Sunday, July 21, 2019

07/21 Links: Shin Bet nabs man who planned to bomb Ashdod hotel; The Munich Massacre: The 1972 Slaughter of Israeli Athletes on German Soil; Ilhan Omar is a troll

From Ian:

Shin Bet nabs man who allegedly planned to bomb Ashdod hotel
The Shin Bet security service said Sunday it had caught an Arab Israeli man who was planning to carry out a terror attack in a hotel in support of the Palestinian terror group Hamas.

Adel Abu Hadayeb, 20, of the southern Bedouin town of Rahat, was indicted Sunday in the Beersheba District Court for allegedly planning to bomb the Leonardo Hotel in Ashdod, which was near where he worked as a gardener.

Abu Hadayeb became a supporter of Hamas after being exposed to online propaganda materials for the group, the indictment reads, and had already attempted to construct a bomb for the attack by the time he was arrested last month.

He also attempted to build a rocket, and had purchased some of the materials needed.
Grenades belonging to Adel Abu Hadayeb, 20, of the southern town of Rahat, who was indicted on July 21, 2019, for allegedly planning a terror attack in Ashdod. (Courtesy Shin Bet)

After his arrest, he led investigators to a stash of five grenades — two stun grenades, one smoke grenade and two tear-gas grenades — as well as a “Carlo” submachine gun he had collected.

In a statement, the Shin Bet said Abu Hadayeb’s alleged radicalization was part of a trend in which Israeli citizens were being “influenced by Hamas propaganda spread on social networks and through Palestinian media.”
Honest Reporting: The Munich Massacre: The 1972 Slaughter of Israeli Athletes on German Soil
Following the 2005 release of Steven Spielberg’s movie, Munich, the attack’s mastermind, Black September leader Mohammad Daoud Oudeh (a.k.a. Abu Daoud) told Sports Illustrated that the attack was financed by Mahmoud Abbas. Daoud died of kidney failure in Damascus in 2010.

Five of the Munich massacre martyrs, Andre Spitzer, Amitzur Shapira, Kehat Shorr, Eliezer Halfin, and Mark Slavin were buried together in Tel Aviv’s Kiryat Shaul Cemetery. Another fallen athlete, dual US-Israeli citizen David Berger, was buried in his hometown of Cleveland, where a sculpture of broken Olympic rings was designated as a national memorial by the National Parks Service.

Widows of the murdered athletes have campaigned for official IOC commemorations at subsequent games such as a minute of silence during the opening ceremony. Olympic officials repeatedly rejected the idea saying such tributes would inject politics into the games. Matters came to a head four days before the 2012 London games — the fortieth anniversary of the Munich massacre — when, during a lightly-attended ceremony honoring the Olympic truce, IOC President Jacques Rogge held a spontaneous minute of silence for the Israelis. The widows denounced Rogge for “trying to do the bare minimum.”
In Memoriam

With the passage of time, the individuality of each of the 11 has faded into a collective group of Munich massacre victims. But for the generation that didn’t grow up with first-hand memories of the shock and horror of the Munich massacre, it’s worth reminding ourselves that Moshe Weinberg, Yossi Romano, Ze’ev Friedman, David Berger, Yakov Springer, Eliezer Halfin, Yossef Gutfreund, Kehat Shorr, Mark Slavin, Andre Spitzer, and Amitzur Shapira were all accomplished athletes who followed their own individual paths to the top of their sports. We can only imagine how they might have impacted the sporting world had they not been cruelly cut down.

Pre-Mossad, IDF – England’s Jewish Brigade fought Nazis, got Jews toward Israel
Before the establishment of the Mossad and the IDF in 1948, a unit of 5,500 Jews known as the Jewish Brigade fought the Nazis as part of the British Army, and carried out underground operations to smuggle Jews across Europe to sail to British-occupied Palestine.

While the activities of Aliyah Bet, the Bericha (Flight) and subsequently the Mossad are well-known, the Jewish Brigade preceded these efforts both in smuggling Jews to Israel – as well as providing food, necessities and preparation for aliyah – under the noses of the British, and in using wildly creative schemes to succeed in those efforts.

