Thursday, July 19, 2018

From Ian:

PMW: Cheering Palestinians hang and burn effigy of Donald Trump
Palestinians from Abbas' Fatah party held an anti-America rally in Nablus, to express support for Mahmoud Abbas' rejection of the American peace proposal. The highlight of the rally was when a giant Donald Trump doll hanging from a noose was brought in front of the crowd, who cheered as Trump's effigy was then ignited and burned.

Mahmoud Al- Aloul, Abbas' deputy who is seen as Abbas' choice to succeed him as chairman of the PA, participated in the anti-US rally. Strikingly, in one of the pictures that the Fatah of Nablus posted on its Facebook, PMW has noted that Al-Aloul raised his hand in a "V" sign for "Victory" to Trump's burning effigy.

Official PA TV news also broadcast the burning of Trump's effigy stressing that this was to counter the US peace proposal:

Official PA TV newsreader: "In opposition to the attempts to eliminate the Palestinian cause and to [US President] Trump's deal, masses of our people in the Nablus district participated in the central rally that was organized by the Fatah Movement at Martyrs (Shahids) Square in the center of the city."

Official PA TV reporter: "The official and popular Palestinian protest is strengthening, opening the way for future activities, given the attempts to harm the symbols of the [Palestinian] cause and its red lines."

Fatah Deputy Chairman Mahmoud Al-Aloul was also interviewed by PA TV, and stressed the anti-American focus of the Fatah event:
"[The rally is being held] because the public understands the weight of the pressures to which [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian leadership are being subjected by the US. It wants to execute its deal, which it called 'the deal of the century,' and which President Mahmoud Abbas is standing firm against and rejecting - he and the Palestinian leadership - most decisively."
Melanie Phillips: The hysteria over Helsinki and the real threat to the free world
Just as he did with Kim Jong-un, another formidably dangerous foe, he therefore flatters him in public as a kind of feint in order to cement what he’s doing behind the scenes in making him an offer he can’t refuse. It’s a negotiating strategy.

That also explains the difference between the way he approaches Putin or Kim Jong-un and the way he treats the EU, Angela Merkel and Theresa May. He holds the EU and Merkel in contempt as weak and relatively powerless; there’s little if anything he wants from the EU, except for them to pay more towards their own defence. He does, though, want a good deal with the UK; hence the way he tempered his criticism of Mrs May’s catastrophic Brexit negotiating strategy with more emollient language, in order to convey his message that he wanted to deal with an independent Britain and not with an EU proxy.

Trump’s personality flaws – his self-obsession, his lack of attention span, his thin skin against criticism, his inability to speak carefully and accurately – are plain for all to see. The crucial point, however, is not what Trump says, nor the content of his character, but what he does and what he achieves.

And here’s what Putin said that was potentially so significant. For his remarks suggested that he would support Trump’s attempts to defang both Iran and North Korea. If Trump turns out to have succeeded in detaching Russia from Iran over Syria and from China over North Korea, that would be a huge step towards defeating two of the most evil and dangerous regimes in the world.

Seen in this light, the reaction of the media and political class to the Helsinki press conference was not just hysterical and disproportionate and a display of near-pathological hatred towards Donald Trump, but a malevolent undermining of the most promising attempt for years to tackle some of the major threats to the peace and security of the world.
Melanie Phillips: Crazy world Brexit, Helsinki, Labour, Tommy Robinson
Please join me here as I discuss with Avi Abelow of Israel Unwired the mass hysteria breaking out all over the place: over Britain’s Brexit impasse, President Trump’s Helsinki press conference, Labour Party antisemitism and the jailing of Tommy Robinson.

Caroline Glick: Trump Was the Big Winner at Helsinki Summit
In their remarks, both Putin and Trump said that they are committed to Israel’s security. Putin said that he accepts Israel’s position that the 1974 disengagement of forces agreement between Israel and Syria must be implemented. The agreement bars Syrian military forces from deploying to the border with Israel and limits their deployment in the area adjacent to it. Trump stated outright that the U.S. supports Israel’s efforts to prevent Iran from entrenching its forces in Syria.

Both leaders also expressed their admiration and respect for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

These remarks were significant on two levels. First, they reduced the prospect of war by communicating key messages to Iran and Hezbollah.

Trump’s statement that,“the United States will not allow Iran to benefit from our successful campaign against ISIS” dovetailed a statement by National Security Advisor John Bolton ahead of the summit. Speaking Sunday with ABC News, Bolton said, “I think the president has made it clear that we are there [in Syria] until the ISIS territorial caliphate is removed and as long as the Iranian menace continues throughout the Middle East.”

Iran will understand the remarks of both men to mean that the U.S. will fight with Israel in any war with Iranian-controlled forces in Syria to ensure their withdrawal, just as they fought with their allies in Syria to defeat ISIS.

