Monday, August 17, 2020

From Ian:

Eugene Kontrovich: UNIFIL: An opportunity for change
There are other instances in which the UN temporary peacekeeping force – UNIFIL – has directly or indirectly hurt Israel's defense and security interests in the area and limited the IDF's ability to respond. The main claim voiced in the defense establishment at the time was that the forces had no real power and were too small to carry out their mandate of restoring peace and security and helping restore control to the South Lebanese Army.

But in 2006, after the Second Lebanon War was over, that idea crashed on the rocks of reality. The UN Security Council resolved to increase UNIFIL forces nearly fivefold, to 10,900 personnel, and expanded both its enforcement mandate and budget. Nevertheless, the increased forces failed in both motivation and efficacy when it came to taking action against violations on the Lebanese side of the "Blue Line." Since then, Hezbollah has dug attack tunnels under the border into Israel under the very noses of the UN troops, with the hope of carrying out a mega-terror attack against communities in northern Israel.

In biased reports to the UN Security Council and by its very presence in the region, UNIFIL "whitewashes" violations by Hezbollah and the Lebanese army, allowing them to act freely. If another war in the north takes place, UNIFIL's presence will likely hamper the IDF's ability to maneuver in south Lebanon, and serve as a de facto human shield for Hezbollah.

The next few weeks will bring a unique opportunity to improve security in the North and reduce the UN's biased intervention against Israel. This has to do with the nature of the UNIFIL mandate, which is extended on an annual basis in the Security Council. The next date for an extension is Aug. 31. Our leaders would do well to take advantage of the window of opportunity in which our friends in the Trump administration still have diplomatic influence and demand the cancellation of the mandate or that the forces be cut significantly. This request would fall in line with the Trump administration's aspiration of cutting back on bloated, ineffective international missions.

It would be a mistake for Israel to trust the illusion of stability created by the UNIFIL forces. The reality is fluid, Hezbollah is sedulously preparing for the next war, and the IDF needs to be ready for a rapid strike, without having its maneuvers restricted by UN soldiers. Cancelling or cutting back the mandate will be helpful to Israel's strategic interests in the region and will illustrate the defense ethos that Israel defends itself, by itself.
Woke anti-Semitism
Hirsch describes 2020 ‘as a year that shredded complacency’. Yet her own spotlighting of morally dubious ‘anti-racist’ activists demonstrates the woke congregation’s appalling complacency regarding anti-Semitism. Why is it that someone like Hirsch, who tirelessly campaigned for the removal of Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square for its connotations of historical racism, is happy to laud living, breathing activists with ongoing links to Jew-haters?

Anti-Semitism is a real problem on the woke left. The so-called Forever Family Force, which marched in Brixton recently as part of a reparations demonstration, made headlines for its paramilitary-style gear. Since then it has been revealed that FFF leader Khari McKenzie has made a series of anti-Semitic posts. Like Farrakhan, he blames Jews for slavery and has described the Jewish community’s alleged role in the slave trade as ‘the original holocaust’. Unsurprisingly, McKenzie was also quick to jump to grime artist Wiley’s defence after his anti-Jewish Twitter tirade last month.

This troubling undercurrent in progressive activism is an inevitable product of an intersectional ideology that labels certain groups as innately ‘privileged’, and thus evil, and others as eternally ‘oppressed’, and therefore virtuous. Jews (and indeed, truth itself) are mere collateral when it comes to the woke mission to deconstruct an allegedly evil society. And regrettably, this woke anti-Semitism is very much in vogue.
David Collier: Wikipedia, Urban Dictionary and the chaos of anti-truth
Online anti-truth terrorism

A better use of the word ‘massacre’ would be as a description of what happens to history and truth on Wiki’s pages. Jews are a tiny minority up against enemies that vastly outnumber them. Jews, nor their allies are capable of policing history. The more time goes on, the more distorted reality becomes.

The example I want to present now, amongst many I found, is a subtle one. It refers to a quote 120 years old made by the former mayor of Jerusalem, Yousef al-Khalidi.

This is how the Wiki page describes it:
“In 1899 he wrote a letter to the Zadok Kahn, the chief rabbi of France in which he stated “Who can deny the rights of the Jews to Palestine? My God, historically it is also your country!”

The source for the quote is ‘Palestine: Une terre, deux peuples’ by Dominique Perrin. Better still, Wikipedia link to an online version of the book, with the quote highlighted for our benefit. And here we run into real trouble.

Because in the source Wiki uses, the Mayor says ‘my god, historically it is your country”. The word ‘also’ clearly missing.

So who added the word ‘also’? It is an addition that clearly carries major political implication.

On 24 Jan 2019, a one-time user entered the page, made the single edit and left. It is highly likely this is the act of a more regular user who sought to make this change anonymously.

An online anti-truth terrorist.

As we know for a fact there are organised online armies on social media platforms using their numerical superiority to manipulate popular thought, isn’t it obvious they would also swarm inside the internet’s primary reference resource?
Outnumbered and outgunned

I am positive that it will take a proper Wikipedia editor about 4 seconds to clean up that quote – but this isn’t the point. It is just another piece of evidence of this endless whack-a-mole game that Jews are left playing.

