Sunday, June 06, 2021

06/06 Links: UNRWA finds attack tunnel under one of its Gaza schools; Ben Shapiro: Here’s THE TRUTH About the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

From Ian:

Jake Wallis Simons: The problem with the New York Times’ Gaza coverage
That’s where the New York Times comes in. It goes without saying that it’s impossible to report objectively on any story when your editorial line has been decided in advance. The latest Israeli campaign was more accurate than any recent war, with combatants accounting for the vast majority of the dead. All of this is lost when you sacrifice the facts for emotive photographs of children.

Don’t get me wrong. Emotive photographs have their place, and we must never lose touch with the tragic cost of war. But from the point of view of the victims, there is a certain indignity in the fact that they have been used to further a political agenda. And from the point of view of the Times, it is troubling that its journalists have participated in doing so.

When the front page was published, Brad Parker, a representative of the NGO, Defense for Children International Palestine (DCIP), tweeted his thanks to the Times for ‘reaching out to us at @DCIPalestine to help make this front page’.

This was revealing. As was evident from his Twitter name, to which he had appended the hashtag #SaveSheikhJarrah, Mr Parker was not an entirely dispassionate observer of the conflict. And a quick look at the DCIP website shows that it is hardly objective, either. What exactly did the New York Times expect when it asked them for ‘help’?

It has long been an aphorism of journalism that if one man says it’s raining and another says it’s dry, it’s not your job to quote them both, but to look out of the window and see for yourself.

If the Times journalists had followed the basic tenets of their profession, America’s paper of record would not have become a pawn in the chess game of Hamas. To have the Gray Lady contribute towards Hamas' war aims was a major boon for the terror group – and another dark day for journalism.
I am a Jew and I am scared. Will I be the last one in Britain?
The most worrying sign is that the Jew hate obsession has opened up a new front. Having long ago penetrated our universities and created a febrile and intimidating environment, intensely hostile to Jews and Israel, the disease is now infiltrating our schools. The Jesuit dictum was ”Give me the child until he is seven and I’ll give you the man”. Children are now being exposed to the vicious doctrine of Jew hatred. Some would call this brainwashing.

In a Leeds school the police were called to protect a head teacher, Mark Roper, after he referred to an incident where a pupil brought in and waved a Palestinian flag. He is quoted as saying during a school assembly that “some might interpret this action as a call to arms and feel threatened and unsafe”. On social media, an avalanche of cries of Islamophobia echoed and demands that heads must roll trended. Apologies were demanded and meekly given.

This represents a stunning victory for the many Jew haters. It signals that it is acceptable to migrate anti-Semitism from the mosque to the classroom. It legitimises the slanderous and libellous lies underpinning the ever-growing Jew hatred movement, no matter whether those Jews are in Leeds or Jerusalem.

Had the Israeli flag been brought in by a Jewish pupil, then that individual would almost certainly have suffered verbal abuse and also probably physical assault. Further the media would have almost certainly have chosen to question his/her patriotism, asking where their primary loyalty lay? Was it to the UK or Israel? But nobody dared question the loyalties of the pupil who provocatively waved the Palestinian flag. Conclusion? Jews have dual loyalty. Plucky pro-Palestinian Muslims are being discriminated against and insulted because they are a minority. This despite the fact that Muslims outnumber Jews in Leeds by 7 to 1. (ONS)

No matter how much of worth Jews have contributed to humanity, it counts for nothing to the Jew haters. They close their ears to any facts that detract from their unquestioning world view that Jews are evil.

Lest we forget: throughout history anti-Semitism has been the norm, with relatively short periods of calm between pogroms. What is happening today in most parts of the world is likely to be merely a reversion back to that norm. Fortunately, unlike earlier times Jews now have somewhere that will always welcome them no matter how bad things become in their country of residence. An attack on Israel is therefore an attack on all Jews everywhere.

Over recent years the number of my Jewish friends has steadily decreased. Gladly the grim reaper has not claimed them. Rather they have “made aliya”, that is moving to the “Land of Israel”. In practice this proves to be a complex and bureaucratic process for Jews, contrary to popular perception.

