Sunday, May 21, 2017

From Ian:

Trump tells Muslim leaders to fight ‘Islamic extremism,’ ‘drive terror’ from their lands
US President Donald Trump called on Middle Eastern leaders to combat a “crisis of Islamic extremism” emanating from the region, casting the fight against terrorism as a “battle between good and evil,” not a clash between the West and Islam.
Trump’s address Sunday was the centerpiece of his two-day visit to Saudi Arabia, his first stop overseas as president. During a meeting of more than 50 Arab and Muslim leaders, he sought to chart a new course for America’s role in the region, one aimed squarely on rooting out terrorism, with less focus on promoting human rights and democratic reforms.
“We are not here to lecture — we are not here to tell other people how to live, what to do, who to be, or how to worship,” Trump said, speaking in an ornate, multi-chandeliered room. “Instead, we are here to offer partnership — based on shared interests and values — to pursue a better future for us all.”
He urged Muslim countries to ensure that “terrorists find no sanctuary on their soil” and announced an agreement with Gulf countries to fight financing for extremists. Full text of Donald Trump’s speech in Saudi Arabia

Palestinians: Tomorrow's Secret 'Day of Rage'
What is really driving this Palestinian hatred of Trump and the U.S.? The Palestinians and the Arabs have long been at war with what they regard as U.S. bias in favor of Israel. What they mean is that U.S. support for Israel stands in their way of destroying Israel.
Abbas is not going to tell Trump about the "Day of Rage" because it flies in the face of his repeated claim that Palestinians are ready for peace and are even raising their children in a culture of peace.
Once again, Abbas is playing Americans and other Westerners for fools. His people remain unwilling to recognize Israel's very right to exist as a state for Jews. And so, Abbas will talk peace and coexistence while his people organize yet another "Day of Rage."
Red Cross closes its office in Ramallah over 'threats'
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) late Tuesday closed its office in Israel-occupied West Bank city of Ramallah, citing "threats".
In a statement, the ICRC attributed the move to "the serious threats against the staff, and the office in Ramallah."
“A group of people stormed the office, this [Tuesday] evening, threatened the safety of staff, and violently demanded them stop work and leave the office,” it added.
Christian Cardon, head of mission for the ICRC in Jerusalem and the West Bank, emphasized that “these acts are unacceptable and should be stopped immediately."
“In the recent weeks our employees and offices have been subjected to similar incidents in the West Bank,” Cardon said.
“The closure of Ramallah office, however, will not affect the work of the ICRC offices in the rest of the West Bank,” he stressed.

Damning with deafening praise: Why Netanyahu is unimpressed by Trump
A line is often drawn from US President Donald Trump’s election last year to Britain’s vote for Brexit, the swelling of support for far-right European politicians such as France’s Marine Le Pen, the rise of blustering politicians such as the Philippines’ Rodrigo Duterte, and so on.
The democratic world is in the throes of a “populist surge,” goes the refrain, which could shake the foundations of the liberal world order.
It is becoming increasingly common among liberal elites focused on Israel to lump Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in with this narrative of a surging populist right.
The connection is shallow, the evidence drawn almost entirely from the news cycle: Netanyahu makes “populist” statements about Arab voters on Election Day; Netanyahu is backed by many of the same forces as Trump: the Sheldon Adelsons and Republican Jewish Congresses of the American Jewish right.
But does this convenient narrative correspond to a complex reality?
Netanyahu is not really a populist, and certainly no Trump, both because he is not actually popular even among many of his own voters, and because he does not believe that his political identity is rooted in the upending of an established political order or elite.
Whirlwind tour: Donald Trump’s 28-hour Israel itinerary
US President Donald Trump’s nine-day, four-country, first foreign tour will take him to a Muslim-world summit in Riyadh, a visit to Jerusalem’s Western Wall and a meeting with Pope Francis in the Vatican. It is being billed as an interfaith itinerary that will include formal addresses by the president in all three countries.
Trump is set to become the first serving president to visit the Western Wall, and is coming to Israel earlier in his term than any other US president. He is also set to see PA President Mahmoud Abbas for the second time this month, as he works toward the Israeli-Palestinian deal he says he is confident in delivering. “I hope that this can happen quicker than anyone ever imagined,” he said in an interview published Friday.
