Monday, February 08, 2021

From Ian:

Will the Boycott-Israel Clique Co-opt the Scientific Community?
Higgs is among the most important figures in the world of physics, but he eluded the media and popular culture. Doing the opposite arguably made Stephen Hawking the world’s most famous physicist, perhaps even its most famous scientist. In May 2013, when he pulled out of a conference in Jerusalem, the New York Times headline blared, “Stephen Hawking Joins the Boycott Against Israel.” He was reportedly persuaded to do so by MIT linguist and anti-Israel activist Noam Chomsky and members of the British Committee for Universities of Palestine (BRICUP), which effectively functions as the U.K.’s arm of the BDS movement.

BRICUP founding members Hilary (a sociologist) and Steven (a neuroscientist) Rose wrote in The Guardian that Hawking’s decision “threatens to open a floodgate with more and more scientists coming to regard Israel as a pariah state.” While not quite a floodgate, certainly a door was opened by Hawking’s example, and gradually a number of physicists, chemists, and biologists began to distort history, repeat the rhetoric of Palestinian terrorist groups, and call for a boycott of Israel. In 2015 a group of physicists founded Scientists for Palestine “to raise awareness among scientists . . . about the challenges of science under military occupation.”

Malcolm Levitt, a British professor of chemistry, made headlines in 2017 by urging his colleagues to boycott the Federation of European Biochemical Societies’ annual convention being held in Jerusalem. In 2019, George P. Smith, a Nobel Prize–winning professor of biological sciences at the University of Missouri, endorsed a boycott of Israel while receiving an award at Westminster College. Both Levitt and Smith played a role in the initial Molecules decision to oust Levine as guest editor.

By 2018, the Electronic Intifada, sensing a trend, published an article titled “Why Scientists Should Boycott Israel.” It predicted a propaganda victory when more scientists join the BDS movement by disrupting Israel’s “projection of itself as a modern, hi-tech, Western-style liberal democracy.”

In the history of physicists and chemists boycotting Israel, there is both irony and hypocrisy. Some have detected irony in Hawking’s boycott of the country that produced the technology that extended his life, and a whiff of hypocrisy in his collaboration with Israeli physicist Jacob Bekenstein (as in the theory of Bekenstein-Hawking entropy). After the then-theoretical Higgs boson was confirmed in 2012, David Shamah wrote that while Higgs was the father of the so-called God particle, “researchers at the Weizmann Institute in Rehovot, Hebrew University, and the Technion” played such a crucial role that “Israeli scientists were uncles.” In the last decade four Nobel Prizes in chemistry have gone to Israelis, so future boycotters of Israel harm themselves by precluding collaboration with Israeli scientists.

The BDS movement is at a crossroads, sinking in the wake of Donald Trump’s Abraham Accords but likely to be buoyed by the Biden-Harris administration, which has already named BDS activist Maher Bitar as senior director for intelligence programs at the National Security Council. The big question is: If the Electronic Intifada gets its wish and scientists become as common as Middle East studies professors in the BDS movement, will it matter? Do people, unwittingly or otherwise, privilege science and therefore the opinions of scientists, or do most people see scientists (physicists especially) as savants, brilliant in their fields but only humored, certainly not emulated, outside of them? In short, are people more likely to trust and believe the opinions of scientists than those of other academics?

The evidence is mixed. Pew Research and other polls indicate that “public confidence in the scientific community has remained stable for decades” and that scientists are far more trusted than journalists, educators, and politicians. This suggests that a major influx of scientists could strengthen the BDS movement.

Others believe that public faith in scientists amounts to only “soft support,” and that the more people know about science, the more likely they are to be “concerned about biases that may cloud scientists’ thinking.” If so, then scientists are no more likely than anthropologists, historians, or English professors to salvage the dying cause.
Vaccinated people less likely to transmit coronavirus, Israeli study suggests
Israel’s largest COVID-19 testing lab says it has found evidence indicating that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine significantly reduces the transmissibility of the coronavirus, offering a tentative answer to one of the world’s most burning questions.

A paper published online Monday claims that positive test results of patients age 60 and over had up to 60 percent smaller viral loads on the test swab than the 40-59 age group, starting in mid-January, when most of Israel’s population age 60-plus had already been vaccinated with at least one dose.

The results were published by the MyHeritage lab, which handles more than 10,000 tests a day, in a study co-authored by several prominent scholars, including leading COVID-19 statistician Eran Segal of the Weizmann Institute of Science.