I wonder, how long will it be until I am the last Jew left In Britain? Will I be the one that turns the lights off?
Ben Shapiro: Here’s THE TRUTH About the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (A Comprehensive History)
From biblical times to today, Ben takes us through time to explore the long history of Israel and explains the many conflicts along the way. (h/t Yerushalimey)

The oldest hatred is alive and well in the US administration
In fact, Joe Biden and his entire coterie/staff/cabinet/appointees of left-wing, anti-Semitic radicals, demonstrate their noxious racism on a daily basis, notwithstanding his boilerplate pronouncements about support for Israel…at the exact same time he embraces, applauds and funds Israel’s mortal enemies. Want proof? Here is the very very short list:

- Biden appeased and clearly agreed with the growing number of Jew-and Israel-haters in the Democrat Party by sending the Arabs who call themselves Palestinians $167 million dollars––enough to finance the recent war against Israel by Hamas terrorists.
- Biden––when it was clear that the aggressors of Hamas were getting trounced by Israel––was sent a letter by no less than 500 of his anti-Israel campaign staffers––begging him to “hold Israel accountable for its actions.” Bad Israel for fighting back!
- Biden dispatched Michael Ratney to represent the U.S. in Israel––the same guy, according to Joel B. Pollak of Breitbart––whose role in the Obama administration was to interfere in Israel’s 2015 election with the goal of ousting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “
- Biden, instead of allowing Israel to turn Gaza into a demilitarized zone, initiated the ceasefire that Hamas was begging for and demanded that Israel––not the terrorists!––meet three demands:
1. Desist from evicting the Arabs who have been squatting on Jewish property for decades without paying rent,
2. Appease the fanatically militant Arabs who don’t allow Jews to pray at their most sacred site, the Temple Mount,
3. And stop celebrating United Jerusalem Day which honors the State of Israel. “Imagine if another country demanded we stopped celebrating the Fourth of July or Memorial Day!”

- Biden seems to believe in rewarding terrorists, and so has pledged billions––not millions or even multimillions, but billions!––to rebuild the breeding ground of hatred and terrorism known as Gaza. He has also committed $150 million to––as former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley describes it––the systemically corrupt United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) that was suspended under the Trump administration.
- Biden and Harris enthusiastically supported Rev. Raphael Warnock when he ran, victoriously, for the U.S. Senate in Georgia last year, knowing full well of his rabid anti-Semitism and hatred of whites, as spelled out here by journalist and blogger Jeff Dunetz.
- Biden’s nominee for a top State Department position, according to writer Alana Goodman, “played a key role in assembling a book on the nefarious influence of the ‘Israel lobby’ while working for an organization that promoted claims about Jewish media control and dual loyalty to Israel.”
- Biden chose attorney Kirsten Clarke as the Assistant Attorney General to lead the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, she whose loathing of Jews and whites is extensively documented by the esteemed Daniel Greenfield, as well as by writer/editor David Rosenberg. Clarke has posited that “the human brain was structured in a way that makes black people superior to white people.”
Israel Records Zero New Local COVID-19 Cases for First Time in More Than a Year
Israel on Saturday registered zero new local COVID-19 infections for the first time in more than a year, according to Hebrew media reports citing Ministry of Health data.

The four new verified cases were all travelers returning from abroad.

A total of 7,575 coronavirus test results were obtained on Saturday.

The four non-local infections brings the total number of cases to 839,566. The death toll from the pandemic in Israel stands at 6,418.

As of Sunday, there were 230 active patients with 72 hospitalized and 27 in critical condition with 25 on respirators.

Health Ministry data also shows that 5,137,367 people have received two vaccine doses.

Al Jazeera reporter detained in Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah for ‘assaulting’ cops
An Al Jazeera journalist was arrested in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem on Saturday, with Israeli police accusing her of attacking officers.

