July 11, 2020

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03/07 Links Pt2: Collier: Jeremy Corbyn with hard-core antisemites, say what about the Mavi Marmara?; The Quiet Radicalization of the Democratic Party


From Ian:

David Collier: Exclusive: Jeremy Corbyn with hard-core antisemites, say what about the Mavi Marmara?
It would be easy to start this blog with Jeremy Corbyn. After all, it seems as if he was part of a rabidly antisemitic Facebook Group, along with Paul Eisen, Gilad Atzmon, numerous other Holocaust Deniers, hard-core antisemites, white supremacists, and all the other wretched political ideologies that gather together to pretend it is about the Palestinians, and not the Jews.

But this has been a long haul, it is 4am, and I haven’t slept properly in weeks. I have been engaged in an exercise to analyse a secret Facebook Group called ‘Palestine Live’. Immersed deeply in an antisemitic soup was disturbing enough, but seeing names there that simply should not ever have stepped foot inside, gave an entirely new, and far darker feel to the entire exercise.

Corbyn was there in late 2014, he may have joined a year earlier, and every indication is, that he stayed in the group until shortly after he became leader of the Labour Party. Jenny Tonge is still a member, David Ward too. Clive Lewis? Go figure. It just shows how blind everyone is to anti-Jewish racism.

I quantified the level of antisemitism within the group, by analysing all those who shared posts over a two week period during February 2018. The level was 64%. When I extracted the Jewish anti-Zionists, the level rose to 73%. Nobody should be able to spend any time at all in that group, without understanding the twisted antisemitism that drives so much of the activity.

The report was so large, I split it into two. The first looks at the founder and admins of the group, it contains Jenny Tonge and David Ward had too. Then there is Greta Berlin, from the ‘Free Gaza Movement‘. She engaged in an argument over Ken O’Keefe, and was clearly upset by the love the group had for him. It was a long exchange, and midway through she said this:

AIPL Antisemitism in Palestine Live – Report Part One Download Link
AIPL Antisemitism in Palestine Live – Report Part Two Download Link

CAA files fresh disciplinary complaint against Jeremy Corbyn over allegations that he actively participated in a secret Facebook group where antisemitism was on brazen display

A document issued today contains screenshots allegedly showing that Jeremy Corbyn was a participating member in a secret Facebook group called “Palestine Live” in which vehement antisemitism was posted, right up until his first weeks as Leader of the Labour Party.

The screenshots, gathered by blogger David Collier, catalogue exchanges which apparently took place within the Facebook group, including discussion of conspiracy myths about the Rothschild family and supposed Israeli involvement in the 9/11 terrorist attacks, as well as links to material produced by neo-Nazi groups.

The Facebook group’s membership reportedly includes numerous antisemites and Jew-baiters, including Paul Eisen, Baroness Jenny Tonge and Gilad Atzmon. Some users are said to have shared articles by conspiracy theorist David Icke and David Duke, former grand wizard of the KKK. Other members of the group allegedly include Thomas Suarez and the journalist, Paul Mason.

Among many chilling posts, the screenshots show members of the group discussing whether they prefer the term “ZioNazi” to “JewNazi’. One member is shown commenting: “am reading Mein Kampf [by Adolf Hitler]…everybody should be forced to read it, especially Jews who have their own agenda as to why they were not liked”. The Labour Party’s logo is also proudly displayed in the group, alongside exhortations to join the Party, even as links to articles from far-right websites such as the Daily Stormer and Veterans Today are circulated by group users.

BBC reporter revealed to be member of secret anti-Israel Facebook group

Among the members of that group are several people who have appeared on BBC programmes such as Avner Gvaryahu of ‘Breaking the Silence’, Rebecca Vilkommerson of JVP, Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi, Tony Greenstein, Haim Bresheeth and Glyn Secker.

Additional members of the group featured in other BBC content include Deborah Fink, David Ward, Jenny Tonge and Richard Falk.

However the name of one member of that secret Facebook group where antisemitic material, Holocaust denial and anti-Israel propaganda is regularly posted may come as a surprise (see Pt 2, p. 175).