The results are only based on partial data, because MyHeritage did not know if individual samples came from patients who had been vaccinated or not. But overall, the results appear to show that once someone is vaccinated, even if they have the virus in their system, they are less likely to pass it on because they have fewer infectious SARS-CoV-2 droplets hanging around their noses and throats.

“Our result reflects great data, because it gives exactly what we want from a vaccine, namely that it reduces transmission,” Prof. Yaniv Erlich, head of the MyHeritage lab, told The Times of Israel on Monday. “It shows, to some extent, that this reduces viral load in the nose and throat, which is the main channel for transmission of the virus.”

While the lab found a 60% reduction in viral load for those 60 and over, Ehrlich postulated that it could drop further once more people in the cohort are vaccinated. He emphasized that his research is at an early stage, and the topic needs more investigation.

The family we didn't know we had
Israeli travel to the UAE picked up at lightning speed with the country listed 'green' up until recently, allowing Israelis to travel back home without the need to quarantine. During the month of December alone, over 65,000 Israelis visited the UAE according to Ben Gurion airport spokesman. Among them were Israeli delegations participating in GITEX, Israeli singer/songwriter Idan Raichel's who performed at Dubai Opera, a delegation of Israeli Mayors, Peres Center for Peace officials, Israel's ice hockey team who arrived for a friendly match against Dubai, and many tourists driven by intense curiosity to see and experience the intriguing destination.

Thousands of Israelis and diaspora Jews who arrived to the UAE to celebrate Hanukkah described the occasion as historic. For the small Jewish community living in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the festival of lights marked the first time in which a Jewish holiday was publicly celebrated and recognised. Hotel lobbies displayed signs wishing visitors a Happy Hanukkah as the sound of Hebrew filled large parts of the city. Emirati guests who joined the candle lighting ceremony were also amazed to see the giant menorah at the base of Burj Khalifa - a site that neither side imagined possible before the signing of the Abraham Accords.

Ever since UAE tourism opened up for Israelis, several new Kosher restaurants and services have been added to the city landscape, and the site of kippa-wearing-visitors in Dubai easily outnumber Tel Aviv during high holidays.

The effects of the Abraham Accords don't stop with Israel-Jewish communities around the world are expressing great interest in visiting and learning about the UAE. Observant Jews who already visited the Emirates say they feel safer walking around with their prayer shawls here, than they do in Europe and even New York.

While Covid-19 has slowed down travel between the two destinations, excitement levels remain high. Israeli tourists are eager to get back in the air and look forward to introducing Emiratis to Israeli culture, cuisine, history, and the family they never knew they had.
Moroccan TV programme celebrates Jewish culture
On 3 February 2021 the Moroccan TV channel MED1tv broadcast a 'culturathon' - a two-hour long programme vaunting Moroccan-Jewish culture. The programme featured performers, a Judaica collector, a film-maker and academics, all speaking of their memories, nostalgia and affection for Morocco. It ended with the Moroccan national anthem being played in Israel.

The programme was clearly aimed at an external audience. It began with the glamorous French-speaking presenter quoting from the 2011 Constitution, which recognised Jews and Berbers as integral components of Moroccan 'pluralism'. Kamal Hachkar, a French-Moroccan with Berber roots, took part. He had made a documentary about Israeli Jews homesick for their mutual home town of Tinghir in the Berber Atlas, and a sequel following an Israeli singer, Neta Elkayam, who has returned to live in Morocco.

Interspersed with blessings for the welfare of King Mohamed VI, the programme bore the unmistakable stamp of royal adviser Andre Azoulay, who for years has been pushing Jewish heritage into the Moroccan mainstream. A 19th century synagogue in Essaouira has been converted into Beit Dakira, a House of Memory, opened by the King in 2020 to great fanfare.

Now that Azoulay has fulfilled his foreign policy objective of US recognition of Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara as part of the Abraham Accords (one interviewee called it the US-Morocco accords') what is he trying to achieve next? The programme ended with a call to the young generation of Jews, now mostly settled in Israel, to return to Morocco.

Elliott Abrams: George Shultz, 1920-2021
On the left, Reagan still does not get the credit he deserves for winning the Cold War, nor does Shultz; revisionists want to credit “history” or Shevardnadze and especially Mikhail Gorbachev. But Margaret Thatcher was basically right when she said “Ronald Reagan won the Cold War without firing a shot.” Reagan’s most striking achievement was spiritual and intellectual. He envisioned not “peaceful coexistence,” not endless accommodation, but victory. In 1988 Reagan explained to Richard V. Allen, his first National Security Adviser, “Here’s my strategy on the Cold War: We win, they lose.”

