Friday, December 21, 2018

From Ian:

Melanie Phillips: Australia’s boomerang knocks Diaspora Jews off balance too
As a senior Palestinian official, Abbas Zaki, said in 2011: “If they get out of Jerusalem, what will become of all the talk about the Promised Land and the Chosen People?... They consider Jerusalem to have a spiritual status... If the Jews leave those places, the Zionist idea will begin to collapse.”

When in 1967 Israel liberated those parts of Jerusalem that had been illegally occupied by Jordan, it did no more than complete the task of ridding the land of the illegal Arab colonialist regime, which had helped try to destroy Israel at its rebirth in 1948.

The current Arab administration of the Temple Mount has turned that ostensibly holy Muslim site into a theater of genocidal war, using it to incite the mass murder of Jews and even using it for that purpose as a weapons depository.

Those who entertain the very possibility of Israel giving up that part of Jerusalem to people with such a murderous and antisemitic record are helping perpetuate, however unwittingly, the war of extermination against Israel in which Jerusalem is used as a hostage.

For Diaspora community leadership bodies, this means there’s a direct clash between trying to keep everyone on board and properly defending Israel and the Jewish people.

In the US, AIPAC has experienced similar difficulties. The fallacy is to think that this clash can be defused by playing to the lowest common denominator over Israel. It cannot. Those who cede any ground at all to the fundamental lies and injustice to which Israel is subjected make themselves unavoidably complicit in those lies and injustice.

So Diaspora communities need to choose. Do they try to keep everyone on board, including those Jews who are indifferent or hostile to Israel; or do they unequivocally stand up for the Jewish people as a people?

Many of them instinctively feel that to identify as a people within the Diaspora is a contradiction in terms and dangerous to boot. British Jews have always been the most craven in this regard.

American Jews are going down the same road, although for different reasons. Now Australian Jews, previously among the most staunch and outspoken supporters of Israel, have wobbled.
Shame.
Alexandra DeSanctis: Women’s March, Sponsors Silent on Anti-Semitism Allegations
National Review contacted more than 20 of the most prominent organizations among the listed sponsors, asking whether they’re sponsoring the Women’s March again in January and asking for comment on the anti-Semitism allegations levied in the Tablet report.

The vast majority of those 2017 sponsors never replied — including pro-abortion groups such as Emily’s List, NARAL, the National Organization for Women, and the National Abortion Federation; unions such as the ACLU, AFL-CIO, the SEIU, and the health-care union 1199SEIU; and progressive outfits such as the NAACP, GLAAD, MoveOn.org, and the Human Rights Campaign.

Planned Parenthood, which is listed as the Women’s March’s “exclusive premiere sponsor,” also ignored National Review’s request for comment, but Erica Sackin, the group’s senior communications director, offered the following comment to Refinery29 when asked about the Tablet report:

The Women’s March has become a symbol of our collective resistance to these damaging and discriminatory policies and Planned Parenthood is proud to once again, join our progressive partners for the #WomensWave mobilization to protect and advance the progress we’ve made as a movement dedicated to equity and justice for all people. . . . We must also unequivocally reaffirm, as the Women’s March leadership has, that there is no place for anti-Semitism, homophobia, transphobia, or any kind of bigotry in our communities, our progressive movement, and our country. We will continue to work with the Women’s March to hold ourselves and each other accountable to the Unity Principles that are the basis of our partnership.

A spokesperson for the American Federation of Teachers directed National Review to Facebook, where the group’s president had posted a picture of herself posing with Mallory and Sarsour, along with the caption: “While we don’t agree on everything, [Sarsour] and [Mallory] are warriors for justice and I am honored to know them and work with them & call them friends..[sic] glad to have this meeting today w/ them & @Skleinbaum debunking myths.”

Ariel Gold, national co-director of Code Pink, a progressive anti-war group, told National Review via email that the group has partnered with the Women’s March every year since 2016 and is “excited” to be doing so again in January. “We are big supporters of Linda Sarsour and are are [sic] appalled by the way she has been attacked,” Gold added. “Far from being anti-semitic, Linda is on the frontlines of fighting anti-semitism. This is an underhanded attempt to divide the movement that Linda helps lead for freedom and dignity and protection for all.”

A spokesperson for the Center for American Progress, meanwhile, wrote to National Review, “We weren’t involved in the planning of the March, but we support the millions of women who came out and exercised their first amendment rights and made their voices heard. And to be crystal clear — anti-Semitism has no place in this or any other movement.”

