Thursday, July 25, 2019

From Ian:

Peace doesn't exist; neither do the Palestinians
The pattern here is so obvious that it would take a diplomat or a politician to miss it. That’s why we’ve been mired in it for so long. And the billions of dollars wasted and thousands of lives lost could have been saved if only our leaders had questioned their premises by asking three simple questions.
1. What if the Palestinians don’t want peace?
2. What if there are no Palestinians?
3. What if there’s no such thing as peace?

The three assumptions, that the Palestinians exist, that they want peace, and that enduring peace is an attainable condition in the region, are at the root of the senselessly Sisyphean peace process.

The peace process was launched under the assumption that the PLO really wanted peace. Or at least a deal. Surely, our best and brightest agreed, they couldn’t possibly want an endless war.

And so, the truth was dismissed out of hand. It was too horrible to believe.

Decades of failed negotiations, rafts of Israel concessions, personal involvement by five presidential administrations, billions of dollars, with nothing to show for it, and the truth is still dismissed.

Instead, the official story is that Israel doesn’t want peace. The media echo chamber resounds with a narrative in which Israel has moved sharply to the right and is run by ultra-orthodox religious fanatics.

And Netanyahu, who is hardly anyone’s idea of an ultra-religious fanatic.

UN Watch: UN Singles Out Israel as World’s Only Violator of Women’s Rights; Iran, Saudi Arabia & Yemen Among the Voters
Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Pakistan were among members of the UN’s 54-nation economic and social council, a principal organ of the world body, who voted to single out and condemn Israel yesterday as the only country in the world that violates women’s rights.

The Jewish state was harshly and repeatedly condemned in a resolution, adopted 40 to 2 with 9 abstentions and 3 absent (see breakdown below), for allegedly being the “major obstacle” for Palestinian women “with regard to their advancement, self-reliance, and integration in the development of their society.”

Out of 20 items on the UN Economic and Social Council’s 2018-2019 agenda, only one — Item No. 16 against Israel — focuses on condemning a specific country. All the other focus areas concern global topics such as disaster relief assistance and the use of science and technology for development.

The resolution completely ignores how Palestinian women’s rights are impacted by their own governing authorities—the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, and Hamas in Gaza—nor does it mention how women are discriminated against within patriarchal Palestinian society.

Moreover, ECOSOC concluded its annual session by ignoring the world’s worst abusers of women’s rights, refusing to pass a single resolution on the situation of women in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan, or DR Congo, all of which ranked in the top ten worst countries in last year’s Global Gender Gap Report, produced by the World Economic Forum.

Hillel Neuer, Executive Director of UN Watch, condemned the delegates’ abuse of the UN body as a forum to target Israel.
New PA textbooks are worse than the old ones
Since – according to the Palestinian textbooks – there were never any Jewish Temples in Jerusalem, the Western Wall is clearly another recent Zionist-Jewish invention.

The Palestinian “phased plan” to eliminate the "Zionist cancer" from Palestine – which is still in the PLO charter – is diligently taught throughout the curriculum.

Yet the primary concern of PA Education Minister Sabri Saidam is that Israel refuses to use these Palestinian textbooks in Arab-majority schools in Israel or the disputed territories, particularly in Jerusalem. Saidam insists that Israel’s use of versions of the Israeli curriculum for Arab-Israeli kids is “an ugly crime of counterfeit” perpetrated by the “Zionist oppressors.”

Great Britain and the European Union have contributed hundreds of millions to the development and propagation of the Palestinian textbooks and curriculum, but that may be drawing to a close. Both are doing their own reviews of the Palestinian textbooks; each has laws outlawing aid in furtherance of terrorism, incitement, violence and hatred. Their reports are due later this year, and by all rights should spell the end of UK and EU furtherance of this despicable educational charade.

Those who doubt any imminent resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict need look no further than these Palestinian textbooks to become even more pessimistic about a new Palestinian generation leading the way – at long last – to a peaceful future for Arabs and Jews alike. These unfortunate children are being brainwashed by their elders to seek no compromise, but to continue on the suicidal path of terror, hate and ignorance so well established by past generations of Palestinian Arabs and their leaders.

