Sunday, April 23, 2023

From Ian:

Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Issues of Concern
Hamas is an enemy [of Israel], but it is a much weaker enemy than Iran, which is determined to go ahead and develop nuclear weapons with the sole objective of destroying Israel... Hamas is extreme in its ideology, which is radical Islam. They have absolutely no desire to resolve this conflict with Israel in the ways that Western leaders hope and expect -- which is settling the conflict by accepting what we have been calling a two-part state for a very long time. That is not the objective of Hamas. The objective of Hamas is to destroy the State of Israel.

The Palestinians are unfortunate to have, on the one hand, a leader who is corrupt and really does not care very much about average Palestinians and may even want the conflict to continue so that he can continue to cash in on international handouts from the EU, America and others; then on the other hand, there is Hamas. This terrorist deadly group, also does not care about Palestinian lives. That is where the problem lies.... Both Hamas and the PA are deeply cynical: if they wished to increase the well-being of the average Palestinian, they would pursue peace.... One has to ask if peace with Israel is in their interest....

Hamas is an enemy, but it is a much weaker enemy than Iran, which is determined to go ahead and develop a nuclear weapon with the sole objective of destroying Israel.

In terms of foreign policy, it is important to realize that the threat of radical Islam, it may have faded away from the desks of policy-makers in the United States...but it has not gone away.... If anybody is paying attention, Islamists remain a force to be reckoned with in Africa: think of Somalia, the Sahel (Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger), the Lake Chad Basin (Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, Niger), Mozambique, and Egypt.
No, Israel Did Not Rig the 2016 Election
Israel has been a bugaboo for Bamford since his second book on the NSA, Body of Secrets, published in 2001. The Israeli attack on the USS Liberty in 1967 during the Six-Day War featured prominently. Bamford is convinced the attack was intentional; he exuberantly discounts the evidence, including the official American report, that it was accidental.

In the last 20 years, he has made it crystal clear that he sees the American system as systemically rigged in Israel's advantage, where senior U.S. officials routinely deceive and lie to protect the Jewish state—the not-too-subtle suggestion that such actions arise from Jewish economic and political clout, especially within the Democratic Party.

In Spyfail, Bamford is obsessed with Jewish influence. "Approximately two hundred thousand expat Americans in Israel, about the population of Fort Wayne, Indiana, would nevertheless play an important role in the very narrow 2016 U.S. presidential election," he tells us. It's not clear whether Bamford thinks this army of pro-Trumpers had a telling effect on the presidential election primarily by organizing in Israel and raising money from non-Americans, which is illegal, or by going to America and campaigning and collecting cash there or deploying nefarious Israeli covert-action methods (there are a number of ex-Mossad officers always doing malevolent things against Uncle Sam); it seems to be all three.

In Bamford's breathless rendition of history, "throughout the summer and into the fall of 2016, Israel massively and illegally interfered in the U.S. presidential election. A top agent of Netanyahu was secretly offering intelligence and other covert assistance to Trump to get him elected; foreign cash in untold amounts was being pumped into Republican Party coffers, while Israelis, foreigners with no connection to the United States, were heavily involved in the U.S. presidential campaign. All with virtually no oversight or scrutiny by the FBI or the U.S. media." In other words, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal, not to mention all the other hungry online news outfits, missed the greatest espionage-influence operation in the history of the United States. Or as Bamford puts it in one of his calmer moments: "While the American media and political system fixated on Putin and his armies of cyber warriors, trolls, and bots, what was largely missed in 2016 was that Israel had developed a great deal of experience in secretly manipulating elections around the world."

When reading Bamford, while unwinding his interconnected stories of dastardly intrigue, one thought repeatedly crossed my mind: He doesn't get out much in Washington.

The Washington press corps is often lazy, even the best journalists love to be fed stories, TV news has become mind-numbing and herd-like, the FBI has a decades-long track-record of unimpressive counterespionage, and congressmen are too often proof that men and women of little talent and intelligence can do well in America. But really, would any sentient individual remotely familiar with the capital's army of lib-left national security and foreign affairs reporters and columnists believe they wouldn't have tenaciously gone after a story of such Israeli malevolence? In a heartbeat, journalists at National Public Radio would have reduced the number of stories about transgenderism, racial exclusion, and police brutality to make room for this one.

