Tuesday, July 31, 2018

From Ian:

Carter Administration Blocked Begin’s Citizenship Offer to Palestinians
Commemorating nearly 40 years since United States President Jimmy Carter initiated the negotiations that led to Israel’s surrender of the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt, the Center for Israel Education is incrementally releasing sensitive memoranda from the Carter administration archives detailing conversations during those negotiations.

The fourth memo in a 10-part series highlighting the Carter administration’s involvement in the Arab-Israeli conflict unveiled a March 1978 meeting in Washington between Carter’s team and an Israeli delegation led by Prime Minister Menaḥem Begin.

The conversation from that meeting shows an American administration intent on forcing Israel to relinquish not only Sinai, but also most of the West Bank, Gaza region and the Golan Heights.

In response to the American pressure, Begin expressed his willingness to offer Palestinians the option of full Israeli citizenship with equal rights but would leave the choice in the hands of individual Palestinians themselves.

Zbigniew Brzezinski, Carter’s national security adviser, rejected Begin’s offer of citizenship for Palestinians on the grounds that Israel would then retain control over the West Bank, revealing that from the perspective of American interests, an Israeli withdrawal was more important than addressing the actual needs of Palestinians.

Indy promotes Noam Chomsky’s charge on “Israeli intervention in US elections”
The Independent legitimised the warped political views of linguist Noam Chomsky today, in a column by their US editor, Andrew Buncombe. The article, titled “Israeli intervention in US elections ‘vastly overwhelms’ anything Russia has done, claims Noam Chomsky”, highlighted a charge made by the American academic in an interview with the fringe radical left show ‘Democracy Now’.

Here’s the Chomsky quote highlighted by the Indy journalist:

“Israeli intervention in US elections vastly overwhelms anything the Russians may have done, I mean, even to the point where the prime minister of Israel, Netanyahu, goes directly to Congress, without even informing the president, and speaks to Congress, with overwhelming applause, to try to undermine the president’s policies – what happened with Obama and Netanyahu in 2015.”

Buncombe then contextualises Chomsky’s views by uncritically citing the (widely discredited) views of John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt:

The power of the pro-Israel lobby has long been one of the contentious, and disputed, issues in Washington. In 2007, John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, published The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy, which described the lobby as “loose coalition of individuals and organisations who actively work to steer US foreign policy in a pro-Israel direction”.
A self-declared leftist wages war on the Palestinian ‘right of return’
Former Labor MK Einat Wilf believes the Palestinians are not ready for peace. They are, in fact, miles away from accepting the idea of dividing the land and are still hoping Israel will soon disappear, she asserts in a new book.

And yet, she insists she’s a leftist.

But the peace camp must sober up, she says, and start realizing that peace will not come as long as the Palestinians cling to their demand to “return” to areas now belonging to Israel.

“If you truly want peace, rather than just feel good about wanting peace — and there are a lot of those — and if you actually understand that at the end of the day they [the Palestinians] are the ones with whom we have to live and share the country, you need to be realistic about where they’re coming from,” she told The Times of Israel during a recent interview in a Jerusalem cafe.

“The War of Return,” which she co-authored with former Haaretz journalist Adi Schwartz, provides an in-depth analysis of the Palestinian refugee problem. It notes that immediately after the 1948 War of Independence, Arab leaders were opposed to the return of those who had left their homes in what had become the State of Israel, as this was considered a tacit recognition of Israeli sovereignty.

But a short while later, Arab leaders changed their strategy and demanded that the “refugees” return to their old homes, Wilf and Schwartz write, citing countless historical documents to prove their point.

WikiLeaks made racist and antisemitic remarks in private chats
In private chats, including the WikiLeaks + 10 chat group, the official WikiLeaks account (the only place other than the website authorized to make “official WikiLeaks statements“) establishes a pattern of making racist and antisemitic remarks.

One of the remarks was previously reported by The Intercept – an attack on Raphael Satter, where WikiLeaks went out of their way to state that Satter was Jewish and a rat.

WikiLeaks’ private use of the ((( ))) brackets was made exactly one month after WikiLeaks came under fire for appearing to suggest that their critics were Jewish.

