Wednesday, July 18, 2018

From Ian:

Michael Lumish: Linda Sarsour and the Rejection of Martin Luther King, Jr.
On a recent MSNBC news discussion show, left-wing anti-Zionist activist Linda Sarsour claimed:
Dr. Martin Luther King warned us about people like Chuck Schumer. He said it wasn’t the Ku Klux Klan and white citizen counselors who were the obstacles towards justice. It was people calling for “civility” and people that were telling us when to protest and at what time and how to protest.

I find it fascinating that “progressives” like Linda Sarsour have the chutzpah to evoke Martin Luther King, Jr., when the very last thing that King stood for was Sarsour’s brand of ideological racism.

The primary admonition of Dr. King was to judge people according to their individual character, rather than immutable characteristics like ethnicity. This was the fundamental message of his “I Have a Dream” speech on the National Mall on August 28, 1963. How someone who represents the American left could not understand this requires explanation.

Anti-racism was the essential message of the civil rights movement in the United States following World War II. Yet Sarsour insists, “If you’re in a movement and you’re not following a woman of color, you’re in the wrong movement.”

This notion contradicts the teachings of King and of the entire movement for social justice — from abolitionism to Abbie Hoffman — because it is racist on its face. What Sarsour is saying, in no uncertain terms, is that the quality of one’s character is directly determined by one’s ethnicity and gender.

This is turning the ideals of the civil rights movement inside out and backwards.

Washington Post Column Says USA Is Reenacting The Holocaust — Minus The Genocide
Over and over again, Beorn hedges his argument by admitting “we are not dealing with a genocidal regime in the United States.” Given that genocide was the chief legacy of Nazi Germany, it is unclear where any parallels are obvious to the Trump administration’s immigration policy.

Nevertheless, Beorn persists in his comparisons.

“Politically, the president has certainly taken actions which are in many ways parallel to those of the early Nazi movement,” he wrote.

“Even his management style has similarities to Hitler. Like Trump, Hitler was reluctant to surrender too much authority to one subordinate, and so his Cabinet (which he never called) was a den of backbiting and maneuvering underlings seeking the support of Hitler, who was the only one who decided policy. There are similarities with Trump, even if he has not achieved this level of dominance,” the column explained.

Don’t worry, however, Beorn thinks he’s being reasonable. After all, according to him, “Trump is not hitler” because “Hitler was arguably a far more astute politician.”
Impact of the Suez crisis on the Jews of Egypt
The Suez Crisis, aside from producing an understandable rise in support for President Gamal Abdel Nasser and his regime, had devastating effects for persons living within Egypt who had become ‘egyptianized’ i.e. those who were not Egyptian citizens; or those whose ancestry was not wholly Egyptian, but had attained Egyptian citizenship through various legal statutes.

These people were collectively known as the mutamassirun, and, in the immediate post-colonial period in Egypt (from 1922 onwards) they owned a large share of capital and operated a large number of businesses in Egypt. They were also acknowledged to have made significant contributions to Egyptian cultural, religious and linguistic diversity in the past.

Although measures to expel members of the mutamassirun were already underway before the Suez Crisis came to a head, the Crisis is widely seen as giving Nasser the necessary impetus and legitimacy to proceed to make it extremely difficult for ‘egyptianized’ persons to remain in Egypt. It was a natural step for Nasser to seek to blame the Suez Crisis on the mutamassirun population.

After all, Nasser had risen to power on an avowedly pan-Arab, anti-colonial message. As Britain had directly ruled Egypt from the late nineteenth century until 1922, and France had previously invaded under Napoleon in 1798, the mutamassirun were easy targets for blame post-Crisis Egypt, as many were of British or French nationality or extraction. There was also a sizeable population of Jews living in Egypt around the turn of the twentieth century.

Bethany Mandel: Playing Politics With Birthright? That’s Like Stealing A Free Trip To Israel
What IfNotNow is doing is tantamount to stealing: they are letting Birthright foot the bill for their flights, their trip staff members, their security guards and their accommodations, and after the students have made it safely to Israel, they are leaving early to participate in activities that suit their own agenda.