The silliness of Bamford's conjectures when he rises above his granular storytelling reveal a journalist disconnected from Washington, horrified by U.S. politics, and not particularly well-versed in foreign affairs. Hyperbole and alarmism intertwine, most often about Israel's sinister intentions. Bamford sees, for example, Bibi Netanyahu's opposition to Barack Obama's nuclear deal with Iran in a novel light. "In so doing, Israel, for its own benefit, was deliberately putting Americans at risk of becoming involved in a nuclear war." I've read these pages repeatedly and I can't tell who would have exchanged nuclear missiles if Jerusalem had been successful in preventing the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the executive agreement in 2018; nothing atomic has so far blown up.
Jordanian MP arrested by Israel on suspicion of smuggling weapons - report
Israel police have reportedly arrested a Jordanian member of parliament at the Allenby crossing on suspicion of trying to smuggle gold and weapons, the Jordanian "Al-Mamlaka" channel reported on Sunday, citing the Jordanian Foreign Ministry.

The customs officers, who are not supposed to inspect the member of parliament, reportedly received intelligence information regarding the minister, who the Jordanian Ministry identified as MP Imad Adwan and carried out an inspection as a result.

During the inspection, they reportedly uncovered evidence of an attempt to smuggle 100 kg of gold, 12 long weapons, 12 ZIG pistols and 167 Glock pistols into Israel.

Jordanian MP Khalil Atieh called on the Israeli authorities to release him "immediately," Maariv has reported.

The validity of the report has yet to be confirmed or denied by Israeli officials.

Labour suspends Diane Abbott after letter claiming Jews do not suffer racism
The Labour Party has suspended Diane Abbott, the MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington, following a letter in today’s Observer which argued that Jews do not suffer from racism.

Ms Abbott apologised earlier today and withdrew the letter, which had argued that “Irish, Jewish and Traveller people” experienced prejudice but this was not the same as racism.

A Labour spokesman said, “The Labour Party completely condemns these comments which are deeply offensive and wrong.”

The chief whip had "suspended the Labour whip from Diane Abbott pending an investigation,” he added

In a statement on Twitter this morning, Ms Abbott, whose constituency has a large Strictly Orthodox Jewish population, said she wished to “wholly and unreservedly withdraw my remarks and dissassociate myself from them”.

The errors, she explained, “arose in an initial draft being sent. But there is no excuse and I wish to apologise for any anguish caused”.

Racism “takes many forms, and it is completely undeniable that Jewish people have suffered its monstrous effects,, as have Irish people, Travellers and many others”.

In her published letter, she had written that prejudice was “similar to racism and the two words are often used as if they are interchangeable”.

It was true, she had written, that “many types of white people” could experience prejudice. “But they are not all their lives subject to racism. In pre-civil rights America, Irish people, Jewish people and Travellers were not required to sit at the back of the bus. In apartheid South Africa, these groups were allowed to vote.”

The letter had been sent in response an article about the recently published Evidence for Equality National Survey which found that 55 per cent of Jews said they had experienced a racist assault.

UN rapporteur, who appeared on Hezbollah-affiliated channel, must resign - opinion
ALBANESE’S APPEARANCE on the Hezbollah-affiliated Al Mayadeen is not surprising. She has previously encouraged terrorists to exercise violence. NGO Monitor reports that in November 2022, Albanese spoke at a conference hosted by a Hamas body and attended by senior officials of Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Albanese declared to the audience, “You have a right to resist this occupation.”

Albanese’s antisemitic statements do not deviate far from the antisemitic groups she associates with. She has engaged in Holocaust inversion, accusing Israel of Nazi-like behavior, and in 2014, she accused the US and Europe of being subjugated by the Jewish lobby and Holocaust guilt.

Given her track record of antisemitism, it’s no surprise that Albanese has tried to subvert efforts by the Jewish community to define and combat antisemitism, opposing the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance Working Definition of Antisemitism and reportedly asking the European Union to refrain from tying itself to a single definition of antisemitism.

Keeping antisemitism undefined benefits Albanese and others by shielding them from accountability for promoting bigoted ideas. Albanese has no standing to define antisemitism.

In response to Albanese’s bigotry, a bipartisan delegation of 18 US congressional members earlier this year called for Albanese’s removal from her position at the United Nations and its Human Rights Council, where systemic antisemitism and anti-Israel bias have only grown worse over time.