Put differently, the movie Exodus about the ship the SS Exodus 1947, which embarked from the port of Sète near Montpellier, France, en route to Palestine, is famous, but the brigade is the story about how Jews were smuggled to the docks to board ships like the Exodus.

The brigade is also distinguished from these other efforts as its establishment was critical in the success of the future IDF. Jewish volunteers in the British Army in general served as a pipeline for an estimated 721 of the IDF’s first 2,180 officers, and the brigade contained a sizable number of those 721.

Graduates of the brigade who took leadership positions in the IDF rose to the highest ranks, with Mordechai Makleff and Haim Laskov both becoming chiefs-of-staff.

A mysterious drone attacked 'Iran-backed militia' in Iraq
On Friday, a drone attacked Iraqi Security Forces that were deployed 180 km. north of Baghdad, near the city of Tuz Khurmatu. Initially reported as an attack on Iranian-allied forces, including the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), the mysterious drone incident is still being investigated and it is not clear where it came from or who carried out the attack that left several wounded.

What we know is that something happened. The US-led anti-ISIS coalition put out a statement on July 19 saying they were aware of reports “of an attack against the Iranians and a Popular Mobilization Force unit in Salah a-Din [governorate]. Coalition Forces were not involved, and we have no further information at this time.” The coalition responded because of rumors circulating on social media and in Iraq seeking to blame the US for the incident.

The day of the drone incident was the same day that the US said it used electronic warfare to take down an Iranian drone that was harassing the USS Boxer near the Straits of Hormuz. In another incident on the same day, Iran raided a British-flagged oil tanker. So tensions were already high that day.

Different media have reported the incident. Kurdistan 24 wrote that “unidentified drone bombs Iran-allied militia in Iraq.” It said the incident occurred near Amerli, which is south of Tuz Khurmatu, and that the victims were from the “al-Shohada military camp of the Turkmen Brigades, part of the Iraq’s Hashd al-Shaabi militias.” This was according to Iraq’s Security Media Cell, Kurdistan 24 reported. Reports said that the drone “dropped grenades” and injured two people, but also said and ammunition depot was struck and one killed. The Hashd al-Shaabi are called the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) and are a group of mostly Shi’ite paramilitaries who were raised to fight ISIS, but who became part of the Iraqi security forces in 2018 and are now standardized military units.
Iran denies reports of its forces being killed in air strike in Iraq
Iranian Revolutionary Guard and Hezbollah members were killed in an air strike on a base in Iraq overnight, according to Saudi Arabia's Al-Arabiya. An Iranian-backed militia denied that any Iranian forces or military advisers were killed in the attack, Fars News Agency reported.

Al-Arabiya reported that Iranian-made ballistic missiles were recently transported to the base via trucks used to transport refrigerated food. Iraqi security forces confirmed that such missiles were located at the base.

A security source said that two explosions hit the base, one targeting an ammunition depot belonging to an Iranian-backed group. Facilities for the development of ballistic missiles were also targeted in the attack, carried out by an unmanned aircraft.

A drone dropped a bomb onto the Al-Shuhada base in the northern Saladin province north of Baghdad, wounding at least two al-Hashd ash-Sha'abi (Popular Mobilization Forces - PMF) fighters, said the Iraqi military in a statement, according to the Iranian IRNA News.

Initial reports blamed the US, but the Pentagon has denied any involvement. The report said that an attack was carried out by an aircraft against the Iranian-backed PMF according to Israel Hayom.

IRNA quoted multiple Iraqi media sources claiming the attack was carried out by Israel and that they may have used American bases in northern Iraq to carry it out.
Honest Reporting: Corrected: Israel Didn’t Attack Syria With Russian Weapons
An article in The Independent marking the milestone of Benjamin Netanyahu becoming the longest serving prime minister in Israel’s history included the following paragraph:

Either the writer or an editor evidently misunderstood the quote from Israeli journalist Anshel Pfeffer, adding “[with]” to the sentence.

Pfeffer rightly referred to Israeli air strikes on Syria, which included hitting Russian-made weapons systems that had been supplied to the Syrian regime.

The square brackets, however, entirely changed the meaning to state that Israel had used Russian supplied weapons to attack Syria, which is patently not the case. The vast majority of Israeli arms are either US-made or domestically produced.

