Saturday, June 23, 2018

From Ian:

Celebrating the ‘Haley Effect’
In many Jewish households on Friday nights, parents bless their daughters in the names of our matriarchs: Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, and Leah. We do so to hold out our highest role models to our girls. Lately though, I’ve had the creeping inclination to consider another name to this list of women: US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley.

Haley represents our country with bold, honorable, and principled leadership. In no forum are these traits more lacking than the United Nations. In no place are they more sorely required. And on no issue does this present itself more clearly than her proud and consistent stand in defense of Israel.

Just this week, Haley announced that the US delegation would withdraw from the UN Human Right Council — in large part because of its history of unfairly targeting and condemning Israel, while turning a blind eye toward human-rights violators like Syria, Iran, and North Korea.

Earlier this year, when mothers and fathers in southern Israel were forced to wake their children and run to bomb shelters as rockets rained down from Gaza, Haley reassured these parents that their fears would be heard. Not only did she condemn these attacks, but she also called for a UN Security Council emergency meeting on Gaza-based terror.

Brooke Goldstein: The United Nations Has A VESTED INTEREST In Keeping Palestinian Arabs In Perpetual Refugee Status
We co-produced a documentary film with the Center for Near East Policy Research, on UNRWA summer camps and their programs that incite terror. In 2014, our staff attorneys met with a number of congressional offices and committees about UNRWA, providing a dossier of evidence, including discussion of potential legal implications of continued unbridled funding of the agency by the U.S. Subsequently, Congress added and continues to include language in the annual Consolidated Appropriations Acts requiring heightened oversight of UNRWA and conditioning funding on Secretary of State certification that the agency is complying with applicable laws.

Substantively reforming UNRWA — and if that proves impossible, shutting down the agency — is a necessary step in the path toward peace. Inflating the number of Palestinian refugees to over 5 million, and then teaching Palestinian youth to embrace terrorism against Israel and Jews, raises current and future generations of Arabs who will never consider coming to the negotiating table and who will never accept Israel’s existence.

The Trump administration is currently questioning whether the U.S. taxpayer should continue to bankroll an organization that permits and encourages hatred towards a U.S. ally.

“We pay the Palestinians HUNDRED OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS a year and get no appreciation or respect,” President Trump tweeted in January. “But with the Palestinians no longer willing to talk peace, why should we make any of these massive future payments to them?” he added.

Switzerland’s foreign minister has shown that UNRWA’s role in perpetuating the conflict is beginning to be understood beyond the U.S. and Israel. Foreign ministers, lawmakers, and others in the international community should follow his lead to demand UNRWA’s immediate reform. They must do this for the sake of Palestinian Arab children, at the very least.

UNRWA’s role in keeping the refugee status of Palestinians unresolved while allowing terrorist organizations to incite hatred and recruit Muslim children to violence is an open secret that needs continuous exposure. The international community cannot continue to preach peace on the one hand while it indulges a UN agency that aims to make peace impossible.
In Summary
The IDF investigation concluded that sniper fire had ceased at least an hour before Abu Thuraya was reportedly hit. Two separate videos claim to show the moment Abu Thuraya was “martyred” by Israeli troops. But discrepancies in the time of day the purported event took place, the weather at the time, and the number and identity of participants, suggest two entirely different scenes.

The two videos ostensibly show the injury that caused Abu Thuraya’s death, but only in the second video can the injury be clearly seen. A photo released from the funeral show what appears to be blood still present on the deceased’s face, something that would be in contravention of Muslim practice in preparing the body for a funeral and burial. Moreover, a comparison between the apparent site of the injury in the video and that in the funeral picture – show two different locations.

Questions that are raised inlclude:

- Why were two different videos of the same incident released?
- Why were the two videos filmed at different times of the day (or perhaps not even on the same day) with different people surrounding and carrying Abu Thuraya?
- Why were apparent blood stains allowed to remain on Abu Thuraya’s face at his funeral in contravention of Muslim practice?
- Why do the two photos – in video and in funeral photo – show entirely different locations of injury?
- How and when did Abu Thuraya actually die?

