Sunday, April 11, 2021

From Ian:

The Holocaust happened outside of Europe too
It is almost certain that a similar level of extermination to that witnessed in Europe would have swept across North Africa if the allies had not been eventually successful in their advance. Moreover, the violent dispossession and deportation of the majority of the Muslim world’s Jewish populations from 1948 proves that an existing Nazi empire was not required to continue the legacy of its guiding ideology: violent antisemitism. But why are these facts so often brushed under the figurative rug? In the case of the Arab and Muslim world, there is not just a lapse of memory, but a deliberate effort to obscure the role of non-European actors in the Holocaust.

As Journalist Lyn Julius — herself of Iraqi-Jewish heritage — highlighted in a 2015 piece on the topic: “The myth of the Arabs as innocent bystanders, who had no responsibility for the Holocaust — and indeed, paid the price for a European crime when Israel was established — is widely believed.” Indeed, works such as Professor Gilbert Achcar’s “The Arabs and the Holocaust” have gone to great lengths to whitewash the complicity of leading Muslim figures such as Fawzi al-Qawuqji, Rashid Ali al-Kelani, Abu Ibrahim al-Kabir, Hassan Salama and Arif Abd al-Raziq and administrations with the Third Reich.

This could not be further from the truth. The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini for example, played a central role in plotting the pro-Nazi coup in Iraq. He organised the killing of 12,600 Bosnian Jews by Muslims recruited to the Waffen-SS Nazi-Bosnian division by his own intervention. He also barred 4,500 Jewish refugees from exiting Europe and had them sent to Auschwitz and gassed; prevented another 2,000 Jews from leaving Romania and 1000 from leaving Hungary for Palestine. They too were sent to death camps.

Furthermore, although it is clear that the direct occupation of German, French and Italian forces played a huge role in the atrocities against North Africa’s Jews, this does not account for the extensive attempts at collaboration between Muslim leaders and the Nazis against their alleged “common enemies” of Communism, Zionism and the West. Nor does it explain away the Nuremberg-worthy laws imposed on Jews after the collapse of Nazism, nor the fact that Mein Kampf remains a long-standing bestseller in Turkey, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. Not to mention that Iraq’s pro-Nazi coup in 1941 occurred a full nine years after its independence from British adminstration. This coup culminated in the Farhud (lit. violent dispossesion) pogrom of 1942, in which hundreds of Iraqi Jews were murdered, beaten and sexually assaulted thousands of miles away from the theatre of Nazi occupation and war — a tragedy that Israeli activist Hen Mazzig tirelessly works to raise awareness of, but one that was never mentioned in my over two decades in the British education system.

In failing to acknowledge the experiences of communities outside Europe and the complicity of non-western actors in the Holocaust, we fail to fully understand what was one of the most devastating and defining moments of the twentieth century, whose implications for the Jewish and non-Jewish world endure today. Although cooperation does seem to be growing in the wake of initiatives such as the Abraham Accords, the prevalence of grassroots antisemitism across the Muslim world is arguably the greatest barrier to peaceful coexistence between Israel and its neighbours. We cannot sensibly approach the present without acknowledging the past, however uncomfortable it may be. In order to honestly evaluate and improve relations between Israel and elements of its Muslim neighbours, we must accept a full picture of history, and abandon the perpetual canard of Israel and its Jews as innately privileged colonial oppressors, and the Arab world as wholly innocent victims of European interference.
1915 Armenian Genocide persecuted Yishuv Jews, as well
April 24 marks the 106th anniversary of the 1915 Armenian Genocide by Ottoman Turkey. As the Auschwitz Institute for the Prevention of Genocide and Mass Atrocities notes, "On April 24 of 1915, leaders and intellectuals within the Armenian community of Constantinople were detained and interned. This event initiated a longer series of arrests that resulted in the imprisonment, relocation, and/or murder of countless notable Armenians across the Ottoman Empire over the course of the subsequent months. Soon thereafter, Ottoman authorities commenced internment, displacement, and deportation actions against the general Armenian population. For their part, Armenian men were most often put into servitude at a variety of forced labor camps before facing arbitrary executions. Women, children, and elderly members of the Armenian community, by contrast, were made to participate in 'death marches.' These forced marches led victims on protracted journeys through what is now the Syrian desert with many subjected to torture and rape in addition to death through attrition.

"While estimates on the total number of those who perished can vary, between 1,000,000 and 1,800,000 Armenians are known to have lost their lives as a result of the genocide. This number amounts to approximately 70% of the region's Armenian community. The scale and cruelty of the atrocities served as one of the principal inspirations for the creation of the word 'genocide' by Polish-Jewish lawyer Raphael Lemkin and, by extension, the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide."

A significant but widely unknown fact is that not only Greek and Assyrian Christians of Ottoman Turkey, but many Jews of pre-state Palestine were also targeted, persecuted and deported during the Armenian Genocide.

A thoroughly researched book by Dr. Andrew Bostom, The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism: From Sacred Texts to Solemn History, exposes the persecution and mass expulsions that the Jewish population in Palestine endured as a result of the orders of Djemal Pasha, an Ottoman military leader. He was also one of the three Pashas who ruled the Ottoman Empire during World War I and organized the genocide. He writes:

"During World War I in Palestine, between 1915 and 1917, The New York Times published a series of reports on Ottoman-inspired and local Arab Muslim-assisted anti-Semitic persecution that affected Jerusalem and the other major Jewish population centers. For example, by the end of January 1915, seven thousand Palestinian Jewish refugees – men, women and children – had fled to British-controlled Alexandria, Egypt. Three New York Times accounts from January and February 1915 provide these details of the earlier period.

