Sunday, September 22, 2019

From Ian:

Rivlin: Blue and White, Likud must share power
Rivlin made the statement directly to representatives of Blue and White, who said they want a unity government but have been ruling out Prime Minister and Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu, because of his pending criminal charges. Rivlin reminded them that Netanyahu has not been indicted.

"The people of Israel want a government that will be stable," Rivlin said. "A stable goverrnment cannot be a government without both of the two largest parties."

The head of the Blue and White delegation, MK Moshe Ya'alon said "all Zionist parties" would be welcome in the coalition, a statement interpreted as excluding the Joint List.

MK Zvi Hauser told Rivlin that Gantz's goal would be national reconciliation.

Rivlin told the MKs that the people of Israel were "disgusted" by prospects of a third election.

Members of the Joint List decided to recommend Gantz to build a coalition. This will be the first time since Yitzhak Rabin that an Arab party recommends someone for Prime Minister.

Jonathan S. Tobin: Will the Anti-Netanyahu Crowd Like Gantz?
The answer is that Gantz knew that challenging Netanyahu on security from the left was a recipe for defeat. The sole rationale for his party’s existence is to oust Netanyahu, not to make nice with the Palestinians.

The same is true about relations with President Donald Trump. Netanyahu’s contentious relationship with President Barack Obama and his warm embrace of Trump is a particular bone of contention for Democrats. But expect Gantz to be every bit as grateful to Trump, who is immensely popular in Israel, as Netanyahu has been.

Nor will a future Democratic president — should Trump be defeated next year — find Gantz to be any more willing to abandon the West Bank or divide Jerusalem than Netanyahu has been. The political success of the former Israel Defense Forces’ chief of staff rests on his being part of a broad consensus that believes there is no Palestinian peace partner. Democrats will have to accept that even an Israel led by Gantz will refuse to trade land for terror.

As for American Jewish resentment about the lack of religious pluralism in Israel, that will depend on the composition of the next coalition. Should the religious parties wind up outside the government, plans for expanding the egalitarian prayer area at the Western Wall will be reinstated, no matter if Netanyahu or Gantz stands at the helm. But should the new coalition include those religious parties, you can bet that the scheme will remain on hold.

Just as important, Gantz will be no more acceptable to the growing ranks of anti-Zionists in the left wing of the Democratic Party than Netanyahu. For BDS supporters, Gantz is just another criminal Zionist. If left-wingers like Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) represent the future of the Democratic Party, it won’t make any difference who is prime minister of Israel.

The gap between Israelis and Americans on these issues has always been bigger than one leader. Israel’s critics may pretend that Netanyahu is the primary obstacle to peace as opposed to the Palestinians, but it won’t take long for them to be hurling the same sort of accusations at Gantz if he gets the top job.
Liberman won’t recommend either Netanyahu or Gantz for PM
Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman on Sunday said his right-wing party will not recommend any candidate for prime minister during its consultations with President Reuven Rivlin later in the evening.

In his remarks, Liberman — whose party won eight seats in last week’s election — said he could recommend for the task of forming the next coalition neither Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu nor Blue and White’s Benny Gantz, who could receive the endorsement of the predominantly Arab Joint List.

“In the Knesset there is a party that is trying to destroy us from within, and in the best case scenario, they belong in parliament in Ramallah, not in Israel,” said Liberman, referring to the Joint List. “Therefore we cannot recommend Benny Gantz. Therefore our recommendation to the president is that we won’t recommend anyone.”

“The Haredim [ultra-Orthodox] are political rivals, but not enemies. The Joint List are our enemies,” said Liberman. “Wherever they are, we will be on the other side.”
Joint List to present list of demands to Gantz in return for backing him as PM
The Joint List alliance of Arab-majority parties will reportedly on Sunday present a list of demands to the Blue and White party as conditions for recommending Benny Gantz as the next prime minister, although, despite talks, the centrist party has not yet made any commitments in return.

Blue and White has established a back channel to communicate with the Joint List — an alliance of four parties — which is said to be leaning toward endorsing the former IDF chief of staff. However, three of its 13 newly elected Knesset members, from the Balad party, are opposed to the move.

The primarily Arab slate will have to make a decision by 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, when its representatives are scheduled to meet with President Reuven Rivlin and tell him whether they recommend Gantz — the chief rival of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — as leader of the country.

