Wednesday, July 25, 2018

From Ian:

CAMERA OP-ED: The Media Is Not ‘Pro-Palestinian,’ Just Anti-Israel
Many major Western news outlets are accused—often correctly—of bias against Israel. Yet, this does not mean that their coverage of the Arab-Israeli conflict can be described as “pro-Palestinian.” In fact, many in the media—and the policymakers and pundits that they influence—tend to ignore internal Palestinian issues when Israel can’t be blamed. And recent events prove it.

Since the beginning of June 2018, hundreds of Palestinians in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) have taken to the streets in protest of their government’s policies toward the Gaza Strip. The Palestinian Authority, dominated by the Fatah movement, rules the West Bank. Under PA President and Fatah head Mahmoud Abbas, the authority has enacted punitive measures towards Gaza in an attempt to apply pressure on Hamas, Fatah’s rival that rules the Strip. Hamas, a U.S.-designated terrorist group with a fiercely antisemitic ideology, has controlled Gaza since besting Fatah in a short but bloody civil war in 2007.

Abbas has attempted to regain control of the coastal enclave ever since.

Among other actions, the PA has cut salaries to its employees living in Gaza, suspended social assistance to hundreds of families residing there, forced the retirement of thousands of civil servants, and reinstated the collection of taxes from previously exempt Gazans. The PA also quit paying Israel for the electricity and fuel that it provides to the Strip—resulting in severe power shortages for Gazans.

For its part, the misery endured by the average Gazan—misery that is not shared by their leaders, many of who live in luxury in Qatar —is a frequent media topic. Many journalists, however, blame Israel’s security blockade for Gaza’s troubles, often failing to note that it exists only because Hamas expends international aid and resources on rockets and terror tunnels to attack the Jewish state.
SPLC Ignores Muslim Anti-Semitism, Warns About Danger to Muslims From Holocaust Denial
On Saturday, the left-wing smear organization the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) attacked Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg for suggesting that some forms of Holocaust denial could be acceptable on Facebook. Tragically, the left-wing group did not mention a key source of Holocaust denial: anti-Israel sentiment, and anti-Semitism among Muslims. Instead, the SPLC expressed fear that Holocaust denial might hurt American Muslims.

While Nazis were the first to start crafting lies rejecting the reality of the Holocaust, Holocaust denial is most mainstream among Muslims in the Middle East. A 2014 survey by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) found that 63 percent of people in the Middle East and North Africa said the Holocaust was "a myth or an exaggeration. A full 65 percent said "Jews are responsible for most of the world's wars." A whopping 74 percent of those in the Middle East and North Africa harbored anti-Semitic views.

When asked directly about the Holocaust, 61 percent of Muslims under age 65 said it was a myth or an exaggeration, while Christians were consistently the least likely to deny the Holocaust (followed by Buddhists and non-religious people). Hindus also proved surprisingly likely to deny the Holocaust.

After preliminary notes about Nazis founding the practice — pushing "the deeply offensive lie that the Holocaust was a fraud concocted by Jews" — the SPLC noted that it monitors 10 active Holocaust denial groups in the U.S., four of which have a minor presence on Facebook. To its credit, the SPLC does have two pro-Palestinian groups on that list: two chapters of Der Yassin Remembered.

At the same time, after a brief mention of "the resurgence in antisemitism online," the SPLC went on to lament the plight of American Muslims — some of whom are spreading Holocaust denial in an effort to slander the State of Israel.
Poll: Israel not an important partner for US Democrats
A recent Pew Research poll indicates an overwhelming divide between American Republicans and Democrats over perceptions of the importance of the US-Israel relationship.

The poll primarily dealt with comparing American and German perceptions of one another, but also touched tangentially on American perceptions of other countries.

According to the poll, 12% of Americans said that Israel was the “first or second most important partner for American foreign policy.” Israel tied in third place with Germany, also at 12%, coming behind China at 24% and chart topper Great Britain at 33%.

Dividing responses to the same question along party lines, the poll found that 24% of Republicans found Israel to be a top foreign policy partner out of eight countries listed, in second place behind Great Britain at 42% and ahead of China at 18%. Russia closed the list for Republicans, at 5%.

