Tuesday, February 25, 2020

From Ian:

Melanie Phillips: Sanitizing Soros through guilt by association
The law professor Alan Dershowitz has thrown a legal hand-grenade into America's political civil war by claiming to have evidence that former President Barack Obama "personally asked" the FBI to investigate someone "on behalf" of Obama's "close ally," billionaire financier George Soros.

He made his cryptic remark in an interview defending US President Donald Trump against claims he interfered in the prosecution of his former adviser, Roger Stone.

Dershowitz, a confirmed liberal, drew the ire of the left by joining Trump's impeachment defense team – not because he's a Trump fan, but because he cares about upholding the rule of law and the US constitution, which he believes (with good evidence) are being trashed in the anti-Trump witch-hunt.

Now, though, Dershowitz has crossed yet another line. For to criticize Soros, the principal funder of treasured activist causes, means automatically turning into a bogeyman of the left.

Predictably, therefore, Dershowitz has been painted as a wild conspiracy theorist. Other critics of Soros, a Jewish Holocaust survivor, find themselves labeled anti-Semites.

J’Accuse! Our Dreyfus and Theirs
Two months after its shellacking in the United Kingdom’s general elections, the Labour Party continues to remind British voters of why they chose the “anyone-but-Jeremy-Corbyn” option.

Last week, it was the turn of John McDonnell — Corbyn’s main lieutenant and a stalwart of the party’s far-left — to plumb the depths of illogical, offensive, and plain ignorant political rhetoric. Speaking immediately after a visit to Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, in the grim surroundings of south London’s Belmarsh prison, McDonnell produced an unforgettable soundbite. Just not in the way he intended.

“I think this is one of the most important and significant political trials of this generation, in fact longer,” said McDonnell, referring to the possibility that Assange will be extradited to the United States to face 18 charges related to national security violations, of which 17 are covered by the Espionage Act.

Warming to his subject, McDonnell then ventured, “I think it’s the Dreyfus case of our age.”

Perhaps McDonnell believed that this comparison would send journalists scurrying onto Google for a quick refresher course on “Dreyfus,” and that he would consequently be congratulated for having offered such a thoughtful, historically resonant observation. No such luck.

Diligently performing their duties as representatives of the Jewish community, organizations including the Community Security Trust and the Holocaust Educational Trust swiftly countered McDonnell’s claim. Whatever Assange might be, they said, he is no Dreyfus.

This, by the way, is not a slight towards Assange. Even if you temporarily forget McDonnell’s breathtaking gall in appropriating one of the seminal episodes of modern antisemitism to make his point that Assange is facing a show trial, on a purely empirical level, the comparison with Dreyfus is hopeless.
U.S. Criticizes French Failure to Try Jewish Woman's Killer
The U.S. special envoy to monitor and combat anti-Semitism implicitly criticized the decision in France not to try a man who killed his Jewish neighbor.

Elan Carr referenced the decision on the killer of Sarah Halimi during a conference Monday on anti-Semitism organized by the European Jewish Association in Paris.

In December, a judge decided not to try Kobili Traore of killing Halimi in 2017 while shouting about Allah. The judge cited psychiatric evaluations saying Traore’s consumption of marijuana before the incident led to a “delirious episode” that made him not legally responsible for his actions. But the judge also said that Traore, who is in his 30s, killed Halimi because he is an anti-Semite.

The ruling provoked outrage by French Jews. Last month, President Emmanuel Macron said that “there is a need for a trial” for Traore.

“You don’t dismiss hate crime charges for issues like the consumption of marijuana,” Carr said, referencing his credentials as a former prosecutor in Los Angeles. “It doesn’t explain away hate crimes that need to be prosecuted to the utmost severity of the law.”

The conference, titled “Jews in Europe: United for a Better Future,” was held at the European Center for Judaism, a $17 million community center opened in October.

Menachem Margolin, chairman of the European Jewish Association, said the building and growing engagement with Judaism by many European Jews is making him “hopeful of the future of Jews here” despite the challenges.