The next day, WikiLeaks sent a tweet that echoed their denials that they referenced the (((brackets))) in an antisemitic sense, claiming it was becoming “a tribalist designator for establishment climbers.” WikiLeaks’ explicitly connecting the (((brackets))) to someone being Jewish seems to undermine this denial. While WikiLeaks may be accurate in stating that Satter is Jewish and was involved in pushing back against perceived antisemitism, WikiLeaks connected Satter being “a rat” and involved in the (((brackets))) issue to being Jewish – an association that is inherently antisemitic due to it being used to dismiss and discredit him.

This is not the only instance where WikiLeaks went out of their way to mention that a critic of theirs was Jewish or had connections to Israel. When WikiLeaks was informed that Icelandic president Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson criticized their Saudi Cables, WikiLeaks responded by asserting that “his wife is an Israeli diamond miner. Connected to the arms industry.”
TIP CEO: Nations Must Stop Tolerating Anti-Israel Bias in Sports Tournaments
Israel is subjected to an unprecedented discrimination campaign in the international sports industry, Joshua S. Block, President and CEO of The Israel Project, wrote in an op-ed for The Algemeiner on Friday.

Block was referring to the case of seven-year-old Liel Levitan from Haifa, who recently won the European Chess Championship. “For the ‘crime’ of being Israeli, the little girl is prohibited from playing in the World Chess Championship, because host nation Tunisia will not allow Israelis to compete,” Block said. “If that’s not racism, what is?”

He also cited previous incidents of “horrific acts of discrimination” against Israeli athletes, including the World Chess Championship in Saudi Arabia in December from which Israel’s players were excluded because of their nationality, as well as the refusal of the Lebanese national team to share a bus with their Israeli counterparts during the opening ceremony of the Rio Olympics in 2016.

Block contrasted these vile acts of discrimination against the inclusive atmosphere at the World Lacrosse Championship, which took place in Netanya earlier this month.

“In a vibrant festival of sport, 46 teams from all over the world competed against each other across ethnic, religious, and cultural divides,” Block overserved. “Sports are a team-building exercise. They’re meant to bring strangers together in a celebration of healthy competition — and that’s exactly what happened in Netanya during the lacrosse event.”
Cruz at CUFI Summit: Israel is our friend
We would be remiss today if we did not at least pause and reflect what a difference a couple of years can make. What a difference Ambassador Nikki Haley makes. What a difference Ambassador David Friedman makes. It was just November and December of 2016, the end of the previous administration, when we saw the United Nations passing Resolution 2334 condemning – with the voice of the international community – condemning Israel as illegal occupiers. Declaring the Jewish quarter of Israel illegally occupied. Declaring the Western Wall illegally occupied. Done with the acquiescence and energetic support of the Obama administration.

It was only a year and a half ago, we had the secretary of state, John Kerry, describing Israel as an apartheid state. It was only a couple of years ago that we had members of Congress boycotting Prime Minister Netanyahu as he addressed a joint session of Congress. But oh, how the world has changed.

This has been a year of celebration. Just a few months ago, I was so incredibly privileged and humbled to be in Jerusalem for the opening of the United States Embassy. Many of you were there on the 70th anniversary of the creation of the modern State of Israel. As we stood there dedicating that embassy, fulfilling a promise that we had seen presidents from both parties make. We’d seen Republicans make that promise, we’d seen Democrats make that promise, and yet, when it came time for action, neither one followed through. But this year, America did follow through.

The joy of being in Jerusalem visiting with Israelis, visiting with Americans, particularly those of the generation that went through the Holocaust. The survivors that were still there that you would visit had tears in their eyes, as they would look at you and say, “I never ever thought this day would come.”
ALLIES: American Volunteers Join Israeli Firefighters To Battle Dangerous Blazes From Palestinian Kites
It isn’t just Israeli firefighters fighting the blazes triggered by the incendiary kites launched by Hamas over the Israeli border: American volunteers are joining in the fight, and they aren’t all Jews.

The firefighters joined the Emergency Volunteers Project (EVP), which has brought medical and rescue personnel from all over the world since 2009 to aid Israel, from the huge forest fires of 2010 and 2016, to doctors and nurses helping at Ashkelon's Barzilai Hospital during Operation Protective Edge.

The American firefighters who flew to Israel wear the uniform and carry the same gear as Israel Fire and Rescue Services to fight against the thousands of kites, balloons, and even birds that have been launched to start catastrophic fires inside Israel by cells of Hamas-aligned terrorists.