On the other hand, Israel did not make the eight-country list for Democrats, for whom Great Britain topped the list at 32%, China came in second at 26%, and Canada closed the list at 6%.

Former war crimes prosecutor to head UN Gaza probe
The United Nations Human Rights Council on Wednesday announced the members of a committee who will probe the deaths at the Gaza border this summer.

The panel will be headed by David Michael Crane, a US law professor and former prosecutor in war crimes trials. The other two members of the “Commission of Inquiry on the 2018 protests in the Occupied Palestinian Territory” are Sara Hossain, a Bangladeshi lawyer educated in the UK, and Kaari Betty Murungi, a lawyer and human rights activist from Kenya.

The appointments were announced by the president of the Geneva-based Human Rights Council, Vojislav Šuc of Slovenia.

The Foreign Ministry on had no immediate comment on the members of the panel. However, officials in Jerusalem are unlikely to cooperate with the probe, which they have rejected from its very inception.

NGO Monitor, a Jerusalem-based watchdog often critical of UN probes into Israeli actions, said it was wary of the panel.

“We are highly concerned by the one-sided and conclusory mandate in the UNHRC resolution establishing this Commission, as well as the prejudicial statements made Monday by High Commissioner Zeid Raad Al Hussein ignoring Hamas violations,” Anne Herzberg, the group’s legal adviser said.

“This commission therefore has a very high burden to show that its work is fair and should be taken seriously.”

Crane, who will head the probe, is currently a professor Syracuse University College of Law.

From 2002 to 2005, he was the founding Chief Prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, an international war crimes tribunal, according to his website at Syracuse University.

Crane served over 30 years in the US federal government. Appointed to the Senior Executive Service of the United States in 1997, Crane has held numerous key managerial positions during his three decades of public service and was a Waldemar A. Solf Professor of International Law at the United States Army Judge Advocate General’s School.

On May 18, the UN council voted in favor of creating an “independent, international commission of inquiry” that will be asked to produce a final report on the events at the Gaza border by March 2019.

According to its mandate, the panel will “investigate all alleged violations and abuses of international humanitarian law and international human rights law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, particularly in the occupied Gaza Strip, in the context of the military assaults on the large-scale civilian protests that began on 30 March 2018.” (h/t Dave4321)
Israeli NGO to Sue Haniyeh, Abbas, at Hague Criminal Court
The Jerusalem Institute of Justice (JIJ) plans to petition the prosecutor’s office at the International Criminal Court in the Hague to launch a criminal investigation against Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas political bureau chief Ismail Haniyeh for crimes against humanity, Israel Hayom reported Tuesday.

JIJ is a nonprofit human rights organization operating in Israel, dedicated to advancing human rights and civil justice. It advocates in Israeli courts, the Knesset, international governments, academia and mainstream media in Israel and abroad. Founded in 2004, JIJ has since handled more than 800 human rights cases.

According to the petition, the leaders of Hamas and the PA are responsible for a series of human rights violations, torture and ongoing abuse of the Arabs of Gaza and the West Bank.

“Ismail Haniyeh, head of the Hamas political bureau, makes extensive and systematic use of torture and unlawful killings by Hamas’ internal security forces in the Gaza Strip,” the petition says.

In addition to Haniyeh, JIJ demands an investigation against Abbas for crimes against humanity committed between June 2014 and April 2018. These crimes include criminal mistreatment of Arab prisoners in PA jails: arbitrary arrests, severe beatings, psychological torture and isolation.

The petition to launch an investigation against Haniyeh and Aabbas is in response to the January 2015 announcement by the International Court of Justice regarding a preliminary inquiry to determine whether there should be a full investigation into crimes in the “Palestinian territories.”
Abraham Cooper: Facebook Must Get Rid of Holocaust Denial
Along with millions of other Facebook users, I am deeply disturbed by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s misguided and hurtful refusal to remove blatantly antisemitic lies denying the Holocaust from his social networking site, which has 2.2 billion active monthly users.

The Holocaust is the most thoroughly documented and proven genocide in human history. The brutal murder of six million Jews is not an allegation to be investigated or debated — it is as indisputable a fact as the existence of the sun, the moon, and the stars.

