Sunday, February 16, 2020

From Ian:

NGO Monitor: An analysis of the United Nation’s BDS blacklist
After multiple delays over legal, due process and methodological concerns, which do not seem to have been addressed, on Wednesday the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) published its “database of all business enterprises” that it claims contribute to “human-rights concerns.” This U.N. blacklist, ordered by the U.N. Human Rights Council, is meant to bolster BDS campaigns, singling out Israel.

This singular treatment of Israel in this exercise, as with many other HRC initiatives, violates the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism.

The database is aimed at economically damaging Israel and companies owned by Jews or that do business with Jewish Israelis. In keeping with the BDS objective, 94 of the 112 companies on the blacklist are based in Israel. Many Arab, European and Asian companies that meet the list’s criteria were excluded; large Israeli companies were included, clearly in order to maximize the economic harm to Israel’s economy as a whole.
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This blacklist operates under the false premises that business in occupied territory is “illegal settlement activity” barred by international law. In fact, there is no such prohibition, and almost every country engages in and/or facilitates business activities in settlements in situations of occupation. Unsurprisingly, however, the United Nations is only pursuing such a list regarding Israel.

A major category of listed companies are those providing consumer goods and services (food, telecommunications, transportation, gas, water) to both Palestinians and Israelis. The United Nations seeks to bar such companies from operating or impose discriminatory business criteria with little regard as to the human rights and economic impacts on the local population and the companies’ employees.

Pro-BDS NGOs, including Human Rights Watch (HRW), Amnesty International and Al-Haq, have been major proponents of the blacklist. Over the past few months, these groups, along with UNHRC-member dictatorships, have been intensively lobbying High Commissioner for Human Rights Michele Bachelet, the former socialist leader of Chile, to publish it.
Israel freezes ties with UN rights chief after release of settlement blacklist
Israel is suspending its ties with the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Foreign Ministry announced Wednesday, several hours after the UN body published a list of 112 companies that do business in West Bank settlements.

Foreign Minister Israel Katz’s office said he ordered the “exceptional and harsh measure” in retaliation for Michelle Bachelet’s office “serving the BDS campaign,” referring to the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement.

Katz intends to protect the companies operating in Israel, his office stated.

It was not immediately clear what practical implications the decision would have. The commissioner’s office has representatives stationed in Israel, but they are not known to enjoy good working relations with Israeli diplomats. Officials in Jerusalem on Wednesday evening merely said that any requests they may have will not be answered as of today.

Earlier on Wednesday, the commission unexpectedly released the so-called blacklist, which had been in the making since March 2016, when the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council passed a resolution calling for a database of companies promoting or maintaining Israeli settlements.

Israeli reacted angrily to the publication of the blacklist, denouncing the UN body responsible for compiling it and vowing to protect Israeli financial interests. The Palestinians, meanwhile, celebrated a “victory for international law.”

Ninety-four of the 112 companies on the list are Israeli, including all major banks, state-owned transportation companies Egged and Israel Railways Corporation, and telecommunications giants Bezeq, HOT and Cellcom. It also lists medium-size companies such as restaurant chain Café Café and Angel Bakeries.
Humanitarian Aid donated to the Palestinians sold for profit
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNWRA) is tasked with administering humanitarian aid and social welfare to Palestinian refugees.

Last year, a leaked confidential report from UNRWA’s ethics office detailed abuses of power among the agency's senior management, documenting incidents of "sexual misconduct, nepotism, retaliation, discrimination and other abuses of authority, for personal gain, to suppress legitimate dissent, and to otherwise achieve their personal objectives."

In light of the scandal, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium and New Zealand suspended funding the agency.

UNRWA has long been controversial as it seeks to perpetuate the Palestinian refugee crisis, rather than resolve it.

The corruption and abuse of power exists even at the most fundamental level.

Food aid donated to the people of Gaza from UNRWA and from private donations has been seen on the grocery store shelves, sold for profit and promoted on the stores social media pages.

One store advertised cans of tuna, clearly labeled as a "gift" from the people of Japan

Powdered milk, donated from the UN Refugee Works Agency (UNRWA) and clearly marked "Not for Sale" was also available

It spite of the ongoing controversy, UNRWA continues to solicit funding worldwide. Its time for anyone committed to justice for the Palestinian people to seriously consider alternatives to the bloated and corrupt UNWRA bureaucracy.