Then there is Putin. Putin’s statement of support for Israel’s security and peaceful relations between Syria and Israel also sent a signal to Iran. Whereas Putin has worked with Iran to enable Assad to survive and restore his control over territory previously controlled by rebel forces, Putin will not cooperate with Iran if it chooses to remain in Syria and face Israeli and perhaps U.S. forces in battle.

Putin may or may not help Israel in such a war. He may or may not work with the U.S. But he will not fight on Iran’s side.

While it is unlikely that these statements will suffice to convince Iran and Hezbollah to withdraw their forces from Syria, it is clear enough that the summit reduced the prospects of war in the immediate term.

And again, if that was the only thing accomplished at the summit, its importance would be incontestable.
Trump/Putin Summit. Trump is Right on Russia! And More

The AMIA Bombing: 24 Years Without Justice
After almost a decade of incompetence, special prosecutors Marcelo Burgos (who later left his office) and Alberto Nisman began their investigation. Nisman concluded that Iranian and Hezbollah officials planned the attack, and that former Iranian president Ali Akbar Rafsanjani, along with other high ranking Iranian government officials gave the final approval at a meeting in Mashhad, Iran in August of 1993. Nisman’s investigations prompted Interpol to issue red notices (similar to international arrest warrants) to several key Iranian officials, but Iran ignored them.

When Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner became the Argentine president, the AMIA investigation took a bizarre turn, and by 2013, Buenos Aires and Tehran had signed a memorandum of understanding and created a so-called joint “truth commission” to investigate the 1994 bombing together. Having the chief suspects in the terror attack investigating themselves was absurd and the memorandum of understanding was dropped when Mauricio Macri became president in 2015.

Nisman charged that Kirchner and Hector Timerman, the former Argentine Foreign Minister, played a critical role in covering up Tehran’s role in the AMIA bombing. In January 2015, Nisman was found dead the day before he was due to testify before Congress of his findings. While a federal court subsequently concluded that he was murdered, much about the case remains a mystery.

The AMIA investigation has been nothing short of a disaster, and as the investigation stalled, Hezbollah and Iran continued to build a more robust intelligence and operation network in the region. Following the attack in 1994, the U.S. State Department’s coordinator for counterterrorism highlighted that Iranian embassies’ staff in Latin America had increased. This led to the belief that many of these diplomats had terror links or were intelligence agents. Throughout his career, Nisman warned of Iran’s and Hezbollah’s expansive operations in the region and in 2013, Nisman’s 500-page report warned of clandestine intelligence stations in Latin America.

Additionally, the U.S. State Department’s annual Country Reports on Terrorism for 2015 and 2016 highlighted that Hezbollah “continued to maintain a presence in the region, with members, facilitators and supporters engaging in activity in support of the organization,” trying to expand its “infrastructure in South America and fundraising, both through licit and illicit means.” Hezbollah strategically established itself in America’s backyard, posing an ongoing security threat to the region and the United States.
Anniversary of AMIA Atrocity Marked With Commemorations in Argentina, Israel
Ceremonies marking the 24th anniversary of the bombing of the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires took place in Argentina and Israel this week.

The ceremonies marked one of the worst terrorist atrocities of the past half-century: 85 people lost their lives and more than 300 were wounded when a truck packed with explosives rammed into the AMIA building in the Argentine capital on the morning of July 18, 1994.

More than a decade after the bombing, in 2007, the global law enforcement agency Interpol issued “red notices” for the arrest of the six Iranian and Hezbollah operatives who planned the attack. The driver of the vehicle used in the AMIA attack was a Lebanese suicide bomber, Ibrahim Hussein Berro.

In Buenos Aires, a commemoration ceremony was held on Wednesday at the Casa Rosada — the executive mansion of the Argentine president. In attendance were Vice President Gabriela Michetti and cabinet ministers Pablo Avelluto, Carolina Stanley, Patricia Bullrich and Sergio Bergman, who also serves as rabbi of the Congregación Israelita Argentina. Israeli Ambassador Ilan Sztulman and US Ambassador Edward Prado were also present.

In Tel Aviv, Argentina’s ambassador to Israel, Mariano Caucino, presided over a memorial ceremony attended by hundreds of young Argentine Jews participating in a Taglit-Birthright program.
Mossad said to have thwarted Iranian plot to bomb opposition rally in France
Israel’s Mossad spy agency thwarted a terror attack in a Paris suburb last month, giving authorities in France, Germany, and Belgium crucial intelligence that led to arrests of a cell headed by an Iranian diplomat, Hebrew media reported Thursday.

The cell, headed by an Iranian diplomat at the Austrian embassy in Vienna, also consisted of two Belgian nationals and an alleged accomplice in France. They planned to bomb a June 30 conference organized by an Iranian dissident group, the People’s Mujahedeen of Iran.

About 25,000 people attended the rally in the Paris suburb of Villepinte.

The Mossad, in conjunction with their counterparts from Belgium, France, and Germany, led a hunt that crossed several European borders and prevented the bombing, Hadashot news reported, without giving sources.

