Sunday, March 31, 2019

03/31 Links: Dershowitz: Trump Is Right about the Golan Heights; PA prioritizes salaries to terrorists over medical care for Palestinians; Shapiro: America Still Needs Athens and Jerusalem

From Ian:

Alan M. Dershowitz: Trump Is Right about the Golan Heights
I had the opportunity to discuss this issue with U.S. President Donald J. Trump two weeks before he announced his decision. I provided him with the battleship analogy, which he seemed to appreciate. I told him that I thought the Sunni Arab world might complain, but that they really do not care about the Golan, which has no religious significance to Islam. There were in fact, some minor protests, but nothing of significance.

Predictably, the European Union opposed the U.S. recognition of the annexation. But it provided no compelling argument, beyond its usual demand that the status quo not be changed. Israel's control over the Golan Heights has been the status quo for more than half a century; and Israel's legitimate need to control the heights has only increased over time, with war in Syria, and the presence of Iranian and Hezbollah military in close proximity. Would the European Union demand that Israel now hand over the Golan Heights to Assad? Has any European country ever handed over high ground, captured in a defensive war, to a sworn enemy?

Recall that at the end of the first and second world wars, European countries made territorial adjustments to help preserve the peace. Why should the European Union subject Israel to a double standard it has never demanded of itself? The answer is clear: The European Union has always acted hypocritically when it comes to Israel, and this is no exception.

So three cheers for President Trump for doing the right thing. I will continue to criticize him if and when he does the wrong thing -- such as separating families at the U.S.'s southern border.

That is what bipartisan means: praising the President I voted against when he does the right thing, and criticizing presidents I voted for (such as Barack Obama) when they do the wrong thing (such as abstaining on the Security Council Resolution declaring Jewish holy places to be occupied territory).

Israel's continuing control over the Golan Heights increases the chance for peace and decreases the chances that Syria, Iran and/or Hezbollah will be able to use this high ground as a launching pad against Israelis. That is good news for the world, for the United States and for Israel.

Amb. Alan Baker: U.S. Recognition of Israeli Sovereignty over the Golan Heights, March 2019: Some Legal Observations
This legislation was accompanied by an assurance, conveyed in Israel’s Knesset by Prime Minister Begin,12 as well as by Israel’s UN ambassador in a communication to the Secretary-General of the UN, according to which:
The government of Israel wishes to reiterate that it is willing now as always to negotiate unconditionally with Syria as with its other neighbors for a lasting peace in accordance with Security Council Resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973). The Golan Heights Law does not preclude or impair such negotiations.13

While the laws of armed conflict address situations in which a state, in exercising its inherent right of self-defense, takes control of, or occupies territory of the offensive state, the question of the length of time such a situation of control or occupation may last is not addressed. Furthermore, a long-term continuation of belligerency, an ongoing threat of aggression by the state concerned, and a lack of any foreseeable chance of peace negotiations all generate a unique situation facing the state controlling the territory, with no foreseeable chance for a peace settlement.

In his publication “Justice in International Law:” “What Weight to Conquest? Aggression, Compliance, and Development” (1970) Stephen Schwebel, former judge in the International Court of Justice, refers to the situation of the Golan Heights as follows:
…as regards territory bordering Palestine, and under unquestioned Arab sovereignty in 1949 and thereafter, such as Sinai and the Golan Heights, it follows that no weight shall be given to conquest, but that such weight shall be given to defensive action as is reasonably required to ensure that such Arab territory will not again be used for aggressive purposes against Israel.14

The recent civil war in Syria, the continued lack of any stable government, the flagrant and willful crimes committed by the Syrian president against those elements opposing his regime and against Syrian civilian population, as well as the emplacement of Iranian armed facilities on Syrian territory directed against Israel, all serve to indicate the utter lack of any hope that Syria will in the near future be prepared to recognize Israel as a legitimate neighbor, accept a common border, and enter into a peaceful relationship with Israel.

These factors are also indicative of a total lack of reliability by the Syrian leadership, and capability of genuinely taking upon itself any international responsibility, especially vis-à-vis Israel.

With this background, the proclamation by the U.S. President recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights is logical and necessary.
Map proves Syria recognized Banias as Israeli before 1967
Following U.S. President Donald Trump's recognition of Israeli sovereignty on the Golan Heights, researchers at Tel-Hai College have discovered that prior the 1967 Six-Day War, even Syria recognized the Banias plateau – the site of a spring at the foot of Mount Hermon that feeds one the main tributaries of the Jordan River – as belonging to Israel.