The correspondent was identified by Al Jazeera as Givara Budeiri, the Qatari network’s Jerusalem correspondent. She was released hours later and has denied the accusations against her, according to Al Jazeera.

“They came from everywhere, I don’t know why. They kicked me to the wall,” Budeiri said. “They kicked me inside the car in a very bad way … they were kicking me from everywhere.”

Footage from the scene showed the correspondent’s broken camera equipment on the floor after she was taken into custody.

According to reports, Budeiri received a 15-day restraining order barring her from the neighborhood following her release from custody.

The police had announced they arrested in the neighborhood two suspects, a man and a woman, for assaulting officers after they refused to identify themselves. A spokesperson for the police told The Times of Israel that the journalist was among those arrested.

UNRWA finds attack tunnel under one of its Gaza schools
A tunnel used by Palestinian militants in Gaza was discovered under one of the schools run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) last month.

The UNRWA Zaitoun Preparatory Boys’ School “A” and Elementary Boys’ School “A” was one of two of the organization's facilities damaged during the 11-day Gaza war that ended on May 21.

At the end of May, UNRWA found what "appears to be a cavity and a possible tunnel, at the location of the missile strike," the organization reported over the weekend.

"The depth of the cavity is approximately 7.5 meters below the surface of the school. UNRWA discovered the existence of a possible tunnel in the context of the investigation of the fired missile," it explained in a statement to the media.

UNRWA said that the tunnel was not connected to the school. There is no "indication of the existence of any entry or exit points for the tunnel within the premises," it added.

The organization condemned both Palestinians who built the tunnel and the IDF for its attacks, which it alleged caused damage to the school. "UNRWA condemns the existence and potential use by Palestinian armed groups of such tunnels underneath its schools in the strongest possible terms. It is unacceptable that students and staff be placed at risk in such a way," the organization stated.

PMW: Hamas’ abuse of kids in Gaza: “If we die, we’ll die as Martyrs” - Hamas spokesman’s young daughter
Meet Lama. She is the young daughter of Hamas’ Ministry of Internal Affairs’ spokesman Iyad Al-Buzum. He posted this video of her amid Hamas’ rocket barrage against Israel last month.

Child abuse? Deside for yourself:

Hamas spokesman’s daughter Lama Al-Buzum:
“If we die, we’ll die as Martyrs for the sake of Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa”

The young girl also reiterates Hamas’ uncompromising stand that Israel “will be destroyed” and that “Palestine” encompasses all the State of Israel – from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, including Israeli cities such as Ashkelon, Haifa, Jaffa, Safed, and Beit Shean:

Hamas spokesman’s daughter Lama Al-Buzum: “If we die, we’ll die as Martyrs for the sake of Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa. And if we live, we’ll live in dignity and glory… We’ll return to Palestine... We’ll return to Ashkelon, Haifa, Jaffa, Safed, and Beit Shean (i.e., all Israeli cities) – to all of Palestine, and we will pray at Al-Aqsa. When the occupying Jews occupied our land, they said: ‘The adults will die and the children will forget.’ Today we tell them: It’s true, the adults died, but they taught us and raised us not to forget our land. These children have grown, and we are the ones who will return to our land Palestine from the [Jordan] River to the [Mediterranean] Sea: the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, Jerusalem, and the 1948 [territories] (i.e., Israel). We tell them: All of Palestine is one, and Israel will be destroyed.”

[Facebook page of Hamas Ministry of Internal Affairs spokesman Iyad Al-Buzum, May 19, 2021]

Those who are criticizing Israel and its self-defense against Hamas’ 4,300 rockets, which inevitably resulted in civilian casualties in Gaza, should look at what the leadership in Gaza teaches their children.

This video shows Gazan kids chanting former PA and PLO chairman Yasser Arafat’s infamous words encouraging Palestinians to seek death as “Martyrs”: “Millions of Martyrs are marching to Jerusalem”:

Hamas leader: ‘God has decreed we must attack Tel Aviv’
Hamas leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, told a group of students and academics in Gaza on Saturday that the terrorist organization has the capability to demolish Tel Aviv and that Israel had only destroyed 3 percent of Gaza’s tunnel network during “Operation Guardian of the Walls” last month.

