Tuesday, May 22, 2018

From Ian:

David Collier: The day that Jewish people said Kaddish for Palestinian terrorists
Mitzvot and terrorists

The event itself began badly and got worse (Jonathan Hoffman’s analysis was published here). There was talk of how Israel ‘murders’ Palestinians. Mention of how protesting Palestinians are just performing a ‘Mitzvah’. Then the names were read out. All of them. Those that brought explosives to the fence, those that died in a firefight with Israeli soldiers. All the names. Including approximately 53 terrorists. Kaddish was said for them all.

The truly sickening thought is this. Imagine the eight terrorists had not been killed by Israeli soldiers at the fence. What if they had killed the soldiers, broken through, reached a neighbouring town and massacred Jewish residents. What then? Then there would have been none of these Jews in Parliament Square. As the Jewish bodies had been buried, these Jews would not have publicly come to mourn and say Kaddish. Think about how twisted that is.

There is little difference between anti-Israel activists holding a vigil for terrorists at SOAS, and the people who said Kaddish at Parliament Square. The actions of those who were responsible for not raising a voice against, or cancelling this event are disgraceful. Some of these people are involved in summer camps that work with children. I wouldn’t want my children near anyone who is connected with this, nor the organisations that allow them to act as ‘influencers’. They wanted to make the community angry. I think it is safe to say they succeeded.

Justin Trudeau Is No Friend of Israel
While 33 ambassadors and dignitaries participated in the recent celebration of the US embassy’s relocation from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, one country was noticeably absent. Though considered by many to be one of Israel’s strongest allies, Canada chose to boycott the dedication.

“We will not be moving Canada’s embassy to Jerusalem,” said Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in response to President Trump’s decision to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Israel’s capital city. Palestinian diplomats welcomed the Trudeau government’s decision not to support the move.

While condemning what he called Israel’s “excessive use of force” in defending itself against violent riots organized by the terrorist group Hamas, Trudeau seemed to take issue with the fact that alleged murderer Tarek Loubani — a Palestinian-Canadian previously arrested in Egypt for his support of Islamic terrorism — was reportedly shot in the leg during the protest.

In stark contrast, Trudeau’s Conservative predecessor Stephen Harper lauded the decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem. The Canadian Conservative Party has pledged to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital if they win the general election in 2019.

Pro-Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Shaft Palestinians and Human Rights
To collect compensation from the Palestinian Authority, however, the victims are required to submit a variety of medical and psychological assessments -- tests often expensive to run and which the Palestinians cannot afford. To help their clients, the Palestinians' attorneys, Barak Kedem and Aryeh Arbus, applied to 15 human rights organizations for assistance -- a "Who's Who" of human rights activism in the Israel-Arab conflict that are always the most vocal in the struggle against the Israeli "occupation," and regularly condemn the plight of Palestinian and Israeli Arabs under Israeli "occupation." These organizations are the greatest activists against demolition of homes belonging to terrorists' families, and the leaders of the fight against the "oppression" of Arabs by the Israel Police and the IDF, which they refer to as "occupation forces."

Each of the human rights organizations approached benefit immensely from the extremely generous support of foreign governments and charities such as the New Israel Fund and other well-known "liberal" foundations. The response the attorneys received speaks volumes:
  • The New Israel Fund, B'Tselem, Rabbis for Human Rights, and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel were among the groups that completely ignored the pleas of the Palestinian plaintiffs. These organizations, not known for their reticence, were suddenly mute.
  • Yesh Din expressed "feelings of anger and pain," but explained that they cannot help because they "represent victims of violations only when they are harmed by Israeli authorities or Israeli citizens."
  • Another well-known NGO, Adalah, stated that they "only help Palestinians who are suing the State of Israel."
  • Amnesty International replied that their organization "does not have the professional tools to address the needs of these refugees."
All told, 13 of the 15 "human rights organizations" proved that they are, in fact, dedicated to defaming the State of Israel, and have no real interest in defending human rights. Only two organizations -- The Committee for Prevention of Torture and Physicians for Human Rights -- offered assistance of any kind.

Ironically, help also came from two unexpected sources: Honenu, a legal aid society most often associated with right wing causes, and Regavim, a think-tank and lobbying group that regularly finds itself in court to protect Israeli sovereignty. Apparently, these two organizations actually believe that "human rights" is more than a battering ram to be used to defame Israel.

The case of these 52 victims of Palestinian Authority torture is a cautionary tale about the type of state one can expect PA President Mahmoud Abbas and his henchmen to create if they are given the chance. It is also a sad but eye-opening lesson in the cynical use of the mantra of "human rights" as the sheep's clothing worn by the wolves who seek to tear real human rights -- and the countries and organizations that actually do care about them -- to shreds.

