Sunday, November 22, 2020

From Ian:

Holocaust Museum opens exhibition about the killing of George Floyd
An American Holocaust Museum has opened an exhibition about the death of George Floyd.

The Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center in Florida, established to educate future generations about the Nazi extermination of six million Jews during the Second World War, is housing a collection of 45 photographs of individuals reacting to killing of Mr Floyd, the African American choked to death by white police officer in Minneapolis earlier this year.

The exhibition is entitled Uprooting Prejudice: Faces of Change, and features images by Minneapolisphotographer John Noltner. One portrait features the father of Michael Brown Jr, who was shot dead by a policeman in Missouri in 2014.

Lisa Bachman, assistant director of the Holocaust Center, said: “We have produced this so that people can come and look these individuals in the eye. So you come face to face with people, so you can really experience the feelings that they were feeling.”


How Pollard was held captive by 35 years of politics - analysis
Peres’s message to Obama was to be the following: You don’t have to grant clemency. In fact, you can distance yourself from the matter completely. Just privately let the US Justice Department know that you don’t oppose paroling Pollard and letting him leave for Israel. Obama would not need to get his hands dirty, just keep the commitment he had made to Israelis 15 months earlier to treat Pollard fairly, like any other prisoner, and let his parole be assessed naturally on the merits of his case.

Following the meeting, Peres’s diplomatic adviser, Nadav Tamir, reported back to the lawyers with good news: The message had indeed been delivered.

Peres’s office leaked to the press that Obama had personally referred the matter to his attorney-general and close confidant Eric Holder – the head of the American Justice Department and the chief law enforcement officer of the US government.

“The entire nation is interested in releasing Pollard, and I am the emissary of the nation,” Peres told reporters after the meeting. “I don’t think of myself as Shimon. I am the representative of the State of Israel, and I speak in the name of its people.”

Pollard entered the room at his prison skeptical but cautiously optimistic, ready to see what his first parole hearing would be like.

But all hopes that the hearing would be fair were dashed immediately. The government’s representatives spoke menacingly, treated Pollard with contempt, prevented his lawyer from making his case, and made it clear that the Israeli agent would not see the Jewish state any time soon, if ever.

Those present described the hearing as a “kangaroo court” and even “a lynching.”

Pollard’s parole came a year later and was granted for technical, not political reasons. The unprecedented parole restrictions he faced were typical for Pollard, whose life sentence was also an exception to the rule.

He served more than 20 years longer than anyone ever convicted of spying for an ally, the victim of attempts to make an example of him and deter future spies. The plea agreement he signed that was supposed to guarantee he would not be given a life sentence went ignored.

Former CIA head James Woolsey blamed Pollard’s continued incarceration on antisemitism, in an interview with The Post’s Caroline Glick. “My view is that he should be treated like other intelligence assets of allies,” he said. “We spy on some allies, and they have spied on us. Because they’re allies, usually they have only been in prison for a few years. What I said is that people shouldn’t be hung up on him being Jewish or Israeli. Pretend he’s Greek and release him.”

It is only fitting that Pollard finally ended up getting his release on Friday – not because of politics but in spite of politics.
J Street uses a pro-terrorist EU bureaucrat to malign Israel
J Street, in a mid-November email appeal, quoted an unnamed "top EU diplomat" in its tirade against an Israeli government call for bids for new homes in a nearly 30 year-old Jerusalem neighborhood, Givat Hamatos, where Ethiopian Jewish and Russian immigrants live.

What's worse than J Street's vitriol against the construction of Jewish homes, is that the name of the EU functionary was left off of J Street's rant, probably intentionally, because he is an anti-Israel extremist who earlier this year gave outright support for terrorists. According to Israel's Foreign Ministry, he stated that Palestinian Arabs affiliated with blacklisted groups remain eligible to participate in projects funded by the EU.

J Street is the controversial Washington, D.C., based Jewish pressure group that, judging by its actions, seems to have been created specifically, and almost exclusively, to lobby for an independent Palestinian state. J Street maintains, as a central theme, that Jews do not have a right to live wherever they choose and must be transferred out of their homes and neighborhoods in wide swaths of Judea-Samaria where Israeli citizens have lived for nearly fifty years.

The EU bureaucrat who opposes Jewish homes in Givat Hamatos in southern Jerusalem, and who was quoted by J Street, is a German named Sven Kühn von Burgsdorff.