According to UN Watch, nearly 70% of all condemnatory resolutions in the General Assembly have targeted Israel since 2015 and over 50% of all condemnatory resolutions in the Human Rights Council (UNHRC) have targeted Israel since 2006.

Anti-Israel bias has only been fomented in the Human Rights Council over the past year, due to the emergence of the UNHRC’s discriminatory Commission of Inquiry on Israel, whose commissioners have their own records of anti-Israel bias and antisemitism and whose mandate has no end date, in contrast to similar bodies that focus on other parts of the world.

Simply put, the United Nations and its Human Rights Council cannot purport to protect human rights worldwide as they continue to indulge in antisemitic double standards and seat a rapporteur who embraces terrorists and espouses antisemitism. For the sake and integrity of its mission, it must immediately see Francesca Albanese’s resignation.
Russia said to refuse to move Security Council Israel debate from Memorial Day
Russia, the current president of the United Nations Security Council, has refused an Israeli request to postpone a debate on the Palestinian issue scheduled for Tuesday, Israel’s Memorial Day, according to a Saturday evening report.

UN Ambassador Gilad Erdan recently reached out to Russian UN officials, conveying to them the sensitivity of the national day of mourning for Israel’s fallen, and saying it would be inappropriate to hold the debate on “The Middle East, including the Palestinian Question” on such a day, Channel 12 reported.

Moscow did not acquiesce, and its refusal was seen as retaliation for the Jewish state supporting Ukraine in the ongoing war there, the report said, citing a diplomatic official.

According to the report, the Palestinians, who view the decision to hold the debate as a victory, will be represented by their foreign minister, Riyad al-Malki.

Shortly after Russia assumed the rotating presidency of the United Nations’ Security Council for a month on April 1, the council announced it would hold a session on the situation in the Middle East, chaired by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

Several days later, the council held an emergency closed-door session to discuss burgeoning violence in Jerusalem, during which several members pushed for a statement condemning Israel, according to a UN diplomat for a county on the panel. However, the Biden administration blocked the issuing of such a statement, a senior Israeli official told The Times of Israel.

Netanyahu nixes appointment of May Golan as NY consul
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has nixed his decision to appoint fellow Likud lawmaker May Golan as consul general in New York following a backlash among liberal American Jews.

Netanyahu on Thursday tapped Golan for the position, widely considered Israel’s third-most senior diplomatic position in the United States after the ambassadorships to Washington and the United Nations.

The move drew condemnation from many left-leaning Jews and prompted the U.S. State Department to weigh in on past comments made by the firebrand Golan.

“Broadly, we would condemn such kind of rhetoric and believe that such kind of language is also particularly damaging when it’s amplified in leadership positions,” said State Department spokesman Vedant Patel.

Golan first entered the public eye as a campaigner against African asylum seekers. She is known for her staunchly right-wing ideology and previously designated herself “the mother of politically incorrect.”
Ukraine's SBU Security Service Arrests Antisemite Who Called to Kill Jews, Threatened Chabad Rabbi in Uzhgorod
Ukraine’s SBU security service has arrested a man suspected of destroying a public menorah, and who threatened the city’s Jews and its Chabad-Lubavitch emissary, Rabbi Mendy Wilhelm.

The suspect allegedly urged the city’s population to kill the Jewish residents in a series of red-painted threats slathered on a public wall. Antisemitic graffiti near a synagogue led by Chabad-Lubavitch emissary Rabbi Mendy Wilhelm in Uzhhorod, December 2022

The graffiti, which said, “Kill the Jews”, “Death to Jews” and “The Jews Will Kill Us,” was found shortly after the Chabad public menorah was thrown into the Uzhhorod River, in December 2021.

Three months later, the March 2023, the suspect then allegedly sent Rabbi Wilhelm a 200-page spiral-bound “research” book filled with antisemitic tropes, including reasons, he said, why he must hate the Jews. The book explains that the rabbi – as the representative of the Jews — is a “terrorist” and therefore should be harmed, according to the SBU.

“The book helped them to follow the footsteps of the suspect through his handwriting in several places,” the rabbi said.

“Antisemitic graffiti appeared on the walls near our synagogue shortly after our public menorah was thrown into the river,” Wilhelm explained. Broken public menorah pulled from the Uzhhorod River after it was thrown there by an antisemitic vandal in December 2021.