Gerald Steinberg: Human Rights as Theater: The Strange Saga of Omar Shakir’s Visa
Shakir quickly assumed center stage. In a highly publicized May 2017 trip, he flew to Bahrain, ostensibly to push participants in a meeting of FIFA’s congress to take action against Israel. He also used Bahrain’s refusal to give him a visa to gain favorable press coverage for HRW’s campaign. On social media, he supported proposed US legislation to restrict military aid to Israel, repeating false NGO allegations on theme of systematic mistreatment of Palestinian children.

In response to the government’s apparent ineptness on this issue, an organization known as Shurat HaDin (Israel Law Center) filed suit arguing that Shakir’s activities violated a recent amendment designed to block visas for BDS activists and groups. This triggered a formal review by the ministries involved, and Shakir was informed in November 2017 that his visa was being reviewed. Shortly afterwards, in a particularly cynical move even for HRW, Deputy Director for the Middle East Eric Goldstein suddenly appeared and posted selfies of himself and Israel/Palestine Advocacy Director Sari Bashi at the site of a protest in Jerusalem demanding action to free Avera Mengistu, an Israeli who had crossed into Gaza in 2014 and was being held, along with two others also with mental health issues. Goldstein and Bashi said nothing about the two Israeli soldiers, Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin, killed in the 2014 war. Their bodies are still being held by Hamas, in blatant violation of all human rights norms.

HRW’s token interest in the human rights of Mengistu did not save Shakir’s visa, and he was notified that it would not be renewed. But again, the bureaucratic and political process that has no understanding of the theatrics of human rights gave HRW control over the story. For the second time, and without interference, HRW was able to sell the image of Israel as suppressing legitimate NGO criticism to sympathetic media and diplomatic audiences. Shakir, with the support of the wider NGO network, became the symbol of human rights, victimized by dark right-wing antidemocratic forces. In this role, he was embraced by the EU Delegation in Tel Aviv, including a group selfie with Shakir that described HRW as a “globally renowned” human rights organization.

Shakir and HRW then used the Israeli courts as a stage, claiming that “neither HRW – nor Shakir as its representative – advocate boycott, divestment or sanctions against companies that operate in the settlements, Israel or Israelis (sic).” The Israeli High Court rejected a stay on deportation pending legal review of the case, but Shakir got another round of media interviews and sympathetic coverage. The appeal, which can be expected to repeat the process, will be conducted without his physical presence. HRW will no create a virtual stage for Shakir, as well as sending talented proxies.

In over a year of engagements and skirmishes across many stages, Shakir and HRW emerged with their images enhanced. The Israeli government, in contrast, bumbled through every act–first in the botched handling and then reversal of HRW’s initial visa application, and then by giving HRW the basis for stage managing the decision not to renew it. While government officials belatedly recognized that HRW and soft power warfare are serious threats, their one-dimensional strategies are still blind to the crucial theatrics.
Israel rejects EU concern over treatment of human rights NGO directors
Israel does not need moral guidance from the “biased and obsessive” European Union, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said Tuesday in response to an EU statement of concern regarding Israel's treatment of two directors of human rights NGOs.

“I advise the EU not to interfere in Israel's internal affairs,” Erdan said, saying that the EU's relentless campaign against Israel is “full of hypocrisy,” is an attempt to “blacken Israel’s name,” and is doomed to failure.

Earlier in the day the EU's External Action Service issued a statement saying it expected Israel to reverse its decision to revoke the work visa of Omar Shakir, the Israel/Palestine Country Director for Human Rights Watch, and to “conduct a swift investigation” into the Haifa demonstrations over the weekend “which appeared to result in serious injury of Jafar Farah.”

Farah is the director of the Haifa-based Mossawa Center - the Advocacy Centre for Arab Citizens of Israel.

Under the headline “Statement by the Spokesperson on events concerning the work of human rights defenders in Israel,” the statement said that “support for human rights defenders is an integral part of the European Union's policy on human rights. Human rights defenders represent natural and indispensable allies in the promotion of human rights in their respective countries.”

The statement said that if Israel did not reverse its decision regarding Shakir, Israel would “join a very short list of countries which have barred entry to, or expelled, Human Rights Watch staff.”

Israel decided to not to renew the work visa of Shakir – a US citizen – two weeks ago because it said he supported boycotting Israel.
After issuing video, Sanders won’t say if he backs Palestinian ‘right of return’
After putting out a video highlighting the Palestinian demand for a “right of return,” the office of Senator Bernie Sanders declined to clarify on Friday whether he supports such a right, which, if implemented, would spell the end of Israel as a Jewish state.

“Senator Sanders believes that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict needs to be resolved by the parties in accordance with international law and past UN resolutions,” a senior adviser to Sanders told The Times of Israel.

