Friday, May 26, 2017

From Ian:

Ruthie Blum: Manchester, Abbas and evil losers
Whether the tragic irony was lost on Trump is not clear; his true thoughts about the Islamist tyrants on whom his powerful speech was wasted remain somewhat of a conundrum. While in Bethlehem two days later, however, he did praise Abbas for having "joined the summit and committed to taking firm but necessary steps to fight terrorism and confront its hateful ideology."
This is beyond laughable. Abbas can hardly be counted on to combat a practice he embraces and encourages among his people. Indeed, the Palestinian leader not only promotes stabbings, rammings and bombings targeting Israelis, he pays salaries to the families of perpetrators killed "in action." He also gives his clerics and educators free rein to spread hatred, particularly against Israel.
For instance, as a Middle East Media Research Institute report revealed this week, a mere four days before Abbas welcomed the U.S. president in Bethlehem, a prominent Palestinian imam at Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque prayed to Allah to "annihilate Trump and the conspirators," and to "annihilate all the Jews."
The genocidal content of Palestinian sermons is nothing new. Nor is the fact that Abbas holds terrorism dear. According to Palestinian Media Watch, during the month ahead of Trump's Mideast and European "tolerance tour" alone, Abbas, his Fatah faction and the PA glorified 12 terrorists -- 10 of whom murdered 95 people -- and named a street after one of them. Abbas' deputy honored five terrorists responsible for the murder of 38 people. The PA commended the mother of four terrorists, each of whom is serving multiple life sentences. The PA named public squares after two terrorists who kidnapped and murdered an Israeli, with Abbas sending greetings of 'honor and pride' to them. Fatah's youth movement exalted four infamous terrorists in a music video, and the list goes on.
President Trump, beware. Your description of jihadis as "evil losers" fits Abbas and the members of his apparatus to a tee.
Melanie Phillips: Denial still flows over Londonistan
In the wake of the jihadi human bomb attack in Manchester, Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May said: “We struggle to comprehend the warped and twisted mind that sees a room packed with young children not as a scene to cherish but an opportunity for carnage.”
Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel said: “ It is unbelievable that somebody has used a joyful pop concert to kill or seriously injure so many people.”
A headline in the Washington Post read: “In suburban Manchester, a search for what might have motivated the attacker”.
“Struggle to comprehend”? “Unbelievable”? “What might have motivated the attacker”? Really??
In 2006 I published my book Londonistan which analysed the supine response of the British political, legal and religious establishment to Islamic jihadi terrorism and the Islamisation of Britain. What follows below is the concluding chapter of that book. As the army patrols the streets of Britain to guard against further expected terrorist attacks, my warning about the deadly failure to face up to the true nature of the threat facing the west is surely even more urgent today.
Douglas Murray - The Strange Death of Europe [Delingpole]
Douglas Murray on Delingpole's podcast (recorded before the Manchester attack).

David Collier: Manchester, identifying the extremism
There are differences between ISIS and Hamas but there are similar roots. The core element to discuss is the action. The action is universally wrong. Whether it is a British 8-year-old girl at a concert in Manchester or a 13-year-old boy in fancy dress in Tel Aviv. There is never an excuse for that type of barbaric behaviour.
If you suggest one is abhorrent but the other is somehow legitimate, then it becomes about the perspective of the attacker. You give him the power to decide when it is right and when it is wrong. So if you justify Hamas, then you justify Manchester. The distinctions are Western concepts in your head. They are your mistake. These differences simply do not exist in the mind of the terrorist.
Worse still, we allow for such a ‘legitimisation’ to breath and develop in our society. If it send signals that it is sometimes okay, then we should not express surprise when it surfaces with such brutality in our streets. We speak of eradicating extremism and yet we allow it to grow and develop. In the mosque, on campus. Even the leader of the opposition called Hamas his ‘friends’. That is the Hamas that blew up Israeli children at Purim. He may as well be praising ISIS, what is the difference?
For over two decades I have been fighting against radical Islamic hate. Whether it is called ISIS or Hamas. Only when people begin to recognise the battle is the same, will we even begin to have a chance at winning.
My thoughts and prayers are with all the 22 victims, with those that were injured in the attack, with all their families, with all their friends and with those that were emotionally scarred by it.
