Tuesday, May 09, 2023

From Ian:

The Mossad: The Uniqueness of Israel’s Spy Agency
Unusual covert operations, ethical dilemmas and the Rabbi of the Mossad.

Israel’s spy agency, the Mossad, has a reputation for ruthlessness, an ability to strike Israel’s enemies anywhere in the world and the capability to place agents within the deepest strongholds of the enemy. The assassinations of Iranian commanders and nuclear scientists, the placement of agents high up within the Iraqi and Egyptian governments and vengeance against terrorists all add to the agency’s street cred.

All of the above fall into the classic operational patterns of most other spy agencies. But the Mossad also engages in operations that are somewhat outside the box of regular intelligence gathering and defensive activities.

For example, soon after the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, the agents of the Mossad were tasked with hunting down and killing Nazi war criminals who had escaped justice. Famously, they tracked Adolf Eichmann, one of the architects of the Holocaust, to Argentina, where they abducted him and brought him to Israel to stand trial for his crimes.1 He was found guilty of all charges and hanged on June 1st 1962. These Nazis no longer posed a danger to the Jewish people or Israel, but bringing them to justice was seen as a duty of the Mossad toward the Jewish nation as a whole.

The Mossad was tasked by the President of Israel, Yitzchak BenZvi, to retrieve a famous and ancient manuscript of the Hebrew Bible, known as the Aleppo Codex2, from Aleppo in Syria and return it to Israel. They were also involved in the collection and purchase of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Retrieval of ancient Biblical manuscripts and archaeological artifacts is not a classic intelligence agency activity but is one that the Mossad has participated in numerous times.
David Collier: The lies that MPs tell about Israel in Parliament
On the 20th April 2023 several British MPs turned the Houses of Parliament into an anti-Zionist, Israel-bashing chamber. A house of antisemitic lies. This took place just 13 days after the brutal Palestinian terrorist attack that killed three British/Israeli citizens, Lucy, Maia and Rina Dee. MPs have a responsibility, and spreading blatant lies about Israel spreads antisemitism, which in turn poses dangers to British Jews as well as those in Israel.

The antisemitic background,
Hearing MPs smear Israel in Parliament is not new. Israel is a democratic country the size of Wales. It is involved in a persistent low-intensity conflict with despotic neighbours that refuse to accept its existence. Although it may be difficult to believe given the obsessive focus on Israel, there are many far larger and more brutal conflicts taking place around the world.

It is totally legitimate to question Parliament’s obsession with the Jewish state.

None of the responses to such a question make sense. The one most used refers to ‘historic responsibility‘ which is an absurd argument. Nigeria and Pakistan are two nations with higher ‘conflict severity‘, and far more serious human rights concerns, yet despite the ‘historic responsibility’ of British rule, the UK Parliament does not obsess over the issues there.

Pakistani forces conduct over 70 counter-terrorist operations per day, in which many ‘terrorists’ are killed. If these were Israeli forces killing terrorists, the British Parliament would sit in an emergency debate. Instead there is total media and diplomatic silence.

Number of Parliamentary debates in 2023:
Israel 9
Pakistan (only about relief aid due to flooding) 1
Myanmar 3
Nigeria 2
Yemen 1

In fact, if a politician obsessed about Pakistan, and constantly attacked it in Parliament, as so many MPs do with Israel, they would swiftly be labelled an anti-Muslim bigot. Which is kind of the point here. People often get trapped down a rabbit hole of defending Israeli actions once the obsession has brought the subject to the table. It has to be recognised that the antisemitism is the obsession itself. Antisemitism is the reason we are always talking about Israel in the first place.

20 April
On the 20th April there were 36 contributions from MPs across two parliamentary events that focused on Israel. Beginning at 11:50 am with a statement ‘on the situation in Israel and the OPT‘, made by the Foreign Minister. Later in the afternoon came a back-bench debate on ‘human rights protections for Palestinians‘.

The FM statement correctly focused on the horrific attack on the Dee family and spoke positively about the increasing trade and security relationship between the UK and Israel. There were some negative comments following the FM statement from well-known Israel hostile MPs like Tommy Shephard and Andy Slaughter, but to maintain focus I will look more closely at the lies spread during the back-bench debate later the same day:
Antisemitism is a religion
Antisemitism is a religion… with no God.

In this religion, there is however a devil: the Jew.

According to this religion, this goblin is everywhere and goes to and fro across the planet to sow conflicts, wars, quarrels and discord to consolidate its power over the world.

Antisemitism is a religion… with its denominations (white supremacy, pro-'Palestine' movements, far-Left parties, American Black separatist groups, etc.) that despise each other more than the last.

Antisemitism is a religion… with its dogmas, beliefs, madness, crusades and paranoia.

Antisemitism is a religion… with its faithful, priests, heroes and martyrs (hitler and cie).

Antisemitism is a religion… with its mythology, rituals, traditions as well as its sectarian rhetoric and its panoply of idols among which the nymph Hatred rules supreme.

Antisemitism is a religion… with its legends, hall of fame, creed, system of thoughts and apostates.

Antisemitism is a religion… whose members aspire to a better world, “perfect” and “sublime”: a world without Jews, Israel, God and the Bible. A world where everyone will be freed from their imaginary enemy, liberated from the unjustified fear of a hidden fictive oppressor, from the foreign ethereal monster beside them. Free at last from groundless conspiracy theories.

