Tuesday, October 22, 2019

From Ian:

Netanyahu gives up effort to form government, returns mandate
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu returned the mandate to form a government to President Reuven Rivlin minutes after the end of the Simhat Torah holiday on Monday night, and two nights before the deadline for him to build a coalition.

Rivlin, who has received the message from Netanyahu, will hold consultations with faction representatives who request to meet with him.

By law, the president has three days to give the mandate to Blue and White leader Benny Gantz.

Sources close to Gantz said they do not expect the mandate to be given before Wednesday.

Netanyahu released a video complaining that Gantz refused to negotiate with him. In the video, Netanyahu revealed that in addition to what is known to the public, he had initiated secret steps to build a unity government with Gantz.

The prime minister warned in the video that Gantz could form a minority government backed by the Joint List in a parliamentary safety net.

Netanyahu said that if Gantz built such a coalition, he would serve as head of the opposition.

“A minority government will be formed with the support of Joint List MKs who encourage terror and oppose Israel’s existence,” Netanyahu warned.

“How can a minority government led by Gantz and supported by these MKs fight terror?”
Israel Elections: Netanyahu Has Failed to Form Government
On Monday night, Israel's incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu returned the mandate given to him by President Reuven Rivlin to form a governing coalition, conceding his failure to do so as he celebrated his 70th birthday.

He’s in control now, but Gantz’s coalition chances no better than Netanyahu’s
For the first time in 11 years, the lawmaker tasked with forming Israel’s next governing coalition is not Benjamin Netanyahu.

The Likud leader marked his 70th birthday Monday evening by informing Reuven Rivlin that, after 26 frustrating days, he was returning the mandate to build the next government that the president had given him after September’s elections.

Blue and White chairman Benny Gantz, about to be given the same improbable mission, is now in the driver’s seat.

This is the exact scenario that Gantz, the IDF chief turned politician, has been awaiting since the results of September 17’s inconclusive election started to sink in.

After Rivlin’s late September consultations with the various parties where he heard their choices for prime minister, the Joint List alliance of majority-Arab parties claimed that Blue and White had asked its hardline Balad sub-faction to hold off on suggesting to Rivlin that Gantz be tasked with forming the government.

Gantz thus ended up with 54 recommendations: 33 from his own Blue and White party, 10 from the rest of the Joint List, six from Labor and five from the Democratic Camp. That was one crucial supporter fewer than the 55 endorsements Netanyahu received, with 32 from Likud, nine from Shas, seven from Yamina, and seven from United Torah Judaism.
A new Benjamin: How will Gantz face Israel's enemies? – Analysis
Six months ago, when Israel went to the polls for the first time, Gaza was front and center. It’s not much different this time, except that the threats posed by Iran and Hezbollah cannot be ignored – especially following the American withdrawal from Syria, which opens up a significant amount of territory to Israel’s enemies.

In April, tanks and thousands of soldiers were deployed along the border with the Hamas-run Gaza Strip after long-range rocket fire towards the center of the country. In May, the focus was on the northern border after, according to foreign reports, Israel expanded air strikes to both Lebanon and Iraq against Hezbollah and Iranian targets.

But will his dovish political leanings make him any less powerful as a prime minister – when facing enemies who have vowed the destruction of his country?


Netanyahu has kept the status quo in Israel’s South, which has been pounded by thousands of rockets in the past year alone, responding with targeted air strikes against Hamas targets and militants. While he’s been able to prevent another war with terror groups in Gaza, residents in Israel’s South have been contending with daily violence along the border fence.

Gantz, who was chief of staff during Operation Protective Edge in 2014, has ripped into Netanyahu’s handling of the Strip, saying that “other than advancing the building of the barrier along the Gaza border, nothing has been done.”

In the North, Gantz has called Hezbollah “the most dangerous terrorist organization in the world” and has stated that he stands “shoulder-to-shoulder” with Netanyahu against Iran, about which, as “IDF former Chief of Staff, I saw first-hand, precise information regarding what is really happening in Iran.”

During a rare flareup of violence along the Lebanese border two weeks before the second general election, Gantz suspended his campaign, writing on Twitter that “There is no opposition and no coalition in an operation against anyone who tries to harm the citizens of Israel or its sovereignty.”

So, while Israel’s newest Benjamin is a breath of fresh air for a country that has been ruled by the current Benjamin for so long, he will likely take a harsh stance against Israel’s enemies – and Israel’s security will not be eroded.