In an interview published Wednesday, Zuckerberg said that while he found Holocaust denial offensive, “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.”

Zuckerberg said that Facebook will remove content “if it’s going to result in real harm, real physical harm, or if you’re attacking individuals.” Otherwise, he said, “you can put up that content on your page, even if people might disagree with it or find it offensive.”

This policy is dead wrong when it comes to the Nazi genocide, which had the goal of killing every Jew on Earth — including everyone in Zuckerberg’s family. Had Hitler’s “final solution” to rid the world of Jews succeeded, Zuckerberg never would have been born, nor would I and millions of other Jews.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Neturei Karta, and the Corbynization of the Democratic Party
After her surprise win against the establishment candidate in New York’s Democratic primary has turned Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez into the new shooting star of the Democratic Party, much emphasis has been put – both by supporters and opponents – on her association with another party, the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), of whose New York City chapter she is a member.

Most of this attention has focused on the DSA’s domestic policies. But it is the party’s increasingly strident anti-Zionism that seems particularly worrying. (It should be noted in passing that both this anti-Zionism and the party’s embrace of Communism are a far cry from the principles of of its founder, the great anti-Communist socialist Michael Harrington.)

At its national convention last year, the DSA committed itself to the BDS movement; apparently, the outcome of this vote was accompanied by chants of “From the river to the sea/Palestine will be free!” among the delegates.

But that is not all. In May of this year, the very same NYC chapter of the party that Ocasio-Cortez belongs to tweeted a video of a Neturei Karta speech on “Zionist propaganda”, adding the hashtags “#BDS” and “#FreePalestine” to leave no doubts about their endorsement of the group as members of a common cause.

(Neturei Karta is, of course, an utterly fringe group that is only of interest to anti-Zionist extremists looking for a Jewish fig leaf, and has no qualms about providing this service to the nastiest antisemites, like the Iranian regime.)

Ocasio-Cortez’ membership in a party that promotes Neturei Karta throws up worrying questions about her own attitude towards Israel, and Jews in general, and whether her rise to prominence might be another sign (after the election of former Farrakhan associate Keith Ellison as DNC Deputy Chair) of an insipient Corbynization of the Democratic Party. Any journalists concerned about antisemitism would be well advised to press her on this issue.
The UK’s Labor Party Has Banned Anti-Semitism—Except for the Kind Practiced by Its Members
Last week, the British Labor party released its new guidelines regarding anti-Semitism in an effort to discourage embarrassing displays by its activists and parliamentarians. Rather than adopting the definition of anti-Semitism set forth by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA)—which is used by many European institutions—the party’s leaders used a deliberately watered-down version that excludes precisely the sort of Israel-related anti-Semitism that so plagues its ranks. Stephen Pollard comments:

The IHRA definition has eleven bullet-pointed examples of anti-Semitic language. Labor has brazenly removed those that relate to Israel and moved them to a second, new section, in which the party decrees that for actions or words to be anti-Semitic, there must be an “intent” to be anti-Semitic. Labor says it has done this because the IHRA definition bans criticism of Israel. But this is simply a lie. . . . It would be ridiculous to bar all criticism of Israel as anti-Semitic. . . .

But equally, some [invocations] of Israel are indeed anti-Semitic—and it is these which Labor has removed. One of the oldest anti-Semitic libels, for example, is the claim that Jews have dual loyalties—that their prime loyalty is not to the country in which they live but to a foreign body. Today, the libel is that British Jews owe their true allegiance to Israel. This is one of the examples listed in the IHRA definition and removed by Labor.

In other words, Jeremy Corbyn’s party altered the globally accepted definition of anti-Semitism specifically to allow Labor members to attack British Jews as having dual loyalties.

Labor says in response that this is why it added its section on intent. If the intent was racist, then [the statement] would indeed be anti-Semitic. But this is Labor at its cynical worst. How many racists do you know who admit they are racist? . . . [I]n reality, this is the “get-out-of-jail-free” card for its anti-Semitic members. Here’s the twisted logic: if you say you are a lifelong anti-racist campaigner—like, for example, Jeremy Corbyn—then you cannot be racist. And if anti-Semitism is racism, then logically as an anti-racist you cannot be an anti-Semite.
John McDonnell’s Today programme interview was going so well, and then he stumbled on the crucial line:

“Let me put this message out to anyone. We are a party that is anti-racist and anti-Semitic. Sorry, we are against anti-Semitism.”