Col Kemp: Detain, deport, exclude: this is how Britain should respond to terror
Some argue that these measures are racist, discriminatory and would cause outrage and violence among the Muslim communities in this country. But I do not suggest we single out any culture, race or religion. Only those who want to kill us and destroy our way of life.
And the very same people who tell us that Muslims would be enraged also tell us that the overwhelming majority of Muslims do not support or sympathise with terrorists. Why then would they oppose measures designed to prevent terrorism and the killing of Muslims as well as non-Muslims?
The Islamic State is collapsing as a cohesive entity in Syria and Iraq but they will not go away. Instead they will shift their shape and disperse. Hundreds of Britons are among them and many will return with orders to attack.
They are the most dangerous terrorists we have ever faced. Not only have they been trained in techniques of unlimited terror but they have been blooded in battle. It is much easier for a terrorist to kill after he has taken part in violence and slaughter.
Our children had a taste of this forthcoming horror in Manchester this week. Many died a terrible death. Many more, disabled, disfigured, distraught, their young lives forever ruined, lie in hospital tonight.
The government has a duty to do everything it can — no matter how unpalatable — to ensure this evil is eliminated from our cities.
Col Richard Kemp Says Suspected Terrorists Should Put in Internment Camps | Good Morning Britain

As Britain mourns the dead and treats the injured in Manchester, people from around the world take to social media to blame a Jewish conspiracy
Whilst politicians urged unity and “#WeStandTogether” trended on social media, people from around the world took to Twitter, Facebook and other platforms to claim that the suicide bombing was a plot by Jewish conspirators to fuel wars against oil-rich Muslim states, or some other variant of the depraved conspiracy myths that place Jews at the centre of the world’s every ill.
On Twitter, “Carlos” wrote: “Zionists just bombed Manchester”. “Geeky Artist Arab Woman” opined that Zionists are “the sources of all terrorism #Manchester”. “Isaac Mintman” posted his theory that “Zionists and fascists want more Islamic terror attacks in hopes of sparking civil war”. “Mama Snarf” replied to a tweet from an Israeli minister: “Most terror attacks ordered by Israel anyway. Manchester don’t need anymore Zionists”. “Dowlut Nawshad” tweeted: “The World should drive out the ‘Zionists debts theft genocide false flags monetary system😈$’ they ordered and responsible for Manchester.”
Over on Facebook, Oxford-educated “James Harper” posted his theory that “The Manchester incident is just another Zionist psy-op to promote hatred towards Muslims as an excuse to blame Iran and give cause for reason to attack them.” “Terry Vincent” posted: “False flag Manchester. Rothschild needs this to make the elections look legitimate. If you can’t see it, you’re still sleeping.” “Zeeshan Hussain” decided that the attack was a Zionist plot against the Labour Party, posting: “Manchester Attack is atteach [sic] to elections in UK because ISIS is under control of Mossad and Zionists don’t like Labour Party”. He gave his post a colourful background to make sure that it stood out. “Shaji Mohammad Khan” posted his own lengthy hypothesis, beginning: “More false flag propaganda.. Another MOUSSAD [sic] cooked Hollywood productions.. Wait ‘til they spice the story, as they detail it.. They always start with a bang, and then slowly pretend to investigate and follow clues to some made up MUSLIM name, and profile…” Meanwhile, “James Bay Wong Wingchiao” posted: “Smells like a ZIONIST BOMB PLANTED BY MI6 MI5 and freemasons”. “Edward Joseph Carmona” was similarly sure of Zionist involvement, posting: “Now the Zionist will pick who to blame.”
Edgar Davidson: Media's predictable pandering to Islam is becoming a joke
Immediately after the Manchester attack I posted the graphic (see below) about the script the main stream media would follow in its reporting. As usual they have not failed on any of the rules. We already had the hilarious Cosmopolitan scam (they turned a Sikh taxi driver into a Muslim - see below). Then the search for the Muslim 'hero' who saved lives turned up Dr Siema Iqbal's husband (a surgeon who it actually seems was only doing his job). But Siema's interviews, while pushing the need for community cohesion narrative, were also pushing the 'backlash against Muslims' narrative (one of the other script rules of course). Now Seima Iqbal has been exposed (see North West Friends of Israel for details) as an antisemite who called for the boycott of Jewish shops and tweeted in 2014 that "Jews were buying cheap bombs" and "that Israel should be relocated to the USA".

