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Thursday, January 18, 2018

 Vic Rosenthal's Weekly Column


The Masorti (Conservative) movement in Israel has allied itself with the Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism (IMPJ) in the legal struggle over what forms of worship are permitted at the Western Wall. I’ve written about that question before (here and here for example). The Supreme Court has taken the matter under consideration, and seems to have listened to and taken seriously the complaints of the progressive movements and the Orthodox authorities. Probably there is no solution that will completely satisfy both sides, but unlike some other conflicts, a compromise in this one is possible.

I’m concerned, though, that the Masorti movement is making a mistake by cooperating closely with the IMPJ on this and other issues. Most Israelis, religious and secular, already think that there is little or no difference between the movements. Religious people see them both as dangerously subversive of Judaism, while secular Israelis see them as equally pointless. “If I wanted to be religious, I would choose real Judaism,” say some secular people, who almost certainly do not want to be religious and for whom “real” Judaism would ask more of them than they are prepared to give. Both religious and secular Israelis lump the movements together as “reformim.”

But the theological gulf between the Reform and Masorti movements is far wider than that between Masorti and Orthodox Judaism. IMPJ states that “the suitable observance of religious law is through intention, in other words: through study, understanding and identification,” which simply means that the educated Jew is entitled to decide for him or herself which commandments to observe and which to ignore. Lip service is paid to the individual being cognizant of the history and tradition that gave rise to the halacha of today, but in fact Reform Jews (both in Israel and the US) commonly ignore what they call “ritual” commandments including observance of Shabbat and kashrut, in favor of “social” or “prophetic” commandments for “tikkun olam,” by which they usually mean progressive or left-wing politics.

In a few words, the Reform position is that there is no obligation to follow halacha, and most Reform Jews don’t (including egregious violations like this one). The Masorti movement, on the other hand, does assert that a Jew is obligated to observe the commandments. It is true that Masorti rabbis have issued rulings that are less stringent than Orthodox practice (although contrary to popular belief, the Israeli movement does not permit – as the Conservatives in America do – driving to synagogue on Shabbat), but these rulings are based on traditional texts and are argued in traditional ways. An Orthodox rabbi might disagree with this Conservative responsum on the difficult subject of homosexuality, but he would have to take its arguments seriously (read it; it’s great).

I recall reading a magazine article some years ago by an Orthodox rabbi, which unfortunately I can’t find. It was called something like “Is Reform Judaism a different religion?” He argued that the proposition “a Jew is obligated to observe the commandments according to halacha” is essential to Judaism. It is the way we understand our part of the covenant between Hashem and the Jewish people. Deny it, and you have “a different religion.”

Everyone on the Orthodox spectrum accepts this, as do Masortim, even if the Masorti rabbis are more lenient in their understanding of the obligations created by halacha. But the Reform movement removes the content from this principle by saying “you are obligated to observe the commandments, but every individual gets to decide what they are.” It is more like the fundamentalist Protestant idea of a personal God than the Jewish one of a covenant between Hashem and his people.

There is another problem, a political one. The Reform movement in America was explicitly anti-Zionist from its beginning with the 1885 “Pittsburgh Platform” until its “Columbus Platform” of 1937, and even then did not fully see itself as a Zionist movement until 1967. Lately, due to its close relationship with the Democratic Party, the overwhelming support shown for the anti-Israel Barack Obama by Reform Jews, and the flirtation with J Street and the New Israel Fund by many Reform rabbis (including the President of the movement, Rabbi Rick Jacobs), one has to say that the American branch of the movement is less and less supportive of the state of Israel than before. One example: it decided not to take a position on Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran, which virtually every Zionist politician in Israel opposed.

The Israeli Reform movement, of course, is far more explicitly Zionist, even if it does sit on the Left of the Israeli political spectrum. But the American movement is the 800-pound gorilla that funds the Israeli movement, and its political arm, the Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC). And to a certain extent, the American movement has political goals in Israel that it uses its Israeli affiliates, especially IRAC, to promote – including embarrassing PM Netanyahu and his “right-wing” government.

Although the Masorti movement in Israel is also concerned with social issues and also leans slightly to the left, it is not healthy for it to be associated with IRAC and its political machinations.

I think that if the Masorti movement wants to succeed in Israel – something which I believe is possible – it should stress the ways it is like the more liberal Orthodox groups, rather than what it has in common with the Reform movement. After all, what represents a wider theological divide? The presence or absence of a mechitza (partition between the sexes) in a synagogue, or the understanding of mitzvot? Is it even necessary to ask?





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From Ian:

Michael Oren: Obama saw Israel as the problem - Trump sees it as the solution
Michael Oren, a former Israeli ambassador to the US now serving as Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister`s Office, praised President Donald Trump’s recent decision to withhold some $65 million in funding for a United Nations agency which supports self-described ‘Palestinian refugees’, effectively cutting the amount of US money to the agency in half.

Earlier this month, the US froze a $125 million grant to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) – representing one-third of all US aid given to the agency every year.

On Tuesday, a State Department official said that the US had released $60 million to UNRWA, but was withholding the other $65 million, adding that the a “fundamental re-examination” of US aid to UNRWA was needed.

"There is a need to undertake a fundamental re-examination of UNRWA, both in the way it operates and the way it is funded," the official said.

On Wednesday, Oren, a former Israeli ambassador to the US, now an MK from the Kulanu party and the Deputy Ministry of the Prime Minister’s Office, spoke with Arutz Sheva about President Trump’s decision and the United Nation’s reaction.

While UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed “concern” Tuesday about the American cuts to UNRWA, Oren called Trump’s move “excellent”.

“He [Guterres] is ‘very concerned – well, let him be concerned,” Oren told Arutz Sheva.

“President Trump’s decision to cut funding for UNRWA is an excellent decision, both for us and for the whole Middle East. [UNRWA] is a corrupt and bloated organization that perpetuates a refugee problem that doesn’t exist.”
Einat Wilf: 1967 | As long as the Arab world views Israel as a temporary aberration to be conquered, Israel will stand fas
Given the Arab understanding of Zionism as a temporary historical aberration whose life span is a mere few decades, it made sense for the Palestinians to repeatedly choose to suffer the daily humiliations of living under a military occupation rather than to accept the far greater humiliation of permanent Jewish sovereignty on land they considered exclusively their own. In refusing to end the military occupation by making a permanent peace with Israel, the Arab Palestinians were making a conscious choice that was based on their understanding of Arab history and Islamic ‘justice’. As Arabs and Muslims, the Palestinians were not hapless victims, but rather masters of a historical narrative, at the end of which their resistance and patience would be rewarded with victory, in the form of Zionism’s disappearance. While they might suffer in the interim period, the choice they made was for what they perceived as the far greater good – defeating Zionism and driving away the sovereign Jewish presence from their land.

How to end the occupation: stand fast, stand longer

How can a temporary 50-year military occupation of most of the West Bank by Israel come to an end, if the Muslim, Arab and Palestinian view of history is that 50 years of Israeli occupation matters significantly less than the countdown of the remaining 19 years on the crusader clock? It is necessary to demonstrate to the Muslim-Arab world that their view of history is wrong, and that rather than constituting a second crusader state, Israel is the sovereign state of an indigenous people who have come home. This can only be achieved through Jewish power and persistence over time. And given the vast numerical imbalance between Jews and Arabs, it can only be achieved if those who truly seek peace support the Jewish people in sending the message to the Arab world that the Jewish people are here to stay.

The essence of the conflict between Zionism and the Muslim Arab world is a battle over time, a race of mutual exhaustion. The question that will determine how the conflict is ultimately resolved revolves around who will give up first: will the Zionists give up on their project in the face of unrelenting violent resistance, or will the Muslim Arabs give up on their project of erasing the sovereign Jewish presence in their midst, and finally come to accept it as a part of their history, rather than an affront to it?

Only time will tell.
Caroline Glick: Palestinian Leader’s Anti-American Rant Gives Trump Cause to Cut Funding
So if Abbas isn’t planning to retire, why is he cursing Trump and his senior advisors? Why is he recycling anti-Jewish blood libels from the 12th century and announcing that the deals he signed with Israel and the peace process as a whole are dead?

The simple answer is that Abbas is acting as he is because he is certain that he can. This is how he has always acted. There is nothing new in his speech. And he doesn’t think that he will suffer any consequences for behavior.

Abbas expects President Trump to disregard his statements and continue to bankroll his terror-supporting regime in the name of “the peace process,” or “humanitarian assistance” just as Bush and Obama did.

Abbas gave his speech at start of a two-day conference of the PLO’s Central Committee, which he convened to determine a response to President Trump’s announcement on December 6 that for the first time in nearly seventy years, the U.S. recognizes that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital.

Trump’s Jerusalem declaration placed Abbas and his colleagues in a conundrum. On the one hand, his declaration had no practical implications. Trump signed a waiver delaying the transfer of the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. No immediate plans have made to move the embassy.

Moreover, the State Department insists that there is no practical significance to Trump’s statement. Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs David Satterfield told reporters the day after Trump’s announcement that his statement does not change U.S. policy barring American citizens born in Jerusalem from listing Israel as their country of birth on their official documents. Indeed, Satterfield refused to answer a question regarding whether Jerusalem is even in Israel.

On the other hand, simply by recognizing the basic fact that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital and has been Israel’s capital for nearly 70 years, Trump broke with the longstanding U.S. policy of denying observable reality in relation to Israel in order to advance “peace” between Israel and its Arab neighbors.
Jerusalem Post Columnist Caroline Glick Joins Breitbart News
Caroline Glick, the conservative American-Israeli columnist renowned for her powerful criticisms of the Middle East peace process, has joined Breitbart News.

Glick, the long-serving senior contributing editor and chief columnist for the Jerusalem Post, is one of the world’s most widely-read commentators on Israel and international affairs. She also writes about American politics from a staunchly pro-Israel perspective.