There are just 15 million of us – perhaps just 10,000s are in some way politically active online. We cannot mobilise an entire people. In the other corner are 100,000s, if not 1,000,000s – some part of online gangs explicitly set up to swarm and distort the truth. In a world of ‘up-votes’, we are both outnumbered and outgunned.

Campaign journalism, or how to hide Palestinian Arab atrocities
Interview with Els van Diggele, author of three books on internal disputes in Israel and the Palestinian Authority territories among Jews, Christians and Muslims.

"A central term in my new book, The Misleidingsindustrie (The Misleading Industry), is the expression “campaign journalism.” This refers to the way in which mainstream Dutch media report about Israel, Palestinians and the region from within The Netherlands. This is the result of ‘campaign journalism’, a type of journalism, which is based on personal engagement and does not primarily deal with facts.

"This reporting is very common in Dutch mainstream media. It comes down to reporting about the Palestinian Arab as a powerless victim of Israel, and presenting a negative picture of the Jewish state. Yet I emphasize that I don't want to give the impression that this is done intentionally.”

Els van Diggele was born in 1967 in the Dutch village of Warmond. After her history studies at Leiden University she followed a post-doctoral journalism course at Rotterdam’s Erasmus University. She has published three books on internal disputes in Israel and the Palestinian Authority territories among Jews, Christians and Muslims. Recently she published a book on one of the few Holocaust-survivors who is still alive.

Van Diggele continues, "I am only an observer not a participant. To be clear I am not an adherent of Netanyahu, nor a Zionist, nor a Nakba denier, nor do I work for the Israel Embassy or the Mossad." She adds, "To make it very clear, I am not pleading for Palestinian bashing."

Why is it necessary to say this or why does the interviewee consider them necessary? Van Diggele answers: "Due to the polarization of the subject, one needs to make these things clear. From experience I know it is best to be ahead of the people who want to stick a label on me.

"The term ‘campaign journalism’ was, as far as I know, created around 1970 by Jerome Heldring, a former editor of the Dutch daily, NRC Handelsblad. He said that campaign journalism is in fact propaganda. It is the duty of the journalist to report on the reality of the location where he (or she) is stationed.
American Jewry is falling away from Zionism, making adversaries of US Jews
Two recent media events have resulted in the spilling of much electronic ink in the Jewish press. The first consists of two publications by journalist Peter Beinart. His first, an extended essay, was published in the spring issue of the politically left journal Jewish Currents; his second, a shorter op-ed, appeared in The New York Times. In both Beinart declares his divorce from Zionism and a Jewish state of Israel. The only solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he argues, is the transformation of the State of Israel into a new state to be equally shared by two peoples.

Beinart is a well-known columnist and journalist whose articles have appeared in Time, The New York Times, The New York Review of Books and The Atlantic, among other periodicals. He is a sought-after political commentator on the Internet and he teaches journalism at City University of New York. Although some of his views are considered controversial he remains a popular and well-respected opinion shaper on the Left. Beinart is a Modern Orthodox Jew who lives on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

Almost as if its broadcast was coordinated with the two Beinart articles for maximum effect, came the freewheeling, hour-long interview of popular Jewish actor and comedian Seth Rogen on Marc Maron’s “WTF” podcast. Among Rogen’s provocative remarks was his assertion that he “was fed a huge amount of lies about Israel my entire life,” and that a state for the Jews “makes no sense.” While Rogen does not follow an Orthodox lifestyle he attended Vancouver Talmud Torah and Jewish summer camp. He is not bereft of a Jewish education.

In fact, similar views regarding Israel are currently held by many American and other Diaspora Jews. Nor are they new. In 2009, Prof. Philip Mendes published a lengthy essay entitled “The Strange Phenomenon of Jewish Anti-Zionism: Self-Hating Jews or Protectors of Universalistic Principles?” in the Australian Journal of Jewish Studies. However, he observed that “(although it) would appear on the surface that anti-Zionism has become a growing and significant phenomenon in Jewish life” when viewed within the context of the larger Jewish community Jewish “anti-Zionists remain a tiny, marginal and generally detested group within Jewish society.”
CAMERA Op-Ed: Beinart and Brit Shalom
From his home in New York City, the American pundit Peter Beinart has recently called to dismantle the Jewish state of Israel, advocating instead for a “one state solution”—a binational Jewish-Palestinian Arab state. Beinart’s proposal was hailed as “a monumental, agenda-setting piece” by Washington Post foreign affairs columnist Ishaan Tharoor, among other analysts, many of whom live far from Israel. But it is nothing of the sort. Indeed, arguments for a binational “solution” are a century old—and they collapsed under the weight of Jewish blood and Arab intransigence.

Ninety-five years ago this past May, a group of philosophers, academics and theologians announced the formation of Brit Shalom (the Covenant of Peace) in British-ruled Mandate Palestine. Brit Shalom “sought to promote peace between Jews and Arabs, primarily by arguing that Jews should give up their quest for statehood,” the historian Daniel Gordis noted in his 2016 history of Israel.

