Monday, July 24, 2017

From Ian:

Challenging Violent Speech—Unless It’s About Israel
Writing in Al Jazeera, Stanley Cohen called on Israel to “accept that as an occupied people, Palestinians have a right to resist—in every way possible.” He begins by telling his readers: “long ago, it was settled that resistance and even armed struggle against a colonial occupation force is not just recognized under international law but specifically endorsed.” His entire article is predicated on a false premise in that it demands the characterization of Israel as a “colonial occupation force”— a characterization that is categorically incoherent.
Cohen cites a 1982 UN Resolution which “reaffirms the legitimacy of the struggle of peoples for independence, territorial integrity, national unity and liberation from colonial and foreign domination and foreign occupation by all available means, including armed struggle.” He does not mention which countries voted for and against this resolution.
Among the countries that voted for it: Yemen, Sudan, Somalia, Pakistan, Rwanda, Qatar, Niger, Kuwait, Bahrain, Iran, Iraq.
Among the countries who voted against it: Canada, Denmark, France, Italy, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States.
On college campuses, the call for armed struggle has become the Cri de Coeur of leftist students who are otherwise hypersensitive to the impact that intangible words can have on corporeal beings. On Columbia’s campus, students who form the backbone of the BDS movement have successfully blurred the line between incitement and impassioned—albeit severely misguided—opinion. In 2016, the Columbia/ Barnard Socialists concluded one social media post by declaring: “long live the intifada.” As recently as Sunday—after the Halamish attack— the Students for Justice in Palestine shared the Al Jazeera article calling for armed resistance. Where are the outraged professors, administrators, and students concerned for the safety of the student body? Where are the charges of bigotry and racism, the calls to silence this speech, to stop this violence?
Nowhere does the idea that speech can constitute violence find more support than on elite liberal arts colleges. But regardless of whether they have intellectual or moral merit on their own, calls for safe spaces, trigger warnings, and micro-aggression-free environments that come from groups or individuals who not only condone, but use their words to quite literally call for violence, must be ignored, and the hypocrisy highlighted.
From the safe confines of an ivory-covered campus–or from the relative safety of this country, for that matter–it’s easy to preach justice and retribution, to portray armed struggle as the necessary means that will find justification through a righteous end. But especially those who are sensitive to the power of language should understand: euphemistic terminology does nothing to mitigate the violent nature inherent in this rhetoric. There must be no confusion. The left’s glorification of armed struggle is nothing short of approval for those Palestinians who target and kill innocent men, women, and children. Those who proclaim to speak for social justice have been damningly silent.
Amb. Danon stuns UN Security Council
Israeli Ambassador to the UN strongly criticized the Palestinian Authority's to the recent terrorist attacks in Israel ahead of a Security Council meeting on the recent violence over the Temple Mount.
Ambassador Danon presented a photograph from the scene of Friday’s terror attack in which the Salomon family was murdered.
“The Salomon family had gathered for the most joyous occasion, the birth of a new grandson. Instead, the night ended in a massacre. They sat down to eat the Sabbath meal when the terrorist entered their home. He stabbed his victims to death, murdering Yosef, the seventy-year-old grandfather, his daughter Haya, and his son Elad, all while the children were hidden in a room,” said Ambassador Danon.
“Instead of condemning this act of terror and calming the situation, the Palestinians are trying to spread the lie that this unspeakable act of violence is Israel’s fault. Do not believe these lies. The terrorist who murdered this family did so knowing that the PA will pay him thousands of dollars a month,” the Ambassador continued.

IsraellyCool: The Narrative of Palestine
In our little game of scoring, that makes the score 3-0. But this isn’t a game, is it? People are dying because the Palestinians refuse to look forward or backwards. Backwards tells them that we are the legitimate heirs to our homeland and though we have made it clear that we are prepared to live with them, despite very clear historical evidence that if you dig in the ground, it is our history you will find, not theirs (except for old Coca-Cola and Pepsi bottles circa 2010 left to rot).