Senior party members were quoted Sunday by Hebrew-language media as saying they would present their demands later in the day to Blue and White. These include freezing home demolitions in unrecognized Arab villages, forming a team to examine the issue of those villages, passing a government decision on battling violence within the Arab sector, canceling the controversial nation-state law — which enshrines Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people — and initiating a peace process with the Palestinian Authority.

Why left-wing anti-Semitism is just as bad as white supremacy
For so long, American Jews have felt secure here in a way they hadn’t almost anywhere else. But the attacks on the Pittsburgh Tree of Life Synagogue in October 2018 and the Chabad of Poway synagogue in California this year have shattered that illusion.

The shootings, which left 12 people dead, also proved that anti-Semitism isn’t just on the rise in America — it has fully risen and now needs to be urgently challenged.

Bari Weiss, opinion writer at The New York Times, explores why it’s happening and what to do about it in her new book “How to Fight Anti-Semitism” (Crown), out now. The Pittsburgh Tree of Life massacre hit her particularly hard. Weiss’ family is from the area, and her bat mitzvah, a Jewish ceremony when a child turns 12 or 13, was at that very synagogue.

Weiss argues that current anti-Semitism in America comes from some old and expected places: white supremacists were behind both synagogue attacks, and in August 2017 neo-Nazis marched on Charlottesville, Va., chanting “Jews will not replace us.”

But the rot comes from new sources, too.

Between the fans of Louis Farrakhan who organized the original Women’s March in 2017 and the anti-Semitic rhetoric of Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar who, among other things, used an old “dual loyalty” trope to accuse Jews of pushing “allegiance to a foreign country,” Jewish Americans are suddenly feeling under attack from the left as well as the right.

With this comes a divide: “Your” side versus “my” side, and which side is more anti-Semitic or dangerous.
Seth Frantzman: Trudeau’s blackface problem and casual antisemitism
On the surface, the linkage between Trudeau’s blackface and the hook-nose sign language isn’t obvious. What both issues reveal is how deep and ingrained racist views of “the other” permeate societies from Canada to New Zealand, even societies where the official line is “tolerance” and “diversity.”

The problem in society when one repeats the mantra of “we are tolerant” without first subjecting the self to a rigorous critique of ingrained stereotypes, is that we end up preaching to others about “racism” without first admitting our problems. White supremacy has too often given way to moral supremacism in many western societies, leaping directly from the Holocaust to lecturing the world about “human rights” without even apologizing for the worst crimes of the 20th century. This is a kind of moral supremacy that seeks to inure these societies from deeper questions about how deep and widespread racist and antisemitic views are.

It used to be that when we said “that was decades ago” it was in the 1990s talking about the 1950s, some bygone era of lynchings. But it’s not some bygone era.

Interracial marriage was illegal in many US states up until the 1967 Supreme Court ruling. At least two US presidential candidates this year were in their 20s when it was still illegal for a black and white person to marry. Imagine that. This is within living memory. Now we pretend that some racist incidents in the 1990s was “long ago.” It wasn’t long ago. I was in my teens in those years. Unfortunately, too often societies have not even interrogated themselves about racism and antisemitism, preferring instead to just move rapidly on to claiming to be “diverse” societies where we are “opposed to racism.”

Yes, we are officially opposed. And then we have a member of a city council in Washington, DC, that believes the “Rothschilds” control the weather. And our response is to “educate” him by taking him to the Holocaust museum. Because he “made a mistake.”

How many racist mistakes – racist hand gestures, sign language, swastikas on bathroom stalls, war graves and everywhere else – do you need before it’s not a mistake.
Did the Carter administration cover up a 1979 Israeli nuclear test?
On September 22, 1979, exactly forty years ago today, an American satellite detected two flashes of light in the Atlantic Ocean south of South Africa.

US military analysts at the Patrick Air Force Base in Florida who examined the data from satellite Vela 6911 quickly concluded the flashes were the unmistakable telltale sign of a nuclear detonation, and promptly notified the military chain of command.

Then-president Jimmy Carter was briefed on the apparent nuclear test on the same day, and convened top advisers and national security officials in the White House Situation Room the following morning.

A lengthy and detailed report published in Foreign Policy magazine on Sunday, the test’s 40th anniversary, argues that Carter then made a conscious decision to ignore the believed test, not wanting it to overshadow his foreign policy successes in an election year, and out of fear it could undermine the US backing — including massive military and financial support — that enabled the forging of the new Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty signed that year.

