May 27, 2020

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03/09 Links Pt2: Swiss Parliament Calls for End to Govt. Funding for BDS NGOs; HA! Linda Sarsour Arrested For Disorderly Conduct

From Ian:

Swiss legislature passes bill to stop funding for boycotts of Israel
Switzerland’s National Council – the lower chamber of the legislature – passed a bill on Wednesday to stop government funding of organizations that promote boycotts of Israel and spread antisemitism and racism.
The measure will be submitted in May to the Council of States, the upper chamber of the legislature, which will decide whether it becomes law.
Olga Deutsch, director of the Jerusalem-based NGO Monitor’s Europe Desk, told The Jerusalem Post: “Today’s positive developments in Switzerland mark a milestone in seriously countering BDS campaigns, antisemitism and hatred, by equating them in the motion. The motion sets an important precedent. NGO Monitor was instrumental in providing details to Swiss decision-makers regarding their government’s funding of organizations that oppose official Swiss foreign policy, such as NGOs that propagate anti-normalization, BDS, and one-state frameworks.”
She added, “This is a perfect opportunity for Israeli and European officials to capitalize on the Swiss example and work together on guidelines and evaluation mechanisms that contribute to positive change in addressing this serious issue.”
The measure was introduced by Christian Imark, a National Council deputy from the conservative Swiss People’s Party. It passed 111- 78. (h/t Zvi)

Swiss Parliament Calls for End to Government Funding for BDS NGOs

NGO Monitor welcomes today’s vote in the Swiss Parliament calling on the government to “amend the laws, ordinances and regulations so that Switzerland can no longer subsidize, even indirectly, development cooperation projects carried out by NGOs involved in racist, antisemitic or hate incitement actions, or in BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) campaigns.”
Olga Deutsch, Director of NGO Monitor’s Europe Desk said, “Today’s positive developments in Switzerland are an important precedent in seriously countering BDS campaigns, antisemitism, and hatred. NGO Monitor was instrumental in providing details on the Swiss government’s funding of organizations that propagate anti-peace, anti-normalization, BDS, and one-state policies.
This vote, and similar parliamentary initiatves in Europe demonstrate the importance of cooperation and dialogue on the NGO and BDS funding issue. Knesset members should work alongside their European counterparts on guidelines and evaluation mechanisms that contribute to positive change in addressing this serious issue.”
As a research institute that deals with government funding to NGOs active in the Arab-Israeli conflict, NGO Monitor provided detailed and fully referenced information to Swiss decision makers and media throughout the past year, leading to today’s motion.
In particular, the parliamentary vote focused on Swiss government funding to NGOs directly through the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat (managed by the Institute of Law at Birzeit University (IoL-BZU) in Ramallah and the NIRAS consulting firm in Sweden). This framework provides core-funding to organizations, some of which are directly affiliated with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a terrorist group designated as such by the U.S., EU, Canada, and Israel.

David Collier: UCLUFOP, witch hunts, intimidation and antisemitism

Last night at UCL there was an event hosted by the UCLU Friends of Palestine Society (UCLUFOP). The speaker was Ilan Pappe and the title for the talk was ‘am I an antisemite’? The event was set up as part of a general trend in anti-Israel activism: To find extremist Jews who are willing to deflect accusations of antisemitism and provide an umbrella for all manner of Jew hatred. The event went on to highlight so much of what is wrong with anti-Israel activism on campus.
The event began with a banner on display and ended with an exchange outside the campus hall. In between were several items that I wish to mention:
The ‘welcoming’ UCLUFOP banner contains the term “you just have to be human”. It was placed at the front of the hall, next to where the speaker and Chair sat.
I have problems with the phrase expressed in the banner. What does it mean? That to oppose the political position put forward by this group, makes a person non-human? That to side with Israel does the same? Apparently, my self-identification as a Zionist, a Jew who supports Jewish self-determination and a right to statehood renders me a ‘non-human’ on the UCL campus. So, what am I – a rat or an insect? How are Jewish Zionist students on campus allowed to be so publicly de-humanised? Is nobody paying attention?
The speaker
Much has been written on Ilan Pappe and his aversion to historicity. He has been caught on camera visibly accepting historical distortion to protect his ideology. What is beyond debate is to say he is seen by Jewish Zionists as a highly offensive figure. To invite him as an expert fit to ‘define’ antisemitism at an event at the UCL campus is disgraceful. I cannot imagine UCL permitting a speaker viewed by Muslims as highly offensive being allowed on campus to define anti-Muslim hatred.
That Ilan Pappe was chosen to lead this event was a provocative act. That this event dealt with providing a cover for Jew hatred was unforgivable. This, on a campus where anti-Israel activity has been seen to be violent, anti-democratic and in opposition to the basic elements of free speech.

