Monday, November 26, 2018

From Ian:

Evelyn Gordon: Jews Feel Safer in Europe’s Conservative East Than Its Liberal West
Everyone except anti-Semites understands that Israeli actions don’t justify attacks on Jewish citizens of other countries, but rampant anti-Israel sentiment often makes anti-Semites believe that society will tolerate such attacks as long as they can be portrayed as “anti-Israel.” And this belief is hardly unfounded. To take just one example, consider the notorious case of a German synagogue firebombed in 2014. Both the trial court and the appeals court ruled that this wasn’t an anti-Semitic crime, but merely an overly zealous form of political opposition to Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza. Consequently, the perpetrators received mere suspended sentences.

In short, hostility toward Israel in the surrounding society encourages anti-Semitic acts among people who already hold anti-Semitic beliefs. And since hostility toward Israel emanates primarily from the left these days, it’s no surprise that such hostility is higher in liberal Western Europe than conservative Eastern Europe. Thus, both of the main contributors to anti-Semitism in Europe today—Islamic anti-Semitism and left-wing hostility toward Israel—are more prevalent in the liberal West than in the allegedly “fascist, anti-Semitic” countries of Eastern Europe.

None of the above implies that right-wing anti-Semitism isn’t a real problem; it obviously is. Nor does it imply that Eastern Europe’s right-wing governments have a clean bill of health on anti-Semitism; they have been responsible for some undeniably problematic acts and statements. It certainly doesn’t guarantee that nationalist parties won’t turn against the Jews tomorrow, as a prominent European rabbi warned last week. The British Labour Party’s swift transformation into an anti-Semitic cesspool shows just how quickly Jew-friendly attitudes can disappear. And it doesn’t mean America’s situation is necessarily analogous; the U.S. is too different from Europe for easy parallels to be drawn.

Yet to pretend, as many American Jews do, that right-wing anti-Semitism is the only kind we need to worry about flies in the face of reality, at least as it has played out in Europe. The European reality similarly belies the claim that rightist governments are, by definition, bad for the Jews. And given that reality, Netanyahu’s close relations with conservative European governments could actually help combat anti-Semitism in those countries by bolstering their positive attitudes toward Israel.

The world is a great deal more complex than the simple “left-wing good, right-wing bad” equation so prevalent among American Jews today. And recognizing that complexity might help liberal Jews be more understanding of their conservative brethren, both at home and in Israel.
Liberal Jews are still turning a blind eye to anti-Semitism on the left
Consider Peter Beinart, the one-time New Republic editor. “No, BDS Is Not Anti-Semitic, And Neither Is Ilhan Omar” was the headline for a piece he wrote in the Jewish Daily Forward recently.

BDS, of course, is short for boycott, divest, sanction—a movement that singles out the Jewish state for such punishment. This, despite the horrors that are routine around the world, from China to Venezuela.

Beinart writes that the “BDS movement doesn’t officially oppose the existence of a Jewish state, but some of its most prominent advocates do.” So leaders of the movement want to destroy Israel, but the movement isn’t tainted by them? Where else would this be an acceptable line of argument? If white nationalists marched for gay rights, which liberal would disregard their outsize hate and focus on the one point of agreement? It’s laughable.

As for Ilhan Omar, she’s the newly elected Minnesota congresswoman who in January will take Ellison’s seat in the House of Representatives. In 2012, she tweeted: “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.”

The notion that Jews have the world under a spell is as classic an anti-Semitic trope as one can find, yet somehow Omar finds a Jewish defender in a Jewish publication.

Then there’s Linda Sarsour. Last week the Women’s March leader called out “folks who masquerade as progressives but always choose their allegiance to Israel over their commitment to democracy.” This was another old Jew-hating trope: namely, that Jews secretly harbor dual loyalty to Israel. And this is just the latest in a long litany of anti-Semitic comments she’s made.

What’s even more odious is that the Sarsours of the country are called on to help heal the hatred they sow. Last year, Sarsour sat on a panel at the New School about fighting anti-Semitism. And just last week Al Sharpton, who has a history of saying heinous things about Jews in the 1990s, was on MSNBC to discuss — you guessed it — fighting anti-Semitism.

It’s like a bad joke. The guy who has referred to Jews as “interlopers” and “diamond merchants” is now the one claiming to fight Jew-hatred. Has he ever apologized? Jews forgive public figures like Ellison, Omar, Sarsour and Sharpton. But they would never encourage other targeted groups to do the same.

