Wednesday, July 12, 2017

From Ian:

UAE slams Al-Jazeera for anti-Semitism over imam’s sermons
A top UAE official on Wednesday accused Qatari broadcast giant Al-Jazeera of anti-Semitism, discrimination and inciting religious hate, in a rebuttal to UN accusations of attacking freedom of expression.
The United Nations has warned that demands that Qatar close Al-Jazeera by a rival Saudi Arabian-led alliance, which includes the UAE, violate basic freedoms.
The United Arab Emirates’ state minister for foreign affairs, Anwar Gargash, hit back in a letter to UN rights chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein.
In it, Gargash wrote that Al-Jazeera had “promoted anti-Semitic violence by broadcasting sermons by the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, Yusuf al-Qaradawi.”
Qaradawi, he added, had “praised Hitler, described the Holocaust as ‘divine punishment,’ and called on Allah to ‘take this oppressive, Jewish, Zionist band of people… and kill them, down to the very last one.'”
The letter was published in a statement from the UAE National Media Council.
French Jews protest play about Toulouse killer
Leaders of France’s Jewish community and relatives of the murderer of four Jews in Toulouse protested the staging of a play on his life at the prestigious Avignon theater festival.
The play, titled “I Love Death as You Love Life,” which premiered last week at the Festival of Avignon in southern France, is about the last three hours in the life of Mohammed Merah, the Islamist who in 2012 murdered three French soldiers before also executing three children at a Jewish school in Toulouse, Myriam Monsonégo, and brothers Arié and Gabriel Sandler, along with the boys’ father, Yonathan Sandler.
Ariel Goldmann, a vice president of the CRIF umbrella group of French Jewish communities and spokesperson for the SPCJ communal security unit, called the play “a disgrace and an ignominy” in a statement Wednesday that he co-authored with three other notable members of his community.
The play is an “enterprise of justification being falsely presented under the alibi of artistic expression,” added Goldman in his letter, which was cosigned by Patrick Klugman, Elie Korchia and Jacques Gauthier-Gaujoux.
But the Algerian playwright Mohamed Kacimi, who authored the play, defended it as “anything but a justification or rehabilitation of Merah” but rather as “an interrogation about a monster created by society.”
David Collier: Scottish BDS in Glasgow who protest Radiohead promote Holocaust denial
‘There’s no antisemitism ‘ere guv’. We are just humanitarians who want to protest the Radiohead gig in Israel.
Just four days ago, on the 7th July, a few Scottish anti-Israel activists set out to protest the fact Radiohead are going to perform in Israel. As usual, this BDS activity is noisy and makes local and industry press. Here is an image of the protestors in Scotland.
Let’s play a game called “how many Holocaust deniers can you spot”? It is only a group of about twenty. The person who posted the images, Jolanta Hadzic appears to be the one in the green top. This is one of Jolanta Hadzic’s posts:



In Praise of Thom Yorke’s Israel Policy
Last weekend, as Radiohead was playing a concert in Glasgow, Thom Yorke, the band’s frontman, spotted a gaggle of fans waving Palestinian flags. They were there to protest the band’s decision to perform in Tel Aviv later this summer, and they were hardly the first ones giving the band guff: singer Roger Waters, filmmaker Ken Loach, and a phalanx of other centurions of censorship have been pressing Yorke and his mates to call the whole Israeli thing off. Fed up, Yorke turned to the flag twirlers, and in words that do not bare repeating in a wholesome publication like ours, told them precisely what he thought of them and their opinions. And just in case they didn’t hear or weren’t fluent in English, he raised his middle finger in that charming universal gesture of contempt.
Rock on. You hardly have to be an impassion Zionist to hail Yorke’s rejection of the left’s cultural commisars. By telling the pals of Palestine to go love themselves, the rocker was reaffirming two fundamental principles, without which we are all, regardless of our convictions, the poorer.
The first has to do with diversity. In an interview last month with Rolling Stone, Yorke lashed out at his critics, saying he “would never dream” of telling them “where to work or what to do or think. The kind of dialogue that they want to engage in is one that’s black or white. I have a problem with that… It’s deeply disrespectful to assume that we’re either being misinformed or that we’re so retarded we can’t make these decisions ourselves. I thought it was patronizing in the extreme.”