RAF crew write 'love from Manchester' on bomb destined for Islamic State target
A photograph has emerged of an RAF bomb with the message “love from Manchester” written on it after the Ariana Grande concert suicide bombing.
The RAF confirmed the photograph, which has been widely shared on social media, was genuine and showed a message on a Paveway IV bomb loaded on a British jet carrying out air strikes from RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus.
There had earlier been accusations that the photo was a fake. An RAF spokesperson said: “The RAF can confirm the photo was genuine”.
It is not known who wrote the message.
An RAF source said: “The sentiment of the message written on the weapon is understandable and such writing has history in the RAF, so the individual concerned will not be taken to task.”

IsraellyCool: Know Your History: The Jewish And Arab Reactions To The Partition Plan (British Pathé)
A series where I bring to you news from the archives and historical documents to debunk common misconceptions about the Middle East conflict.
Want to know why the palestinian Arabs do not have a state? It starts with their rejection of the 1947 UN Partition Plan.
I have already shown you the respective reactions of the Jews and Arabs from New York Times articles of the time. Now here is a news film dealing with it.

UN hired anti-Israel legal activist to write 2009 Goldstone Report, now invoked in new UN accountability report
Ahead of a new UN human rights office report on Israeli accountability for the 2009 Gaza conflict that is based on that year’s UN Goldstone Report, the Geneva-based NGO UN Watch today submitted a legal complaint to UN chief Antonio Guterres which alleges that, in violation of UN rules on ethics and neutrality, a key staffer on the U.N.’s Goldstone Commission, Grietje Baars, was a leading organizer of anti-Israel legal campaigns, who went on to become a spokesperson for the 2010 Gaza flotilla. UN Watch is demanding a full investigation.
UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer will present the legal brief in testimony today before a U.S. Senate hearing about the UN Human Rights Council.
Disciplinary Action
The decision to launch an investigation into allegations of misconduct lies with the Secretary-General. UN Staff Rule 10.1(c). According to the UN’s OIOS Investigations Manual, misconduct involving a conflict of interest is considered serious Category I misconduct (as compared to a Category II routine matter which includes simple theft, traffic violations, contract disputes, etc.). This means that OIOS must investigate this matter itself and not refer it back to OHCHR for investigation. Pending the results of the investigation, we recommend that, at the very least, the following current and former OHCHR officials be subjected to appropriate disciplinary action pursuant to UN Staff Rules 10.2 and 10.4.
The Truth About Breaking the Silence
If all of this information is public, I have to wonder why student organizations that claim to support peace are so interested in bringing BtS to campus — because, in reality, BtS holds opposing goals. BtS has consistently shown that it wants to “improve” Israel by slandering it, and by using false or coerced testimonies to delegitimize it. By bringing BtS to our campuses, we tacitly support their work.
Yes, we should support any endeavor that encourages transparency and truth-telling in Israel. But BtS does not do either.
In fact, BtS is so interested in foreign audiences that it spends enormous amounts of time and energy translating its reports into English, so that they can be published in international newspapers like the Washington Post, instead of in Israeli papers — where they could reach people who could actually change Israeli policy.
Please note that censoring BtS is not my intention, as the group certainly has the right to tell American college students its view of the conflict. But students must absolutely question the validity of everything they hear. If American college students truly want to do good, they cannot rely on whatever an organization is telling them, regardless of their political affiliation. Instead, they must rely exclusively on the facts — and this is something that BtS doesn’t want.
Michael Lumish: Noura Erakat, Israel's Smiling Enemy, Speaks at Berkeley
If Brooklyn-based "feminist" and Palestinian apologist Linda Sarsour is the progressive-left flavor of the month, George Mason University international law professor Noura Erakat is a more intellectually significant, up-and-coming player in the growing Western, anti-Jewish, Israel-hating business.
Approximately fifty people attended Erakat’s keynote address at the recent UC Berkeley conference on the fiftieth anniversary of the Six Day War, “6 Days, 50 Years: 1967 and the Politics of Time.” The conference was part of a larger University of California project "hosted in conjunction with Universities of California, Los Angeles, and Santa Barbara."