It’s time for Big Tech to adopt IHRA definition of antisemitism
While the international consensus seems to be serious about combating antisemitism throughout the world, the same cannot be said about Big Tech – more specifically, the social media giants. While Facebook, Twitter and Google are private companies, they also have a huge social impact and as such responsibility. For that reason, they have faced multiple legal battles in removing terrorist activity, antisemitic hate speech, calls to violence against Jews, neo-Nazi propaganda, and even just online bullying against Jews. That’s not even getting into social media sites like 4Chan, Reddit, 9Gag, and others which have become hubs for antisemitic indoctrination and hate in recent years.

Facebook, Twitter and YouTube all have their own set of “community standards,” yet the high number of antisemitic posts and content compared to “community standard” violations in other content areas is alarming. In 2017, the World Jewish Congress reported that every 83 seconds an antisemitic post is published online. In January 2018, it reported that Holocaust denial online was up by 30%. A survey by the European Union’s Agency for Fundamental Rights showed that 80% of respondents who had come across antisemitic statements in the past year had experienced it online, and that number jumped to nearly 90% for ages 16-29.

This is especially problematic given that one of the key problems with online antisemitism is that it normalizes things like Holocaust denial and outrageous antisemitic beliefs. Free speech matters, but hate speech isn’t free speech – even according to the definitions of social networks.

For years, Facebook has struggled with failure to remove hate pages with titles such as “death to zionist babykillers.” While there has been some improvement on Facebook (perhaps partially as a result of a class action lawsuit by Shurat HaDin), these companies are clearly floundering when it comes to deciding what is and isn’t antisemitic content. It would be helpful not only for the world, but also internally for their employees and algorithms, to use IHRA’s definition of antisemitism to determine if content posted is indeed antisemitic.

Today, antisemitic content continues to creep up on a daily basis on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and more. We continue to see that terrorists from the far Right, or from radical Islam, use the Internet and social media as a critical tool in their radicalization.
The ugly antisemitism at the Aalst carnival
Welcome to Europe 2020.

Belgium is home to the European Union. It is also currently a member of the United Nations Security Council, and even heads the UNSC throughout the month of February. Tension between Israel and the EU has increased recently. Late last year, the Court of Justice of the European Union delivered a binding interpretation of the EU’s rules on labeling the origin of products, in effect, singling out Jewish-owned Israeli companies over the Green Line for a blacklist. The Geneva-based United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights took a similar discriminatory step two weeks ago.

Israel continues to be concerned by European support and funding for organizations that delegitimize Israel, including some linked to terrorist organizations.

Earlier this month, Jerusalem reprimanded the Belgian deputy envoy after Belgium invited a senior adviser for an NGO with ties to the terrorist group Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) to brief the UN Security Council. Belgium then called in Nahshon to protest the reprimand. It did, however, later revoke the invitation to Brad Parker, a senior adviser for policy and advocacy at Defense for Children International – Palestine, to address the Security Council.

Belgium professes to be concerned about the welfare of children worldwide – but where is the concern for Israeli children? Only yesterday, thousands were forced to stay home from school after the heavy rocket onslaught from Gaza on the South of Israel. Israeli children were running for shelters as Aalst was celebrating its carnival.

A country that is truly concerned about children and the future would not permit the poisoning of minds that was shamefully on display in Aalst this week. Belgium should be ashamed that such a parade of antisemitism, bigotry and hatred took place on its soil. The world last month marked 75 years since the liberation of Auschwitz. The Aalst carnival shows that the lessons of where Jew-hatred leads have not yet been learned.
Carnival that showed Jews as vermin ‘not anti-Semitic,’ Jewish Belgian MP says
This week’s carnival procession in the Belgian town of Aalst, which featured Nazi uniforms, costumes of Jews as vermin and several other anti-Semitic tropes, was widely condemned by Jewish groups, Israeli officials and even the government in Brussels.

But Michael Freilich, the only Orthodox Jew currently serving in Belgium’s national parliament, on Monday dismissed most of the criticism, saying the event was not entirely anti-Semitic. Rather, he told The Times of Israel during an interview in Jerusalem, a few dozen people wanted to give critics “the middle finger” but do not harbor any ill-will toward Jews.

Freilich, an Antwerp-based freshman lawmaker for the center-right NVA party, even compared the Aalst carnival to Israeli Purim parades, positing that it was always possible to find a few bad apples who make fun of minorities.

