Thursday, August 16, 2018

From Ian:

Israel vs. BDS
Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser led the Israeli government's efforts against the BDS movement until 2014. He now works for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. He headed the research division of IDF military intelligence during the Second Intifada, has good Arabic, and was appointed director general of the Ministry of Strategic Affairs in 2009.

Kuperwasser says the threat BDS poses to Israel is very real. "The core issue is not whether they are going to boycott us or not boycott us. The core issue is whether they are going to be successful in implanting in the international discourse that Israel is illegitimate as a Jewish state."

"The Palestinians are taking a very big risk," he said. "Because, in my mind, there is a good chance that the world will deny their conceptual framework. People will say: 'This is what the Palestinians want?! We are totally against it. They are crazy; they want Israel to disappear.'" In Kuperwasser's view, the BDS movement and the Palestinian leadership share the same goals; the differences between them are merely a matter of tactics.

"Abu Mazen [Abbas] understands more than the BDS movement that you have to be subtle." The PLO's acceptance of a two-state solution was merely a subterfuge designed to obtain a West Bank-Gaza state, which would then serve as a launching pad for continued struggle. "The Palestinian idea of struggle is so deeply embedded in their mind that they cannot actually think about the possibility of giving up the struggle in order to make peace."

"We are saying there is no difference between a settlement boycott and a boycott of Israel. If you want to promote the boycotting of Israel, any part of Israel, you are not a friend of Israel. You are actually an enemy of Israel."

Kuperwasser was confident that Israel was taking the right approach and would succeed, as it had against past assaults: "We won the war on the conventional battlefield. To start with, our chances were very slim. We won the war on terror. Again, it wasn't easy."

"I remember when we went to the big battle - the Second Intifada - and many generals around the world were telling me, 'Listen, Kuper, you're wasting your time: nobody ever won a war against terrorism,' citing Vietnam and other cases. And I said: 'No, we shall win this war as well. We are innovative and determined enough. And unlike many other battles, we don't have a second option, an alternative. We have to win.' The same goes here. We shall win."

Naftali Bennett [NYTs]: Israel Is Proud of Who We Are
We Israelis are proud of who we are. We are proud of our Jewish traditions and identity, and we are proud of the equality and freedoms for all our people. Last month our government passed the Nation State Law, which reaffirms the centrality of the Jewish identity and nature of the State of Israel. Our self-identification as a Jewish homeland will never change. It is a central tenet of Zionism.

Some critics argue that somehow the addition of such a law to Israel's robust judicial system, and political checks and balances, poses a threat to the future of the Jewish people and to Jews the world over. This is preposterous.

Keeping Israel as the Jewish nation-state does not threaten the future of the Jewish people; it safeguards it. Protecting Jewish traditions, just as they safeguarded our people through two millenniums of exile, is the only way to be sure that Israel can continue to be a strong and vibrant democracy in a very difficult region.
Caroline Glick: Left Pushing Fake News to Smear Israel's Nation-State Law
In his [Netanyahu's] words, as quoted by the Times of Israel, “Yesterday we saw PLO flags in the heart of Tel Aviv. We heard the calls: ‘With blood and fire we will redeem Palestine.’ Many of the demonstrators want to abrogate the Law of Return [which gives Jewish immigrants automatic Israeli citizenship], cancel the national anthem, fold up our flag and cancel Israel as the national state of the Jewish people and turn it – as their spokespersons said – into an Israeli-Palestinian state, and others say: A state of all its citizens.”

“It is for precisely this that we passed the nation-state law. We are proud of our state, our flag and our national anthem. Israel is a Jewish and democratic state. The individual rights of its citizens are anchored very well in the basic laws and other laws. Now it is clearer than ever that the nation-state law is also necessary… to ensure the future of the State of Israel as the national state of the Jewish people. We passed this law and we will uphold it.”

In other words, the protest movement that the center Left politicians instigated against the law that codified Israel’s national foundations has placed the Netanyahu government in the position of defender of Israel’s very existence. The political opposition, from the center-Left to pro-Hamas Arab factions, is united in its opposition to the law that does nothing more than state the obvious.

The overwhelming majority of Israelis are hardcore patriots. They do not take well to people who undermine Israel’s national identity. Indeed, every leftist government in Israeli history has been elected by running on right-wing platforms. The battle the center-Left parties have led against the Jewish Nation State law has potentially doomed them to the political desert for the next generation.