The operation included tracking the suspects and eavesdropping on them, Hadashot said.

The Belgian nationals, a husband and wife identified as Amir S. and Nasimeh N., were charged earlier this month with their role in the plot.

The couple, described by Belgian prosecutors as being “of Iranian origin,” carried 500 grams (about a pound) of the volatile explosive TATP along with a detonation device when an elite police squad stopped them in a residential district of Brussels.
UNRWA spokesman’s biased polemic goes unchallenged on BBC R4 ‘Today’ – part one
Why the BBC – with its offices in Jerusalem and Gaza – should need Gunness to tell audiences “what happened on Saturday” is unclear but listeners then heard a distorted version of the story which, not surprisingly given Gunness’ record, dovetails with the version put out by Hamas and its supporters.

Gunness: “There was an Israeli airstrike on a building in a popular gathering place in Gaza City, a park where many families go, adjacent to the building. [It] Struck two children, Amir and Louay, as you say UNRWA students, they were killed. At least ten people were wounded.”

As shown in a video produced by Hamas, that “park” is in fact an open space next to an unfinished building intended to be a library but instead long used by Hamas as an urban warfare training facility that includes access to Hamas’ tunnel network. John Humphrys made no effort whatsoever to challenge Gunness’ echoing of Hamas propaganda or to clarify that the people he described as “children” were youths aged 15 and 16 who – despite the fact that missile fire by terror groups into Israel and retaliatory strikes had been ongoing for hours at the time of the incident – were reportedly playing in the Hamas facility. Instead, Humphrys allowed Gunness’ polemic to proceed unhindered.

Gunness: “The killings of children, John, in any context must be condemned in the strongest possible terms. These deaths illustrate tragically the dangers of using overwhelming air strikes in a heavily populated area. Imagine a foreign army using massive air power on a building in central London and two British children are killed and ten wounded. That would rightly…there would rightly be international outrage. Imagine if that attack by a foreign army had already killed 146 people since the end of March of which 21 have been children. Imagine if 15,000 Brits had been wounded by that foreign army of which over 8,000 had been hospitalised, over 4,000 of them wounded by live fire. That’s what’s happened in Gaza since the end of March: make no mistake. And there rightly should be international outrage and condemnation.”

Humphrys did not bother to clarify to listeners that Gunness’ imaginary scenario would only be relevant if the ruling British authorities had been firing hundreds of mortars and rockets at the civilians that “foreign army” was charged with protecting and “Brits” had repeatedly tried to breach the border with that foreign country while carrying out scores of terror attacks. Instead – apparently quite at ease with Gunness’ whitewashing of Palestinian terror – he went on to presume to speak for Israel.
UNRWA spokesman’s biased polemic goes unchallenged on BBC R4 ‘Today’ – part two
After Lerner had clarified the number of missiles fired from Gaza on July 14th, the number of acres of land in Israel destroyed by Palestinian arson attacks and the fact that Iran had funded the ‘Great Return March’ to the tune of $45 million which could have been used to improve Gaza’s infrastructure, Webb interrupted him with the false suggestion that the two teenagers accidentally killed because they were in a building that listeners had still not been told was a Hamas training facility were deliberately targeted.

Webb: “But the point Chris Gunness was making was that even if you accept all of that, attacking a place where there are children, killing two children, is not a proper proportionate response.”
When Lerner pointed out that Hamas “basically wrote the book on the use of human shields”, Webb interrupted him again.
Webb: “But even if that is the case, is it right to kill the shields?”
When Lerner raised the topic of Hamas’ accountability for the events, Webb interrupted once more.
Webb: “Well what about an investigation then that looks at both sides?”

As we see listeners to BBC Radio 4’s ‘Today’ programme on July 16th heard a total of eleven minutes and forty seconds of content relating to a story based around the deaths of two teenagers. However, not once in all that time were they told that the building in which the two were located was a Hamas training facility with access to the terror group’s underground tunnel network. Rather, even at the end of both items, listeners were still under the mistaken impression that this was just some random “building in a popular gathering place in Gaza City, a park where many families go” as Chris Gunness falsely claimed and – significantly – as Hamas tried to spin the story.

So much for the BBC’s supposed obligation to provide its funding public with “accurate and impartial news, current affairs and factual programming of the highest editorial standards so that all audiences can engage fully with issues across the UK and the world”.
Will Schumer drop Israel for Ocasio-Cortez?
So why isn’t the pro-Israel leadership in the Democratic Party scrambling to keep Crowley in Congress? He could caucus with the Democrats, as Lieberman did.

Which gets back to the question of Schumer. All sorts of Democrats are sounding the alarm. They seem to get what Ocasio-Cortez’s pseudo-Marxist agenda represents for the party.

They range from the former speaker, Nancy Pelosi, to Congressmen Alcee Hastings of Florida (“meteors fizz out”) to Bill Pascrell of New Jersey (“she ain’t gonna make friends”), to name a few.