This incident extends beyond the personal case of Abu Thuraya. It demonstrates a propagandist mechanism of staging the injuring and killing of a person who eagerly anticipates his martyrdom and views it positively as his contribution to a campaign against the Jewish state.

A video in which Abu Thuraya climbs on an electric poll to hang the Palestinian flag indicates that he and the riot’s organizers understood the potential impact of this man’s death in affecting public opinion. His death was inevitable. Beyond the question of exactly when and how Abu Thuraya died, is the question of how many other ‘Abu Thurayas’ are out there, and how many others will be sacrificed in the future.

Michael Lumish: L.E.G.A.L.
It is as if they do not understand the political implications of open borders. Open borders means the elimination of the international system of nation-states. The elimination of nation-states means at least three possibilities: anarchism, communism, or corporatism.

Anarchism would suggest an international series of loosely connected cooperatives.

Communism would suggest a single worldwide government. {Oh joy.}

Corporatism, in the manner of my usage, would suggest rule by corporations.

In any case, when people break the law and are caught they are often separated from their friends, family, and children. If a person does not wish for this to happen it might be better not to commit the crime.

But my feelings on this issue have much to do with my own family history. My father was born in the Ukraine, a town called Medzybush. They fled the pogroms of the early 1920s and although they had relatives in Brooklyn, failed to gain visas into the United States.

They went to Argentina where my grandfather died.

A year or so later the visas came thru and my father passed thru Ellis Island in the arms of my grandmother Sarah.

They had nothing.

She literally mopped floors at the Jewish Orphan Asylum where my father slept.

But they did it LEGALLY.

And it worked.
Dear Democrats: Please Be Like Warren Buffett and Support Israel
The take-away is simple: There is no reason Democrats–as a litmus test–must be anti-Israel, as is now too often the case relative to Republicans. As Buffet shows, you can be hip and be a Zionist.

That should not be an anomaly. Leading Democrats should embrace, not boycott, Israel. Doing so is consistent with, not anathema to, Democratic “values.”

The irony is that Buffett has not changed over the years, but instead his party has. He has remained consistent in his pro-Israel views, while his party has largely abandoned Israel.

Though Buffett’s views on Israel must make many party leaders squirm, he should instead be upheld as an example of both what the Democratic party used to be, and should be again–but only if it wants to be progressive, principled, and patriotic, like Buffett.
New book claims a ‘secret deal’ between Nazis and Allies cut the Holocaust short
The Holocaust was “cut short” by a secret deal hatched between Nazi SS chief Heinrich Himmler and the former president of Switzerland, according to Canadian journalist Max Wallace’s new book, “In the Name of Humanity: The Secret Deal to End the Holocaust.”

Published by Skyhorse Publishing, the book revolves around Himmler, who, in the words of its publicity material, “was deceived into ending the Final Solution six months before the end of the war by demolishing the killing machines of Auschwitz, saving some 300,000 Jews, as part of a secret deal he believed would build a united Allied-German front against the Soviet Union.”

During more than two years of operation, the gas chamber-crematorium complexes at Auschwitz-Birkenau were the scene of the murder of a million Jews. Operations wound down by October of 1944, following a summer killing frenzy in which 400,000 Hungarian Jews were murdered. On November 25, the Nazis began dismantling the facilities, a process that did not end until January of 1945.

Wallace’s claim that Himmler cut a secret deal revolves around a well-known meeting between the SS head and former Swiss president Jean-Marie Musy. According to Wallace, that meeting — which was backed by Orthodox rabbis and Allied intelligence agencies — resulted in an agreement that Himmler would cease killings at Auschwitz, as a sign of his good will. In return, Himmler was given amorphous promises about a combined German-Allied front against Russia.

