Monday, December 18, 2017

From Ian:

BOMBSHELL REPORT: Obama Colluded With Putin To Release Lebanese Terrorist Responsible For Targeting Americans
We’re all supposed to believe that President Trump, as a candidate, colluded with the Russian government to “steal” the 2016 election. There’s no serious evidence to that effect, despite a massive FBI investigation, a Congressional investigation, and a special counsel investigation initiated by the Department of Justice.

But there is clear evidence that the Obama administration colluded with the Russian government to free an Islamic terrorist responsible for the deaths of Americans — all in order to appease Iran to pave the way for the Obama administration’s surrender to the burgeoning Iranian nuclear program and Iran’s escalating regional ambitions.

A little-noticed bombshell report from Josh Meyer of Politico reports that Ali Fayad, a Lebanese arms dealer and “suspected top Hezbollah operative whom agents believed reported to Russian President Vladimir Putin,” was captured by the Czechs in 2014. Fayad had been indicted in the United States already for “planning the murders of US government employees.” But the Obama administration did nothing to push for extradition. Instead, Fayad ended up in Lebanon, where he’s back at his terrorist work; he’s particularly active in supply weapons to the barbarous Syrian regime.

According to Politico, “administration officials also blocked or undermined their efforts to go after other top Hezbollah operatives … And when Project Cassandra agents and other investigators sought repeatedly to investigate and prosecute Abdallah Safieddine, Hezbollah’s longtime envoy to Iran, whom they considered the linchpin of Hezbollah’s criminal network, the Justice Department refused.”

In other words, working with Russia in order to swing the Iran deal trumped the prosecution of people responsible for continuing murder, including murder of Americans.
Linda Sarsour Accused Of Enabling Sexual Assault Against Woman Who Worked For Her
The inspiration behind the Women’s March on DC, Linda Sarsour, has been accused of enabling the alleged sexual assault and harassment of a woman who worked for the feminist activist, according to the victim and two sources directly familiar with the matter.

Allegations of groping and unwanted touching were allegedly brought to Sarsour during her time as executive director of the Arab American Association. In response, Sarsour, a self-proclaimed champion of women, attacked the woman bringing the allegations, often threatening and body-shaming her, these sources alleged. The most serious allegations were dismissed, Asmi Fathelbab, the alleged victim told The Daily Caller, because the accused was a “good Muslim” who was “always at the Mosque.”

“She oversaw an environment unsafe and abusive to women,” said Fethelbab, a former employee at the Arab American Association. “Women who put [Sarsour] on a pedestal for women’s rights and empowerment deserve to know how she really treats us.”

Fathelbab is a 37-year-old New York native and was raised in a Muslim household. She was excited in 2009 to begin working at the Arab American Association of New York as a contractor. At the time, Sarsour was the executive director of the organization. Fathelbab worked for Sarsour for almost a year, according to employment documents reviewed and authenticated by TheDC.

Fathelbab claims the Arab American Association was an unsafe workplace where she was allegedly sexually assaulted, body-shamed and intimidated.

Oftentimes, Sarsour was directly involved, according to the ex-staffer’s account.
CNN: Twisting Facts and Emotions to Demonize Israel
Did Israel destroy Jaffa? Evict all the Palestinians? Shoot a woman's son in cold blood? Drive a man out of his home? CNN''s Senior International correspondent Arwa Damon made a video but the facts didn't sufficiently demonize Israel. So dramatic speech, emotional language, and twisted facts substitute for professional journalism. CNN what were you thinking?

US vetoes Security Council bid to reverse Jerusalem recognition
The other 14 members of the council voted in favor of the text, but US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley’s “no” vote ensured that it was rejected. It was the first US veto in the Security Council since US President Donald Trump took office nearly a year ago.

Recalling previous Security Council resolutions, Monday’s text expressed “deep regret at recent decisions concerning the status of Jerusalem,” referring to Trump’s December 6 decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and his announced intention to move the US embassy to the city.

The draft resolution, sponsored by Egypt, also affirmed that “any decisions and actions which purport to have altered, the character, status or demographic composition of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded in compliance with relevant resolutions of the Security Council, and in this regard, calls upon all States to refrain from the establishment of diplomatic missions in the Holy City of Jerusalem.”

Without naming any country, it would have expressed “deep regret at recent decisions concerning the status of Jerusalem

Key US allies Britain, France, Italy, Japan and Ukraine were among the 14 countries in the 15-member council that backed the measure.

Some representatives of countries defended their “yes” vote by citing international consensus on Jerusalem, saying the status of the city should be determined by final-status peace negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.

Ahead of the vote, French Ambassador Francois Delattre praised the Egyptian draft as a “good text” and argued that “without an agreement on Jerusalem, there will be no peace accord” between Israel and the Palestinians.

An Ex-State Department Official Is Obsessed With Creating ‘Palestine’
“Creating a full-blown Palestinian state in virtually all the West Bank … would be a reward to the suicide bombers who have terrorized Israel. … It would invite more terrorism. … It would send the terrible message that terrorism pays.”

