Friday, July 27, 2018

From Ian:

PM said to tell ministers of new ‘unprecedented’ diplomatic initiative in Gaza
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has told senior cabinet ministers that a new initiative will soon be launched for a diplomatic solution in the Gaza Strip, Channel 10 news reported Friday.

Netanyahu reportedly said during private conversations that the efforts, led by Egypt and the United Nations and with Israel’s cooperation, have made significant progress.

A senior diplomatic official told the TV station: “Egypt and the UN are putting immense pressure on all sides. This is an unprecedented initiative, but it is still too early to say whether it will succeed. A lot is at stake.”

The plan was said to include rebuilding the enclave’s moribund civilian infrastructure, a return of the Palestinian Authority to the Strip and a long-term ceasefire.

A minister who is a member of the high-level security cabinet said Israel was willing to push a civil initiative in Gaza. “There is such an intention and hopefully Netanyahu will bring it before the cabinet for approval.”

Another senior minister told Channel 10 the ball was in the Palestinians’ court, and much depended on the Palestinian Authority’s willingness to reassert its responsibilities in Gaza and Hamas’s willingness to halt the violence.

“As long as that doesn’t happen there’s nothing to discuss. We want a solution in Gaza, but we won’t be pushovers.”
Melanie Phillips: Israel gets the nation-state right while the west fumbles with identity
Two utterly fundamental and seismic issues are threatening to tear apart Britain, Europe and America. They are mass immigration and national identity.

The majority of Jews in Britain and America are warmly disposed towards the former and terrified of the latter. They have got it precisely the wrong way round.

Diaspora Jews have a Pavlovian response to immigration. This is entirely understandable: the vast majority, myself included, are the descendants of immigrants and refugees.

Jews are also commanded in the Torah not to wrong or oppress a stranger “for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” But what if the strangers in question want to turn your own country into Egypt?

For what’s happening today is not so much immigration as the mass movement of peoples from global south to north.

If unchecked, this will transform the developed world, overwhelm its public infrastructure, and forever alter the culture and identity of its constituent nations.

And there, of course, lies the neuralgic rub. For European and Western national identity, being historically white, is considered by the dominant liberal orthodoxy (which judges people by the color of their skin) to be intrinsically racist and thus illegitimate.

The dogma to be enforced instead is multiculturalism, or the equality in value of all cultures. If enacted, however, that would by definition destroy the Western nation. Which is the point of the exercise.

That’s why “open borders” is the core principle of the European Union. A nation without borders cannot survive as a nation. The driving idea of the E.U., though, is that the nation creates nationalism, and nationalism led to Nazism and the Holocaust. So the E.U. project is to create a trans-national superstate that would prevent nations ever going to war again because, in effect, there would be no independent nations in the first place.

Barry Shaw: Native Americans are being brainwashed by PA lies
Very recently, I was honored with a phone call from a native American tribal leader who was, perhaps surprisingly to many as it was to me, on a visit to Israel.

He told me of his passionate support for Israel. He rightly saw the Jews as the indigenous people of the land, something that appealed to his own tribal history. He also saw our modern history, including the return of the Jewish people to their land, as a confirmation of his biblical teachings.

He shocked me by what he told me next. The Palestinians have been conducting a well-orchestrated propaganda campaign to reach the hearts and minds of this ignored American community. My new contact informed me that much of the funding and organization of this anti-Israel jihad is based in Turkey. Sections of Hamas operates from there after becoming severely restricted in Gaza.

The campaign is based on strategic disinformation. Native Americans are reminded of a history of being indigenous natives of America who have had their land occupied by white colonial supremacists and about suffering centuries of oppression, which parallels the so-called history of the Palestinian people who have also been robbed of their land and suppressed by colonial white oppressors.

This simple message is having an effect, particularly as native Americans (and to a large extent, native Canadians) have been ignored by the Israeli government as if they do not exist. The battleground of thoughts, ideas, history, and facts have been left deserted, vacant for the false narratives of our adversaries ot take effect. This has to stop.