The movement, Gordis documented, “never had more than a hundred members, but its influence far outstripped its members.” This was largely due to its composition. Brit Shalom members would, over time, include prominent and well-known Jewish figures like Judah Magnes, an American Reform rabbi and the future president of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and Arthur Ruppin, a famous economist and high-ranking Jewish Agency official, as well as well-known philosophers like Gershom Scholem and Martin Buber. Other future members would include the Attorney General of Mandate Palestine, Norman Bentwich, and Edwin Samuel, the son of the first High Commissioner to Palestine, Herbert Samuel. Brit Shalom even counted Albert Einstein as a supporter. The movement was, in every sense, confined to a small number of the elite and intelligentsia.

Initially Brit Shalom conceived of itself as less as a political party than a “study circle” which hoped to influence debates about the future of Jewish self-determination. Brit Shalom’s foundational charter articulated the movement’s objective: “to arrive at an understanding between Jews and Arabs as to the form of their mutual social relations in Palestine on the basis of absolute political equality of two culturally autonomous peoples, and to determine the lines of their cooperation for the development of the country.”

The group founded a newspaper, She’ifoteinu (Our Aspirations), authored editorials, and made public speeches advocating for the adoption of a binational state. But problems soon arose.

Brit Shalom’s platform rested on the hope that many Muslim Arabs would support political, social and religious equality with Jews. Yet, under the Mandate—when many ruling British officials were opposed to Zionism and the Zionist project was far from assured—Arab anti-Jewish violence undermined both Brit Shalom’s premise and standing.
Alexander H. Joffe on Anti-Zionism and Antisemitism after George Floyd
Archaeologist and historian Alexander H. Joffe, a Ginsburg-Milstein Writing Fellow at the Middle East Forum, spoke to participants in a June 19 Middle East Forum webinar (video) about the "dramatic upswing" in anti-Zionist and antisemitic rhetoric in the US following the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

"What we've seen ... is a classic example of the red green synthesis in action," said Joffe, referring to the alliance between Islamists in the West and the far left that has spearheaded anti-Israel activism over the past few decades. Its goal is to "racialize and marginalize Jews, particularly American Jews, as white people, as enemies of people of color."

The unrest in major American cities that followed Floyd's killing has been exploited by three sectors to advance their anti-Zionist/antisemitic narratives: the Black Lives Matter movement ("the conceptual heir to the Black Panthers"), the Antifa movement ("explicitly anti-capitalist and anti-Israel"), and the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood network (American Muslims for Palestine, the umbrella group for Students for Justice in Palestine, and the Muslim Students Association, all "using the rubric of human rights" to push their anti-Israel agenda). Joining this anti-Israel trio are progressive/far-left Jewish front groups, notably Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP).

These groups have formulated what Joffe called a "grand unified theory" of oppression that fuses "the Great Satan in the U.S." and "the little Satan, Israeli 'settler colonialism'" together with capitalism, white supremacy, and other evils real and imagined.

Israel – and Jews who support it – are charged with "uphold[ing] a system of anti-black racism in the U.S." and, in particular, of being "the root cause" of police violence in America. As evidence the accusers cite the fact that the Jewish Institute for National Security of America (JINSA) and other Jewish groups have sponsored counter-terrorism training programs for U.S. police officers in Israel in the years following 9/11 (programs that have nothing to do with domestic police issues or tactics).

'We are all Hamas': Increasing Collaboration between Foes of India and Israel
For Islamists in South Asia and the Middle East, the reality of Hindu and Jewish sovereignty in lands that were formerly ruled by Islam strikes a nerve, thereby fueling accusations of injustice and human-rights violations, which while seemingly founded in good-nature, genuinely conceal a dark ulterior motive: the revival of Islamist rule.

Indeed, those supporting the Palestinian cause often overlook, downplay, or justify blatant acts of terrorism, equally legitimate claims of self-determination, ethnic cleansing of Jews from Arab lands, and the refusal of Palestinian leadership to even seriously consider a compromise. Supporters of the Kashmiri cause, similarly, ignore nearly identical behaviour on the part of their partisans.

But with much of the Arab world moving in a less-Islamist direction, and the Palestinian issue holding less potency than it used to, Islamists must find a new rallying point to sustain their cause. That point has increasingly become Kashmir. Given that the Palestinian struggle has long served as a beacon of Islamists aspirations, this rhetoric comes with a built-in constituency.

Further, this strategy will revive focus on Israel in due time, while forging previously unexpected alliances. Much like the 2006 Lebanon War is widely believed to have created increased cooperation between Hamas and Hezbollah, these circumstances will likely only increase the already-existing cooperation between South Asian Islamist organisations and their counterparts in the Middle East.

India's enemies can learn from the Palestinian experience with sustained confrontations against superior forces.

Likewise, Indians should not underestimate the aid, material and otherwise, that can flow from radical networks in the Middle East. The radicals Israel fights on a daily basis are highly experienced at sustained confrontations with superior governmental forces, while battling terror designations, terror finance restrictions, all while the world is watching. India's enemies can learn from these experiences.

While prime ministers Benjamin Netanyahu and Narendra Modi have a budding relationship that has increased mutual ties, it is important to note that these ties have only come after decades of chilled relations. Further, head-of-state connections serve as no substitute to the kind of organic growth and ideological agreement that has forged their Islamist adversaries.