Six cold, hard, dry facts
Feelings are not enough. We are getting an overdose of feelings during this period, between Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) and Yom Hazikaron (IDF and Terror Victims Memorial Day) We are getting saturated with stories, memories, and tears but, in my opinion, we must not neglect cold, hard, dry facts.

Here, for starters, is a list of facts about the Shoah, courtesy of Professor Yosef Ben-Shlomo; six historical facts that we need to internalize in order to understand why the Holocaust was such an extraordinarily unique event: They will not only add to our understanding of the Shoah, but to our undedrstanding of the reasons for the sacrifice made by our fallen IDF soldiers.

1. Judenrein. For the first time in history (other than Haman’s plot against the Jews in ancient Persia), one nation sought the complete elimination of another, despite the fact that the vast majority of the nation targeted for extermination lived outside the territory of the aggressor nation. The goal was not to just put the other nation into exile but to erase it from the face of the earth. In Nazi documents on the number of Jews destined for death, even the tiny Albanian Jewish community of 200 souls was noted.

2. Absence of opposition. In the Wannsee Conference of January, 1942, the “final solution" was unanimously approved by the fifteen attendees, all of whom held high-ranking ministerial positions in the German government, and eight of whom were holders of doctorate degrees.

3. The Germans worked against their own interests in World War II. Even as Germany was losing the war, it behaved irrationally. Instead of investing in just fighting enemy forces, the Germans continued “to waste" energy on their Jewish extermination project.

4. They were not crazy. Among the murderers were family men and women, professionals, and intellectuals. They were perfectly sane. Millions of ordinary, regular folks did not see any problem with taking part in this giant extermination project.

5. The concentration camps were not bombed. The death factories continued to operate without interference from the Western allied nations or their armies, even while the allies regularly bombed Nazi munitions factories.

6. There was no way out. Unlike their ability to cope with other horrendous decrees and persecutions throughout history, the Jews of Europe had no way out. There was no possibility of saving themselves through cooperation with the enemy, or by being exiled or by conversion to another faith or bribes. Death was their only option.
19 years after Djerba synagogue bombing, Tunisian Jews again live in fear
Nineteen years ago precisely, on Apr. 11, 2002, there was a bombing at a synagogue in Djerba, Tunisia. A truck fitted with explosives blew up by the entrance of the El Ghriba synagogue, killing 21 people. Since then, the local Jewish community has lived in relative peace, that is until a few months ago when the police and local residents began to harass them, the Jewish residents claim.

"About a month and a half ago, the president of Tunisia [Kais Saied] accused Jews of terrible things, and then apologized and said that he is not against Jews in Tunisia," one Jewish resident, who chose to remain anonymous for fear of retribution from local authorities, said.

"Despite his apology, the Jews of Djerba have been suffering from antisemitism ever since. On Pesach, a 10-year-old boy, the grandson of [chief Tunisian] Rabbi Haim Bittan, was walking in the street when he was attacked by someone, for no logical reason.

"Last week, an 18-year-old Jewish girl was attacked by two men on motorcycles. They tried to strangle her, but when she screamed, the neighbors rushed to her help, and the motorcyclists fled.

"We are terrified. It is not simple to live this way. The police have changed their attitude, and they check us all the time, harass us, every time they enter our quarter they hounds us.

"One of the policemen, who saw my ID that states that I am Jewish, detained me for half an hour for no reason. They are really harassing us.

"Each time they enter our quarter, they ask us to stand on the sides. It reminds us of dark times, and we want this to stop. We are living in fear.

The ICC Attempts to Place Israel on a Par with Terror Armies
Bar-On called special attention to the ICC Prosecutor’s decision to investigate Israeli settlement activities in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, calling that decision a source of “major concern.”

Israel’s Supreme Court has heard thousands of cases relating to the settlements and dealt with many complex legal issues since Israel captured the area in 1967, but the state has never criminally prosecuted settlement- related acts because it does not view such activities as illegal. Israel now faces a “fierce legal battle in this arena,” Bar-On warned.

Ultimately, he said, “It is easy to understand why Israel, as the national homeland of the Jewish People, with the horrendous atrocities that befell it in World War II, was one of the main proponents of the establishment of the ICC. Unfortunately, political manipulations that dragged the Statute of the ICC away from its intended course made Israel decide not to become a State Party in the Court. Israel’s concern that the Court will be weaponized for political purposes is now materializing, with the Chamber’s decision to allow the Prosecutor to investigate Israel without its consent.”

Earlier this month, DM Benny Gantz called the ICC’s decision “a prize to terrorism and to terrorist organizations,” adding, “The Palestinians must internalize [that] the conflict between us will be resolved only through negotiations in Jerusalem and Ramallah. No court will help, even in The Hague.”

Gantz added that “our enemies are acting in an immoral manner that endangers their residents—Hamas and Hezbollah hide missiles in the basements and yards of homes and use the civilians of Gaza and Lebanon as human shields. While our enemies run over human rights and while in the entire world terrible crimes are committed, the ICC prosecutor in The Hague decided to investigate Israel.”