Fighting the normalization of anti-Semitism has to begin with Jews themselves speaking out. Now would be a good time to start.
Firecracker thrown at Israeli reporter in Berlin
A reporter for the Israeli public broadcaster KAN was attacked in Berlin on Sunday evening while filming a report on the street.

Antonia Yamin, the Europe correspondent for KAN, was speaking to the camera in Hebrew in the Neukölln neighborhood of Berlin when a rowdy group of four teenagers passed by. At first they attempted to disrupt her broadcast, shouting and blocking the camera. Yamin paused and asked the group to move along. The video then shows her running after one of the men who threw a firecracker at her and her cameraman. The firecracker is then seen burning on the sidewalk.

“The truth is I had a very nice day at work today,” Yamin tweeted on Sunday evening with a video of the incident. “But between one interview and another I had to stop to report about the Brexit deal. As you can see on the video you can’t report in Hebrew in Neukölln, Berlin without being disturbed and without people throwing firecrackers at you.”
The Neukölln neighborhood is known for having a high concentration of immigrants.

Yamin told The Jerusalem Post on Monday that she didn’t report the incident to the police.

“I had an interview afterwards and I am filming the whole week,” she wrote via a direct message. “I also don’t think that it will bring me anywhere to sit for a few hours at the police station.”

Yamin said she won’t let the incident change anything about how she will report in the future.

“Fifteen minutes after the incident I was already filming my next story,” she said, “about an Israeli drag queen who performs together with a Syrian belly dancer (a wonderful story about friendship).”

Ocasio-Cortez compares migrants to Jews fleeing Holocaust
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the star Democratic congresswoman-elect from New York, compared migrant caravan members who clashed over the weekend with U.S. border agents to Jewish families fleeing Nazi Germany and other targets of genocide.

Ocasio-Cortez, who was elected to represent New York’s 14th Congressional District earlier this month, tweeted over the weekend in support of those attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border. She compared those fleeing violence in Central America to those who escaped Germany, Rwanda and Syria.

“Asking to be considered a refugee & applying for status isn’t a crime. It wasn’t for Jewish families fleeing Germany. It wasn’t for targeted families fleeing Rwanda. It wasn’t for communities fleeing war-torn Syria. And it isn’t for those fleeing violence in Central America,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted late Sunday.

Over the weekend, hundreds of migrants from the Central American caravan rushed the border at the port of entry in San Ysidro, Calif.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said some demonstrators “attempted to illegally enter the U.S. through both the northbound and southbound vehicle lanes at the port of entry itself. Those persons were stopped and turned back to Mexico.”
Jeremy Corbyn’s Brother Spreads Neo-Nazi Conspiracies
The Anti-Defamation League have resources that go into detail on these antisemitic tropes about Jewish financiers controlling the world for anyone who wishes to learn more.

Is there a direct line between Piers Corbyn and the Jew-killing Robert Bowers? No. I’m sure they’ve never been aware of each other’s existence.

But is Piers part of a global problem that helps keep alive the kind of antisemitic rhetoric that inspired Bowers? Absolutely. 100%

Does Piers help keep alive antisemitic conspiracies that lead to real world hatred and violence against Jews? Unequivocally yes.

It doesn’t matter whether you are on the left, on the right, whether you are a David Icke style conspiracy theorist, a Christian antisemite, an Islamist or a regular person who has generic antisemitic attitudes: these Jew-phobic ideas all overlap, intersect, buttress and reinforce each other.

After Pittsburgh there is a tendency from some on the left to puff themselves up by attacking the right for their antisemitic rhetoric – quite right – but we’re calling time on the left’s antisemitic rhetoric too.

I really don’t care whether the antisemitism goes into my left ear or my right – it all sounds the same to me.
How Anti-Semitism Is Threatening To Unravel The Women’s March
Last month, actress Alyssa Milano, who’s been a leader in the Women’s March movement, said she wouldn’t speak at next year’s march unless Mallory and Sarsour speak out against Farrakhan, adding that it’s “unfortunate that none of them have come forward against him at this point.”

“Any time that there is any bigotry or anti-Semitism in that respect, it needs to be called out and addressed. I’m disappointed in the leadership of the Women’s March that they haven’t done it adequately,” Milano said in an interview with The Advocate.

