Sunday, May 29, 2022

05/29 Links: Isaac Herzog: Jerusalem: City of heart and soul; Jerusalem Day: 25,000 people march through Old City with Israeli flags; Iraq’s Blood-Curdling Bill Targets Israel (and Its Own People)

From Ian:

Isaac Herzog: Jerusalem: City of heart and soul
When I was elected president of Israel, my wife Michal and I privately celebrated for another reason, besides the great responsibility and trust placed in me: the fact that from now on, we would have the privilege of living in Jerusalem, a city that has had a deep place in our hearts for many years.

Yes, it is a privilege to live in Jerusalem. And every morning over the past year, waking up in Jerusalem, we have felt a certain excitement, an excitement of the sort that only life in Jerusalem can provide.

The poet Yehuda Amichai, for whom Jerusalem was his heart and soul, wrote in one of his poems a verse that captures something of my feelings: “Jerusalem is a swing: sometimes I descend into the generations and sometimes I rise into the heavens.” And that’s Jerusalem: a city in which polar opposites, diversity and change are all fused with each other, lending it its unique character.

There is no other city in the world like Jerusalem. A city that people pine for, a city that they face to pray, and for whose sake they pray, a city to which so many look up. A city that serves as common ground but is often also a locus of frictions. A city that contains everything of everything: the spirit of sanctity and the vibrancy of day-to-day life.

Jerusalem is a city whose one million inhabitants reflect the entire mosaic of Israeli society and its complexity, a city whose name means “peace,” yet a city that has also known many wars.

Jerusalem Day is a symbol of one of the formative events in the city’s history. From the day that Jerusalem was unified, all parts of it have been growing and developing. And while safeguarding its sovereignty as the State of Israel’s capital, Jerusalem also promises freedom of worship for members of all religions, and no less importantly – a form of coexistence that does not diminish difference and tradition, and which brings to light the hidden power of our ability to live together and work together hand in hand.
Ethiopian Jews mourn the thousands who died on the journey to Israel
Immigration Minister Pnina Tamano-Shata on Sunday said she was working to expand awareness about the thousands of Ethiopian Jews estimated to have died while immigrating to Israel, and to provide greater benefits to their families.

“As immigration and absorption minister, no decision has been more important for me than the decision to create dozens of memorial rooms that are scattered throughout the country to remember the Jews of Ethiopia who died along the way,” Tamano-Shata said, speaking at an annual memorial ceremony at Jerusalem’s Mount Herzl cemetery. These efforts were made, she noted, in collaboration with local authorities and members of the Ethiopian community.

“Another important decision… was creating a team to put together assistance for the families of the fallen and to continue presenting the story of the journey and those that made it. Soon we should receive the committee’s recommendations,” she said.

Between 1979 and 1990, Israel organized several transport operations, bringing Ethiopian Jews to Israel via Sudan.

Some 4,000 people are estimated to have died on the trip — largely made by foot — from Ethiopia to the Sudanese camps from where they left to Israel, either on the march itself or in the camps, which had poor sanitation.

The names of some 1,700 people who died en route are engraved on a monument at Mount Herzl. Though more names are added to the monument each year, many are likely to remain forgotten.
Dore Gold: Yom Yerushalayim: Correcting a Historical Injustice
How are we to understand the meaning of Jerusalem Day, when we commemorate the reunification of our historical capital? In 1997 I served as Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, and I asked for instruction from our foreign minister at the time, Ariel Sharon. He sent me back to the speech our first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, gave to the Knesset on Dec. 5, 1949.

Ben-Gurion was taking a historical decision at the end of the first Arab-Israeli War. He decided to move Israel’s capital from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Ben-Gurion was told by Israel’s closest friends not to undertake this move. According to UN General Assembly Resolution 181, Jerusalem was supposed to be a “separate entity” — a corpus separatum, in the language of the United Nations.

But what occurred in the war was that Jerusalem was surrounded by a coalition of Arab armies and bombarded by their artillery. The Jewish Quarter of the Old City was ethnically cleansed. Its great synagogues, some dating back to the 13th century, were leveled. What the war had proven was that if Jerusalem were not under Israel’s sovereignty and protection, the consequences would be catastrophic. Ben-Gurion told the Knesset:
“But for our successful stand against aggressor’s activity in defiance of the United Nations, Jewish Jerusalem would have been annihilated and the State of Israel would never have arisen.”