Few Democrats are marking Ocasio-Cortez’s denigration of Israel. So far it looks like Schumer is taking a powder, just as he did on the Obama administration’s appeasement of Iran.

It may not be so easy to hide from the movement of which Ocasio-Cortez is a part. Another major centrist Democrat, Dianne Feinstein, is fighting for her political life against a California radical.

Israel might not figure in the California race. In New York, it’s another story. If a high-profile Democratic critic of Israel accedes to the House from New York, how will it look if Schumer failed to speak up?
DISASTER: Ocasio-Cortez Botches More Questions On Israel, Her Ideology
In an interview with far-left "Democracy Now!" Ocasio-Cortez refused to answer questions on Israel after her PBS interview debacle made national headlines after The Daily Wire drew attention to it.

Host Amy Goodman asked Ocasio-Cortez: "Is there a difference between your position as an activist and as a candidate, particularly in the ability to be critical of human rights violations committed by Israel?"

Ocasio-Cortez struggled to answer the question, saying: "Well I think that, um, you know I don’t think that there’s a huge difference. I do think that as we approach issues like these and sometimes we hope that ... there’s a lot, I mean candidates are, the inherent nature of being a candidate and being in a political office means that my job is to be criticized, and my job is to be held accountable, that is my job."

Ocasio-Cortez continued by once again suggesting that she does not know what she is talking about but that she is going to consult left-wing activists to develop her stance on the issue.

Goodman then asked Ocasio-Cortez if she was still in favor of a two-state solution after she reiterated support for it during her PBS interview.

Ocasio-Cortez refused to give an answer on it, only saying that she was going to consult with "lots of activists."
Ocasio-Cortez Comes Up With Insane Attack On Critics Of Her Anti-Israel Remarks
On Wednesday, at a joint event with New York gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez showed once again her paltry knowledge of political issues, stating that after she made inflammatory remarks about the state of Israel that the people who were outraged at her were members of the “alt-right.”

Of course, the idea of the alt-right, some of whose members are famously anti-Semitic, being outraged that Ocasio-Cortez attacked Israel is ludicrous, to say the least. Tell former Democratic vice-presidential candidate Joe Lieberman, an Orthodox Jew, that he's "alt-right."

And Ocasio-Cortez made clear that the voices she takes her advice from regarding Israel come from some of the most vehemently anti-Israel groups on the planet.

As the Anti-Defamation League notes, “Jewish Voice for Peace is a radical anti-Israel activist group that advocates for a complete economic, cultural and academic boycott of the state of Israel …JVP considers supporters of Israel, or even critics of Israel who do not hew to JVP’s own extreme views, to be complicit in Israel’s purported acts of racist oppression of Palestinians. JVP leaders believe that expressing support for Israel, or not challenging mainstream Jewish organizations that support Israel, must also be viewed as an implicit attack on people of color and all marginalized groups in the United States.”
Leftist Mob Hurls Feces At Pro-Trump Kosher Coffee Shop
A pro-Trump coffee shop in L.A.'s Boyle Heights took a barrage of feces being hurled at it by protesters who say the owner's views do not represent the rapidly gentrifying neighborhood.

According to CBS local, the protestors went as far to shut down the grand opening of the Asher Caffe & Lounge over the owner's support of Trump's immigration policies. Though traditionally Jewish, the neighborhood of Boyle Heights has since become predominantly Latino.

Supporters of the kosher cafe could not understand what immigration had to do with the business serving coffee.

"So what’s the connection? This is what I don’t understand. I’m confused — the connection between Donald Trump and good coffee," Israeli-born businessman Asher Shalom told CBS2 News.

Eater LA reports that 30 people attended the protest in connection with the group Defend Boyle Heights (DBH), which referred to the shop owner as "an anti-immigrant trump loving gentryfier" in a Facebook post.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Sarsour To Fly To Iran To Force Women To Wear Hijab, Symbol Of Empowerment (satire)
A leader of the Women’s March feminist movement in the US who insists the head covering that Muslim women are forced to wear in public is in fact a liberating phenomenon intends to travel to an Islamic country to help the regime there compel women to don the garment and internalize the message of freedom that it bespeaks.

Linda Sarsour announced today that she plans a trip to Iran later this summer, during which she will assist Basij militias and the ayatollahs’ religious enforcement police in identifying women who refuse to wear the hijab, apprehending them, and forcing them to put it on so the latter appreciate the empowerment that Ms. Sarsour feels when she sports the covering.

The activist told reporters and supporters of her plans during an appearance at a protest against the administration of President Donald Trump. “I experience the hijab as the embodiment of unbounded freedom of religious expression,” she declared to applause. “And I intend to take that message of freedom to the women of Iran when I travel there next month. With these two hands I will impress upon them the importance of wearing this empowering garment and thereby living the feminist dream that here in the benighted US we women must keep fighting to realize.”