After HonestReporting alerted The Independent to the error, the square brackets were removed and Pfeffer’s original and correct sentence restored.
Honest Reporting: Israeli Genocide? No, It’s Herbicide!
Israel has been accused of many things when it comes to its treatment of Palestinians, including the false charge of genocide. Here’s a new one: Herbicide.

The Guardian reports:
Israeli aircraft spraying herbicide beside the buffer zone along the Gaza strip is directly affecting the livelihoods of Palestinians in violation of international standards, a new report claims.

The study tracked the drift of the herbicides on to the Gazan side and concluded it was killing agricultural crops and causing “unpredictable and uncontrollable damage”, according to the report’s main researcher.

Forensic Architecture, a research agency based at Goldsmith’s University, London has apparently spent 16 months investigating. This is the research agency behind the front-page revelation in the New York Times in December 2018 that a Palestinian medic was killed by mistake after a bullet fragment tragically ricocheted into her, but nevertheless managed to suggest that her killing was perhaps not accidental.

It’s also the research agency whose director prompted an astonishing story in the Financial Times attacking Israeli shrubs and trees for “erasing memory” of other peoples.

Forensic Architecture’s latest foraging for evidence to soil Israel’s image, courtesy of The Guardian, presents Palestinians as victims of some malevolent herbicide spraying that is taking place on the Israeli side of the border.
Saudis, Iraqis among rare Arab media delegation due to arrive Sunday
A month after Bahrain allowed journalists from six Israeli media outlets into the country for the first time to cover the US-sponsored "Peace to Prosperity" workshop, a group of six Arab journalists – including for the first time from Saudi Arabia and Iraq – arrived Sunday via the Allenby Bridge for meetings in Israel.

In addition to a Saudi and Iraqi journalists, it also includes a representative from Jordan.

Hassan Kaabia, the Foreign Ministry’s Arab-language spokesman, said the delegation is made up of people he knows, and includes an academic, a student and a writer. He would not reveal their names, or who they work for, saying that this could get them in trouble back home.

Kaabia said that the visit was organized without the knowledge of the states where the members of the delegations came from. He said that this was the first time this type of delegation has come directly to Israel from some of the countries involved, with whom Israel does not have diplomatic relations.

“We want to show them the real Israel,” he said.

The delegation will tour Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa and Nazareth, as well as meet with Knesset members, foreign ministry officials, and academics.
Trump, Macron to visit Israel in Jan. to mark 75 years since Auschwitz liberation
Yad Vashem is in the process of organizing a major event in January that aspires to bring a number of world leaders, including US President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron, to Jerusalem to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.

The Jerusalem Post has learned that, according to the plan, the leaders would arrive in Israel on January 26, spend one night here, and take part in an event at Yad Vashem called the World Holocaust Forum the next day.

In addition to Trump and Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel will also be invited, as will the prime minister of Britain. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau might also participate.

It is not immediately clear whether Russian President Vladimir Putin will be involved. Earlier this month, Putin – during a conversation with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – invited him to take part in a ceremony in Moscow in May commemorating 75 years to the defeat of the Nazis.

If Macron does take part in the event, it would be his first visit here as French president. This would be Trump's second visit as US president, and would come just days before the kick-off of the primary election season, with the Iowa caucuses on February 3, and the New Hampshire primary eight days later.

The Post has learned that a major, unnamed donor has been enlisted to make the event possible.
Lapid slams Netanyahu: Shattered relations with U.S. Jews, Democrats
Blue and White leader Yair Lapid slammed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday, saying that he “wrecked our relations with Democrats and US Jews” on social media.

“The America you know,” Lapid added, “is not the America of today… we could work with US President [Donald] Trump just as well as you can.”

Lapid further slammed Israel’s ambassador to the US Ron Dermer, saying that “there hasn’t been an ambassador who has caused more damage to Israeli-American relations.”

Netanyahu denied reports that Dermer will be leaving his post soon due to the refusal of the Civil Service Commission to extend his service, saying on Sunday that he will make sure to extend Dermer's leadership role.
Mourning Families Call on Bulgaria to Designate Hezbollah a Terrorist Group Seven Years After Bus Bombing
Seven years after a bus bombing in at the Burgas airport in Bulgaria killed five Israelis and wounded 32 others, those affected by the tragedy are calling on Bulgaria’s capital, Sofia, to designate Hezbollah, which is believed to have been behind the attack, a terrorist group.

