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Thursday, March 30, 2017

From Ian:

Col Kemp: 'The Palestinians want to destroy Israel'
Retired British Army Colonel Richard Kemp: 'PA leadership talks about peace at the UN, but it educates its children to hate Israel.'
Colonel Richard Camp, who commanded the British forces in Afghanistan from 2003 until 2006, spoke with Channel 20 about the Arab-Israeli conflict.
"Israel, for many years now, has been subject to the greatest slur campaign in the history of the human race," Col. Kemp said.
"Many countries are saying, that if Israel, for example, ceased to 'occupy,' so-called, the 'West Bank', or ceased to have 'settlements' there then that will bring peace, it won't bring peace. All that the Palestinians want is the annihilation of Israel. The Palestinian leadership does not want a two state solution."
IsraellyCool: EXCLUSIVE FOOTAGE: Disgraceful Richard Falk Event
I was at the LSE for a book launch in honour of Richard Falk’s new book. The event, was the only university event on the tour not to cancel. It swiftly descended into a festival of Jew hatred. Gilad Atzmon, a notorious Jew baiter, turned up with his equally as disturbed mother, and Pam Arnold (aka Pam Hardyment), another person often caught spitting venom on camera. With the event hosted by ‘as a Jew’ Mary Kaldor, the Jewish members of the audience were caught between Falk and Atzmon. The Jews were blamed for the result. Jews were told to read Holocaust denier David Irving, they were told the Jews were expelled from Nazi Germany for misbehaving, and through all the provocation were ridiculed and shamed for the way they responded. Disturbing and exclusive footage.

Barry Shaw: The Anti-Semitism of the American Left
Remember the hysteria at the start of March over a wave of bomb threats to Jewish Community Centers and the desecration of graves in Jewish cemeteries?
The wild rhetoric put the blame on white supremacists, neo-Nazis, alt-right racists, anyone coming to the surface in the wake of Trump’s rise to power. This level of Jew-hatred could not be put at the feet of liberal progressives who are wedded to diversity, love, and peace.
One month later the perpetrators of many of the anti-Semitic acts are known to us so it is enlightening to learn who they are and why they did it.
Juan Thompson is an African-American journalist charged with cyber-stalking and a half dozen bomb threats against Jewish targets.
In Arizona, the case of a vandalized menorah twisted into the shape of a swastika was put down to an African-American teenager and some of his gang members.
A 65-year-old Hispanic man from Brooklyn, Pasquale Vargas, was charged with drawing swastikas in Penn Street Station.
Without Israel, there would have been no university education in Palestinian Authority areas.
Let`s ask some questions. Are there universities in the West Bank and Gaza? If so, who established the universities and when. How are Palestinian universities ranked as compared with their Arab counterparts.
The Ottoman Empire, actually Turkey, a Moslem State, occupied Palestine until 1917. Since Charles William Eliot, the president of Harvard University, who visited the country in 1867, and described the Galilee as a place of emptiness and misery and in his famous book “Innocents Abroad,” Mark Twain recalls not seeing a living soul throughout his journey, unsurprisingly, there were no Arab universities. The Jews, however, established the world famous Technion in Haifa in 1912.
The British controlled Palestine between 1917 and 1948. The Jews immediately established another university, the world famous Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1918. The Arabs? Nothing, as in: no Arab university.
Jordan, an Arab country, illegally occupied Judea and Samaria between 1948 and 1967, renaming this area the West Bank.
During this period, the Jordanians were careful and shrewd enough to forbid and prevent the establishment of any university in the West Bank. Yes, in 1967, when Israel regained Judea and Samaria, there were no universities in the West Bank. NOT ONE! Did anyone academically criticize or boycott Jordan? Of course not. When it comes to Israel, double standards are the order of the day.
Israel recovered Judea and Samaria in 1967. In 1970, Deputy Israeli Premier Yigal Allon, who was then Minister of Education, announced that he had approved the establishment of the first university in Ramallah in principle when approached by West Bank Arab leaders, including Dr. Salem Nashef, Dean of the Tulkarem Agricultural School.
Cecil B. DeMille Was Right
In every generation, one is obligated to see himself as if he had left Egypt.
–The Haggadah
In 1956, millions of Americans flooded cinemas to see the Exodus story brought to life in Cecil B. DeMille’s The Ten Commandments. Among those moviegoers were American Jews, who could not help but feel that the film spoke to them, personally and profoundly. When Charlton Heston’s Moses is asked whether he is ashamed upon learning he is not a prince of Egypt but rather a son of slaves, he responds: “If there is no shame in me, how can there be shame for the woman who bore me, or the race that bred me?”
In his book America’s Prophet: Moses and the American Story, Bruce Feiler recounts how in the 1950s DeMille had pleaded with Paramount Pictures to make a film about Moses but received only resistance, until its CEO Adolph Zukor, an assimilated Hungarian Jew, rebuked his Jewish colleagues: “We should get down on our knees and say thank you that he wants to make a picture on the life of Moses.” At a time when “many Jews still struggled with assimilation,” Fieler notes, “Moses’s open embrace of his faith was a powerful statement of self-confidence.”
For many Orthodox Jewish immigrants, recently arrived on American shores, assimilation was out of the question. Yet many of them also went to see the film, in the knowledge that there was a deep connection between their own faith and the culture of the American society that they had just joined. This belief was reinforced in the film’s prologue, in which DeMille himself appeared on screen and addressed the audience. “Ladies and gentlemen, this may seem an unusual procedure, speaking to you before the picture begins,” DeMille said. “The theme of this picture is whether men ought to be ruled by God’s law or whether they are to be ruled by the whims of a dictator like Rameses. Are men the property of the state, or are they free souls under God? The same battle continues throughout the world today.”
To these religious Jews, recently arrived in America, this message was remarkable; one of the screen’s legendary directors, the man who helped found Hollywood itself by making a film there in 1913, was telling them that America owed its greatness to the Jewish Passover story.
DeMille was right.
Ken Livingstone mouths off about Hitler. Again
Ken Livingstone will find out in a few hours’ time whether he’s been permanently booted out of the Labour party for mouthing off about Hitler. So, how is he spending the hours before the verdict is in? Well, by mouthing off about Hitler – obviously.
Outside the hearing where he will discover his fate, the former Mayor of London has been up to his usual tricks — giving any one who will listen a lecture on why Adolf Hitler was a Zionist. This time, Ken has been explaining how the SS set up training camps for German Jews. Here’s what he said:
‘The SS set up training camps so that German Jews, who were going to go there, could be trained to cope with a very different sort of country when they got there. When the Zionist movement asked would the Nazi government stop a Jewish Rabbi from doing their services in Yiddish and make them do it in Hebrew, he agreed to that.
They passed a law that said only the Zionist flag and the swastika are the only flags that could be flown in Germany. And then, of course, they started selling pistols to the underground Jewish army. So you had, right up until the start of the second world war, real collaboration. And when, in July 1937, many senior Nazis gathered at their foreign office saying they should stop sending Jews to…because it could create a Jewish state, in the middle of that meeting a directive comes specifically form Hitler saying no – we will continue with this policy.’

Ken then finished his history lesson by saying that ‘everyone who studies history just knows this is true’. Given that Ken cited Wikipedia in his written submission to the hearing, Mr S isn’t so sure he is the best person to ask. However, one thing is for sure: whether he manages to cling on or not, Ken is determined not to learn his lesson.
Red Ken talks about Hitler - again

