Tuesday, May 29, 2018

From Ian:

France Is Hypocritical on Israel, the U.S., and ‘International Law’
Along with several other European countries, France has strongly opposed America’s decision to relocate its embassy to Israel’s capital. To support its position, Paris has claimed, on the basis of various UN resolutions, that international law militates against recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish state. These legal claims, writes Michel Gurfinkiel, are muddled—at best:

Both France and the EU claim that the 1949 cease-fire lines between Israel and Jordan in the Jerusalem area (the “Green Line”) are an international border. If this were indeed the case, those sectors in Jerusalem held by Israel [following the cease-fire] would be internationally recognized Israeli territory; accordingly, Israel would have every right to turn them into its capital, and the United States, or any other country, to locate its embassy there.

Likewise, France and the EU countries [already] recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s de-facto capital, since they routinely visit the Israeli government or the Israeli parliament there. Under international law, a de-facto recognition is as valid as a de-jure recognition. . . .

Paris and Brussels [therefore] point to Security Council Resolution 470, passed on August 20, 1980, which condemned the enactment by Israel’s parliament of a constitutionally binding law enshrining Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and called upon the governments that had already established embassies in that city to withdraw them. Resolution 470 was largely based on the . . . General Assembly’s Resolution 303 of December 9, 1949.

However, Gurfinkiel argues, France refuses to apply the same logic to itself, as evidenced by the case of the island of Mayotte. Mayotte had been a French colony along with the other Comoros Islands, but when the Comoros became independent, its populace repeatedly voted to remain part of France, which to this day treats the island as its own:
Trump’s Israel Policies Compared To The Last 12 Presidents
With President Donald Trump’s fulfillment of his campaign promise to recognize Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel, his moving the US embassy to Jerusalem, his subsequent refusal to ratify the Obama administration’s Iran Nuclear Deal, and official statements from the White House twitter account such as:

"The U.S. condemns the Iranian regime’s provocative rocket attacks from Syria against Israeli citizens, and we strongly support Israel’s right to act in self-defense." – @WhiteHouse, May 10, 2018

(and all of this in just one year!), Trump has set the foundations for what could be the most stalwartly pro-Israel American foreign policy since Israel’s birth in 1947.

With religiously anti-Trump pundits (see here, or here) insisting that Trump’s policies and rhetoric are actually damaging to Israel and somehow worse than those of his predecessors, it’s worth taking a stroll down memory lane to see how past presidents perceived Israel, and how they conducted their foreign policies.

Barack Obama (Democrat) (January 20, 2009 – January 20, 2017)
Barak Obama made strong statements in his campaign for the oval office, marketing himself as an ostensibly pro-Israel candidate. He even called Jerusalem the capital of Israel: "Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided. I have no illusions that this will be easy."

When speaking with Obama, French President Nicolas Sarkozy bewailed Israel’s PM saying, "I can’t stand Netanyahu; he is a coward and a liar." Rather than defend Netanyahu, Obama replied, "You can’t stand him? I have to deal with him more than you."

Obama also signed 38-billion-dollars in aid to Israel. The 10-year foreign aid package came on the heels of Obama’s Iran nuclear deal which Israel warned would only further empower Iran and do nothing to mitigate its funding of terrorist organizations or pursuit of nuclear weapons. Moreover, under a provision of the deal called, the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), Israel is barred from receiving any additional funds with the notable exception of wartime.

As one of his final actions as US president, Obama refused to exercise the United States’s veto power in the United Nations, allowing a virulently anti-Israel resolution calling for a halt to Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem (a region Obama previously stated was without question part of Israel’s undivided capital).
Gaza electricity cut off after rocket strikes supplying facility
One of dozens of rockets launched Tuesday by terrorists from the Gaza Strip hit facilities supplying electricity to the Gaza Strip.

Due to the damage to the facilities, three lines supplying electricity to the southern Gaza Strip were stopped.

The electricity company said it would take several days to repair the equipment for a regular supply of electricity.

Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz instructed the Israel Electricity Company (IEC) not to endanger its employees and to repair the problem only after a lull.

Isi Leibler: A month of hypocrisy and moral decadence
Never have we witnessed such decadent political behavior as what has transpired these past weeks.

Paradoxically, this occurred in the wake of a series of incredible achievements.

The Trump administration has moved the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, abrogated the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, and demanded that Iran pull out of Syria, desist from terrorism, and cease calling for Israel's destruction.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu maintains friendly relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who also called on Iran to withdraw from Syria.