Increasingly, and especially when it comes to the Jewish State, there’s little or no tolerance for nuance among those who laughably call themselves progressive. Johnny Greenwood, Radiohead’s guitarist, is married to an Israeli woman. He and the rest of the band visited Israel a number of times, and are intimately familiar with its culture and its conditions. None of that matters to their inquisitors, who are not interested in dialogues but in auto-de-fés. To reduce a complex subject to a choice between either and or—Loach, for example, has haughtily stated that Yorke must decide if he’s standing with the oppressors or the oppressed—is to practice the kind of thinking that makes for very bad politics and even worse art.
Radiohead defends Israel gig after criticism from director Ken Loach
Radiohead lead vocalist Thom Yorke defended his band’s decison to play in Israel as an issue of freedom of expression after getting into a Twitter argument with British filmmaker Ken Loach.
The argument started when Loach tweeted on Tuesday that “Radiohead need to decide if they stand with the oppressed or the oppressor. The choice is simple.”
But Yorke defended his stance, saying, “Playing in a country isn’t the same as endorsing its government. We’ve played in Israel for over 20 years through a succession of governments, some more liberal than others. As we have in America.”
“We don’t endorse Netanyahu any more than Trump, but we still play in America,” Yorke said. “Music, art and academia is about crossing borders not building them, about open minds not closed ones, about shared humanity, dialogue and freedom of expression. I hope that makes it clear Ken.”
Loach was the latest in a series of artists — among them former Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters — who have tried to pressure the British band to cancel its July 19 concert and a planned university lecture.


Radiohead’s Thom Yorke responds to Ken Loach’s pro-BDS op-ed in the Indy.
Yesterday, anti-Zionist activist director Ken Loach took to the virtual pages of The Independent (increasingly the favourite forum for the Corbynista wing of the British left) to rebuke Thom Yorke, lead singer of the band Radiohead, for refusing to cancel his upcoming Tel Aviv gig. As is often the case with such pro-BDS polemics, Loach’s justification for the call to politically, economically and culturally isolate Israel – and only Israel – included several blatant distortions. It also contained one outright lie: that there are “racially segregated roads” in the West Bank.
We followed up our tweet with an email to Indy editors, providing background on this myth and demonstrating that there are no – nor have there ever been – “racially segregated” or “Jews-only roads” in Israel or the West Bank.
I, HYPOCRITE
The miserabalist left-wing film director Ken Loach is joining the chorus of anti-Israelis trying to get Radiohead to abandon playing in Tel Aviv. Thom Yorke says Radiohead have performed in Israel for 20 years and “we don’t endorse Netanyahu any more than Trump, but we still play in America”. Quite.
The pernicious cultural boycott that the left is seeking is part of their effort to demonise the only Western-style liberal democracy in the Middle East. Nevertheless you can still enjoy Hollywood movies in Tel Aviv cinemas. You can even enjoy left-wing art house type films. In fact if you pop down to the Lev Cinema in Tel Aviv you catch the afternoon showing of “I, Daniel Blake” directed by, err, Ken Loach…
Daphne Anson: Will Scottish PSC Chief Mick Napier Throw Her Out?
Scottish PSC chief Mick Napier has implied a new activity for his Israel-hating faithful, i.e. harassing singer Chrissie Hynde who, it has been announced, will be performing in Israel with the Pretenders:
Mick's PSCers have meanwhile been out in force targetting Radiohead, and commending on Facebook the latest article by veteran Israel-hating director Ken Loach:
Of late, Mick and the SPSC often hit the streets under the aegis of a banner condemning antisemitism as a crime (I think the chief himself thought that slogan up, though I'm not sure):
Students for Justice in Palestine Condones Terrorism
Three terrorists are shot and killed after fatally stabbing a police officer, yet a student activist group echoes social media accounts calling the terrorists’ deaths an “execution.”
Of course, this warped reaction can only involve Israel — and those bent on its destruction.
In the present case, three Palestinians attacked and killed Israeli border police officer Hadas Malka outside of Jerusalem’s Damascus Gate, before being killed by other Israeli officers nearby.
