Monday, April 30, 2018

From Ian:

Netanyahu: Iran ‘brazenly lied’ about nuclear program, continued work after deal
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Iran of lying about its nuclear program in a speech broadcast live Monday, revealing information he said showed the Islamic Republic had for years worked on developing nuclear weapons, and continued to pursue such weapons even after signing the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.

The premier, who has repeatedly called for the accord between world powers and Iran to either be altered or scrapped, said Israel had obtained 100,000 secret Iranian files “a few weeks ago in a great intelligence achievement.”

Speaking in English at the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv, Netanyahu gave a presentation including videos and slides he said exposed Iran’s nuclear dossier.

“You may well know that Iran’s leaders repeatedly deny ever pursuing nuclear weapons,” he said, before playing clips of Iran’s supreme leader, president and foreign minister denying the country ever sought such capabilities weapons.

“Iran lied. Big time,” said Netanyahu, adding that the trove included a half-ton of material.

The cache, he said, contained “incriminating documents, incriminating charts, incriminating presentations, incriminating blueprints, incriminating photos, incriminating videos and more.

After Netanyahu’s speech, Trump says ‘I’ve been 100 percent right’ on Iran
Shortly after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech detailing covert Iranian efforts to build a nuclear program, and with less than two weeks before his deadline to exit the nuclear accord with Tehran, US President Donald Trump on Monday said the deal was “unacceptable” in its present form.

Responding to Netanyahu’s broadcast in which the prime minister revealed that Israel had obtained 100,000 secret Iranian documents pertaining to the program, Trump said, “What’s happening today and what’s happened over the last little while and what we’ve learned has really shown that I’ve been 100 percent right.

“That is just not an acceptable situation, and I’ve been saying that’s happening,” he went on in the White House Rose Garden, alongside Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari. “They’re not sitting back idly; they’re setting off missiles, which they say are for television purposes? I don’t think so.”

The American leader also declined to share whether he’s decided to walk away from the landmark agreement by May 12, the next deadline to waive sanctions against the Islamic Republic under the deal. Trump last signed those waivers in January, but he said he would not again unless Congress and European allies amend the pact.

“We’ll see what happens,” he said. “I’m not telling you what I’m doing, but a lot of people think they know. On or before the 12th, we’ll make a decision. That doesn’t mean we won’t negotiate a real agreement. You know, this is an agreement that wasn’t approved by too many people, and it’s a horrible agreement for the United States, including the fact… that we gave Iran $150 billion and $1.8 billion in cash.

“You know what we got?” Trump continued. “We got nothing. That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t negotiate a new agreement, we’ll see what happens.”

The Duplicitous Diplomat: Seven Deceptions Iranian FM Zarif Told Face the Nation
4) “We never wanted to produce a bomb.”

Later on Zarif reiterated this, saying, “Iran commits itself never to develop a nuclear weapon.”

In fact, a 2007 National Intelligence Estimate assessed that Iran had sought to develop a nuclear weapon until 2003. The IAEA, in 2015, prior to implementation of the nuclear deal in January 2016, determined that Iran was attempting to design a nuclear weapon at least until 2009. Iran also failed to answer all of the questions asked of it about its nuclear program by the IAEA prompting The New York Times to observe, “Iran’s refusal to cooperate on central points could set a dangerous precedent as the United Nations agency tries to convince other countries with nuclear technology that they must fully answer queries to determine if they have a secret weapons program.”

Iran has tried to develop nuclear weapons in the past and no matter what’s written on a piece of paper (that Iran never signed), Iran can be expected to do so in the future.

Eli Lake: Israel Exposes Iran's Nuclear Lies, and the Limits of U.S. Intelligence
Advocating for a pact in 2015, John Kerry said American agencies had "absolute knowledge" about the regime's past nuclear efforts. Oops.

Since Iran and six world powers reached an agreement to pause Iran's enrichment of uranium and allow weapons inspectors into declared facilities, Israel's prime minister has argued the deal would give Iran a glide path to a nuclear weapon. On Monday he announced that he had proof.

If the West can verify the new Israeli intelligence that Iran had preserved its design and research work into a nuclear weapon, that's a big deal — particularly now in light of the May 12 deadline that President Donald Trump has imposed on U.S. negotiations with Europe to come up with fixes to strengthen the nuclear bargain. The trove of data would be a blow not only to Iran's credibility but also to the reputation of American intelligence gathering.

As negotiations with Iran came to a close in summer 2015, John Kerry, then secretary of state, assured reporters that American intelligence agencies had "absolute knowledge" about Iran's past efforts to build a nuclear weapon.

