Wednesday, August 23, 2017

From Ian:

Melanie Phillips: The Canaan falsehood
In the “Palestinians’” attempt to rewrite history and claim falsely that they and not the Jews are the indigenous people of the land of Israel, they have taken to claiming they have descended from the Canaanites. Since the Canaanites preceded the ancient Jews’ conquest of the land, that would make the Palestinians the rightful inheritors.
Problem with this claim is that it is utterly ridiculous from all points of view. First off, it means the Palestinians aren’t Arabs. Which they are, by their own lights. Arabs, though, came from Arabia and most certainly were not around in the Biblical land of Israel.
Second, there’s not a shred of evidence that the “Palestinians” were descended from the Canaanites. Nor is there any evidence they descended from any other unified people or tribe, for the simple reason they did not. The immediate forefathers of today’s “Palestinians” either considered themselves southern Syrians or just part of the Arab nation; many others immigrated to pre-Israel Palestine in the first half of the last century from a variety of non-Arab countries. And of course, since the invading Romans tried to erase the Jews’ claim to the land by giving Judea/Israel the meaningless name Palestina, there was never any such people as “the Palestinians”.
The whole Canaanite heritage claim is merely another lie being propagated in order to rewrite the Jews out of their own history and conceal the fact that the Jews are the ONLY people for whom the land of Israel was ever their national kingdom. As Pinchas Inbari says in his JCPA paper Who Are the Palestinians:
“When one looks into what the Palestinians say about themselves, how each family describes its lineage, there is no trace of a ‘Canaanite’ ancestry. Most of the families find their origins in Arab tribes, some of them with Kurdish or Egyptian background, and there are even – by word of mouth – widespread stories of Jewish or Samaritan ancestry. Although one might have expected some effort to adduce a Philistine ancestry, there is almost no such phenomenon.
Evelyn Gordon: A New Book Tries, and Fails, to Understand the West Bank’s Jews
In City on a Hilltop, Sara Yael Hirschhorn seeks to explain Israel’s settler movement, rejecting the common misconception that its members are fanatics uniformly motivated by religious zeal and ferocious nationalism. Nonetheless, writes Evelyn Gordon, Hirschhorn fails to look past her own political assumptions:
[R]eaders emerge from [the book] with no clear understanding of what drives the settlement movement. This isn’t surprising, since Hirschhorn admits in her conclusion that she herself has no such understanding: “After discussions with dozens of Jewish-American immigrants in the occupied territories, I still struggled to understand how they saw themselves and their role within the Israeli settlement enterprise.”
Consequently, she’s produced an entire book about settlers that virtually ignores the twin beliefs at the heart of their enterprise: Israel has a right to be in the territories, whether based on religious and historical ties, international law, or both, and Israel has a need to be there, whether for religious and historical reasons, security ones, or both.
This glaring omission seems to stem largely from her inability to take such beliefs seriously. In one noteworthy example, she writes, “While their religio-historical claims to the Gush Etzion area are highly contentious, many settler activists over the past 50 years have asserted Biblical ties to the region.” But what exactly is contentious about that assertion? No serious person would deny that many significant events in the Bible took place in what is now called the West Bank. . . . One could argue that this doesn’t justify Jews living there today, but if you can’t acknowledge that this area is Judaism’s religious and historical heartland, and that many Jews consequently believe that giving it up would tear the heart out of the Jewish state, you can’t understand a major driver of the settlement movement.
What’s the Matter With Chicago?
Chicago has long been home to one of America’s largest and most thriving Jewish communities, a vibrant and nurturing setting that gave the nation everyone from Saul Bellow to Julius Rosenwald, the founder of Sears.
For the city’s thriving progressive and LGBT Jewish community, Chicago has as much been that cherished home as it has a sheltered harbor offering the freedom to proudly express spirituality right alongside an individual’s political, sexual, or gender identity. Reform synagogues have seen a continual membership growth, which even includes a migration of Conservative Jews.