She is the author of several books — including, most recently, The Israeli Solution: A One State Plan for Peace in the Middle East (2014), which calls for Israel to annex the West Bank.

Glick, a graduate of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and a veteran of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), was Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s Assistant Foreign Policy Advisor in 1997 and 1998. In 2003, she covered the Iraq War from the front lines as a journalist embedded with the U.S. Army’s 3rd Infantry Division, and was the first Israeli journalist to report from liberated Baghdad.

She is also the adjunct senior fellow for Middle Eastern Affairs at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, DC. A recipient of several major journalism awards, Glick travels around the world to advise policymakers about issues relating to global security.



PMW: Palestinian “Martyr” actively sought his own death: “I have decided to die as a Martyr”
Since his death on 15. Dec. 2017, Ibrahim Abu Thuraya, a 29-year-old former member of the PA Presidential Security Force 17 who lost both his legs and moved around in a wheelchair, has become another Palestinian “Martyr” and hero.

After his death, the Palestinian and international media were quick to blame Israel. However, interviews given by his brother and mother after his death suggest a different conclusion: That Abu Thuraya had decided and actively sought to die.

While the exact circumstances of Abu Thuraya’s death remain unclear, his brother and mother have explained that he parted with them the day before his death, telling them he was “sick of life” and had “decided to die as a Martyr.”

Abu Thuraya’s brother: “Two days ago [Dec. 14, 2017], when my brother sat to eat with us, he said to me: ‘Forgive me, this is the last night that you will see me. You too, mother, forgive me. You too, my brothers, forgive me.’ He kissed my father’s hand and foot and said to him: ‘Forgive me, if I behaved badly to you, forgive me. This is it. This is the last night you are seeing me. My father, I have decided to die as a Martyr (Shahid) because I am sick of life. This is it, I have no legs left, nothing is left. This is it, I want to die and rest from [this] life.’”
[Ruptly (RT), Dec. 16, 2017]


Fatah official posts song by Fatah youth movement honoring terrorist murderers


PMW: Female Palestinian students’ “role model” is terrorist who led murder of 37
An interview with the coordinator of the Fatah committee for women at the Palestinian universities provided another glimpse into Palestinian education of youth. Madeline Manna - the female coordinator of the committee that is named "Sisters of Dalal" after the female terrorist who led the murder of 37 Israeli civilians - explained that Dalal Mughrabi is a "role model" of female "leadership" for the female Palestinian students:

Official PA TV host: "Let's recall the self-sacrificing operation (i.e., terror attack) carried out by heroic leader and Martyr Dalal Mughrabi who is considered an example of the Palestinian women's struggle."
Madeline Manna, Coordinator, Fatah university committee Sisters of Dalal: "In the Palestinian universities, especially in the Fatah Shabiba [Student Movement], the female student committees were named after Martyr Dalal Mughrabi - Sisters of Dalal - after the Martyr who was the commander of 11 men. We learn leadership from her, and that women always lead... Dalal Mughrabi is a role model, like other heroic female Martyrs in Palestine. We draw willpower and determination from her, and perseverance and [the will to] continue this struggle."
[Official PA TV, Palestine This Morning, Jan. 1, 2018]

Dalal Mughrabi led the most lethal terror attack in Israel's history, known as the Coastal Road massacre, in 1978, when she and other Fatah terrorists hijacked a bus on Israel's Coastal Highway, murdering 37 civilians, 12 of them children, and wounding over 70.


Abbas Speech
Stories I’d Like to See: Religious Leaders Calling Out Abbas’ Biblical Revisionism
So how do Palestinians, Israelis, Jews, Muslims and Christians feel about claims that:

• The Palestinians are descendants of Abraham.
• The Palestinians are descendants of Canaanites (and Natufians).
• The Palestinians predated the Canaanites.
• Jesus was a Palestinian.
• A Jewish temple never existed on the Temple Mount.

Are Jewish, Muslim and Christian leaders willing to explain the theological and political impact of these assertions? And on a different level, if one’s religious belief can’t be reconciled with a national narrative, what does that say about individual identity? I don’t have any answers.

But there are plenty of questions.

starQuestions for the rabbis: Is there any reason for Jews to feel threatened by these claims? Do comments like these have an impact on interfaith dialogue, and if so, what? What do these kinds of comments mean for the Reform and Conservative rabbis who are generally more supportive of the Palestinians than their Orthodox counterparts? Do they see view Abbas’ comments as overall helpful or hurtful for peace efforts? Does Jewish law’s prohibition on Jews visiting the Temple Mount strengthen Palestinian claims on the holy site?

crescentQuestions for the imams: What exactly does Islam say about God’s promise of the land to Abraham’s descendants? What does Islam say about who Palestinians descended from, and what difference does it make? Does Islam in general — and Palestinians specifically — feel threatened by Jewish descent from Abraham? Is the idea of Palestinian descent from the Canaanites a long-standing Arab idea, or a relatively new assertion in response to modern Zionism? How does Hamas relate to the issue of Palestinian Canaanite identity? Can Muslim clergy in the West Bank or Gaza freely discuss these questions? In terms of of the battle within Islam between extremists and moderates, where do these claims fit in? Islam historically accepted the existence of Jewish temples on the Temple Mount — why has that changed?

crossQuestions for the priests: Is there any reason for Christians to feel threatened by these comments? What does the church have to say about claims that Jesus was a Palestinian and the implication that he was of Canaanite descent? Do Christians feel threatened by the competing Jewish and Muslim claims to the Temple Mount? How do Christians relate to Palestinian Temple denial? It’s been reported that there’s a rift between Christians in the US and the Mideast over the Trump administration’s stance on Jerusalem — particularly that Palestinian Christians are being forced to choose between their religious and national identities. Are Abbas’ comments also forcing Palestinian Christians to make a similar choice? Do Christians around the world have a responsibility to call out Abbas if Palestinian Christians don’t have the freedom to speak out?
Abbas lies about Mizrahi history and aliya
In response to President Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital, Palestinan Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas made a bombshell speech on 11 January to the PLO Central Council. Many commentators have condemned his outrageous comments - among other things, asserting that Israel is a colonialist project that has nothing to do with Judaism and that the Jews of Europe preferred to stay and face slaughter in the Nazi Holocaust rather than emigrate to Palestine.

Mahmoud Abbas: outrageous

This blog will focus on Abbas's astonishing claims concerning Mizrahi Jews:
"When they occupied 78% of Palestine, they were only 650,000 Jews. What were they to do? They said: We need Jews. But the Jews refused to come. Ben-Gurion did not want to bring the Jews of the East."

This is a re-statement of the propaganda canard that Israel needed the Mizrahi Jews to populate the land and as a source of cheap labour.
[…]
"He (Ben-Gurion) would say: 'I hate them. They look like Arabs. They look like Arabs, and I don't want them. It will take three or four generations for anything to come of them. I don't want them.'

This fabricated quote by Ben-Gurion contradicts genuine statements he made, such as : "there is no reason to think that Jews from North Africa, Turkey, Egypt, Iran or Aden are fundamentally different from those of Lithuania, Galicia and America. They have deep inside that pioneering spirit..."
Haley takes PA to task after 'hateful' comments by Abbas
In her first official reaction to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas's fiery speech this week, US Envoy to the UN Nikki Haley said Washington is "not going to pay to be abused."

Speaking during a wide-ranging interview with Voice of America's Greta Van Susteren, Haley took the PA to task. "Don’t think that you can sit there and say hateful things about us and turn around and write you a check. It’s wrong in every turn," she said.

Abbas effectively threw in the towel over the weekend, offering a scathing speech targeting the US administration generally and President Donald Trump personally by dismissing their peace effort and calling for his “house to be destroyed.”

“Damn your money!” Abbas declared.

Israeli politicians and Jewish American groups decried the speech as a racist diatribe that revealed Abbas’s true colors. The speech included conspiracy theories and fundamental questioning of the existence and justification for a Jewish state. Abbas also reiterated his position that the US could no longer be seen as a fair broker in future peace talks.

"We’re not going to reward bad behavior," Haley said. "Here you’ve got the Palestinians who are basically saying they’re going to cut the US out of the peace process. They’re saying they no longer want to have anything to do with us. They go and take us to the United Nations and try, basically, are very hostile in what they say and what they do. We’re not going to pay to be abused. It doesn’t make sense."
Palestinians: Abbas's Big Bluff - Again
In his desperation, Abbas hurls abuse and in all directions. He has resorted to his old-new strategy of warning us that if his demands are not met, World War III will break out. Abbas would like us to believe that the Palestinian issue should remain at the center of the world's attention -- otherwise, there will be bloodshed and violence on the streets of most countries.

Should anyone take Abbas's threats seriously? The answer is simple: No.

The war to destroy Israel is still in full force. The Palestinians have not brought up a new generation that recognizes Israel's right to exist; on the contrary, they have brought up a generation that believes in jihad and death, one that denies any Biblical Jewish history or links to the Holy Land.
Abbas, you can’t have your cake and eat it, too
President Donald Trump recently tweeted a clear, long overdue message to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas: you can’t have it both ways.

Offended by Trump’s December speech, which clearly left Jerusalem’s final boundaries to be negotiated by both sides, Abbas overreacted with trademark false accusations, and a huffy rebuttal of the US role as peace broker.

Like the proverbial farmer sawing off a tree limb but forgetting he’s sitting on it, Abbas overlooked the billions in US aid funneled to the PA since the mid-’90s, which last year alone totaled more than $730 million in all sectors – economic and humanitarian, security and justice, and UNRWA. Abbas’s tantrum backfired. It’s payback time.