Von Burgsdorff previously was the head of the EU's delegation to South Sudan and in a May 8, 2020 JTA article, he was identified as heading the "EU mission to the West Bank and Gaza Strip."

The Times of Israel news website reported on May 7, 2020 that an Israeli Foreign Ministry official stated that the letter by "von Burgsdorff, constituted a 'violation of all our agreements with the European Union'."


What Is Going to Change in the Middle East under Biden?
President-elect Joe Biden and his entourage have announced that they are interested in lifting sanctions on Iran and returning to the nuclear agreement. They also expressed the view that the new administration intends to renew U.S. ties and assistance to the Palestinian Authority.

At the same time, Biden and his advisers have asserted that their strategic objectives are no different from those of previous administrations, i.e., preventing Iran from arming itself with nuclear weapons; restraining Tehran’s dangerous activities in the region and the domestic arena; fortifying Israel’s security, in part by continuing security assistance and preserving Israel’s qualitative military edge (QME); opposing Israel’s delegitimization; and promoting an agreement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Significant parts of the changing reality in the Middle East appear irreversible, notably, the normalization of relations between Israel and the pragmatic Sunni states. For instance, in the agreement with the UAE, the Emirates recognized the existence of a Jewish People for the first time – a clear contradiction of the central principle underlying the Palestinian narrative that rules out the existence of such a people.

It is unlikely that the new U.S. administration will ignore the Taylor Force Act, which prohibits financial aid to the PA if it insists on continuing to pay salaries to terrorists who murdered Israelis (and Americans). The Palestinians are considering changes in the system of payments, but it is doubtful that they really mean to stop this practice or change it in any significant way.

In the Iranian context, it will be difficult for the Biden administration to turn the wheel back quickly. Some sanctions were deliberately imposed through mechanisms that cannot be readily repealed (such as those set under anti-terrorism legislation). Moreover, the Iranians are unwilling to agree to changes or additions to the original nuclear agreement, such as limitations on intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Ultimately, Biden will have to take into account that relations with Israel are crucial to protecting American interests in the region and that the pragmatic Arabs are close allies of the United States.
Netanyahu warns against reengaging with Iran, in apparent message to Biden
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in an apparent message to US President-elect Joe Biden and his team, warned on Sunday against reengaging with Iran on the 2015 nuclear deal.

“We will not allow Iran to get nuclear weapons,” Netanyahu said at an annual memorial event for Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, in the southern kibbutz Sde Boker where Ben-Gurion lived.

“The previous nuclear deal must not be rejoined. We need to persist with an uncompromising policy to ensure that Iran does not develop nuclear weapons,” Netanyahu said.

The world must stop Iran’s “aggressive behavior, including its support for terror,” he said.

Netanyahu said Israel’s stance toward Iran played a part in Jerusalem’s warming ties with the Arab world. Israel in recent months achieved historic normalization agreements with three Arab states — the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan.

“Thanks to our our steadfast opposition to Iran’s nuclearization, and our opposition to the Iran nuclear deal,” Netanyahu said, “many Arab countries have completely changed their attitude toward Israel.”
Would Trump recognize Israeli sovereignty in east Jerusalem? - analysis
In 2017 Trump, recognized that Jerusalem was not only part of Israel but also was its capital. His administration relocated its embassy to east Jerusalem and has allowed US citizens born in Jerusalem to register their country of birth as Israel, if they so choose. Previous administrations had forbidden Americans born in Jerusalem from registering Israel as their country of birth.

In addition, Trump’s “Peace to Prosperity” plan to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict allows for Israel to retain all the portions of Jerusalem located within the boundaries of the security barrier. It excluded only those Palestinian areas within the city’s municipal boundaries – but outside those within the barrier, which it said would be part of a future Palestinian state.

When Trump first announced recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, he was careful to state that he did so without prejudice to any final status agreement between Israeli and the Palestinians.

Since that declaration, the Trump administration has walked a fine line between referring to Jerusalem as part of Israel, while at the same time allowing for confusion to reign as to whether it has recognized Israeli sovereignty in east Jerusalem.

When the US changed the birth designation for Jerusalem passports, it applied a policy for disputed areas, rather than a blanket assertion. Those who want to only register their place of birth as Jerusalem and not Israel can continue to do so. It’s a step that leaves open the possibility that the administration hasn’t completely recognized sovereignty.

EUGENE KONTOROVICH, Director of Scalia Law School's Center for the Middle East and International Law at George Mason University, said he is among those who hold that the US has already recognized Israeli sovereignty over east Jerusalem.

