used to shoot at Israeli motorists on the nearby highway. Daniela said there had not been any terror attacks from Qalqilya in years to suggest the wall was unnecessary as opposed to demonstrating its effectiveness.
One of the main messages of the tour, after visiting with three Palestinians, was that the checkpoints and gates inside the West Bank make life burdensome for Palestinians. Some spend an inordinate amount of time waiting at these checkpoints to travel through the area and to get to and from their jobs. Some fences separate farmers from their fields and groves and, according to the guide, are only permitted to pass through the gates at certain times, some of which are restricted to a few times per month or year. On a different tour, I saw an area where the fence separated some farmers from their land and, even though there were specific times when they were allowed to pass through the gates, when they wanted to tend to their crops they would simply shake the fence until soldiers arrived and opened it for them. Also, she also did not mention that Arabs benefited from the fence because it brought quiet and allowed a significant upsurge in economic activity.
During our tour, we did not witness any delays, however, it is true that Palestinians are inconvenienced by these restrictions and many feel humiliated by the way they are treated by soldiers responsible for ensuring they are not carrying weapons or planning a terrorist attack. Unfortunately, this is the price many Palestinians must pay for the decisions of their leaders to support terrorism. Their discomfort is temporary whereas the deaths of the victims of terror is permanent.
Fearless Arab woman declares love for Israel: 'Am Yisrael Hai'
In honor of the 69th anniversary since Israeli independence, an Arab woman has posted a video in which she fearlessly declares her love for the State of Israel and blasts the hypocrisy of the Arab world.
“My name is Sarah Zoabi. I am an Arab, Muslim, Israeli, proud Zionist,” she declares, as she stands in front of the Knesset building in Jerusalem. “I believe with my whole heart in the right of the Jewish people to a sovereign state in the Holy Land of Israel.”
“It is a right that G-d promised and gave to the Jewish people - not a kindness - the right of the Jewish people to the land of Israel.”
“The State of Israel is here to stay,” she says.
“How can I not love you, Israel?” she asks. “Even though you suffer from Arab and Muslim terror from within and without, you do not distinguish between sex, race, and religion. You respect, welcome, and embrace me as an Arab, Muslim woman.”
“Israel, my heart is full of love for you, a tiny country, but huge in the size of its good deeds - and you do a lot of good in the world. I stand proud next to your flag.



Mottle Wolfe: What is the Best Country in the Middle East for Arab Muslims?
Yahya Mahamid is an Arab, a Muslim and a proud Israeli citizen. When you think of Israeli Independence Day, people often think of Jews celebrating with a barbeque, but what about the 20% of Israeli citizens that are Arabs? How should they celebrate the creation of the State of Israel?


A sad day for American Jewish media
The editor of The Forward basically expresses her "dread, despair and embarrassment" that Israel avoided extermination in 1967.
It is indeed a sad day when an article by the editor of a major Jewish publication fully crosses the line in order to adopt an anti-Semitic narrative about Jews and Israel. But when it is the editor of The Forward who expresses her "dread, despair and embarrassment" that Israel avoided extermination in 1967, we can express our disappointment, but few of us are surprised.
She states that as a child, she "truly believed" that Israel's survival was endangered -- as if it were simply childish to imagine that "the extermination of Zionist existence" was the Arab agenda. She says that military victory -- not the Balfour Declaration, much less the eternal bond between the Jewish People and their homeland -- "legitimized Israel’s moral right to exist;" a militaristic, colonialist view entirely foreign to Israeli Jews who lived through the crisis.
Far from a "disaster for Palestinians," the Six-Day War gave Arabs living in Gaza and Judea (what Jordan called the "West Bank" when they occupied it in1948) unparalleled opportunities: universities, modern medicine, massive upgrades to infrastructure. It also vastly improved their lives, from a human and civil rights perspective, compared to Jordan, Egypt and any other Arab state.
Rare pre-state document claims Israel entitled to Judea, Samaria
Nearly seven decades after the establishment of the State of Israel, American Jews are sharply divided over Israeli policy in Judea, Samaria, and Jerusalem – with conflicting views both over what choices would be best in Israel’s interest, as well as whether Israel even has a right to large swaths of the historic Jewish homeland.