“Three years ago … four years after the attack, the criminal trial opened. … In the indictment … only two attackers [were charged],” said Kobi Price, one of the affected relatives. “We, the mourning families, ask the government of Bulgaria to rise above narrow political considerations and to add the terrorist organization Hezbollah to the indictment without delay.”

He continued, “Without Hezbollah, there is no morality in the trial. Without Hezbollah, the trial is ineffective. Without Hezbollah, there is no justice for the murdered victims.”

“Bulgarian state prosecution had decided not to charge Hezbollah as an organization with involvement in the 2012 bombing at the Burgas airport,” according to The Jerusalem Post.

“Instead, the prosecutor indicted the two men allegedly involved in the attack as if they were terrorists—or even regular criminals—who acted without connection to an organization. The word ‘Hezbollah’ does not appear in the indictment.”
Hezbollah Reportedly Deploys Forces Along Israel’s Northern Border
Hezbollah is reportedly deploying its forces on the Lebanon-Israel border, The Daily Beast reported over the weekend, linking the move by the Iranian-backed Shi’ite terrorist group to the rising tensions in the Persian Gulf.

According to the report, while the majority of the deployment has taken place on the Lebanon-Israel border, Hezbollah has also bolstered its forces in the Syrian Golan Heights.

A Hezbollah commander The Daily Beast identified only as “Samir” said the group was feeling the bite of the sanctions the United States has imposed on Iran, which he said have cut into Hezbollah’s budget. The salaries of Hezbollah fighters have been cut in half, according to the report.

Hezbollah is “ready to initiate hostilities—if and when Tehran deems that necessary,” said Samir. “The sanctions now have us preparing for dealing with the Israeli front. … We will fire the first shot this time,” he said.

He further boasted that Hezbollah has new drone capabilities and new anti-aircraft and anti-naval weapons acquired in Syria, alongside a more seasoned fighting force. He emphasized the importance of the Lebanese terrorist group’s positions in the Syrian Golan, which he said give it the ability to open a second front against Israel.
‘Slaughter the Jews’ painted on section of Western Wall in Muslim Quarter
The phrase “Slaughter the Jews” was spray painted on the “Little Western Wall,” a section of the Western Wall located in the Muslim Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem.

The vandalism took place on Saturday. At least one Arab girl was arrested on Saturday night in connection with the incident.

The graffiti, written Arabic, was covered with red paint to hide its message.

The Little Western Wall is located in a narrow alleyway about 200 yards south of the Western Wall Plaza and next to the Iron Gate to the Temple Mount. Only a few rows of its stones are exposed.

It is considered the second closest place outside of the Temple Mount to the location of the Holy of Holies in the Second Jewish Temple which stood on the site. As a result, the Little Western Wall is considered by Jews to be particularly sacred.
Palestinian illegal immigrants arrested at Meitar Crossing
In an operation carried out by the border police early Sunday morning, 102 Palestinians who illegally infiltrated into Israel were detected by the Meitar crossing, "but the entry routes may also be used by terror and criminal organizations," it was reported in Maariv.

In an activity that included observation and ambushes, the forces noticed dozens of Palestinians crossing into Israel. When the signal was given, the soldiers exposed their activities which led to the arrest of the 102 suspects, residents of the Hebron area.

Some of them were later returned to the territories and some were detained for further investigation.
B'Tselem: IDF troops shot Palestinian child in the head with live fire
He was rushed to Rafidiya Hospital in Nablus, where according to Palestinian media, doctors found over 100 bullet fragments in his head. He was then transferred to Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, where he remains in critical condition, sedated and ventilated in the intensive care unit.

The head of neurosurgery at Rafidiya Hospital was quoted by the Palestinian International Solidarity Movement as saying that doctors operated on a-Shteiwi for three and a half hours, and that the boy suffered a severe and traumatic brain injury.

