Thursday, October 26, 2017

From Ian:

Israeli wins judo gold in UAE, which refuses to play anthem, raise flag
An Israeli judoka won a gold medal on Thursday at the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam judo tournament, but had to sing his own private “Hatikvah” because the organizers refused to play the Israeli national anthem.

He also had to celebrate his victory under the International Judo Federation’s flag, because the emirate banned the display of Israeli symbols.

Tournament organizers did not play Israel’s national anthem as Tal Flicker stood on the podium after receiving his medal in the men’s under-66 kilograms (145 pounds) category.

With the medal around his neck, Flicker sang his own “Hatikvah” while the International Judo Federation’s (IFJ) anthem played in the background.

On the women’s side, Gili Cohen won bronze in the under-52 kilograms (114 pounds) class. The Israeli flag was not flown on her behalf either.

The entire Israeli team was required to compete without any Israeli identifying symbols, and had been told before the tournament that there would be no acknowledgement of their home country — a discriminatory policy imposed solely on the Israeli competitors.

Flicker said later that he made up his mind to sing his own “Hatikvah” on the podium from “the moment that I won the gold.”

Judo Federation chastises Abu Dhabi over Israeli treatment
The International Judo Federation is demanding that the United Arab Emirates treat Israeli athletes equally after reports it is banning the Israeli flag at an upcoming contest.

The Abu Dhabi Grand Slam is reportedly banning Israeli athletes from wearing their country's symbols on uniforms and is singling Israel out with a ban on displaying its flag or playing its anthem.

A letter from the IJF to the president of the UAE Judo Federation obtained by The Associated Press says "all delegations, including the Israeli delegation, shall be treated absolutely equally in all aspects, without any exception."

It highlighted the body's core ideals that "every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind."

The letter was sent to the World Jewish Congress, which represents over 100 Jewish communities, and had asked the IJF to intervene and "protect the rights of the Israeli national judo team and keep the spirit of sport free of political discrimination."

There was no comment Wednesday from the UAE, which has no diplomatic relations with Israel.
Conan and the barbarians
The anti-Israel activists who confronted Conan O’Brien as he walked along the West Bank’s security barrier were not pleased. The leader of the group, marching toward Conan and unable to contain herself, lobbed her first challenge while still 20 feet away. “Didn’t you say shakshuka was Israeli a couple of days ago?”

He replied as most of us might: “Shakshuker?”

Now close enough for Conan to hear, she repeated her cross-examination on behalf of the tomato and egg dish. “Didn’t you say it was Israeli?”

CONAN: “Oh, I don’t know what it is. I know that –”
ACTIVIST (shaking her head): “So why would you say that?”
CONAN: “Say what?”
ACTIVIST: “That shakshuka is Israeli.”
CONAN: “Well, they served it to me on El Al, so… I… but…”

The ringleader switched to a gentler tone, that of an elementary school teacher eager to show she was disappointed, not angry. “I mean,” she said softly, “it’s a Palestinian dish.”

“Okay, well I apologize. Alright.” What else could he say? He’s a television show host, not a culinary geographer.

But Conan had just been bamboozled on shakshuka. Although the dish as we know it originates in North Africa —Tunisia, Libya, Morocco, or Algeria, depending on whether you ask a Tunisian, Libyan, Moroccan or Algerian — its strong connection to Israel has been acknowledged by Saveur, The New York Times, Serious Eats and many others. For this we can thank the large population of North African Jews who brought the recipe with them when they emigrated to Israel, popularizing it there and, ultimately, across the world. These same North African Jewish communities are said to have been instrumental in creating the version of shakshuka recognizable to us today.

130 Israeli companies, 60 int'l corporations on UN 'blacklist'
In the past few weeks, 130 Israeli companies and 60 international corporations operating in Israel received warning letters from United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid bin Ra'ad al-Hussein cautioning them of their impending inclusion in a "blacklist" of companies active beyond the Green Line in "violation of international law and UN resolutions."

Ynet has gained access to part of the list, which is set to be published in late December and cites 25 well-known Israeli companies. The companies operate in different sectors—some in food manufacturing, others in services, pharmaceuticals and even high-tech—but have one thing in common: they all operate in settlements, east Jerusalem and the Jordan Valley.