Yet, over the past 18 months, the city has made headlines for a series of ugly snubs targeting Jewish organizations and individuals, leading many—the city’s Jews first and foremost—to wonder just what’s going on.
The first sign of trouble came on January 22, 2016, at the National LGBTQ Taskforce’s Creating Change Conference. Held at the downtown Chicago Hilton, the event, bringing together gay rights activists of all stripes, included a Shabbat service and reception, held by the Jewish LGBT advocacy organization A Wider Bridge (AWB). To its participants’ shock, the quiet reception turned into a riot both in the corridor outside and in the meeting room when two anti-Zionist activists stormed the stage and chanted slogans like “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” denying Israel’s right to exist.

Thatcher and Israel
For 33 years, including the 11 years she spent as prime minister, Margaret Thatcher represented the north London suburban seat of Finchley, the constituency with the highest proportion of Jewish voters in Britain.
What officials in the Foreign Office derisively termed “the Finchley factor” was believed by many to explain her rock-solid support for Israel. Indeed, soon after she became leader of the Opposition in 1975, panicked diplomats secretly debated how the impending danger – that Arab capitals might view a potential future prime minister as “a prisoner of the Zionists” – might be averted. One urged that she be encouraged to sever her ties with pro-Israel groups such as the Finchley Anglo-Israel Friendship League – of which she was both a founding member and president – and the newly formed Conservative Friends of Israel. Another, more dramatically, suggested she swap Finchley, with its heavy concentration of Jews, for another constituency.
Like any highly astute politician, Thatcher was aware of, and sensitive to, the concerns of an electorally important group of voters in a constituency which, however big her majority, she always treated as if it were highly marginal.
But her affinity for Israel was both much deeper and more complex than these superficial and cynical interpretations. Charles Powell, her long-serving foreign policy adviser, suggested to me that Israel, alongside the United States and Singapore, was one of her three favorite countries in the world. There’s plenty of evidence to back that contention. She traveled to Israel three times before entering Downing Street and in 1986 became the first sitting prime minister to visit the Jewish state. She backed its actions unhesitatingly in 1967 and, as a member of the Cabinet in October 1973, fiercely argued against prime minister Ted Heath’s shameful decision to treat Israel and its aggressors alike by imposing an arms embargo upon both. And, once inside No.10, she frequently matched her rhetorical paeans to the “miracles” Israel had performed with concrete support.
Thatcher’s view of Israel was forged during her first visit to the country in 1965. Unsurprisingly given her deep Christian faith, she was deeply affected by, as she put it on her return to Britain, being able to “relive the Bible stories... seeing where Jesus was born, where he grew up and where he preached.” She spoke of the “indelible impression” this had left upon her and of telling her two young children about standing on the shores of the Sea of Galilee.
But there was another “indelible impression” from that 1965 trip. Staying in the King David Hotel at a time when it overlooked the “no man’s land” that split Jerusalem between Israel and Jordan, she was struck by the young state’s vulnerability. It was, she told a meeting in Finchley, “like having another country on the other side of your own garden wall at home.” Thatcher also had no doubts about the rights and wrongs of the conflict. “Israel,” she declared, “holds out the hand of friendship to all who will accept.”
BBC WS history show claims Israel ‘carved out of Palestinian land’
Obviously the Middle East “has seen tension and violence” for a lot longer than 70 years and Pearson’s claim that “tension in the Middle East” means solely the Arab-Israeli conflict is astoundingly ignorant. Clearly too, “mistrust between Jews and Arabs” did not ‘follow’ the creation of the State of Israel but was already evident many years beforehand.
But the most egregiously inaccurate part of that introduction is obviously Pearson’s claim that Israel was “carved […] out of land which had belonged to the Palestinians”. At no point in history before the creation of the State of Israel was that the case: the land was administered by the British Mandate prior to Israel’s establishment and before that had been ruled by the Ottoman Empire for 500 years.
That inaccurate and materially misleading information is all the more troubling coming, as it does, in what claims to be a history programme.
BBC Watch has submitted a complaint to the BBC World Service highlighting the need for a speedy on-air correction.