If Israel conducted a test that day in 1979, it could constitute a violation of the 1963 Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, which Israel had signed and ratified and which prohibited such tests above ground.

It could also mean, according to US nonproliferation laws, the almost automatic cancellation of US military and financial aid for the violating state, though a US president is allowed to waive the punishment.

In order to avoid the many problems raised by an Israeli nuclear test, the FP report argues, Carter decided to cover it up.
Mother of captured soldier to address UN Human Rights Council
Leah Goldin, mother of captured IDF soldier Hadar Goldin, will address the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva later this week, calling on the international community to help return her son's remains.

This summer marked five years since Hadar was killed by Hamas during a UN ceasefire in Operation Protective Edge.

With each passing day, as the Palestinian terror group refuses to return Hadar (and the remains of another IDF soldier, Oron Shaul), Goldin says they continue to “cruelly torment our family, with their inhumanity seemingly knowing no bounds.”

The Human Rights Council session will coincide with the opening of the UN General Assembly in New York, where world leaders and heads of state will be gathering.

Although the primary responsibility for Hadar’s release rests with Hamas, Goldin will stress that the UN and the international community, under whose watch the ceasefire that took their son was enacted, “bears both moral and legal responsibility for his return.”

According to Goldin, there has been a “paradigm shift” in the way her son’s case must be approached, in the wake of the UN Security Council’s unanimous adoption this June of Resolution 2474, regarding the return of all persons reported missing in armed conflict.
UAE's first official synagogue to open in multi-faith complex in 2022
Construction on the United Arab Emirates' first official synagogue will begin next year and be completed by 2022, according to local media reports.

The synagogue will be part of the multi-faith "Abrahamic Family House" complex in Abu Dhabi, which will also feature a mosque and church of which full construction will be completed in 2022, Abu Dhabi newspaper the National reported on Sunday.

The complex was announced in February following a visit by Pope Francis to the UAE, the first by a pontiff to the Arabian Peninsula.

Muslim UAE promotes itself as a center of tolerance and says it supports religious freedom and cultural diversity. However, the government does not allow dissent against its leadership and is criticized by human rights groups for jailing activists.

Though the synagogue will be the first in the UAE, a small Jewish community of expatriates currently use a house in Dubai for private worship.

Other official non-Muslim places of worship in the country include Christian churches, a Hindu temple and a Sikh Gurdwara.
IDF officer killed in botched Gaza raid awarded citation of merit
The IDF officer killed in a botched Gaza raid last year was awarded a citation of merit for his actions during the operation.

The commendation for Lt.-Col. “M.” was presented to the parents, wife and children of the officer by IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi at the officer’s home along with the Head of Military Intelligence Maj.-Gen. Tamir Heyman and other commanders.

M. earned the citation of merit for “acting with his team behind enemy lines with determination, level-headedness and courage in order to defend his comrades with initiative and fearlessness, for taking a lead role in dominating the enemy and for acting wisely in moving to dominate [the enemy],” the military said in a statement.

The team taking part in the intelligence operation in November in the southern Gazan city of Khan Yunis were identified by Hamas members, leading to a firefight in which M. was killed by friendly fire and saw another officer moderately injured. Six Hamas terrorists, including the Khan Yunis commander Nur Barakeh, were also killed in the firefight.

M.’s actions were credited with being crucial to the complicated rescue operation with Kochavi saying that his decisions stopped the situation from deteriorating even further.
Lebanese Player Withdraws from Wrestling Championship After Refusing to Play Against Israel
Lebanese player Dominique Abi Nader, withdrawed from the 2019 Senior European Wrestling Championships, held in Bucharest, Romania, after refusing to play against Israel.

In this context, Lebanese Wrestling Federation, President, lawyer Omar Iskandarani, stressed that "the union rejects normalization with the Israeli enemy in any way."

Iskandarani told player Dominique Abi Nader "not to play and withdraw" from the tournament after the draw with an Israeli opponent, stressing his rejection to the normalization with the Israeli enemy.

He also congratulated Abu Nader on his patriotic spirit for his refusal to face the Israeli player and withdrawal from the championship.

Finally, Iskandarani will inform the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Olympic Committee of their decision.