The item promoted by Green appears to be Knell’s April 23rd 2016 report from Gush Etzion.

Whether or not Yolande Knell’s editors know about her membership in a secret group of anti-Israel activists where discussions are rife with anti-Israel conspiracy theory, gross antisemitism and Holocaust denial is unclear. What is however once again very obvious is that Knell’s position as an ‘impartial’ BBC correspondent reporting from the corporation’s Jerusalem bureau is severely compromised.

Comment: Ken Livingstone’s indefinite suspension by the Labour Party reveal a litany of lies and broken promises to the Jewish community

It is now nearly two years since Ken Livingstone’s infamous remarks alleging that Hitler “was supporting Zionism before he went mad and ended up killing 6,000,000 Jews”, as a result of which, a full year later, on 4th April 2017, he was tapped only lightly on the wrist at a hearing before the Labour Party’s National Constitutional Committee (NCC), which merely suspended his right to hold office in the Party – but not his membership – for one further year, a decision that resulted in dismay and some disbelief in the UK and worldwide. The very next day, on 5th April 2017 Jeremy Corbyn announced a new inquiry into fresh “offensive remarks” Ken Livingstone made following the hearing. Mr Corbyn said: “Since initiating the disciplinary process, I have not interfered with it and respect the independence of the Party’s disciplinary bodies. But Ken’s subsequent comments and actions will now be considered by the National Executive Committee [NEC]”. On the same day, 107 Labour MPs signed a statement deploring the Party’s failure to expel him, deeming Mr Livingstone’s statements to be “Holocaust revisionism”, “insidious racism” and pledging that “we will not allow it to go unchecked”.

However, events in recent weeks suggest that both Mr Corbyn and those MPs have backed down, further betraying the UK’s Jewish Community.

During early 2017, the Labour party informed at least two senior journalists that Ken Livingstone was to be readmitted to the Labour party once his suspension ended on April 27th 2018.

One of those journalists was Toby Helm, The Observer’s political editor. As a result, Mr Helm published an article in The Guardian on 24th February 2017, headlined: “Ken Livingstone: Ex-London mayor to rejoin Labour as suspension over Hitler remarks ends”. However, later that day he tweeted: “Five hours after I reported that no further action was planned against him, there is such a row that party about turns and says hey ho….new investigation. Shambles.” A few shocked minutes later he tweeted: “Astonishing is the word. they now say the NEC is opening an inquiry into what Livingstone said ten months ago, after his hearing, JC [Jeremy Corbyn] having said they would at the time and then done nothing since!”

Possibly in order to save the Labour Party’s and its journalists’ blushes, The Guardian removed the story and, unusually, substituted a new piece on the same link, with only this surviving tweet remaining to bear witness to the volte face.

The Quiet Radicalization of the Democratic Party

Schumer’s logic is self-reinforcing. If almost any measure can be justified if it stimulates the passions of the base voters who will propel Democrats back into power, then there are no bounds on acceptable political conduct. For years, the passions of the Democratic base were stirred by fringe figures like influential Minister Louis Farrakhan, but they were tamped down by sober Democrats with an eye on the broader electorate. As the Democratic Party embraces radicalism, Farrakhan has come along for the ride.

“White folks are going down,” Farrakhan declared at a weekend speech. “And Farrakhan, by God’s grace, has pulled the cover off of that Satanic Jew and I’m here to say your time is up, your world is through.” Expanding on these anti-Semitic remarks, Farrakhan contended that the Jews hoped to boil Jesus alive in excrement. To his credit, Rep. Danny Davis—one of many prominent Democrats to have cultivated a relationship with Farrakhan—denounced the comments even absent significant media pressure. Most of those who spent years cultivating a relationship with this noxious figure, though, have been silent.

