Sunday, February 17, 2019

From Ian:

Amnesty tries banning Jewish history
Amnesty International has long sought to isolate Israel by lobbying governments, international bodies, and civil society to adopt boycotts against the Jewish state.

The organization reached new levels of discrimination in its recent report, “Digital Tourism and Israel’s Illegal Settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.” In it, the international NGO superpower attempts to criminalize Jewish and Christian tourism to holy sites in Jerusalem and the West Bank, erasing the Bible, and denying the Jewish people’s connection to its historic homeland.

According to Amnesty, travel platforms such as Airbnb, Expedia,,, TripAdvisor and others, are “contributing to human rights violations” by facilitating and advertising travel to Judaism and Christianity’s holiest sites, because these lie beyond the 1949 Armistice line – the “Green Line.” Specifically, Amnesty presents as deeply problematic tourism to Old Jerusalem’s Jewish Quarter, the Western Wall, and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, as well as to Jewish historic locations in the West Bank.

For Amnesty, biblical sites in particular, alongside other locations of importance and interest in Jerusalem and the West Bank, are inconvenient, legitimizing Israel’s historical narrative as the nation-state of the Jewish people. Regardless of the political future of these areas, there can be no denying their historic Jewish significance. Amnesty, however, is attempting to sever, erase, and even ban these ties.

In diminishing these religious and cultural connections, Amnesty accuses Israel of creating a “settlement tourism industry” to help “sustain and expand” communities beyond the Green Line. Israel’s interest in Jewish archaeology is reduced to artificial manipulation, used “to make the link between the modern State of Israel and its Jewish history explicit,” while “rewriting of history [which] has the effect of minimizing the Palestinian people’s own historic links to the region.”

The possibility that Jews and Christians would visit holy sites, and want to see archaeological remnants of biblical locations for their religious and historical significance, is not entertained.

Are France and the EU helpless against anti-Semitism?
As Mauricette Rouffignat stood before yet another desecrated Jewish site on a recent sunny morning, it seemed like a playback to darker days. "I experienced World War II and all the suffering, the Jews who were deported," said 84-year-old Roussignat, who is not Jewish, but a resident of Saint-Geneviรจve-des-Bois, a quiet town on the outskirts of Paris. "We cannot remain unresponsive to these events, to this growing racism and insensitivity."

Nearby, local politicians blasted intolerance and laid wreaths next to a portrait of a smiling young man, as trains rumbled by overhead. Twenty-three-year-old Ilan Halimi was dumped at the spot where they stood, barely alive, after being kidnapped and tortured for weeks. Because he was Jewish, his abductors thought his family could pay a steep ransom. They couldn't, and Halimi died on his way to hospital.

That was 13 years ago. Since then, France has experienced a raft of other horrific anti-Semitic incidents, from a 2012 shooting at a Jewish school in Toulouse, to 2015 terrorist attacks targeting a Paris kosher supermarket. Last year, 85-year-old Holocaust survivor Mireille Knoll became the second elderly Jewish women murdered in as many years.

Once again, anti-Semitism is on the rise in France, with the government reporting this week a 74 percent uptick in anti-Jewish acts last year, compared to 2017. "The government has to do more," said Rabbi Michel Serfaty, who heads a Jewish-Muslim friendship association. "The fight against anti-Semitism can't just be carried out by citizens and communities. It has to become a national cause."
Democrats Tacitly Support Anti-Israel Movement While Pretending Not To
Congressional Democrats don’t want to talk about the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement. And many of them really don’t want to be asked to vote on it.

In spite of such reluctance, Sens. Marco Rubio, Joe Manchin, and their allies passed S. 1, the Strengthening America’s Security in the Middle East Act of 2019, 77-23 last Tuesday. The bill combined four Middle Eastern security-related bills. For many Democrats, though, the fly in the ointment was the Combating BDS Act of 2019, which affirms state and local governments’ right to avoid working with firms that support the anti-Israel BDS movement. More than 25 states currently have anti-BDS laws or executive orders, and BDS supporters have begun challenging them in court.

Rubio introduced his bill January 3 and spent more than a month fighting excuses and strawmen, as Democrats attempted to thread the needle of being anti-BDS while opposing Rubio’s economically focused anti-BDS bill and wishing the whole discussion would just disappear.