Yet Student’s for Justice in Palestine (SJP) expressed its displeasure at the terrorists’ deaths by sharing a Facebook post that states: “Three Palestinian teens were executed this evening by Zionist occupation forces at the Damascus Gate in occupied Jerusalem…”
ISIS claimed responsibility for Malka’s murder. Hamas praised the attack, the Jerusalem Post reported, “but disputed Islamic State’s claim, stating that the perpetrators were affiliated with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.”
Terrorist organizations, therefore, are competing for credit in killing a 23-year-old woman. SJP could have condemned her death — or it could have stayed silent. Instead, the student group turned the attack into an opportunity to accuse Israel of wrongdoing.
Such twisted logic is entirely consistent for SJP.
NYC Quds Day Rally: “US number one terrorist!” / “Israel, go to Hell!”


IsraellyCool: Palestine Expo – More Jew Hatred, Ignorance & Stupidity..With A Side Dish of Assault
There was more Jew hatred, stupidity and ignorance on display outside the recent Palestine Expo in London. Way more.
Oh, and a bit of assault for good measure.


Top Entertainment Industry Execs Sign Open Letter Thanking Lincoln Center for Ignoring BDS Efforts Against Israeli Play
More than 45 high-level executives in the entertainment industry signed an open letter on Monday thanking New York City’s Lincoln Center for not yielding to pressure by supporters of the anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement who demanded the cancellation of an Israeli play at the performing arts facility.
The executives who signed the letter — which was addressed to Lincoln Center’s president, Debora Spar, and its board chair, Katherine Farley — are all members of Creative Community for Peace (CCFP), an entertainment industry advocacy group. They told Spar and Farley in the letter, “We applaud you for standing firm in your support of the arts. If we had allowed their brazen efforts to single out Israeli artists for a politically motivated boycott to succeed today, who might have been the target tomorrow?”
They added: “As an organization comprised of prominent members of the entertainment industry who believe in the power of the arts as a means to help build bridges towards peace, support artistic freedom, and counter the cultural boycott of Israel, we find the selective and politically motivated boycott directed at Israeli funding of the arts to be hypocritical, discriminatory, and dangerous to the arts and artists worldwide.”
“Selectively silencing art is dangerous. Art unites us, and helps us get past what makes us different while connecting us at the core of what makes us similar. We — and especially Israelis and Palestinians, who require being brought together more than anything — need more of it, not less.”
Spanish judges void 2 municipal BDS motions, calling them racist
Spanish judges scrapped motions favoring a boycott of Israel that were passed last year by two city councils.
The rulings last week by separate tribunals in two of Spain’s autonomous regions bring to 20 the number of municipalities that over the past three years have either reversed their motions of support for an Israel boycott or had them nullified by the judiciary.
In the northern region of Galicia, an administrative court in the capital of Santiago de Compostela reversed a motion passed March 31 by the city council of Teo, a town of 18,000, following a lawsuit filed by ACOM, the pro-Israel group said in a statement Tuesday.
The administrative court in the eastern region of Valencia scrapped a motion passed in March 2016 by the local council of Catarroja, a suburb of the city of Valencia, which is Spain’s third-largest metropolis.
As in previous rulings on petitions filed by ACOM or its affiliates — including rulings by two high courts — the administrative tribunals determined the motions in Teo and Catarroja were unconstitutional because they were discriminatory, and that they represented a breach of jurisdiction by municipalities unqualified to make foreign policy decisions.
IsraellyCool: Simon Helberg, Big Jerk Theory
Actor Simon Helberg plays Howard Wolowitz, the most noticeably Jewish character in hit sitcom Big Bang Theory.
Unfortunately, he does not seem to be a proud Jew in real life, as I discovered when I chanced upon his Twitter account and saw one of his most recent tweets.
A search of this tweets reveals this is not the first time he has sided against Israel.
When I search his tweets for anything about Hamas, terrorism or rockets fired at Israel, I get bupkes.
Are Biased Textbooks Turning Young Americans Against Israel?
According to the Brand Israel Group, only 54 percent of US college students lean more toward Israelis than the Palestinians, down from 73 percent in 2010. The decrease was even sharper among Jewish college students, dropping from 84 percent to 57 percent.