Ten firefighters arrived in Israel last week; 40 volunteers are on standby.
Mort Klein: I Read Geraldo's Anti-Israel Book So You Don't Have To
Reviewers called Geraldo Rivera’s first memoir, Exposing Myself, “gross” and “a horndog’s Bible of workplace harassment,” noting that “[Geraldo] grabs Bette Midler’s boobs, beds every conceivable underling.”

Geraldo’s recent second memoir, The Geraldo Show: A Memoir, is another horror show. He calls Israel the “Unholy Land”; describes himself as a “Palestinianist”; falsely twists the PLO/Hamas/Islamic Jihad hostage-taking and seizure of the Church of the Nativity into an “Israeli siege”; and calls his own cowardly, false attacks on Jews and Israel “courageous.”

On March 30, 2018, Geraldo told Fox and Friends that he regretted not doing more in 2002 to “back the Palestinians in their conflict with Israel, the Second Intifada.”

The Second Intifada took place over five years (2000-2005), during which Palestinian Arab suicide bombers murdered a thousand Israelis and maimed many thousands more. My organization, the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), and others urged Fox to fire Geraldo for thus supporting the massacre of Jews.

Geraldo’s new book contains passages that will make any normal person nauseous, as when he fondly recalls Yasser Arafat “hand-feeding” him a pile of hummus and cucumbers (emphasis added):
“[Arafat] was so keen on making friends he hand-fed us an elaborate pita sandwich piled with cucumber and hummus.
‘Taste this,’ he said, as he [Arafat] daintily put the food in our mouths.”

Geraldo also repeatedly defends Arafat — the filth-encrusted terrorist and Palestine Liberation Organization co-founder, responsible for murdering and maiming thousands of innocent Jews.
Melanie Phillips: Labour antisemitism skies darkening even more
The Jewish community leadership has repeatedly implored Labour to start dealing properly with the antisemitism in its midst and “return to being an anti-racist party”. The Jewish community leadership can’t possibly believe this is remotely an option. Even if the Corbynistas wanted to deal with this issue by expelling antisemites from the party, as the Jewish Chronicle observed it would have to expel hundreds if not thousands of its members.

In any event, it has no intention of facing up to the true nature of this problem. How could it? For the deranged, obsessive and malevolent animosity of so many of its members towards the Jews is symbiotically and inextricably bound up with the deranged, obsessive and malevolent animosity towards Israel.

And that poisonous stain spreads far beyond the Corbynistas and far beyond the Labour party. For pathological anti-Israelism is the leitmotif of progressive politics in general.

Most people – even many of those who are generally benignly disposed towards Israel, including some Jews – have absolutely no idea whatsoever of the extent to which the bad things they may believe about Israel are the the very opposite of the truth.

By definition, they have no idea of the particularly malign role played by the BBC – which furnishes the nation’s aural political wallpaper – in this systematic demonisation, week in, week out, and with no opposing voices given a platform to point out the falsehoods.

Last week, BBC radio broadcast a five-part serialisation of a book entitled “Where the Line is Drawn” by Raja Shehadeh. You can read about it here on the excellent BBC Watch website. Suffice to say it was five episodes of noxious bilge and bile about Israel.

The serialisation drove Rod Liddle – a former editor of BBC Radio’s Today programme – to observe in fury in the Sunday Times that the BBC will never balance such stuff by providing the other side of the argument. Liddle wrote:

“The BBC and Radio 4 in particular are in the grip of what the American author Tom Wolfe called radical chic attitudinising. In other words, they are naive middle-class liberals who believe the Palestinian cause is unequivocally just and there is no real argument about that. Which is why, when Hamas rains 200 rockets and mortars down upon Israel, you hear nothing on the BBC. You hear about it only when Israel responds.
JPost Editorial: Labour pains
The Labour Party adopted the guidelines, but with some important omissions. Their reasoning? “Discourse about international politics often employs metaphors drawn from examples of historic misconduct. It is not antisemitism to criticize the conduct or policies of the Israeli state by reference to such examples unless there is evidence of antisemitic intent.”

According to the editorial by the Jewish papers, the Labour Party’s incomplete definition of antisemitism that was adopted enables party members “to claim Israel’s existence is a racist endeavor and compare Israeli policies to those of Nazi Germany, unless ‘intent’ – whatever that means – can be proved. ‘Dirty Jew’ is wrong, ‘Zionist bitch’ fair game.”