“At the moment, however, Sen. Sanders is more concerned with de-escalating violence against civilians, addressing Gaza’s humanitarian crisis, and ending the occupation and settlements which undermine possibility of a two-state solution and a peaceful future for Palestinians and Israelis alike.”

On Tuesday, Sanders released a video montage on Twitter, embossed with his campaign logo, that cross-cut between the inauguration ceremony of the Jerusalem embassy this week and the violence that unfolded in the Gaza Strip.

It also included segments from a panel discussion the Brooklyn native participated in with Lara Friedman, who heads the left-wing Foundation for Middle East Peace, Joe Cirincione, president of Ploughshares Fund, and Rob Malley, a former Obama administration official.
US envoy to Israel: Evangelical Christians firmer Israel backers than many Jews
The US Ambassador to Israel said evangelical Christians are more passionate supporters of Israel than many Jews.

Speaking to the New York Times about the prominent involvement of Christian supporters of Israel at the Monday inauguration of the US Embassy in Jerusalem, over which he presided, Friedman said evangelical Christians “support Israel with much greater fervor and devotion than many in the Jewish community.”

He backed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s alliances with leaders of the evangelical community by stressing, “You’re running a country, you need friends, you need alliances, you need to protect your people.”

Friedman acknowledged that he personally invited John Hagee, who gave the closing benediction at the event, and pastor Robert Jeffress, who gave the opening address.

In the article published Saturday, Friedman called them “two of the most followed leaders of the evangelical community,” and said he “wanted to honor the community for having been so constructive in helping to move this along.”
President Kirchner, murder and uranium to Iran: President Obama made me do it
As President Donald Trump nears the May 12 deadline to decide if America remains part of the Iran nuclear deal, there is something he should consider. Back in 2015, Argentina’s national-socialist (Peronist) Argentine President Kirchner, confessed to the world – by way of a speech before the United Nations General Assembly – that her government sold uranium to Iran for nuclear enrichment.

However, Kirchner’s claim was that President Obama made her do it.

In particular, his White House Coordinator for Arms Control and Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), Gary Samore:

“Gary Samore had explained to our Minister of Foreign Affairs, Héctor Timerman, that negotiations were underway for the Islamic Republic of Iran to cease with its uranium enrichment activities [the Iran nuclear deal], or to do it to a lesser extent.

But Iran claimed that it needed to enrich this ‘Teheran’ nuclear reactor and this was hindering negotiations.
They [the Obama administration] came to ask us, Argentines, to provide the Islamic Republic of Iran with nuclear fuel… It was Ahmadinejad’s administration and negotiations had already started. (Emphasis added).

Consequently, this may factor large in Kirchner’s legal defense at her upcoming trial for treason. (h/t Saigon N)
Ken Livingstone departs Labour, but may have the last laugh on British Jews
While Livingstone remained one of Britain’s most high-profile politicians, his years in parliament saw a largely successful effort by the Labour leadership to keep him away from any real power. That changed, however, when Livingstone became London’s mayor in 2000 and won re-election in 2004.

Age did not appear to bring wisdom. Instead, Livingstone’s second time in charge of London’s government proved as contentious as his first. In 2004, he invited the militant Islamic cleric, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, to City Hall, publicly embracing a man who – besides condoning wife-beating and the murder of homosexuals – had justified suicide bombings in Israel.

Amidst a storm of criticism, Livingstone was utterly unrepentant. Instead, he apologized to al-Qaradawi for “the outburst of xenophobia in sections of the media” and invited him to visit London again.

The following year, Livingstone was similarly unapologetic after likening Oliver Finegold, a Jewish newspaper reporter, to a concentration camp guard. Despite appeals from the chief rabbi and prime minister to apologize to the journalist, the mayor stubbornly refused to do so.

This row was still rumbling on when the mayor again caused offense by suggesting that the Reuben brothers, two prominent property developers who had incurred his displeasure, should “go back to Iran and see if they can do better under the ayatollahs.”

David and Simon Reuben were, in fact, born in India and hail from an Iraqi-Jewish family, but none of this seemed to bother Livingstone who again refused to say he was sorry.
UK Jewish Leaders: Livingstone resignation doesn’t absolve Labour Party
The Jewish community leadership in the UK has reacted cooly to the resignation of former London mayor Ken Livingstone from the Labour Party, insisting that his departure does not absolve the party of its urgent need to root out anti-Semitism from its midst.

Livingstone, who has a long history of hostile sentiment to the State of Israel, resigned on Monday from the Labour Party because of the accelerating disciplinary process against him for comments he made in 2016 arguing that Hitler supported Zionism and that the Zionist movement collaborated with the Nazis.

The comments were roundly condemned by the Jewish community and others as a distortion of the historical reality, and Livingstone was suspended from the party pending disciplinary procedures.