Numerous Facebook groups with tens of thousands of members dedicated to India-Israel cooperation indicate that a more grassroots cooperation has already begun. However, the momentum underlying such mutual appreciation underwhelms that of their foes.

Muslims, Christians, and Buddhists all have numerous countries and regions in which they are a majority. Not so Hindus and Jews, and they share a common foe. The faster they come to understand their fates as being intertwined, the better.

Their respective foes, for their part, have already come to this realisation.
Border guard moderately hurt in Old City stabbing; assailant shot dead
A Border Police officer was moderately wounded in an apparent stabbing attack in Jerusalem’s Old City on Monday night, officials said.

The assailant was shot dead by other officers at the scene, police said.

A woman who was standing nearby was apparently hit by a ricochet and lightly injured. She was taken to a hospital for treatment, police said.

“An assailant approached a police force… whipped out a knife and used it to stab a Border Police officer and injure him moderately,” police said.
A knife used in a stabbing attack that moderately injured a Border Police officer in Jerusalem’s Old City on August 17, 2020. (Israel Police)

Medics said the border guard, 19, sustained a number of stab wounds and was taken to Jerusalem’s Hadassah Hospital Mount Scopus for treatment.

“We gave him life-saving medical treatment, including stopping the bleeding, bandaging him, and giving him medication, and we took him quickly to the hospital in moderate, stable condition,” a Magen David Adom medic said.

A Hadassah spokesperson said the officer sustained stab wounds to the chest. “He is stable and fully conscious,” she said.
JPost Editorial: Hamas incendiary balloons are ecoterrorism
On Saturday, a home in Sderot suffered a direct hit from a Hamas rocket launched from Gaza, and a local resident suffered shrapnel wounds. The rocket attack was part of a recent escalation by the terrorist organization, which has gradually increased the number of incendiary balloons it has let loose on communities in southern Israel and returned to mass marches on the border fence.

Rockets and mortars are very obvious dangers, but there is a risk of underestimating the threat from the clusters of balloons, inflated condoms and kites laden with incendiary and explosive devices – which can be anything from a homemade bomb to anti-tank RPGs. Make no mistake: These are weapons, and their use is a war crime. Hamas releases these balloons indiscriminately. It doesn’t care where they land, who gets hurts, or what damage is caused. Tragically, children in the South are now being taught from the earliest age to associate balloons with danger and to never touch a balloon if they find one.

Palestinians launched countless incendiary and explosive balloons from the Gaza Strip last week, igniting more than 100 fires in southern Israel’s fields and forests and causing severe damage to the area.

Footage on Saturday showed firefighters battling to contain the flames in a grove of avocado trees, someone’s livelihood literally going up in smoke. Members of Kibbutz Erez similarly shared photos of their greenhouses on fire. Vast areas of nature reserves, woods and fields are being razed and destroyed by the arson attacks.

So far, miraculously, there has been no loss of human life to the fires, but the danger is very real.
Balloon-borne device from Gaza starts fire outside Sderot kindergarten
A balloon-borne incendiary device launched from the Gaza Strip was suspected of having started a small fire Monday afternoon outside a kindergarten in the southern town of Sderot.

Firefighters were called to the scene and quickly put out the blaze in a plastic closet outside the school.

“No damage was caused to the kindergarten. The fire was outside the building. This was a small fire that was extinguished by one team,” a fire department spokesperson said.

Fire and Rescue Services investigators were working to confirm the cause of the fire, the spokesperson said.

Separately, police said a “suspicious item” affixed to a balloon was being neutralized in the southern town of Netivot, after apparently being flown across the border from Gaza.

Meanwhile, Egyptian mediators were expected in Gaza later Monday to try and calm tensions sparked by a week of incendiary balloon attacks that ignited wildfires in Israel and drew Israeli airstrikes in response.

Israel has targeted positions of Hamas, the terror group that runs the Palestinian territory, which it holds responsible for all cross-border attacks.
IDF shells Hamas posts after arson balloon attacks, Gaza border riots
Israeli tanks shelled Hamas observation posts in the Gaza Strip early Monday morning in response to dozens of arson balloon attacks throughout the day and riots along the border, the Israel Defense Forces said.

The army said the strikes came in response to “arson balloons sent from the Gaza Strip into Israel and the riots along the [border] fence.”

The army did not say how many posts were hit or where they were located. There were no immediate reports of casualties.

Sunday night marked the sixth consecutive evening during which Israel launched strikes in Gaza in response to attacks from the Strip.

Hamas-linked al-Resalah news said that Hamas anti-aircraft defenses attempted to respond to Israeli air strikes in the Strip. The IDF did not confirm carrying out any airstrikes.

At least 28 bush fires were started in the south of Israel Sunday, with authorities blaming incendiary balloons launched from Gaza following exchanges of fire between the Israel Defense Forces and Hamas over the weekend.

On Sunday night some 200 Palestinians rioted along the Gaza border, burning tires and setting off explosives, the IDF said.
PMW: A traitor and a tumor - PA demonization of UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed
Is the Palestinian Authority setting the stage for the assassination of United Arab Emirates Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed?

While is it unclear whether the PA response to the Israel-UAE peace deal was necessarily intended to incite the assassination of Bin Zayed, there is no doubt that the response has all the required ingredients.