Ben-Gurion had a message to the world about Jerusalem:
“The people which has faithfully honored for 2,500 years the oath sworn by the first exiles by the Rivers of Babylon, not to forget Jerusalem — this people will never reconcile itself with separation from Jerusalem.”

Jerusalem Day: 25,000 people march through Old City with Israeli flags
Some 25,000 people marched through the Old City of Jerusalem as part of the Jerusalem Day flag march on Sunday afternoon, hours after a record 2,600 Israelis visited the Temple Mount compound on Sunday morning.

Video from the Damascus Gate showed groups of participants in the march chanting anti-Arab slogans including "Shuafat is on fire," "Death to Arabs," "Mohammed is dead" and "the village is burning."

During the visits to the Temple Mount in the morning, Arab rioters threw chairs, rocks and fired fireworks toward Israeli security forces operating on the Temple Mount as well as towards the Mughrabi Bridge bringing Jewish worshipers to the site, Israel Police claimed.

Video reportedly from the scene showed police closing the doors to al-Aqsa mosque with chains as rioters inside threw chairs, fireworks and other objects onto security forces from windows above them.

Video published by Palestinian media showed Jewish visitors waving Israeli flags and prostrating within the Temple Mount complex as well.

According to the police, at least 18 Palestinian suspects were detained as were a number of Jewish visitors who violated visitation rules by waving Israeli flags and delaying the entrance to additional groups.
HonestReporting Videos: Jerusalem Day: Media, Why Is Raising a Flag Only a 'Provocation' When Israelis Do It?
On Sunday, Israel and Jewish communities around the world are celebrating Jerusalem Day, marking the 55th anniversary of the Jewish state's victory in the 1967 battle for the country's survival, the Six-Day War.

Previously, during the 19-year Jordanian occupation of eastern Jerusalem, Jews had been banned from their holiest places. When it gained control over this part of Jerusalem, the Israeli government introduced the freedom to worship for everyone in the holy city.

This occasion is marked by an annual parade through the Old City, ending at the Western Wall. In 2021, the event was cut short when Gaza-based Hamas fired rockets at Jerusalem. The terror group this year has warned that it would not allow "this Jewish, Talmudic nonsense to go unanswered." On Sunday morning, rioters on the Temple Mount attacked Israeli security forces that were protecting worshippers.

For their part, news organizations are setting the stage for Israel to -- once again -- be blamed for Palestinian violence, with major outlets describing the largely peaceful celebrations as "provocative" and "controversial."

'Hamas is trying to kidnap Jerusalem,' says analyst
Interview and analysis with Dr. Jacques Neriah

Masked men throw stones at officers from inside Al-Aqsa Mosque

Several masked men threw stones at police officers from inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque on Jerusalem's Temple Mount on Sunday morning, Kan News reports.

The security forces closed the mosque's doors.

Iraq’s Blood-Curdling Bill Targets Israel (and Its Own People)
Nearly 20 years after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein’s regime in a US-led invasion, Iraq remains at war with Israel, as has been the situation since the foundation of the Jewish state in 1948. The question persists, however, as to whether Iraq will always be at war with Israel.

Ask the Iraqi parliament that question and you will receive an affirmative answer. Last Thursday, Iraqi legislators voted overwhelmingly in favor of a new law with the ominous title, “Criminalizing Normalization and Establishment of Relations With the Zionist Entity.” From now on, any Iraqi citizen who makes contact with anyone or anything originating from Israel could well face a lifetime prison sentence or even the death penalty.

In a statement issued following the bill’s passage, the Iraqi parliament declared that the legislation “represents a true reflection of the will of the people, a brave national decision and a position that is the first of its kind in the world in terms of criminalizing the relationship with the Zionist entity.” It called on parliaments elsewhere in the Arab and Islamic worlds to follow the Iraqi lead by passing similar legislation that “meets the aspirations of our people.”

Given the Middle East’s history of corruption, dictatorships, human-rights abuse and rigged elections, it is grimly amusing to learn that the aspirations of its constituent peoples are held sacred when it comes to confronting Israel. But does that aspiration really exist, or is it something manufactured from above?