Democrats said it was improper to vote on such things during the government shutdown. They also asserted the bill was a threat to the First Amendment and attempted to filibuster it. Rubio addressed falsehoods about the bill’s constitutionality on Twitter and in a New York Times op-ed, while Republicans were repeatedly accused of politicizing Israel in an attempt to fracture Democrats.

President Obama’s former ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro told Bloomberg: “There’s a desire by Republicans to use Israel as a wedge issue . . . Not a single Democrat in the Senate supports BDS, so there is an opportunity to craft the provision on BDS in a way that reflects that consensus and make sure it passes constitutional muster.”

Israel should never be a political wedge issue, but Democrats need no help with divisions on this issue. As The Daily Beast acknowledges, “the Democratic Party is heading into a slow-motion, three-way car wreck [“the pro-Israel old guard, pro-Palestine young progressives, and anti-censorship liberals,” as they call them] when it comes to Israel/Palestine.” I’m skeptical that the “anti-censorship” middle ground is a meaningful long-term category, but the point remains. Democrats are undergoing a generational shift. Israel is now a subject of intra-party conflict.

Life as a dhimmi in pre-state Israel
One of the many enduring lies spread by the "Israel is always wrong" team, is that Jews and Arabs got along swimmingly in the Arab world, and in particular, in the Holy Land, until those darn Zionists came and ruined everything.

Its blatantly false.

Maimonides writing in 1172 noted the suffering of his people under Arab hands, as quoted in Bostom's The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism: From Sacred Texts to Solemn History:

God has hurled us in the midst of this people, the Arabs, who have persecuted us severely, and passed baneful and discriminatory legislation against us, as Scripture has forewarned us, "Our enemies themselves shall judge us" (Deut. 32:3 1). Never did a nation molest, degrade, debase, and hate us as much as they...

Albert M Hyamson, in his 1917 book Palestine, the rebirth of an ancient people (online and fully digitized) describes life as a dhimmi, in pre-state Israel

The Jews here are still sorely oppressed by the Turks: they are robbed, injured and insulted, and have no appeal. Every man doeth that which is right in his own eyes. A Turk will enter a shop and demand so much money; if the poor man threatens to go to a judge, he is told, 'My sword is the judge- give or take the consequences!' This has really happened since our return to a poor Jew and was told us by another Jew

Why We're Protesting Anti-Israeli UN Bias on March 18, 2019

New York Times Claims Osama Bin Laden Motivated by ‘News Coverage of Displaced Palestinians’
The New York Times is suddenly and retroactively blaming Israel for motivating the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, without much evidence to support the claim.

A recent Times news article about deadly attacks in Africa by affiliates of the terrorist group Al Qaeda blames them on President Trump’s decision to obey an American law that required him to move the American embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

The Times reports, “The attacks came fully seven months after President Trump moved the American Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the disputed holy city, which Mr. Trump recognized as the country’s capital. Widely seen as inflaming tensions and as a demonstration of the administration’s favoritism toward Israel in its long conflict with the Palestinians, the move drew condemnation at the time from many corners, including Al Qaeda and other extremist militant organizations.”

The Times mentions that the Jerusalem embassy move “drew condemnation … from many corners” but fails to mention that it also drew praise from many corners, including from the elected government of Israel and many American Jews and Christian Zionists.

But that’s just a mild precursor compared to the Times September 11 revisionism, which comes in a paragraph of the article that immediately follows the description of Jerusalem. The Times reports, “The suffering of the Palestinians has long been an animating cause for Al Qaeda, a stand-in for the victimization of Muslims at the hands of Western powers. Biographies of Osama bin Laden say that as an adolescent, he cried watching news coverage of displaced Palestinians who had been forced off their land.”
Netanyahu warns Arab countries not to reject Trump peace plan - report
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Arab countries not to reject the Trump peace plan before it is presented.

Netanyahu's comments to Arab leaders at last week's conference in Warsaw were revealed on a secret tape that was aired Sunday morning by KAN News.

“We will wait to see what the plan will look like that will be presented after the Israeli elections,” Netanyahu said. “As you can imagine, that takes up a little bit of my time now. We await the presentation of that plan.

“I don’t think any of us should reject the plan by the American administration before it is even presented.”

Netanyahu told Arab leaders during the same meeting that Israel knew peace was a "one-way street."