Speaking to The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday, President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews Jonathan Arkush said that there was no place for Livingstone in Labour any longer, but that his sentiments were also held by numerous senior officials in the party.

Arkush also expressed surprise that Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn said that Livingstone’s resignation was “sad after such a long and vital contribution to London and progressive politics” but that it had been “the right thing to do.” Arkush insisted that Corbyn should have said that Livingstone had no place in the party, was glad to see him go, and should have also rejected his offer to continue campaigning for Corbyn and Labour.

Arkush added that Corbyn had not done enough himself to have Livingstone removed from the Labour party, noting that the former mayor had been suspended two years ago and that he only resigned because Labour’s National Executive Committee had been scheduled to create a timetable for the disciplinary procedures against Livingstone.
Jeremy Corbyn expresses sadness as Ken Livingstone resigns from the Labour Party
Ken Livingstone has declared his intention to resign his membership of the Labour Party, saying that the ongoing processes of disciplining him after he stated that Hitler “was supporting Zionism” was a “distraction”.

In response, Jeremy Corbyn expressed sympathy, stating that he was “sad”.

For two long years, Mr Corbyn has hidden behind the fig-leaf of ‘due process’ after Mr Livingstone continued to peddle a particular perversion of history that attempts to make Jews complicit in their own genocide, and demonises “Zionists” as an alien group which collaborates with Nazi, and whose policies persecute Jews. That this fiction, debunked by the world’s historians, could be broadcast by a senior Labour figure without it being sanctioned by his immediate explusion will shame the Labour Party forever.

Mr Corbyn did not act decisively in those years, and by expressing sadness now, he has rubbed salt in an already deep wound. Mr Corbyn also continued to attempt to elevate Ken Livingstone’s defender, Martha Osamor, to the House of Lords.

The Labour Party has now missed its opportunity to show that it is serious about racism by expelling Mr Livingstone, and this episode now frees it from the burden of having to even try. In addition, by removing himself from the fray, the legions of Labour and Jeremy Corbyn supporters who openly back Mr Livingstone’s distortion of history will now be emboldened to continue to do so, knowing that the Party itself has failed to land a blow.
Jeremy Corbyn sends Martha Osamor to join Shami Chakrabarti in the House of Lords despite her defence of Labour figures accused of antisemitism
Jeremy Corbyn has decided to nominate Martha Osamor to become a life peer, despite her vociferous defence of Labour figures suspended or expelled over antisemitism allegations, including Ken Livingstone, Jackie Walker and Tony Greenstein.

In one letter unearthed by political blog Guido Fawkes, Ms Osamor, 75, said that Naz Shah’s demand that Israelis be transported to the United States was “not so outrageous within the historical context and involvement of Zionists with Nazis”, despite Ms Shah herself admitting that the statement was antisemitic. Ms Osamor has also said that Ken Livingstone was “largely accurate” to say that Hitler “was supporting Zionism”, and she slammed the suspension of Jackie Walker, who claimed that Jews were the “chief financiers of the sugar and slave trade”, as having been “applied and publicised in haste, without due consideration”.

She added that suspensions over alleged antisemitism “undermine serious discussion and thinking” and “are also being made to silence criticisms of Israel, hamper the work of Momentum activists, and undermine Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn”. She also shared a letter in which it was claimed that allegations of antisemitism were being “weaponised”, which Mr Corbyn has been forced to denounce, though through his ennoblement of Ms Osamor it is hard to imagine that he meant it.

Gideon Falter, Chairman of Campaign Against Antisemitism, said: “Jeremy Corbyn has shown a particular taste in nominations to the House of Lords. First came Shami Chakrabarti who whitewashed Labour’s antisemitism crisis with her dismal report, and now he is sending Martha Osamor to join her. Ms Osamor is one of the foremost defenders of disgraced Labour figures suspended or expelled over antisemitism allegations, including Ken Livingstone, Jackie Walker and Tony Greenstein. She has compared the suspension of Labour members over alleged antisemitism to the McCarthy era and the Salem witch trials.
The Labour Party’s promise to cast aside the International Definition of Antisemitism and come up with its own better version is a further insult to the Jewish community
Those who are careful readers of the Labour Party’s attitudes to the Jewish community will be aware that far from positioning themselves to resolve their self-made antisemitism crisis, the Party’s leadership has avoided punishing the loyal antisemites in their midst, and betrayed at every turn a deep reluctance to challenge the far-left worldview that is the well-spring of that antisemitism.

There is no better example of this than in the Labour Party’s rejection of the International Definition of Antisemitism. After several weeks of daily exposure and embarrassment over antisemitism, Mr Corbyn and his senior team finally met two Jewish charities, supposedly to resolve their differences, but they not only refused to accept any of the proposals put forward by the Jewish charities, but Mr Corbyn and his colleagues used the meeting as an opportunity to announce that they were reneging on the Party’s adoption of the International Definition of Antisemitism as has been well-documented both in the writing of senior Labour figures and also leaked documents.