In response, the Women’s March released a statement condemning Farrakhan’s comments, but defended Mallory and Sarsour, stating that they have “risked their safety to build a bold direct action strategy that addresses the real threat against our communities and country — the threat of white nationalism, which is fueled by anti-Black racism and anti-Semitism.”

“We recognize the danger of hate rhetoric by public figures,” the statement read. “We want to say emphatically that we do not support or endorse statements made by Minister Louis Farrakhan about women, Jewish and LGBTQ communities.”

“We all know the real cause of violence and oppression of our communities,” the statement continued. “This is well-documented and inspired by vile rhetoric coming from the Trump administration and from members of the Republican Party.”

Condemning Farrakhan’s rhetoric while defending its leaders who continue to have a relationship with the Nation of Islam leader is not enough to appease those who are frustrated at the movement’s intersection with anti-Semitism. As fractures within the movement’s leadership are becoming increasingly visible, the Women’s March needs to decide what its priorities are. Is the Women’s March willing to continue issuing statements that only half-condemn anti-Semitism and risk deepening the divisions inside and out of the movement? Or will it finally take a firm stance against it?
NYPost Editorial: Linda Sarsour is still refusing to condemn Farrakhan’s hate
Other Women’s March leaders have supported Sarsour and Mallory in the face of calls for them to directly condemn Farrakhan, prompting actress and #MeToo activist Alyssa Milano and others to call for the march leaders to condemn the hate or step down.

Last week Theresa Shook, the founder of the Women’s March, joined in, saying Sarsour & Co. have “allowed racist rhetoric to become a part of the platform by their refusal to separate themselves from groups that espouse these racist, hateful beliefs.”

That, Shook said, violates the “original vision and intent” of the march, namely “to show the capacity of human beings to stand in solidarity and love against the hateful rhetoric that had become a part of the political landscape in the US and around the world.”

Instead, Sarsour and Mallory have stood with hate by attending Farrakhan’s speeches. After one event in February, Mallory even posted a picture of herself with him, calling him “the GOAT” — the greatest of all time.

Until she apologizes for that — and condemns Farrakhan’s hate by name — Sarsour’s “apology” is just a wormy effort to have it both ways.

IsraellyCool: Actor Mark Ruffalo Sees Israelis As Deserving of Less Rights than Palestinians
In case you are not aware, Koolulam is an Israeli social musical initiative, whose mission is to spread joy through music and bring together diverse groups within Israel. The idea is to “bring Israelis of all backgrounds together, regardless of their political views or affiliations…so we should all be happy together.”

Enter the incredible dolt, Hollywood actor Mark Ruffalo, whose hatred of Israel is about as subtle as the Hulk’s anger management issues. He somehow discovered a video of one Koolulam’s performances – Mattisyahu’s One Day – expressing a desire for coexistence. Naturally, he felt the need to put his slant on it.

“We need to support a peace between Israel and Palestine, with the emphasis on Palestinian rights.” Why not peace with equal rights for all? Why an emphasis on “Palestinian rights”?

Ruffalo needs to be reminded that Koolulam is an entirely Israeli initiative – like pretty much all other peace and coexistence initiatives here. Then he can ponder why that is the case.
IsraellyCool: Former BDS Activist: I Lacked Empathy for Israelis
Hebrew website Xnet has published a story about a former BDS-hole who fell in love with a female IDF soldier. And while their relationship actually led to her epiphany about the conflict, it is not the reason why she decided to reject her former anti-Israel and BDS-holing ways.

Translated from the Hebrew:
Jess Balding remembers the exact moment when as an anti-Israel activist, a member of the BDS movement, she became someone who identified with the Israeli side in the Middle East conflict. This happened during Operation Tzuk Eitan, when Roni Tzidon, a soldier in the IDF with whom she had a passionate virtual relationship, sent her a photograph of an old mother in a safe room in her home in Rishon Letzion.

“I changed my heart, not only my mind,” Balding says today, more than four years later, where she and Sidon are already engaged. “When I saw the picture, I was very frightened, and I was happy that Roni was not with her mother, and was on guard duty in the army, far away. That was the moment I could not feel the same way. The Israelis had become real people for me. At first my attitude to them was only with respect to the Palestinians, and certainly the Palestinians suffer more – so what did I care about the suffering of the Israelis? Once I was involved in a personal relationship with an Israeli, I cared.”

