Friday, May 25, 2018

From Ian:

The Media’s Palestine Narrative Reads Like Fan Fiction
Take, for instance, the issue of the peace process. Most media outlets have decided on behalf of the Palestinians that they want peace with Israel and are willing to share the land, which Israel won’t allow. That is, despite what Palestinian leaders from Hamas to Fatah say publicly.

News outlets simply rationalize facts away. The Palestinians waving machetes in Gaza don’t really want to kill Israelis; they’re just props. Ismail Haniyeh, the Hamas Political Bureau chairman who runs Gaza didn’t mean it when he led chants at the May 11 riots: “Khaybar, Khaybar, oh, Jews! The Army of Muhammad has begun to return!” Sure, it may refer to the wholesale Muslim slaughter of Jews near Medina in the year 628 but it’s probably just a figure of speech. It doesn’t matter that he explicitly declared “Palestine is from the [Mediterranean] Sea to the [Jordan] River and we shall never, never, never recognize Israel!” I’m sure that’s negotiable and beside the point.

As for Palestinian actions, their internal politics, or their societal struggle, they don’t matter. If there are allegations of corruption involving an Israeli politician, reporters are all over it. If the accusations involve Palestinians, those stories usually fall by the wayside. Outside Israel one likely won’t read about the father of two in Gaza who recently set himself on fire in protest of Hamas’s mishandling of the humanitarian situation. That was how the so-called “Arab Spring” began, with a street vendor in Tunisia who engaged in self-immolation; he was striving to make a point. Yet reporters would likely be tripping over themselves to get the story out if he had blamed Israel instead.

All of this points to what should be painfully obvious by now: After 70 years of a failed strategy to secure their statehood in place of Israel, Palestinian leadership would still rather use its population as cannon fodder for a media stunt and its reconstruction aid for building terror tunnels than devote resources to building the institutions necessary to run a state and provide for its people. The longer Palestinians cling to the mythology that they will kick the Jews out of Jerusalem, flood Israel with millions of refugees, and replace the Jewish state with a state of their own, the more distant the prospects for progress become. That change is even more unlikely to happen while mainstream media outlets remain wedded to the promotion of Palestinian fiction.
Bomb hurled at IDF troops on Gaza border as hundreds protest
An explosive device was thrown Friday at Israeli troops along the Gaza border in the Strip’s north, the army said, as Palestinians took part in weekly clashes near the security fence.

The army said no soldiers were injured by the bomb.

It said some 1,600 Palestinians took part in riots at two locations along the border, where they threw rocks and burned tires. Numerous attempts were made to damage security infrastructure, the army said.

Troops used riot dispersal means and live fire in accordance with IDF regulations, it added.

Gaza’s Hamas-run health ministry said 86 people were injured. Most were treated for tear gas inhalation while some sustained gunshot wounds.

Also during the afternoon several incendiary kites were flown into Israel from the Palestinian coastal enclave, sparking fires. Strong winds hampered efforts to douse the blazes, though all were eventually brought under control.

MEMRI: CAIR-LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush At Orange County Event: The Governmental 'Countering Violent Extremism' Program Exclusively Targets American Muslims; It Should Target Jewish Kids Who Join The Israeli Army
Hussam Ayloush, Executive Director of the Greater Los Angeles Chapter of Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), spoke at an event titled "Challenging Islamophobia with My Vote" at the Islamic Institute of Orange County (IIOC), California on April 20, 2018. He said that the U.S. governmental Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) program exclusively targets American Muslims although white supremacism is the number one cause of "domestic terrorism and violent extremism" in the U.S. "Do you know how many hundreds of Jewish American kids are recruited to join the Israeli occupation army?" he asked, adding: "No one has ever established a CVE program to see why normal American kids leave their homes to become part of an army committing war crimes... They go to the American Muslim community, although the number of Muslims who join ISIS and Al-Qaeda is... tiny." Professor Khaled Beydoun of the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, the other speaker at the event, said that it falls upon the shoulders of the community to spearhead efforts to educate people about Islam and to counter Islamophobia. The event, co-hosted by the IIOC and CAIR, was billed as encouraging Muslim Americans to fight Islamophobia and empower themselves through voting. The event was posted on the IICO YouTube channel.