Livingstone still refuses to believe anti-Semitism is possible on left
Most Jews are cast by Livingstone as enemies of the Party, like Tories and like ‘Blairites’. In a reversal of the Macpherson Principle, Livingstone denounces the community which says it experiences racism as dishonest and self-serving. In a perversion of the Macpherson Principle, he offers a series of ‘as a Jew’ references from the tiny minority who support him; they parade their Jewish identities in their eagerness to give evidence against the mainstream of the Jewish community.
Livingstone’s defence relies on a stubborn refusal to allow that anti-Semitism is possible on the left. He refuses to make a distinction between anti-Semitism and criticism of Israel; nothing is considered anti-Semitic, everything is considered legitimate criticism.
For Livingstone, these denials and counter-accusations in the face of the issue of anti-Semitism define him as being on the side of the angels; anyone who sees it differently is accused of making ‘vile, malicious, and public smears’. Anti-Semitic speech is defended; those who oppose it are portrayed as enemies of the Party.
On the question of Hitler ‘supporting Zionism’, Livingstone stamps his feet like a very little boy and clings onto the insistence that he did nothing wrong. But we know that Zionism was a response to anti-Semitism while Hitler was a supporter of anti-Semitism; Zionism sought to create a means of Jewish self-defence while Hitler sought to murder every last Jew. He was not a supporter of Zionism.
The overwhelming majority of Jewish people identify, in one way or another, with Israel. Livingstone’s career-long campaign of accusing Jews of being like Nazis is disgraceful and anti-Sememitic; it done in the full knowledge that this accusation is experienced as Jew-baiting.
Baroness Warsi: British volunteers in IDF should be prosecuted
The woman who was once the most prominent Muslim politician in Britain, Baroness Warsi, was back in the headlines today with an interview in which she called for British volunteers for the Israeli army to be treated as foreign fighters and prosecuted on their return to the UK.
Lady Warsi, who resigned from the government as Foreign Office minister during the Gaza War in 2014, saying its policy on Gaza was “morally indefensible”, has now published a book, “The Enemy Within”, which was launched on Wednesday night.
The one-time chairman of the Conservative Party gave an interview to Middle East Eye (MEE) to launch the book, in which she said that there were two different narratives, relating to Muslims who went to fight for non-state groups and militant organisations, and British citizens who volunteered to fight for Israel.
She complained of a “loophole designed to protect Israel” and said that “the only reason we allow the loophole to exist is because of the IDF, because we are not brave enough to say, if you hold British citizenship, you make a choice. You fight for our state only. That has to go out strong [sic].”
Those who went out to fight for groups, Lady Warsi claimed, were prosecuted on their return. She felt the same should apply to those who fought for state armies such as Israel’s.
Public debate, she believed, focused “exclusively on demanding loyalty from British Muslims, the same rule should apply to all. Let’s shut down this loophole. If you don’t fight for Britain, you do not fight.”
Ken Loach calls for bishop's block on Jackie Walker meeting to be reversed
Ken Loach, the award-winning filmmaker, has claimed a decision to cancel a talk by activist Jackie Walker after an intervention by the Episcopalian Bishop of Edinburgh was the result of action by “Zionist individuals” aiming to stop criticism of the Israeli state.
Mr Loach, a vociferous critic of Israel in the past, also claimed that “exaggerated and spurious” allegations of antisemitism were being used against pro-Palestinian campaigners in Scotland.
The I, Daniel Blake director, who is a supporter of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, joined actress Miriam Margolyes and Scottish activists to sign an open letter published by the Scottish Herald on Tuesday calling on the Episcopalian Bishop John Armes to the reverse the decision to stop Ms Walker from appearing at a Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign event at a church hall in Edinburgh on Monday.
In the letter, Mr Loach and the other signatories wrote: “ We regard this as a serious breach of the right to freedom of speech in Scotland.
"It is now becoming clear that Zionist individuals and organisations in Scotland are working hard to stifle all debate on the war crimes and human rights abuses of the Israeli State.
"Bishop Armes should be aware that Zionists comprise only a small minority of Scottish Jews and certainly do not represent the Jewish community in Scotland."
The response to the Westminster attack has been predictably farcical
As for the traditional good news stories, this time they trod upon each other’s heels, so fast they followed. I was struck by the number of Muslim good news stories, of course. Today’s Muslim good news stories refers to a commemoration on Westminster bridge. As the BBC news story relates:
‘Police officers and hundreds of members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association are among those expected to join together on Westminster Bridge to mark the attack.’
Thus ticking two boxes at once. Yes, that’s right, the most persecuted and peaceful sect within Islam are once again front and centre, reminding the public of the good that Muslims can do and simultaneously (though doubtless with the best intentions) helping to obscure part of the problem. One presumes that the Salafi and Wahhabi Youth Associations of the UK are busy. And perhaps the Iranian groups which hold the annual ‘Al-Quds day’ hatefest in London only have one day’s marching in them each year.
But it isn’t just Muslim good news stories that have proliferated this time, but almost any good news stories. I am increasingly struck by this. I recently read an interview with a Jewish student who mentioned in passing how important it is to make ‘something good’ come from the Holocaust. My reaction then – as always – is ‘why?’ Whose reaction to the industrial-scale slaughter of millions of people is ‘How can I feel better about things in the wake of this? I mean, this whole Holocaust thing is one serious downer.’ A similar scent is in the air in the wake of the Westminster terror attack. In studio discussions among others in recent days I have been very struck by the popularity of any sentiment which talks about the ‘good’ that has already, or must, come from this.
Again, this seems to me a very strange, self-absorbed and unhealthy way to approach the world. Three people were killed when they were mown down by a man in a car. Many others were wounded. PC Keith Palmer was then stabbed to death. Whose reaction to this is ‘we must get some good out of this?’ And not just within days, but within hours? Tales of ‘unity’, and ‘coming together’ and so on are all very well. But the desperation for them, and the desperation to report them leave an unpleasant taste to me at any rate. Perhaps the swiftness of the news cycle’s turn from tragedy to good news in hours is the reason that only a week on from the attacks, and with the dead still not buried, the attack feels like it’s old news.
Clifford D. May: A bloody day in London town
"The kafir's blood is halal for you, so shed it." That's just one of the catchier headlines in a recent issue of Rumiyah, a slick online magazine published by the Islamic State group.
A "kafir," of course, is a non-Muslim. "Halal" means religiously permissible. As for Rumiyah, that's Arabic for Rome, one of the Christian capitals that the leaders of Islamic State hope to conquer. (The other great Christian capital, Constantinople, fell to soldiers of the caliphate in 1453. It's now called Istanbul.)
Was Khalid Masood -- the convert to Islam who last week staged a terrorist attack at London's Houses of Parliament, seat and symbol of British democracy -- a reader of Rumiyah? If so, he might have been inspired by an article late last year urging people like him to do precisely what he did: drive a vehicle into a crowd of non-Muslims, "smashing their bodies with the vehicle's strong outer frame while advancing forward -- crushing their heads, torsos, and limbs under the vehicle's wheels and chassis." Masood then exited the vehicle and stabbed a police officer -- a tactic used frequently against Israelis in recent years.
The Western response to such atrocities has become ritualistic. The police say they are investigating and are uncertain about the perpetrator's motive. Foreign heads of state condemn the attack, offer condolences and pledge solidarity. Leaders of the nation attacked defiantly announce that life will go on and no one will be intimidated.
Next, comes the debate over whether Islam should be implicated or vindicated. In this instance, a conservative MP, Michael Tomlinson, asked Prime Minister Theresa May whether she agreed that the term "Islamic terror" was inappropriate.
Alan Dershowitz: The Bigotry of "Intersectionality"
There is no more evidence that Jews are responsible for economic or social inequality in contemporary America, than there was for Jews being responsible for any of the other crimes that formed the basis for traditional blood libels. Indeed, Jews disproportionately support racial equality and other liberal causes. Most successful Jews, like most successful people of other religions and ethnicities, earned this success by hard work, not special privilege.
The linking of unrelated "victimizations," despite their tenuous connections, is reflective of a broader trend in hard-left politics, whereby increasingly, radical activists demand that the demonization of "Zionists"—often used as a euphemism for Jews – be included, indeed featured, in the package of causes that must to be embraced by anyone claiming the label of "progressive." Lumping seemingly disparate groups under the "umbrella of oppression" leads to the forming of alliances between causes that at best, have nothing to do with each other, and at worst, are averse to one another's stated mission. Their only common feature is that to join, they must demonize the nation state of the Jewish people.
The essence of anti-Semitism is the bigoted claim that if there is a problem, then Jews must be its cause. Hitler started by blaming Jews for Germany's economic downturn. Today, many hard-left activists explicitly or implicitly blame Jews and Zionists for many of the evils of the world. All decent people must join in calling out intersectionality for what it is: a euphemism for anti-American, anti-Semitic and anti- Israel bigotry. Exposing and condemning "intersectionality" for the bigotry that it represents is critical to ensuring that those repressive extremists, who falsely claim the mantle of progressivism, are not able to hijack important liberal causes in support of their own bigoted agenda.
Discordant sounds in Copenhagen
The report this week that organizers of the Copenhagen Jazz Festival refused to add an artist from Israel to their lineup should have been nothing more than a repeat of similar refusals in the past. This, of course, was not the first time an Israeli has faced a boycott. The honest and direct explanation festival organizers provided, however, was rare and therefore shocking.
"For political reasons, we are not presenting artists from Israel," the message read in black and white. It has been a while since we have seen such vitriol, which is comparable to a punch in the face. It would be no exaggeration to say that this outburst of hate is reminiscent of the "whites only" signs in the days of South African apartheid.
Ever since the Western world adopted the principles of political correctness, the rules of accepted discourse have changed beyond recognition. Entire groups once accustomed to being the subject of libel and slander were now suddenly protected. Now, anyone who dares to speak ill of women, those with dark skin, immigrants, religious minorities or others is publicly shamed. Of course, hatred of the other has not disappeared, but the outward expressions are for a large part hidden from the public sphere. There is only one exception -- the hatred of Jews. It seems one can in fact exhibit attitudes of contempt and disdain toward Jewish individuals or the Jewish people in general, as long as you use the correct terminology: Instead of the word "Jew," you need to use the word "Israeli."
Knesset to ban MK trips funded by pro-BDS groups
Lawmakers will no longer be allowed to accept funding for overseas trips by organizations that support the movement to boycott Israel, that deny the Holocaust, or that call for the destruction of Israel.
The head of the Knesset House Committee, Yaakov Kisch (Likud), has laid out the new guidelines for the Knesset’s Ethics Committee, telling it to block MKs from receiving funding for overseas trips from certain types of groups, Channel 2 reported Wednesday.
Until now the Knesset has approved trips almost automatically. The Ethics Committee is only supposed to ensure lawmakers are not being funded for private business trips.
However, after Channel 2 reported in December that the committee had approved a trip by MKs to Australia despite the fact that the bogus organization that ostensibly invited them does not exist or even have a website, the House Committee met to discuss the role of the Ethics Committee.
Georgetown University and Radical Islamists: It's a Family Affair