The money they are accepting under false pretenses does not belong to an amorphous “Jewish community” — it belongs to Birthright Israel. Their donors have entrusted Birthright with the task of allocating their funds as they see fit, and Birthright has done so in a truly transparent manner.

If those within IfNotNow want to see Birthright spend their money differently, if they want to place a different agenda on the table, then they can and should work with Birthright’s leadership, its board and its donors.

By subversively working against trip organizers, creating alternative activities and disrupting the group on someone else’s dime, they are stealing Birthright’s work and their resources.

If Birthright is smart, they’ll put a stop to these stunts by charging trip participants who break away for the full cost of their trip. If they do, IfNotNow should be willing to put their money where their mouths are and pick up the tab.

Yisrael Medad: Okay, I'll Talk About Occupation
For all Birthright participants, past, present and future, who are worried they may not really be told anything on occupation when in Israel (or were told something on their campuses/from friends and were hoping to learn something to combat what they felt are lies), here's the nitty-gritty:

There is an occupation. Two, in fact. At least.

As a result of non-stop Arab terror throughout the 1950s and 1960s (heard of the fedayeen and the PLO's Fatah, all operational before 1967?), Israel was forced to defend itself in June 1967. Yes, defend. The administration of the territories taken in that war is a "belligerent occupation". That's the first occupation.

But don't be fooled. The term "belligerent" doesn't mean that Israel's administration is belligerent (some will try to fool you and rewrite the definition like this: 'Military occupation occurs when a belligerent state invades the territory of another state'. Israel was not 'belligerent' in the way that is phrased. It was threatened, water route closed off, UN supervisors kicked out of Sinai and Jordan actually invaded Jerusalem and shelled Israeli locations. Oh, and there was no "state of Palestine"). The use of 'belligerent' was simply to indicate that it resulted from a war like in this definition: "belligerent occupation [is] established as a consequence of an armed conflict, that is to say through the conduct of hostilities". And Israel fought a war that was defensive, against hostile countries. And it was a just war. And justified. And moral.

Just by the way: "the 1949 Geneva Conventions do not contain a definition of belligerent occupation".
Facts in Fiction, Daniel Silva Should be Taken Seriously
Over the years I've blogged a few times about the very true lessons we can learn from the movie The Siege, Fact and Fiction, "The Siege." Recently I've been reading quite a few Daniel Silva books, and even though I have no idea what his politics are, I see some important lessons there, too.

In pretty much all of Silva's spy, adventure novels I've read, there's a foul up caused by American "help," interference and demand for control. Just like in The Siege, there's an inherent American incompetence and built in leaks. Of course I don't know what percentage of these repeated foul ups/disasters are based on fact, but from my vantage point in Shiloh and the fact that I've been a longtime political observer, they ring very true.

It's no secret that the American State Department is anti-Israel and antisemitic; it has always been. Israel isn't treated fairly, fact not fiction.

Right now I'm reading Daniel Silva's The Messenger, and I came across a line that rings so true.
"The sooner we stop worrying about being liked, the better off we'll be."Daniel Silva's The Messenger,

This is a major problem in Israeli policy, the quest to be liked. Unfortunately, there isn't any form of or tactic in hasbara-information campaigns or "rebranding" which can delete or even reduce the inherent anti-Israel and antisemitism that exists in NGOs, other countries, diplomats, accademia etc. Internationally, there's more antisemitism than had existed as the Nazi Final Solution was reaching its crescendo.
How Students for Justice in Palestine Undermines Tolerance and Peace
In 1967, after the Six Day War, the leaders of eight Arab countries convened and adopted the Khartoum Resolution. This resolution implemented “The 3 No’s” — no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, and no negotiations with Israel.

Fast forward 50 years and a similar policy has been implemented on US college campuses. But some groups, like Students for Justice in Palestine, have adapted it to include a fourth no — no normalization.

Usually, no normalization entails no contact or collaboration with students who support Israel. This process of dehumanization varies at each school and the practice can either be openly admitted or an unspoken fact. In some cases, it can even go so far as anti-Israel activists refusing to socialize with people associated with pro-Israel students.