So close.
Christian activists push anti-BDS bill
Some 5,000 activists for Christians United for Israel (CUFI) spent the final day of their Washington policy conference lobbying for a bill that would restrict Israel boycotts, among other legislative actions.

The speaking roster for the three-day conference included a video address by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and live speeches by US ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley and Ron Dermer, the Israeli ambassador to Washington and a senior adviser to Netanyahu. Haley has made support for Israel a central plank of her tenure at the UN.

CUFI activists pushed a bill that would extend some longstanding restrictions against complying with the Arab League Boycott to businesses that comply with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement targeting Israel. The bill has backers in both parties.

Activists met with 98 percent of lawmakers or their staff members, a CUFI spokesman told JTA.

The speaking roster also included Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz of Texas, Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.
Israeli government invites S. African BDS-coerced model to Israel
The Strategic Affairs Ministry and Interior Ministry confirmed on Wednesday that South African model and celebrity Shashi Naidoo was denied entry to Israel because she was coming under the pretenses of a BDS delegation.

However, Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan invited Naidoo to visit the country in her own personal capacity “to be impressed by the reality on the ground, which would be true and precise.”

The Ministry stressed that Naidoo does not promote boycotts, saying it believes the contrary, because of her initial pro-Israeli statements, which received harsh and violent public criticism, “and she is now apparently trying to ‘rehabilitate’ herself in light of the damage caused to her image by BDS organizations in South Africa.

Naidoo, it said “is being held captive by these organizations and the tour and its definition of ‘re-education’ in Israel and the Palestinian Authority constitutes ‘compensation’ for BDS South Africa, in lieu of her high public profile.”

The model made headlines last month after she defended Israel’s actions in Gaza and explained the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in a factual manner. However, during her explanation, she called Gaza a “sh*thole,” due to the way Hamas is running the Strip. She said the international aid and money given was being used for rockets instead of housing, schools and better infrastructure.

Following her comments, the celebrity said she received 10 death threats and was intimidated, threatened and dropped by several of the brands she represents.

After the death threats, Naidoo issued an apology for her comments. She was later coerced by the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement into holding a press conference, at which she agreed to go on a trip with the organization for “re-education” purposes.
Spanish boycott activist refused entry to Israel
A senior Spanish member of an international organization that encourages boycotts of Israel was denied entry into the country Tuesday, as authorities acted again on a relatively new law that allows the interior minister to deport, or deny entry to, anti-Israel activists.

Ana Sanchez Mera of the BDS National Committee was refused entry into Israel on the instructions of Interior Minister Aryeh Deri, following a recommendation from Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan, who is responsible for countering boycott campaigns.

“I once again exercised my authority and prevented the entry of a boycott activist who wanted to enter Israel and act against the state,” Interior Minister Aryeh Deri said in a statement. “This is a senior activist in a prominent boycott organization that aims to cause great damage to Israel… People who come to Israel to encourage boycotts will not be allowed to enter.”

Sanchez backed a decision in Spain’s parliament to defend Israel boycotts, “led demonstrations by the BNC calling for embargoes against Israel, and personally, actively and consistently promoted boycotts against the State of Israel,” the Strategic Affairs Ministry said in a statement.
Edwin Black: LA City Attorney Mulls Prosecution of Anti-Israel Disruptors of UCLA Event
It began as yet another frustrating example of a university refusing to take swift action in a case of aggressive disruption of a pro-Israel event. The belligerent shutdown of a Students Supporting Israel panel discussion occurred at the University of California-Los Angeles on May 17, 2018. The incident has now become the most important potential prosecution of anti-Israel campus disruptors since the Irvine 11. A top Los Angeles City attorney is now actively reviewing the evidence file and police complaints for possible prosecution under state laws that criminalize the disruption of public meetings, as well as other related statutes.