Georgetown University's Qatar campus is set to host Sami Al-Arian for a lecture tonight in Doha. According to a news release from the school's Middle Eastern Studies Student Association, Al-Arian is a "civil rights activist" who hopes to challenge students to "make it a better, and more equitable and peaceful world."
Those are charitable descriptions for Al-Arian, a documented member of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad's Majlis Shura, or board of directors. According to the Islamic Jihad's bylaws, which law enforcement agents found during searches of Al-Arian's home and offices, there can be "No Peace without Islam." The group's objective is to create "a state of terror, instability and panic in the souls of Zionists and especially the groups of settlers, and force them to leave their houses."
It's an agenda Al-Arian took to heart. Following a double suicide bombing in 1995 that killed 19 Israelis, Al-Arian solicited money from a Kuwaiti legislator. "The latest operation, carried out by the two mujahideen who were martyred for the sake of God, is the best guide and witness to what they believing few can do in the face of Arab and Islamic collapse at the heels of the Zionist enemy..." he wrote.
"I call upon you to try to extend true support of the jihad effort in Palestine so that operations such as these can continue, so that the people do not lose faith in Islam and its representatives..." he wrote. Four years earlier, he spoke at a fundraiser in Cleveland, introduced as the head of the "active arm of the Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine."
Pro-Hamas Conference in Netherlands Could Encourage Antisemitism and Terrorism
The mayor of the second-largest city in the Netherlands is refusing to block a conference by a pro-Hamas group, despite warnings from Dutch Jewish leaders and political figures that the event could encourage antisemitism and embolden terrorists.
The Palestinian Return Centre (PRC), which is regarded by the Israeli and German governments as a support group for Hamas, plans to hold its annual “Palestinians in Europe” conference on April 15 in Rotterdam.
Netherlands Chief Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs told that he is “very concerned” that the conference “will incite antsemitism or pro-terrorist sentiment” in the country, particularly among the country’s rapidly growing community of ethnic Turks. Jacobs said that the PRC’s activities are “just like the ‘Denk’ party, whose three seats in the new parliament look small, but is the beginning, God forbid, of a direction which we don’t want to go.” The Denk party, which chiefly represents Dutch citizens of Turkish origin, is harshly anti-Israel.
On March 11, a mob of militant Dutch Turks yelled “Cancer Jews” as they rioted outside the Turkish consulate in Amsterdam. They were protesting the Dutch government’s refusal to let a Turkish cabinet minister campaign in the country for an upcoming referendum in Turkey.
Ireland: Undermining Academia, Implementing Anti-Semitism
It has from the beginning been designed to denounce Israel as an illegal state, all under the cover of supposed neutral academic inquiry.
It is not, however, in the least surprising that an Irish government would pass a motion like that so wholeheartedly. After all, links with the PLO and other terrorist groups were connived at or even encouraged by the Irish government itself.
The conference put itself in the welcoming hands of the city council, a body thoroughly in agreement with the aims of the event, to find spurious legal arguments for the delegitimization and eventual destruction of Israel.
New York Times Lets Slip a Secret: The Identity of the Entity Really Blockading Gaza
“Killing of a Hamas Leader Could Signal a New Conflict With Israel” is the headline over a New York Times news article.
Well, it “could,” or it could not, but the Times is speculating away nonetheless.
The more newsworthy aspect of the article concerns the steps that the Hamas-led government in Gaza is taking to try to prevent the escape of the assassin.
The Times reports:
Gaza’s Interior Ministry has taken the extraordinary measure of closing border crossings with Egypt and Israel to anyone except for patients needing medical treatment, the families of prisoners in Israeli jails or ministers in the Palestinian government…. The authorities also closed Gaza’s small port on the Mediterranean coast, barring fishermen from setting sail, as there was speculation that the assassin, or assassins, may have escaped by sea.
Well, that will come as interesting — and new — news to New York Times readers, who are regularly being falsely told by their newspaper that Gaza is under an “Israeli blockade.”
SUCCESS: HR Prompts The Australian to Correct Headline Fail
On Wednesday afternoon, Israeli border guards shot dead a woman who attempted to stab them outside Damascus Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City. No border guards were injured in the attack.
This was The Australian‘s headline for its story taken from the Associated Press:
Shortly following the publication of this post and direct communication with The Australian, the headline was amended to the following:
"Israeli police shoot dead female attacker"
Thanks to The Australian for responding so quickly.
Did the Independent just publish a fake Ben-Gurion quote? (Update)
UPDATE: Following this post, we reached out to the Ben-Gurion Archives. The archivist we spoke to never heard of the quote. We also spoke to Zaki Shalom, Senior Research Fellow at The Institute for National Security Studies, and author of Ben-Gurion’s Political Struggles, 1963-1967: A Lion in Winter. Shalom also never heard of the quote.
Additionally, we contacted Ben-Gurion biographer Anita Shapira, who told us in an email that the quote seemed “implausible”.
Finally, we emailed Hirsh Goodman, who stands by his recollection, but declined, when asked, to provide any further details on the interview, such as the name of the radio station or the name of the interviewer.
British teens fined for stealing artifacts from Auschwitz
Two British teens who tried to steal items from the site of the Auschwitz-Birkenau museum appeared in a Polish court and were fined.
The teens, both 19 and from Hertfordshire in England, were 17 in June 2015 when the incident occurred.
Museum guards stopped them while they were on a trip with the private Perse School in Cambridge. The teens were found to have hidden in their bags fragments of a hair clipper, glass from the barracks and buttons taken from the area of the former Birkenau camp called “Canada,” where during the war stood warehouses filled with items looted from Jews.
The teens initially pleaded guilty and were levied a fine as punishment. They were allowed to return to Cambridge.
Later, the teens’ attorneys withdrew their admission of guilt, saying they were not aware that the items had special cultural significance.
Anti-Semitic flyers distributed in Arizona
Flyers accusing Jews of creating anti-Semitic hoaxes were left in neighborhoods of Scottsdale, Arizona.
The flyers reference the fact that a teen in Israel, believed to be Jewish, was arrested in connection with the threats made to nearly 150 Jewish community centers and Jewish institutions in the U.S. “Why do Jews feel the need to create fake anti-Semitism hoaxes?” the flyer reads, and directs people to the website of the neo-Nazi and white supremacist Daily Stormer website.
The flier also features a cartoon of a man with a very large and slightly hooked nose wearing a hat and trench coat spray painting a swastika on the side of a building with the caption “Hey Rabbi. Watcha’ Doing?”
ADL Arizona tweeted a photo of one of the flyers and said: “We r disgusted by anti-Semitic flyers left in Scottsdale neighborhoods this morning. We r reaching out 2 law enforcement.”
How a Canadian comic set up a combination pop-up store/Holocaust museum
Nathan Fielder, a Canadian comedian, is known best for his Comedy Central show Nathan for You.
But the 34-year-old Vancouver native held a slightly different event this week, setting up a temporary “pop-up” store for his outdoor apparel brand with a Holocaust awareness theme – and donating $150,000 to the Vancouver Holocaust Education Center.
It all started back in 2015, when Fielder was still regularly wearing a jacket made by Taiga, a Vancouver-based sportswear company; he can be seen in it in many of his show’s early episodes.
But then Fielder, who is Jewish, discovered that the company had published a tribute in its catalogue in 2001 to Doug Collins, a Holocaust-denying Canadian journalist. The company wrote that the notorious Holocaust denier should be “admired, however grudgingly, for his lion’s courage in asserting and defending the rights of free opinion and free speech in these wimpy politically correct times.”
Fielder stopped wearing the jackets and launched his own outerwear company, called Summit Ice. According to the company’s website, Summit Ice is a “not-for-profit company dedicated to producing quality outdoor apparel and raising awareness of the Holocaust.”
IsraellyCool: A UN Report That Paints Israel In A Positive Light!
It’s true: The UN just released its annual Human Development Report, which ranks where people live long, healthy lives (i.e. the countries that are best to live in). Analyzing 195 countries across a number of categories such as life expectancy, education, gender equality, and financial wealth, here are the countries that scored the highest:
That’s Israel in 19th place, ahead of Luxembourg, France and Belgium.
It makes sense; we already saw this month that Israel ranked 9th out of 163 countries in the Bloomberg Global Health Index, and 11th out of 150 countries in the World Happiness Report.
But it is surprising, given this is a UN report.
The Slovakian President's secret
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and his wife, Nechama, held a state dinner Wednesday night for the President of the Slovak Republic, Andrei Kiske.
President Kiske said, "When I was 27, I moved to the US. My wife stayed behind with the children, and when I did not find work as an engineer I found work at a gas station [instead]. My boss was a Ukrainian Jew I saw how the Jewish community was united. And when I returned home to Slovakia, I also asked myself: why not become a Jew?"
"I truly admired this community and it had a great impact on my life. When I visit here I see this community, and the greatest inspiration I get here is from the way you talk about your problem - by working with passion to find a solution for those problems. You work hard and you know you can do it," he added.
Kiske continued: "The big challenge is how to make these dreams a reality. What can we do when we see that the world is becoming more radical, more dangerous? And the answer is that we have to stand together behind our values."
At the end of his speech, the President of Slovakia invited President Rivlin to visit his country to "discuss our values together, for the sake of the young people in both countries."
Israel second to US for cyber-defender firms
Israel has the second highest concentration of cyber-defense companies in the world after the United States, a new report shows.
The report by New York data firm CB Insights lists the nine most influential sectors of cyber-security innovation in 2017 and the 30 startups that have pioneering technology and the potential to shape the future of cyber-security.
The tech companies were assessed on a number of categories, including quantum encryption, deception security, automobile security, Internet of Things security, cyber insurance, mobile security, autonomous systems, critical infrastructure security and predictive intelligence.
Three Israel-based companies are mentioned in the report.
Israel wants to export mandarin oranges… to China!
Call it chutzpah or call it marketing savvy – either way, Israel’s Plant Production and Marketing Board believes Chinese consumers are a ripe market for the easy-peeling Jaffa Orri premium mandarin orange.
Food historians pinpoint China as one of the first places to cultivate mandarin oranges (Citrus reticulate) about 4,000 years ago. The name of this sweet little fruit is taken from a group of high-ranking public officials in imperial China who wore orange robes and hats decorated with a button that resembled the fruit.
So why would China want Israeli mandarins? There are at least three very good reasons.
First, though China is the number one grower of citrus worldwide (20 million tons in 2016), it also imported 21,000 tons of mandarin oranges in the 2015-16 season, an increase of 10 percent over the previous year.
Israel's defense exports up 14% in 2016, contracts come to $6.5B
Israel’s defense exports in 2016 totaled $6.5 billion, a 14% increase compared with $5.7 billion in 2015, the Defense Ministry said Wednesday.
Data released by the ministry's International Defense Cooperation Authority showed some 20% of defense exports involved companies upgrading airplanes and avionics systems, optoelectronics, missiles, rockets, and air defense systems.
The report noted that Asian and Pacific nations continued to be a primary market for Israel's defense industry, with deals worth $2.6 billion signed throughout 2016, marking a $300 million increase from 2015.
An increase in defense exports was also noted in the European, North American, Latin American and African markets.
Brig. Gen. (res.) Michel Ben-Baruch, who heads the International Defense Cooperation Authority, told the financial daily Globes that "the growth in defense exports reflects the global emergence from recession, especially in European and North American countries, which has resulted in an increase in defense budgets in response to growing defense challenges, following years of worldwide defense budget cuts."

