Sunday, June 16, 2019

From Ian:

PMW: "The entire world will pay" if Muslims don't "act" to save Al-Aqsa from "the Israeli plot," threatens Abbas' advisor on Islam
"The entire world will pay dearly," if the Muslim world doesn't "act" to save Jerusalem from Israel's plots - this is the warning from one of the most important religious figures in the Palestinian Authority on his Twitter account.

Repeating the PA libel that Israel is planning to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Mahmoud Abbas' advisor on Religious and Islamic Affairs and PA Supreme Shari'ah Judge Mahmoud Al-Habbash wrote:
"The Israeli plot against the Al-Aqsa Mosque is becoming more dangerous and expanding from day to day. If the Muslims don't act now, something will occur whose end is bad and bitter, and then the entire world will pay dearly. The Al-Aqsa Mosque is religion and faith, and nothing is too valuable for it. 'So take warning, O people of vision' [Quran, Sura 59:2, Sahih International translation]."
[Twitter account of PA Supreme Shari'ah Judge Mahmoud Al-Habbash, June 2, 2019]

The words Al-Habbash chose to end his tweet were a quote from the Quran, which can be interpreted as a warning to Jews:
"So take warning, O people of vision"
[Quran, Sura 59:2]

This sentence is the continuation of a verse that describes Allah's punishment of the Jews:
"It is He who expelled the ones who disbelieved among the People of the Scripture [Jews] from their homes at the first gathering. You did not think they would leave, and they thought that their fortresses would protect them from Allah ; but [the decree of] Allah came upon them from where they had not expected, and He cast terror into their hearts [so] they destroyed their houses by their [own] hands and the hands of the believers. So take warning, O people of vision."
[Quran, Sura 59:2, Sahih International translation].

During a recent sermon he held in the Moscow Cathedral Mosque in Russia, Al-Habbash also called on Muslims to protect Jerusalem in "the struggle between truth and falsehood":
Dani Dayan: We're fed up with BDS, Louis Farrakhan and Women's March
The rise of antisemitism in the US is something to never be tolerated in any capacity, said Ambassador Dani Dayan, Israel’s Consul-General in New York, to an audience on Sunday.

“When we say ‘never again,’ we mean never again,” Dayan said at the start of the Jerusalem Post’s Annual Conference in New York. Dayan explained that “‘never again’ doesn’t mean [just] that another Holocaust will not happen again.”

He told the audience that “the Jewish people will not go back to the days of ‘just’ small pogroms here and there. ‘Never again’ meaning we will not expect cartoons in leading papers [with antisemitic stereotypes], it means that Jews will not be afraid to go to shul on Shabbat.”

“Never again means we are fed up with antisemitism,” Dayan said. “We are fed up with the BDS, with Louis Farrakhan and the Women’s March. We’re fed up with neo-Nazis and white supremacists. The State of Israel doesn’t have jurisdiction outside the country, but it doesn’t mean we don’t care.”
H.R.2407 Is the Nightmare You Expected from Loony Lefty Democratic Congresswomen
The title of the 116th Congress’ proposed bill H.R.2407 is reminiscent of the question, How long since you stopped beating up your wife? It has so many inherent, incriminating assumptions, it’s too late for you to argue you never beat up anyone and besides, you’re single. Here’s the title: “H.R.2407 – Promoting Human Rights for Palestinian Children Living Under Israeli Military Occupation Act.”

Introduced in the House on April 30, 2019 by Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN), the bill now enjoys the support of the entire lineup of Democratic crazy-left culture heroines: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Abdullahi Omar, Rashida Tlaib, Ayanna Pressley, and Pramila Jayapal.

The stated purpose of H. R. 2407 is: “To promote human rights for Palestinian children living under Israeli military occupation and require that United States funds do not support military detention, interrogation, abuse, or ill-treatment of Palestinian children, and for other purposes.”

There are countless international agreements demanding special treatment of children in war time and under military occupation, who are defined as human beings under the age of 18. They must receive special care and special protection. But there’s precious little in the broad available literature that deals with military occupation lasting 52 years, in areas that are crisscrossed by different political authorities. And almost nothing about police treatment of minors who engage in blatant violent behavior, including arson and murder against civilians.

