Monday, March 19, 2018

From Ian:

Silencing History: U.S. University Publishers Shun Book “Ending the Deir Yassin Myth”
Anti-Israel faculty reviewers worry the book will undermine the Palestinian narrative

Why have American academic presses rejected a book manuscript by Dr. Eliezer Tauber, a former dean and highly-regarded Israeli history professor at Bar-Ilan University’s Department of Middle Eastern Studies?

Tauber is an award-winning and prolific expert on the early phases of the Arab-Israeli conflict. By all accounts, his latest book about the April 9, 1948 battle in the Palestinian village of Deir Yassin has “many strengths” and provides the most comprehensive investigation to date of what was both a seminal event in Israel’s War of Independence and in the creation of the Palestinian refugee problem.

A book of this caliber and importance should really be of great interest to American publishers.

But so far—after three years of trying to convince an American university press to publish his book—none have agreed to give Tauber a contract for the English-language version of Deir Yassin: The End of a Myth.

Academic publishing is a tough business, and even first-rate manuscripts can be passed over if the scholarship isn’t a perfect fit for a publisher’s list or on account of a bottleneck in the pipeline—which isn’t uncommon for elite presses.

But something else, very damaging to academia, is going on here.

That’s because the U.S. university presses which Tauber approached reportedly rejected his book on the say-so of anti-Israel faculty reviewers and members of their editorial boards. Apparently, these faculty are worried that Deir Yassin: The End of a Myth could upend the way a lot of American and English-language readers assess the Palestinian narrative of 1948, so they’re advising acquisition editors not to adopt it.

If that’s true, then it’s a scandal of mega proportions.

Basically, it would be another indication that the virulently anti-Israel perspective which currently dominates in many disciplines in the Humanities and soft Social Sciences, especially Middle Eastern Studies, is truly having a corrosive impact on American higher education by undermining viewpoint diversity and hindering the growth of knowledge. (h/t MtTB)
NGO Monitor: Using UNICEF Funds, B’Tselem Recycles Distortions on Military Justice
In response to “Minors in Jeopardy,” a publication released today by B’Tselem, NGO Monitor issued the following statement:

B’Tselem’s report was funded by UNICEF, and is part of a broader political advocacy campaign to falsely accuse the IDF of violating the rights of Palestinian minors, with the goal of imposing sanctions against Israel. B’Tselem recycles allegations from NGOs such as Defense for Children International-Palestine that have ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist organization, designated as such by the US, EU, Canada, and Israel.

Other than an appendix of four anecdotal “testimonies,” B’Tselem does not contribute anything substantive that has not been previously published. NGO Monitor’s analyses of the previous reports used by B’Tselem shows that they are replete with numerous false and misleading claims about the IDF and Israeli Military Courts, and repeat allegations without verification or meaningful statistical analysis.

The timing of the report’s release coincides with B’Tselem’s and other NGOs’ celebration of Ahed Tamimi, reflecting how the NGOs exploit children’s rights to demonize Israel instead of protecting children.
IsraellyCool: SodaStream’s Brilliant Move To Counter BDS Vandals
The following photo of a sticker affixed to the box of a SodaStream was posted on Reddit.

I think this is a brilliant move, considering how many times we have seen BDS-holes affixing their own boycott stickers to Israeli products.

In fact, I would suggest other Israeli businesses follow suit – I am sure Sodastream is not the only one employing Arabs.

Honest Reporting Book Review: Yoni’s Last Battle
Operation Yoni

Operation Thunderbolt came to be re-named Operation Yoni, in honor of its commander and sole casualty, though Iddo does not forget that paratrooper Surin Hershko was left paralyzed, and hostage Dora Bloch, who had previously been removed to a Ugandan hospital, subsequently died.

Iddo is, not surprisingly, partial toward his brother, who is after all, the hero of this book. He portrays Yoni as a bit of a paradox: the soldier-intellectual, a fan of literature and learning, yet also an unusually talented commander. Iddo credits Yoni with much of the success of the entire mission.

Yet there were other opinions too: competition, jealousy, even straightforward objections to his style and approach. Iddo allows the reader to glimpse all of this. Even though Yoni is today seen as an idealized hero, during his lifetime he was a real person: with all the flaws and contradictions that implies. And even though the famous mission is now remembered as a stunning, fearless success, the soldiers, commanders and politicians felt as much fear and doubt as one might expect from any person.