“A few days into Tzuk Eitan, a good friend of mine from Yale University, a Palestinian from Gaza, organized a rally at the university in memory of all the people who were killed in Gaza. There were candles everywhere, and I felt guilty because I also felt the pain of the other side. But I also felt that I had erred in my anti-Israel views.”

Jess’ story is typical of the average Israel hater – they at the very least lack empathy for Israelis – although in most cases I have seen, they actually hate Israelis and Jews.
Senior Israeli Academic Pleaded with European Anthropologists to Boycott Judea, Samaria Colleges
The European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA) ratified a motion this month to boycott Israeli academic institutions in Judea and Samaria. The motion was first tabled in August at the EASA’s annual general meeting in Stockholm, and was ratified this month by an overwhelming majority of the organization’s members.

According to the EASA’s website, the motion passed by a vote of 830 in favor, 21 opposed and 37 abstentions.

Prior to the vote, the head of the Israeli Anthropological Association (IAA) and Ben-Gurion University professor, Nir Avieli, sent a letter on IAA stationery to the EASA president urging the group to boycott those Israeli institutions. We present to you his entire letter, which should probably be examined by someone in Minister Naftali Bennett’s education ministry:
BBC Thai omits and erases vital information in report from Israel
In the middle of that three-minute and ten second long product of “a year-long BBC investigation” viewers are rightly told that:
“Under Israeli law, Thai workers’ rights are well protected.”

However the film goes on:
“But they depend on the farmers for food, shelter and a work visa. Many are too scared to complain as they fear losing their income.”

Viewers are not told that under Israeli law (p.17):
“The law prohibits an employer from dismissing an employee or reducing his salary or terms of employment due to any complaint or claim filed by the employee, or due to the fact that he assisted another employee, in good faith, to file such a complaint or claim. An employer who behaves in this manner towards his foreign worker has performed a criminal offense for which a complaint can be filed as above.”

The film next goes on to clarify that – presumably on the basis of complaints made by workers to the Ministry of Labour’s Foreign Workers’ Rights Ombudsman – in the past five years the ministry has carried out “more than 1,500 investigations…into pay and working hours” and that the ministry has issued 3,000 warnings and 200 fines.

While – as the ministry’s statement bears out – there are undoubtedly cases in which Thai workers are abused despite the existence of laws protecting them, the makers of this film did not bother to clarify that “unsanitary living conditions” such as the cooker shown in parts of the film also depend on the workers themselves.

Despite that factual interlude, the overall messaging of this film by BBC Thai’s Issariya Praithongyaem is to imply a link between the workers’ conditions and what are described as “unexplained deaths”.
HonestReporting: ABC Only Looks at One Side of Lebanese Border Wall
Australia’s national broadcaster ABC News reports from the Lebanese border where Israel is constructing a security wall.

It appears, however, that Middle East correspondent Adam Harvey is only prepared to acknowledge the views from one side of the wall and even then to selectively omit important political, historical and geographical context.

We’ve had significant issues in the past with Harvey’s predecessor Sophie McNeill, an advocacy journalist who consistently demonstrated an anti-Israel agenda. Is ABC News continuing its trend for sub-standard reporting on Israel?

It certainly looks that way.

No comment from the Israeli side
It soon becomes clear that Harvey hasn’t done any research or asked for any commentary from the Israeli side of the border. Harvey only quotes a Lebanese man who lives near the border, and a UNIFIL spokesman. No Israelis. In the course of a 3:21 radio spot to 631 words, these 23 words are the sum total of the Israeli view:
Israel says the $600 million project is essential to stop Hezbollah fighters from attacking Israelis in the villages and settlements near the border.

The rest of the report is devoted to commentary from one local Lebanese man and Andrea Tenenti, the spokesman for the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).
IsraellyCool: BBC Falls for Obvious Hamas Propaganda (Again)
Yesterday, anti-Israel hate site Quds News Network posted this video

It is actually this BBC video from a year ago

My initial thought was this is clearly staged: the men had likely never met and this story was manufactured – either by Hamas shopping it around to media outlets, or perhaps by the BBC itself.

So I did some digging and it turns out I am not the first to cover this (the video is a year old after all). BBC Watch was all over this at the time and – surprise, surprise – this story does not have a leg to stand on.

While I am not sure why they decided to change the men’s names (albeit slightly) and details of the supposed airstrikes, the inconsistencies point to the probability that the story is a lie.

