Sunday, December 19, 2021

From Ian:

What Worked in the Golan Will Work in Judea and Samaria
The 40 years that have passed since the dramatic day the Knesset — at the initiative of then-Prime Minister Menachem Begin — applied Israeli sovereignty to the Golan Heights allow us to examine what has and has yet to be achieved following this historic step.

The main goal of the legislation, enacted in three Knesset readings on the same day, was certainly achieved: Israel established its control over the Golan Heights and signaled to the entire world that the annexation of the territory had been finalized and there would be no going back.

Up until that point, Israeli military control of the plateau had signaled transience. Israel may have previously made convincing arguments for its right to the region, but its decision to refrain from annexing the Golan Heights seemed to allude to Jerusalem itself being unsure as to the weight of those arguments. When you yourself send a signal you are unsure of the justice of your position, why would others stand with you?

Begin’s move put an end to this ambiguous state. Although the countries of the world have not officially recognized Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, they were forced to accept the move in practice. Whether willingly, indifferently or reluctantly, they have all come to terms with the fact. The most tangible proof of this is the absence of any pressure on Israel regarding the matter.
Amb Alan Baker: A Possible Return to UNESCO ­by the United States ­– A Very Bad Idea
Recent media reports indicate that the United States is considering re-engaging with UNESCO and is encouraging Israel to do so as well. This occurrence follows both the United States and Israel’s withdrawal from the organization in 2018 after the granting of full member-state status to the Palestinians, and in light of highly politicized, anti-Israel resolutions of the organization.

Congressional legislation prohibits the United States from contributing to UN organizations that grant full, state membership to any group that does not have internationally recognized attributes of statehood. This legislation, therefore, bans U.S. contributions to UNESCO.

In granting full membership status to the Palestinians, as well as its acute politicization, hostility, and bias against Israel, UNESCO is violating its own basic purposes and functions, including the requirement to “contribute to peace and security by promoting collaboration among the nations through education, science and culture,” set out in Article 1 of its own constitution.

Rejoining UNESCO would imply recognition of a Palestinian state despite the fact that no such state exists and despite the absence of any permanent status agreement between Israel and the Palestinian leadership. The act would set a toxic precedent for other UN organizations.

Recognizing Palestinian statehood by rejoining UNESCO would further contravene the premise of the Oslo Accords that the permanent status of the territories must be resolved by direct negotiation between Israel and the Palestinians and not through unilateral measures intended to bypass such negotiations. The United States is a signatory to the Oslo Accords as a witness.

The U.S. Administration should reconsider this issue and act in accordance with its own policies of supporting the Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiation process and postpone a return to UNESCO pending the achievement of a permanent status agreement.
Jonathan Tobin: Why the Double Standard on West Bank Violence?
To the casual observer of news from the Middle East, it would appear that the biggest story coming out of Israel lately is what some outlets are describing as a surge in settler violence against Palestinians. According to B’Tselem, an anti-settler group that is nonetheless treated as if it is an impartial and objective source by Western publications, the number of attacks by Jews living in West Bank settlements on neighboring Arabs is allegedly up by nearly 50 percent in the previous year. In this telling, radical Jews—motivated by nationalism-inspired hatred for Arabs—are guilty of numerous instances of stone-throwing and even shootings, along with so-called “price tag” attacks in which Palestinian property is vandalized.

The question we should be asking about the hyping of the threat of settler violence is not whether it’s true that a small percentage of residents in Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria have engaged in confrontations with Palestinians or that some have broken the law by committing violence. It’s whether the decision on the part of activist groups and some in the media to treat these incidents as emblematic of why it is wrong for Jews to live in the territories is justified, as well as why the focus on settler violence is almost always bereft of the broader context of what is going on in the West Bank on a far more frequent basis: daily attacks on Jews by Arabs, including murder.

While Arab violence doesn’t justify gratuitous Jewish responses or reprisals, there is something wrong if a few Jews throwing stones is considered far more important than the fact that attacks on Jews in the same areas is more or less the national sport of Palestinians.

The double standard is what is outrageous. All of the several hundred thousand Israelis who live in what the international community considers to be “occupied territory” and, by extension, the entire Jewish population of the country are held somehow responsible for the crimes of a few. Yet at the same time exponentially greater volumes of Palestinian violence is considered either unremarkable or somehow justified. If so, then it’s clear that the subject here is not so much the conduct of the settlers as it is the delegitimization of Jews.