In the now well-known case, on May 17, Students Supporting Israel gathered in a UCLA function room for a panel discussion titled Indigenous Peoples Unite. Disruptors suddenly and loudly stormed into the room mid-session. One person tore down the students’ flag, demonstratively pulled away a desk placard, and cursed threateningly close to the face of a panelist. With bullhorns, whistles, staged dancing, and slogan shouting, the event was shut down. The disruption and nose-to-nose intimidation of the students attending the SSI event was documented in a video, beginning at minute 41.

Although the UCLA administration publicly promised a referral to prosecutors, no such action was taken against the various protestors — both students and non-students — because UCLA campus police were awaiting formal complaints by the intimidated students. Only after such a formal police report is filed do police investigate and determine if a referral to prosecutors is called for. Then, prosecutors weigh the evidence and decide if prosecution is warranted. All students contacted by this reporter stated they did not know they were entitled to make a police report.
New York Times Issues Yet Another Correction to a Jewish-Related Story
Zoe Greenberg, the intrepid New York Times reporter last seen here pushing a phony story about “When Jewish Parents Decide Not To Circumcise,” is at it again, this time cheering on a lawsuit aimed at getting the government to interfere with the operation of Jewish day schools.

Greenberg’s circumcision story generated a Times correction, and her latest Times day school story also has a correction appended, this one stating, “Correction: July 24, 2018 An earlier version of this article mischaracterized how many children attend ultra-Orthodox yeshivas that do not meet secular state standards. It is not all 115,000 students, but many of them.”

It’s almost as if the Times can’t manage to write about Jewish topics without making mistakes.

How many yeshiva students are “many of them” is one of the issues under contention, a matter that the Times, alas, doesn’t do much to illuminate in its news article. The Times reports “According to a survey of yeshiva graduates and parents conducted by Young Advocates for Fair Education, only a quarter of respondents in high school said they received any secular education.”

But the accuracy of that survey is under dispute. In a statement, Parents for Educational And Religious Liberty in Schools said the report “was itself based solely on a small group of self-selected Yaffed Facebook friends.” It’d be like asking whether The New York Times provides decent coverage of Jewish issues, based solely on a survey of my own Facebook friends.
NYT: Anti-Israel Agenda in 280 Characters
The New York Times painted a picture of Israel on a legislative rampage: passing three laws in a row that together form a pattern of nightmarish oppression and abuse.

Just one problem: of the three NYT claims, one was wildly misleading and another blatantly untrue: revealing the NYT to be more driven by agenda and narrative than by journalism.

And the NYT managed to do it all in under 280 characters: via this Tweet which references an accompanying article.

On Monday, Israel's Parliament blocked critical groups from speaking in schools. On Tuesday, it cut off Palestinian access to the Supreme Court in land disputes. On Wednesday, it barred gay couples from having children through surrogacy.

— New York Times World (@nytimesworld) July 21, 2018
Part of our mission at HonestReporting is to not only react to the news, but to also pro-actively and directly address news audiences. That’s why on July 17, several days before the NYT article of July 21, I was on television at i24 News discussing two of these three topics.

BBC R4 presenter portrays response to violent rioting as “attack”
The July 23rd edition of the BBC Radio 4 programme ‘Today’ included an item (from 02:51:43 here) concerning an incident which had taken place the previous night. In her introduction, presenter Martha Kearney described the alleged shooting of a Palestinian youth during violent rioting that included the use of IEDs, rocks, petrol bombs and grenades as an “attack”. [emphasis in bold added]

Kearney: “Israeli soldiers have shot dead a Palestinian teenager during a raid in the West Bank. Tom Bateman is our Middle East correspondent and Tom – tell us a bit more about this attack.”

Bateman: “Well this was the Deheishe refugee camp. It’s a big refugee camp in Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank. The Israeli military went in for a raid during the night – I mean these are things that happen frequently. They say they’re often looking for suspects or for weapons manufacturing sites.”