New York Times Falsely Claims West Bank Settlements ‘Alienated Much of the World’
A New York Times report from the United Nations inaccurately claims that Israeli settlements in the West Bank have “alienated much of the world.”

The Times news article, by Rick Gladstone, appears under the print headline, “Abbas Rejects US Proposal On Mideast As One-Sided.”

The term “one-sided” does indeed come to mind here — applied to the Times coverage.

The Times article reports on a visit by Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas to the United Nations. Abbas is 84 years old and was elected in 2006 to a four-year term as president that has lasted 14 years. Those facts are not reported in the Times article.

The Times does falsely claim, however:
Mr. Trump’s plan, which he had repeatedly delayed releasing, would guarantee that Israel controlled a unified Jerusalem as its capital and not require it to uproot any of the settlements in the West Bank, established since the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, that have provoked Palestinian outrage and alienated much of the world.

The idea that the Israeli settlements have “alienated much of the world” is nonsense. I was fortunate enough recently to travel to Israel personally and the sidewalks and airport were packed with foreign tourists and business visitors. Israel has diplomatic relations with 159 of the 193 member states of the UN.

As for the few countries that are alienated from Israel, the reason is not the West Bank settlements. Those countries have been enemies of Israel since Israel was founded in 1948, before what the Times calls “the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.” Even the term “the 1967 Arab-Israeli war” itself studiously avoids what Israel calls the war, the Six Day War.

People of goodwill may have different opinions about whether Israel’s West Bank settlement policy is prudent for Israel’s security and Jewish and democratic character. But to claim, as the Times does here, that the settlements have “alienated much of the world” is inaccurate. It misleads Times readers about both the historical context of the Arab-Israeli conflict and about the present reality.
PMW: Facebook's lethal double standard
Last week, Palestinian Media Watch exposed an animated video on the social media network TikTok that showed reenactments of four real terror attacks against Israelis. After PMW’s exposure, TikTok did the right thing and promptly removed the video from its network.

By contrast, Facebook decided to remove PMW’s exposure of the same video, claiming PMW had “violated its community standards.” However, this was not violent content created by PMW, but PMW’s exposure of such content made and published on social media by others!

This would be comical if it was not so outrageous.

For years, PMW has documented the promotion and glorification of terror and murderers of Israelis by Abbas’ Fatah Movement on Facebook. But Facebook has chosen to turn a blind eye. Since the beginning of 2019, PMW has urged Facebook to remove such posts and close Fatah’s page because of the content glorifying terror and violence, but Facebook has ignored PMW’s documentation and actively decided to let Fatah continue promoting violence and glorifying terrorists.

PMW has documented Fatah’s violation of Facebook’s community standards in two major reports: Fatah's official Facebook page in 2018 - A platform for glorifying murder and promoting terror, documenting Fatah’s misuse of the page in 2018, and the Fatah-Facebook Terror Promotion Partnership, showing Fatah’s continued misuse of the page and Facebook’s facilitation of it during 2019. Additional PMW reports have documented that throughout 2019 and in 2020 Facebook has continued to willingly let Fatah use Facebook as a platform for terror glorification and violence promotion.

Facebook is making a clear statement: There is terror promotion that it rejects, and there is terror promotion that it embraces. Facebook clearly has embraced Fatah’s terror promotion.
Are the Palestinians ready for a state?
Israel needs to reoccupy the territory ceded to the Palestinians under the Oslo Accords, dismantle the Palestinian Authority and remove the entire Palestinian leadership, the same way the Allies occupied Germany, dismantled the Nazi regime and removed its leaders.

Afterward, Israel must begin a process of de-radicalizing the Palestinians, just as the Allies began a policy of de-Nazification. Israel then needs to create new, democratic Palestinian institutions that she will gradually transfer power to.

The Allies did not hand full sovereignty back to the German people (or at least what became West Germany) until a decade had passed.

Moreover, even after the Allied occupation had ended, the new Federal Republic of Germany still had restrictions placed on their ability to exert military force. Similarly, it will probably take several years before Israel can safely grant the Palestinians full independence, and even then, restrictions on the Palestinians' ability to use military force will need to remain in place.

It is unlikely, however, that Israel could do in the Palestinian territories what the Allies did in Germany after World War II without the help of others. Therefore, the Jewish state would have to solicit the help of the US and possibly other mature democracies in order to help the Palestinians transition to independence.