It was a strange remark. As the intelligence assessments before the 2003 Iraq War showed, intelligence is never absolute. What's more, the International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA, still had its own outstanding questions for Iran. Indeed, that agency could not give Iran a clean bill of health on the possible military dimensions of its nuclear program nearly six months later.

Now Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is claiming that his country's spies have purloined a warehouse full of videos, files, blueprints and designs for nuclear weapons compiled between 1999 and 2003. If verified, the new Israeli intelligence would show there were many details the U.S. didn't know back in 2015.
PMW: Europe's desire to get rid of remaining Jews after WWII made it support Zionism, says Abbas advisor
The antisemitic Palestinian Authority narrative that Zionism was a European scheme to get rid of the Jews, because Jews were damaging European society, was repeated last week by a senior advisor of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. Mahmoud Al-Habbash charged that after WWII Europe supported the establishment of Israel because they "wanted to get rid of the presence of the Jews of Europe."

Al-Habbash, one of the most important religious figures in the PA, repeated the PA narrative that the European animosity toward the Jews was because the Jews "had a monopoly over the economy and capital" - a particularly absurd accusation following WWII, and the destruction of most of European Jewry in the Nazi concentration camps.

Mahmoud Al-Habbash, Abbas' Advisor on Religious and Islamic Affairs:
"After World War II ended, the colonialist states wanted to get rid of the presence of the Jews of Europe, who had a monopoly over the economy and capital. Therefore, they supported these claims and helped them establish their state on the land of Palestine at the expense of the Palestinian people, who are still suffering from this crime."
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, April 24, 2018]

Al-Habbash made these statements during his "religious and political lecture" at a conference in Sudan.

Israel And The Defeat Of Soviet Communism
Israel's position in the world was transformed. Simcha Dinitz, former Israeli ambassador to United States, said: "In the contest between Russia and America within the Cold War in the Middle East, Israel was an automatic ally of the West. Since the Six Day War, this automatic ally became a strategic asset."

Every subsequent war proved the superiority of American weapons over Soviet weapons, and the United States proved that its diplomatic support carried more weight than any other country (and even outweighed the diplomatic power of most of the world combined, especially at the United Nations). Egyptian leader Anwar Sadat - coming to the realization that “America holds all the cards” – made peace with Israel and moved Egypt (the most powerful and important country of the Arab and Muslim worlds) out of the Soviet camp and into an alliance with the United States. Soviet influence in the Middle East would never recover from the loss of Egypt.

Inside the USSR, Sharansky recalled the impact of Israel's victory on himself and his fellow Soviet Jews: "In six dramatic days, everything changed for us. The call that went up from Jerusalem, 'The Temple Mount is in our hands,' penetrated the Iron Curtain and forged an almost mystic link with our people. And while we had no idea what the Temple Mount was, we did know that the fact that it was in our hands had won us respect. Like a cry from our distant past, it told us that we were no longer displaced and isolated. We belonged to something, even if we did not yet know what, or why. Of course, we still suffered from anti-Semitism, but even that assumed a new character. Jews were no longer cowards. Instinctively, and without any real connection to Judaism, we became Zionists. We knew that somewhere there was a country that called us its children, and this knowledge filled us with pride."

Soviet Jews who wished to emigrate to Israel from the Soviet Union (a right denied to them) joined the Soviet dissident movement en mass. The regime’s legitimacy – internal and external – dissipated as Sharansky and the “Refuseniks” worked hand-in-hand with underground human rights groups to document and disseminate reports of systematic human rights abuses in the Soviet Union.

There were many causes of the Soviet Union’s collapse – economic, cultural, moral, etc. But the deterioration of its prestige on the world stage and in the eyes of its subjects undoubtedly ranks among the top reasons for the Evil Empire’s fall. And Israel played an indispensable role in this.

Just one more miracle, from a nation built on miracles.
Abandoning the Jewish state
Having now despaired of a two-state solution to the Israeli -Palestinian conflict and having realized that substantial Israeli unilateral withdrawals are unlikely (for very good reasons, in my view) – the hard Left is now throwing in the towel.

The movement that pretends to be deeply concerned for Israel's Jewish character can no longer support independent Jewish statehood if the Palestinians can't obtain full national rights, too. That's the bottom line of Yehoshua's essay.

This ideological denouement is as striking as it is sad. There always was a tension between the Jewish and democratic principles underlying the drive for Israel, going back to the writings of the early Zionist ideologues and the diplomatic positions of David Ben-Gurion.

But the historic Jewish claim to independent Jewish statehood in Israel always won out, whatever degree of impingement on Arab/Palestinian rights this entailed. After all, the Arabs have quite a few other territories across the Middle East.

