Sunday, June 26, 2022

From Ian:

Negev Summit to become permanent forum
Foreign Ministry Director-General Alon Ushpiz will travel to Bahrain on Monday to meet with representatives of foreign ministries of countries that participated in the Negev Summit that took place in Israel last March.

The summit, which was hosted by Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, brought together Israeli and Arab leaders and was attended by the United Arab Emirates' Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Bahrain's Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani, Morocco's Nasser Bourita, Egypt's Sameh Shoukry and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry said on Twitter that in March, the states decided the summit would become a permanent forum, "an ongoing process based on six working groups": food and water security, energy, health, education and tolerance, tourism, and regional security.

It said the goal of Monday's meeting was to "determine the working groups' process" and "serve as a milestone ahead of the US President's expected visit to the Middle East."

President Joe Biden is expected to visit Israel, and later Saudi Arabia, in mid-July.

Are Jews the New Nazis?
The internet is awash with claims that Jews are like Nazis. This comes through insinuation or is explicitly stated. Some say Israelis are behaving like the Nazis today. Others, (invariably the same people), say Jews collaborated with Hitler in the past.

This is the first of two articles available for subscribers. The second article addresses the claim that Hitler and Jewish Zionists collaborated in the 1930s. Today’s article deals with the assertion that present day Israel is behaving the same way towards Palestinians as the Nazis did towards Jews.

Let’s jump straight to the conclusion and work from there: it’s a load of bollocks. Comparing Jews to Nazis in relation to the Israel-Palestine conflict is a way for stupid people to feel like they’ve had a smart idea. They think the poetic twist of the abused becoming the abuser is a cute thought and that the irony of this role-reversal somehow equals truth. But being proud of a cool story you tell yourself and looking to be praised for your pop-psychology doesn’t mean you’ve actually arrived at the truth.

The most basic understanding of history and the most cursory insight into the present disproves the premise. Nazis tried to exterminate every Jew on the planet for racist reasons. Israel-Palestine is not a racial conflict but a land dispute. Israel has continuously sought peace with its neighbours. If Palestinians also sought peace the conflict would end. But they don’t. None the less, Israel continues to sue for peace because its aspiration is a Middle East in which all people - including Palestinians - can live. This doesn’t quite tally with the Nazis, whose aspiration was a world in which all Jews were dead. Wanting to shake hands with your neighbours and wanting to bury your neighbours are two entirely different things.

It’s worth noting that the global Jewish population still hasn’t returned to its pre-Holocaust numbers. By contrast the Palestinian population has boomed. That’s because there is no ethnic cleansing or genocide being committed by Israel. Israel has the power to wipe out every Palestinian tomorrow if it wanted to - but it does not. Having the power to act - but not doing so - reveals once again that Israel’s intent towards Palestinians is not Nazi-like or genocidal.
I am a Jewish Crimson Editor, and I See the Writing on the Wall…of Resistance
“Zionism is Racism, Settler Colonialism, White Supremacy, Apartheid.”

On April 29, the Crimson Editorial Board, of which I am an associate editor, published a Staff Editorial that embraced these claims, which were plastered onto the Palestinian Student Committee’s “Wall of Resistance” at the time. The Board “proudly” endorsed the associated Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, while rendering the display a “colorful” and “spirited” emblem of “passion.” The article made no mention of the fact that BDS student activism has been tied to antisemitic exclusion and violence on college campuses.

Having missed the meeting where the Board shifted its stance on BDS, I’ve spent an embarrassing number of hours puzzling over the decision, attempting to make sense of the Board’s reasoning. Yet the more I read the Staff Editorial, the more muddled its logic seemed to become. The Board, seemingly seduced by the “colorful” Wall of Resistance, directs virtually no attention to any concrete or balanced exploration of the conflict, instead evading it by stating that we “can’t nuance away” Palestinians’ lived realities. And eventually, after having evaded all precision and nuance, it blindly accepts BDS’s flawed, factually misleading mission.

And now, BDS co-founder Omar Barghouti has authored a Crimson letter to the editor that repeats a host of deceptive anti-Zionist talking points, recycling references to what others have dubbed “Jewish supremacy” while highlighting reports that characterize the Israeli-Palestinian relationship as a racial dispute. These declarations aren’t just wildly distorted; they’re dangerous. They paint a reductive portrait of the Jewish state, demonizing the nation and delegitimizing its very existence. But they are also provocative, evoking emotion, and are cloaked with a blanket of resonant humanitarian claims. For unknowing onlookers with a taste for justice, that seems to be all that matters.