Iran barred indefinitely from world judo over refusal to face Israelis
The International Judo Federation (IJF) said Tuesday it had banned Iran from competition indefinitely over the country’s refusal to face Israeli competitors.

The federation issued a provisional ban last month while investigating a report that Iran had ordered a judoka to lose deliberately at the world championships to avoid facing Israeli competitor Sagi Muki in the subsequent round.

“Following the events, which occurred during the last World Judo Championships Tokyo 2019, the final suspension of the Iran Judo Federation from all competitions… has been pronounced,” the IJF said in a statement.

The IJF said the suspension will remain in place until the Iran Judo Federation “gives strong guarantees and proves that they will respect the IJF Statutes and accept that their athletes fight against Israeli athletes.”

Iranian fighter Saeid Mollaei, defending his title at the Tokyo World Championships in August, had said he was ordered to throw his semifinal rather than risk facing an Israeli in the final of the under 81kg class.

The Iranian, 27, lost the semifinal and then went on to lose his third-place fight.

Mollaei said he had been instructed to withdraw from the competition by the presidents of the Iran Judo Federation and the Iran Olympic committee.
Warren Threatens Israel: ‘Everything Is On the Table’
Senator Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) took a hard line on Israel Saturday saying "everything is on the table" in imposing a two-state solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict.

"It is the official policy of the United States of America to support a two-state solution, and if Israel is moving in the opposite direction, then everything is on the table," Warren said during a press availability with reporters Saturday.

In a formulation more commonly deployed by previous presidents in threatening the use of force against America’s enemies, Warren repeated the phrase but did not clarify precisely what pressure—military or otherwise—might be brought to bear.

"Right now, [Israeli prime minister Benjamin] Netanyahu says he is going to take Israel in a direction of increasing settlements, [but] that does not move us in the direction of a two-state solution," Warren was quoted as saying.

Warren's remarks come as the left wing of the Democratic Party has increasingly embraced boycotts of the Jewish state.

Her remarks are likely to raise eyebrows in the Jewish and pro-Israel communities, which, while largely Democratic, continue to favor the U.S. alliance with the region's only democracy.
Buttigieg: US aid should be used as ‘leverage’ to change Israeli policies
Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg said over the weekend that he would consider using American military aid to “leverage” Israel to change its policies toward the Palestinians.

Speaking at the University of Chicago on Friday, the South Bend mayor indicated that, as president, he would not allow the US to grant the same amount of aid to Israel were it to annex West Bank settlements, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to do.

During a question-and-answer session at the South Side campus, a freshman and activist with the Jewish anti-occupation group IfNotNow asked if the candidate would make aid to Israel contingent upon ending the occupation.

“I think that the aid is leverage to guide Israel in the right direction,” Buttigieg said. “If, for example, there is follow-through on these threats of annexation, I’m committed to ensuring that the US is not footing the bill for that.”

He suggested that pressuring Israel to preserve the possibility of a two-state solution was in its long-term interest of remaining a Jewish democracy.
O’Rourke Again Compares Trump Administration to Hitler’s Third Reich
The former Texas congressman responded by accusing Trump of being inspired by Joseph Goebbels, one of Hitler's most loyal associates, and the propaganda of the Third Reich, saying Trump seems to "employ this tactic that the bigger the lie the more obscene the injustice, the more dizzying the pace of this bizarre behavior, the less likely we are to do something about it."

Sharpton followed up to ask O'Rourke whether he heard him correctly that he compared Trump to the Third Reich.

O'Rourke then listed off Trump administration policies similar to the Third Reich, including family separation and Trump's comments after the Charlottesville protests.

"Alright, you clearly said it's the Third Reich," Sharpton said before switching to another topic.

This isn't the first time O'Rourke has compared the Trump administration to the Third Reich. Earlier in the week, O'Rourke spoke at an event where he repeated the same talking points.

"It is hard outside of the Third Reich to find another example in modern human history of a leader, of a modern democracy saying that one people of one religion are inherently dangerous or disqualified or defective and yet that's what our president did," O'Rourke said.
Amy McGrath Attended Dinner Hosted by Radical Muslim Group CAIR
As Democrat Amy McGrath was laying the groundwork for her Senate bid, she attended a dinner hosted by the Kentucky chapter of a radical anti-Israel organization that has been tied to funding of global terror networks.

The Kentucky chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, known best as CAIR, posted multiple pictures of McGrath in attendance at its annual dinner on May 11, 2019. She is currently featured in the main photo of the group's Facebook page.