After the adoption of the guidelines, Jewish MP Margaret Hodge called Corbyn an “antisemitic racist.”

“It’s not what you say, it’s what you do. And he hasn’t adopted the full definition of antisemitism...,” Hodge said on the BBC.

The argument over semantics does not come in a vacuum. British Jewry’s main watchdog on antisemitism – the Community Security Trust – recorded 727 hate incidents through June of 2018, the second-highest total on record its record for a six-month period.

Earlier this year, the Labor Party in Israel suspended its relations with Corbyn, accusing him of showing hostility to the Jewish community and allowing antisemitic statements and actions from his party officials. Labor leader Avi Gabbay, distinguishing between Corbyn and the Labour Party, cited the party leader’s “very public hatred of the policies of the Government of the State of Israel, many of which regard the security of our citizens and actions of our soldiers – policies where the opposition and coalition in Israel are aligned.”

Valid criticism of Israel’s policies are healthy, encouraged and a welcome part of the vibrant dialogue between people living in democracies. However, when leaders like Corbyn blur the distinction between blind hatred of everything Israeli and Jew hatred, it’s time to take the gloves off and call an antisemite an antisemite.
Bombshell tape shows Jeremy Corbyn ally blamed 'Jewish Trump fanatics' for inventing Labour antisemitism
One of Jeremy Corbyn’s closest allies on Labour’s ruling body claimed Jewish “Trump fanatics” were making false claims of antisemitism in the party, a recording obtained by the JC confirms.

Explosive audio of Peter Willsman’s angry rant - at the meeting attended by Mr Corbyn where Labour’s ruling body approved a controversial new code of conduct on antisemitism – also shows he angrily demanded 68 rabbis, who warned Jew-hate had become "severe and widespread" within the party, provide evidence.

He says on the recording: "We should ask the 70 rabbis ‘where is your evidence of severe and widespread antisemitism in this Party?’”

Mr Willsman then demands those at the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting raise their hands if they have “seen” antisemitism in Labour and then suggested he was “amazed” that some said they had.

He escaped formal punishment for his remarks by apologising but suggested some of his remarks had been misquoted.

But Jewish Labour MP Luciana Berger called for the party to suspend Mr Willsman and conduct a "formal investigation", after she heard the JC's audio of his rant. (h/t jzaik)
British Labour Party looking into 250 complaints of anti-Semitic abuse
The British Labour Party is investigating more than 250 complaints of anti-Semitic abuse.

The Jewish Labour Movement turned over the complaints to the party, many of them appearing on social media and related to Margaret Hodge.

Hodge, a Labour lawmaker, confronted party leader Jeremy Corbyn after the decision earlier this month to adopt a softened definition of anti-Semitism, calling him a “fucking anti-Semite and a racist” and urging him to quit the party. The party has warned Hodge that she will be disciplined.

A second lawmaker, Ian Austin, a supporter of Labour Friends of Israel whose adoptive father was a Czech Jewish refugee from the Nazis, also faces party discipline after saying in a radio interview that Corbyn has been “supporting and defending all kinds of extremists and in some cases, frankly, anti-Semites,” and called the Labour Party a “sewer.”
Jeremy Corbyn at a Labour event in Stretford, England, March 22, 2018. (Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Among the anti-Semitic social media posts attacking Hodge, some called her a “Zionist bitch” and accused her of being paid for her support by Israel.

Other posts on pro-Corbyn Facebook groups are alleged to have drawn parallels between Israel and the Nazis.
Latest Cadwalladr Conspiracy Bots Behind Labour Anti-Semitism
Observer rent-a-conspiracy writer Carole Cadwalladr has stuck her foot in it yet again by incredibly suggesting that Anti-Semistism in the Labour Party is the product of paid Tory trolls and her favourite bogeymen Cambridge Analytica.

She approvingly quote tweeted a conspiracy thread suggesting that Brandon Lewis has hired “a team of Tory trolls” and that recently suspended Labour members like Damien Enticott were just ‘hacked’.

This thread was written by a Labour supporter who is backing Pete Willsman for Labour NEC, a figure even too toxic for the likes of Owen Jones and Matt Zarb-Cousin.

Another brilliant piece of codswallop from Carole.