In which the BBC asks ‘is Zionism wrong?’
On July 23rd the BBC put out a short video titled “What is Zionism? A very brief history” on its ‘Ideas’ platform.
“Confused about what Zionism actually is? Here’s a three-minute history from SOAS professor, historian and author, Colin Shindler.”

The same video also subsequently appeared in the ‘Features’ section of the BBC News website’s ‘Middle East’ page.

The film – made by an external company called Somethin’ Else – begins by giving equal weight to a definition and an outright falsehood.
“For its supporters, Zionism is the national liberation movement of the Jewish people. For its opponents, it is a means to establish a settler-colonial state in the developing world.”

It goes on:
“Theodor Herzl, a Viennese journalist and playwright, founded the modern Zionist movement in 1897. Yet many orthodox Jews strongly opposed the rise of Zionism. They believed that the Jews would only return to Zion, the land promised by God to the Jews in the Hebrew Bible, with the eventual coming of the Messiah. Jews should not therefore force God’s hand.”

While the First Zionist Congress was indeed held in 1897, it is inaccurate to present Zionism as having come into being in that year and that portrayal erases the First Aliyah which of course included orthodox Jews.

“There were may types of Zionist – Marxist, religious and nationalist, Liberal, Social Democrat – the forerunners of today’s political parties in Israel. But Zionism and Arab nationalism arose during the same period of history, with claims over the same piece of land – a geographical area known for centuries to Jews as the Land of Israel. This is the ideological basis of the seemingly intractable Israel-Palestinian conflict. While there’s been a Jewish presence in the Holy Land since biblical times, at the beginning of the 20th Century the Jews were few in number compared to Christian and Muslim Arabs.”

No effort is made to explain why that was the case and the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine is not mentioned at all in this film.
The Palestinian Mufti’s War Against the Jews
This month marks the 45th anniversary of the death of Amin al-Husseini, the one-time Grand Mufti of Jerusalem — and a Nazi collaborator. Hailed as a “pioneer” by current Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas, during World War II al-Husseini raised SS regiments in the Balkans, promoted the Reich’s propaganda in the Arab world, toured death camps, and plotted the genocide of Middle Eastern Jewry. After he escaped justice, conventional wisdom has it that the Mufti ceased to be a political force in the post-war years. But conventional wisdom is wrong.

Declassified CIA documents — many revealed for the first time — and a recent book tell a different story, one in which al-Husseini continued to be influential more than a quarter-century after the war’s end.

Although he would never regain the power that he once wielded, the Mufti remained a force to be reckoned with. Intelligence agencies closely monitored him, and Arab regimes variously sought his support or his assassination. Through it all, he remained not only an unapologetic antisemite, but also an inveterate schemer.

The Mufti’s rise to power was itself owed to intrigues. The British, who ruled Mandatory Palestine after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, appointed al-Husseini the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem in 1921, making him both the country’s highest Muslim cleric and leading Arab political figure.

As Wolfgang Schwanitz and the late Barry Rubin revealed in their 2014 book Nazis, Islamists and the Making of the Modern Middle East, the 24-year-old with no religious training was likely chosen in recognition of his service as a spy for the British in the final years of World War I. The decision, the historians conclude, “was one of the most remarkable errors of judgment ever made in a region rife with them.”
What the Pew Report Got Wrong about Religious Restrictions in Israel
A recently released Pew Research Center report about global restrictions on religion focuses mostly on discrimination against, and the persecution of, various religious groups in different countries. Jews are prominent targets as always, “harassed in 87 countries … the third-highest figure for any religion.”

But the report also turns a spotlight on Israel, yielding headlines like the Jewish Telegraphic Agency’s “Israel has almost as many religious restrictions as Iran.” The headline and the report beneath it were picked up by myriad media.

But the Pew report, by not differentiating between the types of “religious restrictions” or “hostilities,” might lead readers to false conclusions.