Antisemitism is a religion… whose anti-Israel ecumenism is spreading across the globe with a disconcerting ease. And for a good reason: despite their mutual disdain, these feverish denominations have a common denominator: Jew hatred.
Antisemitism is neither uniquely from the Right or Left - opinion
May is Jewish American Heritage Month, established in 2006 as a bipartisan attempt to educate Americans on the contributions and achievements of Jewish Americans nationwide. Echoing the need for this designation, this year, the New York City Council passed a resolution recognizing April 29 as End Jew-Hatred Day in an attempt to fight back against the city’s disturbing rise in antisemitism over recent years.

One would not think that a proposal to fight hatred of any group would be controversial, and yet, some members of the New York City Council voted against the resolution.

While the fight against antisemitism and hatred is seemingly an issue that should continue to be bipartisan, both sides of the political aisle, Left and Right alike, still have members and constituents who either won’t stand up to this hatred or in some cases, even exacerbate the phenomenon. However, these same members are often given a pass, because “there are worse antisemites on the other side.”

“There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self,” said Ernest Hemingway. Both sides should apply the meaning of these words to the fight against antisemitism. Not only must we call out antisemitism when we see it in others, but when we see it emanating from our political party, as well. We must also hold accountable current and former leaders on all sides of the political divide who enable, empower, and legitimize antisemites.

Hamas Terrorists Listed as ‘Journalists’ in Hatchet Job Report
‘Israel Labels Journalists as Terrorists’
One of the CPJ’s charges is that “Israel labels journalists as terrorists.”

Indeed Israel has repeatedly said that a number of the dead Palestinians were affiliated with terrorist groups. While the CPJ seeks to cast doubt on that claim, a quick glance at the report reveals Israel’s allegations are bang on the money.

For example, the CPJ highlights the 2018 death of Yaser Murtaja, a Palestinian press photographer and co-founder of the Ain Media production company during the Great March of Return protests in Gaza.

Testimony from local journalists who witnessed the incident described Murtaja as wearing a bulletproof vest and helmet that were both clearly marked with the words ‘PRESS’ when he was hit.

Hossam Hisham Salem, a photographer for Ain Media who witnessed his colleague being shot, told MADA that Murtaja was approximately 350 meters (1,148 ft) from the border fence when a bullet hit the right side of his abdomen.”

What CPJ fails to mention, however, is that Murtaja was also a Hamas terrorist who served for four years as an officer holding the rank of captain within the designated terror group’s internal security services in the Gaza Strip, and in 2015, Murtaja attempted to smuggle a drone from Israel into the coastal enclave with the purpose of aiding Hamas intelligence gathering.

Additionally, if the name of the key witness to Murtaja’s death sounds familiar, it’s because it is. Hossam Salem, whose testimony the CPJ relies heavily on, was recently fired from his freelance role at The New York Times after HonestReporting exposed his terrorist sympathies and murderous hatred of Jews — which should give an indication as to the reliability of the evidence.

Another death CPJ includes in the report is that of Khaled Reyadh Hamad, a member of Hamas’ Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, a terrorist operative who also apparently moonlighted as a cameraman in the terror group’s media network. Following his death in 2014, he was wrapped in the distinctive green flag of Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades (below) and was referred to as a “jihad fighter.” Khaled Reyadh Hamad

Furthermore, three employees of the Al Aqsa Media Network are highlighted in the report — Hussam Salama, Sameh al-Aryan and Yousef Abu Hussein.

First, calling anyone on the payroll of the Al-Aqsa Media Network a “journalist” requires a reimagining of the word’s definition. Run by Hamas and regularly featuring programming that encourages terror attacks on Israeli civilians, the broadcaster is an Islamist propaganda outfit rather than a legitimate news outlet.

Second, both al-Aryan and Salama were fully-fledged Hamas operatives, with the latter’s terrorist involvement actually confirmed by Palestinian media shortly after his death in 2012.

Naturally, this CPJ report was swiftly and uncritically disseminated by international media outlets, including CNN and the Washington Post, which is perhaps unsurprising given that both media outlets were responsible for their own farcical “investigations” into Shireen Abu Akleh’s death that concluded she was deliberately targeted by the IDF despite independent probes into the incident proving otherwise.

The death of a journalist while doing their job is a tragedy that deserves to be properly investigated.

However, the CPJ’s shameless lumping of Hamas terrorists in with journalists seemingly to tarnish Israel is the opposite of good investigative work — it is blatant partisanship that is unworthy of the CPJ’s cause.

The US Casualties Media Forgot About
The media’s disproportionate focus on the death of one US citizen caught in Israeli-Palestinian crossfire suggests that in the eyes of the press, some American lives matter more than others.

Thursday marks one year since the tragic death of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh during an IDF raid in the terror hotbed of Jenin. An extensive internal inquiry, released on September 5, 2022, concluded that Israeli forces probably fired the deadly shot, but that there was no indication troops intentionally targeted the Al Jazeera reporter, who obtained a US passport through family on her mother’s side.

After the months-long probe, which included interviews with those involved and the review of visual material, the IDF Military Advocate General determined that “soldiers only aimed fire at those who were identified as armed terrorists during the incident.” The Biden Administration, following an independent and “extremely detailed” forensic analysis monitored by the US Security Coordinator, has supported these findings, reiterating last week that Abu Akleh died “due to incredibly tragic circumstances.”

Despite the clear consensus between Jerusalem and Washington on the issue, and Israel’s immediate willingness to conduct a joint investigation with the Palestinian Authority (PA), the press launched an all-out assault against the Jewish state. Case in point: Since May 11, 2022, prominent US news outlets have produced over 650 articles about the tragic incident in the West Bank, with some going as far as to accuse Israel of “murdering” Abu Akleh.