“God has decreed that we must attack Tel Aviv, and there are other capabilities we have not revealed,” said Sinwar, adding that Hamas and its terrorist partners could launch 130 missiles at the city per minute.

Sinwar went on to say that Hamas had used only “50 percent of its power” during the 11 days of fighting that erupted on May 10, and that its strategic goal was to “unite the people behind Hamas.”

“Israel has failed to destroy our capabilities to resist it. Their plan to kill ten thousand fighters failed,” he said, adding that “Israel did not destroy more than 3 percent of the tunnels in Gaza. The [Hamas “Metro”] was not destroyed because we love our land and it loves us back.”
HonestReporting: Why Are Media Ignoring New Palestinian Call to Arms Against Israel?
Despite the recent ceasefire agreement between Gaza-based terror groups and Israel, Hamas and Fatah continue to incite Palestinians to take up arms against the Jewish state. These calls for violence are fuelling the flames of conflict in the region.

On May 31, a terrorist from the Gaza Strip infiltrated Israel. Once inside Israeli territory, he stabbed a security guard. On the same day, an incendiary device launched from Gaza sparked a fire. The same week, Hamas called for a “Day of Rage.” Palestinians in the West Bank on Friday heeded the call, with violent clashes taking place in several locations.

Yet, these troubling developments received precious little from the mainstream media.

Rather, the world’s leading news organizations continue to put the onus on Israel to maintain the ceasefire with terrorist groups that continue to advocate for the Jewish state’s destruction. Meanwhile, Palestinian provocations aimed at exacerbating tensions and inciting violence are simply ignored...

Two Hamas Gaza Terrorists Blow Themelves Up Dismantling Unexploded Israeli Ordnance
Don’t ya just *hate* when this happens?

According to the ‘Palestine Information Center‘ two Hamas ‘resistance fighters’ were killed when dismantling unexploded Israeli ordnance from the recent fighting:
Interior ministry spokesman Iyad al-Buzom said that two Palestinian resistance fighters were killed on Wednesday when an explosion occurred inside a military site in the central Gaza Strip.

In a press release, Buzom explained that blast happened during the dismantling of Israeli unexploded ordnance.

For its part, al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, said that two of its fighters died as they were working on dismantling a bomb remnant from the last Israeli aggression against Gaza.

The Brigades mourned its fighters, Ahmed Abu Hasira and Osamah Janina, and said they died after a blessed life full of struggle and sacrifices, asking Allah Almighty to accept them as martyrs, bestow His mercy upon them and make His Paradise their eternal dwelling.

Israeli media identify them as military engineers working on the explosives at a Hamas military base:
Blast at Iranian steel plant, latest in series of incidents
An explosion and fire were reported at the Zarand Iranian Steel Company in eastern Iran on Saturday night, in the latest in a series of similar incidents throughout Iran, according to Iranian media.

Video reportedly from the scene showed a large blaze with what appeared to be an explosion launching debris into the air. The Iranian IRNA news reported that a large explosion occurred during the incident.

The governor of Zarand told the Iranian Fars News Agency that no injuries were caused in the incident and that the incident was under control. The incident was reportedly caused by the sudden overflow of molten material in the blast furnace, with the governor stressing that no explosion occurred.

The governor added that firefighters and emergency services were at the scene in order to prevent possible accidents and that more details would be made available later.

The Zarand Iranian Steel Company is part of Middle East Mines and Mineral Industries Development Holding Company (MIDHCO), which was placed under sanctions by the Trump administration earlier this year.

Disgraced Labour MP Naz Shah speaks at rally where calls were made to “lift the curse of the Jews off the Muslims in Palestine!”, in latest controversy to strain Labour Party’s relations with Jewish community
The disgraced Labour MP, Naz Shah, reportedly spoke at a rally where calls were made to “lift the curse of the Jews off the Muslims in Palestine!”