Trump recently tweeted: “We pay the Palestinians hundreds of millions of dollars a year and get no appreciation or respect. They don’t even want to negotiate a long overdue peace treaty with Israel. So why should we make any of these massive future payments to them?” It’s about time America balanced these books.
Mahmoud Abbas' Latest Antisemitic Anti-Peace Rant


Abbas attacks US Ambassadors David Friedman and Nikki Haley


Abbas curses Trump: “May your house be destroyed”


Abbas: “I Blacked Out, Did I Miss Anything?” (satire)
Tuesday Morning, a bleary-eyed, Mahmoud Abbas, stumbled out of his bedroom in his home in Ramallah, and asked, “I blacked out most of Monday, did I miss anything?” Monday saw the PA president go off on a fiery two-hour rant in which he lashed out at everyone from US President Trump to (surprise surprise) the Jews.

A shocked Abbas explained: “It started with a few shots at lunch, you know, to steady my nerves, but then, before you know it, I’m at the open bar, and then I’m waking up in my own bed with a whopper of a headache and everyone is like: “you said some crazy ass shit yesterday’ “

Among other things, President Abbas alleged that “Israel has imported frightening amounts of drugs in order to destroy our younger generation.” and that it “is a colonialist project that has nothing to do with Jews.”

In a statement to The Mideast Beast, Abbas said “Honest to Allah, I don’t remember jack-shit after lunchtime” and that “luckily the New York Times, and other Western Media were nice enough to leave out the racist parts, that would have been embarrassing.” He was also relieved to hear that, although he had said of American contributions to the PA: “To hell with your money!”, the PA was still cashing American checks to pay terrorists’ salaries as usual.
Washington’s New Approach to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
The Trump administration’s approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict represents what some Mideast experts and Israel advocates are describing as a paradigm shift in Washington, DC — because Trump is acknowledging that Palestinian rejectionism lies at the root of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

The purported paradigm shift comes as the current Palestinian leadership is rejecting American involvement in the peace process. Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas said on Sunday that President Trump “took Jerusalem off the table” through the recent US recognition of that city as Israel’s capital. Abbas declared: “We won’t take orders from anyone. We told Trump we will never accept his [peace] plan. His deal of the century is the slap in the face of the century, and we will not accept it.”

The PA leader vowed that he would never give up on efforts to declare a Palestinian capital in Jerusalem, and described Israel as “a colonial project that has nothing to do with Judaism.”

Abbas was responding not only to Trump’s policy change on Jerusalem, but to the American leader’s recent tweet questioning US financial assistance to the PA. Trump had asked: “With the Palestinians no longer willing to talk peace, why should we make any of these massive future payments to them?”

In the 25 years since Israel and the Palestinians signed the Oslo Accords on the White House lawn, Palestinian terror attacks have killed more than 1,600 Israelis and injured thousands more. The most recent Israeli victim was 35-year-old father of six, Raziel Shevah, who was killed in a drive-by shooting near his home on January 9.

Illustrating a recent shift in American rhetoric on such incidents, US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman tweeted the following after the attack: “Hamas praises the killers and PA laws will provide them financial rewards. Look no further to why there is no peace.”
Netanyahu clarifies remarks on US Embassy in Jerusalem after Trump denial
Netanyahu, according to Israeli reporters traveling with him on a trip to India, said on Wednesday: "My solid assessment is that it will go much faster than you think - within a year from now."

Asked about Netanyahu’s comment, Trump told Reuters in an interview that was not the case. "By the end of the year? We’re talking about different scenarios - I mean obviously that would be on a temporary basis. We’re not really looking at that. That's no."

The Israeli official, responding to Trump's remarks, said: "The president and the prime minister are not saying anything different."

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said last month the embassy move was "probably no earlier than three years out, and that’s pretty ambitious," a time frame that administration officials have attributed to the logistics of finding and securing a site as well as arranging housing for diplomats.
Jewish group: Spy case shows Germany must act against Iran
Germany's Jewish community says raids against suspected Iranian agents show Berlin needs to take a tougher line toward Tehran.

German authorities have searched premises linked to 10 people suspected of conducting espionage activity on behalf of Iranian intelligence. Prosecutors, however, have refused to confirm reports the suspects are linked to the elite Quds Force of Iran's Revolutionary Guard, responsible for operations outside Iran.

Last week Berlin summoned Iranian Ambassador to Germany Ali Majedi to warn Tehran against spying on individuals and groups with close ties to Israel, calling such acts an unacceptable breach of German law.

The Central Council of Jews said Wednesday that if the suspects are scouting Jewish and Israeli targets in Germany "this mustn't be left unpunished."
Trial of Burgas bombing suspects begins
Two men allegedly linked to the Hezbollah terrorist organization went on trial in absentia in Bulgaria on Wednesday over a deadly bomb attack on Israeli tourists in Burgas in July of 2012.

The explosion outside Burgas airport's terminal building tore through a tourist bus bound for the popular beach resorts of the nearby Black Sea.

Five Israelis, the vehicle's Bulgarian driver, and the terrorist alleged to have planted the device, Franco-Lebanese national Mohamad Hassan El-Husseini, were killed.

It remains unclear whether Husseini intended to die in the blast or if the device went off by accident.

Bulgarian authorities identified the attacker's alleged accomplices as two Lebanese men with links to the Lebanese Hezbollah terrorist group, named as Australian passport holder Meliad Farah and Canadian citizen Hassan El Hajj Hassan.

Bulgarian authorities believe the suspects fled to Lebanon after the attack and even filed an extradition request to the Lebanese government but their exact whereabouts remain unknown.
Revealed: How close did Israel come to counterattacking Iraq in 1991?
Israel’s defense minister during the 1991 Gulf War, Moshe Arens, approved a counterattack on Iraq in 1991 after it fired Scud missiles at Israel.

However, Defense Ministry records newly declassified on Thursday regarding Arens also indicated that his plans were delayed by then US secretary of defense Dick Cheney, who played for time.

The new records, which include interviews with Arens and with then IDF chief-of-staff Dan Shomron, also appear to reveal that behind Arens’ back, Shomron opposed the counterattack when discussing it with then prime minister Yitzhak Shamir.

It was previously known that then US President George H.W. Bush pressured Shamir not to respond to Iraqi Scud attacks, for fear that an Israeli intervention would scuttle the broad anti-Iraq coalition Bush had assembled.

The coalition included a number of Arab countries standing with the US for the first time, and was viewed as a coup by Bush, both for fighting against Iraq and for strategic influence in the region post-war.
Pence visit exposes dilemma facing Egypt, Jordan over Jerusalem recognition
US Vice President Mike Pence’s upcoming visit to the Middle East comes at a time of intensely publicized friction between his administration and the Palestinian leadership, posing a dilemma for his Arab hosts — Egypt’s president and Jordan’s king — on how to safeguard their vital ties with Washington without appearing to ignore Palestinian misgivings.

Both countries are heavily dependent on US military and economic aid, and talks with a senior Trump administration official like Pence offer them an opportunity to strengthen those ties.

It’s a tall order given that Pence is visiting at a time of rising anti-US sentiments in the region, stoked by President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The city is home to major holy sites to all three monotheistic religions and its Israeli-annexed eastern sector is sought by the Palestinians as the capital of a future state.

Egypt’s elder statesman, Amr Moussa, warned Arab leaders against altering their longstanding objective: a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital. In a jarring article published recently, the former foreign minister and Arab league chief warned that making concessions on the Palestinian issue would be a “gross strategic mistake.”
Israeli leaders applaud operation targeting terrorists behind rabbi’s murder
Israeli leaders praised the work of security forces Thursday after a pre-dawn operation in Jenin killed a Palestinian terrorist believed to be behind last week’s fatal shooting of Israeli rabbi Raziel Shevach.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, currently on a trip to India, hailed the troops and warned any would-be terrorists that Israel would be on their tail.

“We will reach anyone who tries to harm the citizens of Israel and the State of Israel and we will bring them to justice,” the prime minister said.

In the Jenin firefight, Israeli forces killed one Palestinian terrorist, captured another and were still in pursuit of a third, a Border Police spokesman told The Times of Israel.

Hours later, the spokesman said the forces were still scanning the area for the third terrorist and that the operation was still ongoing.
2 Special Ops officers wounded, terrorist killed in Jenin gunfight
Two Yamam counter-terrorism fighters were wounded, one Palestinian terrorist was killed and another captured after an exchange of gunfire overnight Wednesday in the West Bank city of Jenin, following the January 9 murder of Rabbi Raziel Shevach.

According to Police Spokesman Micky Rosenfeld, Yamam, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) and IDF troops from the Menashe regional division located the terrorist cell believed to be responsible for Shevach’s murder.

“Shortly after midnight we surrounded the area and cordoned it off, Yamam units moved in, and shots were fired,” said Rosenfeld Thursday morning.

“In the gun battle that took place, two Yamam officers were wounded – one seriously and one lightly – and one of the terrorists was shot and killed, while the second terrorist was captured.”

Rosenfeld said both Yamam fighters were flown to an undisclosed hospital.

Police confirmed that the terrorist who was shot and killed was responsible for the killing of Shevach. The second suspect is being questioned, while several other suspects were detained for questioning.
IsraellyCool: The Killing of Ahmed Jarrar (Or How Easy It is to Manipulate the Truth)
Last night, the IDF killed this palestinian man, Ahmed Jarrar.

Naturally, there are those who are furious Israel killed this well-dressed, respectable looking, happy young man, just like we killed father.

By the way, this was his father Nasser Jarrar.

If this is all you knew, you’d perhaps be thinking Israel was really the bad guy, killing a crippled man and then years later his good son.

Now for the full story.

Young Ahmed was one of the cold-blooded murderers of Rabbi Raziel Shevach (may his memory be a blessing, whose picture, unlike that of Ahmed’s, does not lie as to his true character)

As for his father, he was a senior Hamashole who was involved in plotting a series of suicide attacks in Israel, including a plan to bring down a high-rise building.

