Wednesday, April 18, 2018

From Ian:

President Reuven Rivlin: Israel at 70 inspires the world, and the people of Israel inspire me
To all the readers of the Times of Israel, in Israel and around the world.

I want to start by wishing you all a very happy Independence Day. As I have said clearly, I believe that Israel’s special milestone is a celebration for the whole world. Because, today, we are not just marking the dream of restoring Jewish independence in our ancestral homeland, and we are not just celebrating all the great achievements of the last 70 years. Today, we celebrate 70 years of freedom and democracy in the Middle East. For seven decades, Israel has held high the torch of freedom and democracy in a difficult region. Surrounded by enemies and against all odds, we have been — and continue to be — guided by these values as the world’s only Jewish and democratic state.

But we know that we could never have done all this without our friends, both Jews and non-Jews, all around the world, who have dedicated their lives to building the State of Israel. We are grateful today especially for all those who stand up for Israel every day.

And of course, we owe an immeasurable debt of gratitude, to those who have lost their lives in the defense of our freedom. As we conclude Yom HaZikaron, we dry our tears, and hold close the memory of those who paid the ultimate price fighting to defend the land of Israel, and the people of Israel. They are with us always, and to all the bereaved families, we send our love and prayers.

During the last year, I have traveled all across Israel, and I have met Israelis from all our communities: Jews and Arabs, religious and secular. I have met teachers and doctors, farmers and entrepreneurs. I have sat with students in schools and universities. I have visited our soldiers and police who keep us safe, day and night. I have met with organizations and volunteers who give of themselves unwaveringly, for the sake of those less fortunate. They all have one thing in common — namely, their hope for Israel to flourish. They may have different views and opinions on any and every matter, but their argument is one “for the sake of Heaven” — for the well-being and prosperity of this country and its people.
On 70th anniversary, Trump says US has ‘no better friends anywhere’ than Israel
The United States has “no better friends anywhere” than Israel, US President Donald Trump said Wednesday while congratulating Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israelis on the country’s 70th anniversary.

“Best wishes to Prime Minister @Netanyahu and all of the people of Israel on the 70th Anniversary of your Great Independence,” Trump tweeted. “We have no better friends anywhere. Looking forward to moving our Embassy to Jerusalem next month!”

On Wednesday evening, Israel began to celebrate the 70th anniversary of its founding on May 14, 1948. An annual tradition, Independence Day falls on Thursday, the 5th of Iyar on the Hebrew calendar.

Trump vowed to move the US embassy to the holy city last December, when he also formally recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. In January, he announced that the process would be expedited and a new facility would open in May, deliberately coinciding with Israel’s birthday.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony is being planned for mid-May. Trump has, as yet, not committed to attending the inauguration. The Times of Israel has learned that his senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner, and Kushner’s wife, White House adviser Ivanka Trump, are considering traveling to Israel next month to attend.

Man attacked in Berlin for wearing kippa is Israeli Arab
An Israeli man who was beaten in an anti-Semitic attack while wearing a traditional Jewish skullcap in Berlin told German television on Wednesday night that he was not Jewish but wanted to find out whether it was safe to walk in the street dressed as a Jew.

“I am not Jewish, I am an Israeli and I grew up in Israel in an Arab family,” Adam Armush, 21, told broadcaster Deutsche Welle. “It was an experience for me to wear the skullcap and go out into the street yesterday.”

He said he filmed the attack on him and a second man as evidence “for the police and for the German people and even the world to see how terrible it is these days as a Jew to go through Berlin streets.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel condemned the attack. “This is absolutely a terrible incident and we must act,” she said. “The fight against such anti-Semitic acts must be won, the reputation of our state is at stake, and we are committed to it with all our strength.”

Justice Minister Katarina Barley condemned the incident as a “disgrace” for German democracy after the brief video surfaced on news websites and went viral.

“It is unbearable that Jews in Germany are attacked on the open street in the middle of Berlin,” Barley tweeted.

