Thursday, July 18, 2019

From Ian:

Caroline Glick: Trump's Tweetstorm Correctly Linked Anti-Americanism to Antisemitism
President Donald Trump’s tweets on Sunday drew predictable condemnation. But aside from the partisan debate about whether they were racist, they contained an important truth: hatred of Jews and hatred of America are linked.

Trump told the so-called “squad” of radical Democrats — Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) — they could leave the country if they hate it so much. He drew criticism because he said that they came from foreign countries; in fact, only Omar did.

But Trump also highlighted a basic fact about the nature of leftist ideology. Just as the Iranian regime views the United States and Israel as two sides of the same coin, with the ayatollahs dubbing the U.S. “the Great Satan” and Israel, “the Little Satan,” so the radical left views the U.S. and Israel – the most powerful democracy in the world and the only democracy in the Middle East – as states with no moral foundation for existing.

Although other presidents have spoken out against hatred of Jews and Israel on the one hand and hatred of America on the other, it is hard to think of another example of a U.S. leader making the case that the two hatreds are linked as Trump did this week.

This is important, because they are linked. The haters see both America and the Jews as all-powerful forces who use their power to bend the world to their nefarious, avaricious, greedy aims. They stereotype both Americans and pro-Israel and traditional Jews as vulgar and fascist.

Yisrael Medad: Arab-American Anti-Zionism Before Tlaib and Omar
The undermining of Zionism in America by Arabs and Muslims is not new.

As researched here, by Daniel Rickenbachert, there were early attempts and one of them was in January of 1930, when the Mufti-led Supreme Muslim Council (SMC) and the Arab Executive, sent two delegations to the US and to Britain to promote the Arab cause, this just after the murderous 1929 Riots.

As appears there, the delegation to the US consisted of the Syrian pan-Islamic activist Shakib Arslan, his brother Adel Arslan, Issa Bandak and three other members. In the US, the delegation met with the State Department, arguing that only the abolition of the Balfour Declaration could lead to a reconciliation between Jews and Arabs. The delegation also appealed to the Arab-Americans to “emulate the American Jews” by giving donations to the SMC. However, the undertaking was reportedly a financial disaster. This may explain why there were no further Arab delegations from Palestine during the next seven years.

But the first one to speak out against Zionism was an American-Lebanese, Amin Rihani who arrived in the US in 1898. That was in September 1917, two months before the Balfour Declaration, when he published an anti-Zionism piece. In his article,
ABC (Australia) in ‘absolute denial’ over Hamas ‘wanting blood’
Sky News host Andrew Bolt says there are people in Australia, helped by the ABC, in ‘absolute denial’ about Hamas wanting 'blood', and not wanting peace.

Did Israelis steal a Palestinian home? What AJ+ don't say
Tired of people claiming Israel steals houses from Palestinians? In a recent AJ+ hit piece they claimed Israel evicted a Palestinian family from their home in Silwan, Jerusalem, we bring the truth of what really happened.

What Is Al Jazeera Saying About Im Tirtzu?
Al Jazeera has recently taken aim at Im Tirtzu and published a feature article on our “Know Your Professor” website, which exposed dozens of radical Israeli academics who are engaged in promoting boycotts and defaming Israel.

Im Tirtzu says
“It seems that the propaganda arm of Qatar is not so pleased with our work – a sign that we are doing a good job!”

Al Jazeera’s Harry Fawcett reports from “”occupied East Jerusalem”””…..
Israel’s right-wing nationalists target left-wing academics

A pro-Zionist organisation publicised what it says are left-wing academics undermining the Israeli state.

The Israeli government has reportedly enlisted its intelligence agency to counteract the Palestinian-led campaign against Israeli oppression.

Now some academics who back the movement say they are being targeted in a so-called witch-hunt by right-wing nationalists.

Im Tirtzu says it is engaged in a continual fight to preserve the Zionist state.

But critics say naming and shaming individual professors is threatening the freedom of expression for Israeli academics.