“For Israel to be at peace or normalize relations with the broader Arab world, we must have Israel and Palestinian peace,” he said. “Since peace was not forthcoming, we were stuck with no options.”

But, the prime minister said, this is beginning to change.
Palestinian official throws wrench into Israeli plan for railway link to Gulf
The rejection comes amid fears of normalization between Israel, Arab states.

Palestinian official Hussein al-Sheikh rejected an Israeli offer to establish a railway link between Israel and several Arab states that would go through the West Bank on Friday.

"Israel offered us the chance to participate in a railway scheme linking Haifa to Jenin to a number of Arab capitals," the Palestinian Authority's Civil Affairs Minister said on Twitter.

"But we rejected the offer," al-Sheikh said. "We won’t normalize relations with Israel and we won’t take part in economic solutions that perpetuate the occupation."

The statement refers to an Israeli initiative unveiled by transportation minister, and current Likud party Knesset hopeful, Israel Katz in April 2017, which would make Israel a bridge between Europe and the Middle-East.

The April 2017 plan, called 'Tracks for Peace,' would see Israel build a rail link between the major port of Haifa, in the north of the country, to Amman, Jordan, via the West Bank.

Connecting into the Jordanian rail system would then build a direct connection to Saudi Arabia and the Gulf.

"It makes sense and is beyond political and ideological disagreements," Yisrael Katz previously said on a rare November visit to a transport summit in Oman.

Arguing that the proposal was also favorable to the Palestinian economy, the minister said the additional trade route would be "shorter, faster and cheaper, and will contribute to the economies of Jordan, the Palestinians -- who will also be connected to the initiative -- Israel, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states, and in the future Iraq as well."

The plan has reportedly received warm approval in Washington - although it is unlikely to find supporters in the region, despite Katz's efforts.
Sissi: Israeli-Palestinian conflict is main source of instability in Middle East
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi said Saturday he believes the failure to achieve a just solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the main source of instability in the Middle East.

Speaking at the Munich Security Conference, Sissi added that Egypt supports international efforts to end the conflict based on the two-state solution and in accordance with the pre-1967 borders, as well as a Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem, Haaretz reported.

Egypt’s president also called on Western countries to boost efforts at tackling extremist ideology in online media and mosques.

Sissi said countries must “tackle websites that are inciting hatred and spreading extremist and terrorist narratives among communities in the Islamic world and in the West.”

He also said authorities should “be very mindful of what is being promoted at houses of worship,” adding that extremists should not be allowed to preach. He underlined his efforts in Egypt to control the sermons in mosques.

Egypt has wide-ranging restrictions on free speech.
Qatar: Palestinian issue core stumbling block to ties with Israel
The unresolved Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the main reason for Qatar and Israel having no diplomatic ties, Qatar’s Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani said Sunday at the Munich Security Conference.

“The core issue of the relationship between Qatar and Israel is the Palestinian issue,” Al-Thani said. “As long as this is not resolved, there will always be a problem between us. This applies for all the Arab countries.”

“At the end we cannot overcome the Palestinians’ [issue]. We have been calling for a two-state solution, we have been calling for a peaceful resolution to this conflict. We are willing to live peacefully if the Palestinian people’s rights will go back to them. This is at the core of Qatar foreign policy.”

Al-Thani spoke just days after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Israeli reporters on the sidelines of the Warsaw summit that Arab nations in the region are more concerned with Iran than with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The Qatari prime minister also referenced the Warsaw summit, at which representatives from 60 nations gathered to discuss regional issues. Neither Iran nor the Palestinians were represented.
Polish PM cancels trip to Israel amid spat over Netanyahu Holocaust comments
Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has canceled a trip to Israel for a high-level summit slated to take place this week, as a diplomatic spat continues over comments made by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Polish collaboration with the Nazis.

The Polish embassy in Tel Aviv confirmed to the Times of Israel that Morawiecki would not attend the summit of the so-called Visegrad Group of central European countries.

Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz was expected to attend instead.

Morawiecki informed Netanyahu that he would not attend the Visegrad summit in Jerusalem in a phone conversation Sunday, Poland’s wPolityce news website reported. The site said that the conversation between the two was positive nonetheless.