There are numerous problems with this practice.

The first problem is that it demonizes any and all supporters of Israel, no matter where they fall on the political spectrum. In my freshmen year, I started to attend Hillel events and openly supported Israel. Therefore, individuals were commanded not to talk to me, because — according to them — socializing with me would mean supporting genocide. Some of my friends, who remain neutral on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, were pulled aside by anti-Israel activists on numerous occasions and pressured to “unfriend” me. It is a normal occurrence that when I walk down the hallway, a handful of individuals will stop talking and stare at me.
Ocasio-Cortez Admits She Had No Idea Israel Is a Country (satire)
Confronted over her baffling explanation of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict on PBS’s “Firing Line,” Democratic House candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez admitted that she had no idea that there’s a literal country called “Israel” or an aspiring nation called “Palestine.”

Ocasio-Cortez acknowledged that her opposition to the “occupation” stemmed from her Socialist aversion to anything that sounded like it might have to do with a job.

“I just think Israel should end the occupation, because like, we’re all people, so why should the corporations get all the money by occupying the people,” Ocasio-Cortez told a bewildered Margaret Hoover, after a long pause. “If Mr. Israel, I think it is his last name but it may be his given name, wants to help build world peace he will stop with the settlements, and by that we mean settlementing for anything less than a livable minimum wage.”

Hoover gently clarified that Israel is a Middle Eastern country, and the settlements refer to homes built on land that the Palestinians consider occupied.
Facebook’s Zuckerberg says he won’t remove Holocaust denial posts
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg appeared to defend Holocaust deniers on Wednesday, suggesting that online hate speech disclaiming the genocide of six million Jews is misguided rather than a matter of ill-intent.

Noting his Jewish heritage, Zuckerberg defended in an interview with Recode the social media giant’s refusal to remove various offensive content. Instances of Holocaust denial are “deeply offensive,” he opined.

“But at the end of the day, I don’t believe that our platform should take that down because I think there are things that different people get wrong. I don’t think that they’re intentionally getting it wrong,” he continued, before the interviewer interjected to disagree.

“It’s hard to impugn intent and to understand the intent,” said Zuckerberg. “I just think, as abhorrent as some of those examples are, I think the reality is also that I get things wrong when I speak publicly. I’m sure you do. I’m sure a lot of leaders and public figures we respect do too, and I just don’t think that it is the right thing to say, ‘We’re going to take someone off the platform if they get things wrong, even multiple times.'”
Three-Dozen Far-Left Pro-BDS Jewish Groups Urge Rejection of Antisemitism Definition
Three-dozen far-left pro-BDS Jewish groups from around the world have signed a statement rejecting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA)’s definition of antisemitism over its alleged conflation of antisemitism and criticism of Israel.

The statement, spearheaded by the anti-Israel US-based group Jewish Voice for Peace, said that the IHRA definition, which has been adopted by a number of Western countries, “is worded in such a way as to be easily adopted or considered by western governments to intentionally equate legitimate criticisms of Israel and advocacy for Palestinian rights with antisemitism, as a means to suppress the former.”

The statement said the conflation “undermines both the Palestinian struggle for freedom, justice and equality and the global struggle against antisemitism.”

“It also serves to shield Israel from being held accountable to universal standards of human rights and international law,” the statement said. “Israel does not represent us and cannot speak for us when committing crimes against Palestinians and denying their UN-stipulated rights.”

Among the other US-based groups that signed the letter are Jews for Palestinian Right of Return, Jews of Color & Sephardi/Mizrahi Jews and Jews Say No!
Understanding Labour’s disavowal of the IHRA definition
Opponents of the definition say that some of the things they want to do, like denouncing Israelis as Nazis, and treating people they say are Zionists as one would treat racists, are deemed antisemitic under the definition. They say that even though the definition is clear that criticism of Israel is legitimate, it does not really mean it. They imply that even within the definition of antisemitism itself, the Jews are up to something sinister.