Erakat, a practitioner of “lawfare” against Israel and the niece of Palestinian Authority negotiator Saeb Erekat, represents a young, bright, smiling enemy to Israel and the Jewish people.
In her talk, “Taking the Land Without the People: International Law and the 1967 War,” Erakat raised such leading questions as “How has an exorbitant register of death and destruction as experienced in the Gaza Strip during Israel's most recent military offensives become tolerable in the language of law?” and “How has the Palestinian use of force been delegitimized to the point of extinguishing armed resistance by criminalizing all of it?”
The loaded nature of Erakat’s questions will be obvious to anyone with a passing grip on the history of the Jewish people under thirteen centuries of Arab-Muslim imperial rule. Given the lack of human rights for non-Muslims throughout the Middle East, it is laughable that she could ask them with a straight face.
Erakat asserted that the 1967 Israeli victory established “the machinery of occupation” whereby villages were established for the indigenous Jewish population in Judea and Samaria allegedly in direct contravention of international law.
Palestinian-American graduation speaker sparks New York protest
Dozens of right-wing demonstrators, including far-right commentator Milo Yiannopoulos, gathered in New York on Thursday to protest a university's decision to invite Palestinian-American activist Linda Sarsour to deliver its graduation speech next week.
The City University of New York's Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy, which will have its commencement on Tuesday, described the liberal Muslim speaker on its website as a "powerful public health and social justice" leader.
Protesters in midtown Manhattan chanted and marched under rainfall to criticize the school's choice of Sarsour, 37, an organizer of this year's Women's March on Washington who has drawn fire from conservatives for her opposition to what she terms Israel's occupation of the West Bank.
Yiannopoulos, 32, said Sarsour should be allowed to speak but should be held accountable for actions he considered anti-American.
"Working underneath all of that sweaty polyester is a mind that hates America," Yiannopoulos said of Sarsour, who wears a hijab head covering.
ADL Rejects Anti-Israel Activist Linda Sarsour Over BDS, Upholds Her ‘First Amendment Right’ to Address CUNY Graduation Ceremony
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) issued a sharp rejection on Thursday of the pro-BDS positions advocated by Linda Sarsour — the controversial Palestinian-American activist who is scheduled to deliver the commencement speech at the graduating ceremony of the City University of New York (CUNY) School of Public Health on Thursday, June 1.
Sarsour, a co-organizer of the Women’s March held in Washington, DC in January, has enjoyed a rapid rise to prominence among progressives over the last year, despite an established record of violent outbursts against her political opponents on social media, as well as her ideological baiting of the Jewish community. Her statements have included the contention that “nothing is creepier than Zionism,” as well as her forthright insistence that pro-Israel women should be excluded from the feminist movement on the grounds that “it just doesn’t make any sense for someone to say, ‘Is there room for people who support the state of Israel and do not criticize it in the movement?’ There can’t be in feminism.”
“We profoundly reject Linda Sarsour’s positions that delegitimize Israel,” said ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt in a statement. “We have vigorously opposed efforts like the Boycott Divestment and Sanction (BDS) movement, which she supports and we oppose her stance that one cannot be simultaneously a feminist and pro-Israel.”
The ADL was firm that Sarsour should be allowed to speak at CUNY nonetheless. “Despite our deep opposition to Sarsour’s views on Israel, we believe that she has a First Amendment right to offer those views,” Greenblatt told The Algemeiner.
Scuffle erupts at rally against BDS promoter Linda Sarsour
A scuffle broke out between supporters and critics of the City University of New York’s plan to host Linda Sarsour, an activist opposed to President Donald Trump and a supporter of attempts to boycott Israel.
The incident occurred Thursday night outside the CUNY building in Manhattan, where activists against radical Islam, including Pamela Geller and Milo Yiannopoulos, had rallied in protest of the decision by the institution’s School of Public Health to host Sarsour on Friday as a commencement speaker, the New York Daily News reported.
One 19-year-old student who supports the invitation to Sarsour – an organizer of the anti-Trump Women’s March on Washington on January 20 — was pushed around by a small group of demonstrators chanting “Make America Great Again,” according to the report. No arrests were made.
Geller, president of the American Freedom Defense Initiative, and Yiannopoulos, who are Jewish and advocates of Israel’s actions against Palestinian terrorism, were joined by Assemblyman Dov Hikind, (D-Brooklyn), who is also Jewish.