Congress Seeks Major Downsizing of U.N. Palestinian Refugee Agency
Congress is considering new legislation that would cut U.S. contributions to a key United Nations agency responsible for Palestinian refugees and change the official definition of a refugee in a way that could strip such status for millions of Palestinians, according to new legislation.

Legislation introduced by Rep. Doug Lamborn (R., Colo.), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, seeks to redefine how Palestinian refugees are viewed by the international community, reducing millions in U.S. aid dollars to the U.N. Relief Works Agency, or UNRWA, which currently provides resources to some 5.3 million refugees.

The Trump administration significantly reduced U.S. funding to UNRWA earlier this year in a bid to reform the embattled agency, which has long faced accusations of anti-Israel bias and been ensnared in scandals regarding its material support to the Hamas terror group.

Lamborn's legislation, which would scale back UNRWA's mission, comes on the heels of a congressional effort to compel the State Department to release a long classified report that is believed to show the number of actual Palestinian refugees is far few from the 5.3 million. Sources familiar with the report's contents say the actual number of refugees is closer to 20 or 30,000 and that U.S. officials have over classified these findings in order to prevent public disclosure that could cripple UNRWA.

America has been UNRWA's largest financial donor since its inception in 1949. Since that time, the agency has faced multiple scandals and has been plagued by accusations it harbors an anti-Israel bias and disseminates such materials in its taxpayer-funded schools in the region.
UN warns members of looming financial crisis amid late payments, Trump threats
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says the U.N. is running out of money and is urging members to pay up amid a looming financial crisis for the international body.

In a letter to staff this week, seen by Fox News, Guterres says he has warned member states of a “troubling financial situation facing the United Nations," which he says is caused by late payments to the U.N. by member states.

“Our cash flow has never been this low so early in the calendar year, and the broader trend is also concerning; we are running out of cash sooner and staying in the red longer,” he says.

Guterres went on to say that the organization will be taking measures to look at reducing costs, in a way that won’t affect their mission. He said he also will be proposing to states various steps to strengthen financial stability at the U.N.

Trump administration threats to cut funding do not appear to be directly linked to the cash crunch.

While the administration has been eyeing carefully its payments to various U.N. funds and agencies, the U.S. has not yet reduced or delayed its payments to the budget, though due to the fall start of the U.S. fiscal year, payments usually come later in the year.

Secretary-General spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters Thursday that the issue is “late payments and payments not yet received to the regular budget.”
The ADL Chooses Anti-Trump over Anti-Semitism
Almost immediately after the White House announced the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) issued a press release stating its concern that “Judge Kavanaugh’s judicial record does not reflect the demonstrated independence and commitment to fair treatment for all that is necessary to merit a seat on our nation’s highest court.” Jonathan Tobin sees this statement, which makes no mention of either Jews or anti-Semitism, as a sign of the organization’s dangerous politicization under its current director, Jonathan Greenblatt:

Though it spent its first century of existence being careful to avoid getting labeled as a partisan outfit, in the three years since the ADL’s longtime national director Abe Foxman retired, Greenblatt has steadily pushed the group farther to the left and, in so doing, more or less destroyed its reputation of being above politics. After the ADL has repeatedly involved itself in partisan controversies, it is impossible to pretend that Greenblatt’s vision of the group isn’t fundamentally that of a Democratic-party auxiliary that is increasingly overshadowing and marginalizing its still-vital role as the nation’s guardian against anti-Semitism. . . . Not only is Greenblatt uninterested in avoiding accusations of partisanship, he has actively courted them, especially since Trump became president. . . .

Greenblatt, who had been rumored to be in line for a senior post in a putative Hillary Clinton administration, made no secret of his animus for the new president. In early 2017, Greenblatt didn’t hesitate to blame President Trump directly for what was being represented as a surge of anti-Semitic incidents. The surge was largely the result of a spate of bomb threats at Jewish community centers around the country. But it turned out that—contrary to the ADL’s charge that it was the work of alt-right extremists inspired or unleashed by Trump—a disturbed Israeli teenager had made the threats. The ADL never apologized for its misleading accusations. . . .
Anti-Defamation League Criticized for Entering Partisan Kavanaugh Confirmation Fight
The Anti-Defamation League was criticized in the pages of Tuesday's Wall Street Journal for stepping away from its mission of fighting anti-Semitism to focus on partisan issues such as fighting the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

Liel Leibovitz, a senior writer at Tablet Magazine, put the blame on ADL's CEO Jonathan Greenblatt, a former staffer in both the Clinton and Obama administrations, who Leibovitz says has "has frequently steered the ADL into the murky waters of party politics" since he took the helm in 2015. He points to the ADL's recent complaint that Kavanaugh has "demonstrated hostility to reproductive freedom" as proof it "lost sight of its mission."