But unfortunately for Yehoshua and his ilk, this calculus no longer holds. For them, there is now something more important than Jewish statehood: "our humanity and the humanity of the Palestinians in our midst," which leads to Yehoshua's call for a one-state confederated "solution" – meaning the dissolution of Israel.

This is the inevitable culmination of the protracted process in which the hard Left lost its Jewish-Zionist identity – an identity that has been overwhelmed by fealty to ephemeral "humanity" and extremist liberal principles that apply nowhere else and to nobody else.

Indeed, nowhere else. I hear no global clamoring for confederation of any of the crumbling 22 Arab states. But the sole Jewish state in the world must become half Arab, you see. (h/t steelraptor from Saturn)
What’s wrong with American Jewish liberals
For too many liberal Jews, Israel in their minds, has become an “oppressor” of rights. They have repeatedly attempted to brand Israel as an intolerant society. Liberal Jews will also be the first to disingenuously claim that they are on Israel’s side.

What seems to escape liberal Jews like Portman is the very composition of democratic life here in Israel. Their understanding is based on recriminations and false accusations suggesting that they can save Israel from itself, if only Israel would adopt their liberal values. The fact that Jews and Arabs all enjoy equal civil and legal rights and are subject to judicial review should they feel that their democratic rights are being impinged always seems to escape their minds. The fact that Israel’s Supreme Court of Appeals has adopted “judicial activism” in its orientation and is at the forefront of protecting the rights of all sectors of the population in Israel also doesn’t seem to hold water for Liberal Jews.

However by dividing Israel into good cop, bad cop, and making out the Israeli Prime Minister and his ruling coalition an amalgamation of Dirty Harry and The Chosen so as to make Israel palatable to liberal Jews is avoiding the real issue at hand. The problem lies - and here I quote the Jewish liberal Peter Beinart - liberal American Jews “are not especially connected to Israel because they are not especially connected to being Jewish".

Supporting an Israel that elects a conservative/right-wing/religious government is messy, complicated, and raises too many questions concerning Jewish identity and Jewish affiliation for liberal Jews, especially if they want to fit in with today's Democratic Party..

Yet, when one considers the worldwide movement in recent years to de-legitimize the State of Israel; their aim is not to engage or interact but to undermine and demonize. Their opposition to Israel is not open to reason or good will. In short, their hatred is unconditional. With his being the current geo-strategic reality challenging Israel, than why is it that liberal Jews become so uneasy by expressing unconditional love and support towards Israel?

Had Natalie Portman accepted the Genesis Prize here in Israel, no one would have assumed that she was representing or endorsing Netanyahu or any other Israeli politician. For Liberal Jews many of our debates about Israel have become coarse and divisive, their enthusiasm and eagerness to express tough, critical love towards Israel even when unwarranted and hypocritical has become the accepted norm in how they relate to Israel.
‘Anti-Zionist and Jew:’ Behind Jeremy Corbyn’s Apology
“I refuse to characterize as opinion,” wrote Jean-Paul Sartre in Anti-Semite and Jew, “a doctrine that is aimed directly at particular persons and that seeks to suppress their rights or to exterminate them.”

This was the French philosopher’s answer to the contention that antisemitism is merely an “opinion,” when it is more properly understood as a “passion” rooted in a hatred that lies outside of reason. “If the anti-Semite is impervious to reason and to experience, it is not because his conviction is strong,” Sartre observed. “Rather his conviction is strong because he has chosen first of all to be impervious.”

Sartre’s characterization of antisemitism as outside “the category of ideas protected to the right of free opinion” — a clear statement that Jew-baiting is the preserve of knaves and fanatics — has more or less prevailed in the Western democracies since his eccentric yet invaluable study was first published in 1944. Perhaps the best evidence of that, today, is the fact that someone described as an antisemite almost always objects that this is a personal insult, rather than a provocative observation about the manner in which they interpret the world around them. As to what they call themselves, some of them are “patriots,” “nationalists” or “socialists;” others use terms like “anti-racist.” Most will see at worst no harm, and even some honor, in the descriptor “anti-Zionist.”

That is one critical reason why — in an opinion piece billed as an apology for the antisemitism that has plagued the British Labour Party since he became its leader in 2015 — Jeremy Corbyn felt compelled to point out that “anti-Zionism is not in itself antisemitic, and many Jews themselves are not Zionists.”