Sarsour’s announcement marks a reversal of her recent rhetoric. Last week the activist dismissed concerns that she disregards the comparatively severe oppression of women outside the US, stating that she must focus her efforts on fighting for the rights of women where she lives. Now, however, she appears to taking a different tack, in the direction of sharing the wonders of the hijab with women overseas who have succumbed to misguided notions about the garment and its implications for feminism.
Labour’s antisemitism code exposes a sickness in Jeremy Corbyn’s party
Similarly, the IHRA definition says it is antisemitic to compare Israel to Nazi Germany, but Labour’s code says this is only the case if there is “evidence of antisemitic intent”: a caveat it attaches to all “contentious views” relating to Israel. Nor does Labour’s code agree with IHRA that it is antisemitic to argue that the very idea of a state for the Jewish people is a “racist endeavour”.

Thus in today’s Labour party, it is possible to argue that Israel is a Nazi-like state that should be wiped from the map, and that any Jews who say otherwise are probably paid by Israel to do so, and not be hauled up for antisemitism. You may be told that your language is insensitive or impolite and asked to go on an education course, but your anti-racist reputation will remain intact.

All along, the Labour leadership has failed to explain why it feels it can’t use the IHRA definition. In taking this position they have gone back on the previous decision of Labour’s own equalities committee in 2016 to adopt the full IHRA definition with all its examples, and ignored the wishes of Labour MPs, who endorsed the IHRA definition at a meeting of the parliamentary Labour party on Monday, and the experience of the Labour-run local authorities around the country that use it.

It is hard to avoid the conclusion that the Labour leadership does not want to use the IHRA definition precisely because it addresses antisemitic attitudes that, for years, have circulated and become normalised in the parts of the left where Corbyn and his allies have spent their political lives. They would rather lead a party where it is not antisemitic to compare Israel to Nazi Germany, than lead a party where Margaret Hodge MP, whose grandmother and uncle were murdered in the Holocaust, feels she is welcome.

It has become a cliche to call antisemitism the canary in the coalmine, an indicator of deeper problems and divisions in society. It is not a particularly welcome metaphor: it places Jews in the role of the canary, whose sole purpose is to die so that other, more valuable, lives might be saved. But it does speak to a deeper truth, which is that the antisemitism that has become embedded in the Labour party is not only a problem for Jewish people, and it should not only be Jews who stand against it. This is a problem for everyone.

CAA calls Parliament Square demonstration as Labour takes “action” against Jewish MP for telling Jeremy Corbyn he is an “antisemite”
A Jewish Labour MP, Dame Margaret Hodge, is to face “action” by the Labour Party for calling her Party’s leader an “antisemite”.

Dame Margaret told Mr Corbyn that he was an “antisemite” in an exchange behind the speaker’s chair in the House of Commons. Dame Margaret said that her outburst was a response to the Labour Party’s National Executive Committee deciding to rewrite and emasculate the International Definition of Antisemitism adopted widely throughout the world and by political parties except for the Labour Party.

The Labour Party has now said it will take “action” and that Dame Margaret had brought the Party into disrepute.

The Labour Party is still refusing to even investigate a disciplinary complaint by Campaign Against Antisemitism and over 1,000 of its supporters against Mr Corbyn for the same offence.

Former Foreign Secretary David Miliband tweeted: “It is the Labour leadership which has brought the party into disrepute – not Margaret Hodge. How dare they preach about ‘respect between colleagues’ when this very code [on antisemitism] legitimises the most appalling disrespect.”

Various antisemites from the far-left and even neo-Nazis have lauded the decision to take action against Dame Margaret.

Campaign Against Antisemitism has called a demonstration on Thursday at 18:30 in Parliament Square after the Labour Party said it wanted to “consult” on its new definition of antisemitism. Rather than leaving them to conduct a disingenuous, drawn out consultation process, we will gather in Parliament Square and tell the Labour Party exactly how we feel.

Peace Now: 99.7% of West Bank state land grants go to settlers
The left-wing Peace Now organization, citing government figures obtained through a freedom of information request, reported that 99.7 percent of allocations of state land in Israeli-controlled parts of the West Bank have been granted to Jewish settlers.

More than 347,000 acres, or 40 percent, of Area C, the part of the West Bank under Israeli military and civil control, has been declared state land since 1967, when Israel conquered it from Jordan in the Six Day War in which neighboring Arab countries threatened the existence of the Jewish state.

Of that, 167,000 acres have been set aside for public use, which includes the construction of settlements.

Only 400 of those acres, or 0.24 percent, have been earmarked for the use of Palestinians, The New York Times reported.

“We took the most important and precious resource — the land — for our use only,” Peace Now’s Hagit Ofran told The Times.