“We have to see the bigger picture,” he said, stressing that 6,000 people actively participated in the Aalst carnival procession, cheered on by some 80,000 spectators.

“The large floats were all okay, there was no problem with them. When you have 6,000 people getting dressed up, you will have a number of people go beyond what’s allowed,” he went on. “I think we’re talking about 20 or 30 people. So that means that more than 5,950 people were okay. Do we allow these 50 people to hijack everything and focus just on them? Or do we say, most people were okay?”
The Fortunate Arabs in the Middle East
Meanwhile, there are other Arabs in the region who are more fortunate than the Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza Strip: the Arab citizens of Israel. These citizens are lucky that they do not live under the rule of the corrupt and incompetent leaders of the Palestinian Authority and Hamas. These Arab citizens are fortunate because they live in Israel.

Here is more unwelcome good news regarding the Arab citizens of Israel: The Israeli government announced in 2018 that in the last two years, it has invested 4.5 billion shekels ($1.3 billion) in the Arab regions. The government also announced that it would invest 20 million shekels ($5.6 million) in the Arab high-tech market. Overall, the government has decided to invest 15 billion shekels ($4.3 billion) in the Arab-Israeli sector by the end of 2020....

The $50 billion dollars the Trump plan offered the Palestinians will end up being withheld because Palestinian leaders have something else on their minds: to continue enriching their own bank accounts at the expense of their people. No wonder, then, that when Arabs -- including Palestinians -- dream of a better life, they often dream of moving to Israel. No wonder, as well, that most Arab Israelis do not want to become part of a Palestinian state, and have been demanding to stay in Israel.
The Lehi Underground Almost Targeted British Foreign Minister Bevin in London
Ya'acov Heruti, 93, lives today in a retirement home in Tel Aviv. A little over 70 years ago, he stood at the cusp of an act that, if carried out, would have earned him a prominent place in the history books - the planned assassination of then-British foreign secretary Ernest Bevin by the Lehi (Israel Freedom Fighters). Bevin had made himself hated by the Jewish Yishuv in then-Mandatory Palestine for his pro-Arab actions, his opposition to Israel's establishment, and the frequency of his anti-Semitic rhetoric.

Heruti, a Lehi member who became an explosives expert, had been dispatched to London where he registered as a law student at the University of London. At the same time, he built the covert structure that lay behind the planned killing of Bevin, which by early 1948 was poised and ready for action. Heruti was also tasked with the assassination of former commander of British forces in Palestine Gen. Evelyn Barker, and Maj. Roy Farran, who had tortured and killed a young Lehi member, Alexander Rubowitz, in Jerusalem. Letter bombs were sent to both men.

A conference of foreign ministers in central London was chosen as the site for the attack on Bevin. Surveillance was carried out and an escape route was identified. Then Heruti received a message from Lehi headquarters in Israel. "A message came from Nathan Friedman-Yellin (the Lehi operational commander), calling it off. As to why - I had no idea," Heruti recalls. Then the 1948 war was beginning and Heruti was called back to Israel. The Lehi cell in London was shut down and ceased operations.
Passing the Torch: The Maccabees of Berlin
Not a day goes by that Israeli sports fans don’t read or hear the word ‘Maccabi.’ It is a name attached to dozens of Israeli teams in most sports played in the Jewish State. Much less familiar is the fact that there are still active teams in other parts of the world that proudly bear this name. Here we will tell the story of one of these – a little-known football (soccer) team from Berlin.

Indeed, in the year 2020, the Makkabi Berlin football team plays in the Berlin-Liga, a sixth-tier division which consists solely of clubs based in the German capital. True, this semi-professional organization doesn’t exactly pose a threat to the giants of German soccer, but it has a rich history which stretches back more than 120 years.