Last month, Israel virtually destroyed Iran's infrastructure in Syria. This was followed by the dramatic disclosure that the Mossad purloined half a ton of Iranian documents which prove that Iran was lying when it claimed to have no intention of developing nuclear weapons.

Meanwhile, after the Hamas efforts to undermine Israel with rockets and tunnels were thwarted, it used the opening of the U.S. Embassy and 70 years of the Nakba as the pretext to launch a new anti-Israel campaign, enlisting thousands of Gazans to storm the borders and actualize their claimed "right of return."
Here’s Why the Media Got the Gaza Violence Wrong
Hamas has always targeted Israeli civilians and employed Palestinian human shields — a double war crime. The group has used schools to hide its weaponry, equipment, and fighters, and as recently as the 2014 conflict with Israel, Hamas used ambulances as “transport vehicles” and hospitals as “command centers.”

Since its creation as a Muslim Brotherhood spinoff in 1987, Hamas has made its objectives clear. The group’s founding charter calls for the destruction of Israel and the genocide of Jews — even approvingly quoting Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf. Since Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in 2005, Hamas has launched no fewer than three wars against the Jewish state — in 2008, 2012, and 2014 — in addition to the frequent rocket attacks that began shortly after the group seized power in 2007.

Yet, this history and Hamas’ genocidal objectives have largely gone unmentioned by many media outlets covering the latest round of violent demonstrations at the border. Instead, many in the media have uncritically echoed casualty claims made by the “Palestinian Health Ministry” — a Hamas-controlled entity that shares the terror group’s objective of delegitimizing and destroying Israel.

It’s hard to imagine the press echoing the claims of other Islamist terrorist groups, such as ISIS or Al Qaeda. Yet with near ubiquity they’ve done so with Hamas while ignoring video and photographic evidence showing Palestinians planting explosives, carrying firearms, knives, and Molotov cocktails, and even launching kite bombs embroidered with swastikas. As one 19-year-old Gazan proudly told an NPR reporter, “We want to burn” the “Jews. … [T]his is actually what we want them to know.”

But as usual, when it comes to Israel, there is a double standard. The terrorist perpetrators are treated as privileged victims instead of human beings capable of independent agency. To many in the press, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one of dueling narratives, as opposed to cold hard facts — as unpleasant as they might be. And the facts remain: Hamas is a genocidal terrorist group. Peaceful protests don’t involve violence. And no matter how many times headlines blare it, terrorists are not protesters.
The Real Nakba: Jacoby on the Jewish exodus
In the flurry of articles published on or around 14 May, the anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba, Jeff Jacoby's article for the Boston Globe stands out - it is one of the few that focuses on the Jewish exodus without reducing it to a one-sentence throwaway. It is also one of the few pieces to reach a mainstream audience.

The New York Times presaged 'a tragedy of incalculable proportions' would befall the Jews of the Arab world

Over the years, enormous attention has been paid to the issue of the Palestinian refugees. Even after seven decades, the topic remains raw and emotional. It is frequently said that there can be no lasting solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict until the plight of the Palestinian refugees is settled. To this day, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas claim a “right of return” for the original refugees and their descendants.

More than 1.5 million Palestinians live in dozens of refugee camps administered by the United Nations, their predicament intensified by the refusal of every Arab country save Jordan to grant them citizenship.

The “Jewish nakba” of the 1940s is now largely forgotten. Yet in terms of the number of people affected, property lost, and history erased, the catastrophe that befell the Jews of the Arab world dwarfed what happened to the Palestinians.

But with the rebirth of Jewish sovereignty in Palestine, antisemitic fury erupted across the region and those roots were ripped out. As the UN in 1947 debated whether to adopt the partition plan authorizing a Jewish state, Arab leaders had warned that violence against Jews would be uncontrollable.
The conflict beyond advocacy
Who would have believed that within certain communities, there could be more supporters of the radical Arab Palestinian agenda than supporters of the free, democratic and altruistic State of Israel. The relentless Arab Palestinian deceitful and well-organized propaganda, with the irrational support of many in the Western Media, may be a part of this transition.

