Monday, August 20, 2018

From Ian:

US PepsiCo to buy Israel’s SodaStream for $3.2 billion in cash
PepsiCo Inc., the US-based drinks, food, and snacks giant, is acquiring Israel’s SodaStream, a home seltzer machine company, for $3.2 billion in cash.

In a statement on Monday, the US company said it had acquired all of the outstanding shares of SodaStream for $144 per share in cash, a 32% premium on its 30-day volume weighted average price.

“PepsiCo and SodaStream are an inspired match,” PepsiCo chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi, who earlier this month said she plans to step down, said in a statement.

The Israeli company makes “great-tasting beverages” while reducing the amount of waste generated, she said. And this is aligned with PepsiCo’s philosophy of “making more nutritious products while limiting our environmental footprint,” added Nooyi.

The deal will enable PepsiCo to reach customers at home, rather than just at stores, CNBC reported, and comes as grocers are witnessing changes in purchasing trends, with more shoppers buying their products online.

“Today marks an important milestone in the SodaStream journey,” Daniel Birnbaum, the SodaStream CEO, said in the statement. “It is validation of our mission to bring healthy, convenient and environmentally friendly beverage solutions to consumers around the world.”

The SodaStream team will have access to PepsiCo’s capabilities and resources to take the firm to “the next level,” he said.
PepsiCo says SodaStream to stay local, as buzz builds around $3.2b ‘entrance’
At the start of a press conference held by SodaStream and PepsiCo in Tel Aviv on Monday, after the announcement of the US giant’s $3.2 billion cash acquisition of the Israeli home seltzer machine company, SodaStream’s CEO said he wanted to begin with a statement in Hebrew.

Daniel Birnbaum recounted the story of the Exodus, a ship that carried Jewish immigrants, most of whom were Holocaust survivors, from France to British Mandatory Palestine in 1947. They were sent back to Europe and some were killed after British soldiers boarded the ship, stopping their entry to Israel.

Twenty-two years later, Birnbaum’s father, Ervin, a Holocaust survivor from Czechoslovakia and one of the ship’s passengers, immigrated to Israel and settled in the Negev, in Sde Boker, with his wife.

“Who would have believed, father,” Birnbaum said, visibly moved, as he looked across the hall past the scribbling journalists to his two parents, proudly sitting in the audience, “that after the Holocaust and all that you went through, after you lost 30 members of your family, you got to enjoy this moment,” in which the “ashes of the Holocaust have been transformed into a moment of glory and pride” for his son and for Israel.
Five times SodaStream bubbled over in the headlines
SodaStream, the Israeli carbonated drink making company which was sold Monday to PepsiCo for $3.2 billion, hasn’t been a stranger to being in the headlines in recent years. Here are five instances when the company, and not its product, became the story.

1. Scarlett Johansson controversy
Scarlett Johansson, the A-level American actress signed on as a celebrity endorsement for SodaStream in 2014, appearing in a number of advertisements. However, she ran into some non-carbonated hot water when Oxfam, the food charity for which she served as global ambassador expressed its disapproval due to SodaStream’s main factory being situated in Mishor Adumim in the West Bank.

Johansson hit back by resigning from her Oxfam position and issuing a statement defending her role with SodaStream.

“While I never intended on being the face of any social or political movement, distinction, separation or stance as part of my affiliation with SodaStream, given the amount of noise surrounding that decision, I’d like to clear the air,” she said.

”I remain a supporter of economic cooperation and social interaction between a democratic Israel and Palestine. SodaStream is a company that is not only committed to the environment but to building a bridge to peace between Israel and Palestine, supporting neighbors working alongside each other, receiving equal pay, equal benefits and equal rights. That is what is happening in their Ma’aleh Adumim factory every working day.”

2. SodaStream at the Super Bowl
A TV ad for SodaStream with Scarlett Johansson was set to make a big splash on American TV during the airing of Super Bowl XLVIII in February 2014.

However, because the ad referred directly to the game’s main sponsors Coke and Pepsi by name, and in a critical fashion for creating unnecessary waste with their products, a decision was made to censor the ad.
Netanyahu praises Pepsi acquisition of SodaStream
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu praised the acquisition of Israeli company SodaStream for $3.2 billion by PepsiCo Monday.

"The recent major acquisitions of Israeli companies prove not only the technological capabilities that have been developed in Israel but the business capabilities as well," Netanyahu said. "I welcome this huge deal that will enrich the state treasury and also the important decision to keep the company in Israel."