This brings us back to Trump.

Israel’s current fight over the Nation State Law shows that as the Left throughout the Western world becomes ever more radicalized, Trump’s confrontational strategy for contending with the phenomenon is proving itself not only politically wise, but also vital for preserving the free nations of the Western world as a whole.

Europe's War on Israel
Europe, especially Western Europe, appears to have decided that destroying Israel is in its national interest. Since history has shown that Israel cannot be defeated militarily, Europe has decided to aid and abet the Arab effort in removing Israel from the map by all other means at its disposal.

A new report from NGO Monitor shows that “European-backed NGOs are flooding Israel’s courts with cases in an attempt to circumvent the democratic process to change Israeli policies while bypassing diplomatic channels in an unprecedented manner”.

A Norwegian NGO, the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), funded by the EU, the UK and the UN, is conducting legal advocacy in close cooperation with the Palestinian Authority (PA) in violation of the principle of neutrality in humanitarian aid. The legal advocacy consists of literally flooding the Israeli court system with cases related to the Arab-Israeli conflict.

According to NGO Monitor, the NRC, through its Arab and Israeli partner NGOs, submits between 600-800 new cases to Israeli courts annually. In 2018, ICLA aims to pursue “5,399 opened and continuing cases for legal assistance in the West Bank (West Bank 1162 new and 4237 continuing)” as well as 10 cases to be submitted to the UN and/or other international mechanisms. From 2009-2014, NRC “provided legal representation in court for 4,069 cases.”

According to a lawyer affiliated with the NRC and cited by NGO Monitor, the number of cases submitted to Israeli courts are part of a strategy to use “every possible legal measure to disrupt the Israeli judicial system…as many cases as possible are registered and that as many cases as possible are appealed to increase the workload of the courts and the Supreme Court to such an extent that there will be a blockage.”
Jeremy Corbyn pictured with mastermind of Har Nof synagogue massacre
After British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn stirred outrage earlier this week when pictures surfaced of him attending a 2014 wreath-laying ceremony for the terrorists who massacred 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics, new pictures from the event emerged on Wednesday. The pictures show Corbyn alongside Tunisian terror chief Maher al-Taher, whose group claimed responsibility for the 2014 Har Nof synagogue massacre.

In the November 2014 attack, four prominent rabbis and a police officer, including three US citizens and one British citizen, were brutally murdered when two Arab suspects from east Jerusalem’s Jabl Mukaber neighborhood stormed the Kehillat Bnei Torah Synagogue in Har Nof, wielding axes, knives and a pistol.

The two perpetrators of the attack, who were killed in a shootout with police at the synagogues entrance, were members of the Popular Front of Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) of which Al-Taher is the leader-in-exile. The US, Israel and the EU classify the PFLP as a terrorist organization.

The Har Nof massacre took place only a month after Corbyn was photographed together with Al-Taher at the ceremony in Tunisia. The Labour leader, according to the British tabloid The Sun, was attending the event, which was labeled as a service to commemorate Palestinian “martyrs."

While Corbyn insisted he was at the service to commemorate 47 Palestinians killed in a 1985 Israeli air strike on a Tunisian PLO base, pictures showed him standing a meter from the grave of Black September members, who perpetrated the Munich atrocity.

Murdered British rabbi's cousin condemns Jeremy Corbyn for sharing platform with terror chief just weeks before attack
The cousin of a British citizen murdered by a Palestinian terror group has condemned Jeremy Corbyn for appearing alongside the group's leader just weeks before the attack.

In an interview with the JC, Michelle Hirschfield said the prospect of the Labour leader becoming prime minister would be “awful” and said his past associations meant British Jews should be "wary" of him entering Downing Street.

Her cousin was Rabbi Abraham Goldberg, a 68-year-old grandfather who had made aliyah and was one of the men killed in a 2014 attack on a synagogue in Har Nof, Jerusalem.

Two Palestinian men with axes entered the shul during morning prayers and attacked the worshippers. Five people were killed and seven injured. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) claimed responsibility.

The Times has revealed that, weeks earlier, PFLP leader Maher al-Taher stood alongside Mr Corbyn at the now infamous wreath-laying ceremony in Tunis honouring members of Black September, the group behind the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre.