The Palestinian narrative dating back anything more than 100 years is, without question fabricated. Even in the last 100 years, much of it is established by using other people’s images. That they live here now is something we all have to accept. When the Jews first moved into the land of Canaan, there were others who lived here. Those that were prepared to live with us nearly 4,000 years ago, remained. Those who were not, were defeated. It was the way of the world then and not something we have to answer for now. We were exiled 2,000 years ago and we have come home. The land offers its testimony on a regular basis that this land is our home.
Stealing images of the Holocaust just makes you look pathetic. Borrowing images from war-torn Syria, as they often do, just makes them look desperate. In days filled with violence, it is clear that the Palestinians have yet to learn that the way to a peaceful solution will not be found through violence or forgery.
We grow tired of your violence and your childish attempts to maintain the status quo when it suits you and demand it change when it doesn’t.
No, you will never rule this land – but then again, history shows that you never did. You rule in something like 40 other lands in this world. It won’t happen here. Accept it…or leave. Deal with it…or lose.

Pay No Mind To The Fake Ruckus About a Phony Israel Anti-Boycott Law
The ACLU, The Intercept and AIPAC are all yelling about a nothingburger of a bill that fights an imaginary boycott, and no one is making any sense.
Let’s start at the beginning, which in this case is 1977. In the throes of the Arab boycott of Israel, Congress passed the Export Administration Act, which made it a crime to participate in that boycott, or, for good measure, any other foreign-led boycott of a U.S. ally. This law is still in effect today, having been reauthorized several times. Take a look at the website of the Office of Antiboycott Compliance, which explains it to you in detail.
As the OAC explains, while the law addresses all “U.S. persons,” it is actually about corporations, which are forbidden from joining the boycott, or cooperating with the boycotters by furnishing them any information. Exceptions are provided for companies that are effectively forced to cooperate to avoid the “secondary boycott” of countries who do business with Israel.
To repeat, this is the law today. It is against the law to join in a boycott of Israel led by a foreign country. Companies may be fined up to $50,000 or five times the amount of the contested transaction (whichever is greater), and executives can be sent to prison for five years.
Flash forward to 2016, when the United Nations Human Rights Council passed four resolutions regarding Gaza and the West Bank (including East Jerusalem). It called for companies to “avoid, identify, assess and address any adverse human rights impacts related to their activities,” affirmed the two-state solution, called for an end to Israeli settlements in the West Bank, and, being a UN agency after all, requested additional reporting and consideration.
This, cried AIPAC and other pro-Israel organizations, was a call to boycott Israel. Clearly it wasn’t – but that didn't matter. Earlier this year, a handful of members of Congress introduced the “Israel Anti-Boycott Act, which states, among other things, that “the UNHRC targeted Israel with a commercial boycott.”
In response, the bill would include any UN-led boycott within the 1977 law. Never mind that there are no UN-led boycotts; for members of Congress seeking to appear “pro-Israel,” striking back at a fictional one is sufficient.
That is, I promise, all the new law does: extend the 1977 law to UN boycotts as well as governmental ones. (If you don’t take my word for it, read it yourself.) Does it really “punish the exercise of Constitutional rights? Not any more than the 1977 law does, and it’s been in effect for 40 years.
Once Again, Linda Sarsour Hails Terrorists and Murderers
Jake Tapper, CNN’s chief Washington correspondent, recently slammed Linda Sarsour and other progressive leaders of the anti-Trump Women’s March for honoring a convicted cop killer — Assata Shakur.
In response, Sarsour proceeded to dismiss Tapper as a member of the “alt-right.”
Of all the possible ways to describe Tapper, “alt-right” is not one. Tapper is one of President Donald Trump’s most vocal critics. And he’s Jewish. Someone should tell Sarsour that this likely disqualifies him from membership in any white supremacist group. But Sarsour’s “resume,” Tapper’s condemnation of her, and their subsequent Twitter exchange all illustrate the extent to which Sarsour — and some of her progressive Left followers — are unhinged.