The Democratic Party in the USA used to be a staunch supporter of the just cause of the State of Israel, but a recent Pew Research Center report showed a dangerous shift in this attitude. Within the more radical liberal branch of the Democratic party, about 38% will be anti-Israeli while the supporters of Israel will be only about 26%. When you look at the overall numbers as they relate to the Democratic party, you find that about 31% will be anti-Israeli and only 33% will be pro-Israel. On the other hand, within the Republican party, about 74% will be pro-Israel.

Despite an absolute bipartisan support for moving the USA Embassy to the legitimate Capital City of Israel, Jerusalem, there were no Democratic members of Congress in attendance at the opening ceremony of the US Embassy in Jerusalem. Even more surprisingly, Chuck Schumer, who voted in Congress against the Iran Deal, criticized President Trump bitterly for exposing the bad intentions and the lies of the Iranians, and for withdrawing from the originally ill-conceived Iranian Deal, implemented by President Obama via an executive order, without the ratification by Congress.
If one wants to know what the intentions of the Radical Palestinians, Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran are, one should just listen to them. They are not bashful, they will tell you that they are going to “play” the Mainstream Media and the Alternative Media, to carry their vicious propaganda. They are maligning the State of Israel, the USA and the Moderate Western Societies, while they promise to carry out their agenda to destroy the State of Israel within any borders, kill the Jews wherever they can find them, take over the free world as we know it and destroy all Infidels.
Is Israel really isolated?
The myth of “Israel’s isolation” is also obvious in the diplomatic realm. Israel today has relations with more countries around the world than at any time in its history. A number of them are majority-Muslim nations.

Governments that maintain normal relations with Israel do so for a variety of reasons. Some are focused on the threat of Iranian expansion and Islamist terrorism. For others, it simply makes economic sense to trade with a desirable hi-tech exporting country like Israel, regardless of political differences.

Israel’s many contributions to international science, medicine, and environmental welfare likely have played a part in improving relations around the world. Just last week, Hawaii’s state legislature banned a certain ingredient used in sunscreen after Israeli researchers found the chemical is causing damage to coral reefs in Hawaii and elsewhere.

And did you see the list of countries that participated in the Jerusalem Embassy relocation ceremony? It’s remarkable:

Albania, Angola, Austria, Cameroon, Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ivory Coast, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Georgia, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, Kenya, Macedonia, Burma, Nigeria, Panama, Peru, the Philippines, Romania, Rwanda, Serbia, South Sudan, Thailand, Ukraine, Vietnam, Paraguay, Tanzania and Zambia.

Just days after the ceremony, Guatemala and Paraguay moved their embassies to Jerusalem. The leaders of Honduras and the Czech Republic have said they intend to do likewise. Others are likely to eventually follow.

Of course there is a long way still to go in Israel’s struggle to be treated the same as any other country. But let’s not lose hope when people try to intimidate us with warnings about “isolation.” Remember that when he was secretary of state, John Kerry infamously warned that Israel would become a “pariah” state if it didn’t quickly give into Palestinian demands. Today, Israel is thriving and Kerry is a forgotten has-been. That speaks for itself
British Royals in the Land of Israel, Then and Now
Since Israel’s creation, no member of the British royal family has paid it an official visit, although Queen Elizabeth’s husband, Prince Philip—whose mother is buried on the Mount of Olives—and Prince Charles have both come in an unofficial capacity. This summer, the House of Windsor will finally break with longstanding policy and send Prince William on a formal visit. The researchers of the Britain Israel Communications and Research Center (BICOM) ask what caused the change:
As Brexit approaches, the British government’s [new foreign policy] requires it to reach out to friends and allies outside Europe; the government views Israel as a key future trade partner, especially where technology and innovation are concerned. This motivation, coupled with the strong pro-Israel positions of many in the British government as well as the anomaly that the royal family has never visited Israel, most likely generated the idea that a visit to Israel, [including] the West Bank, as well as to [London’s] key ally Jordan, was an elegant solution to the long-running absence of a visit. Moreover, having visited Israel [along with] Jordan may subsequently make it easier for the royal family to arrange future visits to other key allies in the Middle East . . . if they so wish.