Mrs Hirschfield, who lives in Britain, told the JC: “It’s absolutely terrible; here’s Corbyn supporting a terrorist group that has killed a British citizen. This is someone from his own country, how can he be like that?”
Inside luxury hotel Corbyn stayed in with speaker who claimed Jews drink blood
Last night it was revealed the hate-filled gathering that Mr Corbyn attended with 200 others featured a number of figures who have made sick comments about Jews.

One, Osama Hamdan, a Hamas representative in Lebanon, shared a platform with Corbyn.

He said just before the conference in an interview that the anti-Semitic myth that Jews drank blood was “not a figment of imagination or something taken from a film. It is fact.”

Former Tunisian foreign office minister Othman Jerandi also spoke at the conference, and claimed: "Israel and Isis are the same thing."

Another speaker was Anouar Gharbi from the Muslim Brotherhood.

Also in attendance was Ramsey Clark, the former US attorney general who represented Saddam Hussein in his trial for crimes against humanity, and Serbian President Slobodan Milošević.

Listed at the conference to speak was Hamas co-founder Mahmoud al-Zahar.

The hotel boasts a huge events space where 200 guests came to the conference - organised under the patronage of the the President of the Tunisia

He has claimed that killing Jewish kids is “legitimate” and called for Israel to be annihilated.

At the conference, Hamas’ second-in-command Mousa Marzook was also listed, despite his designation as a terrorist by America.

The Labour boss called for Hamas to be removed from Britain’s list of banned terror groups and even referred to them as “friends” - something he later said he regretted.
Morning Star 'Bogus' Anti-Semitism Exploited By 'Wealthy and Powerful Circles'
Not so much a dog whistle in this Morning Star editorial, and more of a foghorn. Apparently “wealthy and powerful circles” are traducing the Palestinian cause and exploiting “the bogus anti-semitism furore” surrounding Jeremy Corbyn. The editorial then goes on to attack the Munich widows. Who could they possibly mean by “wealthy and powerful circles”?

Did Jeremy Corbyn visit the Knesset to free nuclear secret seller Vanunu?
UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn may have visited the Knesset in 1998 to campaign for the early release of nuclear secret leaker Mordechai Vanunu.

Earlier this week, Corbyn came under fire when photos of him laying a wreath at the graves of the perpetrators of the 1972 Munich Olympics Massacre, together with a leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which was behind numerous terrorist attacks on Israelis. Then, despite the photographic evidence, his spokespeople said that Corbyn did not participate in the wreath-laying.

“I’ve met many people from the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, over the years, I’ve visited the Knesset, I’ve met visiting Israeli delegations when they’ve been to Britain,” Corbyn said on UK’s Channel 4 News on Tuesday, when asked if he ever put a wreath for Israeli terror victims or shared a platform with Israeli government members.

The Jerusalem Post’s archive has one mention of a meeting between Corbyn and a member of Knesset in Israel, on April 19, 1998.

At that time, Corbyn was deeply involved in efforts to secure the early release of Vanunu, who was imprisoned in 1987 for revealing Israeli nuclear secrets to The Sunday Times of London.

Corbyn, who was a joint vice-chairman of the British Parliament’s human rights groups, met with then-Knesset State Control Committee chairman and Labor MK Yossi Katz.

The Corbyn Challenge for Progressives
While the extent of their influence is debatable, there’s no question that two avowed socialists — Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and New York contender for a House seat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — are being treated as the rock stars of the party. That shows the appeal of the left for those who style themselves as progressives. It also shows the power of intersectional ideology — in which the struggles against prejudice at home are seen as linked to those of Third World peoples against the West — which to one extent or another people like Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez, and many of those organizing the anti-Trump “resistance” have embraced.

For anyone who succumbs to the appeal of intersectionality, Israel is a villain. That assertion goes a long way toward understanding why a progressive like Corbyn makes common cause with so many Jew-haters, while denying rights to Jews that he would never think of refusing to any other people. While criticism of Israel isn’t necessarily antisemitic, opposing Israel’s right to exist or to defend itself is clearly defined as antisemitism. Yet when faced with complaints about Corbyn’s antisemitic tendencies time after time, most of the British left has circled the wagons around him and isolated the Jewish community.