Sadly, these same media organizations have all too often buried the cold-blooded murders of US citizens by PA-abetted terrorists, exposing a nauseating double standard. This article tells the stories of six innocent Americans whose brutal killings you probably haven’t heard about.
‘A Court Has Ruled I’m Not an Antisemite — Excellent!’ Claims Roger Waters at Start of Controversial German Tour
Former Pink Floyd vocalist Roger Waters kicked off the German leg of his European tour with a concert in Hamburg on Sunday night by addressing the allegations of antisemitism against him before the performance had even begun, according to local media reports.

Around 6,500 fans attended Waters’ concert at Hamburg’s Barclays Arena. Despite the preceding several months of controversy around the tour related to the singer’s support for the anti-Zionist campaign to subject Israel to a comprehensive boycott as well as the use of antisemitic imagery in his previous concerts, no protests were reported at the venue.

At the start of the concert, the audience heard Waters announce in English over the PA that “a court in Frankfurt has ruled that I’m not an antisemite — excellent!” He went on to say that, “to put it bluntly, I condemn antisemitism,” to warm applause from the crowd.

The city of Frankfurt had announced in Feb. that it was canceling Waters’ May 28 concert at the Festhalle venue which it jointly owns with the state of Hesse, where thousands of Jews were rounded up, beaten and tortured during the Nov. 9-10, 1938 nationwide pogrom orchestrated by the Nazi authorities. A statement from the city council explaining the decision denounced Waters as “one of the world’s best-known antisemites.”

However, lawyers acting for the singer successfully appealed the cancelation, with the Frankfurt Administrative Court ruling last month that the council had unlawfully curbed Waters’ “artistic freedom.” Attempts to cancel Waters’ shows in the other cities where he is performing this month — Cologne, Munich and Berlin as well as Hamburg — faltered on the grounds that the commercial venues hosting him were vulnerable to legal action for breach of contract.
Sam Smith’s cancellation wasn’t a victory for antisemites - opinion
Sam Smith's cancellation wasn't because of BDS
Although some outlets reported that the cancellation of Smith’s show came from BDS pressure, that is inaccurate. Repeating that false information continues to fan the flames of the hateful movement.

Creative Community for Peace (CCFP), a non-profit entertainment industry organization comprised of prominent members of the entertainment community who promote the arts as a bridge to peace and educate about antisemitism within the entertainment industry, sent out a statement after uncovering that neither Smith nor his management canceled the show. CCFP stated, “The BDS movement never misses an opportunity to cynically insert politics into regular business affairs. Sam Smith’s concert in Israel was recently canceled by the promoter due to technical and logistical issues, a common occurrence in the world of live entertainment. It’s unrelated to any political movement.”

It is pretty typical for BDS to capitalize and take credit where none is warranted or resort to vicious tactics by lying or attacking artists who choose to perform in Israel. Inventing success makes them seem legitimate and relevant, and unfortunately, in this case, we played right into their hands by condemning Sam and publishing inaccurate information about what happened.

A simple Google search will show you that the majority of publications that circulated this falsehood were Israeli or Jewish publications. Unfortunately, we gave BDS precisely what they wanted.

The real question becomes how do we as a community support international artists who want to perform in Israel but are then targeting by this hateful movement? How can we ensure they feel secure enough to perform in Israel without the fear of risking their career?

In that regard, CCFP states, “It is important for those that oppose the divisive, disingenuous and hateful approach of BDS to make their voices heard to artists.” Supporting artists can be as simple as leaving positive comments when the artist announces their concert dates or combating anti-Israel sentiment in their posts.

“Average people have a huge voice in this regard and they should use it,” says CCFP. In the world of social media, this is 100% true. Knowing that any public figure who plans to visit Israel will receive backlash, the average person must engage and support them online. Ultimately, it pays off when they come to Israel and fall in love with the place, which they will.

Emily Schrader: Under attack: White supremacists lead antisemitic charge in U.S.
The Jewish community in the U.S. has long faced antisemitism on college campuses, but in recent years the plague of Jew hatred is trending younger and younger. Ynetnews spoke with American Jewish students and parents from across the United States and found that antisemitism in high school and even elementary school is on the rise, partly due to a left-wing agenda that portrays Jews as a part of the “privileged” in America, rather than a historically persecuted minority group.

American Jews are now at a crossroads as far-right antisemitism is also on the rise from white supremacist groups in the United States. The result isn’t only affecting students on college campuses, but also students in high school and elementary school. The rise in antisemitism is having a direct impact on the next generation of American Jews from childhood onward.

While campus activism focuses mostly on anti-Israel activity that often crosses into antisemitism, high school antisemitism, according to the numerous parents who spoke to Ynetnews, is closer to cut-and-dried antisemitism. In February, Henry Bens, a teacher at Mt. Eden High School in Hayward, California, made headlines when news surfaced that he assigned students to read and annotate material containing blatantly antisemitic conspiracy theories in the module teaching about the Holocaust. The teacher had also on numerous occasions performed a “Heil Hitler” salute in class, according to his 10th-grade students. After much criticism, the high school ultimately placed Bens on leave – but the antisemitism from teachers and administrators like Bens appears to be running rampant in America.

A culture of bullying
One parent from Northern California, who asked not to be identified for fear of retaliation by the school against her children, who are ages 11 and 14, explains that it is known that antisemitic bullying is occurring at her child’s high school.