Footage has become available of the rally, held in May in Ms Shah’s home town of Bradford, in which speakers appear to beseech G-d to “make us part of the mujahideen in Palestine!”; “purify al-Aqsa from impure people!”; “make the earth quake under their [impure people’s] feet!”; and “make the Jews lose!”

Other chants included beseeching G-d to “lift the curse of the Jews off the Muslims in Palestine!” and “make Islam win!”

Ms Shah, who also serves as Labour’s Shadow Minister for Community Cohesion, urged demonstrators: “Don’t stop just here today. It must carry on, even when this stops. The year 2015 we all know what happened. We were here. This place was packed. And again we find ourselves here. It’s not unacceptable to be coming here time and time again because children are being killed.”

Ms Shah’s previous dalliances with antisemitism were so grave that they led to her suspension from the Labour Party even under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, has appeared in recent weeks to resent how she was held to account. She also recently shared a platform with Mr Corbyn but has not been disciplined, even though Mr Corbyn, like Ms Shah before him, was suspended from the Party for antisemitism.

The disgraced former Liberal Democrat MP, David Ward, was also reportedly present at the same rally. He lost his council seat in last month’s local elections, running as an Independent after being expelled by the Liberal Democrats in 2017 for standing against the Party in an election, having previously been disciplined for comments about Jews, the Holocaust and Israel.

Los Angeles Teachers Union to Vote on Endorsing Anti-Israel BDS Movement
The leadership of the United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) is expected to vote in September on a resolution to stop US aid to Israel and endorse the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against “apartheid in Israel.”

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) calls the BDS movement antisemitic, saying that “advocates employ antisemitic rhetoric and narratives to isolate and demonize Israel.”

Several UTLA chapter chairs passed a resolution during the recent conflict between Israel and Gaza-based terrorist groups expressing “solidarity with the Palestinian people” and calling for an end to the “bombardment of Gaza” and stopping the “displacement at Sheikh Jarrah.”

The resolution makes no mention of the more than 4,000 rockets fired by Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad indiscriminately at Israeli territory, which killed 13 people, including two children. The resolution also fails to mention evidence of Hamas firing rockets from civilian areas of Gaza.

The United Educators of San Francisco (UESF) passed a similar resolution in mid-May, reportedly becoming the first public school teachers union to endorse the anti-Israel BDS movement.
Pro-BDS Group Blocks Israeli Ship From Unloading in Oakland
Hundreds of anti-Israel protesters prevented the unloading of an Israeli container ship from Asia at the Port of Oakland on Friday, with the cooperation of the local longshoremen’s union, which refused to unload the vessel.

The protest was sponsored and organized by the Arab Resource and Organizing Center (AROC), a pro-Palestinian BDS group operating in the Bay Area.

In a Sunday Facebook post, the group, which claimed “thousands” streamed to the protest throughout Friday, praised International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 10, which it said had “honored the 6 simultaneous community pickets during both the morning and evening shifts, and did not work the ship.”

“Knowing that it could break neither our blockade nor the workers’ demonstration of solidarity, in a dramatic move, community members watched as the Israeli apartheid-profiteering ship left the port of Oakland! #BlockTheBoat #BDS,” AROC said.
In the ‘updates’ section of the BBC News website’s ‘Middle East’ page, visitors found various reports from other sections of the website (also not included in our count) which were apparently deemed related. Some of those reports were discussed here and here.