The deputy chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Rep. Keith Ellison, tried to create some distance from Farrakhan in a Washington Post op-ed last December amid questions about his willingness to entertain radicalism before his rise to national prominence. Writing for the Wall Street Journal, Jeryl Bier found that Ellison’s contrite tone in print was betrayed by his prickliness about the subject on television. The deputy DNC chairman insisted that the kerfuffle over Farrakhan was only a rehash of “something that happened in 1995,” but documents revealed that Ellison and Farrakhan dined together as recently as 2013 at an event attended by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

This flirtation with liabilities shouldn’t surprise anyone. Ellison’s history with Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam is no closely guarded secret. Nor was his habit of making inflammatory statements of his own. Equating 9/11 to the Reichstag fire that brought the Nazis to power and opposing a missile shield for Israel on the grounds that more dead Israelis represented an inducement to a negotiated end to 2014’s hostilities in Gaza are just two of many examples. None of this was an obstacle to Ellison’s ascension to leadership in the Democratic Party.

J Street Still Endorses Congressman Who Praised Farrakhan

The dovish pro-Israel lobby J Street is endorsing Rep. Danny Davis for reelection, despite his repeated recent praise of the anti-Semitic preacher Louis Farrakhan.

Davis, a Democrat who has represented his Chicago-area district since 1997, said in an interview with the Daily Caller last month that he thought Farrakhan was an “outstanding human being.” He doubled down on his support for Farrakhan in another interview with the Daily Caller last week, saying that he had “no problems” with Farrakhan.

“The world is so much bigger than Farrakhan and the Jewish question and his position on that and so forth,” Davis added in the second interview. “For those heavy into it, that’s their thing, but it ain’t my thing.”

J Street’s affiliated political action committee, JStreetPAC, lists Davis among more than 130 endorsed candidates for House and Senate races as of Tuesday night. Its website features a link where donations can be directed to his campaign.

Davis was also endorsed by JStreetPac in 2012, 2014 and 2016. Representatives from J Street did not return multiple requests for comment.

IsraellyCool: I Don’t Hate Jews, I’m Just anti-Zioni…..Aww Screw It. Go Farrakhan! (satire)

Hey there #Woke People! Linda Sarsour and Tamika Mallory here and we are about to drop some knowledge on you! So have a seat and grab a coffee: it’s about to get Intersectional up in here! First off, we are about tired of certain folks out there saying we have a beef with Jews. That is just a Big Lie being pushed by a bunch of Likudniks drinking the Haterade! The real deal? We oppose Israel’s unjust and illegi…… OMG OMG! Is that Louis Farrakhan??? Giant FanGirl moment, know what I’m saying? Do you think we can get a selfie with the Minister? I mean, like, another one.

Because when it comes to bringing the truth, Minister Farrakhan is dropping Knowledge Bombs. All. Day. Long. Like the time he called Judaism a ‘gutter religion’. Also, the time he said “You cannot say ‘never again’ to God, because when He puts you in the oven, ‘never again’ don’t mean a thing.” Same with the time he called Hitler a “very great man” ….. I think he said that after he got back from visiting the UFO.

So that’s about it. We are Intersectional. We are Woke. We are anti-Zionist. But don’t call us Antisemitic. And Oh Yeah. We Hella Love Minister Farrakhan.

Women’s March renounces Farrakhan’s antisemitism — Kind of

In that speech, Farrakhan declared that “powerful Jews are my enemy” and that he had “pulled the cover off the eyes of the Satanic Jew.” Farrakhan, as he has done repeatedly in the past, also accused Jews of controlling the FBI and Hollywood, and plotting to synthesize marijuana in order to “feminize” black men.

Mallory subsequently deleted her post, but not before critics demanded to know why the leader of a broad-based civil rights movement would boast of her connections to Farrakhan.

In its statement, Women’s March leaders attempted to strike a balance between distancing themselves from Farrakhan’s antisemitism and supporting Mallory.

“Minister Farrakhan’s statements about Jewish, queer, and trans people are not aligned with the Women’s March Unity Principles, which were created by women of color leaders and are grounded in Kingian Nonviolence,” read the statement issued Monday, more than a week after Mallory first posted about being “super-excited” to hear Farrakhan’s message. “Women’s March is holding conversations with queer, trans, Jewish and Black members of both our team and larger movement to create space for understanding and healing.”

The statement goes on to say, “We love and value our sister and co-President Tamika Mallory, who has played a key role in shaping these conversations. Neither we nor she shy away from the fact that intersectional movement building is difficult and often painful.”