Israel’s Kan broadcaster said Poland had informed Netanyahu that the clarifications it had received regarding comments made by Netanyahu regarding the role of Poles in the Holocaust were not sufficient.
Turkey promises to buy S-400, despite potential U.S. defense system deal
Turkey signed a deal to buy the S-400 air defense system from Russia in 2017. According to reports, Ankara is still poised to acquire the weapons system, despite seeking a $3.5 billion deal to get the US Patriot missile defense as well. Turkey will become the only country to have both advanced systems, costing it billions for missile defense as it juggles its relations with the US, NATO and Moscow.

Symbolically, the decision by Turkey to buy weapons systems from Russia and the US is part of the delicate balancing act that Ankara has sought to be friends of both Washington and Moscow, both a NATO ally and working with Russia to deal with the Syrian conflict. However, US Vice President Mike Pence condemned NATO allies for flirting with “the East,” an apparent reference to Turkey, and US officials have indicated that Turkey should not acquire both systems.

The 2017 deal for the S-400 came as Turkey was increasingly involved in operations in northern Syria and planning its offensive into Afrin that would begin in January 2018. Turkey was seeking out Russian approval for the offensive and needed Russia to pressure the Syrian regime, a key Russian ally, to allow Turkey to use Syrian airspace for the operation. Turkey wanted to clear the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) from the Afrin border area. The deal also came as Turkey was widening economic relations with Russia over the TurkStream pipeline in the Black Sea, which was completed in November 2018. The S-400 deal was estimated at $2.5 billion in 2017 and was supposed to be delivered by 2020. Reports at the time indicated it caused concern among Turkey’s NATO allies and that the “antiaircraft weapon systems cannot be integrated into the alliance’s defenses.”
MEMRI: Imprisoned Hizb Ut-Tahrir Australia Leader Ismail Al-Wahwah, Whose Sermons And Statements MEMRI Has Translated Since 2012 And Which Have Been Provided To Authorities, Is Moved To Maximum Security Prison In Jordan; He Calls For Caliphate And For Waging Jihad Against The Jews Who Are 'The Most Evil Creatures Of Allah,' And Says: 'Our True Conflict Is With Europe And The U.S. – They Are The Enemy'
Ismail Al-Wahwah, leader of the Australia chapter of the Hizb Ut-Tahrir international pan-Islamist organization, who was arrested in Jordan in July 2018,[1] was moved in November 2018 to Jordan's maximum security Al Muwaqqar II prison. The prison also houses Al-Qaeda terrorists.[2]

MEMRI has been monitoring Al-Wahwah since 2012. MEMRI TV clips show him at rallies and demonstrations as well as in sermons, lectures, and radio broadcasts calling, inter alia, for waging jihad against the Jews, whom he referred to as "the most evil creatures of Allah. He added that refraining from doing so is "worse than killing." He promised the establishment of a caliphate ruled by shari'a, and also said: "Our true conflict is with Europe and the U.S. – they are the enemy."

In 2015, the Anti-Discrimination Board of New South Wales (Australia) sent two MEMRI TV clips of Al-Wahwah's statements to the NSW Director of Public Prosecutions,[3] since Al-Wahwah's statements might have been be serious enough to incite violence or involve a threat of physical harm. At the time, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbot was arguing that Hizb Ut-Tahrir should be banned in the country for hate preaching.[4] Al-Wahwah, however, was not charged, and as a result, the government said it would fix hate crime laws. In June 2018, more stringent race hate laws were introduced in NSW.[5]

Hizb Ut-Tahrir's purpose is to re-establish the caliphate in the Middle East with sharia law.[6] While the organization is banned in Germany, the Netherlands, Russia, China, Turkey, and across the Middle East and South and Central Asia,[7] Australia has rejected banning it.[8]

Hizb Ut-Tahrir Australia is currently circulating a petition to the Jordanian government demanding Al-Wahwah's release.[9]
UN Never Demands Justice for Palestinian Killers
The United Nations Special Coordinator for Middle East Peace, Nickolay Mladenov, is forever busily tweeting and making statements about the violence in the Arab-Israel Conflict. Curiously, while he often condemns all acts of violence, he uses very different language when the attackers are either Israelis or Palestinians. When an Israeli commits the attack, Mladenov demands that the perpetrator be brought to justice, however, when a Palestinian commits the attack, all Mladenov can muster is a generic condemnation of terror.