He lost his legs and an arm after suffering from a premature explodation – although the usual suspects will tell you it was Israel’s fault.
After Jenin shootout, Hamas blasts PA-Israel security coordination
Hamas spokesmen on Thursday lashed out at security coordination between Israel and the Palestinian Authority after Israeli security forces killed a Palestinian who allegedly was involved in a drive-by shooting attack last week that claimed the life of a rabbi.

Late Wednesday evening, in a firefight in Jenin in the northern West Bank, Israeli security forces killed a Palestinian suspected of being involved in the shooting of Rabbi Razviel Shevach in the Nablus area, the Border Police said.

Hamas Spokesman Abdel Latif al-Qanou said in a statement posted on Facebook, that the incident "could not have happened without information sharing and damned security coordination,” adding that security relationship between Israel and the PA should “be ended.”

Neither the PA nor Israel has said that they worked together in pursuing suspects behind Shevach’s death. However, the PA security forces and Israel are known to cooperate in the West Bank to prevent attacks against Israelis.

Last weekend, a Palestinian security official told The Jerusalem Post that the PA security forces “are constantly trying to prevent attacks like the one that took place in the Nablus area.”

Hamas Spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri also slammed security cooperation, referring to it as “criminal.”


In the sand around Gaza, Israel and Hamas dig in a literal race to the bottom
Five meters (16 feet) below the ground, about 200 meters (650 feet) inside Israeli territory, lies the entrance to a cramped tunnel whose destruction in October upped the tension around the Gaza Strip, sparking mortar and rocket attacks as well as frequent riots along the security fence surrounding the coastal enclave.

On Thursday, the military allowed journalists to visit the tunnel, which was dug by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist group, as well as two construction sites where workers were drilling deep underground to create the reinforced, sensor-laden concrete walls of a massive underground barrier that is meant to surround the Gaza Strip and put an end to the subterranean terror threat once and for all.

In the coming weeks and months, as construction progresses, the military expects to find and destroy several more attack tunnels that enter Israeli territory from Gaza. The subterranean wall it is building will deny Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and other Gaza-based terrorist groups what is arguably the only strategic weapon they currently possess, a fact that he said is slowly dawning on them.

“It’s just a matter of them becoming aware of it,” the official said.

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad attack tunnel began in the Gaza city of Khan Younis, a little over one kilometer (0.6 miles) away from the border with Israel. According to the IDF official, it was dug at a rate of 10 to 20 meters (33 to 66 feet) per day by workers who operated in shifts and had a maximum depth of 28 meters (91 feet).

The tunnel itself wasn’t much to behold. The floor was littered with empty soda bottles and plastic sacks that once held dirt. Jagged pieces of rebar jutted out of the walls. The top of this six-foot-tall reporter’s head brushed against the ceiling. But to the residents of nearby Kibbutz Kissufim, some two kilometers (1.2 miles) away, it could have spelled disaster.
IDF reveals new details about Islamic Jihad terror tunnel
New details have been revealed about the cross-border Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terror tunnel destroyed by the IDF in late October.

The tunnel, which infiltrated about 200 meters into southern Israel and was located only two kilometers from the community of Kissufim, is believed by the IDF to have been intended to be used to attack Kissufim and/or abduct Israeli soldiers.

Several PIJ terrorists worked around the clock except on Friday, digging in shifts. They were able to dig between 10 to 20 meters a day, at a depth of 26 meters below ground aided by electricity, oxygen tanks and water to avoid suffocation. The terrorists did not try to hide the sand which they removed, creating large sand dunes on the Gazan side.

The tunnel was detected using newly implemented advanced technology and was destroyed in a controlled explosion inside Israeli territory but it remains open on the Gazan side, guarded by Hamas terrorists.

During the 2014 war, several soldiers were killed by Hamas terrorists when they emerged from the numerous tunnels they dug into Israel, surprising the IDF and leaving the residents of border communities concerned of possible tunnels beneath their homes. By the time of the last ceasefire, the IDF said it had destroyed 32 tunnels that crossed under the border.

At least six tunnels have been destroyed since the end of the operation, four of which were destroyed since October alone.
After neutralizing tunnels, IDF faces a new threat
Since then, the IDF tried to come up with a response in different ways, but the accomplished results can only be seen now through different steps that were taken simultaneously: The first is the underground obstacle being built around the 65-kilometer border fence. The cost of each kilometer of the obstacle is estimated at around NIS 40 million (roughly $12 million)—a total of about NIS 3 billion—and was expected to be completed during 2016, to provide hermetic defense and cut off every tunnel crossing the fence.

The second step is the classified technological solution which costs around NIS 1.2 billion. Only few people are privy to the secrets of how this classified method works. The reports about it are very limited too, to prevent Hamas from finding out about the method that has made it possible to successfully detect tunnels on Israeli territory—leading to a change in the number of tunnels uncovered recently—as well as their route within the Gaza Strip later on.

The third method is the improved intelligence gathering ability on tunnels excavated on the other side, making it possible to locate the tunnel openings. Furthermore, the Air Force has developed a new ability to accurately neutralize tunnels using ammunition dropped from the air. And there you have it: A solution to a problem which seemed intractable only three-and-a-half years ago.

The results, which are impressive on a global scale, prove that when a decision is made and when the required resources are allotted for its implementation, “the Israeli genius and the Jewish mind found a solution,” as Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Major-General Yoav Mordechai said Sunday.

That’s exactly what was done in the previous decade with the Iron Dome system, which was initiated by then-Defense Minister Amir Peretz against the Hamas rockets—a problem the IDF’s top echelon considered unsolvable at the time.

Now, the defense establishment should start preparing for the next threat, the heavyweight Borkan mortar shells Hezbollah has armed itself with, which have a range of about 5 kilometers but can carry 200 to 500 kilograms of lethal explosives. Since they could cause enormous damage to bases and communities within that range, we should deal with this threat should now rather than wait for the next war and the report that will follow.
Hamas: Iran Is Only Country That Supports Palestinian ‘Resistance’
The Middle East Media Research Institute reports that the Hamas terror group’s deputy political bureau chief, Saleh al-Arouri, told the Lebanese Al-Quds television network that Iran is the only country providing military support to Hamas to fight the “Israeli entity.”

“On the one hand, there are countries that support Israel, and conspire with it day in and day out, and sacrifice Jerusalem and the holy places, and on the other hand, we have [Iran] which provides aid against the Israeli entity,” said Arouri.

“Who supported the resistance in Lebanon until it drove out the Israeli entity? It was Iran. Who supports the resistance in Gaza and Palestine? Iran,” he added. “Our relations with Iran are based on the fact that Iran is the most hostile country in the world toward the Zionist entity. Iran is the only country that says that this entity is cancerous. This is Iran’s official position….The aid Iran provides to the resistance is not merely symbolic. This is real aid, which is essential for the resistance to continue and be effective.”
US cracking down on Hezbollah and narcoterror
US Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the creation of a new task force to investigate drug trafficking by Hezbollah in the United States. The task force is called the Hezbollah Financing and Narcoterrorism Team.

At first glance, the move looks political – especially considering the media coverage the announcement received. Much of the coverage suggests that the Obama administration scuttled an investigation into Hezbollah in an effort to make nice to Iran. Media coverage, and many pundits, also suggest that the previous administration rationalized that by not ruffling the feathers of Hezbollah, which is one of Iran’s indisputable minions, Iran would be happier with the United States and actively continue negotiations on nuclear affairs and follow through with the nuclear agreement.

There certainly is a political angle here, but there is much more than political machination at stake.

The purpose of the new task force is not just to find out or explain what happened in the past. Its purpose is to shut down any current and future narcoterror related activity, by Hezbollah, from passing through the United States. The beauty of Hezbollah’s narcoterror activities – from their point of view is that they figured out how to use the United States as a thoroughfare for their narcotics money laundering trade.

It is by no means an exaggeration to say that stopping Hezbollah’s narcoterror network will enhance safety in the United States and further secure the larger Western world. An added benefit of shuttering Hezbollah’s money laundering drug activity is that Israel’s security will be significantly improved.

By now it should be abundantly clear to all, as it should have been to the Obama administration, that the profits gained from the hundreds of millions of drug trade dollars Hezbollah receives goes directly into their military coffers. It is that money that engines the murderous terror machine that attacks Israel over its northern border.
MEMRI: The Popular Uprising In Iran 2017-2018: Lessons Learned By The Regime
Introduction

The Iranian regime is attributing the December 2017-January 2018 popular uprising in the country to two main factors. One is the public's access to the West-based Internet, and the other is the involvement of Iran's enemies, who seek to bring down the Islamic revolutionary regime.

Regime Officials Blame Uprising On Access To The Internet

In addition to the regime's claim that it was the public's access to the West-based Internet that provoked and fanned the flames of the uprising, prominent spokesmen in the ideological camp, such as Ali Jafari, commander of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), and the Kayhan daily, the regime mouthpiece, blamed the government of President Hassan Rohani for the widespread Internet access (Iran has some 80 million residents and approximately 40 million smartphones) and for the lack of control over the Internet.[1]

At a January 3, 2018 press conference, IRGC commander Jafari explained: "The atmosphere of the Internet was not good at all, and some lost control of this atmosphere because of their interests, or because of negligence... The enemies rode quickly over the Internet, with 3,000 new forces, and reached the arena in order to create fitna [civil strife]... They began creating channels on the Internet... The lack of control over the Internet – which is run from outside Iran – and the negligence of those [in the government who are] responsible for control of this [online] atmosphere have exacerbated the rioting. But when we took control of the Internet, we witnessed a decrease in the creation of fitna."[2]

On January 4, 2018, Iranian Prosecutor-General Mohammad Jafar Montazeri said: "It is difficult to live without technology and social media, but these technologies must be directed. The Internet is considered to be a source of damage that destroys homes and creates many problems for families and young people, and, unfortunately, no effort is being made to direct it. If we do not think of a solution for the Internet, and for the foreigners' plots, a harsh future awaits us. We must block the active channels that aim to destroy society's morality, to denigrate the sacred values, and to destroy society's security."[3]
Europe's Betrayal of the Iranian People
The alliance between Saudi Arabia and the United States seems intended to contain the Iranian regime, and not, as falsely advertised by President Barack Obama, to prevent a nuclear program.