The researchers discovered a map drawn by Syria's planning and construction agency in 1965, two years before the Six-Day War, which places Banias on the Israeli side of the border.

"Even before Israel was founded, Banias was part of the British Mandate in Palestine, flush up against the border of the French Mandate in Syria," explains Shalom Tarmachi, head of the Tel-Hai College map collection.

The 1965 Syrian map shows the Banias plateau in red

"In 1939, the Jewish National Fund purchased land in the area of Khan a-Duar at Banias, so the area belonged to Israel, both legally and politically. The cease-fire agreement of 1949 that ended the War of Independence decided that the area would be demilitarized, under the assumption that its status would be regulated in a future peace treaty. But until 1967, communities in the Hula Valley suffered heavy Syrian fire from Banias, and it became part of [Syria's] attempt to divert the sources of the Jordan River," Tarmachi said.

Tarmachi said that before the college's map archives began working with an advanced system that allows multiple maps to be overlaid on top of each other and adjusted to the same scale, it was "very hard" to identify to whom the Syrians assigned the territory in their maps. Now, he says, the new system makes it "very clear that the Syrians did not consider the demilitarized area as theirs, even though they used it for military activity."

Israeli maps, he explained, show Syrian tank posts, minefields, and attempts to divert the sources of the Jordan River, but it is actually the Syrian map that shows that the Banias plateau lies on the Israeli side of the border. (h/t Elder of Lobby)

America Still Needs Athens and Jerusalem
Ben Shapiro's 10th book, The Right Side of History: How Reason and Moral Purpose Made the West Great, concerns itself with Western history, where it came from and where it's going. It's the latest in a line of recent releases from public intellectuals, all troubled by the same paradox: We live in the wealthiest and most technologically advanced society in recorded history, and, at the same time, one of the most unhappy ones.

Books in this genre tend to blame the West's woes on one of two failings. Some say Western society is ailing chiefly because of a departure from its religious roots in the Judeo-Christian tradition. These include such polemics as Rod Dreher's The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation (2017), Cardinal Charles J. Chaput's Strangers in a Strange Land: Living the Catholic Faith in a Post-Christian World (2017), and Anthony Esolen's Out of the Ashes: Rebuilding American Culture (2017).

Then there are the more worldly pundits, arguing that the West's problems flow from an abandonment of a political tradition born in Periclean Athens and baptized in the miracle of Washingtonian America. Jonah Goldberg's Suicide of the West: How the Rebirth of Tribalism, Populism, Nationalism, and Identity Politics is Destroying American Democracy (2018) makes this case in its purest form, and, as if held to a kaleidoscope, produces a number of near reflections: on the left, Steven Pinker's Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress (2018), and on the right, Nebraska senator Ben Sasse's The Vanishing American Adult: Our Coming-of-Age Crisis—and How to Rebuild a Culture of Self-Reliance (2017).

Shapiro throws his lot in with both major narratives. But rather than simply lamenting the loss of religion and a shared political tradition, he upholds the "twin poles" of Athens and Jerusalem for making the West great in the first place—and says that they can continue to keep it great. The God of Judaism and the God of Christianity coupled with the wisdom of Aristotle, according to Shapiro, form an outline for human flourishing: "Happiness, then, is comprised of four elements: individual moral purpose, individual capacity, collective moral purpose, and collective capacity," Shapiro writes. "If we lack one of these elements, the pursuit of happiness becomes impossible; if that pursuit is foreclosed, society crumbles."
Honest Reporting: Book Review: The Rage Less Traveled
The Rage Less Traveled tells the real-life, horrific and occasionally absurdly hilarious story of Israeli tour guide Kay Wilson, who cheated death after a brutal Palestinian terror attack. The Rage Less Traveled showcases the best and worst of humanity, and epitomizes the defiant triumph of the human spirit over those who seek death and destruction.

In December 2010, Kay Wilson’s life changed irrevocably.

As the British-born Israeli tour guide showed her friend Kristine Luken around one of Israel’s national parks on a glorious Saturday afternoon, two Palestinian men lurked nearby, crouching in the bushes.

After making a seemingly innocuous approach, the men launched a savage attack on the two women that left Luken dead and Wilson teetering on the precipice of death.