PepsiCo, which produces not only Pepsi Cola but a wide range of snacks, beverages, and other food products ranging from Lipton Teas to Cheetos to Quaker brand oatmeal products, announced Monday morning its plans to acquire SodaStream at $144 a share – a 32% premium over SodaStream’s estimated stock value before the deal.

SodaStream, which was initially based in the town of Mishor Adumim, east of Jerusalem, relocated across the Green Line in 2015 to pre-1967 Israel following boycott threats, laying off some 500 Palestinian Authority residents it had employed.

How to Misread Antisemitism
The best illustration of this is the very same argument that Almond chooses to defend from the charge of antisemitism; namely, that Israel is the outcome of a “racist endeavor,” a favorite theme of the Corbynite left. This argument has historically been the preserve of anti-democratic ideologies and regimes. As early as 1965, Soviet diplomats at the United Nations were bracketing Zionism with Nazism; a decade later, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution spearheaded by a coalition of communist and authoritarian member states that equated Zionism with “apartheid” and “racism.” Publishing houses in Moscow pumped out cheap booklets that often ended up on Western university campuses in which the reader would learn that Zionism was a natural extension of the “Jewish exclusivism” fostered by the Talmud. Similar propaganda appeared in the Arab media, usually accompanied by lurid cartoons of hook-nosed Israeli soldiers driving innocent Palestinians from their homes in Nazi-like fashion.

One might counter that not everyone who presents Israel as a “racist endeavor” is driven by the same motives — strategic, diplomatic, ideological — that the USSR was when it adopted antisemitism in the name of anti-Zionism. Perhaps. But to make the case, one is still forced to rely on the same arguments. If Israel should, as Almond astonishingly advocates, be presented as a “settler-colonial” project to school students encountering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for the very first time, how is that to be done in a way that doesn’t jeopardize attitudes to local Jewish communities? If Israel is to be portrayed as a rogue state of global proportions, whose inhabitants have essentially fabricated their historic and spiritual links to the territory which they now occupy at the expense of the indigenous Arabs, how can such an argument possibly avoid antisemitic tropes about Jewish wealth, Jewish political influence, and ingrained Jewish exclusivism? And if the Palestinians are to be portrayed as ongoing victims of ethnic cleansing by Jews (and Jews alone), then how can one neatly separate the opposition to Zionism from the antisemitism?

The short answer is that you can’t.

That’s because the “racist endeavor” portrait of Israel, however much one encounters it in Middle East Studies departments, is grounded on the antisemitic trope of a distinctly “Jewish” dishonesty — in which schmaltzy, disingenuous appeals for public sympathy, ruthless political lobbying, the strategic use of financial wealth, and overbearing military might are the essential elements in the story of Israel’s creation, as well as its ongoing existence. If Almond and those who agree with him want to protect Diaspora Jewish communities and achieve concrete progress for the Palestinians, the proper question they should ask themselves is whether their discourse about Israel is helping either of those goals.
The Danger of Rashida Tlaib
Rashida Tlaib’s primary victory in Detroit’s 13th Congressional district is daunting for Israel supporters in the US and abroad. In a matter of months, Tlaib will have sizable influence to effect change on an issue central to her heritage (she is a “Palestinian-American”), with a voice infallibly slated against Israel.

Following her primary victory, Tlaib has lambasted Israel on a slew of topics. In the past few days alone, she’s called for US aid to Israel to be cut, expressed support for the BDS movement, and endorsed a one-state solution.

I spoke with Tlaib’s campaign manager, Steve Tobocman, ahead of the primaries, and he stated that Tlaib supports a two-state solution — which she has now contradicted. He also stated that Tlaib supported a foreign aid budget to Israel, another position that she changed after the primary election. Tobocman did not immediately respond to my request for clarification on Tlaib’s policies.

Yet Tlaib’s recent rhetoric and past actions are indicative of her genuine beliefs on the conflict.