In April 2009, President Ahmadinejad made an antisemitic speech at the UN. Seumas Milne, now a key advisor to Jeremy Corbyn, denounced those states which protested against the speech by walking out, in the following terms: ‘what credibility is there in Geneva’s all-white boycott?’ Milne was pushing the Durban understanding that opposition to left or Jihadi antisemitism was likely to be a kind of white supremacism, perpetrated by the powerful and functioning to silence the voice of the oppressed.

You don’t have to treat the IHRA definition as holy to be angry about Labour’s disavowal. People are angry because Labour is sacrificing its antiracist tradition to legitimize those of its members and allies who want to do things which the definition warns against. Labour doesn’t like the definition because it is a political definition which describes and opposes political antisemitism.

The biggest specific problem with Labour’s homemade definition is that it declares that hostility to Israel could only be antisemitic if motivated by antisemitic intent. This is a radical break from everything which is accepted in the scholarly study of racism and in antiracist practice.

UK Labour Party Adopts Amended Antisemitism Definition Amid Outcry
The Labour Party, which has been dogged by allegations of antisemitism in recent years centered around party leader Jeremy Corbyn, formally adopted an amended version of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of antisemitism that left out some examples of antisemitism that relate to support for Israel.

“The NEC [national executive committee] upheld the adoption of the code of conduct on antisemitism but, in recognition of the serious concerns expressed, agreed to reopen the development of the code, in consultation with Jewish community organisations and groups, in order to better reflect their views.”

According to the Jewish Chronicle, the amended version dropped antisemitic language related to Israel such as “accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel than their own nations, claiming that the existence of the state of Israel is a racist endeavor and comparing Israeli actions to the Nazis.”

The move to adopt the amended version came despite an outcry of opposition from dozens of Jewish leaders, British Jewish organizations and even Labour Party politicians. A day earlier, members of the Parliamentary Labour Party voted to adopt the full definition.

“The Labour Party has acted in a deliberate and offensive, reckless manner in believing it understands the needs of a minority community better than the community itself. We await to see if any further ‘reviews’ change this,” a spokesman for the Jewish Labour Movement said, according to The Guardian.
UK Labour MPs Defy Corbyn, Vote to Adopt Official Stance on Antisemitism
Members of Parliament with the United Kingdom’s Labour Party have defied leader Jeremy Corbyn by voting to adopt the full and unamended version of the International Holocaust Remembrance Association’s definition of antisemitism.

At a meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party, several Labour MPs attacked the move to adopt a new definition of antisemitism, backed by General Secretary Jennie Formby.

“The PLP adopts the full IHRA definition of antisemitism, including all of its accompanying examples, and believes this should be used to define, understand and act against antisemitism in the Labour Party,” the motion said.

The move to adopt the IHRA’s version of the definition, which is already widely recognized by a number of British government institutions, comes as the leadership of the Labour Party amended the definition to leave out some formal examples of antisemitism that largely dealt with Israel. According to the Jewish Chronicle, this included “accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel than their own nations, claiming that the existence of the state of Israel is a racist endeavor and comparing Israeli actions to the Nazis.”

Labour’s leadership has argued that those examples are already covered in a wider new code of conduct.
Labour MP resigns, citing party’s ‘tolerance’ of anti-Semitism
Labour MP John Woodcock, a prominent critic of party leader Jeremy Corbyn, on Wednesday announced he would resign from the British opposition party over what he described as its “tolerance” of anti-Semitism.

In his resignation letter, Woodcock said the party has been “taken over by the hard left” and has “tolerated” anti-Semitism.

“Anti-Semitism is being tolerated and Labour has been taken over at nearly every level by the hard left, far beyond the dominance they achieved at the height of 1980s militancy,” he wrote.

He also said Corbyn “would pose a clear risk to UK national security as prime minister.”

Woodcock was suspended by the Labour party earlier this year over accusations he sent inappropriate messages to female staff members in 2014.