In her account of the horrendous attack, Wilson describes how after being repeatedly knifed to within an inch of her life, she summoned up incredible will-power to remain motionless as her attackers continued to strike her. The Rage Less Traveled, however, is not just the story of the incident itself, but a testament to Wilson’s unbreakable spirit and sense of wonder at the world’s beauty, despite all its evils – after dragging herself to her feet, Wilson remains remarkably attentive to the vivid colors of the flowers and the trills of the birds around her, fully appreciating the miraculous beauty of life.
Nathan Thrall’s Propaganda Welcomed at the New York Times
It’s amazing that Thrall can jam so many material falsehoods and deceptions in just a single paragraph. Thus:

1. Was the land more than 95 percent Arab in the late 19th century, and more than 90 percent Arab in 1917?

Only if you assume – falsely – that the Arabs owned whatever land the Jews didn’t. But about half of the land that became Israel in 1948 was the Negev desert, and in Mandate Palestine, and before that under Ottoman Turkish rule, and in most countries today including the US, the desert belongs to the government. For example, in Nevada the US government alone owns 84.9 percent of the land, and even in California Federal lands total 45.8 percent.

Under the Ottoman Land Code desert land was classified as mewat (or dead land) and was the property of the Sultan. The Ottoman Land code was maintained by the British when in 1922 they established the British Mandate of Palestine, with the role of the Sultan passing to the British government in the person of the High Commissioner.

So right from the start, Thrall makes a vast error. But what about land outside the desert? Did the Arabs own whatever the Jews didn’t own there? Again no – most of that land was agricultural land, and under the Ottoman Land Code was almost entirely miri land, or the land of the Emir (the ruler). The farmers who worked this land it did not own it, they merely got the right to use it (usufruct) from the state in return for paying taxes on what they produced from the land. As long as they were using that land productively and paying taxes, no one else could use it.
PMW: PA prioritizes salaries to terrorists over medical care for Palestinians
Until now Israel has been giving medical treatment in Israel to thousands of Palestinians every year. But this humanitarian program will now come to an end, as the Palestinian Authority has decided to stop sending its citizens in need of medical treatment to Israel. The PA's explanation is as follows: Since Israel is refusing to transfer approximately $138 million to the PA this year that the PA spends on salaries to terrorists, the PA will no longer permit Palestinians to travel for medical treatment in Israel, for which the PA has to pay. Until now, it has been costing the PA about $100 million a year to cover the medical costs. In essence, the PA has decided to punish its own citizens in need of medical treatment which costs $100 million a year, because it lost $138 million that it pays to terrorists in Israeli prisons and released terrorist prisoners. Israeli law is explicit that should the PA stop paying salaries to terrorists, Israel could release and return all this money to the PA.

In 2015, the last year for which there are public records, over 102,000 Palestinians were granted permits to enter Israel for treatment, including over 20,000 Palestinians who received medical treatment in Israeli hospitals.

PA Ministry of Health Spokesman Osama Al-Najjar explained the cessation of medical referrals to the Israeli hospitals, starting from March 26, 2019, as follows:

"This decision was made in response to the deduction of sums [Israel transfers] from the taxes that [Israel] collects each month for the Palestinian coffers. He added that the cost of the referrals to the Israeli hospitals is $100 million a year." [Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, March 27, 2019]

Stressing that the change of policy was not based on the desire to improve the medical care for Palestinians, Al-Najar added that: "The decision is political par excellence, and comes in response to Israel deducting sums from the money that it collects for us."
Led by Saudis, Arab leaders unite against Trump’s recognition of Golan Heights
Leaders meeting in Tunisia for the annual Arab League summit on Sunday were united in their condemnation of Trump administration policies seen as unfairly biased toward Israel but divided on a host of other issues, including whether to readmit founding member Syria.

Representatives from the 22-member league — minus Syria — aim to jointly condemn US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Israeli control over the Golan Heights, which Israel captured from Syria in the 1967 war, and Trump’s decision last year to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

At the opening of the summit, King Salman said Saudi Arabia “absolutely rejects any measures undermining Syria’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights” and supports the creation of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

He added that Iran’s meddling was to blame for instability in the region.

One of the few things that have united the Arab League over the last 50 years is the rejection of Israel’s control of the Golan Heights as well as East Jerusalem and the West Bank, which Israel also gained control of in the 1967 war and which the Palestinians want for a future state.