But was the American Jewish establishment always so divided on the issue of Jewish rights over the Land of Israel?
A newly preserved pre-state memorandum by some of the leading figures in the American Jewish community suggests that unlike today, prior to the establishment of Israel, American Jewry embraced Israel’s claim to the historic Jewish homeland, including Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria.
The 107-page memorandum, entitled “The Basic Equities of the Palestine Problem”, was produced by eight prominent Jewish American jurists in September 1947, and sent to the United Nations in response to the UN’s Special Committee on Palestine’s report which suggested a partition of the country, leaving the proposed Jewish state with a tiny portion of the land originally allotted to it by the Balfour Declaration and subsequent League of Nations Mandate for Palestine.
Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and much of the Galilee were left beyond the borders of the proposed Jewish state under the UNSCOP’s plan.
In Israeli Independence Day Message, Netanyahu Recalls 1948 ‘Moment of Triumph’ for the Jewish People
In an Independence Day message published on Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recalled the 1948 “moment of triumph” for the Jewish people when the State of Israel was founded and praised the nation’s resilience.
“It was a moment of triumph for our people,” Netanyahu said. “We had been scattered around the world for millennia. And then we returned to our ancient homeland, to build a safe haven, where we could live, and thrive.”
Netanyahu went on to praise Israelis for their ability to flourish in the face of annihilation.
“Now, many doubted that this tiny state of Israel would survive,” he noted. “We were surrounded by hostile enemies, who attacked us again and again. So perhaps, for some, this skepticism was warranted. But survive we did. Much more than that. We thrived.”
“And I have no doubt that in the coming 69 years, Israel will continue to thrive, be strong and prosperous,” Netanyahu added.
President Reuven Rivlin said for Independence Day, “Sixty-nine years ago, in the moments just after [Prime Minister] David Ben-Gurion declared the birth of the State of Israel, we all went out to dance in the streets. We celebrated a hope which came true: to be a free people in our land, in Jerusalem.”


'Like Dreamers' author on the Six Day War's true impact
In an interview with ‘Jerusalem Post’ Op-Ed Editor Seth J. Frantzman, Yossi Klein Halevi applies the lessons and consequences the 1967 war to our situation today.
Halevi is a senior fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem. His 2013 book Like Dreamers: The Story of the Israeli Paratroopers Who Reunited Jerusalem and Divided a Nation won the Jewish Book Council’s Everett Book of the Year Award. The Hebrew edition is being published next month by Zmora Bitan.
Can you describe the momentous events of 1967 and how they impacted your life?
I came of age in my relationship to Israel in 1967. I turned 14 in the middle of the Six Day War and a few weeks later I was in Israel for my first time. I flew there with my father, a Holocaust survivor. He had two brothers here who had survived the war and whom he hadn’t seen since. The Six Day War suddenly made it urgent for him to be in Israel and with his brothers.
The war created a sense of urgency in many ways. To understand June 1967’s impact on Israeli society, you need to go back to May 1967. In those weeks leading up to the war, the dread of another Holocaust suddenly erupted. My strongest memory of that time was sitting with my father and watching the news every night, watching crowds of demonstrators in Cairo and Damascus chanting “Death to Israel!” That was the first shock; the genocidal impulse had not been exhausted by the Shoah. Jews still faced existential threat. The second shock is that we were alone. No country, not even the US, was ready to stand with us against aggression.
Sir Eric Pickles: Warm greetings on a landmark anniversary
The UK has been a friend of Israel in both good and bad times.
This occasion is a time to celebrate and remind ourselves just how much the young Jewish state has achieved in its short life.
2017 is a year of landmark anniversaries. In June we will be marking the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem, Israel’s capital city, during the Six Day War. The subsequent freedom for believers of the three great faiths to access their holiest sites in Jerusalem was a moment of global importance and one we must reflect on at this time.
In my eyes, the greatest anniversary we will be celebrating this year is the centenary of the Balfour Declaration – the short but momentous letter from then British foreign secretary Arthur J Balfour that recognized the Jewish connection to the Land of Israel. As the first official declaration of support for the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine, the Balfour Declaration is heralded as the birth certificate of Israel. The letter gave momentum to the Zionist leaders and their dream at a crucial point in history.