In his letter, he also accused the party of “refusing to appoint an independent investigator to rule on my disciplinary,” saying the process had been “manipulated for factional purposes.”
Decent people should now abandon the Labour Party after its National Executive Committee refuses to adopt the International Definition of Antisemitism
The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Labour Party has responded to the Jewish community and MP’s demands that it accept International Definition of Antisemitism by adopting its own rewritten definition of antisemitism, according to initial reports.

It is for the Jewish community to define antisemitism. We have been consistent and clear in demanding that the Labour Party follow the Government, police, other political parties and even its own MPs in adopting the International Definition of Antisemitism. Today the NEC crossed the Rubicon and defiantly adopted its own deeply inadequate definition.

We have long stated that the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn is institutionally antisemitic and unsafe for Jews. We have watched as brave activists fought from within Labour to save their political home from the clutches of antisemitism. Yesterday, Labour MPs finally roused themselves to put up a fight, but after a valiant attempt, they have decisively lost today. The anti-racist Labour Party of old is now dead and gone. Its National Executive Committee, under Jeremy Corbyn, has now defied Labour MPs and redefined antisemitism to exonerate the racists in Party ranks. Now that the fight from within is lost, the time has come for decent people to abandon the Labour Party.
A Jew can’t support BDS and Israel
No Jew can support Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions and support Israel at the same time! Jews who support BDS are not in a policy dispute with Israel. And there is nothing Israel can do to alter their point of view. The desire to boycott, divest and sanction Israel is part of a strategy to hurt all Jews in Israel – not just settlers.

That is not to say that one can’t disagree with official Israeli politics or politicians or decisions of a sitting prime minister. But there is a range of acceptable political discussion that is part and parcel of normal dialogue and politics – and BDSers far exceed that range.

There are many, for example, who reject settlement policy. They have the right or even the responsibility to articulate their point of view. Israel and for that matter the Jewish community around the world are stronger because of that interaction and dialogue.

BDS and groups like BDS are different. They are about hatred – pure, unadulterated, hatred of Israel.

Jews are part of all of those groups. These Israel haters believe that Israel is the problem and the problem would be solved if only Israel disappeared. They believe that Israel has no right to exist because the Jewish state abuses the Palestinians.

BDS and others, identify settlers and settlements as the weapons that abuse Palestinians. They believe that, because Israelis went to the polls and elected the current government, all of Israel facilitated the policy and so all of Israel is responsible.
Swedish parliamentary candidate suggests deporting all Jews from Israel
A candidate for the Swedish parliament suggested transferring Israeli Jews to the United States to achieve peace.

Oldoz Javid made the comment in an interview and subsequently asked that the line be retracted because the notion might be “misinterpreted.”

Javidi, an actor with Iranian roots who is a candidate with the Feminist Initiative party, said Tuesday that she had requested the retraction of the passage from an interview published Friday by the Feministiskt Perspektiv website.

“My unofficial opinion as an individual is a bit more fantasy based,” she said in the interview, which she gave while sailing with other pro-Palestinian activists in the direction of Gaza. She accused Israel of “stealing land” and livelihood from Palestinians and the United States of doing the same, presumably to Native Americans.

“So why not invite their friends over to their land and make room for them on the farm?” she wrote of Israeli Jews and Americans. “They seem to enjoy each other’s company. And the Palestinians can live in peace and again build up the country that once was theirs. I can allow myself at least get a dream about such a solution, right?”

But on Tuesday, Javidi wrote on Facebook: “I have asked FemPers to remove the last quote in the current article because it does not in any way express the policy of Feminist Initiative, nor was it a proposal for a political solution, but a fantasy that I now understand could be misinterpreted or misunderstood.”
British teen leader sparks fresh controversy with new Israel tour job
A Reform movement youth leader in Britain who participated in a public Jewish mourning event for Palestinians in Gaza will be a leader on an educational tour in Israel this summer after all — once again causing controversy.

Nina Morris-Evans, who was dropped last month from the tour of the Reform movement’s youth wing, RSY-Netzer, following vehement criticism over the Kaddish event, has now joined a tour sponsored by Liberal Judaism.