"With nearly 2,000 hate crimes against Jews last year, the most in more than two decades, the group could—sadly—still have its hands full with the challenges of its original mission," Leibovitz wrote in his piece, "Is Brett Kavanaugh Bad for the Jews?"

"Which is why it was so dismaying to see the ADL release a statement denouncing Judge Brett Kavanaugh minutes after President Trump announced his nomination to the Supreme Court," he wrote. "Why would a group dedicated to fighting anti-Semitism engage in this sort of partisan warfare?"

The ADL released its statement opposing Kavanaugh on the night President Donald Trump nominated him. The statement made no mention of anti-Semitism or the Jewish people, but rather focused on his "demonstrated hostility to reproductive freedom and his past support for greatly expanded and unchecked executive power."

"At a time where hard-fought progress in LGBT rights, voting rights, and women's rights are threatened, and immigrants and vulnerable communities in our country are under attack, the role of an independent Supreme Court—and one that protects the Constitutional rights of all Americans—is more important than ever," Greenblatt's statement read.

Leibovitz argues the group should stop letting the "battles of the Democratic Party" push it away from its "traditional mandate."
Time to Talk to the EU about NGO Funding
The disagreement between EU Vice President Federica Mogherini and Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan over EU funding for Israel and Palestinian political NGOs has been a long time coming, and is likely to intensify with more charges and counter-charges. An EU program involving tens of millions of euros annually, which has continued for 20 years and involves core issues of peace, war, human rights and democracy is bound to create friction and controversy.

The angry exchange was launched with a 40-page heavily illustrated report published by Erdan’s office on extensive European Union funding for NGOs “with ties to terror and boycotts against Israel,” according to the title. Mogherini responded on July 5, asserting the allegations were “vague and unsubstantiated,” and that “of the 13 organizations listed... six do not receive EU funding of activities in Palestine, and none receives EU funds for BDS [boycott, divestment and sanctions] activity.”

As with most such disputes, there is some truth on both sides, in addition to spin, definitional distinctions and mistakes. The Israeli report lists 13 NGO projects linked to delegitimization that are directly funded by the EU, and four more recipients which receive substantial EU money indirectly through funds originally provided to aid and church groups and from there, channeled to the anti-Israel frameworks. Some of the claims in the Erdan report are unverified, based on outdated information, and confuse similar-sounding NGOs, while Mogherini’s allegation regarding the six is unclear and may itself be incorrect.

At the same time, Mogherini avoided the core issue, based on the EU’s own documents, that extensive funds go to groups deeply involved in delegitimization and incitement, including BDS. Repeating a standard EU response to years of NGO Monitor reports covering the same ground, she argues, “Simply because an organization or individual is related to the BDS movement [targeting Israel] does not mean that this entity is involved in incitement to commit illegal acts, nor that it renders itself ineligible for EU funding.”
Possibly the most virulent UK Labour antisemite yet. Councillor Damien Enticott openly calls for the 'executing' of Jews and 'concentration camps for Zionists'
A Labour councillor in Bognor Regis has been suspended from the party after a series of anti-Semitic tweets and Facebook posts came to light.

Be warned there is profanity in this article and the comments by this councillor are some of the worst anti-Semitism we have seen coming since the Labour scandal erupted.

Councillor Damien Enticott, who was elected in February this year, has made some vile anti-Semitic comments, spouting blood libel, calling for the murder of Jews and even giving support of the actions of Hitler.

In response to a tweet which accused Jews of a “ritual” in which they “drink blood and suck baby’s ****”, Enticott said:

Enticott comments on the post seeming to agree with the blood libel by saying, “This is done only by Talmud Jews. Talmud Jews are parasites!”.