British Prime Minister Theresa May has said the UK will be marking the anniversary with pride and I look forward to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visiting London for the events later this year. I can’t think of a more poignant way of marking the occasion than the democratically elected prime minister of the Jewish state visiting the UK.
After 69 Years, Some of Israel’s Original Supporters Are Now Key Economic Allies
Throughout the seven decades since Israel declared its independence, the Jewish state has waged an ongoing struggle for legitimacy, navigating the global arena to find its place among the nations.
While many factors played roles in Israel’s independence, the United Nations Partition Plan of 1947 and subsequent Resolution 181 laid the foundation for the creation of the Jewish state. As with any contentious vote, there was significant lobbying and horse trading involved. But ultimately, 33 countries voted in favor, securing the necessary two-thirds majority in the UN General Assembly for the establishment of a Jewish and Arab state in the former British Mandate of Palestine.
As we approach Israel’s 69th Independence Day, JNS.org looks at how four countries actively involved in the historic 1947 vote not only shaped Israeli history, but today have robust relationships with the Jewish state — and might play key roles in the country’s future.
Australia
Australia was one of four British Commonwealth countries voting for the creation of Israel — the others being South Africa, New Zealand and Canada. At the time, Australian External Affairs Minister H.V. Evatt chaired the UN committee that recommended acceptance of the 1947 partition plan.
In May 1949, when Israel was accepted as a UN member, Evatt — who was serving as president of the UN General Assembly — welcomed the Israeli delegation, saying, “I look forward to the time when the wounds of the peoples of the Middle East will be healed, when we shall find friendships and, indeed, comradeship among these peoples.”
In February, Netanyahu embarked on a five-day visit to Australia, the first such trip for an Israeli prime minister, amid a growing focus on building Israel’s relations with the Asia-Pacific region.
“Australia and Israel have a strong relationship, which is evident in a number of ways — not least of which has been Australian support for Israel politically, with the economic ties growing dramatically in recent years,” Jeremy Jones, director of international affairs for the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council, told JNS.org during Netanyahu’s visit.
Filipina IDF soldier fights for the country that saved her grandmother
Staff. Sgt. Joana Chris Arpon isn’t Israeli, or even Jewish. Her service in the Israel Defense Forces is personal.
Arpon, 20, is the daughter of Filipino parents who came to Israel to find work. She said she enlisted as a combat soldier because an Israeli army team rescued her grandmother in the aftermath of the 2013 typhoon that devastated the Philippines.
“It was amazing to see the soldiers show up and help people. They saved my grandmother when her house was destroyed,” Arpon said. “I was like, “Whoa, that’s what I want to do.’”
On Tuesday, Israel’s 69th Independence Day, Arpon was one of 120 soldiers recognized by President Reuven Rivlin for distinguished service. Later this year, Arpon and her mother will be granted Israeli citizenship thanks partly to her time in the army.
Born in Israel, Arpon always felt like part of the Jewish state. While many Filipinos live clustered in Israel’s big cities, her mother raised her and her older brother in the small town of Mishmar Hashiva, in central Israel. At their high school in nearby Rishon Lezion, they were the only Filipino students.
Bobby Kennedy’s 1948 visit to the Palestine front lines
The following is an excerpt from ‘American Interests in the Holy Land Revealed in Early Photographs from 1840 to 1940’ (2017)
Sen. Robert F. (Bobby) Kennedy, former US attorney general and brother of slain US president John F. Kennedy, was the leading Democratic candidate for president when he was gunned down at a primary victory celebration in California on June 5, 1968. His Palestinian assassin, Sirhan Sirhan, said he killed Kennedy because of his strong and vocal support for Israel. Sirhan selected the day of his attack to correspond with the first anniversary of the Six Day War of 1967.
In April 1948, one month before Israel declared independence, Robert Kennedy, then 22, traveled to Palestine to report on the conflict for the Boston Post. His four dispatches from the scene were published in June 1948. The newspaper closed in 1956, and for decades the reports were virtually forgotten. Yellow newspaper clippings of Kennedy’s articles were found by this author in a pile of discarded files in Washington DC. They were subsequently published online by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.