Dennis Prager: Why Do American Jews Want Thousands of Jew Haters in America?

An article in the left-wing HuffingtonPost reached a now-familiar conclusion, saying: “Migrants streaming into Europe from the Middle East are bringing with them virulent anti-Semitism which is erupting from Scandinavia to France to Germany. … While all of the incoming refugees and migrants, fleeing Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and other Muslim lands, may not hold anti-Jewish views, an extremely large number do — simply as a result to being raised in places where anti-Jewish vitriol is poured out in TV, newspapers, schools and mosques. … ‘There is no future for Jews in Europe’ said the chief Rabbi of Brussels.”
Yet, despite all this Muslim-immigrant Jew hatred, more than a thousand rabbis have signed a petition to bring large numbers of MENA Muslims into America, and virtually all Jewish organizations outside of orthodoxy and the Zionist Organization of America have condemned President Trump’s administration for enacting even a temporary travel ban (one due entirely to security concerns) on immigrants and refugees from seven (of the world’s more than 50) Muslim-majority countries.
How is one to explain the widespread American Jewish support for bringing in a massive number of people, many of whom will bring in anti-Jew, anti-Israel and anti-West values?
First, they are staggeringly naive believing, for example, that marching at airports with signs that read “We love Muslims” will change those Muslims who hate Jews into Muslims who love Jews.
Second, never underestimate the power of feeling good about yourself that exists on the left (the self-esteem movement originated on the left). And it feels very good for these Jews to say: “Look, world. You abandoned us in the 1930s, but we’re better than you.”
And third, when American Jews abandoned traditional liberal and traditional Jewish values for leftist values, they became less Jewish, less American and more foolish.
Just ask the Jews of Europe.

Leading US Jewish Feminist: Anti-Israel Messaging of International Women’s Strike Part of Ongoing ‘Poisoned Propaganda Effort’

The anti-Israel messaging promoted by organizers of Wednesday’s International Women’s Strike marks a continuation of a “poisoned propaganda effort” that began after the young nation won the 1967 Six-Day War in self-defense, a leading American Jewish feminist told The Algemeiner.
The goal of that campaign, which was initiated by the Soviet Union, Arab League and the Palestinians, was to “infiltrate an already receptive Left with the view that Israel was an imperialist, colonialist enterprise,” Dr. Phyllis Chesler — an emerita professor of psychology at City University of New York and a best-selling author — said.
“In the academic world, it became very trendy and politically correct to champion the purity of tyrants, terrorists and barbarians and women’s rights and women’s issues started being used to inflame hatred of one state only, the Jewish state,” Chesler noted.
“With this fake focus on Palestinian rights, what’s being completely forgotten are the honor killings, forced face-veilings, child marriages, female genital mutilation and polygamy — not to mention the arrests, torture and murders of feminist and gay rights activists, both male and female — in the Islamic world,” Chesler went on to say. “America and Israel are far from perfect on women’s rights. But compared to countries where women live under sharia law, they are shining cities on a hill.”
Furthermore, Chesler said, “To have a strike with leaders like [anti-Israel activist] Linda Sarsour and [convicted Palestinian terrorist] Rasmea Odeh, it is beyond the pale.”