They went on to explain their delay while social media exploded in protests against Mallory’s support for Farrakhan.

“Our external silence has been because we are holding these conversations and are trying to intentionally break the cycles that pit our communities against each other,” the organizers wrote.

For her part, Mallory tweeted a statement on Sunday that addressed the criticism without mentioning Farrakhan.

Radical Left Jews DEFEND Anti-Semitic Women’s March Leaders

The intersectional politics of the Left is driving the entire movement insane.

No better evidence for this proposition can be found than the current head-scratching among Leftist Jews over the support for anti-Semitic Nation of Islam head Louis Farrakhan. Farrakhan is the sort of fellow who calls Jews Satanic and cheers, “White folks are going down.” He’s a delight. And he’s supported by Women’s March leaders including Tamika Mallory, who attended a Farrakhan lecture last week, and Carmen Perez, who quotes Farrakhan on social media. Linda Sarsour, another well-known anti-Semite, has defended her colleagues from criticism on Farrakhan.

All of which should make life awkward for Jewish members of the Women’s March. Fortunately for some of those Jewish members, intersectionality means never having to say boo about anti-Semitism. Rabbi Jill Jacobs, a charter Women’s March member, stated, “What [Farrakhan] said is disgusting and inexcusable.” She then proceeded to excuse the Women’s March leaders for backing Farrakhan: “I don’t think that one can dismiss the entire movement, and certainly not the entire progressive world, because of a statement by one person or two people.” Judy Levey of the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs told Forward, “People don’t always express themselves on every single issue in ways that we would be comfortable, but it’s really important that when we share values, we work together to raise up the urgent issues that we all face.”

PreOccupiedTerritory: Some Of Farrakhan’s Closest Friends Also Antisemities (satire)

Allies of controversial Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan rushed to defend him this week against continuing allegations of anti-Jewish prejudice, noting that some of the minister’s dearest acquaintances are also anti-Jewish.

Farrakhan made numerous vile characterizations of Jews in an address last week, causing some progressives to question their association with him, but prompting others to close ranks and dismiss the relevance of such remarks. Defenders of Farrakhan pointed to his work on behalf of the marginalized black community, preferring to downplay the man’s rhetoric that defames women, the LGBTQ community, Jews, and whites in general. Several such defenders went as far as to question the characterization of his remarks as antisemitic, pointing to the significant number of people in Farrakhan’s close inner circle who are also antisemitic.

Women’s March leader Linda Sarsour challenged the credibility of anyone to throw what she called “derogatory, defamatory, libelous words” such as accusations of antisemitism at a man who “has worked tirelessly to free people of color from the shackles of Jewish white hegemony.”

“We owe this man our gratitude, and now, our protection,” she declared in response to the reports. “One by one the white supremacist establishment comes for us. Today it’s Mr. Farrakhan, but tomorrow it will be you or me or anyone else who has the guts to stand up for progressive values such as denying Jewish peoplehood, justifying Islamic terrorism, and seeing people of color as devoid of moral agency.”

Liberal feminists for Farrakhan? Tamika Mallory is on the wrong side of a bright moral line

Imagine if I, a liberal white New Yorker, posted social media pictures with my arm around the KKK-loving David Duke, calling him a great man as he proclaimed that black people were degenerates responsible for the supposedly filthy behavior that caused transsexuality. I would be fired, ridiculed and called out by every left-winger in my life, as well as all the civilized people I knew on the right.

Yet Women’s March Co-President Tamika Mallory, a liberal black New Yorker, has done the equivalent, repeatedly.

Last week, the 37-year-old Mallory attended yet another event for the despicable Nation of Islam leader Minister Louis Farrakhan in Chicago, receiving a shoutout from Farrakhan himself.

This was in between his anti-Semitic slurs, saying “the powerful Jews are my enemy.” And his admiring quotes of the late President Richard Nixon and the Rev. Billy Graham attacking Jews’ “grip on the media” and Hollywood, along with his lament that “the Jews were responsible for all of this filth and degenerate behavior that Hollywood is putting out turning men into women and women into men.”