In response, the Civil Administration, which oversees the West Bank, told The Times that applications for the allocation of state land are routinely submitted by both Palestinians and Israelis, but that the number of Palestinian applications “is generally very low.”
Australia: Union left push for Israel ‘genocide’ motion: ‘They prefer to back a regime of murderous thugs’
A SENIOR union official has broken ranks with his colleagues to speak out against an “anti-Semitic” push to condemn Israel for the “genocide” of Palestinians.

The resolution, which called on a Labor government to immediately recognise a Palestinian state, was passed overwhelmingly by the Left Caucus at the Australian Council of Trade Unions Congress in Brisbane on Monday afternoon.
The Left Caucus makes up roughly 400 of the estimated 1000 union delegates attending the three-day union meeting, which will set the scene for Labor’s upcoming National Conference in December.

“The motion itself condemned Israel for the ‘genocide’ of the Palestinian people and called on a Labor government to immediately recognise the Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders,” said Jeff Lapidos, tax branch secretary of the Australian Services Union.
The left and right factions met separately on Monday to put forward motions that would then be debated on the floor of the congress. ACTU members collectively represent an estimated two million Australian workers.
A delegate from the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union put forward the anti-Israel motion, calling for it to be put direct to the ACTU executive to avoid debate on the floor, where it would be voted down by the right.
Michigan Gubernatorial Candidate’s Worrisome Friends
Michigan gubernatorial candidate Abdul El-Sayed has been embracing a pro-Iran mosque to build support for his campaign for the Democratic Party nomination, a bid that is gaining steam with an endorsement from Democratic Socialist star Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Photos posted online show Abdul-Sayed repeatedly met with Mohammad Ali Elahi, the radical imam of the Islamic House of Wisdom mosque in Dearborn Heights. It is one of three Iran-linked mosques in Michigan to which Clarion Project recently brought attention.

The pictures appear to show the mosque was even being used for a campaign event.

Imam Elahi posted photos of El-Sayed and the event on his Facebook page on July 3. The candidate is seen speaking to an audience with he and his team offering campaign material to attendees.

In 2010, the mosque held commemorations and prayer services for Hezbollah spiritual guide Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah. Fadlallah was a spiritual guide to Hezbollah at its inception in 1982 and was placed on a ‘black list of terrorists’ by the United States.

Elahi, speaking on Fadlallah’s legacy said, “he was a great scholar with more than one hundred books and thousands of lectures, papers, presentations and conferences, and a man of great wisdom, knowledge, leadership, and spirituality.”

In 2013, Clarion Project documented that the mosque has received money from the Alavi Foundation, The New York-based foundation serves as a propaganda front for the Iranian regime and was used to finance its nuclear program and promote its radical ideology.

He equates Israel and ISIS and instigates terrorism against Israel with inflammatory condemnations and accusations that any trusting listener would interpret as warranting jihad. His statements do not condemn Hamas and its terrorism but instead paint the group essentially as freedom-fighters with a legitimate jihad.
Talk Show Producer Tweets Hooey and Why It Matters
I’m struggling to understand why the producer of a New Zealand current affairs talk show retweeted a nasty anti-Israel comment three months after it was originally tweeted.

Israel’s not an “apartheid state” that is “keeping millions of people prisoners in their own land” or carries out genocide. And the Holocaust has nothing to do with the Israeli army’s handling of recent Gaza border clashes. But tell all that to Annabelle Lee, executive producer of TV3’s current events talk show The Hui. And to the anonymous person — who has a Russian-inspired name Novi choke and Twitter handle @sputnikke — who Lee echoed to her 7,100+ followers.

This was Novi choke’s response to Israeli diplomat George Deek’s April tweet about the environmental hazards of burning tires along the Gaza border.

Zuckerberg walks back Holocaust denial stance
After Jewish groups slammed Mark Zuckerberg over his comments on Holocaust denial, the Facebook CEO somewhat walked back his earlier statement.

“I personally find Holocaust denial deeply offensive, and I absolutely didn’t intend to defend the intent of people who deny that,” he told a reporter from Recode on Wednesday afternoon.

Zuckerberg was doing damage control after a podcast interview he did with the site on Tuesday began picking up steam. In the original interview, Zuckerberg was discussing Facebook’s policy on removing posts from the social media platform for being false.

In explaining why Facebook would choose to “reduce the distribution” of fake or incorrect content, as opposed to deleting it entirely, Zuckerberg brought up the Holocaust.

“I’m Jewish, and there’s a set of people who deny that the Holocaust happened,” the Facebook CEO said. “I find that deeply offensive. 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.”

Recode reporter Kara Swisher interrupted to say that they very well might be intentionally getting it wrong. But Zuckerberg added, “It’s hard to impugn intent and to understand the intent. 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 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.’”

The Facebook founder’s comments drew swift and harsh ire from several Jewish groups. Many focused specifically on Zuckerberg’s intention – which he did not walk back – to not remove such posts from the social media platform.
Facebook must adhere to German Holocaust denial laws, says Berlin
Facebook must stick to German laws which ban Holocaust denial, the Justice Ministry in Berlin said on Thursday after Mark Zuckerberg caused outrage by saying his platform should not delete such comments.