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United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres' speech at the Arab Summit was not nearly as bad as the one by Federica Mogherini that was the subject of the previous post.

Unlike Mogherini, Guterres put the Palestinian issue in context of the much larger problems in the region. To be sure he did spend a bit of time on it and toed the official UN line that settlements are the major obstacle to peace and that Palestinian Arab "humiliation" is a major crime.  But he also mentioned Arab incitement and terrorism against Israel to an Arab audience, something that Ban Ki Moon wouldn't have done.

It is far from perfect but it is much better than we've seen from the UN in a long time.

One section of his speech was a little jarring.
My experience as High Commissioner for Refugees showed me the true nature of Islam, as Arab countries extended remarkable hospitality to wave upon wave of people fleeing violence and persecution.

Refugee protection is deeply rooted in the traditions of the Arabian peninsula -- refugee protection defined not only for Muslims but for all.

As the Holy Koran tells us in the Surah Al-Tawbah: “And if anyone of the disbelievers seeks your protection then grant him protection so that he may hear the word of God, and then escort him to where he will be secure”.

What a remarkable example of tolerance, compassion and modernity.

There is nothing in present-day international refugee law that was not reflected in the Holy Koran or the Hadith of the Prophet, Peace Be Upon Him.
The verse he cites comes right after this one:
  When the Sacred Months have passed, kill the polytheists wherever you find them. And capture them, and besiege them, and lie in wait for them at every ambush. But if they repent, and perform the prayers, and pay the alms, then let them go their way. God is Most Forgiving, Most Merciful.
Is this the "tolerance, compassion and modernity" that Guterres is referring to? Does international law now allow for the beheadings of unbelievers?

Although some disagree, I read this chapter as saying that the Muslims must treat those seeking asylum with respect only as long as they either become Muslim or bow to Muslim supremacy as dhimmis. I do not believe that they would be escorted peacefully to security if they reject Islam.

This doesn't sound very tolerant. But I'm not a human rights expert like so many who fall over themselves to say how wonderful Islam is.

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 Vic Rosenthal's Weekly Column

So we are sitting around the Seder table with our American Uncle Max and he says, 

[I] remain convinced that a two-state solution is the only outcome that would quell ongoing incidents of violence, maintain Israel as a secure, Jewish and democratic state, and provide a just and stable future for the Palestinians.

Having had the traditional four cups of wine, my first, immediate reaction would be to say something about 1993 calling and wanting its policy back. But actually this and other surprisingly stupid things appeared in a letter signed by 191 members of the US Congress, read at AIPAC by Nancy Pelosi, and sent to Donald Trump.

Many things have happened in the past 24 years, both in the US and especially in the Middle East, but for these (mostly Democratic) lawmakers, nothing has changed. One wonders exactly what could happen that would change their minds, which seem to have accepted the necessity of an additional partition of the land of Israel as an article of faith.

My second thought is an almost overwhelming feeling of fatigue over the fact that this irrational and dangerous idea will not go away, and that I am yet again forced to argue about it.

So, pay attention, Uncle Max. I am not going to repeat this like the verses of had gadya.

First, there won’t be a “2-state solution.” The Palestinian leadership and man-in-the-street will not agree to anything acceptable to Israel. They have already rejected deals that were better than what Israel would offer today. Their conditions, including the right of return for millions of descendents of Arab refugees and the expulsion of Jewish residents of Judea/Samaria, will always be unacceptable.

But even if some kind of agreement were reached with the PA/PLO, why would we expect them to adhere to it? They have broken countless promises made in the framework of the Oslo agreements, including essential ones like ending official incitement and changing the PLO charter; and they have an ideological/religious mandate to break promises on the smallest of pretexts.

But even if the signers of the agreement did not break it, what guarantee is there that their successors – who could represent Hamas or even more militant radical Islamists – would honor it? If they didn’t, the only option for Israel would be war. 

In this connection, it’s interesting that 2-staters often say that “Mahmoud Abbas is the most ‘moderate’ PLO leader,” and that therefore we should get an agreement with him before he is replaced and it is too late. But this is exactly why an agreement with him will be worthless.

But even if Abbas’ successors did not break the agreement, an additional partition of the land of Israel more or less along the Green Line would restore Israel’s pre-1967 indefensible eastern boundary. In addition to the absurdity of reversing the outcome and punishing the winner of a defensive war, it would leave the most populated parts of Israel vulnerable both to terrorism from the high ground in Judea and Samaria, and invasion from the east.

At this point I get my relief map of Israel off the wall and wave it under Uncle Max’s nose. How is it possible to defend Tel Aviv and Ben-Gurion Airport from short-range rocket and mortar attacks when terrorists can sit on commanding hills only a few miles away? How can Israel prevent the introduction of weapons and terrorists into these areas if it doesn’t control the Jordan Valley to the east? There are five mountain passes across the Judean and Samarian hills. With Iran controlling more and more territory in Iraq and the unstable country of Jordan tottering, what will prevent Iranian forces from reaching them?

John Kerry in 2014 suggested implementing American-assisted security arrangements that would theoretically protect Israel while allowing Palestinian sovereignty in most of the territories. But former Defense Minister and Chief of Staff Moshe Ya’alon considered the plan ludicrous, and “not worth the paper it was printed on.” Others have since come up with more sophisticated plans, but Israel is loathe to depend on high-tech sensors, Palestinian cooperation, or (especially) foreign troops. We also need to keep in mind that future American administrations might be even less friendly than the previous one. Only Israel can defend Israel.


“But it’s Palestinian land. There’s an international consensus. The settlers are motivated by extremist religious ideas, says Uncle Max.”

Wrong. According to the Palestine Mandate, whose guarantee to the Jewish people is still in force, it’s Jewish land. And the border of Israel legitimately extends to the Jordan River. The “international consensus” is a consensus between the Islamic bloc and the Europeans, both of whom are offended by the idea of a sovereign Jewish state. Both the Muslims and the Europeans, although in different ways, are no less “religious” in their convictions than the observant residents of the territories. The “consensus” is no more than a correspondence of racist anti-Jewish attitudes.

“But wait. Most Israeli Jews support the 2-state solution.”

No they don’t! A new poll shows that there has been a large decrease in support for a withdrawal from Judea and Samaria – from 60% in 2005, when Israel withdrew from Gaza, to 36% in 2017. Apparently Israeli Jews learned something from the Gaza experience.

“But,” Max continues, “the alternative to two states is one state, and Israel can’t absorb all those Arabs and still be Jewish and democratic.”