Even worse, if he achieves power, Corbyn will be seen as the model for left-wing politicians around the world, including Americans who long for a challenger to Trump who will be as brutal to their opponents as the president.

It’s doubtful that Democrats would nominate anyone as radical as Corbyn in the foreseeable future. Even though he’s similar in many ways to Sanders, Corbyn is much more extreme. But if the party continues to drift away from a position of support for Israel as the stands of their two Socialist rock stars and other prominent left-wingers indicates, that means progressives must be on their guard to avoid falling into the same ideological trap as the Brits.
British Labour Party Crackup: A Warning of Things to Come
Warning for America

The Labour Party proves that even middle-of-the-road parties can go rogue. Can the same thing happen here? Sadly, there are disturbing trends within the Democratic Party. Hillary Clinton's leaked campaign emails showed how she wanted to play down talk of Israel during large rallies, an acknowledgment of anti-Israel attitudes among the crowds. At a townhall in 2014, Bernie Sanders' milquetoast remark about how Gazans used some of the construction materials Israel sent them to build terror tunnels was met with outrage. Queens County primary winner Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is only the most prominent of a number of Democratic up-and-comers who openly criticize Israel.

A Pew Research Center survey conducted in mid-January found that the percentage of Democrats who sympathize more with Israel than the Palestinians dropped from 38 percent in 2001 to 27 percent in 2018. Among those who identify as "liberal" Democrats the number is still more dramatic—from 48 percent in 2001 to 19 percent in 2018.

These are worrying numbers. Anti-Israelism is more than a gateway drug to anti-Semitism. It is the new anti-Semitism. American Jewish leaders who should be warning of the danger are focused on far right-wing anti-Semitism, far less dangerous today, while the more popular, virulent kind spreads directly under their noses and in the party to which nearly all of them belong.

Jeremy Corbyn is either deeply sinister – or a total idiot
And yet the Momentum groupies swallow it whole, being possessed — one suspects — of the same strand of committed anti–Semitism as their leader. And these stories are cropping up at a rate of one every couple of days, Jezza’s past coming back to haunt him — and always met by the same response. By the time you read this it will probably emerge that he was caught on CCTV in 2014 putting a brick through a synagogue window and running away screaming ‘Intifada!’ Excuse no. 1: ‘It wasn’t me. This is fake news!’ Excuse no. 2: ‘I did put the brick through the window, in order to check that the glass was secure from possible attack by anti-Semites.’

The clincher, of course, comes in his ad hominem explanation for all of these offensive and revelatory transgressions. Sometimes, in the search for peace, it is necessary for one to mix with people who perhaps hold unsavoury views, who may themselves not always have been pristine vis-à-vis murdering innocent people. To achieve peace, we must engage in dialogue. The same kind of utter cant that the man came out with to explain away his appearance at an event to honour IRA terrorists and his decades spent fellating the leaders of Sinn Fein/IRA. Well, on the face of it, sure, perhaps. Although laying wreaths for murderers and doing the ol’ Muslim Brotherhood hand gesture might be considered overstepping the limits of a Dialogue For Peace.

But what Corbyn has never done is meet with the other side. He will not meet with the Israeli government, ever. He has not done so. The last Labour party trip to Israel commended itself for not meeting a single figure within the Israeli government. Corbyn himself declined even to meet Benjamin Netanyahu when he visited Britain. So the dialogue for peace stuff is a downright, absolute lie. He is an anti-Semite who, furthermore, is happy to suck up to whatever foul ideology is opposed to this country’s interests or the interests of western democracy. Cuba, Venezuela, Soviet Russia, Black September, Hamas, Hezbollah, the IRA. You name a crock of purulent, murderous, anti-democratic, racist shit — and he’ll be for it.

Oh — and the BBC. Nice of you, auntie, to cover the story of the wreath-laying two days later than everyone else did. I have a screen shot of BBC News online on the day the papers were carrying the Corbyn story. As both Guido Fawkes and later the Daily Mail pointed out, there were no fewer than six stories about Boris Johnson making a joke about letterboxes and none at all about Jezza. Get rid of the licence fee, now. The level of bias has become absurd.
Yisrael Medad: What's the Big Deal About Corbyn and UK Labour?
With the help of friends, a list in no particular order or prominence:

A by no means exhaustive time line of antisemitsm within the Labour Party H/T Spectator blog
1. Corbyn came to the defence of Sheikh Raed Salah, who revived the medieval anti-Semitic ‘blood libel’ slur that Jews cook with children’s blood. Salah was arrested by British police in 2011 when he was due to speak at an event in the House of Commons – alongside Corbyn. In 2012 Corbyn called Salah ‘a very honoured citizen’.