Consider Mladenov’s Tweet on February 10, 2019 about the horrific intentional butchering of a teenage Israeli woman:

While Mladenov condemned the violence and noted that a Palestinian was the perpetrator, he did not call for the Arab killer to be brought to justice. That is in sharp contrast to how Mladenov reacted towards violence from Israelis.

Not only did Mladenov not demand that the Palestinian killer be brought to justice, he didn’t demand that the Palestinian Authority stop the violence.
Cabinet expected to OK deduction of 'terrorist salaries' from PA taxes
The Diplomatic-Security Cabinet was slated on Sunday to approve the deduction of an amount equal to the hundreds of millions of shekels the Palestinian Authority pays to terrorists and their families from the tax funds Israel collects on behalf of the PA.

Last week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed for the first time to enact the "terrorist salaries law," which allows the government to deduct the amount the Palestinian Authority pays to terrorists and their families from the taxes Israel collects on the PA's behalf.

The law also requires the Defense Ministry to provide the cabinet with data on the amount the PA pays terrorists and their families. The Finance Ministry will then withhold that amount from the tax funds.

Netanyahu's announcement came after the Shin Bet security agency said Sunday that the brutal slaying of 19-year-old Ori Ansbacher by a Palestinian near Jerusalem last week was a terrorist attack.

The prime minister's office declined to disclose the total amount Israel would be withholding from the PA tax money.
Officer indicted in case of soldiers who beat Palestinian suspects
The commanding officer of five soldiers suspected of beating two Palestinian detainees last month was charged Sunday with failing to prevent the alleged crime.

The troops, who serve in the religious Netzah Yehuda Battalion of the Kfir Brigade, were indicted on January 31 and were accused of assaulting the two prisoners after they were arrested, blindfolded and handcuffed and put in the back of a military personnel carrier.

The two Palestinian detainees — a father and son — had been arrested in a raid conducted as part of a search for a terrorist who had killed two of the servicemen’s comrades in a shooting attack outside the Givat Assaf outpost in the central West Bank.

The Palestinians were later charged with assisting the terrorist in his escape.

The lieutenant who was indicted on Sunday is not suspected of having beaten the prisoners, but of having failed to stop the soldiers from doing so.

He was charged with failing to prevent a crime, negligent assault and conduct unbecoming an officer, the army said.
TV host in hot water for saying control of West Bank turns troops into ‘animals’
A leading news anchor stirred controversy Saturday night after saying on air that Israel’s ongoing rule over the West Bank was turning soldiers into “animals.”

Channel 13’s Oshrat Kotler made the comments at the end of a piece about IDF soldiers suspected of badly beating two bound and blindfolded Palestinian suspects following their comrades’ deaths in an attack.

“We send the children to the army, to the territories and get back animals. That is the result of the occupation,” she said.

Towards the end of the program, having apparently been informed her comment had caused controversy, Kotler told viewers: “My own children and their friends are all combat soldiers… My criticism was aimed only at those soldiers who have been led to harm innocents by our control over the Palestinians.”

She then added: “I’m actually in favor of easing the soldiers’ punishment, because it is we who sent them into that impossible reality.”

In a joint statement, parents of the accused soldiers said Kotler’s comments were “unfortunate and ugly” and “have no place in Israeli discourse, certainly not by a news anchor who should present facts and not her warped world view.
PMW: PA Ministry of Information tracks PMW releases to protect Fatah's Facebook page from closure
The chief editor of Fatah's official Facebook page, Munir Al-Jaghoub, has dismissed Palestinian Media Watch's reports documenting that the page glorifies terrorists and promotes violence. Al-Jaghoub justified the posts promoting violence as being mere "symbolism," and the posts taking pride in Fatah's murder of 11,000 Israelis as "only a statistic." [The Times of Israel, Feb. 15, 2019]

The chief editor of the page revealed that PMW's reports are tracked as high up in the PA as the PA Ministry of Information. The ministry alerts Al-Jaghoub whenever PMW reports on a problematic post, and the editor then removes it. This is a strategy to protect the page from being shut down by Facebook. Acting as its warning bell, the PA Ministry of Information also indirectly endorses Fatah's official Facebook page:

"[Chief editor of Fatah's Facebook page Munir Al-]Jaghoub said he recently implemented a new strategy to preempt complaints. 'Whenever [PMW] reports one of our posts, the [PA] Information Ministry informs me and then I immediately delete it,' he said. 'I do that to protect the page because if they issue enough complaints, Facebook could close it.'" [The Times of Israel, Feb. 15, 2019]

Al-Jaghoub also said that Fatah's page has received three warnings from Facebook, and that he fears Facebook might close the page.