Israel begins cutting Palestinian electricity in West Bank, citing debts
Israel’s national electric company said Sunday it has begun reducing power supplies to Palestinian areas of the West Bank due to a financial dispute.

The Israel Electric Corporation said that it took the step because the Jerusalem District Electricity Co., the Palestinians’ main power distributor, has debts of roughly $485 million.

Ali Hamodeh, an official with the Palestinian distributor, said power is expected to be cut for two hours daily in several Palestinian towns in the coming weeks.

He accused Israel of “exaggerating” the level of debt and called the power cuts a “political exploit.”

The Palestinians rely on Israel for nearly all of their electricity.

According to Al-Monitor, the Palestinian distributor received its first warning in August, prompting it to take out a NIS 100 million loan ($28.3 million) to repay a portion of its debt to the Israel Electric Corporation. This was deemed insufficient, however, and the IEC issued two additional warnings before taking action on Sunday to reduce power to Palestinian areas.

Palestinian officials have decried the step as a form of “collective punishment,” according to the official PA Wafa news agency.
Charged with helping Hamas, Gazan aid worker says he’s being denied a fair trial
According to the indictment, Halabi arranged for World Vision to overpay Atar’s agriculture business for its services, which would then return the extra money to him to give to the terror group.

Hanna said that Atar’s testimony is crucial because he can specifically explain that he and Halabi did not participate in a scheme to transfer funds to Hamas.

“He could totally undermine the accusations they made against Mohammed,” Hanna said. “He has begged Israel to allow him to go to the court and testify, but they have not permitted him to do so.”

An Israeli security official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, confirmed that Atar submitted a request for a permit to enter Israel, but clarified that it was denied for security reasons.

The Shin Bet security service declined to respond to a request for comment on Atar and several other matters relating to the case.

Hanna said he now intends to ask Natan Zlotchover, the Beersheba District Court judge who is presiding over Halabi’s trial, to permit Atar to testify by video-conference.

Former deputy state prosecutor Yehoshua Resnick, however, said that Zlotchover almost certainly will not allow Atar to do so, because it would require cooperation between Israeli and Hamas-run courts.
Top German newspaper: FM ‘shameful” for supporting Iran ‘terror’ event
Bild, Europe’s most-read newspaper (circulation over 1.5 million), described the role of the German Foreign Ministry as “shameful” in a blistering Friday commentary for its participation in a pro-Iran business conference in Berlin that the US government said supports terrorism.

The Bild article, penned by Björn Stritzel, noted that “Not even a week ago, Iran attacked one of the most important oil facilities in the world in Saudi Arabia. The attack cut global oil production by five percent and was the high point of Iranian terror against the global economy.”

He added that “While the Tehran regime plays with fire, Germany is also offering the mullahs a stage in Berlin! Yesterday, the Federal Foreign Office sent a business director [Miguel Berger] to a conference to give tips on how to cleverly bypass US sanctions against Iran. Every penny from the business deals that were initiated there [at the conference] flows directly into Tehran’s terrorist coffers, with which the mullahs oppress their own people.”

Stritzel said the Iran business takes place “All with the blessing of the German Foreign Ministry. This is not only shameful, but a slap in the face of all freedom-loving Iranians.”

US ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, sharply criticized the German government on Tuesday, stating: “Thursday’s conference by the Maleki Corporate Group to promote trade with the Iranian regime is a dangerous move that will fund terrorism and undermine US sanctions.”

Grenell added, “Iran perpetuates gross human rights abuses against its own citizens, has planned and carried out terror attacks and assassinations on European soil, and is facilitating Assad’s war crimes in Syria. Now is not the time to promote business deals that will only send euros to the regime’s coffers at the expense of the Iranian people.”
Iraq’s Muqtada Al-Sadr Pays Homage to Iran
Muqtada al-Sadr, leader of Iraq’s Sadrist movement, paid a visit to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s home in Iran for the Ashura ceremonies as part of his attempts to maneuver between Washington and Iraq’s complex and problematic relationship with Iran.

Over the past year, and especially in the wake of recent attacks on Popular Mobilization Forces (al-Hashd al-Shaabi) military targets in Iraq that were attributed to Israel, al-Sadr has sharply criticized Iran’s expansionist regional policy and its support for the Iraqi Shiite militias allied with Iran.