But a strategy needs to be implemented. To get there, Reagan needed as his wingman someone who shared his confidence in America, and who could turn that strategy into the everyday reality of diplomatic life. Who could work with Reagan to see when compromise was right? Who could advise him about negotiating with reluctant Europeans, hostile Soviets, and Democrats who thought the whole policy a dangerous road to war? Whom could he trust every day to counsel wisely and never to undermine, never to place his own personal interests or reputation over that of the President? Reagan had the immense luck to find, and the great sense to choose, a statesman with not just the vision and character but also the bureaucratic and management skills to be his partner.

The frontispiece in Shultz’s memoir is a quote from Isaiah Berlin: “At crucial moments, at turning points, when factors appear more or less equally balanced, chance, individuals and their decisions and acts, themselves not necessarily predictable—indeed seldom so—can determine the course of history.”

This may have been Shultz’s tribute to Reagan, but it is a fair summary of Shultz’s place in contemporary history. Born just after the First World War, he risked his life as a Marine to see freedom prevail in the Second. Then he returned time after time to Washington to help keep the nation prosperous and free, and guide it through Cold War confrontations that required steely nerves and deep confidence in himself, his country, and the cause of freedom. He was blessed to live 100 years, but we were more blessed that at those “crucial moments and turning points,” George Shultz was there again and again.
When George Shultz, friend of Israel, opened the door to Palestinian legitimacy
Over six and a half years, he covered 880,941 miles and arranged breaks in his diplomatic duties to pay tribute to the culture of the people and places he visited.

“I think the thing I felt the best about had to do with the area of human rights,” he said. On his trips to Moscow he spent time meeting with Jews and other dissidents who were denied exit permits to Israel and elsewhere. He arranged a Passover Seder at the US Embassy and made sure “refuseniks” were invited.

When he pledged to keep trying to promote peace talks in the Middle East, his desk was piled high with summit planning, turmoil in Panama and completing an agreement for the withdrawal of the Red Army from Afghanistan. He plotted carefully.

Yasser Arafat, the Palestinian leader, had memorized the line demanded by the United States and renounced terrorism, while hardline Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir had agreed to the principle of exchanging land for peace. But Shultz, like a long line of US mediators, secretaries of state and US presidents, could not get serious peacemaking on track.

“I failed,” he said on the US plane taking him home.

As it would turn out, though, the Palestinians edged their way toward statehood and Israeli withdrawal from lands captured in the 1967 Mideast war. And Shultz, as much as anyone, set the stage.

Andrew Young had lost his job in 1979 as US ambassador to the United Nations for unauthorized meetings with Palestinian diplomats. But only a few years later, Reagan and Shultz, considered Israel’s best friends, had opened the door to Palestinian legitimacy and possibly a Palestinian state on land held by Israel.

Shultz liberalized the rules for the briefings that secretaries of state gave to reporters traveling with him. He could be identified by name, not shrouded in partial secrecy as “a senior US official.” He assured reporters, “I have nothing to hide.”
Clifford D May: U.N. General Assembly simply remembering the Holocaust is insufficient
As noted above, the second express purpose of International Holocaust Remembrance Day is to prevent future genocides. So, you might expect there to be some mention at the U.N. of the plight of the Uyghurs, a Turkic and Muslim people whose central Asian homeland, Xinjiang, is ruled by Beijing.

Eugene Kontorovich, director of the Center for the Middle East and International Law at George Mason University’s Scalia Law School, noted in a Wall Street Journal op-ed last week that there is bipartisan consensus that China’s Communist rulers are committing genocide against the Uyghurs.

Joe Biden took that position back in August, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s made that his official determination just prior to the change of administration. The State Department concluded that Chinese Communist authorities “have conducted forced sterilizations and abortions on Uyghur women, coerced them to marry non-Uyghurs, and separated Uyghur children from their families.” Millions are believed to be incarcerated in re-education and/or forced labor camps.

Antony Blinken, the new secretary of state, has agreed that China’s rulers are engaging in “ongoing” genocide.

Nevertheless, officials at the U.N., the U.N. Human Rights Council, the U.N. Office on Genocide Prevention, the International Court of Justice, and the International Criminal Court have turned a blind eye.

Nor is this an urgent concern for the Organization for Islamic Cooperation and the leaders of most of the world’s many Muslim-majority nations (those in Tehran most emphatically included). And by what logic do the many entities claiming to champion “corporate social responsibility” and “ethical investing” ignore genocide?