Kennedy arrived in a chaotic and dangerous land on the eve of the British departure. Jewish Jerusalem and the Jewish Quarter of the Old City were under Arab siege and regular Arab armies were pouring into the territory. The British authorities were hampering Jews’ efforts to defend themselves and were even countenancing Arab attacks against Jews.
Kennedy was liberal in his praise of the Palestinian Jews (only one month later did the name “Israel” and the term “Israelis” come into being).
Michael Lumish (podcast): This Week on Nothing Left
This week Michael and Alan catch up on world events with Ahron Shapiro, senior policy analyst with AIJAC; then hear from Mohr Wenger, the tourist who was refused service at a body piercing shop in Cairns because she was Israeli.
They discuss the Balfour Declaration with Daniel Taub, former Israeli ambassador to the UK who is visiting Australia, and then hear from Israeli scholar on Islam, Mordechai Kedar.
And Isi Leibler talks about the German Foreign Minister who wanted to contact hostile Israeli NGOs, and who PM Netanyahu refused to meet.
3 min Editorial: Yassmin Abdel-Magied
10 min Ahron Shapiro, AIJAC
29 min Mohr Wenger, Israeli tourist in Cairns anti -Israel controversy
51 min Daniel Taub, former Israeli ambassador to UK
1:13 Mordechai Kedar, Israeli scholar on Islam
1:32 Isi Leibler, Jerusalem
Another Own Goal by BDS
Not long ago, I wrote about the sad 2017 that the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement has been having on our campuses. Not only had boycott activists notched only a couple of significant wins, but those wins were secured only by holding votes on or around the Passover holiday. I said that “boycott activists lose more than they gain when they win by showing disrespect for the Jewish holidays and fear of debate.”
Last Wednesday night, BDS secured another Pyrrhic victory, this one at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. At the end of March, the Associated Students of Madison (ASM) Council voted narrowly to postpone indefinitely a resolution that included a long section on Israel. The general thrust of that section can be gathered from its citation of a report that had been adopted by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, which was so distorted it was withdrawn at the urging of UN Secretary General António Guterres.
Naturally, this was not the end of it because the pro-boycott activists had not yet shown, as is now de rigueur, disrespect for the Jewish holidays. So a resolution concerning “investment transparency and human rights” was placed on the agenda for April 12th, the second day of Passover. Ariela Rivkin, reportedly the only voting Jewish member of ASM Council, had alerted the chair of the holiday and requested that issues related to divestment be left out of the April 12 meeting. She objected on the grounds that a “community which is deeply affected by these issues will not be able to attend or participate in the meeting due to religious observance.”
The Council not only went ahead but also voted to suspend the rules with a view to moving the resolution along more quickly than those rules allow. Later, the council member who moved to suspend the rules publicly expressed her disgust with those who complained about the Passover meeting. After all, no university policy requires ASM to observe holidays; which is to say that no university policy requires ASM to show a modicum of respect for UW-Madison’s Jewish community.
Controversial UK Student Leader Ends Term as NUS President With Shout of ‘Free, Free Palestine’
Malia Bouattia completed her controversy-dogged term as UK National Union of Students (NUS) president with a tear-filled farewell speech that ended in a shout of “Free, Free Palestine.”
Bouattia — who lost her bid for reelection last week in an unexpected trouncing by Shakira Martin, a development much celebrated by local Jewish groups — gave her closing remarks on Thursday, the final day of this year’s annual NUS national conference.
Bouattia counted the mainstreaming of anti-Israel views within Britain’s student movement as one of the three most consequential campaigns during her tenure, a pet project within her devotion to the greater “liberation movement.”
Also in her speech, Bouattia took credit for leading a “program of actions to tackle all forms of hate crime, including the most wide-ranging series of actions to tackle antisemitism in NUS’s history.” Throughout her time as NUS head, Bouattia — who recently attended a “Palestine Conference” backed in part by a Hamas-apologist — was repeatedly criticized and condemned, including in an official governmental report, for ignoring the problem of antisemitism on campuses.