Tlaib was a keynote speaker at one of Detroit’s largest BDS rallies in 2014, long before her Congressional bid. The rally drew tens of thousands chanting “Free Palestine” while waving Palestinian flags. Also speaking at the event was Dawud Walid, who heads up the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and once said, “Who are those that incur the wrath of Allah? They are the Jews, they are the Jews.”
David Horovitz: Corbyn, who sought Israel’s demise, is an anti-Semite. Labour must kick him out
Jeremy Corbyn, the head of the Labour Party — which was once the natural political home of what was a working class Jewish community — is not a shoo-in to win the next elections. But since he led Labour to a far better than expected performance in last year’s vote, and since the governing Conservative Party seems determined to clear his path to 10 Downing Street — by tearing itself apart in a paroxysm of infighting and incompetence, largely over Britain’s decision to pull out of the European Union — the prospect of a prime minister Corbyn is thoroughly real.

Corbyn’s Labour has become a hothouse of anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism — in its leader’s radical hard-left image. His defense and that of his loyalists, when accused of failing to tackle the blight, is to attempt to distinguish between the two: Yes, they proudly acknowledge, Corbyn and many others in Labour are deeply critical of Israel and its policies regarding the Palestinians, but the allegations of anti-Semitism are not merely unfounded but are being deliberately manufactured in order to silence their legitimate criticisms of the Jewish state.

Iranian ayatollah-style, they would have us believe that they loathe Israel but have nothing whatsoever against the Jews.

It is in this context that I found a throwaway mention last week to Corbyn’s sponsorship in the 1980s of a group called the Labour Movement Campaign for Palestine illuminating and horrifying.

The official platform of this group declared its “opposition to the Zionist state as racist, exclusivist, expansionist and a direct agency of imperialism.” A conference it held in 1984 demanded that the Labour Party’s key institutions “support the Palestinian people in their struggle for a democratic and secular state in the whole of Palestine.” (My italics.) In case anyone missed the point, the Labour Movement Campaign for Palestine proclaimed in the materials that it published for that 1984 event that it sought nothing less than “to eradicate Zionism.”
Labour head Corbyn sat on panel alongside Hamas terror leaders in 2012
UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn sat on a panel at a 2012 conference in Doha with several Palestinian terrorists sentenced for murder, according to a Sunday report, the latest in a series of exposés showing the embattled British politician alongside Palestinian terror groups.

At the conference, Corbyn shared the platform with then Hamas head Khaled Mashaal, who is on the UK sanctions list, the Daily Telegraph reported Sunday.

Another terrorist at the event was the former leader of Hamas’s military wing, Husam Badran.

As head of the armed wing, Badram oversaw a number of bombings by the terror group during the Second Intifada, including the 2001 bombings of Sbarro Pizza in Jerusalem which killed 15 people, and the Dolphinariam Discotheque in Tel Aviv, which killed 21.

Another participant was Abdul Aziz Umar, who received seven life sentences for his involvement in the 2003 bombing of Jerusalem’s Cafe Hillel, in which seven people were killed.

Badran and Umar were freed from Israeli jails in 2011, less than a year before the conference, as part of the prisoner exchange for the return of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.
EXCLUSIVE: Jeremy Corbyn’s secret trip to Israel to meet Hamas
Jeremy Corbyn visited Israel and the West Bank in November 2010 with an Islamist lobby group to meet senior Hamas officials, and failed to declare the funding for the trip in violation of parliamentary rules, i24NEWS can reveal.

The Labour leader, then a backbencher, made the trip from 5-9 November 2010 as part of a delegation with Islamist lobby group Middle East Monitor (MEMO) and met two groups of Hamas parliamentarians.

But there is no record of Corbyn’s visit to Israel in the British Parliament’s Register of Members’ Financial Interests, even though a colleague on the trip declared that the it cost above the threshold required for MPs to report gifts.

Rules at the time required MPs to declare any gifts above £660 ($840). Corbyn's fellow Labour MP Andrew Slaughter declared the total cost of flights and accommodation for the same trip as £927, which he said was paid for by Friends of Al-Aqsa and Middle East Monitor.

MEMO has since deleted evidence of Corbyn’s visit from the internet, but i24NEWS obtained its original report. The document refers to Israel as “the Zionist state” and accuses it of “apartheid”, charging it with performing “ethnic cleansing” in Jerusalem and planning “a forced mass Palestinian expulsion from the area”. It also calls for international pressure on Israel, which it says could include Boycotts, Divestments, and Sanctions (BDS).
Jewish UK Labour group says leaders censored material on anti-Semitism
A Jewish group affiliated with Britain’s Labour movement has accused the heads of the left-wing party of trying to “censor” material it had planned on presenting at a conference in September.