“Traitor,” “tumor,” and “collaborator” are the terms the PA and Palestinian leaders have used to describe bin Zayed and the deal. These expressions are not merely an expression of anger but also - in honor-based societies in which people who are perceived to have betrayed a given norm are executed - have the potential to be seen as a call to action.

In the official PA newspaper, regular columnist Muwaffaq Mattar declared the peace deal “treason”:
“Mohammed bin Zayed’s normalization [with Israel] has murdered the most important element in the human identity of the Arab man: He killed the loyalty by intentionally violating the UAE’s commitment to the Arab peace initiative… We see nothing in his act of treason other than recognition of the rule of ‘the Jewish State of Israel’ – as [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu calls it – over Jerusalem, the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Aug. 16, 2020]

Federal agents tricked Hamas into sending Bitcoin to Uncle Sam
Criminals have long seen cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin as a stealthy way to transfer money. But in an unusual sting operation, federal agents not only infiltrated a terrorist group's Bitcoin operation, but tricked its supporters into sending the digital currency to the U.S. government.

On Thursday the Justice Department revealed details of the sting, which was part of a sprawling investigation into the financial operations of three global terrorist organizations: Islamic State, Al-Qaeda, and Hamas.

The investigation involved the seizure of hundreds of cryptocurrency accounts containing more than $1 million, as well as four Facebook pages that the Islamic State was using to sell phony personal protective equipment.

According to the Justice Department, all three terrorist organizations have been encouraging supporters to send them cryptocurrency. This encouragement included propaganda like the Hamas poster shown below. (The poster was included in the Department's release; we've added circles to show the Bitcoin solicitation.)

In the course of the investigation into Hamas' military wing, known as the Al-Qassam Brigades, federal agents seized one of the group's websites, located at The U.S. then began covertly operating the site and pocketing the Bitcoin donations it received.

"During that covert operation, the website received funds from persons seeking to provide material support to the terrorist organization, however, they instead donated the funds [to] bitcoin wallets controlled by the United States," the Justice Department statement reads.
Hezbollah, Lebanon’s enemy within, remains untouchable despite port catastrophe
It is hard to be certain that the Port of Beirut explosion is completely unrelated to Hezbollah. Regardless, it has damaged the organization’s ability to maneuver against Israel and inflict serious injury on it. Hezbollah’s legitimacy has taken a blow and it will now need to focus on the rehabilitation of Lebanon, and especially Beirut. Yet we should bear in mind that this is Hezbollah, and it may attempt to strike just to prove its fearlessness.

Another thing to bear in mind is that Hezbollah is first and foremost a guerrilla army, and that currently there is no other internal force that can threaten it.

There are of course other militias in Lebanon – almost every ethnic group has its own private army: the Phalangists with their anti-tank missiles and machine guns are still fighting for the Christians; the Palestinians in the refugee camps have enormous caches of weapons, and they even have regional and brigade commanders; the Druze are the third armed ethnic group.

Yet none of these groups can challenge or threaten the fourth armed ethnic group, the Shiites, headed by Hezbollah.

Another fact can be ascertained by examining the photos of the Lebanese demonstrators. For the most part they are young men and women, mainly Sunni and Christian, but also some Shiites.

Young, attractive, and perhaps naive, they are reminiscent of Israel’s left-wing demonstrators. Nasrallah is watching these demonstrations and allowing them to let off steam — up to a point.

Then he will give one of his famous speeches to deliver a warning of what will happen if the demonstrators resort to force. He is allowing them to express their rage, knowing that their resistance will eventually die down. Why? Because these are the rules in Lebanon and this is how the state has proceeded for dozens of years. The demonstrators can enjoy themselves breaking into government offices — but they can’t touch Hezbollah.

REPORT: Iran Paid Taliban Fighters To Attack US Assets In Afghanistan, Leading To Trump Ordering Killing Of Soleimani
Iran reportedly paid bounties to a Taliban-backed Haqqani terrorist network for at least six attacks carried out against U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

U.S. intelligence identified the link between Iran and Haqqani following the December 2019 suicide attack at Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan, which killed two civilians and injured dozens more, CNN reported Monday morning. (RELATED: Trump Administration Still Looking To Reduce US Troop Levels In Afghanistan)

Two Trump administration officials said, according to CNN, that the bounties led to President Donald Trump’s decision to kill former Quds Force General Qasem Soleimani by drone strike in January. Trump cited Soleimani and Iran allegedly planning further attacks against U.S. forces in the region as a justification for killing him.

CNN’s report comes after U.S. intelligence reports leaked accusing Russia of paying bounties to Taliban-backed fighters for attacks against U.S. soldiers. The White House said Trump did not act, arguing that there was a lack of consensus within the intelligence community (IC) over the veracity of the information. White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters at a press briefing in June that Trump would act if the IC reached a consensus on the intelligence.

Orgs. pen open letter denouncing CA's proposed ethnic studies course
Ninety education, civil rights and religious organizations penned a letter to California Governor Gavin Newsom, asking him to veto a bill that requires students attending California State University to take an ethnic studies course as a general education requirement (GEC), citing research that purports harassment, bigotry and physical harm could fall onto Jewish students in the aftermath.