Among the companies in the commissioner's sights are Ahava, Dor Alon, Amisragas, Angel Bakeries, Arison Investments, Ashdar, Clal Industries, Café Café, Cellcom, Danya Cebus, Electra, HP, Hot, the Israel Aerospace Industries, Matrix Systems, Motorola, Nesher, Partner, Paz, Rami Levy, Remax, Housing & Construction (Shikun Binui), Shufersal, Sonol and Trima.

The above companies are joined by the 12 companies already published on Channel 2 News including Bank Hapoalim, Bank Leumi, Bezeq and Bezeq International, Coca Cola, Africa Israel, Teva, IDB, Egged, Mekorot, Netafim and Elbit Systems.

The "Washington Post" published American companies will also be appearing on the list, including Caterpillar, Tripadvisor and Airbnb.
Motorola, HP said to be on UN blacklist of settlement-friendly companies
A United Nations blacklist of companies operating in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights reportedly includes some of the biggest Israeli and international firms.

Among those on the UN Human Rights Council list are the Israel Aerospace Industries, Hewlett-Packard, Motorola, Ahava cosmetics, the Cellcom and Partner telecommunications companies, and RE/MAX real estate, the Yedioth Ahronoth daily reported on Thursday.

The report also listed some local Israeli franchises — including the Cafe Cafe restaurant chain, Angel’s Bakery, the Paz gasoline company, Nesher beer, and the Rami Levy and Shufersal supermarket chains — among those targeted by the UN Human Rights Council.

In September, UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein warned over 150 companies that their activities in the “occupied Palestinian territories” may see them added to a blacklist of companies “that operate in opposition to international law and in opposition of UN resolutions.”

Channel 2 news has previously reported that Coca-Cola, TripAdvisor, Airbnb and Caterpillar were on the list. Israel’s Teva, Bezeq, Egged and the country’s two largest banks, Hapoalim and Leumi, are also said to be listed.
Mayor of Efrat: UN's 'blacklisted' companies deserve Nobel Prize
Mayor of the Judea community of Efrat and Chief Foreign Envoy of the YESHA Council Oded Revivi responded this morning, Thursday, to the UN High Commissioner for Human Right’s declared blacklist of Israeli and international companies that do business in Judea and Samaria.

Revivi said that, far from being blacklisted, the companies ought to be rewarded for promoting coexistence and providing jobs for both Arabs and Jews.

“I suggest that the UN take the blacklist it has prepared, and instead of boycotting [the companies], grant them the Nobel Peace Prize. These companies are the ones employing thousands of Palestinian families. These factories are the ones bringing together Jews and Arabs who work together in the same buildings.”

“Those who seek to boycott these companies push coexistence, neighborliness, and economic growth farther away,” he emphasized.
The left’s sinister disdain for Israel betrays their movement’s pro-Zionist origins
In the beginning, the Guardian was a friend of the Jews. Or rather, those Jews who believed that after millennia of persecution in exile, they deserved the right to live freely in their ancestral homeland. The overwhelming majority, in other words. The Zionists. The Labour party liked them, too. Three months before the Balfour Declaration, Britain’s key declaration of support for Jewish national aspirations – the centenary of which will be marked next month – Labour compiled a memorandum of policy priorities. ‘Palestine should be set free from the harsh and repressive government of the Turk,’ it said, ‘in order that the country may form a Free State, under international guarantee, to which such of the Jewish People as desired to do so may return, and may work out their salvation, free from interference by those of alien race or religion.’

It’s rather tricky to imagine Jeremy Corbyn making such a statement today (and not just because of its eloquence). Indeed, the Labour leader has recently declined an invitation to attend a dinner commemorating the Balfour Declaration. ‘The Jewish community (would) have taken great heart and great comfort for seeing [Corbyn] attend such an event because it recognises the right of Israel to exist,’ said a dismayed Jonathan Goldstein, chairman of the Jewish Leadership Council.

Quite. Taking his lead, earlier this month Young Labour rejected a motion in support of the two-state solution – a position accepted by all shades of the mainstream as a blueprint for eventual peace. Members also advocated a British withdrawal from Nato. On current trends, Labour will soon be in the hands of people who make the current leader look like Donald Rumsfeld.

