Wednesday, June 28, 2017

From Ian:

Major Documentary on UK Labour Party Antisemitism Premieres in London
Some of the UK’s leading Jewish intellectuals gathered with Labour Party parliamentarians at London’s JW3 Jewish community center on Monday night for the public launch of a major documentary on the issue of antisemitism in the Labour Party.
Read The Algemeiner’s review of “Whitewashed: Antisemitism in the Labour Party”
Among those speaking at the first screening of “Whitewashed” — based on the testimonies of loyal Labour Party members and supporters who submitted evidence to the party’s internal inquiry into antisemitism in 2016 — was award-winning British Jewish novelist Howard Jacobson, whose books include The Finkler Question, a satire on modern British antisemitism.
Jacobson noted that the author of the party’s internal report, civil rights activist Shami Chakrabarti, was quickly elevated to the House of Lords, the British parliament’s upper chamber, after submitting her findings.
Holding up his middle finger, Jacobson said he felt “that was what [Labour Party leader Jeremy] Corbyn was saying to all of us who complained.”
“Corbyn has never yet said ‘antisemitism’ without also saying ‘all racism,’ as though he has to apologize to everybody else before he can apologize for antisemitism,” Jacobson continued.
Three Labour MPs — John Mann, Louise Ellman and Joan Ryan — were present for the screening of the documentary and the discussion afterwards, which took place between Jacobson and academic David Hirsh, who narrated the film, the Jewish Chronicle reported. (h/t Jewess)
Whitewashed: Anti-Semitism in the Labour Party

As reported here, a study by the University of Oslo has found that most anti-Jewish violence in France, Sweden, Germany and the UK is committed by Muslim extremists. This is all the more striking considering that Muslims currently make up only relatively small proportions of the populations of these countries.
Scarcely less notable (though no surprise to some of us) is that left-wing violence was the next largest category of anti-Jewish attacks, with right-wing violence trailing into insignificance. Only in Germany were right-wing attacks more numerous than left-wing ones, and then by a relatively small margin.
Last weekend, London hosted an al Quds-day rally. Al Quds-day was introduced to the world in 1979 by the Islamic Republic of Iran “in opposition to the existence of Israel”. The day itself is therefore innately anti-Israel and anti-Jew.
The good news was that the number of marchers, estimated at around 250, was lower than in previous years. Better still, they were stopped from claiming the streets as their own by brave and determined Jewish resistance activists. These faced them down by effectively saying, as the anti-fascists had said of Oswald Mosley’s marchers in London’s East End in the 1930s: “They shall not pass”; and they brought the Islamo-fascists to an unexpected halt.
The bad news was that those marchers were carrying the flag of Hezbollah, the Iran-backed genocidal terror organisation, and screamed vile anti-Israel and anti-Jewish incitement. This took place under the noses of the police who were reportedly following guidance, in accordance with British government policy, that distinguishes the “political” wing of Hezbollah from its terrorist activities.
David Collier: Avi Shlaim, the foolish old man and the adoring church goers
It is the 27th June 2017. I have just returned from an event at St James’s Church, an Anglican church in Piccadilly, London. It has a history of anti-Israel activism. Tonight Avi Shlaim was speaking at the ‘Embrace Annual Lecture’. The official subject was to ‘explore Britain’s historical and current relationship with Palestine’. The main drumbeat provided another anti-Israel festival. This one was delivered with the impeccable presentation and captivating tones of Avi Shlaim.
This event wouldn’t have gone ahead without an anti-Israel under-current. The main purpose of the evening was to raise funds for ‘Palestinian refugees’, wherever they may be. When it came to the fund raising speech, we were even told that some ‘Palestinians’ in Akko (Israel) are living in what is basically a refugee camp. With this level of distortion trying to send church goers reaching for their wallets, a little balance would have been a very distracting and self-destructive strategy. It was simply not going to happen.