The failure of prominent left-wing sponsors to condemn the Women’s March leadership for their entanglements with noted anti-Semites — and their alleged expression of anti-Semitic views themselves — is a clear example of how toxic the far Left is becoming, and of just how much progressive allies are willing to overlook for the sake of advancing their intersectional movement.
Douglas Murray: How terror changed Europe’s Christmas markets
I was in Milan two days after Cherif Chekatt shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ and started shooting at people enjoying the Christmas market in the city of Strasbourg. And so Milan’s Christmas market, like every other in similar cities, was on high alert. Which furthers yet another new tradition at Europe’s Christmas markets, which is the presence of army vehicles and police and military standing around with heavy duty weapons at the ready.

It all brought to mind a point that Mark Steyn has made a number of times in recent years, which is the phenomenon one might call the ‘bollard-isation’ of public life. Earlier this year in Norway I noticed that even Oslo has a strange set of massive steel devices on both sides of the street on the popular thoroughfare of cafes, restaurants and hotels that leads up to the country’s Parliament. They began to sprout one day and after a dose of negative public comment the local authorities decided to plant flowers on the devices, making them probably the world’s most ungainly flower-pots. What could have made these huge flower-carrying vessels so necessary? Who is to say.

But as Steyn has also pointed out in his observations about ‘bollard-isation’, there is a strange paradox at work here. Whichever European city you go to these days (Britain included) all of its public buildings and major infrastructure are positively surrounded by bollards and steel barriers. Yet at the same time the governments of these countries have never taken a more lax attitude to the place where bollards or similar security might be more usefully deployed. That is along what we used to call ‘a border’.



Thank you Gideon Levy, keep on writing!
Gideon Levy, with his forthright honesty about his feelings, not even bothering to try to conceal his hatred for Jews and his contempt for human life, exposes the real face of the Left – the face which other, more polished and less honest, writers and politicians on the Left attempt to conceal. Gideon Levy is doing to the Left today what Dudu Topaz did to the Left 37 years ago.

Gideon Levy has made a career of writing articles designed to infuriate Israelis and Jews everywhere. His lies, his distortions, his rants against Israel – these have contributed in no small measure to tens of thousands of ordinary Israelis cancelling their subscriptions to Haaretz over the years.

Haaretz has made gallant efforts over decades to acquire its reputation as an utterly untrustworthy publication. Few Israelis believe anything they read in its pages.

It is no wonder that without its English-language online edition, Haaretz would long ago have gone bankrupt. And it is no coincidence that Haaretz’s English-language readership consists largely to self-professed Jew-haters, Holocaust-deniers, Hamas-supporters, and the like.

(To verify this, just go to any article and read the comments from the readers. Never a pleasant bunch.)

About the only Israelis who still trust Haaretz are the outer fringes of the anti-Zionist Left – those who inhabit a bubble so impenetrable that they are not even aware of the contempt with which the vast majority of Israelis regard them.

In this, they are eerily reminiscent of white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups in Europe and the USA. The kind who chant slogans denigrating African-Americans (of course, they use far more offensive terms than “African-Americans”), and fail to grasp that far from convincing anyone, they succeed merely in alienating virtually everyone whom they encounter.

This is what Haaretz in general, and Gideon Levy in particular, succeed in accomplishing.

So no, Gideon Levy shouldn’t be fired. With all the pain and hurt which he deliberately causes, he is ultimately doing far more good than harm.
What the EU Survey Reveals About European Anti-Semitism
All too often, the issue of anti-Semitism in Europe is written about as an amorphous problem, like it was some noxious vapor floating in the ether that occasionally inflicts itself on individual Jews. In reality, it usually manifests in three distinct forms—left, right, and Muslim. Earlier this month, the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights launched its second survey on anti-Semitism. Interviewing some 16,500 individuals across 12 member states, it touts itself as “the biggest survey of Jewish people ever conducted worldwide.” The findings are dispiriting yet confirm what many know but few will say: that European anti-Semitism is predominantly Muslim in origin, followed in close second by the left-wing variety. According to “respondents who experienced some form of anti-Semitic harassment in the past five years,” 30 percent of the perpetrators were Muslim, 21 percent were people espousing a left-wing view, and only 13 percent expressed a right-wing view.