When US officials speak of Jerusalem, Kontorovich said, they mean the whole city, and they visit all parts of the city within its municipal boundaries. The US Embassy is located across the Green Line, he underscored. “If that is not recognition, I do not know what is,” he said. “However, it is certainly the case that they can clarify [the issue] to remove all doubt,” Kontorovich said.

Should the Trump administration take that step, it could argue – as it already has – that it was not introducing new US policy, but simply acting on existing policy as set out by bi-partisan Congressional resolutions, such as the 1995 US Embassy Act.

That act, which was signed by US President-elect Joe Biden when he was a senator, recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s undivided capital and as such recognizes Israeli sovereignty over all the city.
Middle East Forum crashes Palestine Advocacy Day
During the week of September 14, American Muslims for Palestine, an extremist pro-Palestinian advocacy group, lobbied members of Congress as part of its virtual “Palestine Advocacy Days.”

However, instead of just hearing from AMP activists who seek to demonize Israel and sabotage recent normalization achievements, several legislative meetings were commandeered by counter-Islamist activists who briefed congressional offices on AMP’s antisemitic and extremist roots.

Associates from the Counter-Islamist Grid, a project of the Middle East Forum, infiltrated AMP’s annual lobby day and redirected the focus of its meetings to emphasize AMP’s radical origins and documented history of anti-Jewish hate. Their sudden and unexpected participation threw AMP’s conference calls into complete disarray, with some of its lobbyists insulting their legislative hosts or prematurely ending their meetings.

In a brief video presentation, CIG-Philadelphia associate Len Getz explained his group’s motives for disrupting the event: “By hijacking AMP’s lobby day, the Middle East Forum left an impression, which members of Congress will not soon forget. They will remember that AMP’s extremist past and pro-terrorist sympathies when considering any of its legislative proposals.”

Since 2015, AMP has rallied supporters to meet on Capitol Hill for its annual advocacy days. Year after year, its members have sought to advance a number of radical proposals, such as criminalizing Israeli military units and supporting the antisemitic Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement.

This year, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, AMP was forced to hold its delegate training and legislative meetings in a virtual format, offering concerned counter-Islamists unprecedented access to its event. There was no vetting process for participants, and AMP relied on a single, brief training session to indoctrinate volunteer lobbyists to parrot its views in front of lawmakers.
Ilhan Omar Urges Biden to Annul Israel-UAE Peace, Drop Saudi Arabia, Push Palestinian State
You’ll note that for the Congresswoman from Minnesota there are only dictators out there, not even one singular country that respects the rule of law and holds parliamentary elections – some say too many parliamentary elections. One can only surmise that you can get the girl out of Somalia but man, it’s hard to get Somalia out of the girl.

She wailed about President Trump’s rather admirable record in the Middle East: “He recently inked so-called “peace deals” between the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Sudan, and Israel. The only problem? They weren’t peace deals. They’re arms sales to human rights abusers, designed to empower the Gulf States and increase the risk of war with Iran.”

“Meanwhile, he cozied up to Saudi Arabia, a regime responsible for some of the worst human rights atrocities of our young century—including routing murder of human rights advocates and war crimes in Yemen,” she tweeted.

She added: “We must ask: What do these agreements mean to the millions of Palestinians who continue to live under Israeli military occupation?” and “Rather than make statehood or self-determination more likely, they have normalized the occupation and made real peace for Israelis and Palestinians increasingly unlikely.”

Finally, Omar declared regarding the Democratic presidential win (but ignored key losses in districts where voters who chose Biden nevertheless preferred the Republican candidate for Congress and even sent home several Democrats – because of the leftist ideology the party has been unable to shed): “We did that this election and we won. We should be proud of that. Let’s continue to organize and use our mandate to pursue the America we all deserve. Onward.”

Onward indeed. If ever there were a need for a Democrat in the White House to purge his leftwing rank, it’s today. One can only hope that sane centrists such as Rahm Emanuel – whom the Squad absolutely abhors – would succeed in pushing the party to the right. The alternative would be a one-term presidency.
Egyptian star under fire over photo with Israeli singer in UAE
Egyptian actor Muhammad Ramadan came under fire over the weekend after an Emirati journalist posted a photo of the star embracing Israeli singer Omer Adam during a trip to the United Arab Emirates.

The picture gained further traction when it was retweeted by the State of Israel’s Arabic Twitter account under the caption “Art brings us together.”