She says that her 14-year-old son, who attends a local public school, was attacked multiple times once his peers discovered he was Jewish. Two students on separate occasions approached her son and said “Heil Hitler” with the accompanying salute, but when she reported the incidents to the school officials claimed nothing could be done because it took place outside of school hours and off campus.

"The school said that because it was outside of campus and school hours, the only thing they could do were restorative circles, or for the racist students to write something about the Holocaust ... but severe measures could not be taken," she explains. "So now my son has no real incentive to denounce antisemitic incidents because he can see that the school ‘cares less’ what happens to Jews."

St. Louis Jewish teenagers fighting antisemitism 'Student to Student'
On this day, at Seckman High School in Imperial, Missouri, the best teachers might just be students.

Which is why Alan Kirby is just an observer today in his German language classroom.

"I want to expose my students to the whole world, especially to things that they might not know about," said Kirby, a veteran teacher.

This lesson plan is being taught by four Jewish students to pupils unfamiliar with Judaism. The goal is to quell stereotypes and prejudice.

"When we connect and we see each other and when the students actually talk to each other, it breaks down those barriers," Lauren Abraham said.

Abraham is the director of the Student to Student program from the Jewish Community Relations Council of St. Louis.

"You'll hear in the presentation about how we are such a minority. Yet religious-based hate crimes, so many of them, are focused toward us," Abraham said.

More than 100 teenage ambassadors volunteer every year to be part of JCRC's program, and after hours of training, they will visit more than 120 classrooms all over the bi-state area. Rylie Fine, 17, said she felt a responsibility to sign up.

"Every minority is feeling this hatred and just kind of this sense of doom in the world and nobody's fighting against it," Fine said. "So, I think that by coming into these classrooms, it is our way of hoping to change that."

CUNY commits to backing hate crimes reporting bill, despite initial skepticism
The City University of New York, which has faced scrutiny for its handling of a recent surge in alleged antisemitic incidents, confirmed its support for new state legislation that would require colleges to post campus hate crime statistics on their websites, even as representatives of the public university system had previously expressed skepticism of the bill.

“CUNY is committed to and has policies in place to address incidents of discrimination, hate and violence in all its forms,” a spokesperson for CUNY said in a recent statement to Jewish Insider. “This legislation is in keeping with that commitment, and if signed into law as expected we look forward to incorporating it into our existing policies.”

Before it passed the state Assembly late last month, a legislative representative for CUNY had weighed in with a different assessment of the bill, which stemmed directly from concerns that the university system was not adequately confronting antisemitism on its own.

“We have not taken a position,” the CUNY representative wrote in late February, emphasizing that the university system “takes any hate crime very seriously that may take place on” its 25 campuses across the city, according to correspondence reviewed by JI. “In essence,” the representative added, “we feel like we are already implementing actions to address hate crime on campus without the directive of legislation.”

The representative reiterated that sentiment in correspondence from early March, noting “the actions that CUNY has recently implemented to address hate crime including antisemitism.”

Those efforts have included a recent partnership with Hillel International, a Jewish campus organization; new funding to address “religious, racial and ethnic bigotry” at CUNY; and an online portal, launched in January, for students and staff to report incidents of hate speech and violence.

Israel ‘Apartheid’ Headline in New York Times Business Section Shows How Paper Has Lost Reader Trust
When the New York Times runs out of room for Israel-bashing in the international news section and the editorial page, it makes space in the business section.

Sure enough, the front of a recent Times business section featured the headline “Israel Tech Automates Apartheid, Critics Say.”

The piece is a case study in terrible Times coverage of Israel, exhibiting nearly the full range of egregious faults. Let us take them one at a time, starting with a Times reporter’s tweet absurdly likening Israel’s security efforts to defend itself against terrorists to Communist China’s genocide against a Muslim minority.

Social media hype: One of the Times reporters who wrote the article, Paul Mozur, tweeted, “In Israel, AI surveillance is being used in ways comparable to what China did in Xinjiang.” The word Xinjiang doesn’t appear in the actual Times article. Neither does the “comparable” claim. The U.S. government has said China is perpetrating an ongoing genocide in Xinjiang, so the claim that Israeli action is in any sense “comparable” is both false and defamatory. It also appears to violate Times social media policies encouraging reporters to stick to factual tweets.

Megaphone for advocacy groups with axes to grind: Gerald Steinberg of NGO Monitor characterized the Times article as a “cut/paste” of a “bogus” report by Amnesty International, which he said has “zero credibility.” NGO Monitor has thoroughly debunked previous Amnesty reports that make the apartheid slander against Israel. Indeed, the “critics say” part of the Times headline is a signal that the Times is amplifying the critics’ claim without doing the hard work of checking it out skeptically or independently verifying its accuracy. If people want to subscribe to email updates from Amnesty or from other anti-Israel advocacy groups, they can, but the Times bills itself as an independent, unbiased, fact-based journalistic outlet. Instead of living up to that standard, the Times functions here as a publicist for the advocacy group.
The Forward Reinvents Reality in Huwara Piece
Huwara: ‘A Very Sweet Town’

Throughout this piece, Rosenfeld uses quotes and descriptive terms that seem to portray Huwara as an idyllic town threatened by the violent Jewish extremists who live in surrounding communities.

Huwara is described as “a very sweet town” where its residents, who are “accustomed to…provocations from the Israelis who live nearby,” hope for a “return to more peaceful times.”

With his description of candy shops along Route 60 (a major thoroughfare that passes through the center of Huwara), a modern resort full of amenities on the edge of town and family restaurants offering delicious local Palestinian fare, one would be shocked to discover that Rosenfeld is actually describing a locale that has been referred to as “one of the most dangerous towns in Samaria.”