The first British monarch to come to the Holy Land was Richard I, who arrived with his army during the Third Crusade. There were also a few royal visits in the 19th century:
In 1862, Queen Victoria’s eldest son, Prince Albert Edward, then the twenty-year-old prince of Wales, who later became Edward VII, visited Jerusalem as part of a five-month tour of Egypt and the Ottoman empire. . . . [T]he prince arrived in Jaffa on March 30, before visiting Jerusalem accompanied by Turkish cavalry and staying in tents pitched between the Damascus gate and the Gate of St. Stephen’s (Lions’ Gate). He subsequently visited the Temple Mount, the Western Wall, and the Tomb of David, where the [Muslim] keepers of the site objected to opening the door as they felt it too holy for Christians to see it.
The Tale of Kerry, Zarif, and Assad
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif made headlines last week when he was caught on tape with a crowd in Tehran participating in a chant calling for the destruction of the United States and its allies. While the crowd can be heard chanting “Death to America,” “Death to Britain,” and “Death to Israel,” Zarif is seen smiling and mouthing along. It’s worth noting that, in early May, former Secretary of State John Kerry was reported to have met with Zarif twice in an effort to preserve the Iran nuclear deal that they previously negotiated.

This is an unfortunate turn of events for John Kerry, who had grown quite close to the foreign minister of the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism. Not only were Kerry and Zarif frequently seen backslapping throughout the negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program, but Kerry regularly advocated for Zarif as a moderating force in Tehran’s revolutionary regime. During his efforts to sell the Iran nuclear deal to Congress and the American people in 2015, Kerry pushed the idea that the deal would empower Zarif and other supposed reformers, thus tempering the Islamic republic’s hostility to the US and its allies.

Kerry’s words of assurance were, of course, proven to be false — as Iran’s aggression in the region and hostility towards the West have only increased after the deal was implemented. Unfortunately, while this is an embarrassing moment for John Kerry, it isn’t the first time that he’s been so publicly humiliated by a US adversary for whom he had spent several years advocating.

Indeed, prior to ever meeting his Iranian counterpart, Kerry spent a half-decade courting none other than Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. In December 2006, when he was still a US senator, Kerry traveled to Damascus to meet, for the first time, with the Syrian dictator. Kerry apparently believed that, at the height of the Iraq War, American outreach to Assad was critical for the US mission in Iraq. Then-senator Kerry saw Assad as a reformer who could be peeled away from his alliance with Iran and Hezbollah, and lured towards the West. Kerry even envisioned the possibility of a negotiated peace between Assad and Israel over the Golan Heights.
NGO Monitor: The Gaza Riots and HRW’s Immoral Anti-Israel Obsession on Twitter
Between May 13-16, 2018, Human Rights Watch (HRW) employees tweeted excessively about the violence along the Gaza border, with their tweets almost exclusively condemning Israel’s right to defend its borders, belittling the violence, and making various politically driven statements. HRW employees dedicated a significant amount of space to the events along the Gaza border compared to other human rights related events occurring during the same period of time, demonstrating the organization’s extreme anti-Israel bias and obsession at the expense of its universal human rights mission. The tweets describe Israel’s actions in Gaza as being a “bloodbath,” “inhumane,” and “calculated.” Similarly, they compared Gaza to a “prison,” where Israel is “cag[ing]” Palestinians.

The following report includes a selection of these tweets, as well as analysis comparing the amount of tweets about Gaza compared to other conflicts.
Ken Roth (HRW Executive Director)
Ken Roth’s Twitter feed focused significantly on Israel compared with other countries exhibiting human rights related events. Roth devoted an astounding 40% of his Twitter feed to attacking Israel, with the tweets consistently erasing the context of violence along the Gaza border, including the use of Molotov cocktails, arson, explosive devices, and attempts to breach the border fence.

On May 14, Roth tweeted his dismay that there has been “nary a scratch on the Israeli side.”

Honest Reporting: 60 Minutes and the Illusion of Balance
Presumably in the interest of balance, the producers picked two main interviewees: both Australian ex-pats living in Israel, both extreme in their own ways.

Ostensibly representing Israel is Daniel Luria: a far right-leaning, Jewish settler, who backs up his opinions with a degree of religious fervour. He is the executive director of Ateret Cohanim, a settlement oriented organization whose mission represents only a tiny niche within the broad range of opinions in mainstream Israeli society.

60 Minutes does not mention Ateret Cohanim by name, nor does it explain the extreme nature of its small following, thus leaving out critical context regarding Luria’s non-mainstream place in Israel. This is called lack of transparency, a critical journalistic breach.

The “other side” is represented by Gerard Horton: a far left leaning Australian lawyer and activist who now lives in Israel. He set up the advocacy group, Military Court Watch, and is a regular contributor for notoriously anti-Israel publications and web sites such as The Electronic Intifada and Middle East Monitor.