There’s more: “White folks are going down. And Satan is going down. And Farrakhan” — he referred to himself in the third person — “by God’s grace, has pulled the cover off of that satanic Jew and I’m here to say your time is up, your world is through.”

In the past, Farrakhan has called Hitler “a very great man” and said “a woman is created by God to help a man be as productive as he can be,” while railing against females who dare not cover themselves.

Arizona State University sued over enforcement of state anti-BDS law

A federal lawsuit filed against Arizona State University claims the school is violating the free speech of a student Muslim group by not allowing it to sponsor a speaker who promotes a boycott of Israel.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations filed the suit last week in U.S. District Court in Phoenix on behalf of the school’s Muslim students.

Arizona State’s Muslim Students Association invited Hatem Bazian, the founder of American Muslims for Palestine, to speak at a campus event on April 3. But Bazain, a senior lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley, said he would not sign the speaker’s contract because of a “no boycott of Israel” clause added to the pact after the state passed an anti-BDS law.

Bazian also is a co-founder of Students for Justice in Palestine and, according to the lawsuit, a leader in the U.S. of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement targeting Israel.

The Arizona law passed in March 2016 requires that any company contracting with the state submit a written certification that it is not currently boycotting Israel. Similar anti-BDS laws have been passed in more than 20 states.

The lawsuit calls on the court to declare the Arizona anti-BDS law unconstitutional and to order the university and its board of regents to remove the “No Boycott of Israel” clause from its speakers contract.

Radical left-wing activists derail free speech event in London

A radical group of self-proclaimed “anti-fascists” violently disrupted a free speech event at King’s College in Cambridge on Tuesday. One of the panelists at the event, which was organized by the KCL Libertarian Society, was Ayn Rand Institute Director Dr. Yaron Brook, an Israeli.

Also on the panel was YouTube personality “Sargon of Akkad,” whose real name is Carl Benjamin.

In video footage published online, the masked protesters are seen forcing their way into the King’s College London lecture hall and grabbing the speakers’ microphones before smashing windows, setting off smoke bombs and leaving notes threatening the moderator.

According to the British Daily Mail, several security guards were punched and hospitalized. Police were called to the scene but no arrests were made.

“Ten to 15 people dressed all in black, with black hoods and black face masks, leaped over the barriers and instantly engaged in a fight with two or three security guards,” a student eyewitness told the Daily Mail.

“They [the security guards] tried to stop the [protesters] but they just started punching them in the face. One guard, a gray-haired gentleman who looked to be around 60, received several punches,” the student recounted.

Some protesters were also waving the Antifa (anti-fascist) flag.

The Ayn Rand Institute, a leading right-wing libertarian think tank, is often maligned by left-wing activists, particularly by militant groups such as Antifa.

Gun-Control Group Founder: Jewish Journalist’s Reasons for Buying Gun Based on White ‘Privilege,’ ‘Fear and Paranoia’

Conservative Jewish columnist Bethany Mandel published an op-ed in the New York Times on Monday in which she discussed her experience being threatened and buying a gun to protect her family, and in response, a gun-control activist called her out on Twitter for her white “privilege.”

In a piece titled, “I Wanted to Be a Good Mom. So I Got a Gun,” Mandel described recieving threats from neo-nazis and the alt-right during the 2016 presidential election season, even getting her home address posted on the Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi news site.

“I was given a reason to feel that I needed to defend myself and my family. And I acted on it,” Mandel wrote.

Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action, a group associated with the Michael Bloomberg-bankrolled gun-control advocacy group Everytown, took issue with the op-ed and particularly with the fact it was featured with a photo of a woman of color.

Mandel responded on Twitter, disagreering that her fears were inconsequential “anecdotes of fear and paranoia” given that her home address was published by a neo-Nazi site, a threat credible enough that the police still drive by her house multiple times daily.

“Not exactly tinfoil hat paranoid over here,” Mandel said.

Michael Lumish: This Week on Nothing Left

This week Michael Burd and Alan Freedman speak with David Rubin, American-Israeli expert on terrorism, but who came to this subject via his personal experience, and then we hear from Canadian blogger Diane Bederman who updates us on what is happening in Canada under PM Justin Trudeau.