IsraellyCool: Person Who Invited Linda Sarsour To Give CUNY Commencement Speech Also An Israel Hater
You have probably already heard about the furore surrounding Israel hater and faux feminist Linda Sarsour being invited to give the commencement speech for the City University of New York’s Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy. Just yesterday, hundreds of people gathered on Manhattan’s 42nd street to protest it.
And it is outrageous that a hatemonger like Sarsour should be invited to give the commencement speech. The question is why was she, of all people, invited?
The official reason given by the person who invited her – Ayman El-Mohandes, Dean of the Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy – is here. He refers to her as “a leader who has been successful as a community organizer, recognized by national leaders, and who has emphasized women’s health issues in the New York area.”
And I’d think Sarsour, a darling of the liberal left, would be a popular choice among the majority of the student population.
But I posit there is more to it than just that. Dean Ayman El-Mohandes, who invited her, shares more in common with Sarsour than the Muslim faith.
A look at some of his past tweets shows that he, like Sarsour, is no fan of Israel – to say the least.
IsraellyCool: The Antisemitism Linda Sarsour Finds Hilarious
A group of leftists have released a fake press release, lampooning those who staged a protest against Linda Sarsour’s CUNY speaking engagement.
This was Sarsour’s reaction to it:
And what was the exact content of this “hilarious” and “great” prank?
Chanting their iconic slogan, “We’re sore; Sarsour supports terror! Never ever!” scores of excitable activists gathered today to reject the terrorism, violence and un-American-ness of Brooklyn native Linda Sarsour, a known Palestinian directly linked to areas where there are Muslims who have likely read about people who support violent terrorism against America.
New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind commanded the crowd, shouting, “Sarsour wants to impose sharia law and Muslim values on us, instead of the true American, Christian values that the Jews came here to have imposed on them!”
Hikind joined event organizers Pamela Geller and Milo Yiannopoulos to denounce Linda Sarsour and to announce the extraordinary new partnership between the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) — the organization Geller runs alongside Robert Spencer, the Jewish Defence League (JDL) and Yiannopoulos’s North American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA). The groups announced their shared commitment to returning America to its patriotic roots — the core values that will make our country great again — to freedom from left-wing tyranny, freedom from Islamic terror, and freedom from oppressive age of consent laws.
UCLA Professor: What’s wrong with Jews being a minority in Israel?
Finally, after about an hour of partisan arguments from both sides, I heard something that got my attention.
I was attending an event Monday night sponsored by the UCLA Debate Union, billed as “A Spirited Debate on BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions).” It featured, on one side, Professor Judea Pearl and students Philippe Assouline and Joseph Kahn, and, on the other side, Professor Saree Makdisi and students Ahmad Azzawi and Wali Kamal.
From what I hear, after I left there was a controversial afterword from a professor who was not officially part of the debate. Since I didn’t see it, I will comment only on the formal debate.
In front of an audience of about 100 people who represented both sides, the Judea Pearl side argued the motion that “BDS is not moral.”
Nothing surprised me too much in the back and forth. The Pearl side reiterated the well-known arguments against BDS — namely, that it is out to undermine the Jewish state rather than search for peace –while the Makdisi side framed BDS as fighting the injustice of the Israeli occupation with the best non-violent tool available.
While we’ve heard many of the arguments before, it was helpful to hear them all in a civil manner, with no yelling and insults. You could feel some underlying tension throughout the debate, but the panelists made a genuine effort to conduct themselves with class and civility.
Stanford Student Senate Funds On-Campus Speech by Jailed Palestinian Terrorist Leader Marwan Barghouti’s Son
The Stanford student senate voted to fund an on-campus speech by the son of imprisoned Palestinian terrorist Marwan Barghouti, a campus paper reported on Wednesday.
The event featuring Aarab Barghouthi, to be hosted on Thursday night by Stanford’s Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), will receive “$450 for an honorarium and $200 for facility use” from the senate, according to the report in The Stanford Daily.
Three senators abstained from the vote.
Jewish senator and appropriation’s chair Gabe Rosen was quoted as saying though he was “personally very deeply concerned with the content of the speech,” he supported the measure in the name of freedom of expression.