Omar Compares BDS Movement To Boston Tea Party — Lee Zeldin Nukes Her
Republican New York Rep. Lee Zeldin scolded Democratic Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar on Wednesday after she introduced a resolution affirming Americans’ right to isolate Israel through Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS).

“My colleague who just spoke used the frequent use of the words ‘honesty’ and ‘honest.’ Let’s just get to a lot of what is left out,” Zeldin responded to Omar’s testimony during the House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing.

“The BDS movement has not distanced itself from Hamas, a designated foreign terrorist organization. BDS supporters individually are not distancing themselves from Hamas either,” he continued. “It is wrong to be blaming all Israeli and Palestinian violence ‘as being due to an occupation.’”

The BDS movement seeks to punish the Jewish state of Israel by politically and economically depriving the country for its alleged mistreatment of Palestinians. The movement initially metastasized through college campuses and is described by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) as “the most prominent effort to undermine Israel’s existence.”

CAIR Joins Antisemitic Palestinian Advocacy Groups to Protest New Jersey BDS Bill
A proposed New Jersey bill banning anti-Israel rhetoric and Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) activities on college campuses and in public schools unfairly links such activities with antisemitism, officials with the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) say.

CAIR’s partners protesting the legislation include American Muslims for Palestine of New Jersey (AMP), Jewish Voice for Peace of Northern NJ, and the Al-Awda NY: The Palestine Right to Return Coalition, among others.

“The falsely-titled Prohibits anti-Semitism in public schools and institutions of higher education [legislation] would only create confusion between what are real and punishable anti-Semitic hate crimes and the protected free speech rights of American students and faculty members,” CAIR-NJ Executive Director Jim Sues said last week in a statement.

But evidence from college campuses across the country shows that anti-Zionist activities against Israel lead to antisemitic actions against pro-Israel Jews. According to the bill’s text, antisemitism includes:
- Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jewish people or the power of Jewish people as a collective;
- Accusing Jewish people as a whole or the State of Israel of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust;
- Accusing Jewish people of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jewish people worldwide, than to the interest of their own nations.

It would bar demonizing Israel by using the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism to characterize Israel or Israeli people, drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis, or blaming Israel for all inter-religious or political tensions.

Will Netanyahu bar Ilhan Omar from entering Israel?
On Wednesday, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar announced that she will be visiting Israel and the Palestinian territories in the coming weeks.

Omar will be accompanied by Rep. Rashida Tlaib. The two freshman congresswomen have become a focal point of the Jewish community after expressing numerous controversial comments regarding Israel and several statements that were deemed anitsemitic.

The congresswoman said she would travel to Israel on the same day that she introduced a new “pro-boycott” of Israel resolution in Congress “affirming that all Americans have the right to participate in boycotts in pursuit of civil and human rights at home and abroad, as protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution.”

Omar’s action was in response to the House Foreign Affairs Committee moving forward with five pro-Israel bills, three of which are resolutions with declarative purpose, and two others bills that seek to sanction supporters of Hamas and to make improvements to the defense and security assistance to Israel.

Israel has a law the grants the government authority to ban pro-BDS activists from entering the country. The law has been used sporadically over the past two years.

A government official told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s National Security Council was reviewing the issue and would offer him recommendations on how to respond.

Seth Frantzman: Avoiding clichés on Omar's trip to Israel and Palestinian areas -analysis
If Omar does come, she will likely be ensconced in the kind of trips we have heard of in the past, which usually involves going to Hebron to see the worst aspects of Israeli rule over Palestinians, and then discussions with Palestinians in refugee camps and maybe a visit to a Bedouin village threatened with home demolitions. One of the problems Israel faces in these kinds of narratives is that its views are usually presented by official spokespeople, while the Palestinian view is generally represented by average people, usually filtered through a translator and arranged by a fixer.

GIVEN THAT Omar will likely want to have some of these experiences, the question remains how her trip might be effective, in terms of going beyond the obvious. One issue that is important to explore is what average Palestinians are actually saying about the current US policy, not just the official Ramallah talking points. The Palestinian leadership hopes to wait-out the Trump administration, which dovetails with what progressive Democrats also want to do. The hope is that the next administration – assuming that it will be a different one – will be friendlier to Palestinian issues.