Campaign Against Antisemitism therefore feels compelled to lay bare the extraordinary duplicity of the Labour Party’s ploy and the ramifications for the Jewish community.

Andrew Gwynne MP has attempted to claim publicly on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show that the Labour Party had accepted the definition and yet simultaneously wanted to rewrite it, stating: “We have written into the rules the international definition – but in terms of the examples we don’t think these examples go far enough…We want…to write into Labour Party rules a much broader definition of antisemitism that goes beyond that, including terms like ‘Zio’ which quite frankly are abhorrent and insulting.” Both Mr Gwynne and Diane Abbott MP also implied that in some way the definition does not allow criticism of Israel, despite the definition explicitly stating that “criticism of Israel similar to that levelled against any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic.”
Three of the Labour candidates on the Lewisham East shortlist promoted a radical imam who the High Court ruled “clearly promoted and encouraged violence in support of Islam and espoused a series of extremist Islamic positions”.

Shakeel Begg is the imam at Lewisham Islamic Centre. In 2016 he lost a libel action against the BBC after a judge ruled he had promoted violence. Mr Justice Haddon-Cave said “he has shed the cloak of respectability and revealed the horns of extremism”. The court heard that in 2006, Begg gave a speech urging his followers to travel to Palestine to “fight the Zionists”. In 2008, Begg praised Muslims who had travelled abroad to fight enemies of Islam. Two further speeches were found to have contained extremist content. The judge ruled:

“The various core extremist messages which emerge from the claimant’s speeches and utterances would, in my view, have been quite clear to the audiences. The claimant’s ostensible cloak of respectability is likely to have made his [extremist] message in these speeches all the more compelling and seductive. For this reason, therefore, his messages would have been all the more effective and dangerous. It is all too easy for someone in the claimant’s position of power and influence as an Imam to plant the seed of Islamic extremism in a young mind, which is then liable to be propagated on the internet.”
Brazilian musician cancels Israel gig, gives no reason
Brazilian musician Gilberto Gil on Tuesday canceled his planned July concert in Israel, in a decision welcomed by boycott activists.

Gil, who served as Brazil’s culture minister between 2003 and 2008, was scheduled to perform in Ra’anana on July 4.

Gil said he canceled July’s concert after “careful consideration with his band members,” telling promoters in an email that “we are all concerned about the sensitive times that Israel is currently undergoing,” the Haaretz newspaper reported.

“We love Israel and have always been welcomed warmly,” he stressed, adding: “We are confident that there will be other opportunities and we hope for better times.”

Supporters of the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) movement linked his decision to violence at the Gaza border earlier this month.
Portuguese director drops out of Israel Festival over treatment of Palestinians
A Portuguese theater director has canceled his attendance at a major cultural festival opening in Jerusalem this week over Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians.

Tiago Rodrigues said he was dropping out of the Israel Festival so that his work will not “condone and promote a government that deliberately violates human rights.”

Rodrigues had been set to stage his work “By Heart” twice during the festival, which runs from May 24 until June 9.

In a Facebook post on Thursday, he said he was joining a global cultural boycott of Israel that has seen some artists and musicians refuse to perform in Israel.

Rodrigues wrote: “Although I am strongly against the oppression of the Palestinian people by the Israeli government…I accepted [an invitation to perform] because I believe that the people of a country and its political administration are not the same thing,” he said.
IsraellyCool: Exclusive: When Jews Party for Nakba – Undercover at DJs4BDS
Nothing beats a good party on a Saturday night in a dusky bar in Bushwick, Brooklyn, unless, of course, you are Jew with a Palestinian flag on your back. Then you really know how to party.

The aberration and perversion of Adalah-NY’s last event know no bounds. DJs4BDS, as they named their crazed event, had its inaugural edition last Saturday in NYC.

But among the roughly 80 self-hating Jews, there was one person who only pretended to be one of them. This is how we know what went down.

But let’s just set the dancefloor for a second.

Adalah-NY, the centre of the Campaign for the BDS in NYC, is a fringe organization who claims to be strictly non-profit, and yet we know from NGO-Monitor that it is not financially transparent and gets support from a mysterious organization called Wespac. This Wespac sponsors Israeli Apartheid Week throughout the US campuses and injects money into the operation of Jewish Voice for Peace. Wespac is led by Nada Khader, a Palestinian woman who grew up in the U.S, served as a consultant for the UN Development Program in the Gaza Strip and is known as an avid voice against Israel. You see? After all, you can be a freaking rich Palestinian refugee who backs up hate speech, violence and antisemitism. Thank you, UNRWA, you are doing a great service!