Blaming Israel for domestic woes has long been a tactic of Middle Eastern regimes to divert attention from their failure to lift their nations out of poverty, provide jobs and education, and modernize their societies. It is a tactic held in esteem by much of the Western left, which also believes that Israel’s presence is the only stumbling block to peace and justice for the region. Yet that isn’t a view shared by the demonstrators who have taken to the streets of Iran once again, angered by soaring prices of basic goods but evolving, as has happened before, into political protests. One of their chants, which was first heard during the historic protests of 2009, declares, “Not for Gaza! Not for Lebanon! My life for Iran!” — a slogan that pithily exposes how official calls for solidarity with the Palestinians help to mask the misery of life on the inside.

How years of clandestine ties put Jerusalem and Riyadh on a path to normalization
As the United States works to foster ties between Israel and Saudi Arabia, we can finally publicly speak about the senior Israeli security and political officials who have visited the Gulf country over the years.

Such visits have been taking place for over a decade. All were conducted in secret, except for then-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's trip to the city of Neom to meet with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Then-US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also joined the trip. Netanyahu flew to Saudi Arabia in a private jet, as did most Israeli officials who traveled to the kingdom.

On the Israeli side, the person who organized the meeting and accompanied Netanyahu was then-Director of Mossad Yossi Cohen. He is not the only Mossad chief to visit Saudi Arabia, as Meir Dagan and Tamir Pardo had done so in the past, as did other lower-ranking Mossad officials.

The same is true of the Israel Defense Forces. Defense Minister Benny Gantz visited the Gulf country when he was IDF chief of staff. Meetings with defense officials of various rankings with Saudis were also held in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere.

Several National Security Council directors also visited Riyadh, including Cohen, who headed the organization between 2013 and 2016, and Meir Ben-Shabbat. National Security Council officials met with Saudi representatives in other countries as well, mainly in the Gulf and Europe.

The purpose of the meetings was to strengthen the security coordination between the two countries that face common threats, especially from Iran. Saudi Arabia is frequently attacked by Iranian proxies – the Houthis in Yemen – with missiles, and most recently, drones. The ayatollah regime is also responsible for the 2019 attack on Saudi Arabia's Aramco oil installations.

Since around 2015, Israel has helped Saudi Arabia prepare and better handle challenges posed by ISIS, which threatened the stability of Sunni regimes throughout the region.
Dozens of Israeli business and tech figures visit Saudi Arabia — report
Dozens of Israeli tech entrepreneurs and businesspeople recently flew to Saudi Arabia for advanced talks on Saudi investments in Israeli companies and Israeli investment funds, according to a report (Hebrew) in the Globes business daily.

Israel and Saudi Arabia do not have official diplomatic relations, but covert ties have warmed in recent years as the Saudi crown prince, Mohammad bin Salman, has reportedly seen Israel as a strategic partner in the fight against Iranian influence in the region.

The kingdom refrained from signing onto the Washington-brokered Abraham Accords in 2020 as the US and Israel had hoped, but Riyadh is believed to have given the go-ahead to Bahrain, where it retains decisive influence, to join the normalization agreement with Israel alongside the United Arab Emirates, Morocco and Sudan.

In addition, after the accords were signed, Saudi Arabia began allowing Israeli airlines to use its airspace for flights to and from the UAE and Bahrain. But Israel has not yet received such access for flights to India, Thailand and China, which as a result are significantly longer than they need be.

The businesspeople and entrepreneurs who made recent visits to Saudi Arabia entered the kingdom on their Israeli passports containing special visas, according to Thursday’s Globes report.
Israel Considers Saudi Request to Change Status of Two Red Sea Islands
Israel is examining Saudi Arabia’s request to change the international status of Tiran and Sanafir islands in the Red Sea, according to Haaretz.

The islands were under Saudi jurisdiction until 1950, when Riyadh transferred them to Egypt. Israel captured the islands twice but returned them to Egypt in 1982 along with other territories of the Sinai Peninsula.

In 2016 Egypt announced that it would transfer the two islands to Saudi Arabia. In 2017 the deal was approved by the Egyptian parliament and Supreme Court, but any decision on the islands required Israel’s consent, due to the terms of the 1979 Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty.