“He had a penetrating injury in the frontal lobe on the right side, the injury was severe and there are more than 100 fragments,” he said, adding that “I have seen many gunshot wounds and they only break into a few pieces. Over 100 fragments is not normal.”
According to an IDF statement provided to The Jerusalem Post, troops responded with “crowd dispersal measures, including stun grenades and rubber bullets,” after a riot that included 60 Palestinians broke out, in which tires were burned and stones were thrown at IDF forces.

“The incident is being investigated by the commanders, and the findings will be submitted to the Military Advocate-General’s Office for review,” the statement added.

Iran's Trojan Army Faces Challenge in Iraq
After a period of relative independence from Tehran, the Badr Brigade ended up under tighter Iranian control, this time through the Quds Force, led by IRGC Major General Qassem Suleimani. However, by 2011 it seemed that Iran did not need a Trojan horse in Iraq. Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki was prepared to recast Iraq as part of Iran's zone of influence in exchange for Tehran's support.

The eruptive appearance of the Islamic State in Iraq and Levant (ISIL) changed all that. The ease with which ISIL seized Mosul, extending its Syrian conquests into Iraq, showed that the battle for dominance in the region was far from over. Maliki and his allies in Tehran realized that the newly created Iraqi army, trained and equipped by the US and its allies, might not share their domestic and/or regional goals.

The Iranian daily Kayhan, believed to echo the thinking of "Supreme Guide" Ali Khamenei, ran an editorial castigating the new Iraqi army as "a bunch of cowards and traitors" because they had allegedly run away from ISIL in Mosul.

The old Chamran doctrine of "parallel armies" was revived.

In the winter of 2014, General Esmail Qaani, Suleiman's number-two, was sent to Iraq to create the parallel army.

Hashad al-Shaabi claims to be a force of over 150,000. Military analysts, however, believe that figure to be exaggerated. In battles that Hashad fought, notably in Tikrit where it was under direct Iranian command, the force could not deploy more than 10,000 men at any given time, which, taking into account the traditional rate of rotation of military formations, means manpower of around 30,000.

Iraq has an excellent chance, perhaps a unique one, to rebuild itself as an independent and progressive power in the Middle East. However, it cannot do so by repeating the colonial method of nation-building: creating a state around an army subservient to an outside power.
Israeli minister: We’re the ‘only country killing Iranians’
Regional Cooperation Minister Tzachi Hanegbi boasted Sunday that Israel is the only country in the world that has been “killing Iranians.”

Hanegbi, in a radio interview, brushed off concerns when asked whether Israel should be worried about the Trump administration’s “cautious” response to the standoff between Iran and the UK, which, like Israel, is a close ally of Washington.

“For two years now, Israel has been the only country in the world killing Iranians,” the Likud minister said. “We have hit the Iranians hundreds of times in Syria. Sometimes they admit it, sometimes foreign publications expose the matter, sometimes a minister, sometimes the chief of staff. But everything is a coordinated policy.

“The Iranians are very limited in their responses, and it’s not because they do not have the capabilities, but because they understand that Israel means business,” Hanegbi told the Kan public broadcaster. “We are very firm on issues of national security.”

Last week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that “the only army in the world that is fighting Iran is the Israeli army.”
Trump: Radical Democrats need to apologize to US and Israel
President Donald Trump called on four freshman Democratic congresswomen, sometimes referred to as “the Squad”, to apologize to the United States and Israel on Sunday, in his latest tweet against the four lawmakers.

“I don’t believe the four Congresswomen are capable of loving our Country,” Trump wrote without naming the lawmakers.

“They should apologize to America (and Israel) for the horrible (hateful) things they have said. They are destroying the Democrat Party, but are weak & insecure people who can never destroy our great Nation!”

The tweet is the latest in a back and forth between the president and “the Squad” – four left-wing Democrats in the House of Representatives first elected last November: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY), Rashida Tlaib (MI), Ilhan Omar (MN), and Ayanna Pressley (MA).
Rep. Rosa DeLauro removes her endorsement of anti-Israel HR 2407
In a blow to anti-Israel activists, Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn has removed her sponsorship of Betty McCollum's HR 2407.

In a statement to the "Intercept", DeLauro stated “I was inadvertently added as a cosponsor to this legislation without my approval... After being made aware of this error, I removed my name as a cosponsor of the legislation.”