He then goes on to explain how “They also believe any child over 3years old that isn’t a Jew should be treated like a parasite, they believe it is okay to even rape that child because it’s is worthless.”

He concludes his thought by saying, “All Talmuds need executing!”

In a post about Tony Blair and talk of anti-Semitism, he wrote, “Dirty ******** and that ****bag Tony Blair wants to establish law of antisemitism throughout Europe. The *** should be gasses as should they!” It is unclear if by “they” he means Jews, but seeing as he is talking about anti-Semitism, it seems likely.

In another comment about Israel he said, “Hitler would have a solution for the Israel problem.”
Billy Bragg Blames the Jews
Britain’s Jewish community, Bragg argued, was just “pouring petrol on the fire” by mentioning all that inconvenient stuff about anti-Semitism. The Jews, he went on, had “work to do” to fix the situation.

Anti-Semitism, the singer admitted meekly, was a problem, but he did not fault Labour for failing to take it seriously. “In order to do that,” he tweeted, “we have to build trust between Labour and the Jewish community and [publishing the joint editorial] does not help to achieve that.”

“How,” Bragg continued, “are we supposed to conduct a reasoned debate about anti-semitism in such a febrile atmosphere?”

Sadly, it’s not exactly a rhetorical question. In September, Labour’s MPs will convene to vote on an emergency motion calling on the party to undo an earlier decision that significantly diluted the widely accepted definition of anti-Semitism provided by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. Labour adopted the IHRA’s framework, but omitted key clauses, including the ones stating that “denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g. by claiming that the State of Israel is a racist endeavor,” and that “drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis,” are both anti-Semitic acts.
Humanitarian intervention or colonial tourism?
In his most recent publication, A Foreign Policy for the Left, Prof. Michael Walzer, one of America’s most distinguished academic liberal thinkers, includes a chapter entitled “In Defense of Humanitarian Intervention.” Here he presents the criteria and means for political, humanitarian and finally military intervention by one or more outside agents when “a government, an army, a police force, tyrannically controlled, attacks its own people or some subset of its own people – a vulnerable minority.”

The examples he offers include some of most heinous atrocities of more recent memory such as in Cambodia, East Pakistan, Uganda, East Timor, Kosovo and Rwanda. Clearly his discussion is not relevant to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, in spite of the scurrilous charges of “massacre” and “genocide” that are systematically alleged by Israel’s detractors.

However, by way of contrast, Walzer brings to mind the recent feature article by Gol Kalev, “Are Palestinians ready to tell ‘supporters’: ‘We’re Not Your Toy,” in the Jerusalem Post Magazine of July 6. In it, Kalev argues that intervention by “some of those who adopt the Palestinian cause are inflicting damage (upon the Palestinians).” He argues, “Many of those outsiders aggressively promote a narrative of victimhood while suppressing Palestinian progress, prosperity and creativity.... In addition, outsiders instill radical messages and help perpetuate and escalate the conflict.”

According to Kalev, Europeans are the most egregious practitioners whose political and material support of the Palestinians is an expression of “The European Union’s front against the United States.” He cites one British political commentator who argues, “The Israel/Hamas/Palestine issue is a proxy diplomatic war between the US and a European Union trying to flex its muscles on the world stage.”
Ireland Takes Another Anti-Israel Turn
`In the past few months, students at Trinity College have endorsed a boycott of Israel. During Israel Peace Week last year, the president of Maynooth Students for Israel (MSI) was physically assaulted. Israel’s ambassador to Ireland was also barred from speaking at Trinity College by pro-Palestinian activists, all while law enforcement officials looked on. Members of MSI also received a death threat from a pro-Palestinian Irish citizen, who warned them to bring “bullet-proof vests” to their demonstration against the Occupied Territories Bill.

Furthermore, Irish academics have sought to erode Israel’s legitimacy as a state. Under the guise of “academic discussion,” academics have sought to dispute Israel’s founding as a democratic and legitimate state, despite the fact that Israel was founded by a UN resolution. This assault began with an conference at an Irish university — UCC — entitled “International Law and the State of Israel; Legitimacy, Responsibility and Exceptionalism.”