HA! Linda Sarsour Arrested For Disorderly Conduct

Linda Sarsour, the Mother Theresa of Sharia Law, was arrested in front of Trump Tower in New York City as part of the #DayWithoutAWomen protests. According to Isaac Saul of A Plus, Sarsour and other women were told by New York City Police to disperse from the vicinity and they refused.
The official Twitter account of the Women’s March praised Sarsour and other women who were detained for disorderly conduct.
According to the radical feminists associated with the Women’s March, not only is it righteous to disrupt traffic but it is also empowering for women to skip work to protest against the absurd.
Linda Sarsour has known familial ties to Hamas, the genocidal, Jew-hating terrorist organization that rules Gaza, as well as connections with operatives named by the Justice Department for financing the terrorist group in the United States over a decade ago.

Taliban on A Day Without a Woman: ‘We’re Way Ahead of You’ (satire)

The ‘A Day Without a Woman’ movement gained an unlikely supporter this week, as the Taliban praised the initiative to keep women from going to work in support for gender equality.
“While women in the US are finally skipping work in order to protest the patriarchy, we have been vigilantly enforcing the ‘Day Without a Woman’ cause every day for more than 20 years,” a Taliban spokesman said. “In fact, we take the ‘Day Without a Woman’ initiative so seriously that we immediately execute any woman or girl who does not show her support.”
The ‘Day Without a Woman’ protest, part of International Women’s Day, sought to stand in solidarity with gender-oppressed people throughout the world through a one-day general strike. But jihadi groups ranging from the Taliban to ISIS and Boko Haram all had the same response to the West: “What took you so long?”
“I thought that gender equality meant that women would have equal rights to work, go to school, and dress as they wished, and other stupid shit like that,” Boko Haram’s leader noted. “If I knew it just meant keeping women at home, I would have been on board years ago.”

The New York Times Misrepresents BDS

A newly passed Israeli law prevents foreign nationals who have publicly called for a boycott of the Jewish state or work on behalf of an organization that advocates these measures from entering Israel. It has caused plenty of debate and criticism.
That the New York Times, in a staff editorial, opposes the law, is not particularly noteworthy and it is perfectly at liberty to do so, as have numerous Israelis and even US-based Jewish organizations.
However, in doing so, the NY Times takes the wrong approach and misrepresents the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign and those supporters of Israel who are working to counter its hateful activities. The editorial claims that the law is “intended to characterize supporters of the [BDS] movement as enemies of Israel.”
In addition, the headline of the editorial is “Israel Says Dissenters Are Unwelcome.”
There are plenty of people both within and outside of Israel who publicly criticize Israeli government policies and that is entirely legitimate. The BDS movement, however, is not about criticizing Israel but about delegitimizing and ultimately destroying the country as a Jewish state, something that its leaders have readily acknowledged. Those BDS activists are not “Dissenters” as the headline would have you believe. They are intimately engaged in a well-organized and well-financed campaign against Israel. BDS is entirely about being an enemy of Israel.

The Times Presents Israeli History For Dummies

The Times of London jumps the gun with its headline reporting on the visit to Israel of British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson.
While Israeli President Reuven Rivlin did extend an official invitation to the Royal Family, it has not been officially accepted yet even if the signs are relatively positive.
But the main problem with this story is an accompanying video that attempts to squeeze the history of the birth of the modern state of Israel into a one and a half minutes of footage and a series of captions.
The Times, to its credit, evidently attempted to highlight the British role in the creation of the state of Israel in a story that references the 1917 Balfour Declaration. Unfortunately, it is impossible to accurately portray complex history in this way and The Times singularly fails. Let’s take a look at some of the captions:
The video makes no mention of any historical Jewish connection to the land of Israel. Instead, history for The Times begins in 1922 (with not even a mention of the Balfour Declaration) with the British Mandate for Palestine. An uneducated viewer may get the false impression that Jews started moving to the area in 1922.
Jews have been indigenous to the region for 3,500 years.