The report ranks Israel’s “social hostilities related to religious norms” as “very high,” following more than two dozen countries in the “very high” category like China and Iran, and its “governmental restrictions” on religion as “high,” behind countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq and Kuwait.

Pew also cites Israel as having the sixth highest level of “interreligious tension and violence,” presumably referring to Arab Muslim attacks on Jews and vice-versa.

When Israel is placed in the company of such countries, an uninformed reader might be led to imagine Israel as a violent Jewish theocracy, with rival religious groups shooting it out on the streets of Jerusalem, the mass repression of non-Jewish citizens and the jailing of people for practicing their faiths. But no such things were cited, of course, since no such things actually happen.

The only specific description of religious restrictions that happen in Israel contained in the 126-page report was a single sentence: “In Israel, drivers who operated cars near ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods on the Sabbath reported incidents of harassment, including name-calling and spitting, by ultra-Orthodox residents.”
HRW chief says Israel adopting Iran-like policies in treatment of NGOs
Roth’s approach to the region has come under fire from some supporters of Israel, who have alleged that he has exhibited a bias against the Jewish state.

HRW founder Bob Bernstein, who died at the age of 96 earlier this year, was a frequent critic of Roth. He wrote that the group had condemned “far more” human rights abuses in Israel than in other countries in the Middle East ruled by “authoritarian regimes with appalling human rights records.”

In 2017, Roth tweeted a link to an article asserting that “white supremacy and Zionism are two of a kind,” leading Anti-Defamation League Jonathan Greenblatt to condemn his “misguided focus on Israel.”

“Many rights activists condemn Israeli abuse & anti-Semitism,” Roth tweeted. “Some white supremacists embrace Israel & anti-Semitism.”

Human rights organizations have been critical of the government’s move against HRW.

In April, top United Nations rights officials urged Israel to overturn its decision to deport Shakir, warning the decision “threatens advocacy, research and free expression for all and reflects a troubling resistance to open debate.”

Last week, Amnesty International issued a statement asserting that “Israeli authorities’ decision to deport Omar Shakir is a crushing blow to freedom of expression in the country and sends an alarming signal to human rights activists and civil society in general of the extent they are willing to go in their attempt to silence those who defend human rights.”

PreOccupiedTerritory: No Other Country Kicks Us Out When We Try To Undermine Only Israel’s Existential Legitimacy By Kenneth Roth, Director, Human Rights Watch (satire)
Some try to defend Israel’s actions by pointing to our organization’s comparative soft-pedaling on violations by almost every other country on the planet, but that can be dismissed as mere whataboutery. Deflection is not now to address the flagrant policies of the world’s only Jewish State and the only state we and our allies continually try to make disappear. Only dismantling the State of the Jews in favor of a country that offers the Jews no special protection or political identity, thereby opening them up once again to the whims of the surrounding hostile populations, can address our concerns. But no other country reacts to such aspirations of ours or our allies with such blatant disregard for democratic principles, the fact that we undertake no such efforts with any other country on Earth notwithstanding.

It comes to this: either Israel allows us to employ within its borders a person who made his reputation working to call into question the legitimacy of the country as a Jewish state, or we will continue to point out that no other nation on this planet reacts with such draconian steps to our efforts to negate its democratically-self-determined political character, efforts that it just so happens we have undertaken exactly nowhere else. It’s that simple.

But based on precedent, I think we know what their decision will be. Predictable.

Ilhan Omar Puts the ‘BS’ in BDS
Pro-BDS groups intentionally sow confusion around legal terminology to misrepresent injunctions granted to their plaintiffs in Kansas, Texas, and Arizona as decisive judgments. But a court’s rationale in issuing an injunction is not a Constitutional, merit-based ruling.

The US Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas has provided the only merit-based anti-BDS laws ruling. It concluded that anti-BDS laws do not regulate the private conduct of free speech — saying that they permissibly regulate commercial activity. The ruling noted that these laws carefully regulate a state’s own government processes, not private speech. Anti-BDS laws are anti-discrimination laws, similar to laws that protect women, racial minorities, and LGBTQ individuals.