The team’s story begins with an event, or rather an idea, that sparked the creation of a long list of Jewish sports and athletic associations and clubs. In late August of 1898, Max Nordau stood at the podium of the Zionist Congress and called for the promotion of ‘Muscular Judaism’ (Muskeljudentum), an idea which envisioned the creation of a ‘new Jew’, typified by physical strength, which was, in his opinion, necessary in order to achieve the national revival of the Jewish people. Sometime later, at the end of October of that year, 48 young Zionists gathered in Berlin and founded an athletics club in the city, a true realization of Nordau’s ideas. They named the club ‘Bar Kochba’, after the legendary Jewish hero who led a revolt against Roman rule. During those years, Jewish clubs of the sort began to spring up like mushrooms after the rain. Most of them chose powerful Hebrew names like HaKoah (“The Force” or “The Strength”) and HaGibor (“The Hero”), or names of heroic figures from scripture such as Gideon and, of course, Maccabi (“Makkabi” in German).

Bar Kochba Berlin was originally established as a general athletics club, as was common in those days in Germany. It was the first of its kind – that is, the first Jewish athletics club in Germany. It was likely a reaction to, or perhaps a reflection of, the general development of athletic culture in Germany during those years. This was also the context for Nordau’s ideas; the Zionist leader didn’t necessarily picture 22 people chasing a ball when he spoke at the Congress in 1898. Only later did the club expand by opening individual departments dedicated to boxing, swimming, tennis, gymnastics – and football.
US Jewish Groups React With Outrage to Bernie Sanders’ ‘Offensive’ Attack on AIPAC
Mainstream US Jewish groups reacted with outrage on Monday to what they saw as 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’ “offensive” attack on the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, as the hashtag #AIPACProud went viral on Twitter in protest.

Sanders — who has emerged the frontrunner in the ongoing contest for the Democratic nomination — tweeted on Sunday that he would not attend AIPAC’s upcoming annual conference in Washington, DC, because he was “concerned about the platform AIPAC provides for leaders who express bigotry and oppose basic Palestinian rights.”

The senator gave no indication as to who these leaders were or what they had, in fact, actually said.

As a barrage of criticism came down on Sanders under the hashtag #AIPACProud, major Jewish groups and their leaders expressed anger and pain at the longtime Vermont senator’s statement.

The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations called Sanders’ words “irresponsible and counterproductive,” saying, “AIPAC brings together a bipartisan diversity of all sectors of society from across the political spectrum.”

Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), characterized Sanders’ claim as “offensive” and accused him of encouraging antisemitism, saying, “At a time when we see a surge of real hate across the US, it’s irresponsible to describe AIPAC like this.”

AIPAC shows off bipartisan support after being slighted by Sanders
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee wants the world to know that American Jews and lawmakers from across the political spectrum support it, even if Bernie Sanders does not.

A day after Sanders, a leading candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, announced on Twitter that he would be skipping AIPAC’s annual conference for ideological reasons, the organization took steps Monday to showcase the bipartisan support that has long set it apart among Israel advocacy groups.

With a week before the organization’s annual conference, the organization released an expanded list of speakers — including multiple Democratic leaders who had not previously been confirmed as attending.

Among the Democrats speaking will be two high-profile New York lawmakers, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, chair of the US House Democratic Caucus and one of the House managers in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.

An AIPAC spokesperson said the group had also initiated efforts to demonstrate widespread support for attending the conference, which more than 18,000 people are expected to attend.
By Boycotting AIPAC, Sanders Hurts the Palestinians
When Senator Bernie Sanders blasted the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) on Sunday, while confirming he wouldn’t attend their annual conference, he probably didn’t realize he was hurting the Palestinian cause.

Sanders certainly merited the pushback he received for accusing AIPAC of promoting “leaders who express bigotry and oppose basic Palestinian rights.” Rabbi David Wolpe, for one, tweeted: “I’ve attended AIPAC more than ten times. Every time Palestinian rights were mentioned people applauded. There are a range of views presented, left, right, and center. This dismissal is unwarranted and unworthy.”

My friend Sarah Tuttle Singer, who often writes in support of the Palestinian cause, posted this “Dear Bernie” message on Facebook:
AIPAC is not monolithic.

It is a varied and multi-faceted tent encompassing all kinds of folks — including many who supported you back in 2016 and probably still support you this time around.

When I first spoke at [the] Policy Conference, I criticized certain [policies] of the government of the State of Israel, talked about how we have to end the Occupation, restore justice to The Land, and how Israelis and Palestinians — Jews and Arabs — must live together in equality, freedom, and security.