Israel has strong independent investigation and judicial systems, said Gantz, “and one of the highest moral standards in the world… We will continue to fight to safeguard the citizens of Israel wherever necessary, and at the same time, we will fight the legal and political battle against this scandalous, bad decision.”
Biden's pick for undersecretary of defense should worry Israel
At a time when Israel is in over its head in domestic affairs, the skies are also darkening on the diplomatic front. Far away from Israeli public opinion, a battle is going on in the US Senate over political adviser Colin Kahl's appointment as Colin Kahl as undersecretary of defense for policy.

Kahl has quite the anti-Israel record. He thinks the bombing of the nuclear reactor in Iraq was 1981 was a mistake. In 2012, he acted to remove recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital from the Democratic party's platform. In 2015, he was among those to formulate the Iran nuclear deal. In 2016, at the end of his term, then-US President Barack Obama tasked him with enlisting support for the anti-Israel UN Security Council Resolution 2334 that determined Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria were a violation of international law.

Despite his words of support for Israel's government, US President Joe Biden has thrown his full support behind Kahl's candidacy. While it remains clear whether the appointment will be approved, one must wonder why three retired Israeli generals – Amos Gilad, Amos Yedlin, and Gadi Shamini – agreed to voice their support for Kahl's nomination. His promotion is a reflection of just how low Israel-US ties have gone in the 15 weeks since Biden entered office.

On the Iranian issue, an existential one for Israel, the US is rushing back into the miserable nuclear deal. The accord paves the way for Iran's nuclear armament, will funnel hundreds of millions of dollars to the terrorist organizations Tehran arms and will allow the ayatollahs to continue to develop a ballistic missile system that threatens world peace. Having apparently learned nothing from the past, in the Palestinian arena, Biden has renewed economic aid to the Palestinian Authority and UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, without monitoring where the money goes or implementing reforms that would see incitement removed from Palestinian textbooks once and for all.

As for international organizations, Biden removed sanctions on the International Criminal Court and its chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda.

Happy birthday Tel Aviv! The city turns 112 on Sunday
Happy Birthday Tel Aviv! The "Nonstop City" was founded 112 years ago on Sunday, April 11. In 1909, dozens of families gathered on the beach outside Jaffa and planned a neighborhood they called Ahuzat Bayit that later came to be known as Tel Aviv, according to the municipalities site.

Families split up the land to found what would become one of Israel's most popular and bustling cities by lottery, using seashells to ensure that it was split fairly.

In honor of Tel Aviv's special day, here are a few fun facts about the city:
Tel Aviv is home to five of Israel's biggest theaters and three of Israel's biggest music institutions, according to the municipality. Tel Aviv has 22 libraries with an estimated one million books, according to the city.

Tel Aviv is a center of employment in Israel with 11% of all those in Israel working in Tel Aviv, says the municipality. Some 28% of those who work in finance and insurance and 23% of those who work in professional, scientific and technical activities work in Tel Aviv, according to Center for Economic and Social Research of Tel-Aviv-Yafo Municipality's 2018 assessment.
Israel, UAE close to reaching tax treaty
A taxation treaty that would boost investment ties between Israel and the United Arab Emirates is in the works, and could be finalized within the coming weeks.

The treaty is expected to help facilitate more than $2 billion in annual bilateral trade in the coming years, and help that grow to as much as $6.5 billion a year within the coming decade. That would make it one of Israel's more significant trading partners in the world.

Taxation treaties help ensure that individuals and corporations don't pay the same taxes twice to different countries, and help encourage bilateral trade. The basic terms of the Israel-UAE treaty have been agreed upon by both sides, and only a few questions of the scope of the agreement remain to be finalized.

However, regardless of when the treaty is actually signed and ratified by both countries, it would only come into effect next January 1.

Since the two countries agreed to normalize relations in mid-August, their business and economic communities have forged a number of collaborative efforts and partnerships to ease trade. While informal trade between the two nations existed before the Abraham Accords came into effect, even insiders have been surprised at how warmly economic ties have developed since the accords were formally signed last September.

While Israel signed normalization agreements with several Arab countries last year, including Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco, the UAE is the only nation with which a tax treaty is currently being drafted.
South African Variant Can ‘Break Through’ Pfizer Vaccine, Israeli Study Says
The coronavirus variant discovered in South Africa can “break through” Pfizer/BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine to some extent, a real-world data study in Israel found, though its prevalence in the country is low and the research has not been peer reviewed.

The study, released on Saturday, compared almost 400 people who had tested positive for COVID-19, 14 days or more after they received one or two doses of the vaccine, against the same number of unvaccinated patients with the disease. It matched age and gender, among other characteristics.

The South African variant, B.1.351, was found to make up about 1 percent of all the COVID-19 cases across all the people studied, according to the study by Tel Aviv University and Israel’s largest healthcare provider, Clalit.

But among patients who had received two doses of the vaccine, the variant’s prevalence rate was eight times higher than those unvaccinated – 5.4 percent versus 0.7 percent.

This suggests the vaccine is less effective against the South African variant, compared with the original coronavirus and a variant first identified in Britain that has come to comprise nearly all COVID-19 cases in Israel, the researchers said.

“We found a disproportionately higher rate of the South African variant among people vaccinated with a second dose, compared to the unvaccinated group. This means that the South African variant is able, to some extent, to break through the vaccine’s protection,” said Tel Aviv University’s Adi Stern.