True, Rosenfeld does make passing mention of Huwara’s reputation among Israeli commuters as dangerous but seems to downplay its severity, claiming that Israelis and Palestinians are “periodically exposed” to violence in the area due to its infamous traffic congestion.

Additionally, Rosenfeld asserts that Israelis and Palestinians don’t agree on the cause of certain violent incidents in Huwara, seemingly calling into question the nature of the violence that plagues the area.

Related Reading: Does The Media Define ‘Murder’ & ‘Terrorism’ Differently for Israelis?

But contrary to Rosenfeld’s sympathetic portrait of Huwara, the truth is much more complex and bloody.

Due to its location along Route 60, a major highway that connects the northern and southern West Bank, Israelis living in a number of neighboring communities must travel through Huwara in order to get home.

With traffic jams a common occurrence as the road passes through Huwara, Palestinian terrorists are provided with the perfect opportunity to ambush both Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers traveling through the town. .

Before the terrorist attack that preempted the rampage in February, a number of serious attacks against Israelis had occurred in Huwara that contributed to its reputation. These include:
April 4, 2019: A Palestinian attempted to stab two Israelis as they drove through Huwara.
May 20, 2020: A Palestinian opened fire on a passing Israeli vehicle at the entrance to Huwara.
May 24, 2022: Three Israelis (including two children) were wounded in a stone-throwing attack in Huwara.
September 19, 2022: An Israeli car was fired upon as it drove through Hawara.
October 27, 2022: Palestinians opened fire on Israeli soldiers standing guard in Hawara.
December 2, 2022: A Border Police officer was stabbed by a Palestinian in Huwara.
February 23, 2023: Three Israeli children were lightly wounded in a stone-throwing attack in Huwara.

The above are just some of the violent anti-Israel attacks that have taken place in Huwara over the past few years.

This list does not touch upon the complete picture of violence within Huwara, which includes constant stone-throwing attacks against Israeli vehicles traveling through the town, public celebrations of deadly Palestinian terror attacks, glorification of Palestinian terrorists in the local schools and incitement to terrorism on local social media networks.
CNN’s antisemitic disgrace
When CNN came under new leadership last year, its message to the public was that the network wanted to “rebuild trust as a non-partisan news brand.” At the time, David Zaslav, CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery, spoke proudly of his vision of CNN “doing what journalists do best, which is to fight to tell the truth.”

Unfortunately, some at CNN seem to be fighting something else: Accountability for shoddy journalism.

Take, for example, CNN’s silence over an overtly antisemitic cartoon that remains on its website despite numerous emails, phone calls and social media posts directed at the network. There have also been articles in both Jewish and major national media outlets expressing criticism and disgust, as well as a video exposé.

The cartoon portrays Jews celebrating Passover surrounded by a sea of blood, an unmistakable reference to the centuries-old blood libel that Jews use the blood of murdered gentile children for ritual purposes or to make matzah. Even The Guardian, an outlet known for regularly minimizing the problem of antisemitism, had the ethical sense to take down a similarly antisemitic cartoon.

But the response from CNN? Crickets.
Another recent example of a shocking disregard for accountability came courtesy of longtime CNN personality Christiane Amanpour. During an interview with a former Israeli ambassador, Amanpour seemingly fabricated polling data to suggest “the latest polls” show the Palestinian people “want a peaceful, two-state solution to coexist” with Israelis.

Yet every single poll taken by Palestinian pollsters that CAMERA could find consistently showed the exact opposite: A substantial Palestinian majority is against a two-state solution.

What was CNN’s response to calls for evidence to back up Amanpour’s glib claim? Silence.

More recently, CNN correspondent Frederik Pleitgen described an incident in which terrorists shot at a car containing an Israeli mother and her two daughters. The terrorists then pulled the vehicle closer in order to fire at close range and make sure the women were dead.

“There was a shooting incident where a car received a bullet shot, or gunshots, with the family in it,” Pleitgen said. “It was a mother and her two daughters, and the two daughters were killed in that crash.”
GB News broke broadcasting rules over 'Nazi Germany' vaccine claims
Controversial broadcaster GB News broke broadcasting rules by airing an interview with a guest who compared the Covid vaccination programme to Nazi Germany.

Journalist Naomi Wolf, who is Jewish, claimed the vaccine rollout amounted to “mass murder” and that the government was using “bioweapons” to sterilise the population.

On October 4 of last year, she told host Mark Steyn: “It was the doctors in pre-Nazi Germany in the early thirties who were co-opted by the National Socialists and sent to do exactly what we're seeing kind of replaying now.

“It was the medical organisations in the early thirties who were emboldened to be the arbiters of, you know, ‘life worthy of life, life unworthy of life’, um, and to, kind of, medicalise and pathologise dissent or difference.

“So we're seeing wholesale purchasing of the medical establishment in the United States, in Britain and in countries around the world to do things much more serious.”

Steyn introduced the feminist author by announcing that they would be discussing "an ever more horrifying public scandal.”

Wolf was subsequently presented to viewers as a source of scientific authority, an Ofcom report released May 9 concluded.
Omissions in BBC report on Arab League reinstatement of Syria
Unsurprisingly, given that the BBC has largely avoided the topic in recent years, information about Hizballah’s involvement in the Syrian drug trade does not appear at all in either the 2022 report by Yolande Knell or this latest article by Armstrong.

One of the countries severely affected by Syrian drug trafficking, which is a source of income for both the Assad regime and the terrorist organisation Hizballah, is Jordan. On May 5th CNN interviewed the Jordanian foreign minister, Ayman al-Safadi, about a meeting that had taken place several days earlier.