Wrong. There is no exhaustive dichotomy. Who said Israel has to absorb them? Who said there has to be a sovereign Palestinian state in almost all of Judea and Samaria? How about creating an autonomous territory in a contiguous part of the area – like Puerto Rico is to the US – where the population votes in local but not national elections, and in which external security is provided by the sovereign? That’s just one of many possibilities. Sure, working out the details would be complicated, but no more complicated than the “security arrangements” John Kerry tried to foist on us. And although some Arabs and some Jews might have to move, it would be far less traumatic than the massive expulsion of Jews that is envisaged under a 2-state plan.

“I don’t know,” he says. “There must be a way to make 2-states work.”

No, there isn’t, and that is exactly the problem. You are searching for an answer to the wrong question, one that does not have an answer. The real issue isn’t how to partition the land of Israel yet again. It’s how to guarantee the security of the state and its citizens within its rational, legitimate and defensible borders.

It’s time to say “dayenu” to the 2-state solution. The starting point must be defensible borders, not a Palestinian state.

Of course the Palestinians would find this approach unacceptable, but they also find any 2-state deal that doesn’t provide for the ultimate replacement of the Jewish state with an Arab one equally unacceptable. So why does it matter?

Why do you think we followed Moshe out of comfortable Egypt and into the desert, Uncle Max? It wasn’t in order to create ‘Palestine’!

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From Ian:

Nikki Haley Slams BDS Movement at UN: It Is Rooted in ‘Ancient Hatred,’ Has No Connection to ‘Justice’
Haley, who was the first governor to sign legislation to combat the BDS movement, has been an outspoken supporter of Israel in her brief time as ambassador to the U.N. and was a crowd favorite Monday when she spoke at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee's annual policy conference.
"The days of Israel bashing [at the U.N.] are over," Haley said at AIPAC to huge applause.
During her remarks Wednesday, Haley took on the BDS movement, which has gained traction on many Western college campuses, including in the United States.
"The effort to delegitimize the state of Israel being waged on college campuses and the anti-Israel obsession at the UN are one in the same," she said. "They both seek to deny Israel's right to exist."
"They are both efforts to intimidate her friends and embolden her enemies," Haley continued. "They are both extensions of an ancient hatred."
Haley called it "tragic" that the U.N. and many human rights activists devote much of their energy to targeting Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East, when authoritarian states around the world are committing human rights abuses.
"And how tragic is it that of all countries in the world to condemn for human rights violations, these voices choose to single out Israel, " Haley said. "We should boycott North Korea. We should sanction Iran. We should divest from Syria. Not Israel."
"It makes absolutely no sense. And it has no connection to any reasonable definition of justice," she added.

Why Israelis believe BDS is antisemitic, explained in 60 seconds.
Eylon Levy is an anchor and correspondent for Israeli i24 News and someone with unique insight into the malevolence of the BDS movement. As we noted on these pages at the time, in 2013 at Oxford University, then MP George Galloway was about to participate in a debate with Eylon Aslan-Levy, who was then a student, on the motion: ‘Israel should withdraw immediately from the West Bank’. However, once Galloway discovered that Aslan-Levy was an Israeli citizen, he stormed off the stage and said: “I don’t recognize Israel and I don’t debate with Israelis”.
Galloway was, in effect, indicating that his support for BDS rendered six million Jews beyond the moral pale.
Here’s the Israeli journalist today with a short but extremely effective response to those who ask why Israelis believe BDS is antisemitic.

Israeli UN Ambassador Danny Danon at Anti-BDS Conference: Threat Lies in Movement’s Ability to Cower Us Into Silence
Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon told participants at a conference against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement Wednesday that, despite the victories of the pro-Israel movement, “The real danger of BDS is not in [its] numbers…but in its ability to cower us into silence.”Thus, he said — during the second annual “Ambassadors Against BDS” conference at the UN’s General Assembly Hall in New York City — “The fight goes on…We cannot rest even for a moment.”
“We need you,” he appealed to the audience. “My friends, you must remember that silence is weakness. Silence is defeat.”
Danon described a “disturbing and troubling trend of increased antisemitic incidents throughout the world,” and sympathized with students who face BDS on campus, saying that as Israel’s UN envoy, “I know what it feels like to be alone.”
“But, when you stand for the truth you are never alone,” he added, noting that there have been victories for the anti-BDS movement as well, including university administrations rejecting calls from student groups to boycott the Jewish state.