Lebanese beauty queen stripped of title over Israel visit
A Swedish-Lebanese beauty queen was stripped of her crown after pageant organizers discovered she visited Israel last year, the London-based Independent reported Wednesday.
Amanda Hanna won Miss Lebanon Emigrant 2017 earlier in August, but a 2016 school trip to Israel on her Swedish passport has cost her the title.
“After communicating our decision with Lebanon’s Minister of Tourism, he decided that Hanna should be stripped of her title because her visit to Israel violates our country’s laws,” said a statement from The Festival of Lebanese Emigrants in Dhour Al Choueir.
In Lebanon, any contact with Israelis is considered illegal and violators risk jail time.
Following her trip to Israel, Hanna wrote on Facebook, “it turned out that I was wrong,” referring to her previous assumptions about the Jewish state.
“I’ve gotten to know people who have come to stand close to me & I have developed in particular as a person. It has been a wonderful trip & I am incredibly happy that I participated,” she said.
San Francisco State University Asks Judge to Dismiss Case Accusing School of Fostering Anti-Semitism
San Francisco State University has asked a federal judge to dismiss a case accusing the school of fostering anti-Semitism.
However, The legal team representing Jewish San Francisco State University students who have accused the school remained steadfast in the face of administrators moving to get the case thrown out.
"We stand behind the claims in our lawsuit," said Brooke Goldstein, director of pro-Israel think tank, the Lawfare Project.
The suit was filed in June by six plaintiffs, including two current students and a recent graduate. It charged SFSU with having for decades displayed "an extremely disturbing and consistent pattern of anti-Jewish animus."
"Jews are at best ignored, but more often ostracized in every corner of the university community," the suit claimed. Among the incidents listed were the intense protest of an on-campus speech by Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat in April 2016 and the exclusion of the school's Jewish center, Hillel, in a civil rights fair in February of this year.
On Monday, the school's lawyers asked a federal judge to dismiss the case, claiming administrators cannot control campus speech.
IsraellyCool: New Interview Reveals How Bent Out Of Shape Roger Waters Is About Being Called Antisemite
Reading Roger Waters’ new interview with Rolling Stone to discuss his latest album, one cannot help but feel that he has a real bee in his bonnet about allegations of antisemitism leveled against him.
As a songwriter – telling stories, drawing pictures – are you trying to confront people with the truth as you see it or draw them together?
I don’t know. Half of the song “Déjá Vu” is not on the [new] record. The last verse was cut. But I quote it a lot: “If I had been God/I would not have chosen anyone/I would have laid an even hand/On all my children everyone/Would have been content/To forego Ramadan and Lent/Time better spent/In the company of friends/Breaking bread and mending nets.” A lot of people would go, “Oh, there he goes, the old anti-Semite.”Well, no. If I talk about choosing people, I’m not talking about the Jewish faith. I’m talking about all faiths – all members of different faiths.

Are there particular musical or lyrical examples?
Yeah, tiny things. Other things that I let go were really important to me. Nigel was always very keen that we shouldn’t be specifically political about anything. I took the words “Lay down Jerusalem” out of “Déjá Vu.” The chorus used to go, “Maybe a woman at a stove/Baking bread, making rice or just boiling down some bones/Lay down Jerusalem/Lay your burden down.” There was a big thing, Nigel trying to persuade me to take any reference to Jerusalem out. “I said, ‘It’s really important.'” But he said, “People will go, ‘He’s being an anti-Semite again.’ I said, “There’s nothing anti-Semitic about it. Jerusalem is hugely important because of the Crusades, the Ottoman Empire, the British, whoever has been fighting over this place.”

To be clear, I do believe Waters has crossed the line from mere criticism of Israel to fully fledged Jew hater, based on a combination of things: the infamous inflatable pig with Star of David, singling out Israel for criticism an boycott (double standards) and then changing his story as to why this is the case, talk of the Jewish lobby and comparing us to Nazis, and insinuating Helen Thomas should not have been fired for her antisemitic comments.
It is no wonder the neo Nazis love him.