The Israel (and West Bank) portion of his trip begins on Monday, May 22, when Air Force One will touch down at Ben Gurion Airport shortly before 12:15 p.m. The US president will be received at a special ceremony on the tarmac, including speeches, then will be helicoptered to Jerusalem (landing at 1.10) and his first meeting, a visit with President Reuven Rivlin at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem at 1:15 p.m.
From there, he make visits to holy sites in Jerusalem’s Old City, including the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (at 2.30) and the Western Wall (at 3:15) — an unprecedented stop at Judaism’s holiest place of prayer for a serving US president.
GOP Israel chief: Trump unlikely to announce embassy move during visit
The leader of Israel’s Republican group said Sunday he believes US President Donald Trump will not announce the relocation of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem during his Israel visit on Monday-Tuesday.
Mark Zell, chairman of Republicans Overseas Israel, told Army Radio that “I don’t think there will a statement about the embassy during the visit.”
Zell’s comments came a day before Trump’s first visit to the Jewish state. Some Israeli and US officials have speculated the US president would use the opportunity to fulfill his campaign pledge to move the US embassy to the Israeli capital.
There has been no movement thus far on the pledge, which would break with decades of US policy on the city, as Trump has seemingly backed off the controversial move early in his presidency.
The Palestinians and the Arab world have fiercely opposed a potential relocation of the US embassy, repeatedly warning that it could spark violence in the region.
Majority of Jewish leaders in diaspora in favor of moving US embassy to Jerusalem
A majority of Jewish leaders in the Diaspora are in favor of moving the US embassy to Jerusalem; feel a strong connection to the Western Wall; but are also concerned about the capital’s future, according to a recent report by the Jewish People Policy Institute (JPPI).
The report, a summary of JPPI’s 2017 annual Israel-Diaspora Dialogue, was released on the occasion of the upcoming 50 years anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem and presented last week to Mayor Nir Barkat.
It revealed a strong connection of Diaspora Jewish leaders to Jerusalem, and their desire to participate in shaping its future, but it also notes their concern that tensions between Jews and Arabs as well as the growing influence of the Ultra-Orthodox community in the city, cast a shadow over its Jewish pluralism.
“Israeli leaders should be aware of the great importance Diaspora Jewry places on maintaining a pluralistic fabric of life in the city that allows all Jews to feel at home in Israel's capital,” President of the Jewish People Policy Institute, Avinoam Bar-Yosef said.
Poll: Most MKs support moving US Embassy to Jerusalem
Most of the MKs in the current Knesset support relocating the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a poll taken by Israel Hayom shows.
The numbers, collected ahead of U.S. President Donald Trump's first presidential visit on Monday, show that out of a representative sample of 21 MKs, 13 were in favor of the embassy being moved, including Tourism Minister Yariv Levin (Likud) and Economy and Industry Minister Eli Cohen (Kulanu). Four of the MKs said they supported the relocation of the embassy, but only as part of a peace plan between Israel and the Palestinians.
MKs were also asked whether they believed Trump would keep his campaign promises to move the embassy. Most said they believed he would not, with only nine saying they believed he would follow through on his pledge.
Meanwhile, as Trump's arrival draws near, many government ministers are concerned that they will not have an opportunity to meet the new U.S. president.
Israel Hayom has learned that officials in the Prime Minister's Office were working fervently with their counterparts in the U.S. administration to coordinate handshakes between Trump and as many senior Israeli ministers as possible during the president's brief stay.
PreOccupiedTerritory: We Prepare Our People For Peace By Teaching Them Never To Compromise By Saeb Erekat (satire)
It is time to put to rest the notion that we Palestinians are not preparing our people for peace with Israel. As our president said to Mr. Trump in Washington two weeks ago, ours is a culture of peace. We have made numerous moves to inculcate peace into our polity, and because the distorted rhetoric of our enemies has made it necessary, I shall now delineate the myriad ways in which we teach our people peace.
  1. We instruct our children in school, and our population on social media, that everything the enemy has is inherently ours, and never for a moment forget that each tiny clod of earth in Palestine was usurped by the Zionist rapist warmonger who must be defeated and expelled at all costs. Only then might we have peace.