Israel ‘Bombs Auschwitz’
It has often been said that if only the State of Israel had existed in the 1940s, it could have bombed Auschwitz, interrupting the murder of countless innocents.

Well, today it does exist. And it turns out that it has been using its air force to interrupt a contemporary regime’s murder of countless innocents.

The Washington Post recently revealed that two Israeli bombing raids in Syria in 2020 and 2021, which previously had been shrouded in mystery, were in fact part of a covert campaign to stop “a nascent attempt by Syria to restart its production of deadly nerve agents.”

Syrian dictator Bashar Assad has used sarin nerve gas to slaughter thousands of civilians since the outbreak of the country’s civil war in 2011. One attack alone left 1,400 dead in a Damascus suburb. Assad promised the Obama administration in 2012 that he would stop using chemical weapons and destroy his arsenal. But he secretly held on to part of his stockpile, and has carried out “more than 200 attacks” with deadly nerve agents in recent years, the Post reports.

The Israelis are well aware that Syria’s original purpose in developing the poison gas was to use it against the Jewish state — to continue, in a sense, the murder of the Jews that began in German-occupied Poland 80 years ago this month.

Rather than wait for such an attack and then belatedly responding, the Israelis decided to preempt the attempted genocide — and in so doing, potentially interrupt the Assad regime’s ongoing use of these weapons against Syrian citizens.
Yisrael Medad: Was 'Arab Palestine' Thought of As A Separate Country?
Did the idea that "Palestine" for the Arabs was not really thought of as a separate country a 'Zionist plot'?


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Israel must prepare for a wave of Ukrainian and Russian olim - opinion
Israel must immediately prepare to absorb a wave of olim should Russia invade Ukraine.

American intelligence agencies warn that Moscow is positioning 100 battalion tactical groups along Ukraine’s borders for a possible major offensive in early 2022. The 2014 secessionist conflict in Ukraine’s Donbas region, together with retaliatory sanctions against a limited number of Russian individuals and companies, dramatically increased aliyah from each country. Thirty-thousand Ukrainian olim arrived between 2014 and 2018, while nearly 40,000 came from Russia, exceeding the 36,800 Russian olim over the entire previous decade.

Unlike the 2014 war, which only witnessed violence in small pockets of Ukraine’s eastern frontier, a full-scale invasion guarantees a refugee crisis.

According to the American Jewish Year Book 2019, approximately 200,000 Ukrainians are eligible to make aliyah under the Law of Return. Although most neither identify as Jews nor are halachically Jewish, tens of thousands seeking refuge might apply for Israeli citizenship.

Simultaneously, severe Western sanctions could motivate some of the 600,000 Russian citizens eligible for aliyah, also mostly non-Jews, to contemplate emigration. Just a week after Secretary of State Antony Blinken threatened that a Russian invasion would trigger “high impact economic measures that we’ve refrained from taking in the past,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell announced, “Any aggression against Ukraine will come with political consequences and with a high economic cost for Russia.” Accordingly, any Russo-Ukrainian war would precipitate a Russian financial meltdown.
Israel captures Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorists for deadly Homesh attack
Security forces apprehended a number of suspects early Sunday morning who Israel said were behind the deadly shooting attack that killed Yehuda Dimentman last week in the West Bank.

The alleged terrorists were said to be members of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) movement. Large forces from the IDF, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) and the Border Police arrested the suspects in the village of Silat al-Harithiya northwest of Jenin.

One of the suspects was a member of Islamic Jihad who has been jailed in Israel in the past.

The IDF had intensified its manhunt over the weekend for the West Bank terrorists who killed Dimentman, a 25-year-old father of a toddler, who was ambushed as the car he was in was sprayed with bullets near Homseh as it made its way to the settlement of Shavei Shomron.

Soldiers focused specifically on areas around the Palestinian cities of Jenin and Nablus in the Samaria region of the West Bank, close to where the gunmen sprayed Dimentman’s car with bullets on Thursday night. Two other Israelis in the car sustained light injuries.