But there is a lot to look at in the West Bank besides the obvious. For instance, what is happening with the Palestinian economy? What are the hurdles it faces? What about the infrastructure projects that the PA wants to invest in? What about the heritage sites of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization? The Palestinians are still part of UNESCO, even though Israel and the US have left.

Omar might take a trip to see Battir, the village that was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. She might take a trip to Mount Gerizim to also see Samaritan history, which is important to the area of Nablus. If she has time, she should see one of the Palestinian universities. Al-Quds University’s Abu Dis campus, which once had high hopes for its American Studies program, would be worth a trip. Omar should also explore the security training the US and EU have done with the Palestinians, particularly in Jericho. It would be good to be exposed to some of the advances and challenges that women face in the Palestinian Authority.

Should Congresswoman Tlaib be banned from Israel?
Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar support BDS. Does that mean they should be banned from Israel? Let us know what you think

MSNBC Host: ‘Every Single Playbook’ from Trump Suggests Another Holocaust Coming
Deutsch said "shame on" anyone who wasn't poor and supporting Trump.

"If you are on a subway train, and you saw four white nationalists screaming at an African-American woman ‘go home, go back where you came from.' If you vote for Trump, it's like you're going like this," he said, putting his head down.

"We are heading to such a dangerous place, and guess what? You look at history, it can happen here," he said. "Maybe it's the Jews next. Oh, oh, I forgot, his daughter is married to a Jew. Who says—and I come from a place, a group of people where it happened to, six million of them, and I'm not saying Trump is that person.

"But every playbook that's happening, every single playbook, creating the other. Getting rich people to look the other way. Getting people to not trust the press. Getting the judicial system in your pocket. Getting an entire branch of government, the legislative branch, the Republicans to just march with you. To act above the law. To say that you're going to put your adversaries in jail."

Deutsch said it was time for white people to look at their children and decide who they were.
Natalie Portman invokes Anne Frank to condemn US migrant policy
Natalie Portman is the latest celebrity to jump into the controversy over whether it is appropriate to compare US policy on migrants to the Holocaust and she comes down firmly on the side that it is.

The Israeli/American actress posted a photo of herself on Instagram on Wednesday that she said was of herself at 16 visiting the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam and wrote: “When I was 16 I visited Anne Frank’s house with Miep Gies, the woman who bravely hid Anne and her family when the Nazis were rounding up Jews in Amsterdam and much of Europe. Today, I shudder at the thought of a young girl hiding somewhere in my own country, afraid to turn on her light or make a noise or play outside lest she get rounded up by our government. #notinmyname and #notinmycountry Follow @theirc @fams2gether @together.rising @aclu_nationwide @raicestexas to learn how you can help.”
British PM May Blasts Corbyn Over Labour Antisemitism, Saying He Has ‘Failed the Test of Leadership’
British Prime Minister Theresa May blasted Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in the House of Commons on Wednesday on the issue of antisemitism, saying he must “apologize for his failure to deal with racism” in his party.

Since Corbyn took control of Labour in 2015, the party has been wracked by antisemitism scandals. Earlier this week, a scathing BBC Panorama special revealed the extent of the problem, prompting renewed condemnations of Corbyn’s leadership and calls for him to resign.

During Prime Minister’s Questions in the Commons, Corbyn rose to ask May a question on climate change.

May took advantage of the moment to say, “Before the right honorable gentleman stands up and parades himself as the champion of climate change, the champion of the people, or the defender of equality and fairness, he needs to apologize for his failure to deal with racism in the Labour party.”

“Just today,” she added, “60 distinguished members of the Labour party have written in the newspapers, ‘The Labour party welcomes everyone*… (*except, it seems, Jews). … This is your legacy Mr. Corbyn. … You still haven’t opened your eyes. … You still haven’t told the whole truth. … You still haven’t accepted your responsibility. … You have failed … the test of leadership.’”