To be clear, 60 Minutes’ mistake was not that they interviewed Luria and Horton, but that the segment presented them as being mainstream, representative voices, which they are most certainly not.

The result is a one-dimensional picture of intractable anger and conflict, as disturbing as it is inaccurate.

Twitchy: Columnist’s hot take: Israel has no lawful right to defend itself against armed struggle
Columnist C.J. Werleman has a new piece in TRTWorld [Turkish Govt] that argues that not only does international law guarantee Palestinians the right to resist; there’s a flip side:
Under international law, Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories is illegal, and Palestinians have a right to “armed struggle” against their illegal occupier – Israel – thus ipso facto Palestinians have a right to defend themselves against Israel, but Israel’s right to defend itself against Palestinian resistance is not guaranteed in the same manner. (h/t jzaik)

NGO Monitor: Adalah and Partner NGOs Promote Arms Embargo Against Israel
On May 15, 2018, Adalah and seven other non-governmental organizations (NGOs) sent a letter to US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo to “Investigate Israel’s Use of Lethal Force in Gaza and Halt Foreign Assistance to Israeli Military Units.” The NGOs demanded “that the U.S. Department of State investigate Israel’s use of lethal force against Palestinian protesters in Gaza since March 30, 2018, and halt any further assistance to all Israeli military units involved in these shootings, in accordance with U.S. law, including the Foreign Assistance Act and the Arms Export Control Act” (emphasis added).

The letter adopts a BDS (boycott, divestments, and sanctions) agenda against Israel, in stark contrast to the signatories’ donors’ policies. Donors include the New Israel Fund, European Union, and a number of European governments.

Adalah’s NGO co-signatories include groups involved in BDS, lawfare, and other political warfare campaigns against Israel. Some co-signatories also have links to the Popular Front Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist organization.
"Distorted History at Christ at the Checkpoint 2018"
Munayer, who was introduced as an “expert” by Gary Burge, a former professor at Wheaton College in Illinois, offered a particularly one-sided depiction of the Arab-Israeli conflict. For example, he described the expulsion of Arabs from Lydda during the 1948 War as premeditated act of ethnic cleansing perpetrated by Israel without informing his audience of more than 100 listeners, most of them first-time attendees, that Arabs were expelled from the city after a previously agreed upon truce was violated by the inhabitants of the city. It was this violation that precipitated the expulsion that Munayer describes.

During the question and answer period, Munayer was asked how the Palestinians have come to grips with with the legacy of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, who assisted the Nazis in the Holocaust and also broadcast virulent Jew-hatred into Muslim countries in the Middle East during World War II, once telling his listeners in a radio address to “kill the Jews wherever you find them.”

Munayer's response was telling.

He said “I think that the Palestinians are split. There would be different opinions of what they think of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem.” Munayer then stated, “I don't accept the premise that the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem helped accelerate [or] encourage the Holocaust in any manner. I don't think that there are any Palestinians or any serious Holocaust historians that will accept that either.”
ECAJ MEDIA STATEMENT re. Interview of Rev Dr Stephen Sizer on RN Breakfast .
The ABC has written to the Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ) apologising for inaccuracies and for the omission of material context that occurred during an interview of Rev Dr Stephen Sizer which was aired on RN Breakfast on Good Friday, and the eve of the Jewish festival of Pesach (Passover), on 30 March 2018.

In a letter to ABC Managing Director, Michelle Guthrie, on 5 April 2018, the ECAJ complained that the interviewer, David Rutledge, had underplayed the gravity of accusations of antisemitism that had been made against Sizer and “projected a generally supportive attitude towards Sizer from the outset, which resulted in a soft interview that allowed Sizer’s self-serving, inaccurate answers to pass unchallenged.”

The ECAJ complaint alleged that “David Rutledge allowed Sizer to get away with claiming that none of the speakers at one of the conferences he addressed in Tehran in 2014 were criticised as antisemitic.

In fact, as was reported at the time, the Iranian government-run Press TV described the conference as intending to “unveil the secrets behind the dominance of the Zionist lobby over the US and EU politics”, with one session devoted to examining “Mossad’s role in the 9/11 coup d’état”, and another discussing “9/11 and the Holocaust as pro-Zionist ‘Public myths’ ”.