There are, Corbyn conceded, “a very few [sic] who are drawn to the Palestinian question precisely because it affords an opportunity to express hostility to Jewish people in a ‘respectable’ setting.” In other words, the intentions of anti-Zionists are usually noble, and a few bad apples should not let us lose sight of that.
Revealed: 'Poisonous' Anti-Semitic Posts Litter Jeremy Corbyn's Facebook Page
Vile, poisonous slanders against Jews have been exposed as part of the official Facebook page of UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Claims that “supremacist Jews” have taken over Labour and are playing “victims” by talking about being “massacred by Hitler” are just two of the repeatable assertions Mr. Corbyn’s page played host to.

The Mail on Sunday reports others accused Jews of being the “biggest problem facing the world for centuries” while the “Zionist lobby” is alleged to be in control all of British politics.

The comments were left in the days after Mr. Corbyn met with Jewish leaders in London to address their concerns over anti-Semitism in his left-wing party.

A spokesman for the Community Security Trust – a charity which campaigns against anti-Semitism – said: “Some of these comments contain shocking anti-Semitism.

“Jeremy Corbyn has pledged to drive anti-Semitism out of the Labour Party. We welcome this commitment, and a fitting place to start would be on his own Facebook page.”
Labour Party Antisemitism: BBC Confuses its Youth Audience
Zionism: “Not all Jewish people support this”

And while it is true that not all Jews consider themselves to be Zionists, the BBC should have pointed out that a majority of British Jews (72%) defined themselves as Zionists. according to a 2010 study. Even then the report’s authors noted: “Many of those who define themselves as non-Zionist are using the term to mark their disagreement with contemporary Israeli government policy, rather than to signal a lack of support for the concept of Israel as an expression of Jewish nationhood.”

More recently, in 2015, even a poll for a progressive left-leaning Jewish group found that 90 percent of British Jews support Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, 84 percent feel a “deep sense of pride” in its achievements in art, science and technology and 93 percent say Israel plays a part in their Jewish identity.

By failing to note the views of mainstream UK Jewry, the BBC gives far too much weight and credibility to the small minority of anti-Zionist Jews on the fringes who claim that the the problem of antisemitism is exaggerated or made up.
Labour and left-wing antisemitism: It’s all about Israel

It’s hardly surprising that so many young people in the UK appear to believe that the charge of antisemitism is being “weaponized” to shut down criticism of Israel when the BBC gives them this kind of sub-standard analysis:
Anti-Semitism – prejudice against Jewish people – is definitely not just a problem in the left wing of British politics.

But accusations of it being within the left goes far back, partly because of its long association with anti-Zionism.

Making left-wing antisemitism about “its long association with anti-Zionism” is to excuse those manifestations that have been apparent during this Labour Party crisis such as Holocaust denial and revisionism, and the promotion of Jewish conspiracy theories that have nothing to do with Israel and everything to do with outright Jew hatred.

“Jewish settlements within Jerusalem”
Typically, the left would associate itself with standing up for oppressed minorities in the UK and around the world.

There’s been a dispute between Israel and the Palestinians about Jewish settlements within Jerusalem for decades.

If the BBC is saying that the left is typically associated with “standing up for oppressed minorities,” who is the oppressed minority in this case? That becomes clear in the next utterly idiotic sentence – “There’s been a dispute between Israel and the Palestinians about Jewish settlements within Jerusalem for decades.”

Is the BBC trying to say that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is central to antisemitism and/or anti-Zionism? Either way, to explain the conflict in one sentence as being “about Jewish settlements within Jerusalem” is mind boggling.
The puzzle of Baroness Warsi's links with Islamist group
Baroness Sayeeda Warsi is a puzzle. The Muslim former Minister for Faith and Conservative Party Chairman says she is strongly opposed to sectarianism within Islam, homophobia, antisemitism and extremism of all kinds.

She wants to “continue on our journey towards liberal values.”

Yet her opposition to the Muslim woman who has campaigned for a decade to take us on that journey is positively visceral.

“Deeply concerned” was how Warsi greeted the recent appointment of the Commissioner for Counter Extremism, Sara Khan. When pressed, Warsi lets rip in a way that sounds almost personal.Khan is dismissed as a “Home Office construct” — and this from a former Conservative Cabinet minister.

Warsi is referring to a series of anti-Isis rallies in 2014 inspired by Khan’s anti-extremism organisation, Inspire. Aimed at helping British Muslim mothers protect their children from the toxic ideology of ISIS, ‘Making A Stand’ was a roadshow to which the Home Office provided logistical support — something Inspire openly acknowledge.

Why would Warsi oppose anyone who stood for human rights and female empowerment in the face of brutal theocratic extremism — with or without government assistance?

Should Khan now say “I am so sorry for running an anti-ISIS campaign?”.

As I say, it’s a puzzle.

More puzzling still is Warsi’s relationship to an organisation she admits has accommodated views that “although not illegal, are clearly illiberal.”