That’s what journalist-turned-State Department “peace processor” David Makovsky once wrote. Yet today, the very same Makovsky is campaigning for the creation of a full-blown Palestinian state in virtually all of that region, and the mass expulsion of 100,000 Jews from their homes.

What gives?

Makovsky’s declaration opposing a Palestinian state appeared on the op-ed page of the Los Angeles Times on June 14, 2002. The problem with demanding a Palestinian state, Makovsky wrote, was that it ignored the behavior of the Palestinian leadership — “the terrorism, smuggling, lying, corruption and mismanagement” of the Palestinian Authority (PA).

He ridiculed Palestinian statehood advocates for saying, in effect, “let’s wipe the slate clean and give the Palestinians everything [they are demanding] — a virtual return to the 1967 borders.” Doing that would “reward” terrorists and thereby “invite more terrorism,” Makovsky wrote.

And, of course, he was right.

In the years since then, the PA has continued its terrorism, smuggling, lying, corruption and mismanagement. In fact, the PA’s track record is even worse now, because at the time Makovsky was writing, it had been doing those things for only eight years. Now the PA has a 23-year record of terrorism and corruption.
Belgian trial of Paris attacks suspect Abdeslam set for February
A Belgian court on Monday delayed until February the trial of Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam over a shooting in Brussels that led to his capture.

Abdeslam, the sole surviving suspect in the November 2015 Paris attacks which left 130 people dead, had been due to face trial in the Belgian capital this week.

But following an application last week by Abdeslam’s lawyer Sven Mary, the court on Monday ruled the trial would start on Monday, February 5, and run until Friday, with Wednesday as a rest day.

Abdeslam and Sofian Ayari, also implicated in the shootout, face charges of “attempting to murder several police officers in a terrorist context” and “carrying prohibited weapons in a terrorist context.”
In this November 13, 2015 file photo, rescue workers tend to victims of a jihadi terror attack in the 10th district of Paris. (AP Photo/Jacques Brinon, file)

Both men were captured days after the March 15, 2016, shootout, ending a four-month manhunt for Abdeslam for his alleged role in the Paris attacks.

The 28-year-old is linked to the same cell that carried out suicide bombings in Brussels a week after the gunbattle. Thirty-two people were killed at Brussels airport and a metro station near the EU’s headquarters.
Action Alert: Anti-Israel Lobby intensifies campaign against nomination of anti-Semitism scholar Ken Marcus
Last week the U.S. Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee concluded its hearings regarding the confirmation of Kenneth L. Marcus, President Trump’s pick for the position of Assistant Secretary of Education for Civil Rights.

We noted in a post back in October, when the White House first announced the nomination, that Marcus is extraordinarily qualified for the job and is an excellent pick for heading the Office for Civil Rights (OCR), Trump appoints attorney who combats antisemitism to key civil rights post.

Marcus is the founder of the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, a globally renowned civil rights advocacy and research organization, and has formerly served as Staff Director at the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and as Assistant Secretary of Education for Civil Rights and Assistant Secretary of Housing and Urban Development for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity.

An expert on antisemitism, he’s been a leading voice for years in the fight against the discriminatory boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement and rising anti-Jewish bigotry on American colleges and universities. At the Brandeis Center, he’s been an outspoken supporter of Jews on campus, who are increasingly threatened, harassed, shut down, and ostracized by virulently anti-Israel student groups and even faculty, who are often allowed by administrators to act with impunity.

With all this expertise and considerable past experience on the issues at stake for the OCR, Marcus should’ve been a shoo-in for the job. He should’ve easily received the HELP committee’s endorsement when it met again last week to vote on his confirmation.

But instead, Marcus’ confirmation appears to be held up in committee on account of a sustained and vocal outcry against him by an assorted array of virulently anti-Israel organizations and activists. They’ve been mobilizing their members to bombard the HELP Committee Senators with smears against the nomination, which is likely turning at least some Democrats on the committee against his appointment.
Iraq: do Jews really want to return?
Tonight Jerusalem is having its premiere of the film, Remember Baghdad. Ofer Aderet of Haaretz has interviewed the main protagonists for an article titled Decades After Fleeing, Iraqi Jews Plan to Return to Their Homeland. The headline is based on the experience of a single Jew, Edwin Shuker, who bought a property in northern Iraq and hardly reflects a trend.

Iraqi Jews being airlifted to Israel in 1950

With the number of bombings down in Baghdad, some Iraqi Jews in places like London and Israel are applying for passports — amid welcoming signs from the other side

The news of the Islamic State’s defeat in Iraq this month brought a smile to Londoner Edwin Shuker’s face. For Shuker, 62, this was another step to realizing his dream – to return to the country he fled 45 years ago.

He took the first step to that end two years ago when he bought a new house in northern Iraq and became, as far as is known, the first Jew in decades to buy a home in that suffering land.

Shuker told Haaretz he knows several other Jews of Iraqi descent who visited the old country in recent years, “but I don’t think there’s another madman who actually bought a house there like me.” The deal wasn’t an investment.