According to reports, the photo was initially posted by Emirati journalist Hamad Al Mazrouei on his Twitter account, captioning the shot: “The most famous artist in Egypt with the most famous artist in Israel, Dubai brings us together.” However he later deleted the picture as outrage grew.

“You’ve lost your audience,” read one comment on actor Ramadan’s page, according to the Ynet news site. “No to normalization” said another, and “All Palestinians should stop following you.”

Though Egypt officially has ties with Israel, its government has not encouraged a warm peace with the Jewish state and normalization remains frowned upon there. That’s in stark contrast to the UAE, which has attempted to foster cultural exchange and warm relations between peoples in its brand-new normalization with Israel.


IDF strikes Hamas infrastructure in retaliation for rocket fire
The Israeli military struck Hamas military infrastructure early on Sunday morning in response to rocket fire launched towards the southern city of Ashkelon, the second time in two weeks.

The strikes, carried out by Israeli Air Force jets and attack helicopters targeted Hamas military sites including “two rocket manufacturing sites, underground infrastructure and a training facility for the Hamas terror group’s naval force,” the IDF Spokespersons Unit said in a statement.

The IDF said it holds Hamas responsible for the rocket fire and “will bear the consequences” for the rocket fire. Israel, the statement added, takes “all terror activity against Israel very seriously and is prepared and willing to act as resolutely as necessary against attempts to harm Israeli citizens and its sovereignty.”

Late on Saturday night, a rocket was fired towards the southern city of Ashkelon sending thousands. No group claimed responsibility for the rocket fire.

During a video conference with the heads of the Gaza Envelope along with Finance Minister Israel Katz and Interior Minister Aryeh Deri, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the government would continue to support the residents of the area.

Netanyahu noted that despite the continued rocket fire, people continue to move to the area.

“People want to come...I think that says it all,” he said. “Our aggressive security policy - as expressed only yesterday, in response to any harm directed at us - along with strengthening civil resilience in the region are the real answer to terror organizations. They come to uproot, we come to stay.”


IDF finds bombs planted outside West Bank village, apparently to target soldiers
The Israel Defense Forces on Sunday morning thwarted an attempt to attack troops with improvised explosive devices in the central West Bank, the military said.

According to the IDF, the explosives were planted outside the village of al-Mughayyir near Ramallah. They were uncovered by IDF troops and then disarmed by police sappers.

“There were no injuries or damage,” the IDF said.

The explosives were buried and covered with dirt for camouflage and rigged to blow if a soldier stepped on them.

Israeli security forces launched an investigation into who planted the explosives.

“IDF soldiers and security forces will continue to operate day and night to ensure the security of residents of the region,” the military said.

The incident came during a period of relative calm in the West Bank.
Explosives placed by terrorists near Jerusalem over weekend
Terrorists placed explosives by the Qalandiya Crossing north of Jerusalem and by Rachel's Tomb on Friday night, according to the Border Police.

Two suspects arrived at the crossing, placed two explosives next to the crossing and ran away from the scene. One of the explosives detonated next to a car passing through the crossing, without causing damage or injuries.

Border Police in the area conducted searches and succeeded in finding and arresting the suspects, two minors, in a nearby store. While leaving the area, the police were confronted by dozens of Palestinians who threw stones at them. The police forces used riot dispersal methods; the incident ended without any injuries.

Additionally, a lookout saw a suspect place an explosive near the Rachel's Tomb complex and run away from the scene. Border Police crossed the safety barrier and succeeded in finding and arresting the suspect, an 18-year-old from Bethlehem. The explosive did not detonate.


PMW: Two-faced PA told NY Times salaries to terrorists will change, but told Palestinians they will “not change”
This week, the PA announced to the world via the New York Times that it will change its policy of rewarding terrorists with salaries based on the length of their prison time (i.e., the severity of the crime) to instead be based on the needs of the individual terrorist’s family.