David Collier: We don’t choose our battles, like with Corbyn, some choose us
It is seventy years since the ‘Jewish People’s Council’ gathered at the Tel Aviv Museum and approved the proclamation declaring the establishment of the State of Israel. For six months, Jews had been engaged in a bloody civil conflict that would turn the right of having a state, into actually creating one. To do this they had to fight united groups that stood against them. Those that sought to destroy the idea of the Jewish state, fighting alongside those that sought to destroy the Jews.

Following the establishment of Israel, the regional war began, as local Arab armies tried to succeed where the Arabs inside the Mandate and their own irregular forces had failed. For seventy years now, Israel has faced a range of enemies that seek to destroy it. During this endless war of hate, 27,779 people Jews/Israelis have been killed. 23,645 soldiers and 4134 victims of terror. The price has been heavy and felt by every family in Israel. Which is why it is fitting that Israelis remember the cost, the day before they can celebrate the gift.

This is not a battle that Israel chose. Israel has pulled it’s forces out of Sinai, Gaza and Southern Lebanon. It has signed peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan. It was closer with the Palestinians than many think and it was the Arab inability to end the conflict, rather than anything Israel did, that remains the primary reason why such a treaty was not signed. If Israel had it’s way the fighting would end today. Israel’s children wear the uniform because they must.
Parliament 2018

It may seem like a change of subject but in reality, the events in the British Parliament yesterday are part of the very same fight that make Israeli children wear the IDF uniform. In an emotional debate about antisemitism, several Jewish MPs spoke of the hate that has been personally directed towards them. Anyone who is publicly engaged in this fight against antisemitism probably knows those that were read out were ‘light’ examples, of some of the torrent of abuse we receive. The speeches of both Luciana Berger and Ruth Smeeth were heartbreaking. Both of these MPs were visibly affected by having to deliver such a truth to the British Parliament in 2018. This was not a battle they chose.
The ‘tightening air’

It was a Tory MP, rather than a Labour one, who provided the best description of the deteriorating environment. Robert Halfon said he felt as if ‘the air has grown tighter’ in this country. A reference to the increased toxicity that exists on our streets, and that feeling that we are less safe, less free, than we all were yesterday. A sense of slow suffocation, a claustrophobic quality. Halfon then said this:
‘I never imagined, because I always thought this was the greatest country in the world, my father was an immigrant here – he escaped from Pogroms in Libya – and I never imagined that one would ever feel the air tightening in this country’

That he said this indicates that Halfon never chose this battle either. Like Berger, Smeeth and the thousands who turned up at the demonstrations either at Parliament Square or outside the Labour HQ, none of us ever imagined this is where we would be in 2018. This was the battle of our parents, our grand-parents and our great-grandparents. Many thought this battle was done. They were wrong.
Jeremy Corbyn sits silent and aloof during debate on antisemitism, as Jewish Labour MPs castigate his failure to deal with the antisemites who terrorise them
Yesterday, the House of Commons witnessed an extraordinary debate on antisemitism. It was extraordinary because it had to happen at all; for its emotion, but most of all for the testimony given by MPs, especially Labour MPs, and the blame they laid at the door of the Labour Party’s Leader, Jeremy Corbyn.

Three of Labour’s female Jewish MPs, Luciana Berger, Ruth Smeeth and Louise Ellman, each told a story of antisemitic persecution as well as of their own courage: of how they had variously received death and rape threats, as well as allegations of treasonous disloyalty and demands that they leave the country. Ms Berger stated that antisemitism in the Labour Party is “commonplace, conspicuous and corrosive”.

That Jews might experience genuine persecution in the UK in 2018 is now a familiar reality, and yet for Jews and non-Jews alike, to hear their collective testimony was shocking. Unusually, for the House of Commons, where applause is forbidden by convention, Ms Berger and Ms Smeeth received standing ovations.

John Mann, a non-Jewish MP, also revealed that aside from the threats against him as Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism, his wife had been sent a dead bird and received rape threats from activists on the political left. This is the price to be paid by those who stand in solidarity with Jews in the Labour Party.