Rep. Betty McCollum, D-Minn. first introduced this bill in 2017. It received little traction. An amended version was reintroduced earlier this year, which, as of today, has only 21 co-signers.

The bill is based on spurious accusations by the Defense for Children International-Palestine, an organization closely tied to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terror group. Anti-Israeli groups including Jewish Voice for Peace and Code Pink has been lobbying heavily for it.
Ilhan Omar is a troll
Omar is a troll who knows what she’s doing, knows how much it hurts Jews but continues because she is driven by prejudice, paranoia and a desire to remake American foreign policy along her lines. Her choice of the boycott issue is not coincidental and comes after 27 US states passed laws denying contracts to businesses that engage in discriminatory boycotts of Israel. Progressives whose position on free speech of late has been ‘muh gammon, lol’ are suddenly very exercised about First Amendment rights.

As Professor Eugene Kontorovich of George Mason University, who helped draft some of the statutes, notes: none of the laws in question limits freedom of speech. They simply forbid state contracts from going to organisations involved in boycott activity and were modelled — cleverly — on existing statutes denying procurement to businesses that discriminate against sexual or gender minorities. Businesses are free to boycott every last inch of Israel but they have no constitutional right to receive state contracts while doing so. Omar is cloaking in the language of Madisonian idealism her campaign for economic warfare on the Jewish state.

The test for Democrats is whether they can rise above partisanship to condemn Omar for her rhetoric and campaigns. She could be an American Jeremy Corbyn in the making and the Democrats need only look across the pond to see what comes of indulging someone like that.
Booker Reverses, Won’t Meet With Farrakhan
Sen. Cory Booker (D., N.J.) said on Sunday that he would not meet with anti-Semitic leader Louis Farrakhan, after indicating last month that he would be open to the possibility.

"I will not sit down with Louis Farrakhan, period. And I reject anybody who preaches that kind of bigotry and hate toward other Americans," Booker told CNN's Dana Bash on State of the Union.

At a fundraiser in June, however, Booker said that he was "very familiar" with Farrakhan's "beliefs and values" and that he wouldn't rule out sitting down with him.

"I have met–I live in Newark so we have famous Mosque 25, we have Nation of Islam there," Booker said at a South Carolina prayer breakfast. "As mayor I met with lots of folks talking to him. I have heard Minister Farrakhan’s speeches for a lot of my life, so I don’t feel like I need to do that, but I’m not one of these people that says I wouldn’t sit down with anybody to hear what they have to say. But, I live on a neighborhood where I'm getting guys on the streets offering and selling his works. I am very familiar with Minister Louis Farrakhan and his beliefs and his values."

Farrakhan has come under fire for referring to Jews as "termites" and "Satanic," as well as spreading conspiracies that Jews control the government and that the Holocaust did not happen.
Burgon Airbrushes Labour Candidate's 'Disgraceful' Past

All too predictably, Labour have managed to select someone to fight Boris Johnson in Uxbridge who’s already been involved in an anti-Semitism scandal before he even became a candidate. The past output of Ali Milani includes:
“Nah u won’t mate. It’ll cost you a pound #jew.”
“Israel has no right to exist”
“@piersmorgan u are a zionist and corperate [sic] jackass”

Richard Burgon was challenged over why he was campaigning for a candidate who had said that, Burgon said the tweets were “disgraceful” but Milani shouldn’t be barred because of tweets he sent “when he was a teenager” and it was all ok now because he had been a “programme of learning” since then. Burgon didn’t reveal whether he’d been on an education course himself after his own Zionist rant…
Funnily enough that doesn’t seem to have stopped Milani from working with organisations like “Friends of Al Aqsa”, a Leicester-based group which supports Hamas and advocates the elimination of Israel. At least he’s in good company, Friends of Al Aqsa also donated to Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership campaign and paid for his trip to meet Hamas in 2010. Par for the course in Corbyn’s Labour Party…
Whistleblower: 'I complained a year ago about activist who claimed Holocaust was exaggerated. Labour has done nothing'
A LABOUR member who lodged complaints about activist Pete Gregson has told of how they have lost confidence in the party's ability to deal with anti-Semitism.

Gregson, from Edinburgh, was expelled from his trade union in January after saying he believed Israel 'exaggerated the Holocaust for political gain', and subsequently suspended from Labour.