Why some airlines remove Israel from their online route maps

STARING at an airline’s route map can cause the heart to flutter. It seems to divide the world into two distinct groups, between memories and possibilities. But on some carriers’ maps, a third classification exists: the non-existent.
Many airlines’ route maps show every country in the world, regardless of whether they fly there. Those that do not usually illustrate their network by showing only those cities and countries served by the airline. But a few are more selective still, omitting only a single country from their worldview: Israel.
A new paper*, which is currently under peer review, by Joel Waldfogel and Paul Vaaler, both of the University of Minnesota, looks into the phenomenon. The pair classified 111 of the world’s international airlines depending on how they treat Israel on their online route maps. Outside the Middle East, all dealt with it consistently: either Israel was shown as part of a comprehensive map, or it its inclusion was dependent on whether the airline served the country.
Not so for those based in the Middle East. Here, many airlines simply erase Israel’s name off otherwise comprehensive maps (this is often done by amending a Google map). Examples of such removers include Qatar Airways, one of the big international “super connectors”, as well as smaller carriers including Saudia and Kuwait Airways (screenshot shown above). Others take a different approach. These, in the words of the paper, show “plausible deniability”. Their maps include a selection of countries, including ones not served by the airline, but not the Jewish state. This, say the professors, allows them to argue that they are not singling out Israel by omitting only it.

NY Senate votes to defund campus groups that boycott Israel

The New York Senate voted on Wednesday to withhold state university funding from any student group calling for a boycott of Israel or other “allied nations.”
Supporters say the move is a way of showing solidarity with Israel during a time of increasing anti-Semitism. Opponents, including the New York Civil Liberties Union and the group Palestine Legal, say the measure would unfairly deprive certain students of public funding based on constitutionally protected political speech.
The bill passed the Republican-led Senate in a vote of 49 to 11 and now moves to the Assembly, where it is expected to face significant challenges.
Specifically the bill would prohibit state university funding from going to campus groups that engage in hate speech, a term that in the bill includes calling for a boycott.
“We don’t have to stand by and give taxpayer money to groups that sell such hate,” said Sen. Todd Kaminsky (D-Long Island).

Spain’s ruling party rejects the BDS campaign

The Partido Popular (People’s Party), the ruling party in Spain, has approved amendments that explicitly reject the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanction campaign, according to the pro-Israel Spanish group ACOM.
The decision was made by rank -and- file members of the party during its 18th Ordinary Congress, the group’s official decision-making body. This marks the first specific commitment made by a Spanish political party to confront the BDS movement.
According to ACOM, the meeting was “full support for the specific rejection of antisemitic activities, and for declaring the illegitimacy of BDS campaigns.”
Additionally, the decision was made not to approve or provide any financial support to organizations, which through their actions, promote or justify discrimination on the grounds of national origin, race, religion or opinion.
“ACOM congratulates the PP for firmly confronting this serious issue, which threatens our basic liberties and the rule of law,” the advocacy group said in a statement.

BDS Fail: Georgetown U Rejects Motion To Divest From Companies Enabling ‘Violent Israeli Occupation Of Palestine’

A Georgetown University advisory board has thrown out a motion to join the anti-Israel boycott on the grounds that “divestment would not be an effective tactic to end hostilities or promote a peaceful resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
The Committee on Investments and Social Responsibility (CISR), which issues recommendations to Georgetown’s Board of Directors, stated in a memo that it “supports the goal of a peaceful resolution that ensures the safety of both peoples and respects dignity and human rights for all.”
Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) activists from the student body in October proposed that the college divest from companies that “enable and profit from the violent Israeli occupation of Palestine.” In January, a student group calling itself “Georgetown University Forming a Radically Ethical Endowment Coalition (GU F.R.E.E.)” urged GU to cease all activity with companies contributing to the “illegal Israeli occupation of Palestine.” Nine companies were accused of being “knowingly and consistently” complicit in Israeli “human rights violations” against “indigenous” Palestinians.

Students at U of Texas Welcome Resolution Declaring Solidarity With Jewish Community in Light of Surge in Antisemitic Incidents

Jewish students at the University of Texas (UT) welcomed their government’s declaration of support following a spate of antisemitic incidents on campuses and other venues across the United States, the school newspaper The Daily Texan reported.
Jason Taper, a member of Texas Hillel, said Tuesday’s passage of UT Student Government (SG) Assembly Resolution 26 (AR 26) comes at a difficult time for American Jews, and “knowing that we have the UT community behind us really helps.”
“It is still, luckily, unacceptable to hate Jews at this university, and when that sentiment is publicly expressed, it’s a measure of help,” Taper said, referring to the recent vandalization of the Texas Hillel building and a spate of antisemitic postings on a UT Facebook page.
Jonathan Dror, an SG member and author of AR 26, told The Daily Texan he hopes the resolution will help Jewish students feel safe on the UT campus.
“Several Jewish students that I know don’t even feel comfortable wearing their (Star of David) necklace out or small things like that just to express their religion,” he said. “Unfortunately, antisemitism is always around and we can never get rid of it, but right now it’s rearing its ugly head. So, we just thought it was very important to show a message of solidarity with Jewish students, and that we’re supporting them right now.”