Legal challenges are anti-Israel, not pro-First Amendment

In total, six cases in five states have been filed challenging anti-BDS laws. Many of the plaintiffs groomed by opponents operate as sole proprietorships and small businesses, and have postured in ways intended to blur the distinction between personal and commercial activity. Accordingly, legislatures have updated these laws in good faith to protect them from challenges regarding free speech, no matter how false or insincere.

This has resolved any questions about anti-BDS laws and First Amendment interests. Those legislators who have nevertheless chosen to clarify their state statutes — despite the favorable ruling from the Federal court in Arkansas — are the true champions of the First Amendment.

The dissatisfied and dishonest response from Rep. Omar’s camp reveals the truth of their anti-Israel motivation in the matter.
Ilhan Omar: “our country should be more fearful of white men”
In 2018, Al Jazeera asked then-Congressional candidate Ilhan Omar about American fears of jihadist terrorism. She told the network that people should fear white men more than jihadist terrorism. Of course, she’s not only racially profiling, she’s adding the concept of race as a comparison to jihadist terrorism, which is not a “race.”

It’s just fascinating that we’re seeing this for the first time now.

Nick Givas reports at FOX News:
In resurfaced interview, Ilhan Omar answers question on ‘jihadist terrorism’ by saying Americans should be ‘more fearful of white men’

In a resurfaced interview from 2018, anti-Trump Democrat Ilhan Omar responded to a question about the “quote-unquote legitimate fears” some people have of “jihadist terrorism,” by saying Americans should be “more fearful of white men.”

In the interview, Al Jazeera host Medhi Hasan said some Americans feel justified in fearing Islam, not out of hate but for their own safety, before listing a number of radical Islamic terror attacks. Omar dismissed this suggestion immediately and laid the blame on white males instead, calling for the profiling and monitoring of caucasian men.

“I would say our country should be more fearful of white men across our country because they are actually causing most of the deaths within this country,” she replied.

Nazi Germany Proof Anti-Semitism Isn’t a Big Deal, Tlaib Says (satire)
Pointing to the example of Nazi Germany in defense of controversial pro-BDS legislation, Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib said that the rise of the Adolf Hitler proved that a little bit of anti-Semitism really isn’t that big a deal.

“Some are calling this legislation anti-Semitic because it says that people should refuse to do business with Israeli Jews, but you know what?” she said during a speech on the House floor. “People have said a lot of things were anti-Semitic. Like when the Nazis took over Germany, people said they were anti-Semitic.”

“And I mean, that never really went anywhere. Just kind of flamed out,” she continued. “So that shows you, don’t go out making a big deal just because someone does something that might be a little bit anti-Semitic.”

Tlaib went on to say that comparisons between her Bill and Nazi Germany gave her a “calming feeling.”

David Adler joins Andrew bolt for whiskey with a mate

At US Department of Education, Kenneth Marcus Tackles Antisemitism in All Its Varied Forms
JNS talked with Marcus in person. The interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.

Q: Describe the biggest issue or issues you have faced as it pertains to antisemitic and anti-Israel sentiment on college campuses.

A: We face a lot of issues. The antisemitism issue is a bit smaller. We get 10,000 to 15,000 cases per year, but we only get a handful of antisemitism complaints—certainly far less than 1 percent of our complaint load. So I would say that the No. 1 issue is the cases we don’t get. The fact that we are aware anecdotally and through survey data that there are many Jewish students who feel they are experiencing antisemitism, and yet very few of them are submitting complaints to the Office for Civil Rights (OCR). One of the issues for us is awareness, and that is part of why I’m so pleased to be speaking with you now.

We do have some alleging systemic hostile environments for Jewish students, some of which relate in some fashion to Israel. We do get some complaints alleging discrimination in admissions by Jewish students who believe that they were rejected by highly selective institutions that are admitting similarly situated non-Jewish students

Legal complaints raise lots of different issues, technical as well as substantive, so that they’re not all turning on these sorts of policy issues that one reads about. I would say that the challenge is to identify the cases in an environment where we’re not getting so many complainants, and then to make sure that when we get the cases that they’re properly founded in fact and law.
Antisemitism Through the Ages

Israeli Embassy in Finland attacked for 15th time in past 18 months
The Israeli Embassy in Finland has been vandalized by neo-Nazi and far right extremists for at least the 15th time in the last year and a half.