If the deal is approved it will become the first public agreement between Israel and Saudi Arabia. The talks are being negotiated by the White House as US President Joe Biden is expected to visit Saudi Arabia in June. Biden’s upcoming Middle East trip might also include his first visit to Israel.

While Saudi Arabia and Israel do not have open diplomatic relations they have been talking behind closed doors for years on diplomatic and security issues.
Israel, Egypt to boost economic ties, step up bilateral trade to $700m
Israel and Egypt are moving to strengthen economic ties and hope to reach $700 million in annual bilateral trade in the next three years, the Economy and Industry Ministry said Sunday.

Under a new proposed plan, the two countries are set to jointly develop the Nitzana crossing between them, where commercial trade is handled, as a regional logistics center and a joint employment area; engage in R&D cooperation; develop joint projects in the area of green energy; and increase the number of direct flights. The plan will also see Israel increase imports of food, fresh fish, and construction materials from Egypt and exports of agriculture solutions and technologies.

The two countries are targeting annual trade (excluding tourism and natural gas exports) at about $700 million by 2025, up from about $300 million in 2021, according to the ministry.

Most Israeli exports to Egypt are in the textile sector, with the rest in areas like chemicals, rubber and plastics and other materials. Israel imports agricultural and food products from Egypt, as well as chemicals, electrical machinery, rubber and plastics, and minerals and fuels, the ministry said.

The new plan will expose more Israeli industries to the Egyptian market and make development and infrastructure projects accessible to Israeli tech companies, the ministry added.

Economy and Industry Minister Orna Barbivai said the countries will work to upgrade the Nitzana crossing, “which will promote trade relations with Egypt, and create quality employment in the south [of Israel], alongside activity by Israeli companies in the Egyptian market, and lower the cost of living [in Israel] by importing food and cement.”

Brother of Hamas leader Sinwar: Firing rockets at Tel Aviv as easy as drinking water
The brother of Hamas terror group leader Yahya Sinwar said in an interview that last year’s conflict with Israel laid down new ground rules in which firing rockets at cities in Israel’s heartland from the Gaza Strip became more viable.

Muhammad Sinwar, a senior commander in the Hamas military wing, made the remarks in a rare interview with the Qatar-based Al-Jazeera network that was broadcast on Friday.

It came amid a spike in tensions with Hamas and other Palestinian terror groups issuing threats over a planned annual march by nationalist Israelis through the Muslim Quarter of the Old City in Jerusalem to mark Jerusalem Day. Palestinians have long viewed the march as a provocation.

A Hamas barrage of rockets fired at Jerusalem during last year’s march triggered the eleven-day conflict in May, dubbed in Israel as Operation Guardian of the Walls. Hamas-led terror groups fired thousands of rockets at Israeli towns and cities. Israel responded with intense airstrikes on terror targets.

“When we warn Israel, every letter and every word means approval is given on the ground,” Sinwar said regarding the current tensions and threats. “We know how to hurt Israel and put pressure on it.”

He said Hamas has established “new equations,” knows Israel’s weak points, and “how to pressure it.”

“For us, shooting rockets at Tel Aviv is easier than drinking water,” said Sinwar, who claimed Israel has tried to take him out on a number of occasions in a targeted killing.

Connect 2: Jordan Condemns Jewish Presence on Temple Mount Same Day It Urges National Water Emergency
The Jordanian Foreign Ministry on Sunday morning issued a statement saying Jordan “Condemns the ascent of the Knesset member and other extremists with the aim of setting Al Aqsa on fire with the backing of the Israel Police.”

The statement added that “we are warning of the deterioration of the situation in light of the provocative parade in occupied Jerusalem.”

Of course, what they mean by setting Al Aqsa on fire is that about 1,800 Jews visited the Temple Mount while a few dozen Arab fanatics blockaded themselves inside the mosque and pelted them with firecrackers. The flags parade will take place in liberated Jerusalem in the afternoon and promises to be as provocative as every other aspect of Jewish presence in the Land of Israel, since the successful landing of General Joshua Bin-Nun some 3,200 years ago.

Meanwhile, also on Sunday, the Jordanian government published a flagship national report urging it to continue to press for the Kingdom’s rights to shared waters “with neighboring countries” to address the country’s long-standing water shortage.