Planned study by UN body behind ‘apartheid’ report to compare Israel to US slavery
The Lebanon-based United Nations agency that was recently forced to remove a report on its website accusing Israel of establishing an “apartheid regime” will soon release another appraisal of alleged Israeli malfeasance, The Times of Israel has learned.
The UN’s Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) is currently planning to publish a report that will evaluate “the cost of the Israeli occupation” over the Palestinian territories, while looking at examples from apartheid in South Africa and slavery in the United States.
While the exact publication date is yet to be determined, it is slated to coincide with the 50-year anniversary of the1967 Six Day War this June, marking a half-century since Israel captured the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza and the Golan Heights.
ESCWA’s last report on Israel accused the Jewish state of a policy of apartheid against the Palestinians, the first time the term was used by the world body.
The publication was met with Israeli and American anger and it was quickly trashed by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, with ESCWA head Rima Khalaf resigning in protest.
How does Trump intend to square the Israeli-Palestinian circle?
On March 18, famed US-Jewish lawyer and pro-Israel advocate Alan Dershowitz randomly met US President Donald Trump in a restaurant at his Florida Mar-a-Lago club.
The two men discussed the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and Dershowitz — a lifelong Democrat — later said he was surprised by US President Donald Trump’s knowledge of the thorny core issues: Jerusalem, refugees, security.
“He was anxious to convey the message that he really wanted to have a peace agreement,” Dershowitz told Army Radio in an interview aired Thursday.
The president was “clearly” talking about a two-state solution, Dershowitz stressed, adding that at no time did Trump give him the impression that a unitary state was even being considered.
And yet, as of this writing, the Trump administration has not publicly endorsed the goal of Palestinian statehood or even the notion of “two states for two peoples.” On the other hand, it has also never backed a one-state solution or given any indication that it would sanction Israeli annexation even of parts of the West Bank. And Trump has expressed concerns over Israeli settlement expansion — “Every time you take land for settlements, there is less land left… I am not somebody that believes that going forward with these settlements is a good thing for peace,” he said last month — which can only be explained by the desire to safeguard the feasibility of a future Palestinian state in the West Bank.
The new US administration really wants to broker Israeli-Palestinian peace. It believes a peace agreement is “not only possible, but would reverberate positively throughout the region and the world,” as Jason Greenblatt, Trump’s envoy for international negotiations, said Wednesday night, after having attended the Arab League summit in Jordan.
Think-tank offers Trump policy recommendations on Israel
Recommendations include: "The Administration should focus on managing rather than resolving the conflict, which is impossible for the immediate future. Trump should consult with Netanyahu about how to restore calm, undermine Hamas and other Islamist extremist groups, and create a more stable environment for future step-by-step negotiations." However, Phillips adds, "Refraining from establishing new settlements would be helpful in this context."
Regarding the embassy move, Heritage says, "President Trump’s commitment to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem would correct a historic anomaly: The United States has never recognized any part of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. However, moving the embassy could ignite protests, riots, and anti-American backlashes among Palestinians, Arabs, and Muslims."
Therefore, Heritage recommends to "Ensure that certain standards are met before moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. To mitigate the risks of the move, Trump should consult with Netanyahu on the timing; pick a site in West Jerusalem, which has been controlled by Israel since 1948; and explain that the move does not change other aspects of U.S. policy. The U.S. should make it clear that the borders and final status of Jerusalem should be determined through negotiations; that the embassy move would not preclude a Palestinian state; that the U.S. consulate-general in Jerusalem would continue to function as the U.S. representative to the Palestinian Authority; and that no changes would be made in the status of Muslim holy sites, which would continue to be administered by Jordan."
In conclusion, the Heritage report says that "Israel is America’s foremost ally in the Middle East. Both countries are democracies, value free-market economies, and uphold human rights at a time when many other countries in the Middle East reject those values." It says recent developments represent "a promising opportunity to reassert American leadership in the Middle East and strengthen U.S.–Israel strategic cooperation on foreign policy, defense, and counterterrorism issues."
'It's understood that two-state solution is dead'
Former Knesset Member Yoni Chetboun tells in an interview to Arutz Sheva about the purpose of his visit to the United States, where he is participating in the AIPAC conference.
Asked whether his presence at the conference hints at political intentions, he replied that the goals of his visit and his participation have to do with security, and less so politics. When the cameras shut down in the closed rooms, things are said differently. There one hears "both official representatives in US politics and Israeli representatives, and you see how everything moves to the right.
"You hear how the idea of ​​a Palestinian state in past AIPAC conferences was part of the consensus and the central discourse. At the current conference, they understand that the idea has died, this idea has collapsed, and now we're thinking how to move forward, and here is where you now find the nuances of right and left. The bottom line is to see how Israeli society is turning rightward, and the entire world, following terrorism, moves to the right in terms of the need to strike at terror and that the idea of ​​a Palestinian state can not be relied upon. It is time we raised this flag without any connection to security and say this is our land."
Arab leaders ready to work with Trump on Mideast peace deal
Arab leaders on Wednesday relaunched a peace plan that offers Israel full ties in exchange for Palestinian statehood, signaling to President Donald Trump that they are ready to engage if he tries to broker a broader Mideast peace.
Host Jordan said the one-day Arab summit held on the shores of the Dead Sea sent a “message of peace” — though one that could put new pressure on Israel to withdraw from lands it occupied in the 1967 Mideast war.
The gathering came ahead of White House meetings in coming weeks between Trump and three Arab leaders — Jordan’s King Abdullah II, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. The trio met on the sidelines of the summit to consolidate positions ahead of the White House meetings, officials said.
Trump hasn’t yet formulated a policy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but has said he is eager to broker a deal. His initial comments, including a campaign promise to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to contested Jerusalem and suggestions that there are alternatives to a two-state solution, caused alarm among some Arab leaders.
However, an embassy move no longer appears imminent, and some Trump administration officials have since endorsed the two-state solution.
Arab leaders send a message to Trump: Palestine first
The unified Arab-Sunni front is not a trivial phenomenon, especially given the frictions of recent years. Ties between Egypt and Saudi Arabia have been on the rocks, but the Jordanian summit marked a reconciliation between King Salman of Saudi Arabia and Sissi. The two presented Iran as the joint enemy of the Sunni axis, and they were joined by Jordan’s King Abdullah II.
Having turned something of a blind eye to Tehran’s support of the Bashar Assad regime in Syria, Egypt ended its dispute with Riyadh in one sentence during Sissi’s speech, in which he called for a firm stance against Iranian efforts to dominate the region. In an almost symbolic sign of the changing times, the Lebanese President Michel Aoun, an ally of Lebanese terror group Hezbollah and, to an extent, its sponsor Iran, stumbled as he arrived at one of the discussions and fell flat on his face on the red carpet.
But apart from tackling Iran, Sissi’s goal in Washington next week is to advance negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority reportedly aim to push for an agreement based on the Arab initiative – a two-state solution with land adjustments. Yes, that familiar initiative from 2002, created by the Saudis and the-then air to the throne, Abdullah. It’s likely that changes and adaptations in the Arab plan will be presented to Trump, but the basis will remain.
If those reports are correct, this marks a significant victory for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who this week celebrated his 82nd birthday. Abbas was being cold-shouldered as recently as six months ago by Cairo, which was backing his internal political opponent Mohammad Dahlan. Now Egypt has reconciled with Abbas, and is showing a clear interest in being involved in future negotiations with Israel on the Palestinian issue.
MEMRI: Former Jordanian FM To Arab League Summit: Here Is The Closing Statement I Dream Of Reading
On March 29, 2017, the day the 28th annual Arab League summit was held in Amman, former Jordanian foreign minister Marwan Al-Mu'asher published an article in the Jordanian daily Al-Ghad titled "The Summit [Closing] Statement I Dream of Reading." In it, he presented the closing statement he would have liked the summit to issue instead of the slogans familiar from previous summits about Arab unity, a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and combatting ISIS. His alternative statement recognizes that the current crises in the Arab world result from built-in flaws in its political, economic and social governance, and presents a plan for mending these flaws that includes expanding citizen rights and freedom of speech, developing economic resources other than oil, and investment in improving education.
The following are excerpts from his alternative statement:
"We, the kings and presidents of the Arab countries who convened today at the Dead Sea, will not suffice with reiterating the principles of the Arab ummah, the importance of joint Arab action, [our] insistence on the integrity of Syria's territory, on the two-state solution, and on increasing efforts to defeat ISIS militarily. Our summit today dealt with a difference topic that has never been on the agenda of any previous summit. Our summit takes place against the backdrop of intense waves of popular [unrest] whose consequences, which are still apparent to all, include internecine wars, sectarian conflicts, an economic downturn and threats to the safety of [our] citizens. We thought it proper to address this [popular] frustration and perform an accurate analysis of the factors that triggered it, in order to approve a suitable policy that will prevent further crises and set our countries on the correct course towards stability and prosperity.
"It must be acknowledged that there is a flaw in the political, economic and social governance of our countries, and that this flaw has increased the crisis of confidence between our citizens and our governments. We also understand that if the response to [the popular] protests will be further political restrictions or persistence in economic methods [based solely on] profit, or disregard for the rule of law and for the principle of civil equality, this will only increase and aggravate the frustration of our citizens, both men and women. We [understand] that it is impossible to go back to the pre-2011 situation, since if we fail to address the factors that caused the Arab [Spring] revolutions, [these revolutions] will recur. We also understand that the absence of immediate magic solutions does not mean that we need not take serious action to restore the trust of the citizens in the state institutions and [need not] seriously reassess all the previous policies, which for the most part have not led to comprehensive and ongoing progress.
The Arab League remains in a full scale war with Israel
As the Arab League meets in Amman, Jordan, the media misses the most important story, which is that the Arab league remains is state of full scale war with Israel. When reporters focus on the status of Jerusalem, refugees, borders or water, the most important element is missing: The declaration of total war by the Arab league against Israel in 1948, which has never ever been rescinded.
The issue is not whether the Arab league will recognize Israel.
The issue is whether the Arab League will suspend its war against Israel.
For a generation, people in Israel have forgotten the Arab League war on Israel, because of peace negotiations.
Indeed, when Prime Minister of Israel Menchem Begin signed the 1978 peace treaty with Egyptian President Answar Sadat, nothing stopped the Arab League from continuing its war against from Cairo, giving Sadat the best of all worlds, with a peace treaty that got him the Nobel Peace Prize, while allowing the Arab league, operating under Sadat’s nose in Cairo, to maintain its war to eradicate the Jewish state.
Arab states to UNESCO: Reject Israeli sovereignty over all of Jerusalem
Arab states plan to contest Israeli sovereignty over all of Jerusalem at the upcoming UNESCO Executive Board meeting in Paris, according to a draft text obtained by Israeli officials.
The resolution, due for a vote on May 1, states: “any action taken by Israel, the Occupying Power, to impose its laws, jurisdiction, and administration on the City of Jerusalem, are illegal and therefore null and void and have no validity whatsoever.”
Past resolutions approved by UNESCO boards and committees have refused to accept Israel’s annexation of east Jerusalem, including the Old City.
This text marks the first time that the Arab states have asked a UNESCO board to reject Israeli sovereignty over western Jerusalem.
It plunges the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural body even further into one of the most emotional and hotly-contested areas of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: the status of Jerusalem.
Israel cuts UN payment by $2 million over ‘anti-Israel’ bias
Israel announced Wednesday it is reducing its required payment to the United Nations by $2 million following recent “anti-Israel” votes.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said the decision to reduce the annual payment was taken following votes critical of Israel at the Geneva-based Human Rights Council, and condemned the “obsessional discrimination against Israel on the part of the United Nations and its agencies.”
The General Assembly requires all 193 UN member states to pay a percentage of the United Nations’ regular budget, based on their GDP. According to the UN Secretariat, Israel is expected to pay about $11 million this year, or 0.43 percent of the regular budget.
Under Article 19 of the UN Charter, any country in arrears of its dues payments in an amount that equals or exceeds the contributions due for two preceding years can lose its vote in the General Assembly. As of March 15, three countries were banned from voting because of arrears — Libya, Sudan and Venezuela.
Israel’s refusal to pay $2 million of its dues will put the country in arrears, but it won’t immediately lose its vote in the world body.
Time For Canada To End UN Funding
Canadian Taxpayers money should not go to a hypocritical organization that gives Saudi Arabia power over human rights.
The Canadian government spends $88.8 million in taxpayers money at the United Nations. That’s money that would otherwise go towards our own country, instead being funneled into an organization rife with corruption and rampant hypocrisy.
As an idea, the United Nations sounds nice. And in some instances, they may do a bit of good. But that is overshadowed by the simply unacceptable aspects of the UN.
United Nations Anti-Israel bias
Aside from the hypocrisy of elevating Saudi Arabia, the United Nations has been horrendously biased against Israel.
In 2015, the UN General Assembly adopted 20 anti-Israel resolutions, and only three resolutions on all other countries on Earth combined.
That is beyond absurdity.
Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East, the only country in the region that truly protects freedom of speech, freedom of religion, the rights of LGBTQ people, and the equality of men and women. If anything, Israel should be singled out for praise, while Saudi Arabia should be condemned for their gender-Apartheid. Instead, the UN just keeps attacking Israel.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Abbas Promises To End Incitement If Allowed To Kill 6.5 Million Jews (satire)
Facing pressure from foreign governments and international bodies over the glorification of terrorism against Jews, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas offered today to put a stop to such rhetoric in official Palestinian media in exchange for the world endorsing a Palestinian genocide of Israel’s Jewish population.
US Congressional leaders and other critics of Palestinian incitement to kill have ratcheted up pressure on governmental and international bodies to make future aid conditional on the elimination of that incitement, arguing that it undermines efforts to broker an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, and thus contributes to continued instability in the region. Beyond that, they note, the incitement is a moral breach that must not be rewarded or ignored by those who control the international purse strings. Abbas moved to forestall the implementation of any aid cut by making his proposal in a speech today at his compound.