Having been executive director of Greater Los Angeles chapter of CAIR since 1998[1] Hussam Ayloush is also an active member of various interfaith groups.[2] He has made some controversial statements on social media and on television. Following the December 2015 San Bernardino terror attack, Ayloush said on CNN: "Let's not forget that some of our own foreign policy, as Americans, as the West, have fueled that extremism."[3] In November 2016, Ayloush tweeted an Arabic phrase chanted across the Arab world during the Arab Spring, that translates as "The people want to bring down the regime," and exhorted his readers, "Ok, repeat after me."[4]

In January 2017, on Facebook, he criticized an imam who participated in an inaugural event for U.S. President Donald Trump: "In the face of unreluctant and unrepentant defamation and animosity toward Islam and Muslims... by this Trump team, [this imam's] symbolic participation... does not qualify as engaging or correcting the wrongdoers, but rather enabling them and providing them with a token cover for their bigotry."[5] Following the December 25, 2016 crash of a Russian passenger jet en route to Syria in the Black Sea, Ayloush tweeted: "I'm sad about the crashed Russian military jet. The TU-154 could have carried up to 180 military personnel instead of just 92!"[6] Also, in October 2017, he spoke at a teacher's workshop that some described as portraying Israel as the villain and Palestinians as the victims.

PMW: What caused the Palestinian refugee problem?
  • "Cars with megaphones roamed the streets, demanding that people leave"
  • "The one who made us leave was the Jordanian army"
  • "The radio stations of the Arab regimes kept repeating to us: 'Get away'"
  • "Our [Arab] district officer issued an order that whoever stays in Palestine is a traitor"
The Arab Salvation Army told the Palestinians: "We have come to you in order to exterminate the Zionists... Leave your houses and villages, you'll return to them safely in a few days."

"The Arab Salvation Army said: 'Leave, but don't go far from the village because they [the Jews] will make a short visit...' The people left with nothing, even without bread."

One of the common messages is bitterness over those "false promises" by the Arab leaders. One expressed it this way:
"The Arab regimes kept repeating...: 'Get away... It's a matter of ten days, or at most two weeks, and we'll bring you back...' We said to ourselves, 'That's a very long time. Two weeks is too much.' That's what we thought [then]. And now 50 years have gone by." [Official PA TV, July 7, 2009]

Another lamented:
"Indeed there were among us those who left a fire burning under the pot, those who left their flocks of sheep, and those who left their money and gold behind, based on the assumption that we would return after a few hours."
[Al-Ayyam, May 16, 2006]

One refugee blamed Jordan:
"The one who made us leave was the Jordanian army... They told us: 'Leave. In 2 hours we liberate it and then you'll return.' ... We're still waiting for those 2 hours to this day." [Official PA TV, May 15, 2013]

A striking example of how the Arabs of Israel ended up in refugee camps in neighboring countries is what happened in Jaffa (Tel Aviv):
"Cars with megaphones roamed the streets, demanding that people leave so the fighting [against Israel] would succeed... We went to the port and boarded a ship." [Official PA TV, Oct. 2, 2014]
Israel calls on EU to end funding to pro-boycott groups
Israel called on the European Union on Friday to halt funding to more than a dozen European and Palestinian non-governmental organizations that it says promote boycotts against Israel, saying the financial support violates the EU’s stated policy that it opposes boycotts against the Jewish state.

Israel’s Strategic Affairs Ministry published a report with a list of groups that it says receive EU funding and call for boycotts against Israel. It said some of the groups had links to terror groups while receiving EU money.

The report was the latest salvo by Israel in its fight against a global movement calling for boycotts, divestment and sanctions. The movement has urged businesses, artists and universities to sever ties with Israel and it includes thousands of volunteers around the world.

Supporters of the movement say the tactics are a nonviolent way to promote the Palestinian cause. Israel says the campaign often masks a more far-reaching aim to delegitimize or destroy the Jewish state.

“The state of Israel expects the EU to act with full transparency and reveal the scope of its financial aid to organizations that have ties to terror and promote boycotts against Israel,” the report said. “Israel strongly urges the EU to fully implement in practice its declared policy of rejecting boycotts against Israel, and to immediately halt funding to organizations which promote anti-Israel boycotts and delegitimization.”
End European subversion
According to a new report from the Ministry of Strategic Affairs, and many past reports from serious non-governmental organizations like NGO Monitor, the EU and its member counties help fund organizations that aim to delegitimize and bring an end to the State of Israel in a variety of ways. As part of its campaign of delegitimization, the EU encourages the financing of bodies that seek to eradicate the Jewish character of Israel and transform it from an "apartheid state" to a state of all its citizens. This is not about bringing change to the status of the "occupied territories," but rather a fundamental change to the State of Israel.

The EU also supports groups and organizations that oppose the current government's policies, in an effort to influence internal Israeli politics.

The Europeans directly fund and indirectly finance these efforts through the funding of governments of EU-member states and institutions or funds that enjoy the financing of those governments, like private funds, cultural centers, movie funds and many others. Such is Europe's involvement in the campaign to sully and impose a reality on Israel that is incompatible with its Jewish identity.