Did Attorney Rose Mishaan actually pass Constitutional law?
Who is Attorney Rose Mishaan and did she ever study Constitutional law?
According to Legal Insurrection, the silent vigils at Reem’s Bakery in Oakland are under a new form of attack. A local journalist, Mike Lumish, is being taken to court in an effort to silence his voice. His alleged transgression? He wrote about Reem’s Bakery egregious support of convicted terrorist Rasmea Odeh in the Jewish Press, and in his blog Israel Thrives.
Among Reem Assils' demands are that Mike stop posting “defamatory” remarks about her, her business or her customers online and in the media.
From Legal Insurrection:
The case also raises serious constitutional and free speech issues, as the bakery owner seeks to punish protest, to halt or move continued protest, and a prior restraint of speech.
Reem Assil is represented by attorney Rose Mishaan.
What kind of attorney would support an action that flies in the face of our Constitutional protections of free speech and public assembly?
Apparently the answer is “An ideologue”
Michael Lumish: This was my contact with woman who wants me in court
Dear Reem,
My name is Michael Lumish and I would like to speak with you.
I am the proprietor of Israel Thrives, a regular contributor to Daniel Pipes' Middle East Forum and Campus Watch, as well as various other pro-Jewish / pro-Israel venues such as The Algemeiner, the Times of Israel, the Elder of Ziyon, and elsewhere.
As a Jewish Oaklander, I am intending to write an article concerning your mural of Rasmea Odeh and what it suggests about ethnic relations in the United States.
What I would like to do, if you are willing, is meet for a snack and a cup of coffee at Reem's for a discussion concerning this.
I know that you are a Palestinian woman standing up for the rights of the Palestinian people, just as I am a Jewish man standing up for the rights of the Jewish people.
Will you meet with me for 10 or 15 to discuss it?
Say, sometime in the morning this week or next?
I very much appreciate your consideration and you have my thanks.
Michael Lumish
NGO Monitor: Analysis of EU Peacebuilding Grants - December 2016
In December 2016, the EU announced grants under the EU Peacebuilding Initiative (European Neighbourhood Policy) with a total budget of €4.9 million.
Among the recipients and projects, a number (receiving one-third of the total budget) demonstrate records of activities that are entirely inconsistent with the stated goals of promoting peace in the region:
1. Ma’an Television Network (€427,200 Grant ENI/2016/381-582, 2016-2019)
“Media for Change: Leveraging Media Initiatives to Promote Participatory Engagement in the Peace Process”
2. Oxford Research Group (ORG), I’LAM Arab Center for Media Freedom Development and Research (R.A.) and PalThink (co-grantees of €488,098 Grant 2016-2019)
“Building Strategic Capacity: Empowering Civil, Political and Emerging Constituencies in Palestine and Israel”
3. Applied Research Institute Jerusalem Association (ARIJ) co-grantee: Land Research Center (Grant of €474,732 for 36 months)
“Advocating for a Sustainable and Viable Resolution of Israeli-Palestinian Conflict”
"We Need to Support Jeremy Corbyn — Back Him All the Way..."
Outside Wembley Stadium in London on 20 August, Israel haters familiar and not so familiar appear in this by no means uninteresting footage by video-maker and staunch BDSer Alex Seymour/Seymour Alexander, according to whom (we don't see them, unfortunately) pro-Israel passers-by made their feelings known.
There's the loquacious Irishman who constantly campaigns to have Israel thrown out of Fifa (the campaign literature has now been translated into several languages, we hear him say.
There's the rather plummy-voiced grey-haired lady who's a ubiquitous sidekick to Sandra Watfa (the lady seen on many a Seymour video who inveighs against Israel at countless demos in London including, this year, the Al Quds Day excrescence). Here outside the stadium Sandra's sidekick is seen handing out leaflets to football fans arriving for the game.