In the assessment of international Holocaust experts who spoke with The Times of Israel, however, there is nothing new about “secret negotiations” conducted with Himmler to end the Holocaust.
Three Tales of the Jewish Spy Ring That Helped the British Take Palestine from the Ottomans
In the midst of World War I, a few Jews in the village of Zikhron Yaakov formed a clandestine group called NILI, which relayed information about the placement of Ottoman forces to General Allenby’s army in Egypt, helping to ensure the success of his invasion. Just weeks before the British offensive began, Ottoman counterintelligence cracked the spy ring and captured and brutally tortured Sarah Aaronsohn, one of its leaders. Aaronsohn managed to kill herself rather than risk giving up any secrets. Reviewing two recent biographies of Aaronsohn—James Srodes’s Spies in Palestine and Gregory Wallance’s The Woman Who Fought an Empire—Amy Newman Smith highlights what they reveal about their heroine’s character:

Wallance’s narrative allows Sarah to step out of the shadow of her famous brother [Aaron Aaronsohn] and her headstrong colleagues, showcasing her intense focus and sense of duty to her fellow Jews. In Wallance’s telling, NILI was not only the scientist-diplomat Aaron’s project. He describes Sarah’s horrified eyewitness reports on the Armenian genocide as just as central to NILI’s founding as [her collaborators’] hatching plans to aid the British for Zionist ends. Where Aaron paid bribes to and joked with Djemal Pasha, Sarah was convinced that Djemal “would match, if not exceed, the brutality of the dozens of sultans who had ruled the Ottoman empire over six centuries.”

Newman Smith also contrasts the two books with Hillel Halkin’s 2005 book on NILI, A Strange Death:

Halkin, [in contrast to both Wallance and Srodes], underscores how, by defining a life as “historic,” historians elide much that makes a life. His Sarah is not an untouchable heroine, but rather a woman whose “heroism and passion” are “perfectly human.” . . .

Where Wallance and Srodes both place their trust in the established archives, Halkin shows us memorial books from small settlements, township-council notes, pictures found in abandoned buildings, and the memories of those who lived through NILI and the aftermath, as malleable and unreliable as those memories might be. The established narrative is that fear of the Turks motivated those Jews who opposed NILI, even to the point of betraying it. Halkin bids us to look deeper, . . . [by] showing how small-town feuds and rivalries, past hurts, and insults intersect with historical events.
Terrorist attacks on Israelis reach 2 1/2-year high
May saw the highest number of terrorist attacks in 2 1/2 years against Israelis following an increase of nearly 40 percent in April.

Of the 365 attacks recorded in May, 271 involved firebombs, the Israel Security Agency said in its monthly report published this week. The increase occurred in Jerusalem and the West Bank, as well as along Israel’s border with Gaza.

The tally for May is the highest on record since October 2015, when 620 attacks were recorded. One Israeli died as a result of attacks — a soldier who was killed after a stone slab was dropped on his head from a height. Four more soldiers were injured, one in an explosion in Jerusalem and three others, as well as one civilian, from a rocket near Gaza.

April had 223 incidents recorded.

The Hamas terrorist group has organized weekly demonstrations along the border with Israel, labeling them nonviolent events though they feature the hurling of firebombs at troops near the fence and attempts to breach it. More than 135 Palestinians have died in the rioting since March, the Palestinian Maan news agency reported.
Top Palestinian negotiator accuses Kushner, Greenblatt of seeking to topple PA
Top Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat on Saturday accused the US peace team of working to topple the Palestinian Authority, as the American envoys wrapped up a visit to the region aimed to push the Trump administration’s peace plan and enlist humanitarian aid for the Gaza Strip.

US President Donald Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner, along with Jason Greenblatt, met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Friday following meetings earlier in the week with the leaders of Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Egypt. They are expected to meet again with Netanyahu Saturday evening before returning to the US.

Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority is refusing to meet with the team, having boycotted the Trump administration since December.

Erekat claimed that, during the meeting with Kushner and Greenblatt, Netanyahu said he was prepared to help address the humanitarian situation in Gaza with the tax revenues Israel collects on behalf of the PA.