In questioning Sizer, David Rutledge gave only partial information about, and under-played the full extent of, Sizer’s own statements legitimising outlandish conspiracy theories that blame Israel for the September 11 terror attacks in the US.
Trayon White Calls for Negotiations with the Jews to End Baltimore Flooding (satire)
With the Baltimore area devastated by heavy flooding, DC Councilman Trayon White has called for negotiations with the Jews who control the weather.

“It is time for us to put aside our hostility for the Rothschildren (sic) and other Jewish bankers and ask them what we must do to get this rain to end,” White, who made headlines for saying that the Jewish family controls the climate, explained. “The Jews gave us this weather, and only the Jews can take it away.”

White, who walked out in the middle of a tour of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC, added that he would personally visit Jewish headquarters for negotiations, even at risk of getting gored to death by the Jews’ horns.

“Whatever they want, I think we’ve got to give it to them,” White said, adding that he imagined they would demand large quantities of diamonds, the blood of Christian children, and “those funny looking tops that they spin during Christmas.”
UKMW prompts Guardian to replace misleading photo accompanying article on UK arms sales to Israel
Yesterday, we tweeted about an extremely inappropriate photo accompanying a May 27th Guardian article on an increase in British arms exports to Israel.

The photo actually depicts one of the more than 100 fires in Israel caused by hundreds of kite bombs launched by Palestinians in recent weeks – fires which incinerated an Israeli nature reserve, killed scores of animals and caused millions of shekels worth of damage to area farmers.
The BBC’s double helping ‘Nakba’ backgrounder
The BBC did not bother to explain to audiences that UN GA Resolution 194 is non-binding, that it does not specifically relate to Palestinian refugees (despite long-standing BBC claims to that effect) and that it does not – contrary to often heard assertions – grant any unconditional ‘right of return’. Neither does the BBC bother to inform readers of the fact that the Arab states voted against that UN GA resolution.

The longer version went on to state:
“Israel says it cannot allow five million refugees to return because this would overwhelm the country of 8.5 million and mean the end of its existence as a Jewish state.”

The shorter version made do with “but Israel says it would be overwhelmed”.

The fact that the intention of the Palestinian demand for ‘right of return’ is to bring about the end of the Jewish state – as Israelis rightly recognise – was not clarified to BBC audiences.

The BBC did not tell its audiences who wrote this backgrounder but whichever BBC journalist did so, it is blatantly obvious that he or she had no intention whatsoever of providing audiences with the full range of historical background and factual information which would enhance their understanding of the issue.

Instead, the BBC’s funding public got a double dose of promotion of a one-sided political narrative in which Palestinians are exclusively portrayed as totally passive victims and all mention of the responsibility of the Arab leaders who rejected the 1947 Partition Plan and subsequently started the war that led to their displacement is missing.
Oxford Community Leaders Condemn Antisemitism After Local Chabad Faces Two Attacks in May
A Jewish student center serving the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom was subject to two attacks this month, drawing condemnation from community leaders.

On May 19, the eve of the Jewish holiday of Shavuot, two unidentified offenders placed “antisemitic” notes and sparked a fire at the Chabad of Oxford, Thames Valley Police said.

“Thankfully the fire burned out within a couple of minutes, it didn’t cause significant damage and no-one was injured,” said Detective Sergeant George Atkinson of the incident, which was classified as a hate crime.

Four days later, a white powder and offensive notes — one reading “Jew House” — were found at the center. The substance was later identified as talcum powder.

Rabbi Eli Brackman, who directs Oxford Chabad alongside his wife Freidy, described the attack on Thursday as a “minor [antisemitic] incident” and said that “everyone is safe.”

“The powder that was left today was not part of a trend,” Brackman told Chabad.org. “While the notes tell us that the perpetrators were clearly acting out of antisemitism, all indicators, including video footage, indicate that it was an isolated incident.”

The attack raised concern among some community officials, including Layla Moran, a member of parliament representing Oxford.
Macron says 2003 slaying of French Jew was anti-Semitic
French President Emmanuel Macron said that anti-Semitism was the reason for the deadly stabbing in 2003 of a young Jew whose killer was found unfit to stand trial.

Macron said this in a letter dated May 20 to Meyer Habib, a French-Jewish lawmaker who last month wrote the president to request belated recognition for Sébastien Selam, a 23-year-old DJ who was killed by his Muslim neighbor, as a victim of anti-Semitic violence.