“Last year someone again tried to destroy the menorah, but this time we had guards there around the clock. The secret police did a very good job and I thank them for that,” he said.
Tunisian chess players boycott Israelis at FIDE tournament in Greece
The three Tunisian players who refused to play with Israeli participants were removed from the tournament

Tunisian chess players boycotted their Israeli competitors 12 times at the FIDE World School Chess Championships in Greece, media reported Sunday.

The tournament was held on the island of Rhodes on April 13-23. Among the Israeli players who were boycotted was a nine-year-old Noam Sasson.

"I came to the championship together with my father and my coach and I really wanted to play in all the championship games and represent Israel with pride," he was quoted as saying.

Last year, the young player won the European chess championship.

"I met participants from all over the world here and I always prefer playing on the board than sitting on the sidelines. I hope that the boy who boycotted me doesn't hate me, God forbid, and that in the future we can play together," Sasson said about the situation.

The three Tunisian players who refused to play with Israeli participants were removed from the tournament following requests from several parents, who said the boycott was against the spirit of the game.

Last November, the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement in a letter to FIDE demanded that the World Team Championship be relocated from Jerusalem. Despite calls for boycott, all 11 foreign national teams arrived in Israel to participate in the tournament.
Facing planned overhaul protests, Netanyahu cancels speech to US Jewish leaders
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday canceled his scheduled evening appearance at a convention organized by the Jewish Federations of North America, amid plans by protesters against his government’s judicial overhaul to disrupt his arrival and speech at the event.

The Prime Minister’s Office said “scheduling considerations and preparations for Memorial Day and Independence Day ceremonies” prompted the cancelation, and not the planned protests.

Protest organizers said in a statement they suspected the cancelation announcement was a ruse and would not change their protest plans.

The JFNA umbrella group’s General Assembly, called “Israel at 75” and taking place from Sunday to Wednesday in Tel Aviv, is scheduled to include educational sessions, a ceremony marking Memorial Day and an Independence Day barbecue.

The JFNA said, without elaboration, that Netanyahu had “informed us that he is not able to appear.” It noted: “We thank Prime Minister Netanyahu for his message of friendship between our communities and his acknowledgment of the important role North American Jewry has played in building and developing the state of Israel.”

It added: “We look forward to hearing from President Isaac Herzog tonight and wish him continued luck in advancing a compromise agreement on judicial reforms that will be acceptable to the broad majority of Israelis and strengthen Israel’s democratic institutions.”
Waqf, Palestinian groups warn Israel: Stop meddling in Temple Mount affairs
The Waqf Department accused the Israeli authorities of “violating the sanctity of al-Aqsa Mosque." It emphasized that the Bab al-Rahma prayer hall is an “original part of the blessed al-Aqsa Mosque" and said that the Waqf Department rejects any intervention of Israeli police in the renovation work carried out at the holy site.

The Palestinian mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Mohammed Hussein, accused Israeli authorities of carrying out an “aggression” against al-Aqsa Mosque and the Bab al-Rahma prayer section. He called on all Muslims to converge on the holy site to “defend” it against the “aggression.” The mufti also warned Israel of the “grave consequences” of its actions at the Temple Mount.

“The mosque belongs only to Muslims,” he said. “We reject any [Israeli] attempt to interfere in the administration of the Islamic holy sites. We are opposed to any attempt to alter the status quo at the Haram al-Sharif.”

Hamas spokesperson Hazem Qassem said in response to Saturday’s alleged incident at the Bab al-Rahma prayer section that Israel was “determined to escalate its religious war on our holy sites.” He added: “The battle over the identity of the al-Aqsa Mosque is ongoing. The mosque’s identity is Palestinian-Arab-Islamic.”

Tareq Silmi, a spokesman for Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the second largest terror group in the Gaza Strip after Hamas, warned that Israeli attempts to “control” the Bab al-Rahma site won’t succeed. “The Palestinian people won’t relinquish their duties towards al-Aqsa Mosque and the entire compound, including its prayer halls,” he remarked. “Any harm caused to the Islamic holy sites will have tremendous repercussions on the region.”