  2. We thwart attacks on Israelis by paying handsome lifetime pensions to the families of martyrs killed while trying to slaughter Jews. If our heroes are imprisoned, we pay them even more generous monthly stipends. This promotes peaceful contemplation of new ways to kill and main Jews.
  3. We name streets, public squares, community facilities, children’s programs, and myriad institutions after those who showed us the only legitimate method of resistance: killing as many Jews as possible, in the most brutal ways imaginable. This demonstrates beyond a doubt how we feel about peace.
  4. Our textbooks and maps show only the Palestine whose borders were established by Western powers after the First World War, and treats those borders as the eternally sacred lines where no Jew may ever exercise sovereignty, because our ancestors conquered it before theirs did. Wait, I mean our ancestors conquered it after theirs did, and undid their claim. But that doesn’t mean their subsequent conquest erased our claim – it doesn’t work that way, or we’ll hijack your planes. Got it? Peace.
After Saudi arms deal, ministers fret about Israel’s military edge
Two Likud ministers on Sunday voiced concern about Israel’s ability to retain its qualitative military edge in the Middle East, in the first government responses to the $110 billion arms package signed between the US and Saudi Arabia over the weekend aimed at bolstering the Sunni kingdom’s defenses against Iran.
“Saudi Arabia is a hostile country and we must ensure that Israel’s qualitative military edge is preserved,” Likud Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said on Sunday, according to the Kan news broadcaster.
The energy minister indicated Washington did not consult with Israel before inking the massive arms deal.
“Hundreds of millions of dollars in weapons deals is something we should receive explanations about,” he said.
Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz on Sunday similarly expressed reservations about retaining Israel’s military edge, while voicing cautious optimism Trump’s visit would strengthen regional anti-Iran alliances.
Sudan president will not attend Saudi summit with Trump
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, indicted on war crime and genocide charges, will not attend an Islamic Summit in Saudi Arabia this weekend in which President Donald Trump is a guest of honor, citing private reasons, Sudanese state media reported Friday.
Al-Bashir has instead assigned his Minister of State Taha al-Hussein to represent him at the summit held in Riyadh, the SUNA news agency said. The summit will bring together more than 50 leaders from Muslim and Arab countries.
Saudi Arabia is holding the event under the slogan "Together We Prevail" in hopes of fighting extremist ideologies and cooperating with American and Islamic allies to strengthen economic relations.
Hezbollah calls US admin. 'mentally impeded' during Trump Saudi visit
A senior Hezbollah official recently blacklisted by Washington and Riyadh called the US administration "mentally impeded and crazy" on Sunday as President Donald Trump visited Saudi Arabia, in the group's latest verbal attack on the United States.
Sayyed Hashem Safieddine, president of the Iran-backed Shi'ite group's executive council, said Washington would not be able to do any real harm to Hezbollah.
"America's contempt and blockading that targets our region, countries and communities are proof that it is much weaker than it was in past decades, especially since Trump continues to lead," he said, according to a statement.
"This mentally impeded, crazy US administration headed by Trump will not be able (to harm) the resistance (Hezbollah) and will achieve nothing more than further media clamor," he said, adding that Hezbollah would have "stronger resolve than before," without elaborating.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Melania Wears Regev’s Jerusalem Dress To Riyadh (satire)
First Lady Melania Trump turned heads and sent tongues wagging as she and President Trump departed for Saudi Arabia, first by announcing she would not cover her hair, and then, upon landing, by appearing in the Kingdom in the Jerusalem-themed dress that Israeli Minister of Culture Miri Regev to the Cannes Film Festival last week.
In departure from other female dignitaries visiting the Saudis, Mrs. Trump declined to bow to local custom by donning a hijab, preferring instead to assert her culture’s equality with that of her host. Hillary Clinton, Federica Mogherini, and numerous other important Western women had previously chosen to defer to Islamic practice. In a move similarly calculated to demonstrating independence of local mores, the First Lady opted to appear in the same Jerusalem of Gold gown that Regev wore to showcase Jerusalem’s eternal Jewish character.
The sartorial move made few noticeable waves in the Saudi capital, as the presidential couple’s hosts went out of their way to accord them honor. Government-controlled media avoided showing Mrs. Trump as they would have in any case, in keeping with Islamic sensibilities governing the appearance of women in public roles. Saudi officials denied knowledge of the dress.