When challenged on the antisemitic character of the conference, organizers rallied against the “Israel lobby,” which they say suppresses academic freedom. The sequel to this conference was held at Trinity Seminar, titled “Freedom of Speech and Higher Education: The Case for the Academic Boycott of Israel”. In fact, this conference featured Steven Salaita as as a keynote speaker — the same Salaita who argued that Zionism had transformed antisemitism into a badge of honor. Salaita has also doubled-down on his 2014 tweet, which had said that “I wish all the f***ing West Bank settlers would go missing.” The Irish Times reported that Salaita was denied a position at the University of Illinois due to his protesting of Israel’s actions in Gaza, and his celebration of Hamas’ kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers who later turned up dead.

As the Irish case against Israel is bolstered, so has the Israeli defense been weakened by the inevitability of the BDS takeover of Ireland’s discourse on Israel. All that is seemingly left to do is for Israel to cut the chord — albeit with the scissors put in its hand.

Pro-Palestinian activists and supporters have opted for an incremental approach, whereby inroad after inroad is made at the expense of Israel, in order to break the proverbial camel’s back. And this effort is succeeding.
Stanford urged to act against student who said he’d ‘physically fight Zionists’
Three Jewish organizations called on Stanford University to take action against a student who threatened to “physically fight Zionists” on campus in response to a recent law passed in Israel.

A statement by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, the World Jewish Congress and the Lawfare Project called on the university to “effectively address [the] threat of violence against Jewish students.”

The groups call “on the Stanford University administration to take immediate action in response to this clear threat to Jewish students,” said the statement released Thursday. “There should be no room on any campus for these kinds of threats and intimidation. No students should have to live with threats of physical violence because of who they are.”

In a Facebook post from last week, Hamzeh Daoud, 20, wrote, “I’m gonna physically fight Zionists on campus next year if someone comes at me with their ‘Israel is a democracy’ bullshit. And after I abolish your ass I’ll go ahead and work every day for the rest of my life to abolish your petty ass ethno-supremacist, settler-colonial state.”

Daoud later amended the post to say “intellectually fight,” and added, “I edited this post because I realize intellectually beating Zionists is the only way to go. Physical fighting is never an answer to when trying to prove people wrong.”
IsraellyCool: ROI Fellow Ariel Vegosen Called BDS a “Jewish Value”
I already outed Code Pinker Ariel Vegosen as someone seeming to be hiding her anti-Israel activities to get gigs within the Jewish community, as well as potential funding as part of the ROI community funded by the pro-Israel Schusterman Family Foundation.

Now I have discovered that leading up to the United Methodist’s divestment vote in 2012, she wrote some posts on the radical site Jew School, in which she spoke about the virtues of BDS. In one of these posts, not only did she reject the idea that divesting from the Jewish state is antisemitic, but she had the chutzpah to claim it is a Jewish value.

Note how she claims to be “obligated by [her] faith” and believes “in the Jewish value and Torah commandment “Justice, justice you shall pursue.”” Yet somehow the Torah commandment to settle the land of Israel is a crime to her. Plus remember, this person who claims to be all about Jewish values and hold reverence for the Torah also has no problem using one of the holiest sites in Judaism for a protest, while showing a complete lack of respect for its holiness by turning her back to it and dressing immodestly there.

The Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, of which Vegosen is an ROI fellow, has among its values:
A profound devotion to Judaism, the Jewish people and the Jewish State. We believe that the ethics, values and lessons inherent in Judaism remain as relevant today as they have for thousands of years and that the perpetuation of the Jewish community and the State of Israel is of paramount importance for the Jewish people and for society as a whole.

Once again, we see how Vegosen has been actively working against these values. It is no wonder these activities do not appear on her ROI page.
The New York Times Slaps ‘Apartheid’ Label on Israel
After two negative front-page articles about Israel’s new nation-state law, The New York Times is escalating its offensive by publishing an op-ed piece claiming that the Israeli parliament endorsed “apartheid methods” by approving the law.