The survey’s most arresting discovery is that a third of respondents have considered emigrating from Europe because they no longer feel safe there as Jews. A similar number say that they “at least occasionally avoid visiting Jewish events” out of fear for their personal safety. This problem is particularly acute in France, home to Europe’s largest Jewish (and Muslim) population, where a slow-motion exodus has been underway since the deadly 2012 Islamist attack against a Jewish school in Toulouse took the lives of seven people, including a rabbi and his two children, aged 6 and 3. Subsequently, a pair of brutal murders (of Holocaust survivor Mireille Knoll and 67-year-old Sarah Halimi) shocked the world, and less severe anti-Semitic attacks on Jews are a near-daily occurrence in major French cities. Emigration is also increasingly on the minds of Jews in Britain, where 40 percent say they would “seriously consider” leaving the country if Jeremy Corbyn, the anti-Semitic leader of the Labour Party, were to become prime minister.

Unsurprisingly given the leadership profile of the country’s official opposition, left-wingers are responsible for a full quarter of anti-Semitic harassment in the United Kingdom, more than twice that of right-wingers and exceeded only by those whose views or religious background the victims could not describe. In Germany, where the absorption of over 1 million mostly Muslim migrants has propelled the nationalist Alternative für Deutschland into becoming the country’s third-largest political party, sparking fears of a right-wing revival in the historic home of national socialism, 41 percent of the perpetrators of anti-Semitic harassment are reported to be Muslim and just 20 percent right wing.
Germany to condition foreign aid on combating anti-Semitism
Germany will not back organizations that operate abroad unless they commit to fighting anti-Semitism, the country's first anti-Semitism commissioner announced Thursday.

Dr. Felix Klein, who took up his newly created post in the federal Interior Ministry in May, said organizations will have to enter into binding contracts to fight anti-Semitism. Such contracts will state that if an organization is found to have been promoting anti-Semitic activity, or if it fails to act to ensure that its funding does not support such activity, it will be denied further funding.

In response to an Israel Hayom query, Klein said the new policy will extend to German-funded projects in Palestinian cities and "all over the world."

Klein said he would also push for the amendment of Germany's anti-discrimination law to ensure foreign entities would not be allowed to show bias against Israelis on Germany territory. Klein was alluding to a recent case in which Kuwait Airways refused to let an Israeli board to fly from Frankfurt to Bangkok. A lawsuit filed against the carrier in Germany was dismissed by the court, which said the case did not violate the current language of the law.

Klein also unveiled a new center to allow German citizens to report anti-Semitic incidents. Such a center already operates in Berlin, but the new center, which will also have an online reporting mechanism, would have offices nationwide.

Klein said the new site is "the most important project of my term of office."
Richard Landes: Omertà in Action: The Cannibal Strategy and Shati Refugee Shelling
The following is an excerpt from my book ms, They’re So Smart cause We’re so Stupid: A Medievalist’s Guide to the 21st Century, Part II, chapter 5: “Lethal Journalism.”

To add to the dossier on Palestinian intimidation and the system of Omertà that it has successfully turned into a smooth compliance of journalists with the Palestinian lethal narrative, an incident occurred in the summer of 2014, during the IDF’s “Operation Protective Edge.” It competes with the Ricardo Cristiano incident for the bright illumination is sheds on the phenomenon of intimidation of the media.

This was the third operation in Gaza in six years, and Hamas “Dead-Baby” strategy had developed clearly in response to the MSNM reliably playing by their rules.[ Firing from behind their own civilians, at Israeli civilians, Hamas’ strategy sought 1) to create a maximum of civilian casualties, 2) have them blamed on Israel, 3) so that world indignation and anger at this massive spectacle of Palestinian suffering, would wax so great that Israel would be forced to stop its operation, and Hamas and other Jihadi would survive to fight again. Meantime, the more the Palestinians suffered, the more damage to Israel’s public image in the world. It was a brilliant cognitive war strategy, waged against Israel, by a combination of Palestinian propagandists and the Durban BDS School.

So, valuable were civilian casualties in this strategy, that Hamas and fellow Jihadis, resorting to a particularly merciless strategy already deployed by the PLO and fellow civil warriors in Lebanon in the 1970s, fired from their own civilian areas, in the hopes of drawing return fire and getting their own people killed. NB: this represents an even more heinous strategy than the one used in Lebanon. There, the PLO would fire from enemy territory and run away before the return fire hit their enemy. Here it was a sacrifice of their own people.