“Apologize now,” May demanded.
Labour's Hayter fired for comparing Corbyn 'bunker mentality' to Hitler
Jewish Agency Chairman Isaac Herzog has called on the UK Labour Party undergo an external investigation of its policies and make public recommendations for eradicating antisemitism with the party.

In a letter to Labour Party chairman Jeremy Corbyn, Herzog said that “The revelations made by the BBC Panorama documentary on the expansion of antisemitism within the Labour Party under your leadership have caused much distress and dismay. The treatment by Labour’s leadership of antisemitic incidents within the ranks of the party is properly outrageous, and the leniency and laxness displayed by the party’s institutions towards members who spread antisemitic tropes and cast antisemitic aspersions is mind-boggling.”

He explained to Corbyn that while it is permitted to criticize the government of Israel, delegitimizing the Jewish state is a form of antisemitism.

“It is antisemitic to demonize Israel and Israelis in general as inherently evil,” Herzog wrote. “It is antisemitic to apply double standards to Israel, that is: to hold it to standards to which no other nation is held. And it is antisemitic to delegitimize the Jewish people’s right to a sovereign state of its own – and to apply this denial exclusively to Jews and to no other people. All of this relies heavily on ages-old anti-Jewish prejudice, stereotypes and bigotry.

“The new mask of this old hatred fools no one,” he continued, noting that when he was head of the Labor Party, Herzog had invited Corbyn for a tour of Yad Vashem, which he turned down.

The Jewish Agency head then recommended that antisemitism “urgently” and “determinedly” be prevented within the party. The credible way to do so, he said, would be to “entrust the probe to an outside body, which will be completely independent of the party and its leadership and which will make practical recommendations as to the right process to rid the party in the most unambiguous way of the scourge that is antisemitism.”
Labour fires peer for comparing Corbyn leadership to Hitler’s ‘bunker mentality’
Labour lawmaker Baroness Dianne Hayter was stripped of her role in Britain’s main opposition party after she compared Jeremy Corbyn’s handling of the anti-Semitism crisis to Hitler’s “bunker mentality” in the final days of the Nazi regime.

A party spokesperson quoted by UK media outlets said Thursday that Hayter was fired from her post as shadow Brexit minister “for her deeply offensive remarks about Jeremy Corbyn and his office.”

“To compare the Labour leader and Labour Party staff working to elect a Labour government to the Nazi regime is truly contemptible, and grossly insensitive to Jewish staff in particular,” he said.

Labour has grappled with anti-Semitism in its ranks since the far-left Corbyn was elected party chief in 2015, with fresh scrutiny coming after a number of former party officials accused him and his allies of interfering in efforts to address the issue, in a BBC program aired last week.

Hayter on Tuesday criticized the “bunker mentality” of Corbyn and his top aides in their handling of the anti-Semitism crisis within the party.
UK Labour Peers Could Hold No-Confidence Vote in Leader Corbyn: Source
Opposition Labour party members in Britain’s upper house of parliament will consider holding a symbolic vote of no confidence in leader Jeremy Corbyn, a party source with knowledge of the move said on Thursday.

Labour’s representatives in the House of Lords will hold an emergency meeting on Monday to consider a motion which, if approved, would lead to a symbolic vote of no-confidence in Corbyn early next week.

The move comes after Corbyn sacked a senior spokeswoman in the Lords for remarks which reportedly compared his team’s approach to handling criticism to that depicted in a fictional film of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler’s final days.

The sacking added to unhappiness with Corbyn’s leadership among Labour members of the Lords – an unelected legislative body which shapes and revises new laws.

If held and subsequently passed, the vote of no-confidence in Corbyn would not trigger any formal procedure to unseat him.

On Wednesday, more than 60 Labour members of the Lords signed a statement in a newspaper accusing Corbyn of failing “the test of leadership” over antisemitism in the party.
Spectator PodCast: Labour peers fight back against anti-Semitism
With Isabel Hardman and James Forsyth.
Presented by Cindy Yu.