“The goal behind this is to sustain the coup [by which Hamas seized Gaza from Abbas in 2007] and keep Gaza separated from the West Bank on the way to creating a mini-state in Gaza while bringing down the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank,” Erekat told Voice of Palestine radio, according to the PA’s official Wafa news agency.
Pompeo: Iran will face ‘wrath of entire world’ if it pursues nuclear weapons
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he hoped the US would never have to take military action against Iran, but warned that should Tehran pursue the acquisition of nuclear weapons, it would stand to face the “wrath of the entire world.”

Speaking during an interview with MSNBC broadcast on Saturday, Pompeo said that no matter the fate of the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal — which the US pulled out of last month, angering Tehran and America’s European allies and signatories to the agreement — it would not be in Iran’s interest to develop nuclear arms.

“I hope they understand that if they begin to ramp up their nuclear program, the wrath of the entire world will fall upon them,” he said, during the wide-ranging interview which focused heavily on Washington’s recent outreach to North Korea, and ongoing talks on Pyongyang’s denuclearization.

“When I say wrath, don’t confuse that with military action. When I say wrath, I mean the moral opprobrium and economic power that fell upon them. That’s what I’m speaking to. I’m not talking to military action here. I truly hope that that’s never the case. It’s not in anyone’s best interests for that,” he added.

Pompeo said that US President Donald Trump has been “very clear” on Iran. “Iran will not get a nuclear weapon nor start its weapons program on this President’s watch,” he said, according to a transcript of the interview made available by the US State Department.
Human Rights Watch whines after Nikki Haley hits them over obstruction of attempts to reform UN Human Rights Council
Haley wrote that while the U.S. had requested responses to its resolution for reforming the council, HRW and other human rights NGOs wrote a letter requesting “that Member States oppose our resolution and not engage on the text.” In other words, HRW wasn’t just disagreeing with the U.S., it was shutting down the U.S. efforts.

The Times, in fact, reported, “Human Rights Watch was among the nongovernmental organizations that opposed Ms. Haley’s push for a General Assembly vote.”

While Louis Charbonneau, HRW’s United Nations director, told the Times, that it was “outrageous and ridiculous” to suggest that HRW or its fellow NGOs were working against reform, nothing in the Times report suggests that Haley’s charges were wrong. Nor did Charbonneau deny that HRW asked other state to oppose the U.S. resolution and not even address it.

Charbooneau said that the problem with the U.S. proposal was that it would “it would have opened a Pandora’s box of even worse problems.” The Times explained that HRW and other NGOs feared that it would lead to Russia and China proposing changes that would further weaken the council.

But that makes no sense. In 2006, when the council was created to succeed the U.N. Commission on Human Rights, Ken Roth, the executive director of HRW said, “Under this new system countries with poor human rights records like Saudi Arabia will never have a seat on the council again.” But the council does have numerous countries with abysmal human rights records, and that was one of the things the U.S. wanted to change. If HRW is fighting the U.S. on something its own leader said was important, the opposition to the American proposals is cynical not principled.

Furthermore, if the U.S. resolution would “open a Pandora’s box” of damaging proposals from Russia and China, why did Russia and China oppose the U.S. resolution?

HRW is trying desperately to spin the news, and is getting help from media outlets, but the truth is that Haley criticized them fairly, and they don’t like (or expect) to be criticized.
Ahead of Prince William visit, a look at British royals’ enduring Mideast ties
Israel and the Palestinian territories

William will be the first senior British royal to make an official visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories. The most recent visit to the latter was made by the Duke of Gloucester, the queen’s cousin, on an unofficial trip to an eye clinic.

He and another of the monarch’s cousins, the Duke of Kent, have made separate official visits to Israel.

Prince Charles, William’s father, attended the funerals of assassinated Israeli premier Yitzhak Rabin in 1995 and former president Shimon Peres in 2016, when he also visited his grandmother’s grave in Jerusalem, but they were unofficial visits.

The British royals had fewer qualms about heading to Jerusalem centuries ago.

The most influential of William’s ancestors to set his sights on the city was Richard I — more commonly known as Richard the Lionheart.