Needless to say, in its current version, H. R. 2407 has nothing to say about these real issues. A combined failure of a succession of Israeli governments to either annex or give up the liberated territories, combined with Israel’s decisions in 1993 and 2005 which culminated in the partial or complete takeover of said territories by gangs of Arab terrorists, has created a sadly inadequate combination of off-the-cuff and contradictory laws and regulations over the treatment of children who seek to kill and/or rob civilians.



US to push off 'Deal of the Century' till November?
The Trump administration is considering pushing off the release of its much-anticipated Middle East peace plan until after Israel’s second legislative election in 2019, after planning to unveil the framework this summer, a senior administration official said Sunday.

Speaking at the Jerusalem Post Annual Conference Sunday evening, White House envoy Jason Greenblatt said the administration may hold back on releasing its ‘Deal of the Century’ plan for the Middle East until November.

“It is no secret that the Israeli elections have certainly put a new thought into our head. If the elections hadn’t been called again, perhaps we would have released” the plan “over the summer.”

“We haven’t made a decision on whether to delay now, potentially until as late November 6th. But we’ll decide that after Bahrain,” said Greenblatt, referring to the upcoming “workshop” in Bahrain during which the US is expected to present the economic portions of its peace plan.

During the interview, Greenblatt also expressed support for US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman’s recent comments to The New York Times in which he said Israel had the right to retain some of Judea and Samaria in a final status arrangement.

"Under certain circumstances, I think Israel has the right to retain some, but unlikely all, of the West Bank," Friedman said last week, avoiding use of the word “annexation”

On Sunday, Greenblatt backed Friedman’s comments.

"David spoke elegantly and I support what he said,” Greenblatt said Sunday.


Israel honors Trump with inauguration of 'Trump Heights'

The US mission to Israel took part in a special naming ceremony in the Golan Heights Sunday afternoon, marking the formal naming of a new town in the Golan after President Donald Trump.

A sign at the entrance of the future town was unveiled during the ceremony for the yet-to-be built community of Ramat Trump, or Trump Heights.

The Israeli cabinet met Sunday in the Golan town of Kela Alon, near the site of the new community, to formally approve the establishment of Ramat Trump.

US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman joined Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and members of his cabinet at the ceremony.

"This is a historic day,” Netanyahu said, sitting next to Friedman. “We are about to approve construction of a new town in the Golan, something that hasn't happened in quite a long time...and we'll be honoring a great friend of Israel, President Donald Trump, who recently recognized Israeli sovereignty over the Golan, the first foreign leader to do so."

Following Netanyahu's comments at the special cabinet meeting in the Golan, Ambassador Friedman thanked the prime minister for the decision to name a new town after the American president, calling it an "extraordinary gesture that you and the State of Israel are making to the President of the United States."

Report: Lebanon 'open to negotiations' on border with Israel
Lebanon could be open to negotiating its border with Israel, the Russian news agency RIA Novosti reports.

RIA quoted Lebanese Defense Minister Elias Bou Saab referring to upcoming talks with Israel to regulate the two countries’ border dispute, to be mediated by US diplomat David Satterfield.

Bou Saab said that Lebanon was “unwilling to give up any part of its border, on land or at sea. However, we are open to talks to establish the border.”

Formally at war since 1948, Israel and Lebanon have long disagreed on border demarcations in the eastern Mediterranean, an issue that gained prominence in the past decade when large deposits of natural gas were found there.

The Lebanese minister’s remarks come a week and a half after Israel said it expected the US-mediated talks to begin “within weeks” and two weeks after Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said that Israel was open to talks to demarcate its borders with Lebanon.
Why does Israel allow the EU flag in Area C?
On May 27, 2019, United with Israel reported "In one of its latest ploys, the Palestinian Authority (PA), with support from the European Union (EU), took control of a strategic area in the heart of the Etzion Bloc, between the Jerusalem-Hevron highway and the Jewish village of Neve Daniel.