2. Labour Students at Oxford University Labour Club mocked the Jewish victims of the Paris kosher supermarket attack, called Auschwitz a ‘cash cow’, and used the Neo-Nazi slur ‘Zio’, according to extensive testimony from Jewish students. After months of obfuscation, including an NEC decision to not publish a party report that concluded there had been ‘some incidents’ of anti-Semitic behaviour, Labour’s NEC decided not to discipline the key perpetrators.

3. A Jewish Labour MP, Ruth Smeeth, was sent a 1,000 word death threat from a Corbyn-supporter calling her a ‘yid c–t’. The threat followed Smeeth’s decision to walk out of a meeting outlining Labour’s response to anti-semitism because she was accused of working ‘hand in hand with the right-wing media to attack Jeremy’. Smeeth then received 20,000 abusive messages and has since questioned whether Labour is still ‘a safe space for British Jews’.
CAA adds Jeremy Corbyn’s Muslim Brotherhood salute to its latest complaint to the Labour Party
A photograph has emerged of Jeremy Corbyn performing the Muslim Brotherhood salute. According to The Daily Telegraph, Mr Corbyn performed the so-called Rabbi’ah sign during a visit to Finsbury Park Mosque in London.

A Government report on the Muslim Brotherhood published in 2015 found that it was linked to Hamas, that “Senior members of the Muslim Brotherhood routinely use virulent, antisemitic language”, that it “conducted attacks…against Egyptian state targets and both British and Jewish interests”, that it “has inspired many terrorist organisations, including…Al Qaida and its offshoots” and that aspects of it “have been contrary to our national interests and our national security”.

Responding to the report at the time, then Prime Minister David Cameron said: “The main findings of the review support the conclusion that membership of, association with, or influence by the Muslim Brotherhood should be considered as a possible indicator of extremism.”

A Labour Party spokesman denied that Mr Corbyn was performing the Muslim Brotherhood’s salute in support of the Muslim Brotherhood however, stating that Mr Corbyn was “standing up for democracy, justice and the right to protest in Egypt”, adding that “The four fingered gesture is a well-known symbol of solidarity with the victims of the 2013 Rabaa massacre in Cairo.”
Williamson Avoids Question NINE Times on Newsnight
In his interview with Evan Davis last night, over the course of nine questions Chris Williamson failed to answer why or whether Corbyn laid a wreath on the graves of Black September terrorists who died in 1991/1992, instead trying to pivot, obfuscate, confuse, and bewilder, repeating the line that Corbyn was there to commemorate those killed in an Israeli air attack in 1985, deliberately avoiding the actual questions being asked.

Reviewing BBC Radio 4 coverage of Corbyn wreath laying story – part one
Blake then came up with a politicised description of terrorists and failed once again to provide BBC audiences with the context to the 1985 operation.

Blake: “Not for the first time Jeremy Corbyn’s attendance at a cemetery commemorating those who’ve died in pursuit of the Palestinian cause has been questioned. When this visit was criticised during last year’s general election campaign, Mr Corbyn said he had laid a wreath to commemorate the victims of an Israeli air strike on the headquarters of the PLO in Tunisia in 1985 and he confirmed that again today. The accusation against Mr Corbyn – which has seen the Home Secretary call for him to resign – is whether he took part in a ceremony where a wreath was laid at the graves of those accused of carrying out the attack on the Munich Olympics where 11 Israeli athletes were held hostage and killed. Mr Corbyn was asked about that on a visit to the West Midlands this afternoon.”

Corbyn: “I was present when it was laid. I don’t think I was actually involved in it. I was there because I wanted to see a fitting memorial to everyone who’s died in every terrorist incident everywhere because we have to end it. You cannot pursue peace by a cycle of violence. The only way you pursue peace is a cycle of dialogue.”

Yet again Blake found it necessary to mention a British MP’s ethnicity/religion and once again he amplified a Labour Party claim that had already been shown to be false.