I was invited back to share this message again and again and again.

You should come and see the enormous tent for yourself.

So, yes, it was unfair for Sanders to harshly criticize a conference he has never attended.

As AIPAC noted in its response, Sanders “has never attended our conference and that is evident from his outrageous comment. In fact, many of his own Senate and House Democratic colleagues and leaders speak from our platform to the over 18,000 Americans from widely diverse backgrounds — Democrats, Republicans, Jews, Christians, African Americans, Hispanic Americans, progressives, Veterans, students, members of the LGBTQ+ community — who participate in the conference to proclaim their support for the US-Israel relationship.”

But let’s give Sanders the benefit of the doubt and grant that he really believes those things he tweeted about AIPAC. Wouldn’t it still be in his interest to use this huge platform to convey his message of equal rights for the Palestinians? Sanders has made it his lifelong mission to care for the weak and the downtrodden, often mentioning the plight of the Palestinians.

By blasting and boycotting AIPAC, he missed the opportunity to help his own cause.
Nikki Haley Slams Bernie Sanders Over AIPAC Boycott: ‘Go Back to Defending Castro’
Ex-US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley slammed 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders on Monday over his announced boycott of next week’s American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference in Washington, DC.

Sanders, Haley pointed out, “has never attended and has no clue what the organization is about or what it stands for.”

“Go back to defending [Fidel] Castro and socialist dictators,” the former South Carolina governor and potential future Republican presidential candidate added. “We will go back to defending peace, democracy, and our ally Israel.”

In a statement on Sunday, Sanders — who has emerged as the frontrunner in the ongoing contest for the Democratic nomination — said, “The Israeli people have the right to live in peace and security. So do the Palestinian people. I remain concerned about the platform AIPAC provides for leaders who express bigotry and oppose basic Palestinian rights. For that reason I will not attend their conference. As president, I will support the rights of both Israelis and Palestinians and do everything possible to bring peace and security to the region.”
Sanders Campaign Manager Dodges on Whether Dem Leaders Who Spoke at AIPAC Support ‘Bigotry’
Sen. Bernie Sanders's (I., Vt.) campaign manager Faiz Shakir on Monday dodged a question about whether Democratic leaders are bigots for attending the American Israel Public Affairs Committee's (AIPAC) annual conference.

MSNBC's Stephanie Ruhle asked Shakir about Sanders's announcement that he will not attend the AIPAC conference because he believes the group is a platform for politicians to "express bigotry." Ruhle said prominent Democratic members of Congress have supported the conference.

"Last year Speaker Pelosi, Senator Chuck Schumer, and congressman Steny Hoyer all spoke at AIPAC," Ruhle said. "Are those leaders that express bigotry?"

Shakir said in reply that Sanders was committed to protecting Palestinian human rights in order to achieve peace in Israel.

"You asked me one foreign policy question before, I’ll answer it again on this one," Shakir said. "You see honesty and conviction on his part. He doesn't play political games with this when he sees a system that doesn't seem to respect Palestinian rights but talks a lot about what he believes is preserving and maintaining the security of Israel."

PreOccupiedTerritory: Ads Urge Jews To Be Better Jews By Rejecting 95% Of Jews, Judaism (satire)
A progressive group targeting Jewish youths hopes to recruit a large number of new adherents to its philosophy by means of a campaign that involves billboards, online graphics, video clips, posters, and flyers, urging them to adopt an interpretation of Jewish values and tradition that ignores, contradicts, or abandons both the bulk of their millennia-old heritage and of their coreligionists and communities.

Organizations such as Jewish Voice for Peace, If Not Now, J Street U, Jews for Racial and Economic Justice, and the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network launched a public awareness and advertising initiative this week to encourage young Jews to embrace a more fully Jewish existence by stepping away from almost everything that has characterized Jewishness for most of Jewish history: longing for restored Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel; devotion to sacred texts and practices; rich literary and intellectual pursuits; defiance of the prevailing, dominant surrounding culture; and attachment to the welfare and safety of their fellow Jews, among other values.