In a particularly humanizing passage, Iddo writes:
At that moment, late on the night before the operation, they felt burdened by doubts and had little faith in the chance of success. For the most part, that mood was a product of the objective conditions they faced. But it was also an expression of the dissatisfaction that two or three of them felt with Yoni’s leadership – a discontent that had waxed and waned during his years as their commander, but had never been resolved.

There are numerous books and papers on Operation Yoni: historical, journalistic, scholarly, and more. This the first book I’ve read about the rescue at Entebbe written from a truly personal point of view: a story that puts the reader in the shoes of its characters, as vividly as any novel. Yoni’s Last Battle is a valuable addition to our understanding of Israel, and a highly worthwhile read.
Women’s March members bail over ties to Farrakhan
The Women’s March — a civil-rights group at the center of protests against the Trump presidency — is losing top staffers and supporters over its leadership’s refusal to denounce a racist, homophobic and anti-Semitic rant by Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.

The latest to jump ship is high-profile staffer Alyssa Klein, who quit last week as the group’s social-media director.

Klein called Farrakhan “a dangerous troll,” and tweeted on March 5 that Women’s March leaders are “turning a blind eye to the hate spoken about a group of people.”

Regional branches in Canada, Florida and Washington, DC, have condemned the leadership’s unwillingness to speak out against Farrakhan.

And Planned Parenthood, the movement’s most prominent sponsor, dumped Women’s March Co-president Tamika Mallory as a keynote speaker at a luncheon next month.

The controversy erupted over a Farrakhan speech in Chicago Feb. 25 in which he called Jews “Satanic,” claimed they run the governments of the US and Mexico and are pursuing a “pot plot” to spread marijuana use among black men in a scheme to feminize them.

Farrakhan gave a shout-out to Mallory, who was in the audience for the three-hour rant and later posted photos from the event.

Mallory responded to anger over the speech by saying that she affirmed the “validity” of the feelings of those who were offended, and that she didn’t expect her presence at the speech “to lead anyone to question my beliefs.”
Al Sharpton’s Group And Black Lives Matter Team Up For Pro-Farrakhan Protest
  • Black Lives Matter, the New Black Panther Party, and Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network are organizing a protest in defense of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan
  • Farrakhan is a notorious racist and anti-Semite with close ties to Democratic politicians and activists
  • The black activist groups are lobbying against a GOP resolution formally condemning Farrakhan for his anti-Semitism
Several black activist groups are holding a protest on Monday in defense of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, a notorious anti-Semite and racist revealed to have close ties to prominent Democratic politicians and activists.

Black Lives Matter, the New Black Panther Party and the National Action Network are among the groups spearheading the protest, the organizers said in a press release.

The groups are protesting a House resolution, introduced by Republican Indiana Rep. Todd Rokita, that formally condemns Farrakhan’s anti-Semitism. The activists instead want lawmakers to pass a resolution condemning President Donald Trump. (RELATED: Seven Louis Farrakhan Quotes On Jews, Gays And White People)

Rev. Al Sharpton has been NAN’s president since he founded the group in 1991. Sharpton is also a contributor on MSNBC and hosts “PoliticsNation,” a one-hour weekly show on the network. The NAN and MSNBC did not return requests for comment. (h/t MtTB)
D.C. councilman apologizes for saying Jews control weather
On Friday, a few snowflakes fell in Washington, DC. It wasn’t particularly out of the ordinary for March, but one local councilman posted a video blaming the surprise weather on – you guessed it – the Jews.

“It’s climate manipulation,” said Trayon White, a councilman for DC Ward 8 in the now-deleted video. “DC keep talking about ‘We are a resilient city,’ and that’s a model based off the Rothschilds controlling the climate to create natural disasters they can pay for to own the cities, man. Be careful.”

Referencing the Rothschilds, a wealthy Jewish family that established itself in banking in the 18th century, is a classic antisemitic trope. And blaming any one group for weather patterns is little short of unhinged.

After the controversy picked up steam, White deleted the post Sunday night and posted an apology.