Shakur is a felon, and was convicted in 1977 for murdering a New Jersey police officer, assaulting another police officer, and committing a bank robbery. In 1979, she escaped prison and fled to Cuba. She remains on the FBI’s “Most Wanted Terrorist” list to this day.
Sarsour’s idolizing of Shakur follows on the heels of her presentation at the 54th annual convention of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), where she called on Muslims to commit jihad against the American government.
David Hirsh on Contemporary Left Antisemitism
In Contemporary Left Antisemitism David Hirsh extends and consolidates more than a decade’s pioneering work on this topic. He offers a powerful critique of antisemitism on the left, focusing in particular on recent events in the Labour Party, the academic boycott saga, and the relationship between antisemitism and antizionism.
In the prologue he captures one of the strangest aspects of antisemitism, its ability to shapeshift, to reflect quite opposed prejudices. Antisemitism can strike a chord with those who despise tradition – or with those who fear the new. Jews are blamed for being outsiders – and for assimilating too successfully. Over time opposition motivated by religious difference shifted into hatred based on race. Most recently antisemitism has often manifested itself through hostility to Israel, and may be disguised with an antiracist veneer:
Some people who love London’s relaxed, diverse antiracism look for an ‘other’ against which to define themselves. They find Israel. (xvi)
Israel/Zionism inherits the role played by Jews in more traditional conspiracy theories, and is credited with a quite disproportionate power and influence in the world, as well as an exaggerated malignity. Hostility to Israel becomes a marker of identity, a ‘progressive’ badge of honour.
How the UK’s Labor Party, and Its Intelligentsia, Came to Accept Anti-Semitism
Since Jeremy Corbyn—who praises Hamas and Hizballah, who laid a wreath at the grave a notorious terrorist, and who makes frequent appearances on Iranian state television—became leader of the British Labor party, anti-Semitism has moved from the party’s leftist fringes to the mainstream. Corbyn has responded to concerns about hatred of Jews and Israel within Labor’s ranks with dismissiveness and one well-organized whitewash. David Hirsh explains what the tolerance for Corbyn and his ilk says about the British public. (Interview by Liam Hoare.)
I think most people [who voted for him] don’t know about Corbyn’s connections with anti-Semitic politics, and if they did, they probably wouldn’t understand or might deny those connections quite vociferously. Those people [in a sense] don’t want to know.
But if you assume lots of people who voted Labor didn’t understand the significance of anti-Semitism, then the question becomes, how should people know? The way people know things is through journalists, intellectuals, activists, and other kinds of cultural producers. So, why didn’t those people tell them?
[The reason is that, within their] milieu, . . . Israel has become the symbol of oppression, of everything that’s wrong with the world, in the struggle between imperialism and anti-imperialism. It is the keystone in the brick arch. [Anti-Israel politics] has become a badge of belonging to that community. You have to sign up to certain common notions about Israel, Zionism, and people who raise the issue of anti-Semitism. . . .
Rabbis Dispute ADL’s Alt-Right List, Issue Own List of the Far-Left
The Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) new “hate list” of top alt-right figures “gives a free pass to antisemitism coming from left-wing activists,” a rabbinical group is asserting.
The Coalition for Jewish Values, which represents 200 Orthodox rabbis in the US and Canada, also charged that “political motives” were behind the ADL’s inclusion of Corey Stewart, a prominent Virginia conservative who is seeking the Republican nomination to oppose Senator Tim Kaine.
The Coalition countered the ADL’s list by releasing a top 10 list of left-wing activists who, it says, are “far more guilty of anti-Jewish defamatory speech” than those named by the ADL. The Coalition’s list includes Linda Sarsour, the feminist activist and BDS promoter; Hatem Bazian, founder of Students for Justice in Palestine, arguably the most active anti-Israel group on college campuses; Rachel Gilmer, co-author of the Black Lives Matter platform, which accused Israel of genocide; and Rebecca Vilkomerson, executive director the anti-Zionist organization Jewish Voice for Peace.