PreOccupiedTerritory: Labour Solution To Members’ Antisemitism Frozen In Corbynite (satire)
Tatooine-on-Thames, July 18 – Jezza the Hutt’s palace holds a commanding view over the surrounding terrain, but the potentate’s gaze seldom fixes upon the sights beyond his audience chamber, where he has placed on prominent display a suspended-animation figure: his nemesis, a resolution to the rampant antisemitism in his party.

Jezza obtained the Corbynite block from a bounty hunter named Diane Abbobafett, who tracked down the dangerous, unpredictable rogue and arranged for it to be encased in the material. Jezza the Hutt has pursued the scoundrel for years, over time evolving from wanting to extract as much capital as possible from it to simply wishing to keep it restrained and under his close possession lest it keep undermining his reputation and ambitions.

Reports have emerged of outsiders attempting to extract the resolution from Jezza’s clutches by means of well-placed allies in media, government, and other powerful arenas, but for the time being the gangster enjoys immunity from the galactic authorities, and to date no outside pressure has proved sufficient to persuade the Hutt to relinquish his approach to the issue. A spokesman for Jezza accused disgruntled former associates of contriving a rebellion within his organization’s ranks and sowing rancor to undermine his position, and claimed they work for hostile foreign elements when their first loyalty should have been to him.
Joel Pollak: Anti-Apartheid Musician Johnny Clegg Refused to Denounce Israel
South African musician Johnny Clegg died Tuesday at the age of 66, after a long and valiant fight against pancreatic cancer. He was celebrated by family, friends, and fans from South Africa and around the world.

In his 40-year career, Clegg brought traditional African music and dance into contemporary pop. National Public Radio (NPR) called him a “uniting force against apartheid.” He was a South African hero — and also, quietly, a member of the Jewish people.

During that time, the second intifada exploded in the Middle East. I had studied at a yeshiva in Jerusalem before leaving for South Africa, and the collapse of negotiations was a shock to me: I was a left-wing true believer in the prospect of peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

But even more shocking was the vicious anti-Israel sentiment I witnessed in South Africa, which was endorsed by the new post-apartheid government that I had, until then, admired.

One of the ministers in that government, Ronnie Kasrils, happened to be Jewish. He launched a petition urging fellow Jews to oppose the Israeli government. Some of the most prominent veterans of the anti-apartheid struggle — where Jews had been disproportionately represented — signed the statement.

A few — notably, former communist Pauline Podbrey — refused to sign, citing Israel’s right to exist and to defend itself against mass terrorism by Palestinians.

Another who did not sign was Clegg.
Donors suspend funding of Poland's Jewish history museum
The ministry jointly manages Polin along with the Warsaw municipality and Wislicki’s association. All three bodies were represented on the commission that approved Stola for another term.

Culture Minister Piotr Glinski said on Polish TV that he “is analyzing the situation at the moment.”

One issue, Glinski said, is Stola’s failure to organize a conference on Lech Kaczynski, a former prime minister of Poland. Polin said in a statement Tuesday that it had reacted positively to a proposal for a conference on Kaczynski but initiators did not follow up.

Stola, who is not Jewish, has criticized a controversial law passed last year in Poland that makes it illegal to blame the Polish nation for Nazi crimes. Glinski denied allegations that the uncertainty about Stola is related to this or any other political position the director has taken.

ITV News report on Israeli security fence doesn’t even try to be fair
Even by British media standards, this represents an egregious example of anti-Israel bias, as not a word in the report even alludes to Israel’s motivation for erecting the security barrier – the 2nd Intifada’s campaign of Palestinian suicide bombing that claimed the lives of hundreds of Israeli civilians in the early 2000s.

Not only are the words “terrorism”, “attack”, “suicide bombing” and “intifada” all absent from their section on the barrier, but the report turns reality upside down in their caption under a photo of the barrier which reads: “Part of the wall between Israel and Palestine, which has caused much conflict”. Of course, the wall didn’t cause the conflict. It was the RESULT of the conflict.