“The problem starts in high school,” Dr. Sandra Alfonsi, the founder of Hadassah’s “Curriculum Watch” division, told JNS.org. “There’s no doubt [that] the lack of sympathy for Israel on college campuses today is at least partly the result of several generations of teenagers being educated with textbooks that are slanted against Israel.”
‘Unabashed propagandizing’
One of the most controversial texts used in high schools around the country is the Arab World Studies Notebook, a 540-page volume authored by Audrey Parks Shabbas. Shabbas heads Arab World and Islamic Resources and School Services, a curriculum publisher that seeks to promote a positive image of Arabs and Muslims in US schools.
After parents in Anchorage, Alaska, complained to their local board of education in 2004 about the book’s slant against Israel, the American Jewish Committee (AJC) prepared a 30-page analysis of the textbook. The AJC found it to be riddled with “overt bias and unabashed propagandizing,” such as depicting Israel as the aggressor in every Arab-Israeli war, and praising Muslim conquerors throughout the ages for their “gentle treatment of civilian populations.”
As a result, the Anchorage Board of Education removed the Notebook from the local high school curriculum. School authorities in Tulsa, Oklahoma, have also withdrawn the text.
Ontario Ministry of Education Corrects Elementary School Textbook That Named Israel as Country Using ‘Child Soldiers’
The Ontario Ministry of Education has been working to correct an elementary school textbook used in hundreds of school which named Israel as one of the countries where “child soldiers” have been deployed.
In a statement to The Algemeiner, the ministry said about the sixth-grade textbook, titled Canada and the Global Community and used in some 800 schools:
The Ministry of Education takes the correctness and accuracy of information provided in learning resources very seriously. We continue to work collaboratively with [publisher] Nelson Education. The publisher is taking steps to correct the error including destroying the current inventory of the textbook, reprinting the error page on the new stock for the upcoming school year, notifying schools about the situation and is in the process of sending a replacement sticker (to cover the error on the page in the textbook).
According to the statement, “The replacement sticker blocks the old text and replaces it with new revised text that excludes Israel from the list of the mentioned countries.”
The reference to Israel comes in a chapter about human rights, and reads: “Since the year 2000, child soldiers have been used in armed conflicts in more than 20 countries, including Afghanistan, Colombia, Iraq, Israel, Libya, Mali, and Yemen.”
Fans Boo Roger Waters Over Anti-Trump Display at New Orleans Concert
Pink Floyd fans booed Roger Waters at a concert in New Orleans over the weekend after the rocker displayed several profane images meant to degrade President Donald Trump on the giant screens behind him.
While Waters performed “Pigs (Three Different Ones),” several images were displayed for fans to see, according to the New Orleans Advocate. Concertgoers were shown images of Trump as a baby, another of the president being held by Russian President Vladimir Putin, one of Trump wearing a KKK hood, and another image of a naked Trump with a small penis. The images ended with the words “Trump is a pig” on the screens, as a giant pig floated over the audience.
Fans booed the politically-charged performance, while several others may have walked out on the show, the Advocate reported.
The former Pink Floyd bassist’s Houston, Texas, show saw a similar reaction from fans, with some blasting the performance’s overtly political tone, according to WBRZ.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Report Of Muslims Serving In IDF Gives Roger Waters Brain Aneurysm (satire)
Former Pink Floyd bassist and frontman Roger Waters suffered a bulge in a cerebral artery today upon being informed that the Israeli military includes Arab Muslims among its soldiers.
A spokesman for the musician told reporters that Waters had been hospitalized and was undergoing tests and observation following an incident this morning in which a friend on social media had shared images of the Israel Defense Force making accommodations two weeks ago for the Muslims in its ranks to observe the evening meal to break the daytime fast, an occasion called iftar. Witnesses recounted that the singer/songwriter and political activist began to slur his speech and lose his balance, leading those present to summon an ambulance. Waters is said to be in stale condition, in an induced coma to reduce blood flow to his brain and mitigate the risk of a deadly or debilitating stroke.