PMW: The Palestinian Authority doesn’t miss an opportunity to demonize Israel
PA libel: Israel’s protection of Christian worshippers misrepresented as restricting Christian worship

During the recent Easter holiday, at the request of the Greek Orthodox Church, Israeli police limited the number of participants at a religious ceremony in Jerusalem. In a letter to the Israeli police prior to the Holy Fire ceremony at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, church architect Teo Metropoulos explained that "the maximum number of visitors for the ceremony should be 1,800 inside the building and 200 more in the courtyard.” [The Times of Israel, April 15, 2023]

However, when reporting this story in its official press, the PA version did not mention the Church's request but chose to demonize Israel saying Israel's goal was “preventing thousands of Palestinian people and Christians from around the world from reaching the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.” The PA further lied that Israel is “targeting” Christians (and Muslims) in Jerusalem, aiming “to put an end to the Christian presence”:
Official PA TV reporter: “The occupation imposed increased restrictions on the Christian celebrations in occupied Jerusalem on Holy Fire day that is before Easter… and reduced the number of Christian participants to approximately 1,800 together with the religious figures…

The occupation (i.e., Israeli) authorities do not distinguish between Muslim and Christian, and they have targeted the Christians in the holy city [of Jerusalem], just like the Muslims, and are disrupting the celebrations of their holidays and imposing restrictions on the realization of their right to worship, in an attempt to put an end to the Christian presence and erase the true Islamic-Christian identity of the city.”
[Official PA TV News, April 14, 2023]

The photos from the event show masses of people in the church celebrating the Christian holiday, and also clearly show that the room was filled to maximum capacity:
PMW: Fatah is “proud to no end” of imprisoned terrorist Barghouti, who organized murder of 5
Fatah is “proud to no end” of imprisoned terrorist Barghouti, who organized murder of 5, says Fatah Deputy Chairman

Imprisoned terrorist Barghouti, who organized murder of 5, is “important peak in the Palestinian people’s path” says Fatah Deputy Chairman

Fatah Deputy Chairman Mahmoud Al-Aloul: “Blessings to beloved and precious Marwan Barghouti (i.e., terrorist, orchestrated murder of 5), the [Fatah] Central Committee member, the extraordinary leader, on the 22nd anniversary of the occupation kidnapping (i.e., arresting) him. There is no doubt that Marwan Barghouti, from our perspective, from the perspective of the story of the Palestinian struggle, Marwan Barghouti is an important peak in the Palestinian people’s path... Marwan Barghouti, the leader of the Palestinian people’s masses, the leader of the [second] Intifada… Marwan Barghouti is a leader of whom we are proud to no end, because of his sacrifice.”
[Official PA TV News, April 15, 2023]

Marwan Barghouti – Palestinian terrorist and member of the PA parliament who orchestrated three shooting attacks in which 5 people were murdered: one attack on the Jerusalem-Maale Adumim road (June 12, 2001) in which Greek Orthodox monk Tsibouktsakis Germanus was murdered by terrorists Ismail Radaida and Yasser Ah'Rabai, another attack at a gas station in Givat Zeev near Jerusalem (Jan. 15, 2002) in which Yoela Hen was murdered by terrorists led by Mohammed Matla, and one shooting and stabbing attack at the Seafood Market restaurant in Tel Aviv (March 5, 2002) in which Eli Dahan, Yosef Habi, and Police Officer Sergeant-Major Salim Barakat, were murdered by terrorist Ibrahim Hasouna. When arrested by Israel in 2002, Barghouti headed the Tanzim (Fatah terror faction). After he was convicted and imprisoned, he was re-elected as a member of the Palestinian Authority parliament. On Dec. 4, 2016, he was elected to Fatah's Central Committee. Barghouti is serving 5 life sentences.

Mahmoud Al-Aloul also serves as a Fatah Central Committee member.

Anti-Semitism in Palestinian schools - Germany continues to pay for hatred of Jews

Israeli MK bashes BBC coverage of settlements, terrorism in letter
The BBC overemphasizes the "illegality" of Israeli settlers while failing to report on the illegality of terrorism, Religious Zionist Party MK Ohad Tal wrote in a letter he sent to BBC Director-General Tim Davie on Sunday.

In the letter, Tal demanded that the BBC update its guidelines for reporting on Israel, settlers and terrorism.

As they currently stand, the BBC's guidelines encourage reporters to "include context to the effect that 'all settlements in the West Bank, including east Jerusalem, are considered illegal under international law, though Israel disputes this’."

The guidelines for writing about terrorism, on the other hand, actively discourage the use of the word "terrorist" or "terrorism" if it is not being used in a quote.