Amid charges that the party condones anti-Semitism and harsh anti-Israel rhetoric, the group had planned on presenting a training session making reference to two Labour members accused of anti-Semitism.

But Ivor Caplin, chair of the Jewish Labour Movement, said the group had withdrawn from the planned training session because its “content was censored.”

He accused Labour party officials of acting “in a manner to deliberately undermine” their efforts and “add to further tension,” The Independent reported.

At issue was Labour’s decision last month to adopt parts of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of anti-Semitism, but to exclude portions that specifically related to the ways anti-Israel activism can be seen as anti-Semitic. The Jewish Labour Movement had planned to discuss ways in which party members had crossed the line between anti-Israel rhetoric and anti-Semitism.

Palestinians hail Corbyn for refusal to ‘give in’ on anti-Semitism definition
The Palestinian Authority is backing the British Labour Party over its controversial adoption of a definition of anti-Semitism that does not include Israel criticism and has called on party leader Jeremy Corbyn not to “give in” to pressure to change it.

The definition adopted by Labour, which strips out clauses from the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition dealing with criticism of Israel, has been met with anger from British Jewry and further added to criticism the party has been soft on dealing with anti-Semitism under Corbyn.

Manuel Hassassian, the PA’s ambassador to the United Kingdom, hailed Corbyn for his “principled stance” on the matter, the UK Times newspaper reported on Monday.

“Pro-Israeli interest groups in Britain are using the anti-Semitism row to silence criticism of Israel,” Hassassian was quoted saying.

He applauded Labour for not adopting the full IHRA definition, under which he claims “accusations of racism against Israel could be deemed anti-Semitic.”
Britain's Labour Party accused of censoring antisemitic material
A Jewish group affiliated with Britain’s Labour movement has accused the heads of the left-wing faction of trying to “censor” material it had planned on presenting at a party conference in September.

Amid charges that the party condones antisemitism and harsh anti-Israel rhetoric, the group had planned on presenting a training session making reference to two Labour members accused of antisemitism.

Ivor Caplin, chair of the Jewish Labour Movement, said the group had withdrawn from the planned training session because its “content was censored.”

He accused party officials of acting “in a manner to deliberately undermine” their efforts and “add to further tension,” The Independent reported.

At issue was Labour’s decision last month to adopt parts of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of antisemitism, but to exclude portions that specifically related to the ways anti-Israel activism can be seen as anti-Semitic. The Jewish Labour Movement had planned to discuss ways in which party members had crossed the line between anti-Israel rhetoric and antisemitism.

Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn has come under increasing scrutiny over allegations that he has both engaged in anti-Semitic behavior himself and failed to take action against anti-Semitic behavior by members of his party.
BBC R4 listeners hear more ‘contextualisation’ of Corbyn wreath-laying
Radio 4 listeners then heard part of an interview with Corbyn aired on Channel 4 News the previous day.

Corbyn: “I was there when the wreaths were laid – that’s pretty obvious. There were many others there who were witness to that. I witnessed many other people laying many wreaths.”

Reporter: “Did you lay the wreath?”

Corbyn: [sighs] “I laid one wreath along with many other people in memory – as I’ve said – of all those who died in the awful attack in 1985 which, as I keep repeating – you seem not to understand – was condemned by the whole world.”

Mardell did not bother to inform Radio 4 listeners that the strike was on the PLO’s headquarters in Tunis, that among those in whose “memory” Corbyn says he laid the wreath were members of the PLO terror group including leaders of Fatah’s ‘Force 17’ , that the strike came after a terror attack against Israeli civilians or that the local Jewish community in Tunisia was subsequently targeted, including in a shooting attack at the Synagogue in Djerba in which three people were murdered.
The BBC uncritically amplifies Corbyn’s PFLP and ‘platform’ denials
The report went on to provide readers with a link to a profile of the PFLP which was first published by the BBC following the Har Nof attack. Nearly four years on, that profile – previously discussed here – is still illustrated with an inaccurate photograph and has still not been updated to reflect the correct number of victims murdered in that attack.

“The PLFP was formed as a resistance movement after the occupation of the West Bank by Israel in 1967. It is treated as a terrorist organisation by the US and European Union.”

It is therefore unsurprising to see that this article also gives readers an inaccurate account of the number of people killed in that terror attack.