Ex-Islamist Radio Host Lambastes Comparison of Israeli UK Ambassador to ISIS Leader
On his popular British radio program on Saturday, a reformed Islamist lambasted a commenter who compared Israel’s ambassador to the UK to the leader of ISIS.
Speaking on LBC talk radio, Maajid Nawaz — who now works to counter Islamic extremism through his organization, the Quilliam Foundation — told an individual named Chris that he “should be disgusted with [him]self” after he wrote into Nawaz’s show, which was covering Israeli envoy Mark Regev’s Thursday lecture at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London.
After Nawaz called the Regev event a “rare victory for free speech,” Chris had challenged, “Would you accept if [Abu] Bakr al-Baghdadi came to speak at one of our universities?”
Nawaz replied: “How on earth do you have the audacity to compare an ambassador of a democratic and, yes, imperfect country in the Middle East, to the leader of the worst terror group that we’ve known in our lifetime — [that] systematically enslaves and rapes women, that turns children into weapons, and that engaged in an attempted genocide of the Yazidi people.”
The radio host added that it was the “moral relativism” of “people like you, Chris, [who] are the reason why more Muslims are suffering from ISIS.”
Nawaz hailed Regev for being the first Israeli diplomat in 12 years to appear at SOAS, and slammed some 150 university staff members who had signed a letter in an attempt to ban Regev from the campus.
Andrew Bolt: FACEBOOK ALLOWS JEW-HATRED
What frightens me is that Facebook may be right.
Community standards - at least among the internet and even academic Left - have become very troubling when it comes to Jews and Israel:
A Jewish schoolgirl who complained to Facebook after being subjected to sexually violent anti-Semitic abuse was told the comments did not violate the company’s community standards. Melbourne schoolgirl Ariella, 16, had joined the Facebook group “16+ hangouts” to chat with other Australian teenagers last month when a male member realised she and other participants were Jewish and began abusing her.
The young man and more than a dozen other teenagers from Melbourne and Sydney schools wrote messages which included, “All aboard Jew express next stop Auschwitz gassing chambers, I hear there is a lovely shower aboard, Exterminate, Exterminate” and “I’ll make u proud I’ll f*** her in the gas chambers.”
Ariella, who did not want her surname published for fear of further abuse, initially tried to tell the young men to stop, but the abuse worsened.
When she decided to leave the group almost 24 hours after joining, she had compiled almost 50 A4 pages of screenshots of abusive messages. Ariella reported the abuse to Facebook, as well as to Jewish group the B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation Commission, and was disappointed with the pro forma reply she received from Facebook.
“Thanks for your report — you did the right thing by letting us know about this,” the Facebook response said. “We looked over the profile you reported, and though it doesn’t go against one of our specific community standards, we understand that the profile may still be offensive to you.”
Richard Millett: Meet the new cuddlier Hamas…according to our media.
The Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) wants to rebrand itself as a group which doesn’t want to annihilate Jews worldwide (Hamas’ 1988 charter states: “The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews)) to a group wanting to kill those Jews only living in Israel whom Hamas’ latest document, apparently, refers to as “the Zionist occupiers aggressors”.
Their latest document, published yesterday, doesn’t surplant their previous 1988 document so we can presume that they are both now in force; the tactic probably being the 1988 racist document being for Hamas’ local audience and the 2017 racist document for western consumption.
And to an extent the western media has fallen for the Hamas’ sweet-talking.
The Guardian headlines it:
Hamas presents new charter accepting a Palestine based on 1967 borders.
The Independent goes with:
Hamas to drop call for Israel’s destruction in new policy document. The terrorist organisation says it will agree to a Palestinian state along borders agreed in 1967.
And The Times:
Hamas softens view on Israel’s total destruction.
Paul Antonopoulos forced out
Pro-Assad deputy editor of Al-Masdar News forced to resign over racist comments
And finally, tonight to a bit of news.
"Pro-Assad site Al-Masdar suspends editor Paul Antonopoulos after he was shown to be active on Nazi site StormFront
— Twitter, Avi Asher-Schaprio, 28 April, 2017"

Well, well, well.
Media Watch last month highlighted the role of a couple of Australians in defending President Assad’s murderous Syrian regime.