And yet, all this could not have happened had successive Israeli governments not allowed the phenomenon to develop and intensify.

Israel is not a European colony and certainly has no interest in joining the European Union in its present state. If the EU is interested in good ties with Israel, and there are many reasons and motives for this to be the case, it must immediately cease its subversive efforts to impose on Israel arrangements and solutions that are neither to its advantage nor its benefit. As a sovereign state, Israel must both demand this and make every effort to prevent it from happening. (h/t Elder of Lobby)
JPost Editorial: Israel and the EU
It just so happens that those are also the values that have been on the rise in Israel over the last few years. As recent elections have shown and demographics suggest, Israeli society is growing more nationalistic and is expected to continue that trend in the coming years, or at the very least in the next elections, whenever they are held.

As in everything that has to do with politics and international relations these days, there is also the “Trump factor” to take into account. Israeli politicians see that the US president and his administration are firmly in Israel’s corner. They may feel that gives them license to speak more boldly than in the past. If under the Obama administration, the US and EU were firmly on the same page on most issues, today the cracks are beginning to show.

Does that mean the two bodies are on a collision course, that they are destined to turn from friends into enemies? Not necessarily.

The good thing about friendships is, if they’re strong enough, they allow us to tell our friends what we dislike about them without it ruining the relationship. There is an understanding that even if we call out our friends, we still have their best interests at heart. A lot depends on the delivery.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been known to criticize the EU too, but when he does it, he focuses on a certain issue or statement and not a broadside, general assault. He understands that while Israel and Europe might not see eye-to-eye today, they still need each other for trade, security cooperation and other diplomatic affairs.

Israeli politicians would be wise to avoid the recently popular brand of “megaphone diplomacy” and focus on a more subdued tactic.

There are smarter ways to tell friends to go to hell.
Demonstrators set off smoke bombs near PM’s Caesarea home, with him inside
Demonstrators set off three smoke bombs near Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s home in Caesarea on Friday, during a rally of environmental activists.

The smoke bombs were activated in a dumpster in a street adjacent to the prime minister’s house.

Police said Netanyahu was at his home at the time and that they were investigating.

The bombs set off a cloud of orange smoke. No injuries or damage were caused.

The incident occurred during a demonstration involving around 800 people, who were protesting off-shore drilling for natural gas and demanding drilling platforms be moved further away from the Haifa coast.

Rally organizers condemned the incident, saying they would never have backed the use of “polluting” measures.
Alison Chabloz convicted on three charges over antisemitic songs in landmark verdict, following private prosecution by CAA
District Judge John Zani has convicted Alison Chabloz at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, finding her guilty on all counts of criminal offences under the Communications Act.

Ms Chabloz, from Glossop in Derbyshire, had pleased “not guilty” to charges relating to three self-penned songs in which she decries the supposed Jewish conspiracy to dominate the world and denies the Holocaust.

The case effectively delivers a landmark precedent verdict on incitement on social media and on whether the law considers Holocaust denial to be “grossly offensive” and therefore illegal.

Gideon Falter, Chairman of Campaign Against Antisemitism, said: “Alison Chabloz has dedicated herself over the course of years to inciting others to hate Jews, principally by claiming that the Holocaust was a hoax perpetrated by Jews to defraud the world. She is now a convicted criminal. This verdict sends a strong message that in Britain Holocaust denial and antisemitic conspiracy theories will not be tolerated.”

District Judge John Zani said: “This court is entirely satisfied that the material in each of the songs complained of is grossly offensive, as judged by the standards of an open and multi-racial society – as opposed to any of them being, merely offensive. The defendant has failed, by some considerable margin, to persuade this court that her right to freedom of speech as provided by Article 10, under the guise of her work as an artist, can properly provide her with immunity from prosecution in relation to each of the songs complained of. Having had the opportunity to assess the defendant’s live evidence during the course of these proceedings, I am entirely satisfied that she will have intended to insult those to whom the material relates or, at least, that she must have recognised that there was a risk of so doing. Having carefully considered all evidence received and submissions made, I am entirely satisfied that the prosecution has proved beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty of charges 2, 4 and 5. I dismiss charges 1 and 3 as they are alternatives to charges 2 and 4.”

Charges 2 and 4 were charges of “causing to be sent by a public communications network an offensive, indecent or menacing message or material”, relating to two songs performed at a gathering of the far-right London Forum in London in September 2016 and uploaded to YouTube. Charge 5 was a charge of “sending by a public communications network an offensive, indecent or menacing message or material” in relation to a third song. All of the charges were brought under section 127 of the Communications Act 2003.
Screens at Iran airport said hacked with anti-regime messages
Monitors at an airport in Iran were reportedly hacked Thursday in protest of the Iranian government and the cost of its regional interventionism.