This slick dynamic, I’ve come to realize, captures the essence — and the dangerous “artistry” — of the broader BDS movement.

It is my intuition that Zionism is not what the Editorial Board — or most people backing an anti-Zionist agenda in the name of justice — believes they are rejecting, or likening to racism and cruelty. Instead, they are rejecting a false projection of Zionism — one that has been carefully constructed by movements like BDS, whose entire narrative is founded upon a hefty hijacking of Jewish identity and history.

BDS’s official website explicitly writes that Israel’s origins can be found within a “racist ideology” of European colonialism, which it then ties to the Zionist movement. But the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not rooted in a racial struggle, nor in an ideology of superiority or hate. On the contrary, Zionism was born in 1896 as a movement of liberation, of freedom, and of resisting unfair power imbalances during a period in which Jews across Europe were persecuted — barred from government assemblies, attacked in the press, and excluded from business dealings, hotels, social circles, and clubs.

IDF to use elite intelligence troops to map clash that killed Shireen
Mapping out the battlefield
The day after her death, soldiers reenacted the scene to create a 3D picture of the scene in an attempt to better understand where the soldiers and armed Palestinians were in order to analyze shooting angles.

The IDF hopes that the high-resolution satellite images and mapping teams will be able to bring about a clearer picture of the scene.

“Urban areas are more complicated, it takes a lot of GEOINT, sensors, and the right technology to connect the dots to give the full picture,” Lt.-Col. F, the commander of the unit told The Jerusalem Post in a recent interview.

F explained that troops use Artificial Intelligence to extract buildings from images in order to best understand the scale and make-up of the buildings and other structures in an area.

Israel blamed in recent reports
Israel has been blamed for her death by the Palestinian Authority and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights as well as media outlets that have carried out investigative reports.

The IDF has not ruled out the possibility that she was shot by a Palestinian gunman or an IDF soldier, saying that the only way to determine who fired the bullet was to carry out a ballistic test to match the bullet with the gun.

Though the IDF has reportedly narrowed down the rifle which may have fired the bullet that hit Abu Akleh, the Palestinian side has refused to hand over the bullet that was taken from her body to Israel which they say deliberately targeted her.
Ukrainian Ambassador Threatening to Limit Israelis’ Entry on Rosh Hashanah
Ukrainian ambassador to Israel Yevgen Korniychuk on Saturday night told the Israeli Russian language news website Detaly that his country would retaliate for the limits on Ukrainian refugee entries set by Israel by curbing the number of Israelis it would permit to visit Uman on Rosh Hashanah.

According to a Jewish Federation report, 32,958 Ukrainians have arrived in Israel since the Russian invasion began: 10,618 arrived as olim and another 22,340 arrived from Ukraine but are not eligible for immigration under the Law of Return, (meaning they are not Jewish or don’t have at least one Jewish grandparent). Some 8,000 Ukrainian nationals have since left. (Of the 10,618 olim, 5,888 are new immigrants, and another 4,730 are in the process of making Aliyah).

Korniychuk gained infamy in March when he claimed his nation saved Jews from the Nazis (they mostly turned in their Jewish neighbors and joyously participated in their murder), and demanded that Israel cut off all business dealings with Russia (while Ukraine’s business dealings with Iran rose over 30% and reached nearly $2 billion), even declaring he would petition Israel’s High Court of Justice to block Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked’s policy regarding Ukrainian refugees (until he discovered he couldn’t).

Last Thursday, when Hebrew University in Jerusalem provided the Ukrainian President with an open mic to address its students live and shame them for not doing more for his country (Zelenskyy Asks Hebrew U Audience: How Can You Not Help the Victims of Aggression?), Ambassador Korniychuk was also on hand, and this time his stance was more demure – he told the same students: “We appreciate the support we’ve received from the citizens of Israel and now ask for support from Israel’s government, as well. Please help the Ukrainian people in their distress.”
Jerusalem Arabs Now Have to Prove Ownership Over Contested Property
Four years of legal battles concluded over the weekend with the cancelation of the “Mukhtar Protocol,” a problematic procedure by which property ownership was determined in eastern Jerusalem by local clan leaders, and Arabs now have to prove actual verifiable, legal and documented ownership over contested property in the area.

The Mukhtar Protocol, described by the Regavim organization as “one of the most corrupt, discriminatory procedures enforced by the State of Israel,” was used to establish ownership of land in Jerusalem as the basis for construction permits and other legal processes, based on the testimony of local village “experts,” instead of properly documented proof of ownership.

In eastern Jerusalem, the testimony of a local village mukhtar (leader) sufficed, as opposed to the burden of proof such as legal records, deeds, or other documentation with legal standing and verifiability, as required everywhere else in Israel.