The op-ed appears under the headline “Did Israel Just Stop Trying to Be a Democracy?” The usual rule is that when a headline is phrased as a question, the answer is “no,” but in this case the author seems to answer in the affirmative.

“The effort to guarantee equal rights for non-Jews has at times seemed like trying to square a circle. Last week, Israel gave up on even trying,” the Times op-ed says.

The article concludes, “Israel’s policy of promoting Jewish settlements has created de facto apartheid in the occupied territories of the West Bank. The nation-state law now formally endorses the use of similar apartheid methods within Israel’s recognized borders. What was long suspected has finally been made brutally clear: Israel cannot be both a Jewish state and a liberal democracy.”

The article is by Omri Boehm. The Times describes him as both “an Israeli philosopher” and “associate professor of philosophy at the New School for Social Research.”

One interesting thing about Professor Boehm is that he was sharply critical of Israel even before the passage of the nation-state law. In December 2016, he attracted The Algemeiner’s attention for a barely comprehensible Times column about what he called “the alliance that’s beginning to form between Zionist leadership and politicians with anti-Semitic tendencies.” That column claimed “it is natural for Zionist and anti-Semitic politicians to find common ideas and interests.”

Given that Boehm was sharply critical of Israel both before and after the passage of the nation-state law, one might wonder whether his stance is really about the law at all. And one might wonder why the Times turned to him, of all people, for an outside-the-paper perspective on the issue.
BBC producer breaches editorial guidelines on impartiality yet again
Not for the first time (see ‘related articles’ below) a clearly identified BBC employee – who describes his position as “BBC News Arabic service producer in Israel and the West Bank” – has allowed himself to “advocate” a “particular position on an issue of current public controversy or debate” on social media, thereby contradicting the BBC’s editorial guidelines and compromising its impartiality.

Clearly that Tweet from Michael Shuval certainly does have an impact on public perceptions of impartiality in BBC reporting on that legislation.
Uncomfortable: MSNBC host uses anti-Semitic slur to rhyme the name of Jewish lawyer Michael Cohen
It's the sort verbal gaffe that could end a career if another ethnic group had been involved – even if, as I am fairly certain in this case, no ethnic animus was involved. Recall, for instance, the Washington, D.C. official who was forced to resign following his use of the word "niggardly" at a public meeting. (He was later offered his job back when linguistic experts pointed out the word has origins in Middle English and has nothing to do with race.)

Even so, it was an appalling lapse.

NewsBusters explains:
MSNBC's Hallie Jackson crashed and burned Wednesday while attempting to plug an NBC News report during the final moments of her morning show. In a spectacular display of poor judgment, the MSNBC Live host attempted to rhyme former Trump attorney Michael Cohen's name with a made-up word, and wound up using what sounded like an anti-Semitic slur in the process: "Kikle." Mr. Cohen is Jewish. (h/t Gnomercy)
The Anti-Semitic Artwork of Europe’s Churches
The historic churches of Europe are grand repositories of artwork, some of it among the world’s finest. But among these works is no small amount of anti-Semitic iconography, some of which is still venerated by the devout. Menachem Wecker writes:

In Seville, the Parroquia de San Nicolás de Bari, a small 18th-century church, contains a troubling altar. In a golden niche, a young boy, clad in a flowing white and red altar-boy rochet with a red ribbon beneath his chin, hangs crucified above a Madonna and child, sitting enthroned above a crescent moon. A label once identified the boy as Dominguito del Val, a legendary figure alleged to have been murdered by the Jews of Zaragoza. As with [another such] boy at [a] Toledo cathedral, this death—real or imagined—served as a pretext for a pogrom. . . .

The replacement label, however, still stated that the boy was crucified. . . . That [label] too was eventually removed, and when I visited the altar, . . . it was the only one in the church without any identifying text. . . . But now the plaque mentioning the crucifixion of the boy is back. . . . “Clearly, all the parishioners do think that not only he existed—no evidence of that—but also he was murdered by the Jews,” says Moisés Hassán-Amsélem, [a local Jewish tour guide who has campaigned for the altar to be removed]. “I very often see people praying in front of the altarpiece. They definitely consider him a saint.”