Weapons suspected of being used in the attack were seized by security forces as well, including two M16 rifles and an improvised semi-automatic gun. The terrorists were transferred to the Shin Bet for further questioning.
Terror victim's family pleads with Bennett to rebuild Homesh settlement
When asked a year ago what he would do if he had only a week left to live, terror victim Yehuda Dimentman said he would study Torah on the ruins of the former West Bank settlement of Homesh.

On Sunday — less than 72 hours since he was killed by Palestinian gunmen as he left the Homesh hilltop — his young widow Ethia publicly called on Prime Minister Naftali Bennett to help ensure that Israelis for generations could come could study and live on that hilltop.

"This is his will," Ethia told reporters as she held her young red-headed son David on her lap and sat in her in-law's home in Mevaseret Zion outside of Jerusalem.

She repeated the description of her husband, uttered by many, that he was a soldier without a uniform in pursuit of the cause of ensuring that the government authorize a settlement on the northern Samaria hilltop and legalize a yeshiva at the site, to replace unauthorized modular seminary that exists there now.

Dimentman, 25, was not part of the Homesh settlement that the IDF evacuation in 2005 after the Gaza pullout.
Latest Palestinian Attacks Are Motivated by Incitement Combined with Hamas’ Interest to Increase Terror
The recent uptick in terrorist attacks in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria is the result of ongoing incitement among the Palestinian public, combined with Hamas’ interest in increasing terrorism to challenge Israel.

The central themes of the Palestinian narrative are intended to create a consciousness of struggle, particularly among Palestinian youth. The Palestinians’ identity is based primarily on the individual’s commitment to fighting Zionism until its disappearance.

As the consciousness of the struggle is embedded in their minds, there will always be some Palestinians who will feel they are fulfilling what is required of them by Palestinian society. They believe that even if they lose their lives, it is no disaster since they will become heroic martyrs. If they surrender and are imprisoned, they and their family will receive great respect and a generous salary.

There are some Palestinians who are under mental stress and may seek to overcome their personal problems by carrying out an attack. However, this is not the motive for the attack, but the additional circumstances that helped them make the decision to act in this way.

In parallel with the ongoing incitement, we are also witnessing Hamas’ and Islamic Jihad’s efforts to establish organized terrorist cells capable of unleashing attacks with a significant number of casualties. Recently, four such cells, some extensive, have been uncovered. This effort is a permanent part of Hamas’ and Islamic Jihad’s policy aimed at harming as many Israelis as possible, undermining national resilience in Israel, and demonstrating these movements’ adherence to the path of struggle.
PMW: The PA’s ‘Equal Opportunities for Terrorist Murderers’ policy
This morning, Israeli security forces arrested the terrorists suspected of murdering 25-year-old Yehuda Dimentman and injuring others in a shooting attack last Thursday.

The arrest of the terrorist murderers automatically invokes the full weight of the Palestinian Authority’s 2004 Law of Prisoners and Released Prisoners and implementing regulations.

According to the law (sec. 2), all terrorists “are a fighting sector, and an inseparable part of the Palestinian society.”

Section 7 of the law, together with sections 7 and 12 of PA Government Decision Number 23 of 2010 Regarding the Regulation of Payment of the Monthly Salary to the Prisoner, guarantees the terrorists a monthly salary from the PA, that begins on the day of their arrest and increases with time spent in prison (see chart below). Section 6 of the law adds that the PA will also provide the terrorists with monthly spending money and a clothing allowance, twice a year.
The terrorists arrested this morning are members of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), an internationally designated terror organization. Irrelevant of their terror affiliation, as part of the PA’s ‘Equal Opportunities for Terrorist Murderers’ policy, the PA pays every terrorist prisoner including those who are members of PIJ, Hamas, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades. The PA similarly does not care if the victims of terror were Israelis, Jews, or simply foreigners. The only relevant factor for entitlement to the huge PA terror reward package is that the recipient was a Palestinian terrorist arrested for his involvement in terror.

Yesterday marked 11 years since the murder of Christian US tourist Kristine Luken. Each of the two terrorists convicted for the murder of Kristine has been paid over $139,000, as a reward for the murder.

Hamas, Islamic Jihad announce pact to increase terror attacks against Israel
Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) have reached an agreement to step up terror attacks against Israel, especially in Jerusalem and the West Bank.