Jewish Campus Leaders: Head of UK Student Umbrella Group’s Participation in Conference Backed by Hamas Apologist ‘Not Surprising,’ Given Her Anti-Israel Record

Jewish student leaders in Britain told The Algemeiner on Wednesday they were not surprised that the head of the UK’s umbrella student group spoke at a recent conference backed by an organization whose founder has “salute[d] Hamas for standing up to Israel.”
Elliot Miller — national organizer of anti-campus extremism group Student Rights and a fellow at the Henry Jackson Society — said it was to be expected that National Union of Students (NUS) President Malia Bouattia would participate in the Palestine Conference, partially organized by Friends of Al-Aqsa (FOA), due to her record of comments construed as antisemitic.
Miller — who recently penned an article slamming the NUS for its current anti-Israel stance — added, “Jewish students are no longer shocked when this happens. The important thing is to raise the awareness of the wider student movement and the public to these issues.”
Yos Tarshish, chairman of the World Union of Jewish Students, told The Algemeiner there was “nothing new” in Bouattia’s statement at the conference — that she is “proud to sit before you as NUS president, as well as a Palestine activist.”
“We know this,” he said. “But it is a travesty that students can’t feel comfortable affiliating with this group without feeling alienated by their views on Israel and the Jews.”

BDS Activists on South African Campus Wave Hezbollah Flag at Pro-Israel Counter-Demonstrators

The Hezbollah flag was prominently displayed by BDS activists during a standoff with pro-Israel students at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) in South Africa on Wednesday, an activist present at the confrontation told The Algemeiner.
Gilad Kabilo, the leader of an Israeli delegation brought to Wits by education organization StandWithUs to observe and counter Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) events, said the waving of the Iran-backed Lebanon-based terrorist organization’s flag was one “furious reaction” to the pro-Israel community’s demonstration against a “die-in” on campus.
Pro-Israel and Jewish students at Wit University hold a silent protest in response to a BDS die-in on campus. Photo: Gilad Kabilo.
Pro-Israel and Jewish students at Wits University hold a silent protest in response to a BDS “die-in” on campus. Photo: Gilad Kabilo.
Kabilo said that, in anticipation of the die-in, some 60 pro-Israel activists — from StandWithUs and the South African Union of Jewish Students (SAUJS) — “stood in silent protest” with posters of Israeli terror victims and signs reading, “We respect the victims on both sides. Do you?” and, “These are the victims of Palestinian terror #enough.”
After the die-in was over, Kabilo recounted, one BDS demonstrator returned with several friends and the Hezbollah flag. “In response, our side held up the Israeli flag, and some began to sing the Israeli national anthem ‘Hatikvah.’”

UK’s Corbyn could be barred from Israel by new anti-BDS law

UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn could be blocked from visiting Israel under new legislation which bars supporters of a boycott on Israel from entering the country.
The legislation, passed on Monday and backed by right-wing and centrist coalition lawmakers, prevents foreign nationals who have publicly called for a boycott of the Jewish state or work on behalf of an organization that advocates such measures from entering Israel.
Corbyn supports “targeted” boycotts of the Jewish state.
A Labour spokesman, responding to the new legislation, told British media outlets that Corbyn was not in favor of a full boycott of Israel, but did support a more limited boycott.
“Jeremy is not in favor of the academic or cultural boycott of Israel or a blanket boycott of Israeli goods,” the spokesman said. Corbyn “does support targeted boycotts aimed at undermining the existence of illegal settlements in occupied territory. Barring people on the basis of this widely-held position would be clearly wrong.”