However, in its usual two-faced way, to Palestinians the PA maintains that the practice of paying salaries to imprisoned and released terrorists and the families of dead terrorist “Martyrs” will continue unabated regardless of outside pressure. Director of PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs Qadri Abu Bakr who told the New York Times the PA was changing the salaries, to Palestinians “denies” having made any such comments:
“Director of Palestinian [PLO] Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs Qadri Abu Bakr denied a statement today… that was attributed to him in the paper TheNew York Times, according to which there is a proposal ‘to change the payment of the allowances of the prisoners in the Israeli occupation’s prison’ so that ‘allowances will be given to their families according to their social condition, and not according to the length of their term in prison.’”
[Al-Araby Al-Jadeed (UK), Nov. 19, 2020]


To NYT, Abu Bakr stated:
“The proposal… would give the families of Palestinian prisoners stipends based on their financial need instead of how long they are behind bars…”
“Economic need must serve as the basis… A single man should not be earning the same as someone with a family.”
[NYT, Nov. 21, 2020]



But to Palestinians he said:
“The salaries of the prisoners’ families are non-negotiable and the Palestinian leadership’s position is firm and will not change, regardless of the circumstances and pressures.”
[Official Fatah Facebook page, Nov. 19, 2020]
PA wants Biden to reverse ‘anti-Palestinian’ decisions
The Palestinians will demand that the new administration under US President-elect Joe Biden cancel “anti-Palestinian” decisions taken by the administration of President Donald Trump, Palestinian officials said on Sunday.

The officials told The Jerusalem Post that the Palestinian Authority has prepared a list of demands that will be presented to Biden after he is sworn in on January 20.

The list includes a request to reopen the PLO diplomatic mission in Washington, rescinding Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, resuming financial aid to the PA and the UN Relief and Work Agency and reopening the US consulate in east Jerusalem.

In addition, the officials said, the Palestinians will also demand the Biden administration cancel the recent decision that allows US citizens born in Jerusalem to list Israel as their place of birth, as well as US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s announcement allowing for settlement products to be labeled as “Made in Israel.”

“We have already contacted Biden’s people to inform them of our demands,” a Palestinian official told the Post. “We had a positive dialogue with senior officials who are close to Biden.”


JCPA: What Did Jordan’s Parliamentary Elections Show?
Parliamentary elections were held in Jordan on November 10, 2020, which were marked by Palestinian indifference, the awakening of the Bedouin periphery with an emphasis on the young Bedouin generation, and a crisis between the Government administration and the Muslim Brotherhood.

The overall turnout was 1,386,749 voters, or 30 percent, with a relatively large vote in the periphery communities, But in major cities such as Amman, where the Palestinian public is located, turnout was very low, perhaps at an unprecedented low. (Overall voter turnout in 2016 reached 36%.)

Of course, one can attribute the low voter turnout to the Covid19 virus, but the Bedouin youth cared and came out to vote, while the urban Palestinians remained indifferent.

In the person-on-the-street polling done by the Jordanian press, it was clear that only one thing interested the youth: the economic and social situation. Not political solutions, not Jerusalem, nothing. Just economics. The new Jordanian parliament will be measured by the solutions it finds to the social and economic distress and the horizon it will present to the younger generation.

The Arab Spring broke out in 2010 because of a refusal to issue to a despairing young man a license for a market stand license in some unknown Tunisian town. The ensuing Arab storms failed. Will pressure in the polls result in a different outcome?


Top Al-Qaeda Operative killed in Iran while binging Fauda (satire)
Tehran: Al-Qaeda’s second-in-command- Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah, also known as Abu Mohammed Al-Masri, met his demise in Tehran on August 7th when foreign agents gunned him down.

Published reports indicated that Al-Masri was actively planning attacks on Jewish targets, but a fax recording leaked by Israeli intelligence suggests that in the minutes leading up to his assassination, Al-Masri was watching the third season of Fauda.

Defense officials confirmed that Al-Masri can be heard arguing with fellow Al-Qaeda commanders:

“I know that it is our duty to submit Jews to the lowly dhimmi status they deserve, but to be honest all I care about is finding out whether or not Doron and Hila are gonna hook up later this season. Let me finish season 3, and then we can get back to killing Jews.”

The tape’s authenticity was immediately refuted by both Iran, which had been providing sanctuary for Al-Masri, and Al-Qaeda itself.
Israel Respects Gay Rights; the Palestinians Do Not
The University of Pittsburgh’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) held a meeting in October on the topic of “pinkwashing” — the accusation that Israel exploits the LGBTQ+ community to propagandize a progressive image of the country, and to obscure the reality that Israel is allegedly an apartheid state.

Pinkwashing is one of many false narratives manufactured by anti-Israel organizations. Like any country, Israel is not perfect and not without prejudice; but it strives to be a beacon of freedom for all its inhabitants. In a region hardly brimming with liberal democracies, Israel “adamantly protects the rights of its gay citizens, and the LGBT community is represented in the highest echelons and in all facets of Israeli society.”