“The foreign ministers of Syria, Egypt, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Jordan met in the Jordanian capital Amman on Monday to discuss how to normalize ties with Syria. According to a statement issued after the meeting, Syria has agreed to help end drug trafficking across its borders with Iraq and Jordan.

Safadi told CNN many people have suffered consequences due to the Syrian crisis, including Jordan, and will make sure to do whatever it takes to mitigate any threat to Jordan’s security.

“We are not taking the threat of drug smuggling lightly. If we do not see effective measures to curb that threat, we will do what it takes to counter that threat, including taking military action inside Syria to eliminate this extremely dangerous threat not just in Jordan, but through Jordan to the Gulf countries, other Arab countries and the world.””

The morning after the appearance of Armstrong’s article (May 8th) reports emerged concerning an unconfirmed Jordanian airstrike in southern Syria:
“Jordanian media reported (today) that fighter jets, apparently Jordanian, attacked the purification plant near the town of Kharab al-Shaham, in the suburbs of Daraa in southern Syria, early in the morning. Local activists on social media reported that the target of the attack was a purification plant containing a drug manufacturing plant, which is overseen by Hezbollah militias.”

Clearly Armstrong’s portrayal of the Syrian drug trade as the product of “growing poverty and lack of job opportunities” comes nowhere near to adequately informing BBC audiences on that topic or the reason why it is a priority for neighbouring countries. Audience understanding of the question of whether the Arab League’s reinstatement of Syria will in fact end Captagon production and trafficking is obviously compromised by Armstrong’s failure to inform readers that it is a significant source of income for both the Syrian regime and its Iranian backed supporter Hizballah.
Mass Arrest of Dutch Soccer Fans ‘Important’ Milestone in Fight Against Antisemitism, Says Top Netherlands Official
The arrest of more than 150 soccer fans on Saturday by Dutch police as they chanted antisemitic slogans on their way to a top-flight match in Amsterdam has been greeted as an “important” signal that hatred of Jews will no longer be met with impunity, the Netherlands national coordinator for combating antisemitism said on Monday.

The 154 supporters of Dutch team AZ Alkmaar were detained by police officers as they made their way to Saturday’s match against Amsterdam’s flagship side Ajax, which is widely regarded as a “Jewish” club in the mythology of Dutch soccer. As they traveled to the city’s Johan Cruyff Arena on the metro, police officers repeatedly ordered the fans to stop chanting antisemitic slogans that are frequently heard at soccer matches in the Netherlands, among them “Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas,” “all Jews must die,” and “we burn Jews together, because Jews burn best.”

The metro was eventually stopped at the Strandvliet station at 7.30 pm, where police officers arrested the fans after they failed to heed repeated warnings to stop the chants, Dutch news outlet De Volksrant reported. Following the arrests, violence broke out on the bus transporting the fans to a local jail, with windows smashed and two police officers assaulted and verbally abused. Eleven fans subsequently spent the night in the cells. The public prosecutor is currently deliberating on whether to press further charges against the group.

The willingness of the police to overcome the logistical challenge of arresting large numbers of soccer fans proved that the Dutch authorities were no longer willing to tolerate antisemitic agitation, the Netherlands national coordinator for combating antisemitism, Eddo Verdoner, told Dutch media outlets.

“This is a signal that impunity does not exist,” Verdoner said. Referring to the observance of the annual Remembrance Day for World War II victims on May 4, Verdoner added that “we should learn from that: Antisemitism has no place in society.”

Israel’s Cabinet approves gas pipeline for exports to Egypt
The Israeli Cabinet on Monday approved a 900 million shekel ($246 million) project to expand natural gas exports to Egypt.

A 65-km. (40-mile) pipeline will be constructed along a route between Ramat Hovav, south of Beersheva, and Nitzana, near the Sinai border via Ashalim, allowing for an additional 6 billion cubic meters (BCM) of natural gas to be exported to Egypt each year.

The sale of the additional gas is expected to generate 200 million shekels ($55 million) in annual revenue for Israel Natural Gas Lines and hundreds of millions of shekels each year for the government in royalties and taxes.

It will be built by Nativ, a state-owned company that is responsible for the gas system throughout Israel.

“The current decision increases the potential for cooperation between Israel and Egypt in the field of natural gas in preparation for decisions on exports that will have to be made soon,” said Energy and Infrastructure Minister Israel Katz.

“Cooperation between the countries will strengthen the economy, strengthen the well-being of the citizens of the State of Israel and strengthen regional stability, and I will continue to work for its expansion in the fields of natural gas, renewable energies, hydrogen and energy storage,” the minister continued.
Israel and the UAE join forces to accelerate AI innovation in Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi's Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI) and OurCrowd Arabia, an Abu Dhabi-based subsidiary of Israel's OurCrowd, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to jointly create and manage initiatives aimed at accelerating and catalyzing the growth of the AI technology ecosystem on the university's campus in Masdar City, Abu Dhabi.

The MoU outlines various initiatives, including creating an AI-focused venture capital investment fund, developing strategic collaborations, enhancing Abu Dhabi's AI innovation ecosystem and providing job opportunities to MBZUAI graduates through OurCrowd's global network of portfolio technology startups.

“Part of MBZUAI’s existence is to foster entrepreneurship and this partnership creates a mechanism for incubating startups and creating local opportunities for the university’s pipeline of talent,” said Sultan Al Hajji, MBZUAI’s Vice President of Public Affairs and Alumni Relations.