As the Labour Party has changed, so has the Guardian. The paper is now edited by Katharine Viner, who edited the text on which the controversial play ‘My Name Is Rachel Corrie’ is based. It has just completed another UK run, despite protestors gathering outside the theatre doors. The unapologetically pro-Palestinian drama tells the story of an American activist who was killed when she placed herself in front of an Israeli military bulldozer in 2003. An Israeli investigation established that she lost her life when she was struck by falling debris, not by the bulldozer itself; it also concluded that the driver had not been able to see her. These findings have been investigated and reaffirmed over the years in response to a number of appeals. Corrie’s fellow activists and a number of human rights organisations have long disputed the official conclusions, however, alleging that her death was an act of murder and the inquest a cover-up. ‘My Name Is Rachel Corrie’ unabashedly assumes their view, making little attempt to provide any balance.
Running with the fox and hunting with the hounds
Wes Streeting is a Labour MP. He is a Vice Chair (one of 14) of the All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism. He has been outspoken against anti-Semitism in the Labour Party and has been described by Jenni Frazer – a Jewish News journalist – as ‘passionately pro-Israel’.

Strange then that last year he saw nothing wrong with the speech of Wanstead High schoolgirl Leanne Mohamad who accused Israel of deliberately killing “more than 30,000” Palestinian children.

And strange then that more recently Wes was one of the 60 signatories to a CAABU letter full of lies which demonised Israel – such as calling Israel the ‘occupying power’ in Gaza (the truth being that Israel pulled out of Gaza in 2005). (Wes’ colleague Joan Ryan MP sent an excellent rebuttal).

And even stranger that Wes chaired a Labour Friends of Palestine meeting in a Committee Room in Parliament on Tuesday evening (he replaced Richard Burden MP, a known Israel hater). This was the group that recently tweeted that the ‘Two State Solution’ will be the ‘final solution’(the tweet has since been deleted and they have apologised).

Does Wes really think he can credibly ‘run with the fox and hunt with the hounds’? Even though his constituency is #46 in terms of Muslim population (16.2%).
Theresa May vows to mark Balfour centennial ‘with pride’
UK Prime Minister Theresa May said Wednesday that her country would celebrate “with pride” its role in the creation of the State of Israel and upcoming 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, which pledged London’s support for a Jewish homeland.

Her comments came amid Palestinian demands that Britain retract and apologize for the declaration, and one week before Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is due in London to celebrate the document’s centennial.

“We are proud of the role that we played in the creation of the State of Israel, and we will certainly mark the centenary with pride,” May told the House of Commons during Prime Minister’s Questions.

However, she acknowledged Palestinian grievances with the Balfour Declaration from November 2, 1917, in which then-UK foreign secretary Arthur Balfour told British Jewish leader Lord Walter Rothschild that His Majesty’s government “view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.”

Said May: “We also must be conscious of the sensitivities that some people do have about the Balfour Declaration. We recognize that there is more work to be done.”
‘Hurtful to Palestinians’: Albert Hall told to cancel event celebrating UK role in creating Israel
Palestinians in the UK are outraged at plans to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, a colonial-era document that paved the way for the creation of Israel. Festivities include a huge event at London’s Royal Albert Hall.

The November 2, 1917 declaration, which supported calls to establish a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine, is a source of great anger and resentment for Palestinians.

The 67-word document, which failed to protect the rights of the indigenous Arab population, will be honored across the UK at dozens of events in November.

Prime Minister Theresa May will attend at least one event with Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu.

Pro-Palestine posters on Balfour centenary ‘censored’ by London transport authority

This is despite the letter, penned by then-Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour, leading to the mass displacement of tens of thousands.
The Royal Albert Hall event, ‘Partners in this great enterprise,’ is being organized by the Balfour 100 Ltd group, formerly the United Christian Alliance For Israel.

Writing to Craig Hassall AM, campaigners are demanding the event’s immediate cancellation
BBC Radio Wales on the Balfour Declaration – part one
As we see, that introduction promotes the facile notion that the Balfour Declaration is the root cause of the Arab-Israeli conflict and that theme was repeated throughout the half-hour programme. The reference to the British government having “since acknowledged it gave inadequate protection to the political rights of Palestinians” apparently refers to a statement issued by the FCO that included the following:
“We recognise that the Declaration should have called for the protection of political rights of the non-Jewish communities in Palestine, particularly their right to self-determination.”

Nowhere in this programme, however, did the listeners invited to form a “view” of the Balfour Declaration hear that precisely such self-determination was, from 1937 onward, repeatedly rejected by the Arab side.