Israel celebrates the community not to appear progressive, but because it truly respects gay rights, and has an uncanny level of support for the LGBT+ community.

The founder of modern Zionism, Theodor Herzl, wrote that a Jewish state would be a positive force not only for Jews, but “for the good of humanity.” Nothing could be more true for the prosperous LGBTQ+ community in Israel, though anti-Zionist activists such as adherents to the BDS movement insist that an ulterior motive is at play.

The BDS movement claims that “Israel’s pinkwashing agenda seeks to portray itself as a fun-loving gay haven while using racist stereotypes to depict Palestinians as backward.”
BBC News recycles some of its previous BDS whitewashing campaigns
In fact – as only those who bothered to click on the link to the BBC’s report from May 2019 would discover – the motion passed by the German parliament also clearly stated that “the pattern of argument and methods of the BDS movement are anti-Semitic” and, like the US Secretary of State’s remarks, “vowed that parliament wouldn’t finance any projects that call for a boycott of Israel or actively support the movement”.

CAMERA UK’s archives include extensive documentation of the BBC’s partial and problematic portrayal of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign (BDS). For years the corporation has reported related stories without adequately clarifying that campaign’s real agenda in its own words and in August 2015, we learned that the BBC considers the provision of such crucial background information “not our role“.

As in this latest report, BBC audiences have repeatedly seen the BDS campaign inaccurately described as a “movement for human rights” while no effort is made to enhance audience understanding of the fact that its aims – as clarified by one of its leaders earlier this year – clearly contradict that branding:

“If the refugees return to their homes [in Israel] as the BDS movement calls for, if we bring an end to Israel’s apartheid regime and if we end the occupation on lands occupied in 1967, including Jerusalem, what will be left of the Zionist regime? That’s the question. Meaning, what will the two states be based on?”

“International law and the right of return? There won’t be any Zionist state like the one we speak about [in present-day Israel]. There will be two states: One democratic for all its citizens here [Palestine] and one democratic for all its citizens there [Israel]. The Palestinian minority will become a Palestinian majority of what is today called Israel.”

The fact that the BBC absolves itself from providing its audiences with the full range of information concerning the BDS campaign while repeatedly amplifying and mainstreaming it in frequent reports can lead to no other conclusion than that the corporation long since self-conscripted to promotion of that campaign, thereby seriously compromising its claim to editorial ‘impartiality’.
MSNBC’s Ayman Mohyeldin Pushes False Narrative of Dispossession
Mohyeldin is able to push a false story of “Israeli settlers” dispossessing a Palestinian family from their home by ignoring the fact that the family forfeited their rights to live as “protected tenants” in the Jewish-owned property by flatly refusing to pay rent that they owed. And based on this deception, El-Kurd is able to advance his sensationalist, factually-bereft agenda:

What I think is even more important to point out that I want to speak to the American people, I want to speak to the American tax payer. Do you really want to pay $3.8 million a year to fund my home demolition and my land grabbing especially during a pandemic when the American working class family is struggling to survive? Is this what American tax payers want to be funding?

Mohyeldin signals his approval for El-Kurd’s “very valid questions.”

In a separate factual error, Moyheldin grossly mischaracterizes the agenda of the anti-Israel BDS movement, whitewashing: “another headline today was the U.S. Secretary of State saying that the movement of boycott, divest, sanctions to try to end the occupation in the West Bank is antisemitic.”

But as leaders of the movement themselves have made clear, BDS’s goals are not limited to ending Israel’s presence in the West Bank. To quote BDS co-founder Omar Barghouti’s rhetorical question-and-answer to himself, “If the occupation ends, let’s say, would that end your call for BDS? No it wouldn’t.”


US Department of Justice Denies Deportation Appeal of Former German Nazi Guard
A man who served as a Nazi concentration camp guard has lost his appeal to halt his deportation, announced the US Department of Justice on Thursday.

Friedrich Karl Berger, a German citizen, was ordered removed from the United States earlier this year because of his time in 1945 as an armed guard of concentration camp prisoners in the Neuengamme concentration camp system in northern Germany.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian Rabbitt of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division noted in a statement that the appeal’s denial by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) came on the eve of the 75th anniversary of the commencement of the Nuremberg trials, where former Nazis were convicted and some of them executed as punishment.