Hamas said to seize military boots with tracking devices at Gaza crossing
Hamas-run security forces at the Kerem Shalom crossing in the Gaza Strip have seized a shipment of army boots outfitted with tracking devices, Turkey’s state-run news agency Anadolu reported on Saturday, citing a security source in the coastal enclave.

Hamas security forces were carrying out “a precise inspection of the tracking devices in order to… understand how they work,” the security source said.

Pictures and videos shared on Twitter appeared to show the military boots and the tracking devices that were planted in them.

Rouhani unveils sub armed with cruise missile after Iran's FM says chances of war 'great'
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday inaugurated a new domestically-built submarine armed with cruise missiles at a time of rising tensions with its arch-enemy the United States. The unveiling came on the heels of the country's foreign minister saying the chances of war with Israel are "great."

The ceremony took place in the southern port city of Bandar Lengeh.

"It weighs 600 tonnes and enjoys state-of-the-art weaponry, including torpedoes, naval mines and cruise missiles that could be launched from a submerged position," the government's English-language Press TV said.

The Fateh "Conqueror" submarine weighs 600 tonnes, Press TV said, adding that it "enjoys state-of-the-art weaponry, including torpedoes, naval mines and cruise missiles that could be launched from a submerged position."

US President Donald Trump pulled out of a 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and six powers last May and reimposed sanctions on Tehran.

He said the deal was flawed because it did not include curbs on Iran’s development of ballistic missiles or its support for proxies in Syria, Yemen, Lebanon and Iraq.

Iran has developed a large domestic arms industry in the face of international pressure and embargoes that have barred it from importing many weapons.
Iranians cry ‘revenge’ at funeral of suicide bomb victims
Tens of thousands of Iranians called for “revenge” Saturday at the funeral of 27 Revolutionary Guards killed in a suicide attack perpetrated by jihadists that Tehran accuses Pakistan of supporting.

“The government of Pakistan must pay the price of harboring these terrorist groups and this price will undoubtedly be very high,” said Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari, referring to jihadist outfit Jaish al-Adl (Army of Justice).

“The Islamic Republic of Iran will no longer observe the previous reservations and will directly act to counter such acts,” Jafari told mourners gathered at the city of Isfahan’s Bozorgmehr Square.

The comments by Jafari, commander of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards, came a day ahead of a planned two-day visit to Pakistan by Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince of Iran’s regional arch-rival Saudi Arabia.

Jafari blamed Pakistan’s army and Inter-Services Intelligence agency, saying that “sheltering and silence” amounts to supporting the perpetrators.

As he left the podium, people shouted “Commander of Sepah [Farsi for Revolutionary Guards] — Revenge! Revenge!”

The Wednesday bombing targeted a busload of Revolutionary Guards in the volatile southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchistan, which straddles the border with Pakistan.
Rashida Tlaib epic BDS fail (with friends)
Rashida Tlaib is arguably the most famous advocate of boycotting Israel in America. Guess what? We caught her using Israeli technology! It wasn't just Rashida we caught, we also found all of these anti-Israel activists and BDS endorsers using Israeli built websites powered by Wix (

Daphne Anson: In London, Usual Suspects, Usual Slurs, & Corbynista Slime
On 15 February outside the Puma Store, in accordance with this particular facet of the anti-Israel movement, devotees of the Islamic-led Inminds organisation (including a "Kick Israel Out of FIFA" campaigner of Jewish origin, who's here exchanged her familiar baseball cap and togs in the Palestinian Arab colours for a woollen beanie and winter gear) spew their usual scripted slurs. (Don't give up the day jobs, duckies!)

Why Crown Heights Hate Crimes Aren’t Newsworthy
Noting the recent spate of hate crimes against Jews in his community, Rabbi Yaacov Behrman, who heads the Crown Heights-based “Jewish Future Alliance,” innocently asked, “Where is the public outrage? Indeed, why isn’t this front-page headlines?”