Back in 2021, Jordan’s Economic and Social Council’s State of the Country Report advised pushing forward with Red Sea desalination projects, describing this option as strategic for resolving Jordan’s water crisis.

The vague references to “neighboring countries” and “desalination projects” avoid the mention of the only regional power that can save the Hashemite kingdom from drying up. Hint: it’s the same folks who dare visit the Temple Mount and walk through Jerusalem carrying their national, blue and white flags.

In 1967, Jordanian King Hussein joined the war against Israel, following which he lost a considerable chunk of his country. In 1994, King Hussein signed a peace accord with Israel which granted his country a share in the water of the Kinneret, which until then was kept from flowing into the Jordan river by the Degania Dam.
Iran choreographs its own 'outrage' around Jerusalem Day flag march - analysis
As events began to unfold on Jerusalem Day in Jerusalem, the Iranian regime is watching closely to see how it can try to fuel conflict in Israel. Iran knows it lacks some options to encourage Palestinians to attack Israel because its media doesn’t have deep inroads with Palestinian readers and the Islamic Republic has in the past failed to make gains against the Jewish state. Yet this Jerusalem Day gives Iran another opportunity to fan the flames.

Amid stories of economic problems at home – and insecurity felt by Iranians regarding infrastructure problems after a recent building collapse in a major city – Iran seeks to highlight Jerusalem tensions. This is clear from its coverage of clashes in Jerusalem as well as the statements by groups allied with Iran, such as Hezbollah and Hamas.

Among the first Iranian reports were at Fars News on Sunday, claiming that there was a “Zionist attack on Al-Aqsa Mosque.” The article views any Jewish visits to the Temple Mount as a conspiracy involving “Zionist settlers.” Iran says that the flag march later in the day “may [lead to an] explosion in the Palestinian territories due to the warnings of the Palestinian groups to respond.” What this means is that Tehran wants to help choreograph those tensions for its own interests.

Iran’s media covered the early morning tensions in Jerusalem on Sunday, noting that Palestinians had barricaded themselves inside the mosque. The Iranian report said that Israeli “regime forces chained the doors of the al-Qabli prayer hall this morning and surrounded the Palestinian worshipers inside.”
Iran boasts underground drone base housing over 100 UAVs
The Iranian army has made new details about one of its underground bases, this one housing military drones. The account, which comes amid simmering tensions in the Gulf, did not disclose the base's location.

State TV said 100 drones were being kept in the heart of the Zagros mountains, in southeast Iran, including Ababil-5, which it said were fitted with Qaem-9 missiles – the Iranian-made version of the American air-to-surface Hellfire missile.

"No doubt the drones of Islamic republic of Iran's armed forces are the region's most powerful," army commander Maj. Gen. Abdolrahim Mousavi said. "Our capability to upgrade drones is unstoppable," he added.

The Iranian state TV correspondent said he had made the 45-minute helicopter flight on Thursday

TV footage showed rows of drones fitted with missiles in a tunnel, which it said was several hundred meters underground.

The TV report came a day after Iranian Revolutionary Guards seized two Greek tankers in the Gulf, in apparent retaliation for the confiscation of Iranian oil by the United States from a tanker held off the Greek coast.

David Collier: Google search promotes antisemitism
Google is the world’s leading search engine. Over 84% of search traffic across most of the free world originates from Google ( I know this because I googled it). But my own research shows that Google’s own search engine is helping to spread antisemitism into the mainstream. Here is the story:

What is in Google’s algorithm
Forget the maths that perhaps only Dr Sheldon Cooper can understand. Basically, when you type a query into Google – it uses several factors when deciding the optimal answer to your question. Your location, your interests, previous responses to the same question, and the popularity of a page are just four or the many variables. As long as it is not tampered with, Google’s algorithm reflects societal interest and bias back on itself. This is also true of its image search. If the conversations around beautiful women online are primarily centred on or around white women, then that will be the result of a search.

The people behind Google do understand that the power it wields creates a social responsibility. They don’t want to reflect all societal bias back, because they understand that ranking some popular pages highly would promote many toxic worldviews. But this means that Google search does have an editorial policy. Google decides what is healthy and what is toxic. Google protects some groups from spreading the hate against them inadvertently or subliminally (in returning results not explicitly asked for) by demoting the ranking of offensive pages.