The glass front door of the embassy in Helsinki was shattered over the weekend, and images of swastikas and Adolf Hitler were hung in the entrance to the building, Ynet reported.

Israel’s Foreign Affairs Ministry in a statement called the attack “another link in the chain of anti-Semitic attacks targeting the embassy.”

“The Israeli Embassy in Helsinki expressed its disgust over the events to the Finnish authorities and demanded they act in full force to locate the culprits, bring them to justice and prevent similar incidents from happening in the future,” the statement said.

Senior officials in Finland have expressed concern over the attacks, Ynet reported, but have not taken real action against their perpetrators.
Former SS Soldier and Unrepentant Nazi Karl Munter Faces Trial in Germany for Holocaust Denial
A former Nazi SS war criminal who has lived in freedom in Germany since the end of World War Two was charged on Wednesday under the country’s stringent laws against Holocaust denial and hate speech.

Karl Munter — still an unrepentant Nazi at the age of 96 — is being prosecuted for remarks he made to journalists from the German network ARD, in which he claimed that the figure of six million Jews murdered in the Nazi Holocaust was an exaggeration, at the same time justifying a notorious massacre of French civilians by the SS in which Munter himself was a participant.

Munter was charged by the public prosecutor in the north-west German state of Lower Saxony over comments he made to the journalists on camera that were broadcast in November 2018. The former SS man was filmed in secret after he struck up a conversation with an investigative team from ARD at a meeting of neo-Nazis.

Asked about the Holocaust, Munter disputed the figure of six million deaths, exclaiming, “But there weren’t that many Jews in our country!”

When the ARD undercover team asked Munter whether he regretted the murder of 86 French civilians in the village of Ascq in April 1944, he answered that the victims had “brought their fate on themselves.”
Lithuanian capital to rename street honoring anti-Semitic Nazi collaborator
Following years of protests, the city council of Vilnius in Lithuania voted to rename a street that honored a Nazi collaborator accused of inspiring Holocaust-era murders.

During Wednesday’s vote, which passed 21-16, a handful of nationalist protesters picketed city hall in defense of keeping the name Kazio Skirpos Street. Mayor Remigijus Simasius said he was pleased with the result.

In “a city that is open and respectful to all people, we can’t display extraordinary signs of respect to someone” like Kazys Skirpa, the mayor said.

During World War II, Skirpa served as the envoy to Berlin of a pro-Nazi Lithuanian movement. He said then: “Let’s take the opportunity to get rid of all Jews and create an oppressive atmosphere so that they wouldn’t even think they could have rights in Lithuania.”

The nonprofit website Defending History and the Simon Wiesenthal Center have lobbied for years to have the street renamed.
Iowa White Supremacist Sympathizer Arrested for Phone and Email Threats Against NYC Jewish Group
A 31-year-old Iowa man could face up to five years in prison following his arrest for making violent phone and email threats to an unnamed Jewish organization in New York.

Cedar Rapids resident Garrett Kelsey was charged with one count of interstate transmission of threats to injure a person according to a federal court criminal complaint that was unsealed on Tuesday.

Kelsey made the threats on May 23, after he watched a World Jewish Congress video about the “Neo-Nazi Nordic Resistance Movement” that left him infuriated.

He called the unidentified organization in New York and spoke briefly with one of its employees. Shortly afterward, he rang the same employee back, leaving a voicemail in which he threatened, “My people have f___slaughtered your f___ people before and we will do it again. And right now, you are giving us incentive to do that … Filthy f___ Jews.”

In a separate email in which he identified himself as Garrett Odinschild — a reference to the mythical Nordic god of war Odin — Kelsey unleashed a torrent of hatred.

“Everywhere Jews go in the world they cause trouble,” he is alleged to have written. “You have 3 days to remove this video and offer an apology to the Asatru community or we will be taking action against your organization full of degenerates.”