So careless did the rocketeers get, that some 20% of their rockets fell on their own people, in some cases killing children. And yet, so valuable were dead babies killed by rockets, that they did not hesitate to use children members of Hamas had themselves killed, to blame Israel and carry out their charade of victimhood.
Policy On Jewish-Owned Properties In West Bank Will Hurt Airbnb
Airbnb's decision to de-list Jewish owned properties in the West Bank is anti-Semitic and will have a dramatic, negative effect on the company's mid-2019 Initial Public Offering (IPO).

In a lengthy statement announcing its new policy, Airbnb attempted to claim a thoughtful and nuanced moral high ground. They justified their decision by noting the disputed nature of the West Bank. They're not singling out Jews, they imply, they're merely adopting a policy on disputed territories.

But that's not true. Not only does Airbnb have listings in other disputed territories, including Kashmir, northern Cypress, Tibet and Nagorno-Karabakh, the company hasn't de-listed all properties in the West Bank — just those owned by Jews.

Airbnb's policy is neither thoughtful nor nuanced; rather it is repugnant and bigoted. The company's justifications are hollow. And, in many states, it places the company in the crosshairs of elected officials that have had enough of thinly-veiled anti-Semitism.

For example, incoming Florida Governor Ron DeSantis noted that once he takes office, the Sunshine State will "review how Florida interacts with Airbnb."
Jewish Labour MP Ivan Lewis resigns Labour whip, saying that he “could no longer reconcile my Jewish identity and current Labour politics”
Jewish Labour MP Ivan Lewis has resigned the Labour Party whip, saying that he “could no longer reconcile my Jewish identity and current Labour politics”. Accusing Jeremy Corbyn and Seumas Milne, Mr Corbyn’s Executive Director of Strategy and Communications, of treating Jews differently, he also revealed that Mr Corbyn had sacked him from the front bench by text message after Mr Lewis requested a meeting to discuss antisemitism with him.

The news comes as lawyers for Campaign Against Antisemitism submitted legal arguments to the Equality and Human Rights Commission, seeking to trigger a statutory investigation into antisemitism in the Party. Additionally, almost 50,000 people have signed a petition calling on Labour MPs to act over Mr Corbyn’s antisemitism.

Gideon Falter, Chairman of Campaign Against Antisemitism, said: “It is very sad that after over 20 years as a Labour MP, Ivan Lewis felt morally compelled to resign the Labour whip because the Party that was fiercely anti-racist when he joined it has now become infested with antisemitism. It is inevitable that if a political party is led by an antisemite who lets Jew-hatred run rampant, people of conscience will leave. The indications are that others may now follow where Ivan Lewis and Frank Field have led.”
Chris Williamson’s unconvincing apology
It didn’t come as a huge surprise to see Chris Williamson leap to the defence of Gilad Atzmon recently – Atzmon had been blocked from appearing with the Blockheads by Islington Council. Now the Labour MP has issued an apology and deleted the tweet in which he expressed enthusiasm for a petition defending Atzmon. He explained:

“Earlier today I tweeted a petition about an Islington Council ban against the Blockheads performing with their chosen line up. The council has blocked jazz musician Gilad Atzmon from playing with the group.

“Since then I’ve learned that Atzmon, a former Israeli soldier, is not confined to the jazz world. I am told that in various blogs and in speeches he has adopted antisemitic language.


This seems a very very weaselly account of what happened – surely Williamson had some sense of the problem with Atzmon before sharing the petition – at least been dimly aware that he ‘is not confined to the jazz world’? If he really knew nothing about him, he should have researched the issue – would Islington Council really ban him without serious grounds? – particularly given his party’s embarrassing track record on antisemitism.
Anti-Israel Advocacy Permeates the New York Times
Anyone who wonders how a once-prestigious newspaper like the New York Times can get so many things wrong in its news coverage and analysis need only look to its editorial page.

According to the newspaper, editorial columns “represent the voice of the board, its editor and the publisher,” and are totally separate from the newsroom. In reality, however, it is the voice of the editorial board and publisher that sets the tone for the Times’ news coverage. And when the editorialists freely use misinformation and distortions to bolster their arguments, the news pages do the same.