Regavim pointed out that this “strange, antiquated procedure was an open invitation to widespread fraud, resulting in the violation of proprietary rights of both Jewish and Arab owners.”

Four years ago, when the Ministry of Justice attempted to revise and update the list of recognized mukhtars, a coalition of Israeli organizations was formed to fight the municipal and national bodies seeking to perpetuate this problematic procedure.
Israeli arrested for suspected involvement in stabbing death of Palestinian
Israeli police arrested an Israeli settler on Wednesday for alleged involvement in an incident in which a Palestinian man was stabbed to death the previous day in the northern West Bank.

The settler, in his 40s, was held as an accomplice and not on suspicion of carrying out the stabbing himself, according to the Kan public broadcaster.

Palestinian witnesses said Ali Hassan Harb, a 27-year-old engineer, was stabbed in the heart by a settler on the outskirts of his hometown of Iskaka late on Tuesday afternoon. A group of Israelis had arrived in the area with construction materials in an apparent attempt to build a new illegal outpost.

Israel Police said on Tuesday that the identity of the stabber was still unknown. Police declined to comment any further, citing a gag order barring “any details of the investigation” from being published.

But Harb’s death is also being investigated by both the Shin Bet security service and Israel Police’s Nationalist Crimes Unit in the Judea and Samaria Division, which often investigates Jewish extremist violence.

The detained Israeli’s lawyer said in a statement that his client had narrowly survived an assault by dozens of Palestinians.
Security forces arrest 3 Palestinian witnesses to suspected stabbing by settler
Israeli security forces on Sunday morning arrested three Palestinians who participated in a confrontation last week during which an Israeli settler allegedly stabbed a Palestinian to death near Ariel in the West Bank.

Ali Hassan Harb was killed during a confrontation between settlers and Palestinians on the edges of his hometown of Iskaka on Tuesday. The Israelis had apparently come to examine the land to build a new illegal outpost on the plot.

On Sunday afternoon, police detectives also arrested an Israeli woman — a resident of Ariel — who organized the settler group’s visit to the area, according to her attorneys.

The settler suspected of stabbing Harb has been held incommunicado by the Shin Bet internal security service since Thursday. His lawyer says he acted in self-defense; a gag order requested by Israeli police bars the publication of most of the details of the case.

An Israeli security official confirmed the arrests to The Times of Israel, but refused to elaborate on why the three Palestinians had been detained. The Shin Bet declined to comment.

“Three of Harb’s family members who witnessed the incident were arrested, and we still don’t know why or where they are,” Iskaka Mayor Osama Zaher said in a phone call.

PA honors 3 murderers of Jews from 1929

Israeli leaders are prized students of Goebbels in Nazi Germany says PA TV’s Israeli affairs expert

PA TV: “The more despicable a thing is, it is an invention of the Jewish mind”

Jews are hate-filled people, says uncle of terrorist killed while attacking Israeli soldiers

IDF chief, Middle East generals talk Iran in secret meetings - report
IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kohavi met with senior Arab military leaders, including Saudi Arabia’s Chief of Staff Gen. Fayyadh bin Hamed Al Ruwaili, in Sharm el-Sheikh in March to discuss countering regional threats posed by Iran.

According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, the meeting was conducted under the auspices of the United States represented by then-head of Central Command Gen. Frank McKenzie, and brought together the top military commanders from Israel, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Egypt and Jordan.

The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain also sent officers to the meeting, but not their military chiefs, the report said. Kuwait and Oman didn’t participate.

Quoting sources familiar with the talks, WSJ said that officials “reached an agreement in principle on procedures for rapid notifications when aerial threats are detected.”

As rocket and drone attacks by Iran have increased, talks have been taking place between Israel and several Gulf states to understand what is most relevant to counter the threats.

McKenzie was quoted in the report as saying during a press conference in March that “the task in the theater is really how do you knit those together so you create more than the simple sum of the component parts: so everybody sees the same thing, everybody gets an early warning, and everybody can be prepared to react very quickly to a potential Iranian attack.”
Someone in Washington is Scared of Iran
It is unclear why, every time an explosion is reported at an Iranian nuclear facility, anonymous senior U.S. officials let it be known that the U.S. was not responsible, and insinuate that responsibility lies with—and vengeance should be directed at—Israel.

This has happened repeatedly in recent years when pro-Iranian militias were targeted in Iraq. Senior American officials, concerned someone would attack their forces in the country— something the Iranians do regardless—rushed to leak that Israel was behind these attacks. The same thing happened last week, when Pentagon officials—anonymously, of course—announced that Israel had ramped up its activities against Iran without asking for U.S. authorization or even informing Washington.