Blake: “Saying that he didn’t think he was involved is unlikely to satisfy Mr Corbyn’s critics. The Jewish Labour MP Luciana Berger, who has been critical of Mr Corbyn’s handling of the antisemitism row within the party, said ‘being present is the same as being involved’ and asked ‘where is the apology?’. In response to the Daily Mail publishing criticism from the wives of those killed in the Munich massacre, a Labour Party spokesperson said their widows were being misled. Jeremy Corbyn did not honour those responsible for the Munich killings.”

So much for the BBC’s obligation to provide its funding public with “accurate and impartial news, current affairs and factual programming of the highest editorial standards so that all audiences can engage fully with issues across the UK and the world”.
Reviewing BBC Radio 4 coverage of Corbyn wreath laying story – part two
In part one of this post we looked at how the story of the UK Labour Party leader’s participation in an event in Tunisia in 2014 that had been the subject of a report in a British newspaper three days earlier was presented to the BBC’s domestic audience on BBC Radio 4 on the evening of August 13th.

Later the same evening the BBC Radio 4 programme ‘The World Tonight’ also aired a long item on the same story:

“Jeremy Corbyn attacked by Benjamin Netanyahu — over laying a wreath in memory of Palestinians suspected of 1972 Munich massacre.”

In her introduction to the item (from 16:28 here) presenter Ritula Shah managed to twist a story that first emerged in 2017 and was again taken up by a British newspaper in recent days into an ‘accusation’ from the Israeli prime minister. [emphasis in italics in the original, emphasis in bold added]

Shah: “The Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has criticized Jeremy Corbyn and accused him of laying a wreath on the grave of one of those behind the Munich Olympics massacre in 1972 in which 11 Israeli athletes died. A photo of Mr Corbyn holding a wreath at the Palestinian Martyrs’ Cemetery in Tunisia in 2014 was published by the Daily Mail. The events of 1972 shocked the world. Here’s a flavour of how the BBC reported the event at the time.”
Corbynistas Tell Each Other To Throw Their TVs In the Bin in Protest at BBC
A new #BBCswitchoff hashtag is sweping across the more loopy sections of Twitter, as Corbynistas attempt to organise a mass boycott of the Beeb tonight. Supporters are saying the BBC is ‘infested’ with ‘Zionists’, is a tool of ‘Conservative propaganda’, and that the licence fee should go to Channel 4 instead. Some are even calling on each other to throw their TVs in the bin…

And of course Corbynistas’ favourite impartial TV channel is chiming in on the act:

European Debating Tournament Bans National-Origin Discrimination After Qatari Team Boycotts Israeli Champions
A European debating tournament changed its constitution on Monday to prohibit discrimination based on nationality, after Israeli participants were boycotted by peers from Qatar in an episode condemned by organizers.

The amendment was proposed by Israeli debaters after two students from Qatar University refused to face challengers from Israeli universities at the European Universities Debating Championship (EUDC) 2018 in Serbia, which took place from July 31 through August 5, i24NEWS first reported.

The Israeli delegation — made up of several teams each from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv University, Haifa University, Technion, IDC Herzliya, and Open University of Israel — was repeatedly rebuffed by the Qatari team, which called Israel an “apartheid state” and expressed support for the Palestinian-led boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign.

When first facing an Israeli team during round three of the nine-part competition, the Qatari representatives — Mazen Nashat Mohamed Abdelfattah and Abdelrahman Elsayed — tried to step down from the debate, but were warned by officials that doing so would make them ineligible to participate in the rest of the competition. They decided instead to use “their 7 minutes to make a statement condemning Israel instead of engaging with the debate,” EUDC’s Equity Team explained in a subsequent report.
Defying ‘Intimidation’ by BDS Advocates Protesting Israeli Sponsorship, Berlin Music Festival Gets Underway
Organizers of a major music and arts festival in Berlin continued to defy anti-Israel activists protesting its sponsorship by the Israeli Embassy in Germany as the three-day event opened on Wednesday.

In a statement, the organizers of the Pop-Kultur Festival affirmed that they would not be “intimidated” by boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) activists who object to the embassy’s presence among its dozens of corporate, government and private foundation sponsors.

“This type of cooperation is common practice at festivals, exhibitions and events of all genres in international cultural exchange,” the festival said.

It stressed the “festival’s role in overcoming boundaries and creating room for dialogue.”