Defense officials call to probe leak of alleged Israeli op. against Iran
There were calls over the weekend by Israeli defense officials to probe the leak of an alleged sensitive IDF operation against Iran to foreign media.

Earlier this week, The New York Times reported that Israel notified the US that it was responsible for Tuesday’s attack on an Iranian cargo ship which was a central pillar of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps intelligence apparatus in the region.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman confirmed on Wednesday that the Saviz was slightly damaged in the Red Sea off the coast of Djibouti around 6 a.m. on Tuesday due to an explosion, though they had not reached a conclusion about the cause.

The revelation of this alleged Israeli involvement was unusual in that generally Israel prefers to keep a low profile if it undertakes such attacks in order to provide the attacked-side, here Iran, an alibi to save face and avoid needing to retaliate.

While leaks months after an explosion at a key Iranian nuclear facility in July 2020 eventually seems to have led to Israel, there was an elaborate public relations campaign to point the finger in other directions.

In contrast, such a quick almost real-time taking credit increases the prospect of retaliation by the Islamic Republic.

Haaretz and others have reported that an individual who leaked the operation’s details asked the reporter to wait with its publication, after the defense establishment had decided to postpone it by one day.

Jewish family in bus pelted with stones in East Jerusalem, vehicle set alight
A Jewish family that entered the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiya Saturday evening was attacked by residents, who pelted their vehicle with stones.

The family was traveling alone in an Egged bus driven by the father. According to police the driver had headed into Issawiya to make a shortcut.

The family fled the vehicle and were met by security forces nearby. None of the family members were injured. The bus was then set on fire by rioters.

Police said forces were working to restore order at the scene.

Police on Sunday morning said that three suspects had been arrested, including two minors.

A similar incident occurred last month, when a Jewish man’s car was stoned after he accidentally drove into Issawiya. The man was lightly injured and treated at the scene.
Israel to close West Bank, Gaza crossings for Memorial Day, Independence Day
The Israel Defense Forces announced on Sunday that it would close all crossings into Israel from the West Bank and Gaza Strip for two days beginning Tuesday night for the country’s Memorial and Independence days.

The closure — a standard practice for religious and national holidays — was scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Tuesday and last until 12:01 a.m. Friday, pending a “situational assessment,” the military said.

The IDF said exceptions would be made for “humanitarian, medical and special cases” with approval from the Defense Ministry’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories.

Memorial Day formally begins at 8 p.m. on Tuesday night with a siren sounded across the nation. Commemorations continue throughout the next day — another siren is sounded at 11 a.m. — until Israelis make the dramatic shift from mourning to jubilation on Wednesday night as the country launches its Independence Day celebrations.

The closure will affect the tens of thousands of Palestinians who legally work in Israel every day, most of them in construction and maintenance.
PA, EU, Establish Illegal School inside Israel’s Jordan Valley Nature Preserve
The Palestinian Authority built a new school on the site of the historic Hamam al Maliakh hot springs, located in the heart of the Jordan Valley’s Bazak Nature Preserve, Regavim reported on Sunday. The site is in Area C, which was designated by the Oslo Accords as being under full Israeli military and civil jurisdiction.

Some years ago, an Arab family took over the site, turning the historic structure into a private residence and making structural changes as if it were their personal property.

Now, in addition to the illegal invasion and damage to the site, a new school was recently established there, complete with signage announcing that the construction was funded by the European Union and group of European countries – which have been playing a major role in the PA’s quiet takeover of Area C.

According to Regavim, the new school is adorned with colorful murals, concealed under tarpaulin sheets from inspectors of the IDF Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories.

Regavim inquired with the Civil Administration as to how such a school had been built at the heart of a historic site located in a national nature preserve with no one in authority on the Israeli side doing anything to stop it. We will publish the response should it be provided.

Regavim’s Field Coordinator for Judea and Samaria Eitan Melet said “the Palestinian Authority is playing hide and seek with the Civil Administration. The PA builds ‘confrontation schools’ – illegal schools in Area C – for the purpose of anchoring a network of outposts in Area C. The Palestinians come up with new, inventive ways of camouflaging their activities, and the Civil Administration, either intentionally or unintentionally, continues to fall into the very effective trap that the PA is using over and over again.”
Jordanian professor: ‘Jews rule the world, monitor our language’
A Jordanian professor said earlier this month that while the term “Zionists” must be used instead of “Jews” lest one be “canceled,” there is no difference between the two. Furthermore, said Professor Ahmad Nofal, this need for circumscribed language is proof that the “Zionists” control the world.

“See how they rule the world? They even monitor what words you use. What kind of power is this? If you curse 1.7 [sic] Muslims, there’s nothing to it. But if you dare to say one word (against the Jews), they cancel you,” Nofal told Jordan’s Yarmouk TV on April 2.

Noval’s remarks were part of an anti-Semitic, anti-Western diatribe in which he called Freemasonry a “Zionist movement” and accused the United States of genocide.

“Global Freemasonry is a Zionist movement. I shouldn’t say this, you say? So what is it, a nationalist movement? Is it a humanist movement? No, my dear. Zionism came up with the notion of Freemasonry,” he said. “‘Masonic lodges’ and whatnot … the ‘Grand Master’ … these are all Zionist notions. Jewish notions … call them whatever you like. But it is forbidden to say “Jewish” nowadays … forbidden! Fine, whatever. We’ll say ‘Zionist.’ It is the same thing,” he added.