They also speak live with former Australian ambassador to Israel Dave Sharma to get his take on current events and then hear a disturbing report from Israeli academic Ran Porat who has been monitoring the Arab media in Australia.

(Isi Leibler is taking a couple of weeks off and will return soon.)

2 min Editorial: Jewish Left activists on Daniel Pipes visit

8 min David Rubin, terrorism expert with a personal story

31 min Diane Bederman, Canadian blogger

51 min Dave Sharma, former Australian ambassador to Israel

1 hr 22 Ran Porat, ACJC academic on Arab media in Australia

Netflix picks up Israeli Mossad documentary

An Israeli-made documentary about the activities of the Mossad will soon be making its way around the world.

The four-part documentary series The Mossad: Imperfect Spies will be arriving on global streaming giant Netflix in January 2019, according to Yossi Melman, the co-creator of the show.

Melman, a journalist and analyst for Maariv and The Jerusalem Report, created the series – which aired on HOT’s Channel 8 last year – with director Duki Dror and filmmaker Chen Shelach. Haaretz, which first reported the news, said the series will also air on the French ARTE channel around Israel’s 70th Independence Day this year.

A representative for Netflix confirmed to The Jerusalem Post that it had picked up rights to the series, except for in Israel, Germany and France.

“I am proud and happy to share with you that the series which I helped create and write will be aired in 2019 on Netflix,” Melman wrote on Twitter on Monday. “It’s a docu series about the history, operations, psychology and dilemmas of the Mossad.”

The show included interviews with dozens of former Mossad operatives including former pensioners affairs minister Rafi Eitan and former director-general of the Intelligence Services Ministry and the Strategic Affairs Ministry Ram Ben-Barak.

Guardian falsely suggests Haifa Arabs in 1948 faced “mass evictions” by Israeli forces

We recently posted about an Evening Standard review of a play being performed at Finborough Theatre in London called Returning to Haifa. Though the review noted that the play was based on a novel by a Palestinian named Ghassan Kanafani, who they refer to as an “acclaimed Palestinian writer” killed by the Mossad, it failed to mention that Kanafni was a high-ranking member of the PFLP terror group – a fact which would help readers understand why the “writer” was targeted by Israel.

Though we complained to editors about the omission, the piece has not been amended.

A Guardian review of the play published the same day similarly fails acknowledge Kanafni’s terror background, and, more importantly, misleads on the historical context of the play.

Here’s the sentence in question by Guardian theatre critic Michael Billington:
The play shows a Palestinian couple returning to Haifa in 1967 in search of the house and son they were forced to abandon 20 years previously during mass evictions by Israeli forces.

Were their “mass evictions” of Haifa’s Arabs by “Israeli forces”, as the Guardian suggests?

What do BBC audiences know about the Coastal Road Massacre?

The sole BBC reference to Palestinian glorification of the Coastal Road Massacre terrorists to be currently found online dates from 2003 when Lyse Doucet hosted a phone-in discussion with the BBC’s Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen after the broadcast of a film he made titled “Arafat Investigated”. The transcript of that discussion includes the following:
Lyse Doucet: “There was a sequence in the film where you had Yasser Arafat praising Dalal al Mughrabi as the road to freedom and yet this Palestinian woman was, according to the film, in 1978 responsible for one of the worst terrorist incidents in Israeli history, killing nearly 40 people and injuring many others. Well, Ruth Green, Neil Solden, among many others, have asked you: Arafat is publicly praising the terrorists, how can he be a man of peace and still do that?”

The BBC Middle East editor’s response perhaps casts light on the BBC’s chronic under-reporting of the issue of Palestinian glorification of terrorism.

Jeremy Bowen: “Well, lots of Israelis say that and of course the Israeli Government has concluded that Arafat has been a terrorist his entire life and he is not a man of peace. In the Oslo process the feeling was that the man had changed. Now, I don’t know whether he has changed fully or not but I think that the point made in the film by Eyad Sarraj, the Palestinian we talked to in that, is important in so far as what he said was that these people are seen by Palestinians as heroes of their would-be independence movement, and it’s important for them to be mentioned and it fulfils their ritualistic sloganising function. Let’s not forget that before Israeli independence Messrs Shamir and Begin were regarded by the British as terrorists. They went on – in the case of Begin – to win the Nobel Prize for Peace.”