Named “Shoshkhalah,” this brand new “village” was created over the past two years by Palestinian Arabs attempting to create false “historic” facts-on-the-ground where none previously existed.

Yishai Hemo, Field Coordinator for Regavim, an organization that advocates legal accountability for national land use and the return of the rule of law, explained in a video the process for the creation of Shoshkhalah:

“Over the course of the last two years, activists from the Arab town Al Khader, backed by Palestinian Authority and European Union funding, occupied the ruins of two ancient ‘shomerot’ (watchman’s huts) – primitive stone structures used by passing shepherds or farmers as shelter from the elements during the changing seasons - that dot the landscape in the Jerusalem and Sataf areas. They renovated these abandoned structures and turned them into homes – and from that point, in very short order, totally new structures have been added in the surrounding area.”

In an act of defiance, the refurbished buildings display the European Union’s emblem. There are sign posts describing the site as an ancient village.

Aerial photos prove, however, that more than 15 homes have been built in this area in the past two years alone. Aerial photos taken in 1967, as well as maps dating back to 1880, confirm that there was never any settlement in this area.
House Introduces Bipartisan Resolution to Mark AMIA Bombing, Seek Justice
A bipartisan resolution in the US House of Representatives was introduced Thursday to condemn the 1994 attack on the Mutual Israelite Association of Argentina, or AMIA, community center in Buenos Aires 25 years ago, in addition to calling for justice to be served in the case.

Reps. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.), Joe Wilson (R-S.C.), Albio Sires (D-N.J.) and Francis Rooney (R-Fla.) co-sponsored the measure.

It also remembers the January 2015 death of special prosecutor Alberto Nisman, appointed in September 2004, discovered shot in the head in his apartment the day before he was to feature evidence accusing then-Argentinian President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner and the Argentinian government of covering up for Iran and Hezbollah’s alleged role in the tragedy that killed 85 people and wounded hundreds.

The measure acknowledges that Hezbollah member Ibrahim Hussein Berro was identified as the AMIA bomber.

Finally, the resolution mentions the bombing of the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires two years prior to the AMIA attack, also allegedly done by Hezbollah.
House Bipartisan Group Urges Merkel to Label Hezbollah a Terror Group
A bipartisan group of members in the US House of Representatives sent a letter to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, urging Germany to officially designate Hezbollah as a terrorist group.

The signees were Reps. Lee Zeldin (R-NY), Gus Bilirakis (R-Fla.), Grace Meng (D-NY) and Ted Deutch (D-Fla.).

This week, the German parliament rejected a bill to ban Hezbollah from the country.

“The threatening influence of Hezbollah extends beyond Israel and poses a tremendous risk to the security interests of Europe as a whole,” stated the letter. “As you know, your intelligence service has detailed that the number of Hezbollah members and supporters has increased to 1,050 in 2018.”

“The growth of support for Hezbollah will also contribute to the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe, which has already resulted in deadly attacks against Jews,” it continued. “That is why we strongly urge Germany to take substantive action against Hezbollah through sanctions and other means that will hamper their ability to project influence in the region.”
MESA Demands US Welcome Palestinian Terror Apologist Hanan Ashrawi
Shortly after the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) intervened on behalf of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions leader Omar Barghouti, the organization has now come to the rescue of another of Israel’s enemies, Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) executive committee member Hanan Ashrawi.

Like Barghouti, Ashrawi was denied an entrance visa to the United States, in her case in May. MESA protested with a letter to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo bemoaning (in effect) the difficulty anti-Israel ideologues experience trying to reach American audiences. As with its April 17 letter to Pompeo on behalf of Barghouti, MESA falsely framed Ashrawi’s case as a matter of academic freedom, tantamount to the suppression of ideas.

Barghouti is an obscure figure to most Americans, but Ashrawi has been known for decades in the United States as Yasser Arafat’s foil — the soft side of the PLO, the girlfriend of the late ABC news anchor Peter Jennings, no less. But she has always been PLO to the core: spokeswoman, member of the legislative council, Minister of Higher Education and Culture — she has worn many hats.