Another familiar Israel-hater is the little lady of Jewish origin whose "Israel is an apartheid state" spiel in front of Seymour's lens includes a plaintive charge that "The media seem to focus on how wonderful Israel is". (Ever watched the BBC, darling?)*
A young woman in sun glasses tells Seymour that she has been "a life-long supporter of Palestine," that "Unfortunately they [those pesky Zionists] have a lot of support, a lot of power ... a lot of lobbying, a lot of power" and asserts that, to turn the tide, "We need to support Jeremy Corbyn — back him all the way ..."
BBC News coverage of terrorism in Israel – July 2017
The Israel Security Agency’s report on terror attacks (Hebrew) during July 2017 shows that throughout the month a total of 222 incidents took place: 129 in Judea & Samaria, eighty-seven in Jerusalem, four inside the ‘green line’ and two originating from the Gaza Strip.
In Judea & Samaria and Jerusalem the agency recorded 184 attacks with petrol bombs, 21 attacks using explosive devices, one stabbing attack, six shooting attacks, two vehicular attacks and two arson attacks. Within the ‘green line’ one stabbing attack (in Petah Tikva), one petrol bomb attack and two arson attacks took place. Also recorded were two missile attacks from the Gaza Strip.
Five people were murdered (3 civilians and 2 members of the security forces) and seven were wounded (2 civilians and five members of the security forces) in attacks during July.
The BBC News website covered the July 14th terror attack (without calling it terror) at Lions’ Gate/Temple Mount in which two policemen were murdered and one wounded. The attack in Halamish in which three members of the Salomon family were murders and one wounded was also reported – again without the BBC describing it as terrorism in its own words. An attempted stabbing at Gush Etzion junction on July 28th was briefly reported.
‘A weapon against its neighbors’: former Al Jazeera bureau chief speaks out against network
Mohamed Fahmy remembers when it dawned on him that something was not right. He was in an Egyptian prison. There was a group of Muslim Brotherhood students in the same jail. “They described how they were involved in organizing protests and filming them, and a lot of their footage was being aired on Al Jazeera and that doesn’t represent citizen journalism.”
He now says he realized his employers had been in contact with these students. “They were dealing fluidly with a group that was banned and later designated as terrorists, and the network kept us journalists in the dark about it. I discovered that in prison.”
Fahmy was born in Cairo in 1974. He reported on the 2003 Iraq War for the Los Angeles Times, spent years covering the Arab Spring and worked for CNN before being hired as Al Jazeera English Egypt bureau chief in September 2013.
He entered the job during momentous times in Egyptian history. Autocratic leader Hosni Mubarak had stepped down in February 2011 when the Arab Spring broke out in Cairo’s Tahrir Square. In June 2012 the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi was sworn in as president after winning elections. A year later, after millions took to the streets in protest, Morsi was overthrown by the military and Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.'s Unfortunate Choice of Usage
The popular online dictionary,, has become a valuable online resource since its inception more than 20 years ago -- which makes it all the more regrettable that the single example of "contemporary usage" for the word "venerate" is taken from a 4-year-old, politically biased opinion piece. The offending sentence is:
How else to explain what just happened: An Israeli government decided to venerate land over justice, and over life itself.
Without the context that this is simply one person's negative and controversial anti-Israeli government viewpoint, readers see only a defamatory statement that may be construed as a statement of fact, representing common contemporary usage. It is hardly the sort of neutral example one might expect from an academic resource like a dictionary, and leaves one to wonder whether this was just an unfortunate oversight or whether the editor responsible for the choice harbors some anti-Israel bias him or herself.
The BBC, the Gaza Strip and medical supplies
In the past BBC audiences have often been led to inaccurate conclusions concerning the reason for the chronic shortage of medical supplies in the Gaza Strip.
BBC gives one-dimensional view of shortages in Gaza hospitals
BBC’s Knell inaccurately attributes shortage of medical supplies in Gaza to Israel
BBC Radio 5 live broadcasts inaccurate claim on shortage of medicines in Gaza
BBC WS amplifies former ISM activist’s falsehoods about Gaza blockade
BBC News passes up the chance to set the record straight on Gaza shortages
BBC reporting on the ongoing dispute between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority that has resulted in reduced electricity supplies to Gaza residents has not informed audiences that the PA has also cut medical supplies to the Gaza Strip.