In the wake of Congresswoman Ilhan Omar’s controversial comments, and reports of rising attacks on Jews around the world, Rabbi Behrman deserves an answer. As someone who ran a successful crisis communications firm in New York for 25 years, I’m happy to explain.

The mainstream media has abandoned all pretense of objectivity. Whereas in the past journalists viewed themselves as unbiased chroniclers of the news, their focus today is on manufacturing it and dominating the ensuing conversations. A journalist’s influence today isn’t determined by the quality or accuracy of their reporting, but rather the size of their Twitter following and the frequency of their television appearances.

As the spark of the Omar controversy, journalist Glenn Greenwald tweeted a story about GOP House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy threatening action against Omar and Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib for their comments on Israel. The tweet included this personal comment: “It’s stunning how much time U.S. political leaders spend defending a foreign nation even if it means attacking free speech rights of Americans.”
New York synagogue’s windows smashed on Shabbat
A Friday night attack on a synagogue in Brooklyn, New York’s Bushwick neighborhood has left the local Chabad community shocked and saddened.

The synagogue’s rabbi, his wife, children and other members of the community were “seated around the table, enjoying each other’s company and the peace and joy of the Shabbat, when our front window was shattered and destroyed.”

In an emotional Facebook post, Rabbi Menachem Heller said the glass shattered “feet from where my children were playing.”

“Thank God no one was injured, but we easily could have been,” he wrote.

Heller and his community have so far remained resilient in the face of the attack.

“We are facing this unfortunate experience not with discouragement, but with solid determination – to continue celebrating our faith, sharing our rich heritage, and offering our culture in an inclusive and warm environment,” Heller said. “At the same time, we acknowledge the disturbing and increasingly frequent incidents of hate and prejudice in our New York community, and its destructive and divisive effects, especially on young people.”

Heller also encouraged both the Jewish and non-Jewish community to stand up against such attacks, “whenever it occurs, whatever form it takes, and toward whomever it is directed.”
Jewish philosopher assaulted, called 'dirty Jew' by yellow vest protesters
A Paris court said on Sunday that it had begun an investigation into antisemitic insults hurled at French Jewish philosopher and intellectual Alain Finkielkraut on the sidelines of Saturday’s “yellow vests” protest.

On Saturday, Finkielkraut was seen on video being verbally assaulted in Paris by yellow-vest protesters who oppose the rising cost of fuel prices in France.

The protesters are heard calling him a “dirty Jew” and a “dirty Zionist sh*t.” They yelled at him, “You’re going to die,” and “You’re going to hell.”

Finkielkraut’s philosophical writing often focuses on identity-based violence, such as antisemitism.

Finkielkraut told Le Parisien newspaper that he came across a group of protesters and approached them out of curiosity. He said he heard some of the insults, including one telling him to throw himself into a canal. He said he does not plan to file a complaint.

In the past, he has expressed support for the yellow-vest protests, saying he “likes this movement [from] its beginnings and continues to love it.” Recently, however, he has criticized the movement.
Macron slams anti-Semitic attack on French academic
French President Emmanuel Macron condemned anti-Semitic abuse of a leading intellectual by “yellow vest” protesters and said it would not be tolerated.

Police intervened to protect philosopher and writer Alain Finkielkraut after he was targeted by a group of protesters on the fringe of a demonstration in central Paris on Saturday, according to videos posted on social networks.

“The anti-Semitic insults he has been subjected to are the absolute negation of what we are and what makes us a great nation. We will not tolerate it,” Macron tweeted.

“The son of Polish immigrants who became a French academician, Alain Finkielkraut is not only a prominent man of letters but the symbol of what the Republic allows everyone,” the president added in another tweet.
Alain Finkielkraut in his Paris home. (Robert Sarner/ Times of Israel)

Several protesters shouted “Dirty Zionist,” “We are the people” and “France is ours,” according to a video broadcast by Yahoo! News.
2,000 torch-wielding nationalists march through Sofia to honor pro-Nazi general
Thousands of far-right activists held a torch-lit march through Bulgarian capital Sofia Saturday to honor a World War II general known for his anti-Semitic and pro-Nazi activities.