The international community, including the United States, largely shared that position until Trump upended decades of US policy by moving the American Embassy to Jerusalem last year and recognizing Israel’s 1981 extension of Israeli law to the strategic Golan plateau earlier this month.

The Arab leaders meeting in Tunisia are expected to issue a statement condemning those moves but are unlikely to take any further action.
Brazil’s Bolsonaro, arriving on first visit, declares in Hebrew: ‘I love Israel’
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro landed in Israel Sunday morning for the start of a two-day trip seen as a boost to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ahead of the April 9 elections.

Bolsonaro, a right-wing firebrand who had made headlines for playing down the brutality of the country’s past military dictatorship, opened his comments in Portuguese at the reception ceremony at Ben Gurion Airport on Sunday with the Hebrew phrase “Ani ohev et Israel,” or “I love Israel.”

He was expected to announce during the visit whether he will move the Brazilian embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

In his own comments, Netanyahu praised the Brazilian leader for his “faith in our shared heritage” and his commitment to improving Israeli-Brazilian ties.

“When you entered your post in January, we opened a new era in Israel-Brazil relations,” he said. “On your first visit outside the American continents, you’re in Israel to bring our relations to a new high.”
Brazil to open trade office in Jerusalem ‘as a part of its embassy’
Brazil on Sunday announced it would open a trade office in Jerusalem, joining a growing list of countries seeking to boost their ties with Israel while stopping short of relocating their embassies from Tel Aviv.

The new office in Jerusalem will “promote trade, investment, technology and innovation as a part of its embassy in Israel,” the Foreign Ministry in capital city Brasilia said in a statement.

Acting Foreign Minister Israel Katz was the first to break the news Sunday after meeting with his visiting Brazilian counterpart Ernesto Araujo.

Welcoming Araujo on his two-day trip to Israel along with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, Katz thanked Brazil “for opening a diplomatic office in Jerusalem.”

“Israel and Brazil are true friends sharing common values and we will strengthen the cooperation between our two countries,” Katz tweeted.
IDF Spokesman: Hamas Acted With ‘Restraint’ During Weekend Gaza Border Riots
An Israel Defense Forces spokesperson said on Saturday that Hamas had acted with unprecedented restraint during the weekend Gaza border riots, helping to contain what was feared to be an exceptionally violent event.

A massive crowd was expected on the border, as it was the first anniversary of the weekly riots. The anniversary coincided with the Palestinian “Land Day,” which marks demonstrations against what Palestinians claim is Israeli seizure of Arab property.

In the end, some 40,000 people rioted. Palestinian sources reported that two were killed by IDF fire and 316 wounded.

According to Hebrew news site Walla, spokesman Ronen Manelis said that Hamas had displayed “restraint that we haven’t seen the likes of which over the last year.”

“There were hundreds of Hamas people with orange vests who separated the crowd from the [border] fence,” he noted.

However, he added, “It wasn’t hermetic. There were places where violence was carried out against those who arrived at the fence.”
Israel reopens Gaza border crossings despite overnight rocket fire
The two crossings between the Gaza Strip and Israel reopened Sunday morning despite rocket fire from the Palestinian territory overnight.

The Erez pedestrian crossing and the Kerem Shalom commercial terminal were both shuttered last Monday after a rocket fired from Gaza toward the central Israeli village of Mishmeret destroyed a home and left seven people wounded.

A fishing ban that has been in place since then was also lifted on Sunday morning.

Israel committed to reopening the crossing after Hamas reined in a massive border protest on Saturday, under an informal ceasefire deal brokered by Egyptian mediators after a violent week in the coastal enclave.

The new commitment to calm was challenged early Sunday, when five rockets were fired from Gaza at Israel, officials said, triggering sirens in the Eshkol region starting at about 12:40 a.m.

There were no reports of injuries or damage from the rocket fire, the Eshkol Regional Council said in a statement.
5 rockets fired from Gaza despite supposed 'understanding'
Palestinian terrorists fired five rockets from Gaza into Israel early Sunday, the IDF said, following a day of Palestinian mass protests along the Israel-Gaza border fence. Four Palestinians, including three teenagers, were killed and dozens were wounded by IDF soldiers.

The rocket fire threatened to undermine Egyptian-mediated efforts to cement a deal that the Gaza Strip's Hamas rulers hope will ease an Israeli-Egyptian blockade of the territory.