The programme’s three studio guests were then introduced:
“Rabbi Professor Dan Cohn-Sherbok, professor emeritus of Judaism at the University of Wales and author of many books on the subject of Palestine and Israel, Dr Jasmine Donahaye of Swansea University, author of “Whose People? Wales, Israel, Palestine” and “Losing Israel” and the reverend Mones Farah; Church in Wales rector of Aberystwyth who is himself Palestinian.”

The first half of this programme related to the Balfour Declaration itself and the circumstances under which it was issued. After Sarah Rowland-Jones had read out the text of the declaration and asked “is this something to be celebrated or regretted?” listeners heard Mones Farah (who has lived in the UK since 1983) create false linkage between it and his family story.

Farah: “For me, looking at this declaration it causes a lot of problems and difficulties for me personally because as a direct result of this we…my family and my community were made refugees. So for me it will have always that tinge of sadness and lack of celebration about it.”

Listeners then heard another negative opinion from Jasmine Donahaye, who erased the real “foundation” of Israel – the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine – from the story.
BBC Radio Wales on the Balfour Declaration – part two
The programme then took another turn as Dan Cohn-Sherbok stated that “the Arabs never accepted the creation of a Jewish homeland or a Jewish state” and was quickly rebuked at length by Donahaye. A subsequent discussion on the question “what role do you see faith playing in all of this?” included both Cohn-Sherbok and Farah claiming that Jewish scripture can “pave the way for a sympathetic appreciation of the plight of the Palestinians” and Farah giving context-free promotion to several political NGOs, including the one with which he is associated and B’tselem.

Farah: “…the concept of the image – the B’tselem – which is the organisation B’tselem which is very important now which is not liked much by the Israeli government and the political discourse in the Israeli government because they’re seen as aggressively against the state, where the reality is that trying to keep the state accountable for some actions that actually dehumanise the others and we need to humanise the people.”

BBC Radio Wales audiences obviously learned very little about the Balfour Declaration from this largely one-sided and highly politicised discussion. They certainly heard nothing at all on the question of whether Britain lived up to the pledge it made in the Balfour Declaration or how it subsequently failed to execute the task assigned to it as administrator of the Mandate for Palestine:

“The Mandatory shall be responsible for placing the country [Palestine] under such political, administrative and economic conditions as will secure the establishment of the Jewish National Home, as laid down in the preamble, and the development of self-governing institutions, and also for safeguarding the civil and religious rights of all the inhabitants of Palestine, irrespective of race and religion.”

Instead, the aim of this programme appears to have been to steer BBC audiences towards the partisan view that – as Sarah Rowland-Jones inaccurately claimed in her introduction – the Balfour Declaration “sits behind the lasting conflict in the region”, while the relevant issue of Arab violence against Jews and later Israelis was once again whitewashed from a BBC account of history.
David Collier: An open ‘response’ for Asa Winstanley at Electronic Intifada
It seems as though Asa Winstanley at ‘Electronic Intifada’ decided he needed to attack me. A point of recognition that indicates the work you are doing is having an effect. When Mondoweiss dedicated an entire piece to me, I considered it a mark of respect. The Algemeiner J100 recognition was another step up. Now Electronic Intifada? One of the central hate-filled mouthpieces of the entire anti-Israel propaganda campaign? Hey, oh yes, little old me is making a difference.

Yesterday, I received an email. Asa is an Associate editor at EI. An email that has ‘questions for me’. It can be used to shed light into how ‘red-fascism’ and antisemites operate.

This is the email. I have numbered the questions in the order I respond:

1 I start with the vile and libellous notion that I criticised Naomi for her choice of partner. The comments I made are public. This is typical of the type of empty character assassination, behind which fascism hides. I doubt either of them are so galactically stupid as to have innocently misinterpreted my comments, which makes the exchange between them illuminating. Did they acknowledge the distortion as they discussed it, or is it some type of silent agreement of stupidity?

Context: I released a report into the Palestine Solidarity Campaign. What Naomi’s group ‘Free Speech on Israel’ chose to do, was publish a piece attacking me and belittling the antisemitism. Jewish people smoke-screening Holocaust deniers in the name of the ‘cause’ – truly sickening.
Jewish Groups, Leaders Praise Rutgers for Disavowing Antisemitic Professor — Who Continues to Deny Bias Against Jews
Jewish civil rights groups and local community leaders have applauded Rutgers University for disavowing antisemitic comments made by one of its professors — who continues to deny that his controversial postings are discriminatory toward Jews.