The international community has responded fecklessly also to Beijing’s destruction of Tibet’s unique culture, its crushing of Hong Kong’s autonomy (guaranteed by a treaty signed by China’s rulers), and its accelerating threats to the people of Taiwan.

Following the extermination of Europe’s Jewish communities, world leaders vowed that “Never again!” would genocide be tolerated. Such resolve, if it ever existed, has dissipated. This year, particularly on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, that reality should not go unnoticed, unremarked and unregretted.
The spies who fought to keep the Nazis out of Palestine
Gorenberg’s book is chock-full of stories and anecdotes that may come as a surprise even to avid consumers of history of both World War II and the Middle East. In 1940, for example, Italy carried out a series of bombing raids on Tel Aviv and Haifa, killing more than 200 people. And former IDF Chief of Staff Moshe Dayan received his iconic eye patch after losing his sight in a 1941 battle against Vichy French forces in Lebanon.

Gorenberg has several theories as to why many of these stories are far less discussed today than those from the battlefronts of Europe.

“The greater-than-life powerful images of D-Day and the battles of Europe obscured what came before it,” he said. “It’s sort of like people remember the end of the story without remembering the beginning of it.”

The book also touches on some of the atrocities committed during the Holocaust against Jews in the Middle East, which Gorenberg believes are also largely overlooked. Libyan Jews under Italian rule were shipped off to concentration camps, Tunisian Jews suffered under Vichy French rule and in Iraq, the Farhood pogrom of 1941 against Baghdad’s Jews left several hundred dead, “the least known, least acknowledged victims of Nazism.”

“I think it’s important to remember that [Europe] was not the borders of the Holocaust,” said Gorenberg. “These are also parts of the history of this period that we should remember… I think it’s critical, out of respect for understanding our own history, to include that in our story.”

In addition to telling a tale of espionage, Gorenberg believes his book serves a greater purpose.

“I feel like one of the important things I was doing was bringing out this suppressed memory,” he said. Had German General Erwin Rommel won the battle of El Alamein in Egypt in 1942, said Gorenberg, “the fate of the Jews of the Middle East would have been entirely different. We would not be having this conversation in Jerusalem, probably, if it weren’t for the intelligence breakthroughs at Bletchley Park and an incredible heroic event at El Alamein. And I think that’s part of our history that we should know.”
How M.C. Escher ran afoul of the Nazis
In Robin Lutz’s intriguing (yet in the end incomplete) documentary, “M.C. Escher: Journey to Infinity,” the iconic Dutch graphic artist (1898-1972), emerges as a complex and entertaining amalgam. He is an intellectual, a curmudgeon, and a tormented artist twisted this way and that over what he perceives to be his own inadequacies.

Lutz evokes Escher’s psyche and the larger world he inhabits through his diaries, letters, lectures and other written musings. “I fear that there is only one person in the world who could make a really good movie about my prints: myself,” Escher wrote to an American collector of his work in 1969. And Lutz is allowing him, metaphorically speaking, to do just that His words are voiced by British actor Stephen Fry who is by turns introspective, amused, and/or enraged. There are also interviews with Escher’s sons, George and Jan. George vividly recalls the smell of his father’s studio — and the musician, art collector and art book publisher Graham Nash of Crosby, Stills & Nash — proclaims that Escher’s greatest period of recognition is yet to come. Old family photos and archival footage of the era (including chilling scenes of a bellowing Mussolini and Nazi soldiers invading Holland) are interspersed throughout.

So too are samples of Escher’s psychedelic and meticulously rendered woodcuts, lithographs and other black and white print work. Escher plays with dimensionality and repeated visual motifs. In one work, a series of tightly connected, stylistically drawn identical birds in flight are repeated across the page until they morph into fish. Another signature piece features staircases that either ascend or descend depending on your point of view. The work — heady, fantastical, replete with optical illusions and a touch of sci-fi — is not too far removed from a nightmare.

Escher insists he was closer to a mathematician than an artist, though at the end of his life, paradoxically his most successful period, he felt he was neither. Incorporating 3D animation, Lutz illustrates how Escher visualized an idea and brought it to fruition. Escher says he would have loved to animate his own work, but suspected it would be of no interest to anyone, short of himself.
Daniel Pipes: Israel and the Temple Mount's 5 Muslim rivals
Everyone knows about the Jewish-Muslim tussle over claims to rule Jerusalem, with its Palestinian lie that Jerusalem has no role in Judaism, and also the pro-Israel rebuttal that the Koran does not mention Jerusalem.