Jacob Kaplan-Lipkin, a past president of the Stanford Israel Association, told The Algemeiner that he was “not at all surprised” that SJP invited Barghouti to come speak about his support for his father, who is currently heading a hunger strike of Palestinians jailed in Israel. Marwan Barghouti — the head of Fatah’s Tanzim armed wing and a founder of the al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades — orchestrated a string of deadly terrorist attacks during the Second Intifada before being arrested in Ramallah by Israeli troops in April 2002. He was convicted on five counts of murder in May 2004 and is serving life in prison.
Aarab Barghouti has been a leader in crafting the international campaign in support of the hunger strikers, including launching the “Salt Water Challenge,” in which anti-Israel activists film themselves drinking a cup of saltwater and challenging friends to do the same.
BDS motion defeated at Simon Fraser University
On May 19, 2017, members of the Teaching Support Staff Union at Simon Fraser University (SFU) in British Columbia defeated an anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) referendum, which would have included a boycott of Israeli academic institutions, reported StandWithUs Canada.
In a lead-up to the voting period of May 15 – May 19, approximately 100 SFU faculty members also signed a letter strongly opposing the move.
The letter stated that academic boycotts are antithetical to the principles of academic and scientific freedom and to the principles of freedom of expression and inquiry, and constitute discrimination based on national origin. In addition, the targeting of Israeli academics aims to silence one of the most progressive elements in Israeli society and serve as an obstacle in the road to peace, limiting opportunities for cooperation among Israeli, and Palestinian and other individuals, institutions, and organizations.
“We urge TSSU members to VOTE NO in this referendum, and we appeal to SFU students, faculty, staff and university administrators to defeat and denounce calls and campaigns for academic boycotts against Israel. Rather than adopting counter-productive and discriminatory boycott measures, we urge the TSSU to consider ways it can promote Israeli-Palestinian academic cooperation as a building block of peace and coexistence”, the letter said.
Wall Street Journal Spins Presidential Visit to Western Wall, Creating False Narrative of Division
Congress's position on this issue is ignored. Jones and Lee fail to note that the December UN resolution was condemned by an overwhelming majority of Representatives from both parties. They also ignore that in April, all one hundred Senators signed a letter condemning the anti-Israel bias at the UN. Trump, who was then President-elect, opposed the resolution at the time. These omissions seem to be just spin to support the narrative of division in the headline.
Also misleading is the way that the article introduces the discussion of the Western Wall. Although it accurately states (in both the text and the subtitle) that “the wall lies in territory that Israel captured from Jordan in the 1967 Six-Day War,” it then fails to note that Jordan's occupation of the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem from 1948-1967 was illegal. The Jordanian annexation of the West Bank was not recognized by any countries except Britain and Pakistan, and even Britain did not recognize the Jordanian annexation of eastern Jerusalem.
Jones and Lee also downplay the importance of the Temple Mount in Judaism, providing the Arabic, but not the Hebrew, name for it – Har Habayit. “The Western Wall,” they explain, “is the last of the four walls that once abutted the Temple Mount compound in Jerusalem's Old City, where an ancient Jewish temple once stood.” In fact, the Temple that stood there was the Temple of King Solomon, to which ancient Jews made pilgrimages three times a year and where the Jewish priests carried out daily religious rites. It was not just any old temple, but the holiest site in Judaism. The site on which it stood remains the holiest site in Judaism to this day.
It's Jones and Lee, and not the President or his visit, that are highlighting differences between the US and Israel, and ignoring areas of agreement, adding to – or possibly promoting – the misperception that Israel is becoming increasingly isolated.
More Missing Peace from The Washington Post
The Post—striking a tone of false equivalency—claimed:
“President Obama’s last effort to make peace between Palestinians and Israelis fell apart in 2014, with both sides blaming the other for the impasse. Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama pressed for a 'two state solution' with a sovereign Palestinian nation the goal.”
In fact, Palestinian leadership has long rejected opportunities for statehood if it meant living in peace with and recognizing the legitimacy of the Jewish state. The Palestinian Authority (PA) refused U.S. and Israeli offers in 2000 at Camp David, 2001 at Taba and 2008 after the Annapolis Conference. As CAMERA pointed out in The Baltimore Sun, the 2008 offer included unprecedented concessions, including nearly all of the West Bank and the opportunity for a Palestinian state with its capital in eastern Jerusalem (“Israeli skepticism of Abbas is justified,” May 3, 2017). Yet, PA President Mahmoud Abbas rejected that offer “out of hand,” and refused to so much as make a counteroffer. Ditto for Abbas’ predecessor, Yasser Arafat, in 2000 and 2001.