“I want to apologize to the Jewish community and anyone I have offended,” he wrote. “I did not intend to be antisemitic, and I see I should not have said that after learning from my colleagues. I have spoke [sic] to leaders and my friends at Jews United for Justice and they are helping me to understand the history of comments made against Jews and I am committed to figuring out ways continue [sic] to be allies with them and others.” (h/t MtTB)
Administrator of antisemitic “Palestine Live” Facebook group was not an “acquaintance” of Jeremy Corbyn but a close friend who repeatedly propagated extreme antisemitism
Last week, Jeremy Corbyn was exposed as being a member of a deeply antisemitic Facebook group in which he participated for two years. Now, damning new evidence made available to Campaign Against Antisemitism proves that Mr Corbyn or his team were demonstrably lying when, as was reported in The Guardian they had said that his relationship with the founder and key administrator of the Facebook group “Palestine Live” was that of a mere “acquaintance”. Research and documents in our possession indicate that he had an intimate relationship with Elleanne Green, a woman who has expressed antisemitic beliefs and who has prolifically disseminated extreme antisemitic material, including neo-Nazi articles. They shared a love of the same poetry and of various common causes even before he joined the Facebook group, almost certainly at her invitation, despite Mr Corbyn implying that he was added against his wishes. They organised events together, and she proudly noted the two years he spent in the group with her.

Those familiar with Mr Corbyn know well that he was not – before becoming Party Leader – someone who posted frequently on social media, so when he bothers to pay attention to someone publicly, it is noticeable. Mr Corbyn has paid Ms Green a lot of attention, and that attention has been returned. In fact, Mr Corbyn and Ms Green could be described as sharing a personal bond. As early as January 2014, he approved when she spoke of Caroline Kennedy’s poetry; when she publicly posted a favourite poem by Rose Milligan, he confessed to her that it contains a sentiment meaningful for him; when she professed her fears for the future of the rhinoceros, he agreed; similarly when she backed an African water charity; they have shared a little joke together online; and when she was off on her travels to Cuba he wished her a “wonderful time”.

Wherever Ms Green was to be found at live events, so too was Mr Corbyn, and because of the particular place she clearly holds in his esteem and his awareness of her presence, he chose her Facebook account to thank all those who attended. Whether he was commenting on her posts at a Ukrainian Stop The War event; an alternative economics conference; another Stop the War event, this time marking World War I; at a testimonial evening for Tony Benn or even a demonstration or two about Guantanamo – she was there, and he was using her social media feed to thank everyone.

In short, there is not much about Ms Green’s tastes and opinions that Mr Corbyn does not seem to know or approve of, and he singles her out to use when he wishes to thank others. She is clearly not just an acquaintance or friend, she is ‘special’.
BDS: The Bane in Spain
Intersectionality is the unnatural alliance of seemingly incompatible groups that defend contradictory positions. They unite in their common hatred against western democracies and universal values associated with market capitalism, independent courts, parliamentary representation, rule of law, freedom of speech, worship and press and equal rights for all. One of the favorite “soft targets” of intersectionality is Israel, the right of a Jewish State to exist in freedom and security.

To this delegitimizing end, neo-Nazis will operate hand in hand with Communists and anarchists, so-called feminists will demonstrate with Salafists, and utterly confused gay rights activists chant jihadi slogans. They say they target Zionists, but we all know they mean Jews.

The compulsive obsession that targets one state, the only Jewish state, follows an ignoble tradition of harassment of one easily identifiable minority. Centuries ago, that bias used religion as justification (the people that murdered Christ). Later, nationalism was the excuse (the fifth columnists such as Alfred Dreyfus who betrayed the country, or hidden conspiracies for world domination by the Elders of Zion). The Nazis appealed to pseudo-science (the inferior, perverted race). Now the ancient sickly obsession uses Israel, the hatred against the Jewish State, as a catalyst.

BDS signNothing new either in the four Ds that summarise the means of the bigots: Demonize, Delegitimize, Dehumanize and apply Double standards to the national self determination of the Jewish people.

That is what epitomizes the Boycott, Divestments and Sanctions movement against Israel.
Iran's Role in the Boycott Israel Campaign
The Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment movement, better known by the acronym BDS, targeting Israel has largely been viewed as a Palestinian- and Western European-driven campaign with the alleged goal of advancing Palestinian statehood. Yet the Islamic Republic of Iran’s key role in stoking the BDS movement has increasingly become a key factor in economic warfare against the Jewish state.

The U.S. State Department classifies Iran’s regime as a leading active state-sponsor of terrorism.