The bill, AB 1460 was passed by the California state legislature, awaiting the governor's signature. CSU approved a preferable alternative to the passed legislation.

“We are deeply concerned that without adequate safeguards, these courses could become vehicles for one-sided political advocacy and activism that will both subvert the academic mission of the university, and incite bigotry and harm against some CSU students,” wrote the organizations.

“In particular, we fear that the anti-Zionist orientation of Critical Ethnic Studies – the version of ethnic studies likely to be taught in response to AB 1460 -- coupled with the willingness of many ethnic studies faculty to bring anti-Zionist advocacy and activism into their professional spaces, will foster a toxic climate for Jewish and pro-Israel students and foment harm against them.”

The organizations state there is a difference between an ethnic studies course, and the critical ethnic studies course mentioned in the bill. The former represents and celebrates "contributions of California’s and our nation’s diversity." While the latter promotes political activism and ideologies.

The organizations said that vetoing the bill "is necessary because anti-Zionist advocacy and the promotion of BDS are an intrinsic part of critical ethnic studies; critical ethnic studies faculty have repeatedly demonstrated a willingness to promote BDS and anti-Zionist advocacy in their academic programming and classrooms; and faculty support and promotion of BDS is strongly linked to the harassment of Jewish students."

“While faculty have every right to engage in political advocacy and activism outside the university, recent studies suggest that many Critical Ethnic Studies faculty are bringing their extramural support for BDS and their anti-Zionist politics into their conference halls and classrooms,” wrote the organizations.

“And this type of anti-Zionist political activism directly corresponds to a rise in antisemitic incidents on campus,” said director of AMCHA Initiative Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, who helped coordinated the letter.

CBC Predetermines West Bank’s Status as Palestinian
In the eyes of the CBC, the status of the “West Bank” is and always was, Palestinian, despite the fact that Palestinian-Arabs have never been sovereigns over the land and in the face of the Jewish people’s legal, ancestral and religious claims to what it regards as Judea and Samaria.

Case in point, on August 13, the CBC’s coverage of the peace deal between the UAE and Israel saw reporter Paul Hunter say the following on The National:
A key part of the agreement, Israel will suspend plans to annex chunks of Palestinian territory in the west bank, in return, Israel gets that long wanted recognition from another Arab country.”

As well, in an interview earlier in the day with Peter Rough, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C., CBC Anchor Dianne Buckner erroneously said the following:
They are also talking that this deal could delay the annexation of Palestinian lands in the west bank, is that going to happen.”
RCI Report Deligitimzes Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital
Apparently journalists at Radio-Canada International (RCI) don’t believe that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital.

In a video featured in an August 10 report by Paloma Martínez entitled: “Des Montréalais, Juifs et Palestiniens, contre l’accord commercial Canada-Israël”., RCI unilaterally declared that Tel Aviv is Israel’s capital, even though Jerusalem is the de facto Israeli capital and the United States has officially recognized it as such. (This report is also featured on RCI’s Youtube page.)

It’s concerning that our public broadcaster can’t bring themselves to recognize the reality that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. Either way, it’s improper for Radio-Canada to refer to Tel Aviv as Israel’s capital city. Jerusalem is Israel’s capital and seat of government; Tel Aviv is merely a heavily populated Israeli city. RCI must correct this report.

HonestReporting Canada communicated these concerns directly to RCI executives calling for corrective action. We also conveyed our concerns about RCI’s repeated failure to acknowledge Israel and the Jewish people’s claims to Judea and Samaria, most notable in relation to this report and video clip which covers the complaints that a handful of Montrealers have with Israel’s proposed application of sovereignty (now on hold) in the “west bank.” RCI’s report failed to quote any pro-Israel representatives, nor does it acknowledge the Jewish people’s legal, ancestral and historical claims to Judea and Samaria. Instead, RCI gave a platform to the whims of anti-Israel activists who want the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement (CIFTA) to be cancelled. It was only a couple weeks ago that CITY News Montreal produced similar misleading coverage.
BBC News replies to a complaint after four months
On March 31st the BBC News website published an article by Jonathan Marcus titled “Coronavirus: A ticking time-bomb for the Middle East”.

Readers of that report were told that:
“…the closure of the courts has delayed the corruption trial of Prime Minister Netanyahu, who looks like soldiering on in office.”

As noted here at the time:
“…the courts in Israel have not been closed. Activity has been reduced in line with Ministry of Health instructions and the Judiciary’s website states:

‘The courts and employment tribunals will function under emergency measures whereby only urgent hearings will be held.’”

CAMERA UK made a complaint to the BBC on that issue, pointing out that the claim that courts in Israel had been closed is inaccurate and misleading.

On April 14th we received a response from BBC Complaints informing us of a delay to their response. On May 11th BBC Complaints contacted us stating that they had not been able to respond to the complaint “within the time period we aim for” and informing us that we could refer the issue to OFCOM – which we did the following day. No response was received.
Haaretz Headline Casts Anti-Polygamy Measure As Targeting Bedouin Women
A headline in Haaretz‘s English edition Friday cast a new rule targeting the practice of polygamous families fraudulently gaining rights to buy more than one building lot as discrimination against Bedouin women. Thus, the page four headline stated: “New rule will make it harder for Bedouin women to buy land.”