That organisation is Mend, Muslim Engagement and Development, the fastest growing and most active Muslim advocacy group in Britain today.
Daphne Anson: British Labour Antisemitism: Stephen & Jonathan Tell (video)
Well look who's talking about antisemitism in Britain's Labour Party, or the, er, lack of it.

Yes, that Stephen. Stephen the Martyr, persecuted, to hear him tell it, by those dastardly Zionists. In other words, vicar-turned-Peacemakers Trust CEO Sizer, back in that not unfamiliar setting for him, the London studios of the Iranian regimes's propaganda satellite channel, Press TV.

But not that Jonathan. Not the bravely zealous Israel-defender Mr Hoffman but notorious anti-Israel activist Professor Jonathan Rosenhead.

Watch, but have a sick bag close at hand.
Bonus: Lord Sugar on the same topic

Jews for Corbyn
In fact, Jenny Manson is deviously disingenuous. Her JVL group was set up, as she herself admitted, “to tackle the myth of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party.”

For people like Manson, Levane, Corbyn, and others, there is a deliberate attempt to disconnect Jews from support for Zionism. They know that once you prize Judaism from Zionism you remove the heart and soul from the Zionist enterprise, thereby killing the raison d’etre of the fundamental basis of Israel, the Jewish state, Fortunately, the vast majority of mainstream British Jewry stand firmly with Israel.

To paraphrase David Aaronovitch, Jeremy Corbyn abides only the “good Jews,” those that affiliate themselves with his far-left ideology. An essential part of that belonging is to disown Israel.

He can’t help himself. This Socialist is stuck in the mantra that not only are Hamas and Hezbollah his friends but also supporting the terrorists responsible for the bombing in 1994 of the Israeli Embassy in London and Balfour House, the building that housed the UJIA, one of the largest Jewish charities in the UK, in which twenty-six people were injured.

Corbyn, the bombers' friend, spent more than a decade campaigning for their release.

Corbyn can’t help himself. That is the way he is, and it is highly unlikely that the JLC or the BoD can help him either, although I applaud them for giving it their best shot.
Something Is Rotten in Israel: It’s the New Israel Fund
The New Israel Fund (NIF) is ecstatic over its victory dismantling the Israeli government’s plan to deport illegal migrants from Africa back to friendly, third-party African countries. As the self-described “real opposition” in Israel, the NIF believes it has accomplished a major policy goal.

The NIF is indeed on a roll. Their grantees have been advocating against the self-defense tactics of the IDF at the Gaza border and are also trying to stop the transfer of the US embassy to Jerusalem.

There’s just one problem: The NIF is not an Israeli organization. It’s American. The NIF has no seats in the Knesset, nor does it send its children to the Israeli army. If there is conflict in Israel, there is no need for them to find shelter in a safe room, because they are safely ensconced in America.

How are Israelis supposed to react to this state of affairs? Perhaps a hint can be found in how Americans have reacted to the prospect that Russians interfered with the US election in 2016. They were furious that the internal affairs of their country might have been influenced by foreigners.

Americans were rightly concerned that their sovereignty was being compromised by non-Americans who had their own agenda. They were being manipulated by outsiders who might claim they were acting for the benefit of Americans, but were actually pursuing their own agenda.
UC San Diego Hosts Those With an Antisemitic and Anti-American Agenda
Over the past decade, University of California schools have been making headlines, not for athletic or academic achievements, but for the antisemitism pervading campus life. Case in point: the University of California San Diego (UCSD).

An African-American student would be justifiably offended, perhaps frightened, by the spectacle of Ku Klux Klan or white supremacy posters on a professor’s office. Likewise, Jewish students visiting the office of Professor Yen Le Espiritu would be offended and frightened. But for them, it isn’t hypothetical.

Espiritu’s office door is adorned with posters glorifying Hamas and accusing Israel of engaging in apartheid. These displays of hate and antisemitism hint at someone who should not be influencing impressionable minds. And this is before stepping into her classroom.

Espiritu is a distinguished fellow and former chair of the Ethnic Studies Department at UCSD. One of the courses she currently teaches, “Circulations of Difference: Introduction to Ethnic Studies,” has been described by one student who requested anonymity as a course that delegitimizes the very existence of Israel and the United States.

“Espiritu believes that Israel and the United States are colonialist nations. She is adamant that Jews have no connection to the Land of Israel,” the student told the Haym Salomon Center, “despite the archaeological proof and the fact that Jews have resided in modern day Israel long before Islam even existed.”