The “Asatru community” is a reference to the largely male neo-Nazi subculture that follows pagan rites as part of its racist ideology.
Nazi ideology no longer to appear in Google search results in Spain
Some of the most defamatory content will no longer appear in Spain’s Google search results, including material promoting Nazi ideology and denying the Holocaust, according to the Lawfare Project.

The Lawfare Project, representing a group of Spanish Jews, filed several take-down notices with Google LLC after Jews identified content in Google search results that included extreme and defamatory racism against the Jewish people. Google’s lawyers examined the complaints and, subsequently, various examples of antisemitic content identified in the notices are now blocked from appearing in Google searches in Spain, the advocacy group explained in a release.

Articles published by the Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi website promoting extreme racism against Jews and others, will now not appear in results, among other examples.

To the best knowledge of the parties involved, this is the first time that Google has blocked illegal content against the Jewish people based on defamation complaints. The understanding with the Internet giant allows for the blocking of specific content from its search engine by filing detailed blocking notices, which the Lawfare Project said marks a turning point in the company’s approach to violent and defamatory antisemitic content.

The Lawfare Project is “a global network of legal professionals that... [is] defending the civil and human rights of the Jewish people and pro-Israel community, and fighting discrimination wherever we see it,” according to its website.

“For many, the road to antisemitic radicalization is through an online search result,” explained Lawfare Project founder and executive director Brooke Goldstein. “It is unacceptable, immoral and unlawful in Spain for online platforms to profit from extreme and violent propaganda against Jews.”
Chelsea Football Club - Holocaust education.
How one soccer club is helping educate fans on the horrors of the Holocaust. In early May, Grant led a delegation from Chelsea and MLS team New England Revolution to take part in “March of the Living,” in which participants were taken on a guided tour of Auschwitz and learned about the systematic mass murder of Europe’s Jewish communities. The visit was part of Chelsea’s highly respected “Say No to Anti-Semitism” campaign, which was launched in January 2018 under the leadership of club owner Roman Abramovich.

Only One Jew Remains in Afghanistan—but, with Iranian Help, Anti-Semitism Persists
Jews have lived in Afghanistan since the first millennium; at the beginning of the 20th century, the country was home to a Jewish population of about 40,000 souls. Now only one Jew is left, but anti-Semitic graffiti, theories, and sentiments remain widespread. Many of these come to the fore the celebration of Quds Day—an anti-Israel holiday created by the Islamic Republic in 1979. In Kabul, the annual Quds Day rally is sponsored by a Shiite cleric named Sayed Hussain Mazari, as Ezzatullah Mehrdad writes:
Few religious centers in Afghanistan are self-financed or locally funded. As in other Middle Eastern countries such as Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen, Bahrain, and Pakistan, many of the Shiite scholars in Afghanistan are bankrolled by Iran. Asif Yousufi, a social activist who [this year] attended a student-led demonstration against the celebration of Quds Day, claims that Mazari is among them, though he believes the latter will not publicly acknowledge this.

The Islamic Republic of Iran . . . also maintains an intelligence presence in Afghanistan and supports groups here that serve its national interests. Some experts believe Iran might be behind the spread of anti-Semitism within its neighbor to the east as part of an effort to build a united front against the Jewish state.

But there are undoubtedly other sources as well:
[The anti-Semitism researcher Guenther] Jikeli says Jew-hatred in Afghanistan may also be a residual effect of propaganda efforts by Nazi Germany during World War II, which included radio programs the regime broadcast to Arabic-speaking countries demonizing Jews, [some of which reached non-Arab Afghanistan]. Nearly 80 years after the Holocaust, Adolf Hitler still enjoys widespread popularity in the country, and his image is sometimes used in advertisements—including for a public-speaking course that touts him as a model orator. A common Afghan expression says that Hitler left some Jews alive to remind the world just how noxious they are.
Sleepy Israeli town wants to reach new highs with medical cannabis
Israel’s southern town of Yerucham is just some 126Km (78 miles) south of Tel Aviv, a two-hour leisurely drive, but it could feel like light years away from the nation’s secular high-tech mecca, where young entrepreneurs whiz from meetings at trendy cafes to hang out at the beach with friends after work hours, most likely lighting up a joint along with their chilled beer.