All of this helps to explain why it is often important, as a counter-terrorism project, to decipher the BDS movement. Take, for example, Iran’s efforts to promote genocidal anti-Israel sentiment in Europe: the annual al-Quds Day rallies, which were called into global action in 1979 by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of Iran’s theocracy, urges individuals to support the BDS movement and the destruction of Israel. Al-Quds Day rallies blanket European cities such as Berlin, London and Vienna. Iranian-backed Islamists have no qualms about marching together with an amalgam of neo-Nazis, German political leftists and supporters of the U.S.- and EU-designated terrorist entity the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

The Iranian regime-owned Islamic Center of Hamburg charters buses with Iranian regime and Hezbollah supporters to travel to Berlin to march in the al-Quds Day rally. Since 1996, there have been twenty-one al-Quds Day marches in the German capital.

Hamidreza Torabi, an Iranian religious leader who has called for Israel’s elimination at the rallies, heads the Islamic Academy of Germany—part of the Iranian regime-owned Islamic Center of Hamburg. At the 2016 rally, he held a poster urging the “rejection of Israel” and calling the Jewish state “illegal and criminal.” The Berlin government has made half-hearted efforts to rope in the pro-Iran regime mini-movement by banning Hezbollah flags at the rallies. Berlin's state government refuses to outlaw all of Hezbollah.

It is worth recalling that the United States, Israel, the Arab League, Canada and the Netherlands have outlawed all of Hezbollah. The European Union has merely proscribed Hezbollah’s so-called military-wing as a terrorist organization, leaving the organization free to recruit, raise funds and otherwise operate in most of the EU. Hezbollah—a wholly-owned Iranian subsidiary—uses its organizational presence to expand the BDS movement in Europe.
Activist’s posts dispute BBC’s equivocal account of 2010 flotilla incident
As those who have read David Collier’s two-part report about the secret Facebook Group called ‘Palestine Live’ will be aware, Israel’s account of the events aboard the ship has inadvertently been supported by one of its members – Greta Berlin – who was quoted in a 2010 BBC profile of the Mavi Marmara flotilla organisers.

The Times of Israel sums up that story:
“A leading pro-Palestinian campaigner involved in the flotilla that attempted to enter Gaza in May 2010 has appeared to corroborate Israel’s version of the events which led to the bloody confrontation on board the Mavi Marmara. […]

In newly revealed posts from a secret British Facebook group, Greta Berlin, the co-founder and spokesperson of the Free Gaza Movement, states that the Israeli troops did not open fire until after Ken O’Keefe, a former US marine aboard the Mavi Marmara, had seized a gun from one of them. […]

“He was responsible for some of the deaths on board the Mavi Marmara. Had he not disarmed an Israeli terrorist soldier, they would not have started to fire. That’s enough. Most of you have no idea what you’re talking about,” she wrote.”

As the ToI notes, Berlin’s 2014 posts at ‘Palestine Live’ contradict the messaging she gave to the international media – including the BBC – immediately following the May 2010 incident. The BBC also interviewed O’Keefe less than a month after the incident.

Obviously the BBC would do well to review the accounts of events that appear in its available content relating to the Mavi Marmara incident in light of those posts from Greta Berlin.
Row over pro-Israeli groups blocked from Glasgow anti-racism procession
PRO-ISRAELI groups were blocked from taking part in an annual anti-racism march in Glasgow that was boycotted out of protest by the Muslim Council of Scotland.

The balaclava-clad members of Red Front Republic, a group which claims to be "Scotland's anti-fascism, racism and bigotry movement"and "pro-Scottish Independence" say they took direct action with others to stop the participation of the Confederation of Friends of Israel - Scotland and other pro-Israel groups in the Stand up to Racism – Scotland march.

COFIS said they understood police had asked that they had been asked to keep away from the main body of the march.

Some marched segregated from pro-Palestinian protesters by a line of police officers.

Glasgow Friends of Israel hit out at what they described as "nasty racists on the streets of Glasgow in an anti-racist march".

Micheline Brannan, chairman of the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities said: "We believe in the anti-racist message which has been hijacked by people ahead of us who are trying to stop our group from marching. They have turned it into a fight between Israel and Palestine. They've imported politics of the Middle East onto the streets of Glasgow".

Organisers said that around 1500 campaigners from a coalition of civic organisations, trade unions, political groups and others took to the streets for the demonstration on UN anti-racism day.
Indy falsely claims Fatah was founded by Arafat to merely ‘create a Palestinian state’.
Anyone who reads this blog is no doubt well aware of the British media’s obsessive focus on every conceivable Israeli flaw, real and imagined.