MESA’s letter identifies Ashrawi as a member of “the Palestinian [sic] Liberation Organization, where she heads the Department of Culture and Information.” The self-appointed mandarins at MESA apparently don’t know that the “P” in PLO stands for “Palestine,” not “Palestinian.” This is a major oversight considering her platform is centered on the denial of Israel’s existence and endless affirmations of a country called “Palestine” that does not exist, mainly because her organization has refused every opportunity to create a nation that does not also wipe out Israel.
Jewish Website Exposes MachsomWatch’s ‘Les Misérables’ Libel
According to NGO Watch, MachsomWatch, describing itself as “a movement of Israeli women […] who oppose the Israeli occupation and the denial of Palestinians’ rights to move freely in their land,” receives millions of dollars in donations from foreign entities and the New Israel Fund.

According to Hakol Hayehudi, the MachsomWatch narrative citing Victor Hugo’s plot was a tad inaccurate, seeing as the two Arab thieves were caught piling a pickup truck with not one, but dozens of watermelons stolen from the settlement of Shadmot Mehola in the Jordan Valley.

From the picture we received from Hakol Hayehudi, taken at the moment of the arrest, it is clear that the two enterprising Arabs stole not a “single watermelon” but at least 60 watermelons.

The local security officer captured the thieves and alerted police, which arrested them and confiscated their vehicle.

Local settlers praised the police and expressed their hope that the arrest of these thieves would yield some deterrence to the numerous other Arab thieves in the area. The phenomenon of agricultural crime in the Jordan Valley has long been a source of economic devastation to the entire area. Dozens of tractors have been stolen by Arabs in recent years, crop have been destroyed and their yield stolen in hundreds of cases, and farmers are suffering severe damages.
Anti-Zionist festival in Haifa receives funding from city, government
Some of the tens of millions of shekels the Haifa Municipality and the Culture and Sport Ministry transfer each year to the Beit Ha’Gefen multicultural center in Haifa are being used to fund a festival that praises terrorists, Israel Hayom has learned.

The nonprofit Beit Ha’Gefen calls itself the Arab-Jewish Cultural Center and in a mission statement on its homepage declares that it believes in “creating shared egalitarian spaces that contain the variety of identities and culture in Haifa in particular and Israel in general.”

But despite expressions of peaceful coexistence and tolerance, Beit Ha’Gefen is currently hosting an Arab cultural festival in which Palestinians are referred to as the “third generation of the Nakba,” and says that Israeli society is in the process of “becoming fascist.”

The festival program calls to screen a film that presents terrorists and supporters of terrorism as cultural heroes, while the Intifada is characterized as a “key Palestinian event.”

Rami Younis, artistic director of the festival and a supporter of the BDS movement, wrote in a Facebook post that “the Nazi Israelis shot Palestinians in the biggest ghetto in the world,” referring to the Hamas-organized “marches of return” on the Gaza border.
Hamas arrests terrorist operatives who fired rocket at Sderot yeshiva
Hamas has arrested the terrorist operatives responsible for rocket attacks launched from the Gaza Strip on Thursday, sources in Gaza told i24NEWS Sunday.

The sources revealed that the operatives were Salafi Muslims and belong to the organization known as “Defenders of Al-Aqsa.”

According to the report, the men detained are residents of the cities Beit Lahiya and Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip.

Both Hamas’ internal security agency and its Izzedine al-Qassam military wing are investigating the possibility that the order for the launch came from outside of Gaza.

The missile, which the Iron Dome system failed to intercept, hit a yeshiva in Sderot, which was empty at the time. The attack sparked an Israeli retaliation.

On Saturday, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said that Hamas was investigation the rocket fire, and said that no other group would have been responsible for it.
Qatari envoy said set to enter Gaza Sunday with new cash delivery
A Qatari delegation led by envoy Mohammed al-Emadi is expected to arrive in Gaza Sunday for talks with Hamas leadership, Palestinian media reported Saturday.

The report said the delegation was delayed by a day due to discussions with Israeli officials on issues relating to the calm along the border.