Former Sydney academic Paul Antonopoulos was one of them.
Claiming in this story in Al Masdar News that the chemical attack on Khan Sheikhoun, which killed around 90 people, was a pantomime and a fake.
This weekend Antonopoulos was stood down and then forced to resign from his job as Al Masdar News’s deputy editor after it was revealed he had posted race hate comments 10 years ago on a pro-Nazi website called Storm Front. Here is one of many:
"I think a White Australia is pretty much long gone now with the influx of Chinese, Koreans and Sudanese. I believe all Whites should migrate to Victoria and Tasmania … Let the immigrants in other states kill each other, overdose, rape each other etc etc.
Don't get me started on the Jews!
— Stormfront Thread, 4 October, 2007"
WHY ARE OUR UNIVERSITIES HOME TO EXTREMISTS LIKE ANTONOPOULOS?
Paul Antonopoulos has been a lecturer at Charles Sturt University. Now he's been dumped as deputy editor of a pro-Syrian regime news site for calling Arabs “sand n*ggers”, blacks “negro trash” and Asians “gooks”.
And this:
Let the immigrants in other states kill each other, overdose, rape each other etc etc. Don't get me started on the Jews!
Yes, he posted all that anonymously, but how does someone like that - and an apologist for the Syrian regime - get a job in academia?
Charles Sturt University yesterday confirmed Antonopoulos was “no longer employed by the university” and his views “did not reflect” the views of CSU...
BBC News website promotes an ‘Israeli attack’ that wasn’t
Readers are not informed what the “Syrian pro-government National Defence Forces” actually are or that they have ties to Iran. Neither are they told that the sources of the claims concerning that alleged strike are, once again, the official Syrian regime news agency Sana together with the Iranian and Syrian regime linked outlet ‘Al Mayadeen’ and Al Jazeera.
Only last year the BBC uncritically amplified claims regarding an ‘Israeli airstrike’ made by Al Mayadeen which later turned out to be fiction. On numerous occasions in the past, the BBC has also amplified baseless propaganda from the Syrian regime. One might therefore have thought that the corporation would take the precaution of thoroughly checking allegations made by unreliable sources such as Al Mayadeen and Sana before amplifying them to its audiences.
Had it done so in this case, the BBC would have learned that security sources in Israel dismissed those reports of Israeli involvement in that April 23rd incident.
The news BBC audiences are getting concerning alleged Israeli actions in Syria clearly cannot meet the standards to which the BBC is supposedly committed as long as it continues to be based on unverified claims made by highly partisan sources and fails to include the background information crucial for proper understanding of such stories.
Iranian-Jewish Fashion Designers Talk About ‘Reality’ of Antisemitism During Acceptance of Leadership Award
The Iranian-Jewish brothers behind a global fashion company talked last Wednesday about antisemitism as they received a leadership award at the American Friends of the Soroka Medical Center’s fifth annual gala in New York.
Iranian-born Saul and Abraham Maslavi — the owners of Jovani Fashions — were honored with the Fashion Industry Leadership Award at the benefit dinner — which took place at The Pierre hotel in Manhattan. During their acceptance speech, Saul Maslavi discussed the discrimination he faced from his peers when he attending boarding school in England as a youngster.
“As a foreigner and Jew I was the target of much antisemitism and abuse,” he said. “Thank God that was short-lived…[but] discrimination is part of the Jewish reality. This is why I’m a firm Zionist and I believe in protecting the State of Israel. We should always help our Jewish homeland and contribute as much as we can.”
Wednesday’s event raised over $400,000 for the Soroka Medical Center’s women’s health projects, including Soroka’s Breast Health Center, Negev Center for Eating Disorders, and the Saban Birth & Maternity Center, a spokesperson told The Algemeiner. The evening included a fashion show of designs by Jovani, a family-owned business that the Maslavi brothers’ late father, Jacob, founded in 1980.
Abraham Maslavi said his father’s vision for the fashion brand connects with efforts of the Soroka Medical Center.
Italian plaque honoring late PM Itzhak Rabin destroyed by vandalists
A plaque dedicated to the memory of late Israeli Prime Minister and statesman Itzhak Rabin and stationed at Milan's Tripoli Square Gardens (Piazza Tripoli) was destroyed on Saturday night by vandalists.