However a member of Gregson's local labour party branch - Edinburgh Central - has told the Herald on Sunday they reported him to the party almost a year ago and are appalled that little has been done since.

It comes after we told last week how the activist had set up an anti-Zionist group called Labour Against Islamophobic Zionist Racism (LAZIR) following his expulsion from trade union GMB

Labour anti-Semitism row: Scots activist who claims 'Holocaust was exaggerated' formed anti-Zionist group while suspended

The member, who wishes to remain anonymous, said they had sent more than 100 pieces of evidence to party investigators in London over the past 11 months, and are aware at least one other member has also complained about Gregson.
MP who quit Labour over antisemitism appointed trade envoy to Israel
Independent British MP Ian Austin, who quit the Labour Party in February over antisemitism in the party, has been appointed as Prime Minister Theresa May’s trade envoy to Israel.

MP for the Dudley North constituency since May 2005, Austin was appointed on Thursday to the unpaid role, which aims to support the UK’s “ambitious trade and investment agenda in global markets.”

There are currently 27 British lawmakers serving as envoys to 58 markets worldwide under the prime minister’s cross-party Trade Envoy program.

“Trade with Israel is worth billions to Britain, it has resulted in investment and jobs in businesses across the UK, including here in the Black Country and in Dudley too,” Austin told The
Jewish Chronicle. “I’m looking forward to working with the [UK Trade Department] and the brilliant team at our embassy in Israel, who are working so hard to help British companies win business in Israel and strengthen the trading relationship between the two countries.”
On the Campaign Trail, IfNotNow Baits 2020 Candidates to Condemn So-Called ‘Occupation’
Making headlines over the past year in targeting the mainstream Jewish community and its support for Israel, the upstart IfNowNow group has now thrown itself into the 2020 presidential ring. In the past few weeks, IfNotNow has been approaching Democratic candidates as representatives of the Jewish community and asking them about ending the so-called “occupation” of the West Bank.

Two IfNotNow activists approached Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who was campaigning last week in New Hampshire, with University of Michigan student Becca Lubow announcing publicly, “We really love the way you’re fighting corruption. We’d really love it if you also pushed the Israeli government to end occupation.”

“Yes, yes. So I’m there,” responded Warren swiftly, followed by taking a picture with the activists.

Despite defining themselves as a “progressive” group “grounded in the values of the Jewish tradition,” many observers see the organization as outside of the mainstream.

“Obviously, IfNotNow is not part of the mainstream of the Democratic Party,” former National Jewish Democratic Council head Aaron Keyak told JNS. “In fact, I think if you posed the question to them, they’d agree and they certainly don’t try to hide it. In IfNotNow’s organizational principles they clearly refuse to take a stance against BDS or in support of the two-state solution.”
Guardian uses partial quote to do what they do best: mislead about Israel
The following sentence in a Guardian report by their Jerusalem correspondent Oliver Holmes (“Benjamin Netanyahu becomes longest-serving Israeli PM”, July 20th) uses a truncated quote by Benjamin Netanyahu, thus egregiously distorting the meaning of his words.

In the latest election in April, he was accused of appealing to racist voters when he stated Israel was “not a state of all its citizens”, referring to the country’s minority population of Palestinian citizens.

To demonstrate how this is misleading, all you have to do is go back to how the Guardian itself originally reported on the comments, in a March 10th AFP report published on their website.

Here’s the relevant section:
“Israel is not a state of all its citizens,” he wrote in response to criticism from an Israeli actor, Rotem Sela. “According to the basic nationality law we passed, Israel is the nation state of the Jewish people – and only it.

“As you wrote, there is no problem with the Arab citizens of Israel.They have equal rights like all of us and the Likud government has invested more in the Arab sector than any other government,” he said of his rightwing party.
Superficial BBC reporting on Argentina’s designation of Hizballah
Like the BBC profile of Hizballah (which has not been updated for over three years) to which readers were provided with a link, the report also gave readers an incomplete view of the designation of Hizballah.

“Hezbollah is also designated by the US, UK, Israel and several Gulf Arab states, but Argentina is the first country in Latin America to do so.”