"Nothing could be more ironic than the BBC repeatedly insisting and disseminating that settlements are illegal while refusing to stipulate that terrorism is illegal," wrote Tal in the letter.

Tal went on to list a series of recommendations for the BBC to update the guidelines:
If settlements are going to be referred to as illegal in BBC articles, then so should terrorism.
BBC articles should reflect that Israeli settlements rely on the opinions of experts versed in international law.
BBC articles should specify that the position of the UN Security Council on Israel and the West Bank is a non-binding political position and not a legal one.
The BBC should not require the mentioning of settler illegality whenever settlers are mentioned.
Our co-editor Adam Levick gave a Zoom presentation to B’nai B’rith UK last week, addressing the correlation between Critical Race Theory, Illiberalism and Antisemitism. It’s an expanded version of a topic Levick explored last year at the inaugural conference of the London Centre for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism.

Revisiting a BBC News website report from 2020
On February 6th 2020 the BBC News website published a report (which is still available online) concerning a number of terror attacks which took place on that day. As was noted here at the time, one of those incidents was a vehicular attack in Jerusalem which the BBC described as follows:
“Twelve Israeli soldiers were meanwhile hurt in Jerusalem in what the army said was a Palestinian car-ramming attack.” […]

The Israeli military said a “Palestinian rammed his car” into a group of soldiers who were marching along a pavement towards the Western Wall, one of Judaism’s holiest sites, for an induction ceremony.

One of the soldiers was seriously hurt and required surgery at the Shaare Zedek Medical Centre, while the others were lightly injured.”

The BBC’s usual avoidance of the term terrorism, together with the use of qualifying language and punctuation, means that what remains on the BBC News website is a partial version of events which does not tell the whole story.

The BBC however describes its online content as “permanent public record”:
“The Editorial Guidelines state, “The archive of the BBC’s online content is a permanent public record and its existence is in the public interest. The online archive particularly news reports, should not normally be removed or amended.” To do so risks erasing the past and altering history.”

Last week the perpetrator of that 2020 attack was sentenced to 30 years in prison:

Polish regulator probes TV network where academic argued Poles ‘failed’ Jews in WWII
Poland’s broadcasting regulator has said it has opened a probe into the country’s biggest private television network, TVN, after a prominent Holocaust scholar told it last week that Poles “failed” to become Jews’ allies during the Nazi atrocities in the country during World War II.

Warsaw has been widely accused of whitewashing the widely documented participation of some Poles in atrocities — though many others defended and protected Jews — and of cracking down on academic voices deviating from the government’s stance.

“Jews were unbelievably disappointed with Poles during the war,” said Barbara Engelking, director of the Polish Center for Holocaust Research, in her interview, according to a translation by the Notes from Poland website. “They knew what to expect from the Germans, [who were] the enemy… but the relationship with Poles was much more complex.

“Poles had the potential to become allies of the Jews and one would hope that they would behave differently, that they would be neutral, kind, that they would not take advantage of the situation to such an extent and that there would not be widespread blackmailing. It seems to me that this disappointment plays a role, that Poles simply failed,” she added.

Elgenking also accused Poles today of often “falsifying history” by exaggerating the level of aid given by Poles to Jews during the Holocaust.
White supremacists celebrate Hitler's birthday in Australia
A group of neo-Nazis celebrated the birthday of Adolf Hitler on Thursday at a shopping center in Melbourne, according to the Anti-Defamation Commission (ADC) organization, who quickly condemned the gathering.

Approximately 20 neo-Nazi men celebrated at a family-friendly restaurant called the Bavarian at the Knox City Shopping Centre, according to the ADC.

Among the attendees included Thomas Sewell, leader of the National Socialist Network, an Australian neo-Nazi political organization.

The photo shared of the incident saw the men performing a Nazi salute, holding a frame of Hitler as well as two balloons both taking the shape of the letter "H" (short for "Heil Hitler).

Statements made on the incident
“Last Thursday was a sad and dark day for our democracy. Something is very wrong in Victoria, and we should be all alarmed by this brazen and stomach-churning outrage that will forever be a stain on our state," said ADC Chair Dr. Dvir Abramovich. "This beyond-despicable display of Hitler worshipping and depravity belongs in Nazi Germany of the 1930s, not in a local restaurant where parents and children gather. Imagine the terrifying horror a Holocaust survivor would feel if they witnessed this public expression of singular evil which they probably never thought they would see in their lifetime.