“It was mainly a symbolic act that turns me from just a tourist into a man who wants to settle in Iraq,” he said.
Senior Palestinian politician blasts Saudis over billionaire’s detention
In a sign of growing Palestinian distrust of Saudi Arabia, a leading Palestinian politician on Sunday alleged that Riyadh’s detention last week of a billionaire Palestinian-Jordanian businessman was part of pressure being placed on Jordan and the Palestinian Authority to toe the Saudi regional policy line.

Reuters reported Sunday that Sabih Masri, the most influential businessman in Jordan and a leading investor in the Palestinian self-rule areas, had been released by Saudi authorities. Masri, chairman of the Amman-based Arab Bank, told the agency he would be returning to Jordan after finishing business meetings this week. “All is well and I am happy [to be released] and I was given all respect by everyone here, “ Masri, a Saudi citizen, said from his home in Riyadh.

Hasan Khreisheh, deputy speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council, said the detention was “a kind of pressure on Jordan and the Palestinians. They want King Abdullah and the PA to make concessions to Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is trying to make a coalition against Iran, against Hezbollah and against Yemen. They need all Arabs to be with their line, but it is difficult for us to be in any line. Our central cause is Palestine and we won’t be part of a coalition against anyone.”

The allegations by Khreisheh, an independent politician from Tulkarm, reflect growing wariness among Palestinians of Saudi Arabia, and in particular Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman, who many fear is colluding with Washington at Palestinian expense.

Masri’s detention, which follows mass arrests last month of Saudi royals, ministers and businessmen in what is being billed as a sweeping anti-corruption crackdown spearheaded by bin Salman, sent shock waves through Jordan and the PA areas. Masri owns a large stake in Paltel, the largest private-sector company in the West Bank. His family is among the wealthiest Palestinian families, with majority holdings in real estate, tourism and telecommunications companies set up after the launch of Palestinian self-rule in the wake of the 1993 Oslo agreement.
Iranian accused of spying for Mossad confesses to espionage on state TV
Iran’s state TV aired a broadcast in which an Iranian researcher confessed to relaying information to a foreign intelligence service about Iranian nuclear scientists who were later assassinated in 2010.

In the Sunday broadcast, Ahmadreza Djalali, in jail since April 2016, said that during his studies in a European country, a man he identified as “Thomas” approached him with a job offer and ultimately recruited him to the country’s foreign intelligence service. He added that the service promised to make him a citizen of that country.

He did not name the country, but the broadcast carried images of a Swedish ID card and Rome’s Colosseum.

Djalali, who was sentenced to death in October, had been accused of passing information to Israel’s Mossad intelligence service during the negotiations that led to Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers in 2015.

Rights groups have condemned Djalali’s detention, saying it follows a pattern of Iran detaining dual nationals indefinitely without due process.

Earlier this month, Iran’s Supreme Court upheld his death sentence.
NGO Monitor: European Parliament Event - Propaganda-Based Advocacy for Israel’s Isolation
On November 27, 2017, the European Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with Palestine (DPal) held a conference, “Fifty Years of Occupation and Counting: Is it time for a new EU Policy on the Middle East Peace Process?” The conference featured politicians, academics, and NGO officials advocating Israel’s isolation and calling on the European Union and other countries to increase international pressure and to impose sanctions on Israel. None of the speakers advocated for dialogue and/or negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis.

A number of speakers – namely Michael Lynk, Valentina Azarova, and Hugh Lovatt – joined in a concerted effort to advocate sanctions against Israel based on the pseudo-legal argument that it is an “illegal occupant.” Several speakers additionally promoted false allegations and libelous claims against Israel that went entirely unchallenged.
From Differentiation to Sanctions

Michael Lynk, current “United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967,”1 presented his latest report, which “considers whether Israel’s role as an entrenched and defiant occupant of the Palestinian territory has now reached the point of illegality under international law” (p. 7). Lynk admitted in his presentation that “International Humanitarian Law, the main documents and instruments, does not provide a clear answer with respect to that” (17:28:00).

However, in support of his contention that there is reasonable legal ground to declare Israel an “illegal occupant,” Lynk, who is self-reportedly “not an international lawyer… by profession,” purports to have “come up with four main principles that we can deduce from International Humanitarian Law and International Human Rights Law… to determine whether or not the occupant has become an illegal occupant.” He concludes that “Israel has violated in the course of its 50 years of occupying the Palestinian territory, all four of these”
Germany uses EU funds to finance extremist Iranian regime-controlled group
The German government provides €283,150 to a radical pro-Iranian regime Shi’ite umbrella organization as part of a program to counter extremism. The funds will support the activities of the umbrella organization the Shi’ite communities of Germany (IGS) until the end of 2019, according to a Friday article in Bild newspaper.

The paper wrote that money from the EU’s Internal Security Fund will be administered by Germany’s federal criminal agency for the Shi’ite umbrella organization. The aim of the grant to the pro-Iranian regime group is to promote “deradicalization” and “prevent extremism,” according to Bild.

Hamburg’s most recent intelligence report from 2016, which monitors threats to Germany’s democracy, includes a reference to the IGS and a number of its members’ organizations, including the Islamic Center of Hamburg. The German government classifies the Shi’ite umbrella group as “influenced by extremism,” it said.