Shia Imam in Southern California Restates Belief That Israel ‘Finances, Arms, Trains’ ISIS Terrorists
A prominent Shia Muslim imam in California is sticking defiantly with his allegation that Israel finances and arms ISIS — the Sunni Muslim terrorist group that has carried out genocidal campaigns against religious minorities in Iraq and Syria, among them Christians and Yazidis.
In a June 23 sermon, the founder and director of the Islamic Education Center of Orange County, Dr. Sayed Moustafa al-Qazwini, who has been widely acclaimed for his role in interfaith dialogue in southern California, insisted that Israel was the driving force behind ISIS, after first explaining to his congregation that the terrorist group was “anti-Islamic.”
“Most of you — all of you — know who established ISIS, Al Qaeda and all these terrorist organizations,” al-Qazwini declared. “You know very well. You know who paid for them, who financed them, who helped them, who purchased weapons for them, who even trained them, who protected them. You know that.”
Al-Qazwini continued: “This is not the production of Islam. Islam is not responsible for ISIS. There are certain agencies and governments, they put hand in hand to establish ISIS, to demolish Islam from within. This was the plan.”
The imam went on: “ISIS is the production of the Israeli intelligence. Most of their officers were trained in Israel, including Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi.” Al Baghdadi was the founder of ISIS who is now believed to be in hiding in Syria.
String Cheese drummer faces backlash for comments called anti-Semitic
Michael Travis, drummer for Colorado jamband The String Cheese Incident, has apologized for "extreme ignorance" after what some of his fans are calling anti-Semitic social media posts.
A post on his personal Facebook page on Wednesday erupted with hundreds of comments, with many of his followers outraged as he discussed what he described as "the Jewish banking agenda."
"The Jewish banking agenda is fairly irrefutable .. do you think I'm anti Semitic for saying so? I don't. I have many many dear friends that are Jewish. (Even if they never read the Torah but that's a whole different topic)," he wrote, and continued, "to not be allowed to notice trends in industry for fear of being called anti Semitic might be part of the way the Rothchilds and their cronies came to control the worlds monies. Of course their are other bankers that are doing evil money things. But the Zionist banking cartel is a thing... let me know if you can refute its existence."
Travis, of Boulder, who is also a member of the electronic band EOTO, apologized via social media, including in a Monday post, writing, "I feel compelled to put out another apology and recognition of my extreme ignorance and shame regarding my previous statements about Jewish banking. I truly had no idea the banking thing was a central tenant of the Nazi agenda."
British lawyer who called Jews 'Satans love childs' given 12 months suspension for antisemitic comments on Facebook
A British attorney who called for the bombing of a plane carrying Jewish refugees has been suspended from practicing law for 12 months and ordered to pay £35,000 by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal. Majid Mahmood, a partner at the law firm City Law Chambers, posted on his personal Facebook page in October 2015: "Somebody needs to shoot all the Israeli Zionists dead then send their bodies to America as a present for Obama and his Zionist pals." In February 2016, Mahmood commented on a Facebook page called 'Israel is a war criminal' regarding an article about Jewish refugees being flown to Israel: "The ain't gods chosen people they're Satans love child's and it's a sham e the plane carrying them didn't blow up mid air." (All errors in the original).
After a complaint was filed at the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal, Mahmood argued that his posts were offensive, but not antisemitic. The Tribunal found that the October 2015 post "stepped over the line by advocating violence" and "demonstrated a clear lack of integrity" but was not antisemitic because it was directed against "Israeli Zionists" and not Jews as a whole. The Tribunal found that the February 2016 post was "wholly indefensible," "went far beyond exercising his right to freedom of speech," was "unforgiveable," and was "proved beyond reasonable doubt" to be antisemitic.
Although the tribunal suspended Mahmood from practicing law for 12 months, the suspension was itself suspended for 12 months.