"These modern-day guards of Auschwitz openly fantasize about an Aryan Australia in which they can march those they deem as unworthy— Jews, Muslims, the disabled, members of the LGBTIQ+ community, indigenous Australians and other ethnicities— into death camps."

After police were called to escort the men from the center, Sewell wrote on the incident saying that "despite not breaking any laws and not disturbing a soul, we were set upon by a dozen scum from Victoria Police who were terribly upset that we were celebrating this holy day instead of the government-approved gay or pedophile holidays.
Former New York Red Bulls striker Patryk Klimala denies performing Nazi salute in Israel, as he says his goal celebration was 'completely misunderstood by some fans'
Ex-Red Bulls striker Patryk Klimala denied performing a Nazi salute after scoring on Saturday during a game vs. Hapoel Jerusalem.

The Hapoel Be'er Sheva player found the back of the net in the 54th minute, and proceeded to give a gesture towards his team's fans afterwards.

While the celebration angered many across social media, Klimala insisted that it wasn't what it looked like, and that he wanted to 'greet our fans.'

'My gesture during the goal celebration was completely misunderstood by some spectators,' he wrote on Instagram.

'As a Pole, who respects the history of both countries, I would never even think about performing the Nazi salute. While living in Poland, I visited the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp and I fully realize the importance of history and Jewish heritage.

'After my goal, I just wanted to greet our fans. There was surely nothing else beyond it. I'm sorry if anyone took it the wrong way.

'Lastly, this is a great opportunity to thank our great fans again for all of the support and I'm happy we got another important win. Have a nice week.'

Israel launches largest solar project, to power 60,000+ households
Israeli renewable energy company Teralight, the Moshavim movement and the Environmental Protection Ministry have launched the country’s largest solar project in the Jezreel Valley.

Known as the “Ta’anakh” project, it is expected to provide electricity for around a quarter-million Israelis living in more than 60,000 households by the end of the first half of next year.

Ta’anakh, launched on Thursday, will operate with 250 megawatts of installed capacity, equal to 5.2% of Israel’s green energy capacity and 1.2% of its overall electricity capacity. Its total financial volume is estimated at NIS 900 million.

New sources of renewable energy
According to Environmental Protection Minister Idit Silman, the project “will flow clean solar electricity into the high voltage transmission network” and “contribute significantly to increasing production rates from renewable energies, as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants in Israel.”

Teralight is a local leader in the initiation and development of solar energy. It has a project backlog of about 1,300 megawatts in Israel.

“The Ta’anakh project advances Israel a significant step towards increasing the use of electricity produced from clean solar energy produced by Blue and White,” said Teralight CEO Rani Lifshitz.
Leo Dee to read Yizkor memorial prayer at national ceremony on Independence Day eve
Rabbi Leo Dee, who lost his wife and two of his daughters in a terror attack earlier this month, will recite the Yizkor memorial prayer at Tuesday evening’s national ceremony marking the transition from Memorial Day to Independence Day, organizers of the event said Sunday.

Lucy Dee, 48, and her daughters Maia Dee, 20, and Rina Dee, 15, were killed by Palestinian terrorists who opened fire at their car as they drove through the northern Jordan Valley in the West Bank on April 7. The daughters were declared dead at the scene, while Lucy was rushed to a hospital in critical condition but died three days later. The shooters remain at large.

The Dee family, residents of the settlement of Efrat just south of Jerusalem, buried Lucy two days after laying to rest Maia and Rina. The family, which immigrated from the UK nine years ago, holds dual citizenship.

At the funeral for his daughters, Dee issued a plea for Israeli unity amid deepening rifts over the government’s plan to overhaul the judiciary, citing the flood of condolences and messages of support he had received, and the large crowd at the funeral.

“When a simple family in Efrat is devastated and the whole country hurts, there is no greater proof of our unity than this,” he said, adding that the real threat to the country came from terrorists “who are prepared to destroy your lives in an instant.”

Memorial Day will commence on Monday evening when a one-minute siren will blare across the country. The following evening, the central torch-lighting ceremony will be held at the Mount Herzl national cemetery in Jerusalem, as the country moves from mourning those killed in military service and terror attacks to celebrating 75 years of independence.

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