Hamid Reza Torabi, head of the Islamic Academy of Germany – part of the Iranian regime-owned Islamic Center of Hamburg – held up a poster in downtown Berlin during the 2016 al-Quds rally urging the “rejection of Israel” and terming the Jewish state “illegal and criminal.” The Islamic Center buses pro-Hezbollah and pro-Iranian regime members and activists to the annual al-Quds Day rally calling for Israel’s destruction. The rally is also a hotbed of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against the Jewish state.

Prof. Gerald Steinberg, the President of the Jerusalem-based NGO Monitor, told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday that “this is yet another example demonstrating that European government funding for NGOs is entirely out of control. Every year, the EU and individual state governments throw hundreds of millions annually at fringe NGOs without due diligence.”

He added: “In this case, the money appears to be going to a radical Iranian front group – in other cases, the NGOs receiving ‘human rights’ grants are reportedly linked to PFLP [Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine] terrorists. The excuse that governments fund projects and not NGOs themselves are a transparent fiction. Officials who channel money to a radical Iran-linked NGO for ‘deradicalization’ must be held accountable.”
Michigan Regents Will Take No Action to Divest From Israeli Companies
A majority of the University of Michigan Board of Regents announced Thursday that they will take no action to divest from companies that operate in Israel, despite a resolution passed last month by the student government demanding the university move toward that goal.

Six of the eight regents signed a statement affirming that they would not create a committee to examine disengaging from companies allegedly complicit in Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights, adding, "we strongly oppose any action involving the boycott, divestment, or sanction (BDS) of Israel."

The regents said complex issues should be considered through active study and engagement, and that applying BDS "offends these bedrock values of our great university."

"We remain committed to the university's longstanding policy to shield the endowment from political pressures," they wrote.

The only regents who did not sign the statement were Katherine E. White, a law professor at the Wayne State University Law School in Detroit and a colonel in the U.S. Army, and Shauna Ryder Diggs, a dermatologist. Like most of their fellow Michigan regents, White and Diggs are Democrats, according to their biographies on the Board of Regents website.
No Prosecution for Islamist Al Quds Speaker Who Blamed Grenfell Tower Disaster on ‘Zionists’
An Islamist activist who claimed the 71 victims of the Grenfell Tower disaster “were murdered” by Zionists who fund the Conservative party will not face prosecution for hate speech.

Chairman of the Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC), Nazim Ali, made the allegation at the anti-Israel, Khomenist al-Quds Day march in July. As Breitbart News reported, Mr. Ali was recorded saying that victims of the Grenfell Tower fire, “were murdered by Theresa May’s cronies, many of which are supporters of Zionist ideology”.

“Let us not forget that some of the biggest corporations who were supporting the Conservative Party are Zionists. They are responsible for the murder of the people in Grenfell, in those towers in Grenfell, the Zionist supporters of the Tory Party,” the IHRC chairman continued.

In another heated outburst, he said: “It is the Zionists who give money to the Tory party, to kill people in high rise blocks…. Careful, careful, careful of those rabbis who belong to the Board of Deputies, who have got blood on their hands.”
Former UKIP MEP, Godfrey Bloom, rails against Goldman Sachs as an “international Jewish bank”
The former prominent UKIP MEP, Godfrey Bloom, has taken to Twitter to condemn Goldman Sachs as an “international Jewish bank” over its CEO’s opposition to Brexit.

Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs, had suggested that the UK should hold a second referendum on Brexit, to which Mr Bloom responded: “International Jewish bank recommends second vote & we should vote Remain. mmmmmmmmmmmm.” As hundreds of Twitter users condemned him, Mr Bloom replied: “Pointing out Goldman Sachs is a Jewish bank as confirmed by Wikipedia makes me a NAZIS [sic] apparently. Funny old world.”

Goldman Sachs is a publicly-traded company and Mr Bloom’s suggestion that it is a “Jewish bank” engages what the International Definition of Antisemitism refers to as “Making mendacious, dehumanising, demonising, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.”

Mr Bloom left UKIP in disgrace after a series of comments including referring to countries receiving aid from Britain as “Bongo Bongon Land” and calling a female audience “sluts”.

This incident reaffirms that Mr Bloom should be an utterly unpalatable associate for any politician or political party, or indeed any decent person.
Investigation opened into Tommy Sheppard MP over allegations that Jewish people were deliberately excluded from event at House of Commons
The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards has opened an investigation into an event hosted by Tommy Sheppard MP, from the Scottish National Party, at the House of Commons, in which it is alleged that Jewish people were deliberately excluded.

The event in question was hosted by EuroPal two weeks ago and was billed as a lecture about Palestinian political aspirations and opposition to Israel. When a number of Jewish pro-Israel activists sought to attend, according to an article in Christian Today, they were denied admission, except for one activist, named Ambrosine Shitrite, who had booked under a Muslim-sounding name instead of a Christian-sounding name and was admitted. Christian Today also claimed that Manuel Hassassian, the Palestinian Authority representative in the UK, said of the British approach towards Israel: “They are still doing trade relations and still sympathising with the Jews as being the victims of the Holocaust. Enough of this rhetoric. We have made and paid for this historic concession when we have agreed to give 78 per cent of this historic Palestine on a golden platter…” Professor Hassassian told Christian Today that he had not intended to suggest that sympathy for Jewish Holocaust victims should end, but that “it should not be used to continue the relentless victimisation of the Palestinian people.”