The Iranian-backed groups also agreed to increase coordination between their military wings, Izaddin al-Qassam Brigades, and al-Quds Brigades. The agreement was reached during meetings of leaders of Hamas and PIJ in Lebanon and the Gaza Strip.

The agreement is seen by Palestinian political analysts as yet another challenge to the Palestinian Authority, whose security forces are continuing to wage a massive crackdown on Hamas and PIJ members in the West Bank.

The analysts believe that the upsurge in Hamas and PIJ attacks on Israelis also aims to undermine the PA.

“Hamas and Islamic Jihad are hoping to kill two birds with one stone,” said a Ramallah-based analyst. “They know that the attacks make [PA President Mahmoud] Abbas appear as if he’s losing control of the situation."

A Ramallah official said that the PA security forces have received “solid instructions” from the Palestinian leadership to prevent anarchy and lawlessness in the West Bank. “We will not allow any individual or group to instigate unrest and instability,” the official cautioned. "Hamas and Islamic Jihad are acting against the interests of our people."

A joint statement published by the Hamas-affiliated Palestine Information Center said that the two groups praised the increase in “resistance operations” in the West Bank and Jerusalem, adding that they came in response to “settler terrorism and crimes of the Zionist occupation soldiers.”
PMW: Abbas’ Advisor: Allah is punishing world with COVID for ignoring Palestinian plight
The PA is a master of evading responsibility because it is so easy to blame Israel for everything that goes wrong, including the spread of the Coronavirus. In a column in the official PA daily, Muwaffaq Matar, Fatah Revolutionary Council member and regular columnist for the paper accused Israel of deliberately bringing COVID-19 into the PA:
“It would not be an exaggeration if we say that the racist occupation government has worked to export the ‘COVID-19’ (Coronavirus) epidemic to us, after our institutions succeeded in limiting and reducing the scope of its spread, as [Israel] used the virus as a new weapon to weaken the scope of economic life to the lowest point, and to leave it in an almost fateful dependency on its economy!”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 21, 2021]

A similar libel was expressed in the cartoon above, claiming that Israel deliberately infects terrorist prisoners with the virus or purposefully maintains conditions in the prisons under which the virus can thrive.

The image shows a prisoner sitting slumped over on a bed in a prison cell while a hand holding a Coronavirus particle reaches through the bars of the cell door. A number of other Coronavirus particles are seen floating in the air.

Text on image: “The international campaign to protect the prisoners in the occupation’s prison from the Coronavirus epidemic


[Facebook page of the PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs, June 18, 2020]

Referring to a Hadith according to which Islam’s Prophet Muhammad said that “If the people see the oppressors and do not protest against them, they are liable to all be included in the punishment,” PA Chairman Abbas’ advisor on religious affairs, Mahmoud Al-Habbash, likewise explained that all catastrophes that have befallen the world recently – including the COVID-19 pandemic – is Israel, the “oppressor's,” and the silent bystanders’ fault because they let the "injustice" happen to "Palestine":

What the Public Doesn’t Know About an Attack on Iran
A lot of words have been devoted in the past few weeks to the possibility of an Israeli attack on Iran. One after another, senior officials in the defense establishment and the political echelon have made it clear that as far as Israel is concerned, "all the options are on the table" when it comes to stopping Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

There is a clear purpose to these threats: to push Western powers to take a more aggressive line on Tehran. They are mostly aimed at the US administration, which has consistently declared that it will not allow Iran to nuclearize, but in effect, is taking a passive stance. To put it simply, Israel is telling the world that if it won't stop Iran, we will have to take military action.

Israel made a similar threat a decade ago, one that was backed up by practical plans for an attack: Israel wanted the world to see that its air force was drilling long-range flights and strikes, and wanted it to know that it was discussing the optimal timing for an attack. US intelligence – and that of other countries, obviously – did not miss the IDF's announcements of high alert ahead of a possible imminent attacks.

All this did the job. The world was pressured by the possibility of an Israeli strike, and took action. The US launched secret talks with Iran, which led to the signing of the JCPOA in 2015. Iran stopped enriching uranium and got rid of the stocks of enriched uranium it already had. The possibility of an Israeli attack was taken off the table, followed by accusations back and forth between the political leadership (Benjamin Netanyahu and Ehud Barak) and the military leadership (Gabi Ashkenazi and Meir Dagan) at the time about what the correct course of action had been, and who torpedoed whom.