“I know not what you are talking about,” claimed Prince Kanna Siyya, a spokesman for the royal family. “We do not discuss the way women dress. It would be an immodest subject.” His eyes canned the room to get another glimpse of the svelte Melania and her flowing hair.
The Mottle Wolfe Show: Happy Nakba Day!

BANNED! From Facebook

IsraellyCool: Exposé Reveals Jeremy Corbyn’s Association With Holocaust Deniers
More trouble for UK Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn, with the Telegraph publishing an exposé of his association with Holocaust deniers and antisemites.
The astonishing decade-long ­association between Jeremy Corbyn and a cabal of Holocaust deniers can be revealed today.
An investigation by The Telegraph shows Mr Corbyn was considered to be a “stalwart” supporter of an anti-Israel campaign group Deir Yassin Remembered (DYR) for several years after its organisers were exposed publicly for their extreme anti-Semitic views.
While there is no suggestion Mr Corbyn shares their views, his association raises serious questions about his judgement.
A Telegraph investigation shows DYR was riddled with prominent Holocaust deniers that included its founder Paul Eisen as well as Gill Kaffash, a former Labour councillor, who knew Corbyn for many years; Gilad Atzmon, a notorious Holocaust revisionist; and Francis Clarke-Lowe, who was chairman of a pro-Palestinian group of which Mr Corbyn is patron.
‘Bull****’ to Respond to Campus Antisemites With Facts-Based Argument, Says Leading Jewish Educator
Responding to campus antisemites with fact-based arguments is a “bulls***” approach, according to a leading Jewish educator, the UK’s Jewish News reported on Friday.
“[T]he starting point should be training students to stand up for their Jewish identity, to have their own culture accepted, rather than accepting the culture of others first, ” Martin Yafe — lead Israel educator for the Jewish Community Relations Council and planning executive at the UJA-Federation of NY — told the News, following his talk at the Limmud FSU conference last weekend.
To better prepare Jewish students to make that case, Yafe recently developed the “Leading on Campus” program for high school students, so that they are educated on how to respond to antisemitic, anti-Israel situations before they ever step foot on a university campus.
Yafe also highlighted the importance of students “look[ing] to communal organizations to help them to forge a coordinated response” to anti-Israel activity, specifically when faced with a boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign.
Reuters Marks Six Day War Jubilee With Skewed Jerusalem Infographic
Reuters marks the 50th anniversary of the Six Day War with an infographic in English, French and Spanish which explicitly states that east Jerusalem "is home to Islam's third holiest site," but which ignores the fact that the area is also home to Judaism's holiest sites. The Temple Mount is Judaism's holiest site, and the nearby Western Wall is the holiest site where Jewish prayer is permitted.
Reuters' skewed reference to the holy status of Jerusalem in Islam, while ignoring the city's even more significant sacred status in Judaism, directly counters the 2015 reassurance from a Reuters editor that "[w]hen we say that the Al Aqsa mosque compound (or Noble Sanctuary) is the holiest site in Islam outside Saudi Arabia, or that it is the third holiest site in Islam, we also point out that the Temple Mount is the holiest site in Judaism."

The Guardian’s “Long Read” on Israel – the Old Errors and Misrepresentations Rise Again
For some time I have sensed a gradual shift from articles that were in large part composed of or promoted outright lies on the former “Comment is Free” (CiF) pages to a somewhat more muted but nevertheless constantly critical view of Israel. I believe the active opposition in below-the-line comments by those of us that formed CiF Watch (which eventually broadened to become UK Media Watch) forced the Guardian to be more careful about who writes for it and what they write about Israel.
While thinking over these matters, I encountered the recent Guardian “The Long Read” which chose to highlight an excerpt from a new book by Nathan Thrall in an item titled Israel-Palestine: the real reason there’s still no peace that had the effect of taking me back in time to some of those earlier days.
The lengthy excerpt awoke again memories of articles now long forgotten, of the Guardian’s black –hat /white-hat approach to the conflict between the two sides (Israelis – the bad guys/Palestinians – the good guys). Proof that at bottom, the same prejudices that once were so prominently and frequently and obsessively on display during the reign of people like Alan Rusbridger and Georgina Henry live on at Guardian HQ under the leadership of Katherine Viner.