Conversely, “If you follow mainstream coverage”, former AP Jerusalem correspondent Matti Friedman explained in his Tablet expose on the media’s institutional bias, “you will find nearly no real analysis of Palestinian society or ideologies, profiles of armed Palestinian groups, or investigation of Palestinian government”. “Palestinians, added Friedman, “are not taken seriously as agents of their own fate”. “The West”, he continued, “has decided that Palestinians should want a state alongside Israel, so that opinion is attributed to them as fact”.

So, whereas the Israeli government is often characterised as hard-line, right-wing (always in the pejorative) and, at times, “the most right-wing government in its history, Mahmoud Abbas’s PA is rarely assigned such ideological markers. When his political orientation is ntoed, the extraordinarily misleading message conveyed to news consumers is that he’s a “moderate” who’s rejected violence at every opportunity – a framing reinforced by their consistent failure to report comments by Abbas (and other PA leaders) endorsing violence, lying about Jewish history, promoting antisemitism and praising ‘martyrdom operations’.

Within the media echo chamber, there is almost no alternative ‘narrative’ of the conflict.

This is the context by which to view a recent claim in the Independent article, by Daniel Khalili-Tari , on a Hamas investigation into an explosion that targeted the Palestinian prime minister in Gaza. The sentence appears in the penultimate paragraph, whilst providing a brief history of the PA’s relationship with Hamas.
Fatah was founded by Yasser Arafat and other nationalist leaders in 1958 to bring about the establishment of a Palestinian state.

This benign characterisation of Fatah’s goals is divorced from reality. First of all, in 1958, there was of course no Israeli occupation. Moreover, Fatah’s founding constitution – an English version of which was on the party’s website until 2007 – clearly states that their goal was the complete eradication of Israel by the use of “armed resistance” – violence which they described as a strategy, not merely a tactic.
BBC News reports another fatal terror attack without the word terror
The next day – some twenty hours after the attack took place – the BBC News website published an article titled “Israeli stabbed to death by Palestinian near Jerusalem holy site” in which the incident itself was reported without error but the words terror, terrorism and terrorist were completely absent.

Readers once again saw an attempt to ‘contextualise’ the murder of an Israeli for no other reason than his identity by promotion of the notion of linkage to the US administration’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital last December.

“Tensions between Palestinians and Israelis have risen since December when US President Donald Trump recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, infuriating Palestinians.”

An older mantra was also recycled:

“Israel says Palestinian incitement has fuelled the attacks. The Palestinian leadership has blamed frustration rooted in decades of Israeli occupation.”

It is worth remembering that since the surge in terror attacks in late 2015, the BBC has consistently failed to provide its audiences with any serious reporting on the topic of incitement and glorification of terrorism by Palestinian officials. Readers are hence unable to judge for themselves whether or not what “Israel says” is accurate.

Likewise, it is noteworthy that the portrayal of terrorism as being attributable to “frustration rooted in decades of occupation” conforms to a guidance document for members of the international media put out by the PLO in November 2015.
IsraellyCool: Understanding And Refuting Alt-Right’s Pseudoscientific Jew Hatred (Antisemitism): Part One
Before this lengthy demolition of one of the granite pillars for Alt-Right Jew hatred begins, I just want to put it in my own hierarchy of antisemitism:
  • Islamic Jew hatred – every survey of Muslim public opinion finds high levels of virulent Jew hatred all over the place. There are 1.5 billion (or more) Muslims, so more Jew haters are Muslim than anything else; you can find Minister Farrakhan in this bunch along with every major Islamic terrorist organisation and all their sympathizers;
  • Left wing Jew hatred – the modern left has moved towards hating Israel as it “intersectionally” idolizes the “poor, oppressed” Palestinian. This side actually fights to destroy Israel with BDS, European NGO’s and much more;
  • Low level Christian and other residual bigotry still left over from centuries of the Catholic doctrine that Jews killed Jesus, this does appear to be on the wane;
  • The classic neo-Nazis, far-right, Alt-Right who will be discussed here. Nobody knows how many these are, but judging by the fact that David Duke has 1/10th the following of Minister Farrakhan on Twitter, you can be sure this isn’t a big crowd no matter how many frog memes they make on social media or how much air time CNN gives them.