BBC audiences found the following cryptic statement:
“Argentine officials say Hezbollah is engaged in illegal activities between Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay to finance its operations elsewhere.”

Readers were not informed that a year ago the Argentinian government froze the financial assets of fourteen Lebanese residents of the Tri-Border Area who were part of an organisation linked to Hizballah or that the governments of Brazil and Paraguay have also taken steps – as the BBC knows – against Hizballah’s terror-financing activities in that region.

The report did however close by telling BBC audiences that “[t]he US, along with Israel, had pushed for Argentina to declare Hezbollah a terrorist organisation”.
Merkel Pledges to Fight Antisemitism as Germany Marks 75 Years Since Hitler Assassination Attempt
German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged all Europeans on Saturday to join together and renew the fight against racism and antisemitism as she honored the anti-Nazi resistance in her own country.

Speaking at a solemn ceremony marking the anniversary of the failed attempt to kill Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler, Merkel said the courage and sacrifice of the conspirators remain as an example of why the fight against anti-Jewish sentiment remains important.

“They put humanity over their own human lives,” she told the crowd at the site where plot leader Col. Claus von Stauffenberg and others were executed.

Von Stauffenberg tried to kill Hitler with a briefcase bomb on July 20, 1944, during a meeting at his headquarters in what was then East Prussia. Hitler escaped the full force of the blast when someone moved the briefcase next to a table leg, deflecting much of the explosive force.

The plot crumbled when news spread that Hitler had survived. Von Stauffenberg and his fellow plotters were executed within hours.
US Senate introduces bipartisan legislation to prioritize health care for Holocaust survivors
US Sens. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) and Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) introduced on Thursday legislation that would prioritize health care and nutrition services for Holocaust survivors, increasing the likelihood they could continue to live in their own homes rather than be forced into nursing homes or assisted-living facilities.

The Trauma-Informed Modernization of Eldercare for Holocaust Survivors Act, or the “TIME for Holocaust Survivors Act,” would incorporate several provisions into the Older Americans Act (OAA) to ensure that Holocaust survivors have coordinated, trauma-informed care and services particularly tailored their needs.

“Holocaust survivors came to the United States seeking refuge from unimaginable horrors. They have lived their lives here and enriched our nation,” said Cardin.

“With an average age of 85, we have an obligation to provide Holocaust survivors the community support and special services they need to live out their final days.”

“Those who sought shelter in our country after the unspeakable tragedy of the Holocaust deserve better assistance, not worse,” said Cramer.

“This legislation is a productive step toward helping survivors receive the quality care they need.”
Netflix buys rights to screen 2019 Eurovision from Tel Aviv
The 2019 Eurovision Song Contest, which took place in Tel Aviv in May, can now be seen on Netflix.

Netflix picked up the US VOD rights to the three 2019 telecasts from Israel – two semifinals and the finals, Deadline Hollywood reported. The rights to the 2020 semifinals and finals, scheduled to be held in the Netherlands, home of the 2019 winning country, also were picked up by Netflix.

The 2019 Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv was won by Netherlands with the song “Arcade,” performed by Duncan Laurence.

The Netflix acquisition comes as it currently has in production a Eurovision comedy feature, starring and co-written by Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams and directed by David Dobkin.

Eurovision is the world’s largest non-sporting live TV event and the most watched live entertainment program in Europe, attracting nearly 200 million television viewers worldwide annually.

Holocaust survivor buys hospital bed for oldest living Righteous Among Nations
A Holocaust survivor from Israel donated money to buy a $1,200 medical bed for a 102-year-old non-Jewish woman from Warsaw, who risked her life to save Jews from the genocide.

Krystyna Danko, who is now deaf and blind, is believed to be the oldest Righteous Among the Nations still living.

Joe Erlichster, 75, on Friday said it was “part of our duty as Jews to recognize what some brave souls in Poland and elsewhere did” during World War II.

Before World War II, Danko was an orphan who was taken in a Jewish family named Kokoszko in Otwock near Warsaw. During the war, Danko almost single-handedly rescued all four members of the family, her case file says.

Danko was in 1998 conferred that title Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem, Israel’s authority for commemorating the Holocaust. Unusually, Yad Vashem’s website characterizes her efforts as “incredible.”

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