McGrath launched her long-shot bid to unseat Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell in early July. Her first filing shows, however, that the campaign was already in swing at the time of the May dinner, with staff on payroll and large contributions already filling its coffer.

The McGrath campaign defended the CAIR dinner as an "interfaith event."

"Amy attended an interfaith event joined by a rabbi and a Baptist preacher and sponsored by the University of Kentucky," McGrath’s campaign manager Mark Nickolas said.

The Muslim advocacy group has well-documented ties to terrorist groups such as Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. CAIR was named an unindicted co-conspirator by the U.S. Department of Justice after an investigation into how American charity networks were used to provide material support to Hamas. In 2014, the United Arab Emirates officially designated CAIR a terrorist organization.

Khaled Abu Toameh: Why Hamas Supports Erdogan's War
If, according to Hamas, Turkey has the right to protect its border, why does Israel not have the same right?

Hamas's support for Erdogan's war on the Kurds seems to be in the context of its attempt to persuade the Turkish authorities to allow its members to continue using Turkey as a base for masterminding terrorist attacks against Israel.

As Hamas said in its statement, it is opposed to the "US and Israeli presence in the region." Hamas seems to be happy that the US abandoned the Kurds and left northern Syria. Hamas does not want the US to play any political or military role in the region....

It now remains to be seen how Erdogan will reward Hamas for supporting his war on the Kurds. Hamas, meanwhile, is holding its breath, hoping that Turkey will embrace the group and facilitate its fight against Israel.
Turkey's New 'Bashibazouks': The Free Syrian Army
"In the outskirts of Aleppo, the FSA [Free Syrian Army] has implemented a Sharia law enforcement police force that is a replica of the Wahhabi police in Saudi Arabia — forcing ordinary citizens to abide by the Sharia code..." — HuffPost, December 31, 2012.

Trained and funded by Turkey since 2016 and with a reputation for violence and looting, the fighters of the Syrian National Army (SNA, formerly the Free Syrian Army) resemble very much the Ottoman bashibazouks.

"Elizabeth Tsurkov, a fellow at the U.S.-based Foreign Policy Research Institute who has interviewed dozens of the fighters and said they appear to be driven by a desire for power and money rather than by any specific ideology... 'Hatred of Kurds, a sense of Arab chauvinism, complete intolerance for any dissent, and just a desire to make a profit is what's driving most of the abuses.'" — Associated Press, October 15, 2019.

During Turkey's most recent, ongoing, military incursion into Syria, launched on October 9, SNA militias captured a major highway that runs across northern Syria. According to Associated Press, "The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor, said the Turkey-backed fighters shot and killed six civilians along the road, including Hevreen Khalaf, a woman who led a Kurdish political party."
MEMRI: Turkish Commentators On Turkey's Invasion Of Northeast Syria: Turkey Stood Tall And Crusaders Fell To Their Knees; Turkey Delivered Ottoman Slap To Insolent U.S.; Our Decisive Manner Pressed U.S. Into Corner, Gave Us Everything We Wanted
In an October 19, 2019 article titled "Turkey Stood Tall And The Crusaders Fell To Their Knees!"[1]in Turkey's Yeni Akit daily, Turkish journalist Harun Sekmen said of Turkey's recent invasion of northeast Syria that "Turkey, under the leadership of commander-in-chief [Turkish President Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan, delivered an Ottoman slap to the insolent U.S.... and to the Crusader world... With this success, our country announced to the whole cosmos that it is both a regional and a global power." Sekmen quoted Turkish professor Dr. Gökmen Kantar as saying: "Our country's decisive manner pressed the U.S. into a corner and gave us everything we wanted." Regarding the 120-hour ceasefire in the invasion to which the Turkish and U.S. governments agreed on October 17,[2] Sekmen quoted journalist Murat Akan as saying: "'Turkey did not take a step back. On the contrary, a time limit has been given to the United States. Turkey has become a country that makes its voice heard. Turkey's hand has become stronger in every way. After this, the Syria issue cannot be solved without Turkey."

Following is a translation of the text of Sekmen's article:
"Turkey, Under The Leadership Of Commander-In-Chief Erdoğan, Delivered An Ottoman Slap To The Insolent U.S.... And To The Crusader World"

"Turkey, under the leadership of commander-in-chief Erdoğan, delivered an Ottoman slap to the insolent U.S., which thinks itself to be the world police, and to the Crusader world, which came out against Operation Peace Fountain. While those who have gone mad with rage as the situation turns in our favor are panicking, experts say that we have won a historic victory. The U.S., which was panicking in the wake of Operation Peace Fountain, was forced to accept whatever Turkey said. Turkey, which reflected at the [negotiating] table its power in the field, achieved a diplomatic victory not only against the U.S. but against the whole world. With this success, our country announced to the whole cosmos that it is both a regional and a global power.