There was only one instance in which the Americans broke their habit: when they themselves took out “the head of the snake,” then-Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani, in January 2020. Generally, however, the Americans usually conduct themselves vis-à-vis Iran with hesitation and compromise. And so, when the Iranians attacked Saudi and Emirati oil facilities in the summer of 2019, the Americans did not respond at all, despite these two countries being close U.S. allies.

Even when U.S. bases were attacked by Iran’s emissaries in the region, the response was minor.

The United States is Israel’s most important ally, and a few anonymous officials must not be allowed to place the American friendship and commitment to Israel’s security in question. After all, this is not 1948, when both the Pentagon and the State Department enlisted in the effort to prevent the State of Israel’s establishment out of concern it would become a Russian satellite state, or draw the United States into a war in the region.
Lapid to Borrell: your Iran trip shows a worrying disregard for Israel
Israel charged that European Union Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell's trip to Tehran over the weekend showed that he did not care about the safety of Israeli citizens.

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid issued the charge against Borrell in an exchange of written email messages that were first reported by Politico and confirmed by The Jerusalem Post on Sunday.

An Israeli source told The Post that Borrell had reached out to Lapid prior to the Iran trip, telling him, that he wanted to save the 2015 Iran deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, explaining that he saw a major potential to revive the deal.

The trip came just after Turkey had arrested 10 Iranians connected to a terror cell that had planned to target Israeli tourists in their country.

Lapid referenced the foiled attack, telling Borrell, that he had displayed a "worrying disregard for the welfare of our people" as well as the concerns raised by the Intentional Atomic Energy Agency about Iran's uranium enrichment activity.

The Foreign Minister warned Borrell that Iran was merely playing for time, pretending to negotiate with the West while it advanced its nuclear program.
Iran conducts 2nd test of satellite launcher as nuclear talks said set to resume
Iran tested out its Zuljanah satellite launcher on Sunday, the second of three tests scheduled for the long-range ballistic launcher, which the US fears could be used to launch nuclear warheads.

The test, reported by Iranian state TV, comes a day after European top officials said talks on reviving the nuclear deal with Tehran would resume within days.

The rocket’s name, Zuljanah, comes from the name of the horse of Imam Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad. It weighs 52 tons, is 25.5 meters in length, and can carry loads of up to 220 kilograms at an orbit of 500 kilometers above the surface, according to a report by Iran’s semi-official Fars News Agency.

“The third development phase of the Zuljanah satellite launcher will be based on a combination of information gained during today’s launch,” a defense ministry spokesperson was cited by Reuters as saying Sunday.

Iran first acknowledged the planned tests for the Zuljanah satellite launcher on June 15, after satellite images taken by Maxar Technologies showed preparations at a launch pad at Imam Khomeini Spaceport in Iran’s rural Semnan province, the site of frequent recent failed attempts to put a satellite into orbit.

One set of images showed a rocket on a transporter, preparing to be lifted and put on a launch tower. A later image showed the rocket apparently on the tower.
Anti-Israel NGO schism grows with faction defying BDS leadership
The Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement schism over the mapping of Boston Jewish and Zionist organizations deepened on Thursday when a faction of anti-Israel NGOs challenged BDS leadership with a joint statement in support of the controversial Mapping Project.

"We reject any attempts to isolate or ostracize segments of our movement that are doing this critical work, especially in the face of backlash and repression," the NGO faction said in support of the mapping database listing Boston Jewish and Zionist institutions and linking them to a network that included US media, police and government.

"No one in our movement has a monopoly on movement tactics, including BDS," the statement, co-signed by at least 21 NGOs, continued. "The work to uncover the relationship between policing, Zionism, and imperialism is critical movement work that should be uplifted." BDS ultimatum

The statement came in response to the BDS National Committee's (BNC) Wednesday rejection of the Mapping Project and its rhetoric supporting "resistance in all its forms." The BNC said that support for the project was in conflict with BDS affiliation, and reportedly issued an ultimatum to BDS Boston, the chief promoter and champion of the database.

The BNC allegedly demanded that BDS Boston cease promotion of the Mapping Project and issue a statement distancing itself from it, or else lose the right to use the BDS brand.

As of Sunday morning, BDS Boston had not removed its social media posts promoting the initiative, and shared the pro-map faction statement, though not signing onto it itself.