Case study: Biased curriculum on Israel and Islam in a Massachusetts school system
Six years ago a discerning 9th grader in a leafy, heavily Jewish Boston suburb showed her father an inflammatory passage about Israel written in her history textbook.
The discovery led to the revelation of a high school curriculum rife with “politically charged” materials, serious factual errors, and even blatant antisemitic tropes.
CAMERA’s in-depth study of these teaching materials and the controversy that erupted over them in Newton, Massachusetts in 2011 reveals:
- a teaching staff unable to properly evaluate the noticeable biases contained in materials downloaded from the Internet and in materials provided to them by anti-Israel, BDS-affiliated university faculty; and
- a school district astonishingly unresponsive to the legitimate concerns of parents and other city residents.
In some ways, and especially in terms of the outrageous degree of hostility exhibited toward the parents and ad-hoc group of concerned Newton residents, what happened there is probably unique.
Still, CAMERA’s case study of Newton’s “agenda-driven history curriculum” isn’t a one-off.
The Jewashing of George Soros
George Soros hates Jews.
He collaborated with the Nazis during the Holocaust and insisted that helping confiscate property from Jews brought him no guilt. “There was no sense that I shouldn't be there, because that was well, actually, in a funny way, it's just like in markets that if I weren't there of course, I wasn't doing it, but somebody else would.” He described the season of these horrors as “the most exciting time of my life.”
Soros grew up in a "Jewish, anti-Semitic home". He called his mother a “typical Jewish anti-Semite” who hated his first wife because she was “too Jewish”. After undergoing psychoanalysis, he was able to understand that his shame was rooted in his Jewishness. He had a special contempt for Jewish philanthropies after a failed attempt to defraud a Jewish charity in London.
He was booed when he undermined the presentation of an award to a Holocaust survivor by comparing Israeli Jews to Nazis. Elie Wiesel had declared in disgust, “I heard what happened. If I’d been there—and you can quote me—I would have walked out.”
That same year, Soros blamed the Israeli government for a “resurgence of anti-Semitism in Europe”. He might have been more honest if he took responsibility considering his funding of groups that traffic in anti-Semitic smears. And his own anti-Semitic allegations that “attitudes toward the Jewish community are influenced by the pro-Israel lobby's success in suppressing divergent views."
Soros has defended Hamas and Hezbollah who have called for the extermination of the Jews. He championed the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt despite or because of its support for Hitler. Yusuf al-Qaradawi had claimed that Hitler had been sent by Allah to punish the Jews. “Allah willing,” the Brotherhood’s spiritual leader said, “the next time will be at the hands of the believers (Muslims)."
There’s no denying that George Soros is a warped and twisted man. Especially when it comes to the Jews. But he’s also the money man behind a great deal of leftist activism. Especially anti-Israel activism.
And so he must be defended.
An editorial at New York Times by a figure linked to the +972 anti-Israel hate site decries “Israel’s War Against George Soros”. That’s right up there with Poland’s war on Nazi Germany.
What does this war consist of? Has Israel sent drones to the Soros estate? Did Mossad agents drag George out of his featherbed to face the justice of those injured through his actions?
CAA submits complaints about Al Quds Day to the Charity Commission and police
Campaign Against Antisemitism has submitted formal complaints over the pro-Hizballah “Al Quds Day” march through central London on 18th June. The complaints are based upon our review of evidence gathered by the volunteers of our Demonstration and Event Monitoring Unit and members of the public.
We have asked the Charity Commission to open a statutory inquiry into the involvement of a registered charity in the organisation of the march, including the production of Hizballah flags and placards which stated “We are all Hizballah”.