Zuckerberg's remarks have fueled further criticism of Facebook after governments and rights groups have attacked it for not doing enough to stem hate speech.

In the interview with tech blog Recode Zuckerberg said he was Jewish and personally found it offensive to deny the Holocaust but he did not think Facebook should delete people's views.

Officials in Germany, which has enforced a law imposing fines of up to 50 million euros ($58 million) on social media sites that fail to remove hateful messages promptly, made it clear that Holocaust denial was a punishable crime.

"There must be no place for antisemitism. This includes verbal and physical attacks on Jews as well as the denial of Holocaust," Justice Minister Katarina Barley said on Thursday.

"The latter is also punishable by us and will be strictly prosecuted," Barley said.

Swiss politician says Hitler 'can't have been so bad,' sparks fury
A Swiss politician is facing expulsion from the country's center-right Conservative Democratic party after he said that late Nazi leader Adolf Hitler "can't have been that infinitely bad."

In an online discussion about a Swiss policeman who was promoted despite espousing admiration for Germany's fascist World War II-era leader, Thomas Keller said he believes "today's historical view of Hitler is rather one-sided." He said he didn't see Hitler as an evil tyrant and dictator and that all nations that fought in the war had "blood on their hands."

According to Swiss news platform SWI, the Conservative Democratic party on Tuesday began proceedings to expel Keller from its ranks, Tuesday. Party leader Martin Landolt, who drew criticism himself when, in 2016, he tweeted a picture of a Swiss cross transforming into a swastika, said he was "outraged" by Keller's "abominable" comments.

The Foreign Ministry welcomed the move to expel Keller, which it said reflected the Swiss political system's lack of tolerance for expressions of support for the Nazis.

Keller has since apologized for his remarks, telling the Tages-Anzeiger newspaper he was "clearly against racism and glorifying anything to do with abusing power including guiding a people toward slaughtering others." He said he regretted the "politically very, very dangerous" tweet.
American Jews lead kippah solidarity walk in heart of Berlin
American Jews joined local Muslims and Jews for a “kippah walk” through the heart of Berlin in a show of solidarity with Jews in the German capital.

Sunday’s march came against a backdrop of recent sensational anti-Semitic incidents in Germany, most of whose perpetrators were of Muslim background. Muslim students were among those who joined the stroll through the city center, an official of the Jewish Federations of North America told JTA.

The walk was held during a five-day mission of JFNA, which brought some 150 participants from 34 Jewish federations in the United States to Berlin and Budapest.

Along with the Muslim students, the American visitors were joined by Jewish German students, according to Brian Abrahams, a senior vice president at JFNA.

“Many mission participants never had the experience of wearing a kippah in public in America, and now here they were walking down the street in Berlin,” Abrahams said after the walk.
In Germany, online anti-Semitism is going mainstream, study finds
A long-awaited study by internationally renowned anti-Semitism expert Monika Schwarz-Friesel has found that the amount of German anti-Semitic content on the internet has grown massively in the last 10 years, permeates mainstream society, and is increasingly extreme.

Released Wednesday, the research project studied 300,000 pieces of German internet content between 2014 and 2018, with a focus on social media. During the first year of the study, slightly less than 23 percent of the content was classified as anti-Semitic. In 2017, this number had jumped to over 30%.

A similar study conducted by Schwarz-Friesel in 2007 found only 7.5% of the internet content examined to be anti-Semitic, indicating an increase of more than 22% over the last decade.

The latest results show not only a massive increase in the amount of anti-Semitic content found online, but also a radicalization in terms of the content’s quality. For example, anti-Semitic comments in response to news and other articles have not only grown in number, but have become more rabid.
British neo-Nazi leader gets eight years in prison
The leader of a banned British neo-Nazi group was sentenced to eight years in prison on Wednesday over a plot to murder Labour MP Rosie Cooper and a female police officer.

Christopher Lythgoe, 32, leads National Action, which was banned in 2016 after supporting the stabbing and shooting murder of another Labour MP, Jo Cox.

He was convicted of membership of the group and stirring up racial hatred but found not guilty of encouraging Cooper’s murder at London’s central criminal court.

The plot to murder Cooper was uncovered after a whistle-blower leaked the details of a meeting at a pub in Warrington in northwest England to campaign group Hope Not Hate in July 2017.

Jack Renshaw, 23, who was at the meeting, has pleaded guilty to preparing to engage in an act of terrorism in relation to the plot and threatening a police officer.

Judge Robert Jay said National Action had a “truly evil and dystopian vision” of waging a race war.

Without Lythgoe’s determination to keep the group going it would have “withered and died on the vine,” he said.
Historians accuse Croatia of covering up WWII war crimes
Croatia's parliament passed legislation last month barring public access to archive materials on individuals aged 100 and over, living and deceased. Critics say the legislation, which was presented to lawmakers in Zagreb as aimed at protecting the privacy of the deceased, in effect serves to silence research into Croatia's wartime government's collaboration with the Nazis.