According to Channel 13, the delegation will bring with it a fresh delivery of Qatari cash for the Strip and update Hamas on developments in the agreement.

Earlier Saturday, Hamas sources told the Arabic 21 news site that Israel was demanding the terror group renew talks on returning the bodies of fallen Israeli soldiers in exchange for quiet in Gaza. The sources claimed Hamas had refused the demand, according to a report by Channel 13 news.

Hamas is believed to be holding the remains of Israeli soldiers Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin, whose bodies were captured by the terror group when they were killed in the Strip during 2014’s Operation Protective Edge.

The terror group also holds captive Israeli civilians Abera Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed.

The report added that UN envoy to the Middle East Nickolay Mladenov was working to prevent further deterioration in the situation between Israel and Hamas.




Diplomatic Gesticulations Won't Solve the Iran Problem
That leaves the remaining members of the P5+1 with a clear choice: either pronounce the Obama [Iran] "deal" dead and seek a framework for new talks on how to solve the perennial "Iran problem" which, paradoxically, all say they are concerned about, or to unite to neutralize the United States and help Iran carry on as usual.

The present impasse may be breached in two ways.

The first is for actual or wannabe mediators to side with the US and tell the mullahs that they cannot have their cake and eat it. Once the mullahs have understood that putative "mediators" could direct their efforts at finding ways of organizing a retreat that avoids utter humiliation for the Khomeinist regime. That should not be difficult as all the remaining P5+1 nations, including Russia, share Washington's concerns about Tehran's "exporting revolution" and developing long-range missiles capable of carrying yet non-existent nuclear warheads.

The second way to breach the impasse is to admit that the Obama "deal" is a dead horse that will not come back to life no matter how one kicks it.
Iran says it will unveil measures reducing commitment to nuclear pact on Monday
Tehran said it would take further action Monday to renounce its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal signed with world powers.

“Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization tomorrow at the Arak heavy water site will announce preparatory steps that have been taken to further decrease Tehran’s commitments under the deal,” Iran’s Tasnim news agency reported Sunday, according to a translation by the Reuters news agency.

The organization will also announce “very important information” regarding the “limitless increase of Iran’s enriched uranium stockpile,” according to the Mehr news agency.

The move is part of Iran’s recent 60-day ultimatum to the European Union for renegotiating the 2015 pact after the US withdrew from it and reimposed crippling sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

During the press briefing, officials will lay out recent steps to redesign the Arak reactor and increase its production of heavy water, the report said.

Last month, Iran formally dropped the limitations on uranium enrichment and the production of heavy water that were laid down in the nuclear deal, citing its ultimatum to the EU, which it accuses of failing to protect Iran against the renewed US sanctions.




Schakowsky Pushes Back on Omar Suggesting Critics Were ‘Weaponizing’ Anti-Semitism
Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D., Ill.) on Saturday gave Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) some pushback after she suggested some critics were "weaponizing" anti-Semitism to silence her.

Both female Democrats appeared on CNN's Van Jones Show together, where they had a dialogue about the dangers of anti-Semitism and bringing Muslims and Jews together.

"I want to say there are people who are genuinely interested in fighting anti-Semitism," Omar said. "Then there are those who are interested in weaponizing anti-Semitism to shut down debate on whatever they might not agree on and vilify anybody that they may not want to have any kind of platform to have influence."

Omar then attempted to give herself cover over previous anti-Semitic statements by saying she wrote an op-ed in her local newspaper shortly after she won her election about the importance of fighting anti-Semitism, adding that she believes there is "connection" between her "oppression" and the oppression of Jewish people.

Schakowsky then jumped into the conversation to push back against Omar's "weaponizing" comment.

"Let me just say though—I think some of the people who were upset about what they heard as anti-Semitism keyed into the—[they] were not necessarily trying to weaponize them. This was a genuine feeling," Schakowsky said.

"Not just some, a lot of the people," Omar said, attempting to clarify.


Fighting BDS online
The fight against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, as well as against antisemitism, is not easy, especially on social media platforms where such sentiments are rampant and uncensored.