Far from encouraging the free exchange of ideas and perspectives, Espiritu’s classroom environment is intimidating.
Belgium’s ex-PM accused of anti-Semitism for ‘Antwerp diamond dealers’ crack
Belgium’s previous prime minister faced accusations of anti-Semitism after complaining in an interview that the kingdom has become a country “of Antwerp diamond dealers.”

Elio di Rupo, a socialist politician who serves as Belgium’s prime minister from 2011 to 2014, was accused of dog whistling in an interview published Friday in the L’Echo newspaper.

“Belgium cannot be governed the way it is today: solely for the richest and most powerful,” Di Rupo said. “It’s a Belgium of Antwerp diamond dealers that we have today when we need a much more pluralistic Belgium. It’s an unapologetic right-wing policy that presumes to know everything, but is belied by statistics.”

The diamond district of the Belgian city of Antwerp for decades was dominated by Jews. However, since the 1980s, Jewish traders have gradually been replaced by south Asians, who now are believed to outnumber the Jews.

In an editorial op-ed on the news site Juif, the writer accused di Rupo of dog whistling about Jews. But even if this was not his intention, the writer continued, “he could have said what he wanted to say differently instead of pouring oil on the fire of a certain kind of anti-Semitism.” The op-ed originally appeared on the blog “Philosemitism.”
Guardian suggests equivalence between President Rivlin’s ‘greater Israel’ and Gaza protest leader’s ‘No Israel’
It is indeed true, that President Rivlin has openly supported the idea of Israelis and Palestinians living ‘side by side’ as citizens of one state. However, President Rivlin champions the idea of an Israeli annexation of the West Bank with Israelis and Palestinians living side by side under Israeli sovereignty and Palestinians being granted full Israeli citizenship. In this scenario, it is assumed that Jews would still represent a significant majority of the overall population.

This is certainly not the view of Abu Artema. As UK Media Watch noted in an earlier post, Abu Artema believes Israel has no right to exist within any borders, and sees it as a foreign entity that expelled the Palestinians through ‘terrorism’. Thus, Abu Artema believes in ending Israeli sovereignty, not spreading it to Palestinians.

So, to compare the two seems to be a willful conflation of two opposite extremes, not an accurate comparison. There is a big difference between Israelis and Palestinians living under Israeli sovereignty, and living in a post-Israel world as hoped for by Abu Artema. Incredibly, the Guardian even includes a link in the above-mentioned opinion piece to a Jerusalem Post article about President Rivlin’s views, which makes it crystal clear that he wants to extend Israeli sovereignty – so they can’t even claim to have misunderstood his point.

There also is another mistake in the analogy – President Rivlin talked about Palestinians in the West Bank, whereas Abu Artema’s protests are in Gaza. President Rivlin did not champion Israel extending its sovereignty to Gaza, as Gaza is politically a separate entity. Israel withdrew its soldiers and civilians fully from Gaza in 2005. They the IDF imposed a partial military blockade in 2009, it is a totally separate political entity from Israel. So the simplistic phrase “Palestinians and Israelis living side by side” ignores the hard fact that there are different groups of Palestinians – President Rivlin talked about West Bank Palestinians, and Abu Artema talks about Gazan Palestinians.
Telegraph Corrects ‘West Jerusalem’ Giro d’Italia Stage
The Giro d’Italia, international cycling’s second biggest event, is coming to Israel this weekend much to the disappointment of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign.

Back in November 2017, after angering Israeli government ministers, race organizers issued a clarification after their web site and promotional material said the first leg of the race would take place in “West Jerusalem.”

It looks like the Daily Telegraph didn’t get the memo.

While the BDS may wish to politicize the race, it shouldn’t be that the Telegraph unilaterally divides Israel’s capital city even when the Giro d’Italia has not done so.

We requested an amendment and we are pleased that the Telegraph obliged.
German memorial honors forced laborers of forgotten Nazi camp
Germany on Friday inaugurated a memorial at the long-forgotten site of a World War II Nazi concentration camp where forced laborers built an aircraft factory deep inside a Bavarian forest.

At least 2,200 prisoners, many of them Hungarian Jews, died in the miserable conditions at the Muehldorfer Hart camp and were buried on-site in a mass grave.

More than 70 years after the war ended, the state of Bavaria has finally put up a memorial of standing concrete slabs with photographs and text on the site's grim history.

A concrete path has also been laid, leading visitors through the vast area's work camp to the mass grave.

"I am satisfied that finally, after so many years, we can remember the suffering of these men and their deaths in the middle of the forest," said Franz Langstein, who heads the association "For Remembrance."

The group has fought for 20 years for the memorial to be built, he told AFP.

"Why so long? That's a difficult question," said Langstein. "I think it has to do with the fact that a certain generation needed time before looking back."