No casualties were reported from the rockets and no Palestinian group claimed responsibility.

Despite the rocket attack, meanwhile, Israel reopened the two crossings with the Gaza Strip after days of hostilities in a sign that cease-fire talks may be advancing.

Israeli and Hamas officials confirmed Sunday that the Erez and Kerem Shalom crossings were opened for the first time since Monday.

On Saturday, tens of thousands of Palestinians rallied in the Gaza Strip to mark the one-year anniversary of their mass protests along the Israeli border.

Most demonstrators kept their distance from the border, though crowds of activists approached the border fence and threw stones and explosives toward Israeli troops on the other side..

Hamas had pledged to keep the crowds a safe distance from the fence to avoid inflaming the political atmosphere during negotiations of a possible easing of the blockade.

Hamas officials said that Israel is offering a package of economic incentives in exchange for calm along the volatile border.

IDF: Mortar shell fired from Gaza, fails to clear border
Air raid sirens sounded in southern Israel on Sunday afternoon, sending residents of nearby communities rushing to bomb shelters, less than a day into a reported ceasefire between Israel and terror groups in the Strip.

There were no reports of injuries or damage.

The Israeli military said the sirens were triggered by the launch of a mortar shell from the Gaza Strip, which failed to clear the border and landed inside the coastal enclave.

It marked the second round of air raid sirens of the day.

Shortly after midnight on Sunday, five rockets were fired at southern Israel, landing in open fields in the Eshkol region, causing neither injury nor damage, officials said.

Israel Defense Forces planes struck at Hamas posts on the border in response, though the Israeli military believed the rockets were likely launched by the Iran-backed Islamic Jihad organization.
IDF apprehends, sends back 8-year-old Gazans who crossed into Israel with knife
The IDF on Saturday morning apprehended two young boys from Gaza who managed to cross the border fence, with one of them in possession of a knife.

The army said it briefly interrogated the eight-year-olds before sending them back into the coastal enclave through the Erez crossing.

During their questioning, the children said that they had been hoping to get caught and serve time in Israeli prison, according to a Hebrew IDF statement.

In an English tweet, the IDF said that “these eight-year-old children were forced to cross into Israel with a knife. We returned them safely to Gaza.”

German journalist says Israelis can get used to Hamas rocket fire
A controversial left-wing German journalist is under fire for writing a Tuesday commentary declaring that Israelis on the border to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip can “comer to terms” with jihadi rocket attacks on their communities.

In response to the left-wing journalist’s editorial, Israel’s embassy tweeted on Wednesday: “We will never come to terms with such journalistic standards @susanneknaul @tazgezwitscher @PresseratDE.”

The embassy included the Twitter handles for the journalist Knaul, the left-wing paper taz, where she wrote the commentary, and the German Press Council.

The embassy embedded a 59 second video in the Tweet showing footage of Israelis running into bomb shelters and a resident from Sderot speaking about rushing to get babies into shelters. The clip shows the quote from Knaul's commentary about coming to terms with jihadi rocket fire. The video noted the Israelis have 15 seconds to make it to the bomb shelters. The embassy's Tweet was re-tweeted 431 time and liked 959 times as of Sunday.

BBC News sticks to year-old formula of reporting on ‘Great Return March’
BBC audiences were not informed that Hamas had ordered schools closed and a general strike on March 30th in order to boost participation in the event.

Hamas was misleadingly portrayed in this report as being designated only by Israel.

“The Israeli government designates Hamas a terrorist group which it says has been seeking to use the protests as a cover to cross into its territory and carry out attacks.”

The violent coup in which Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip in 2007 was erased from audience view.

“This day of protests is a serious test of the fragile calm between Israel and Hamas, the Islamist group that runs the Palestinian-controlled Gaza Strip, says the BBC’s Yolande Knell in Jerusalem.”

The terror group’s operatives were, as usual, portrayed by the BBC as “militants”.

“They came after a tense week in which Palestinian militants fired rockets at Israel and Israel’s air force struck dozens of sites in Gaza.”

One year on, the BBC’s reporting on this story has not improved at all and it continues to promote the same jaded themes and euphemisms while denying audiences vital context. A year ago the organisers of this agitprop stated that its aim is to create photo-ops which – in their words – “the whole world and media outlets would watch” and the BBC has played its part in ensuring that would be the case.