“Be more Jewish,” reads one billboard: “Reject Jewish sovereignty.”

“It’s not Jewish to show concern for Jews in particular,” argues a pamphlet. “It smacks of racism, as if we Jews, the victims of one of the greatest racist crimes in history, have learned nothing from the experience. But come to think of it, using that language to refer to the Holocaust implies that others’ struggles with racism, notably communities of color, rank as lesser, and we must shy away from any such implications.”

Indy promotes misleading video of IDF vehicle “hurling rocks” at Palestinians
First, the claim, in her article, that the bulldozer “stormed a Palestinian protest” is extraordinarily misleading.

As IDF Spokesperson Jonathan Conricus confirmed to UK Media Watch, the army vehicle was being used to remove rocks from the road placed by Palestinians to prevent the army from responding to violent riots that were taking place around the West Bank village of Kafr Qaddum. The vehicle was clearing such rocks and slabs of concrete when it was confronted by stone throwing Palestinians.

In other words, contrary to the message conveyed to readers and those following Ms. Trew on Twitter, the vehicle was not targeting “protesters”, and certainly not intentionally “hurling” slabs of concrete at Palestinians. Any large stones or pieces of concrete that rolled in the direction of Palestinians on that road was a consequence of their decision to place themselves in front of a vehicle that was on a mission to re-open roads that Palestinians themselves had blocked. You’d think, based on reading the tweet and article, that the driver of the IDF vehicle was attempting to kill or maim Palestinians.

Further, the “unconfirmed” Palestinian claim – cited in Trew’s tweet – that “40 were injured” is untrue.

In fact, Haaretz only reported that one rioter was reportedly injured – a fact confirmed to us by Conricus. As you can see in the (clearly edited) video in question we embedded below, the injured Palestinian was evacuated by an ambulance which was (conveniently) waiting for him at the scene.
Foreign Policy Magazine’s Water Libel is More Than Half Empty
“The Western Press,” the author and former AP journalist Matti Friedman noted in 2014, “has become less an observer of” the Israel-Islamist conflict “than an actor in it.” Friedman’s observation holds true today. And a recent Foreign Policy magazine article offers an example of how the media can—and does—create stories to fit a preexisting narrative.

In a Feb. 4, 2020 dispatch, Foreign Policy magazine reporter Keith Johnson claims that “one of the many reasons that Palestinian leadership dismissed” the latest U.S. Israeli-Palestinian peace proposal “out of hand” was “that it included a demand for Palestinians to cede the water-rich West Bank and the entire Jordan Valley to Israel.” The subhead of the article blares “one reason the Palestinians swiftly rejected the flawed U.S. peace plan was that it does nothing to address their claims for water rights.” Foreign Policy then proceeded to use this claim—that Palestinians rejected the latest peace plan due, in part, to concerns about water issues—to write an entire article which asserted that “access to water has for decades been at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

But there’s a problem: it doesn’t appear that a single leader of the Palestinian Authority (PA), the entity that rules the West Bank (Judea and Samaria), has cited water as a reason for rejecting the plan. Ditto for the Central Committee of Fatah, the movement that dominates the PA. In his numerous comments about the proposal, PA President Mahmoud Abbas hasn’t ever cited water as his reason for opposing the plan.

Indeed, CAMERA was unable to find any statements by leading Fatah, PA or Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) leaders—that is, those who were in a position to accept or refuse the proposal—that cited water as a reason for their rejection. As The Jerusalem Post reported, PA President Abbas has even threatened to sue any entity “involved in the implementation of the Trump peace plan”—but water wasn’t cited by the PA as a motivating factor.
AP’s Erroneous Captions Expand Ayman Odeh’s Campaign to West Bank
CAMERA Arabic staff checked with sources who identified the location as Taibeh, in central Israel next to Kfar Saba, and also recognized some of the photographed people as political activists from Taibeh. The misnomer "Yabeh" apparently derived from an erroneous rendering of "Taibeh."
The relocation of the Israeli Arab town into the West Bank, however, is less understandable given that those well versed in regional politics would know that West Bank Arabs do not vote in Israeli elections.