Michael Chikindas — a microbiology professor at Rutgers and director of the school’s Center for Digestive Health — published and shared dozens of posts featuring classic antisemitic libels on his personal Facebook page in May, some of which described Judaism as “the most racist religion in the world” and suggested that Jews control the Federal Reserve, Hollywood and the “cancer industry.” His invective frequently extended to Israel — with multiple posts endorsing the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign — and also included sexist and homophobic rhetoric.

A spokesperson for Rutgers told The Algemeiner on Tuesday that Chikindas’ comments “do not represent the position of the University,” and that a review is underway to determine whether actions he took “in the context of his role as a faculty member” violated Rutgers’ policies.

Joshua Cohen, the New Jersey regional director of the Anti-Defamation League, told The Algemeiner on Wednesday, “We welcome the university’s strong statement distancing themselves from the posts. We are deeply disturbed by the virulently anti-Semitic and anti-Israel language on social media and attempts to explain away these posts as legitimate criticism of Jews.”

Rabbi David C. Levy, the regional director of AJC New Jersey, also praised Rutgers’ condemnation of Chikidas’ posts, saying his organization “has been engaged in productive discussions with the President and Chancellors’ office of Rutgers University since being made aware Professor Chikindas’ vile anti-Semitic social media posts.”
Ben Shapiro on Daily Cal Cartoon of Alan Dershowitz: "Shockingly Antisemitic"

Another Canadian university rejects BDS
The University of Winnipeg Students’ Association (UWSA) on Wednesday voted against a motion in favor of adopting the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

Anti-Israel activists were unable to persuade a critical mass of University of Winnipeg students to support this initiative, thanks to students who organized the campaign opposing it.

The move was welcomed by Hillel Winnipeg as well as by the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) and StandWithUs Canada.

“This would not have happened without the tireless work of students who refused to remain silent in the face of discrimination,” said Arielle Branitsky, Director of Hillel Winnipeg.

“Their efforts ensured that this hateful motion failed. Initiatives like these only fuel bigotry and deepen divisions while doing nothing to advance meaningful dialogue on the conflict,” she added.

Judy Zelikovitz, Vice President, University and Local Partner Services at CIJA, welcomed the rejection of BDS as well.

“We are pleased that UW students voted to reject BDS. We commend our partners, Hillel Winnipeg and StandWithUs Canada, both of which worked with us in supporting students at UW. BDS initiatives are at odds with academic freedom and often violate human rights codes by calling for discrimination on the basis of national origin. They have no place on a campus that welcomes diversity and debate,” she said.
McGill student union board member banned for being Jewish
A Jewish member on the Board of Directors of the Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU) in Montreal, Quebec was removed from his position this week due to his involvement with the Jewish community.

The decision was made at Monday night’s Fall General Assembly. According to those who attended the meeting, students voted against having the Jewish member sit on the board, doing the same to two other board members seen as being supportive of Israel and the Jewish community.

“It is surprising that after seeing such a positive step forward on the McGill campus with a vote against the anti-Israel, anti-Semitic BDS movement, the student union is now taking a step backward with this blatantly anti-Semitic decision,” said Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) President and CEO Avi Benlolo, who reached out to the university’s Principal and Vice-Chancellor stating that if the allegations are true, the decision is unacceptable. “This vote sends a message that Jewish students are not welcome as members of the board at McGill, a type of exclusion that has no place at universities that claim to support inclusiveness.”
Strand With Us: Student Rejected From Position at McGill University Due to Being Jewish

Police Called on U. Minnesota Student Disrupting Israeli Arab Speakers
Campus police at the University of Minnesota were called Tuesday evening to arrest a protester when she refused to end her disruptive character attacks of Israeli Arab speakers brought to the school by a Zionist student club.

The unidentified woman walked up and down the aisle of the lecture room smearing the speakers for 10 minutes, calling them "rats" and "cowards," according to organizers of the event.

The program was sponsored by UM's chapter of Students Supporting Israel to highlight the stories of Israeli citizens and reservists of Muslim, Arab, Christian, and Druze backgrounds, and featured three members of a delegation with a group called Reservists on Duty.

The protester wore a hijab and suggested the speakers were not representative of their communities.

Ilan Sinelnikov, founder of the national SSI organization, said he made sure the incident was recorded, and when the protester ignored multiple demands that she cease her disruptions, SSI called campus police.