Foreign Policy: Why Does the White House Object to a ‘Sovereign’ Palestinian State?
The Trump administration this week successfully blocked a bid by the Palestinians to win United Nations Security Council backing for a resolution condemning the White House’s Israeli-Palestinian peace plan as a breach of international law.

But not before the administration tried to persuade the Palestinians and their allies to water down the resolution with a series of American amendments that would remove references to Israel as an “occupying power” and eliminate the word “sovereign” in describing the Israeli and Palestinian states. The confidential amendments are being posted here as part of Foreign Policy’s Document of the Week series.

The current U.S. attitude toward Palestinian self-governance contrasts sharply with President Donald Trump’s promotion of national sovereignty during his September 2019 address to the U.N. General Assembly, where he declared, “the future belongs to sovereign and independent nations who protect their citizens, respect their neighbors, and honor the differences that make each country special and unique.”
Palestinian Authority PM: Trump’s peace plan ‘will be buried very soon’
The Palestinian Authority prime minister lashed out Sunday at US President Donald Trump’s proposal to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, saying it would be “buried very soon.”

Speaking at the Munich Security Conference, Mohammad Shtayyeh said the US plan was “no more than a memo of understanding between [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu and Trump.”

Shtayyeh criticized the fact that the proposal would leave a future Palestinian state fragmented and with “no sovereignty,” allowing Israel to annex large parts of the West Bank. He urged other countries to reject the Trump proposal while maintaining that Palestinians “are open to serious negotiations.”

Shtayyeh suggested the Palestinians would seek to increase pressure on Israel through international organizations, citing the recent release by the UN human rights office of a list of more than 100 companies that operate in Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

Referring to the upcoming Israeli election on March 2, Shtayyeh said the difference between Israeli opposition leader Benny Gantz and Netanyahu was “not more than the difference between Coca-Cola and Pepsi Cola.”

Six countries to ICC: We are against Israel war-crime lawsuits
At least six countries have filed amicus briefs to the International Criminal Court asking permission to present legal arguments against the tribunal’s jurisdiction to adjudicate war crime suits against Israel.

They includes Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Brazil. Channel 12 reported that Uganda was also on the list.

Australia also filed an amicus brief but did not state its position. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation filed a brief on behalf of the Palestinians.

The showing of European support comes as the European Union’s foreign ministers are scheduled to meet on Monday to discuss US President Donald Trump’s peace plan and the possibility of a common position against any Israeli annexation of West Bank settlements. Such action would require consensus and the EU has been divided with respect to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Some of those divisions were evident at The Hague in the Netherlands, where four EU countries spoke on Israel’s behalf. Knesset speaker Yuli Edelstein, who held meetings with German leaders last week in which he raised the issue, thanked its government for supporting Israel at the ICC and in other international arenas.

“The most important power in the European Union [Germany] is standing beside Israel in the face of incitement by the Palestinians and the hypocrisy of the UN. Israel will fight for justice and will not allow [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud] Abbas to continue his worldwide campaign of deception,” Edelstein said.
Netanyahu: ICC has become a political tool against Israel
Israel has many friends in the fight against the International Criminal Court’s attempt to turn Israel’s existence into a war crime, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the opening of a cabinet meeting on Sunday, thanking the seven countries which he said filed amicus briefs to the court in support of Israel.

“The International Court in The Hague turned into a political device against Israel,” Netanyahu said. “At the moment, it is trying to turn the fact of our existence in our homeland into a war crime. We are fighting it and by our side, I must say, are many friends in the world.”

Netanyahu thanked Germany, Australia, Austria, Brazil, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Uganda for joining the US in recent days in arguing that the ICC does not have the authority to prosecute Israel.

“They are trying to prevent the ugly politicization of the International Court, but unfortunately, it’s already there. The fact that many countries stood by us and the US is a fact that should encourage all friends of Israel around the world and all citizens of Israel,” he added.

Israel fears EU member states set to recognize Palestine
Officials in Jerusalem are concerned that European nations are preparing to recognize a Palestinian state in reaction to Donald Trump's peace plan, which was revealed last month.

"Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn is behind the initiative," the officials said, pointing to an event he was to host on Sunday to secure the agreements of his counterparts from Portugal, Finland, Spain, Belgium, France, Malta, Sweden and Slovenia.