“Through this strategic partnership with OurCrowd Arabia, MBZUAI is forging ahead with its mission to develop a dynamic, vibrant, AI ecosystem that will help to position Abu Dhabi as a global center for AI. Together, we will encourage funding to enable AI start-ups to scale up in the UAE’s capital, help to develop and commercialize AI research, and provide exciting opportunities in the field for young AI talent – including graduates and researchers from MBZUAI. The proposed initiatives are a perfect complement to MBZUAI’s and OurCrowd Arabia’s areas of expertise,” Al Hajji added.

Collaborative efforts between Israel and UAE
OurCrowd Arabia Executive Chairman Sabah al-Binali added, “We are honored to have signed this MoU with MBZUAI to jointly grow the AI ecosystem in Abu Dhabi. OurCrowd Arabia continues to build on its strategic relationships having started with our partnership with ADIO under its Innovation Program announced in November 2022. We look forward to continuing to leverage OurCrowd’s global experience and relationships to support the Abu Dhabi and UAE startup ecosystems.”

The collaboration between Israel and the UAE on AI has the potential to significantly benefit the industry as both countries possess unique strengths and resources that can complement each other. One of the main advantages of this partnership is the UAE's wealth, which provides an ideal environment for AI startups to thrive. With significant investment opportunities available, AI startups will be able to secure funding and resources to scale up their operations and pursue innovation more aggressively.
i24NEWS speaks to Israel's Ambassador to the UAE
Israeli Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates Amir Hayek discusses celebrating Israel's Independence Day in Abu Dhabi and the current relationship between the two Abraham Accords nations

Israeli vehicle scanner startup raises $100 million backed by General Motors, Hanaco
Israel’s UVeye, a tech startup that develops automated inspection systems for vehicles, has raised $100 million from investors including General Motors Co., to boost sales growth and manufacturing in North America.

The Series D investment round was led by Hanaco VC, a venture capital firm based in New York and Tel Aviv with $1.5 billion in assets under management, including investments in firms such as Digital Ocean, Yotpo and Divvy.

Existing investors, including General Motor’s venture arm GM Ventures; CarMax, a used-car retailer in the US; insurance company W.R. Berkley Corporation; Montreal-based equity fund F.I.T. Ventures L.P.; and Israeli institutional investors also participated in the series D round. The financing values UVeye at more than $800 million. Founded in 2016, the Israeli startup has raised a total of $200 million in funds.

UVeye has developed an artificial intelligence-powered camera-based platform that it says can run vehicle inspections within seconds. The drive-through vehicle inspection systems are based on advanced computer-vision and machine-learning technologies which were originally developed for homeland security purposes to detect weapons and contraband before being expanded to the automotive industry.

The startup’s scanners deployed at new- and used-car dealerships, used-car auctions and major fleet retailers can detect mechanical flaws and identify anomalies for a variety of problems including frame and tire damage, missing parts and oil leaks, as well as brake- and exhaust-system issues.

“UVeye’s goal is to both revolutionize and standardize how the auto industry detects vehicle damage and mechanical issues,” said UVeye co-founder and CEO Amir Hever. “Our patent-protected technology provides automakers, dealers and fleet operators with unmatched solutions for quickly and accurately identifying vehicle problems while setting new quality standards for the industry.”
French retail chain Carrefour opens 50 stores across Israel, vowing to disrupt prices
French supermarket chain Carrefour on Tuesday opened its first 50 branches across Israel at an investment of NIS 250 million ($70 million), with observers hoping the move will spur much desired competition in Israel’s overly concentrated food retail market to help bring down the cost of living.

By the end of 2023, Carrefour expects to open a total of 80 to 100 branches. The launch comes after Israel’s Electra Consumer Products last year signed a franchise agreement with the French supermarket chain to set up 150 branches. Electra, which bought out the Yeinot Bitan supermarket chain in 2021, will convert the local supermarket branches to Carrefour stores as part of the deal. The franchise agreement is for 20 years, with an option for another 20 years after that.

Israel is Carrefour’s 50th country opening. The stores will operate under three brands, including Carrefour Hyper and Carrefour Market (larger discount branches) and Carrefour City (convenience branches) and will open in several cities throughout Israel, including Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Beersheba, Or Akiva, Zichron Ya’acov, Ashdod, and Givatayim.

The branches will sell more than 1,000 Carrefour-branded products across 82 categories, including food products, organic products, toiletries and cleaning products at more competitive prices. A basket of Carrefour-branded products adding up to NIS 252.80 is around 60% cheaper than a basket of comparable products sold by local competitors, the French supermarket chain said.

“For the first time in history, an international retail chain, one of the world’s leaders, is entering the Israeli market,” said Carrefour Israel CEO Uri Kilstein. “We have made across-the-board price reductions on existing products, and Carrefour will be relatively cheap compared to competitors in the city, and cheaper outside the city in discount complexes.”

Kenyan President visits Western Wall, adviser prays on Temple Mount
Kenyan President William Ruto prayed at the Western Wall on Tuesday, a move not typically made by visiting heads of state.

Nairobi does not officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and has its embassy in Tel Aviv, though a senior adviser to Ruto, Dennis Nthumbi, called Jerusalem the capital of Israel on a visit to the Temple Mount this week.

Ruto visited the Western Wall, and his predecessor, Uhuru Kenyatta, did so twice, in 2016 and 2020.

Ruto, an Evangelical Christian, said a prayer that the people of Kenya and Israel “be united in peace as one people at the Kotel.”