"While the American opposition and press were badmouthing the Trump administration, they commented that Erdoğan had gotten everything that he wanted. Turkey, which is doing merciless battle against the FETÖ, ISIS, PKK, PYD/YPG terror organizations, showed to friend and foe that it would display the same decisive manner, no matter the cost. Political scientists and strategists evaluated for Akit the consensus that is being reached."
Hungary will use force if Turkey ‘opens the gates’ to refugees, PM Viktor Orban says
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Wednesday said his country would “use force” to protect its borders if Turkey followed through on its threat to “open the gates” of Europe to refugees.

Orban, a staunch opponent of mass migration, made the comments during an appearance on Hungary’s HirTV.

“The next weeks will decide what Turkey does with these people,” Orban said, referencing the 3.6 million Syrian refugees Turkey is currently hosting.

At the peak of the migration crisis in 2015, hundreds of thousands of migrants and refugees entered Europe by way of the Balkan route. Hungary, which was on the frontlines of that wave, implemented strict border controls and a fence across its border.

Turkey agreed to take in many of those refugees and ease the burden on Europe when it signed a deal with the EU in 2016 to seal off the Aegean route. But Turkey has received international condemnation for its invasion of northeast Syria following President Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. forces there.

Last week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened to unleash refugees into Europe if the EU called Turkey’s invasion of Syria an “occupation.”

“We will open the gates and send 3.6 million refugees your way,” Erdogan reportedly said while speaking with officials from his ruling AK Party, according to Reuters.
Arab Jerusalem Resident Seriously Injured by Firebomb Thrown by Arab Rioters
A passerby was seriously injured overnight Monday-Tuesday after his car caught fire when it was hit by a Molotov cocktail thrown at police in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiya, the Israel Police said in a statement Tuesday.

Officers pulled the man from the burning vehicle and took him to the hospital in a patrol car.

A policeman was also lightly injured as he helped drag the man out of the car, and was treated at the scene.

The incident happened as security forces clashed with rioters in Issawiya.

Police entered the neighborhood in force after receiving reports of Molotov cocktails thrown at vehicles traveling on the Jerusalem-Ma’ale Adumim highway, which runs adjacent to the neighborhood.

Rioters had also attacked officers already stationed in Issawiya, the statement said.

Jordan nabs ISIS cell plotting terror attacks - report
The Jordanian authorities have foiled a plot by ISIS to carry out terrorist attacks in the kingdom, the Jordanian newspaper Al-Ra’i reported on Monday.

Five members of the terrorist cell were arrested last July, according to a charge sheet presented to the State Security Court in Amman, the newspaper said.

According to the report, the suspects were planning to attack the guards stationed outside the home of a former Jordanian prime minister and seize their weapons.

At the beginning of their trial on Sunday, the suspects pleaded not guilty, the newspaper said.

The suspects are accused of conspiring to carry out terrorist attacks, including shooting at security patrols and kidnapping a Jordanian intelligence officer.

One of the suspects, according to the charge sheet, is a Syrian national living in Jordan known as an ISIS supporter.
At the beginning of this year, three of the other suspects, also known as ISIS supporters, attempted to infiltrate the border from Jordan into Syria to fight alongside the terrorist group. The attempt, however, failed due to the large presence of the Jordanian army along the border, the charge sheet said, according to the newspaper.
Abbas meets Japan’s Abe in Tokyo ahead of new emperor’s enthronement
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas arrived in Tokyo on Monday ahead of Tuesday’s enthronement of Japanese Emperor Naruhito, and met several high-ranking Japanese officials, the official PA news site Wafa reported.

Abbas and his entourage met Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and Defense Minister Taro Kono.

“His excellency discussed the latest developments pertaining to the Palestinian cause and the region with the Japanese prime minister and bilateral relations between their countries,” Wafa reported, adding that Abbas thanked Abe for Japan’s “positions and efforts to support the Palestinian people.”