Nofal encouraged all his listeners to examine themselves for signs of Western corruption.

“We need to make sure that Western culture has not changed our notions and our tastes without us even noticing,” he said. “It is like someone who undergoes a surgery under anesthesia. That’s what the Zionists do. They harvest organs from our [Palestinian] patients. They chop off part of the liver … you know that when you cut part of the liver it grows. Sometimes they plant illnesses in you when you are under anesthesia,” he added.

Official PA TV compares Israeli parliamentarian to Eichmann
Official PA TV host: This is what Nazism did to the Jews: “They wrote to them “Get out.” Now the Jewish terrorist organizations are writing to the Arabs a “price tag,” “get out.” What Hitler did to them - they [the Jews] are doing exactly the same to the Palestinians. What Eichmann did to the Jews in Austria, they’re doing- [Israeli Parliament Member] Naftali Bennett is doing to us, exactly. They have copied the experience.”

In this PA TV program, From the Israeli Archive, the host reviews episodes of an Israeli ?documentary series, Pillar of Fire, from 1981, interpreting – and misinterpreting - events ?from a Palestinian perspective. ?

Palestinian elections: Fatah fails in bid to block rival candidates
Attempts by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah faction to block political rivals from running in the May 22 parliamentary elections suffered a major blow on Sunday when the Palestinian Central Elections Commission rejected its appeals against the nomination of dozens of candidates. Fatah representatives last week submitted objections to candidates whose names appeared on electoral lists belonging to Hamas, exiled Fatah leader Mohammad Dahlan and Nasser al-Kidwa, a former PA foreign minister who formed an alliance with jailed Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti.

Dahlan was expelled from Fatah in 2011 after a fallout with Abbas. He has since been living in the United Arab Emirates, and his Fatah supporters are running in the elections on a list called Al-Mustaqbal (The Future). Dahlan himself is not running in the parliamentary elections.

Kidwa, a nephew of former PLO leader Yasser Arafat, was recently expelled from Fatah after he announced his intention to form his own electoral list together with Barghouti, who is serving five life sentences in Israeli prison for his role in terrorism during the Second Intifada.

Critics said the Fatah objections were politically motivated with the goal of preventing its political rivals from participating in the vote.
PMW: The terrorists hoping to be elected to the Palestinian parliament
According to lists published by the PA Central Elections Commission, among the parties set to participate in the upcoming Palestinian Authority elections two are parties that are designated by both the United States and the European Union as terror organizations: Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).

While the US administration and the EU pushed Abbas to hold elections with the intention of promoting democracy and to give legitimacy to the Palestinian leadership, the PA elections will not be an endorsement of democracy, but rather highlight the terrorist nature of the Palestinian Authority.

The following are details of some of the terrorists running for election on the lists of Hamas and the PFLP:

Muhammad Abu Tir
Abu Tir has been a senior member of Hamas for many years. He was arrested in 2006, indicted on charges of membership and holding a senior position in Hamas. After his conviction, he was sentenced to four years in prison.

Nael Barghouti
Barghouti was convicted of murdering an Israeli army officer in January 1978, near Ramallah and sentenced to life in prison. He received a conditional release in the Shalit prisoner exchange deal in 2011, with the condition being that he cut all ties to terror and commit no further offences. Barghouti was arrested again in 2014 for violating the terms of his release and was again imprisoned to serve his original sentence.

Jamal Abu Al-Hija
Abu Al-Hija was the head of Hamas’ military wing in Jenin. He was directly involved in multiple terror attacks, including, but not limited to the explosion of a car bomb in November 2000, in the Israeli city of Hadera, in which 2 people were murdered and 64 injured and the Miron Junction bombing in 2002, in which 9 were murdered and dozens injured. Al-Hija is serving 9 life sentences and an additional 20 years.

Naed Al-Fakhouri
Al-Fakhouri was convicted of recruiting suicide bombers and sentenced to 22 years in prison. He was released in the Shalit prisoner exchange deal, on condition that he be released and stay in the Gaza Strip.
Hamas Launches Zoom Classes for Exercising Hate at Home (satire)
Following in the footsteps of boutique gyms like Barry’s Bootcamp and SoulCycle who are charging upwards of $30 for daily at-home workouts, Hamas has created its own series of Zoom classes for followers who want to exercise hate from the comfort of their living rooms.

Although nothing can truly compare to the in-person experience of building fire-and-forget rockets with your pals, Hamas has promised the same quality of adrenaline rush through their curated Zoom classes which include all of the classics of a Hamas meeting, such as yelling “death to Israel,” spreading conspiracy theories, followed by a nice cooldown stretch.

“We’re living in such unprecedented times, and we want to make sure our followers know we’re with them, and we support them,” said chief content curator Mohammad bin Stagram. “We’re working tirelessly to maintain the same level of quality hatred that we’re known for, and we hope to retain our powerful following, especially our friends, throughout this crazy journey called life by offering at-home content for all true believers to consume.”