By contrast, even the Guardian, when reporting on the barrier, will note the stated purpose for its construction.

Regardless of ITV News’s view on the fence, and the significance of the ICJ advisory opinion, basic journalistic standards of fairness and objectivity demands that readers be informed why it was built: as a measure to protect against future terror attacks.

ITV News doesn’t have a clear complaints process, so we’ve tweeted ITV News editors in an attempt to have relevant text added to the report.
German Jewish group slams Speigel article on pro-Israel lobby as anti-Semitic
Germany’s Der Spiegel magazine is facing a storm of criticism over its claim that pro-Israel lobbying was behind the country’s parliament recent rejection of boycotts against the Jewish state.

A July 12 Spiegel article titled “targeted campaign” purported to uncover unethical practices by pro-Israel lobbying groups to steer German politics: The non-partisan German-Jewish “Values Initiative” and “Naffo” — Middle East Peace Forum.

Efforts by these two groups, according to the article, led, among other things, to the Bundestag passing in May a non-binding resolution condemning the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel, or BDS, as anti-Semitic.

“The text is brimming with accusations of alleged Jewish influence in connection with money payments,” Josef Schuster, head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, said in a statement Sunday to the German Jewish weekly, Juedische Allgemeine. “The article clearly makes use of anti-Semitic cliches and thus stirs up anti-Semitism.”

On Monday, Spiegel editors in a statement insisted that they were merely exploring “questionable practices of lobby groups.”
Guardian’s Steve Bell attacks editors for being overly sensitive to antisemitism charges (Update)
It’s hard to know with certainty what Bell’s point is, but we read it as suggesting that the Israeli prime minister himself provokes antisemitism or engages in behavior that is antisemitic.

Though we’re not quite sure why editors nixed this cartoon, the real issue is Bell’s email, which demonstrates just how dismissive he is of those who’ve leveled “specious” charges of antisemitism in Labour, and how he actually seems to think that the Guardian – yes, the Guardian! – is too concerned about offending Jews. (Note how he also references that letter the paper removed last week from its web site which, as we posted about at the time, defending Chris Williamson, which had been signed by fringe anti-Zionist Jews, and a few non-Jewish anti-Semites.)

His email provides yet more evidence that, even by Guardian standards, Bell is an extremist in his hatred of Israel and what appears to be his utter contempt for the values and concerns of British Jews.

Update July 18th: Today, Bell published another in his series of cartoons on Tom Watson. This one, published at his own site, but not at the Guardian, shows Netanyahu as a puppet-master controlling Donald Trump and Boris Johnson.
Amsterdam celebrity tour guide advises left parties to kick out some Jews
A celebrated Dutch tour guide and columnist advised left-wing parties to kick out three Jews lest they weaponize antisemitism.

Jan Tervoort gave the advice Friday on Twitter to the Dutch Labour Party and D66.

Amid allegations of antisemitism against Tervoort, the pro-Palestinian The Rights Forum organization said it no longer prints his articles. Tervoort was last published on the Forum on July 7.

Tervoort, who has been featured in Dutch national-circulation media and in 2012 was honored by Amsterdam’s mayor for his historical knowledge, advised Labour to kick out “as a precaution” Ronny Naftaniel and Hanna Luden, past and present directors, respectively, of the Center for Information on Documentation on Israel, or CIDI.

He also advised D66 to expel Vink, a former Amsterdam City Council member. Unlike Luden and Naftaniel, Vink “was not involved with any pro-Israel groups,” Hidde van Koningsveld, policy officer at CIDI, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
Anti-Semitic fliers in Massachusetts declare Holocaust ‘fake news’
Two anti-Semitic fliers that deny the Holocaust were posted at a Massachusetts synagogue, with reports of similar incidents at synagogues in two other states.

Police are investigating what the Anti-Defamation League described as a coordinated campaign by a national online white supremacist group.

The fliers at Temple Emanu-El in Marblehead, a town of nearly 20,000 with a sizable Jewish population on the state’s North Shore, were discovered Monday morning by a teacher at its religious school, according to the Jewish Journal.