The messages on the screens at Mashhad’s airport denounced “wasting Iranians’ lives and financial resources in Gaza, Lebanon and Syria by the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC),” according to Radio Farda.

The IRGC, an elite unit, plays a central role in Iran’s support for Syria’s President Bashar Assad, as well as terror groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah.

During a wave of government protests in December and January in which protesters vented anger at high unemployment and official corruption, many demonstrators protested against the IRGC’s massive budget, its costly interventions across the region, and against the supreme leader himself.

In Thursday’s hack attack, a group calling itself Tapandegan (Palpitaters) also expressed support for ongoing anti-government protests in the city of Kazeroon in the messages on the arrival and departure monitors.

The group also hacked the email of the airport’s civil aviation head, from which they shared news of the hacking, Radio Farda reported.
'Boycotts against Israel are a dangerous weapon'
Enrique Rodriguez Fabregat was a Uruguayan teacher, journalist and politician, known for his enormous contribution to the establishment of Israel within the halls of the United Nations 70 years ago. Hence, it is no surprise that his name came up almost immediately after I sat down to interview former Uruguayan President Luis Alberto Lacalle.

"I know that Fabregat is brought up a lot here, in Israel, and rightfully so!" Lacalle says. "You have to understand that all of Uruguay supported his initiative.

"In general, Uruguay views Israel as a friend. It is one of the countries that took [Israel] under its wing at the start and voted for it in the U.N. Uruguay and Israel are two small countries that have a lot in common. In terms of our population, we don't have the kind of anti-Semitism you may find in other places," he says.

After a 1973 coup d'etat in Uruguay, Lacalle, then a journalist, was imprisoned for several weeks. After that, his political career took off, where he was always on the right of the political map. In 1989, Lacalle was elected president, and served in the role until 1995.

During his last visit to Israel, where he feels perfectly at home by now, he received an honorary degree from Tel Aviv University as a token of appreciation for his "extraordinary achievements as a former president of Uruguay, as a statesman, as a legislator and as an international journalist; for his bold commitment to defending democratic values and human rights; for assertively condemning anti-Semitism and discrimination in all forms; and for his earnest, uncompromising friendship."
IsraellyCool: Haters Attack Stephen Marley For…Liking Jews or Something
Haters have gone after Stephen Marley, son of Bob Marley, for this poster of his latest tour:

I am guessing it is because Marley is dressed in a tallit, Jewish prayer shawl. Or perhaps because the blue and white is reminiscent of an Israeli flag? It is so hard to tell – hatred of Israel is almost invariably motivated by hatred of Jews after all.

Not that it matters; the Israeli flag is actually based on the tallit, reinforcing the centrality of Zionism in Judaism.

IsraellyCool: Ali Abunimah’s Antisemitism Shines Through (Again)
I have posted before about the antisemitism of Electronic Intifada founder Ali “Abumination” Abunimah. It is something he vehemently denies (like almost all antisemites do), and he has even allegedly gone out of his way deliberately to use the word “Zionist” (and not “Jew”) in order to protect himself from such allegations.

But every once in a while he really screws up. Like the time he characterized the Haavara agreement – which saved the lives of 60,000 German Jews – as Zionist-Nazi collaboration.

And he’s done it again today with this tweet:

Let’s leave aside for a moment the fact that Abunimation is not qualified to say anything about Zionism or the Jewish religion, and is wrong – Zionism is integral to Judaism, and is merely the national movement of the Jewish people that supports the re-establishment of a Jewish homeland in the territory defined as the historic Land of Israel. His remark implying the Jews of Israel are all European Jews reeks of Jew hatred, and is reminiscent of the “Jews as Khazars” canard spouted by antisemites – a tactic to take away the indigenous status of the Jewish people in the land of Israel, our homeland.
Socialists Denounce Sanders for Promoting American ‘Imperialism’
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.), the only self-described Democratic socialist in Congress who has helped normalize a political philosophy once labeled "radical," doesn't always inspire the feelings one might expect from his fellow socialists.

The world socialist website published a fiery rebuke of Sanders Tuesday for promoting a "pro-imperialist and pro-Zionist outlook" in regards to the Iran nuclear deal. The website is operated by the International Committee of the Fourth International, a political group founded by the Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky.

The article from Tom Hall comes on the heels of a panel Sanders hosted in his Washington, D.C. office earlier this month on the impact President Donald Trump's decision to exit the Iran nuclear framework would have on U.S. foreign policy.

The senator is on record as being opposed to the Trump administration's decision and had previously called the agreement "the best way forward … [to] making certain that Iran does not acquire a nuclear weapon."