In addition to the large Israeli Arab town of Taibeh (population more than 40,000) in central Israel, there is a smaller Israeli Arab village by the same name next to Nazareth. In addition, there are two Palestinian locations with the same name; one in the Jenin district, and a second, Christian village in the Ramallah district, which is where the popular Taybeh Brewing Company is located.

CAMERA contacted the Associated Press about the error. Stay tuned for an update.

UPDATE, 1:10 pm EST: AP Corrects
In response to communication from CAMERA's Israel office, editors commendably corrected the captions, and they now accurately refer to Ayman Odeh campaigning in Taibeh, Israel.
BBC Complaints response invokes non-existent “pre-1967 borders”
As readers may recall, the January 29th edition of the BBC Radio 4 programme ‘Midnight News’ included a report (which is still available online) concerning the US administration’s “Peace to Prosperity” plan that included several misleading statements.

BBC Radio 4 news implies previous existence of Palestinian state in US plan report

BBC reporter Aleem Maqbool told listeners that “They [the Palestinians] have been wanting the return of occupied East Jerusalem to establish their own capital” and spoke of “Palestinians no longer having a border with Jordan and relying entirely on Israel for access”.

As noted here at the time, Maqbool’s use of the phrase “the return of occupied East Jerusalem” inaccurately suggested to listeners that that location had previously been under Palestinian control (rather than under Jordanian occupation for 19 years). His reference to “Palestinians no longer having a border with Jordan” was also misleading to listeners: none of the areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority since 1994 have a “border with Jordan” and a Palestinian entity with such a border has never existed.

In addition the programme’s newsreader told listeners that “Jordan said the only path to peace in the Middle East was to establish an independent Palestinian state based on its borders before the 1967 war”.

BBC Watch submitted a complaint concerning that long report which included a reminder that – as stated in the BBC Academy style guide’s entry for ‘Green Line’ – no such “borders” existed “before the 1967 war” and that the lines were actually the 1949 Armistice lines which were specifically defined as not being borders.
Jewish Legal Group Joins Fight Against Anti-Israel Protests Outside Michigan Synagogue
The Lawfare Project announced on Monday that it has been retained as co-counsel in a lawsuit against both the city of Ann Arbor, Mich., and a group of anti-Israel protesters who demonstrate weekly outside a local synagogue.

“The City of Ann Arbor has completely abdicated its responsibility to protect the Jewish community from targeted, racist harassment at the hands of these protesters,” said Brooke Goldstein, executive director of the Lawfare Project. “There are few greater civil-rights violations than impeding the free exercise of worship and assembly, and we are here to demand the city hold the protesters accountable under existing federal, state and local laws.”

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit are Beth Israel Congregation member Marvin Gerber and Ann Arbor resident Miriam Brysk, a Holocaust survivor. Ann Arbor Mayor Christopher Taylor, protester Henry Herskovitz and his two organizations—Jewish Witnesses for Peace, and Palestinian Friends and Deir Yassin Remembered—are listed as defendants.

Every Saturday for the last 16 years, a group of protesters has harassed congregants outside of Beth Israel Congregation and placed in front of the synagogue signs that say “Jewish Power Corrupts,” “Zionism is Racism” and “RESIST Jewish Power,” among other statements.

The protesters are in violation of the city’s existing ordinances; however, Ann Arbor has done nothing to limit the protests and refuses to place “even modest restrictions” on them. This has gone on for more than a decade-and-a-half, according to Michigan attorney Marc Susselman, co-counsel in the lawsuit.
50 U.S. Jewish Community Centers Receive Bomb Threats
More than 50 Jewish community centers in 23 states have received emailed bomb threats since Saturday.

None of the threats have been found to be credible, though local law enforcement agencies have been notified. Officials do not know who sent the threats. They targeted Jewish community centers in New York, New Jersey, California, Texas and elsewhere throughout the country.

The Jewish Telegraphic Agency has learned from officials familiar with the threats that most of the JCCs affected received identical emails containing bomb threats. None of the emails, however, named the specific institutions in question or contained anti-Semitic language.

“Our goal has been — and we seem to be succeeding — to go about our day with as much normalcy as possible,” said Martina Hull, interim executive director of the Sidney Albert Albany JCC in New York, which received a threat Sunday morning. “There was an indication of a threat and the Albany JCC was not mentioned specifically within that, but it was enough to raise awareness.”