Tokyo has stated that it supports a two-state solution and has called on Israel and the Palestinians to participate in direct negotiations to achieve that end.
PA President Mahmoud Abbas and Japanese Defense Minister Taro Kono meeting on October 21, 2019 in Tokyo. (Credit: Wafa)

Since 1993, Japan has provided the Palestinians with aid valued at nearly two billion dollars, according to the Japanese Foreign Ministry.
Palestinian Authority blocks dozens of websites
A Palestinian Authority court in Ramallah has issued an order to block 59 websites deemed critical of the PA and its leaders.

The court order, which was issued on October 17 by the Ramallah Magistrates Court at the request of the PA Attorney General, claims that the websites have violated the PA’s controversial Cyber Crime Law, introduced by PA President Mahmoud Abbas on June 24, 2017.

The court said it found that the websites have published articles and photos that “threaten national security and civic peace.”

The court accepted the PA Attorney General’s argument that the websites have attacked and offended “symbols of the Palestinian Authority.”

Most of the websites targeted by the PA are affiliated with Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Mohammed Dahlan, a senior Fatah official and archival of Abbas. Some of the websites are known for their criticism of financial and administrative corruption of the PA and its senior officials.

The PA’s Cyber Crime Law states that “any person who has intentionally and unlawfully accessed any electronic system or network, has abused any information technology, or has exceeded the authorized entry shall be liable to either imprisonment or a fine. If the act is committed against any official statement by the [PA] government, the culprit shall be punished by imprisonment for a period of at least six months.”

Argentina Designates Hezbollah a Terror Group
This past July... President Macri published Argentina's first public registry (RePET) of those tied to terrorism. He made a clear commitment to the fight against international terrorism. The public registry is a historical landmark containing over 1,000 entries of individuals and entities tied to terrorism in Argentina, including Hezbollah.

The registry will function under the Ministry of Justice, but the Ministry of Security and our Financial Intelligence Unit or UIF-AR will have the power to designate terror groups by requesting to freeze the assets of known terrorist actors. This whole-of-government approach ensures that the country can use a variety of tools when targeting terrorists.

Previously, the only people in Argentina labeled as terrorists were those considered terrorists by the U.N. Security Council. This [new] registry works to target all terrorist organizations in the international arena, as well as persons or entities under investigation in Argentina.
JCPA: Hizbullah’s Nasrallah Defends the Besieged Lebanese Government
The widespread protests in Beirut, which started on October 17, 2019, due to the deteriorating economic situation threatens the internal stability of the Lebanese regime. Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah publicly sided with the Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri and urged him not to resign, which would cause the dissolution of the government of which Hizbullah is a senior member.

Nasrallah, well aware of the reasons for the growing protests, will try hard to contain the damage and prevent a crisis that would jeopardize the current government’s stability, which is one of Hizbullah and Iran’s greatest achievements. Indeed, the government of Prime Minister Al-Hariri, with the active support of President Michel Aoun, grants Hizbullah the legitimacy for continuing the Iranian takeover of the Lebanese state.

Nasrallah declared on October 20, 2019: “Hizbullah doesn’t support the resignation of the current government. There is a very deep crisis of trust between the people and the state. When the government takes measures that restore people’s trust, the Lebanese people will accept it.”1

The Hizbullah Secretary-General warned, “If the government resigns, this means that Lebanon will have no government and the formation of it may take two years. We in Hizbullah will not abandon our country and people. We will not allow the country to be dumped or destroyed,” he added.

Under the guise of the current government, Hizbullah operates as a state within the state of Lebanon. Hizbullah operates governmental, economic, social, educational, and cultural institutions, which work alongside the government and its institutions, with its own private budget that works outside the state budget. This is in addition to Hizbullah’s military arm, which currently maintains the missile power of a European state, which again, operates outside of the Lebanese state budget.

Trump Administration Calls Out Bias in Middle East Studies Programs
"[T]here is a considerable emphasis placed on understanding the positive aspects of Islam, while there is an absolute absence of any similar focus on the positive aspects of Christianity, Judaism, or any other religion or belief system in the Middle East." — US Department of Education, Notice of a Letter Regarding the Duke-UNC Consortium for Middle East Studies, September 17, 2019.

Virtually all Middle East Studies departments on campuses everywhere can, to varying degrees, be accused of focusing on irrelevant and superficial topics, sidelining language skills, whitewashing Islam — in short, indoctrinating students in highly distorted views.

The letter also raises questions concerning... foreign funding. A 2018 report , for instance, found that "elite U.S. universities took more than half a billion dollars" from Saudi Arabia in gifts and donations "between 2011 and 2017." Why would a nation that treats women like chattel, teaches Muslims to hate all non-Muslims... that has elite units dedicated to apprehending witches and warlocks — become a leading financial supporter of America's liberal arts? The answer is regularly on display: so that recipients can show their gratitude by indoctrinating students in a fictitious Middle East and Islam—both of which are supposed victims of America.