Hidden dangers
But I find events like this far more dangerous, far more damaging, than a university hate-fest or Al Quds day march. At a university, the hate is in your face, out in the open. Everyone knows the score. Here in the church it is very different. The hate is hidden, insidious and dealt out with a smile. Avi Shlaim starts speaking, and with a CV like his, who would doubt his words. A packed crowd of about three hundred and fifty, are about to feed from the poison tree, believing it to be hand-picked, freshly squeezed, fruit juice. The type of fruit juice the people in this church would buy in Waitrose.
Avi Shlaim and the missing pages
Shlaim recounts a history that is entirely devoid of balance and actual context. It isn’t that Avi is factually wrong about the nuts and bolts of the conflict, nor is it that Avi Shlaim is deliberately deceptive. Shlaim is simply building his understandings on assumptions that are fundamentally flawed. It doesn’t matter how much he reads, or what data is placed on the page, Avi Shlaim will not be able to order it properly. For as long as he fails to address the basic mistaken concepts driving his ideas, he will remain forever wrong.

The Balfour Declaration Was More than the Promise of One Nation
As November approaches, we will see signs of unease among liberal supporters of Israel, who have been persuaded that the Balfour Declaration bears the stigma of empire. Critics of Israel cite it “as evidence for their allegations that Israel is a colonial cancer in Southwest Asia,” laments one pro-Israel Jewish student, who concludes that it should not be commemorated at all: “When we allow Israel to be labeled a product of the widely hated British Empire, we surrender both our agency and our purpose.”
But why allow Israel to be so labeled? As I’ve shown, the Balfour Declaration was a pledge made by Britain to the Jewish people on behalf of the Allies, including the United States. In the League of Nations mandate, the establishment of a Jewish national home formally became an international legal obligation, entrusted to Britain for implementation. Arthur Koestler was wrong: the Balfour Declaration wasn’t only the promise of “one nation.” Sweeping the Balfour Declaration under the rug would simply be a surrender to partisan distorters of this history. But since Palestinians and their friends won’t leave it under the rug anyway, why not simply teach the truth about it? The purpose of my essay was to promote just that.
But the centennial should not be marked only as a milestone in Israel’s legitimacy in the world. It was also a turning point in the standing of Zionism among the Jews. A wave of euphoria swept the Jewish world, from New York and London to Kiev and Odessa. “After November 1917,” wrote Isaiah Friedman, “Jewry was never the same again. . . . The Zionists had won a tremendous victory. Henceforth, they became the central and most dynamic force within Jewry.”
That couldn’t have been said after the first Zionist congress in 1897. But with the Balfour Declaration, world Jewry entered the Zionist era. We owe the most poignant expression of this to Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, the reviver of modern Hebrew. He left instructions as to how the year of his death should be recorded on his tombstone. The inscription reads that he died on “26 Kislev, Year Six to the Balfour Declaration.”
This is the Jewish world we still inhabit today. The British later faltered in their adherence to the Balfour Declaration, as did many of the Allies who first backed it. The Jews did not, and they kept its promise.
Knesset Speaker Edelstein Gives Speech at Russian Parliament 33 Years After Release From Soviet Prison
Israeli Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein delivered a historic speech Wednesday at the Russian Federation Council — the upper house of the Russian parliament in Moscow — 30 years after he was released from a Soviet labor camp for his Zionist activism.
“Thirty-three years ago I was imprisoned here in Moscow by the authorities of the Soviet Union for teaching the Hebrew language,” Edelstein said in Hebrew to open his address.
“Today, I stand before you as the speaker of Knesset Yisrael (Israel), and, in the same language which I was imprisoned for teaching, I bless you with the ancient Jewish blessing, ‘Shalom aleichem,’” he said, using the greeting for “peace be upon you.”
Edelstein added, “Even in my finest dreams, I never believed I’d reach this moment.”
Speaking before the Russian Federation Council is an honor typically reserved for heads of state. Edelstein was invited by Federation Council Chairwoman Valentina Matviyenko to deliver a speech in reciprocation for her address to the Israeli Knesset last year. During Matviyenko’s visit, the Knesset and Federation Council signed a cooperation agreement.