Sinelnikov said the protester, a woman of color, accused police officers of white supremacy when they arrested her.

Avi Shaver, secretary of SSI, said his group is shaken up from last night's events and have decided to allocate funds for security at an upcoming event with an Israeli soldier.

Shaver said he introduced himself to the protester before the program got underway, and that she referred to herself as "Leila."

"She said she was a former student who studied sociology and social justice [at UM]," said Shaver. "She said she came to the event because she wanted to hear ‘the genocide apologists.'"
16 million Communist Indian farmers join boycott Israel movement
The peasants and farmers wing of the Communist Party of India joined the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel earlier this month.

News of the decision of All India Kisan Sabha, which has 16 million members, was reported on the BDS movement’s website on Monday.

In a statement, the organization said it endorsed BDS efforts in order to support the “rights of the Palestinian people and to resist the corporate takeover of Indian agriculture sector by Israeli companies.”

AIKS also says it will work to “raise awareness among Indian farmers to prevent Israel and its corporations from reaping profits in India that finance military occupation and apartheid in Palestine.”

The South Asia Coordinator with the Palestinian BDS National Committee said that the move sent a message to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the leaders of Israel and the US.
BBC News continues to mislead on Gaza medical services
As has been noted here on numerous occasions in the past, the restrictions placed on the import of dual-use goods (i.e. items which can be used for terrorist purposes) to the Gaza Strip do not apply to medical supplies. The party responsible for medical services in the Gaza Strip is the Palestinian Authority and it is that body which has in recent months exacerbated the chronic crisis affecting the healthcare system in Gaza by severely cutting medical aid and referrals for treatment in Israel. Likewise, it is the Palestinian Authority which is solely responsible for those “severe power shortages” in the Gaza Strip that have affected medical services as well as additional fields.

The BBC knows that full well and yet, rather than telling this straightforward story clearly and accurately, through omission and implication it continues to steer its audiences towards the inaccurate assumption that the dire state of medical services and electricity supply in Gaza is connected to Israel, using ‘reports’ produced by a partisan body as back-up.
Some Anti-Semitic Italian Soccer Fans Mock Tribute To Anne Frank
On Wednesday evening, Italian stadiums where soccer matches were being played observed a minute of silence, followed by excerpts from Holocaust victim Anne Frank’s diary being read through loudspeakers. Players wore T-shirts with the slogan “No to anti-Semitism,” with a picture of Anne Frank emblazoned on them; copies of Frank’s diary were distributed to fans in the stadium.

But in Turin, some anti-Semitic fans protested by turning their backs to the field and singing the Italian national anthem, according to the BBC and Italian media.

More anti-Semitism arose this week in Italy when at least 15 supporters of the Lazio soccer club created and distributed pictures of Anne Frank wearing a rival team’s jersey, with anti-Semitic banners. Last Sunday, stickers showing Anne Frank and reading “Roma fans are Jews” along with more anti-Semitic content were found in Rome’s Olympic Stadium.
Watch: Virginia brothers arrested for assault of man wearing Star of David
Two brothers from the Appalachian Trail town of Damascus, Virginia were arrested after they were captured on video yelling antisemitic comments at a man wearing a Star of David.

The incident occurred Monday outside of Hey Joe’s, a restaurant owned by the father of the suspects, Joseph Killian, 33, and Henry Killian II, 35, the Bristol Herald-Courier reported.

Craig Johnston, who reportedly was hiking the trail, filmed the encounter and posted it to social media. Damascus Police told the Herald-Courier that Johnston told police he planned to buy marijuana from the brothers. Johnston maintains in comments on Facebook that he only stopped at the restaurant to eat when the brothers noticed his Star of David.

The town’s mayor, Jack McCrady, said in a Facebook post that while Johnston, whom he called the “not so innocent victim,” did not press charges against the brothers, the town did based on the video. “Nothing can justify the hideous statements by those involved. This does not represent Damascus or our citizens,” he wrote in the post. The mayor said the restaurant is due to close at the end of the month.

The men were charged with disorderly conduct and assault, and have not been given bail. They are scheduled to appear in court again on Nov. 6. Joseph Killian also was charged with assault and battery, for appearing to strike Johnston or his phone during the filmed encounter. Police say that no drugs exchanged hands, according to the Herald-Courier.