For all we know, these men are Hamas-holes who lost their legs during a premature detonation.

In fact, I think this is the more likely scenario. Can you imagine these two carrying on in Gaza like two lovers as they do in the video? Hamas would make sure their legs were not the only appendages they lost – assuming they would even allow them to live.

So shame on the BBC for allowing themselves to be duped. Or perhaps they knew what they were doing all along, and were fine with it.
AP “Clarification” Casts Iranian Threats As Israeli Perception
The MEMRI report also contains links to numerous threats from previous years. The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (“Iranian Official and Social Media Call for the Destruction of Israel After the JCPOA“) has also extensively documented Iranian calls for Israel’s destruction.

After CAMERA contacted the AP to request correction of the absurd assertion that Iran has never threatened to attack Israel, the news agency today published the following “clarification” which fails to make clear that in fact, contrary to yesterday’s report, Iran has on many occasions threatened to attack Israel:

In a story Nov. 24, The Associated Press reported that Iran frequently condemns Israel and predicts its demise. The story should have made clear that Israeli officials view any such comments from Iran as existential threats.

While AP says that “Israelis officials view” Iranian statements about Israel’s upcoming demise as threats, a few days ago the news agency had no difficulty identifying an Israeli minister’s statements about a Hamas leader’s limited time on this earth as a threat. Thus, the Nov. 21, 2018 AP article stated, as it should have (“Israeli Cabinet Minister: Gaza Leader’s Days Are Numbered”):
More of the same Gaza framing from a BBC Jerusalem correspondent
So as we see Tom Bateman has managed to produce two reports without mentioning Hamas by name and without clarifying the role of that terror faction and others in the organisation and facilitation of the weekly violent rioting. Bateman also failed to clarify to audiences that the project with the self-proclaimed aim of having millions of people ‘return‘ to what he terms “ancestral homelands” – without explaining that he actually means Israeli territory – is designed to eradicate the Jewish state.

While the British surgeon remarked that “this volume of severe injuries is something that most countries never see” in both versions of the report, Bateman made no effort to explain to BBC audiences that those injuries could have been avoided had Hamas – which is also in charge of the local health system described by Bateman as “already under huge pressure” – not planned, encouraged, facilitated and financed this particular terror project.

In conclusion, BBC audiences heard and saw two ICRC approved reports on the work of a British surgeon which once again predictably erased context crucial for full understanding of the story.
Los Angeles Times Corrects Letter No Palestinian Kids in IDF Prisons
CAMERA yesterday prompted correction of a letter-to-the-editor by Eitan Peled, a former programming director for Students for Justice in Palestine at UCLA and a current fellow with UNICEF, for his false claim that there are “hundreds of Palestinian children in Israeli military prisons.”

Writing Nov. 15 in favor of the anti-Israel BDS (boycott, divest and sanctions) movement and SJP’s national conference at UCLA, Peled stated:
Boycotts are a time-honored tactic many progressive movements use to effect change. Our movement is no exception, with situations as dire as hundreds of Palestinian children in Israeli military prisons who were tried in a military court with a 99% conviction rate.

In fact, no Palestinians, minors or otherwise, are held in Israeli military prisons. According to B’Tselem, which is highly critical of Israeli policies, there are zero Palestinian minors being held by the Israeli military. As of August 31, 2018, 239 Palestinian minors were held by the Israel Prison Service (IPS). The IPS is independent of the IDF, and its prisons are civilian, not military.

Furthermore, Lt. Col. (res) Maurice Hirsch, who served in the IDF Military Advocate General Corps for 19 years, told CAMERA: “The IDF does not have prisons for Palestinians. At most, the IDF has initial detention centers. If at all, Palestinian minors are held in these center for no more than 24 hours.”
Sweden’s Antisemitism Problem
Jews in Sweden account for less than 0.2% of the population, but issues concerning them vary between negative and highly negative. The naive observer may think that Sweden is a liberal democracy, as perfect as one can get. But if one starts to list major events concerning Jews, one gets a very different picture. In this century, only one Jewish community in Western Europe has decided to dissolve itself because of ongoing neo-Nazi threats: the one in the town of Umea, which is located in northeastern Sweden.