Lies about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are spread through propaganda – fake images and posts – with the gap between anti-Zionism and antisemitism growing ever smaller. The two are becoming interchangeable on social media, and in many respects it’s been found that anti-Israel agendas encourage and strengthen antisemitic sentiments.

In a bid to fight BDS, hate speech and antisemitism online, the Strategic Affairs Ministry formed DigiTell, an independent network of pro-Israel social media influencers who play an integral part in defending Israel online and fighting against antisemitism.

According to Ido Daniel, director of digital strategy at the Strategic Affairs Ministry, the network spans six continents, with dozens of organizations, influencers and grassroot initiatives all dedicated to this cause.

“The ministry recognized there was a strategic gap in the fight against Israel’s protractors,” Daniel said. “As individuals they were doing great work, but there was a lack of a coordination and cooperation between them. The ministry has the ‘luxury’ of having the ability to bring everyone together to the same table, and from there the rest is history.”
German Student Associations Unite to Fight Antisemitic BDS Movement
Germany’s leading national student associations have joined forces to fight the anti-Israel boycott movement—Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS)—on college campuses. Perhaps the first academic initiative of its kind in Europe, the alliance comprises student groups from across the political spectrum.

The cross-party coalition, initiated by unaffiliated student groups and German Jewish students, has been supported by nationwide student bodies affiliated with the Christian Democrats, the Social Democrats, the Greens, and the libertarian Free Democrats.

A resolution to this effect will be passed at the first German-Israeli Conference in Frankfurt on Sunday, the German newspaper Die Welt reported. Student union representatives from Israel and the country’s envoy have been invited to the event.

Die Welt reported the details of the students’ alliance against the BDS:
A special alliance of student associations affiliated to political parties and other college groups has been forged to condemn the anti-Israel boycott campaign BDS — Boycott, Divestment und Sanctions. The resolution, obtained by Die Welt, will be passed at the first “German-Israeli Students Conference” in Frankfurt this Sunday.

The federal [governing] bodies of the Association of Christian Democratic Students, the Young Socialists in the Social Democratic Party (SPD) student group, the [Libertarian] Liberal student group, the student group of the Green Party, along with the “Free Alliance of the Student Body” (FZS), the Youth Forum of the German Israeli Association (DIG) and the Union of the Jewish Students (JSD) have taken a clear stand against the BDS. “The boycott campaign against Israel is a particularly blatant expression of Antisemitism with relation to Israel that should have no place in the confines of German universities,” the text of the resolution said.
BDS urges boycott of sportswear giant Puma over ties with Israel
The pro-Palestinian boycott, divestment and sanctions movement is calling on its supporters to boycott German sportswear giant Puma over its ties with the Israel Football Association.

In late 2018, Puma signed a four-year sponsorship deal with the IFA, which includes six clubs from communities in Judea and Samaria. The deal saw Puma replace industry counterpart Adidas, which had been an IFA sponsor for 10 years until it ended its relationship with the Israeli organization over a similar BDS campaign.

“At the heart of the issue is that the football teams the IFA allows to play in the West Bank are located in occupied territory in violation of both international law and the rules of football’s global governing body FIFA,” the BDS movement said, referring to the international football federation.

“Through its agreement with the IFA, Puma is not only helping to normalize this situation but is also profiting from it. Worse, by sponsoring Israeli national teams, Puma is helping Israel harness the power of football’s global popularity and potent symbolism to use participation in European and international competitions as a means to launder its international image and present itself as a normal country.”

According to several pro-BDS websites, the call to boycott Puma is supported by over 200 Palestinian sports clubs and associations, as well as by prominent Palestinian athletes, including the captain of the Palestinian men’s national football team Abdullatef Buhdari and Aya Khattab of the women’s national football team.
George Mason University Professor Spreads More Vile Lies About Israel
Israel must undergo “settler-decolonization” in which Jewish “settler-colonists … could leave as the French left Algeria, or they could stay as they did in South Africa,” declared George Mason University Professor Noura Erekat last month. Her presentation at Washington’s Middle East Institute (MEI) revealed that nothing is beneath such an Israel-hater, who masks her lies and propaganda with sophistry and a smiling face.