In the video, the brothers tell Johnston that he “should be in a f*ckin’ Jewish oven and die like your ancestors.” They also call him “Jewish scum” and tell him he is not welcome in the restaurant. They also threaten to “come and find you later.”
Wiesenthal Center receives $25,000 donation from Scaramucci
The Simon Wiesenthal Center confirmed that it has received a $25,000 contribution from former White House Spokesman Anthony Scaramucci, after a Twitter account associated with Scaramucci posted a poll asking how many Jews were killed during the Holocaust and giving several possible answers, none of them the correct one.

The Wiesenthal Center stated that officials are designating the money to bolster efforts by its Nazi Hunter, Jerusalem-based Efraim Zuroff who is reviewing new lists of Nazi War Criminals known to have forced Jews into the gas chambers at the Nazi death camps. Zuroff is pressuring German authorities to indict surviving members of the infamous Einsatsgruppen, which massacred hundreds of thousands of Jews in Eastern Europe during the Holocaust.

“Even at this late date, a single indictment, a single trial can educate 21st Century youth about the depths of the Nazi barbarity during the Shoah’” Center officials emphasized.

Scaramucci pledged to donate the sum to the Wiesenthal Center after he was criticized over a post by a Twitter account associated with his name.
Yad Vashem identifies 225,000 Hungarian Holocaust victims
Born in Budapest in 1937, Chayim Herzl remembers being taken by his mother Eugenia to visit his father Reuven Salgo at a labor camp outside the city in 1943.

“My hand was small, and I was able to pass some food to him through the fence. That was the last time I saw him,” said Herzl.

He lost his mother in early 1945 when men from Hungary’s Arrow Cross took her from their safe house outside the ghetto, organized by diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, while he hid under the bed.

Having lost his father at age six and mother at eight, Herzl has only fleeting memories of his parents. Now, thanks to a comprehensive decade-long project to collect names of Hungarian Holocaust victims, completed in a collaboration between Israel’s Holocaust Memorial Museum Yad Vashem and funded by the Fondation pour la Mémoire de la Shoah, Herzl has regained something he calls, “indescribably priceless” — information.

Through the project, Herzl learned that his father died just days before the end of the war in a POW death march, after having been forced into a labor corps in the Hungarian army fighting on the Eastern front. Beyond that, he now has a document with his father’s signature. The signature, his father’s orthographic fingerprint, is the only piece of his father’s writing Herzl owns.
National Holocaust memorial could be targeted by antisemites, Sadiq Khan admits
The new national Holocaust memorial in Westminster could become the target of “criminal damage” and “hatred against the building”, Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, has admitted.

Speaking at the unveiling of the design for the new memorial and learning centre next to Parliament, Mr Khan said “clever design” would “minimise the chances of antisemitic or other sorts of crime”.

Mr Khan – who was on the judging panel for the competition which was won by a team led by architect Sir David Adjaye - spoke of the need for security measures at the £50 million development after being questioned on the subject by Shoah survivor Lily Pohlmann.

Asked by Ms Pohlmann about the security issue “bearing in mind the world we live in today”, Mr Khan said: “One of the things the jury did with each of the ten finalists was to ask questions about future-proofing.

“It’s a heritage park, it has got residents nearby, security is obviously a big issue… examples of criminal damage, hatred against the building.

“We are going to make sure that working closely with those building the memorial, the Holocaust centre, that once it is built we will make sure it is safe.
Israel smart-roads startup nabs prestigious EY Journey prize
Israeli startup Valerann, which aims to make streets smarter, won first prize in the startup competition organized by accountants Ernst & Young in Israel. The winner was announced at the end of the EY Journey business conference held in Tel Aviv on Wednesday.

Set up August 2016, the Tel Aviv based firm has developed an end-to-end traffic control and road monitoring system that uses wireless sensory systems installed on the road itself. Using sensors, together with an algorithm and a communication system, the combination provides real time information to drivers and road operators about occurrences on the road — such as traffic, stranded cars on the roadside, or thin, treacherous films of ice on the road known as “black ice.”

The system can in real time identify dangers, optimize traffic and eventually interact and support autonomous cars, said co-founder and chief technology officer Shahar Bahiri in a phone interview with the Times of Israel.