The reason U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East has tended towards disaster is arguably because policymakers depend on advisors and analysts who are products of such Middle East studies departments — as are the many scholars and "experts" who insist that Islam is a "religion of peace." Until such time as Middle East Studies teach their topics with objectivity, balance, and above all, honesty, failure is likely to continue dominating America's response.
Director Steven Spielberg Recalls Antisemitic Bullying He Faced in School: ‘It Made Me Feel Ashamed of Being Jewish’
Filmmaker Steven Spielberg was the target of antisemitic bullying in school as a youngster, the Hollywood heavyweight revealed in a recent interview.

The result, he admitted, was that he was left feeling ashamed of his Jewish identity.

“I encountered antisemitism as an elementary school student in my school, and not throughout the entire school but small parts of popular kids they would pick on less popular kids, in my case zero popularity, growing up,” Spielberg said. “I didn’t think of it as hate but thought of it as a shame. I was ashamed of a lot of things and they actually managed with enough chiding and bullying to make me actually feel ashamed of being Jewish.”

He added, “I felt pretty much like an outcast and when I got older, I realized bullying is a very pervasive tool to make other people feel like they are empowered. So, I was on the other receiving end of people’s power trips and that was my main experience with being hated, something that I had no control over and something that inside me, I have always been very proud of to be a Jewish.”

Spielberg is the co-executive producer of a new six-part series called “Why We Hate,” which premiered Sunday on the Discovery Channel. The series examines hatred and how we can fight it and shares personal stories of those who hate and are targeted by hate. The series argues that hate is part of human nature and is in our DNA.
Swiss university bans violent pro-BDS activist from event
Switzerland’s oldest university, the University of Basel, pulled the plug on an event next month with David Sheen, a violent pro-BDS activist who has been accused of antisemitism.

The Swiss paper Basler Zeitung first reported the cancellation on Friday, writing the Canadian-Israel is “known for his antisemitic and Holocaust-relativizing statements.”

The university is still examining a second planned anti-Israel lecture slated for a week later, noted the Swiss daily.

The Swiss-Palestinian Society invited Sheen to several university events, at which he is expected to address the question: “Why did [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu's Likud party establish the most reactionary rabbinical immigrants from America and its local supporters as the spearhead of a Jewish-Israeli expulsion movement?”

Basler Zeitung’s Sebastian Briellmann reported that the university said it canceled Sheen's appearance because the planned event has a primarily political concern.

Sheen is also slated to speak at universities in Bern and Zürich, which have not been canceled.
Brown U's Center for Middle East Studies Hires 'Palestinian Studies' Fellow
Brown University's Center for Middle East Studies recently underwent a renaming and restructuring, which included bringing in new hire Paul Kohlbry, whom the Brown Daily Herald describes as "a postdoctoral fellow in Palestinian Studies." Moreover, Kohlbry announced excitedly, "We have the first chair ever in the country—if not the world—in Palestinian studies."

If previous examples, such as Columbia University's Center for Palestine Studies, are any indication, Kohlbry---who, tellingly, specializes in "settler colonial studies"---is more likely to provide anti-Israel politicking than useful scholarship on the Palestinians. Clearly, the anti-Israel proclivities of the center's former and founding director, Beshara Doumani, have made their mark.
Exeter University Jewish Society and Israel Society - raising money for Islamic Relief
Two weeks ago I reported on Harry Markham's experiences with Bristol University Jewish Society - their policy of disassociating themselves with Israel and their leader pushing a narrative of "pervasive racism in Israel" and "Jewish settlers carrying out terrorist attacks".

Now Harry has alerted me to what is going on at Exeter University. Like Bristol, the Jewish Society and Israel Society there have rejected his offer to present Israel's case, but are perfectly happy to team up with those who seek Israel's destruction. In an act of supreme virtue-signalling (which would be comical if it wasn't true) they have decided, for "Charity Week", to join the Islamic Society in raising money for the 'charity' Islamic Relief.