England’s Crusader king has been described by many historians as a warmonger, who slaughtered thousands of hostages in his failed attempt to take Jerusalem in the 12th century before striking a truce with Muslim leader Saladin.

A more recent relative made a far more positive impression and William will take time to go to the tomb of his great-grandmother, Princess Alice, during his tour of Jerusalem.

She has been honored by Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial site the prince will also visit, for saving a Jewish family in Greece during World War II.
12 essential tips for Prince William on his visit to Israel
Ditch the suit and tie, avoid spicy food, and bring your own tea bags, British-Israelis were keen to offer vital tips to Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, who arrives in Israel on June 25th, for the first-ever state visit by a member of the British royal family.

To find out more of their advice, click on the video above.

During his visit next week, Kensington Palace announced that the duke will go to Jaffa to watch a soccer match between children and teens involved in two organizations focused on coexistence: the Equalizer and the Peres Center for Peace. He also will speak with youth involved in projects at the Peres Center.

“The non-political nature of His Royal Highness’s role – in common with all Royal visits overseas – allows a spotlight to be brought to bear on the people of the region: their cultures, their young people, their aspirations, and their experiences,” the palace statement read.

“The Duke’s goal will be to meet as many people from as many walks of life as possible – and to use the spotlight that his visit will bring to celebrate their hopes for the future.”

Prince William is scheduled to meet with senior political and religious leaders in Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian Authority territories between June 24 and 28. He will be received at the official residences of Israel’s president and prime minister.

Corbyn on trip to Jordan: Labour government would quickly recognize Palestine
British opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn said Friday that a government under his leadership would recognize a Palestinian state “very early on” and push hard for a political solution to the Syrian civil war.

Corbyn spoke during his first international trip outside Europe since he was elected Labour Party leader in 2015.

On Friday, he toured Zaatari, Jordan’s largest camp for Syrian refugees. On Saturday, he is to visit a decades-old camp for Palestinians uprooted during Arab-Israeli wars.

In Zaatari, he walked through the camp market, lined by hundreds of stalls, where he sampled falafel and chatted with a sweets vendor who told him his dream is to return to Syria as soon as possible. Corbyn also inspected a sprawling solar power installation that provides about 12 hours a day of electricity to the camp’s 80,000 residents.

Labour under Corbyn gained parliament seats, but narrowly lost to Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative Party in 2017 snap elections.

Opinion polling suggests the two parties are neck and neck. Britain is not scheduled to have another election until 2022, but there could be an early vote if May’s fragile minority government suffers a major defeat in Parliament.

With his visit to Jordan, Corbyn appeared to be burnishing his foreign policy credentials.
Former Shin Bet head: Hezbollah had planned to kidnap ex-minister charged as spy
A former head of the Shin Bet security service said Saturday that prior to being recruited by Iran to spy on Israel, disgraced ex-minister Gonen Segev had been a kidnap target of the Lebanese Hezbollah terror group, an Iranian proxy.

Speaking at a cultural event in Beersheba, Yaakov Peri told the audience that Segev had been “designated as a recruiting target by Iranian intelligence. Luckily, he was not Elchanan Tenenbaum, and did not engage in dubious deals in the Persian Gulf.”

Tenenbaum is a former Israeli businessman and IDF reserve colonel, who was kidnapped by Hezbollah operatives in 2000 while in Dubai to carry out a drug deal.

In 2004, he was released in a prisoner exchange along with the bodies of three Israeli soldiers kidnapped in an October 2000 Hezbollah ambush along Lebanon’s border with Israel. Through German mediation, 400 Palestinian prisoners were swapped for Tenenbaum and the remains.
Disarmed: A one-armed sniper's return to the war front
Izzy Ezagui is the one and only onearmed sniper in the IDF – and likely the world – to voluntarily re-enlist and return to active duty after losing an arm. The American fighter has now penned a memoir of sorts, titled Disarmed: Unconventional Lessons from the World’s Only One-Armed Special Forces Sharpshooter.