The officials expressed concern that even if no agreement were reached Sunday, some European countries will speak out against the Trump plan - perhaps even suggesting an operational response - and will call for a greater EU involvement in efforts to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

EU foreign ministers were to convene Monday for a regular monthly meeting, during which the Mideast conflict was to be discussed for the second time in as many months. Israeli officials worry that a strongly worded reaction to the plan would be made at the end of the meeting.

The initial EU response to the Trump plan came in a statement calling for a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on a two-state solution and previous UN resolutions, taking into consideration the legitimate concerns and aspirations of both Israelis and Palestinians.

Newly appointed EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell earlier this month issued a statement warning Israel of potential EU sanctions should it carry out a one-sided annexation of the West Bank after the Trump plan called for Israel to keep all its West Bank settlements as part of a peace deal with the Palestinians.
US-Israeli mapping committee for Trump peace plan said finalized
The members of a joint US-Israeli committee tasked with mapping out areas of the West Bank that Israel may annex as part of US President Donald Trump’s peace plan have reportedly been confirmed.

The commission includes US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman and his adviser, Aryeh Lightstone, as well as C. Scott Leith of the National Security Council, the Israel Hayom daily reported on Saturday.

The Israeli team is composed of Israeli Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer, acting director of the Prime Minister’s Office Ronen Peretz, and Likud Minister Yariv Levin, the report said.

Washington has stressed that Israel must hold off on annexing areas of the West Bank until the committee concludes its work.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday said Israel will only extend sovereignty to the Jordan Valley and areas of the West Bank with the agreement of Washington.

Many settler leaders, along with Defense Minister Naftali Bennett, have been urging Netanyahu to immediately begin the process of extending sovereignty — tantamount to annexation — ever since Trump allowed for it in his peace plan, unveiled last month. But Washington has since made it clear it wants Jerusalem to wait and Netanyahu has backed off of promises to speedily take the step.

Last week, US Ambassador Friedman appeared to warn the Israeli government against applying sovereignty over any parts of the West Bank before next month’s Knesset election, citing Trump’s mention of the bilateral mapping committee.
J Street calls for Democratic group to take down Sanders attack ad
The liberal Zionist organization J Street called on Saturday for a hawkish Democratic Jewish group to take down an ad attacking presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.

Ahead of the February 22 Nevada caucuses, the Democratic Majority for Israel (DMFI) was unleashing TV ads in the Silver State blasting the Vermont senator on the idea that he’s not electable, Mediaite reported.

“DMFI in reality represents a minority of pro-Israel Democrats who seem more concerned with targeting progressives over Israel policy than with confronting the destructive agenda of Donald Trump,” said J Street president Jeremy Ben-Ami.

“Like their partner organization AIPAC – which recently ran vitriolic attack ads echoing Republican smears against progressive Democrats – DMFI’s right-leaning positions on Israel and US foreign policy are completely out of touch with the vast majority of Democrats and American Jews, who are both supportive of Israel and strongly critical of the policies of the Netanyahu government and of Donald Trump,” he added.

While DMFI has no formal relationship with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), it was founded by Mark Mellman, a longtime AIPAC strategist. The powerful pro-Israel advocacy group denied that it was helping funnel money into the organization’s coffers after an article from the left-leaning website The Intercept reported that AIPAC was channeling benefits to the group’s donors.

Rachel Rosen, a spokeswoman for Democratic Majority for Israel, which was founded in 2019, told the Associated Press the organization was “completely independent” from “any other organization.
Are you offended that J Street's leader embraced Mahmoud Abbas?
ZOA is deeply offended that J Street’s leader, Jeremy Ben-Ami, physically embraced and kissed Holocaust-denying Palestinian Authority (PA) dictator and Jew-killer Mahmoud Abbas this week.

This is the same Mahmoud Abbas who financed and helped plan the brutal torture, beatings, castration and massacre of Israel’s athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics, and adamantly insists, to this day, on continuing to pay Arab terrorists over $350 million per year to slaughter Jews and Americans.

This is the same Mahmoud Abbas who repeatedly re-broadcasts his calls to spill blood to stop “Jews filthy feet” from “defiling” Jerusalem – and has incited waves of terror that resulted in the murder and maiming of thousands of Jews.