But there's another heated, if less public, battle over Jerusalem (Arabic: Al-Quds): not about the right to rule the city, but authority over the Temple Mount (Arabic: Al-Haram ash-Sharif), the holy esplanade containing two antique and holy edifices, the Dome of the Rock (built in 691) and Al-Aqsa Mosque (705).

Palestinian Authority: Controlling the Temple Mount is absolutely central to the PA's mission. It may lack the economic and military resources of a state, but it wields two unique powers: day-to-day management (thanks to Israeli deference) and wide international support for its claim to rule eastern Jerusalem.

The PA zealously sustains these powers by intimidating Israel with its calls for Muslim outrage and leftist anti-Zionism. As the effective ruler atop the Temple Mount, it is the status quo power resisting any change.

Jordan: Amman enjoys many formal privileges but has minuscule sway on the ground. The 1994 Jordan-Israel peace treaty states that "Israel respects the present special role" of Jordan in "Muslim Holy shrines in Jerusalem" and it grants "high priority to the Jordanian historic role in these shrines."

One scholar mistakenly translates this into a supposed custodianship, "with its attendant duties of maintaining, protecting, and regulating access to the shrines." Indeed, Israel colludes with relatively friendly Jordanian kings to hide their impotence because that pretend "special role" is, in the words of Nadav Shragai, "The central anchor that bolsters their monarchical rule, granting it legitimacy in the face of Islamic extremist elements in Jordan. A weakened presence on the mount, Jordan fears, will necessarily also undermine stability in the kingdom to the point of presenting an existential threat."
CAIR Leader Shares Social Media Posts from Islamist Who Calls Jews ‘Demonic’
Now that Hassan Shibly has resigned his position as Executive Director of CAIR-Florida, after his wife’s accusations of domestic violence, it has left CAIR-Florida Communications Director Wilfredo Ruiz in the top leadership position of the group, at least until the group names a new Executive Director. This should result in extra scrutiny for Ruiz, beginning with his recent social media postings copied from Muslim extremist Abdur Rahman al-Ghani, who refers to Jews as “demonic” and “the children of Satan,” and Ruiz’s own anti-Semitic ramblings. Up until now, Ruiz’s radical activity has been ignored by news networks that continue to interview him. Why?

Wilfredo Amr Ruiz has been with the Florida chapter of CAIR, since December 2011. CAIR or the Council on American-Islamic Relations was created, in June 1994, as part of a US Hamas network led by then-global head of Hamas, Mousa Abu Marzook, who was deported from the US in 1997. While with CAIR, Ruiz has also served as legal counsel for the American Muslim Association of North America (AMANA), a group that was condemned by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), in July 2010, for promoting “venomous” anti-Semitic material on its website. Besides being its lawyer, Ruiz founded AMANA’s Puerto Rico and Connecticut chapters.

Since 2017, Ruiz has been involved with the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), the US arm of South Asian Islamist group Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), and is now a representative for ICNA’s WhyIslam. ICNA has advertised Hamas and Hezbollah on its website, and in December 2017, ICNA organized an event featuring Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FIF), a front for Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), the group responsible for the 2008 Mumbai attacks. For decades, ICNA has harbored and placed in its top leadership Ashrafuz Zaman Khan, a JI militant who was sentenced to death, in absentia, for the December 1971 murders of 18 people in Bangladesh.

Last month, Ruiz shared Facebook posts made by Abdur Rahman al-Ghani, Ruiz’s Facebook ‘Friend’ and the ex-social media manager of the South Florida Muslim Federation (SFMF), a group that Ruiz has also been affiliated with. The posts compared President Trump to Hitler and contemptuously branded America “a nation forged in racist violence.” In the past, Al-Ghani has used Facebook to post vile bigotry, including saying: Jews are “the children of Satan,” “demonic” and “the most evil on earth”; the US is the “Worlds Number One Terrorist Organization”; “Islam will dominate the world”; and gay Muslims are “stone cold kaffirs outside the fold of Islam.”
Swastikas painted in front of California campus’ Jewish fraternity house
Police in California are investigating after a Jewish fraternity at the California Polytechnic State University reported finding swastikas and other anti-Semitic graffiti painted outside its house.

The symbols were scrawled in front of the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity house in California’s San Luis Obispo County on Friday night, campus authorities said.

“We awoke to multiple swastikas and antisemitic statements spray-painted on and in front of our house,” the fraternity wrote in an Instagram post on Saturday. The post did not show images of the graffiti described in the post.

University President Jeffrey Armstrong and other officials Saturday evening said in a statement that the incident was reported to the San Luis Obispo Police Department and an investigation is underway, according to The Tribune of San Luis Obispo County, which is located about halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Leiden University professor cleared of antisemitism charges
An independent committee inquiry has cleared Prof. Paul Cliteur, from the Law Faculty of the University of Leiden, and his associates of accusations of antisemitism.