Since the election of Iraq’s former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to his second term of office in 2010, al-Sadr has tried to lead a policy of distancing Iraq from Iran and bringing it closer to the Arab world. Al-Sadr’s visit to Saudi Arabia in 2017 and his meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman caused a severe breach of relations with Iran.

Al-Sadr’s visit to Tehran was perceived as unusual and has even created differences of opinion among the Shiite communities in Iraq.

It is possible that during his visit to Iran al-Sadr is signaling that at the present time, when Iraq is facing many dangers threatening its security, he is the central personality of the Shiite community in Iraq.

Tensions grow over the continued operation of various Shiite militias and primarily al-Hashd al-Shaabi within Iraq, which is much to al-Sadr’s distaste as he foresees that this Iranian policy will eventually lead to a conflict with Israel on Iraqi territory and will sow destruction and disaster.

Iran’s IRGC: We will 'hit anyone who violates our borders'
The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps leader’s latest rhetoric is Tehran saying “we can down your drones as well and show them off,” while quietly letting the media reports show how Iranian drone technology has enabled Iran or its allies to violate Saudi Arabia’s airspace.

Maj.-Gen. Hossein Salami made the speech during an exhibition of US drones that have been downed by Iran. This was an interesting tit-for-tat to Saudi displaying parts of the drones used in the September 14 attack.

The IRGC warned that any country that threatens Iran will become the “main battlefield,” which illustrates that Iran’s strategy will be to strike back hard and quickly in response to an attack. This is a coded warning to the entire Gulf, including key Saudi and US allies such as the UAE or Bahrain. It is likely a warning directly to Riyadh that the attack on Abqaiq is just a taste of what could come.

“Be careful, a limited aggression will not remain limited. We will pursue the aggressors,” said Salami. Tasnim news reported that Salami said Iran has only showed off a part of its capabilities. Symbolically, the IRGC chief gave his Saturday speech in front of an image of Iranian drones.

The overall message from Tehran is threefold: We can strike everywhere in the region, we will respond aggressively throughout the region to any attacks on us and we have already downed your drones – we have the technology to do worse. This is a serious moment for the US and their allies, because Washington doesn’t want to look like it is backing down.

But it has few good options and it doesn’t want its allies to pay the price for a war. It knows that discussions with Saudi Arabia have revealed that air defenses in the kingdom were unable to prevent this strike and two other long-distance drone strikes since May.

Iran assures FIFA that women can attend soccer qualifier
FIFA president Gianni Infantino said Sunday that world soccer’s governing body has been “assured” by Iranian authorities that women will be able to attend a World Cup qualifier in Tehran next month.

FIFA had demanded Iran allow women free unlimited access to stadiums following the “Blue girl” incident in which a woman killed herself after being arrested trying to access a soccer stadium.

“We have been assured, that as of the next international game of Iran, women will be allowed to enter football [soccer] stadiums,” Infantino told a FIFA conference on women’s soccer in Milan on Sunday.

FIFA wants Iran to end its ban on women entering stadiums, which breaches international soccer statutes prohibiting discrimination.

“We need to have women attending, we need to push for that with respect but in a strong and forceful way and we cannot wait anymore,” Infantino added.
Tlaib Defends Anti-Israel Activist Who Was Voted Off Women’s March Board
Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.) on Friday came to the defense of an anti-Israel activist voted off the Women's March board earlier in the week, telling her, "we have the truth on our side."

Tlaib took to Twitter to defend Zahra Billoo, the executive director of the San Francisco Bay area chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. Billoo, who was voted off the board after serving for two days, sent out a 25-tweet thread about the vote, where she blamed an "Islamophobic smear campaign" and "right-wingers" for the scrutiny she and her colleagues received.

Billoo, who has been a vocal supporter of Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.), said the campaign against her was "driven by people who oppose me and my work challenging the occupation of Palestine, our country's perpetuation of unjust and endless wars, and law enforcement operations targeting the American Muslim community."
Two-Thirds of Labour Members Ashamed of Britain
Ian Austin’s Mainstream commissioned polling from YouGov of Labour Party members and found a party that has moved on a long way from being Blair’s “political wing of the British people”. Corbyn’s Marxist Labour Party is very different and so are the members. Of course we knew they would nationalise and tax everything that moves and seek to muzzle the opposition press – there are however a whole raft of sentiments that are shocking.