This conflict is local in nature, in some ways, but it raises broader questions about memory and history. To what degree, if at all, ought these [scenes] be remembered and memorialized? Should troubling traces of past violence and hatred be removed altogether, or, if they ought to remain as witnesses, how should they be contextualized? And what are the responsibilities of religious institutions in this regard? . . .
New Yorker jailed for drawing swastika, misspelled slur on home
A man who painted a swastika on a New York family’s home was sentenced to six months in jail and five years’ probation.

James Rizzo Jr., who was 37 at the time of his arrest in October, told police at the time that he knew the Staten Island family was Jewish “because of the way they spoke.” He misspelled a Jewish slur on the garage.

Rizzo, who served the jail time while awaiting trial, pleaded guilty last month in State Supreme court to third-degree criminal mischief as a hate crime, the Staten Island Advance reported.

He was seen on surveillance camera footage vandalizing the white door with black paint of a house located down the street from where he lived.

Debra Calabrese, who at the time of the incident had lived in the house for 14 years with her husband and is not Jewish, originally told the local media that she did not plan to paint over the graffiti because she wanted people to see it, despite being urged by police to cover it up once their investigation was completed.
Finnish utility partners with TaKaDu to detect water leaks
In an effort to increase the visibility of its water network, Jyväskylä Energy Group, the water utility of Central Finland’s largest city, has turned to Israeli water network management company TaKaDu. Jyväskylä Energy Group will be TaKaDu’s first customer in Finland.

As part of a three-year contract, TaKaDu’s central event management solution will be deployed in the Finnish utility to improve network efficiency and customer service.

The project is being overseen and implemented by Pisara, Jyväskylä Energy’s smart water solutions unit.

“TaKaDu’s central management platform will enable us to manage incidents in one place, prioritize resources, speed up repair cycles and improve our customer service,” said Jyväskylä Energy’s Executive Vice President Pasi Jalonen. “We want to achieve better control over the water network and to understand more precisely where to put our renovation funds”.

TaKaDu’s cloud-based solution is set to improve the utility’s operational efficiency, save energy and water, and reduce repair costs by detecting, analyzing and managing potential events and incidents, such as leaks, bursts, faulty assets, water quality and more.
Israeli study finds positive emotions may shrink cancer tumors
A new study by Israeli researchers has found that positive emotions may help limit cancer growth.

The study, published Friday in science journal Nature Communications, was conducted on mice by a research team at Haifa’s Technion — Israel Institute of Technology, and focused on the role of the brain’s reward system in fighting tumors.

Researchers said that while previous studies have found a connection between one’s emotional state and the body’s ability to combat cancer, they mainly focused on negative emotions and not on “the impact of positive mental attributes on cancer biology.”

The mechanism by which emotions affect the immune system and its response to tumors was also not well understood until now, they said.

One regulator of the immune system’s activity in the body is Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs). These suppress the immune response to certain threats, a critical function in preventing the body from overreacting.

But MDSC activity is also believed to suppress the body’s ability to fight tumors.
Camp Koby Allows Bereaved Kids to Heal
Some campers say Camp Koby is their battery. It’s the one week during the summer that gives them strength for the rest of the year.

Originally for children who had lost a parent or sibling to terror, the camp, started by Koby Mandell’s family, after he and his friend Yosef Ishran were killed by terrorists in 2001, now sees about 400 kids each summer. The camp offers two sessions, the second of which ends July 30, and is open to kids in first through twelfth grades.

Through the Koby Mandell Foundation, the Mandell family decided to create a camp because they wanted to do something Koby would have liked, his mother, Sherri, said.

“We saw that adults get a lot of support after a tragedy, but oftentimes the children are the silent victims,” Mandell said. “The children protect the parents often [because] they don’t want to cause more disturbance.”

Camp Koby, located in Yehiam, provides campers with resources to help them overcome their loss that the typical camp doesn’t. There’s a daily workshop with a therapist, head counselor and former camper Eliana Mandell said, and the therapist stays with the same group the entire time they’re at camp, even eating and swimming with the kids, allowing them to form a special bond.

“It’s like a big support group and no words need to be said,” camper Lachan Levi said. “The difficulty makes us stronger when we’re together.”

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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