J Street opposed moving the U.S. Embassy to Israel’s and the Jewish people’s eternal capital Jerusalem.
Ever since J Street’s inception 12 years ago, the positions, advocacy, statements and activities of J Street and its leader Jeremy Ben-Ami have been deeply troubling, even frightening.
Gaza-area mayors call on Netanyahu to change policy towards Hamas
The government must do more to fight terrorism coming from Gaza, mayors from towns by the Gaza border told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a meeting on Sunday.

“For the last two years, we have been in a war that can no longer be ignored,” the mayors said in a statement released after the meeting. “In the last month alone, we were hit by dozens of rockets in parallel with the balloon terrorism from Gaza that has become more serious and dangerous.”

“The reality in which our residents live is not moral and cannot continue,” they said.

Sderot Mayor Alon Davidi, Eshkol Regional Council head Gadi Yarkoni, Hof Ashkelon Regional Council head Itamar Revivo, Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council head Ofir Libstein and Sdot Negev Regional Council head Tamir Idan took part in the meeting.

The mayors told Netanyahu that a triple election cycle does not mean the government can shirk its responsibility for the security of 60,000 Israelis in the area, and Netanyahu signed a document they prepared with understandings of how to help their towns and stabilize their security.
IDF: Hamas again tries to ‘catfish’ soldiers with fake women on social media
The Hamas terror group again attempted to spy on the Israeli military by taking control of hundreds of soldiers’ cellphones over the past few months, using spyware they’d convinced the service-members to download by posing as young Israeli women on social media, the Israel Defense Forces said Sunday.

The military said it thwarted this cyber attack in a joint effort with the Shin Bet security service, dubbed Operation Rebound, over the weekend, taking down the servers Hamas used in its effort.

The IDF said it did not believe Hamas had obtained any significant intelligence in its operation, but would soon know more precisely as it would be checking the phones of all the troops involved. The IDF refused to say precisely how many soldiers were affected, but said it was in the “low hundreds” and that only the phones of conscripted soldiers and low-ranking officers were infected with Hamas’s spyware.

This was at least the third attempt by Hamas in recent years to “catfish” Israeli soldiers — pretending to be someone else on the internet in order to defraud the victim — in order to install software on their phones that the terror group could use to gather intelligence on the IDF.

The head of the IDF’s operational security department — who can only be identified by her rank and first Hebrew letter of her name, Col. “Resh” — said the military expected this would not be the last time that Hamas tries this type of cyber operation, as there are several members of the terror organization specifically tasked with such efforts, though she refused to identify them by name.

Similar efforts were uncovered and blocked by the military in January 2017 and July 2018. Hamas’s cyber operations department in Gaza City was bombed by the IDF in May 2019 during a two-day battle with the terror group in the Strip.
Court extends remand of suspected Jerusalem car-rammer
The Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court extended the remand of suspected terrorist Sanad al-Turman by eight days on Sunday, a week and a half after he allegedly carried out a car-ramming attack that injured a dozen soldiers in the capital.

It was the second time his remand was extended since the suspected attack.

In the predawn hours of February 6, Turman rammed his car into a group of Golani soldiers standing on Jerusalem’s David Remez Street outside the First Station, a popular entertainment hub in the capital, injuring 12 of them, one of them seriously.

According to the army, the soldiers were members of the Golani Brigade who were at the First Station during a “heritage tour” ahead of an early morning swearing-in ceremony at the Western Wall.

Turman’s family has consistently maintained that what happened was not a terror attack but rather a traffic incident caused when Turman accidentally mounted the sidewalk in his vehicle.
Palestinian security prisoner found with 11 cellphones in abdomen
A Palestinian security prisoner was found trying to smuggle 11 cellphones into Megiddo Prison in northern Israel last week, and was caught by prison guards after they noticed his strange behavior and later detected the presence of foreign items.
Guards at the prison ran a magnetometer and took the prisoner for subsequent X-rays tests at HaEmek Medical Center in Afula, later finding three packages containing 11 cellphones and 15 SIM cards in the prisoner’s lower abdomen, according to the Israel Prison Service (ISP).

The authorities later noted that the phones were “intended to direct terrorist activities outside the prison walls,” hidden in the abdomen of the unnamed suspect who is reportedly associated with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah movement, the largest party in the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

Following the discovery, the prisoner was placed in solitary confinement. Responding to the incident, the ISP emphasized “that attempts to smuggle equipment and cell phones among security detainees, who are arrested for minor offenses by security forces, are continuous. The detainees risk their lives by carrying packages inside their bodies, which in most cases can cause medical complications that result in death.”