Such is the case with the anti-Semitic BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) campaign against Israel. A Dec. 19th editorial suggests that organizing and promoting anti-Israel boycotts is a legitimate right while opposing American participation in such boycotts is condemnable. The editorial decries proposed legislation against such boycotts, claiming that it’s meant “to silence” the Palestinian “side of the debate,” while lamenting that such legislation would “cripple” the BDS campaign and “deprive” the Palestinians of a non-violent outlet to attack Israel.

They disingenuously attempt to distinguish between the Arab League’s boycott of Israel, which they say was economic coercion, and current BDS attempts to boycott Israeli businesses, academia, cultural and artistic events, which they falsely suggest is simply “exercising free speech rights.”
Israel calls on EU to stop funding groups that support BDS
Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan has asked the European Union to investigate whether its funds are being transferred to organizations that promote boycotts of Israel.

On Wednesday, the European Court of Auditors published a detailed report on the funding the EU transfers to nongovernmental organizations. The report finds that the bloc's system of determining whether organizations meet the criteria for NGOs is unreliable, and that the European Council, which is responsible for defining the EU's overall political direction and priorities, does not have sufficiently detailed information about how the funds are being used.

Israel has for years criticized the EU's extensive support for NGOs that act against Israeli government policies. Israeli officials believe the new report confirms these concerns.

Erdan, who oversees Israel's efforts to combat the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, contacted European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Thursday with a request to ensure that the EU immediately halts funding to organizations that support boycotts of Israel.
US fundraising site suspends BDS account over alleged terror ties
A US software company said Friday it blocked the fundraising account of the Palestinian-led boycott movement against Israel following a complaint by a pro-Israel group that the campaign has links to militant organizations.

Donorbox, which makes fundraising management software, confirmed that the BDS campaign’s account was temporarily blocked while it investigates the allegations.

The BDS movement called the Israeli move “McCarthyite.”

The decision came in response to a complaint from Shurat HaDin, an Israeli advocacy group that files lawsuits around the world against Israel’s foes, submitted in coordination with Israel’s Strategic Affairs Ministry.

“This decision does not mean that we consider BDS to be a nefarious organization. We are merely reviewing evidence following this complaint. Their donation forms were closed as a precautionary measure,” Donorbox said in a statement. The San Francisco firm, whose product is used by BDS and other nonprofits to collect online donations, gave no indication how long the review would take.

The complaint noted that the boycott movement’s membership includes the “Council of National and Islamic Forces in Palestine,” an umbrella committee representing all major Palestinian political factions. Committee members include Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, groups that have been branded terrorist organizations by the US.
BDS International donation accounts frozen for suspected ties to terrorism
The Ramallah-based BDS International Committee had its online donation account frozen on suspicion of ties to terrorism by its fundraising site Donorbox, according to a Ministry of Strategic Affairs report on Friday.

The American website, DonorBox, a popular fundraising platform for non-profits, which serves as the umbrella organization of the Palestinian Boycott Coalition, announced that it is freezing the accounts of the BDS National Committee (BNC), which operates from Ramallah and is headed by an Israeli resident, Omar Barghouti.

DonorBox reached its decision after receiving a complaint from Shurat HaDin - the Israel Law Center with information provided by the Israel Ministry of Strategic Affairs that the organization is affiliated with declared terrorist organizations and it misleads donors by falsely claiming that it is a US-based charitable organization.

"This is a significant achievement in the struggle against the Palestinian boycott organizations that in reality, are driving all the BDS organizations of the world," said Minister of Strategic Affairs Gilad Erdan. "We are leading, together with civil society partners, intensive activity to counter the funding of the BDS campaign, by revealing its destructive goals, its antisemitic nature and its connections to terror. Our efforts are bearing fruit. We will continue to work to reveal the true nature of BDS, counter its funding, and curtail its impact."