Additionally, we have reported statements by Nazim Ali, a pharmacist who spoke using a portable public address system throughout the march and led chanting, to the Charity Commission, the Metropolitan Police Service and the General Pharmaceutical Council. We allege that Mr Ali announced to the crowd: “It is the Zionists who give money to the Tory Party to kill people in high-rise blocks,” referring to the Grenfell Tower disaster. Other statements by Mr Ali that we have referred to the police included: “We are fed up of the Zionists, we are fed up of their rabbis, we are fed of their synagogues, we are fed up of their supporters” and a claim that “The Israel Intelligence Service is also known as ISIS, they are part of the same organisation…Zionists, ISIS are the same, only difference is the name.”
Michael Lumish: Why is Reem Assil Glorifying a Murderer of Jews?
What bothers me most about the fact that Reem's Restaurant and Bakery (510-852-9390) at the Fruitvale BART Station is promoting the murder of innocent Jewish people is the fact that local Jewish organizational leadership does not seem to care.
I find this sad and pathetic.
Stand With Us - which is an important group, I guess - apparently has more important things to do then concern itself with this.
The reason is because they have limited resources and, ya know, shaddup!
It is difficult for me to describe this moment in local political history because I have never experienced what - at least in some small measure - it must have been like for Jewish Berliners in the early 1930s.
I keep suggesting that the installation of Reem's at the Fruitvale BART Station is something akin to requiring Jewish people to pass storefront signs reading, "No Jews Allowed."
This, as has been pointed out to me, is not a good analogy.
It is, in fact, more akin to requiring Jewish people to pass storefront signs reading, "We are going to f#cking kill you."
Man pretending to be "in the middle"
John Lyons, journalist for The Australian, and inveterate Israel-basher, published a self-serving article in this weekend's Australian Magazine, promoting his book.
I attempted, twice, to post the following comment below the article, but it was deleted. (And Lyons is the one complaining about intimidation and censorship.)
Here's the comment:
Lyons asks “Are there any factual mistakes in it?” ... as if the specific details he chooses to examine are all we need to know. But the accuracy of the facts and images he cherry-picks for his stories is not the sole determinant of the extent of his bias.
By his own admission, Lyons based himself on “the best balcony in Jerusalem” which he regards as his “base” and “private time machine”. Ensconced in his foreigner’s bubble, Lyons scans the environment for juicy stories that fit the narrative he has swallowed, hook, line and sinker. “If things were really bad ...Sylvie and I would jump into our car and head towards the trouble spot...”
Well, if all you have is a hammer, then everything looks like a nail. And that sums up Lyons’ body of work from his private balcony. If you accept, as Lyons apparently, long ago, has done, that that Israel is an illegitimate Western, colonial implant that has dispossessed a blameless, innocent people, then every act of self-defense by Israel can be portrayed as an example of Jewish fascism.
As a fig leaf for his blatant bias, Lyons grudgingly acknowledges that “some of these children should seriously dealt with...”, but he nevertheless churns out dozens of “stories” about the treatment of defenseless children by well-equipped Israeli soldiers. How many stories has he devoted to the thousands of Jewish men, women and children murdered on the streets, in their homes and in their beds by generations of Arabs nurtured and groomed, from their cradles, to hate and murder?
Indian Pro-Israel Advocates in Australia Counter Former Foreign Minister’s Palestinian Recognition Campaign
As the New South Wales branch of Australia’s Labor Party prepares for its annual conference on July 29-30, a group of Indian pro-Israel advocates are leading efforts to counter a motion urging unconditional recognition of an independent Palestinian state.
After meeting with state and federal Jewish representative bodies, the Indian leaders said “the push from some quarters in Australia for recognition of a Palestinian state other than in the context of a comprehensive peace agreement with Israel may for the most part be well-intended but is fundamentally misconceived. This development threatens to introduce the hatreds and bitterness of foreign conflicts into Australia and damage the peaceful and tolerant fabric of Australian society.”
The group included representatives of the Hindu Council of Australia and the Council of Indian Australians, J-Wire reported.
The statement highlighted “what has thus far been an irreconcilable philosophical and political division between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas,” and concluded that “there is no Palestinian entity which meets the legal and diplomatic criteria of a state.”