The smuggling of contraband items, including cellphones, has been a persistent concern for the ISP. In November 2018, Border Police arrested a young Palestinian for attempting to smuggle eight cellphones, five phone keyboards, 19 SIM cards and a memory card into Ofer military prison.

Honest Reporting: Palestinian Child Soldiers
This week, HonestReporting joins a number of NGOs campaigning to bring awareness and "combat the abuse of Palestinian children as political weapons of war.

For too long, Palestinian children have been indoctrinated and incited against Jews, exploited by both the political and terror bodies that control the Palestinian people.

Amazon forces Palestinians to list Israel as residence for free shipping
E-commerce giant Amazon has been accused of discrimination towards Palestinians by only offering free shipping in the West Bank to Israeli settlements, the Financial Times reported.

Since starting their Israeli operations in November, Amazon has offered free shipping on any order that totals more than $49. However, according to the FT investigation covering every West Bank address, the free shipping only covers the settlements.

By contrast, those who select their shipping country as the Palestinian Territories are hit with fees for shipping and handling that are upwards of $24.

According to Amazon spokesman Nick Caplin, Palestinian customers in the West Bank can still receive free shipping, so long as they select Israel as their country for shipping.

This policy received harsh backlash from human rights organizations and activists. According to the NGO Peace Now, Amazon's policy “adds to the overall picture of one group of people enjoying the privileges of citizenship while another people living in the same territory do not.”

The policy constituted “blatant discrimination between potential customers on the basis of their nationality,” according to Israeli international human rights lawyer Michael Sfard.
Saudi newspaper slams Muslim Brotherhood as ‘Nazis’
Haj Amin Husseini, who was appointed by the British High Commissioner as Mufti of Jerusalem during the British Mandate for Palestine, was the link for managing the recruitment of Arab fighters to the Nazi army, the Saudi newspaper Okaz reported in an article published on Friday.

Titled “The Nazi Ikhawn (Brothers),” the article refers to the close connections between the Muslim Brotherhood leaders and the Nazis.

Saudi Arabia formally designated the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization in 2014 and banned it in the kingdom.

Relations between Saudi Arabia and Hamas, an offshoot of Muslim Brotherhood, have been strained in the past few years. Last year Hamas accused the Saudi authorities of arresting several of its prominent figures and members in the kingdom.

“Husseini, who was the representative of the Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine, contributed with his friend and leader Hassan al-Banna, the founder of Muslim Brotherhood, to recruiting a Muslim Brotherhood army of Egyptians and Arabs, gathered from orphanages and poor rural areas, to work under the Nazi army led by Adolf Hitler,” the newspaper said in an article written by its assistant editor-in-chief, Khalid Tashkandi.

According to Tashkandi, the number of Arabs recruited by Husseini and Muslim Brotherhood was estimated at 55,000, including 15,000 Egyptians.

The Saudi editor said there were a number of reasons why the Nazis were interested in Islam. “On the one hand, the Nazis were aware that the oppression of Muslims in a number of Islamic areas under occupation and colonial powers would facilitate the recruitment,” he said. “On the other hand, the Nazis saw the Muslims as stiff fighters ready to sacrifice their lives for the sake of their faith.”
Scout movement in Lebanon is youth wing of Hezbollah which is 'grooming children as young as four to become Islamic terrorists'
The Scout movement is investigating whether a branch in Lebanon is training young people to become Islamic terrorists, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.

The Imam Al-Mahdi Scouts, which has 45,000 members – boys and girls – is officially recognised by the World Scouting Movement, whose mission is 'to help build a better world'.

The Lebanese group uses the famous fleur-de-lis logo adopted by Lord Baden-Powell, the British Army officer who founded the Scout movement in 1908, and members wear its traditional uniforms and scarves.

But the Al-Mahdi group is actually the youth wing of Hezbollah, one of the world's most feared terrorist groups, which is accused of slaughter and suicide bombings in Israel, Lebanon and parts of Syria.

Last year, the British Government added Hezbollah 'in its entirety' to its list of proscribed terrorist organisations. The list previously included only its military wing.