Although many people have pointed out that Gazans have limited access to social media, let alone wi-fi, Hamas says not to fear. A large portion of meetings is blaming Israel for not having electricity and that is something one can easily achieve in their own home.
Iran: Between Illusion and Reality
As for voter turnout, we now know that the regime has set the stage for an "historic event". Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps chief Gen. Hussein Salami says the "Supreme Guide" has ordered "an epoch-making turnout" that his force will help assemble.

[I]t is clear that the "Supreme Guide" will not tolerate the slightest deviation from the course he has set: a revolution that he claims is moving from strength to strength. "Today we are stronger and America is weaker," he said recently. One of his ideological gurus, Dr. Hassan Abbasi, aka "Dr. Kissinger of Islam", goes further: "America is the sunset power," he says. "We are the sunrise power!"

[The coming election] could end the illusion that the Khomeinist regime might change course and seize opportunity offered to it to re-join the global mainstream.... The four-decade pursuit of "behavior change in Tehran" would have to be reviewed.

Khamenei speaks of a "conspiracy" to force Iran to become a "normal nation" like everyone else and vows to never allow that to happen.

The Khomeinist system isn't a Middle Eastern version of the people-based Scandinavian Social Democracy.... It is a despotism of the medieval kind with a pseudo-modern varnish borrowed from misunderstood Marxism.

The replacement of illusion with reality, no matter how bitter, may be good news after all.
Natanz incident: Iran tried outmaneuvering P5+1, but someone got its goat
This seems like it was a gambit by Iran to have a longer list of items that it can scale back from in negotiations, while still ending up closer to a nuclear bomb than the JCPOA originally allowed for it to reach.

Then – less than a day later – there was a mysterious power outage in Natanz that derailed the whole thing.

Though Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization confirmed that an “accident” occurred at the facility, there was no official acknowledgment of foul play. Still, some Iranian lawmakers have blamed it on “sabotage” and “infiltration,” Iranian journalist Abas Aslani tweeted on Sunday.

There are indications that the disruptions in Natanz were the result of a cyberattack, and – as always – all eyes are on Israel when these things happen. And Iran has yet to recover from recent “incidents,” like a July 2020 explosion that set back its nuclear program.

Iran, of course, claims its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, but its adversaries in the region and beyond are hard-pressed to believe the ayatollahs’ regime, in light of its aggression across the Middle East and its calls to wipe Israel off the map. Those are the legitimate defensive aims of a possible attack on the uranium enrichment machines in Natanz.

And certainly Israel, but others in the region, as well, have been eyeing the talks in Vienna with concern that the US and Iran may truly return to the 2015 nuclear deal – which would lift nuclear limitations on Tehran in 2030 – and not make it “longer and stronger” as Washington has promised it would.

Now, when it comes to nuclear negotiations, it looks like someone got Iran’s goat.
'Mossad behind cyber attack against Iran's Natanz nuclear facility'
In the alleged attack last year, Iranian reports also originally referred to the explosion as an “incident” without providing further details. “The centrifuge assembly hall was blown up by the enemy a few months ago, but we did not stop and temporarily set up the hall that made up for the lost hall,” said Iranian nuclear chief Salehi on Saturday, according to Fars. Salehi did not specify which “enemy” was behind the attack last year.

Salehi added that Iran is working to move sensitive facilities at Natanz further underground, with hopes that new underground halls will be ready next year. The attack also comes as tensions are rising between Israel and Iran amid a number of attacks on Iranian and Israeli maritime vessels, with recent reports claiming that Israel has hit dozens of Iranian ships in recent years.

On Tuesday, a spokesman for the Iranian military blamed Israel and the US for causing an explosion on the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps’ Saviz vessel in the Red Sea, in a statement to Sputnik news on Thursday.

“The United States undoubtedly has a hand in all attempts to undermine and harm Iran,” said the spokesman, adding that Tehran was not accusing any of the Gulf states of being involved in the incident.

The report also comes as Iran meets with European and American officials to discuss a possible return to the JCPOA.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned multiple times in the past week that Israel would defend itself against Iranian threats, stressing that Jerusalem would work to combat Tehran’s nuclear ambitions.
Exclusive: ZOA Slams ‘Deeply Troubling’ Tweets of House Committee, Ilhan Omar on Holocaust Remembrance Day
In the tweet, Omar describes Israel as “a wealthy country that’s getting $3.8 billion a year from America. Yet their Ambassador has the audacity to complain about $150 million going to Palestinian refugees,” before adding, “Shameful.”

”It is deeply troubling that Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-MN) chose Holocaust Remembrance Day to issue another of her hateful, antisemitic and insensitive tweets,” Klein wrote, as he elaborated:
In her Yom HaShoa Day tweet, antisemitic BDS-promoter Omar wrongly referred to the Jewish State as “wealthy,” condemned the military assistance that enables Israel to defend herself from Arab/Muslim terrorists, and even condemned Israel for expressing concern that the Biden administration is renewing sending hundreds of millions of dollars to UNRWA (whom Omar misleadingly referred to as “Palestinian refugees”). Israel-hater Omar ignored the fact that UNRWA, which will receive hundreds of millions of dollars of U.S. taxpayer funds, teaches Arab children to hate and commit violence against Jews and Israel, in their textbooks and schools. UNRWA also has operations with the murderous terrorist group Hamas.