If Jewish students really are determined to virtue-signal in this way, there are surely suitable Muslim charities they could have teamed up with (although why they would take precedence over, say Hindu or Sikh charities I have no idea). Unfortunately, Islamic Relief is not one of them. Those unaware of the dubious history of this 'charity' should look at this detailed report from the Middle East Forum that is summarised in this article. I have previously covered Islamic Relief on this blog when Norwood made a similarly incomprehensible decision to team up with them. Islamic Relief has long been accused of involvement in terrorism as reported here. In 2006 the Israeli Government outlawed Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW) from its work in Judea and Samaria, declaring that it was "designed to further Hamas's ideology among the Palestinian population" and in 2014 claimed that the 'charity' was involved in sending cash to Hamas. In 2014 HSBC cut its ties with IRW due to concerns over its terrorist links. Even the United Arab Emirates banned IRW because of its terrorist links.

So Britain's Jewish student leadership regard dynamic, young unapologetic Zionists like Harry Markham as extremists to be censored, while cosying-up to (and now funding) terror-supporting Islamists.

Facebook removes dozens of anti-Israel fake accounts from Iran
Facebook announced Monday that they removed dozens of Iran-originated accounts for engaging in “coordinated inauthentic behavior,” many of which seemed to be characterized by an anti-Israel agenda.

The social media giant describes such behavior as groups of pages or people misleading users about who they are and what they are doing, for example, presenting themselves as operating from a different country than the one they are actually originated from.

“Today, we removed 93 Facebook accounts, 17 Pages and four Instagram accounts for violating our policy against coordinated inauthentic behavior,” the company said in a statement. “This activity originated in Iran and focused primarily on the US, and some on French-speaking audiences in North Africa.”

Facebook added that they shared the information gathered with law enforcement, policymakers and industry partners.

The pages and accounts removed frequently posted about topics such as “politics in the US and Israel” and “support of Palestine.”

One of the screenshots shared by Facebook depicted a page called “Israel deceits and lies” and a post stating that “what Israel does to Palestinians is the textbook definition of terrorism,” while sharing a tweet reading “the IDF openly admits it is now targeting populated civilian areas in Gaza.”

Dozens of other Iran-originated pages and accounts which were uncovered and removed targeted Latin American countries, including Brazil, Argentina and Mexico.

‘Jojo Rabbit’ doesn’t glorify Nazis — it’s a lesson in how hate is taught
The film is written and directed by Taika Waititi, a Maori Jew most recognized for writing and directing the recent “Thor: Ragnarok” movie — he also stars as Hitler. His version of the Fuehrer is the imaginary projection of a boy named Jojo (Roman Griffin Davis) who is set on joining the Hitler Youth.

Jojo discovers early on that his mom (Scarlett Johansson) is hiding a Jewish girl in their attic. The two kids develop an unlikely friendship, and their relationship is at the heart of the film.

Though the movie is set during the twilight of Hitler’s reign in Germany, Jojo is still trained to hate, and the impact of the Nazi ideology on the young boy is clear. He believes ardently in the anti-Semitic conspiracy theories about Jews, and that only begins to change when he befriends Elsa (Thomasin McKenzie), the Jewish girl in the attic.

But Jojo is vulnerable at his core and just wants to be one of the cool kids. In World War II Germany, they happened to be the Nazis.

At one point, Elsa tells him, “You’re not a Nazi.” He responds, “I’m massively into swastikas.”

The premise of the film — a boy who believes in Nazi ideology begins to learn that Jews are human — and the fact that the viewer feels for this shamelessly Nazi boy feels absurd. Yet it’s absolutely necessary viewing. Not because we need to learn Jews are human, but because we must be reminded of how easy it is for children to be indoctrinated into hate.

Waititi, 44, calls the film an “anti-hate satire.”

“I experienced a certain level of prejudice growing up as a Maori Jew,” he writes in the film’s production notes. Making the film in 2019 “has been a reminder, especially now, that we need to educate our kids about tolerance and continue to remind ourselves that there’s no place in this world for hate. Children are not born with hate, they are trained to hate.”
Prominent German consultant whitewashed father's Nazi story
Roland Berger, the founder of a major consulting company that carries his own name, covered up his father’s support for the Nazi regime, the leading German daily Handelsblatt reported on Friday.

For years, Berger depicted his father, George Berger, as an opponent and a victim of the regime.

In 2012, he wrote that “to this day, my father is a moral role model for me,” as quoted by the weekly Der Spiegel.

Last year, the 81-year-old businessman explained in an interview that his father joined the Nazi party in 1933 but left it in 1938 in protest over Kristallnacht, a major Nazi pogrom against German Jews and their property. After this move, he claimed that the Berger house was visited by the Gestapo every six to eight weeks.

However, Handelsblatt uncovered a very different reality.