Quite simply, no matter what the Palestinians did, or what peace overtures Israel made – Israel was always to blame for the lack of progress to peace.
In “The Long Read” Thrall makes some good points in the excerpt from his book about the security concerns of Israelis but we see the same Guardian approach of laying the burden of not achieving peace at Israel’s door while inherently subscribing to the idea that the Palestinians are not equal actors in the failure to resolve the conflict.
The Guardian presents an ideal view of Hamas
Sarah Helm continues with her dream-vision of a positive Hamas.
“Shortly after that, Hamas, which governs Gaza, published what is effectively the first revision of its charter since it was founded 30 years ago. “
This too is a well trodden – though more recent – path. This public document, as it is known, is far from a new charter. A close reading of the document itself yields no hint that it is intended to be a charter.
In fact, Ms Helm’s claim is contradicted by various Hamas leaders. Here is none other than one of the founders of Hamas, Al-Zahar:
“The pledge Hamas made before God was to liberate all of Palestine,” Zahar said Wednesday. “The charter is the core of [Hamas’] position, and the mechanism of this position is the document.”
Sarah Helm begs the international community to see Hamas more charitably:
“…the movement is at present adhering to a ceasefire, and has gone a long way towards meeting international demands.”
It is hard to see the regular firing of missiles at Israeli civilian communities near Gaza as indication of a ceasefire. The international demands on the Palestinians in general and Hamas in particular have generally been no more demanding than a request for an end to the violence – a consummation devoutly to be wished but as elusive as ever.
Related Articles:
Richard Millett: The Guardian and Hamas: The love story continues.
Helm even accuses Israel of having built an “apartheid wall” around Gaza. How, in any rational sense, can it be “apartheid” to build a wall that stops Hamas entering nearby Israeli towns like Sderot to murder innocent Jewish Israelis?
The very minimum Helm does is acknowledge that Gaza also has a border with Egypt. But for Helm it’s “Israel’s siege of the territory” that is to blame. She writes that “Two million Gazans, mostly refugees, are today locked behind walls and fences and deprived of bare essentials”.
Bare essentials? Israel’s Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) details the huge amounts Israel supplies to Gaza in terms on food, fuel, healthcare etc. There is no boycott of “bare essentials”.
These sick Guardian pieces by Baconi and Helm won’t have any impact beyond riling and offending the British Jews who read them.
Meanwhile, the Guardian published a letter (see photo above) on Saturday from ex-Labour Minister Peter Hain who refers to Hamas’ recently published document as a “new olive branch”.
If a far-right Nazi group attempted to moderate its stance towards Jews most reasonable people would never take the bait. But when Hamas attempts it the likes of Baconi, Helm and Hain not only take the bait they are also so easily reeled in!
French President Emmanuel Macron’s party withdraws 2nd candidate who supported BDS
For the second time this month, the party of French President Emmanuel Macron withdrew from its parliamentary elections ticket a candidate who promoted online a boycott of Israel.
William Tchamaha was removed Thursday from the En Marche centrist party’s list in the northern Seine-Maritime in next month’s elections, the news site Actu reported.
CRIF, the umbrella group of French Jewish organizations, had called for his removal last week on Twitter, citing his support for the boycott campaign. Promoting a boycott of countries or their citizens is illegal in France, where it is classified as hate speech as per legislation from 2003.
“A state outside the law that despises the law,” Tchamaha wrote Feb. 8 on Twitter in a message that has since been deleted. “Boycott Israeli products and [apply] an economic embargo!”
In 2015, Tchamaha tweeted about the slaying by Israeli police officers of Palestinians while they were trying to carry out terrorist attacks against Israelis.
“The massacre continues and the Palestinians get the blame,” he wrote.
Budapest is committed to combating anti-Israel bias in the United Nations and the European Union, the country’s Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto told The Jerusalem Post.
“On many occasions I feel that both in the UN and the EU that there are biased positions against Israel,” he said on Thursday.
Szijjarto spoke with the Post at the Sheraton Hotel in Tel Aviv during a trip to Israel that lasted less than day.