Readers may recall that in May the BBC failed to report the murder of an Israeli soldier during such an operation in another location. Tom Bateman did not clarify to listeners that the places he described as “occupied” – Bethlehem and the Deheishe camp – have been under Palestinian Authority control for well over two decades. He continued:

Bateman: “They went into the camp looking for two people. They say this triggered clashes The Israelis say that they came under fire with rocks and firebombs and grenades and say they responded using live fire. And in that incident a 15 year-old boy was shot in the chest and died. His name was Arkan Mezher. Following that there were some protests; residents of the camp marching to the local government hospital.”

Bateman failed to inform listeners that the incident is under investigation or that the youth was wrapped in the flag of the PFLP terror faction at his funeral.

Israeli tech firms raise $1.61 billion in 2Q/2018
Israeli high-tech companies raised $1.61 billion in 170 deals in the second quarter of the year, including the $300 million raised by Landa Digital Printing, which constituted 19 percent of the total amount in Q2/2018. The figures were released on Tuesday, based on the new IVC Research Center and ZAG S&W Zysman, Aharoni, Gayer & Co report.

The amount raised in the quarter brings funds raised by Israeli high-tech companies in the first half of the year to an all-time record of $3.2 billion — higher than the annual total capital raised in the full years between 2010 and 2013. Excluding the Landa financing round, the overall amount raised in the first half of 2018 is still the highest since the beginning of the decade.

In the second quarter, early stage companies (or A rounds companies) raised $200 million in 39 deals. Medium range rounds (B and C) attracted $857 million in 47 deals, accounting for 53% percent of the total capital raised.

“The trend of growth in investments in Israeli high-tech continues to stand out,” said Shmulik Zysman, a managing partner at Zysman, Aharoni, Gayer & Co. (ZAG-S&W), in a statement. “With the exception of the Q2/2016, this quarter represents the most successful quarter in the last six years. We are also seeing an increase in capital raised from foreign investors. In our opinion, this growth is also due to an increase in investments from China, as well as from European investors who are interested, among other things, in automotive technology.”
Melanie Phillips to launch debut novel ‘The Legacy’ in Jerusalem
What is the legacy of the modern assimilated Jew? That’s the question at the heart of “The Legacy,” the debut novel from outspoken British author and commentator Melanie Phillips.

Readers will have the chance to meet Phillips and get a signed copy of the book at its launch in Jerusalem on August 7, presented by The Times of Israel in partnership with Beit Avi Chai and Israel B.

Phillips began her career as a reporter, editor and columnist at The Guardian before building an international reputation with decades of searing analysis and commentary for the BBC and other major news outlets. These days, her regular columns appear in The Times of London and The Jerusalem Post.

She is also the author of several acclaimed non-fiction books including “Londonistan,” about the growing influence of Islam in Europe, and “Guardian Angel,” about her struggle with Jewish identity as a rising star at Britain’s leading liberal newspaper.
Joe Lieberman's daughter makes aliyah with 231 other new immigrants
The daughter of former US senator Joe Lieberman was among 232 new North American immigrants to arrive in Israel on Wednesday on a special flight chartered by aliyah organization Nefesh B'Nefesh (NBN).

Lieberman's daughter Hana Lowenstien immigrated to Israel together with her husband Daniel and their four children who range between the ages of 2 and 7.

"We'll be visiting there a lot," Lieberman told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday morning at JFK airport where he had come to send off his family. His eldest granddaughter already lives in Israel "so it's a movement in our family," Lieberman remarked.

"I'm excited, I'm proud of them - it's the Jewish future, Jewish destiny. We miss them of course but thank God we have WhatsApp and Facetime and Skype. I'm very grateful that we live in a time -- for the first time in two millennia -- that there is a Jewish State of Israel that Jews around the world can go to by choice and not just because they need a sanctuary."

"It's a great time for Israel inside, and for US-Israel relations outside," he added.
Pennsylvania post office renamed to honor Jewish officer killed overseas
A post office in Pennsylvania was renamed for a Jewish airman from Philadelphia who was killed in a suicide bombing in Afghanistan.

Staff Sgt. Peter Taub, 30, died in December 2015 in a suicide attack on a patrol near Bagram Air Base by an assailant riding a motorcycle. Taub was assigned to the Air Force Office of Special Investigations.

Taub grew up near the post office in Wyncote, a northern suburb of Philadelphia, that now bears his name. It was dedicated on Monday.