Leaders of Western Europe know exactly what the mullahs' regime is, and what its goals and activities are. They know it is the world's main sponsor of Islamic terrorism. They know the disastrous state of Iran's society and economy, but they prefer to play deaf and dumb. All they think about, it seems, are the contracts they sign with the mullahs to get more money. They do not care about the suffering of Iranians; the chaos, massacres and destruction caused by the regime. They know that the nuclear deal is constantly violated by the self-policing regime, and that a nuclear bomb is in the making. They are aware that the regime has close ties with North Korea, and that both are global threats.

The EU's chief diplomat, Federica Mogherini, has hypocritically called "all parties concerned to abstain from violence", as if there were a moral equivalence between unarmed protesters and killer militias with weapons of war. Meanwhile, in Iranian prisons, protesters were being arrested and tortured to death.

Leaders of Western Europe like to boast how they respect human rights, yet they are the ones trampling on them.
How Not to Cover Iran
The more popular anti-Trump angle is to claim that support for the protesters is futile. “Experts say President Trump’s tweets won’t help Iranians,” said NBC correspondent Matt Bradley in late December. The New York Times op-ed page, in its headline for a piece by former Obama State Department official Philip Gordon, told Trump to “be quiet.” But it was clear from the article that Gordon’s real concern wasn’t the protesters. It was preserving the nuclear deal. “If Mr. Trump blows up the deal and re-imposes sanctions,” he wrote, “he will not be doing the opposition a favor but instead giving Iranians a reason to rally to—rather than work against—the government they might otherwise despise.”

CBS journalist Major Garrett must have been referring to Gordon and other former Obama aides during the December 31 Face the Nation, when he told Lindsey Graham, “Some have said that would be the wrong thing to do because that would give the regime an enemy to point at us again.” A December 31 Los Angeles Times piece made the same point: “Iran’s leaders already are casting Trump’s increasingly effusive expressions of support for the demonstrators as opportunistic meddling and are painting the demonstrators as foreign pawns, adopting a strategy that some analysts say could jeopardize the legitimacy of the protests.” True. On the other hand, I say those analysts are full of baloney. Who’s to decide?

Not the people of Iran, apparently, who are denied agency by both their rulers and a Western chattering class more committed to the defense of President Obama’s legacy than the spread of democracy and freedom.



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The radical US imams who incited hatred against Jews - and encouraged their congregants to go out and murder them - are back in the news again. Recently, Newsweek reported on the last 3 incidents of 2017, and noted that at least 2 of the imam threats against Jews were explicitly in response to Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, announced on December 6.

screenshot

It is one thing to note radical imams right here in the US, but another to counter and prevent it.

Take France for example, where the government has to respond to Islamist terrorist attacks. In 2008, the French government created a special training program to teach imams French values such as the separation of state and religion. Results were not good. Out of the 60 students who started taking the course in 2008, only 9 got their certificates by 2011. One could argue that one reason for the failure is that it was created in conjunction with the Catholic Institute of Paris. That was unlikely to be a big draw for Muslims.

In 2015, France came up with the idea of a license for imams, compared to a driving licence, that ensured imams would promote a 'tolerant and open Islam'". This idea came just 11 days after the attacks that killed 130 people in Paris, leading to fears of homegrown Islamist extremists radicalized by rogue preachers.
By 2016, France's Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve was talking tough against radical Islam:
He also said that since 2012, 80 people had been expelled from France, and dozens more expulsions were underway, without giving further details.
"There is no place ... in France for those who call for and incite hatred in prayer halls or in mosques, and who don't respect certain republican principles, notably equality between men and women," the minister said.
"That is why I took the decision a few months ago to close mosques through the state of emergency, legal measures or administrative measures. About 20 mosques have been closed, and there will be others."
France's plan seems a bit ambitious, wanting not only to prevent violence but also to make imams, and by extension their congregants, into good French citizens.

Meanwhile, on this side of the Atlantic, the situation is different. In Canada, where the threat is not as pronounced the opposition has been more outspoken against the idea of certification. The Toronto Star condemned the idea of imam certification in no uncertain terms:
Canadians have no time for terror. But the Senate would never have the gall to suggest that Christian ministers be “certified” to preach in this country, no matter how unschooled in formal theology they might be, how eccentric their views, or how tiny their congregations. The same goes for Catholic, Jewish, Hindu or Buddhist spiritual leaders.
The editorial claims “lone wolf” terror attacks are likelier to come from white supremacists and right-wing extremists than from Muslims. In Canada, out of the 35 million people -- including 1 million Muslims -- there are only 318 Muslims who were suspected of being radicalized. Claiming that most of them are self-radicalized on the Internet rather than in mosques, the Toronto Star goes on to say Muslims have been instrumental in preventing terror attacks in Canada. The editorial concludes that certification is a "solution in search of a problem."

And in the US?

Last year, Politico came out with an article that identified the main problem as America is Running Out of Muslim Clerics. Blaming Trump's immigration ban on the one hand and rising incidents of Islamaphobia on the other, the article claims that of the estimated 2,500 mosques in the US, more than half do not have a full-time imam. One solution underway in a dozen US cities is the development of seminaries to prepare homegrown American imams and chaplains. In 2013 more than 90 percent of the full-time imams in US mosques were either trained or born overseas. Among the US imams last year who incited hatred against Jews, one was born in Somalia and another in Syria.

But the problem, as it is in France, is what to teach the imams besides theology.

MINAB, the Mosques and Imams National Advisory Board in Great Britain came up with a list of 5 standards for the purpose of self-regulation of mosques in the Muslim community by the Muslim community.
  • Standard 1: Members apply principles of good corporate governance
  • Standard 2: Members ensure that services are provided by suitably qualified and or experienced personnel
  • Standard 3: There are systems and processes in place to ensure that there are no impediments to the participation in the activities, including governance, for young people
  • Standard 4: There are systems and processes in place to ensure that there are no impediments to the participation in the activities, including governance, for women
  • Standard 5: Members ensure there are programmes that promote civic responsibility of muslims in the wider society.
This addresses general problems mosques may be having, but not the issue of radicalization of the mosques. This is not going to combat the issue of Islamism in the US.

It would help to get away from the standard solution.

The Homeland Security Advisory Council came out with Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Subcommittee Interim Report and Recommendations June 2016. Among its recommendations was a unanimous one to take the $10 million earmarked for 2016 -- and increase the funding by $100 million. But just throwing money at the problem is not going to work.

The best answer to the problem may be organic. A New York Times article from 2007 suggests A Growing Demand for the Rare American Imam:
But as the first generation of American-born Muslims begins graduating from college in significant numbers, with a swelling tide behind them, some congregations are beginning to seek native imams who can talk about religious and social issues that seem relevant to young people, like dating and drugs. On an even more practical level, they want an imam who can advise them on day-to-day American matters like how to set up a 401(k) plan to funnel the charitable donations known as zakat, which Islam mandates.
That is a solution that Europe has cheated itself out of. By opening the doors wide to Muslim immigrants, the EU may have made the creation of a homegrown Muslim leadership that much harder, especially with little indication that the EU has had any success in acculturating those immigrants and passing on European values.
Oddly enough, in the US there is a problem standing in the way of creating homegrown American imams that Jews can easily identify with:
Experts say the problem is exacerbated because few immigrant parents want their children to become imams.
“Immigrant parents want their children to become doctors, engineers, computer scientists,” Dr. Bazian said. “If you suggested that they might want their kid to study to become an imam, they would hold a funeral procession.”
Apparently, Jewish mothers have nothing on Muslim mothers.

One group confronting the issue is MEMRI, where they do more than just follow what is going on in the Muslim world and translate into English. Mansour Al-Hadj is Director of Reform at MEMRI, where in addition to monitoring, translating and transcribing Jihadi social media accounts, he analyzes Jihadi group publications as well.

He addressed the issue as well:
"The mosque pulpits in America are out of control, because most of the preachers who lead the prayers in these centers embrace the traditional Islamic rhetoric. Most of them are from the Middle East and are considered to be ulema, or people with superior religious understanding. Their problem is that they are traditional, and the traditional discourse has failed in Arab countries. The proof is that in Islamic societies, Islam has failed to unite the citizens and to prevent violence and the rhetoric of hatred. Unfortunately, we suffer from such imams here in America. They bring the traditional religious discourse with them, and spread it in an environment that is entirely different from where they came from."
...I expect – or I hope – that we in America will export [our] Islam to the Middle East. Society here is cohesive, and people respect one another. Schools are open to all, and there is no religious discrimination, or discrimination against people of color or people who uphold a certain faith. The Muslims in America have the ability and the experience to export that kind of Islam, which we need in the Middle East. We need a tolerant Islam, Islam that loves..."
It is a very ambitious plan:
  • Better than the French approach, that is trying to fit Muslims into a particular mold, Al-Hadj sees the American society as providing the answer to the problems apparent with traditional Muslim society both here and abroad.
  • Instead of looking for funding in the usual way that The Homeland Security Advisory Council suggests, he sees the Islamic societies in the US as providing the funding - and seeing it in their own self-interest to do so.
  • Most of all, he sees the possibility of creating an Islam here in the US that can then be exported back to the Middle East and bring with it renewed tolerance.
Now all there is to do is make a beginning.