Ezagui was injured in a mortar fire attack during Operation Cast Lead, the devastating three-week war in Gaza in 2009. But despite his horrible injury and loss, Ezagui has written a laughout- loud account of being outwardly courageous and soothing his own inner wimp. He saves a drowning woman in rough waters off the coast of Herzliya. He prepares for re-entry into active duty as an IDF soldier by teaching himself how to cock and shoot a gun with one hand and a stump. Eventually he is decorated for his active service, becoming a commander in an elite canine unit of the Israeli Army.

This memoir is mainly the story of Ezagui’s return to the war front. But as if losing his arm on the cusp of his 20th birthday isn’t enough hardship, there’s more bad news – conversely, great memoir material – to contend with. His father, who lives in Crown Heights, is under house arrest and on his way to prison. Despite standing accused of misappropriating deeds belonging to members of the Chabad Lubavitch community, the senior Ezagui remains Izzy’s hero. When he writes that he’d gladly serve half his father’s prison term if the option were available, we believe his tender feelings for his father are genuine and come from a well of trust. Here’s a young man who can see no wrong in his convicted father and touchingly, can see no right in himself.

“Sure, I believe in the soul. I just don’t believe I have one,” Ezagui writes.

In addition to the military and familiar trials and tribulations of Ezagui’s young life, he has experienced a roller-coaster spiritual journey as well.

Ezagui grew up secular in Miami, and then ultra-Orthodox in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. At age 13, he was sent to study at a Chabad yeshiva at the edge of the Tucson Mountains, where feelings of being a misfit grew.
StandWithUs: LGBTQ Palestinians
94% of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza find being gay "totally unacceptable according to Pew Research, making it the 4th highest rate of homophobia in the world. Where are the voices for the Palestinian LGBTQ community? Share if you agree it's time for the Palestinian leaders and institutions to stop oppressive LGBTQ Palestinians.

Report: U.N. Commission Finds Syrian Military Used Chemical Weapons. But That's Not What Final Document Says.
Here’s a big surprise from that bastion of moral authority, the United Nations: After a U.N. commission investigating possible war crimes in Syria discovered that the Syrian military, loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad, had used chemical weapons twice this year in eastern Ghouta, the commission released its final document without mentioning some of the details of the ghastly attacks, including the Syrian military's responsibility for the attacks.

The New York Times, which had seen an earlier draft of the final document, reports, “At least twice this year, the Syrian military fired Iranian-made artillery shells filled with a chlorine-like substance that oozed poison slowly, giving victims just a few minutes to escape. In another attack, Syrian forces dropped a chemical bomb on the top-floor balcony of an apartment building, killing 49 people, including 11 children. Their skin turned blue.”

The leaked draft was precise in naming Syrian forces and their allies for responsibility in the gas attacks, despite protestations to the contrary from Assad’s government and his supporters in Russia and Iran.

Hanny Megally, an Egyptian human rights lawyer who served on the commission, attempted to explain the reason for the omissions, claiming the draft needed additional corroboration or clarification and the deleted information might be included in a future report. He said the commission had not been pressured to elide the information.

The Times writes, “But the conclusions in the omitted information seemed unambiguous. The leaked draft stated: ‘In one of the most grim patterns of attack documented during the period under review, Government forces and/or affiliated militias continued to use chemical weapons in densely populated civilian areas throughout eastern Ghouta.’”
Iran’s Revolutionary Guard says senior commander killed in Syria
Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps announced Saturday that one of its senior commanders was killed on Friday while fighting Islamic State fighters in northeastern Syria.

The exact circumstances of Shahrokh Daiepour’s death were not disclosed, but the state-run Fars news agency said he had been involved in training fighters from the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah, an Iranian proxy which has been fighting in Syria alongside forces loyal to President Bashar Assad.

Daiepour had served as a commander in the Islamic Republic’s Navy during the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s.

He was said to have been killed in the same area bordering Iraq where a massive air strike killed more than 50 pro-regime fighters last week.