Congressional Black Caucus Blasts Trump’s “Silence” on White Nationalism, Ignores Its Own Complicity in Rise of Anti-Semitism
Thirdly, who is Bass to condemn anyone else’s supposed silence on the rise of hate-filled ideologies? The Congressional Black Caucus has had an up-close and personal relationship with the Nation of Islam’s anti-Semitic leader Louis Farrakhan for decades and refuses to cut ties with him. Select members have condemned him in the past, but until the group severs ties with him altogether, it’s just lip service.

In fact, in an interview last year, a spokesman for the NOI told the LA Sentinel that while some members of the CBC sometimes disappointed Farrakhan, he was always open to receiving calls from Bass and Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA):

However, Min. Tony did speak highly of two Black congressional representatives, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (California) and Congresswoman Karen Bass (California).

“I have to say, I thank God for {Congresswoman} Maxine Waters and Congresswoman Karen Bass,” said Tony. “I think our Black politicians should stand down. Minister Farrakhan will take a call from a Maxine Waters or Karen Bass. He will stop what he’s doing… come and correct him, he’s told them. But don’t let anyone tell you I’ve done something wrong without checking.

Also, Bass said in a statement on behalf of the CBC that Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) should be able to keep her position on the sensitive House Foreign Affairs Committee in spite of her repeated use of anti-Semitic tropes. In the same statement, Bass condemned anti-Semitism but—again—it’s lip service. Her actions in defending Omar betray any declarations she, as the leader of the CBC, makes against anti-Semitism.

When it comes to condemning the rise of hateful ideologies in America, Bass should look at her own caucus members instead of Trump. He’s not the one rubbing elbows with Louis Farrakhan and turning a blind eye to anti-Semitism. Just ask Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who earlier this week said “Israel has never had a better friend than” Trump.
CA Dems Party Arab American Caucus Chair Accuses Schumer of Allegiance to ‘Fascist Israel Lobby’
Iyad Afalqa, the chairman of the Arab American Caucus of the California Democratic Party, accused Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) of having allegiance to the “fascist Israel lobby.”

On March 27, Afalqa posted a link on his Facebook page to an article titled “Senate Democratic Leader Schumer Compares Ilhan Omar to Trump in AIPAC Speech.” Schumer said during his March 26 speech, “When someone says that being Jewish and supporting Israel means you’re not loyal to America, we must call it out. When someone looks at a neo-Nazi rally and sees some ‘very fine people’ among its company, we must call it out.”

Afalqa wrote in his post, “Shmuck Schumer the traitor whose allegiance is for Fascist Israel lobby who called himself the Guardian of Israel in Congress is attacking Rep Omar who hinted at the big elephant in the room: treason of the Fascist Israel lobby that Schumer belongs to.”
Ken Livingstone reportedly tells Corbyn fans “it’s not antisemitic to hate the Jews of Israel” and crisis is manufactured by “tax-dodging” elite
The disgraced former Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, has reportedly told a meeting of pro-Corbyn activists that the Labour Party’s antisemitism crisis is driven by “lies and smears” manufactured by the “elite” wishing to protect their “tax-dodging in the Cayman Islands”. According to the Daily Mail, he also blamed “bloody corporations” and “ghastly old Blairites”, but did not appear to have acknowledged that there was any real problem in the Party.

Instead, it is claimed that he added a new antisemitic remark to his repertoire, reportedly telling the gathering: “It’s not antisemitic to hate the Jews of Israel and you can’t have a proper functioning democracy in a world in which the media, whether it’s the press or internet, can just spread lie after lie after lie.”

Under the International Definition of Antisemitism, antisemitism often involves “the targeting of the State of Israel, conceived as a Jewish collectivity” and states that “making mendacious, dehumanising, demonising, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions” is antisemitic.

Mr Livingstone reportedly made his comments to a meeting of Labour Against the Witch-Hunt, which claims that Labour’s antisemitism crisis is a witch-hunt. The group includes various antisemites but in a strange turn of events last year, the group expelled one of its founders over antisemitism, leading to claims that Labour Against the Witch-Hunt was conducting a witch-hunt.