The recent investigation was initiated after a Dutch right-wing political party, Forum for Democracy, in which Mr Cliteur held a prominent position, disbanded. Last November, the Party’s leader, Thierry Baudet, faced significant backlash following the exposure of extremist and hateful statements in the youth section of the organisation.

Mr Cliteur maintained his membership and stated that he was “in solidarity with Baudet and his ideological line”.

A publication followed in which twenty-seven former doctoral students of Mr Cliteur claimed that the professor had failed to take action against antisemitic statements made directly by Mr Baudet. Mr Baudet has received criticism for several inflammatory and offensive remarks, including the comment, “You are everywhere”, directed towards a Jewish individual.

A group of professors from Mr Cliteur’s faculty subsequently shared an open letter that claimed that antisemitism, xenophobia and anti-democratic attitudes are normalised and common in the Forum of Democracy, and shared by its members.
Israel Advocacy Movement: Israeli settler wrecks Ariel Gold
By the time Malkah Flisher is finished, you almost feel sorry for Ariel!

PreOccupiedTerritory: God Unsure How To Make More It Explicit He In Favor Of Zionism (satire)
Divine Throne Room, February 8 – The Creator and Sustainer of all reality expressed frustration today upon discovering additional evidence that despite numerous clear passages in His revealed Word extoling Jewish sovereignty in the ancestral Jewish homeland as a paramount value, and despite the blatantly miraculous nature of events surrounding the reestablishment and continued success of that sovereignty in modern times, sizable portions of the human race continue to believe He does not endorse the phenomenon.

The Lord YHWH voiced His reaction Tuesday in the presence of several ministering angels, with the understanding that those divine emissaries will convey His displeasure at continued human refusal to apply their basic mental faculties, and through them to realize that God supports Zionism, the movement to reestablish, maintain, and strengthen Jewish government of the Land of Israel, which by the way, you fools should have noticed when that movement became a vehicle for the fulfillment of Biblical prophecies.

“I know I created a capacity for obtuseness in humanity,” acknowledged the Almighty, “but this is getting ridiculous. There are folks out there whose epistemic closure effectively prevents them from getting the right message when it’s staring them in the face, waving, and shouting. By My Name, if I were to lower a neon sign from Heaven specifically declaring My support for Zionism, amid monumental shofar blasts and pillars of fire and smoke, too many people would try to explain it away as some random anomaly, a Zionist manipulation, or Satan testing them. Obtuseness is a decision, y’all.”
CAMERA UK prompts corrections to BBC Spanish language report
CAMERA UK submitted a complaint concerning the BBC’s inaccurate, misleading and offensive use of the term ‘apartheid’ together with its incorrect portrayal of the status of the Oslo Accords. Ten days later we received the following response:
“Thank you for contacting us and your complaint regarding an article published by BBC Mundo about the vaccination programme (Covid-19) in Israel, the Occupied territories and the Gaza Strip.

After reviewing the article the editors of BBC Mundo decided to edit the text and add the following line lines at its bottom:

“This note was edited to correct an error on the status of the Oslo Accords and to rectify a wrong attribution of the use of the word apartheid, which was also removed from the title.”

We apologise for the errors and hope that the action we have taken has clarified the matter.”

The report’s headline now reads: “Coronavirus: las críticas al eficiente plan de vacunación de Israel que no incluye a los palestinos de los territorios ocupados” (“Coronavirus: criticism of Israel’s efficient vaccination plan that does not include Palestinians from the occupied territories”).
Antisemitic conspiracy theory goes unchallenged on BBC World Service
The BBC World Service has been accused of failing to ensure its foreign-language content meets BBC editorial guidelines after a presenter on the BBC World Service failed to challenge an antisemitic conspiracy theory advanced on air by a Somali politician.

The BBC Somali Service is part of the London-based BBC World Service. In an edition of a programme called Dooda Jimcaha broadcast on 18th December on the Somali Service, the Somali MP Mohamed Omer Dalha claimed that there was a conspiracy against Somalia by “Jews running these affairs both in the West and the East.”

According to the translation of the segment for CAMERA UK by Dr Moshe Terdiman, Founder and Research Director on Islam and Muslims in Africa, the assertion was not challenged by the presenter.