Lapid to Spanish Parliament: Stop funding anti-Israel NGOs
The Spanish Parliament in Madrid, NGO Monitor and ACOM presented their joint report on Wednesday, highlighting Spanish funding for non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that carry out political warfare campaigns against Israel.
At this event, MK Yair Lapid, Chair of the Yesh Atid party, encouraged his counterparts in Spain to take steps to prevent government funding for such organizations, many of which support BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) campaigns against Israel, incite to violence, and/or promote anti-Semitism. Some of these groups also have alleged ties to terrorist organizations.
MK Yair Lapid stated during the proceedings at the event in Parliament, "I am here to deepen the understanding of the Spanish leadership - that the anti-Israel BDS movement supports terror and pushes peace between Israelis and Palestinians further away. We will work with our friends in the government and opposition to end continued funding, which originates with Spanish taxpayers who oppose terror with all their hearts, for pro-BDS groups."
Olga Deutsch, Director of NGO Monitor's Europe Desk, added, "For years, NGO Monitor has warned of the European funding processes that enable NGO anti-Semitism, incitement, and BDS. MK Lapid understands the seriousness of our findings, and we thank him for contributing to this important dialogue with his fellow parliamentarians in Spain."
We Were at the Anti-Israel Panel Peter Beinart Defended—Here’s What Really Happened
In a recently published op-ed in The Forward, Peter Beinart discusses a video produced by The Israel Project that covers a pro-Palestinian panel discussion on Capitol Hill. Beinart claims that, here at The Israel Project, we don’t want you to watch the hour and a half video of the event. On the contrary: we encourage it. It’s why we published our own commentary on the event. Three TIP fellows were at the event that took place on June 8th, and we want to point out some key issues with Beinart’s article and also direct attention to a major flaw with the event as a whole.
In his June 21 op-ed, Beinart bashes The Israel Project’s video illustrating anti-Semitism in the June 8 panel discussion, which was sponsored by Representative Mark Pocan (D-Wisc.) on behalf of the No Way to Treat a Child campaign. Beinart calls the TIP video “a shameless attack,” and defends the content in the panel discussion. In the video, TIP highlights the last speaker on the panel, Nadia Ben-Youssef, who makes a point of placing the Palestinian narrative into the context of the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948. “The occupation is an outgrowth. The occupation is a symptom,” Ben-Youssef said. “We’re going to start this story in 1948.” Through this rhetoric, Ben-Youssef espouses the belief that the very existence of the state of Israel is the root of the problem for the Palestinians. The TIP video points out that this sort of delegitimation of Israel is unacceptable.
Beinart, however, expresses a slightly different view. In his op-ed, he says, “I believe that in a post-Holocaust world, it’s important to have one country on earth that assumes a special obligation to protect Jewish life.” This directly contradicts the video he is defending, in which Nadia ben-Youssef says, “Nakba. Remember that name, say that name. It means catastrophe in Arabic, and it refers to the founding of the state of Israel in 1948.” She goes on to belittle the nature of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, saying “as if that makes sense.”
TIP CEO: Peter Beinart Whitewashed Anti-Israel Event on Capitol Hill
When journalist Peter Beinart criticized a video that The Israel Project produced of a recently-held anti-Israel event on Capitol Hill, he failed to mention that every speaker opposed Israel’s existence, and instead misleadingly directed his criticism at the group that exposed the speakers’ inflammatory rhetoric, the CEO and president of The Israel Project wrote in an op-ed published Tuesday in The Forward. The Israel Project publishes The Tower.
The event in question took place in early June under the sponsorship of Defense for Children International — Palestine (DCI-P) and the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), both of which support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel, Josh Block observed. The BDS campaign seeks to delegitimize and isolate Israel, according to its founders and supporters, in an effort to bring about the end of the Jewish state.
Each speaker, including Jennifer Bing of AFSC, Brad Parker of DCI-P, Omar Shakir of Human Rights Watch, and Nadia Ben-Youssef of Adalah, supported the BDS campaign through their organization or as individuals.
Another speaker at the event, Yazan Meqbil, is a Palestinian student attending college in the United States whose Twitter timeline reflects clear support for BDS.