While EuroPal did not respond when we approached them, Mr Sheppard told Campaign Against Antisemitism: “Invitations to the event were issued by Europal and, as with most events of this kind, they would have encouraged their supporters and members to attend. I know they also offered a limited number of tickets to the public through Eventbrite. These were issued on a first come, first served basis. When it became necessary to move to a smaller room (due to the House authorities displacing the booking for a committee) some tickets were withdrawn. I understand that the organisation wrote to them apologising and saying that they hoped they would come to future events. An allegation has been made that the distribution of tickets involved discriminating against people on the basis of their faith. I have checked with Europal and they completely refute this allegation and are alarmed that anyone would suggest it. I have fought against antisemitism all my life and I used the opportunity of [the] meeting to state unequivocally the need to resist it as a virulent form of racism.”
JPost Editorial: Apartheid playback
South Africa’s ruling African National Congress meets this week amid calls by its BDS supporters to downgrade or even eliminate the country’s embassy in Israel – a campaign that began long before US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Without reference to the diplomatic repercussions of such a further deterioration of relations between our two countries, South Africa’s Jewish and Christian communities are both campaigning against such a blatant expression of antisemitism masquerading as anti-Zionism.

The need for such concerted action arose most glaringly following the recent lightning visit to the Palestinian Authority by Mandla Mandela, a staunch BDS supporter, member of Parliament, and grandson of iconic anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela. It is notable that, before his four-day visit, Mandla Mandela met in Amman with Palestinian leader and BDS co-founder Omar Barghouti.

Mandela has called for the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador to South Africa and has continuously supported the cutting of diplomatic ties. Among the protests against such an unwanted move, the South African Board of Jewish Deputies filed a complaint with the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities (CRL).

The CRL noted that downgrading the embassy would probably be unconstitutional, because such a move would “unfairly impact on the ability of Africa’s Jews to practice and identify with their religious and cultural heritage,” CRL chairwoman Thoko Mkhwanazi Xaluva said at a symposium in Johannesburg.
Professors at Jerusalem Fund Conference Slander Israel on All Fronts
“Israel and the Zionist project are anachronisms; much like white South Africa was an anachronism,” announced retired West Chester University Professor Lawrence Davidson on November 17 in Washington, DC. His comments — before about 70 listeners at the Jerusalem Fund’s annual conference, titled “The Palestinian Struggle: Adversity on All Fronts” — typified the day-long hate-fest against Israel promoted by Middle East studies academics, and their allies in policy and media circles.

Building on his history of anti-Zionist activism, Davidson used the 2017 centenary of the 1917 British Balfour Declaration to attack Israel’s rebirth. He condemned the first international recognition of a renewed Jewish homeland in the Holy Land as an “imperial and colonial document in which a European power promised a non-European parcel of land to another European people.”

Davidson also claimed that the Jewish state’s goal of “an exclusive community for it alone” necessitates “ethnic cleansing [and] racist laws.” Consequently, Israel “has to become a non-colonial settler state; it has to give up Zionism,” lest the world “revert back [sic] to an acceptance of at least some of the colonial practices of the nineteenth century. In this morally-warped vision, the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement is a “tactic to defend modernity, to defend modern decency.”

Such animosity befitted Southern Illinois University-Carbondale Professor Virginia Tilley. This rabid Israel-hater recently coauthored a scandalous — and ultimately withdrawn — United Nations report with the antisemitic conspiracy theorist academic Richard Falk.
Failure to Disclose: New York Times Journalist’s Palestinian Background
A sympathetic New York Times feature story on Palestinian refugees in Lebanon treats the so-called Palestinian “right of return” as a fact that should naturally be implemented.

The right of return is an issue where a relative consensus exists. Even the Palestinian leadership, while paying lip-service to the concept, understands that flooding Israel with millions of Palestinian refugees from 1948, 1967 and all of their descendants simply isn’t going to happen.

Put simply, Israel isn’t going to nor does the international community expect it to commit demographic suicide.

But none of the background information pertaining to the right of return appears in the story.

Just another biased anti-Israel story in the New York Times or is there something else?

Why would a New York Times article treat the right of return as an inherent right rather than a Palestinian negotiating position? It might have something to do with the journalist responsible for the story, Beirut-based Nada Homsi.
C-SPAN in 2017: Routinely Airing Defamation of Israel and the Jewish People
The Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network (C-SPAN) three-hour daily call-in show, Washington Journal, routinely accepts callers' anti-Jewish and anti-Israel defamation and misinformation including blaming Jews for a wide variety of problems. No other ethnic or religious group has been subjected to such continuous and virulent defamation on the network. Israel is the only country defamed on a regular basis by a cadre of determined, indulged callers who are rarely challenged by guests or hosts who otherwise routinely interact with callers. The United States is routinely vilified for allying with Israel.