Klein then referred to a “shocking” video posted by a Twitter user in reply to Omar’s tweet, showing Arab school children describing the lessons they learned from their UNRWA school education:
“They teach us that Jews are bad people”; “I am ready to stab a Jew and drive a car over them”: “I will run a car into the Jews”; “We have to constantly stab [the Jews], drive over them and shoot them”; “Stabbing and running over Jews brings dignity to the Palestinian people”; “I’m going to run [the Jews] over and stab them with knives”; “I am prepared to be a suicide bomber”; and “With Allah’s help, I will fight for ISIS.”

Klein also noted the Nazi collaboration with a Palestinian Muslim leader in Mandatory Palestine.

“Hitler and his collaborator [Palestinian leader] Haj Amin Al Husseini also plotted to murder every Jew in the Middle East,” he wrote. “We must never forget those monstrous facts, painfully unique in human history.”
CUNY Student Senate to Vote on Resolution Rejecting IHRA
The City University of New York’s (CUNY) Student Senate will be voting on a resolution that rejects the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism on April 11.

The resolution is being pushed by the CUNY Jewish Law Students Association and CUNY Students for Justice in Palestine in response to a March resolution adopting IHRA. The resolution states that the IHRA definition “has been used to create a false and dangerous polarity of interests between Palestinian/ pro-Palestinian rights students and Jewish students” and “endangers and defames those advocating for Palestinian rights as inherently antisemitic and has already been used to smear Palestinian, Arab, and Muslim groups and individuals at CUNY, and to stifle free speech and political debate on campuses.”

Additionally, the resolution alleges that “the equation of speech and activity opposing Israel and Zionism, and/or supporting Palestinians, as inherently antisemitic is a form of anti-Palestinian racism” and that “antisemitism is not an exceptional form of bigotry. People and systems that hate, discriminate and/or attack Jews, have also upheld structural racism, patriarchy, and white supremacy.”

The resolution instead urges the Student Senate to adopt a definition stating that anti-Semitism is “hostility, prejudice, vilification, discrimination or violence directed against Jews, as individuals, groups, or as a collective — because they are Jews. Its expression includes attributing to Jews, as a group, practices, characteristics or behaviors that are perceived as dangerous, harmful, frightening, or threatening to non-Jews.”

Roz Rothstein, co-founder and CEO of StandWithUs, said in a statement to the Journal, “StandWithUs is appalled by the promotion of an antisemitic resolution to CUNY USS to rescind the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism. Such despicable efforts must be called out for their true aims — to shield those who promote antisemitism from being criticized and to silence Jewish students.

University of Kentucky Fraternity Members Allegedly Greet Pledge With Nazi Salute
An anonymous Instagram post by a Jewish college student last week revealed that members of a fraternity at the University of Kentucky greeted a pledge with Nazi salutes.

The post was uploaded by the Instagram account “Jewish on Campus,” which shares testimonies from college students across the United States who have faced antisemitism. The anonymous testimony by a Jewish student was posted on April 1 with a tag to the University of Kentucky.

“After telling them I was actually Jewish, they continued to do it even more, laughing about it,” went the testimony. The student also noted that he “always noticeably” wears a Star of David necklace and has a tattoo in Hebrew. He said he originally joined the fraternity “because it seems like the only way to make friends.”

The university’s Interfraternity Council, the ruling body of 19 of the school’s fraternities, released a statement on Wednesday about the incident.

“We are absolutely disgusted and upset by the behavior of those members,” said the council’s Diversity and Inclusion chair Brandon Brown. “We completely condemn any and all anti-Semitic, anti-black, anti-Asian and anti-brotherhood actions. … Actions, words, thoughts and feelings of that kind do not have a place in our community.”
CAA calls for disciplinary action against BBC Arabic journalist who shared article calling controversial Prof. David Miller’s accusers “Israel lobbyists”
A BBC journalist has shared an article on Twitter which has defended Prof. David Miller over recent inflammatory comments that he has made.

The article shared by Nour Eddine Zorgui, titled “Who are the Israel lobbyists that want David Miller fired?” referred to Zionism as “Israel’s racist ideology”.

The article was published by The Electronic Intifada, an online news outlet which has also previously attacked Campaign Against Antisemitism.

We have written to the BBC regarding disciplinary action against the journalist.

This is not BBC Arabic’s first foray into controversy relating to Jews.

Prof. Miller, a Professor of Political Sociology, is a conspiracy theorist with a history of controversy relating to Jewish students, and the letter was prompted by his latest outburst, when he asserted that “Zionism is racism”, declared his objective “to end Zionism as a functioning ideology of the world” and accused the Bristol University Jewish Society of being part of a worldwide Zionist conspiracy, adding that it is “fundamental to Zionism to encourage Islamophobia and anti-Arab racism”. At the same online event, Prof. Miller also observed that the Jewish Society and the Union of Jewish Students are Zionist, thereby implying that Jewish students (and the wider Jewish community) inherently “encourage Islamophobia and anti-Arab racism”.

Buchenwald camp a reminder of Nazi ‘barbarism,’ German president says
Germany’s president on Sunday marked the 76th anniversary of the liberation of the Buchenwald concentration camp by reminding his compatriots of the inconceivable atrocities the Nazis committed there during the Third Reich.

“Communists and democrats, homosexuals and so-called asocials were incarcerated at Buchenwald. Jews, Sinti, and Roma were brought here and murdered,” President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said during a speech in the nearby German town of Weimar, 76 years to the day after US forces liberated the camp.