The spate of threats recalls successive waves of bomb threats made against JCCs and other Jewish institutions in 2017, many of which led to building evacuations. Most of the threats came from a 19-year-old American-Israeli citizen, Michael Kadar. Last year, Kadar was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Amazon pulls Nazi-era book from website following outcry
Amazon pulled antisemitic Nazi-era books off of their website following outcry, Newsweek reported.

The World Jewish Congress expressed outrage over the sale of Nazi-era book on Amazon, in addition to hateful material that is currently being sold on their website, including an antisemitic children’s book depicting Jews in devilish form, written by Julius Streicher from the infamous Der Stürmer magazine, called The Poisonous Mushroom.

Head of the World Jewish Congress, Ronald S. Lauder, called for its removal from the popular e-commerce website, in addition to imploring Amazon head Jeff Bezos to take action himself on removing the book and other racist and xenophobic content from his website.

“It is bewildering and frightening that in this digital age, in which we are more than well-aware of the dangers that can arise from the dissemination of hateful material online, Amazon would continue to allow the sale of an unquestionable piece of Nazi propaganda that brands Jews as no less than ‘poisonous mushrooms,’” Lauder said.
Technion team develops novel water-from-air system using desiccants
Researchers at the Technion–Israel Institute of Technology said last week that they have developed a novel, standalone system for producing water from air, even in arid desert regions.

The new system, dubbed H-to-all, differs from existing technologies because of its energy efficiency, the researchers said.

Existing methods of generating water from air cool the entire air mass, then extract the water, which requires a lot of energy since water vapor can only be about three percent of air’s total mass, even at a high level of humidity.

In the Technion system, moisture is first stripped from the air with a desiccant. Then the moisture is removed from the desiccant using heat and sub-atmospheric pressure, and the moisture is condensed into liquid water.

In addition to its efficiency, the system filters the water better than existing methods, the researchers said. When the whole air mass is cooled in the process, so are air pollutants, and they can find their way into the water. The Technion team’s concentrated saline solution used in the desiccant kills bacteria.
Portable device gathers rain for clean drinking water
It is a cruel irony that tropical regions blessed with abundant rainfall are often cursed with an inability to deliver clean water to thirsty people.

In the slums of Mumbai, for example, it rains close to half the year, sometimes in monsoon-like deluges. Yet residents are forced to stand in long lines to collect water for drinking, cooking and bathing. Alternatively, they must pay exorbitant prices for bottled water.

The same problem can happen as a result of collapsed infrastructure following a natural disaster like a hurricane or earthquake.

It was the latter that drove home the dire message for Eyal Yassky, cofounder and CEO of Hilico. The social-minded startup developed a simple and inexpensive rain harvesting device for off-grid communities.

Yassky had been traveling the world as a professional photographer, documenting local cultures with an emphasis on sustainability.

In 2016, he was in Ecuador taking pictures of a unique chocolate-making operation (“There are only 47 of this type of cacao trees left in the world,” he says) when a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit.
Israeli doctor teams up with backpackers to save lives in Laos
Dr. Gilat Raisch recently fulfilled an old dream: she took a month off work, packed up her things and went to volunteer in a faraway hospital.

Deeply affected by a visit to a Cambodian hospital over a decade ago, she vowed that one day she’d return somewhere similar to offer her services as a pediatrician. Now, with her children all grown up, she decided it was time to go.

“I felt it was time to fulfill this dream. I decided I was giving myself a birthday present, taking off a month without pay from work and going to volunteer.”

Raisch found herself alongside other international volunteers at a hospital in Luang Prabang, an ancient city and the former capital of Laos. And she was shocked by what she found.

“Such a scarcity of resources, with children in unimaginable conditions, diseases that you don’t see in Israel but only read about in books.”
Israeli backpackers lie back to donate much-needed blood at the hospital. (Courtesy)

“The first week I was there I noticed that they kept on asking for blood donations from the volunteer team,” she says, explaining that the hospital’s blood bank stood empty because of local beliefs that donations are harmful to the body and due to possible donors’ state of health.

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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