A CAMERA spokesperson said that such antisemitic statements “should have no place in BBC content,” adding that this case once again “raises questions concerning the ability of the BBC World Service to oversee the foreign-language content put out in its name and ensure that it meets BBC editorial guidelines.”
Telegraph corrects article that conflated fact with (Palestinian) opinion
As we noted in a recent post, we complained to Telegraph editors last month over the following sentence in an article by their Mid-East correspondent Abbie Cheeseman (“UAE cabinet approves establishment of embassy in Tel Aviv in further sting to Palestinians”, Jan. 24):
The normalisation deals have served a severe blow to international hopes of a two-state solution and to many hopes for Palestinian statehood.

We argued that straight news articles like this would typically employ modifying words like “some observers believe” that the “normalisation deals have served a severe blow to international hopes for a two-state solution”, to make it clear that the political impact of the Abraham Accords is of course disputed.

We stressed to editors that the accuracy clause of the Editors’ Code demands that “The Press…must distinguish clearly between comment, conjecture and fact.”

Our complaint was ultimately upheld, and the sentence was revised to make it clear that the view about the impact of the Abraham Accords cited is merely an opinion held by some, not a fact. Many believe the normalisation deals have served a severe blow to international hopes of a two-state solution and to many hopes for Palestinian statehood.
Haaretz Corrects MK Yazbak’s Op-Ed Which Overstated Disparity Between Solved Murders in Arab, Jewish Sectors
CAMERA’s Israel office prompted yesterday correction of a Haaretz Op-Ed in in which Member of Knesset Heba Yazbak of the Joint List overstated the disparity between the number of murders solved in Israel’s Arab community versus its Jewish community. The Op-Ed, which appeared in print in the Feb. 5 paper, (English and Hebrew) falsely alleged: “This is the same police force that solves 70 percent of murder cases in Jewish society and zero percent in Arab society.”

In fact, according to Haaretz‘s investigation in November, “police have solved only 22 percent of murder cases in Arab communities this year as opposed to 53 percent of murders in Jewish communities, according to figures obtained by Haaretz” (“Israeli Police More Than Twice as Likely to Solve Murder of Jews Than Arabs,” Nov. 1, 2020)

According to Haaretz‘s 2019 figures, 32 percent of the murder cases in the Arab community were solved that year, versus 60 percent in the Jewish community.

In response to communication from CAMERA, Haaretz commendably corrected the digital editions, English and Hebrew. The amended article now accurately states: “This is the same police force that solves 50 percent of murder cases in Jewish society and 20 percent in Arab society.” Contrary to common journalistic practice, a note was not appended to the bottom of the Op-Ed alerting readers to the change. Nor has a correction appeared in the print edition.
'Context and Clarity' 'The Week' Violates Own Mission Statement
For an online magazine that claims to provide readers with “all you need to know about everything that matters,” The Week fails to accurately report on the Arab-Israeli conflict and the Iranian nuclear threat. It even accepts and promotes the false claim that “Palestine” is a country.

The So-Called ‘State of Palestine’
The Week consistently refers to “Palestine,” even though a sovereign state by that name does not exist — and never existed. This practice results in odd sentences, like this one from a recent article on the normalization agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates:
“Historically, UAE law stated the recognition of Israel would only occur if Palestine became its own independent state, which has not happened.” [emphasis added]

The PA unilaterally declared statehood several times and seeks international recognition using the name “State of Palestine;” this, in defiance of the Oslo Accords with Israel. Moreover, the PA does not meet the criteria for statehood as defined by the so-called Montevideo Convention, and it is therefore not within the prerogative of journalists to decide what constitutes a country.

That The Week abides by the PA’s propaganda reveals its pro-Palestinian bias. This also becomes evident when examining the outlet’s reporting on the 2017 decision to relocate the US Embassy to Jerusalem and recognize the holy city as the Jewish state’s capital.

Contributors to the magazine called the move, which was grounded in US law (Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995), “controversial,” a “pointless stunt,” and an “inflammatory idea.” It also suggested that the initiative by then-US president Donald Trump “disrupted discussions of peace.” The Week then proceeded to publish several provocative cartoons about the issue.
The Israel Security Agency’s report on terror attacks (Hebrew) during January 2021 shows that throughout the month a total of 131 incidents took place: 85 in Judea & Samaria, 39 in Jerusalem and inside the ‘green line’ and seven in the Gaza Strip sector.

In Judea & Samaria and Jerusalem the agency recorded 106 attacks with petrol bombs, five attacks using pipe bombs, four arson attacks, one shooting attack, one vehicular attack, two rock-throwing attacks and five stabbing and additional attacks. In the Gaza Strip sector one attack using a petrol bomb, two shooting attacks, two IED attacks and two incidents of missile fire were recorded.