If you want to understand the Alt-Right’s Jew hatred (antisemitism – a term I prefer not to use) you cannot look to the mainstream media. They are completely useless. They’re worse than useless: if you rely on organizations like the once useful Anti Defamation League (ADL) or the Southern Poverty Law Center, you will be maliciously misinformed. Both those organisations have been completely co-opted by the far-left in recent years and are not to be trusted.
IsraellyCool: Asghar “Mossad Stole My Shoe” Bukhari Announces Himself As Rabid Antisemite
Remember Asghar Bukhari, founding member of the Muslim Public Affairs Committee UK (MPACUK) and the guy who famously claimed the Mossad stole his shoe? Years ago, he was exposed as having sent money to Holocaust denier David Irving, and urged Islamic websites to ask visitors to make donations to his fighting fund. His excuse?

Bukhari confirmed sending the letters in 2000. ‘I had a lot of sympathy for anyone who opposed Israel,’ Bukhari told The Observer said. ‘I wrote letters to anyone who was tough against the Israelis – David Irving, Paul Findley, the PLO.”I don’t feel I have done anything wrong, to be honest. At the time I was of the belief he [Irving] was anti-Zionist, being smeared for nothing more then being anti-Zionist.

‘The pro-Israeli lobby often accused people of anti-Semitism and smear tactics against groups and individuals is well known. I condemn anti-Semitism as strongly as I condemn Zionism (in my opinion they are both racist ideologies). I also believe that anyone who denies the Holocaust is wrong (I don’t think they should be put behind bars for it though).’

It turns out Bukhari could not keep up the anti-Zionist-not-antisemite act for too long.

For instance, he recently defended vile antisemite Louis Farrakhan, claiming the antisemitism is “manufactured,”

Join the fight against online hatred

UN Health Chief Praises Israeli Cancer Treatment and Care
Over the weekend, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who serves as the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Director General, landed in Israel for a surprise visit. The WHO is a specialized agency of the United Nations that monitors and addresses public health issues throughout the world.

Ghebreyesus toured Hadassah Medical Center’s Ein Kerem facility with Israeli Health Ministry Chief Moshe Bar Siman Tov. Among the Director General’s stops in the hospital was the pediatric hemato-oncology ward, where he spoke with patients, their parents, and various members of the staff.

In addition to speaking with nurses and social workers, Ghebreyesus also met with Pediatric Hemato-Oncology Department Head Dr. Gal Goldstein, who provided an overview of the advanced treatments doctors administer there.

Impressed by what he saw at Hadassah, Ghebreyesus commetented, “I am amazed by the level of dedication and the staff’s impressive devotion to the patients, as well as by the continuous thought which goes into treatment. [The thought is] not just about the sick children, but also about their families. I am impressed by the level of involvement of every staff member in the patients’ treatment,” reported Arutz 7.

“Hadassah is proof that medical treatment creates a bridge between people, and a center of hope,” Ghebreyesus concluded.
Sharansky awarded Israel Prize for service to immigration and Diaspora
Natan Sharansky, the outgoing chairman of the Jewish Agency and a famed Soviet dissident and human rights activist, will receive the Israel Prize for promoting immigration and working with Diaspora Jewry.

Education Minister Naftali Bennett released a video on Sunday announcing the award and praising Sharansky.

“Sharansky is the story of Israel. Anatoly Sharansky was a prisoner of Zion in a Soviet jail for almost a decade,” Bennett said, referring to Sharansky by his Russian name. “He became a symbol for all those in prison for wanting to live as free and proud Jews and for their hope to live in Israel.”

Sharansky was born in 1948 in Donetsk, Ukraine. In 1973 he was denied an exit visa to Israel and became an activist for the human rights movement in the USSR. In 1977 he was accused of collaborating with the CIA and sentenced to 13 years of forced labor. He was released in 1986 on a wave of international pressure and immigrated to Israel.

From 1996 until 2005 Sharansky served as a lawmaker and minister in several governments. In 2009 he became the chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel, a position he is to leave in three months. Earlier this month he was honored by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and former US president George W. Bush for his service “to the Jewish people, [for] democracy, for the Jewish State.”
On a cloudless day, Israel breaks its solar power production record
Saturday was a perfectly cloud-free spring day — perfect for Israel to break its solar power record.

At precisely 12:07 P.M. solar energy was producing 13.4 % of the total electricity being consumed in the country, a new record, the Israel Electric Corporation said.

However, officials said that while Israel has been working to increase its power derived from renewable energy, Saturday’s results were caused by a specific confluence of events — high solar production and low overall consumption.