After months of research and investigation into historical documents and records, the report indicated that not only was George Berger a staunch supporter of the Nazi rule, but he also received numerous advantages from it.
Palestinian-German who attacked Jewish professor gets jail time
A German man of Palestinian heritage accused of attacking a Jewish professor from the US in Bonn has been sentenced to four and a half years in prison for both the attack and a separate conviction for robbery among other charges, DW reported.

According to DW, Susanne Grunert, the presiding judge in the Bonn court, charged the 21-year-old attacker with bodily harm and incitement of hatred with an anti-Semitic motive for striking the yarmulke off the head of Yitzhak Melamed in 2018. According to Grunert, by doing so the assailant had endangered public order.

According to Melamed himself, he was hurt more by a "gang of four Bonn police officers" who mistook him for the attacker, who said he was more "ashamed of [the police]" than by the assault itself.

The interior minister of North Rhine Westphalia apologized for the actions of the officers involved, who were not prosecuted as no basis for legal action against them was found following an investigation by the public prosecutor, DW reported.

The Jewish community has seen a 10-percent rise in antisemitic crime in the federation between 2017 and 2018, with a gunman trying – and failing – to storm a synagogue in Halle last Wednesday, killing two and injuring two in a local kebab shop.
Snoop Dogg: The new brand rep for Israeli cannabis startup
The Yokne’am-based cannabis tech start-up Seedo has officially sealed the deal with a new brand representative – American rapper and marijuana advocate, Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr., known professionally as Snoop Dogg.

The company said in a statement on Tuesday that Snoop Dogg will be working with the start-up on a variety of platforms to “achieve optimal consumer awareness of this innovative technology.”

Seedo, founded in 2013, sells fully-automated indoor cannabis growing devices. The machine looks like a mini-fridge and allows the user to grow marijuana in a pesticide-free environment.

“Promoting a healthier lifestyle by providing my friends and communities with products that allow for growth in unused urban spaces is something I’m all the way down with,” Snoop Dogg said in the statement.

Snoop Dogg’s marijuana usage has been a large part of his music career and public image for years. One of his biggest hits includes “Smoke Weed Everyday.” He frequently uses his social media accounts to share marijuana memes and references with his 36 million followers.

Zohar Levy, Seedo CEO, said that the company is “honored to partner with an industry icon like Snoop Dogg.”
Israeli develops piston engine that runs on water, alcohol – no gas
In the annals of business, successful companies that originated in the garages of their founders have assumed an almost mythic significance. Corporate giants such as Apple, Google and Hewlett-Packard all began in small workshops adjacent to their creators’ homes. Now, another small, garage-based family business run by three Israelis near Miami, Florida, that says that they have succeeded in reinventing the internal combustion engine is aiming to join the elite group of legendary garage-based startups.

The company is called MayMaan Research, LLC, and it has developed a system to operate a traditional piston engine with a combination of 70% water and 30% ethanol (or any other alcohol) – no gasoline or diesel required. This revolutionary system can be applied, say its founders, with simple yet sophisticated modifications of existing engine designs, and saves 50% on fuel costs, produces far fewer emissions than gasoline or diesel, and is up to 60% more efficient than gasoline. MayMaan has built four operating prototypes to date, including a car, a generator and various engines. While the company has outgrown its garage-based origins, and has grown into a research laboratory facility, it remains imbued with a start-up spirit.

MayMaan is the brainchild of Yehuda Shmueli, 81, a talented inventor, engineer and master mechanic. Assisted by sons Eitan and Doron, and backed by an impressive executive management team, including Joe Nakash, founder and chairman of Jordache Enterprises; Yedidya Ya’ari, company chairman and former president and CEO of Israel’s Rafael Armament Development Authority; Malcolm Hoenlein, CEO and executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents; and other distinguished individuals, MayMaan’s disruptive technology plans to revolutionize the world of transportation, from passenger cars, to trucks, locomotives and even ships.
Thousands of pro-Israel marchers from dozens of countries gather in Jerusalem
Thousands of Israelis and supporters of the Jewish state from all over the world marched in Jerusalem Thursday to mark the Sukkot holiday.

Numerous streets in the center of the city were closed off for the Jerusalem March, now in its 64th year.

Visitors from dozens of countries marched through the city streets waving their national flags, among them Ghana, Brazil, China, Bulgaria and the Philippines.

Many of the foreign marchers belong to pro-Israel Christian evangelical groups.

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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 19 years and 40,000 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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