“Two giants, infrastructure and technology, have not really bonded until now, and are not benefiting from one another, and we lose out because we suffer from less safe roads and a lot of traffic,” Bahiri said. “Our vision is to combine these forces together.”
Valerann’s technology uses road studs with sensors and algorithms to provide real time information about what is happening on the roads (Courtesy)

There is a lot of invaluable information that can come directly from infrastructure, but the ability to collect and analyze massive quantities of information in a comprehensive, consistent, and cost-effective manner has not been done, he explained. The transportation market is also still very conservative, he said, which is not optimal for innovation.
Why Is Israel’s Image Improving in Greece?
Israel’s image in the Greek media has been negative for decades. However, the rapprochement between Athens and Jerusalem and improvement in their political and economic relations since 2010 have affected Greek journalists. While sympathy for the Palestinians has not completely faded, Israel is no longer represented exclusively as a villain. It is now often portrayed as a useful partner. While anti-Semitism remains a problem in Greece, this new media attitude could lead to its decline over the long term.

Generally speaking, there has long been a consensus among Greek journalists on who is to be blamed for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and for the failure to achieve peace: Israel. The Jewish state has been consistently portrayed as the aggressor and the Palestinians as innocent victims. The Greek coverage of the Mavi Marmara incident in June 2010 illustrates this phenomenon. “Mourning and ire for the Israeli Ressalto” was the headline used by Eleftherotypia, a leftist publication (now closed down for economic reasons). The center-left paper TA NEA was equally critical, opting for the headline: “World outcry: Goliath crushed David”. The “World outcry” phrase was also used by the conservative newspaper Hi Kathimerini.

Greek sympathy for the Palestinian cause is rooted in the proximity of the Arab world and the support of most Arabs on the Cyprus Question. Anti-Semitism has also played a role. But there is another reason why Israel was constantly blamed by the Greek media, at least before 2010. It served as a useful scapegoat for all the problems in the Middle East, if not all the problems in the world. This made it easy for journalists to avoid time-consuming, in-depth research on international affairs. Jerusalem’s close cooperation with Ankara only fueled the negative perception of Israel among the Greek media.
S. Africa’s Zion Christian Church leaders impressed with Israel
Southern Africa’s largest Christian movement, the Zion Christian Church, has deemed its recent peace mission to Israel a “blessed success.”

Among the many Christian and Jewish sites visited, one highlight of the tour was seeing the Ben Shemen Youth Village, an agricultural boarding school near Lod, as the delegation was interested in viewing Israel’s school system.

The delegation met with senior staff members at the youth village and was told about its history, viewed a video and examined its historical documents archive, as well as items that belonged to Albert Einstein.

They also heard about the daily lives of the students from a young man who was originally from Johannesburg. They then took a “tractor tour” of the site including the fields, stables and dairy and had an opportunity to engage with the children in their accommodations.

Many of the Zion Christian Church’s members live in rural areas across South Africa, “so the idea of a boarding school that is also agriculturally focused” was interesting for the visitors.

The delegation, which also included members of the South African Zionist Federation and South African Friends of Israel, spent six days in the country meeting with various officials and organizations, including President Reuven Rivlin and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat.

This was the first official visit to the country for the movement’s leader, Bishop Dr. Barnabas Lekganyane. However, he has previously been to Israel on pilgrimage.
Rare trove of papers believed lost in Holocaust go on display in US
The American public is getting a chance to view newly discovered Jewish documents that had been presumed destroyed during the Holocaust.

Ten documents brought over from Lithuania went on display Tuesday at New York’s YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, which is working with the Lithuanian government to archive the 170,000-page collection.

The documents were hidden to protect them from the Nazis during World War II. They resurfaced during a move in 2016, and YIVO confirmed their significance this year.

The wide-ranging collection includes manuscripts by famous Yiddish writers, religious writings, poetry and record books of shuls and yeshivas. There are letters by Sholem Aleichem, whose writings inspired the “Fiddler on the Roof” character Tevye, and a Yiddish postcard written by the artist Marc Chagall in 1935.

Another major cache of historical artifacts was found in the church in 1991.

“The troves discovered in Lithuania are the most important body of material in Jewish history and culture to be unearthed in more than half a century, since the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls,” said David Fishman, professor of Jewish history at The Jewish Theological Seminary, who went to Lithuania in July to evaluate the documents.

They are “startlingly large in volume, and remarkably diverse in character and subject matter,” Fishman said. “All of East European Jewish life passes through your eyes. It will take researchers many years to digest and analyze these documents.”

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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 18 years and 38,000 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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