Anti-Israel propaganda events are broadcast by C-SPAN without providing adequate, if any, context. The network never even bothers to issue a standard broadcast disclaimer, such as: "Points of view expressed in this program are not necessarily those of this network."

There are approximately 100 entries for 2017 in C-SPAN Watch, all of which contain non-trivial, nearly all negative, references by callers to Israel or Jews. The following 30 or so utterances are from the calls, most of which were met with silence by C-SPAN, the remainder eliciting inadequate or even complicit responses.

I think Mr. Trump lost everything inside and outside. First, he make a big mistake to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. (Dec. 13, 7:51 a.m. entry).

Israel attacked the U.S.S, Liberty to get the U.S. into a war with Egypt [a myth that is a staple of the anti-Israel crowd]. I really don't think that it is a really good ally. Who knows whether they [Israel] coaxed us into war with Iraq and Syria. (Dec. 7, 8:42 a.m. entry)

Truman took the European Jews and set them right on top of the Palestinians; now that is our problem today. (Dec. 6, 9:04 a.m. entry)
Most of our military is being used by Israel, because all this is about who controls the Middle East, controls the world. That is what it is … it is about territory... So whoever controls the Middle East controls the Earth. Our military is being used by Israel to go around the whole Earth to take control. (Nov. 27, 7:35 a.m. entry)

The best way to stop terrorism [in the world] is to get control of Israel. (Nov. 9, 8:48 a.m. entry)

As far as [United States Deputy Attorney General] Rod Rosenstein, many people know this a just a Jewish cabal [secret political clique] that's trying to control this. (Oct. 20, 9:25 a.m. entry)
UK media ignore Abbas’s accusation that Jews are liars by nature
Even leaving aside his bizarre suggestion that Palestinians descend from the ancient Canaanites, Abbas is effectively saying not only that Jews fabricate their history in the land – reinforcing the Palestinian lie that Jews have no connection to Jerusalem – but that Jews are liars by nature.

Remarkably, even UK media outlets which covered Abbas’s Istanbul address and cited some of his remarks (such as the Guardian, Telegraph and Times of London) managed to ignore the antisemitic part.

This one glaring omission should be seen as part of a larger pattern of UK media silence over even the most egregious examples of antisemitism by Palestinian politicians and opinion leaders.

In fact, the failure to report Abbas’s Istanbul speech represented the second time in little more than a year that antisemitism by the Palestinian president has been ignored by the UK media. In June 2016, during a speech to the European Parliament, Abbas accused Israeli rabbis of calling for their government to poison Palestinian wells. Though he later retracted his comments, as we noted at the time, not one British media outlet reported it.

However, this isn’t merely about double standards.

When correspondents covering the region fail to inform their readers that the ‘moderate’ PA leader has expressed ugly antisemitic views, they’re also obfuscating the broader problem of widespread antisemitism within Palestinian society. A 2014 international poll commissioned by ADL concluded that Palestinians are the most antisemitic group in the world, revealing, for instance, that 88% of Palestinians believe that “Jews have too much control over the global media” and that 78% believe that “Jews are responsible for most of the world’s wars”.

As we’ve argued continually on these pages, the failure of regional correspondents to report and deal honestly with the injurious impact of such corrosive hatred and irrationality within Palestinian society contributes to the British public’s continuing misunderstanding of the real ‘root causes’ of the conflict.
BBC reports the parts of Abbas’ OIC speech that fit its narrative
BBC audiences were not, however, informed of Abbas’ negation of Jewish history in Jerusalem, which he described in his speech as “a Palestinian Arab Muslim Christian city”.

Neither were BBC audiences informed that the long since unelected president of the Palestinian Authority went off script in his address to accuse Jews of ‘faking history’.

“In his speech before the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Wednesday, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas charged that Jews are “really excellent in faking and counterfeiting history and religion.”

According to a video of the speech, which was uncovered by the blog Israelly Cool!, Abbas, at one point said:

‘I don’t want to discuss religion or history because they are really excellent in faking and counterfeiting history and religion. But if we read the Torah it says that the Canaanites were there before the time of our prophet Abraham and their existence continued since that time. This is in the Torah itself. But if [inaudible] would like to fake this history, they are really masters in this and it is mentioned in the holy Quran they fabricate truth and they try to do that and they believe in that but we have been there in this location for thousands of years.'”
The BBC WS finds a use for the word terror, misleads on Jerusalem
Lowen’s answer to that question included noteworthy use of the word ‘forthright’ – a synonym for which is ‘honest’.

Lowen: “They’ve called on the UN to replace the US as a peace broker. The protagonists at this conference – Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan who was very forthright: he accused the US of bullying the rest of the world and said Israel was a state of terror – the Palestinian president, the Jordanian king, all saying that the US has lost its position as a sort of impartial peace broker and that the declaration by Donald Trump has disqualified the US as an impartial player in the peace process, so they’ve called the UN now to take its position. We’ll have to see whether the United Nations can come together and respond to it.”

Coomarasamy: “And interestingly they talk about the potential this decision has to increase terrorism – I guess sort of using the sort of language that Donald Trump, they hope, will resonate with him.”