Adalah-NY was founded in 2006 in “response to the escalation of Israeli attacks” in Gaza and Lebanon, and as per its website it demands an “immediate, unconditional, and permanent end to the U.S. and U.S.-sponsored Israeli aggression in the Middle East.”
German bank enables group to boycott Israel Embassy sponsorship of event
The Bank for Social Economy – a German financial institution that holds the most number of BDS accounts in the country – is permitting a boycott-Israel group to raise funds to boot Israel from sponsoring an August pop culture festival as well as urge the federal government to expel Israel’s ambassador from Berlin because of the Gaza conflict.

The extremist German-based BDS group Jewish Voice for a Just Peace in the Middle East wrote on its website on May 9 expressing “solidarity with the Palestinian call to renew a boycott of the Pop Culture Festival until the support of the Israeli Embassy is dropped.” On Friday, Jewish Voice called on Germany’s government to expel Israel’s Ambassador to Berlin Jeremy Issacharoff and stop weapons deliveries to the Jewish state.

BDS is an abbreviation for the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign targeting Israel.

Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, told The Jerusalem Post on Monday, “The announcement by this quote-unquote ‘Jewish group’ of a boycott of an Israeli supported cultural event – not political event – as well as their call for Germany to expel Israel’s ambassador shreds any supposed agreement that the Bank for Social Economy would not be involved in boycott activity. Such an agreement was not worth the email it was written on.”
Humanities Students at Chile’s Largest University Endorse Academic Boycott of Israel
Humanities students at Chile’s largest public university voted on Monday to support an academic boycott of Israel, an anti-Zionist group at the school announced.

More than 80 percent of voters in the Department of Philosophy and Humanities at Universidad de Chile called for the severance of ties with Tel Aviv University and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, activists supportive of the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign said.

Some 90 percent of voters also called on the university to break ties with any Israeli schools, institutions, and companies “that directly contribute to the violation of the human rights of the Palestinian people.”

The BDS campaign seeks to isolate Israel until it recognizes number of Palestinians demands, including the “right of return” of Palestinian refugees and their five million descendants into Israel.

The vote coincided with riots held on Monday as part of the Hamas-led “Great March of Return,” during which 40,000 Palestinians, some of whom were armed, approached and tried to breach the Gaza border. Sixty-two Palestinians were killed and more than 2,500 injured in ensuing clashes, according to the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry.
UC Santa Barbara Students Fail to Vote on Divestment Resolution Targeting Israel
Student leaders at the University of California, Santa Barbara failed to vote on a divestment resolution targeting Israel on Wednesday, after a disagreement led half to walk out of a senate meeting.

The measure — which called on the school to withdraw investments from companies “that provide military support to the occupation of Palestinian territories” — was debated during a ten-hour long hearing, with nearly 90 speakers sharing their positions during a public forum, the student-run Daily Nexus reported.

Rabbi Evan Goodman, executive director of Santa Barbara Hillel, warned that the measure was only a front for the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign, which he said “is about demonization, delegitimization, and double standards against the one Jewish state in the entire world.”

Another speaker — identified as Yousef Ahmed — spent his allotted speaking time reciting the names of Palestinians who were killed in recent riots on the Israel-Gaza Strip border. The terrorist group Hamas has since acknowledged that the 50 of 62 fatalities reported earlier this week were its own members, while Palestinian Islamic Jihad claimed three others.

The senators came to a deadlock after the student government’s attorney general said that the resolution would be regarded as “positional” and not “directional” legislation.
Guardian contributor suggests that Israel supporters are morally sub human
No, our headline is not an exaggeration.

Jeff Sparrow, a columnist for Guardian Australia, leveled this accusation in a May 21st op-ed titled “There is no justification for firing into crowds of protesters”. Of course, the headline itself is a lie. Characterizing thousands of violent rioters attempting, at the behest of a proscribed terror group, to breach the border of a sovereign democratic state as placard-waving “protesters” is the height of dishonesty. But, despite this and numerous other canards, distortions and smears throughout his piece, we’ll narrow our discussion to the ‘subhuman’ comment.

After beginning his piece by noting that only Australia and the US voted against a UN investigation into Israel’s actions during the border riots, Sparrow expressed outrage over his country’s putative moral abdication thusly:

There really isn’t much wiggle room here. If you defend Israel’s actions in Gaza, your ethical impulses are, according to the Guardian columnist, not those of an ordinary human being. It would be difficult to find a better illustration of why so many Jews believe that media coverage of Israel often incites antisemitism than a column suggesting that they, by virtue of their pro-Israeli political views, are morally deranged, even sub-human.
BBC’s ‘Dateline London’ airs defamation of Israel but relevant facts concealed
Obviously viewers of this programme did not hear “a range of opinions” from its contributors and Shaun Ley’s rather lame efforts to present a different view did not include providing BBC audiences with essential information concerning the violent nature of the event under discussion and the fact that the majority of those described no fewer than three times as “unarmed protesters” were in fact linked to a terrorist organisation.