Milan's Provinicial President Roberto Cenati was quick to condemn the hateful and antisemitic attack on the monument. According to Italian daily news publication La Repubblica, Cenati spoke on behalf of the northern city's Jewish community, indignantly speaking against the violent act and saying that "at the Jewish community of Milan we express our affectionate solidarity and closeness."
According to La Repubblica, the Italian National Partisan Association also denounced the incident, and was quoted as officially stating that they wished to express their "deep indignation" and "firmly condemn the hateful antisemitic outrage."
The plaque honoring Rabin, was placed in the square recently. The square itself received a second name last year and is also titled the Rabin Gardens Square after the former Israeli premier, who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994. Rabin was assassinated a year after receiving the award for his diplomatic work to bring about a regional peace.
Bust of Elie Wiesel May Soon Be Featured in Capitol Building
In the Capitol building, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Sojourner Truth are honored for their contributions to American racial justice. Busts of these important figures, among others, sit alongside busts of all of the American Vice Presidents (Al Gore’s and Joe Biden’s are still in progress) and of Raoul Wallenberg, a Swedish diplomat who saved tens of thousands of Jews from the Nazis. If a new bill introduced to the House goes through, Wallenberg will be joined by another important figure of Holocaust history: Elie Wiesel.
Last Friday, Rep. Steve Cohen, a Democrat from Tennessee, and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Republican from Florida, introduced a bill in the House of Representatives last Friday to commission a bust of Elie Wiesel for the Capitol building.
In the weeks following the death of the prolific Holocaust survivor, writer, and activist this past July, Congress passed a resolution affirming their admiration for Wiesel’s moral leadership in regards to American education about the Holocaust. That resolution was introduced by three members of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council (of which Wiesel was the founding chair); Cohen “absolutely supported” it, one his staffers told me. That same day, Cohen introduced his own bill specifically proposing a statue or bust to memorialize Wiesel. That bill expired, so Ros-Lehtinen joined Cohen in renewing the proposal last week. Bipartisan support for the bill “grew substantially between this Congress and last Congress,” according to the staffer. Currently, the bill has more than 50 co-sponsors, with at least twelve of them Jewish, according to JTA. Prominent civil rights activist Rep. John Lewis is also among the co-sponsors.
At Evangelical Press Association, Israel Serves as Unifying Force
At the annual convention for American Christian media early last month, support for for Israel served as a unifying force for a community finding itself on opposing sides of some polarizing political issues.
The Jewish state’s place at the Evangelical Press Association’s (EPA) three-day meeting was evident in the conference’s list of co-sponsors, which included Israel’s Ministry of Tourism, American Friends of Magen David Adom and the forthcoming Washington, DC-based Museum of the Bible, which will house the Green Collection, one of the world’s largest private collections of biblical relics and manuscripts. (Steve Green — the collection’s eponymous owner, the museum’s chairman and president of national retail chain Hobby Lobby — gave the EPA conference’s concluding keynote address.)
Though the conference included a number of programs addressing divisions within EPA membership and readership since the contentious election of President Donald Trump, Israel remains one issue on which a “majority of [members] really have” a shared “commitment and strong feeling,” said Jill Daly, the Midwest director for the Israel’s Tourism Ministry.
Daly expressed hope that, even as antisemitism and the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement continue to gain traction on American college campuses, current and future members of the evangelical press — including dozens of student journalists at the EPA conference — would counter the usual narrative about Israel found in mainstream media.
“These people become ambassadors for us, the voice of support for Israel,” said Daly.
Israeli tech for mass-notification alerts saves lives
When Lior Shalev, CEO of eVigilo, arrived at his office in Netanya on Tuesday last week, he checked into the back office of his company’s emergency mass-notification system to ensure that it was working smoothly in Chile. A few hours earlier, a major earthquake of magnitude 7.1 had struck the South American country and rocked the capital of Santiago.
eVigilo (evigilo is Latin for “be alert”) makes a geo-targeted system that enables officials to send out mass alerts simultaneously to computers, mobile phones, radio, sirens, social networks and television within seconds – even if all regular networks are busy.