Lowen: “Yeah, I suppose so. I mean they accuse the Israelis of…Turkey’s accused the Israelis of terrorising Palestinians and Turkey said that by supporting Israel the Americans – or the US – is complicit to terror. So I suppose yeah, they’re kind of taking a tone that Donald Trump might listen to or might hear but probably not heed.”

Remarkably the BBC – which of course serially refrains from describing terror attacks on Israelis as terrorism (supposedly in order to avoid appearing “to be taking sides“) and uses the euphemism ‘militants’ to describe terror organisations such as Hamas, the PIJ and Hizballah – obviously has no problem with unquestioning and uncritical repetition and amplification of the Turkish president’s use of the word terror for the purpose of delegitimisation and defamation of Israel.
A BBC Two commission and the politicisation of Christmas
Readers are also told that:
“Banksy created a promotional image for the documentary showing a drone watching over the nativity scene.

He also put up two new artworks ahead of the event. One said “Peace on Earth” next to a twinkling star, which doubled as an asterisk. Below was the same asterisk and the words “Terms and conditions apply”.

The other artwork was painted on the wall and showed two cherubic angels trying to prise two panels apart with a crowbar.”

The article employs a formula frequently evident in BBC content: the anti-terrorist fence – constructed after hundreds of Israelis were murdered by Palestinian suicide bombers – is described as “controversial”, but no mention whatsoever is made of the terrorism that caused it to be built.

“The anonymous street artist opened The Walled Off Hotel in March, boasting the “worst view in the world” – next to the controversial barrier Israel has built in and around the West Bank.”

While in the past we have witnessed the BBC repeatedly providing uncritical PR for Banksy’s anti-Israel agitprop, we now see that the corporation has elected to take an active role in the promotion of such politically motivated propaganda by using licence fee funding to commission this ‘documentary’.

Can readers recall any other examples of public funds being used by the ‘impartial’ BBC to amplify a political activist’s delegitimisation of a particular country?
Correction secured to inaccurate BBC News website claim about Gaza attacks
However, BBC audiences were not told that the missile that fell short reportedly hit a school in Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip – which was fortunately empty at the time.

“Earlier on Wednesday night, four rockets were fired from Gaza at southern Israel. Two of them were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system, a third struck an open field and the fourth fell short of the border and hit a school in the Gaza Strip, according to Israeli officials.

The rocket that fell short destroyed an empty classroom in Beit Hanoun’s Ghazi al-Shawa public school, according to the IDF.”

On December 15th yet another rocket fired by terror groups in the Gaza Strip fell short, also reportedly hitting a structure in Beit Hanoun.

“A rocket was fired at Israel from Gaza on Friday evening, yet hit a residential building in the Gazan town of Beit Hanoun, the Israeli army’s coordinator of government activities in the territories said. […]

According to the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), the house was significantly damaged. In a Facebook post in Arabic COGAT said that “once again terror organizations launch rockets at Gaza residents themselves.”

Despite the BBC being one of the few media outlets to have a permanent presence in the Gaza Strip, no mention of that shortfall missile appeared in the BBC News website’s December 15th report titled “Jerusalem: Palestinians killed in fresh clashes with Israel“.
Eleven Swastikas Discovered at Macalester College in One Semester
Two swastikas were recently discovered at Macalester College in Minnesota — the tenth and eleventh such markings reported on campus since the start of the semester.

The swastikas were found drawn on a desk in the college library on November 30th, the student-run The Mac Weekly reported.

Campus security is working with the Saint Paul Police Department and has yet to identify a perpetrator, Macalester spokesperson Barbara Laskin told The Algemeiner.

The president of the college, Brian Rosenberg, condemned the string of hateful markings — as well as an incident of anti-Arab hate speech — in a letter in early November. He said Macalester was doing all it could “to prevent and investigate such incidents while acknowledging the truth that our ability is limited.”

Rosenberg also announced that in an effort to deprive the perpetrators of “what they so clearly want: attention,” the college will document the incidents in a publicly-available log, but won’t share news of them in the Mac Daily, which is published by the school’s Communications and Public Relations department. “There is no guarantee that this lessening of visibility will stop the incidents, but our current approach does not appear to be working,” Rosenberg wrote.
Menorah in Kiev vandalized with ‘blood,’ swastika
A Hanukkah menorah at a synagogue in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev was doused with red liquid resembling blood and vandalized by unidentified perpetrators who drew a swastika on it.

The incident happened Sunday at Podol synagogue in Kiev, according to Eduard Dolinsky, the director of the Ukrainian Jewish Committee. The several foot tall menorah was standing outside the building. Police are checking whether the liquid is blood, possibly from a pig.

Reuven Stamov, a local rabbi, took pictures of the aftermath of the attack, showing the thick, dark red liquid at the foot of the menorah.

Last month, an anti-Semitic slur was painted on the wall of a Jewish charity in western Ukraine.

The black graffiti saying “death to the kikes” was discovered on the exterior wall of Uzhgorod’s Hesed Shpira charity, which is funded by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, or JDC.
Krakow opens first kosher hotel since the Holocaust
Seventy-five years after the Nazis deported Krakow Jews to concentration camps, descendants of survivors opened the Polish city’s first post-Holocaust kosher hotel.