The annual Lukov March, staged by the far-right Bulgarian National Union, attracted some 2,000 dark-clad supporters who walked through downtown Sofia holding torches and Bulgarian flags and chanting nationalist slogans. A number of far-right activists from other countries also took part in the march.

It came despite strong condemnation by human rights groups, political parties and foreign embassies. The city mayor had banned the rally but organizers won a court order overturning the ban.

A heavy police presence blocked any clashes between nationalists and their opponents, who held a rally earlier in the night calling for Nazis to be banned.

Ahead of the march, the World Jewish Congress warned about the rise of far-right activities across Europe aimed at promoting anti-Semitism, hatred, xenophobia and Nazi glorification among young people.

“We urge governments across Europe to prioritize the introduction of administrative bans against such marches. This is not just a problem of the Jewish communities, but of European citizens and governments at large,” the organization’s CEO Robert Singer said.
‘Synonyms’ about an Israeli at War with being Israeli Wins 2019 Berlin Film Festival Golden Bear
The top award at the Berlin International Film Festival, the Golden Bear, on Saturday went to the Israeli-French-German co-production “Synonyms,” directed by Nadav Lapid and produced by Saรฏd Ben Saรฏd and Michel Merkt, starring Tom Mercier.

The film follows Yaav (Tom Mercier), who struggles to transform himself from an Israeli to a French person, removing everything about himself that is Israeli – the title comes from Yoav’s obsession with pulling out a pocket-sized French dictionary to find the French substitutions for Hebrew words.

The film is based on Lapid’s own experiences of living as an Israeli abroad and his ambivalence about being an Israeli.

Lapid dedicated the film to his mother, Era Lapid, the editor of all his films, who died while cutting “Synonyms.”
Netflix picks up Mossad film starring Chris Evans
Netflix has purchased the global distribution right to the upcoming Mossad thriller The Red Sea Diving Resort.

The film, starring Chris Evans, tells the story of a group of Mossad agents in the 1980s who helped smuggle thousands of Ethiopian refugees to Israel.

Evans, best known for his role as Captain America, will play the character of Ari Kidron, a Mossad agent who leads the team in setting up the complicated and highly secret operation based in Sudan. The film also stars Haley Bennett (The Girl on the Train), Michael K. Williams (The Wire, Boardwalk Empire), Greg Kinnear (As Good as It Gets, Little Miss Sunshine) and Oscar winner Ben Kingsley.

The film was written and directed by Gideon Raff, the Israeli director behind Prisoners of War, the series that was remade for Showtime as Homeland. He also created the FX series Tyrant and the upcoming Netflix miniseries The Spy, about Israeli secret agent Eli Cohen.
Chicago industrialist donates $25 million to B’nai B’rith youth group
A Chicago industrialist has pledged $25 million to a national Jewish youth group to promote initiatives for young Jewish women and teens.

Theodore Perlman and his wife, Harriette, announced their donation to BBYO (or B’nai B’rith Youth Organization) on Thursday night at the group’s international conference in Denver.

The gift, one of the largest single financial commitments to a youth-serving organization in modern history, will allow BBYO to launch and expand new programs and provides endowment funding that will support the programs in perpetuity.

The funds will be used for the Anita M. Perlman Women’s Leadership Initiative, named in honor of Perlman’s mother, the founder of the B’nai B’rith Girls, or BBG, a division of BBYO.

More than 5,500 teens and adults are attending the international convention, which is marking the 75th anniversary of the founding of B’nai B’rith Girls.

Perlman is founder of The HAVI Group, a supply chain management, packaging and logistics firm.
Govt. approves NIS17m for memorial to Jewish fighters in WWII
The government on Sunday approved a NIS17 million allocation to complete a museum and information center at Latrun dedicated to Jewish soldiers who fought against the Nazis in World War II.

The project, which first was approved by a government decision in in 2002, is expected to be completed by 2022.

The site will tell the story of the 1.5 million Jews from around the world -- including from Mandatory Palestine -- who fought during World War II with the various allied armies and with the partisans. Some 250,000 Jews were killed in battle.

“Today we are keeping another promise that we made a few years ago to our cherished veterans,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the outset of Sunday's cabinet meeting.

“The government will approve today an additional budget for the completion of the Jewish Fighters Museum project in Latrun,” he said. “I have the greatest admiration for them [Jewish fighters in World War II] – they deserve this."

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