Former Croatian Culture Minster and historian Zlatko Hasanbegovic called the legislation "cowardly and underhanded" and said it aimed to "prevent access to archives and silence research."

While the government in Zagreb denies the law will harm freedom of research, over 80,000 files, including those pertaining to the fascist Ustashe movement will be closed to the public.

Croatia would have good reason to try to sweep its past under the rug. Wartime leader Ante Pavelic's dictatorial regime not only collaborated with the Nazis, they willingly aided the Nazis in their efforts to wipe out the Jews, operating a number of concentration camps on Croatian soil.
Israel’s Zim strikes alliance with global shipping giants to share routes
Haifa-based shipping giant Zim Integrated Shipping Services has reached a strategic cooperation with two of the world’s biggest container shipping groups to jointly operate lines between Asia and the US East Coast.

The pact has been set up with vessel operators Maersk Line and Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), to jointly operate ships on the route, which is one of the most central for world trade, Zim said in a statement on Thursday.

Maersk, the world’s largest shipping company, already has a route-sharing cooperation with MSC, called 2M. Zim will now join that alliance in an accord that will run for seven years.

The cooperation is a “huge achievement” for the Israeli company, which accounts for just 2 percent of the global shipping industry, Eli Glickman, the firm’s president and CEO said in a phone interview with The Times of Israel. The Israeli company, ranked 10th out of the 12 largest firms, has become a key player on this route, he said, which has paved the way for this alliance.
Lufthansa to launch 2 Eilat-Germany routes
The supply of direct flights from Europe to Eilat received a boost with the announcement by Lufthansa of two lines from Germany: one from Frankfurt and one from Munich. Each route will have two weekly flights starting in October.

The German airline is celebrating 50 years of scheduled flights to Israel. Like the other airlines flying to Eilat in the winter, Lufthansa will also receive a €60 per passenger grant from Israel's Ministry of Tourism.

Payment of this grant formerly consisted of €45 per passenger from the Ministry of Tourism and €15 per passenger from Eilat hoteliers, but the Ministry of Tourism is now providing the entire subsidy. Last winter (2017-2018), subsidies received by airlines operating direct flights to Eilat totaled €50 million.

The addition of Lufthansa to the list of companies operating direct flights to Eilat is unusual because it is not a low-cost airline. While Air Europa, which recently announced flights from Madrid to Eilat, is also a regular airline, Lufthansa is one of the largest airlines in Europe.

Minister of Tourism Yariv Levin cited the increase in the number of flights from European destinations to Eilat, which he said had risen from four weekly flights three years ago to over 60 weekly flights at present.
Netflix picks up new show from 'Fauda' creators
Almost a year after Netflix announced it was working on a new show with the creators of Fauda, the streaming service said this week it has picked up Hit and Run for a 10-episode season.

The show, written by Lior Raz and Avi Issacharoff—who penned the international hit about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict—is a show about a car accident that changes everything.

The series focuses on a happily married man whose life is "turned upside down when his wife is killed in a mysterious hit-and-run accident." The streaming service said the show is not slated for release until 2020.

After the runaway success of Fauda—first in Israel and then on Netflix—the streaming giant asked Raz and Issacharoff to work on two new series: Hit and Run and another unnamed show about CIA agents teaming up with the Mossad. So far, only Hit and Run has been picked up straight to series.
Google Celebrates Italian Cyclist Recognized by Yad Vashem Who Hid Jewish Family During World War II
Google honored this week an acclaimed Italian cyclist who helped Jews in the 1930s and 1940s on what would have been his 104th birthday.

On Tuesday, the search engine showed in some countries a Google Doodle for Gino Bartali. Google Doodles are illustrations that appear in the Google logo on its homepage.

Bartali, a two-time Tour de France and three-time Giro d’Italia winner, became a courier for Jews in the 1930s and 1940s when they were being discriminated against, according to the Daily Mail. The Florence-born cyclist concealed notes, photographs, counterfeit identity documents and other items in the frame and handlebars of his bicycle, and passed them along on behalf of Jews.

After he died in 2000, at the age of 85, it was revealed that Bartali had also hidden an entire Jewish family in the basement of his home during World War II to protect them from Nazi persecution.

In 1943, Italy surrendered to the Allies, and the German army occupied northern and central parts of the country, according to the BBC. The Nazis immediately started rounding up Jews and sending them to concentration camps. Catholic-born Bartali was asked by the Cardinal of Florence, Archbishop Elia Dalla Costa, to join a secret network that offered help to Jews and others discriminated against.

“He hid us in spite of knowing that the Germans were killing everybody who was hiding Jews,” Giorgio Goldenberg, a member of the Jewish family the cyclist hid, said in the 2014 documentary, “My Italian Secret: The Forgotten Heroes.”

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