Morris-Evans, 20, a student at Oxford University, left last week for a month-long tour with LJY-Netzer, the youth affiliate of Liberal Judaism. She is employed as a support worker dealing with welfare issues, according to the Jewish Chronicle.

The move has reignited community disagreements over the Kaddish event, with the UK’s United Jewish Israel Appeal saying it opposed the move.
Michael Lumish: This Week on Nothing Left
For the first hour this week, Michael Burd and Alan Freedman focus on the plight of the Jewish community in the UK as it is facing a rise in antisemitism and a hostile Labour Party – Michael is overseas and was recently in London, and he sat down with English blogger Richard Millet in London to get his views on these issues.

Then the fellahs speak with academic Denis MacEoin concerning an article written by an English bishop, and move on to discuss Jeremy Corbyn.

In the second hour we hear from Israeli commando Daniel K from the Duvdevan Unit of the IDF (the TV series Fauda was based on this unit) and then catch up with Tamar Yonah from Israel News Talk Radio who runs a program that discusses issues in a similar way to Nothing Left.

Michael and Alan also have something to say about the ABC’s coverage of the Gaza conflict and what the Australian Jewish Association did in response.
Guardian obfuscates Israel’s humanitarian aid to Syrians
Though headline accompanying a Guardian article by Kareem Shaheen (Dozens of fleeing Syrians turned away from Israeli border, July 17th) is accurate, the author egregiously misleads readers by suggesting that Israel has done little to ease the suffering of Syrian victims of the seven year civil war.

Here’s the relevant passage:
Israel has said it will not allow any refugees to cross the border, despite urgent calls by humanitarian agencies saying their safety is at risk. They are trapped between the Israeli border and advancing regime forces with little shelter from the harsh summer weather.

The intensity of the bombardment was such that dozens sought refuge in Israel despite the country’s status as an archenemy of Syria. Israel has on occasion allowed individual civilians and fighters with life-threatening injuries to be treated in its hospitals.

To claim that Israel has treated injured Syrians only “on occasion” is extraordinarily misleading – concerns we tweeted to the Guardian journalist.

In fact, Israeli doctors have treated more than 4,800 Syrians (including 600 children) in field hospitals on the border and in public Israeli hospitals since 2013. And, contrary to the Guardian’s claim that they’re only treating life threatening wounds, treatment has included reconstructive surgery to treat those disfigured by shrapnel, as well as children with chronic, but not life-threatening, illnesses.
Following our criticism, Guardian journalist adds stats on injured Syrians treated by Israel
Yesterday, we posted about a Guardian article by Kareem Shaheen (Dozens of fleeing Syrians turned away from Israeli border, July 17th) which included the extremely misleading claim that only “on occasion” has Israel treated Syrian civilians and fighters “with life-threatening injuries” in its hospitals.

We noted, in our post and in a Tweet to the journalist, that thousands of injured Syrians have been treated by Israel since 2013 (including 600 children), and not merely those with life threatening wounds – in addition to the other forms of humanitarian aid (such as food and fuel) supplied to displaced Syrians.

Today, we noticed that the article had been amended (without an addendum), and now includes figures from the source we cited in our tweet.
(Note: New figures released in June 2018 show that the number of Syrians treated by Israel since 2013 is now over 4,800)

As we observed in our original post, these figures are important as they represent evidence of a large-scale humanitarian effort that, recent reports suggest, may be paying dividends in terms of Syrian perceptions of Israel.
Natalie Portman video for PETA compares animal treatment to Holocaust
Actress Natalie Portman paid tribute to Nobel laureate Isaac Bashevis Singer and his concern for animal welfare in a film released by animal rights group PETA on Monday, in which she quoted a character from a Singer novel controversially comparing eating meat to Nazi-era atrocities.

In the video for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Portman quoted that narrator from Singer’s “Shosha” saying, “We do to God’s creatures what the Nazis did to us.”

Portman made headlines recently when she refused to accept the Genesis Prize Foundation award, nicknamed the “Jewish Nobel,” in Israel over political opposition to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s policies.