Jackie Walker Claims Jewish Media ‘Pattern’

Anti-Semitism row Corbynista Jackie Walker was yesterday referred to Labour’s highest disciplinary body for possible expulsion from the party. They might want to look at this post on her Facebook page last night. Walker claims that the news of her referral to Labour’s NCC was “leaked” to the Jewish Chronicle and the Guardian’s Jessica Elgot, who Walker notes “previously worked for the Jewish Chronicle”. Walker says “this is a pattern” and “the work goes on”. Sure Labour’s disciplinary panel will be very interested in Jackie’s conspiracy theory about Jews in the media…

PreOccupiedTerritory: UK Labour ‘Antisemitism Czar’ Taking Term A Little Too Literally (satire)

A Labour Party official appointed by Chairman Jeremy Corbyn to oversee the party’s efforts to combat antisemitism appears to have misinterpreted the title of the position, and is instead engaged in activities to promote the phenomenon.
Itbakh al-Yahud, the so-called Antisemitism Czar of Labour, has spent the last four months fomenting Jew-hate, a course of action he explains by pointing to the name of the position. Corbyn, currently the Opposition leader in Parliament, has voiced no objections to Mr. al-Yahud’s performance.
“It says it right here on the plaque by my door,” al-Yahud observed as he gestured toward the sign. “Why would they call me a czar, after all, unless I’m supposed to emulate a czar and pursue serious persecution of Jews? It’s right there. It’s even on my official business card.”
Since his appointment in early December, al-Yahud’s office has overseen campaigns to increase antisemitism in academic settings, to organize marches that give a prominent place to Israel-Nazi analogies, and to facilitate the distribution of materials online and on paper or billboards that present anti-Jewish conspiracy theories as fact. While many countries appoint a “czar” to coordinate the government’s efforts to counter a problematic phenomenon, such as illegal drugs, al-Yahud has taken a much more literal approach – and is enjoying quicker success by any metric than had he pursued the traditional, opposite sense of the term.

Art at Banksy’s Bethlehem Hotel gives lie to media claim he merely seeks ‘dialogue’

Though the Guardian and other British media outlets have reported that the hotel – “overlooking the worst view in the world” – will host Palestinian exhibitions designed by Banksy to “promote dialogue”, even a cursory review indicates that this is clearly untrue.
Art adorning the walls of “The Walled Off Hotel” include a version of the old BBC Test Card F with the words “Free Palestine”, a photo set glorifying Palestinian “resistance”, statues choking on tear gas fumes and an oil painting depicting a bulldozer demolishing a village. Conversely, there are no artistic displays in the hotel that give the Israeli perspective on the fence or provide background on the humanitarian impact of the deadly suicide bombers who used to cross over the previously porous boundary.
But, perhaps the most troubling piece of hotel art, which you can see on the official Facebook page of The Walled Off Hotel, is this painting of Jesus Christ with a (IDF) sniper’s red dot sight on his head.
This painting in Banksy’s hotel should be seen in the context of ongoing efforts by activists, PA government officials (and even some journalists) to cast Jesus as an early “Palestinian”.

Daily Freier: Quiz: Is it a Peter Beinart Op-Ed or Taylor Swift Breakup Song? (satire)

Sometimes it’s hard to keep track of whether you are reading Peter Beinart’s latest impassioned critique of the Jewish State or Taylor Swift’s latest breakup song. Like, it’s an honest mistake. One of them is moody, self-absorbed, and uses the pen to lash out at perceived betrayals when a relationship ends…… And the other one used to date a Jonas Brother. But anyhoo, we thought we would quiz the loyal readers of Israellycool. Good luck!
On Empathy for the Other
A) I’ll encourage them to read real histories of Israel’s war of independence, histories that explode the myth that most Palestinian refugees left their homes willingly. I’ll encourage them to consume as much Palestinian poetry, literature, journalism and film as possible. I want them to see how Israel looks from the other side.
B) So hey, let’s be friends
I’m dying to see how this one ends
Grab your passport and my hand
I can make the bad guys good for a weekend

Is AJ+ Fake News?
Did you know that AJ+ is owned by the former king of Qatar, a brutal dictatorship without free speech? That it demonstrates bias and misleading statements against Israel in almost all relevant stories and videos? Can you really trust AJ+?