De Blasio vows to fight BDS, protect NY Jewish community
Mayor Bill De Blasio expressed his commitment to combat the Boycott Divestment and Sanction movement and defend the Jewish community against antisemitism, during an event on Tuesday evening.
The event, held at the Mayor’s official residence of Gracie Mansion in Manhattan, aimed to celebrate Jewish heritage and included the participation of local Jewish politicians, Consul-General of Israel Dani Dayan and other leaders of the community. “We know there has been a rise in antisemitism in this country, and we will not tolerate it here in New York City,” De Blasio said. “We honor every faith in New York City, this is part of our mandate and this is something we have to teach the world.” “The message is abundantly clear: we cherish the community, we protect the community, we cannot be great without every one of our communities,” he added.
De Blasio also praised Israel as the “answer to industrial oppression going back thousands of years” and spoke about the proximity between the City of New York and the State of Israel.
“There is a lot of history that teaches us why the Jewish people have needed a homeland and finally having a homeland, they deserve to know that that homeland will be protected for the long haul,” he said. “This is why I oppose the BDS movement so strongly.”
Yusef Daher Descends to New Low
Yusef Daher, the Executive Secretary of the Jerusalem Inter-Church Center, has posted some ugly stuff on his Facebook page and on his Twitter timeline. Daher is supposed to promote peace at the JICC — which is supported by the World Council of Churches — but for one reason or another, the licensed tour guide has posted a number of images that legitimize, promote or downplay the horror of Palestinian violence against Israelis.
But yesterday, June 26, 2017, Daher hit a new low, posting an image of a young girl holding a plastic water bottle as if to throw at a target off in the distance. She’s standing in front of a stenciled image of a young girl — with a pigtail just like hers — throwing a Molotov cocktail.
The comments posted in response praise the young girl, calling her “precious” and “spontaneous” and “humble.”
Both the image and the comments are indicative of a thoughtlessness and contempt for the victims of Palestinian violence on the part of both Daher and his friends on Facebook.
Do Daher and his friends on Facebook really want to encourage young Palestinian girls to aspire to throwing firebombs at Israelis? Is that the proper message for the Palestinian Christian community to be showing to Christians (and Muslims) in the region?

Controversial Ryerson field placement official on 'leave'
Ryerson U student Kathryn Wallace, a Social Work student going into her third year was told by her Field Coordinator Heather Bain -- the same woman who banned Rebecca Katzman -- that she can't do her placement at a men's organization because it promotes violence. -When Kathryn admitted she'd been the subject of sex assault herself, Bain gave her a colouring book to use on Wednesday June 7, 2017. (Michael Peake/Toronto Sun)
Controversial Ryerson field placement coordinator Heather Bain has left the building, the Toronto Sun has learned.
An “automatically generated message” from Bain's e-mail address says she's “currently on leave” from her position as field education coordinator in Ryerson's School of Social Work.
Bain refers students needing placements for September to another e-mail address or to her immediate boss, Kristie Wright.
Whether that “leave” is with pay or without - and whether she'll be back to Ryerson's leftist social work faculty in some other role - is anybody's guess.
Michael Lumish: This Week on Nothing Left
Because the J-Air studios are being relocated, no live shows are currently available until late July, so Michael and Alan are pre-recording a 1hr program each week featuring two new interviews.
This week speak with Avi Abelow, founder of Israel Video Network which produces many of the Israel advocacy video clips that surface on Facebook. We also hear part 2 of an interview with British political analyst and commentator Denis MacEoin who did some research on Bishop George Browning, head of Australian Palestinian Advocacy Network.
Isi Leibler is having some time off but will return when we resume live programs.
2 min Editorial: Islamic terrorism
7 min Avi Abelow, Israel Video Network
28 min Denis MacEoin, UK commentator on Bishop Browning
Amazon removes controversial bestseller about Palestinian history
Amazon has removed "A History of the Palestinian People: From Ancient Times to the Modern Era," a book penned by Israeli author, publicist and editor Assaf A. Voll which inspired a heated debate and became a huge Internet sensation two weeks ago.