If true, the claims would mark a new low for Mr Livingstone, who has consistently claimed that the antisemitism crisis in Labour was a “smear”, even appearing last year on banned Iranian television station Press TV in a debate about whether Holocaust commemoration has become an industry “exploited” by “Zionists”.
Corbyn’s senior aide Laura Murray said Corbyn instructed her to stop suspension of activist now arrested on suspicion of incitement to racial hatred
Jeremy Corbyn’s disgraced senior parliamentary aide, Laura Murray, has now been exposed intervening to prevent the suspension of Pat Sheerin from the Labour Party.

In leaked e-mails, she said that she intervened on behalf of Mr Corbyn himself.

Ms Sheerin is one of three former Labour activists who have been arrested on suspicion of incitement to racial hatred. The arrests were made after Campaign Against Antisemitism reported a secret Labour Party dossier to Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick live on air, after it was exposed on LBC radio.

In e-mails leaked to The Sunday Times, Ms Murray intervened to stop the suspension of Ms Sheerin. Ms Murray has previously been revealed interceding to stop disciplinary action against antisemites.

Ms Murray wrote in one e-mail that Ms Sheerin should not be suspended after Labour Party staff pleaded to suspend her because Ms Murray claimed that she was anti-Israel but not against “Jews or Jewishness”.

The material that Ms Sheerin is now being interrogated by police about is decidedly antisemitic.
University of Cape Town blocks academic boycott of Israel
Africa’s top university, the University of Cape Town has, for now, blocked a senate resolution to cut ties or boycott with Israeli academic institutions.

Last week, the university’s Senate, which is predominantly made up of academics, voted in favor of a motion to academically boycott Israeli institutions. The decision was passed in the Senate by a small margin of 62 in favor, 43 against, and 10 abstentions. According to a university statement, “the University of Cape Town Senate took a resolution in favor of a proposal for UCT to not enter into any formal relationships with Israeli academic institutions operating in the occupied Palestinian territories as well as other Israeli academic institutions enabling gross human rights violations in the occupied Palestinian territories.”

The decision was made on Saturday by UCT’s Council, which governs the university.

In a statement Royston Pillay, the Registrar and Secretary to the Council, said that UCT “did not adopt this resolution of the Senate. It was the view of the Council that a number of issues required clarification.”

He added that this includes a “full assessment of the sustainability impact of the Senate resolution” and “a more consultative process was necessary before the matter could be considered any further.”

Pillay said the Council resolved separately to reaffirm its commitment to supporting the rights and freedom of all people as universally recognized under international law. Condemn any acts that violate those rights and freedoms. Condemn the atrocities and human rights violations perpetrated in the occupied Palestinian territories, and elsewhere in the world; and call on all academics and academic institutions to support this resolution.

Speaking to The Jerusalem Post on behalf of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD), National Director Wendy Kahn congratulated the UCT Council “for rejecting the Senate resolution on their proposed academic boycott of Israel.”

Forbes rings opening bell on Global Women's Summit in Tel Aviv
The first-ever Forbes Under 30 Global Women’s Summit started in style in Tel Aviv on Sunday, as representatives of Forbes and leading summit attendees opened the trading on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.

The four-day summit, which will welcome business and civil society leaders from across the world to Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, will focus, organizers say, on women in leadership and entrepreneurship.

More than 200 people attended the opening bell ceremony, including the young men and women who have been named as bright business talents in various categories of the Forbes “30 under 30” list. This is the fourth consecutive year that Israel has played host to one of Forbes’ signature “30 under 30” summits.

“Over the next four days at the Forbes Under 30 Global Women’s Summit, we’re bringing together 500 visionaries from around the world: the US, Europe and Asia, the Middle East, Africa and, of course, Israel,” said Moira Forbes, executive vice president of Forbes and president of Forbes Women.

“Supporting the future aspirations of female leaders and breaking down systemic barriers to achieve those aspirations is critical to achieving greater economic vitality around the world and driving greater prosperity not just for women, but for everyone.”

Shulman the flamingo blown out of safari, struts down highway
Travelers along one of Israel’s busiest highways on Sunday morning encountered an unusual fellow road user — a flamingo strolling among the rush hour traffic.

Drivers posted videos to social media showing the bird plodding along Route 4 — forcing cars to maneuver around it — and occasionally breaking into a run when startled by passing vehicles.

Members of the public correctly assumed that the bird was from the Ramat Gan Safari, which borders part of the highway, and reported the stray, who is named Shulman, to staff.

Keepers quickly went out to look for Shulman and, with the help of the public and police who arrived to help, were soon able to locate him. (h/t Elder of Lobby)

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