A showcase for cutting-edge musical groups, DJ’s and visual artists, performers at this year’s festival include rapper Ms. Banks, punk-era legend Vivien Goldman and singers Ava Bonam and Neneh Cherry. But in July, six artists announced that they were withdrawing from the festival after the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) — a group formed in 2004 to oppose “Israel’s colonial oppression of the Palestinian people…based on Zionist ideology” — protested the involvement of the Israeli Embassy in Berlin.
BBC misleads on Gaza athletes travel
While issues have arisen in the past when applications for travel permits were not submitted in time, there is certainly no blanket ban on travel for athletes (or coaches) as viewers of this report are led to believe. Notably, the BBC did not offer its audiences any context concerning the reasons behind the need for counter-terrorism measures such as permits to enter Israel for residents of an enclave run by a terrorist organisation.

According to the International Association of Athletics Federations another runner from the Gaza Strip – Mohammed Abu Khousa – took part in events in France in 2014, in Qatar in 2016 and in Tunisia in 2017, among others. Abu Khousa also participated in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

Even a grossly one-sided AP report from April of this year acknowledged that a delegation of athletes from the Gaza Strip attended – albeit belatedly – the 2018 Arab Junior Athletics Championships held in Jordan.

As those two small examples show, the BBC promoted claim that “no athlete from Gaza has been able to take part in any event outside” since 2014 is clearly inaccurate and misleading.
Vox: Explaining the News, Improvising on the Facts
Vox just makes things up.

It might not be on purpose. The website’s young journalists might truly believe what they’re telling us. But what they’re telling us is too often egregiously false. At times the errors are so careless that it seems Vox reporters are improvising their way through a story, so convinced of their qualification to “candidly shepherd audiences” to insight, as Vox’s “About Us” page puts it, that they don’t bother looking where they’re leading us.

It’s fearless reporting, but not in a good way. Perhaps the most famous example of Vox boldly marching into error was its description of Israeli restrictions on free movement on a bridge connecting the Gaza Strip with the West Bank. These two Palestinian population centers, explained Vox’s Zack Beauchamp, are “connected only by a bridge that Israel limits traffic on.” As Vox later was forced to acknowledge, there is no such bridge. The author had misread something he saw online, he said.

Other absurdities followed. In an Aug. 2017 podcast, Vox’s foreign editor claimed the Gaza Strip had once been controlled by the Kingdom of Jordan (it never was); that Israeli politician Avigdor Lieberman is the country’s foreign minister (he wasn’t at the time); and that “top-tier” hospitals in West Bank settlements don’t admit Palestinians (there are no such hospitals in settlements, only medical centers and clinics — at which Palestinians certainly do get treatment). An online article that same month categorized the Arab-Israeli conflict as “one of the world’s longest-running, and most violent, political disputes,” though it was responsible for a mere 1/10 of one percent of the world’s conflict-related deaths a year earlier.
Malaysian leader says anti-Semitism ‘invented to prevent criticism of Jews’
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said Monday that the term anti-Semitism was invited to stop people from criticizing Jews for any wrongdoing, making them the only race that is beyond reproach.

Mahathir, who has been accused of holding anti-Semitic views in the past, said he was not against Jews but was criticizing their actions.

“There is one race that cannot be criticized,” he said in an interview with the Associated Press. “If you are anti-Semitic, it seems almost as if you are a criminal … anti-Semitic is a term that is invented to prevent people from criticizing the Jews for doing wrong things.”

“When somebody does wrong, I don’t care how big they are. They may be powerful countries but if they do something wrong, I exercise my right of free speech. They criticize me, why can’t I criticize them?” Mahathir said.
Vietnam and Israel: The First 25 Years
Israel and Vietnam just marked their first 25 years of diplomatic relations. There is now a strong potential for further economic and diplomatic improvement that could provide significant benefits to both sides.

On July 12, 1993 — more than 25 years ago — Israel established diplomatic relations with Vietnam. Continued good relations can offer both countries significant economic and political benefits.

Vietnam is a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), an organization of 10 states and almost 650 million people. Israel has diplomatic and economic relations with several members of the ASEAN, a body that has developed into an important economic player in Southeast Asia over the years.