The historical account, which raked the impressive second spot on the online shopping site’s list of best-selling books in the category of ‘Israel and Palestine History’ and topped the ‘Middle East History’ section, evoked a lot of fury from many surprised customers.
Why were they so upset? Because the paperback, which is described on the site as “the comprehensive and extensive review of some 3,000 years of Palestinian history,” is actually an empty book. All 120 of its pages are blank.
Voll, the man behind the sensation, told the global pro-Israel organization United with Israel that he had “no intention of deceiving anyone.” Voll says that Amazon sent him a message explaining their decision to remove the book from the site.
According to him, the message stated: “During a quality assurance review of your CSP catalogue, we found that your book(s) are resulting in a disappointing customer experience. Indicators of a poor customer experience may include customer refunds and feedback. As a result, the following book(s) have been removed from sale on Amazon.”
Algemeiner Editor-in-Chief: Anti-Israel Media Bias Rooted in Preconceived Narratives Imposed Upon Journalistic Community
Anti-Israel media bias is rooted in a culture in which “a certain narrative is imposed upon the journalistic community and there’s little room for dissent,” the editor-in-chief of The Algemeiner said during a recent appearance in the UK on Latest TV.
“As a product of that,” Dovid Efune noted, “stories are sought to fit into a preconceived narrative, as opposed to being a reflection or reality, truth and the correct context, which is the ultimate calling of journalists.”
“The good news,” Efune went on to say, “is the media climate is changing quite radically, turning on its head, and it’s entering a period that we call the democratization of information, which means that people, individuals, communities are able to engage in the spread of information. And my sense, certainly, is that the majority of people are interested in the truth, they’re interested in justice, they’re interested in accuracy, they don’t have the time and the head space for preconceived narratives. And in this new climate, a great opportunity exists for the truth to see the light of day.”
“The same we’re able to set the politicians straight when they get it wrong — we can vote them out of office — we can set the journalists straight, and say listen, if you’re not going to be fair and accurate and balanced here, we’re not going to spread your content on social media and nobody is going to read it,” Efune concluded.

Daphne Anson: "A Sensitive Topic For Many Muslims": The BBC Hits A New Low
Is there no limit to the depths to which the BBC will sink in its biased reportage concerning Israel?
On its news site currently is a story, that sounds more of a propagandistic beat-up, about Muslim schoolgirls from a Berlin school being "racially abused" on a visit to Holocaust memorials in Poland.
For the BBC, as for much of the Left, the "victimisation" of Muslims, real or imagined, is a topic worthy of the maximum exposure, for Muslims, it seems, are "the new Jews".
Thus the BBC's salivating over the theme that "German Muslim schoolgirls who went on a visit to Holocaust memorials in eastern Poland say they were racially abused by locals during their trip" is almost palpable.
Gratuitous attacks on anyone, irrespective of race or creed, are unconscionable and despicable.
But what the blazes does the following statement have to do with the report in question?
"The Holocaust is a sensitive topic for many Muslims because Jewish survivors settled in British mandate Palestine, on land which later became part of the state of Israel"
Indy cherry picks quote from Israel Electric chief to impute maximum malevolence
An article published at The Independent (Gaza’s only power plant back online after two months following emergency fuel delivery from Egypt, June 23) grossly distorted the comments of Yiftah Ron-Tal, chairman of Israel Electric Corporation, regarding the electricity shortage in Gaza.
The article, by Mid-East correspondent Bethan McKernan, does at least touch upon the fact that a power struggle between Hamas and the PA lies at the root of the Strip’s current electricity shortage. But, she also added the following about Israel’s putative role in the crisis.
Israel was still covering around one-third of Gaza’s power needs, but in the last few days the flow had been cut by 40 per cent at Mr Abbas’ request, the AP reported. When criticised over the decision, which impacted Gaza’s hospitals’ ability to care for patients, Israel Electric director Yiftah Ron-Tal responded, “It’s our job.”
However, the quote, suggesting that head of Israel Electric was indifferent to the suffering of Gazans, was cherry picked from a longer interview published at Haaretz on June 23. As you’ll see, the ambush interview by Haaretz journalist Nir Gontarz is appallingly unprofessional but nonetheless at least includes Ron-Tal’s full reply.