While the Iran nuclear deal was in effect, Israel fell into a certain complacency. Assuming that as long as the deal was valid, there would be no military action against Iran's nuclear program, the plans for a strike were shelved, and never underwent the necessary updates and adjustments needed to keep them relevant in light of the changes of the past 10 years.

Even after the US withdrew from the nuclear deal in 2018, Israel was still asleep at the wheel. The assumption was that one of three scenarios would play out: The Tehran regime would collapse under the crippling sanctions the US applied after it pulled out of the deal; the Iranians would beg to sign a new deal, and it would be possible to make it a better, stronger, longer-term one; or Donald Trump would be reelected and order an American strike on Iran's nuclear facilities.

None of these came to pass. The Iranians proved impressively determined, and today – despite a terrible economic situation that includes 30 million people living below the poverty line, crumbling infrastructure, and the Iranian rial at an unprecedented low – they aren't blinking when it comes to their nuclear program.

On Campus, being Pro-Palestinian actually means wanting to destroy Israel
Writing in 2009 about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, the insightful Palestinian/Israeli journalist Khaled Abu Toameh observed that, “What is happening on the U.S. campuses is not about supporting the Palestinians as much as it is about promoting hatred for the Jewish state. It is not really about ending the ‘occupation,’” he wrote, “as much as it is about ending the existence of Israel.”

And that is what those who observe the campus activism against Israel have never fully understood: that being pro-Palestinian, by definition, means being anti-Israel.

It does not involve urging the Palestinian Arab leadership to come to terms with Israel about long unsettled negotiation points about borders, Jerusalem, the return of refugees, and other key issues. Is has never involved advising Palestinian Arabs to abandon terror, or so-called “resistance,” as a tactic for advancing political ambitions.

Those helping to promote Palestinian self-determination have not been firm in suggesting that Palestinian leaders and other officials end incitement, stop the indoctrination of children in textbooks and lesson plans that demonize Israel and Jews and that teach children to look at the Jewish state as an abomination, an illegal regime, a perverse example of the malignancy of Jews who steal land, commit genocide, and oppress an innocent indigenous people.

Supporters of the Palestinian Arabs have not advised Palestinian leaders to abandon their unrealistic, maximalist ambitions where the fictional Palestine that Israel’s foes always refer to will be reborn—from the River to the Sea—in place of Israel, with the Palestinians the majority rulers of a dhimmi minority of Jews.

The Palestinian Arabs have never been told by their supporters that it morally repugnant and diplomatically lethal to engage in a “pay to slay” program through which terrorists and their families were financially rewarded with $183 million in 2017, for example, garnered from foreign aid heaped on the Palestinians, purportedly for humanitarian aid.

No one has written a constitution for the new Palestinian state, brought together Fatah and Hamas to form a recognized ruling party, and urged Palestinian leaders to sit at the negotiation table with Israel to facilitate the creation of their new state.
‘Zionist Playbook’: UNC Student Newspaper Glosses Over Teacher’s Antisemitic Dog Whistles
The Daily Tar Heel Whitewashes Hamas’ Role in May Conflict Against Israel
In May of this year, The Daily Tar Heel covered a demonstration in Raleigh that was held to “protest the Israeli military’s airstrikes and artillery fire in Gaza.”

Quoted throughout the body of the piece is student Nadia Yaqub, who is given free rein to spout a litany of lies and distortions:
The discord between Israel and Palestinian territories is not new, Yaqub said. ‘The problem with the Middle East is a product of antisemitism in Europe,’ she said. ‘Jews in Europe felt they could no longer live among other Europeans and felt they needed to create their own state.’ … Yaqub said present-day Palestinians are not regarded as citizens and are governed by different rules than Israeli citizens.”

Aside from the gross oversimplification of complex issues, the article’s author has clearly not even bothered to fact-check Yaqub’s outrageous statements or attempted to give readers a shred of crucial context.

For example, there is no mention of the fact “present-day Palestinians” who are citizens of Israel have full rights under the law, while those who are not are governed either by the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and Hamas in Gaza.

The article also completely ignores Hamas’ role in instigating the May conflict by firing a barrage of rockets at Jerusalem, with the Islamist terrorist organization not mentioned once in the entire piece. Instead, the conflagration is simply alluded to as “airstrikes and artillery fire in Gaza” by the Israeli military.