In those nine minutes viewers did however see two mentions of a “massacre”, two references to “slaughter”, one allegation of “indiscriminate execution” and two references to “murder” – as well as portrayal of Israel’s government as a “barbaric regime” – all of which went completely unchallenged by the BBC presenter and with no right of reply afforded to the country accused of such acts.

So much for the BBC’s claim last year that it had reminded this programme’s production team of “the need to ensure that any contentious remarks are challenged and questioned”.
Report: Lebanon expels BBC journalist for reporting from Israel
Lebanon's General Security Directorate expelled Iranian-born BBC journalist Mehrdad Farahmand from the country Sunday night for visiting and reporting from Israel, the Lebanese Al-Akhbar newspaper reported Monday.

Farahmand, who has been based in Beirut as a correspondent for the BBC's Persian Service for 12 years, has been reporting from Israel in recent days.

The Lebanese decision came in response to a video Farahmand posted to Facebook Saturday, Al-Akhbar reported.

In the video, Farahmand interviews Avichay Adraee, the head of the Arab media division of the IDF Spokesperson's Unit. Farahmand translated into Persian Adraee's message to Iranians that the IDF has no ill will towards Iran's population and inviting Iranians to visit Israel.
Sapling from Anne Frank’s tree twice cut down in Holland park
A sapling from the tree mentioned in Anne Frank’s diary was cut down twice in southern Holland and its commemorative plaque was stolen.

The sapling from Waalwijk, a town located 70 miles south of the Dutch capital, was planted from a cutting of a chestnut tree that in 2010 collapsed outside the Amsterdam building that served as the former hiding place of the Dutch teenage Holocaust diarist.

Unidentified individuals broke the sapling in Waalwijk over the weekend. Park gardeners then bandaged it and announced they had saved it. But hours after the repair, the tree was again broken, the Brabants Dagblad daily reported Tuesday.

“I call this an assault on acceptable behavior and tolerance,” Theo van Bracht, chairman of the foundation that is responsible for the park and which arranged the cutting’s planting there, told the newspaper.

Frank, who spent two years in hiding until the Nazi Germans caught her and deported her to a death camp, wrote about the tree in the journal whose publication in 1947 has made her one of the world’s best-known Holocaust victims. After the tree collapsed during a storm, cuttings were taken from it and planted across the Netherlands and around the world.
Germany’s Nazi hunters in final straight of race against time
Tucked away in the picturesque German city of Ludwigsburg, a tiny team of investigators tracks the last surviving Nazi war criminals across the globe and through the better part of a century, in an urgent race against time.

“We put together the smallest pieces of information, like the pieces of a puzzle, to work out who was employed in what role, from when until when” in Adolf Hitler’s totalitarian killing machine, says prosecutor Jens Rommel.

He has since 2015 led the eight-strong Central Office for the Investigation of National Socialist Crimes, at a time when the last perpetrators, accomplices, witnesses and survivors are finally vanishing.

Once all the perpetrators are gone, Germany will close the judicial side of its coming-to-terms with the Nazi government’s extermination of six million Jews and hundreds of thousands of others in the Holocaust.

In the meantime, the spectacle of frail defendants aged in their 90s appearing in courtrooms to answer for crimes dating back to 1945 or earlier has renewed vigorous debate about the country’s dark history.
Israel protests ‘disgraceful’ Dutch TV sketch accused of anti-Semitism
Israel’s ambassador to the Netherlands on Tuesday filed a formal letter of protest against a “disgraceful” anti-Israel TV sketch that spoofed Israel’s winning Eurovision song, accusing the show of peddling anti-Semitic cliches about Jews and money.

“We can live with criticism,” wrote Ambassador Aviv Shir-On, adding that Israel itself engages often in “intense” criticism, “but we do not cross the lines. You did.”

The parody of the song “Toy” by Netta Barzilai was aired Sunday on the first edition of a new television show “The Sanne Wallis Show” on the public broadcaster BNNVARA, starring comedienne Sanne Wallis de Vries. The lyrics included: “If your party’s crashed, make sure you cash on embassies, with your ka-ching, ka-ching and your ping-a-ping, with your dollars and cents and your funds, with your ka-ching, ka-ching, ka-ching.”

The parody also featured anti-Israel elements, with films showing Israeli soldiers shooting rifles and injured Palestinians while the performer sang: “We’re giving a party, are you coming? Soon at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, it’s standing there empty anyway.” The Jerusalem mosque is the third holiest Muslim place of worship, standing on the Temple Mount — the holiest site for Jews.