These were not the only stories: one by one, Jewish MPs spoke out. Margaret Hodge said: “It feels like my Party has given permission for antisemitism to go unchallenged”. Ivan Lewis described how Mr Corbyn had failed to call out ideological allies of his who are also antisemitic. Another MP spoke of a young woman whom he knew who had left the UK for Israel out of fear. A Jewish Conservative MP, Robert Halfon, referred to “the air tightening”. Mr Mann summed up that change by telling the House that when he first took up his role in the fight against antisemitism thirteen years ago, Jews expressed disquiet to him. Now, he said, they express fear.
Why CAA will not attend meetings with Jeremy Corbyn
Yesterday, the Labour Party invited various organisations to a “round table” meeting with Jeremy Corbyn about antisemitism. Some of those invited, such as the so-called Jewish Voice for Labour appear to be dedicated entirely to thwarting efforts to address antisemitism in the Labour Party.

Some of our supporters have asked whether we would attend such a meeting. Unsurprisingly we do not seem to have been invited, but that is probably because our stance on this matter is no secret.

Campaign Against Antisemitism does not believe in asking Mr Corbyn to resolve problems with antisemitism in the Labour Party. He has wilfully squandered opportunities to address the Jew-hatred amongst his followers and it appears that he has no desire to take any meaningful action.

Our position is that Mr Corbyn must now be held to account by the Labour Party and treated as part of the problem, not part of the solution. If the Labour Party fails to hold him to account, then we must hold the Labour Party to account, in court if necessary.
Hollywood-inspired three billboards outside Labour Party Head Office point the finger at Jeremy Corbyn over festering antisemitism in Labour
A group of activists has arranged for three billboards to be repeatedly driven past Labour Party Head Office to draw attention to the Party’s failure to deal with the antisemitism crisis that has arisen under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn.

Timed to coincide with a Parliamentary debate on antisemitism called by Sajid Javid, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, the billboards are being driven past Labour Party Head Office, along Parliament Square, Westminster Bridge, Lambeth Palace Road, York Road, Belvedere Road, Millbank, Lambeth Bridge, Whitehall, Strand and Waterloo Bridge.

In a statement, the activists said: “Inspired by the film Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri the billboards will remind Labour and the world how much remains to be done to tackle antisemitism in the Labour Party. This grassroots initiative reflects frustration at how little has been done by Labour to tackle antisemitism. Every day seems to bring new revelations. For the Jewish Community to hold two well-attended rallies in the space of weeks to protest at antisemitism within Her Majesty’s Opposition, for the former Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks to say that he will not meet the Opposition Leader – these are unprecedented times which call for unprecedented action. The idea came from a group of Labour Party members and ex-members, but the repercussions of antisemitism in Labour reach well beyond the Party. Some 130 donors ‘crowdfunded’ the initiative – donors of all religions and none, from all walks of life, some with political affiliations, some not.”

The activists have generously decided to donate excess funds from their crowdfunding campaign to Campaign Against Antisemitism.

Campaign Against Antisemitism applauds the spirit of those who have staged and funded the billboard protest. The billboards point out, firstly, that Labour is now a safe haven for antisemites, including Holocaust deniers; secondly, that antisemitism within the Labour Party is now institutionalised; and thirdly – and the cause of both of these – that it has failed to act appropriately using clear and transparent disciplinary processes to deal with racism within the Party.
Labour MPs Give Raw Accounts of Facing Threats, Abuse, as British Parliament Debates Antisemitism
A non-Jewish member of the British Parliament from the opposition Labour Party spoke on Tuesday in blunt detail about the antisemitic threats received by his wife and children, as the House of Commons engaged in a general debate on antisemitism that placed new pressure on Labour’s left-wing leader, Jeremy Corbyn, to act against anti-Jewish invective inside the party.

John Mann — the Labour MP who chairs the all-party parliamentary group on antisemitism — revealed that he had never expected his prominent role in combating antisemitic prejudice toward British Jews would lead to the harassment of his own family.

“I didn’t expect, when I took on this voluntary cross-party role, for my wife to be sent by a Labour Marxist antisemite a dead bird through the post,” Mann told the assembled MPs. “I didn’t expect my son, after an Islamist death threat, to open the door in the house on his own — as a schoolboy — to the bomb squad.”

Following his attendance at the March 26 demonstration against antisemitism outside the British parliament, the harassment continued, Mann said.