On a winding road to the town, inhabited by some 10,000 and dogged by high unemployment levels, sand-yellow desert hills reflect the bright light and signs that say “Beware of Camels.”

The main street of this southern city was eerily quiet on a sunny, hot, dry summer day earlier this month — a Shawarma place was dishing out pita bread filled with piping hot grilled meats, hummus and salads to tired diners who sat around Formica tables. An air-conditioner whirred loudly in the background.

A hairdressing salon was barred shut. Opposite the salon, on the other side of the street – no traffic or parking problems here – a modern looking kindergarten was silent, the children home for the summer holiday.
Hollywood Star Jamie Foxx Praises ‘Inspiring’ Israeli Shalva Band
Hollywood movie star Jamie Foxx warmly endorsed the Israeli Shalva band, which is comprised of Special Needs people, as “an inspiring group of talented young men and women.”

Sharing a clip on the band published by Shalva National Children’s Center on Facebook, Foxx wrote that “this is so beautiful and close to my heart! As many of you know, my sister is the face of the Global Down Syndrome Foundation. What an inspiring group of talented young men and women!”

Foxx’s youngest sister is DeOndra Dixon has Down syndrome.

Some 3,300,000 people have viewed the clip.

Shalva Band, comprised of young adults with various special needs, was a favorite to win Israel’s HaKochav HaBah (The Next Star) televised song contest to become Israel’s candidate at the 2019 Eurovision contest, but forfeited because participating in the Eurovision would entail the desecration of the Shabbat.

However, the band performed during the Eurovision’s second half of the competition and received global recognition.

The Shalva Band was established as part of the Israel Association for the Care and Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities, a non-profit organization for children with special needs.

UK Actor Daniel Radcliffe Explores Jewish Roots on BBC Show ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’
“Harry Potter” star Daniel Radcliffe examined some chilling truths about his Jewish ancestors Monday night on the BBC show “Who Do You Think You Are?”

The British actor, 30, discovered that his maternal family’s jewelry business in Hatton Garden, London suffered a robbery and police asserted there was not sufficient evident to suggest someone had broken in, so authorities instead made antisemitic accusations against the Jewish family, suggesting they were trying to made a fraudulent insurance claim.

“Jews are so frequently responsible for the bringing down of their own business premise,” read the police report, regarding which Radcliffe noted: “It’s very jarring to see being a Jew to be taken as a piece of evidence in itself.”

Radcliffe then cried while reading a suicide letter that his maternal great-grandfather, Samuel Gershon, wrote to his wife before taking his own life. Gershon committed suicide after the Hatton Garden jewelry business, inherited from his father, put him into major debt.

Brazilian-Israeli kids’ music video celebrates roots in 2 countries
A video clip of Brazilian-Israeli children and youths singing a new Israeli hit song is reaching far beyond the Brazilian community.

Some 60 children aged 2 to 19, all members of the Brazilian community in Israel, sing parts in a homemade version of the Israeli hit “Shevet Achim Ve Achayot.” More than 3,000 viewers have seen it since Saturday night.

“Not in our dreams would we expect such huge acceptance. We believed that the views would be restricted to families and some members of our local Brazilian community. Never thousands,” said Marcos Homsani, one of the clip originators, who moved to Israel from Rio de Janeiro with his family in 2017.

The video celebrates the third anniversary of the Kehila Yalla Chaverim, a community of Brazilian expats that includes some 300 families in Israel’s Sharon region, including the cities of Raanana, Kfar Saba, Hod Hasharon and Netanya, the largest concentration of Brazilian immigrants in Israel.

The clip made headlines in the local press and was publicized by the Raanana municipality on its social media channels. Brazilian-Jewish media outlets, the Israeli Embassy and the Jewish Agency in Brazil all promoted the video.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.


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This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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