In the video, made for the 40th anniversary of Singer winning the Nobel Prize in Literature, Portman compared the Jewish author’s story to her own.

In 2009, a German court banned PETA from comparing meat eating to the Nazi slaughter of Jews, and forbade it to use photos of concentration camp inmates and other images of the Nazi genocide alongside photos of abused animals in a campaign it called Holocaust on your Plate.

The banned German PETA campaign included eight large panels showing black-and-white images of emaciated concentration camp inmates next to full color photos of chickens, turkeys and other animals fattened for the slaughter. One poster bore the slogan, in German, “Final Humiliation” and another read “For animals, all people are Nazis.” A photo of children in a concentration camp stood next to one of piglets in a stall. Under them was the caption “Child Butcher.”
1938 Revisited: Austrian Freedom Party Official Says Jews Should Register to Obtain Kosher Meat
A proposal by Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ) official Gottfried Waldhäusl about the sale of kosher meat, which was published Tuesday in Wiener Zeitung (Attack on religious freedom?) is causing a storm in Austria. According to Waldhäusl, who has served in the provincial council of Lower Austria since March 22, only individuals who are registered as Jews and those who can prove that they regularly eat kosher should be able, through a special certificate, to purchase kosher meat in his district.

Waldhäusl claims he only wishes to protect animal rights in Austria.

The chances of the Freedom Party lawmaker’s proposal being approved are slim, partly because registering an individual religion violates their right to privacy in Austria. But that fact does not seem to calm the nerves of the President of the Austrian Jewish Community, Oscar Deutsch, whose comment on the proposal was: “What frightens me most is that we’re talking about lists again. And when they talk about a list of people who are allowed to purchase kosher meat, they actually talk about a list of Jews who live in a traditional way. It gives me stomach ache.”

FPÖ, which is a member of Austria’s ruling coalition government, is boycotted by Israeli officials despite the good relations between Israel and Austria. The party, whose post-war leader, Anton Reinthaller, was a former Nazi Minister of Agriculture and an SS officer.
Tourists caught trying to smuggle bricks out of Auschwitz
Two visitors to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum were caught trying to steal bricks from one of the crematoria located in the former Nazi death camp.

The two Hungarian tourists, a man, 36, and a woman, 30, were caught Saturday after two other tourists saw them hiding the bricks in a bag and notified security, the Polish-language reported.

They admitted to the attempted theft and each was fined 1,500 zloty, or about $400, and given a suspended jail sentence of one year, the Frenchnews agency AFP reported.

“They explained that they had wanted to bring back a souvenir and didn’t realize the consequences of their actions,” regional police press officer Mateusz Drwal told the Polish news agency PAP.

There have been several incidents of tourists stealing artifacts from the former Nazi death camp in the past few years.
Lockheed Martin, Rafael sign understanding to market SPICE missile kits
Lockheed Martin and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems have signed a memorandum of understanding to market Rafael’s SPICE (Smart, Precise Impact and Cost-Effective) stand-off weapon guidance kits, the American defense giant announced.

SPICE is an autonomous, air-to-surface weapons system, capable of destroying targets with pinpoint accuracy and at high attack volumes in a GPS-denied environment.

Combat proven and already integrated on Israeli F-16C/D fighter jets, as well as for several international customers, the missile uses a state-of-the-art electro-optical seeker with unique scene-matching algorithms, navigation guidance and homing techniques to achieve operational missions in adverse weather without a global positioning system.

The SPICE missile can also overcome GPS jamming and its mission profile can be set to a specific impact angle to suit the target profile, such as a steep dive angle for deep penetration of a target.

The MoU signed between the two companies covers the SPICE 1000 (1,000-lb./435-kg.) and the 2,000-lb. Spice 2000 precision guided missile kit variants.
Fighting for the Americans, Captured by the Germans, Freed by the Soviets
I was 19 years old, a Brooklyn kid two semesters into college at Penn State, when I was called up for service in the Army in 1943. For a while, I was lucky; I was sent to school for training as an engineer rather than training for the beach landing of D-Day. But in 1944 that program ended, and in December of that year I was shivering in the snow in western Germany, just across the Belgian border.