“I didn’t expect my wife, in the last few weeks, from a leftist antisemite in response to the demonstration, to be threatened with rape,” the MP said. “I didn’t expect my daughter similarly, and have to be rung up in the last few weeks by Special Branch (the national security branch of the British police) to check out her movements in this country. No, I didn’t expect any of that.”

CAA’s Head of Political Investigations delivers over a thousand disciplinary complaint letters against Jeremy Corbyn to Labour Head Office
Each letter states: “Under Jeremy Corbyn, Labour has become a safe haven for racists. He is at home amongst them, having spent his political career seeking out and giving succour to Holocaust deniers, genocidal antisemitic terrorist groups and a litany of Jew-haters.

“Labour must lead by example and show that Jeremy Corbyn is bound by the same rules as Leader as he was as a backbencher.”

As reported in the national press, Joseph Glasman said: “Just a week ago, thousands of demonstrators joined us outside Labour Head Office to demand that the Labour Party hold Jeremy Corbyn to account for bringing the Party into disrepute in breach of Labour’s own rules.

“We filed a disciplinary complaint to that effect which the Labour Party has thus far tried to rebut without even the formality of an investigation, so today I hand delivered disciplinary complaints from among the more than a thousand we received on the day from those who demonstrated with us, who wish to add their names to the complaint.

“Jennie Formby, the new General Secretary of the Labour Party, must cease her insulting attempt to whitewash these complaints and investigate Mr Corbyn’s conduct. If the Labour Party refuses to hold him to account, then we will hold the Labour Party to account, in court if necessary.”
Voters Turning on Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour, Cite Anti-Semitism and Prejudice as Key Worries
Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour has a problem with racism and religious prejudice in its ranks, a new poll has revealed, as the fallout from a Parliamentary debate on the same issue continues to dog the left-wing party.

A survey for the Independent found 61 per cent of people of those polled thought Labour had issues, while a majority of people questioned by BMG Research believed Mr. Corbyn had personally handled claims of anti-Semitism “badly”, with the party becoming subject to protests from the Jewish community and Israel’s Labour Party severing ties with the leader’s office.

The results were released on Tuesday just hours before Mr. Corbyn took his place in Westminster and heard voices from both sides of the House excoriate the Labour Party for its tolerance of anti-Semites in its ranks.

The most powerful testimony in the special debate came from Labour MP Ruth Smeeth who received a standing ovation after reading the anti-Semitic abuse she has received from Corbyn supporters.

PreOccupiedTerritory: After Defense Against The Dark Arts, Dolores Umbridge Tapped For UK Labour ‘Antisemitism Czar’ Position (satire)
Mounting public pressure on Opposition Leader Jeremy Corbyn to address hatred for Jews in his party’s ranks has prompted him to engage a former educator at Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry known for her exclusive emphasis on theory to address the problem.

Dolores Umbridge will head up a Labour commission on antisemitism, Corbyn announced Wednesday, having shown her abilities and inclinations during a tenure at Hogwarts in the 1990’s. He announced the hiring at a press conference in response to the latest protest against the party’s apparent tolerance for antisemitism, in which a line of trucks carried billboards throughout the city highlighting Labour’s and Corbyn’s tepid response to Jewish concerns.

“Ms. Umbridge will bring her by-the-book and in-the-book approach to this thorny challenge,” he declared. “As shown by her methods in the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom, Ms. Umbridge represents the perfect choice to lead this commission: loyal to her superior, condescending of victims, and willing to tolerate or engage in violence to whitewash her faction’s official view.”

Corbyn noted that while there has already been a commission of inquiry into Labour antisemitism that he and the party found satisfactory, as it recommended little to no action on the part of the Labour leadership, he acknowledges the need for a public move to address Jewish concerns. “Even though they’re not the right kind of Jews, with many of them professing sympathy for Zionism, this is a political necessity,” he conceded. “But with Ms. Umbridge at the helm, this commission will enjoy greater authority and take a more robust approach to bringing the rank and file into line with the axiom that any accusation of antisemitism against me or other members of the party must be an attempt to discredit my anti-Zionist credentials and thereby to cripple opposition to Israel’s heinous treatment of Palestinians.”
Alleged Hamas agent says he met Dutch officials at event organized by Oxfam
An alleged agent of Hamas said he attended a meeting that was co-organized by the Dutch branch of the Oxfam aid group and attended by government officials.