The spokesman, Hugh Jass, conceded surgery may be necessary. “It must have come as quite a shock to him, that Arab Muslims – I think this was actually a picture of some Bedouin IDF soldiers – serve alongside Jews in Israel’s military,” he offered. “The physicians have told Roger’s family and friends that often the only way to address a sudden weakening and bulging of an artery wall in such a sensitive portion of the brain is to operate. We expect such surgery to take place within a day or two, depending on how urgent the doctors feel it has become.”
Tom Friedman Distracts With False Equivalence
Thomas Friedman takes on a perfectly legitimate and hot potato issue in the New York Times when it comes to the current state of Israel-Diaspora relations following the Western Wall controversy.
But Friedman is clearly incapable of separating that issue from his wider disdain for the Israeli government and specifically PM Benjamin Netanyahu.
Is Friedman seriously making an equivalence between the Palestinian president, the representative of his people (currently in the twelfth year of a four year term of office), and a minority of Israeli settlers whose extremist actions are rejected by the majority of Israelis?
While Mahmoud Abbas’s statements in Arabic and failure to condemn terrorism fuel Palestinian violence and extremism and come from the mainstream of Palestinian politics, any criminal acts carried out by a minority of Israeli settlers are the work of fringe extremists.
Since when did the Israeli state support or encourage settlers to carry out acts of terror against Palestinians?
Does The New York Times Obituary Section Have a Jewish Problem?
You may have missed a fascinating obituary from last week: that of Sheila Michaels, the feminist and civil rights activist who is credited for propagating the use of the honorific “Ms.” Outside of this news-making accomplishment, her life was fascinating, from being expelled from college in part due to her outspoken anti-segregationist views, to working as a cabdriver, to becoming a restaurateur. The New York Times piece adds a lot of color and detail in a short amount of space to the life of an amazing woman. But there’s one glaring omission: Michaels was Jewish.
That Sheila Michaels was Jewish should come as no surprise. From her prominent place in second-wave feminism to the fact that her biological father was “Ephraim London, a noted civil-liberties lawyer” (and, fun fact, the nephew of Socialist U.S. Congressman Meyer London), it all screams Member of the Tribe. But you wouldn’t know from just reading the Times obituary (by a Jewish writer, for the record, Margalit Fox).
The sad fact is, this seems par for the course for the paper of record. The New York Times often (not always) seem to reserve mention the Jewish identity of obituary subjects for when their work is in some way explicitly Jewish. Certainly they’re not the only mainstream publication to do so, but they’re particularly egregious, particularly for serving the local community of the most Jewish part of the country. Michaels is simply the latest example of a long, long trend.
New Play Tells the True Story of Female World War II Hero
Do you know the story of Sophie Scholl and The White Rose?
In the early 1940s, a group of German college students published pamphlets that called for the overthrow of the Nazi regime. It was the only act of mass, organized resistance to Hitler during World War II.
David Meyers’ new play, We Will Not Be Silent, tells Sophie Scholl’s story — and explores how a 21-year-old college student risked her life to oppose Hitler simply because it was the right thing to do. The play also examines a fictional Nazi interrogator, and the role that ordinary Germans played in the rise of Hitler.
We Will Not Be Silent is currently receiving its World Premiere at the Contemporary American Theater Festival (CATF) from July 4-30. CATF is located an hour from Washington, DC.
The play has received endorsements and support from luminaries such as Alan Dershowitz, and Meyers is looking for a home for the play in New York, and at regional theaters across the country.
Below is an interview about the play that was conducted in advance of the CATF production.
Israeli High-Tech Exits Total $2 Billion During First Half of 2017
In the first half of 2017, Israeli high-tech exits totaled $1.95 billion in 57 deals, according to an IVC-Meitar Exits Report published earlier this week. Exits in H1/2017 comprised 46 merger & acquisition (M&A) deals, seven initial public offerings (IPOs) and four buyouts, totaling $1.51 billion, $227 million, and $218 million, respectively, according to the report.
The IVC-Meitar report excludes the highly publicized Mobileye acquisition by Intel for over $15 billion, since the deal has not yet been finalized.
The average exit deal in the first half of 2017 reached $34 million, much lower than the annual exit average of $87 million in 2016.