Leading Japanese surgeon urged to step down for praises of Nazism
The Simon Wiesenthal Center on Tuesday urged the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgeons to take action against prominent Japanese surgeon Dr. Katsuya Takasu, after Holocaust denial, Nanjing Massacre denial, praises of the Nazi regime surfaced on Twitter from two years ago.
As well as being a high-profile member of the academy, Takasu is also a well-known media personality in Japan.
Estonia-based Japanese blogger Kino Toshiko alerted the Simon Wiesenthal Center to the Tweets made by the doctor in 2015, and posted English translations of them to his webpage.
According to the translations from Twitter, Takasu talked of “how great Nazism was,” later explaining that he meant it with relation to the progress made in German medicine under the Nazi regime.
“There is no doubt that the Jews were persecuted. But we only know it from hearsay and all of it is based on information from the Allies. Aren’t we acting the same as the Chinese people who believe in the Nanjing Massacre? I only want to know the truth,” another Tweet reads.
“I think both the Nanjing and Auschwitz are fabrications,” he stated in another.
Hackers portray Jewish Republican Senate candidate as David Duke supporter
The Twitter account of a Jewish Republican candidate for the US Senate was discovered to have been hacked after it showed that she liked several posts by white supremacist leader David Duke.
Lena Epstein, who is running for the nomination in Michigan and was a co-chair of the Donald Trump presidential campaign there in 2016, disavowed any support of or connection to Duke, the one-time Ku Klux Klan head.
“As a Jewish woman with deep roots in the Jewish faith, a proud lineage of Jewish leaders, and relatives who were killed in the Holocaust because of blind hatred and prejudice, there is little that could be more offensive to me than the suggestion that I support, ‘like,’ or condone David Duke, neo-Nazis, or any group that promotes hatred and prejudice,” Epstein said in a statement issued Friday.
The tweets with her likes gained traction after the state’s Democratic Party chairman, Brandon Dillon, began sharing screenshots of them, the MLive news website reported.
Epstein shared a screenshot of a message from Twitter asking her to confirm her email address attached to her Twitter account, indicating that the account had been hacked. She also shared the link to a report by a private investigative agency which determined that an “illegal intrusion” of her Twitter account had occurred.
Prada subsidiary drops clothing line featuring yellow stars
An Italian fashion design house removed a line of clothing from its collection that featured a yellow star reminiscent of what Jews were forced to wear by the Nazis during the Holocaust.
The Miu Miu Italian fashion house, a subsidiary of Prada, said it would remove the clothing items immediately after being contacted Monday evening by the World Jewish Congress, the WJC said in a statement.
In a message to WJC, Preia Narendra, senior vice president of marketing & communications at Miu Miu, said: “Thank you for bringing this to our attention. It was not Miu Miu’s intent in any way to make any political or religious statement, and we apologize for any offense that may have been taken. Kindly note that effective immediately these items will be removed from the collection.”
The clothing items, including dresses, shirts and skirts, in a back-to school motif, included a name tag patch with the company’s logo, and a five-point yellow star name patch with a name, such as John, embroidered in it.
A dress with the name patch was being sold online for $2,170.
Israel’s Tahal Awarded $176 Million Development Project in Zambia
The Israeli infrastructure company Tahal, a subsidiary of Kardan, has been awarded a $176 million project by the government of Zambia for the development of a large-scale agriculture and water project.
The wide-ranging project will see Tahal, and its partner ZRB Consulting Finance & Development Limited, plan and construct a 14,000-acre agricultural settlement in the African nation.
The settlement will include hundreds of private and commercial farms with full power and water infrastructure. The Israeli company will develop roads, drainage and irrigation systems, greenhouses and poultry houses.
Further, the three-year project involves the construction of packing and storage structures, a marketing center, agricultural machinery, laboratories and facilities for “community, education, health and social and other services,” according to a statement released Monday by Kardan.
The announcement comes amid a broad Israeli government push to expand the Jewish state’s influence in Africa, following Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s historic trips to that continent in June and last year.
Sean Paul sweats it out in Rishon
There were two types of people at the Sean Paul concert in Rishon Lezion Tuesday night: fans of the Jamaican rapper – and their parents.