Opposition to the resolution has emerged within the Labor Party too. Labor Parliamentarian Michael Danby, a vocal supporter of Israel, excoriated Bob Carr — a former Australian foreign minister who is the main backer of the resolution — as “gutless” and “yesterday’s man.”
Labor: Don’t Reward Incitement to Hatred and Violence
The recent proposals in State Labor Party Conferences to recommend the unilateral recognition of a “Palestinian state” are misguided and counterproductive. Such recognition will only encourage further Arab terrorism, prolong the conflict, and would be contrary to the interests of all people in the region, above all the Arabs.
The PA’s incessant incitement perpetuates the conflict and grooms the next generation of terrorists by naming streets, public squares and even children's soccer tournaments after terrorists. In May the PA inaugurated the Martyr Dalal Mughrabi Center, named after a terrorist leader in the murder of 37 civilians including 12 children, in the Nablus district. In April, Safa, the daughter of Abdallah Barghouti, a terrorist who prepared explosives for attacks in which 67 were murdered, read a letter to her father at her school assembly saying: "Father, I am very proud of you".
Rather than negotiating a peaceful resolution to the conflict with Israel, the PA has focused on promoting recognition of their non-existent “state” from as many governments and international organisations as possible. This avoids having to reconcile themselves to living peacefully with a neighbouring Jewish state and making the compromises necessary for genuine peace. Regretfully, some elements within the Australian Labor Party have fallen for this ploy.
Supporting unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state rewards and encourages the most destructive Arab tactics, to the detriment of the future of all people in the region. People of good will should be urging the Arabs to negotiate in good faith with Israel, and to genuinely accept Israel's right to exist, which is the only way to achieve peace. Rewarding them for inciting hatred and violence, and for refusing to negotiate, only makes peace more distant.
Are Jews an ethnic minority? The BBC doesn't think so
When the BBC reported on its list of highest-paid broadcasters on its News at Ten last night, it said there was no one from an ethnic background in the top 20.
Which was wrong (well, wrong depending on your definition of ethnic minority). For the top 20 included two Jewish women – Claudia Winkleman and Vanessa Feltz.
In its defence, the BBC might point to the Institute of Race Relations, which defines BAME - Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic - as the “the terminology normally used in the UK to describe people of non-white descent”.
Alternatively, Jews are often considered a religious, as distinct from an ethnic, minority.
In the last Census, the vast majority of Jews who chose to identify as such did so by answering the (voluntary) question on religion; only a few thousand identified themselves as Jews by ethnicity (although “Jewish” was not a category specifically listed under ethnic – respondents had to go to the trouble of adding that information under “other”).
Legally, however, Jews are clearly an ethnic, as well as religious minority, since they are protected under the Race Relations Act (as are Sikhs).
AP and Guardian Correct: Acknowledge Iranian Support for Global Terror
Readers could wrongly understand from AP’s misleading characterization of Iran’s activity that the country’s mischief entails support for Students for Justice in Palestine, Breaking the Silence, Al Haq and the like.
Iran remains on the State Department’s list of state sponsors of terrorism for its support for Hezbollah and other Shia militia groups, including in Iraq, Syria and Bahrain.
In response to communication from CAMERA, editors commendably amended the text, updating the article to report accurately:
Iran remains on the State Department’s list of state sponsors of terrorism for its support for Hezbollah and other Shia militia groups, including in Iraq, Syria and Bahrain.
CAMERA’s timely action and AP’s quick correction of yesterday’s wire story underscores the value of the organization’s work monitoring and responding to wire stories in the same news cycle as they appear. With this preemptive work, CAMERA’s Israel office helps prevent misinformation from appearing in media outlets around the world.
Jewish center honors Spanish MP who said Israel massacres children
A prominent Spanish organization that is dedicated to preserving the country’s Jewish heritage awarded a prize to a local politician who had accused Israel of “massacring” Palestinian children.