On December 16, early in the morning, we heard a bombardment, the first real action we’d seen. Orders came back to the cooks: “Make all the food. Get the men up to feed them and do it fast.” We had a banquet. We had French toast and pancakes and eggs. We were going into battle.

War historians have examined the events that led to the Battle of the Bulge and the miserable days that lay ahead for me and for thousands of my fellow soldiers in the 423rd Regiment, which was part of the 106th Infantry Division. We were unprepared for winter fighting. WWII bombers were mostly effective in clear weather, and low cloud cover had limited our most valuable weapon. And the Allied generals thought the Germans were in retreat, falling back to defend prewar German borders. It didn’t occur to them that the Germans were capable of—or interested in—mounting a major counterattack.

The shelling we heard was that counterattack on a massive scale. To both the north and south of our position, German troops were advancing incredibly quickly—creating the Bulge. We were being surrounded.

Our officers received orders to break out of the trap forming around us. All the vehicles were lined up into a convoy and we were going to fight our way back to St. Vith, a Belgian town we had passed on our way to the front.
How the World Really Views Israel
Israel and the Iroquois Nation came together this week -- In Israel -- at the Lacrosse World Championship. The Iroquois Nation team was subjected to enormous pressure to boycott, but they steadfastly refused to be swayed. The Iroquois, who invented Lacrosse in about 1100 CE, know a thing or two about indigenous peoples reclaiming their land. And they know a thing or two about Israel. Bravo to them.

There are those who insist that Israel is "isolated," that it lacks friends and allies. Israel's place in the larger world, however -- except, perhaps, in the halls of the UN -- is expanding, not only with the Iroquois Nation, but with the nations of the world that want to know what Israel knows and have what Israel has, whether they have formal diplomatic relations with Jerusalem or not.

Israel's expansive sharing of water, solar and agricultural technology is legendary, as is Israel's emergency rapid response team. But military cooperation underpins freedom of navigation in the air and on the seas – the source of international prosperity through trade – and secures people in their borders. Security makes everything else possible, and Israel is in the center of the universe of security cooperation.
A Light Unto The Nations Once More? The renaissance in Israel’s international development assistance programme

Despite the positive momentum in Israel’s international development sector, many Israelis still argue that, given Israel’s own domestic challenges, the country cannot afford to devote time and resources to others. We, however, agree with Trevor Pears, director of the Pears Foundation – the British Jewish family foundation that has been instrumental in developing Israel’s present-day aid architecture – that ‘the opposite is true, and that Israel cannot afford not to do so.’ In his words, ‘Israel has the ability and know-how to keep faith with its founders’ vision, fulfil its obligations as a global citizen, and enhance its international standing by once again becoming an important provider of expertise to developing countries.’ (Inbal and Zahavi; 7) Indeed, Israel has the capacity to utilise its innovative technologies, knowledge, and expertise to address global development needs and fully contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The recent growing interest, commitment and increased capacity could pave the way for a strengthened role of Israel in the international development and humanitarian arena.

To conclude, how can Israel practically revitalise its development programme and maximise the current positive trends?
  1. More efforts are needed to professionalise the humanitarian and development field in Israel so that all Israeli NGOs can effectively compete for funding and develop global partnerships on the international humanitarian arena.
  2. Israel’s strongest comparative advantage, and the one thing most likely to significantly upgrade Israel’s standing in international development, is its ability to innovate technology. For this, we must build mechanisms to reinforce the cooperation between government, civil society and the private sector so that we may work together to understand needs, as well as develop and disseminate solutions.
  3. In the new era of Israeli development, MASHAV needs to find ways to reinforce its collaboration with Israeli aid NGOs and the private sector to remain relevant.
In 2018, an ‘Israeli model’ of international development and humanitarian response is slowly emerging, anchored in Israel’s unique innovation, technologies and expertise. By combining this expertise with strong professional best practices and international standards and enhanced cooperation between government, civil society and private sector, Israel is on the road to once again being a relevant and impactful contributor to global development.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.


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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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