The president of Shurat HaDin, Adv. Nitsana Darshan-Leitner said on Friday, "We have no intention to allow terrorist organizations and their accomplices to raise money online without interference. Fundraising is oxygen to terrorists, we will use every legal way possible to choke off every platform they use to raise funds. We hope that our successful action against Donorbox will send a clear warning to all online fundraising platforms on the Internet and will ensure that these funds are not used to finance terrorism. "
Support Manny's. Support Progressive Activism in San Francisco's Mission District.
Opened earlier this year by Emmanuel Yekutiel, a former intern in the Obama White House, Manny’s is a community gathering place on the corner of 16th and Valencia St in San Francisco’s Mission District. Inspired by DC based Busboys and poets, the space was envisioned as a coffee shop, restaurant and event space

From Mission Housing:

Sam Moss, the executive director of Mission Housing, said he was excited about the project. “One thing about the affordable housing industry that gets lost in translation is how important our ground-floor spaces are, and should be, to serving the general community’s needs,” he said. Moss said he chose Yekutiel’s business out of a half-dozen other interested parties for precisely that reason. “16th and Valencia should be a hub of empowerment,” he said. “I see this as a way to do it.”

It sounds like a perfect fit in San Francisco, and particularly in the Mission district, yet Manny’s is being targeted by some of the most bizarre protests since Cliff’s Variety in the Castro was tormented for daring to sell Israeli seltzer machines.

Its an astonishing level of hypocritical virtue-signaling, even for San Francisco, a city that elevated it to an art form.

On Facebook, Roger Waters attacks cover band for reviving Israel concert
Roger Waters, lead singer of the progressive rock band Pink Floyd, responded on Thursday to a Jerusalem Post article reporting that the UK Pink Floyd Experience will be performing in Israel, despite having previously canceled.

"I'm sorry you buckled boys, I could, and would, have helped you resist had you asked," Waters wrote on his Facebook page. He further explained that Israeli media is "trying to paint [him] as a wicked bully rather than a concerned human rights activist."

The report Waters responded to explained that following attacks by Waters of the UK-based cover band, the UK Pink Floyd Experience canceled their performance in Israel and deleted their Facebook page due to backlash. Ziv Rubinstein, one of the producers of EGOeast, went to visit the band shortly after and told them that "at the end of the day, we're talking about art." The band, shortly after, rescinded their cancellation and announced that they will, in fact, be performing in Israel.

Waters cited the band's spokesperson, Dave Power, as stating that Rubinstein "spent days" explaining to Power and the rest of the band that EGOeast would "sue 'UK Pink Floyd Experience' relentlessly."
Chabad Files $10 Million Lawsuit Against Baltimore County, Citing Discrimination
A day before deadline, Chabad filed a $10 million federal lawsuit against Baltimore County, citing religious discrimination and defamation, for seeking to demolish the recently built, $1 million Chabad-Lubavitch of Towson, which serves students from nearby Towson University and Goucher College.

This development comes as a Maryland circuit court ruled last month that the Chabad center, directed by Rabbi Mendy and Sheiny Rivkin, must be razed by Dec. 21.

The latest legal course of action claims a violation of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, which prohibits enacting“a substantial burden on the religious exercise of a person, including a religious assembly or institution” unless there’s “a compelling governmental interest.”

According to a press release by Chabad, “The suit details how Baltimore County officials falsely stated that the Chabad House was in violation of zoning laws, claiming that it was serving not as a ‘residence,’ but as a ‘community center,’ a term that does not exist in Baltimore zoning laws.”

It mentioned that a county spokesperson said “should the Chabad continue to host Friday-night dinners [at the Rivkin home] in violation of the board’s decision, the county is prepared to enforce the board’s order.”
IsraellyCool: Christmas Greetings, Palestinian Propaganda Style
We’ve seen the palestinians and their supporters co-opt pretty much everything under the sun, in order to advances their agenda. And with Christmas coming up, we know they’ll co-opt that just like they have been for years. This means be prepared for the usual litany of “Bad Santa” images.

But I have to admit being taken aback by the lack of subtlety of this “Christmas greeting”, published by the Palestinian Revolutionary United Front, the Facebook page run by “Angel in a Hummer” Rena Salomon:

The Santa dumping rocks on the Israeli soldier is a really nice touch.

They can’t just wish people a Merry Christmas, can they?
More lazy BBC reporting on Hizballah’s tunnels
As was the case in the December 4th report – and as has often been seen in BBC past content – the latest article cites 2006 Lebanese casualty figures that are devoid of any mention of Hizballah combatants.

“Tensions are high between the Iran-backed Shia Islamist group and Israel, which fought a month-long war in 2006.

More than 1,125 Lebanese, most of them civilians, and 159 Israelis, including 43 civilians, were killed in that conflict.”


While the Lebanese authorities did not differentiate between civilians and combatants during the 2006 war, Lebanese officials nevertheless reported even before the conflict was over that some 500 of the dead were Hizballah personnel and UN officials gave similar figures while Israeli estimates stand at around 600.