Damascus has accused the US-led coalition of carrying out the late-night June 17 strike on Al-Hari, a town near the Iraqi border controlled by regional militias fighting in the complex seven-year war on behalf of Assad.

An Iraqi paramilitary force said 22 of its fighters were killed in the raid, and also accused the United States of carrying out the strike.
A Florida mayor's battle against BDS
Arutz Sheva spoke to Bal Harbour, Florida Mayor Gabriel Groisman, who drafted and passed the United States' first municipal anti-BDS Israel boycott ordinance in his village, that set an example for nearly half of the US states.

The ordinance, the first of its kind for a municipality, allows police officers to consider whether a crime had anti-Semitic motivation, and to investigate it as a violation of the ordinance in addition to state and federal hate-crime laws.

In the full video interview attached above, Groisman says that the US administration could and should do much more to fight anti-Semitism, and notes that the state of Israel is starting to cooperate more efficiently and significantly with the global initiatives fighting BDS.

He explained that the since there was no codified definition of anti-Semitism, police departments throughout the United States had a hard time identifying and investigating hate-crimes.

The ordinance pointed to the State Department’s 2010 definition of anti-Semitism but gave law enforcement discretion in determining whether to call a crime a hate incident.
Jewish Republicans target Democrat over donations to anti-Israel groups
The Republican Jewish Coalition is set to spend more than $500,000 to target a Democratic candidate for the US House of Representatives in a Philadelphia-area district whose charity has given to anti-Israel groups.

Scott Wallace hopes to unseat the Republican incumbent, Brian Fitzpatrick, as the Democrats try to retake the majority in the US House of Representatives this year.

“For the last 20 years, Wallace headed the Wallace Global Fund, which has given $300,000 in grants to organizations dedicated to BDS (targeting Israel with Boycott/Divestment/Sanctions), including Jewish Voice for Peace,” RJC said in its statement announcing a $530,000 ad buy in broadcast, digital and cable media targeting Pennsylvania’s 1st District, encompassing Bucks County in suburban Philadelphia.

According to the website of the Jewish Voice for Peace, the organization “supports divestment from and boycotts of companies that profit from Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem.”
Jewish Voice for Peace action in New York, July 22, 2014. (courtesy Jewish Voice for Peace)

Wallace co-headed a fund that gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to organizations whose support of BDS is only part of their broader social justice agendas. But in reporting last month, the Forward cited at least two instances — $50,000 for Jewish Voice for Peace in 2010-11 and $25,000 for a 2005 US tour by British anti-Israel politician George Galloway — where the focus would appear to mostly be on pushing an anti-Israel line.
Spain: Ground Zero for Europe's Anti-Israel Movement
The proliferating anti-Israel activism, driven by the rise to power of the political far-left, is establishing Spain as the EU member state most hostile towards the Jewish state.

A Madrid-based organization, Action and Communication on the Middle East (ACOM), which is fighting the anti-Israel BDS movement in Spain, said that Valencia's motion was anti-Semitic and an incitement to hatred.

"The BDS movement in Spain acquired its current virulence with the emergence of Podemos, a 'Chavist' far-left party financed by Venezuela and Iran.... As Podemos gained control of the municipal governments in the main Spanish cities, the anti-Israel movement had access to multiple economic, human and organizational resources.... Podemos has driven over 90 such declarations in Spain in jurisdictions covering a population of over eight million people" — Ángel Más, president, ACOM.
Psychology association faces pressure to boycott Israel
As its name suggests, relationships are key to members of the International Association of Relational Psychoanalysts and Psychotherapists.

But there is one relationship some members want to sever: the one between the organization and Israel.

At its 2018 conference, held June 14-17 at a Midtown Manhattan hotel, a vocal minority of the association’s 2,200 members objected to next year’s gathering being held in Tel Aviv, with some pledging to boycott it. The 100 people or so who attended a concurrent meeting in the same hotel titled Voices of Palestine suggested the objections aren’t marginal.