Beyond that extensive coverage of the eleven-day long conflict, it is once again evident that BBC audiences see far more coverage of Israeli affairs than they do internal Palestinian affairs, with the two sole reports in that category – both concerning the cancelled Palestinian elections – having been carried over from the previous month.
AFP’s ‘Rigorous Neutrality’ Prevails Over Nasser Abu Baker’s ‘Journalism In The Service of the Revolution’
In the name of presenting the “true picture,” Abu Baker has falsely accused Israel of planning a “terrible massacre” of Palestinian journalists and called for Israel’s exclusion from “membership to all forums concerned with freedom of expression and human rights and demanded the announcement of the formation of an international commission to investigate Israel’s crimes against journalists.” To that end, PJS reported: “Palestinian journalist Yousef Abu Hussein was killed in an Israeli airstrike on his home in the Gaza Strip.” Journalism in the service of the revolution apparently compelled PJS to ignore the fact that “journalist” Yousef Abu Hussein worked for Hamas’ Al-Aqsa Voice, and was thus a member of the propaganda wing of a terror organization. (Al Aqsa Voice has praised Palestinian terrorists for murdering civilians including Rina Schnerb, Kim Levengrund-Yehezkel and Ziv Hajbi, Eitam and Naama Henkin, Michael Mark, and Raziel Shevach, among countless others. Abdullah Naser Khalil Fahjan, an Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades terrorist operative who also apparently worked as a reporter for Hamas’ Voice of Al-Aqsa Radio, was one of the eight terrorists killed in 2014 whom PJS misidentified as a journalist, according to ITIC.) “The PJS, in cooperation with international journalists, is compiling a file about Israeli crimes against journalists to be presented to the International Criminal Court,” Abu Baker was quoted.

Following the AFP’s dismissal of Abu Baker, the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate alleged that the news agency’s “decision came as a result of the submission of The French News Agency in Jerusalem to the pressures of the Israeli occupation, and the successive campaigns of incitement against Nasser Abu Bakr.”

In a statement emailed to journalists, AFP responded:
AFP came under no pressure from either the Palestinian or Israeli authorities in its decision to dismiss the journalist Nasser Abu Bakr. To declare that external pressure was placed on AFP is a serious and unacceptable attack on the reputation of the Agency, whose statutes guarantee its independence. AFP decided to part way with Nasser Abu Bakr exclusively for professional reasons, following several months of fruitless exchanges with him.

AFP regrets Mr. Abu Bakr’s decision to launch a smear campaign against the Agency and views certain statements as unacceptable incitements to violence against its staff, punishable under Palestinian law.

Five years after AFP’s minimal steps to rein in Abu Baker’s wholly unprofessional and unethical calls for boycotting and threatening Israeli journalists and Palestinians who speak with them, the news agency today finds itself the target of his incitement and boycott campaigns. Albeit belatedly, AFP finally appears to be standing up resolutely against Abu Baker’s bullying in the service of the revolution.

Seth Frantzman: Nigeria vs. Twitter: Could the latest spat have implications for Israel?
In many other cases, major tech companies, which are ostensibly separate companies, appear to all remove similar accounts. This is done, they often say, to stop racism, extremism, far-right activists or those accused of crimes. There is little to no transparency on how the companies make decisions.

Ostensibly, the decisions are for the public good and to make the platforms more “healthy.” This is done via changes to algorithms as well, to promote the “health” of discussions and engagement. Many major platforms have also struggled for years to remove extremists, such as pro-ISIS accounts. They also struggle against authoritarian party-linked “troll armies.” Social media giants have identified such patterns linked to Turkey, Russia and other countries, they say.

The larger question is how this may impact democracies. When Australia tried to challenge Facebook in February, the company responded by temporarily banning Australian news pages. Australia is a democracy, and it’s not entirely clear if social media giants will increasingly seek to interfere or play a role in news and elections in democracies. It is also unclear why they appear to cater to authoritarian regimes such as Iran and Turkey that constantly incite against either minorities in their own country, or other countries.

These questions are important. Israel’s contentious politics and warnings this week of the potential for political violence appear to be a place that social media may play an increasing role. Palestinians have already claimed their posts were censored during the recent war.

According to reports, Yair Netanyahu was blocked by Facebook from posting for 24 hours, and his Twitter account was suspended for 12 hours. More controversies may come this week, and social media platforms appear interested in Israel’s political tensions at the moment. It’s entirely possible the precedents set in Nigeria, Uganda, Australia and elsewhere will have an increasing impact on Israel.

Meet Israel’s ‘medical ambassador’ to the UAE
Meet Israel’s newest medical ambassador.