Hall, a regular contributor to the site and a member of the Socialist Equality Party, castigated Sanders and the panel for showcasing a "pro-imperialist critique" of the decision to exit the deal.

"The discussion brought together a number of former State Department officials and think tank academics who, along with Sanders, presented an entirely conventional, pro-imperialist critique of the Trump administration’s decision to pull out of the 2015 agreement," Hall wrote.
Pro-Israel UCLA Students to Meet With Administration After Anti-Zionist Peers ‘Violently’ Disturb Event
A petition launched in response to the disruption, which warned that pro-Israel and minority students at UCLA “are continually under attack,” gathered more than 1,500 signatures as of Wednesday.

While SSI said it was not affiliated with the initiative, it separately presented the administration with a list of actions that can secure justice for the pro-Israel community, submitted along with the groups Bruins for Israel and the Bruins for Israel Public Affairs Committee (BIPAC).

The students will meet on Wednesday with administrators to explain their demands, which include penalizing SJP and the students responsible for the violations, “as turning a blind eye to such disruptive behavior will signal to SJP that bullying can continue on campus without any consequences.”

They also called on SJP to apologize to their speakers and group “for their brutal and non-academic behavior.”

The UCLA chapter of Alums for Campus Fairness (ACF), which is dedicated to fighting antisemitism and anti-Zionism on campus, also shared a list of demands with the administration on Tuesday. They called for the school to publicly express regret to SSI and the school’s Jewish community, and commit to protecting all Zionist student organizations, ACF wrote in a letter to UCLA Chancellor Gene Block.

The group, which claims more than 700 members, also criticized public safety officers for waiting nearly seven minutes until they asked the protesters to leave.

“And when they did react, they clearly had no idea of what was happening on either side,” AFC wrote, before requesting increased training for campus police.
Anti-Israel protesters disrupt Philadelphia Orchestra concert
Pro-Palestinian demonstrators protested an upcoming visit to Israel by the Philadelphia Orchestra by disrupting its farewell performance of “Tosca.”

About 60 demonstrators blocked traffic and two of them entered the downtown Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, leading to the Saturday night concert being halted for 10 minutes, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

According to the report, music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin slammed his baton on the podium and walked off the stage followed by some of the musicians. The two demonstrators were forcibly removed from the hall.

“We live in an age where dissent is important. It matters. It should be heard. But the sanctity of the concert hall should be respected,” the orchestra’s interim co-president, Matthew Loden, told the crowd before the performance resumed, according to the newspaper.

The orchestra left Thursday for a two-week trip to Europe and Israel, where it is scheduled to perform in Haifa, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem from June 3 to 5.
BBC News website amplifies the NGO echo-chamber
On May 9th the BBC News website published an article titled “Israel orders Human Rights Watch activist to leave for ‘supporting boycott’“.

On the one hand, readers were told that:
“Israel has ordered the senior representative of Human Rights Watch in the country to leave within 14 days.

The interior ministry said it had terminated the residency permit of Omar Shakir, who is a US citizen, because he had supported a boycott of Israel.”

On the other hand, they were also told that:
“HRW insists that neither it nor Mr Shakir promote boycotts of Israel.”

However, BBC audiences were not told which of those claims is true.

Apparently the BBC could not be bothered to take a closer look at Omar Shakir’s history of anti-Israel activism – including pro-BDS Tweets.
Tenured Jihadist Professor at Kent State Fired and Charged For Lying
Julio Pino aka Assad Jibril Pino, had tenure at Kent State, and the university had No problem with him smearing America, shouting “Death to Israel”, calling Osama Bin Laden “the greatest”, nor even for his open support for terrorism. But now that the FBI has charged him for lying to them, as he told them that he didn’t know a Facebook friend of his by the name of “J.E.” who threatened to kill hundreds of people, the corrupt Kent State University has finally found a reason to part with him, if only to spare themselves trouble from the law. Here’s what Pino’s Facebook friend wrote about him:

“I f*****g love Julio Pino, even if he does eventually do something that most consider horrible, I’ll still love him because I know him in a deeper way than most of you even could.”

And not only did Pino refer to his students as “my little jihadists”, but he’s being investigated for recruiting for ISIS. Fortunately, at least some of his students have been willing to call him the “WORST professor I’ve ever had…pushes his personal views WAY too much. Stay away from him. Awful professor.”