A ray of hope amid rampant antisemitism - opinion
Last week, authorities in Hamburg found swastikas painted on the ancient Altona cemetery. Also, this month, perpetrators who are still at large desecrated 16 Jewish headstones at a cemetery in Köthen in Saxony-Anhalt.

These disturbing incidents follow a May report from the German Federal Ministry of the Interior. The annual report documents 3,027 antisemitic attacks across Germany in 2021. Germany has identified that 2,552 of the cases (84%) were attributed to right-wing neo-Nazi ideology. This included 64 violent crimes and 51 incidents resulting in physical injury.

Unfortunately, this is a 28% increase from 2020. This rise in hate crimes is not limited to Germany. Indeed, across Europe and the United States similar statistics should alarm those in government and everyday community leaders.

Similar to the way in which the American FBI has monitored the exponential rise in the US of antisemitic and other hate crimes, these disturbing irrefutable data points come from local police forces reporting to the Federal Criminal Police Office.

As the world will clearly be reminded during US President Joe Biden’s trip, Germany is a critical ally of the US. Its innovative free market economy and commitment to fostering democratic values at home and abroad are a beacon for the entire world.

Since the end of World War II, first in West Germany and now three decades into a unified Germany, there has been a fervent commitment to learning the lessons of the Holocaust. Fellow NATO allies – including the United States – can continue to learn from Germany’s whole of society commitment to combating antisemitism.

Holocaust Survivor DayGoogle engineer identifies anonymous faces in WWII photos with AI facial recognition
Walking past the countless photos of Holocaust survivors and victims at Warsaw’s POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews in 2016, New York-native Daniel Patt was haunted by the possibility that he was passing the faces of his own relatives without even knowing it.

For Patt, a 40-year-old software engineer now working for Google, that sort of conundrum presented the potential for a creative solution. And so he set to work creating and developing From Numbers to Names (N2N), an artificial intelligence-driven facial recognition platform that can scan through photos from prewar Europe and the Holocaust, linking them to people living today.

Patt has a personal stake in the project: Three of his four grandparents are Holocaust survivors from Poland, and he wants to help his grandmother find photos of the members of her family murdered by the Nazis.

She was just 9 years old when the war started and fled from her hometown of Zamosc eastward with her father and siblings, while her mother — Patt’s great-grandmother — stayed behind. Her mother was shot and killed during the Nazi invasion, and Patt’s great-uncle — his grandmother’s brother — was subsequently killed when he went back to rescue her.

The rest of the family survived and emigrated to New York City after the war.

Currently, N2N’s software only returns the 10 best potential matches that it can find in the database available to it. Though not yet perfect the nonprofit project has already seen great success: The software has been used to search through hundreds of thousands of photos to identify faces for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) as well as individual survivors and descendants of survivors — including a number of celebrities.

Patt, who only works on the project on his own time and with his own resources, has now been joined by a growing team of engineers, data scientists and researchers, who are constantly expanding the reach and accuracy of the software.
In first, Israeli under-19 soccer team reaches European semifinal
Israel’s national youth soccer team made history on Saturday night by qualifying for the semifinal of the UEFA under-19 championships, the furthest an Israeli squad has ever advanced in the contest.

The achievement also came with a ticket to participate in the under-20 soccer World Cup, which is to be held next year in Indonesia.

Culture and Sports Minister Chili Tropper congratulated the team on its success.

“You brought determination and the spirit of victory to the field and proved just how much you are real winners,” Tropper said in a statement.

The team finished second in its grouping despite losing 0:1 to England Saturday on a rain-drenched field in Slovakia.

The semifinal will be against France, which is unbeaten so far in the championship, and which qualified by hammering Italy 4:1.
Israeli drama 'The Lesson' wins top prize in Berlin
Israeli TV drama "The Lesson" took home another international award on Friday, winning in the "Best Drama Series" category in the prestigious TV Series Festival Berlin for 2022.

The show's co-leads, Maya Landsman and Doron Ben-David, meanwhile, won the "Best Performance" category

In April, the six-part drama won two prizes in the prestigious Canneseries Longform Competition. The show won "Best Series," while co-lead Maya Landsman won the "Best Performance" prize.

Produced by Public broadcaster Kan, "The Lesson," which co-stars Ben-David (Fauda), tells the story of a troubled high school teacher and his rebellious student who engage in an emotional, politically charged conflict in class over racism, which then spirals out of control thanks to a social media post.

The show, written by Deakla Keydar and directed by Eitan Zur, also stars Alma Zack, Irit Kaplan, Dvir Benedek, Lev Levin, and Amir Banai.

It was the only Israeli production to compete in this year's TV Series Festival Berlin.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 19 years and 40,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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