Rabbitt said that Berger’s “case shows that the passage of time will not deter the department from fulfilling the moral imperative of seeking justice for the victims of their heinous crimes.”
German FM slams anti-mask protesters for ‘making a mockery’ of Nazi victims
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas on Sunday lashed out at anti-mask protesters comparing themselves to Nazi victims, accusing them of trivializing the Holocaust and “making a mockery” of the courage shown by resistance fighters.

The harsh words came after a young woman took to the stage at a protest against coronavirus restrictions in Hanover Saturday saying she felt “just like Sophie Scholl,” the German student executed by the Nazis in 1943 for her role in the resistance.

A video of the speech has already been viewed more than a million times on social media, with many sharply condemning the speaker.

“Anyone today comparing themselves to Sophie Scholl or Anne Frank is making a mockery of the courage it took to stand up to the Nazis,” Maas tweeted.

“It trivializes the Holocaust and shows an unbearable forgetting of history. Nothing connects the corona protests with the resistance fighters. Nothing!” he said.
US Firms Set to Be Barred From Top Israeli Aerospace Company’s $5 Billion IPO
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) will not be offering its shares to US buyers when it goes public next year due to a veto by local defense sector officials who are concerned about the possibility of having to litigate in US courts in the future.

The country’s largest aerospace and defense company is set to go public on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) in the first half of 2021 after the ministerial committee on privatization approved the proposed IPO on Thursday.

While there is no plan to sell shares to US clients, the IAI is looking into the option of holding a roadshow in London and Asia. As part of the IPO, IAI employees will receive 6% of the shares.

The majority of the money raised from going public will be channeled back into the company, with approximately NIS 1 billion ($300 million) to be transferred to the country’s coffers. The Ministry of Defense had unsuccessfully lobbied for all the proceeds to be sent to the IAI where it would have greater control on how they were spent.

Discussions regarding an IAI IPO have been ongoing for over 25 years. It was often the employees who stood in the way of privatization, but this time they seem set to support the move, although all the details have yet to be agreed upon.
Despite Uptick in COVID-19, White House to Host Annual Hanukkah Party
Despite a significant rise in the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which has reached some of its highest numbers in America to date this month, the White House will host its annual Hanukkah party on Dec. 9 at 3 pm, according to an official invitation.

The scheduled date is one day before the eight-day “Festival of Lights” begins on the evening of Dec. 10. The holiday runs through the evening of Friday, Dec. 18.

Whether the festivities at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue will be indoors or outdoors remains to be seen. Stephanie Grisham, spokesperson for first lady Melania Trump, whose office organizes the party, did not respond to a request for comment.

The White House has come under fire for hosting indoor events, after which a number of attendees have later been diagnosed with COVID-19.
Ben-Dror Yemini: Discovering peace in Dubai
Two young local women entered the bar. Both were dressed in traditional black clothing, covered from head to toe. Along with the Corona protection mask, only the eyes remained visible. It looked like a niqab.

“Oh, great this is just what we need,” I thought to myself, because at that exact time we had a meeting scheduled with a group of academics. It was in Dubai.

I thought these women, apparently Islamists, came to interrupt. Minutes passed. Before I realized what was going on, one of them approached me to introduce herself, in the Queen's English.

“My name is Lubna,” she said, and held out her hand. For a moment I pulled back, what did she want? It turns out that the young women dressed in abayas were part of the group that came to the meeting.

For Lubna is a banker and a Cambridge graduate and Nura an electric engineer.

Minutes passed and the ice broke, mostly thanks to them. I have been to a great many encounters with academics and students around the world. I have never experienced such a wave of empathy.

It all started the pro-Israel NGO Reservists on Duty, a group founded and led by Amit Deri. One of the organization's leading activists is Lorena Khateeb, a young Druze woman who works part-time at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and, in particular, maintains connections with the Arab world through social media networks.

These ties, including with Dr. Majid Al-Sarrah, a public policy lecturer in Dubai, have developed into an initiative that focuses on corresponding visits. That’s how we arrived to Dubai.
Israel ratifies visa exemption agreement with UAE, its first with Arab state
Israel’s cabinet ratified a mutual visa exemption agreement with the United Arab Emirates on Sunday — the Jewish state’s first ever such agreement with an Arab country.

The ministers voted unanimously to approve the treaty, which was signed in Tel Aviv last month. The UAE government reportedly ratified the agreement on November 1, which means that it will enter into force in 30 days.