For years the BBC has promoted the notion that the prime factor preventing peace from coming to the Middle East is Israeli communities in Judea & Samaria and specific areas of Jerusalem. More recently another factor was added to the BBC’s list of ‘things preventing peace’: the US administration’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

However, remarkably little has been done to inform BBC audiences of issues that detract from that trite narrative such as the Palestinian Authority’s payments to convicted terrorists, PA and Fatah incitement or PA and Fatah glorification of terrorism of the type seen annually around the anniversary of the most lethal terror attack on Israeli civilians.

That is not omission – it is editorial policy.

Bill to legalize cannabis usage passes in first reading in Knesset

A bill that would legalize the use of cannabis passed unanimously in its first reading in the Knesset on Wednesday.

Currently, the law prohibits the usage of cannabis.

The new bill focuses on public enforcement: those caught with cannabis in public are subject to various fines: on the first offense, 1000 NIS and 2000 NIS for the second offense. Thereafter, only on the fourth offense, individuals may be subject to criminal proceedings.

The bill has been spearheaded by Public Security and Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan, who said Israel wants to “reduce the harms of drug usage regularly but avoid as much as possible the criminal stigmatization of average citizens.”

MK Tamar Zandberg (Meretz) said that the passing of the bill marks “another important step on the road to our victory.”

She added that the law is “far from perfect, but it is a foot in the door on the way to a policy of full legalization.”

Ancient Haggadah symbolizing fate of Sarajevo Jews finally finds permanent home

Eli Tauber, a pillar of Sarajevo’s Jewish community, waited anxiously for worshipers to arrive at the synagogue as there must be at least 10 men present before starting the Sabbath prayers.

To the historian’s great relief 11 men and a woman, most of them elderly, turned up for the service led by a local man who represents the Jews on Bosnia’s ecumenical council.

The rabbi lives in Israel and only comes to Sarajevo for the Jewish Passover and New Year holidays.

No more than 800 Jews still live in the Bosnian capital, according to their community’s 74-year-old leader, Jakob Finci.

Before World War II they numbered around 12,500, accounting for 15 to 20 percent of the city’s population, but many were killed during the Holocaust.

Still Jews remain part of the multi-cultural and religious identity of Sarajevo alongside Orthodox Serbs, Catholic Croats and Bosnian Muslims.

The symbol of the story of Bosnia’s Jews is a 14th-century treasure — the famous Sarajevo Haggadah holy book, containing the biblical text of Exodus read by Jews at Passover.

Israeli shepherdess uses modern sheep breed to revive ancient shofar sound

The piercing note of a shofar – a ram’s horn used in Jewish religious ceremonies – cuts through the mountain air of the Galilee.

Here in northern Israel, shepherdess Jenna Lewinsky is raising a flock of Jacob Sheep, pictured here, as a religious calling.

With anything up to six horns on each animal, the breed is ideally suited for the manufacture of the horn traditionally blown during the Jewish New Year and the Day of Atonement, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar.

The spotted breed of Jacob Sheep was bred in England in the 17th and 18th centuries, and this flock was brought to Israel from Canada by Lewinsky in 2016.

Shepherdess Jenna Lewinsky holds a lamb from the Jacob sheep breed, in Ramot Naftali, Israel, February 21, 2018. (Reuters/Amir Cohen)Shepherdess Jenna Lewinsky holds a lamb from the Jacob sheep breed, in Ramot Naftali, Israel, February 21, 2018. (Reuters/Amir Cohen)

But sheep have been recorded since antiquity across the Middle East, and the modern breed’s name echoes the ancient Biblical story from Genesis in which the patriarch Jacob took “every speckled and spotted sheep” as wages from his father-in-law, Laban.

Turning her flock’s horns into shofars is part of God’s plan, says Lewinsky, who calls herself a “traditional and God-fearing Jew.”

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