But more diligent readers who make it beyond the misleading headline into the accompanying article by Almog Ben Zikri learn that the rule in question is directed at preventing polygamous households from obtaining multiple building lots, not at preventing Bedouin women from buying land.

Thus, the article reports:
Israel’s Authority for the Development and Settlement of the Bedouins in the Negev said Wednesday it would change its method for selling building lots in Bedouin communities in order to prevent them from being purchased by women involved in polygamous marriages.

It has been customary to sell such plots to single mothers who are unmarried or divorced, though these statuses are seen as indicating that these women may be in a polygamous marriage. But from now on divorced women will have to show documentation and proof they haven’t given birth in the nine months since their divorce. Other single women will have to provide proof of their circumstances as well. . . .

Since 2007 the Israel Land Authority has been authorized to allocate land parcels in Bedouin communities to married men aged 18 and up whose families live with them. The rule was said to seek to avert conflicts over land ownership among clans.
Facebook algorithm found to push Holocaust denial to users
Facebook’s algorithm for suggesting content that may interest users has actively promoted Holocaust denial pages, according to the findings of a UK-based research institute reported in the Guardian newspaper on Sunday.

The Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD), a UK-based counter-extremist organization, found that following public pages with Holocaust denial content caused Facebook to recommend additional pages pushing the same ideas.

Just searching for the word “Holocaust” on Facebook’s search function brings up suggestions for denial pages and that those pages then recommend links to publishers of revisionist and denial literature, including that of British Holocaust denier David Irving, according to the ISD.

“Facebook’s decision to allow Holocaust denial content to remain on its platform is framed under the guise of protecting legitimate historical debate, but this misses the reason why people engage in Holocaust denial in the first place,” Jacob Davey, ISD’s senior research manager told The Guardian.

“Denial of the Holocaust is a deliberate tool used to delegitimize the suffering of the Jewish people and perpetuate long-standing anti-Semitic tropes, and when people explicitly do this it should be seen as an act of hatred,” he said.

IDS found 36 Facebook groups with 366,068 followers which are specifically dedicated to Holocaust denial or host content.
Lawfare Project helps Jewish surgeon fight unfair treatment by hospital
The Lawfare Project, an organization made of legal experts who help defend the civil and human rights of Jews, helped a Jewish surgeon subjected to unfair treatment due to his identity, according to the Jewish News Syndicate.

The Jewish trauma surgeon's name and the name of the hospital where he works were not disclosed due to confidentiality issues.

The surgeon complained about hospital emails that were sent to all employees during the Easter holiday in last April.

The emails contained verses from the bible which, according to the anonymous surgeon, have been used throughout history to
promulgate hatred against Jews, JNS reported.

Following the complaints about the email, the surgeon was subjected to various threats and an overall, unjustifiable, treatment by the management, including: public humiliation, derogatory comments and threaten salary-cuts.

"Unfortunately, as antisemitism persists in the workplace, [and] this case is just one of many involving discrimination against Jewish employees," according to a statement by the Lawfare Project.
Spanish priests in Paris in WWII saved over 130 Jews with forged baptism
Between 1940 and 1944, a group of Spanish Claretian missionaries based in Paris forged baptismal and wedding certificates for more than 150 Jews to protect them from persecution, a Spanish historian has uncovered. As reported by the El País Semanal, the story was unveiled after 80 years thanks to the work of 26-year-old Santiago López Rodríguez, who started his research after a fortuitous conversation.

“I was researching for my doctoral thesis on the work of Spanish diplomacy during the Holocaust in the archives of the consulate and doing interviews with survivors and relatives of victims of the Nazi extermination,” he told the newspaper. “While having coffee with Alain de Toledo, son of a deportee in the Royallieu-Compiègne camp, he told me that his parents had baptismal certificates forged in a Spanish church in Paris to help them flee to Spain.”

The researcher soon got to the small parish in the central Rue de la Pompe and started to dig in its archives, where he found out that in the period where France was ruled by Nazi-collaborator Philippe Pétain, four clerics seemingly converted to Catholicism the members of dozens of Jewish families, mostly from Istanbul and Thessaloniki.

“It is clear how in that period of time baptisms increased by 200% in this parish. Entire families were converted on the same day and in some cases the marriage certificate was also forged at the same time,” López Rodríguez, who teaches at the University of Extremadura, pointed out.

He found out that all the documents were signed by the same four priests: Joaquin Aller, Ignacio Turrillas, Emilio Martin e Gilberto Valtierra.
In trial, Israeli gargle test gives COVID results in 1 second, at 95% accuracy
Israeli scientists are testing a new ultra-fast gargle-and-spit test for coronavirus on hundreds of patients, and report that so far it is proving 95-percent accurate.

The developers have built a USB-powered machine the size of an ashtray, which takes just one second to conduct light analysis of mouthwash that a patient has gargled.

They are about halfway through a trial of 400 people at Israel’s largest hospital, Sheba Medical Center, and say that if accuracy levels continue to impress, they expect it to become available internationally by the end of the year.

The innovation team, drawn from Sheba and the Newsight imaging company, says that the technology has the potential to replace PCR testing, which includes an unpleasant swabbing process and requires lengthy lab analysis, as the main screening method used worldwide. PCR tests are believed to be around 80% accurate. Accelerated PCR testing, the fastest current method, is not widely available and with a 15-minute turnaround at its best, comes at a financial cost and with a reduction in accuracy levels.