“In November 2014, two members of the group armed with axes stormed a synagogue complex in West Jerusalem and killed four rabbis – including British-born Avraham Shmuel Goldberg. According to reports at the time, it was not clear how involved the PFLP leadership had been in the attack.”

As we see, while domestic BBC audiences saw and heard multiple uncritical amplifications of Corbyn’s denials concerning Maher al Taher and his disingenuous claim that he does not share platforms with terrorists, the BBC made no effort to inform them of Corbyn’s October 2014 ‘Morning Star’ article in which he clearly stated that he had appeared at an event together with representatives of two proscribed terrorist organisations.
Bennett keeps his promise to eat at Ariel burger joint
Education Minister and Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett dined at Ariel's local 'Burgeranch' (also known as 'Burger Ranch') on Sunday, fulfilling a five-year-old promise to be one of its first customers.

In 2011, the owner of rights to the McDonald’s franchise in Israel refused to open a store in the Samarian city of Ariel, opining that the area was "disputed".

In response, the Israeli Burgeranch fast food chain, McDonald's main competitor, said that it had no problem with operating over the Green Line and promised to open a branch in the Ariel mall that was snubbed by McDonald's.

"Ariel is a major city in Israel, and there is no reason for us not to have a branch there,” Burgeranch CEO Eli Orgad told Maariv. “I will open anywhere that the state of Israel has decided that its citizens are located.”

Following Orgad's announcement, Bennett had praised Burgeranch and promised to be its first customer. "Eli Orgad, the owner of Burger Ranch, announced in response to the McDonald's boycott of the city of Ariel that he would set up a beautiful branch of Burgeranch in the city. I promise to get to eat the first burger on its opening day."
Lana Del Rey: Performing in Tel Aviv is not a political statement
Singer Lana Del Rey took to Twitter late Sunday night to defend her upcoming performance in Israel.

"I understand that many of u [sic] are upset we're going to Tel Aviv for the Meteor Festival," she wrote on the social media platform. "I understand your concern... what I can tell you is I believe music is universal and should be used to bring us together."

Earlier this week Del Rey was officially announced as part of the lineup of the Meteor Festival in early September. Despite the singer repeatedly referencing Tel Aviv in her statement, the festival is slated to take place on Kibbutz Lehavot Habashan in the North of Israel.

"We signed on to the show [with] the intention that it would be performed for the kids there and my plan was for it to be done [with] a loving energy [with] a thematic emphasis on peace," she wrote. "If you don't agree with it I get it. I see both sides."

Sydney Uni lecturer investigated for defending 'Death to Israel' badge
A controversial academic at Sydney's most prestigious university is under official investigation for defending a "death to Israel" badge worn by a Stalinist former colleague with whom he recently visited North Korea.

University of Sydney senior lecturer Tim Anderson – who has raised eyebrows with his support for Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un – came to the defence of ex-Sydney University staffer and current PhD candidate Jay Tharappel, who tutored human rights in the same department.

Mr Tharappel was photographed in a jacket bearing what Dr Anderson described as a "Yemeni (Ansarallah) badge" that said "Death to Israel".

In a tweet and Facebook post, Dr Anderson defended Mr Tharappel as a "great friend of Syria" and a "Syrian solidarity activist" who was "under attack from zionists" and "friends of Israel".

A University of Sydney spokeswoman confirmed Dr Anderson's conduct was under investigation.

Dr Anderson this month returned from his second trip to Pyongyang in just a year alongside Mr Tharappel. Before the trip, Mr Tharappel published an article on the website Fort Russ News and pledged to "write the rest after I come back from North Korea where my Stalinism will intensify".

It is understood Mr Tharappel ceased tutoring at the university about six months ago. He, too, was investigated by the university - for describing a journalist of Armenian background as "traitorous scum who desperately wants a second Armenian genocide".

Dr Anderson, who lectures in the department of political economy, was convicted in 1990 over the 1978 Hilton hotel bombing in Sydney, but was acquitted the following year.

Last year he made headlines for his open support of the Assad regime following an alleged Syrian government chemical attack on its own people.
Stop Hate at San Francisco State
San Francisco State has long been described as one of the most anti-Semitic universities in America. The situation came to a rolling boil last year, leaving frustrated students to take out a lawsuit in Federal court, alleging that the University administration ignored abuses directed towards Jewish students on campus.