UPDATE: Carole has deleted her tweet and posted this apology…
Daily Express: classic combination of antisemitism and ignorance
Look at the photograph and caption that the Daily Express used this morning for its article by Jewish Chronicle Editor Stephen Pollard about antisemitism:

Contrary to what the caption says, the 'Jews' in the photo are the fanatics of Neturei Karta and you can clearly see their anti-Israel placards. But hey - as far as the Express is concerned - 'Jews with beards, payers, and big furry hats who hate Israel' are obviously typical of British Jews concerned about Corbyn's anti-Israel driven antisemitism.

It is also important to note that, since the Mirror group takeover of the Express, the newspaper has adopted the Hamas anti-Israel narrative (see this example) and so is a significant contributor to the anti-Israel driven antisemitism that currently afflicts the UK.
Anti-Israel conspiracy author accuses opponent of 'Bigfoot erotica'
Leslie Cockburn, a Democratic nominee for Virginia's 5th Congressional District, set off national shockwaves when on Sunday she accused Republican opponent Denver Riggleman of being a "devotee of Bigfoot erotica" based on a picture from Riggleman's Instagram account.

But Cockburn herself is no stranger to controversy, as she has been accused of harboring antisemitic and anti-Israel views of her own. Cockburn's book The Dangerous Liaison: The Inside Story of the US-Israeli Covert Relationship unfavorably characterizes Israel's relationship with the United States, claiming Israel secretly controls US policy.

"My opponent Denver Riggleman, running mate of Corey Stewart, was caught on camera campaigning with a white supremacist. Now he has been exposed as a devotee of Bigfoot erotica. This is not what we need on Capitol Hill," she wrote Sunday on Twitter.

On the official website of the Republican Party in Virginia, the party accuses the Democrats of having nominated a "virulent antisemite in the Fifth District," positing, "Cockburn has a long history of antisemitic rhetoric which can be documented over at least the past 25 years."

Antisemitic attacks are often cloaked under the veil of criticism of Israel. The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance defines antisemitic attacks as ones that include, "targeting of the state of Israel, conceived as a Jewish collectivity," or "accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations."
Amnesty International's ill-suited spokesmodel
Amnesty International features Gaza "social media activist' Farah Baker on its Facebook page, as an example of the deprivation and suffering in the coastal enclave. Its a curious choice.

Farah is a member of Gaza's social media club and has a highly visible presence on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

The newly engaged 20 year-old has done a fine job chronicling the life of a well-off teenager Gaza.

Farah Baker, rather than being a poster child for the impoverished of Gaza, instead is an example of the privilege and position that exist for the elite of Gaza, making it no different than any other society.

Farah and her I phone have given us a glimpse of the Gaza beyond the staged media reports

Gaza is not simply the land of eternal victimhood- of refugee camps and ruin that Amnesty International wants you to imagine. Its also a land of restaurants, resorts, and shops, as documented by Farah Baker and her I phone. Farah has inadvertently given us a rare glimpse of reality of Gaza beyond the bias of Amnesty International.
Michael Lumish: The Week on Nothing Left
This week Michael Burd and Alan Freedman begin with an interview with Salim Mansur, a Muslim commentator who is critical of Islam, and then hear (in two parts) from American author Edwin Black speaking about recent events in the United Nations.

Prof Aharon Klieman is a retired academic from the Tel Aviv University and an expert in political science with some very clear and articulate views on the relationship between Israel, the PA and Gaza, and Isi Leibler join the guys from Jerusalem with his assessment of President Trump to date.

Here is this week's episode of Nothing Left ...
3 min Editorial: Israel’s new Basic Law
9 min Alan Dershowitz on Basic law
13 min Dr.Salim Mansur, Muslim critic of Islam
38 min Edwin Black part 1, on the UN
50 min Edwin Black part 2, on the UN
1 hr 4 Prof Aharon Klieman, on Israel and Gaza
1 hr 31 Isi Leibler in Jerusalem, on President Trump
You Won’t Believe What One News Site Called the IDF
The latest Palestinian attempt to symbolically break the Israeli blockade of Gaza made news in New Zealand because a prominent union leader was aboard one of the intercepted boats. Mike Treen, the national director of Unite, says he was tasered repeatedly by Israeli forces who boarded the Al Awda. In previous flotillas, the ships were taken to Ashdod and the foreigners eventually deported, which is presumably Israel’s plan for Treen.