Other major antisemitic threats come from parts of the Muslim community. In 2017, a movie was shown on Bavarian television about the visit to Malmö, Sweden’s third largest city, by the German Jewish author Henryk Broder and the Egyptian writer Hamad Abdel Samad. They met several local Jews, including the town’s American rabbi. He told them that the shrinking community had inserted bulletproof windows at the synagogue — but even this didn’t help. A bomb went off in front of the synagogue and another was thrown into the chapel of the Jewish cemetery, which was totally destroyed. He believed both attacks were perpetrated by Muslims. The rabbi has also been harassed while walking on the street. Objects thrown at him include an apple, a lighter, a glass, and a bottle.

In December 2017, three Muslim perpetrators threw a Molotov cocktail at a synagogue in Sweden’s second largest city, Gothenburg. A Swedish appeals court overturned a criminal tribunal ruling that had decided that one of the perpetrators, a Gaza-born Palestinian, would be deported at the end of his two-year prison term. The court said that he should not be deported, because the antisemitic nature of this attack could put him in danger from Israel. The court apparently preferred the imagined interests of the perpetrator over those of his victims. It seemed to matter less to the judges that if he stayed in Sweden, he might commit other crimes.
LA man arrested after attempted ramming attack on Orthodox Jews
Authorities in Los Angeles have arrested a man suspected of attempting to run down Orthodox Jews outside of a synagogue during the Sabbath.

The incident occurred at approximately 9:30 p.m. Friday night near a synagogue in the Hancock Park neighborhood near La Brea and Oakwood avenues, in an area with a large Jewish population.

Witnesses say the driver suddenly swerved over towards a group of Orthodox Jews on the sidewalk, narrowly missing them.

After the car missed the pedestrians, the driver pulled around in a U-turn and tried to run down the would-be victims a second time.

When he missed them a second time, the driver struck a traffic sign. He then exited the vehicle, started screaming obscenities and anti-Semitic curses.

The pedestrians targeted in the apparent ramming attempt say the driver appeared to be of Middle Eastern origin, and had a Koran on his dashboard.

British housing company issues apology after it threatened to strip Jewish tenants' mezuzahs.
A housing company in the London area apologized to Jewish residents for threatening to take down their mezuzahs if they did not remove the religious object themselves.

Warwick Estates, located on the northern edge of the British capital, wrote in a statement Monday that it was sorry for its “overzealous” letter to residents of Cedarwood Court, near the heavily-Jewish London area of Stamford Hill.

The letter was about hanging mezuzahs on front doors, stating that this breached the terms of the residents’ leases and they could be billed if they did not take them down, The Jewish Chronicle of London reported.

Last week’s letter said that hanging objects outside company-owned homes was a violation of its terms. It mentioned specifically the mezuzah, a rolled-up scroll of parchment that Jewish families hang on the frame of their front doors usually in a decorative case.

One resident said that she had never seen anyone complain about the mezuzahs in 10 years living in the area. On Monday, the company backtracked.

“We apologize for the letter sent to some of our customers asking them to remove religious items from their property, specifically their mezuzahs,” a company spokesperson told the Chronicle.
Guns N' Roses' Slash to return to Israel
Guns N' Roses iconic guitarist Slash will be coming back to Israel next summer, but for the first time fronting his own band. Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators will perform on July 9 at the 5,000-capacity Tel Aviv Fairgrounds in support of his third solo album Living the Dream which was released in September.

Slash's mothership, Guns N' Roses performed for over three hours for some 60,000 fans at Tel Aviv's Park Hayarkon in 2017, as part of their successful reunion tour. One of the most popular bands of the late '80s and early '90s, Guns & Roses had last played in the country in 1993.

For almost 20 years, only vocalist Axl Rose remained among the original members, as Slash and his bandmates quit or were fired. But since their 2016 reconciliation with Slash and bassist Duff McKagan rejoining, the band has become bigger than ever. The 53-year-old Slash (born Saul Hudson and long rumored to be Jewish although he's not) is one of rock's most distinctive soloists.
Israeli machine that pulls water out of thin air sent to fire-plagued California
An Israeli machine that can pull water out of the air has been sent to northern California to provide clean drinking water for US police and firefighters battling the Camp Fire.

On Sunday, officials announced that the fire had been brought 100 percent under control. At least 87 people were killed and 249 are still reported missing in the fire that burned for 17 days and destroyed more than 153,000 acres north of Sacramento, including 17,000 building structures. Thousands are living in emergency shelters and hotels.