In which the BBC’s Jeremy Bowen repeats his ‘no human shields in Gaza’ claims
Bowen then revisits another of his previously promoted claims concerning Hamas’ use of human shields, while steering listeners towards an incomplete understanding of that term.
“I’ve never seen any evidence of Hamas forcing civilians in Gaza to stay in the firing line. But Israelis repeat time and again that Hamas hides behind human shields.”
The programme closes with Bowen opining that the terror organisation whose activities and abuses he has downplayed throughout the whole report should be party to negotiations.
“Until matters change in Gaza there will be more wars between Hamas and Israel. Change means a new attempt at peace with the participation and consent of all sides. Right now, there is no chance of that happening.”
Perhaps one of the more disturbing points emerging from this series of programmes by the BBC’s Middle East editor is the fact that the passage of time has done nothing to alter his opinions and analysis.
Having publicly claimed that he did not come across human shields in the few days he was in Gaza in the summer of 2014, three years later he cannot accommodate the ample evidence that shows otherwise. Having promoted his own pseudo-legal interpretations of the Law of Armed Combat in his 2014 reporting from Gaza, he is incapable of subsequently adjusting that view in line with the facts.
That, of course, is what happens when the agenda takes precedence over the actual story.
Haaretz (Again) Corrects Inflated Rafah Casualty Figure
For at least the second time, CAMERA has prompted corrections at Haaretz of an inflated figure for Palestinian fatalities Aug. 1, 2014, during so-called "Black Friday," during an Israeli operation to rescue captured soldiers Lt. Hadar Goldin.
Most recently, Haaretz's Gideon Levy had reported earlier this week ("Israel's Gold Star Family," June 25, 2017) reported:
Between 130 and 150 people – most of them civilians, including women and children – paid with their lives for his killing and the abduction of his body during the 2014 Gaza war.
Editors apparently forgot that they previously corrected this very same figure in 2015. The Jan. 13, 2015 correction, prompted by CAMERA, had stated:
The exact number of Palestinians killed in Rafah on August 1, 2014, following the abduction of Second Lieutenant Hadar Goldin, is not known. However, it seems that the number is lower than the initial Palestinian estimate (between 130-150 fatalities), which was quoted in a Haaretz editorial ("Don't interfere with the probes," on January 4, 2015). According to an investigation by the Israel Defense Forces, 41 Palestinians were killed, while the Palestinian Center for Human Rights put the figure at 123.
Los Angeles Times Corrects 'Palestine' Terminology
For at least the sixth time in over a decade, CAMERA has prompted a correction in The Los Angeles Times regarding inaccurate "Palestine" terminology. In the most recent instance, a June 22 calendar article ("Roger Waters is up for any backlash from anti-Trump commentary in his new album and tour") had referred to "tensions between Israel and Palestine."
Editors agreed with CAMERA that the article should have referred to tensions with the "Palestinian Authority" or "Palestinians," as opposed to tensions with Palestine. The following correction appears in today's print edition on page 4:
Roger Waters: An article in the June 22 Calendar section about Roger Waters' new album said Waters supports Palestinians' rights but incorrectly referred to tensions between Israel and Palestine. It should have said tensions between the Israeli government and the Palestinians.
The digital article has yet to be corrected. CAMERA has previously prompted numerous Los Angeles Times corrections on references to Palestine relating to Israel, the West Bank or Gaza post 1948.
DPA Corrects: Jerusalem in Israel, Not Palestinian Territories
CAMERA's Israel office yesterday prompted correction of a DPA (Deusche Presse-Agentur)photo caption which erroneously placed Jerusalem, Israel's capital, in the Palestinian territories. As noted yesterday on CAMERA's Snapshots blog, the English caption of the German news agency had stated:
Gilad Grossman, spokesman of the human rights organisation Jesch Din, in Jerusalem, Palestinian Territories, 26 June 2017. The Israeli government has approved the first state-sanctioned settlement in the occupied West Bank since the beginning of the Oslo peace process. The settlements are widely regarded as illegal under international law. Jesch Din is one of the organisations contesting the move.