Israel maintains a blockade of Gaza to prevent weapons smuggling to Hamas.

NewshubUnfortunately, Newshub‘s coverage refers to the “Israeli Occupation Forces.”

In the reporter’s voice.

With further repeated references to the “IOF.”

There’s no such proper noun as the IOF. It’s just a provocative slur used by Palestinians and their supporters — including the Unite press release which was the basis for Newshub’s report.
‘Facebook allows Holocaust denial in U.S. that it bans in Europe’
Paul Packer, chairman of the Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad, confronted Facebook leadership last week over CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s statement that he opposed banning Holocaust denial from the social media platform.

Packer, who was appointed to head the independent government agency last year by US President Donald Trump, told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday that he was not satisfied with what he heard and expects Facebook to do more.

After meeting with Facebook’s vice president of global public policy Joel Kaplan to discuss his concerns, Packer said he spotted inconsistencies in the media giant’s arguments. “He said a lot, but really didn’t say anything,” Packer said of Kaplan.

“The policy will lead to more hate. And Facebook – being the community builder that it would like to be, with close to 2 billion users – by allowing Holocaust deniers on their platform is choosing not to act,” he said.

Packer said that Facebook has proven its ability to suppress Holocaust denial in Europe – where such revisionism is criminally punished in several countries – with geotagging technology. He said he encouraged Kaplan to implement a similar practice in the US.

“Holocaust denial is a crime in Germany, and a crime in France – we know its blocked in those countries by Facebook,” where they geotag, he said, questioning why they would not replicate the policy here.

“It has no place in America,” he added, “to rewrite history.”
Airbnb removes Chicago listing that would not tolerate Zionism
Airbnb removed a Chicago-area listing after a prospective renter posted its prohibition on expressions of “zionism.”

“This apartment strives to be a safe space — no sexism, homophobia, zionism, racism, classism, transphobia, xenophobia, fatphobia, or other hatred and prejudice is tolerated,” said the listing that appeared earlier this month advertising a bedroom in a “massive loft” located “at the heart of Wrigley and Boystown.”

“Guests who make the space unsafe or exhibit problematic behavior WILL BE ASKED TO LEAVE WITHOUT A REFUND,” it said.

Nick Papas, a spokesman for the popular tourism rental website, told JTA on Monday that the listing was suspended and Airbnb will investigate.

“Airbnb hosts may not decline a guest based on race, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or marital status,” Papas said.

The listing also said unaccompanied straight men “should look elsewhere.”
Outrage as German man acquitted over 2000 bombing targeting Jewish immigrants
An alleged neo-Nazi was acquitted by a German court Tuesday for a bombing 18 years ago targeting Jewish immigrants, in what angry victims’ advocates called a historic “legal mistake.”

Ralf Spies, 52, was cleared of 12 counts of attempted murder with a “racist” motive and a charge of causing an explosion in the attack at a commuter rail station in the western city of Dusseldorf on July 27, 2000.

The regional court in the city found him not guilty, after having released him from custody in May “for lack of sufficiently reliable testimony” from witnesses, many of whom were in prison with the defendant.

The victims were on their way back from a German language course when the explosive, hung in a plastic bag on a fence near the Wehrhahn station entrance, went off, sparking panic.

Ten eastern European migrants — six of them Jews from the former Soviet Union — were injured in the bombing, which shocked Germany and drew international condemnation.
US Appeals Court: California Museum Can Keep Cranachs Looted by Nazis
A federal appeals court on Monday said the Norton Simon Museum can keep two 16th-century masterpieces depicting Adam and Eve by the German Renaissance painter Lucas Cranach the Elder, which had been looted by the Nazis during World War Two.

The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 3-0 against Marei von Saher, who has been suing the Pasadena, California-based museum for 11 years to reclaim the paintings, taken by the Nazis in a forced sale after her father-in-law, Jewish art dealer Jacques Goudstikker, fled the Netherlands in 1940.

Circuit Judge Margaret McKeown said the “act of state” doctrine validated the 1966 sale of the paintings by the Dutch government, which by then owned them, to George Stroganoff-Scherbatoff, a onetime US Navy commander and descendant of Russian aristocracy.

He sold them in 1971 to the museum, which has displayed them ever since.