“Recalled because of the heinous killing of Mirelle Knoll, the memory of this young Frenchman who fell a victim to the darkest of fanaticism lives on,” Macron wrote. Knoll, a Holocaust survivor, was stabbed to death in her Paris apartment on March 23. Prosecutors said a neighbor and an accomplice killed her, partly because she was Jewish.

The memory of Selam, Macron wrote, is part of “our national community, which is profoundly affected by anti-Semitic crimes like the one perpetrated against Sébastien Selam,” Macron wrote. It was the first time that a French official recognized the slaying as anti-Semitic. However, this recognition is symbolic and will not be reflected in the judiciary’s records on the case.
Man subjected to anti-Semitic harangue on Brooklyn subway speaks
Yossi Wolfe, the man who last week patiently suffered an aggressive anti-Semitic harangue on a Brooklyn train in an incident that has made ample rounds on social media, spoke to Arutz Sheva about the attack, his life in Israel and Brooklyn, fighting anti-Semitism, and Aliyah.

Wolfe, 31, works as a software engineer for the Wall Street Journal. Raised in Phoenix, Arizona, Wolfe is back in the United States after a stint living in Jerusalem for seven years during which he volunteered in the Israeli Air Force for two. He currently lives in Brooklyn, where he has been for a year-and-a-half.

Wolfe is soft-spoken and cerebral. His answers are weighed and considered, and there is no trace of personal hostility or grudge, even after an attack that would have left many sorely shaken. "This happened sometime last week. I hadn't really mentioned anything to anybody because I didn't want to make a big deal about it.

"An African-American lady got on with three kids, and then another African-American lady got on. I was standing, and no-one was really getting up for this lady with her three kids. So this other lady started screaming at everyone around her, saying 'Why are you guys not getting up? This lady's here with her three kids,' and then she finally said, 'If it was a Jewish family y'all would have gotten up!', at which point I said to her, 'Can we please not make this a racist thing?' And then she started going on a tirade about how it's not racist. She was yelling for a good amount of time, and we were going back and forth and I said, 'We're individual people. You can't say these things apply to all Jews' as she was yelling. Eventually after a while an elderly African-American lady tapped me on the shoulder and she said to just put my headphones back in and it wasn't worth arguing with her about it.

"Before that lady who was yelling had gotten off the train, she said the reason she was in such a bad mood was because her husband had just gotten arrested the day before. I did feel a little bad for her after that, but at the same time it doesn't excuse anti-Semitism, just because you're having a bad day."
Holiday to celebrate Druze community
The Knesset plenum approved the second and third readings of a bill submitted by the Deputy Speaker, Hamad Amar (Yisrael Beiteinu), to institute a national day honoring the contributions of the Druze community to Israeli society.

Amar stated that the purpose of this law is to commend the contributions of the Druze community for building the land, strengthening its security, and for shaping Israeli society as a diverse culture.

“The Druze community made a great effort strengthen their own status in Israel and they expressed their loyalty to the country even before its establishment. Designating a national day for the Druze community will help strengthen their status in Israel, with which will recognize, honor, and respect the heritage, work, and contributions of the Druze community in Israel,” Amar said.

“In addition, an actual opportunity will be given to the members of the Druze community to spread their contributions and efforts to all of Israel’s citizens on a national day dedicated in honor of this important purpose.”
IsraellyCool: WATCH: Enrique Iglesias Hearts Israel
A few nights ago, Enrique Iglesias performed in Tel Aviv to an appreciative crowd of about 50,000 fans.

And in a further blow to BDS-holes, he showed just how much he loves Israel (and disregards BDS).

Netta Barzilai signs global distribution deal for ‘Toy’
Israel’s Eurovision winner, Netta Barzilai, has signed a deal with the global record company S-Curve/BMG for distribution of her winning song, “Toy.”

Barzilai’s Israel representative confirmed that the deal was signed, and stressed that it encompassed just “Toy.”

“Yes, a deal was signed with BMG for distribution and mastering of ‘Toy’ only,” he said. On all other matters, Barzilai’s representation Tedy Productions “is engaged in negotiations with a number of global companies.”
Matisyahu: Questioning things led me to think more
Jewish American reggae singer Matisyahu sang songs, beatboxed, cracked jokes and avoided questions during an appearance in Jerusalem on Monday night.