Revisiting a BBC ‘Israel did it’ story from May 2016

On March 8th 2017 the Israeli news website Walla reported that an investigation by Al Arabia suggests a different answer to the question “who could have killed Mustafa Badreddine?” than the one promoted by the BBC.
“According to an investigation by the ‘Al Arabia’ network, the General Secretary of the organisation [Hizballah – Nasrallah], together with the commander of the Iranian Quds Force [Soleimani], planned the assassination of the organisation’s senior figure [Badreddine], who died in a ‘mysterious explosion’ at Damascus airport. Hizballah blamed the Syrian opposition – which in turn blamed Hizballah.”
Whether or not that allegation is true is unclear but Al Arabia’s report is certainly no less reliable that the one from Al Mayadeen claiming that Badreddine had been killed by an Israeli airstrike which the BBC elected to amplify without independently confirming the claim.
As we know, the BBC relates to its online content as “historical record”:
“Our online news is far more accessible today than the newspaper archives of libraries. But in principle there is no difference between them: both are historical records. Fundamentally it is in the public interest to retain them intact.”

Given that, we would of course now expect to see the BBC revisiting this story, reviewing its steering of audiences towards the default conclusion that Israel was likely have been involved and checking the accuracy of this particular example of “historical record”.

BBC News coverage of terrorism in Israel – February 2017

As regular readers know, the four separate incidents of missile attacks from the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula during February did not receive any coverage whatsoever on the BBC News website.
A vehicular attack at the entrance to the community of Adam on February 2nd in which three people were injured was not reported by the BBC. A shooting attack in the market in Petah Tikva in which seven people were wounded on February 9th also did not receive any coverage. A petrol bomb attack on Route 443 on February 12th in which one civilian was injured, a petrol bomb attack in Issawiya on February 24th in which two members of the security forces were injured and an IED attack in Balata on February 23rd in which a soldier was injured were also among the attacks not reported by the BBC.
In conclusion, the BBC News website did not cover any of the terror attacks which took place during February. Since the beginning of the year, the corporation has reported 0.49% of the total attacks that have taken place and coverage of missile attacks stands at zero.

Homeless man arrested for scratching swastikas into Miami cars

A homeless man has been arrested for scratching swastikas into several cars in a Jewish neighborhood in Miami Beach.
The swastikas were found keyed on the cars on Feb. 26, including on a car owned by a non-Jewish family.
Timothy Merriam, 61, was arrested Tuesday and will be charged with criminal mischief. Police told NBC Miami that they will be working with the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s office to determine if hate crime charges also will be filed.
Merriam already was in jail for using a sharp pair of scissors to slash the tires more than 100 rental bikes on Miami Beach for the Citi Bikes public program. While in prison he made statements that led police detectives to believe that he had also scratched the swastikas into the cars, the Miami Herald reported, citing the Miami Beach police.

Michigan man accused of antisemitic Twitter threats was subject of documentary film

On February 24, 2017, local police in Grands Rapids, Michigan, arrested 29-year-old David Lenio on suspicion that he planned to attack Jews living in his community after Lenio tweeted threats of mass shootings and other threats relating to Jews, Fox 17 has reported.
Fox 17 has also revealed that a year earlier, Lenio was the subject of a 2016 Discovery Channel documentary film titled ‘Hate in America- A Town on Fire,’ which explored the rise of white nationalism in the US.
The film featured Lenio’s court proceedings, in which he faced felony charges due to his tweets, as well as interviews with the man who had helped alert the FBI and police to Lenio’ss intentions.
“On Valentine’s Day 2015, I was tweeting about shootings that had just happened at free speech events in Copenhagen, Denmark. One person who’d I’d never heard of started tweeting back a bunch of antisemitic rants,” Jon Hutson, a Maryland-based anti-gun advocate told the Discovery Channel.