Abu Amin Rashed, a Palestinian-Dutch activist whom German, Dutch and Israeli officials said is a fundraiser for Hamas in Europe, wrote about the meeting Monday on Facebook.

“Workshop in The Hague devoted to Gaza/Palestine,” Rashed wrote on Facebook with a picture from the event. “The co-founder of the workshop was the foundation Novib with a remarkable presence of European and Dutch government delegates.”

Rashed has denied claims he works for Hamas, which is considered a terrorist group in Holland and in the European Union. But his involvement at an event organized by Oxfam-Novib raises concerns about the group’s use of money that the Dutch government gives it annually, a Dutch lawmaker suggested, following media coverage of Rashed’s post.
George Washington University Students to Vote on Anti-Israel Divestment, Despite Initial Cancellation
George Washington University students are set to vote on a divestment resolution targeting Israel next week, after a debate on the resolution was unexpectedly cancelled on Monday over security concerns.

The Student Association Senate initially called off a hearing on divestment some ten minutes before it was set to begin, citing the university police department’s refusal to station officers in the meeting hall.

The senate’s executive vice president, Sydney Nelson, told The Hatchet student newspaper that the SA requests the presence of security personnel at any meeting that is expected to attract a high turnout. She said both students who support and oppose the resolution have raised safety concerns in the days preceding the meeting.

Some 30 supporters of the resolution staged a sit-in at the SA’s office following the cancellation, according to the paper. Divest This Time, the coalition that spearheaded the protest, announced on Tuesday that the SA has rescheduled the meeting for next Monday.

The divestment proposal in question — similar to one narrowly rejected on campus last spring — calls on GWU to divest from companies “profiting from” alleged violations of international law affecting Palestinians, and approvingly cites advances made by the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign in the United States.
Women's March leader attacks inclusion of ADL in bias training
A Women’s March leader mired in controversy because of her association with the virulently anti-Semitic Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan has attacked Starbucks for including the Anti-Defamation League among its advisers on bias.

Tamika Mallory in a tweet Tuesday evening accused the Jewish group of “constantly attacking black and brown people.”

The coffee giant said Tuesday that it had solicited counseling from a number of groups, including the ADL, the NAACP and others, after national outrage following the arrest last weekend of two black men sitting at one of its Philadelphia outlets.

Starbucks announced Tuesday that it would close its more than 8,000 stores in the United States on the afternoon of May 29 to conduct racial-bias education with staff.

IsraellyCool: Hater’s Lame Attempt to Claim What Israel Is Doing To Palestinians Is Genocide
The post of some guy I never heard of called Benjamin L. Corey has just come to my attention. Written in March 2017, it is one of most asinine posts on Israel I have ever seen – and I have seen many (trust me on this).

Sure, he claims to be a doctor and “two-time graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary,” but dumbasses come in all shapes, sizes and academic qualifications.

The piece is called Yes, What Israel Is Doing To Palestinians Is Actually Genocide. But it may as well be called Yes, I Am An Unhinged Israel Hater Who is Going to Now Attempt Convince You That The World is Flat. And I Am Also An Idiot.
US city bars police from training in Israel after pro-Palestinian protest
A North Carolina city council issued a statement against local police participating in international exchange programs that offer “military-style” training, after pro-Palestinian activists launched a petition against the force sending delegates to Israel, which it accused of “using tactics of extrajudicial killing.”

After a two-hour debate Monday night, the Durham City Council put out the statement, which opened by citing a memo from Police Chief Cerelyn C. J. Davis that said: “There has been no effort while I have served as chief of police to initiate or participate in any exchange to Israel, nor do I have any intention to do so.”

A former police chief did participate in such an exchange program.

The statement declared the “council opposes international exchanges with any country in which Durham officers receive military-style training since such exchanges do not support the kind of policing we want here in the City of Durham.”