In August 2006 the BBC News website acknowledged that “there are no reliable figures” for the number of Hizballah combatants killed in the war that had just ended at the time. Since then, however, the BBC has adopted a mantra portraying Lebanese casualties during the 2006 war as “mostly civilians” despite there being no evidence of its having been able to independently verify that claim.

Remarkably, this December 19th report does not provide BBC audiences with any information about the UN Security Council session on the topic of the Hizballah tunnels that was held on December 19th.
Arsenal investigating fans for anti-Semitism during game against Tottenham
English soccer club Arsenal said it was investigating alleged anti-Semitic behavior by its fans following the team’s win over London rivals Tottenham earlier this week.

Photos and videos from Emirates Stadium showed an Arsenal supporter making an anti-Semitic gesture at a Tottenham fan during Wednesday’s game, while reports in British media said another fan was kicked out for chanting about “gassing Jews.”

In a statement Thursday, the club said it was investigating the incidents and would press for criminal charges against the perpetrators.

“We do not tolerate any anti-social, discriminatory or violent behavior at Arsenal Football Club,” the statement said. “Anyone identified will receive a lengthy club ban and their details will be passed to the police to commence legal proceedings.”

Tottenham traditionally has a large fan base among London’s Jewish community and some opposing fans regularly direct anti-Semitic abuse at supporters of the team.
Belgian soccer fans sing chant about burning Jews
Soccer fans in Belgium chanted about burning Jews during a match in the city of Bruges, Belgian media reported.

La Derniere Heure published footage from the August 26 match on Wednesday. It shows dozens of fans celebrating their local team’s victory over Brussels’ Anderlecht team that day by singing in Flemish: “My father was in the commandos, my mother was in the SS, together they burned Jews ’cause Jews burn the best.”

The chant, whose use was first reported by the media in 2015, has proliferated in the Netherlands and Belgium in recent years. In some cases, fans chant it to taunt counterparts from rival teams that are seen as historically Jewish. Some fans say Anderlecht is such a team, although that soccer club is not famously associated with Jews.

But the chant has appeared in situations connected to neither Jews nor soccer, including a high school graduation party in 2016 near Amsterdam.

The soccer club of Brugge, a city located 40 miles west of Brussels, said in a statement: “We strongly condemn this behavior,” the HLN news website reported. The club said several fans have been identified and slapped with a ban on entering the team’s Jan Breydel Stadium.
How a fringe anti-racism play has upset London’s streets and exploded Twitter
In the summer of 2014, as a major Israeli-Hamas conflict flared, playwright Stephen Laughton, a self-styled “romantic Zionist,” was working part time in public relations at the BBC. During that feverish period, pro- and anti-Israel rallies regularly demonstrated outside the building where Laughton worked.

“One day I left the building and walked smack into a Palestinian rally,” Laughton recalls during a recent interview with The Times of Israel. “And one of the demonstrators, who absolutely was not Palestinian, saw my tattoo — which says ‘herut‘ [‘freedom’] in Hebrew — grabbed my wrist, and shouted out, ‘We’ve got a Jew!’”

Laughton says he felt “shame, and fear, and then outrage,” but above all an abiding feeling that the demonstrators needed “to learn the difference between a Diaspora Jew and the Israeli government.”

Those tumultuous feelings have now found expression in Laughton’s latest stage offering, “One Jewish Boy,” which opened December 11 at a fringe venue in central London. And an understandably nervous Laughton has been standing by — not just for the critics, but for potential trouble — after a wave of social media abuse hit the play when it was announced this past September.

Laughton, 37, is hardly a typical Jewish playwright. In fact, he was raised in Stourbridge, Worcestershire, of mixed heritage — his father’s side of the family is Greek Cypriot. The area, in Britain’s Midlands, could scarcely be less Jewish.

But Laughton, who came late to his Jewish identity, says he has noticed the rise of anti-Semitism and “wanted to talk about it in a really honest and frank way, to talk about the four columns of anti-Semitism: blood libel, power and money, split loyalty or untrustworthiness, and Israel.”
Liberation of Buchenwald: The first glimpse of a concentration camp
The cars drove down a beautiful country road, lined with blossoming fruit trees, as the warm spring weather heralded a new beginning. The war was nearing its end. Little more than 130 miles away, the Nazis were making their futile last stand in Berlin as the Allies slowly closed in. In a few days, Hitler would be dead.