One civilian was injured when her car was attacked by rock-throwers on January 3rd near Neve Tzuf in the Binyamin region.

Visitors to the BBC News website during January saw no reporting whatsoever on the subject of Palestinian terrorism, including the incidents of rocket fire from the Gaza Strip on January 18th and January 19th.

Swiss Jews act as far-right party publishes new edition of Protocols
Switzerland’s Jewish community is taking legal action over a new edition of “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” published by the far-right Swiss Nationalist Party (PNOS).

“The Protocols” were an antisemitic hoax fabricated more than a century ago in Czarist Russia and are a source of many of the most virulent antisemitic tropes. PNOS has provided a new foreword which states: “Whether real or fake, we don’t need to worry, because we are mainly concerned with the content.”

The Swiss Federation of Jewish communities (SIG-FCSI) filed a complaint with the public prosecutor’s office in Bern after the publication was flagged in the PNOS magazine Harus.

In a statement, SIG-FCSI noted that “especially” during the COVID-19 pandemic “conspiracy myths” had gained popularity, including those that were antisemitic. “The publication of ‘The Protocols’ encourages such conspiracy myths and promotes Jew-hatred,.” the statement declared, adding that the new foreword clearly showed that these were the goals of the PNOS.
Israeli wireless charging company makes waves among Chinese tech giants
Humavox is paving the way toward eliminating the growing burden of excessive wires, with convenient charging solutions. Connectivity, and the many devices that come with it, has become a defining feature of the global economy and modern life in the 21st century. It created a shift in the demands of consumers, who consistently crave newer, better and faster devices that offer greater functionalities and last longer. According to a 2020 survey, the average American had access to more than ten connected devices in their household.

Among the most popular of these devices are obviously mobile phones, computers, smart TVs, tablets, video game consoles, and connected TV boxes. Then there are also other devices, such as wearable tech like smart watches and VR headsets. The ownership of these devices has proven to improve the quality of life for their owners across numerous fronts, but one element remains universally less delightful – and that is the issue of cords.

There are so many cords, but never enough outlets to plug them into.

While this can be seen as a First-World problem, it remains a source of real frustration. As such, many in the industry have been looking into wireless charging solutions. Wireless charging presents many benefits, as it provides efficient, cost-effective and safer advantages over traditional charging systems. Additionally, the continuous transfer of power helps ensure that all devices are charged and readily available for use.
Rewriting history, evidence of olive consumption 6,600 years ago found off Haifa
Israeli archaeologists have found evidence of the earliest-known production of olives for consumption rather than for oil, which dates back 6,600 years, according to a University of Haifa study.

The study was recently published in the peer-reviewed journal Scientific Reports.

Thousands of olive pits were found off the southern coast of Haifa, embedded in stone and clay neolithic structures in an area that is now submerged, but is believed to have been part of the northern coast in the past.

The pits were dated to around 4,600 BC, some 4,000 years earlier than the previous earliest known use of olives for food.

“When we found the pits we could immediately see they were different than the ones used to produce oil,” said Tel Aviv University archaeologist Dafna Langot. “In the waste from the production of olive oil the pits are mostly crushed, while here the pits were mostly whole.”

The researchers also did not find other telltale signs of oil production such as the remains of olive skins

The researchers said the ancient site’s location near the sea also indicated it was probably used to brine olives using seawater — as any other storage purposes in the high-humidity beach area would not make much sense.
Holocaust survivor with about 400 descendants passes away at 105
Holocaust survivor Shoshana Ovitz, whose birthday celebration with about 400 of her descendants at the Western Wall in 2019 went viral, passed away on Sunday at the age of 105.

She survived Auschwitz after witnessing her mother being handed over to Josef Mengele, the infamous “Angel of Death” Nazi doctor known for his cruel experiments on prisoners. Her father also died in the Holocaust.

After the liberation of Auschwitz, Shoshana met Dov Ovitz, a cousin of hers whose wife and four daughters had perished in the Holocaust. They married soon after and lived in Austria before moving to Haifa, where they had four children together.

“Only during the celebration did we understand how important she is,” Ovitz’s eldest granddaughter, Panini Friedman, was quoted by Walla as saying at the time of the 2019 Western Wall event. “We all had tears in our eyes. It was very moving.”

Even with 400 people there, not all of the family could make it,” she said. “We’re missing about 10% of them.”

Ovitz took the opportunity to bless all her family together and said she merited surviving the Holocaust after honoring her parents, one of the most important commandments in Judaism.


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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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