He was preparing for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to Hungary on July 18-19. It will be the first visit to Hungary by an Israeli prime minister since Budapest restored ties with the Jewish state in 1989, the first of the former Soviet bloc countries to do so.
Mother of terror victim to UN: Stop PA from paying terrorists
The bereaved mother of an American citizen killed in a terrorist attack in Gush Etzion in 2015 will deliver a speech to the UN later this week, in which she will ask the world body to act to stop the Palestinian Authority's payments to convicted terrorists.
Ruth Schwartz's son Ezra had been spending a year in Israel ahead of his academic studies when he was murdered. Three people were killed in the car ramming attack in November 2015 and four were wounded. Ezra was 18 years old at the time of his death.
Schwartz's speech to the U.N. comes at the culmination of joint efforts by Israel's Ambassador to the U.N. Danny Danon and nonprofit Israel education organization StandWithUs to bring the topic to the forefront.
In a speech at the U.N. two weeks ago, Danon explained how taxpayer money from the U.S. and Europe was used by the PA to pay salaries to terrorists and in effect, encourage terrorism.
Hamas sentences 3 to death over killing of terror chief
A court in the Gaza Strip on Sunday sentenced three men to death over the assassination of a Hamas terror chief that Hamas accused Israel of masterminding.
After a trial that lasted four days, two of the accused were sentenced to be hanged and one to be shot, the military court announced.
The assassination of Mazen Faqha in the middle of the Hamas-run Gaza Strip in March shocked the Islamist terror organization and raised the possibility of a new round of violence with Israel.
Hamas immediately blamed Israel, with which it has fought three wars since 2008, and implemented strict border restrictions on those seeking to leave the Palestinian enclave.
Israel has not confirmed or denied the accusations.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Popular New ‘Barghouti Diet’ Ignores Calories Eaten In Secret (satire)
Trendy Israelis have begun to embrace a new regimen for controlling food intake, inspired by the discipline of a prominent Palestinian prisoner, that only reckons calories from food not eaten on the toilet, in the closet, slouching down in the car, or otherwise concealed from view.
The Barghouti Diet, as it has become known, is gaining popularity among those who keep up with the latest in culture and fashion, according to social commentators, and appeals to a growing segment of the population looking for a way to balance nutritional and fitness needs with the fact that dieting sucks. Its source is Fatah terrorist Marwan Barghouti, currently serving five life sentences for his involvement in attacks that killed Israelis during the Second Intifada, and who was filmed consuming snacks in the toilet stall of his cell after announcing a hunger strike on the op-ed page of The New York Times.
Local Nutritionist Ivana Binge has noted numerous new inquiries from clients in the last two weeks regarding the Barghouti Diet, asking whether the regimen can be tailored to their lives. “It started about a week and a half ago,” she recalled. “My clients were buzzing with talk of this new trend, and it turns out the eat-all-the-junk-food-you-want-as-long-as-you-think-nobody-is-looking diet is the latest thing.”
Binge noted that variations of the Barghouti diet have existed for centuries, but have been dismissed as diets by most researchers, who tend to insist on some semblance of discipline in order to warrant the term. New research, however, points to a parallel between the diet and the political hunger strike, in which a Palestinian prisoner is still referred to by the news media as conducting such a strike even after repeated and consistent eating.
Hezbollah says it caught Iraqi man spying for Israel in Lebanon
Lebanese media claimed Saturday that an Iraqi citizen was arrested in the country on suspicion of spying for Israel, quoting a statement by the Hezbollah terror group.
Following his arrest, the Iraqi citizen confessed to having passed intelligence to Israel, according to reports in the El Nashra online newspaper and the Al-Mayadeen news network.
The reports said the Iraqi man confessed to having been enlisted by an officer from an intelligence agency linked to the Israeli Defense Ministry.
He allegedly admitted that he was asked by Israel to provide information on the Lebanese army and Lebanese government officials, as well as to enlist other operatives to setup a spy network in Lebanon.
The Iraqi citizen also reportedly said that his brother in Iraq was passing information to Israel relating to the Iraqi government.
Analysis With Rouhani win and US sanctions waiver, nuke deal to stay
Until last week, the almost two-year-old nuclear deal between Iran and the West was shaky and in question.