The council statement was in response to a petition by the Demilitarize from Durham2Palestine group of organizations which called for ending cooperation with Israel. Among those included in the umbrella group are Jewish Voice for Peace — Triangle, Durham for All, Inside-Outside Alliance, and Black Youth Project 100.
AP’s Three-Way Independence Day Botch
Ahead of Independence Day celebrations, the Associated Press took stock of what Israel has accomplished in 70 years and where things stand in peace efforts.

Unfortunately, the international wire service unnecessarily botched three facts, all easily verifiable and all cumulatively undermining my confidence in AP. This isn’t a malicious hatchet job, just several points of carelessness. AP’s better than this.

1. The Declaration of Independence

There’s nothing wrong with criticizing Israel and judging the Jewish state against the standards it sets for itself. That’s all part of the rough and tumble Israeli public discourse. But it raises my eyebrow when AP writes:
[Israel’s] founding declaration offers it as a “light unto the nations,” but it still is regularly accused of war crimes against Palestinians, millions of whom it has controlled for decades without the right to vote.

You see, Israel’s Proclamation of Independence (in English or the original Hebrew) doesn’t contain the words “light unto the nations.” It’s a biblical term, referred to three times in the Book of Isaiah (42:6, 49:6 and 60:3). The declaration was nearly derailed by a disagreement between the religious and secular Zionist camps over referencing God.
Huffington Post Arabic Closes
Huffington Post Arabic has shuttered its doors. Leaving aside what prompted the powers that be to discontinue publishing their materials under the well-known and longstanding Huffington Post brand, it's important to note that, with the closing of the Arabic site, the Muslim Brotherhood and its supporters, such as Hamas, have lost an important mouthpiece.

Shortly after Huffington Post Arabic's 2015 launch, The Guardian's Brian Whitaker charged "that [Wadah Khanfar] the editorial director of Huffington Post's Arabic offshoot is a Qatari known for his pro-Islamist stance and its Egyptian editor-in-chief is a self-declared member of the Muslim Brotherhood."

Khanfar, the former editorial director of Huffington Post Arabic, previously served as director general of Qatar's Al Jazeera. A synergy between the two news outlets, with Khanfar as the apparent conduit, foreshadowed his later role at the American site.

While the web site operated thanks to the American principle of freedom of the press, on numerous occasions it failed to uphold key Western tenets of professional journalism. For instance, there was not a single other media outlet in the Arabic language that operated with the pretense of providing serious coverage, and yet which simultaneously gave voice to expressions like "the Zionist enemy" or "the Israeli entity." In addition, no other Western news site so diligently served the role as spokesperson for senior Hamas members by republishing declarations previously appearing in Hamas media outlets. Moreover, Huffington Post Arabic violated a basic journalistic standard by using Hamas material without informing its readers of the source.
Italian soccer fans taunt rivals with antisemitic chants about Anne Frank
Fans of the Italian soccer team Lazio taunted a Rome rival with anti-Semitic chants about Anne Frank.

“Anne Frank is from Roma,” the Lazio fans chanted Sunday at the Roma squad, which often is associated with being left wing and Jewish.

The incident in the fierce intracity rivalry came days after Holocaust Remembrance Day in Israel. Their match ended scoreless.

The Lazio team was fined over $60,000 in January after fans plastered stickers at its home stadium showing Anne Frank wearing a Roma uniform and the tagline “Roma fans are Jews.”

Under Italian soccer rules, clubs are responsible for the behavior of their supporters in the stadium.

Following that incident, Lazio President Claudio Lotito announced in response to the incident that his club would take 200 fans every year to visit Auschwitz. Also, he said players would visit schools to speak to students about respecting rules and stamping out racism and social barriers.

Lotito also visited Rome’s main synagogue and laid a wreath there in memory of Holocaust victims and condemned the actions of the fans.
German theater offers free seats for swastika wearers at ‘Mein Kampf’ play
A probe has been launched after a theater in Germany promised free entry to spectators who wear a swastika to a play named after Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf,” prosecutors said Tuesday.

A spokesman from the prosecutor’s office in the southern city of Constance said it would investigate after a number of complaints were made, according to the German news agency DPA. Under German law, publicly displaying the Nazi symbol is illegal.

Theatergoers in the picturesque lakeside city have been offered free tickets to Friday’s premiere if they wear a swastika, given to them on entry, during the performance.