The erroneous captions were also distributed on the photo sites of leading news agencies AP and AFP. Following communication from CAMERA staff, DPA editors noted that the misinformation was a translation error, and that the original German was correct. Editors commendably corrected the English captions (see below), which now refer to Jerusalem, Israel. The corrected corrections now appear at AP and AFP.
Boston Holocaust memorial vandalized; local man charged
A man from the Boston area was arrested and charged after he allegedly caused serious damage to the New England Holocaust Memorial in Boston, Massachusetts on Wednesday morning, according to local media.
Eyewitnesses reported that the alleged perpetrator used a large rock to destroy a pane of glass at the memorial.
Boston police charged the 21-year old man, James Isaac, with two separate charges of malicious destruction of personal property and willful and malicious destruction of a place of a monument.
The suspect was arrested by Boston police shortly after carrying out the act, according to witnesses.
Erected in 1995, the Holocaust memorial consists of six towering glass columns engraved with over two-million numbers. Each tower represents a major Nazi extermination camp, but can also be interpreted as representing the six million Jews that perished in the Holocaust. Steam rises up through the towers from metal grates below.
Ukrainian officials post image of vandals defacing Holocaust memorial
City officials in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv published online security camera footage of vandals painting Nazi symbols on a Holocaust memorial in a bid to identify them.
The municipality made the unusual move last week on its website, in which it showed an image of an individual wearing a backpack and a hat squatting in front of a part of the Space of Synagogues memorial display.
The city inaugurated the display last year on part of the former Golden Rose Synagogue complex with support from some Jewish groups and despite opposition by others, who warned the space could invite vandalism and desecration because it resembles a park.
In the June 20 incident, several young men wrote neo-Nazi slogans on stone slabs meant to evoke headstones. They also drew a swastika and ultra-nationalist Ukrainian symbols, as well as the words “white power” in English.
Israel to present new agricultural innovations at international expo
Israel is slated to host the 2017 Fresh Agro-Mashov International Agriculture Exhibition this week, one of the biggest international expos of its kind in the world.
The two-day convention, which will be held on June 27-28 at the Tel Aviv Convention Center, was organized by the Mashov Company, a 26-year veteran in organizing international exhibitions focused on agriculture, gardening and water, infrastructure and environmental technology.
The exhibition will include professional panels and booths where dozens of new and innovative produce varieties would be introduced to thousands of visitors.
Once available to the general public, the colorful array of new fruits and vegetables promises that this coming summer will be delicious.
The new La Jolla watermelon is expected to be one of the main attractions in the expo. Averaging 6 kilograms (13 pounds), La Jolla is the medium-sized "brother" of the Maxima watermelon, which averages on 10 kilograms (22 pounds) and Anna, which comes in just under 5 kilograms (11 pounds).
The seeds for all three are produced by Origene Seeds, which focuses on research, plant breeding, seed production and processing of hybrid produce varieties.
Israeli exports to India up 60% over past 10 years
Bilateral trade between Israel and India has risen by some 2,000% since the two countries established diplomatic relations in 1992, growing from $200 million in 1992 to $4.17 billion in 2016, the Economy and Industry Ministry said Tuesday.
In a special report on Israel and India's trade ties, issued ahead of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's historic three-day visit to Israel next week, the ministry said that Israeli exports to India have grown by 60% over the past decade. Modi is expected to be accompanied on his visit to Israel by a delegation of some 100 business representatives.
In 2016, Israeli exports to India totaled $1.15 billion (not including diamonds), a dip of 13%, from 2015, when they totaled $1.3 billion. The 2015 figure was 21% higher than the previous year.
"India is a major and important export destination for Israel," Economy and Industry Minister Eli Cohen said. "Bolstering the political relations with India and the Indian prime minister's historic visit to Israel will lead to an increase in trade beyond defense exports."