Amazon UK removes 3 Holocaust denial books from sale

The UK arm of Amazon removed three titles from sale because they deny the Holocaust, after requests from Yad Vashem and a UK Jewish group.
The Board of Deputies, the umbrella body of British Jews, had asked the bookseller to withdraw the books which it claimed were “highly inappropriate for a reputable bookseller to stock.”
The four titles were: “Holocaust: The Greatest Lie Ever Told,” by Eleanor Wittakers; “The Hoax of the Twentieth Century: The Case Against the Presumed Extermination of European Jewry,” by Arthur R. Butz and “Did Six Million Really Die?” by Richard Harwood. This week, Amazon UK confirmed that these books had been withdrawn from sale.
The request and withdrawal follows an appeal last month from the head of Yad Vashem to Amazon boss Jeff Bezos urging the internet retail giant to remove books which deny the Holocaust. The request specifically mentioned the Harwood title.

Exxon eyes Israel after Cyprus win

After winning a Cypriot government tender, Exxon Mobile has expressed interest in bidding for Israeli natural gas tenders.
Minister of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources Yuval Steinitz met last week with senior executives from Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell during his visit to the US. The minister’s associates say that while Royal Dutch Shell will probably not take part in the new tender for oil and gas exploration licenses in Israeli waters, the Exxon Mobil executives came equipped with a great deal of relevant information, and expressed interest in the tender.
The reason is allegedly the announcement two days ago that Exxon had won a tender for oil and gas exploration in Block 10 in Cyprus as part of a consortium with Qatar Petroleum. A group composed of Italian company ENI and Total, and ENI by itself, won the concession for two other blocks in the tender.
In a fourth block already held by Total, the company asked the Cypriot government for permission to add ENI as a 50% partner in the license, because the block is located only six kilometers away from the Egyptian Zohr gas reservoir discovered by ENI. Total expects ENI’s extensive knowledge of the geology in the area to be of use in finding gas in Cyprus.

Hollywood stars attend gala screening of ‘Zookeeper’s Wife’ in Warsaw

Hollywood actress Jessica Chastain, director Niki Caro and actor Daniel Bruhl were in Warsaw Tuesday for a gala screening of The Zookeeper’s Wife.
Chastain and Bruhl star as Antonina and Jan Zabinski, a remarkable zookeeper and his wife who saved 300 Jews from the Gestapo during World War II by stowing them away in animal cages at the Warsaw Zoo.
Based on the non-fiction best seller by poet and naturalist Diane Ackerman, the movie opens in theaters March 31.
During a news conference reported by AFP, two-time Academy Award nominee Chastain said she felt “so inspired” by the story of human kindness “that we need so much today.”
She said what was exciting to play was how Antonina, initially unsure of herself, “is left alone at the house and given all this responsibility for caring for all these people and to protect them she grows into herself,” until by the end of the movie she is an equal with her husband.

Radiohead, Rod Stewart, Aerosmith confirm gigs in Israel

The 2017 spring and summer concert lineup in Israel is already sounding sweet with the likes of Radiohead, Nick Cave, Fatboy Slim, Robbie Williams, Duran Duran, Tears for Fears, Rod Stewart and The Pixies confirming local gigs.
DJ Fatboy Slim is bringing his signature rave show to Tel Aviv on March 12, where he’ll perform big hits at Hangar 11 club. Fatboy Slim, aka Norman Cook, is used to getting huge crowds jumping on their feet and hopes the audience at his debut show in Israel will comply.
The UK indie band White Lies has announced its debut concert in Israel. The rock group will play at the Barby club in Tel Aviv on April 17.
Justin Bieber is reportedly coming to Yarkon Park in Tel Aviv on May 3. It will be the international pop sensation’s second visit in five years.

Undefeated Israel beats Netherlands in World Baseball Classic

Israel’s national baseball team defeated The Netherlands 4-2 in its final game of the first round of the World Baseball Classic, securing a 3-0 sweep in the group stage.
Although Israel’s spot in the second round of the tournament was already guaranteed Wednesday as a result of the Dutch team’s defeat of Taiwan, Thursday’s win helped the Israeli squad keep alive its improbable perfect record to start the tournament.
After going up 3-0 in the bottom of the first inning, Israel was able to fend off the Dutch with stellar pitching, giving up only one run, five hits and five walks over the course of nine innings.
Israel will now face either Japan or the winner of the Cuba versus Australia game on Thursday in the second round, which will take place in Tokyo.
Ranked only 38 in the world, the Israeli team has become the tournament’s unlikely darlings, surprising many by even making it this far.

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