One could go farther back: Arabs living in British-ruled Mandate Palestine refused opportunities for statehood in 1937 after the Peel Commission, refused the United Nations plan for partition in 1947 and Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) leader Arafat spurned Egyptian President Anwar Sadat’s attempts to get Palestinian autonomy in the territories of the West Bank and Gaza as part of the 1978 Camp David accords, among others. In the latter instance, as CAMERA’s Alex Safian has noted, “Arafat refused and did everything he could to undermine Sadat and the Camp David Accords, with PLO gunmen even murdering West Bank Palestinians who supported Sadat’s approach (“Palestinians Rejected Statehood Three Times, Claim Frustration—with Israel,” Sept. 22, 2011).”
Several Arab countries block Al-Jazeera website
The website of the Qatari-owned Al-Jazeera television network was reportedly blocked on Wednesday in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt.
CNN reported that the website could not be accessed in the UAE and Saudi Arabia. Al-Jazeera confirmed it had been blocked, but gave no further details.
Meanwhile, high-level security sources told Al-Arabiya that 21 news websites “supporting terrorism” and “extremism” in Egypt have been banned, including the site belonging to Al-Jazeera.
The sources added that the websites in question were “spreading lies.”
Israeli scientists announce new treatment for ALS
Scientists at Israel’s Ben-Gurion University of the Negev discovered a breakthrough treatment for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, the university said Wednesday.
ALS is a lethal, progressive neurodegenerative disorder that affects the motor nerve cells in both the brain and the spinal cord. The progressive degeneration of motor neurons leads to atrophy, paralysis and eventually death due to failure of the respiratory muscles.
According to a press release, Dr. Rachel Lichtenstein was able to slow the progress of the disease. She stopped the increased activity of glial cells, which damage and kill the body’s motor neuron cells, thereby restoring the central nervous system’s immune defenses and increasing life expectancy.
“We found a way to thwart the glial cells from attacking and killing healthy brain cells,” Lichtenstein said. (h/t Zvi)
French-Israeli environmental research satellite ready for launch
The construction of Venus, Israel's first environmental research satellite, has been completed, and it is set to be launched into space this summer.
Venus, a vegetation and environment monitoring micro-satellite, was assembled by the Israel Aerospace Industries in collaboration with CNES, France's space agency. Israel's Rafael Advanced Defense Systems produced the satellite's innovative electric propulsion system, and defense electronics contractor Elbit Systems provided advanced high-resolution cameras that will enable the satellite to better monitor the earth's vegetation and any changes on the ground.
Venus weighs 265 kilograms (585 pounds) and can reach an altitude of 720 kilometers (447 miles) within two days.
The IAI hosted the satellite's official handover ceremony on Thursday, where Science and Technology Minister Ofir Akunis entrusted Venus to CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall.
Review: Christian Broadcasting Network Docudrama "In Our Hands - The Battle for Jerusalem"
Last night, the eve of Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day in Israel , upwards of 400,000 people in 700+ theaters across America watched the engrossing, and at times emotionally charged, Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN ) production of In Our Hands-The Battle for Jerusalem. Those of us who were young adults in 1967, with fear and anxiety were glued to transistor radios waiting to hear whether Israel would survive annihilation. Viewing this excellent factually based production with superb Israeli casting brought back memories of the miracles and sacrifices made by the heroic and valiant commanders, soldiers, airmen and sailors of the T'zahal.
Mike Bates and I had interviewed Shoshana Bryen , senior director of the Washington, DC - based Jewish Policy Center about the legacy of the June 1967 Six Day War that we published in the NER/Iconoclast. She discussed the significance of how the stunning victory against enormous odds transformed the Israel that we have come to know, today: happy, confident, a technological powerhouse with a global reach and democratic, with a small “d” ally of the US in the Middle East.