Mariah Carey, Citing ‘Love Affair’ With Israel, Promotes New Dead Sea Cosmetics
Five-time Grammy Award winning pop diva Mariah Carey arrived in Israel this week to promote her new line of beauty products, launched in collaboration with Dead Sea-based Premier Cosmetics.
“We can call [my relationship with Israel] a love affair,” she said at a press conference Monday in Tel Aviv. “I’m just so happy to be back in the Holy Land. It’s beautiful here.”
Carey — who reportedly received $1.4 million to appear as the face of the Israeli cosmetics brand — downplayed how the anti-Israel BDS movement might target her for collaborating with an Israeli company and visiting the Jewish state.
“I’m not a political person,” she said. “I don’t care what other people say about different political things that don’t pertain to my life. I don’t think it’s my place to act like a political figure. That’s not who I am.”
Carey’s 6-year-old twins, Monroe and Moroccan, accompanied her during the visit to Israel, where she visited the Dead Sea for the first time.
“I’m hoping they’ll have a good time and won’t get salt in their eyes,” the singer said.
Key Crusader Battle Comes to Life in Israel for 828th Anniversary
A re-enactment of one of the most important Crusader battles that occurred in Jerusalem — the Battle of Hattin in 1187 — takes place in Israel from June 29-July 1 for the battle’s 828th anniversary.
The battle, waged between the Crusader states of the Levant and the forces of the Ayyubid Sultan Salah ad-Din, marked the final defeat of European Crusaders in the Holy Land. The Crusaders’ defeat led to Muslims regaining military dominance in the area.
Every year, the historical re-enactment group “Regnum Hierosolymitanum” meets with similar enthusiasts from Israel and around the world to reconstruct the events that led up to the Battle of Hattin as well as the battle itself.
During the re-enactment, which is based on exhaustive academic and archaeological research, participants are assigned to one of the two armies — that of King of Jerusalem Guy de Lusignan, or Salah ad-Din. The characters featured in the re-enactment include knights, mercenaries, Christian pilgrims, countrymen, Bedouins, musicians and others.
Paddington Bear author Michael Bond dies aged 91
British children’s writer Michael Bond, the creator of the much-loved fictional character Paddington Bear, has died at the age of 91, his publisher HarperCollins said on Wednesday.
Bond’s famous series about a friendly teddy bear from darkest Peru sold more than 30 million copies worldwide and was turned into a blockbuster film in 2014.
“He was a true gentleman, a bon viveur, the most entertaining company and the most enchanting of writers,” Ann-Janine Murtagh, executive publisher at HarperCollins Children’s Books, said in a statement.
“He will be forever remembered for his creation of the iconic Paddington, with his duffel coat and Wellington boots, which touched my own heart as a child and will live on in the hearts of future generations,” she said.
Mother of Comedic Actor Sacha Baron Cohen Donates Two Medicycles to Magen David Adom With Ali G Inscription
Two medicycles donated by the mother of British-Jewish actor Sacha Baron Cohen to Magen David Adom (MDM) this weekend bear an inscription that pay homage to the comedic giant’s renowned alter-ego, Ali G.
The two vehicles given to MDM, Israel’s national ambulance service, carry the word “Respect!” — a popular catchphrase commonly said by the actor’s satirical fictional character.
The medicycles were dedicated at a ceremony in Tel Aviv attended by family, friends and MDA representatives, the Jewish Chronicle reported. Baron Cohen was unable to attend and instead sent a video tribute to his late father Gerald, who died last year. At the ceremony, composer and musician Erran Baron Cohen played some of Gerald’s favorite songs on the keyboard.
Gil Weiser, Baron Cohen’s uncle, founded Israeli Friends of Magen David Adom.
IsraellyCool: Palestine 1900-1918
A fascinating historical film with footage from the Holy Land early last century, containing some valuable nuggets of information inconvenient to the haters, such as:
1:40 – mention of how neglected the land is
6:38 – mention that two thirds of the population of Jerusalem are Jewish
10:48 – Chaim’s Weizmann’s statement that we Jews intend to live in peace with the Arabs…as a people returning to its homeland (which did not stop the Arabs from massacring Jews not long afterwards)

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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