“The people of Palestine reject any attempt by outsiders to characterize our legitimate resistance to foreign occupation as ‘terrorism’ and our efforts to educate our people as ‘incitement,'” he declared. “Nevertheless, in the interest of promoting dialogue and an eventual settlement, we are willing to forgo some of the content of our rhetoric, provided that measure of restraint is reciprocated in the form of not raising a finger or an eyebrow as we massacre the Jews in our homeland.” He estimated the number of Jews to be killed in the effort at 6.5 million, approximately the Jewish population of Israel.
“This would in no way deny the inherent right of the Palestinian people to tell the truth about the Jewish usurping rapist of our land,” he continued. “We continue to maintain that all measures are acceptable in defeating the ultimate evil of Zionism and the ape-pigs who practice it, and who deserve to die painful deaths as they watch us burn down everything they built.”
U.N. Human Rights Adviser: Trump Won’t Last Four Years
A left-wing Swiss sociologist who advises the U.N. Human Rights Council predicts that President Trump will not serve a full term, saying that his tenure will be cut short either by psychiatric problems or insurmountable pressure.
Jean Ziegler, who has a history of sympathizing with despotic regimes and criticizing the U.S. and Israel, told the Austrian daily Kurier that both impeachment or premature resignation were conceivable.
“I do not believe that Trump will remain in office for four years,” he said in German. “Either there will be psychiatric problems or the pressure will become so great that he can no longer govern.’
Ziegler envisaged the emergence of a “moral insurrection,” with Americans declaring that Trump is not their president. The perception that “there are billionaires in the White House who only pursue their own profit maximization” will unify people of all regions and camps, he said.
JCPA: New Moves toward a Peace Agreement Must Consider Israeli Public Opinion
Against this backdrop, the new American administration is trying to examine ways to resolve the conflict or at least to deal with it. There are three options: promoting a comprehensive settlement through direct negotiations or through regional negotiations, acceptance of unilateral moves that will change the status quo without an agreement (whether in the form of a unilateral Israeli withdrawal as proposed by various elements in Israel; or in a format that the Palestinians are trying to promote, i.e., unilateral European recognition and international pressure on Israel to stop building and accept Palestinian positions without negotiations; or annexation that the Israeli right proposes), or to preserve the status quo, while encouraging specific changes, especially in the economic sphere, considering that any deviation from it is liable to create an even more dangerous reality or reward Palestinian intransigency.
The results of the survey should clarify for those who wish to promote an agreement that if they want to succeed, unlike their predecessors, to promote a comprehensive settlement, the first step needs to be to improve the Israeli public’s confidence in the chances for success of any agreement and thereby increase its willingness to make concessions. The only way to achieve this is to attempt to get the Palestinians to change their narrative, avoid unilateral action in international frameworks, and stop the payments of salaries to terrorists and their portrayal as heroes and role models in the framework of Palestinian incitement. Any international attempt to ignore the ugly reality of the Palestinian position will harm the chances of achieving this goal and will encourage the Palestinians to continue their violent approach.
In the meantime, it appears that the administration’s pressure is focused only on the settlement issue, but it has avoided explicitly endorsing the two-state solution, and its refusal to state that “it is impossible to maintain the status quo” may indicate a better understanding of the complex reality. The new administration has also refrained from making use of the worn-out and false warning, which was adopted by Obama, that the status quo would require Israel to decide between its Jewish identity and its democratic nature, as if there was a possibility of one-state solution in which Israel would simply annex Gaza and the Palestinian Authority territory in the West Bank. There is no such possibility!
The survey provides the American administration with a picture that accurately reflects the views of the Jewish public in Israel, which is the key factor in shaping policy for the future. I hope that Washington will draw the right conclusions from this survey.
Netanyahu: First new West Bank settlement in 25 years to be approved today
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he planned to create the first totally new West Bank settlement in 25 years on Thursday
“I had promised from the start that I would create a new settlement. It seems to me that I made that commitment in December and I will keep it today. There were will be more details about this in a few hours,” Netanyahu told reporters before meeting with the president of Slovakia.
He spoke in advance of a security cabinet meeting later in the day, that is scheduled to discuss settlement activity and the ongoing discussion with the Trump administration over Jewish building in the West Bank.
Netanyahu had promised the 40 Amona families that he would formally authorize a new settlement for them by March 31, through a cabinet or government vote.
Israel to slash payments to UN, give money instead to supportive countries
Israel will cut $2 million from money it has allocated to the UN and give it instead to programs in developing nations that support it in international organizations, the Foreign Ministry announced on Wednesday.
The ministry issued a statement saying that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu directed it to slash the $2m. to the United Nations as a result of the anti-Israel resolutions passed last week in the UN Human Rights Council.
This cut is in addition to the $6m. that Jerusalem slashed in January in the aftermath of the passage of anti-settlement Resolution 2334 in the UN Security Council. Following these cuts, Israel will contribute only $3.7m. this year to the UN, instead of the $10.7m. that was originally earmarked.
The ministry said that this decision is part of an Israeli campaign – along with its friends, first and foremost the US – to change the “obsessive bias against Israel at the UN and in its agencies.”
JPost Editorial: AIPAC lessons
Among recent Pew Research Institute studies, one found that, while Israeli Jews are skeptical that they can peacefully coexist with an independent Palestinian state, most American Jews are optimistic that a two-state solution is possible. On settlement building, for example, while the prevailing view among Israeli Jews is that they enhance Israel’s security, American Jews are more likely to say the opposite.
Another difference dividing the two communities is how each perceives the biggest problem facing Israel – a perception that defies the common wisdom. Pew found that roughly equal ratios of Israeli Jews cite economic issues (39%) and security (38%) as the biggest long-term challenges to the country. However, only 1% of US Jews cite the economy, while 66% of American Jews think it’s security.
A more distressing finding is that, while similar numbers of Republicans and Democrats have sympathized more with Israel than with the Palestinians ever since the late 1970s, today 74% of Republicans sympathize more with Israel, compared to only 33% of Democrats.
Even worse: For the first time Democrats are now almost equally split between sympathizing more with Israel (33%) and with the Palestinians (31%).
Pew ominously also reported that “While conservative Republicans favored Israel by a 44-point margin in 2001, the margin is now 70 points. And while liberal Democrats favored Israel by 30 points at the turn of the century, they now favor the Palestinians by 12 points.
American partisan politics are traditionally supposed to “stop at the water’s edge” with regard to Israel.
This year’s AIPAC conference indeed brought out bipartisan support, featuring cheerleading speeches by House Speaker Paul Ryan, Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer. But it is now Israel’s time to decide, while we still have bipartisan support in the US, on a policy that shows the world where we want to go as a government and a state.
Is AIPAC Blocking an Anti-UNRWA Presentation?
Despite its reputation, AIPAC is largely a consensus organization. It avoids anything controversial. Its goal is to be as middle of the road as possible. And a commitment to the UNRWA, despite its cover for terrorists, is unfortunately mainstream in some circles.
So this story from David Bedein doesn't surprise me.
One of the foci of the Center for Near East Policy Research, CFNEPR, which I have directed since the retirement of Dr. Arnold Soloway in 2005, remains the issue of UNRWA, which we film and publish investigations for the media and for elected officials.
Our 29 year inquiry into UNRWA policy has directly led to the US government GAO full scale investigation into UNRWA ties with organizations designated by the US as terrorist organizations.
Since the US allocated $400 million to UNRWA – one third of the UNRWA budget – this is an American issue that would concern every member of AIPAC.
We held successive meetings with AIPAC staff in Jerusalem, yet never received an answer as to why the Center for Near East Policy Research would not be allowed to provide a briefing for AIPAC conference members at its conference.
David Singer: Israel Offers Trump Opportunity for Republican-Democrat Reconciliation
Israel, however, represents a real opportunity for Trump to unite Congress and repair the fractured Republican-Democrat relationship if Trump respects these following three bipartisan decisions:
1. Congress’s overwhelming vote by 502 votes to 12:
Endorsing the written commitments made by President Bush to Israel’s Prime Minister Sharon on 14 April 2004 to encourage Israel’s unilateral disengagement from Gaza and part of the West Bank and give the Bush-Quartet Roadmap (“Roadmap”) every chance of ending a conflict that had raged unresolved for 85 years.
2. Congress’s resolution on 5 January 2017 by a vote of 342-80:
“that the passage of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 undermined the long-standing position of the United States to oppose and veto United Nations Security Council resolutions that seek to impose solutions to final status issues, or are one-sided and anti- Israel, reversing decades of bipartisan agreement.”
3. The Senate’s vote 96-4 on 24 January 2017:
Confirming South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley as ambassador to the United Nations.
During her confirmation hearing Haley told the Senate:
“Nowhere has the UN's failure been more consistent and more outrageous than it is -- than its bias against our close ally Israel. And the General Assembly session just completed, the UN adopted 20 resolutions against Israel. And only six targeting the rest of the world's countries combined. In the past ten years, the human rights council has passed 62 resolutions condemning the reasonable actions Israel takes to defend its security. Meanwhile, the world's worst human rights abusers in Syria, Iran, and North Korea, received far fewer condemnations. This cannot continue.”
Australian Christian Aid to Hamas Remains Suspended After Investigation
The Australian government said Thursday it had found no evidence that any of its donations to the Christian charity World Vision had been siphoned to Islamic militant group Hamas.
But Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said its World Vision funding in Gaza would remain suspended while Israeli charges against the global aid agency’s Gaza manager Mohammed el-Halabi remain unresolved.
“DFAT has reviewed the management of its funding to World Vision in the Palestinian Territories. The review uncovered nothing to suggest any diversion of government funds.” the department said in a statement.
“Australia’s funding to World Vision in the Palestinian Territories remains suspended until we have considered the outcomes of the court case against Mr. el-Halabi and reviews being undertaken by World Vision Australia and World Vision International into this issue,” it added.
Australian is the biggest single donor to World Vision’s humanitarian work in Gaza, providing more than $2 million in the past three years.
Palestinian jailed for lynching soldiers freed, families fume
Some 17 years after the brutal lynching of IDF reservists Yosef Avrahami and Vadim Nurzhits in Ramallah, a gruesome incident that escalated tensions during the Second Intifada, one of the Palestinian policemen who participated in the act has been freed from Israeli prison and sent to the Gaza Strip.
Hatam Magari was arrested in 2000. In 2004, he was convicted of murdering Avrahami along with other crimes associated with the lynching, and was sentenced to life in prison.
The incident occurred after the reservists mistakenly entered Ramallah. They were taken to the local police station as angry crowds followed. A police officer opened the door to the station and a mob entered, killing the soldiers and mutilating their bodies. In a particularly infamous photo from the incident, attacker Abd al-Aziz Salaha is shown displaying his blood-covered hands out the police station window as a crowd cheers below.
An appeal of Magari's conviction and a petition to the High Court of Justice were both rejected. However, he was recently granted a retrial due to new evidence that cast doubt on whether he was as an active participant in Avrahami's murder in a manner admissible in criminal court.
In the retrial, Magari was instead granted a plea bargain, wherein he was convicted of attacking a soldier and failing to prevent a crime. His conviction of other security charges remains unchanged. The military court sentenced him to 11 and a half years in prison. Magari agreed not to seek damages over the court’s handling of the case and, having been imprisoned since 2000, was released immediately.
Son of soldier killed in Ramallah lynching says no one told him of attacker’s release
The family of one of two IDF soldiers murdered in a lynching in Ramallah 17 years ago said that it was not informed by either the military or the government that one of the culprits was released after reaching a plea deal in a retrial.
Roi Avrahami, whose father Yosef Avrahami was beaten to death along with another soldier, Vadim Norzhich, in a brutal attack that was caught on film by an Italian TV crew, told Channel 10 on Thursday that he did not learn that Hatam Faiz Khalil Magari was released until being contacted by the media.
“I found out from the news. At 8 p.m. [on Wednesday] I was called by a representative from Army Radio and she wanted to hear my initial reaction,” he said.
“I said to her, ‘What are you talking about? We don’t know anything. It seems to me there is a mistake.'”
“Ten minutes later I looked over the details more deeply on a Facebook post from Channel 10 and this is in fact how I found out about” the release of Magari.
Why Israeli Strikes against Hizballah in Syria Are Legal
In April 2016, Benjamin Netanyahu admitted publicly, for the first time, that Israel had routinely attacked arms shipments in Syria in order to prevent Hizballah from obtaining advanced weapons—a policy that continues to be in force. While these attacks on foreign soil in the midst of a complex civil war might at first seem to fall into a legal gray area, there is a straightforward case for their legality, as Louis René Beres writes:
Legally, there is nothing complicated about the issues surrounding Israel’s counter-terrorist raids within Syria. By willfully allowing its territory to be used as a source for weapons that Hizballah terrorists can use against Israel, and as an expanding base for anti-Israel terrorist operations in general, Bashar al-Assad has placed Syria in unambiguous violation of both the UN Charter and the wider body of international rules identified in Article 38 of the UN’s Statute of the International Court of Justice.
There is more. Because Syria, entirely at its own insistence, maintains a formal condition of belligerency with Israel (that is, a legal “state of war”), [the] charges levied by Damascus or Tehran of “Israeli aggression” make no jurisprudential sense. . . . [Furthermore], express prohibitions against pro-terrorist behavior by any state can be found in Articles 3(f) and 3(g) of the 1974 UN General Assembly Definition of Aggression. These prohibitions are part of customary international law, identified in Article 38 of the International Court of Justice statute as “the general principles of law recognized by civilized nations.” . . .
Hamas-linked video threatens to kill Israeli security leaders
A video published Wednesday by a Hamas-affiliated news site threatens to kill senior Israeli defense officials in revenge for the killing of a senior Hamas terrorist last week.
One after the other, the video shows the Israelis through the crosshairs of a sniper’s scope, followed by a short message across a black screen in both Hebrew and Arabic, reading “we will act in kind.”
Those threatened include Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, IDF Chief-of-Staff Gadi Eisenkot, Shin Bet chief Nadav Argaman, Mossad chief Yossi Cohen, IDF deputy chief-of-staff Aviv Kochavi, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, and the commander of the new Oz commando brigade Col. David Zini.
The video was publicized by the Gaza-based Shehab News Agency and is believed to be in response to the assassination of senior Hamas terrorist Mazen Faqha last week. It was apparently made by Hamas members.
While Israel has not acknowledged any involvement in the killing, the terrorist group insists that the murder has the Jewish state’s fingerprints on it.