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At the Qassam Brigades website of Hamas, its readers from around the world were invited to share their happiness at the murder of Rabbi Raziel Shevach.

And their readers came through.


Dozens of people from around the world praised the murder.

"We are a nation committed to death. We will not be defeated, God willing," said a Moroccan.

An Algerian praised Hamas' "masculinity" as the presumed party behind the murder.

A Saudi prayed for an " increase and strengthening of jihadist operations."

The countries represented by their citizens' love of killing Jews includes Algeria, Morocco, Jordan, Tunisia, "Palestine," Iraq, Turkey, Yemen, Sudan, Kuwait, Egypt and Lebanon.

Also, Germany and the Netherlands.






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Here's a tweet from India Today showing incredible enthusiasm for day #4 of Bibi Netanyahu's visit to India:

The enthusiasm for Netanyahu has not subsided after four days of massive coverage.

Here is a 20 minute interview with Netanyahu on India Today TV:


Inside this Indian newspaper, a dairy company used the visit to promote its products:


There are Bibi billboards in the streets:



This editorial cartoon also says volumes:




This is clearly more than a state visit. This is a lovefest between the world's second most populous country (and the country with 10% of the world's Muslims), and the Jewish state.

And it is driving the Israel haters insane.





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Wednesday, January 17, 2018



I have not yet seen a transcript of what Mahmoud Abbas said at Al Azhar in Cairo on Wednesday, but the small pieces published in Arabic media are enough proof of his extremism.

Egypt's Masrawy reports that Abbas said, "There is no respectable Jew in the world who accepts the Zionist entity....There are Jews who say that Jerusalem is for Muslims and Christians and for the Arabs."

So respectable Jews say that Jerusalem has nothing to do with Judaism. And any Jew who accepts Israel's right to exist is not respectable.

This is interesting for many reasons, but it also shows that even though Abbas still insists that he only wants a state of Palestine in the West Bank and Gaza - a position he repeated in Cairo - he does not accept the state of Israel. Which means he never did. "Palestine" isn't an end, but a means to an end - the end of Israel.

By the way, in order to make the Al Azhar conference appear ecumenical, Abbas flew in "rabbi" Dovid Weiss from Neturei Karta to address the Arab audience and tell them that a couple dozen of his sect are the "original Jews" and the millions of others are all fake.

I wonder what Weiss would answer if an Arab asked him if the Temple was built in Jerusalem.





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From Ian:

Col. Richard Kemp: The Arab-Israeli Conflict: Why No Peace?
The jihadist aim is to isolate Israel politically; to influence political leaders, public opinion, international institutions and international organizations so that on the day their planned offensive begins, no one will be there to support Israel and the Jews. The Palestinian Authority, the PLO and the Arab/Muslim states will be unhampered to do what Hitler was unable to do in historic Palestine -- make it Judenrein (free of Jews).

Terror is "to achieve Palestinian political goals, to influence Israeli politics, to favor a given Israeli candidate for the post of Prime Minister, to compel the Israeli government to conceal more land, to prevent a final peace settlement by maintaining a state of conflict that could eventually lead to total war, to erode Israeli and American resolve and to demonstrate to Arab population that peace is not an option and that the existence of the Jews on their land cannot be recognized". Some of the attacks occurred just when foreign representatives landed in Israel, "to prevent the revival of the peace talks." Mr. Jason Greenblatt should take that into consideration.

The same jihadist war is also underway against the Americans and all "infidels": Christians, Jews, Yazidis, Hindus, Buddhists, and in a general manner all those who do not believe in the "religion of truth", namely Islam; and against those Muslims who compromise with such so-called infidels.
Eugene Kontorovich: Unsettled: A Global Study of Settlements in Occupied Territories
This Article provides the first comprehensive, global examination of state and international practice bearing on Article 49(6) of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which provides that an “Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.” This provision is a staple of legal and diplomatic international discussions of the Arab-Israeli conflict, and serves as the basis for criticism of Israeli settlement policy.

Despite its frequent invocation in the Israeli context, scholars have never examined – or even considered – how the norm has been interpreted and applied in any other occupation context in the post-WWII era. For example, the International Committee of the Red Cross’s (ICRC) influential Study on Customary International Humanitarian Law lists 107 instances of national practice and UN practice applying or interpreting the prohibition, and all but two relate to Israel. Many questions exist about the scope and application of Art. 49(6)’s prohibition on “transfer,” but they have generally been answered on purely theoretically.

To better understand what Art. 49(6) does in fact demand, this Article closely examines its application in all other cases in which it could apply. Many of the settlement enterprises studied in this Article have never been discussed or documented. All of these situations involved the movement of settlers into the occupied territory, in numbers ranging from thousands to hundreds of thousands. Indeed, perhaps every prolonged occupation of contiguous habitable territory has resulted in significant settlement activity.
Melanie Phillips: Trump derangement, UK culture wars




Moshe Holtzberg Returns To India
It’s been nearly ten years since two terrorists stormed the Nariman House in Mumbai in order to kill the Jews who lived there. It was the Chabad House for the city, started by a young couple, Gavriel and Rivka “Rivky” Holtzberg. Two men stormed the building on November 26; by November 28, the terrorists, the, Holtzberg’s, and four Jews who had been passing through were dead. Rivky was five months pregnant at the time.

Their only son, Moshe Holtzberg, was two years old at the time. He was rescued from the horrors by his nanny, Sandra Samuel, who was granted honorary Israeli citizenship in 2010.

This week, Moshe returns to the Nariman House for the first time, along with Prime Minister Netanyahu, who is visiting India to meet once again with Narendra Modi. Moshe will be with Netanyahu to commemorate a plaque that will serve as the first step in a Living Memorial to his parents at the Nariman House, situated in the Colaba district of Mumbai.

It’s difficult to conceive of the violence that took place that November, and it’s even more difficult to imagine how it must feel to a 12 year-old whose life is defined by something he (presumably) can’t remember. But the concept of the Living Memorial speaks to how we can constructively think and talk about those nights, not by focusing on the circumstances of death, but on the prospect of continuing life.
Netanyahu says $500m Israel-India arms deal back on the table
A massive missile deal between India and Israeli defense contractor Rafael is back on the table, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday, as he wrapped up his third day of a state visit to the subcontinent that sought to foster closer economic ties.

Netanyahu’s visit came shortly after Rafael Advanced Defense Systems had confirmed that Delhi backed away from a $500 million agreement to purchase Spike anti-tank missiles, casting a cloud over the trip.

“They are reauthorizing the Spike deal,” Netanyahu said as his plane took off for Mumbai from Ahmadebad, where he spent the day with Indian counterpart Narendra Modi.

Netanyahu said the details were being worked out, raising questions as to whether the final agreement would be as large as the canceled weapons deal.

But the prime minister insisted that the outlook on the deal was “very positive.”

Netanyahu announced the news as the centerpiece of a series of achievements during his five-day trip to the Asian giant.
Israel, Argentina, work to cement economic ties
Argentina will export more kosher frozen beef to Israel, following an official visit of Argentinian Vice President Gabriela Michetti.

Michetti on Sunday completed an official visit to Israel with an economic team of vice ministers to turn the good relations between both countries “to concrete economic improvements,” she told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a meeting last week.

The first improvement was announced during the visit: Israel extended the expiration of frozen Argentine beef from 45 to 85 days, opening a new market of Argentinean kosher meat at Israeli supermarkets. Meat accounts for 63 percent of Argentinean export to Israel.

“We have excellent ties, also with the Jewish community of Argentina. We are also trying to leverage the economic issues. We want to deepen these ties so that bilateral trade and investments will grow. We mainly need to realize this view, that everything is done via actions, trade, investments and the market,” Michetti told Netanyahu during their meeting.
IDF Blog: Top 5 Technological Innovations of 2017
Israel is often referred to as the “Start-Up Nation” and is world renowned for its technological advancements. In this spirit, the IDF has made strides in the technological field. In 2017, the IDF integrated new technology, including 62 Merkava tanks, 30 “Namer” armored personnel carriers, 150 operational trucks, 35 night vision goggles, 180 multicopter drones, 40 loaders, 400 parachutes, 21,000 aiming devices, 120 Chevy Savannas, and 257 Jeeps. All of this new equipment helped the IDF take steps towards the future.

1. Yahalom Glasses
Fighting on screens and using virtual reality goggles used to be just for gamers, but that’s no longer the case. Soldiers in the Yahalom Unit of the Engineering Corps are using these same goggles for an entirely different purpose; overcoming the challenges of underground warfare.

VR (virtual reality) goggles allow these soldiers to learn about several different types of ammunition in a visual and accessible way. There are three kinds of VR goggles that are currently used. The first allows the user to coordinate their movements in the real world with those in the virtual space. The second has built- in motion detectors. The third type is controlled using a mobile remote control, meaning one can walk around and choose objects on which to focus.

2. UAV with Night Vision
Until recently, the IDF only used UAVs for daylight photography. Thanks to new thermal cameras with night vision capabilities, the “Matrix” UAVs can focus on small objects, even something as small as an assailant raising a knife to attack someone.

The Matrix as a whole is more advanced than the UAVs that the IDF used previously. It can stay in the air longer, focus on small objects and fly just over a mile high.
IAF first: Female pilot appointed flight squadron commander
Commander of the Israeli Air Force Maj. Gen. Amikam Nurkin today appointed Major T. to be commander of an aviation squadron.

T., a transport pilot by training, will be promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and will be the first woman pilot in this position and the first woman to achieve this rank.

In addition, the Commander of the Air Force appointed Major M., an airborne flight controller by training, to command the control unit in operational headquarters. Major M.was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, becoming the first female air controller to be promoted to that rank.