Hotel Polin opened last month but will have an official launch on Saturday. The 38-room hotel has an in-house synagogue and elevators programmed for use on Shabbat without breaking Jewish Orthodox law.

Its kosher kitchen is under the supervision of the Polish chief rabbi, Michael Schudrich, the hotel’s manager, Eli Zolkos, told JTA on Thursday.

Plans call for a mikvah, or ritual bath.

A double room at the hotel, which is located near John Paul II International Airport Krakow-Balice, including breakfast costs approximately $45 per night, Zolkos said. The hotel offers shuttles to the city center, to the historically Jewish Kazimierz district, approximately six miles away.

A non-Jewish local businessman invested the $560,000 cost to build the hotel, which may open a branch in Kazimierz.

Zolkos said the hotel’s business model is based on growing traffic between Israel and Poland.
BMW teams up with Solid Power to develop solid-state batteries for cars
Automaker BMW is chasing that solid-state battery tech carrot, same as most everyone else in the industry. Today, it’s announcing a new partnership with battery technology company Solid Power to develop and commercialize the latter’s solid-sate battery technology for use in electric vehicles.

Solid State already produces batteries made up of inorganic materials developed by the company specifically for the purpose, which can produce battery cells that have a higher energy density vs. their lithium-ion equivalents, which means more power and range from the same size battery, ultimately.

It also has benefits in terms of safety, length of useful battery life and operating conditions, vs. liquid-based batteries. Which all sounds great, but it still requires a lot of work to bring the University of Colorado Boulder spinout operation’s research into the realm of wide-scale commercial viability.
IAI in talks to upgrade Sri Lankan Kfir fighter jets
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) is in talks to upgrade the Kfir fighter aircrafts of the Sri Lankan air force, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

Sri Lanka purchased a total of 16 Kfir jets from Israel between 1995 and 2005; at least seven were lost during the 26-year-long Sri Lankan civil war and IAI is in talks with Colombo to upgrade and return to service its five grounded Kfir jets.

According to Sri Lankan news site ColomboPage, the government is considering to buy eight multi-role fighter aircraft to replace its aging fighter jets.

“At the moment, [Sri Lanka has] only one Kfir aircraft – the remaining six aircrafts cannot be used. We have seven MiG aircrafts and eight other aircrafts but none of them can be used. The Government will consider all offers and select a suitable one,” said Parliamentary Reforms and Media Minister Gayantha Karunathilaka, last year.

Manufactured at the Lahav division of the Military Aircraft Group in Israel, the Kfirs are designed as a versatile all-weather multi-role supersonic combat jet. The jets can fly at an altitude of 30,000m. with a maximum speed of 2,285 kph and has a range of 1,300 km. It has a maximum take-off weight of 14,600 kg. and can carry several air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles, bombs and other munitions.
Israeli Research Station off Haifa Coast Monitors Health of the Mediterranean Sea
Deeplev, a deep-sea marine research station moored 50 kilometers off the coast of Haifa—the first of its kind in the region—is enabling continuous study of the physical and ecological system in the eastern Mediterranean Sea.

Anchored to the seabed 1,500 meters underwater, the station contains state-of-the-art measuring instruments spread over a cable running from the seabed almost to the sea surface. Having concluded a one-year pilot, it will become a permanent fixture.

Leading the project are Profs. Yishai Weinstein and Prof. Ilana Berman-Frank of Bar-Ilan University and Prof. Barak Herut and Timor Katz of Israel Oceanographic and Limnological Research (IOLR), who are working with researchers from the Hebrew University, Tel Aviv University and the Geological Survey.

The station helps them understand the sea’s response to pollution events, for example due to leaks related to the increasing number of gas exploration and production platforms in the eastern Mediterranean. In addition, waters there are unusually warm, making it a natural lab for predicting the behavior of oceans after years of warming trends.

At a seminar held at the IOLR in Haifa to mark the conclusion of the pilot, IOLR scientist Nir Stern related a surprising finding: sediment traps placed at depths of 180 and 280 meters were completely filled with deep-sea fish called sharpchin barracudina, which have hardly been documented in the region of Israel and never reported in scientific literature.
Israelis train Philippine EMS teachers for mass disasters
A Magen David Adom (MDA) delegation recently went to the Philippines to train instructors for emergency medicine teams on dealing with mass casualty incidents.

MDA, Israel’s national ambulance, blood-services and disaster-relief organization, has been collaborating for more than two years with the Philippine Red Cross in order to strengthen lifesaving capabilities and emergency response in the Asian island country.

The Philippines is prone to typhoons, volcanos, earthquakes as well as armed conflicts, which require a high level of skilled medical and rescue forces.

“Over the past few years, the Philippines Red Cross has been able to improve, with the help of MDA’s professional trainings, their emergency response system that aims to provide response to disasters,” said Menachem Blumental, senior MDA paramedic and one of the instructors in the delegation. “During the last mission, we worked on improving preparedness and management of mass casualty incidents.”

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