JCC bomb threat suspect ordered kept behind bars, as tumor blamed
An Israeli-American teen suspected of calling in hundreds of fake bomb threats against Jewish community centers and other institutions in the US was ordered to remain behind bars for an additional week on Thursday, as his lawyer said a brain tumor may have caused his behavior.
The 18-year-old from Ashkelon is facing charges of extortion, making threats, publishing false information and is accused of sowing widespread fear and panic.
The suspect’s father, who was detained by police along with his son over suspicions he turned a blind eye to his son’s illegal activities, was released by the Rishon Lezion Magistrate’s Court to house arrest.
The name of the suspect is under gag order and details about him or his possible motive remain unclear.
Suspect in threats against Jewish groups in US appears in court
A former journalist charged with making a wave of bomb threats to U.S. Jewish organizations by telephone while posing as his ex-girlfriend appeared in Manhattan federal court on Wednesday afternoon.
Juan Thompson, 31, was arrested in St. Louis earlier this month and arrived in New York on Wednesday morning. He appeared wearing beige prison garb and flanked by two public defenders at a brief hearing before Magistrate Judge James Francis.
The public defender assigned by Francis to represent Thompson, Mark Gombiner, did not seek bail at the hearing and declined to say afterward when he might. Thompson will remain in custody for now.
Thompson is scheduled to appear again before U.S. District Judge Kevin Castel on April 6.
'Illegal Arab road endangers lives'
An illegal road has been paved in recent weeks by Arabs in West Binyamin, near the Rantis Junction and the town of Beit Aryeh.
These works are carried out within Area C, which is under full Israeli civil and security control, by Arabs from the village of Luban, and includes land preparation for construction and preparations for paving a road to a nearby village.
Two weeks ago, members of the "Regavim" lands preservation movement sent an urgent appeal to the Civil Administration that the work being carried out without a permit is also a very serious safety hazard, since it is located adjacent to the Trans-Binyamin Highway, the main road in the area.
As a result of the trucks moving to the illegal construction site, the main road was filled with stones and mud, causing a safety hazard for passengers on the road.
Despite the letter of warning, the work at the site continues uninterrupted. On both Monday and Tuesday, heavy equipment continued working there.
UNHCR: Number of Syrian refugees tops 5 million mark
The number of Syrians who have fled their country after six years of war has surpassed the 5 million mark, the UN refugee agency said Thursday.
UNHCR announced the milestone a year after participating countries at a Geneva conference pledged to “resettle and facilitate pathways for 500,000 refugees” from Syria — but that only half of those places have been allocated so far.
“We still have a long road to travel in expanding resettlement and the number and range of complementary pathways available for refugees,” said UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi. “To meet this challenge, we not only need additional places, but also need to accelerate the implementation of existing pledges.”
Agency spokesman Babar Baloch said that no specific incident prompted the crossing of the symbolic milestone, and that one year ago, the figure was 4.8 million. The agency estimates another 6.3 million people have been internally displaced.
INSS: Lessons on Iran from North Korea's Nuclear Threat
After years of failed negotiations, followed by eight years of an Obama administration policy of "strategic patience," North Korea is today a nuclear state, on the verge of being able to threaten the U.S. with a nuclear-tipped ICBM.
When restrictions on Iran's nuclear infrastructure expire under the JCPOA nuclear deal, Iran will be stronger than it was before the negotiations began and will have a much more advanced nuclear infrastructure. Iran, virtually unhindered, is also rapidly developing its own ballistic missile program.
There is no short-term benefit from the JCPOA if these initial years are not used effectively to confront Iran for the sake of the long term.
Putting pressure on Iran is a proven path to altering its behavior in the nuclear realm - it is the toughness of the biting sanctions from 2012 that brought Iran to the table in 2013.
Replacing the pressure tactic with hopes of change in Iran - especially when pinned on the strengthening of President Rouhani - is misguided: the Iranian president has not demonstrated significant moderation either internally or with regard to Iran's regional behavior.
If the P5+1 continue to celebrate the JCPOA-induced delay while relaxing their vigilance and pressure, they will ultimately face a nuclear threat as intractable as that of North Korea.

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