Journalism’s first obligation is to the truth and this guiding principle applies whether the media outlet is an international publication or a student-run newspaper. Looking at its checkered history of reportage on issues pertaining to Israel, The Daily Tar Heel should seriously consider this obligation to its readers going forward.

Mistake by BDS activist draws ridicule on social media
A recent gaffe by a BDS supporter has made her the target of ridicule online, and might spark one to wonder just how well-versed these "activists" actually are when it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Last week, a BDS supporter posted a picture of a pendant she apparently purchased, which she said symbolized opposition to the "occupation."

"To stand with Palestine is to stand with Humanity," she wrote above a picture of the pendant, which is made of white metal in the shape of the state of Israel.

However, some social media users noticed that the pendant's outline of Israel actually surrounded Hebrew letters that read "Shema Yisrael."
One was Israeli rapper Yoav Eliassi (AKA The Shadow), who took care to take a screen shot of the post.

"This genius posted a picture of a pendant of 'Palestine' she bought, and wrote 'To stand with Palestine is to stand with humanity. But she didn't notice that what is written in the pendant is 'Shema Yisrael,'" Eliassi wrote in social media post that garnered tens of thousands of likes.

Charity Commission removes Tony Greenstein as a trustee of The Brighton Trust after being declared legally bankrupt following humiliating loss of defamation claim against CAA
Tony Greenstein has been removed as a trustee of The Brighton Trust, formerly known as the “Trust 4 Unpopular Causes”, by the Charity Commission after being declared legally bankrupt in July following his failed defamation claim against Campaign Against Antisemitism earlier this year.

Mr Greenstein had been ordered by judges to pay Campaign Against Antisemitism £81,854 over a libel claim brought by Mr Greenstein after we called him a “notorious antisemite”. In an example of litigation humiliatingly backfiring, the High Court struck out Mr Greenstein’s libel claim against us, ruling that it was permissible for us to call the co-founder of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and expelled Labour Party member a “notorious antisemite” in articles on our website. Mr Greenstein then brought an appeal against aspects of the High Court ruling, which he also lost earlier this month.

Following an Insolvency and Companies Court hearing on 14th July that lasted only a quarter of an hour, Judge Catherine Burton, noting that Mr Greenstein has been properly served and failed to attend or make representations, concluded proceedings by saying: “I make a bankruptcy order this day against Tony Greenstein at 10:46am.”

Consequently, Mr Greenstein met the criteria for automatic disqualification as a charity trustee. We wrote to the Charity Commission to notify them of the bankruptcy order and that he must therefore cease to be a trustee of The Brighton Trust.
Aristocrat Piers Portman refused leave to appeal after being sentenced to 4 months in prison and having to pay over £20,000 for calling CAA Chief Executive “Jewish scum”
The Hon. Piers Portman, the youngest living son of the 9th Viscount Portman and heir to 110 acres of West End real estate, has been refused leave to appeal after he was sentenced in October to four months in prison and ordered to pay over £20,000 after being found guilty of calling Gideon Falter, Campaign Against Antisemitism’s Chief Executive, “Jewish scum” in a confrontation at a courthouse in 2018.

In refusing Mr Portman leave to appeal, the Hon. Mr Justice Hilliard said: “I have considered all the grounds of appeal which have been advanced carefully and thoroughly, and to best advantage. Nonetheless, for the reasons I have given, I am satisfied that there are no arguable grounds of appeal against conviction and the application for leave to appeal must be refused.”

When Mr Portman was originally sentenced at Southwark Crown Court, His Honour Judge Gregory Perrins said that Mr Portman has “strongly-held antisemitic beliefs”, and that he had “deliberately targeted Mr Falter because of his role in prosecuting Alison Chabloz.” Ms Chabloz is an antisemite who has been repeatedly imprisoned following work by Campaign Against Antisemitism.

In scathing sentencing remarks, HHJ Perrins told Mr Portman: “You said you’re an honourable British gentleman. You’re anything but.”