Billed as a show and conversation at the Beit Avi Hai cultural center, the singer – a former Chabad hassid – was joined on stage by his longtime guitarist Aaron Dugan, his friend, therapist and sometimes muse Ephraim Rosenstein, and by friend and Jerusalem-based saxophonist Daniel Zamir.

Yes, Matisyahu brought his therapist on stage to ask him questions about his life and his music. And while the questions may have been probing, the musician tended to avoid getting too deep.

Matisyahu opened the night by jumping straight into performing, first “King Without a Crown,” from his 2004 debut album, and then “Jerusalem” from 2006’s Youth, followed by “Broken Car” off of 2014’s Akeda. The intimate venue and quiet atmosphere were the perfect vehicle for Matisyahu’s powerful, pure vocals, accompanied only by Dugan’s expert electric guitar skills.

After those three songs, Rosenstein joined Matisyahu on stage, and the singer discussed the journey reflected by those three tracks.
IsraAID Brings U.S. Doctors to Join Israeli Team at Kenyan Refugee Camp
Marking its first joint Israeli-American medical specialist mission, Israeli humanitarian aid organization IsraAID arranged for a delegation of American pediatricians to join IsraAID’s ongoing medical program in Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya.

According to IsraAID, Kakuma is one of the world’s oldest and largest refugee camps and is chronically understaffed. Kakuma houses more than 185,000 refugees from countries across the region, including South Sudan, Somalia and the Democratic Republic of Congo, in addition to a host community from the Turkana ethnic group. Nearly 60 percent of Kakuma’s refugee population is under the age of 18.

The mission participants, led by Dr. Michelle Sandberg and Dr. Sabrina Braham from the Stanford University School of Medicine in California, landed on May 16 and were greeted by Israeli peers in the camp’s two hospitals and six clinics operated by the International Rescue Committee and Kakuma Mission Hospital. The US doctors also will train Kakuma’s medical staff.

“Major health issues affecting Kakuma’s residents vary, and have recently included malaria, lung infections, tuberculosis, HIV, malnutrition and cholera,” said IsraAID in a press statement. “By providing up-to-date training in pediatrics, the visiting physicians can make a real difference to the long-term prospects of Kakuma’s children.”
In Venice, Israel exhibits 1,600 years of architects’ fixes for religious rifts
Twenty days a year, a hotly-contested holy site in Hebron, known to Jews as the Cave of the Patriarchs and to Muslims as the Ibrahimi Mosque, resembles New York’s Madison Square Garden as it is turned from the Knicks’ basketball court to the New York Rangers’ ice hockey rink.

While the reason for the changeover is anything but fun and games, the choreography is still strikingly similar, as workers add or remove simple items such as plastic chairs and rugs to create a synagogue or a mosque.

Ten days a year the place belongs exclusively to Jews; the other 10 to Muslims. However, the remainder of the year, the site is uneasily shared between the two religions. A bulletproof wall, introduced by tragic necessity after Jewish settler Baruch Goldstein massacred 29 Muslim worshipers during prayers in 1994, hermetically seals off the two halves of the shrine from one another.

A new exhibition created especially for the Venice Biennale of Architecture’s Israel Pavilion examines the delicate balance struck between the religions laying claim to the Cave of the Patriarchs and four other ostensibly permanent holy sites in Israel and the West Bank.

“In Statu Quo: Structures of Negotiation” illustrates that if we look at these contested religious sites from a combined spatial and temporal perspective, then what we think of as permanent in the Holy Land may be anything but.
New Yad Vashem exhibit chronicles Jewish yearning for Israel during Holocaust
Yad Vashem’s new exhibit, “They Say There is No Land,” is a powerful narrative tracking the Jewish people’s 2,000-year desire to return to the Land of Israel. It was a yearning that became most urgent during the Holocaust.

The Jerusalem-based Holocaust museum created the exhibit in honor of the State of Israel’s 70th anniversary. The display highlights Israel’s historical and religious importance to the Jewish people, before turning to European Jewry’s connection to the land through Zionism between 1933 and 1948.

Holocaust survivors whose memorabilia is on display and museum curators met with members of the press Tuesday morning before the exhibit opened to the general public later in the day.

The contents of the exhibit — children’s artwork, letters to loved ones, photos and hand-drawn maps — hung on freshly painted navy walls and sat in glass cases still noticeably free of fingerprints. The collection presents a look at Zionism as a beacon of hope — freedom for a Jewish people helplessly trapped in Hitler’s grasp.

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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 19 years and 40,000 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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