YouGov’s poll of over 1,100 members shows how out of touch with Labour voters the middle-class lefties really are:
- 79% want to control who runs newspapers
- 69% think it would be legitimate for unions to stage a general strike to bring down a Tory government;
- TWO THIRDS believe the party doesn’t have a problem with anti-Semitism, OVER HALF believe the crisis is the fault of the media or Corbyn’s opponents;
- Members would rather do a post-Brexit trade deal with Russia than Israel!

Duke, UNC must fix pro-Islam bias in Middle East program, government says
The U.S. Education Department told Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to revise its federally funded Middle East Studies program because of an alleged pro-Islam bias.

The assistant secretary for postsecondary education, Robert King, wrote in a letter to university officials last week that programs run by the Duke-UNC Consortium for Middle East Studies appeared to be misaligned with the $235,000 federal grant it had received, The New York Times reported Thursday.

Federal resources offered to the program are part of Title VI funding, which strengthens diversity in international studies.

In June, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos ordered a probe of the consortium, which sponsored an event in March titled “Conflict Over Gaza: People, Politics and Possibilities” featuring supporters of boycotts against Israel.

Too few of the Duke-UN. programs focused on “the historic discrimination faced by, and current circumstances of, religious minorities in the Middle East, including Christians, Jews, Baha’is, Yazidis, Kurds, Druze and others,” the department said.

There was “a considerable emphasis placed on understanding the positive aspects of Islam,” the letter also said, but of no other religion or culture. (h/t Yerushalimey)
Iceland fined for pro-Palestinian protest at Eurovision song contest in Tel Aviv
Organizers of the Eurovision Song Contest said Saturday they had fined Iceland after the band it entered displayed scarves with Palestinian flags during the contest’s final in Israel.

Iceland’s group Hatari brandished scarves with Palestinian flags when the final results were being announced at the end of the event, which was held last May in Tel Aviv.

Contest organizers the European Broadcasting Union said Saturday in a statement sent to AFP that the gesture infringed their rules banning political gestures.

They declined to say how much they had fined Iceland’s public broadcaster, but said it was “in line with the rules of the competition.” The fine had also been upheld following an appeal it said.

Hatari is known for their opposition to Israel’s presence in the Palestinian territories.

Rule 2.6 of the competition stipulates that participants should do nothing to use it for political ends.

During the same event guest performer Madonna also provoked controversy when her dancers carried Israeli and Palestinian flags on their costumes.
BBC Culture promotes Palestinian pop and a political narrative
As noted when he was previously featured in BBC content, despite those alleged “borders imposed on his life” Murad:
“…was educated in an American school in Jerusalem, attended Bridgewater College in Virginia [USA], and had his work sponsored by the United Nations’ Men and Women for Gender Equality program.”

None of that was however mentioned by Ralston, who went on to promote the notion of “Palestinians with an Israeli passport” even though the majority of Israeli Arabs do not self-identify as Palestinians.
“Since its launch four years ago, the spot has become a second home for Palestinians with an Israeli passport or those with documents allowing them to travel through Israel.”

Readers were told that:
“In cash-stripped [sic] Gaza, the smaller Palestinian territory, there are even fewer opportunities. Recording studios are scarce, and any equipment must be sourced from Egypt or Israel at an extraordinary premium. Hamada Nasrallah, vocalist for Sol, a seven-piece folk outfit from Gaza, explains that he had to sell off his possessions just to afford a guitar, only for it to be destroyed in the August 2018 Israeli bomb attacks on the Said al-Mishal Centre.”

Not only does that promoted link lead to a politicised and partisan report from the Guardian but readers were not informed that the ‘cultural centre’ was located in a building also used by Hamas’ interior security unit or that the strike came in response to over 180 missile attacks from the Gaza Strip against Israeli civilians.

The article failed to inform audiences that the reason why the population of the Gaza Strip suffers from a lack of electricity and clean water is internal feuding between Palestinian factions.
BBC News coverage of terrorism in Israel – August 2019
Two people were murdered and eight wounded in attacks during the month of August.

The BBC News website reported the August 7th murder of Dvir Sorek the following day but no follow-up reporting was seen until over two weeks later. The murder of Rina Shnerb and injury of two additional civilians in an IED attack on August 23rd was reported.