HHJ Perrins then imprisoned him for four months, with the possibility of release on licence after two months, and ordered him to pay a £10,000 fine, make an additional £10,000 compensatory payment to the victim, Mr Falter, and pay court costs. Mr Falter donated the entire £10,000 to Campaign Against Antisemitism.
Israeli Scientists Develop VR Platform for Uncovering Errors in Intensive Care Units
Israeli medical device company DecideVR has recently completed its virtual reality simulator for identifying decision-making errors in medical treatment in intensive care units (ICU). The platform was developed by Professor Alex Mintz, former head of the Computerized Decision Making Lab at Reichman University and Professor Nir Keren, a leading VR expert with experience working for NASA’s International Space Station, alongside input from senior medical doctors in Israel and the US.

The simulator detects and reviews errors and biases of medical doctors and interns, and provides a valuable feedback report to users in real-time, while an executive report is issued for managers. A beta version of the product is currently being piloted with medical professionals in the US. A study was conducted with a non-VR version of the platform in three hospitals in Switzerland, one in Canada, and a medical school in the US, with more than 100 doctors and interns across hospitals in Israel.

The results pointed to numerous critical human errors in ICU simulations that can be reduced using the DecideVR simulator. DecideVR will embark in the next few months on a roadshow to raise funds. It is pursuing collaboration agreements with other simulation producers, hospitals, and medical schools.
Israel’s Future Meat raises $347m, largest investment for cultured meat firm to date
Israel’s Future Meat, a Jerusalem-based biotechnology firm that creates chicken, lamb, and beef products made from animal cells, has raised $347 million in a Series B funding round, the largest single investment in a cultured meat company to date.

The investment was co-led by ADM Ventures, the investment arm of Chicago-based food multinational Archer-Daniels-Midland, and an unnamed global tech investor, Prof. Yaakov Nahmias, founder and CEO of Future Meat, told Bloomberg on Saturday.

US meat company Tyson Foods, the second-largest processor and marketer of meat products and an existing investor in Future Meat, also participated in the round.

Nahmias said the company will use the funds to build a production facility in the United States, and hopes to hit US market shelves later in 2022, pending regulatory approval. This past summer, Future Meat opened what it called the world’s first industrial cultured meat production facility in Rehovot, its headquarters, with the capacity to produce 500 kilograms (about half a ton) of cultured product per day.

The facility further supports Future Meat’s larger efforts “to create a more sustainable future,” the company has said.
Bem-vinda! Roman Abramovich, owner of Chelsea FC, now Portuguese citizen
Billionaire Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich has become a Portuguese citizen, adding the European Union member country's passport to his Russian and Israeli ones.

A spokesperson for Abramovich confirmed a report by Portuguese newspaper Publico on Saturday which cited justice ministry documents as saying the Russian-born businessman had been granted Portuguese citizenship on April 30.

Abramovich's case was based on a Portuguese law offering naturalization to descendents of Sephardic Jews who were expelled from the Iberian peninsula during the medieval Inquisition, the newspaper said.

Around 300,000 Jews lived in Spain when, in 1492, monarchs Isabella and Ferdinand ordered them and the country's Muslims to convert to Catholicism or leave. Tens of thousands fled to Portugal, only to be persecuted there or expelled in 1496.

Thousands of Israeli Jews have been granted Portuguese citizenship since the law was passed in 2015. The number of such applications has risen in Portugal since a similar citizenship offer to Sephardic Jews by Spain ended in 2019.

Applicants' genealogies are vetted by experts who also look for evidence of interest in Sephardi culture.
Israeli teen swimmer takes 2nd gold in Abu Dhabi
After winning the gold medal in the women's 50-meter breaststroke at the World Swimming Championships in Abu Dhabi on Friday, teen swimmer Anastasia Gorbenko scored another gold on Sunday when she won the 100-meter medley final.

Gorbenko completed her swim in 57.80, a new personal best.

"This is my best time, what more could I ask? I came to have fun with my friends and do the best I can," Gorbenko said.

Culture and Sports Minister Chili Tropper said, "Anastasia Gorbenko does it again, proving herself a great athlete! Another gold medal in Abu Dhabi, and an unprecedented achievement. Congratulations on the second win, which is the result of hard work, leading to an enormous victory. We're proud of you, Anastasia."

On Friday, Gorbenko became the first Israeli to win a gold medal at the Short Course Championships.

"It's special to me and my country being here in Abu Dhabi after we have peace with them [the UAE]. Representing my county is such an honor," the swimmer said after her victory Friday.

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