Pino was given a faculty excellence award in 2003, even though by that point, he had written an op-ed in a student paper, urging children to become suicide bombers and kill innocent Jews. In a letter, he referred to a suicide bomber in Jerusalem as a “freedom bird” and “a shining star”. Pino was also given an academic award in 2010, even though he wrote for a pro-Al Qaeda website in 2007, a website with the stated objective of assisting violent jihadists in acts of terrorism. Pino has been with Kent State since 1992, and he received tenure in 1998. He converted to Islam in 2000, from communism, I imagine, as he studied “overthrowing the government” when he was a student at UCLA.
60 Minutes: playing fast and loose with the facts
Steinfort may or may not also be interested to know that 50 of the 62 “Palestinian Muslims” killed by Israeli troops were actually Hamas “martyrs”. Others were members of Islamic Jihad. The terror groups themselves have confirmed this. These were not passive protesters. They were terrorists, committed to the annihilation of Israel, intent on breaching the border with the aim of re-enacting the Halamish massacre or kidnapping innocent civilians. Note the social media directive on one Palestinian website urging followers to bring “a knife, a dagger or a gun”.

Aside from outright mistruths, the report was unequivocally biased against Israel. As journalists, we are only too aware of the impact of words. The use of emotionally charged language, hyperbole or the half-telling of truths, distorts fact, neglects balance, and features heavily throughout the report.

“Colonise”,”occupied territories”, and more of the usual rhetoric is thrown around with their obvious negative connotations – none more, than the charge that Israel is “much more serious, much more dangerous than apartheid”.

Yes, allegedly Israel, the country where Israeli Arabs have the same rights as Israeli Jews, where Arabs and Jews share the same buses, schools and hospitals, where they are elected to Israel’s parliament and serve as judges and members of the military, is an apartheid state. No. Not only is this just plainly wrong – this ill-formed comparison only trivialises the genuine suffering by those who did experience the reality of South African apartheid.

While the charge is made by the Australian lawyer, Gerard Horton, 60 Minutes made the decision to include his voice and this footage, to peddle the trajectory, and offer an inadequate counter perspective.
IsraellyCool: USA Today’s Right Royal Screw-Up
Following the latest royal wedding, Prince William is set to visit Israel this coming month.

But as nice as this news is, USA Today has rained on the parade:
It will be the first official royal visit to Israel and what the British government calls the “Occupied Palestinian Territories” since 1948, when Britain’s 25-year control of the region (known as the British Mandate) ended on the eve of Israel’s independence.

I am pretty sure the British government does not refer to Israel as the “Occupied Palestinian Territories.” (Perhaps what is meant here is Judea and Samaria, referred to as the “Occupied territories” by much of the world after we liberated the lands in 1967).

Then again, I am also sure the reporter here – Maria Puente – should stick to “covering entertainment, celebrities and royals for the LIFE section.”
‘Forward’ Forced to Backtrack on Professor Jordan Peterson Story
American magazine The Forward has been at the center of a media scandal after media watchdog CAMERA discovered that the magazine fabricated racist support for University of Toronto Professor Jordan Peterson.

“We closely monitor white supremacist media,” said CAMERA analyst Dexter Van Zile, who himself has been the target of white nationalist attacks. “My colleague Jonah Cohen quickly proved that Forward journalist Ari Feldman misled readers that Peterson has support among far-right racist communities.”

“The exact opposite is the case,” said Van Zile. “Neo-Nazis and white nationalists vehemently hate Jordan Peterson. It’s a demonstrable fact.”

Cohen published his findings in a much-discussed article in the Weekly Standard titled “The Shameful, Unethical Smearing of Jordan Peterson.”

In the article, Cohen concluded: “In sum, what Feldman did was to 1) lie about a neo-Nazis’ opinion of Peterson; 2) use that lie to suggest he has a vast neo-Nazi following at the Daily Stormer; 3) conceal all the Jews who like [Peterson]; and 4) seek out political partisans to smear him as a possible Holocaust-denier.”

In response to Cohen’s article, Michael Shermer, editor of Skeptic magazine, which debunks myths and pseudoscience, tweeted: “The Forward just jumped the shark by going after Jordan Peterson & gets royally nailed for it by the Weekly Standard. Shameful disregard of the truth.”
Brussels chief rabbi declines to wear kippa publicly, citing security concerns
Amid reports of widespread fear among Belgian Jews of being attacked by anti-Semites, the chief rabbi of Brussels and other Jews declined over security concerns a public broadcaster’s request to film them walking on the street while wearing a kippa.

The RTBF broadcaster reported Thursday it wanted to film Chief Rabbi Albert Guigui, among other rabbis, wearing a kippa for a program about anti-Semitism.

But Guigui declined, telling the channel he has stopped visibly wearing a kippa in 2001 following an anti-Semitic assault on his person. In December of that year, Guigui was attacked by a group of Arabic speaking youths.

The Jewish community in Belgium, numbering approximately 40,000 and split mainly between Brussels and Antwerp, has suffered a rising number of anti-Semitic attacks in recent years, especially in reaction to Israel’s conflict with Gaza last summer. Four people died after a radical Muslim carried out a shooting attack on the Jewish Museum in Brussels in May 2014.