No matter that many of Paul’s biggest hits came out before some of them were born – the crowd at the Live Park in the center of the country skewed decidedly young.
Some of that was undoubtedly due to the setup of the evening – not a standalone concert for Paul, but a hip-hop festival that ran for more than eight hours, from 6 p.m. to past 2 a.m. The other performers, all local musicians, came on one after the other, trying to get a crowd waiting patiently for Paul to hold on just a little longer. Full disclosure: I did not stay for all, or even most of, the full eight hours.
The lineup of other artists ranged from glorified YouTube stars to those with actual radio hits – like Katrix and Doron Biton’s fun and poppy “Chofshiya.”
And I experienced a real “only-in-Israel” moment when Biton recited a blessing out loud over his water – next to Katrix whose denim track suit read “f**k ur mom.” I mean, kids these days.
‘Wonder Woman’ soars past ‘Spider-Man’ to biggest superhero origin movie ever
“Wonder Woman,” the now-iconic Warner Bros. superhero flick starring Israel’s own Gal Gadot, hit a domestic US earnings total of $404.1 million this week, and pushed past the $800 million mark worldwide.
That makes it the 23rd highest-grossing film of all time in the domestic US market, the seventh-highest earning comic book film in Hollywood history, and the number-one all-time earner when sequels are taken out of the running, according to a tally by the Forbes business journal.
It puts the rare woman-led superhero action film ahead of the 2002 origin film “Spider-Man,” starring Tobey Maguire, which raked in $403.7 million domestically.
“Wow! Just heard the news! Thank u to everyone who has shown their support to WW in theaters! What an amazing ride this has been! #grateful,” Gadot tweeted.
And the film is poised to hit even greater heights.
It only opens in Japan on August 25, positioning it to beat the $821 million worldwide tally “Spider-Man” pulled in.
Israeli NGO Provides Emergency Flood Relief to Nepal
Israeli non-governmental humanitarian aid organization IsraAID sent a first-response team of 16 volunteers to southern Nepal on August 17 to bring medical, psychosocial, and sanitation assistance in the wake of floods and landslides affecting six million people in 18 districts.
The surging waters have washed away thousands of houses and permanently damaged farmland, food stocks, and water infrastructure only two years after an earthquake wreaked devastation in the Asian country. More than 120 people have lost their lives, and many more are still missing.
Dangerous flooding in southern Nepal poses a high risk of waterborne disease, according to IsraAID, whose team was one of the first on the ground. More than 400 flood victims benefited from IsraAID’s services and activities on the first day alone.
“Our medical team saw a high number of cases of skin diseases, ear problems, and malnutrition. Fears of outbreaks of waterborne and mosquito-borne epidemics are growing. We are working in close coordination with local authorities and the Ministry of Health to monitor and respond as needed,” the organization reports.
Meanwhile, in Africa, IsraAID continues to provide emergency relief in Sierra Leone following disastrous flooding and mudslides there that began on August 14.
Israeli archaeologists uncover rare 1,500-year-old Jerusalem mosaic
A 1,500-year-old mosaic floor with a Greek inscription has been uncovered during works to install communications cables in Jerusalem's Old City - a rare discovery of an ancient relic and an historic document in one.
The inscription cites 6th-century Roman emperor Justinian as well as Constantine, who served as abbot of a church founded by Justinian in Jerusalem. Archaeologists believe it will help them to understand Justinian's building projects in the city.
The full inscription reads: "The most pious Roman emperor Flavius Justinian and the most 6God-loving priest and abbot, Constantine, erected the building in which [this mosaic] sat during the 14th indiction."
Indiction is an ancient method of counting years that was used for taxation purposes. Archaeologists said the inscription suggests the mosaic dated to the year 550/551 AD.
Justinian was one of the most important rulers of the Byzantine era. In 543 AD he established the Nea Church in Jerusalem - one of the biggest Christian churches in the eastern Roman Empire and the largest in Jerusalem at the time.

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