“Look how beautiful, I’m throwing bombs, Israel again wins, 70 years already the party’s on,” the lyrics also said. And: “No way, no Palestinian’s coming in.” The sketch also had a Netta impersonator singing “I hunt Palestinians through the curtains.”
Irish Singer Offers to Perform Next Year at Eurovision in Israel, Despite Boycott Push
Songstress Donna McCaul — who once represented Ireland in the annual Eurovision contest — has said she would be willing to perform on behalf of her country at next year’s event in Israel, despite call by a fellow Irish singer to boycott the Jewish state, The Irish Sun reported on Tuesday.

Last week, Charlie McGettigan, who represented Ireland and won the contest in 1994, urged a boycott of next year’s competition following deadly violence on the Israel-Gaza Strip border. The 66-year-old told The Irish Sun many of his friends in the Irish music industry supported his idea of boycotting Israel to show support for the “nearly two million oppressed people living on a small piece of land and being treated very badly by the Israelis.”

Eurovision is held annually in the home country of the previous year’s winner and this year Israel’s Netta Barzilai took home the top prize.

Former Eurovision star Donna McCaul — who represented Ireland alongside her brother in Kiev, Ukraine, in 2005 — said she was willing to disagree with other performers in the industry and sing on behalf of Ireland in next year’s competition in Israel. She said, “I hope that doesn’t happen but if it does, I can handle a little grief.”

“Eurovision is like the Olympics, it’s about unity and inspiring people,” she added. “I’ve been waiting for a chance to represent Ireland for a long time, and I would be excited to do it in Israel next year. I don’t think politics should affect whether we send an entry to Eurovision. Israel won with a great entry this year.”
New film animates a young, swashbuckling King Solomon
The moment for Israeli animation may have arrived, as an 80-minute feature about King Solomon, created by a joint Israeli and Hungarian animation team, plays in Israeli theaters, and, hopefully, abroad as well.

“The Legend of King Solomon” takes a family-friendly look at the famed monarch, known for being fabulously wealthy and fantastically wise. The film takes viewers back to Solomon’s teen years, when he was slightly less wise and somewhat spoiled, grappling with his new leadership role and seeking a wife.

The characters and colors are sharp and rich, with Solomon as a hunky and adventurous leader-to-be; a Queen of Sheba who sounds — and has the look of Beyoncé; Solomon’s pet sidekick, Toby the Fox, voiced by “Shababnikim” newcomer Ori Laizerouvich; and veteran Israeli actress Hana Laszlo voicing several key characters.

There’s a little bit of everything in this animated film, from likable heroes and tense thrills to historical subjects and lush desert scenery. The action comes from young Solomon, who has to save the kingdom of Jerusalem from the evil devil Asmodeus, a slightly scary visage for younger viewers, but mostly harmless.

Solomon is banished into the Arabian desert, where he ends up in Petra — yes, that Petra — and ends up teaming up with Arab princess Naama and the Queen of Sheba to put an end to Asmodeus and his evil ways.

Graphic novelist Art Spiegelman to receive prestigious MacDowell medal
"Maus" cartoonist Art Spiegelman is this year's winner of the Edward MacDowell Medal for lifetime achievement.

The honor was announced on Sunday by the venerable MacDowell artist colony, based in Peterborough, New Hampshire.

MacDowell chairman Michael Chabon said in a statement that Spiegelman, the first medal recipient honored for graphic novels, pioneered making comics respected as an art form. He said Speigelman's work was "personal and world historical."

Spiegelman is best known for his Holocaust works "Maus: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History" and "Maus II: A Survivor's Tale: And Here My Troubles Began."

Chabon will present the medal to Spiegelman on Aug. 12 during a free public event in Peterborough.

Previous MacDowell medal winners include Robert Frost, Toni Morrison and Joan Didion.
Adelsons donate 100 mobility scooters to disabled IDF veterans
Some 100 mobility scooters were donated last week to disabled Israel Defense Forces veterans by philanthropists Dr. Miriam and Sheldon Adelson.

The donation was announced during an event hosted by ‎the IDF Disabled Veterans Organization last week at ‎the Beit Halochem veterans' center in Tel Aviv‎. ‎

The Adelsons have previously donated 260 mobility ‎scooters to disabled veterans. ‎

Chairman of the IDF Disabled Veterans Organization ‎‎Haim Bar, the group's CEO Col. (ret.) Haim Ronen and ‎Friends of the IDF Disabled Veterans Organization ‎head Maj. Gen. (res.) Eliezer Shkedi, attended the ‎event.‎ ‎

‎"We are part of the family of disabled IDF veterans ‎and we have an obligation to support you. We are happy to be ‎able to help with your mobility and improve your ‎quality of life," the couple said. ‎

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This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 18 years and 38,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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