For Chileans, a warning system like this is crucial for saving lives in the event of earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions.
Shalev tells how in 2010, Chile suffered a massive earthquake of magnitude 8.8 and a tsunami aftershock that claimed the lives of 560 people. Four years later, a magnitude 8.3 earthquake hit the Chilean shore but this time, thanks to eVigilo’s system, the death toll was just five people.
“Everyone got a warning but you can’t force people to leave,” Shalev says of the five fatalities.
A simple Israeli invention to treat resistant hypertension
Bob Stern’s father suffered a stroke at age 40. “When you have a stroke, your life and those around you are affected forever,” he says from experience.
Stern’s response was to build one of the largest stroke treatment companies in the world, Micrus Endovascular (MEND), acquired by Johnson & Johnson in 2010 for half a billion dollars. Two months later, he heard from renowned Israeli serial entrepreneur/inventor Yossi Gross of Rainbow Medical.
Gross invited Stern to Herzliya to examine his implantable invention for treating drug-resistant hypertension (high blood pressure). Hypertension is the leading cause of cardiovascular events including stroke, which occurs when the blood supply to the brain is interrupted or reduced.
Approximately 75 million Americans have hypertension, and more than five million of them are resistant to drug therapy. Worldwide, it’s estimated that one billion people have elevated blood pressure not adequately controlled by medication.
Stern accepted Gross’s invitation and later accepted an invitation to be president and CEO of Vascular Dynamics, the company Rainbow founded around this minimally invasive solution, called MobiusHD.
Israeli-born chef strikes gold with top US prize
Israeli-American chef Michael Solomonov took home the award for "Outstanding Chef" at the James Beard Foundation Awards on Monday night.
Solomonov, born in Israel and raised in the US, won for his work at Zahav in Philadelphia, which has been serving Jewish and Israeli cuisine since it opened in 2008. The chef, who was trained in French and Italian cuisine, felt a pull to return to his culinary roots after his brother, David, was killed during his IDF service in 2003.
In addition to Zahav, Solomonov co-owns several restaurants in Philadelphia, including Dizengoff, a hummus joint, and Abe Fisher, an eatery that pays homage to Jewish Diaspora cuisine. In March, Solomonov added a falafel joint, named Goldie, to his growing empire.
The James Beard Awards are considered the most prestigious accolade in the American culinary world.
Solomonov wasn't the only Israeli connection at the awards in Chicago Monday night. Zachary Engel, the chef de cuisine at Shaya restaurant in New Orleans, was named the "Rising Star Chef" of 2017. Shaya is the creation of Israeli-American chef Alon Shaya, and serves his take on modern Israeli cuisine.
Celebrate Yom Ha’atzmaut by Watching This Rock Opera About Theodor Herzl
Could there be a more entertaining way to celebrate Israel’s 69th Independence Day—which by happy coincidence falls this year on Theodor Herzl’s 157th birthday—than by watching a recording of a 1992 Israeli musical that tells Herzl’s life story? Perhaps, but bear with me here.
Long before Hamilton became a hit in New York, Theodor Herzl came to Tel Aviv, singing, dancing, and even rapping. Twenty-five years ago, months after Yitzhak Rabin returned to the Prime Minister’s office, Habima, Israel’s national theater, mounted a production of King of the Jews, an original rock opera about the Herzl. It was a minor hit but, save for a brief revival, has long since been forgotten.
Though Herzl began his career as a playwright, his own plays have rarely been performed in the state he envisioned. Considering his weighty presence in Zionist history (not to mention his dramatic, bearded visage), his absence from Israeli stages as a protagonist is also surprising. (Herzl, an avant-garde production directed by Rina Yerushalmi in 2010, was a rare exception). To the rescue came Dvora Omer, the beloved children’s book writer, who wrote the book of King of the Jews, and Rami Kleinstein, the self-styled Israeli Billy Joel, who wrote the music. The tongue-in-cheek lyrics, however improbably, were provided by none other than Yair Lapid, then a rising journalist in his late twenties. Today, Lapid is a former Finance Minister, and according to many polls, a leading candidate to succeed Prime Minister Netanyahu.



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