Some 10,000 detainees were forced to work in "inhumane conditions" in the camp from the summer of 1944 until April 1945, according to Langstein.
Road sign in Arizona hacked to display anti-Semitic message
An electronic road sign in central Arizona was hacked to display an anti-Semitic message.

The sign in Pinal County early on Friday morning was altered to read “Hail Hitler,” which, though spelled incorrectly, is believed to refer to the Nazi salute, the Arizona Republic reported.

The Pinal County Sheriff’s Office received the first call complaining about the sign at about 2:30 a.m. local time.

fficers attempted to turn off the sign, owned by an unnamed private company, but it required a password. County crews covered the sign for several hours until the company could be reached and the sign was turned off, according to the report.

The sheriff’s office said it could not investigate the incident as a hate crime since no individual victim was targeted.

Nazi symbols, salutes on display at Ukrainian nationalist march
Hundreds of people in the Ukrainian city of Lviv attended a nationalist march featuring Nazi symbols that commemorated a Waffen SS unit with many local volunteers.

Eduard Dolinsky, director of the Ukrainian Jewish Committee, condemned the march Saturday honoring the 14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS, or the 1st Galician, as “a scandalous event that should not be allowed to happen in Ukraine in which murderers of Jews and others are glorified.”

And Andrew Srulevitch, the director of European affairs at the Anti-Defamation League, on Twitter wrote on Sunday that “Ukrainian leaders need to condemn such marches, where Ukrainian extremists celebrate Ukrainian Nazi SS divisions (1st Galician), giving Nazi salutes in uniform in the middle of a major Ukrainian city.”
Nazi Camp Survivors, Austrian Far-Right Party Clash Over Memorial Service
A group that represents survivors of a Nazi-era concentration camp said on Monday the far-right Freedom Party (FPO), junior party in Austria’s coalition government, had not been invited to a memorial service, prompting an angry response from the FPO.

The Austrian Mauthausen Committee holds a ceremony every May to mark the liberation of the Mauthausen-Gusen camp near the city of Linz in northern Austria by US troops in 1945. Up to 320,000 people are believed to have died there from 1938, when it opened after Adolf Hitler’s annexation of Austria, to 1945.

The committee has barred the anti-immigrant FPO, which was founded by former Nazis, from the memorial services since the 1960s. But the FPO became the junior coalition partner of the ruling conservatives last year, it has publicly disowned its Nazi roots and has been trying to project a more moderate image.

Willi Mernyi, the committee’s head, told Austrian newspaper Der Standard that having officials from the FPO at the May 6 memorial service would be a “renewed humiliation” for survivors.

He said the FPO supported a far-right publication called Aula, which once called freed prisoners from the concentration camp a “plague on the country.”

“Should such people march by the survivors? Perhaps we should also invite the (nationalist) student fraternities to sing something for us?” Mernyi added.
Teen behind JCC threats suspected of making bomb hoax calls from prison
A 19-year-old Israeli-American teenager awaiting trial on charges relating to more than 2,000 bomb and other threats against Jewish communities, airports and police stations in the United States and other countries is suspected of making a further 100 threatening calls from inside an Israeli prison.

The teenager, a resident of Ashkelon, was arrested Monday after two calls were made to the Israeli police on Sunday warning of suspicious items at schools in Tel Aviv and the nearby town of Kfar Saba.
The two calls were traced back to the teenager who is currently awaiting trial at the Nitzan prison in the central Israel town of Ramle.

The name of the suspect remains under gag order as he was a minor when the majority of the alleged crimes were committed. The police investigation into the latest series of calls is still ongoing.

The teenager was first arrested in March 2017 after a lengthy investigation carried out by Israel Police, in coordination with the FBI and other international law enforcement agencies.

He was indicted in April 2017 for a range of offenses over a two-year period, including extortion through threats, publicizing fake news that caused fear and confusion, cyber crimes and money laundering. He was also charged with illegal possession of a weapon, attacking a police officer, selling drugs, possessing pedophile-type materials and other crimes.

His defense lawyer in Israel has stated that the defendant has a high IQ but has an inoperable benign brain tumor and severe behavioral issues.
80s band Foreigner to play Tel Aviv show
Foreigner lead singer Kelly Hansen is on the road for seven to eight months a year, visiting city after city and country after country - "I stopped counting countries at around 75, but we've been to a lot!" he said.

But Hansen knows one thing he'll be looking forward to when he and the rest of the band touch town in Tel Aviv this week - the food.

"I love the whole Mediterranean vibe of the food there," Hansen, a self-described foodie, told The Jerusalem Post in a recent interview from Oklahoma. "The first time was really quite a shock as to how fresh and just vibrant the food was - I look forward to having some more of that."