Baroness alludes to Jews of Iraq in minorities debate
It is not often that the UK House of Lords is made aware of the tragic plight of the Jews of Iraq, but in a debate on religious minorities in Iraq on 11 January, Baroness Ruth Deech managed to devote a few minutes to their history while appealing for the British government to take a proactive approach to the protection of minorities.

"Sometimes it is difficult for us here in this tolerant country to understand the role played by religion elsewhere. In the area under debate today, it is not just a question of choice of belief; religion equates with identity. Indeed, one reason why so many countries in the Middle East are in turmoil is that the nation states there, sometimes created by western colonialists 100 years ago, do not coincide with religious boundaries.

Those new states have bundled together people who identify with their communities across boundaries rather than in their own neighbourhoods. To be a religious minority is seen by the ruling class as if one was a foreigner at best and a traitor to the community at worst. It has become especially dangerous to be a minority since the rise of Daesh. Nor is this attitude confined to Muslims; we have seen the atrocities committed against the Rohingya Muslims in Burma by the majority. But in determining cash and protection allocation, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees does not include religious persecution as one of the vulnerability categories. It is time for religious persecution to be up front in UN relief work. Will the Government urge the UN bodies to confront this?
Muslim activist rejects Revlon award because of Gal Gadot
Global cosmetics chain Revlon recently offered Amani al-Khatahtbeh a Changemaker Award for her advocacy on behalf of Muslim women. But the writer and activist said on Tuesday she will be declining the recognition, because the makeup company just named Gal Gadot as its global brand ambassador.

“I cannot accept this award from Revlon with Gal Gadot as the ambassador,” she wrote on social media. “Her vocal support of the Israeli Defense Forces’ actions in Palestine goes against MuslimGirl.com’s morals and values.”

Revlon did not respond to requests for comment by press time.

Khatahtbeh, who grew up in New Jersey as the daughter of Jordanian and Palestinian parents, is best known for starting the online magazine MuslimGirl.com in 2009. She also wrote a book, Muslim Girl: A Coming of Age, which was published in 2016.

“I can’t, in good conscience, accept this award from the brand and celebrate Gal’s ambassadorship after the IDF imprisoned a 16-year-old girl named Ahed Tamimi last month, an activist who is still currently incarcerated,” she wrote on Tuesday. “I think we are in a moment where we must persist that women’s empowerment includes ALL women.”
Jim Jefferies: The comedian with no boundaries takes on Tel Aviv
Jim Jefferies is an asshole. A hilariously entertaining asshole.

For close to two hours the Australian comedian who now lives in the US, paced a stage set up in the center of the Menorah Mivtachim Arena in Tel Aviv. He was vulgar, he was disgusting, he was offensive and he was uproariously funny. He was Jim Jefferies, basically.

As Jefferies pointed out on Hayom BaLayla with Guri Alfi Monday night, he didn't sell as many tickets as the last time he performed in Israel, in 2016. It's true that the hall was far from full, but Jefferies' target demographic of 20-something slightly unwashed men was out in full force. It's likely that the lower attendance had something to do with the influx of comedians in Israel this month; last week Chris Rock showed up and two weeks ago was Jerry Seinfeld - and there are few Israelis who can afford all three. In a way, Jefferies is the anti-Seinfeld, a man whose jokes are squeaky clean, well-rehearsed and often predictable. And Jefferies was a hell of a lot more entertaining.

With his signature lightning-fast wit, perfect timing and endless vulgarities the comedian was in top form Tuesday night. Perhaps he was happy to hear earlier in the day that his Comedy Central show was renewed for a second season. Or perhaps he's just doing what he loves. Either way, no topics were off limits, and no profanity left behind: His favorite and most frequent word of the night can't be printed here, but safe to say it rhymes with... runt. He was even selling mugs emblazoned with the word as people filed out of the show.

Jefferies had no problem jumping into jokes about his host country right from the start. "Stop fighting over this land, it's not that good," he said. "I mean, it's nice it's just not worth the argument, you know? I'll give you Tasmania or something... Florida maybe."
Ban on screening 'The Post' overturned in Lebanon
Lebanon’s interior ministry has overturned a ban on screening the newspaper drama The Post, directed by Steven Spielberg.

Lebanon’s censorship board had made the decision to ban the film based on a “boycott Israel” list, which Spielberg appears on since he shot some scenes from the 1993 film Schindler’s List in Jerusalem, the Hollywood Reporter reported Sunday, citing a source involved with the movie’s international roll out.

But on Wednesday, the interior ministry decided not to sign off on the decision. “Interior Minister Nohad Mashnouk is going to allow the film to be shown,” a senior ministry official told the French news agency AFP.

The company distributing the film in Lebanon confirmed to AFP that the film about the Washington Post’s pursuit and publishing of the Pentagon Papers would be released in movie theaters in the capital of Beirut and elsewhere on Thursday.

In the last three years, at least five films directed or produced by Spielberg were screened in Lebanon, including The BFG, and Bridge of Spies.

AFP reported that a second film was censored by Lebanon this week. The film, Jungle, starring Daniel Radcliffe, is the story of about Israeli adventurer Yossi Ghinsberg who got lost in an uncharted part of the Bolivian Amazon in 1981. The film already had been playing in theaters for two weeks when it was censored and removed. In addition to the main character in the film being Israeli, one of the film’s producers also is Israeli.
So you wanna boycott Israel?


The Dutch and Their Jews: The Never-Ending Shame of the Netherlands
Last month, a video showing a man waving a Palestinian flag and smashing the windows of a kosher Amsterdam restaurant went viral. Thereafter, two policemen — who stood by during the vandalism — overpowered the attacker.

Two days later, the attacker was freed by the police with a warning that if he committed additional crimes, he would be rearrested. Later, it became known that the perpetrator is a Palestinian-Syrian asylum-seeker who’s lived in the Netherlands for several years. He reportedly promised not to repeat his hate/terror crime in Amsterdam. The prosecution also withheld several salient facts from the public — for example, that the man was an ex-combatant in Syria’s civil war.

When the restaurant owner’s lawyer released this additional information, the prosecutor’s office said that it would seek disciplinary action against the lawyer. While the Palestinian Syrian was being investigated, the kosher restaurant was vandalized for a second time. Also, on New Year’s day, a rock destroyed the windows of the Chabad House in Central Amsterdam.

When the perpetrator of that attack came before the court, it was decided to request a psychological examination, which will take several months. In the meantime, the attacker will remain free. Michael Jacobs, a Jew, wasn’t so lucky. He was arrested for holding an Israeli flag on Amsterdam’s main square last summer because he stood too close to a pro-Palestinian demonstrator. Jacobs remained in jail for a full week. Yet there is nothing in the Dutch legal system which forbids his action.
Education Department Nominee Ken Marcus Is Being Treated Incredibly Unfairly
When I was a child — having been born in the 1950s, under the shadow of the Holocaust — I naively thought that antisemitism was mostly a thing of the past, and that it vanished in the gas chambers and ovens of Auschwitz. Yet within the past few decades, I have witnessed antisemitism blossom into a socially acceptable hatred that has managed to make its way into the corridors of polite society in a fashion that is as overt, obvious and unconcealed as it is alarming.

Antisemitism has migrated not only into college classrooms and campuses, but into the most respectable chambers of the US Senate, in the very committees whose mandate is to authorize and appropriate taxpayer-funded programs to eliminate racism and antisemitism as well as other hatreds –and to appoint professionals within those agencies.

Recently, much of this antisemitic invective has been directed against a colleague of mine, Ken Marcus, who has been nominated to serve as assistant secretary of education for civil rights within the Department of Education. For reasons that I will explain, Marcus has been the victim of an ugly and disgusting smear campaign.

Marcus served in a similar capacity from 2004-2008 under President George W. Bush, as assistant secretary of education for civil rights, and later as staff director of the US Commission on Civil Rights. He monitored and investigated complaints against minority groups, such as African Americans, Hispanics, Muslims, Jews, LGBTQ individuals and people with disabilities. A firm believer in free speech rights under the First Amendment, Marcus has always expressed the view that hate speech is protected speech under the Constitution, and that the best antidote for hate speech is more speech.
Dozens of Advocacy Groups Endorse Jewish Nominee for Top Education Department Civil Rights Post
Dozens of advocacy groups on Monday called for the confirmation of Kenneth Marcus — a leading figure in efforts to combat campus antisemitism — to a prominent civil rights post at the US Department of Education.

The founding president of the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law — which aims to fight anti-Jewish and anti-Israel discrimination in universities and colleges — Marcus was nominated to serve as assistant secretary at the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) under Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. He previously held the same position under President George W. Bush from 2003-2004.

Marcus’ record was strongly endorsed by 60 “Jewish, Christian, education and civil rights” organizations in a letter sent to members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, which is expected to consider his nomination this week.

The groups — representing “millions of your constituents” — praised Marcus’ protection of both civil liberties and free speech rights during a career that has included posts at the US Commission on Civil Rights and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

During his service, “Ken championed the civil rights of all Americans in a wide range of areas, including strengthening Title IX enforcement, fighting against racial segregation, increasing fair housing rights for the disabled, and ensuring that Jewish, Sikh and Muslim students were protected under Title VI,” the letter said.
BBC News continues to blame Palestinian violence on US
The report then went on to promote equivalence between the murder of an Israeli civilian in a terror attack and the deaths of Palestinians engaged in violent rioting and terrorism.

“At least 16 Palestinians and one Israeli have now been killed since 6 December, when President Donald Trump reversed decades of US policy by recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and starting preparations to move the US embassy.

Fourteen of the Palestinians have been killed in clashes with Israeli troops, while two have died as a result of Israeli air strikes in response to rocket fire from Gaza.”


The BBC refrained (once again) from informing readers that the two people who “died as a result of Israeli air strikes” were members of Hamas.