“This is the first Arab country with which we have signed such an agreement and this is a step that will facilitate reciprocal tourism,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said before the vote at the weekly cabinet meeting.

“Of course, this will develop and strengthen ties between the countries as well as economic links. I believe that every citizen of Israel, the entire world, sees the great change that we are bringing to our region in every field.”

The prime minister mentioned the visit to Israel of Bahraini Foreign Minister Abdullatif bin Rashid al-Zayani last week, noting that Jerusalem and Manama did not have diplomatic relations until very recently.

“This is an immense change,” he said.
Israel’s Bank Hapoalim signs accords with Dubai, Abu Dhabi financial hubs
Israel’s Bank Hapoalim Ltd. said Sunday it has signed “historic” agreements with two financial centers in the UAE, enabling the lender to give its customers easier access to the network of banks, investors, regulators and tech firms that are part of the financial centers.

Hapoalim said it signed memorandums of understanding with the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), a financial center located on the Al Maryah Island in the capital city of the UAE, and with the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC).

The centers are special economic zones that act as financial hubs for the Middle East, Africa and South Asia markets. They generally have their own independent, internationally regulated rules and judicial system, a common law framework, a global financial exchange, and a tax friendly regime. The districts house hundreds of financial institutions, including wealth funds and private investors as well as multinationals.

The cooperation will enable Bank Hapoalim to offer its clients easier access to the UAE via the financial centers’ network of firms, and give entrepreneurs in the financial technologies sector access to the accelerator programs run by these centers, which will provide them with office space as well as connections to banks and financial institutions to test out their technologies.
Beyond Automotive: Why Michigan is Eying Israeli Industry 4.0 Innovation>
COVID-19 has become a powerful accelerator for the adoption of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and Industry 4.0 technologies, as manufacturers around the world realize the need for more remote accessibility, monitoring and management capabilities for production plants, as well as more visible and ‘closer to home’ supply chains. The pandemic has also accelerated digitization and automation, as global manufacturing hubs, such as Michigan, are adopting Industry 4.0 solutions to keep their competitive edge in the new coronavirus era and beyond.

Israel, the Startup Nation, is playing a significant role in developing smart technologies for manufacturers around the world. Despite having a very small manufacturing sector of its own, Israel’s 255 startups in the fields of operation optimization, inspection and testing, supply chain, maintenance, 3D printing, robotics, connectivity and security vulnerabilities, are gaining recognition for their Industry 4.0 solutions, deriving from Israel’s well-known strengths in cybersecurity and AI/ML, computer vision, sensors, and complex systems integration capabilities.

Moreover, Israel is now placed third in the world (after the US and China) in terms of venture capital investments in the field of Industry 4.0, which more than tripled in five years: from $112 million in 2014 to $349 million in 2019; there are more than 50 multinational corporations that have chosen to develop IIoT solutions in Israel, including car manufacturers Ford and General Motors, but also medical equipment corporation Medtronic, appliances giant Bosch, and others.

It’s important to note that Michigan has its own startup ecosystem, backed by local venture capital firms. With venture investors backing 97% of all Michigan venture-funded startups, the state’s entrepreneurial economy hinges on investors’ ability to consistently fund high-growth, high-potential companies. In 2019, there were 144 venture-backed startup companies in Michigan.
Avi Abelow: Live with comedian Avi Liberman

The Israeli secrets to resilience that anyone can learn
How did Israeli Air Force helicopter pilot Noam Gershony go from a near-fatal crash to winning a Paralympic gold medal in wheelchair tennis?

How did a little boy go from the hell of Nazi camps to becoming the chief rabbi of Israel?

How did a 12-year-old girl go from a treacherous four-month trek from Ethiopia to earning a doctorate and directing a nonprofit organization?

It’s all about resilience.

The 14 profiles in ISResilience: What Israelis Can Teach the World — released November 11 by Gefen Publishing House – prove it’s possible to succeed in life despite terrible tragedies and formidable obstacles.

“I’ve been living in Israel for almost 15 years and I meet all sorts of people in my travels,” says coauthor Michael Dickson, executive director of StandWithUs in Israel.

“I’ve always been convinced there is something special about the way Israelis cope, whether they know it or not. They wake up in the morning and don’t know how the day will end. They live with uncertainty and yet they bounce back from personal and national tragedies.”

Six years ago, a book started taking shape in his mind.
StandWithUs: Israel Now News : Michael Dickson on ISRESILIENCE




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This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 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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