“The government is doing all it can to give us a sense of security. Security personnel and soldiers are guarding our schools and synagogues,” Guigui told The Times of Israel in 2015. “It’s quiet now but anti-Semitism wakes up here when there are problems in Israel.”
Switzerland: Jews not wanted in vacation apartments?
The 'Hol Hamehudar' (Exquisite Abroad) tourism company for the religious and haredi community specializing in vacations in Europe, mainly in Austria

Spokesperson Tamar Wolf spoke to Arutz Sheva about a serious incident that took place recently. "My friend asked me, as a German spokesperson, to inquire for her about a Swiss apartment in Switzerland. I sent an email to the owner of the apartment in the town of Crans Montana in Switzerland and wanted to make sure that there are no sensors that automatically turn on the light when the person enters the room."

She said that the owner "apparently understood the request that we were Jews and she replied that she was sorry but if the customers were Jewish, then she thinks she is not the right person." It is culturally inappropriate and she is afraid to deal with it."

Wolf, who exposed these developments to 'Hol Hamehudar' that owners usually take Jewish sensibilities into account. "The Israelis do not have a very good reputation there when it comes to the condition of the apartments after the vacation, but when it comes to the demands of Judaism and Halacha, We do not have a problem.
Major Jewish Group Petitions Chilean Government to Act Against Rising Antisemitism
The American Jewish Committee has filed a petition to the Chilean government asking it to act against rising antisemitism in the South American country.

“Under the banner of solidarity with the Palestinian people,” the petition reads, “the right of Chilean Jews to express support for Israel is being increasingly questioned and even denied. … People now find it hazardous to articulate pro-Israel positions in the public square. … Chile has long honored its diverse communities’ prerogatives to express their connections to ancestral homelands while remaining integral parts of society. Recent efforts to delegitimize and demonize Chilean supporters of Israel — attacks that can only be seen as anti-Semitic — are contrary to that national tradition, and cannot go unanswered.”

Chile has a Palestinian population of some 400,000 and a Jewish community of 20,000. A May 3 blog post published by the AJC outlines some of the problems that have arisen in recent years. “The Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement (BDS), an initiative that seeks to eliminate Israel as a Jewish state, is more solidly anchored in Chile than anywhere else in Latin America,” it stated.

In addition, “[d]uring an amateur soccer match between Estadio Israelita Maccabi and Club Palestino at the latter’s home stadium, the referee, Norman Vega, had to suspend the game due to the uncontrolled violence that ensued when hundreds of Palestinian fans invaded the field.”
New York teen to serve jail time for vandalizing Jewish cemetery
A New York teen was sentenced to six months in jail for vandalizing a local Jewish cemetery.

Eric Carbonaro, 19, of Warwick, was sentenced Wednesday in Orange County Court for the October 2016 incident and apologized. He also must do 150 hours of community service.

He had pleaded guilty in February to two charges, including one that involved a hate crime.

Carbonaro spray-painted the wall of the Beth Shalom Cemetery in Warwick, an upstate town about 50 miles from New York City, with anti-Semitic graffiti including swastikas, “Heil Hitler,” and Nazi SS symbols. He deleted photos and other information about the vandalism from the phones of two unnamed co-conspirators.
Sweden to try 3 migrants over December synagogue arson attack
Three young migrants are to be tried in Sweden for allegedly attacking a synagogue with Molotov cocktails last year, prosecutors and their lawyers said Friday.

Aged between 19 and 24, one Syrian man and two Palestinian men were identified by the synagogue’s surveillance cameras and will appear before the Gothenburg district court on June 12 over aggravated arson.

The prosecution argues the charges, which the accused deny, are aggravated by “the crime’s motive to violate an ethnic group because of its beliefs.”

A few days after US President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, a dozen people threw multiple burning objects at the synagogue in Sweden’s second largest city of Gothenburg on the evening of December 9, public prosecutor Stina Lundqvist told AFP.

Some 20 youngsters participating in a celebration briefly took shelter in a cellar during the attack, but no one was injured.

A total of five people were arrested and two of them were later released due to lack of evidence.
Alleged assailant in Brooklyn attack on Jewish man is charged with hate crime
The accused attacker of an identifiably Jewish man walking home from Shabbat services in Brooklyn was indicted on hate crime charges.

James Vincent, 40, was arraigned Wednesday in Brooklyn Supreme Court on a 17-count indictment. The charges include first-degree strangulation as a hate crime and second-degree assault as a hate crime. He was arrested last month.

In the April 21 attack in the Crown Heights neighborhood, Menachem Moskowitz, 52, suffered several rib fractures and a black eye. He also had swelling, bruises, and scratches all over his body.