President Donald Trump had run on a promise to scrap the agreement and there was a strong chance that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, co-architect of the deal with former president Barack Obama, would be ousted from power in Friday’s election by Ebrahim Raisi, a critic of the deal.
Then, on Wednesday, Trump “owned” the Iran deal for the first time, boosting it by waiving nuclear sanctions just as the Obama administration had done previously.
But this was not the real moment of truth.
That was Rouhani’s victory, which he won handily with around 57% of the vote and no need for a runoff – this, despite the fact that Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the powerful Revolutionary Guard Corps supported Raisi.
Sharp rise in anti-Semitic attitudes in Mexico where 56 % of population says Jews have 'too much power' in Finance, survey shows
-Anti-Semitic attitudes have risen sharply in Mexico in the past three years amid challenges the country is facing with a faltering economy and growing pessimism about the country’s direction and future, according to a new poll commissioned by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).
ADL’s Global 100 Index Survey in Mexico found anti-Semitic attitudes have increased by 11 points compared to a similar poll three years ago.
Today, a total of 35 percent of the adult population in Mexico – or approximately 31 million people -- harbors anti-Semitic attitudes, up from 24 percent in a similar poll in 2014.
The most commonly held negative stereotype, that “Jews have too much power in the business world,” is held by 56 percent of the Mexican population, an increase from 40 percent in 2014.
Findings suggest that the economic downturn and political and social instability has people looking for scapegoats, with those who are most negative about the economy tending to be more anti-Semitic.
“While Mexico’s Jewish community is thriving and rarely experiences any anti-Semitism, underlying attitudes remain a concern, particularly related to some of the most classic anti-Jewish stereotypes,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO.
IsraellyCool: Rich Buckler, Philo-Semitic Comic Book Artist
Comic book artist Rich Buckler has died at the age of 68.
I am not much of comic book guy (although I am a big fan of the Marvel films). So why am I dedicating a post to Rich?
Because he is responsible for two of the most identifiably Jewish heroes in comics: The Thing (real name: Benjamin Jacob Grimm) of the Fantastic Four, and Sabra (real name: Ruth Bat-Seraph), the national superheroine of Israel.

Israel Aerospace gets $630m missile defense deal for Indian Navy
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), the nation’s largest aerospace and defense company, said Sunday it has received an additional $630 million contract to supply long-range surface-to-air missile (LRSAM) defense systems for four ships of the Indian navy.
The contract will be carried out for the first time with Indian government company Bharat Electronics Ltd. (BEL), which serves as the main contractor in the project as part of India’s “Make in India” policy. The Make in India policy is an initiative launched in 2014 by the Indian government to encourage multinational and national companies to manufacture their products in Israel.
Before signing the contract, the LRSAM was successfully tested last week in India aboard an Indian navy ship to demonstrate the system’s operational capabilities with a genuine target, IAI said in a statement.
LRSAM is an advanced air and missile defense system, a joint development by IAI and India’s Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), with the collaboration of IAI’s subsidiary ELTA, RAFAEL and various Indian companies including BEL.
The system comprises several elements, including advanced phased-array radars (MFSTAR), command and control systems, launchers, and missiles with advanced radio-frequency (RF) seekers.
Syrian war: Wounded risking retribution to receive medical care from enemy Israel
For Syrian patients, the trail here is full of risk.
A look at the key moments that have shaped the war in Syria over the last six years.
Israel and Syria remain technically at war, and seeking treatment from the enemy is something that could earn them retribution at home.
But in their desperation, in the dark of night, wounded Syrians — including opposition fighters — make their way to several known locations on the Israel-Syria front in the occupied Golan Heights.
Israeli soldiers on lookout or patrol spot them waiting by the fence and then whisk them away to hospitals for treatment.
"And people come across and you get to know them. There's something very uplifting and exhilarating about getting to know Syrian families."
The Melbourne-educated doctor — whose grandparents were originally from the Syrian capital Damascus — said he had made intimate connections with people whom he could never previously have met.
"I don't use the world intimate lightly," he said.
"There is a truly intimate connection. We have breakfast and lunch together for many weeks and many months.
"So it's been a surprisingly emotional experience."

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