This newspaper can reveal that young recruits to the Al-Mahdi Scouts are groomed from the ages of four to become supporters and fighters for Hezbollah, which is backed with funds and weaponry from Iran.

The Scouts have provided 'honour guards' at the funerals of known Hezbollah terrorists, while other members have been pictured posing with armed fighters, wearing military uniforms and headbands with anti-Israel slogans such as 'Jerusalem – We Are Coming!'
Giant Soleimani statue unveiled by Hezbollah in Lebanon near Israel border
A giant statue of Iran’s top commander Qassem Soleimani, who was killed last month in a US airstrike, was unveiled Saturday in southern Lebanon, near the border with Israel.

The figure of the slain commander of the elite Quds Force was put up in the border village of Maroun al-Ras by members of the Iran-backed Shiite terror group Hezbollah.

The statue sits on top of a monument created as part of the “resistance museum.”

Soleimani’s figure points with its hand toward Israel, an apparent reference to Hezbollah’s stated plan to take over the Galilee region, and to the Quds Force’s key role in the terror group’s preparations for a potential military confrontation with the Jewish state.

BBC’s Tom Bateman tells part of a story about a Palestinian house ‘in a cage’
Ilanit Gohar replies: “He chose this, he chose this type of living” but BBC audiences would be incapable of understanding her reply because Bateman did not bother to inform them that the Gharib family refused an offer of compensation for relocation prior to the construction of the anti-terrorist fence in that area in 2008 and that their claims were rejected by the Supreme Court.

The compromise reached in that court case was that the fence would be built around the Gharib house (which had been constructed, according to court documents, without building permits) and that the family would have a key to the gate shown in the film. Nevertheless, BBC audiences were told by Sa’adat Gharib that “we live in a prison where they [Israeli forces] can lock the gate [when they like]”.

The aim of Bateman’s report is amply apparent in his closing remarks at 05:26:
Bateman: “What strikes me, you know, when you look at this [fence] with the settlement on the other side, most of the rest of the world has always said, building them by Israel is illegal. But what has changed in the Trump plan is he says OK, they become a formal part of the State of Israel. And as soon as you say that, you then say well these fences and walls that have been built by the Israelis, they become the new borders.”

The story that Bateman has chosen to highlight in this report is of course very much an exception. But by using that atypical example and failing to provide all the relevant background information, Bateman is able to further promote the BBC’s one-sided framing of the US Administration’s proposals to the corporation’s audiences.

Perusal of some of the comments under Bateman’s video shows just how far removed the report is from meeting the BBC’s obligation to provide “accurate and impartial” reporting which will “build people’s understanding”.
UPI Headline Correction Rockets Fired At, Not From, Southern Israel
CAMERA’s Israel office today prompted correction after a United Press International headline erroneously reported that rockets were fired from southern Israel Saturday night, as opposed at southern Israel, by terror groups in the Gaza Strip. The Feb. 15 headline had erred: “Rockets fired from southern Israel near Gaza Strip.”

As the accompanying article by Christen McCurdy’s correctly reported: “Two rockets were fired Saturday from the Gaza strip at southern Israel, Israel’s military said Saturday.”

In response to communication from CAMERA, editors immediately amended the headline, which now correctly reports: “Rockets fired at southern Israel near Gaza Strip.”
Legislation against antisemitism advanced through Tennessee legislature
Legislation is currently being advanced through the Tennessee state legislature to better define what constitutes antisemitism, so as to help determine whether an investigation by state authorities needs to be conducted.

The bills, currently working their way through both the state’s House of Representatives and Senate, come in the wake of an executive order issued by US President Donald Trump last year that directed the Justice Department and the Education Department to address discrimination cases against Jews under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act.

Both bills were introduced to the bicameral General Assembly at the beginning of February, have passed the requisite preliminary steps and were referred to the appropriate committees last week.

The order was largely designed to prevent federal funds and resources being used for antisemitic events on college campuses, including some anti-Zionist events if they fall foul of the definition of antisemitism Trump’s measure adopted, which is the working definition of antisemitism of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.

Trump’s executive order generated fierce debate, with critics arguing that some of the IHRA’s stipulations, such as that “claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor” is antisemitic, could stymie free speech on college campuses and could contravene the First Amendment.