This Saturday night will be the band's third time in Israel in just the past four years, as they celebrate their 40th anniversary and kick off several weeks of shows across Europe. And, after 40 years, the band knows just how to deliver the classic hits that Foreigner fans are looking for - from "I Want to Know What Love Is" to "Waiting for a Girl Like You," "Hot Blooded," "Juke Box Hero" and more.

But only one member of the original lineup - guitarist Mick Jones - is still touring with the band, and Hansen himself came on in 2005, long after the band's heyday in the 70s and 80s.
Roseanne at JPost Conference: I want to move to Israel and run for PM
Actress and comedian Roseanne Barr said at the Jerusalem Post Conference on Sunday that she hopes one day to make aliya and run for prime minister of Israel.

“I want to move to Israel and run for prime minister,” she told interviewer Dana Weiss. “I do have that fantasy. If God calls me, I’ll go.”

Barr later said that she’s not entirely sure about the political run, but she definitely hopes to move to the Holy Land one day.

“I want to make aliya, I do, and before all the stuff is sold – all the real estate,” she said. “I still have this fantasy of being an old Jewish lady living in the Jewish homeland... I want to buy a farm there and maybe bring my family.”

Of course, Barr won’t be moving just yet, since she just signed on to another year of her smash hit TV show, the revival of Roseanne. Barr said it’s true she committed to another year “but you never know what’s going to happen.”
Brazilian soccer legend opens academy in Israel
A Brazilian soccer idol has launched a soccer school in Israel aimed at both native-born and immigrant children and youths.

Ronaldinho Gaucho, who spent last week in the Jewish state, announced Thursday the establishment of the Ronaldinho Soccer Academy, a soccer school for children and youths ages 6 to 16. The goal is to combine the passion and fun of Brazilian soccer with a strong teaching methodology and friendship values.

“I am very excited to help Israeli children of all faiths raise their game to the highest levels,” Ronaldinho said during a news conference. “I see the school as a first-class educational tool that helps in acquiring skills, tools for life, discipline, teamwork and more. Israel has a tremendous potential, countless talents and a great love for the game.”

The project was established in cooperation with the Beitar Nordia Jerusalem soccer team along with local partners.

“Our mission is to bring new values to Israeli children and make the sports they are passionate about collaborate in their upbringing, promoting well-being, health, compliance and social engagement. Teachers will be cordial and patient educators,” Brazilian-born Mauro Rozenszajn, CEO of Ronaldinho Soccer Academy Israel, told JTA.
Argentina’s national soccer team will play in Israel despite BDS pressure
Two-time soccer world champion Argentina will travel to Israel to play a friendly between the two national teams despite pressure from BDS activists.

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel has launched a campaign to stop the June 9 match, including sending letters to Argentine sports figures.

The letter from the Argentinean Committee of Solidarity with Palestine to the Argentinean National Secretary of Sports and the Argentine Football Association says that canceling the match “would represent the solidarity values ​​of the Argentine people towards other people’s victims of oppression, apartheid and genocide.”

The boycott campaign is using the motto “Argentina don’t go” to Israel, or #ArgentinaNoVayas.

On Sunday, the main sport national television channel, TyCSports, announced that it would broadcast the match live. The Israeli event organizer, Cometc, also published details of the match on its website.

The venue of the match is not yet confirmed, with Teddy Kollek Stadium in Jerusalem and Samy Ofer Stadium in Haifa the most probable locations.
Israel Daily Picture: Lag B'Omer Festival 100 Years Ago -- April 30, 1918
Among the thousands of very old and recently digitalized pictures from a Library of Congress collection of photos from Palestine, there is this captivating picture.
All the original Library of Congress caption explained was that the picture was taken between 1910 and 1930 and that it is a “Group of children and adults in procession in street, some holding a banner with a Star of David.”

Today, the caption reads: Procession may have taken place on April 30, 1918, on Lag Ba'Omer, when visits were traditionally made to the tomb. British army tents in background, indicate year of 1918. (Source: L. Ben-David, Israel's History - A Picture a Day website, August 19, 2011)

Who are the hundreds of children? Why are the boys and girls separated? Where are they marching to? Where is this picture taken? And why is there a tent compound on the left horizon?

Photo analysis and comparison to an aerial photograph from 1931 and contemporary pictures indicate
that the children are walking south on the Nablus Road (Derech Shchem) in the direction of the Damascus Gate of the Old City of Jerusalem. Behind them is the road that veers to the right toward Mt. Scopus. The road leads to a neighborhood built around the grave of a High Priest named Shimon the Righteous (Hatzadik) who lived in the days of the Second Temple.

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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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