Moskowitz, a father of nine, told that he said “good afternoon” to his alleged assailant, who was smoking a cigar on a street corner.

“As soon as [I greeted] him, he began yelling at me ‘you fake Jews, who are you saying hello to? You’re fake Jews and you stole all my money and robbed me, and stole my mortgage and my house. I want to kill you!’” the news website quoted him as saying.

The incident was caught in footage filmed on a security camera.
Rock legend Don McLean returns to Israel
‘A long, long time ago… I can still remember,” said Don McLean in response to my question about his old 1960s folkie days in New York.

Well, not really. But in that slightly nasal twang that hasn’t changed in 50 years, it was impossible to listen to McLean speak without being reminded that this was the person – and the voice – that wrote and sang one of the most popular and enduring songs of the 20th century.

Like with J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye, or Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car” or any other creation that has dominated an artist’s oeuvre, “American Pie” is the Sistine Chapel of McLean’s career. Despite recording dozens of other songs, including classics such as “Vincent” and “And I Love You So,” the 72-year-old singer/songwriter never attempted to match the breadth and scope of “American Pie” – an eight-minute mesmerizing journey through rock & roll history via cryptic lyrics, a rollicking beat and all the wistfulness and celebration that defined the music it was celebrating.

“I don’t know where that song came from,” said McLean from his home in Palm Springs, California, during a phone interview earlier this month. “I really don’t know what I’m doing most of the time when I write, I just do it.

“I’ve had a lot of magic in my life and I would say that I’m not an Earth-bound person. I’m a dreamer and what I dreamt for myself once I realized I could write songs, was for all of the them to be different and unique, almost cinematic in scope and great attention to the words. I haven’t put out a ton of records, but a bunch. And every song I’ve written would qualify as having those characteristics.”

Acknowledging that “American Pie” and the 1971 album of the same name that it appeared on were a phenomenon, McLean explained that such alignments of the stars are rare and can’t be repeated.
Alan Dershowitz's first ride on a United Hatzalah ambucycle
For the first time, Alan Dershowitz rode one of United Hatzala's ambucycles, their signature life saving vehicle.

Dershowitz was in Israel last week to attend the opening of the United States Embassy in Jerusalem. As part of his trip, he visited the United Hatzalah headquarters in Jerusalem, an organization whose international board he sits.

Dershowitz isn’t the type of person who typically rides motorcycles. Yet, on the morning of the day that the embassy opened, Dershowitz rode one of the organization's iconic ambucycles, (a motorcycle equipped with all of the gear that a regular ambulance carries) and was driven from his hotel across the city of Jerusalem with three other friends, one of whom was Isy Danon, a South African philanthropist who honored Dershowitz by donating $180,000 to the organization and having Dershowitz forever inscribed on the Wall of Founders in the main lobby of the building.

It was Dershowitz's first time on a motorcycle, and as he and four of his friends are all celebrating their 80th birthdays this year, the group got together to donate one to the organization.

At the headquarters, Danon recalled how Dershowitz introduced him to the organization.
Richard Pipes on God, the Jews, and Survival
Reminiscing about his friendship with the eminent historian of Russia Richard Pipes—who died last week at the age of ninety-four—Paul Kengor notes some of Pipes’s theological reflections:

Richard Pipes was born in Poland on July 11, 1923. As a sixteen-year-old Jew at the time of Hitler’s invasion, Pipes mercifully escaped, thanks to a clever and shrewd father. He credited not only his father but also providential intervention. That experience, and those that followed, taught Pipes several life lessons. In his memoir, Vixi: Memoirs of a Non-Belonger, he wrote: “The main effect of the Holocaust on my psyche was to make me delight in every day of life that has been granted to me, for I was saved from certain death.” Pipes observed: “I felt and feel to this day that I have been spared not to waste my life on self-indulgence or self-aggrandizement but to spread a moral message by showing, using examples from history, how evil ideas lead to evil consequences. Since scholars have written enough on the Holocaust, I thought it my mission to demonstrate this truth using the example of Communism.” . . .

Pipes [also] wrote: “Many Jews—my father among them—lost their religious beliefs because of the Holocaust. Mine, if anything, were strengthened. The mass murder (including those that occurred simultaneously in the Soviet Union) demonstrated what happens when people renounce faith in God, deny that human beings were created in His image, and reduce them to soulless and therefore expendable material objects.”

As noted, surviving the Holocaust made Pipes delight in every day that God had given him. . . . Above all, he would spend the remainder of his long and scholarly life exposing godless ideologies and the totalitarian tyrants who deny that human beings are made in God’s image. Few human beings in the academy did that as nobly and expertly as Richard Pipes.

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