During the speech, the niece of Palestinian Authority (PA) negotiator Saeb Erekat discussed her recent book, Justice for Some: Law and the Question of Palestine, before approximately 80 people. Her fellow panelist, Brookings Institute non-resident fellow Khaled Elgindy, examined his recent publication, Blind Spot: America and the Palestinians, from Balfour to Trump.

Befitting her longstanding anti-Israel extremism, including praise for terrorist Rasmea Odeh and conspiracy-mongering Princeton law professor emeritus Richard Falk, Erekat spewed vitriolic falsehoods. She gushed over the “youth” and “courageous vision” of Yasser Arafat, upon his accession to Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) leadership in 1968. She even claimed that the PLO “renounced violence” through its 1998 charter amendments, a cold comfort to Israeli victims of the PA’s current “pay to slay” terrorist payment program, as well as the various terror intifadas.

In Erekat’s remarks — a de facto legal brief for terrorists — she exulted in the PLO “legislating the right to fight” by creating a “new law during the 1970s in order to further their cause for liberation,” the 1977 Geneva Protocol. American opposition to terrorism led to the rejection of this agreement.


Is Israel “Squeezing” its Christian Population?
When is a lease of land not just a lease of land?

When the land in question, located in the Old City of Jerusalem, is owned by the Greek Orthodox Church, and the other party is an Israeli group which seeks to bolster the Jewish population’s presence in the Old City and east Jerusalem. That’s when.

No matter which side you take, the 15-year-old dispute between Jewish organization Ateret Cohanim and the Greek Patriarchate is a thorny affair, each side having merits and the dealings themselves shrouded in mystery. With the church claiming the leases of three land plots were made without going through the proper process and Ateret Cohanim refusing to back down, the matter took 15 years to be resolved.

However, instead of reporting on this story with the requisite care, Times of London writer Michael Binyon’s piece, titled “Squeeze on Christians in the Holy Land,” (article behind paywall) portrays the upholding of the leases by the Israeli Supreme Court as tantamount to pressuring the entire Christian community in the Holy Land.

Which “Holy Land?”

Speaking of the “Holy Land”, the Binyon’s article refers to its “dwindling number of Christians.” But what does “Holy Land” even mean?

In a piece dealing exclusively with the treatment of Christians by the Israeli authorities, it might seem that the term Holy Land here is to be taken as synonymous with Israel. If that’s the case, then the statement is an outright lie. With a community in excess of 180,000 and growing, the number of Christians in Israel has steadily risen since the inception of the State.
BBC still fence-sitting on Iranian support for Houthis
No effort is made either in that backgrounder or the current article to provide readers with information which would help them to decide whether there is any substance to those Iranian denials.

For example the BBC could have told readers that two months before it last updated its backgrounder, a UN Security Council report noted that:
“The Panel has identified a small number of companies, both within and outside Yemen, that operated as front companies under false documentation to conceal a donation of fuel for the benefit of a listed individual. The revenue from the sale of that fuel was used to finance the Houthi war effort. The Panel found that the fuel was loaded from ports in the Islamic Republic of Iran under false documentation to avoid detection by inspections of the United Nations Verification and Inspection Mechanism.”

As reported by AP, in another UN report from the previous year

“…the experts said Iran violated a U.N. arms embargo by directly or indirectly providing missiles and drones to the Houthis.”

So much for the BBC’s obligation to “offer a range and depth of analysis and content not widely available from other United Kingdom news providers […] so that all audiences can engage fully with major […] global issues…”
BBC Radio 4 promotes unsupported allegation concerning Israel
As the BBC’s researchers were presumably aware before seeking his participation, that bizarre and unevidenced claim had been made by Lord West of Spithead before – in the House of Lords on May 13th.