The printed posters, attributed to the Daily Stormer Book Club, refer to the Holocaust as “Fake News. The people that lied about soap and lampshades are lying about gas chambers and ovens.”

They were affixed to a “no parking” sign and the synagogue’s main entrance sign, the Jewish Journal reported.

Marblehead Police Chief Robert Picariello told local media that his department is examining surveillance video and trying to determine exactly when the fliers were placed at the synagogue.
Israel ranked among top 10 most innovative countries in the world
Israel was ranked among the top 10 countries in the Global Innovation Index (GII) of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

The GII is an annual ranking of countries by their capacity for innovation and their success. Israel has been climbing the ladder of the index since ranking 21st worldwide in 2016. Since then, Israel ranked 17th in 2017 and 11th in 2018 and, for the first time this year, reached the top 10.

The placement within the top 10 will only be divulged after the exposure event on July 24 in which Israeli Ambassador to India Dr. Ron Malka will represent Israel, along with Israeli Director of Digital Health Esti Shelly.

The GII chooses and ranks the most innovative countries in the world out of 129 countries using a complex algorithm and measuring 80 indicators, which examine the overall creative environment within the country. Some key categories include levels of education, investment in infrastructure, investment in research, business sophistication and political environment.
Friends of Zion honors Mike Huckabee
Friends of Zion Museum honored former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee with the “FOZ Defender Award” for his unwavering support of the State of Israel and the Jewish people.

Huckabee was the 44th Governor of Arkansas, was a presidential candidate in both 2008 and 2016, and hosts the popular show Huckabee on Trinity Broadcasting Network. Huckabee was in Israel this past week with Dr. Joe Frager and the National Council of Young Israel.

The ceremony was attended by Dr. Mike Evans, founder of the Friends of Zion Heritage Center. Evans, a New York Times bestselling author, commentator and head of several international nonprofit organizations in the US and the Netherlands, has been advocating for the State of Israel for over 40 years.

Since opening in 2015, the FOZ Museum works to strengthen Israel’s relations with heads of state, ambassadors and others representing the largest Christian nations in the world, including the United States, Brazil, Guatemala, El Salvador, South Korea, the European Union and many more.

After his visit, Huckabee thanked Evans and the Friends of Zion Museum saying “I just want to say thanks to Dr. Evans and thanks to the vision of the Friends of Zion Museum and the Friends of Zion outreach to the world. I think he is doing more than anyone I know to bridge the great, and sometimes unnecessary, gap between the Jewish community and the Christian community and to make us recognize that we need each other, we value each other and we stand together for the common good for bringing a sense of peace and understanding and gratitude for the traditions that we each have.”

Huckabee also praised President Donald Trump and his strong support of the US-Israel relationship, explaining “we have had Democratic and Republican Presidents who have been strong friends of Israel, but we have never had such a President as today who not only said the things of friendship, but who actually did them, signed his name to them, and accomplished them.”
Portugal grants citizenship to 10,000 descendants of Sephardi Jews
Portugal has approved about a third of approximately 33,000 applications for citizenship under its 2015 law for descendants of Sephardic Jews, according to official data.

Applications based on the 2015 law, primarily from Israel, Turkey, Brazil and Venezuela, are behind a 10 percent increase in applications in 2018, which saw 41,324 such requests in 2018, the Publico magazine in Portugal reported last month. It was the highest tally in at least five years.

The report did not say how many applications have been declined.

Israel, which used to provide Portugal with no more than a few dozen new citizens per year before 2015, provided 4,289 applications in 2018 — the second-highest number of any country after Brazil. Israelis submitted more applications for naturalization than even former Portuguese colonies like Cape Verde (4,259) and Angola (1,953).

Citizens of Turkey, who in past years had made few applications for Portuguese citizenship, accounted for 1,141 last year. Venezuelans submitted 562 such requests.
9,000-Year-Old Neolithic Mega Site Discovered in the Middle East | Ancient Architects (h/t MtTB)

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