The atmospheric water generator called the GEN-350, produced by the company Watergen USA, can produce up to 156 gallons of water per day and is transportable. It is carried by an emergency response vehicle, which is equipped with a generator and charging stations.

“Providing the police and firefighters with the basic necessity of drinking water allows them to serve and help for longer periods of time,” said Ed Russo, CEO of Watergen USA.
Smoke billows from the Camp Fire as a firefighting helicopter flies near Pulga, Calif., on November 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

“If we can help relieve the burden by providing them with clean water, that is something that we will most definitely do,” said Yehuda Kaploun, president of Watergen USA.
Mumbai attacks anniversary draws solemn tributes and new pressure on Pakistan
India on Monday marked the tenth anniversary of the Mumbai terror attacks with ceremonies at sites across the city that became battlegrounds in the wave of violence that killed scores and dealt a critical blow to relations with neighboring Pakistan.

Armed with AK-47 assault rifles and hand grenades, ten Islamic militants killed 166 people and injured hundreds more in a three-day rampage through India’s financial capital which started on Wednesday November 26, 2008.

Ten years on, the United States has offered a new $5 million reward for the capture of the remaining attackers and called on Islamabad to cooperate with the hunt for the planners of the assault.

The attackers belonged to Pakistan-based militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).

At a solemn ceremony Mumbai’s police remembered more than a dozen officers and commandos killed in the operation against the militants.

Relatives of the victims and local dignitaries laid wreaths and sprinkled rose petals at a police memorial honoring the dead while the force’s brass band played the “Last Post.”
Decade after Mumbai massacre, murdered Chabad couple’s son flourishes in Israel
“Everything is good,” Sandra Samuel says, coming from a weekly visit with her “Moshe-boy.”

She is riding on a bus from Afula in northern Israel back to the apartment in Jerusalem that she shares with four other women from India.

Ten years ago, everyone knew Samuel and the child who was then dubbed Baby Moshe. The photo of the terrified-looking Samuel running from the terrorist-besieged Nariman Chabad House in Mumbai clutching Moshe Holtzberg, the 2-year-old son of Rabbi Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg, the Chabad shluchim, or emissaries, was splashed on the front pages of newspapers around the world.

On November 26, 2008, 10 members of Lashkar-e-Taiba, an Islamic terrorist organization based in Pakistan, carried out a series of 12 coordinated shooting and bombing attacks on locations throughout the Indian city. The Chabad House was among the specifically targeted locations. The photo of Moshe and his brave nanny was one of the bright spots in a tragedy that left 164 people dead and hundreds wounded.

Among the dead were Moshe’s parents and four other Israeli and American visitors to the Chabad House. Five years earlier, the couple had raised money to purchase the house in order to establish a presence in Mumbai.
Wikimedia Israel Release 28,000 Pre-State Photos to Public Domain
Information wants to be free! Those words were the virtual banner carried aloft by users of the worldwide web, before the advent of Web 2.0 and the Internet’s commercialization.

Occasionally, that spirit still breaks through as it did last week when Wikimedia Israel — the local chapter of the worldwide Wikimedia movement — announced that in a stealth operation over several months, it had released 28,000 images of pre-state Israel to the public domain.

Why go about things surreptitiously? Wikimedia Israel stated that in the past, it had approached but received pushback from several organizations in possession of images whose copyright had expired 50 years from publication, as per the Israeli Copyright Act of 2007.

Dating from 1900 to 1946, these photographs unquestionably belong in the public domain but “were not accessible for search, study, research and use by the public in Israel and throughout the world.”

Citing the Wikimedia Foundation vision statement – “Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge” – Wikimedia Israel said it “decided to act on behalf of the public and to release images on sites in the State of Israel using technological tools.”
Jewish Band Haim Sells Hanukkah Shirt to Support Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life Synagogue
The pop rock band Haim is selling a Hanukkah-inspired shirt and proceeds of all sales will be donated to the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, where 11 people were killed last month in a shooting that took place during Shabbat services.

The band — comprised of Jewish sisters Este, Danielle and Alana Haim — announced the sale on its Instagram page late last week, along with other holiday merchandise. The shirt is designed with a Star of David and various words associated with Hanukkah, including “Dreidel,” “Candle,” “Maccabees,” “Eight Days,” “Latkes,” “Lights,” and “Presents.” The shirt also says, “Happy Haimukkah.”

Last year, the band celebrated the first night of Hanukkah with a new original song called “Haimukkah.”

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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