Unfortunately, Google does not protect Jews in the same way.

A big h/t to Lee Kern for alerting me to this issue (Lee’s Twitter and IG).

(NOTE: an incognito window was used throughout, to avoid Google ‘filtering’ a bubble around my results, previous search history was deleted, cookies were cleaned, and search customisation was optimised to offset additional bias. Only geographical bias was not addressed as this is not relevant to the research)

Typing ‘Jewish People’ into Google
A simple exercise. Type ‘Jewish people’ into Google. The results are clean and relevant. There is clearly an editorial policy of some type at work, because ‘Jews did 9/11’ and other popular antisemitic conspiracy is nowhere to be seen (unless Google recognises you want to see that kind of stuff from your antisemitic activity). Whilst the actual text results seem to be normal, click in the menu bar to see the result of the ‘images search’. It will look something like this:
The key returns that we see immediately are Donald Trump and Bibi Netanyahu. A reflection of money, power and in the mind of many, a reflection of ‘nasty’. Even the image of Gal Gadot links to an attack on Netanyahu. As far as I am aware, Donald Trump is not a quintessential example of a ‘Jewish person’. But it gets even worse. In just the first few results the connecting articles contain numerous attacks on Israel, Orthodoxy and Jewish people more generally. Even a Tony Greenstein article – which calls Israel a Jewish Supremacist State makes the cut.

Greenstein is an expelled Labour activist and a notorious antisemite.
NYC’s Inna Vernikov pulls CUNY Law School funding over Israel stance
A Brooklyn councilwoman is pulling $50,000 in funding earmarked to the CUNY Law School because its faculty council endorsed a resolution in support of the pro-Palestinian boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel.

Inna Vernikov, a Ukranian-born Jew who represents a handful of heavily Jewish neighborhoods in southern Brooklyn, charges that CUNY Law professors are engaging in antisemitism by backing the BDS movement against the Jewish State.

“I have pulled funding from the program and redirected it to Legal Services NYC,” Vernikov told The Post Friday.

“It seems as if antisemitism is the only politically acceptable form of racism which exists. We must stop handing out free passes to anti-Semites like candy,” Vernikov said.

The money had been set aside for CUNY Law to provide pro-bono services to the needy in her district.

The CUNY School of Law Justice and Auxiliary Service, staffed by its alumni, has provided legal assistance to hundreds of constituents in Council District 48 for over the past 15 years — thanks to funding provided at the discretion of council members.

She said CUNY professors are hypocrites by targeting Israel over disputed territory with Palestinians while ignoring other countries “who actually commit atrocious human rights violations, including but not limited to genocide, rape, torture, and persecution.”

“During a time when antisemitic hate crimes are up by 300%, it is incumbent upon our academic institutions to do everything in their power to protect their Jewish and pro-Israel students, not pass resolutions which directly place them in harm’s way,” the councilwoman said.

Backers of the Jewish State applauded Vernikov and said more of New York’s elected officials should withdraw support from CUNY until it stops condoning what it deems as Jewish hatred and discrimination.

Can an Anti-Jewish candidate win a seat on the West Hollywood City Council?
Dillon Hosier, Chairman of the Israeli-American Civic Action Network, speaks out in confidential document leaked to WEHOville. Hosier’s comments are directed at the backers of Chelsea Byers for West Hollywood City Council.

“We will be actively and vociferously opposing Chelsea Byers’ candidacy and anyone who supports it,” said Hosier at the end of his letter directed to Jeff Seymour/Seymour Consulting, DJ Moore/Latham and Watkins, Jim Arnone/Latham and Watkins, Pete Scantland/Orange Barrel Media, and Aaron Greene/Afriat Consulting.

Seymour/Moore/Arnone/Scantland and Greene are not residents of the City of West Hollywood but have business interests in West Hollywood.

Chelsea Byers is a candidate for the West Hollywood City Council. She moved into West Hollywood about two years ago. Byers is the girlfriend of former Horvath campaign manager Austin Cyr. Byers is also John Erickson’s direct appointee to the Human Services Commission. Byers has no history of voting in any West Hollywood elections. Byers has the support of both Horvath and Erickson in the upcoming West Hollywood City Council election.

Hosier addressed his concerns to the big money backers behind Byers.