Take a minute and sign a petition organized by StandWithUs urging the SFSU leadership to protect Jewish, Israeli and pro-Israel students on campus

The text of the petition follows:
To SFSU and CSU leadership,

For too long, Jewish students have faced unacceptable intolerance and hate at San Francisco State University (SFSU).

From protesters shouting down the Mayor of Jerusalem in violation of the First Amendment, to Hillel being actively excluded from a "Know Your Rights" fair, to an official SFSU department Facebook page opposing the inclusion of Zionists on campus, the climate for Jewish students at SFSU is deeply problematic. Some are even afraid to openly wear Jewish symbols on campus.
“Boycott the boycotts,” of BDS, says German youth labor union federation
The spread of boycott initiatives against the Jewish state by international labor unions prompted the youth organization of the German Trade Union Confederation (DGB) to reinforce its opposition to BDS with a June resolution.

“Boycott the boycotts,” wrote the DGB youth organization in its 2017 pro-Israel resolution, adding it “explicitly spoke against the anti-Israel campaign Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions and For One State and Return in Palestine.”

“We see it as therefore necessary to again reinforce our position from 2017” the labor unionists said in June. “We view, with worry at this time, the efforts from these campaigns and their demands to be implemented in international trade unions and committees.”

The DGB consists of eight unions and its total membership is nearly six million members. The DGB youth organization is for members until the age of 27 and has a membership of over 500,000. The confederation has vigorously opposed past boycotts of Israel.
Massachusetts Taxpayers Sue Over Anti-Semitic, Pro-Islam School Lessons
A group of Massachusetts-based taxpayers are suing the school committee in the city of Newton, a wealthy, liberal enclave, over what they claim is the leadership's ongoing promotion of anti-Semitic school materials and the promotion of Islamic religious beliefs, according to an announcement from the organization handling the lawsuit.

Education Without Indoctrination, a local community group driving the lawsuit, "claims multiple violations of the Massachusetts Open Meeting Law stemming from the school committee's handling of a burgeoning scandal over anti-Semitic lessons and the promotion of Islamic religious beliefs as objective facts in the public school district's history classes," according to a press release from the group.

The lawsuit stems from a controversy of Newton Public Schools use of what the group claims are "unvetted educational materials" produced by the Saudi Arabian oil company ARAMCO and the Qatari government, which has long been cited for its funding of terrorism.

"In teaching world history, Newton Public Schools (NPS) use unvetted educational materials funded by the Saudi oil company ARAMCO and the government of Qatar. As a result, Newton public school students are propagandized with materials that slander Israel and the Jewish people, and that falsify history to promote the Islamic religion in public schools," the press release states.

"Just this past May, Newton North High School invited an anti-Semitic group to screen Palestinian propaganda films to its students," it continues. "For this, NPS Superintendent David Fleishman earned a rebuke from the New England branch of the Anti-Defamation League and Boston's Jewish Community Relations Council."
As Anti-Israel Threats Emerge, Students Get Crash Course on Changing Campus Environment
For most college students, summer is an opportunity to travel, hang out with friends, or land an exciting internship. But for more than 80 students from nearly 70 campuses, learning how to successfully respond to campus antisemitism and anti-Israel activism was part of their summer plans.

Earlier this month, the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) hosted a four-day conference in Boston replete with lectures, discussions, and workshops guiding college students to become more effective supporters of the Jewish state.

“Students are coming from as far away as the UK, Ireland, and Canada to strengthen their Israel activism with us,” said Aviva Rosenschein, CAMERA’s international campus director. “Hatred directed at students who support Israel is, unfortunately, a global issue, and we are working hard to help as many students across the world as we can.”

This year’s conference included a wide range of lessons and activities — from Krav Maga lessons to dealing with more serious campus issues, such as the evolution of the BDS movement, anti-Israel groups, and antisemitism. The goal was to empower students to speak up more, write more powerfully, and craft their own personal narratives.

“The point of the conference is to equip students with the tools needed to combat anti-Israel activism on college campuses,” said Andrea Levin, CAMERA president and executive director. “These students came from around the world to attend the conference, showing how committed and passionate they are about Israel and its cause. It’s truly inspiring.”
Italy’s Holocaust executioners revealed in ‘historiographical counterblast’
Thousands of Italian civilians helped the Nazis murder the country’s Jews during the Holocaust, according to a recently translated Italian book. The book directly contradicts commonly held beliefs that Italians did not cooperate with the genocidal killing machine.