“This system is very rapid, cheap, and is looking reliable,” Prof. Eli Schwartz, head of the trial and of Sheba’s Center for Geographic Medicine, told The Times of Israel. “It’s suitable for mass screening, as well as airport screening, screening at nursing homes, and even screening at home.”
Israel reopens skies, plan to permit tourists to be presented end of August
Coronavirus commissioner Ronni Gamzu will recommend the cabinet impose a national lockdown during the upcoming Jewish High Holy Days, Channel 12 reported on Monday – just a day after the country reopened the skies to Israelis returning from some 20 countries, canceling the requirement of 14 days of isolation.

The report comes against the backdrop of a record number of serious cases, with 399 patients currently in serious condition – the highest figure since the beginning of the outbreak.

According to Channel 12, Gamzu has come to the conclusion that in order to contain the current outbreak, it will be necessary to impose more stringent restrictions than the ones that are currently in place.

Among the measures he is considering are further limiting the number of worshipers in synagogues, closing hotels and tourist attractions, restricting movement and requiring that holidays only be celebrated with one’s nuclear family. Similar restrictions were enforced in the spring for the holidays of Passover and Ramadan.

Gamzu, in reaction to the report, stated his position on any form of lockdown has not changed, and that he is determined to avoid it at any cost, provided that the healthcare system continues to function. He added that he is studying different scenarios and restrictions as required by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who assigned him the task of preparing a detailed plan. In doing so, he is consulting with experts in order to achieve the greatest health benefit at the lowest economic cost.
Cardi B wears Israeli designer on September cover of 'Elle'
Pop star Cardi B has the cover of the coveted September issue of the American version of Elle magazine, and is featured on it wearing a special piece by Israeli jewelry designer Keren Wolf.

The cover photo shows Cardi B wearing a paillette-covered dress with a deep décolletage by Balenciaga with a short wig, topped by a net of precious crystals by Wolf.

Editor-in-Chief Nina Garcia put out the cover shot on her Instagram account, where she tagged Wolf.

Wolf spoke to Israel Hayom about her cover coup saying, "During coronavirus, I was asked to send editorial pieces to Elle. I didn't know it was meant for the prestigious September issue, with the star Cardi B.

"I saw that Nina Garcia, the editor-in-chief, had tagged me, and it was really exciting. I'm thrilled about it all, especially right now, when everything is so challenging," Wolf said.
Israel working on direct flights to Dubai over Saudi Arabia - Netanyahu
Israel is in talks to have direct flights to the United Arab Emirates fly over Saudi airspace, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on a visit to Ben-Gurion Airport on Monday.

“It is a short flight of three hours, like to Rome, but it will greatly change Israeli aviation and the economy, with a great number of tourists on both sides and a great number of investments,” Netanyahu said.

Israir has already put in a request to begin direct flights to Dubai and Abu Dhabi, he said.

The prime minister said Emiratis are interested in “massive investment” in Israeli technology, and that free trade zones in the Emirates will allow for inexpensive goods to be imported into Israel.

“It is a boost to the Israeli economy and good for every citizen,” he added.

Netanyahu pointed out that direct flights to the Emirates will make flying to and from Israel easier for many people. They would shorten travel time from Israel to East Asia and Oceania.
Earliest soap factory in Israel, discovered in Negev, shows seeds of early Islam
A team of Israel Antiquities Authority archaeologists and local high school youth working in the steamy Negev Desert have uncovered Israel’s first identifiable soap factory, dating to 1,200 years ago, in the Beduin city of Rahat. The fact that the soap was made of olive oil is an indication of Islam’s influence in the region even as it started making roots in Israel.

“This city has [deep] Islamic roots and we are proud of these roots,” said Mayor of Rahat Fahiz Abu Saheeben in an IAA Hebrew-language video.

The olive oil soapery arose during the Abbasid period, archaeologist Dr. Elena Kogen-Zehavi told The Times of Israel. The Abbasids were among the early Arab rulers who brought Islam to Israel. The soap was a valuable export commodity, and made its way to Egypt and other Arab lands, she said.

The key to the production of this soap is olive oil as its fatty base, as opposed to the pig fat used in Europe of the same period, which is anathema to Islam.

The Arab conquest of the Holy Land took place in 636, but Islam only became the majority religion in the ninth century. An earlier 2019 excavation in Rahat has shown, however, that Islam came early to this region of the Negev. IAA archaeologists uncovered a rare, very early rural mosque, dating to circa seventh-eighth century CE. It is one of the earliest known examples in the world. (h/t jzaik)
StandWithUs: Meet Jerusalem’s Deputy Mayor
Jerusalem’s deputy mayor is nothing short of a superwoman. Growing up in Gibraltar as a member of a proud Jewish family, Fleur Hassan-Nahoum is a trained lawyer who made Israel her home in 2001. She has made it her mission to make advances in women’s rights and economic development in the capital while assisting marginalized population groups in the city she loves so dearly. Join StandWithUs TV Live as we discuss all things Jerusalem with the deputy mayor!

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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