“With its diversity of victims’ groups, Buchenwald represents the entire barbarism of the Nazis, its aggressive nationalism to the outside, its dictatorship on the inside, and a racist way of thinking,” Steinmeier said. “Buchenwald stands for racial fanaticism, torture, murder and elimination.”

Holocaust survivors and their families were not allowed to gather for anniversary observances this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Survivors from different parts of the world instead attended Sunday’s memorial ceremony online. Large-scale commemorations for last year’s 75th anniversary were put on hold due to social distancing requirements.

The Buchenwald concentration camp was established in 1937. More than 56,000 of the 280,000 inmates held at Buchenwald and its satellite camps were killed by the Nazis or died as a result of hunger, illness or medical experiments before the camp’s liberation on April 11, 1945.
To highlight banality of evil, group seeks to restore SS canteen at Auschwitz
A Polish foundation hopes to restore a canteen where SS guards ate and sought distraction after long days of killing at the former Nazi German death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, to bear witness to a forgotten page of Holocaust history.

Built in March 1942 at Auschwitz — Europe’s largest World War II death factory — the massive dining hall could house up to 4,000 people. After the war it served as a cereal warehouse before it was abandoned and gradually fell into ruin.

The SS “came here to have a bite, find some distraction, have a drink, take part in ceremonies, concerts, parties — all in the shadow of the monstrous crime that was Auschwitz-Birkenau,” said Dagmar Kopijasz, one of the project organizers.

“This building was the focal point of the family and personal life of the SS… serving as a place where they came to forget their work which was to kill people,” Kopijasz told AFP at the site, where Nazi Germany built its largest death camp.
FBI Releases Ads in Yiddish and Hebrew to Encourage Reporting of Hate Crimes
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has released hate crime ads in Yiddish and Hebrew to expand its outreach to Jewish communities across America, reported The Yeshiva World on Thursday.

The advertisements urge victims of hate crimes to report them to the FBI.

They say: “Did you know many hate crimes are not reported? The FBI wants to help, but we need to hear from you. If you believe you’re the victim of or a witness to a hate crime, contact your local police department, call 1-800-CALL-FBI, or go to”

Rabbi Abraham Friedman, a police chaplain and community leader in New York, applauded the FBI for its Hebrew and Yiddish ads. He wrote on Twitter, “Kudos to the @NewYorkFBI for once again demonstrating what community outreach is all about, encouraging Jewish hate-crime victims/witnesses to report what happened in the languages that are most familiar to them. Now that’s what we call #culturalsensitivity.”

In November, the FBI reported that more than 60 percent of religious-based hate crimes in 2019 targeted Jews—a 14 percent increase from 2018.
The Race Is on to Bring Saffron’s ‘Red Gold’ to Israelis
Platinum, gold, saffron — some of the most valuable materials in the world continue to be in high demand across markets all over the globe. Saffron, which is the most valuable spice available in the world market, is ripe for disruption — and this company has set out to make it more accessible than ever.

“We felt that there’s no one in the world that grows saffron in vertical farming machines,” said CEO of Saffron-Tech, David Freidenberg. “That, by itself, is unique.” The company, which was founded last year, has patented a technology that measures the exact parameters to grow Saffron in a controlled environment locally in Israel, instead of relying on importing it from Iran, where 95% of it is grown and exported

Saffron is valued at roughly $10,000 per kilo, making it one of the expensive materials in the world and earning it the nickname ‘red gold.’ There are a few reasons for this: the spice has a myriad of uses, such as flavoring, dyes, and even medicinal purposes. However, the work required to extract the needed amount from flowers is incredibly labor-intensive, and requires 150,000 flowers, with a total of 450,000 strands, to produce just one kilo. Not to mention, it takes an entire year to grow, so there aren’t many new harvests to export each season.

Currently, farmers need to rely on a lot of space, a lot of time, and a lot of labor for one small kilo.
Tel Aviv University Reveals Major Breakthrough in Battle Against Brain Cancer
Tel Aviv University (TAU) announced a major breakthrough Sunday in understanding and treating one of the most aggressive forms of brain cancer — Glioblastoma.

“Glioblastoma is the deadliest type of cancer in the central nervous system, accounting for most malignant brain tumors,” said Prof. Ronit Satchi-Fainaro, Director of the Cancer Biology Research Center and the Head of the Cancer Research and Nanomedicine Laboratory at Tel Aviv University’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine.

“It is aggressive, invasive, and fast-growing, making it resistant to existing treatments, with patients dying within a year of the cancer’s onset. Moreover, Glioblastoma is defined as a ‘cold tumor,’ which means that it does not respond to immunotherapeutic attempts to activate the immune system against it,” she added.

Initially, the researchers identified an unusual failure in the brain’s immune system, which not only did not inhibit the cancer, it actually amplified the cell division and spread of Glioblastoma cancer cells. This is due to the presence of a protein: P-Selectin (SELP).

Researchers were able to inhibit the secretion of the SELP protein, thereby neutralizing the failure in the immune system, restoring its normal activity, and blocking the spread of this incurable cancer.

The Tel Aviv Unversity team collaborated with neurosurgeons from the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center (Ichilov) who supplied Glioblastoma tissue samples removed during surgery, and also with neurosurgeons from Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, Maryland) and the Lieber Institute in the USA, who supplied healthy brain tissues from autopsies.


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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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