In “The Italian Executioners: The Genocide of the Jews of Italy,” author Simon Levis Sullam examined the fate of more than 6,000 Italian Jews who were tracked down, deported, and murdered during the last two years of World War II. The modern history professor first published his so-called “historiographical counterblast” in 2015, helped to overturn myths about so-called “good Italians” who refrained from persecuting their Jewish neighbors.

Largely forgotten by history, Italy introduced anti-Jewish racial laws in 1938, two years before entering the war on Hitler’s side. Jews were dismissed from their jobs, kicked out of schools, and denounced in the media. As in Germany and the Netherlands, meticulously kept records helped identify the country’s 46,000 Jews, many of whom were put under surveillance.

In “The Italian Executioners,” Levis Sullam focuses on local Holocaust history, naming the leading anti-Semites in several cities, and quoting from radio broadcasts, political speeches, and anti-Semitic schoolbooks.

“Jews be burnt, one by one, and their ashes scattered in the wind,” intoned a broadcaster on Radio Roma in 1938 that is quoted in the book. Three years before the Holocaust began in conquered Soviet lands, Italians in all strata of society were already isolating and persecuting their country’s Jews, according to Levis Sullam.

JPost Editorial: Remembering Kofi Annan
Nobel Peace Prize laureate and former United Nations secretary-general Kofi Annan, who died in Switzerland on Saturday at the age of 80, will be remembered as a friend to Israel in an organization where the country faces extreme bias.

In a statement of condolences to Annan’s family, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “We will remember him as having been very active in the international arena and as someone who fought antisemitism and Holocaust denial.”

World Jewish Congress president Ronald S. Lauder issued a statement saying Annan “was a dedicated diplomat who throughout his life embodied the mandate of the United Nations to foster relations and cooperation among members of the international community.”

UN Watch, an NGO dedicated to monitoring the global body also put out a tribute to Annan, while acknowledging that he had nonetheless also been on the receiving end of its criticism: “UN Watch mourns the loss of Kofi Annan, a revered statesman who will be remembered as the secretary-general who led the move to scrap the UN’s discredited Human Rights Commission, and who was the first UN chief to publicly and repeatedly call for an end to the UN’s obsessive and one-sided targeting of Israel.”

The appointment of the Ghanaian-born Annan as UN secretary-general marked the first time the top position went to someone from within the giant organization. Annan started his career in 1962 in Geneva in the World Health Organization.
Daniel Silva and the Art of the Beach Read
Among the spy and detective fiction writers of today there is no distinction more dubious than “transcending the genre.” What does it mean for a work to transcend the genre? To have outgrown its form? To be better than it should be? It is with this backhanded honorific that the spy and detective genre is robbed of its greatest works, which can only be so excellent before they are inevitably claimed by the august of great literature. And this obscures just how much fun these books can be. Just ask Raymond Chandler or John le Carré or Dorothy B. Hughes. As a result, the the untranscendent—the beach reads—have come to define the entire spy and detective genre. This summer, that beach read is Daniel Silva’s newest book, The Other Woman.

Silva has been writing bestselling thrillers for more than 20 years, and in his latest work the author brings back one of his most beloved characters, Israeli intelligence officer Gabriel Allon, who is tasked with sniffing out a high-ranking Russian mole operating somewhere within the networks of various Western intelligence agencies. As he unravels a mystery that threatens to expose some of the most dangerous political secrets, Allon must also prove his innocence after a valuable asset is gunned down in the street. In the backdrop, though never explicitly mentioned, we see Trump’s alleged relationship with Russia muddle the intelligence community’s clandestine operations.

The Other Woman flawlessly skates across every aspect of the beach-read form. Enough intrigue and reversal to keep you reading throughout summer afternoons without being spellbinding. Characters you can relate to but who will never break your heart. Mysteries that are hard to second-guess so that they can unravel in the last 20 or so pages. Plots and cabals and inside-baseball lingo that you never really need to learn. You can come out of the water bleary-eyed and dehydrated and sun sick and yet never miss a beat.

Indeed, Silva carefully crafted a book that was designed to shoot to the very top of the bestseller list and do nothing else. It was not meant to transcend the genre, for doing so would mean forgoing its greatest achievement, and the highest aspiration of any beach read: The Other Woman excels at being only slightly more entertaining than doing nothing at all. In a few weeks it will make an excellent doorstop and you will have forgotten the plot altogether. Should thrillers really be this easy to forget?

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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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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