The Kenyan president was accompanied by former Likud MK Rabbi Yehudah Glick, known as an activist for equal prayer rights on the Temple Mount, which is the holiest site in Judaism and the site of the Al Aksa Mosque. Officially, only Muslims are permitted to pray on the mount.

Other highlights of the visit
Earlier this week, Glick brought a senior adviser to Rut, Dennis Nthumbi, to the Temple Mount.

“This morning with the guidance of the Jewish Priest Rabbi Yehudah Glick, we ascended Zion to pray for His Excellency and for Kenya,” Nthumbi wrote on Facebook.
Noa Kirel’s European Offensive
Singers who are already huge pop stars in their country usually don’t participate in the Eurovision Song Contest—it’s considered too much of a risk. The fear is that if a local star enters the Eurovision and does badly, it might taint their reputation in their home country. This is why singers who enter the contest are usually either newcomers, has-beens or novelty acts—three categories without much to lose. This is the general rule of thumb ever since gigantic British pop star Cliff Richard lost in 1968, an event so shocking that it gave rise to conspiracy theories claiming that Generalísimo Franco had orchestrated Spain’s narrow victory over Sir Cliff.

But rules do not apply to Noa Kirel. Yes, she is a huge pop star in Israel. Yes, she is representing Israel this year at the Eurovision Song Contest in Liverpool, U.K. (the two semifinals are taking place this week and the final is on Saturday). But in her mind, and the minds of her advisers, she has nothing to lose. Maybe that’s because she’s not just a big pop star but Israel’s biggest pop star, or maybe it’s because she is fearless and invincible. Even if she scores poorly at the Eurovision, she’ll still be a winner. Why? Because she says so.

Like many other young female pop stars, Noa Kirel’s persona is that of the queen bee. Kirel is nice in interviews, but in her songs, music videos, and photos she is the “mean girl.” She exudes the confidence, sexiness and aggressiveness of the most popular girl in school, which is why preteen girls idolize her. To them, she’s the popular friend they never had, or the popular girl they wish they could be. Perpetuating this kind of stereotype is obviously problematic, but it works, as proven by her 1.4 million followers on Instagram, equivalent to about 15% of the Israeli population.

Kirel is probably the first Israeli pop star who has got hip-hop swagger down to a T. She struts, brags, and parades her wares like the best of them. And what she professes to be, in her lyrics, is a cool, hot, strong, independent, sexy rebel. A “pop rebel” might sound like an oxymoron, since being a mainstream pop star means playing by the rules. But in the artificial world of pop music, you can play the rebel if you like. All you need to do, apparently, is to profess to be one.

Take Kirel’s hit “Pantera” (not like the American metal band, but female panther in Hebrew), for example, in which she embodies the ultimate predator. The lyrics, which she co-wrote, boast (excuse my basic translation): “How I hate conventions—I break them / If they put limits on me—I transgress them / And everything they do, I do—differently.” Does she really? No, of course not. Then, in the song’s hook, she goes: “I am a panther / I’m awake while everyone else is asleep / They say I’m weird / I say they’re regular.” Does anyone say she’s weird? Nope. But that right there is the pop game. Noa Kirel can tell her audience that she does her own thing—even though she does a thing that has been tried and tested (maybe not in Israel, but certainly overseas). And since she says it convincingly, people believe her. And boy does she say it convincingly. Kirel has one heck of a poker face. This girl never flinches.
Yisrael Medad: Lessons learned from a royal vial of oil
As Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Portal Welby was quoted in early March saying to the media regarding the coronation oil used last Saturday for King Charles III and as it appears at the official site of the United Kingdom’s Royal Family: “Since beginning the planning for the coronation, my desire has been for a new coronation oil to be produced using olive oil from the Mount of Olives.”

Archbishop Welby was further quoted saying: “This demonstrates the deep historic link between the coronation, the Bible and the holy land. From ancient kings through to the present day, monarchs have been anointed with oil from this sacred place.”

According to the news reports, the ingredients used to perfume the Chrism oil brought from Jerusalem’s Mount of Olives to anoint the king included sesame, rose, jasmine, cinnamon, neroli, benzoin and amber, as well as orange blossom. This was a bit different but close to the instructions of the biblical sources. Maimonides, in his Mishneh Torah, the Book of Service, The Temple Appurtenances, Chapter One, indicates the verse of Exodus 30:25 as his source. It reads: “And you shall make it as the oil of sacred anointment,” and he lists musk, cinnamon, costus (Saussurea lappa), and fragrant cane.

To confirm the biblical connection, we need only turn to I Kings 1:38-39. There we learn that, upon the directive of King David, Solomon was brought to the Gihon in Jerusalem and “there Zadok the priest took the horn of oil from the tent and anointed Solomon.” David himself was anointed previously in Bethlehem by Samuel (I Samuel 16:13). Indeed, it was an ancient custom. It applied, as well, to the high priest (Exodus 29:7).

Are there any lessons to be learned from this element of the coronation ceremony?

One would be that, despite Welby being of the opinion that for Christians in Israel, this is a time of “historic tragedy,” their growing of olive trees, harvesting them, and producing and consecrating the oil used for King Charles went off without a hitch.

A second lesson would be that despite Israel existing for 75 years, the primate of all England cannot seem to utter its name. It is an anonymous geographic entity simply referred to as the “holy land.” The name of its capital city, Jerusalem, likewise is studiously ignored.

The third would be that even though Welby is proud of the biblical and historic connection, even the name “Judea” is left out, one that appears in the second chapter of Mark, for example: “Now, when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea.”

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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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