“I believe that the first half-year has not seen enough company acquisitions, and among the ones that were acquired, we did not see enough medium to large deals, of the type the venture capital industry is after. We hope that the industry will regain a healthier balance in the second half of 2017,” said Koby Simana, CEO of IVC Research Center.
The largest deals in the first half of 2017 were the $340 million acquisition of Valtech by Edwards Lifescience and $200 million acquistion of Juno LAB by Gett, followed by the $170 million acquisition of Servotronix by Midea.
Israel's Ben-Gurion Airport places on world top 10 list
Israel's Ben-Gurion Airport is the 8th best airport in the world, according to Travel + Leisure magazine readers.
The popular New York-based travel magazine asked readers to share their views on the world's top airports, based on travelers' experiences of access, check-in and security, food, shopping and design.
The 10 leading airports, revealed on Wednesday, will be feature in Travel + Leisure's annual World's Best Awards publication.
It was Singapore's Changi Airport that once again took the title, finishing first for a fifth successive year with an unbeaten score of 90/100. Travelers highlighted the airport's outstanding facilities that might make the airport alone worth a trip to Singapore. Travelers who have time to spare can enjoy the free movie theater, napping lounges, gardens and even a rooftop pool.
Tourism to Israel Hits All-Time High, Including 76% Increase From China
Tourism to Israel has reached an all-time high, with 1.74 million tourists arriving in the first six months of 2017, a 26-percent increase from the same time last year.
Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics reported that compared with the same period in 2016, there has been a 76-percent increase in tourism from China, a 30-percent increase from Russia and a 20-percent increase from the US.
In June, some 303,000 tourists arrived in Israel, a 28.4-increase from that month a year ago.
“The June tourism statistics bring us to record levels for incoming tourism in the first six months of the year,” said Israeli Tourism Minister Yariv Levin. “Our policy continues to prove itself and to bear fruit, and we can see that the right marketing strategy can bring Israel to new heights.”
Levin said the Tourism Ministry is implementing new marketing strategies to “brand Israel” and to encourage airlines to open additional routes to the Jewish state.
Israel’s record-setting June tourism follows monthly records set in April and May, with 350,000 tourists arriving in Israel during each of those months.
Mayim Bialik time travels in this funny new SodaStream commercial
Mayim Bialik’s latest acting gig has her traveling in time — and promoting environmentalism.
In a humorous commercial for Israeli seltzer company SodaStream, the Jewish actress (“The Big Bang Theory”) and neuroscientist stars as an anthropologist in the year 2136 recalling an encounter with a near-extinct species: “The Homoschlepiens.”
The Homoschlepiens — among them actor Kristian Nairn (Hodor from “Game of Thrones,” in a very Hodor-like role) — are defined by the fact that they cannot drink water that doesn’t come from a plastic bottle. Bialik talks about the species to a group of school kids who are gathered at “The Museum of UnNatural History;” the children, who live in a world without plastic bottles, are shocked.
Bialik then touts the benefits of the SodaStream machine to make sparkling water at home — no plastic bottles needed.
The commercial, which was shot in Ukraine, was a good fit for the Jewish actress, who is passionate about the environment.
“As a species, we have evolved so much, but much as we know plastic bottles pollute our environment and kill marine life, we continue to use them,” Bialik, 41, told JTA in an email. “Single-use plastic bottles should be a thing of the past and belong in a museum!”
Mayim Bialik stands by her work with once-controversial Israeli brand SodaStream
Mayim Bialik is proudly leading a new campaign for SodaStream despite the Israeli beverage company stirring up controversy for its last celebrity endorser -- Scarlett Johansson.
"The Big Bang Theory" star defended the Israeli company against those that criticize SodaStream for having operated in the West Bank.
"SodaStream recently struggled to secure working permits for its Palestinian workers in an effort to bridge religious and political conflicts and improve lives where they can," Bialik told Fox News. "This is admirable and while it may not solve the entire Middle East situation, it is a gesture of solidarity and respect that is needed in so many places in this world."
The Jewish star, who has been outspoken about her support of Israel, said SodaStream "is about diversity, coexistence and peace."
Who Are The Homoschlepiens? Discover With Mayim Bialik




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This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 12 years and over 25,000 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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