The legislation in Tennessee adopts the federal definition of antisemitism as laid out by the State Department’s definition, which is largely based on IHRA’s antisemitism definition.
Oxford dictionary gets new Jewish-themed entries; some are likely to offend
It’s not just “yiddo.” The Oxford English Dictionary has just added a slew of Jewish-themed and Yiddish terms, some of which are sure to offend.

The venerable institution’s list of new entries for January 2020 contains dozens of items with Jewish content, from “bialy” to “Jewfro” to “yeshiva bochur.”

Responding to debate this week about the inclusion of yiddo, a term for fans of the British Tottenham Hotspurs soccer club that borrows from a derogatory term for Jewish people, the dictionary’s compilers said they judge proposed additions by their significance, not whether they offend.

“We reflect, rather than dictate, how language is used which means we include words which may be considered sensitive and derogatory. These are always labelled as such,” the OED said in a statement.

A few other new additions also tread potentially offensive ground, including a derogatory application of the word “bagel” referring to Jews that the dictionary says is used in South Africa. Most of the others run little risk of offending anyone (though some might object to the designation of a few terms, such as “kibitz,” as rare).
Italian crooners and US rapper book performances in Israel
Israel’s spring and summer concert calendar is slowly filling up, with two sets of performers recently added to the mix.

April 10 and 11 bring Italian singers Bobby Solo and Gigliola Cinquetti to Israel in a tribute to San Remo, the famous Italian music festival.

The two Italian performers will host Israeli singers Ilanit and Arkady Duchin at their Tel Aviv performance on April 10 and Haifa performance on April 11.

July 7 will bring rapper Machine Gun Kelly to Rishon Lezion’s Live Park.

The 29-year-old singer, rapper and actor, formerly known as Richard Colson Baker, had a complicated childhood and teenage years.

His parents were missionaries, and he lived in several countries before returning to the US, when his parents’ marriage ended.

Baker brings all of that personal history to his hard-core mix of rock and rap.
Israeli company ready to assist coronavirus victims with novel drug
A clinical-stage Israeli immunotherapy company, specializing in drug development for sepsis and organ dysfunction, is "ready to assist" health authorities combating deadly complications caused by the novel coronavirus.

Based in Nes Ziona, Enlivex's "Allocetra" cell-based therapy seeks to treat life-threatening conditions characterized by immune system overreaction - primarily sepsis - through a process of immune system rebalancing. Nearly 270,000 Americans die annually as a result of sepsis, or one-third of all patients who die in US hospitals.

According to Shai Novik, the executive chairman of Enlivex, the company's therapy could also potentially assist many severe cases of coronavirus, in which the disease causes a potentially fatal overreaction of the immune system, leading to organ dysfunction and subsequent failure.

Among the first 99 individuals diagnosed with severe cases of coronavirus, 11 died from multiple organ failure, according to a study published in scientific journal The Lancet. There are currently no FDA-approved pharmacologic treatments for such cases.

"Scientific publications in the last 10 years have shown that one identifiable characteristic of hard cases of similar viral infections such as SARS, MERS, Avian Flu and Corona viruses is a cytokine storm," Novik told The Jerusalem Post, citing a severe immune reaction that results in massive release of immune system enhancement signals into the blood. "Essentially, the literature teaches us that it is not necessarily the virus that is killing the patient, but it is the overreaction of the immune system."
Israeli invented 'CoughSync' machine to treat coronavirus in China
A device invented by a doctor at ALYN Hospital in Jerusalem is at the most months away from being used to help treat patients with coronavirus in China, according to its inventor, Dr. Eliezer Be’eri.

CoughSync, invented 10 years ago by Be’eri to help treat physically challenged and disabled children, adolescents and young adults at ALYN – the Hebrew acronym for the Association for the Care of Disabled Children – was developed into a working device by an Israeli start-up. Then, three years ago, when the team was looking for a manufacturer and additional funding, Beijing-based Ruxin Medical Systems stepped in. Since then, Ruxin has been moving the device forward.

Now, with the Covid-19 epidemic spreading rapidly across China – close to 60,000 people have been diagnosed with the virus and at least 1,523 people have died of the disease in the world’s most populous country as of Saturday – Ruxin reached out to the country’s National Medical Products Administration to speed up its regulatory approval process and get the device into hospitals and helping patients.

“We are in an advanced stage of the regulatory process in China and hope to have approval within a few months," said Danbei Xu, CEO of Ruxin Medical Systems.

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