Diplomatic and economic relations with Vietnam allow Israel to improve trade not just with other ASEAN members with which it has diplomatic relations, but also with states with which it does not. Vietnam has become a channel through which Israel can trade with the Muslim world in the region, without facing political and ideological barriers. Improving trade with Vietnam will also help Israel gain access to other states beyond Southeast Asia that Hanoi has diplomatic relations with.
IsraellyCool: India at 72: Why India-Israel Relations Matter
As millions of Indians in the subcontinent and the diaspora mark the 72nd Independence Day, bilateral ties between India and Israel are at an all time high. Diplomatic relations, established a quarter of a century ago, have paved the way for a wide-ranging cooperation in the areas of defense, commerce and technology.

Last month, both countries launched a $40 million joint research fund aimed at promoting private sector cooperation in fields ranging from affordable healthcare to improving telecommunications networks. Small as the governmental initiative may be, it is designed to act as an incubator for jointly developed solutions with commercial viability and industrial demands in mind.

The Indian private sector has already taken steps in this direction. Indian multinational Tata Group is working on a similar model with Tel Aviv University (TAU), translating academic research into industrial solutions. The conglomerate currently manages a $5 million fund at TAU’s technology transfer company Ramot and mulls scaling it up to $20 million.

Venture capital arms of Indian information technology firms such as Infosys, Mahindra Tech and Wipro are also eyeing the Israeli start-up ecosystem for disruptive technology solutions and talent.
Former Indian leader who oversaw improved ties with Israel dies
Former Indian prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, a Hindu nationalist who set off a nuclear arms race with rival Pakistan but later reached across the border to begin a groundbreaking peace process, died on Thursday after a prolonged illness. He was 93.

The All India Institute of Medical Sciences, where Vajpayee had been hospitalized for more than two months for treatment of a kidney infection and chest congestion, announced his death.

Vajpayee, a leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party, suffered a stroke in 2009.

The Israeli embassy in New Delhi put out a short statement on Twitter expressing its condolences over Vajpayee’s death.

Under Vajpayee’s leadership, ties blossomed between India and Israel, culminating in the late prime minister Ariel Sharon’s 2003 visit to the country, the first by an Israeli premier.
Lana del Rey appearing in Israel
Four years after she canceled a show in Israel, singer Lana del Rey will be heading to the Holy Land to perform next month.

According to Channel 2 News, the American singer/songwriter will be appearing as part of the three-day Meteor Festival taking place next month on a kibbutz in the North.

Del Rey - who is responsible for such hits as "Summertime Sadness" and "Young and Beautiful" - was scheduled to perform her first ever Israel show in August 2014. But the show was canceled earlier that month as Operation Protective Edge showed no signs of ending.

The Meteor Festival - an unprecedented event for Israel - already has an impressive lineup of international acts, including rapper Pusha T, DJ Flying Lotus and jazz saxophonist Kamasi Washington.

The three-day event is scheduled to take place at Kibbutz Lehavot Habashan, just over 10km. from the border with Lebanon.
Tumors to meet a frozen end at private Haifa hospital
A private Israeli hospital in Haifa will start using IceCure Medical Ltd.’s tumor freezing technology within the next few months to fight benign breast tumors and cancerous kidney tumors without the need for surgery, the Israeli medical devices firm said.

The firm, whose shares are traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, said Wednesday that commercial treatment of its product will start for the first time in Israel at the Elisha Hospital, using the startup’s ProSense system.

IceCure in May reported (Hebrew) results of a breast cancer trial that showed a low rate of cancer recurrence of cancer after treatment using its IceSense3 system, an earlier version of ProSense.

The treatment lasts for 20 to 40 minutes in a clinic, without surgery.

The trial, conducted in 18 clinics in the US, consisted of 146 patients with low-risk breast cancer, with only one patient showing a recurrence of the cancer. Seventy-six percent of patients returned to full daily activities 48 hours after the treatment and 95% of patients and doctors reported satisfaction with the cosmetic results, the company said in a statement.
IsraellyCool: WATCH: The Angel (The Egyptian Spy Who Saved Israel)
Netflix has released an official trailer for a spy thriller titled The Angel, which tells the true story of Ashraf Marwan, who was Egyptian President Nasser’s son-in-law, a special advisor and confidant to Anwar Sadat, AND one of Israeli Intelligence’s most precious assets of the 20th century.

Here’s the trailer.

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