Hate blogger who compared Auschwitz to a ‘theme park’ is sent to jail
Alison Chabloz-Tyler lost her appeal against her conviction for using ‘grossly offensive terminology’ on radio and social media JC Reporter

An antisemitic blogger who once compared Auschwitz to a “theme park” has been told she will be sent to jail after losing her appeal.

Alison Chabloz-Tyler, 57, was convicted of using “grossly offensive terminology” on a US podcast she promoted via a far-right social media website called Gab.

She was also convicted of sending other grossly offensive comments on a public communications network at Westminster Magistrates' Court.

She was sentenced to 18 weeks in jail but in April appealed against her conviction at Southwark Crown Court.

The blogger said that the Holocaust is used as an “eternal cash cow”, and that Hitler wanted the Jews out of Europe for behaving “in a certain fashion as we’re seeing again today”.

She also said that the gas chambers were not “homicidal”, but used “to save lives from typhus epidemics”.

Chabloz-Tyler added that Jews who “don’t conform” should be deported.

Giving evidence, Chabloz-Tyler refused to accept that her comments were grossly offensive, and said: “I would like English people, of my family, of my race, of my ethnicity, to remain the majority in my country.”

Warner Music Group launches branch in Israel
Record label and international entertainment conglomerate Warner Music Group has on Wednesday officially launched its Israeli branch, Warner Music Israel.

The new Tel Aviv-based recorded music affiliate was established due to Israel being a "fast-growing music market," according to the music industry giant.

According to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), Israel recorded impressive recorded music revenue growth of 10.2% in 2021.

Warner's new Israel branch will focus on promoting the biggest artists signed under its label, including Bruno Mars, Ed Sheeran and Cardi B, in the local Israeli market.

From Ed Sheeran to Noga Erez
However, Warner noted, the branch will also look to work with Israel's pop stars, such as Noga Erez and Noa Kirel, who are signed to Atlantic Records, a subsidiary of Warner Music Group.

“I’m honored to be able to open Warner Music Israel for business," Maria Mochiach, General Manager of Warner Music Israel, said. Mochiach was chosen to head Warner's venture in the Jewish state after working for over a decade at Lev Group Media, which has acted in the past as an Israeli distributor for Warner Music.

Warner to push for Israel-Turkey musical partnership
Mochiach's Israeli branch will work closely with other national branches of Warner in the Mediterranean region, the company noted, with Warner Music Turkey seen as a natural commercial partner for the Israeli branch.

"We hope to turn Warner Music Israel into a powerhouse full of local stars, and by offering artists the opportunity to tap into Warner Music’s renowned global network, we aim to attract the country’s most exciting talent," President of Emerging Markets at Warner Music Group, Alfonso Perez-Soto, said.
ArchaeologyNew segment of Jerusalem’s 2,000-year-old Low-Level aqueduct revealed
Recent excavations in Jerusalem’s Armon Hanatziv neighborhood are resurrecting one of the ancient city’s main water suppliers — the 2,000-year-old Low-Level Aqueduct that brought water to the Temple Mount from Solomon’s Pools near Bethlehem, 21 kilometers away.

Used until the British Mandate, when it was discarded for new electric pump technology, the newly uncovered segment of the Hasmonean-era water line — currently some 40 meters — will be conserved and integrated into a neighborhood park in cooperation with the Jerusalem Municipality and the Moriah Jerusalem Development Corporation.

“This is a real historical monument of the city,” Israel Antiquities Authority archaeologist Yaakov Billig, an expert in ancient aqueducts, told The Times of Israel on Sunday, Jerusalem Day.

It was used and maintained (or not) by a succession of rulers, said Billig, including those from the three major monotheistic religions, through the end of the Ottoman Empire, when it began to increasingly crack and decay.

Since it was in use until relatively recently, modern researchers have long been aware of the location of the aqueduct and it appears in maps of Ottoman-era Jerusalem. In excavations led by the IAA’s Alexander Wiegmann, all the eroded dirt and fill has been removed from the new section, which will soon be readied for tourists to visit.

Billig said that the new excavations are not being conducting merely for the sake of nostalgia, however. Rather, researchers are still amazed and even somewhat mystified by the precision technology constructed in antiquity without the aid of GPS or modern computation methods.

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