“There is no doubt that there are powerful factions within Israel, Saudi Arabia and the US that feel that an attack on Iran would be a good thing, believe it or not. They think that they would very quickly be able to suppress the enemy capability and then there would be regime change. They are wrong. It would be an absolute catastrophe. The passage of any shipping through the Straits of Hormuz would be problematic for weeks, there would be an outbreak of terrorist attacks throughout the region and there would possibly be some missile attacks.”

As we see, then too no evidence to support his claim was provided by Lord West of Spithead – who also believes that terrorism in the UK is caused by Israeli actions (or cannabis) and told BBC audiences (and others) in April 2018 that it did “not ring true” that the chemical attack in Douma that month was perpetrated by the Assad regime.

Not only did Justin Webb make no effort whatsoever to challenge West’s unsupported statement, but BBC Radio 4 even chose to further highlight it on Twitter.

So much, once again, for the BBC’s obligation to provide “duly accurate and impartial news, current affairs and factual programming to build people’s understanding of…the wider world.”
California man arrested after threatening synagogue mass shooting
A California man who threatened in an online chatroom to kill Jews and to commit a mass shooting at a synagogue was arrested.

Ross Anthony Farca, 23, of Concord, California, said in the chatroom on the video game platform Steam that he wanted to emulate the Poway synagogue shooter “except with a Nazi uniform on,” The Mercury News reported.

He was arrested last week and charged with criminal threats and gun possession. Concord police said they found an AR-15 semi-automatic assault rifle with 13 magazines, a 3-foot sword, camouflage clothing, ammunition, and Nazi literature during a search of his home, that he shared with his mother.

He remains in custody at the Contra Costa County Jail in lieu of $125,000 bail, and pleaded not guilty at his arraignment hearing.
Israel trying to keep Ukrainian town from turning Holocaust-era mass grave into real estate
Israeli Ambassador to Ukraine Rabbi Yoel Leon has sent off an urgent request to the mayor of Poltova, Ukraine to intervene to keep the site of a Holocaust-era mass grave from being used for a real estate development.

Shortly after the Germans reached Poltava in September 1941, thousands of the city’s Jewish residents were shot to death. A number of non-Jewish locals were also executed there.

Leon wrote to Poltava Mayor Oleksandr Shamota: “As a representative of Israel, the state of the Jewish people, and as the son of Holocaust survivors, I am speaking in the names of those who cannot speak any longer and calling on your conscience and [that of] your city council members to stop this historic injustice.”

Leon urged Shamota to “listen to the voices of the victims.”

“As the Bible says in Genesis 4:10, ‘The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground.’ I expect immediate action. You have the authority to choose between justice and injustice,” Leon pressed the mayor in his letter.

Leon copied the Ukrainian prime minister and culture minister as well as the heads of local Jewish communities, stressing that evidence collected by both the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial and a Ukrainian government body, thousands of Jews and gentiles alike had been executed by the Germans at the site in question.

At one time, Poltava was an important Jewish center in eastern Ukraine. Israel’s second president, Yitzhak Ben-Zvi, was originally from Poltava.
Intel to ‘Ignite’ key startup tech with accelerator program in Tel Aviv
Intel Corp. on Sunday said it was setting up an open-innovation startup accelerator program that will help grow early-stage startup companies in Israel in key industries, including artificial intelligence, autonomous systems and other data-centric technologies.

Based in Tel Aviv, the program, called Ignite, will tap into Intel’s global market access, business and technology know-how to provide the selected startups with guidance and mentorships for them to grow.

Speaking at a press conference in Tel Aviv, Intel CEO Bob Swan said this new program will be “very important” to advance open innovation in Israel and accelerate early-stage Israeli startup companies that are exploring technologies in a variety of key industries in which Intel operates.

The US tech giant is in the midst of a transforming itself from a maker of chips for PCs to a company centered around data, offering a much wider range of products and services to customers, including semiconductors, sensors for driverless cars, drones, and cloud-based technologies.




Jerusalem's Municipality Creates App for Visually Impaired
Many religious and archaeological sites in Jerusalem's old city pose unique challenges to the disabled. One initiative in Jerusalem is aiming to make the old city accessible for the blind. Our Shelby Weiner has the story.




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