Those who pay for a ticket will be asked to wear a Star of David “as a sign of solidarity with the victims of National Socialist (Nazi) barbarism,” the theater’s operators wrote on their website.

The premiere of “Mein Kampf,” a reference to the book written by Hitler when he was in prison before taking power, is scheduled to take place on Friday, April 20, the anniversary of his birth in 1889 in Austria.
German theater’s swastika stunt cleared as free speech
German prosecutors on Wednesday cleared a performance of a satirical play named after Adolf Hitler’s book “Mein Kampf” that promises free entry to spectators who wear a swastika.

The theater in the Bavarian lakeside town of Constance says it aims to show how easily people can be corrupted but the approach sparked numerous legal complaints.

Local prosecutors however on Wednesday said the premiere could go ahead on Friday, which marks Hitler’s birthday in 1889, as well as the controversial swastika campaign.

The theater says on its website that those who pay for a ticket will be asked to wear a Star of David “as a sign of solidarity with the victims of Nazi barbarism.”
IsraellyCool: Death of an Unheralded Heroine: Stephanie Plotkin
We tend to hear about the high profile heroes of the world, but many times there are heroes living among us, and you may not even know it.

One such hero – or heroine in this case – was Stephanie Plotkin, who bravely exposed anti-Israel indoctrination at Grand Valley State University in Michigan in 2015. Here is what she wrote for Truth Revolt at the time:

My eyes followed my professor up and down the aisles as he passed out the flyers, flashes of sunlight reflecting off them. I almost held my breath as he weaved his way toward me. I could feel my heart race in my throat.

“You are required to attend this lecture. You do not have to agree with what Ms. Barrows-Friedman is saying, but you need to write a paper and include a summary of the content of the lecture. Then please include what you knew about the conflict before you attended, and then how you feel once you have heard what she has to say.”

I couldn’t believe what Professor Alvarez was saying. We had to attend? Attendance was mandatory? Finally the flyer reached me. I skimmed the contents, trying to hide my disdain from the other students. “In Our Power,” the title read. “U.S. Students Organize For Justice In Palestine.” The flyer depicted a woman wearing a hijab, with one fist in the air and her other holding a microphone. Two students were facing her, one wearing a tiny pin with the initials BDS imprinted on it. Underneath the drawing, there was a photo of Nora Barrows-Friedman, with a bio, and then to the left was a column that ran the length of the flyer titled, “HCC, Healing Children of Conflict.” Something inside me made me take a picture. I had no idea why, but I wanted to show my mother what I was “required” to attend. I didn’t feel good about this at all, even though I didn’t understand what The Electronic Intifada was, or what this all really meant.
To Celebrate Israel’s 70th Year, Adelsons Donate $70 Million to Birthright Program
On the eve of Israel’s 70th anniversary, Dr. Miriam and Sheldon Adelson surprised the audience at the 18th annual Birthright Israel gala on Sunday night by announcing a $70 million donation to the project.

The Birthright Israel project, also known as Taglit in Hebrew, brings Jewish youths from around the world to Israel to foster a bond with the Jewish state.

“Before Israel was founded, my father always said he wished there was a place where Jewish people could live. He always wanted to go, but by the time I could send him, he said he was too old and too sick. I don’t want any kid to say they were too old or too sick to visit Israel,” Adelson told the 650 people in attendance.

In total, $125 million was raised at the Sunday night gala in New York.

The Adelsons, who received the Guardians of the Jewish Future Award, have to date contributed $410 million in support of Birthright Israel.

Since its inception in 2000, Birthright Israel has brought more than 600,000 Jewish youths and young adults to Israel.
IsraellyCool: Reasons Nikki Haley is Awesome #174
We already knew that Nikki Haley, the US Ambassador to the UN (aka the new Sheriff in town), is awesome and a true friend of Israel and the Jewish people. But it’s not just her speeches that clue us in to this.

Nikki uses the same background image for both her Facebook page and Twitter account.

This is actually a photo of Nikki in Jerusalem, with some girls from a Jewish seminary (hat tip: Ari).

What’s more, she made this her background image back in late November 2017. So despite being in many more photos with many more people since, she has stayed with this photo for almost 5 months.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.

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