“Taub was a shining example of the best our country has to offer,” Rep. Brendan Boyle, D-Pa., who led efforts to rename the post office, said in a statement. “In his service to our nation, he exemplified unwavering patriotism and heroic bravery.

“Renaming this post office in his hometown is the least we can do to honor him.”

President Donald Trump approved the legislation to rename the post office in March.
JIMENA partners Israel in oral history project
JIMENA (Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa) has announced a new partnership program with Israel’s Ministry of Social Equality (MSE), Beit Hatfutsot: The Museum of Jewish Peoplehood, and Ben Gurion University (BGU), to produce a comprehensive collection of Oral History testimonies of Jews from Arab countries and Iran. (With thanks: Tony, Carol)

Beginning in 2010, JIMENA launched an Oral History Program in California to record and preserve the memories of Jews born in the Arab world and Iran. Inspired and guided by Steven Spielberg’s Shoah Foundation Institute, the project gives former Mizrahi and Sephardic refugees an opportunity to assert and preserve their personal histories and rich traditions in the countries their ancestors lived for over 2,500 years. JIMENA witnesses document their stories of positive memories as well as human rights abuses, displacement and integration in new societies.

As an outgrowth of that Oral History Project, JIMENA and BGU launched a unique partnership in 2012 to ensure JIMENA’s significant collection of testimonies is shared with scholars and preserved in perpetuity. International Graduate Students at The Ben-Gurion Research Institute for the Study of Israel and Zionism diligently transcribed, cataloged and added JIMENA’s Oral History collection to The Ben Gurion Archives, where it now proudly resides.
Where Zionism began: Israelis travel Europe in Herzl's footsteps
After Mevasseret Zion resident Gusti Yehoshua-Braverman watched her son go on a Masa tour of Poland in his final year of high school, she realized no comparable program existed for adults. She also found that while many Jewish European trips tour Holocaust sites, none visit key places in the life of Zionist visionary Theodor Herzl.

Yehoshua-Braverman, a member of the Public Council to Commemorate Theodor Herzl, thus decided to use her position as head of the department of Diaspora activities in the World Zionist Organization to create a four-and-a-half-day tour tracing the roots of Zionism in Budapest – where Herzl was born in 1860, Vienna – where he lived, and Basel – where he convened his seminal World Zionist Congress in 1897.

The trip, she hoped, would serve both educate Israelis about the founding of the Zionist movement in the 19th century, and connect them with Jews in the Diaspora.

Yehoshua-Braverman selected 21 participants between the ages 30 to 40 for the three-country tour that took place earlier this month. Tour members, who included actors, athletes and journalists, came from across the political spectrum. One was an Orthodox settler, another the former CEO of Peace Now and a third Tel Aviv deputy Mayor Mehereta Baruch-Ron.

“I chose those who can bring with them an interesting story,” Yehoshua-Braverman said. “My desire and my commitment is to create a dialogue around Zionism that is not necessarily agreeing on different issues in Israeli society.”

Baruch-Ron said it was exciting for her to experience the history by exploring the sites on foot.
IsraelDailyPicture: The Gates of Jerusalem Then and Now, Part I Zion Gate
The walls of Jerusalem's Old City that we see today were built in 1540 during the days of the Ottoman Sultan, Suleiman the Magnificent.

The location and name "Zion Gate" appear on maps dating back to the 12th century. It is one of eight gates in the Old City Wall.
Zion Gate, picture by Bergheim, circa 1867. Today, the walls are pock-marked from bullets and artillery shells fired during the1948 war in the Jews' attempt to resupply and relieve the Jewish Quarter besieged by the Jordanian Legion.

Located between Mt. Zion and the Jewish and Armenian Quarters, the gate was the setting for fierce fighting during the 1948 war. A small Palmach force, commanded by David "Dado" Elazar (later IDF chief of staff in 1973), attempted to break through the gate on May 1948 to relieve the besieged Jewish Quarter. They were met with stiff resistance by the Jordanian Legion and were forced to withdraw.

On May 28, 1948 the Jewish Quarter surrendered. Jews were expelled through Zion Gate and didn't return until the city of Jerusalem was reunited 19 years later in the June 1967 war.

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