Tatiana Zhelninova, the former chief physician and medical director of Hadassah Medical Moscow in Skolkovo, is striving to bring Israel’s top doctors and best biotechnologies to the United Arab Emirates, thereby improving healthcare in the region.

“For doctors, nurses and medical professors, nationality and race are not important,” she told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday during its Global Investment Forum in Dubai. “What is very important is who you are, what you are doing and with whom.

“I want to be Israel’s ambassador for medicine in this country,” she said.

Zhelninova, who is not Jewish and lives in the former Soviet Union, recently launched Medcurator with the goal of building government-regulated centers of excellence in the UAE that can harness the brains and biotechnology of the Jewish state for the benefit of one of its newest allies. Medcurator was formed in partnership with Israel-based Health Plus, which is the international marketing arm of Hadassah Hospital, and under the trusteeship of the UAE-Israel Business Council. The council was established by business and public sector leaders from the UAE and Israel to help foster “shared opportunities, economic cooperation and business partnerships between Emiratis and Israelis,” its website says.

The seeds of a first partnership were planted in February when the UAE’s Zulekha Hospital and Health Plus signed a mutual agreement to cooperate in the field of medical tourism. The partnership has not progressed, Zhelninova said, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, although there is still hope that a formal contract will be signed and additional similar collaborations could be established.
This Muslim market in Tucson offers kosher food and intercultural dialogue
Tucked between a dance school and a ’60s retro lounge on a quiet street in Tucson, Arizona, sits a small Middle Eastern and African foods store. But the Al Basha Grocery isn’t just a place to get halal meats and hard-to-find ingredients.

“It provides an opportunity for people to see each other as real people and have a normal interaction with people [with whom they] ordinarily might not interact in their day-to-day lives,” said Jesse Davis, a regular Al Basha shopper.

Al Basha caught Davis’s eye before it even opened, with its big sign advertising halal and kosher foods.

“A halal, kosher store — somebody who’s actually trying to reach out to both markets and both communities? That’s pretty striking,” he said. “They were definitely reaching out a hand.”

Ghufran Almusawi and her husband, Anas Elazrag, both Muslims, opened Al Basha in July 2019 with the intention of creating a “melting pot,” Almusawi said.

“Serving kosher in our store was one of the ways that we can bring the communities together,” she said. “We just want to offer services to everybody. We want to make everybody feel welcome.”

Almusawi said Jewish and Muslim and Jewish shoppers often connect in the aisles.

“I see a lot of customers interacting with each other, especially if they have questions,” she said. “Sometimes the customers will jump in and answer as a way of them showing, ‘Hey, we accept you, you’re welcome here.’”
US bake sale against antisemitism draws Jewish foodies, few non-Jewish allies
Tucked between a dance school and a ’60s retro lounge on a quiet street in Tucson, Arizona, sits a small Middle Eastern and African foods store. But the Al Basha Grocery isn’t just a place to get halal meats and hard-to-find ingredients.

“It provides an opportunity for people to see each other as real people and have a normal interaction with people [with whom they] ordinarily might not interact in their day-to-day lives,” said Jesse Davis, a regular Al Basha shopper.

Al Basha caught Davis’s eye before it even opened, with its big sign advertising halal and kosher foods.

“A halal, kosher store — somebody who’s actually trying to reach out to both markets and both communities? That’s pretty striking,” he said. “They were definitely reaching out a hand.”

Ghufran Almusawi and her husband, Anas Elazrag, both Muslims, opened Al Basha in July 2019 with the intention of creating a “melting pot,” Almusawi said.

“Serving kosher in our store was one of the ways that we can bring the communities together,” she said. “We just want to offer services to everybody. We want to make everybody feel welcome.”

Almusawi said Jewish and Muslim and Jewish shoppers often connect in the aisles.

“I see a lot of customers interacting with each other, especially if they have questions,” she said. “Sometimes the customers will jump in and answer as a way of them showing, ‘Hey, we accept you, you’re welcome here.’”