An incident which took place on the border with the Gaza Strip on August 1st and resulted in injuries to three members of the security forces did not receive any BBC coverage. A stabbing attack in Jerusalem in which a police officer was wounded on August 15th was not reported. A vehicular attack in Gush Etzion the next day in which two civilians were injured was ignored at the time but referred to in a report a week later.

None of the seven separate incidents of rocket fire from the Gaza Strip during August received any coverage on the BBC News website.

Between January and August 2019 the BBC News website reported 25.7% of the terror attacks which took place and 80% of the resulting fatalities. Four of those eight months saw no reporting on terrorism against Israelis whatsoever.
Pittsburgh prepares to commemorate 2018 synagogue attack
As Pittsburgh prepares to commemorate last year's deadly shooting at a synagogue, Jewish leaders say returning to the synagogue remains a priority.

While there is no set time frame, "it is indeed our goal we will one day return to Tree of Life," said Tree of Life's Rabbi Jeffrey Myers, who was leading Shabbat services when the shooting began.

The three congregations that were attacked on Oct. 27 – Tree of Life, New Light, and Dor Hadash – now worship at two other synagogues.

Leaders from the congregations were gathering Friday to reflect on the past year and discuss plans for next month's observance.

The theme for the October commemoration is "Remember. Repair. Together." Events planned for Sunday, Oct. 27 – exactly one year after the massacre – include a private Jewish service in the morning, doing community service in the city, studying the portion of the Torah that was to be read when the shooting occurred, and a public memorial service in the evening.

"There is no intention to make this an anniversary. Anniversary indicates a happy event. This is not. We will commemorate to remember and repair together," said New Light's co-president, Stephen Cohen.

"Our hearts were torn 11 months ago, and healing does not occur overnight," he said. "Even now, there are family members who cannot even drive by the building – they are in so much pain. We look upon this day as a way of repairing that hurt."
Judge orders trial in Southern California synagogue shooting
A former college student will stand trial on charges he opened fire with an assault rifle inside a Southern California synagogue, killing one woman and injuring three people last April, a judge ruled Friday.

John T. Earnest had no reaction when San Diego Superior Court Judge Peter Deddeh ruled that a trial will proceed for Earnest on murder and attempted murder charges in the attack on the Chabad of Poway synagogue during services on the last day of Passover.

Earnest, 20, will also be tried on an arson charge for a fire at a nearby mosque that happened before the synagogue shooting.

Prosecutors on Thursday played a 12-minute recording of the gunman calmly telling a 911 dispatcher that he had just shot up a synagogue to save white people from Jews.

Earnest could face the death penalty if he is convicted of murder as a hate crime, although prosecutors haven't said whether they will pursue capital punishment.

The 911 recording was heard publicly for the first time at Thursday's dramatic hearing, which included playing the surveillance video of the shooting and a congregant describing how he confronted the gunman and chased him away
Suspended sentence for man who stuck antisemitic posters to Chabad centre
A man has been handed a 12-month suspended sentence for sticking antisemitic posters to the outside of a Chabad synagogue.

Shehroz Iqbal, 27, pleaded guilty to displaying written material that is “threatening, abusive or insulting, intending thereby to stir up racial hatred”, contrary to the Public Order Act.

At Snaresbrook Crown Court on Friday he was sentenced to 12 months in prison, suspended for two years, 30 days’ rehabilitation activity, 60 hours of unpaid work and a £100 fine for breaching a previous sentence.

On the evening of March 17 2017, Iqbal, who was dressed in camouflage and a hoody, taped the posters to the walls of an underpass near Gants Hill underground station, in Redbridge, east London.

A member of the public then saw Iqbal, of Kenwood Gardens in Ilford, walk towards the nearby Chabad Lubavitch Centre, to which he attached more antisemitic posters.

Austria’s oldest Holocaust survivor dies at 106
The oldest Austrian Holocaust survivor, who lived through four concentration camps, has died at the age of 106, Vienna’s Jewish Community organization (IKG) said Friday.

Marko Feingold, who survived Auschwitz, in Nazi-occupied Poland, and three German concentration camps, died in the city of Salzburg on Thursday after a lung infection, Austrian news agency APA reported.

Despite his advanced age, Feingold had remained active in speaking out about the Holocaust, taking part in numerous conferences and events for schoolchildren.