Lawrence Kaye, a lawyer for von Saher, said he was “obviously disappointed” and would review the decision with his client.

“Today’s decision should finally put this matter to rest,” the museum said in a statement.

Many lawsuits seek to reclaim art taken or sold after Adolf Hitler took power in Germany in 1933.

This includes the 6-1/4 foot (1.9 meters) tall Cranach panels, which had been purchased by Nazi Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring at a fraction of their value.
How a synagogue helped re-open a flooded Dallas church
With straw brooms and willpower, the pastor and a few congregants of First Fellowship Baptist Church in southern Dallas had to push out two inches of water taking over their place of worship.

A busted pipe had filled multiple rooms in the church, which doubles as a community center. The water had soaked the carpet and seeped into the two layers of tile that hid underneath. The pews, made of particle-board, were doused and destroyed.

Pastor George Gregory and volunteers have worked for months to get their church back into shape. But now Gregory won't be left a shepherd with nowhere to seat his flock.

He found out about a month ago that Temple Shalom in North Dallas was giving away its original pews. And the temple’s leaders were happy to help.

Rodney Schlosser, president of Temple Shalom, said the donation was “our opportunity to pay it forward by being hospitable to other religious institutions.”

The temple was able to spare its pews because it’s buying new ones after receiving a $200,000 donation from Raelaine and Paul Radnitz, longtime congregants of the temple.
Alanis Morissette says 'Thank U' to Israel
By the time Alanis Morissette closed out her show in Rishon Lezion on Monday night with her 1998 smash hit "Thank U," she had already uttered the words more than a dozen times that evening.

In true Canadian fashion, the singer/songwriter profusely thanked the 15,000-strong crowd between each and every song during her 90-minute show at the Rishon Lezion Live Park. Morissette just seemed to be happy to be there, happy to be performing, and happy that so many people turned out to experience it.

The evening began with an opening act by Israeli-turned-Californian Ninet Tayeb. Though Tayeb put on an impassioned and at times overwrought performance, the crowd was clearly just waiting for the main event.

In leather pants and a billowing yellow shirt - plus short hair she cropped close earlier this year - Morissette opened the show with "All I Really Want," to screams of approval from the audience.

"It's so great to be back here with you, we missed you so much," Morissette told the crowd.

More than 20 years after her most famous album - 1995's Jagged Little Pill - was released, the 44-year-old iconic singer songwriter still has what it takes. Her powerful vocals didn't falter once throughout the night, and she kept up her high energy despite the sticky summer evening. She also showed off her chops on an acoustic guitar, an electric guitar and even the harmonica on and off throughout the show.
Jerusalem welcomes the world for International Children’s Games
The International Children’s Games officially kicked off at Sultan’s Pool in Jerusalem on Monday night. Children and their coaches from all around the world socialized at the venue’s plaza to meet other kids from around the world before the games begin.

“It’s great, I’m having a fun time. We’ve been experiencing a lot of different people and languages. I’ve met a lot of different people,” said Terrion Ellis, a basketball player from the United States.

The age of the children range from 12-15 years old. The over 1,500 athletes comprise 50 percent boys and 50 percent girls. Young athletes will compete in nine sports through August 3.

“This is my first time in Jerusalem. It’s fantastic, so nice, so good,” said Lununlen Chongloi, a soccer player from India.

The opening ceremony also had a large stage with singers, dancers and performers entertaining the crowd.
Spa and game room found at 1,700-year-old pottery workshop in Israel
Third-century Roman potters were, apparently, early adopters of the elusive work-life balance. At the central Israel town of Gedera, an Israel Antiquities Authority team has uncovered an impressive 20-bath spa and robust game room alongside evidence of 600 years of a massive ceramic industry.

Boards for still-popular games are etched into large stone benches at the 3rd century CE site. Among the game boards, the IAA archaeologists identified mancala, an ancient one- or two-player game using a board and seeds or marbles that is still an international bestseller.

“People are people and the archaeology reminds us that we’re not inventing the wheel,” said IAA excavation co-director Ella Nagorsky. “Just like how Google established a play area in its workspace, so too here: We discovered a game room that was perhaps used for breaks from the potters’ intensive work.”

The entertainment complex was discovered during a salvage operation conducted ahead of the construction of a new neighborhood in northern Gedera, under the initiative and funding of the Israel Lands Authority.

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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