The vehicles soon made their way up into a wooded, hilly area. Within a few minutes, the short drive from the local airfield came to an end as the trees cleared, and the cars pulled up at the gates of Buchenwald.

Tom Driberg emerged from one of the vehicles along with nine other members of the British Parliament – an official delegation, sent by Prime Minister Winston Churchill to examine the worst of the newly liberated concentration camps which had been captured by Western forces.

Driberg was many things, but he was hardly a senior member of this group. Quite the contrary, in fact. The official head of the delegation, which was made up of representatives from all political parties, was Earl James Richard Stanhope of the House of Lords. Thomas Edward Neil Driberg was a communist member of the Labour Party, a devout catholic, and in April 1945, a 39-year-old backbencher in the House of Commons.

He was also an openly gay man during a time when his lifestyle made him a criminal in the United Kingdom. He would befriend the likes of Aleister Crowley, Mick Jagger and Allen Ginsberg and later in life would be suspected as a possible Soviet spy. Driberg’s larger-than-life persona and tendency to go against the grain would make him famous, but it is often forgotten that he played a small but important role in this particular moment in history.

It was Driberg’s skill as a journalist, his former profession, which gained him his place in the delegation to Buchenwald. General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Supreme Allied Commander, had specifically requested that Churchill include a journalist or two in the group, and so it fell to Tom Driberg to write up the delegation’s official report.

A rare copy of that same report has now been discovered in the archives of the National Library of Israel.

The delegation strode through the gates, above which hung a sign in German: “Recht order unrecht-mein Vaterland” (My country right or wrong) was the ominous welcoming message. It was April 21st, 1945. Buchenwald had been liberated by the U.S. Army ten days earlier. This was the first time the West was able to directly access the Nazi camps. “Our objective was to ‘find out the truth,’ while the evidence was still fresh,” Driberg wrote in the report
UK army said to use Israeli-made system to end drone chaos at London airport
The British military reportedly used an Israeli anti-drone system to ground an unmanned aerial vehicle that shuttered the airfield at London’s Gatwick Airport for over 36 hours beginning Thursday, stranding tens of thousands of passengers.

Flights resumed Friday at Gatwick, the United Kingdom’s second busiest airport, while police said they were still hunting for the drone operator or operators and Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said “military capabilities” were being deployed to safeguard the airport.

Though Grayling did not give details on what equipment was being deployed, The Daily Mail reported that the British Army used the Israeli-made “Drone Dome” to bring down the UAV after police failed for hours to do so with a commercial anti-drone system.

Six of the systems, which were developed by Israeli defense firm Rafael, were sold to the UK Ministry of Defense in August in an estimated $20 million deal, according to Israel’s Globes financial daily.

According to RADA Electronic Industries, which makes the radars used in the Drone Dome, the system can identify drones from 3-5 kilometers (1.8-3 miles) away using 360-degree detection technology.
Conde Nast Traveler Names Israel One of Its ‘Most Incredible Travel Experiences’
The staff of Conde Nast Traveler included Israel as one of their 9 most memorable travel destinations in an article published on Wednesday.

Beth Lusko — head of revenue for Condé Nast Traveler — reminisced about her trip to the Jewish state and watching her “children marvel at all the wonders Israel has to offer, old and new, magical and humbling.”

Other destinations on the list included London and Rio de Janeiro, as well as locations in Mexico and Peru.

The magazine published in its January 2019 issue a “Gold List” comprised of the editors’ all-time favorite destinations and places to stay around the world, including hotels, resorts, and cruise ships. The magazine’s first transatlantic list, created by teams in New York and London, spans six continents and 36 countries.
Study: Israel is Third Most Educated Country in the World
Israel is the third most educated country, according to 2017 data compiled by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

OECD calculated the percentage of each country’s population between the ages of 25 and 64 who have completed a two- or four-year degree beyond high school – including both academic and vocational programs.

The data shows that 50.9 percent of Israelis in the target age bracket have a higher-education degree. The report noted that Jewish Israelis enter college at a later age than most Western counterparts because most serve in the military for at least two years after high school.

The United States came in at No. 5, with only 46.4 percent of its population in the target age group having completed a higher-education program – even though half of the world’s top-ranking universities are American.




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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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