The Centro Sefarad-Israel, which was created with government funding in 2006 and based in Madrid, awarded its Crown of Esther prize on Thursday to Maite Pagazaurtundua, a Spanish lawmaker serving at the European Parliament, Europa Press reported. She received the award for her “defense of justice and freedom,” the report said.
In 2014, Pagazaurtundúa co-signed a letter with several other members of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats — the parliamentary bloc to which Pagazaurtundúa’s Union of Progress and Democracy belongs — condemning Israel’s actions against Hamas in Gaza. It was addressed to Martin Schulz, then the president of the European Parliament.
“An immediate ceasefire is needed to put an end to the massacre and the suffering of the civilian population, many of them children,” the letter read.
Israelis outraged at being 'marked' at Romanian resort
Israeli tourists visiting the Romanian beach resort of Mamaia, considered one of the hottest new destinations for Israelis on the Black Sea, are being singled out as Israeli by purple bracelets they are asked to wear.
Arik Kogan, an Israeli vacationer who recently arrived at the resort, told Israel Hayom that he noticed in the first few days that seemingly everyone was able to recognize that he was Israeli. People spoke to him in Hebrew and knew his country of origin within seconds of meeting him.
After three days, he realized that the answer was in the purple bracelets the Phoenicia Holiday Resort Hotel had asked Israelis to wear.
Kogan said he made the discovery after three days of seeing prices changing at bars, beach vendors treating him oddly and locals knowing immediately that he was Israeli.
Kogan reported this in a Facebook group for Israelis abroad, and spoke to Israel Hayom about how he discovered the practice.
"I arrived at one of the bars in the beach area and suddenly I happened to see [a list of] colors for the bracelets: 'Full pension', 'half pension,' and a broad variety of different sorts of guests at the destination hotel. One color stuck out more than the others, however, the purple on my wrist, 'Israeli group.' Immediately it dawned on me, and I realized that this was a sign for Israelis," Kogan said.
Yazidi genocide survivor: 'Jews are an example for us'
You don't need to know Kurdish to understand the sadness that has seeped into Nadia Murad's soul. In August 2014 Murad was captured by ISIS in her village of Kocho, Iraq and sold into sex slavery where she witnessed unspeakable atrocities. Today she is a Yazidi refugee. She is one of 5,200 Yazidi people abducted by Islamic State in Iraq whose lives were torn apart because religious extremists saw them as "kafir" or "nonbelievers." Her dreams of being a teacher were destroyed in an instant three years ago, when ISIS tore through her town, murdered six of her brothers and held her captive for months. Her captor's failing to lock a door was her gateway to freedom, as she escaped, found her way to a refugee camp and now is one of more than a thousand Yazidis who were accepted into a refugee asylum program in Germany.
Murad's, bravery in telling her experiences to international audiences all over the world is extraordinary.
She was appointed a Goodwill Ambassador by the United Nations last year as an advocate for her people and is explaining to the world that the crimes waged against them must not go unpunished.
With the help of organizations like IsraAID, which she calls "more functional than many governments,” and Yazda, a non-profit formed to help victims of genocide, she has been able to able to tell her story to a global audience. For Murad, the parallels between the Yazidi experience and the Jewish one in Europe 70 years ago are striking.
Israeli firefighters aid Montenegrins in extinguishing blazes along coastline
A delegation of elite Israeli firefighters, aided by the Air Force’s Fire Squadron, completed a five-day relief mission Sunday in Montenegro to put out wildfires ravaging the country’s coastline since last Monday.
Fueled by strong winds and arid conditions, the fires on the Lustica Peninsula in southern Montenegro forced at least 100 tourists to evacuate, and spread along the Adriatic Sea coastline to neighboring Croatia.
At least 16 people were treated for smoke inhalation.
The Montenegro Interior Ministry deployed its navy to evacuate the area by sea, and asked for international aid via the European Union Disaster Relief System.