“We are very proud of this,” said Oren Hellman of the corporation. “But it is a specific record. The high percentage level comes because it was a Saturday and the weather was perfect for renewable energy. This proves we can do it.”

“The sun is the biggest source of energy in Israel and we can achieve much greater solar energy production,” he said.

Jonathan Aikhenbaum, a campaign manager at Greenpeace Israel praised the event.
Israeli firm Orbotech sold to US company in $3.4 billion deal
Israeli tech firm Orbotech reached a deal Monday to be sold to a US-based manufacturer for $3.4 billion, in one of the biggest ever buyouts of an Israeli company.

The California-based semiconductor equipment maker KLA-Tencor Corporation said Monday that it will be buying the Israeli electronics manufacturer Orbotech Ltd., which produces systems for circuit boards and chips.

KLA-Tencor said in a statement it was buying Yavneh-based Orbotech at an equity value of approximately $3.4 billion.

“This acquisition is a true testament to Orbotech’s strong leadership and success,” said Asher Levy, chief executive officer of Orbotech, following the announcement.

“I firmly believe that this deal benefits our employees and creates additional value for our shareholders,” he said. “Together with KLA-Tencor, we will significantly increase growth potential, accelerate our product development road-map, and enhance customer offerings.”

“Orbotech will continue to operate under the Orbotech brand as a standalone business of KLA-Tencor based in Yavneh, Israel,” Levy added.
Israeli and Iranian footballers pose together on Facebook
Israeli footballer Maor Buzaglo has posted a picture of himself alongside the captain of the Iranian national team saying: “We’re showing it can be different”.

While Iranian sportsmen usually decline to compete against Israeli opponents, often boycotting competitions, the two footballers were in London on Sunday, where Buzaglo who is receiving treatment on a knee injury, posted the picture of him alongside Ashkan Dejagah, who plays for Nottingham Forest.

The midfielder, who plays for Maccabi Haifa as well as the Israeli national team, wrote on his Facebook account: “In soccer there are different rules and there is one language without prejudice and without wars. The captain of the Iranian national team and I show it can be different.”

The picture is even more surprising given that Dejagah, who was born in Tehran but moved to Germany with his family when he was one, declined to travel to Israel play for the German U21 side in 2007, saying that he feared he would be imprisoned if he went back to Iran.

Ziggy Marley returning to Tel Aviv
Acclaimed reggae musician Ziggy Marley is making a triumphant return to Israel this summer with two shows.

Marley, the son of legend Bob Marley, is clearly a fan of the Jewish state, as this will be his third time performing here. He’ll be playing at the Barby in Tel Aviv on July 31 and the Zappa Shuni Amphitheater in Binyamina on August 1. Marley is married to an Israeli, Orly Agai, and the couple has four children.

In 2015, Marley was honored by the Jewish National Fund with a Shalom Peace Award.

“I’ve been connected to Israel from when I was a child,” he said at the time. “I feel a very spiritual and personal connection to that land and the people of that land. So this is our blessing and we will continue to have that connection no matter what anybody says or does, and continue to support Israel.”

Marley is a successful musician in his own right, and has released 18 studio albums, both with his family band, the Melody Makers, and solo. His biggest hits include “True to Myself,” “Love is My Religion” and “Tomorrow People.”
Bucking BDS, punk pioneers The Stranglers return to Tel Aviv
British rock band The Stranglers are just the latest music stars to be announcing a tour date in Israel this year. The group, who have been active since 1974, will be appearing at the Barby in Tel Aviv on June 20.

This will be the group’s third show in Israel; they played here in November 2016 and in before that in July 2008, when they opened for Blondie.

In an interview with The Jerusalem Post ahead of their 2016 show, The Stranglers said they don’t care about criticism over their appearances in the Jewish state.

“Tel Aviv is such a rocking city and the Israeli people are so open and fun to be with,” said Jean-Jacques “JJ” Burnel, bassist and co-founder of the band. “I don’t think the outside world realizes how cool it really is there. But as you know, people are generally ignorant of the situation in Israel and they just read the headlines,” he continued. “They don’t realize that Israel is a democracy in a sea of f***ed-up countries. A true democracy with the Left and Right able to express themselves.”

The Stranglers, who have produced 17 studio albums, are known for a slew of hit songs, including “Golden Brown,” “Strange Little Girl,” “No More Heroes” and “All Day and All of the Night.”

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 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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