“I must have spoken to around half a million people all in all,” he told AFP in a 2018 interview, adding he swore to himself in Auschwitz that he would tell his story.
The Hollywood mogul who saved Jews from Hitler
Why would a Hollywood mogul who produced films such as “Frankenstein” and “Dracula” become involved in bringing German Jewish refugees to the United States in the 1930s?

Because Carl Laemmle understood, earlier and more clearly than most Americans, that Adolf Hitler and the Nazis were preparing to carry out an all-out war against the Jews. On this week’s 80th anniversary of Laemmle’s passing, his little-known efforts to help Jewish refugees are worth recalling.

Laemmle immigrated to the United States from the German town of Laupheim in 1884. He was the founder, in 1912, of Universal Pictures, the studio responsible for such blockbuster films as “All Quiet on the Western Front," “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” and the aforementioned horror classics.

Laemmle experienced the Nazi menace even before Adolf Hitler rose to power. The Berlin premiere of “All Quiet on the Western Front” in December 1930 was violently disrupted by a Nazi mob led by future propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels. They claimed the film’s account of World War I made Germany look bad.

Laemmle repeatedly sought to raise the alarm about the dangers of Nazism. In January 1932 – more than a year before Hitler became chancellor of Germany – Laemmle outlined his fears in a letter to newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst, who had published occasional columns by Hitler.

“I am almost certain that Hitler’s rise to power, because of his obvious militant attitude toward the Jews, would be the signal for a general physical onslaught on many thousands of defenseless Jewish men, women, and children in Germany, and possibly in Central Europe as well,” Laemmle warned.
Azerbaijan erects monument to Jewish war hero
The love affair continues between Azerbaijan and the Jews, as a monument is unveiled to an Azeri Jewish military hero, Albert Agarunov. But the Azeris' Armenian adversaries are not impressed, and the comments thread on this JNS News story is replete with insults from Armenian readers.

On Dec. 8, 1991, Agarunov and his driver, Agababa Huseynov, managed to disable nine Armenian tanks and two armored trucks.

During another skirmish, Agarunov managed to disable two tanks by a method called the “Jewish sandwich” by his comrades.

He was wanted by the Armenians, who allegedly offered 5 million rublуs to catch him. In 1992, he voluntarily served in the Karabakh war; on May 8 of that year, he was killed by a sniper’s bullet.

He won awards from his country; a school in Baku is named after him; and in 2017, a memorial plaque was erected in front of his home.
Famed Boxer Many Pacquiao Speaks Hebrew, Talks Judaism in Meeting With Jewish Travel Vlogger
A Jewish travel vlogger met with legendary professional Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao earlier this week to talk about Judaism and later posted a video of their discussion on YouTube.

Drew Binsky said he was “very surprised” to see how interested Pacquiao, 40, was in Judaism, having studied the religion and also the Hebrew language. The famed boxer talked about supporting Jews by saying, “Jewish people, we support, we help [them] because that’s the promise of G-d, that whoever bless you will be blessed and whoever cursed you will be cursed.”

Blinksy spent over an hour talking to Pacquiao even though he was told he would only have two minutes with the boxer. During their conversation, Pacquiao showed off his Hebrew skills by reciting a few blessings and also revealed he would be visiting Israel this year. He has been to Israel many times in the past and said he was very familiar with the country’s history.

Binksy arranged the sit-down with Pacquiao with the help of Filipino Jewish musician Mike Hanopol, who was already scheduled to meet Pacquiao that day. Pacquiao had asked Hanpolo to produce a few songs in Hebrew for him.
Israeli baseball makes history as team qualifies for Tokyo 2020
Israel's national baseball team secured its participation in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics following a crucial match against South Africa on Sunday, marking a historic moment for the Jewish state.

Sunday's match ended with a score of 11-1 in Israel's favor.

On its way to the historic milestone, Israel played against Italy and the Czech Republic in a tournament that reached its peak over the weekend, with Israel almost eliminated Friday.

Ultimately, though, Israel managed to get a ticket to Tokyo after winning 5 out of 6 games in the tournament.

Israel is the only country so far that has managed to win a spot at the Summer Games in this field. Japan, as the host, automatically qualified.

Only five other national baseball teams will get to compete for a medal in the summer games.

The Israeli baseball squad comprises mostly American Jews who already play in leagues in the United States.

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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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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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