To be sure, the IARPP is a relatively small professional organization — it is dwarfed by the American Psychological Association’s nearly 116,000 members, for instance — but this marks the first time that boycotting Israel has become an issue outside of academic and church groups and the corporate world, according to people closely observing the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, or BDS, movement.

Backed by the pro-BDS group Jewish Voice for Peace, objectors and two dozen Palestinian mental health professionals, plus an Israel-based group called Psychoactive, sent letters to IARPP’s board asking that the conference location be changed. A petition made the same point.
Attorney Lamis Deek spreads Pallywood lies
You'd think an attorney would have enough of a research skill set not to spread "fake news"

Not New York attorney and anti-Israel activist Lamis Deek, apparently. Deek has tweeted out an 8 year old, strategically cropped photo of Palestinian children in Hebron, waiting for their lunch, using it to demonize Israel.

She has it captioned with the hashtag #ChildrenInCages

"Palestinian Children in Israeli zionist cages....a worse sort of cage . "

No lie is too egregious for the Israel haters to spread.
Model farm in Israel sowing seeds for global innovation
Starting with wheat fields and an almond grove, a full-scale sustainable educational farm now taking root in Israel’s Jezreel Valley will be an international showcase for cutting-edge Israeli technologies in precision agriculture, high-yield growth with less water, and preventing soil erosion and infestation.

“This is unique in the world,” says Prof. Hanan Eizenberg of the Neve Ya’ar Research Center, one of three such centers run by the Volcani Center-Agricultural Research Organization of the Israeli Agriculture Ministry. “You can’t find a large-scale model farm for precision farming anywhere else.”

Plans for the teaching farm were announced today by the Helmsley Charitable Trust, which gave a $4.8 million grant to support development of the 123-acre Neve Ya’ar farm as an innovative, economically viable and environmentally sustainable program to educate farmers and researchers in Israel and worldwide.

Staffed by Volcani experts, the model farm will be supported by an on-site laboratory, which will expedite the otherwise lengthy process of applying findings to the field. Trainings, seminars and workshops will be offered on a regular basis.
New hope for male fertility in young cancer patients
A cell culture system being developed in Israel could for the first time turn testicular stem cells into sperm-like cells, enabling the possibility of future fertility for prepubescent boys who must undergo chemotherapy for cancer treatment.

Aggressive chemotherapy in childhood often results in male testicular damage and consequently jeopardizes future fertility. While adult males can have their sperm frozen before undergoing chemo, boys at this age do not yet produce sperm and therefore it is impossible to save sperm for future fertilization.

According to the findings published in the journal Stem Cells and Development, researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) and Soroka University Medical Center found that the presence of spermatogonial cells (SPGCs) in the testes of pre-pubertal cancer patient boys (PCPBs) can be used to develop future strategies for male fertility preservation.

During the study, seven testicular biopsies were obtained from PCPBs who had been treated with chemotherapy. The researchers were able to cultivate and isolate testicular cells into different stages of development, including pre-meiotic, meiotic and post-meiotic cells. They also identified sperm-like cells that had developed from the testicular cells of a PCPB.
10 gorgeous photographs of bird-life in Israel
When you are located close to three continents – Europe, Asia and Africa – as Israel is, it’s no surprise that the bird life is so rich in diversity.

While peak bird watching times are often the spring and late fall, when birds migrate across the country, all year round you can find an enormous range of different species of birds living and nesting in Israel.

Some 530 species of birds have been identified in Israel. Around 200 different species nest here, while another 216 arrive in the fall, and leave in the spring. You can anything from the common house sparrow, to hawfinchs, pelicans, kingfishers, lapwings and even rare birds like the Basra Reed-Warbler.

What makes the country particularly attractive to such varied bird species is the diversity of Israel’s landscape, from the south’s parched deserts to the lush rolling hills of the Galilee, the Mediterranean, the Red Sea, and the sweet water Sea of Galilee.

To celebrate the wide variety of Israel’s bird life, we’ve put together a collection of gorgeous photographs.

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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 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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