“In one of the IAF strikes late Friday on a Hamas base in Nusseirat, located in the central Gaza Strip, two Palestinians were killed. The Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza named the men as Mahmud al-Atal, 28 and Mohammed al-Safdi, 30. […]

The terror group later confirmed the dead men were members of its military wing.”


As we see the BBC continues to frame the recent rise in Palestinian violence as having been caused exclusively by the US Administration’s announcement recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel – rather than by the choices made by those throwing rocks and firebombs, launching missiles, stabbing a security guard at a bus station or shooting a volunteer first-aider on his way home.

At the same time, the corporation continues to refrain from producing any serious reporting on the long-standing efforts made by terror organisations to increase attacks (particularly in Judea & Samaria) and the incitement appearing in official PA media and on the social media of Palestinian factions.
Hamas ‘Hardtalk’ interview rebuts BBC messaging, perpetuates inaccuracies – part one
Sackur’s presentation of course would not have surprised anyone familiar with the BBC’s long history of promoting the ‘one man’s terrorist’ narrative that fails to distinguish between means and ends and results in inconsistent BBC reporting on terrorism in differing locations.

Another notable point was Sackur’s adoption of Hamas’ own terminology and his breach [from 20:09] of the BBC Academy’s “journalists’ guide to facts and terminology” which, as noted here recently on two occasions, instructs the corporation’s staff not to use the term Palestine except in very specific circumstances.

Sackur: “Is the resistance in Palestine now in the hands of ordinary people – young people particularly – not with veteran leaders like you?”

Viewers and listeners may have noticed that during this interview some of the messaging they have previously received from the BBC was contradicted.

For example, the BBC’s long-standing and repeated claim that the Gaza Strip is occupied even though Israel withdrew from the territory over twelve years ago was contradicted by Zahar [from 04:00].

Zahar: “But lastly, lastly by our method of self-resistance, self-defence against the occupation in Gaza we succeed[ed] to eliminate the occupation in Gaza.”
Hamas ‘Hardtalk’ interview rebuts BBC messaging, perpetuates inaccuracies – part two
As we saw in part one of this post, the January 8th edition of ‘Hardtalk‘ (aired on the BBC World News channel, the BBC News channel and on BBC World Service radio) was devoted to an interview with Hamas’ Mahmoud Zahar in which some of the messaging audiences have previously received from the BBC was contradicted.

Throughout the interview Zahar also promoted numerous falsehoods, smears and inaccuracies which went unchallenged by presenter Stephen Sackur – thereby leaving audiences with misleading impressions and false information.

1) Despite Hamas’ known misappropriation of thousands of tons of building materials intended for the repair and reconstruction of civilian homes damaged during the 2014 conflict and its spending of millions of dollars on tunnel construction and missile production rather than on public services for the impoverished residents of the Gaza Strip, Sackur failed to challenge Zahar’s claim that the poor quality of life in Gaza has nothing to do with Hamas “management”.

Zahar: “Yes, our life is very miserable – not because of bad management on our side but because of the crime committed by the Israeli occupation and by the cooperation of the Palestinian Authority with them and lastly by the impact of the international community, represented mainly by Mr Trump, against our human rights in the most important third shrine in Islam, al Aqsa Mosque.”
Student leaders to be taken to Auschwitz in bid to combat campus anti-Semitism
Student union leaders are set to be taken to visit Auschwitz to tackle anti-Semitism on campus, the Government has said.

Students from all 108 universities and university colleges in England are set to be taken to visit the former concentration camp to learn about the Holocaust as part of a Government-funded project.

The £144,000 programme has been announced amid concerns about high levels of anti-Semitism among university students.

Last month then-universities minister Jo Johnson said there were "unacceptable" levels of anti-Semitism among students.

Two sabbatical officers from each university will visit the former Nazi concentration camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland in trips run by the Holocaust Educational Trust.

Student leaders will then take part in seminars which will teach them how to identify and tackle antisemitism at their own university.

The Government said the original 200 student leaders were expected to pass their experience on to another 7,500 students across the country as part of a programme of events.
StandWithUs UK's Tamir Oren on Antisemitism on UK Campuses


Chelsea FC Launch Campaign to Tackle Anti-Semitism in Football
Chelsea Football Club is launching a campaign to fight anti-Semitism in football, targeting fans as well as players and the club’s support staff.

The long-term initiative begins on 31 January at Chelsea’s Premier League game against Bournemouth and forms part of what the club describes as “on-going inclusion work”, through the Chelsea Foundation’s Building Bridges campaign. The initiative is supported by the club’s owner, Roman Abramovich.

Chelsea Football Club wants to raise awareness of and educate players, staff, fans and the wider community about anti-Semitism in football.

The move follows anti-Semitic chants by Chelsea FC fans during their win at Leicester last September that were condemned by the club.

As Breitbart Jerusalem reported, on that occasion blues supporters repeated a song about Alvaro Morata previously used to abuse London rivals Tottenham, who have a large Jewish fanbase.

“Alvaro, Alvaro. He comes from Madrid. He hates the f****** Yids,” sang Chelsea supporters at the King Power Stadium.

“The club and the players appreciate the fans’ passionate support away from home, of course,” Chelsea head of communications Steve Atkins said in that game’s aftermath. “But the language in that song is not acceptable at all.”
‘You’re Not Going to Jew Us Down?’: US Reality TV Host’s Antisemitic Outburst Sparks Anger
The presenter of a top-rated US reality TV show is in the spotlight for using an antisemitic epithet during a scene in which a guest was challenged for not haggling over a price of $36,000.

In the most recent episode of the DIY Network‘s “Texas Flip N Move” — a reality show in which houses and other lodgings are refurbished and then “flipped” at a profit — that aired last Friday night, Jan. 12, presenter Toni Snow asked the guest whether he was going to “Jew us down” after she and her sister Donna informed him that $36,000 was their “price point” for a refurbished school bus.

After the delighted guest replied, “That’s a done deal right there, all day,” Toni Snow interjected: “You’re not even going to bicker a little bit? Jew us down?”

“Texas Flip N Move” is one of the DIY Network‘s leading shows, currently in its seventh season.

A spokesperson for the Anti-Defamation League roundly condemned the show, pointing out the connection between Toni Snow’s remark and the ancient antisemitic depiction of Jews as driven by financial greed.
Israeli tech firms raise $5.24 billion in 2017, up 9% from 2016
Israeli high-tech companies raised $5.24 billion in 620 deals in 2017, an increase of 9 percent compared to the $4.83 billion attracted in 2016, in 673 deals, Israel’s IVC Research Center and attorneys Zysman, Aharoni, Gayer & Co. (ZAG S&W) said in a report Wednesday.

The total capital raised by Israeli high-tech companies has been growing since 2013, the data showed. The jump in 2017 was fed by four large deals of over $100 million each, capturing 12 percent of the total amount raised. These were funds raised by cybersecurity startup Cybereason, ridesharing firm Via, AI- insurance firm Lemonade and Skybox Security.

The average financing round in 2017 rose to an average $8.5 million in 2017, from an average $3.6 million in 2013, the IVC-ZAG 2017 Israeli High-Tech Capital Raising Survey said.

Israeli VC funds invested $814 million in 2017, the highest sum since 2013, and an increase of 25 percent from $651 million in 2016, making up some 16 percent of all of the money raised by Israeli high-tech companies, with the other 84% of funds raised by foreign VCs and other investors, both Israeli and foreign.
#WeRemember Holocaust Remembrance Campaign Spreads to 45 Countries
Ahead of International Holocaust Remembrance Day on Jan. 27, the World Jewish Congress (WJC) has launched a global campaign encouraging millions of people to use social media to raise awareness about the Holocaust.

The campaign calls on people in every country to hold up a sign with the words “We Remember,” and post it on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #WeRemember.

The campaign took off last Monday and has already spread to 45 countries.

“Antisemitism is more prevalent today than it has been at any time since World War II, and bigotry and discrimination still rear their ugly heads all around the world,” said WJC CEO Robert Singer. “This is why we all must declare, together, that we remember.”

Holocaust survivors, lawmakers, government ministers and religious leaders from around the world, as well as soccer and basketball stars, have joined the project and have been photographed holding up “We Remember” signs.

WJC President Ronald Lauder said it was the responsibility of the young generation to teach their friends about the horrors of hatred and spread the message that “never again” means “never again.”
On Holocaust Remembrance Day, Israel to honor foreign diplomats who rescued Jews
In the summer of 1944, Albert Franko was being deported from the Nazi-occupied Greek city of Piraeus to Auschwitz, when suddenly he was taken off the train — because his wife was a Turkish citizen.

His life was saved due to the personal intervention of Selahattin Ülkümen, Turkey’s consul-general in Rhodes.

At his own initiative and with tenacious perseverance, Ülkümen saved some 50 Jews. Most of them weren’t Turkish citizens, but he told the Gestapo that Turkish law considers spouses of Turks to be citizens themselves, demanding their release. Survivors later realized that no such law existed, and that Ülkümen had invented it to save their lives.

Some 75 years later, Israel’s Foreign Ministry is honoring Ülkümen and 35 other foreign diplomats who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust with a monument at its Jerusalem headquarters and an exhibition to be displayed in more than 60 Israeli missions around the globe.

The exhibition, called “Beyond Duty,” pays tribute to the diplomats, hailing from 21 countries, who were recognized by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations.

“In a time of supreme moral testing and in the darkest hours of the Jewish people, these people acted by the dictate of their conscience in order to save Jews, without regard for personal and professional consequence,” said Ran Yaakoby, who spearheaded the project.
Part of the exhibition’s panel on Selahattin Ülkümen (courtesy Foreign Ministry)

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel is eternally grateful and will forever salute their courage and moral example,” said Yaakoby, the director of the ministry’s Department for Combating Anti-Semitism and Holocaust Remembrance.



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