Israel, Brazil Look to Boost Economic Cooperation
The Israeli Minister of Economy and Industry, Eli Cohen, met earlier this month with Marcos Pereira, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Services of Brazil, the world’s seventh largest economy to discuss economic cooperation between the two countries.
Pereira made his official debut visit with a delegation of 15 senior government officials.
“Markets in Latin America and Brazil tend to be particularly challenging for Israeli companies, but have high potential for cooperation. The Israel-MERCOSUL Free Trade Area Agreement positions Israel as the only non-Latin American country which benefits from preferential access to the Brazilian market. This is an important instrument for Israeli companies, along with the desire of both countries to bolster cooperation,” said Cohen.
Following the Israeli government’s decision from 2014, intended to promote and expand economic ties between Israel and Latin America, the Israeli Ministry of Economy and Industry has been investing significant efforts helping Israeli companies penetrate this market. New Israeli trade missions were established in Bogota, Rio de Janeiro, Lima and Santiago.
Trade between Israel and Brazil reached $1.12 billion in 2012, of which Israel exported goods worth $686 million and imported goods worth $425 million.
Blackstone reportedly in talks to buy secretive Israeli spyware firm
American multinational private equity firm the Blackstone Group is in advanced talks to buy 40 percent of Israeli cyber firm NSO Group at a valuation of $1 billion, financial news website Calcalist reported Sunday, without saying how it received the information.
Blackstone is in talks to buy a stake in the Israeli company from US private equity firm Francisco Partners, who bought control of the company three years ago for $130 million and at a valuation of $170 million, Calcalist said.
Herzliya based NSO helps governments spy on mobile phones. The Israeli company made headlines last year after the highly sophisticated Pegasus spyware it developed reportedly took advantage of previously undisclosed weaknesses in Apple’s mobile operating system. The system was used in a botched attempt to break into the iPhone of an Arab activist in the United Arab Emirates.
The disclosure of the security breach prompted the US tech giant to boost security for its mobile operating system. In February this year the firm’s spyware was reportedly also used to track Mexican activists investigating government corruption.
HPE to pay NIS 1.6b tax on Mercury acquisition
International computer giant HPE (formerly Hewlett-Packard) will pay NIS 1.6 billion in tax on its 2006 acquisition of the intellectual property of Israel company Mercury Interactive, in addition to the NIS 1 billion already paid to the Israel Tax Authority for the deal.
The ruling was given in an international arbitration between the Tax Authority and HPE. In the arbitration framework, the parties agreed on a compromise in which NIS 4 billion in the Tax Authority's assessments for 2009 and two larger assessments of NIS 9 billion and NIS 7.2 billion for 2007 and 2008, respectively, are to be canceled.
HPE acquired Mercury Interactive , which supplies business technology optimization (BTO) systems, for $4.5 billion in cash in November 2006. The deal was regarded at the time as HPE's largest software acquisition up until that time.
The acquisition was in two stages. In the first stage, the shares in Mercury Interactive were acquired, and the Israeli shareholders paid the tax. In 2009, however, ostensibly with no connection to the main deal, Mercury Interactive's intellectual property was transferred to the international company at a substantially lower price of $963 million.
Israeli drug maker NeuroDerm sold to Japanese pharma giant for $1.1b
Israeli pharmaceutical company NeuroDerm has been sold to Japanese giant Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma for $1.1 billion in cash, the firm announced Monday, in one of the biggest-ever purchases of an Israeli firm outside the high-tech field.
The Israel innovation authority, a government body that gives grants to tech companies, said the sale was the largest ever acquisition of an Israeli healthcare company.
NeuroDerm is researching and developing solutions for disorders relating to the central nervous system, specifically Parkinson’s disease.
The company, which has been supported by grants from the Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, aims to radically change the way the disease is treated through reformulating existing drugs.
Its current lead product candidate is in advanced clinical trials in Europe and the United States and could hit the market as early as 2019, Mitsubishi Tanabe said.

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