For those of us who have served in the military the camaraderie, heroic resolve and raw emotions of liberation and reunification of Jerusalem, the eternal capital of modern Israel, depicted in the film gave it persuasive power. The interaction between Col. Mordechai “Motta” Gur, charismatic commander of the 55th Brigade and his intelligence officer , Arik Achmon, as well as combat battalion and company commanders had the ring of truth. As an ex US Army Intelligence officer, I appreciated the scenes between Gur and Achmon when he dragooned the later away from his Economics studies at Hebrew University to ‘learn’ how to be his intelligence officer. Then there was the exchange when in preparation for the War, Gur asked Achmon to prepare a battle plan for a jump by the 2,000 strong brigade into the Egyptian town of El Arish behind enemy lines. Then , Gur informed Major Achmon that plans had been changed, and in less than 10 hours he had to prepare for the critical Battle of Jerusalem.
A hero of two armies From the front lines of WWII to Israel's War of Independence
Among millennials, the term “existential threat” is kicked around a lot, but in truth, none really feel it in their bones – certainly not in the way that those who lived through the founding of Israel can.
For those who witnessed the labor pains of the Jewish state’s uneasy birth, it was not at all self-evident that the Zionist project would succeed. Indeed, on the eve of David Ben-Gurion’s declaration of independence, the Yishuv was already embroiled in a bloody war with local Arab gangs, and the following morning brought five invading Arab armies into the fray. Betting on Israel’s survival at the time was far from a safe wager.
The incredible story of how a fledgling Israel managed, against all odds, to foil a pan-Arab attempt to kill it in its infancy, is still recounted with a certain air of legend and even the miraculous among Israelis. But a remarkable part very often left out from the tale is the role played by hundreds of Jewish veterans of the Second World War who stepped up to defend Israel at the moment of truth.
The story of Col. David “Mickey” Marcus is perhaps the most celebrated of these, as enshrined in the film Cast a Giant Shadow, starring Kirk Douglas. But alongside Marcus were scores of other Jewish American veterans who had barely dusted off their US Army uniforms from the front lines of Europe and the Pacific, before changing into the stitched-up khakis of the various Jewish undergrounds and later, the nascent Israel Defense Forces.
Evidence of 2,000-year-old battle for Jerusalem unearthed in City of David
To mark Jerusalem’s jubilee commemoration of the Six Day War, the Antiquities Authority on Thursday unveiled relics from the 2,000-year-old battle for the capital that took place on the eve of the destruction of the Second Temple.
The findings, including well-preserved arrowheads and stone ballista balls, were discovered on the main road through the city to the Temple Mount, in an excavation that has been ongoing for several years.
“These finds tell the story of the last battle between the Roman forces and the Jewish rebels who had barricaded themselves in the city, a battle that resulted in the destruction of Jerusalem,” the Antiquities Authority said.
“This battle is described by the historian Flavius Josephus [born 37 CE]: ‘On the following day the Romans, having routed the brigands from the town, set the whole on fire as far as Siloam (Josephus, Wars, Book 6:363).’” According to Nahshon Szanton and Moran Hagbi, directors of the excavation on behalf of the authority, the ballista balls were fired by Roman catapults used to bombard Jerusalem during the siege of the city. The arrowheads, they said, were used by the Jewish rebels.
Jewish Reggae Singer Matisyahu on Israelis: They’re the ‘Sweetest People,’ But Don’t Mess With Them
Jewish reggae and hip-hop star Matisyahu shared his impression of Israelis in a radio interview on Tuesday, describing them as kind people who are not pushovers.
“We’re not interested in being tossed into the sea,” he said on the “Sway in the Morning” show when asked about the Israeli-Arab conflict. “Israel has got nuclear weapons, the best air force in the world, the best intelligence. Israel does not f*** around. But they are people that want peace. They are the sweetest people in the world. But when the line is crossed…”
The Grammy-nominated artist — who shed his Hasidic appearance in 2011 — further elaborated on the Middle East quagmire, saying, “The whole situation is just messed up. It’s twisted. It’s convoluted.” Regarding the possibility of achieving peace in the region, he stated, “If it was possible I feel like it would’ve been done by now. Because a lot of people really do want peace.”
Matisyahu also expressed his view that America’s involvement in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process has hindered the chances for an agreement. “I think if it wasn’t for the US, Israel would’ve done a lot of things probably,” he said. “I think America has held Israel back.”

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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